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Comment A promotion for Sundar Pichai, not much else (Score 5, Interesting) 235

Before the announcement, Google was composed of many divisions (e.g. YoutTube, Calico etc.) each reporting to a person that reported to the Google CEO, except for Google itself. After the announcement, Alphabet is composed of many companies (Google, YouTube, Calico, etc) each with a CEO that reports to the Alphabet CEO who used to be the Google CEO. It creates a position at the top for a Google CEO that will be filled by Sundar Pichai, who clearly deserves the recognition. But, it doesn't look like much else changes. It's the same people doing the same work.

The rumor on the Google blog is that Twitter was looking to offer Sundar Pichai a CEO position, so this move was made to keep him.

Perhaps there are some additional legal protections gained by doing this reorg as well.

Comment The cost of the NSA spying (or being leaked) (Score 2) 115

It's not just that the French and German government are going to move to doing business with non-US companies for email. There are many reports [citation needed] of governments and companies throughout the world choosing non-US cloud providers who promise not to have servers in the US. This is showing up on companies earnings reports in reduced overseas sales.

At first I thought it was silly - all governments want to be able to get their hands on data stored in their domain, so moving from the US just changes the potential actor. Then I thought "why would you store your secrets in a place you don't control?" If you've got something very, very secret, you don't store it in a bank, you hide it somewhere on your property (and no, I do not have anything very very secret :-) ) so it makes sense for governments to store their data on their own servers. And if they're technically capable, their own government cloud (sadly, not built by the US).

Comment What "we can't find people" really means (Score 2) 289

Everytime I see an article that says "Industry X can't find enough workers, people just aren't interested," it makes it sound like there's a worker shortage. What is often left out of the uncritical reporting, especially for entry level jobs, is "...can't find enough workers who will work for the amount the company wants to pay them." It's a free market, if you can't find people, you're not paying enough. Now, if it's for a senior position, then there may be a shortage of people, but that means the company has to inve$t in training. Rarely (except maybe during the 90's) is there an actual labor shortage. Just companies not wanting to pay more for labor.

Comment It's a question of incentive and respect (Score 2) 368

When I hear people complaining that they can't find skilled people, the part they usually leave off is "I can't find skilled people....for the amount of money I want to pay."
If there's a shortage in the market, then the value goes up, attracting more people, so there shouldn't be a problem in the long term.
The mayor did have a valid point that there's nothing that makes a lawyer worth more respect than a plumber, other than class behaviors.
I'm not sure how much respect of a profession matters in attracting people. Lawyers don't get a lot of respect but many people want to become lawyers for the money. No reason that shouldn't work for plumbers.

Thailand Cracks Down On Twitter, Facebook, Etc. 130

An anonymous reader writes "The ongoing poitical turmoil in Thailand has inspired the country's Ministry of Information, Computers, and Telecommunications to issue a stern warning that all users of the Internet in Thailand must 'use the internet in the right way or with appropriate purpose and avoid disseminating information that could create misunderstanding or instigate violent actions among the public', that 'all popular websites and social networks such as facebook, twitter, hi5 and my space [sic] will be under thorough watch,' and that 'Violators will be prosecuted by law with no compromise.' Thailand has draconian anti-lèse majesté laws which are routinely abused in order to settle political scores and silence dissent, and recently implemented a so-called 'Computer Crimes Act' which appears to be almost solely focused on thoughtcrimes and censorship, rather than dealing with, you know, actual crime. Several Web forums have recently been shut down, their operators charged because they failed to delete 'harmful posts' quickly enough to suit the Thai authorities."

Comment MS rarely innovated (Score 1) 450

The article's author is suffering from a major case of self-justification. I've been in this industry for a long time and Microsoft's been known for a lot of things, but innovation was never one of them. Good developer relations? Check. Finding a way acquire/copy good ideas and spread them widely? Check. Aggressive business practices? Check But I remember in the 80's and 90's that all the innovation that was added to Microsoft products was from acquisitions or feature copying from competitors. It was an interesting story about why the MS-tablet didn't take off, but my guess is that the hardware and wireless access hadn't matured yet, not that he got in a spat with the Office VP, who was probably correct in his assessment. Give Apple credit, yes they copied the Macintosh interface idea from Xerox, but they've put in some real innovative human factors improvements since then. MS picks and chooses which innovations to buy from smaller companies, rather than risk their own capital.

Saboteur Launch Plagued By Problems With ATI Cards 230

An anonymous reader writes "So far, there are over 35 pages of people posting about why EA released Pandemic Studios' final game, Saboteur, to first the EU on December 4th and then, after knowing full well it did not work properly, to the Americas on December 8th. They have been promising to work on a patch that is apparently now in the QA stage of testing. It is not a small bug; rather, if you have an ATI video card and either Windows 7 or Windows Vista, the majority (90%) of users have the game crash after the title screen. Since the marketshare for ATI is nearly equal to that of Nvidia, and the ATI logo is adorning the front page of the Saboteur website, it seems like quite a large mistake to release the game in its current state."

Comment Observation looking for relavence (Score 1) 59

I wonder if their data will scale? Is it effected by temperature changes? Humidity changes (especially Gen2 tags)? It's one thing to notice the uniqueness of a few hundred chips, but it a passport database could have billions of entries, or say a database of tagged cash with trillions of entries, would entries still be unique under varying temperature and humidty? Or just mostly unique, like social security numbers? Another way of reducing counterfeiting is to track where the item is supposed to be in a secure database (or secure databases linked by secure communications) and if the tag shows up in an unexpected place, investigate further. In the passport example from the article, if passport X is known to be in the US and its counterfeit tries to be used in France, that should trigger further examination. Of course, this requires all the passport computers to communicate world wide which could be administratively difficult, but probably not a lot more difficult than figuring out which database of response curves to query.

Comment Re:Rep. Peter T. King of NY Introduced the Bill (Score 1) 1235

I'd be surprised if this bill goes anywhere but slashdot. It has no cosponsors and Peter King is a Republican in a Democratic house. To be honest, this smells like constituent service - "I'm so upset congressman, can't you do something?" so he makes the old person happy and introduces a bill...

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