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Microsoft's Math-Challenged STEM Education Contest

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the rounding-sideways dept.

Math 96

theodp writes "As noted earlier, Microsoft is tackling the CS education crisis with a popularity contest that will award $100K in donations to five technology education nonprofits that help make kids technically literate. Hopefully, the nonprofits will teach kids that the contest's voting Leader Board is a particularly good example of what-not-to-do technically. In addition to cherry-picking the less-pathetic vote totals to make its Leader Board, Microsoft also uses some dubious rounding code that transforms the original voting data into misleading percentages. Indeed, developer tools reveal that the top five leaders in the Microsoft STEM education contest miraculously account for 130% of the vote. Let's hope the quality control is better for those Microsoft Surface voting machines!"

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96 comments

Front page sucks too. (4, Interesting)

Shavano (2541114) | about 9 months ago | (#44407261)

Note the graphics and the at-odds text.

CSC's vision is to "increase participation of underrepresented groups in computer science" but shows two pasty white boys. Underrepresented? I think not!

Code to learn foundation shows two black boys in the classic, "This is all going over my head." pose (head leaning on hand). But hey, at least the confused-looking children are not pasty white boys.

CFY shows multi-racial girls looking up a a computer screen with the keyboard placed out of easy reach. Clearly there is no intention of them doing anything with that computer.

Code.org shows multi-racial kids, but the two in sharp focus in the foreground are more stereotypical white boys.

Teaching kids programming shows three girls mugging for the camera, but there's little suggesting that they're learning anything about programming.

The other photos are not that bad. But seriously, somebody should have reviewed the photos and said, "Is this really the message you want to send?"

You are SO right! (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44407433)

Is this really the message you want to send?"

What we SHOULD be showing them is the truth!

The long hours sitting behind a computer.

The unreasonable deadlines.

The drudgery of coding and the very infrequent times of creativity.

How to jocky one's resume to fit the laundry lists of skills "needed". And then tell them about the reality that those job postings are written for poaching talent from other firms. (ex. Write a job description that only the lead dev at Google could match.)

The stagnant pay. You won't make much more than what you started with out of school unless you get into mgt.

Watching the CEO get a bug up his and can all everyone and send the work overseas.

And after a few years, every job seams to be doing the same shit. "New technology" is just a rehash of the same old shit. And having to listen to newbies who actually do think the "new technology" is new - Oy!

Dealing with employers who think what they're doing is rocket science and the most innovative thing since sliced bread.

I mean really, there hasn't been any real innovations in commercial computer science in decades. The last innovation was the World Wide Web.

It's a stagnant commodity field. If you got brains, go into medicine. That's where the challenges, money and need are.

Re:You are SO right! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44407591)

Microsoft wants cheap labour and the cheapest labour pool is high school graduates with no further education. Paying them USD5.00 per hour for 60 hour work weeks (5 days x 12 hours each day, excluding 30-minute lunch break). Ya, baby! That's wha I be talkin' 'bout. (no those are not typos)

Re:You are SO right! (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 9 months ago | (#44409533)

Minimum wage in Washington is $9.19 an hour. If they want cheap, they should move some place with a lower minimum wage.

Re:You are SO right! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44409129)

What part of "Microsoft product" did you not understand?

"Pasty-white boys" automatically bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44407675)

It was about math..why make it about skin color? But since you did, I'd ask that you take a minute to think about the words you're using and what they really mean, if anything? White/Black/Pasty/Multi-Racial...most of those words don't even have a working definition backed by any science or logic. Are you sending the message you want to send?

Re:"Pasty-white boys" automatically bad (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 9 months ago | (#44407937)

Race does not have a scientific definition, but it sure as hell has societal implications. I think it is a naive view of the world to think that you can ignore "race" and all of the problems will go away. You can't change old minds but you can influence new minds. A little change each generation is real progress.

In any case, if your organization mentions "under-represented groups" in it's charter, you probably should target those groups in your advertising! :)

Re:"Pasty-white boys" automatically bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44408303)

So perpetuating the ethnic fallacy is the influence you desire to have on new minds? If anything, rather than seeking to equalize along supposed "racial demographics" we should focus on educating students to a sufficiently high level of understanding that it becomes common knowledge that racial borders are a cosmetic invention with no basis in science or genetics.

