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I’m Shocked

Captain RenaultThe BBC reports that Microsoft admits code theft for Chinese blog Juku

Microsoft has indefinitely suspended its Chinese microblogging service MSN Juku after admitting that it “copied” code used to create the site.

A vendor contracted to work for the software giant was caught lifting code from a rival Canadian start-up, Plurk.

According to Plurk as much as 80% of the basecode was “stolen directly”.

I’m shocked to discover that Microsoft, an archenemy of illegal software piracy, has allowed itself to be hoodwinked by a contractor into deploying plagiarized code. 😈

December 16, 2009   5 Comments

The Private Sector Is More Efficient…

A Pensacola News Journal editorial: Making dollars and sense

The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office deserves credit for leveraging its fleet service garage as an asset to help shore up its budget in lean times. Opening it up to other local governments makes good sense (as in dollars and cents).

Former Sheriff Ron McNesby set up the vehicle garage as a way to save money by doing in-house maintenance and repair. He built a well-equipped, full-service mechanics shop.

Now Sheriff David Morgan has capitalized on the operation by opening its doors to other local law enforcement agencies.

The Escambia County Sheriff’s garage charges $35/hour, while the private sector charges $85/hour. The Sheriff’s garage works on the Crown Vics and Impalas with the police packages, and the standard law enforcement additional equipment. They have the spare parts for this limited market in stock.

As I know a few mechanics, they aren’t making much more than $15/hour in this area, so you do the math. Another important consideration is that you don’t have to worry about someone smashing a $400 [or more] light bar into the ceiling when they put a patrol car on a lift.

December 16, 2009   6 Comments

Cyclone Laurence

Kimberley on red alert as cyclone approaches

Cyclone Laurence is bearing down on the northern Western Australia coast, bringing with it winds of up to 285 kilometres per hour [175 mph].

The small but intense cyclone has been upgraded to a category 5 system and is located 55 kilometres south-west of Kuri Bay and 170 kilometres north-north-east of Derby.

The cyclone is just 30 kilometres off the mainland and is expected to cross the coast by nightfall.

It has already buffeted the small pearling community of Kuri Bay and is threatening the iron ore operations of Cockatoo and Koolan islands where staff have relocated to a cyclone shelter.

In addition to the bushfires in the South, Australia is faced with a nasty Cyclone season when there is an active El Niño. The hurricane force winds only extend out about 35 miles and the tropical storm force winds a little more that 100 miles, so this is more of a supersized tornado, but it is generating major rainfall in firehose bursts in the bands.

December 16, 2009   2 Comments