Tag: microsoft

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On Monday night, my iPhone turned off and wouldn’t turn back on. That’s just a minor personal inconvenience with a straightforward, if not pricy, solution—right? So the next morning, I scheduled an appointment at a repair shop for that afternoon and tried to log in for work. And that’s where the “minor personal inconvenience” snowballed. […]

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Join Jim and Greg as they are hopeful that a Microsoft purchase of TikTok will protect the privacy of millions of Americans and let everyone keep their little app. They also slam local officials in Maryland in Virginia who are clearly drunk on power. And they get a kick out of the obvious timing of a New York Times opinion column suddenly suggesting we ought to do away with presidential debates.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Corporate Social ‘Wokeness’

 

The global debate over climate change entered into a new and more dangerous stage this past week. Two American corporate icons, Microsoft and BlackRock, have committed themselves to resisting what they perceive as the unacceptable risks of global warming. Microsoft has announced that it will be “carbon negative by 2030,” and that by 2050 it will have removed from the environment all of its carbon emissions dating back to its founding. It has also pledged one billion dollars to a climate innovation fund to deal with global warming—peanuts for a firm with over $125 billion in annual revenues.

Not to be outdone, BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with over $7 trillion in assets under management, has proudly declared through its Chairman and CEO Larry Fink that it will “place sustainability at the center of our investment approach, including: making sustainability integral to portfolio construction and risk management; existing investments that present a high sustainability-related risk, such as thermal coal producers; launching new investment products that screen for fossil fuels. . . .”

To Fink, there is no real conflict for his company between its social responsibility and its financial performance, as he is convinced that “incorporating environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investment analysis and decision-making. . . can provide better risk-adjusted returns for investors.” Ironically, if that point were true, he would have no need to depart from traditional investment standards, as all firms would flock to the new BlackRock standard.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. The Microsoft Myth: We Shouldn’t Assume More Antitrust Will Give Us More Tech Innovation

 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren argues that if Washington breaks up Big Tech — and more aggressively reviews acquisitions going forward — the result will be more competition and thus more innovation than would occur otherwise. Just look at history. As the Democratic presidential candidate explains in a blog post:

The government’s antitrust case against Microsoft helped clear a path for Internet companies like Google and Facebook to emerge. The story demonstrates why promoting competition is so important: it allows new, groundbreaking companies to grow and thrive — which pushes everyone in the marketplace to offer better products and services.

It’s a superficially compelling argument at times like this: Demographic challenges mean the American economy will need to become more innovative if it’s to grow anywhere near as fast in the future as it did in the past. From this perspective, Big Tech is now a big problem.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Richard Epstein on Classical Liberalism, the Administrative State, Free Speech, and Silicon Valley Regulation

 

For this week’s Big Ideas with Ben Weingarten podcast, I had legendary classical liberal legal theorist and longtime professor at University of Chicago Law School and now at NYU Law — and prodigious Ricochet podcaster Professor Richard Epstein on the podcast to discuss among other things:

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. How to Crack Excel Files

 

This all starts with Mike Mahoney. Mahoney was the Excel guy, two Excel guys ago. To his credit, he wrote pretty good stuff. His macros don’t break often. Everything would have been cool except he was writing these things when Excel 2003 was the hot new thing. Mahoney was also excellent about locking things down from accidental damage. Trouble is, nobody remembers his passwords. Breaking through his protections makes an excellent case study on how to secure and how to bypass the security on an excel workbook.

Not even swordfish works.

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. What’s the Upside of America Being Home to the Tech Giants?

 

As Tony “Iron Man” Stark once said, “Actually, [Captain America] is the boss. I just pay for everything and design everything and make everyone look cooler.” In a way, that is how I think about America’s tech giants. All they do is bring us great products and services while creating lots of jobs and wealth. That’s all. Europe would love to have them.

Of course, that doesn’t mean they didn’t mess up this Russian election interference thing. Nor does it mean they shouldn’t be regulated or reviewed by antitrust officials. Not at all. It’s just that they remain tremendous economic assets. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that, I guess.

So I was happy to see this piece by Farhad Manjoo of the New York Times, “The Upside of Being Ruled by the Five Tech Giants.” Manjoo, by the way, typically refers to Alphabet-Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft as the Frightful Five. From his recent column, which tries to look at the upside of Big Tech:

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Personally, I’m not very happy. I only joined LinkedIn because I had so many colleagues (and unemployed friends) who bothered me about it. I put up my profile, and actually get numerous people asking to join my “network”. And I get the occasional recruiter asking me if I’m interested in an open position. I despise […]

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Some weeks or months ago, we discussed the differences between virtual reality and augmented reality. Microsoft hopes to break open the latter market with their HoloLens device. In this advertisement, you can see how various businesses have partnered with Microsoft to incorporate augmented reality into their work. Preview Open

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I have a number of different PCs. One continues to run XP, so that it can operate some old programs that only will work in the XP environment. Most of the rest are on Windows 7 and one is (was) on Windows 8.1. I have always disliked Windows 8.1 for all the reasons that are […]

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It’s very early days, but so far the reviews of Windows 10 seem pretty positive. This merely reinforces this meme about Microsoft: Preview Open

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