Gender on the other hand is NOT a social construct. It's common knowledge that women make terrible engineers, scientists, and programmers. It can be attributed to the negative impact high estrogen levels have on rational thought. Citation needed?
http://women.webmd.com/guide/estrogen-and-womens-emotions

Re:"Pasty-white boys" automatically bad (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 9 months ago | (#44409085)

So perpetuating the ethnic fallacy is the influence you desire to have on new minds?

Quite the opposite. But there is a lot of sociological programming to overcome.

t's common knowledge that women make terrible engineers, scientists, and programmers.

Common knowledge is exactly why we need real science-based education.

Re:"Pasty-white boys" automatically bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44409719)

> race does not have a scientific defintion

pca from 2008 [slashdot.org]

Re:"Pasty-white boys" automatically bad (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 9 months ago | (#44411283)

Fantastic. Now under your scientific racial classification system, classify Obama without depending on knowledge about his ancestry. Classify someone with ancestors from India, Africa, and Europe. Also, it sounds like your scientific classification system needs to change over time... 10,000 years ago your chart would have looked quite different. Even on your existing chart, the definitions seem, to me, arbitrary. The Middle East plot blends into the Europe series, which in turn blends into the Central and South Asia series. The Central and South Asia series seems to have three or four distinct blobs, yet all are colored the same. Oceania has 2 distinct blobs. Africa seems to have 3 or 4 distinct blobs.

While this chart is very useful to see human migration patterns, I don't see much benefit in classifying people in a non-arbitrary way. If anything, it reinforces my original point.

Re:"Pasty-white boys" automatically bad (1)

drainbramage (588291) | about 9 months ago | (#44411633)

"Race does not have a scientific definition"
Are you sure of this? Really sure?

Re:"Pasty-white boys" automatically bad (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 9 months ago | (#44411841)

Yup - care to enlighten me?

Re:"Pasty-white boys" automatically bad (1)

drainbramage (588291) | about 9 months ago | (#44417495)

Enlighten?
Again, really?

Google> definition: race

Result> Each of the major divisions of humankind, having distinct physical characteristics.

Try it some time, there are sources other than moveon.nut.

Re:"Pasty-white boys" automatically bad (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 9 months ago | (#44418935)

Explain to me how you can have a "scientific" classification system that can't classify the President of the United States. Go ahead, let me know how you classify him and the scientific basis by which you made that choice.

No one disputes there are features common to people from various places, but ignoring the gradual nature of the change across geography just so you can lump them into buckets called "race" is not very scientific - it's arbitrary. And completely useless once people started getting on ships, let alone airplanes.

Re:"Pasty-white boys" automatically bad (1)

drainbramage (588291) | about 9 months ago | (#44420087)

If you want a classification to make you happy then look up the Presidents Of The USA.
For more fun and creativity listen to 'Red Dress' and figure out where Conrad got those production ideas from.

Re:"Pasty-white boys" automatically bad (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 9 months ago | (#44419899)

Actually, race DOES have scientific definitions, with respect to humans:

"a human population partially isolated reproductively from other populations, whose members share a greater degree of physical and genetic similarity with one another than with other humans". This is a specialized use of the broader term as applied to animals and plants.

Australian aborines, for example, are a race of humans, as are Micronesians and Laplanders.

Re:"Pasty-white boys" automatically bad (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 9 months ago | (#44420089)

And what happens when an Aborigine has kids with a Laplander? What race is that person? How about someone from Ethiopia? Are they the same race as someone from Kenya? Because they sure look like they are crossed with people from the Middle East to me. What about people from Eastern Russia. They look kind of Chinese, but kind of Russian.

I think you'll find that race becomes much harder to pin down once you leave isolated islands in the middle of the Pacific. Even a Laplander (which I think is a slur these days) wouldn't exactly stand out in a room full of European-descended people. It's all quite arbitrary - even the term wasn't really used in it's modern way until the 1800s when early scientists tried to classify people based on traits. To my knowledge, every attempt has failed. Even genetic testing shows wide overlap between "races", with a continuum roughly tracing the human migration path. One of these other posters linked to a chart showing as much, though he for some reason took it as "proof" of race being a scientific concept.

