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Questions raised over supplier lock-in, tax avoidance, SME agenda

Exclusive UK cloud minnow DataCentred went under after HMRC - its largest customer - pulled the plug on a services contract in favour of a deal with Amazon, the corporation recently accused by MPs of tax avoidance.…

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OpenIO flexes ARM muscle, inhales funds

Five million dollars has just been stumped up to grow a startup making object storage drive-based servers.…

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What if you log an incident that AI helped you to avoid? PLUS: Kingston release details

Artificial Intelligence might just make IT organisations look for new measures of their success and lead to a rethink of ITIL, according to ServiceNow's chief strategy officer Dave Wright.…

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We smoothed the world for cars, but assume robots will have eyes and ears

We redesigned the world for automobiles and now it's time to redesign it for robots.…

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Everything is broken

Are we taking the internet for granted? And by "internet" we mean the actual global networks of computers that share vast quantities of information every second by using the same basic protocols.…

[syndicated profile] theregister_feed

Announced support November 2016, but fabled C5 instances are still vapourware

Microsoft has announced its first Azure instances running Intel's Skylake silicon, a move that means Amazon Web Services will be the last of the big four clouds to run Intel's latest silicon.…

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Robot arm to penetrate surface, get alien world's rocks off for analysis

Pics After an extensive summer of long, long, long-distance remote support by NASA engineers on Earth, it looks as though Curiosity on Mars is back in the drilling game.…

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Posted by PhoBWanKenobi

Crushing on your bff's crush! Staying home from school to work on an anime fansite! Having your dad pull out your console during a boss battle in a fit of rage! Relive all of your favorite middle school memories in lost memories dot net, a browser game in the tradition of Emily Is Away.

¿Qué es 'kicksplode' en español?

Oct. 24th, 2017 04:21 am
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Posted by Halloween Jack

Michael Bay is producing a live-action Dora the Explorer movie.

College Humor has already done a parody miniseries, Dora the Explorer and the Destiny Medallion, starring Ariel Winter, in the Bay-esque style: trailer, part 1, part 2, part 3.

information courtesy of /r/nottheonion

It Is All My Fault

Oct. 24th, 2017 03:36 am
[syndicated profile] atrios_feed
Of course it isn't, but generally everybody in 2016 who thought electing Democrats (Clinton) was important should think that, actually, it's all my fault. Your share of the blame should be in proportion to the budget you had at your disposal and the legal frameworks which let your particular organizations collect money in order to advance her candidacy.

I suppose I could have done more, and should have. I will cop to that! I am sorry. You should be sorry too. You all spent time bitching in the comments instead of knocking on doors (I am sure some of you did knock on a lot of doors).

I didn't have a billion bucks to spend. Neither did you.

Review: Raven Stratagem

Oct. 24th, 2017 03:01 am
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Posted by Russ Allbery

Review: Raven Stratagem, by Yoon Ha Lee

Series: Machineries of Empire #2
Publisher: Solaris
Copyright: 2017
ISBN: 1-78618-046-4
Format: Kindle
Pages: 400

Raven Stratagem is the sequel to Ninefox Gambit and will make very little sense if you've not read the previous book. In fact, I'll add a rare warning, one that I wish I'd had and followed: you need to be deeply familiar with the details of the end of Ninefox Gambit or large chunks of this book will make no sense. I read the previous book earlier this year, but my memory of some of the specifics of the ending had slipped, and I ended up having to skim the ending of the previous book several times. Consider re-reading that bit before starting this book if you share my lack of memory for plot specifics and it's been more than a few months.

I unfortunately can't provide a plot summary, since there's almost nothing I can say about the plot that doesn't spoil Ninefox Gambit. It is basically the story that you would expect from the very end of Ninefox Gambit, though, although the way it's carried out is not quite as dramatic as I was expecting.

I wanted to like this book a great deal. Ninefox Gambit introduced a beautiful magitech system, but it was otherwise mostly setup and one extended battle. Its ending promised engagement with larger universe politics, and prospects of doing something about the deep unfairness of the current political system. I was hoping this book would contain the payoff of that escalation. It does deliver on that payoff, but something about it didn't quite work for me.

