cowboy me, 2.0: jose nazario beauty and the street

Four short links: 26 August 2013

Google Apps, Q3 numbers, Chinese immersion, point arithmetic operations

Microsofts Next Era | TechCrunch -- We think of these as distinct periods, but while Ballmer may not have had the technology visionary chops that famously defined Bill, much of what we saw from Microsoft in the 2000s was a continuation of the strategy that defined the company in the 90s. It was with Ballmer at the helm that Microsoft also began to embrace the cloud , launching successful online services and platforms like Office 365 and Azure, and purchasing compelling technologies and companies like Skype and Yammer. With tablet sales set to surpass new PC sales in the next couple of years, its more important than ever that Microsoft realize that its apps need to compete on their own. Unlike other technology giants who are known for their innovations in the past decade Android, Chrome, and the iPad, or more fanciful and futuristic innovations like self-driving cars and Google Glass the vast majority of Microsofts successful products over the past decade are iterations of products that were initiated in the thick of the PC era, and very little that would be described as Post-PC.

The Board Of The Borg | TechCrunch -- Hastings seems like exactly the type of Board member Microsoft should have though it appears that he too was wrong about Microsofts position with Windows 8 and touch-based PCs . That seems highly unlikely if the CFO is first to see that winter is coming, and the CEO is second , Hastings, as a Board member, would have been in the top 15 to see this as well. So perhaps its fair to say that Microsoft has already shaken up the Board quite a bit recently. Thompson, in particular, had an interesting one might say antagonistic history with Microsoft before joining the Board. Though it seems just as likely that Ballmer is making the smart move here: by stepping down now, one could easily see a scenario where in a few years, as Microsoft really shows signs of struggle, everyone will look back at Ballmers tenure as the good old days. Does this Board, which let Microsoft reach this troubling time in their history, have the right people to find and convince the right person to take the top job?

charitybuzz | Presidio Knolls School Online Auction -- Presidio Knolls School is a startup progressive, Chinese immersion school based in San Francisco. In 2012 it launched an Elementary school program with its first Kindergarten class, with an aim of building out a full K-8 program, one grade at a time.

On the Cleverness of Compilers -- Doubtless the first difference that jumps out at you is that one of these programs is written using a beautiful, familiar surface syntax that makes you feel right at home, while the other uses an ugly, foreign notation that makes your eyes glaze over. In the Javascript program, all the concepts relating to Mandelbrot set membership testing are mushed together: the concepts of complex arithmetic are mixed up with the concept of iterating a function, and mixed up with the definition of the function to iterate. Then it would be clear that the complex number produced by one call to (step c) will just be consumed by the next, and the program can avoid allocating a silly two-element structure for it by just passing the two parts in variables. (Which is, of course, how the Javascript program behaves.)

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