Re:"Pasty-white boys" automatically bad (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 9 months ago | (#44429843)

And what happens when an Aborigine has kids with a Laplander? What race is that person?

Mixed race offspring. Tell me you are smart enough to figure this out. The fact that some people are members of races does not mean everyone is.

Re:"Pasty-white boys" automatically bad (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 9 months ago | (#44430461)

Mixed race offspring. Tell me you are smart enough to figure this out. The fact that some people are members of races does not mean everyone is.

So something like 50% of the US can't be classified in your scientific classification system? That sounds useful. And very scientific.

Re:"Pasty-white boys" automatically bad (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 9 months ago | (#44431263)

It's not MY system. It's the standard definition. And yes, it's true that WAY more than half of Americans don't belong to any particular race. We are not reproductively isolated.

Re:"Pasty-white boys" automatically bad (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about 9 months ago | (#44433453)

I didn't say there wasn't a definition of race, I said it wasn't scientific. And it's not. It was all the rage to try and classify people based on trait in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was abandoned as a scientific pursuit. Humans are not reproductively isolated except for a few island populations, and even then there were immigrants, emigrants, and trade. And the islands were populated a few thousand years ago - hardly enough time to develop anything but a few superficial traits.

Re:"Pasty-white boys" automatically bad (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 9 months ago | (#44419919)

I didn't say the pasty white boys were bad. I said their pictures were at odds with the missions of some of the organizations. You don't promote coding for underrepresented groups by showing examples of the most overrepresented group.

Re:Front page sucks too. (1)

westlake (615356) | about 9 months ago | (#44407695)

Code to learn foundation shows two black boys in the classic, "This is all going over my head." pose (head leaning on hand). But hey, at least the confused-looking children are not pasty white boys.

This photo is from MIT's Scratch [mit.edu] site and it is the Scratch editor you see on the screen.

Scratch 2.0 was released for editing within a browser on May 9 and is alleged to be somewhat unresponsive. The off-line 2.0 editor remains in limbo. That said, I am reluctant to read anything significant in a pose when I cannot see a face.

Re:Front page sucks too. (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 9 months ago | (#44407923)

We use scratch where I work. It's supposed to be to teach rudimentary programming.

In practice students soon realised that the scratch.mit.edu site includes a library of games made by other people, and will happily spend their lessons playing on those.

Re:Front page sucks too. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44407721)

Code to learn foundation shows two black boys in the classic, "This is all going over my head." pose (head leaning on hand).

That's the classic 'I'm bored out of my skull (waiting for Scratch to do something)' pose. But hey, don't want to interrupt a good nitpicking for race-bait.

Re:Front page sucks too. (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 9 months ago | (#44408213)

If there's one thing I can't stand, it's stock photos of happy black children.

This country is getting increasingly racist. People are executed in Florida for killing white people, but not for killing black people. The Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats are telling us that they don't want to eliminate poverty; poverty is good for us and besides they're too greedy to pay taxes. Bill Gates and the Billionaire Boys Club are destroying the public school system and unions. They joined ALEC to promote the entire right-wing agenda including "stand your ground" laws. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_members_of_the_American_Legislative_Exchange_Council#Former_corporate_members [wikipedia.org]

Now they're taking $100,000 out of the petty cash drawer to create image-burnishing propaganda, and they run these pictures of happy black children (who will be shot under their ALEC-sponsored laws as soon as they grow up).

