Thanks for Dave Mark at the Loop for this find.
Dina Bass, Beth Jinks and Peter Burrows writing for BloombergBusinessweek:
Ballmer’s relations with the board hit a low when he shouted at a June meeting that if he didn’t get his way he couldn’t be CEO, people briefed on the meeting said. The flare-up was over his proposed purchase of most of Nokia Oyj (NOK1V), and part of an ongoing debate: Should Microsoft be a software company or a hardware company too?
Several directors and co-founder and then-Chairman Bill Gates — Ballmer’s longtime friend and advocate — initially balked at the move into making smartphones, according to people familiar with the situation. So, at first, did Nadella, signaling his position in a straw poll to gauge executives’ reaction to the deal. Nadella later changed his mind.
If I were Microsoft's board I would have called his bluff. It would have saved them from a probably horrible acquisition and gotten rid of the dead weight.
Delightful. And accurate.
Each day this is what the left of my desk looks like in my home office.
Dale Hansen, during his "Hansen Unplugged: Celebrating our differences" segment several days ago during WFAA ABC 8's 11 oclock news.
Thanks to Jason Kottke, at Kottke.org for posting this:
Nicolaus Wegner shot some gorgeous footage of thunderstorms and cloud formations in South Dakota and Wyoming during the summer of 2013.
The footage is crazy good.
Second day in a row Olbermann has opened the show with this issue. This is Olbermann at his best. He has convinced me to boycott Sochi. I wont be watching this year. And the Winter games are my favorite.
GoPro cameras are awesome.
Derrik J. Lang, writing for the Associated Press:
LOS ANGELES (AP) — James Carl was asleep when the first shot was fired.
As he slumbered away in Costa Mesa, Calif., the 29-year-old banker's virtual space fleet was under siege early Monday morning in what's become the most destructive and expensive battle in the 10-year history of "EVE Online," the gargantuan online sci-fi video game.
"EVE Online" — with more than 500,000 players from around the world piloting starships, trading goods and engaging in galactic espionage — utilizes its own in-game currency, and Carl expects the damage from Monday's conflict to be the game equivalent of about $500,000 in real-world cash, based on data compiled from within the game.
During Monday's encounter, more than 100 Titan vessels were destroyed. The megaships, which are akin to the Death Star from "Star Wars," are the largest ships in the game and are worth about $3,000 each in real-world money. The Titans also take months for gamers to build. That's months in real time: a lot of nights, weekends and days-off actually spent constructing the virtual warships.
First of all, the A.P. had some of the details wrong. The CFC (the alliance I am a member of) killed 59 Titans and we only lost 16. So the count was 75 not "over a hundred".
Also, most of us on the CFC forums are wondering....who the fuck is Carl?
Oh sorry, what did YOU do yesterday?
I'm not a huge fan of antiques in general, but there are times when certain items do catch my interest. After my wife and I moved into our new house, I decided that I wanted to mount a stationary bottle opener somewhere in our kitchen.
After researching these for a while, I remembered all of the old, classic Coca Cola bottle openers that I used to see mounted in stores near the coolers --- I remember them from the 1980s while growing up and would see in a store whenever I would get a glass coke bottle to drink. Maybe this is a southern thing -- I have no idea if this was prevelant elsewhere. Anyway, I decided I wanted one.
Having done a little research, I came across this post at Coca Cola Collectors, a blog about what you think it's about.
An original Coca-Cola bottle opener would have the “STARR X” logo with “Brown Co” written on the front. According to Brown Manufacturing Company, producers of the bottle openers, the first ‘Drink Coca-Cola’ STARR “X” bottle openers started to appear around 1929. Around this time, the ‘Coca-Cola’ STARR bottle opener evolved to the Starr “X” design.
Thomas C. Hamilton, a citizen of Boston, Massachusetts, filed for a patent on September 18, 1924 for a Bottle Cap Puller. The patent, 1,534,211, was issued on April 21, 1925. In 1943, certain modifications were made to the patent allowing a new patent for #2,333,088 to be issued to Raymond Brown, the owner of Brown Mfg. Company. Prior to the early 1970’s, all bottle openers were cast in various foundries throughout the USA. Since then and until December 31, 2006, all ‘Drink Coca-Cola’ STARR “X” bottle openers have been cast at the Brown foundry in Germany.
The site goes on to say there are two versions of this opener. Both versions look like this on the front:
All Starr "X" openers look like this on the front, with the only difference being the patent number it lists. All openers made after 1943 will have the newer patent number.
The other difference is on the back. Any opener made between 1929 - the early 1970s would say "Made in the USA". This meant it was molded at any of the foundries throughout the USA that the Brown Co. used. Starting in the 70's, the Brown Manufacturing Company shifted their foundry to West Germany. Any openers made from the early 1970s - 1991 say "Made in W. Germany". Finally, any that say "Made in Germany" were built from 1991 - 2006.
As best I can tell, the Brown Manufacturing Company stopped making these bottle openers in-house in 2006 and now outsources their construction to various other companies, mostly in China. From online reviews, their quality doesn't compare to the vintage openers.
After scouring Ebay for a few days last Novemeber, I managed to win an auction for a vintage Starr "X" opener that was made in West Germany (so in between 1970 - 1991) still in the original box with the original screws. Tonight I finally decided where in our kitchen I wanted to mount it and did so. I'm quite happy with how well it mounted -- it feels very sturdy.
Below are a few more pictures of the box and the opener, mounted.
This one is worth a watch.
Sorry folks, but I'm on a volcano kick today.
The second is the settling last fall by the National Park Service (NPS) of a whistleblower complaint over a secret sweetheart deal Snyder extracted nine years ago to give his Maryland home an unobstructed view of the Potomac River. It was a small concession in the grand scheme of things, the kind that the rich and powerful frequently wheedle out of government, especially back then, during the presidency of George W. Bush, when such favors were flowing like booze in a skybox. But its discovery set off a decade-long campaign of bureaucratic retribution over two administrations that nearly sent an innocent man to prison. The story of that little favor wonderfully (if depressingly) encapsulates the essential character of our times, in which average people who play by the rules are made to suffer by the blithe manipulation of those rules by the people at the top.
This was the shit the Obama administrationw as supposed to put a stop to. From 2007 - 2008 I worked for the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. NFWF is a non-profit who's charter was established by Congress and its board is appointed by the Secretary of Interior. Given that I started working there in the final year of the Bush administration, I saw what a supposed environmentally conscience non-profit can do when most of its board was made up on Bush loyal Republicans after 7 years of appointments. Money cut from Humpback Whale conservation grants but new money pumped into Wal-mart sponsored grants and tons of marketing resources directed to press conferences and ads co-opted by Wal-mart. I left NFWF after one year disgusted at the Republicans that ran the organization, but thought that the incoming Obama admin would change things.
The same two people that ran NFWF in 2007 still run it.