"Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he."
-- Proverbs 29:18, King James Bible (KJV)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Microsoft's Deal to Acquire LinkedIn : Blessing or Bane?

Can LinkedIn prosper under Microsoft rule?

At Forbes, Mark Rogowsky asks: For Microsoft, LinkedIn Deals Looks Awfully Familiar But Is It Familiarly Awful?.

Microsoft has not been very successful in acquiring companies in the past so it is a very legitimate question as to whether LinkedIn will change that picture.

We think that the reason for Microsoft's past failures with acquired companies is to be found in a navel-gazing "company culture" that presumably has arisen out of its near-monopoly market position with the former DOS and now Windows operating systems ("OS").

Microsoft's dominant OS position has seemingly created a climate in which the company and its staff are used to doing what THEY want to do and not necessarily what the users want (or need).

The terrible Metro interface -- only mildly corrected in Windows 10 -- is one example of this phenomenon, marked by squares "off"-colored to meet a skewed concept of "designer art" having no apparent rhyme or organized reason for being. Color for the sake of color is not design. At least various types of programs could have been "color-coded". "Orange" for .exe, e.g., etc. Or "sky blue" for browsers. Nothing of the kind has happened. It is just a haphazard conglomeration of rather dreary shades, and that from a company with billions at their disposal. It all looks adolescent. Who can explain it?

That kind of "we do what we want" arrogance may work in developing and selling Windows and Office, but it works only because of a near-monopoly dominance where users are more or less forced to take what they are given.

Such a unilateral "me-oriented" corporate philosophy does not bide well, however, for acquisitions of companies engaged in real market competition.

The Nokia acquisition is a good example, culminating in Microsoft offering "Windows" phones that THEY (Microsoft) wanted to sell to promote THEIR "Metro" OS interface rather than offering phones for their OWN quality on the basis of what THE USERS needed and wanted to buy (in competitive markets).

We see this as well in the case of Microsoft acquisition Skype -- the graphic interface of which, however, has gotten worse since Microsoft acquired it, with staff and programmers implementing changes that few users want or need, rather than offering useful improvements FOR THE USER.

It is difficult to see how Microsoft's "take it or leave it" approach towards users will be beneficial to LinkedIn, which, rather, needs to upscale its presentation to meet the demands of the modern social media world.

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Sky Earth Native America

Sky Earth Native America 1 :
American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
Volume 1, Edition 2, 266 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Sky Earth Native America 2 :
    American Indian Rock Art Petroglyphs Pictographs
    Cave Paintings Earthworks & Mounds as Land Survey & Astronomy
    Volume 2, Edition 2, 262 pages, by Andis Kaulins.

  • Both volumes have the same cover except for the labels "Volume 1" viz. "Volume 2".
    The image on the cover was created using public domain space photos of Earth from NASA.


    Both book volumes contain the following basic book description:
    "Alice Cunningham Fletcher observed in her 1902 publication in the American Anthropologist
    that there is ample evidence that some ancient cultures in Native America, e.g. the Pawnee in Nebraska,
    geographically located their villages according to patterns seen in stars of the heavens.
    See Alice C. Fletcher, Star Cult Among the Pawnee--A Preliminary Report,
    American Anthropologist, 4, 730-736, 1902.
    Ralph N. Buckstaff wrote:
    "These Indians recognized the constellations as we do, also the important stars,
    drawing them according to their magnitude.
    The groups were placed with a great deal of thought and care and show long study.
    ... They were keen observers....
    The Pawnee Indians must have had a knowledge of astronomy comparable to that of the early white men."
    See Ralph N. Buckstaff, Stars and Constellations of a Pawnee Sky Map,
    American Anthropologist, Vol. 29, Nr. 2, April-June 1927, pp. 279-285, 1927.
    In our book, we take these observations one level further
    and show that megalithic sites and petroglyphic rock carving and pictographic rock art in Native America,
    together with mounds and earthworks, were made to represent territorial geographic landmarks
    placed according to the stars of the sky using the ready map of the starry sky
    in the hermetic tradition, "as above, so below".
    That mirror image of the heavens on terrestrial land is the "Sky Earth" of Native America,
    whose "rock stars" are the real stars of the heavens, "immortalized" by rock art petroglyphs, pictographs,
    cave paintings, earthworks and mounds of various kinds (stone, earth, shells) on our Earth.
    These landmarks were placed systematically
    in North America, Central America (Meso-America) and South America
    and can to a large degree be reconstructed as the Sky Earth of Native America."

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