Re:Front page sucks too. (3, Informative)

black3d (1648913) | about 9 months ago | (#44408707)

I hope you realise, that simply believing "crazy racist stuff you heard somewhere" (likely, from racists) doesn't make it true. There are (far) more whites than blacks on death row in Florida. http://www.dc.state.fl.us/activeinmates/deathrowroster.asp [state.fl.us]

Most people executed in Florida have been white. http://www.dc.state.fl.us/oth/deathrow/execlist.html [state.fl.us]

There have been plenty of people executed in Florida for killing blacks and other non-whites:
Richard Henyard [wikipedia.org]
Mark Schwab [wikipedia.org]
David Alan Gore
Manuel Pardo
And many more.. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capital_punishment_in_Florida [wikipedia.org]

The ironic thing here is, simply blinding believing that other people are being racist due to a set of circumstances which aren't actually occuring, is highly suggestive of you, in fact, being racist. You're already set in a prejudiced view and don't care about the facts. BTW, George Zimmerman is innocent. Deal with it.

Re:Front page sucks too. (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 9 months ago | (#44409191)

I said, "People are executed in Florida for killing white people, but not for killing black people." Nothing in your sources says otherwise. Carl Dausch would be the first, and he still hasn't been executed. Somebody who accuses another guy of getting his facts wrong, as you do, should read more carefully.

There's a long history of this in Florida. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willis_V._McCall [wikipedia.org] McCall killed several black people in cold blood, and got away with it.

I'm not talking about hispanic people, who have a completely different history. Black people were slaves for 100 years, and they were suppressed by Jim Crow for another 100 years. Cubans were welcomed to the U.S. as political refugees and privileged minorities.

http://www.cncpunishment.com/forums/showthread.php?5742-Carl-Dausch-Florida-Death-Row [cncpunishment.com]
Dausch: Florida's 1st execution for white-on-black murder

A hitchhiker accused of leaving a motorist on the side of a Sumter County road, hog-tied, raped and stomped to death, could become the first white to be executed for killing a black person in the state of Florida.

A 12-member jury, consisting of one black, took about 50 minutes earlier this month to decide on the death penalty for Carl Dausch, 53, in the death of Adrian Renard Mobley, a black man.

The 8-4 vote was one more than required to give Dausch death over life in prison.

According to the Washington, D.C.-based Death Penalty Information Center, blacks have been executed in the murders of 254 white victims since a 1976 U.S. Supreme Court decision allowed states to resume use of the death penalty.

But only 17 whites have been executed on convictions of murdering black victims during the same time period. None of those executions have taken place in Florida.

According to Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, no white person has ever been executed for killing a black throughout all of Florida's history.

The ironic thing here is, simply blinding believing that other people are being racist due to a set of circumstances which aren't actually occuring, is highly suggestive of you, in fact, being racist. You're already set in a prejudiced view and don't care about the facts. BTW, George Zimmerman is innocent. Deal with it.

A friend of mine was killed in Mississippi during the civil rights days http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mississippi_civil_rights_workers'_murders [wikipedia.org] , so I know very well what's occurring. The South is a place where white men kill black men and get away with it, although not as often as they used to. I suppose you think Willis McCall is innocent too. As soon as we saw that there were no blacks on the jury, we knew what to expect, and it went as predicted.

I don't know the Florida codes, but Zimmerman was guilty of causing somebody else's death as a foreseeable result of his negligence and recklessness, the same way a drunken driver can be guilty of homicide if he kills somebody. As long as he was carrying a gun, it was foreseeable that he could kill somebody. He was negligent and reckless by getting out of his car when the 911 operator told him to stay inside. He wasn't minding his own business. He started it. If you carry a gun, be prepared to pay the consequences of your mistake.

"Deal with it" seems to be a code word on the right wing blogs. We'll deal with it in our own way. Here's another case where an all-white jury acquitted white cops for killing a black man. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1980_Miami_riots [wikipedia.org] I suppose you think those cops were innocent too. It looks as if the southern white racists want to start the Civil War all over again. If you don't want to deal with the non-violent blacks who are demanding their legal rights, you'll have to deal with the ones who get violent. I'm sorry to say that violence does get results.

Re:Front page sucks too. (2)

black3d (1648913) | about 9 months ago | (#44409323)

>I said, "People are executed in Florida for killing white people, but not for killing black people." Nothing in your sources says otherwise.

Except, what you said is quite simply wrong. The first, Richard Heynard was executed in Florida for the murder of two black girls. Perhaps what you mean to say is "*whites* aren't executed for killing black people", but thats not what you said.

