“Over the past decade Amazon Web Services (AWS) lured untold numbers of consumers and corporations onto its billowing cloud. The division earned its giant e-commerce parent $7.3bn in operating profits last year. It could soon be earning more. Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s boss, is going after a potentially more lucrative customer: the government. Amazon has outspent all technology firms on lobbying in the first quarter, and is building a second headquarters in Virginia, near the Pentagon.”
Amazon is eyeing billions in federal contracts, by The Economist, July 11, 2019
Y’know, even I thought I was kind of kidding when I’ve been saying that one day either Google or Amazon, particularly AWS, was going to own us all. Alas, I think we just got one day closer to that day.
“No wonder. Next month the Defence Department may award a cloud-computing contract worth $10bn. The Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure (JEDI) initiative aims to create a unified ‘war-fighter cloud’ to modernise the Pentagon’s existing networks and data centres. In April AWS and Microsoft edged out Oracle and IBM onto the final shortlist.”
JEDI. Really? And something else for Russia, N Korea, and Billy in his mom’s basement to hack into for fun and profit. Is there a forest I can live in somewhere?
Google seems to regrouping.
“Confronted last year with an employee backlash against its sale of artificial-intelligence software to America’s armed forces, Google backed off and withdrew from the JEDI tender.”
Retreat, hell, they’re just fighting in a different direction.
Oh well. Is it better to know these things? I wonder.
“Reddington says that L.A. has an urgent need for more kitten fosters. Every time someone fosters a litter of kittens, rescues and shelters have room to save more (and euthanize less).
“Reddington started her kitten program two years ago, basing it out of the shelters in Baldwin Hills and Downey, which have the highest stray kitten count in the city. To date, the program has rescued 3,400 fur babies.
“Now the ASPCA is starting their own campaign to educate the public on how they can help — you can put your zip code into the site and find a shelter where you can volunteer to foster.”
LA Is In The Midst Of A Kitten Crisis. Here’s How You Can Help, by Gina Pollack, LAist, May 9, 2019
To foster or not to foster? That’s a question. Well, here’s how to answer it.
Moi? I love kittens, but hate long-term commitments, so maybe kitten fostering is the way to go for me.
“As for formal meetings, while men have abandoned the tie, many women feel obliged to wear high heels. These give some women a sense of empowerment and femininity (not to mention extra height). But in health terms, heels can seem like the Western equivalent of the ancient Chinese practice of foot-binding: bad for women’s feet, ankles and backs and designed to limit their mobility. Britain’s Parliament held a debate after a woman was sent home from her job as a receptionist for refusing to wear high heels (it was inconclusive).”
Struggling with style. Modern dress codes are easier for men than for women, Bartleby, The Economist, May 2, 2019
Down with high heels. And, like the necktie, who would invent them if they didn’t already exist?
“Turning an office into a prison, with inmates allowed home for the evenings, does nothing for creativity that is increasingly demanded of office workers as routine tasks are automated. To be productive you need presence of mind, not being present in the flesh.”
The joy of absence. How some companies fight the curse of presenteeism, Bartleby, The Economist, May 12, 2019
Really, everyone who can work from home should work from home. But then… what would managers really manage?
“Mark used to insist that Facebook was just a “social utility,” a neutral platform for people to communicate what they wished. Now he recognizes that Facebook is both a platform and a publisher and that it is inevitably making decisions about values. The company’s own lawyers have argued in court that Facebook is a publisher and thus entitled to First Amendment protection.”
It’s Time to Break Up Facebook, by Chris Hughes, NY Times, May 9, 2019
“Social utility” the way Rush Limbaugh is an “entertainer,” and now look where we are. David Niewert’s been right all along.