Microsoft has a VoIP product for the enterprise (Lync), but it is not all that compelling, despite its deep integration with Office and SharePoint.
Skype actually seems like a much more natural addition to the MS quiver. Via plugins or a new client app, Skype could easily integrate into a small business or larger business plan, especially with Skype's commercial offerings, such as Skype for Business. Now, with your MS Office license, you could have deep integration with Skype for collaboration and sharing.
Throw in some Win Phone 7 integration, and now we're cooking with fire. There would be large advantages for small businesses already running an MS shop.
I see good things in the future from this purchase, provided that MS doesn't kill off Skype for other platforms.
I have recently been thinking about buying a new pair of headphones. Thank you for putting Fanny Wang on my radar by way of your lawsuit and assuring that Beats headphones are completely out of the running for any consideration.
Military personnel don't give up "some" of their liberties when signing on the dotted line. They surrender almost all of their liberties and constitutional rights. It is surprising how insidious the terms are.
My partner is retired military and the terms to which military personnel agree go so far as to cover permitted sexual positions. Almost all rights are suspended.
This usurpation is not right and I regard Manning's actions as heroic and forward-looking, but the unfortunate fact of the matter is that he agreed to the terms. He needed to better shore up his defense before he took action. That and we citizens need to rally to his side.
In reading the comments, it would seem that people see many correlations that may or may not be causality.
I'll take my own Occam's razor here regarding the shallower penetration of indie music on commerical outlets: lack of distribution. I have worked in three radio stations and managed three nightclubs over the past 20 years. Radio stations and better-connected clubs receive tons (I daresay literally) of promotional packets.
Most of the packets are utter crap. It's a huge task for a radio station to screen, comment, catalogue, and load into the station play system (or dispose of) each piece that comes in the mail. The latest Madonna just came in? We know we can throw that on without any screening, file under "pop." We got a promo packet from ChungFooWingDingSomethingOrOther? It might get a listen if someone is really bored.
And the marketing copy is utterly worthless: "A really fresh new take on the sonic absolution wrought by inner city blend of bluegrass sins of the plagued houses of Montague and Capulet" - some other reviewer we never heard of.
Large labels still offer large distribution networks, although their model is obviously falling apart.
...it's not a surprise they are trying to make a grab for money. I had a transfer there four weeks ago and the airport was in an awful state: dirty, poorly laid out, construction projects that look like they were abandoned halfway, torn seats in the waiting areas, unheated corridors and jetways, filthy bathrooms.
Easily the worst airport I have ever experienced. I'd rather spend a day in Grand Central Station than an hour in SLC.
This sounds like the typical shenanigans of ASCAP here in the states. I managed nightclubs between 1991 and 1994. One particular nightclub received all of its music through pools and label service, that is, music specifically provided by record labels for the purpose of getting rotation in the club market.
An ASCAP rep came nosing around that club one night, asking the DJ the names of a few different tracks. Sure enough, a letter from ASCAP showed up in the mail a few days later, requesting an exorbitant licensing fee. I knew where this club stood in terms of legality of public performance, so I told the rep he could cram it. He first made noise about legal action and I responded that he could then tell the artists and labels he supposedly represents why those pieces of music were no longer making onto playlists in this market.
A funny thing happened: the "license" fees kept dropping. A series of letters offered to "settle this matter" for decreasing amounts of money, from initial ~$1200/mo down to about $5/week. And then finally he went away when it was obvious there was just no money coming.
Not to belabor the obvious or otherwise preach to the choir, but these performance licensing organizations truly have about next to nothing to do with protecting the artist.
There are two kinds of knowledge: knowing something cold (traditional teaching) and knowing where to find the information. The latter is far more valuable.
Rather than decry the shift in curriculum, the upcoming generations might be better served by getting a general outline of critical thinking and research skills. These two have, in my experience, been sorely lacking everywhere, save for my 10th grade history teacher. Even at the collegiate level, there is a fair amount of "I'm the professor, so that makes my opinion fact." But if we empowered youth to use technology in a critical fashion, I think that their natural curiousity will take over.
@CMdrOberon: Ah, yes, very hypothetical argument. Without that awesome tech union, none of us could be software engineers today. Note the sarcasm. A tech workers union would set in place barriers to competition among software engineers within a given field. Barrier to competition == bad.
And a "minimum level of competence" is a soldiering race to the bottom. "But I meet the minimums! You can't replace me with a better software engineer." There are currently minimum standards that work perfectly well in the absence of union: it's called "Novice/Conversant/Proficient." Any employer wanting a specific skillset asks me or tests me in practical interview. I am either up to the task or not. Pretty simple. No union required.
Additionally, I am free to take or leave what an employer is offering. I also prefer to negotiate individually because I find I generally have a stronger hand. It is easier for an employer to grant one large perk to me than five or ten medium perks to everyone. Can't negotiate like that? Tough. But don't drag down to a lower level those workers who can negotiate. I don't get butt-hurt just because one of my co-workers managed to negotiate a three-hour workday at the same rate that I make.
In other news, the government is rapidly gaining an awareness of an entirely new breed of terrorist: the griefer. Intelligence branches are rapidly mobilizing to address the threat that griefers pose to national security. Budgeting has been allocated to hire 5000 new employees to police Second Life, WoW, Eve Online, and many other MMOGs.
The TSA has also weighed in, stating their "heavy interest" in protecting airline safety by conducting searches of persons checking into and logging out of the online worlds. Shoes, fluids near keyboards, and all sharp virtual objects will soon be banned.
The media companies' gyrations and machinations are amusing to me in their parallels to Alcoholics Anonymous. I have had many friends and acquaintances attempt the 12-step program. Some succeeded, most failed.
When a member starts to falter anywhere along the way, response of the sponsor and group is typically: "You need more of it!" The failures I have witnessed are spectacular The media companies are doing the exact same thing. Treating customers like crap isn't working, so obviously the companies are not treating enough people badly enough!
I refuse to pay for cable. I refuse to pay to pipe so much garbage into my household and then wait for an entire season to watch a show.
Tv-Links was a great site to find out about TV shows/movies/anime. And then go buy the DVD set what was interesting. But since those TV shows can't stand having someone else promote their goods, I will just go spend my disposable income elsewhere. It will be increasingly difficult for me to sample TV shows to figure out what to buy.
And it is a serious bummer, because my DVD collection of TV shows (legitimately purchased) was getting pretty large. Of course, I suspect that the studios want it this way. Pay first and find out after they have my money whether or not the show was worthwhile.
HDMusic1: Boy, you don't sound like a schill. While I avidly agree with most of what you are saying, insulting the people you are trying to convince is not very effective.
Moreover, what is up with that lame site? IE only?! What is this, 1997? If MusicGiants wants to cater to a discriminating audience that wants choices, why limit that audience to one browser (regardless of the browser engine)?