Furthermore, of the inmates on death row convicted of killing black people, all except two are black. Almost white death row inmates _victims_ are white or hispanic. However, over half of the black inamtes victims are white. Thus, simply on the basis of "who is on death row", the number of blacks who get executed for killing whites is going to be statistically far higher than the number of whites who get executed for killing blacks.

>"Deal with it" seems to be a code word on the right wing blogs. We'll deal with it in our own way.

Far from it - "deal with it" has been common parlance throughout all areas of society for the best part of a quarter of a century. Again, you're focusing and misdirecting prejudice. As for your advocation of violence, this just speaks, again, to your racism - as you clearly believe the issue isn't "corrupt judicial system", but rather "the white people whom we'll victimize." If you want to stop racism, somewhere in that process you have to stop being racist. Will that be after you hurt people, or before?

Re:Front page sucks too. (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 9 months ago | (#44409497)

It is well established by social science data that black people are treated worse by almost any measurement than white people, and that this is even worse in the formerly Confederate South. Black people were killed if they tried to vote, up to the late 1960s. That's racism.

I just go by the facts. That's not racism.

I'm not advocating violence. I'm just telling you what happened in the past, and what may happen again. It happens because people think they can't get justice by nonviolent methods. And sometimes it does get results. That's history.

You don't like it? Help them get justice. You seem to be doing the opposite.

Re:Front page sucks too. (2)

black3d (1648913) | about 9 months ago | (#44409593)

I'm very happy for people to get justice. I'll try to help them get justice. I just don't believe that mis-representation of racist notions is a means of achieving anything except more hate.

For example, you say "black people were killed if they tried to vote, up to the late 1960s", to make it sound like it was a widespread, common practice up until the late 1960s. To be clear, such incidences were very few and very far between. And "the late 1960s" were now over half a century ago. On the other hand, there are still white kids being killed today simply for passing through gang neighborhoods and "being white". There have been several cases very recently (well, two that I know of off the top of my head) where even white _babies_ have been murdered by black youths in front of their parents. In both cases, the targets in question would not have been approached if they'd been black.

My point is, racism goes both ways. There's no such thing as "reverse racism". Whichever way it's directed is just racism. If a white is walking down the street and gets harassed because of their race or about their race, they're not a "majority", they're an individual on the receiving end of racism. I can't even begin to COUNT the number of times that I'm been told I'm racist *BECAUSE* I'm white, without the accuser having any further knowledge of my thoughts on anything. Calling someone "racist" on the basis of their race is so incredibly hypocritical it's amazing they don't realize what they're saying.

I'm simply saying, the fix to white on black racism isn't in tacit support of black on white racism. That just keeps breeding the issue.

Re:Front page sucks too. (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 9 months ago | (#44409731)

I'm very happy for people to get justice. I'll try to help them get justice. I just don't believe that mis-representation of racist notions is a means of achieving anything except more hate.

I don't think you help would be too useful.

For example, you say "black people were killed if they tried to vote, up to the late 1960s", to make it sound like it was a widespread, common practice up until the late 1960s.

It was a widespread, common practice in the South up until the late 1960s. We didn't have the Voting Rights Act until 1965. Martin Luther King was killed in 1968. If a black person tried to vote in the South, he was very likely to be killed. If somebody tried to organize blacks to vote, they would definitely try to kill him. I went to a memorial service for somebody who was killed organizing blacks to vote. If a black person wanted to stay alive in the south, he wouldn't vote. When were you born? Go read a history textbook.

I can't even begin to COUNT the number of times that I'm been told I'm racist *BECAUSE* I'm white, without the accuser having any further knowledge of my thoughts on anything.

That's what you say. I wonder what really happened.

Re:Front page sucks too. (1)

black3d (1648913) | about 9 months ago | (#44409881)

>That's what you say. I wonder what really happened.
Again - the fix to white on black racism isn't in tacit support of black on white racism.

You've got to break the cycle sometime. If you want to stop race being an issue, don't make everything about race.

