Microsoft PR flubbed its cool endorsement of open source

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Microsoft made a huge announcement yesterday in support of Linux and Open Source. Its actions were startling. Its statements, not so much. There was plenty of news coverage. Here’s how Engadget described it: Microsoft open-sources 60,000 patents to help Linux avoid lawsuits The company as joined the Open Invention Network to keep Linux safe Microsoft … Continued

Fanduel offers bullshit excuses for not paying for its own mistakes

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Anthony Prince placed a $110 bet on FanDuel that, according to posted odds, should have paid off $82,000. But FanDuel said the odds were posted in error and wouldn’t pay. Now it’s paying what it should . . . but its statement allows it to weasel out of future similar payments. I call bullshit. How … Continued

The price is the price, and other principles for freelance work

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I never compromise on price. Among editors or writers for hire, I am among the most costly. The number of leads I receive is low. The number who go forward with me is even lower. Still, I am busy doing work I love, and I get paid well for it. Much more important to me … Continued

Why product warnings backfire

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This weekend I bought a Black & Decker cordless screwdriver for $18.99. It’s an underpowered little gadget that runs on batteries, but it’s just right for the job I had, driving some brass screws into pilot holes without stripping them. And it came with a little something extra: 700 square inches of instructions and warnings. … Continued

We destroyed our institutions. Now what?

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Social media helped us shake up rigid institutions and empower people, but gave us a new world that has proven to be brittle and destructive. The new power structures that have arisen aren’t up to the job of maintaining our civilization. When Charlene Li and I wrote¬†Groundswell ten years ago, we had a utopian vision … Continued

Massachusetts’ new noncompete law is a halfway measure

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I’ve written that noncompete agreements should cost companies something. Massachusetts has finally addressed this issue with a law passed at the end of July, awaiting the governor’s signature. But it’s shot full of holes, and won’t make Massachusetts the competitive innovation economy that it needs to be. In California, noncompetes are void by law. The … Continued