The best description I've been able to come up with is that Raven Stratagem skitters. Some of this is an increase in the number of viewpoint characters, which made it harder for me to get into a reading rhythm with any of them. But most of it, I think, is that the characters have so many layers of deception, emotional shielding, weariness, and resignation that it's hard to find the true emotional beats of the story except in retrospect. I kept bouncing off surfaces, so many different and conflicting surfaces. This book is full of people who are not being honest with each other, or sometimes with themselves, and who are pretending to motives they don't really have. As a reader, I wanted to be placed in a privileged position where I could experience the character emotions even when they were lying about them. For good or ill, Raven Stratagem doesn't do that.

There was also something about the dramatic structure of the story that didn't work for me. When describing the book to a friend, I said that the main plot climax was off-camera. In skimming the book again for this review, I found that wasn't the case, but it still felt that way. I think that's because, despite some event build-up, the emotional build-up wasn't in place for me, so I wasn't ready as a reader for the climax when it came. The build-up to the climax is partly sacrificed to keep the secrecy of a couple of long-awaited revelations. I very much enjoyed those revelations (one satisfying one was set up with Cheris's behavior at the start of Ninefox Gambit), but I wanted the catharsis of the climax as well. As written, the strongest emotional hit was from a somewhat ancillary climax, and that involved characters who mattered considerably less to me than Cheris.

The climax also involves quite a lot of hand-waving. While some of that is expected in magitech, I would have liked to understand the mechanisms of what happened, not just the effects.

Lee introduces several new viewpoint characters here, including two very contrasting Kel. I warmed to them by the end of the book, but I liked Cheris as a viewpoint character considerably better than either of them. Both of them spend most of this book in conditions of varying powerlessness; Cheris, despite difficult circumstances, was at least driving the plot. I can kind of see why Lee picked the viewpoint characters he did, but I still feel grumbly about it. I would have loved to have a servitor as a primary viewpoint character in this story.

All that said, I'm still glad I read this book. The climax is satisfying, as is the growing respect of the characters and the growing realization of just how the universe is being changed. I wanted more of that on camera rather than being held for dramatic surprise, but I still savored it when it happened. The mechanisms of the Hexarchate, particularly formation instinct, are considerably creepier than Ninefox Gambit reveals, which is saying something, and yet oddly logical in their own magitech way. I liked all the pieces; I just wanted them to have more emotional oomph and momentum. Instead, I felt like I was bringing my own emotion to the story rather than letting the story sweep me away, which meant being more analytical and less engrossed than I prefer to be in a novel.

I'm still going to read the third book, though. By the end of Raven Stratagem, Lee has set most of the scenery on fire, and I want to see what sort of world rises from the flames.

Rating: 6 out of 10

Samurai Baby Names & Cop Tactics

Oct. 24th, 2017 04:06 am
[syndicated profile] metafilter_feed

Posted by MovableBookLady

Lots of rules about samurai behavior, tips, and names. As usual with such old books, the author and the dates are debatable, but it has lots of interesting tidbits about samurai education, behavior, and even what to name your baby samurai.

The second translation is of a tactical manual for policemen in the late 1880s. Samurai Secrets. One basic necessity, for instance, is rope for tying guys up, and if you don't have rope, paper-wrapped twine will do.

2017 Municipal Equality Index

Oct. 24th, 2017 03:38 am
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Posted by Grandysaur

In partnership with the Equality Federation Institute, HRC released its sixth annual Municipal Equality Index, the only nationwide rating system of LGBTQ inclusion in municipal law, policy and services, ranking cities on five metrics:
  • Non-Discrimination Laws
  • Municipality as an Employer
  • Municipal Services
  • Law Enforcement
  • Relationship with LGBTQ community
Find your city here.

From the report:
Pro-equality municipal progress over
the past year is distinctly evident
when examined by state and region.
Compared to 2016, thirty-six state
averages increased and 3 held steady.

Alabama's city average grew the most,
increasing by 17 points since the 2016

The overall increase in city scores
caused this year's national city average
to rise from 55 in 2016 to 57 points.

68 cities scored a 100.
11 scored a 0.

Uber's revolting sexism, the movie

Oct. 24th, 2017 02:58 am
[syndicated profile] theregister_feed

Susan Fowler's story pitched as 'Erin Brockovich meets The Social Network'

The blog post that lifted the lid on Uber's uber-sexist culture and led to the demise of founder Travis Kalanick might become a movie.…


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