Re:Front page sucks too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44412107)

You're a bitter little whiner aren't you? You are the problem here, your racism taints everyone it touches. You help keep alive the old hatreds instead of letting them die as the rest of us try to move on and get past it.

Re:Front page sucks too. (1)

Agent0013 (828350) | about 9 months ago | (#44427563)

You don't like it? Help them get justice. You seem to be doing the opposite.

Trayvon Martin did get his justice. He was a criminal gangster that snuck up on a neighborhood watch member who was checking out a suspicious person walking through the area. Don't forget that he sold illegal weapons and drugs. He tried to kill Zimmerman and we have an eye-witness to that effect. In the end, it isn't illegal or wrong to follow someone. It is illegal and wrong to attack someone, which Trayvon did.

Re:Front page sucks too. (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 9 months ago | (#44430303)

Zimmerrman was following Martin, and Martin was correct in fearing that his life was in danger. Martin reasonably defended himself.

Put a gun in the situation and somebody gets killed. Zimmerman put a gun in the situation.

Zimmerman started a confrontation which led to Martin's death, and rejected the 911 operator's advice that he stay in the car. You have a right to kill somebody in self-defense, but if you started the confrontation, you don't have that right any more. It's homicide.

If I were on the jury, I would have decided that Zimmerman was guilty of a low degree of homicide. He's guilty the way a driver can be guilty of homicide when he kills someone because of negligence or irresponsibility. If you carry a gun, you're accepting a lot of responsibility. The law says that if you don't do everything right, you can be guilty of criminal homicide. Zimmerman accepted that.

In at least some states, if you start a confrontation, and wind up having to use lethal force to defend yourself, you're still guilty of homicide. That's not a self-defense defense.

If I were on the jury, I would have decided that Zimmerman had an obligation to act prudently and responsibly. It would have been prudent and responsible to follow the 911 operator's advice and stay in the car. If he's not acting prudently and responsibly, then he starts to get responsible for the consequences.

Once he stepped out of the car, and rejected that advice, he wasn't acting prudently and responsibly. He took an unnecessary risk.

If the consequence of taking an unnecessary risk is that you get your ass kicked by a black teenager who (reasonably) believes that you're threatening his life -- that's the risk you accepted when you (stupidly) stepped out of the car. You don't have a right to kill him just to escape a beating, when he reasonably thinks you might attack him and defends himself first.

Juries don't consider sentences, but I think the sentence of other homicides like this is around 1-3 years. That's what black people get. Of course, black people are sentenced to unjustly long sentences, so you could easily convince me to show mercy to Zimmerman, or anyone, and give him a sentence of 6 months-1 year.

I think he needs a criminal sentence, with some time in jail. You have to do it to be fair. Black people get sentenced to much worse. His family wants justice. You have to send a message that if you carry a gun, you're responsible for the consequences.

I feel sorry for Zimmerman because he was motivated by civic responsibility. But his bad judgment got him into a terrible situation and he committed a crime.

Re:Front page sucks too. (1)

Agent0013 (828350) | about 9 months ago | (#44434253)

Zimmerman was following Martin, and Martin was correct in fearing that his life was in danger. Martin reasonably defended himself.

It isn't illegal to follow someone. If you are in fear for your life from someone that isn't threatening you, you have serious problems. Perhaps the lawful thing to do would be call the police.

Put a gun in the situation and somebody gets killed. Zimmerman put a gun in the situation.

It's called a "concealed carry" permit, not a "wave a gun in anybody's face you want to" permit. Martin would not have know about the gun when he decided to turn back and attack another person on the street. He didn't call the police for help, he started a confrontation and tried to kill someone.

Zimmerman started a confrontation which led to Martin's death, and rejected the 911 operator's advice that he stay in the car. You have a right to kill somebody in self-defense, but if you started the confrontation, you don't have that right any more. It's homicide.

Your logic is so twisted that I think you would defend Martin even if he went into a school and shot up dozens of kids. Zimmerman didn't start a confrontation. He followed a criminal. When that criminal started the confrontation he defended his own life.

If I were on the jury, I would have decided that Zimmerman was guilty of a low degree of homicide. He's guilty the way a driver can be guilty of homicide when he kills someone because of negligence or irresponsibility. If you carry a gun, you're accepting a lot of responsibility. The law says that if you don't do everything right, you can be guilty of criminal homicide. Zimmerman accepted that.

I do think that Zimmerman probably made some bad choices. And I think his choices led to the death of Martin. But he didn't break the law and didn't try to go kill a "creepy-ass cracker" like the actual criminal did. I think if you were actually on the jury you would have ended up finding him not guilty of any actual crimes. Just because you want someone to pay a price doesn't mean you can find a crime they committed. Have you listened to the juror that came out saying she felt he was responsible and wanted to find like you do but could not find any proof that he did anything wrong. Plus, don't forget who called the police. One of the two was acting lawfully and in the public interest, the other was out to kick someone's ass and possible commit a murder.

In at least some states, if you start a confrontation, and wind up having to use lethal force to defend yourself, you're still guilty of homicide. That's not a self-defense defense.

I am starting to think you don't even have the capability to think for yourself. I will even go so far as to call you a stupid fuck. Note, this is not illegal and you cannot come kill me for starting a confrontation. I can stand in front of you all day telling you how stupid you are without breaking the law. When you hit me, you have broken the law. See the difference? I'm sure you don't, at this point I am replying to your crazy drivel to prevent any one else who may be capable of thought from seeing your crazy writing and thinking that there is anything legitimate.

If I were on the jury, I would have decided that Zimmerman had an obligation to act prudently and responsibly. It would have been prudent and responsible to follow the 911 operator's advice and stay in the car. If he's not acting prudently and responsibly, then he starts to get responsible for the consequences.

Once he stepped out of the car, and rejected that advice, he wasn't acting prudently and responsibly. He took an unnecessary risk.

If the consequence of taking an unnecessary risk is that you get your ass kicked by a black teenager who (reasonably) believes that you're threatening his life -- that's the risk you accepted when you (stupidly) stepped out of the car. You don't have a right to kill him just to escape a beating, when he reasonably thinks you might attack him and defends himself first.

This is so twisted from any correct type of logic I know you would justify anything to defend your side. How about hearing a woman in a park yelling she is being raped? If you run into the park to help her you are taking an unnecessary risk. The rapist might try to kill you and you may have to defend yourself. If you take his knife from him and kill him you have just committed murder in your twisted logic. So to save your own life, or prevent yourself from going to jail you think it better to ignore your mother or sister getting raped in the park! Nice logic there asshole! Or with your twisted logic, the rapist reasonably thinks you might attack him and can rightfully defend himself first. Never mind that it isn't defense if you do it first. Do you work for the government with their idea of preemptive defensive nuclear attacks? In fact, I think you are dangerous and you may now track me down and kill me. Do I have the right to find you and kill you first? That is what you are saying.

I think he needs a criminal sentence, with some time in jail. You have to do it to be fair. Black people get sentenced to much worse. His family wants justice. You have to send a message that if you carry a gun, you're responsible for the consequences.

I think there needs to be a criminal sentence for Martin. Unfortunately he is dead. Isn't there some cases where the parents are responsible for the actions of their children. I think Martin's mother should be in jail for the attempted murder or Zimmerman committed by her evil spawn. See, your thoughts mean nothing and the family deserves nothing.

Re:Front page sucks too. (1)

nbauman (624611) | about 9 months ago | (#44441653)

I am starting to think you don't even have the capability to think for yourself. I will even go so far as to call you a stupid fuck.

I see you have declined to engage in rational debate, and have chosen name-calling instead, which is where your talents are.

Excuse me for mistaking you for a rational person.

Farm4.staticflickr.com? (3)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 9 months ago | (#44407269)

Please, Slashdot devs, update your code so submission links are flagged with the website's domain - as has already been done in the comments for as long as I can remember. It's annoying to have to hover over each link to check whether it's another click-bait attempt to inflate traffic on a site.

Of course, a flame-bait summary like this one is probably a reliable indicator as well.

Re:Farm4.staticflickr.com? (3, Interesting)

Aluvus (691449) | about 9 months ago | (#44409257)

While I am sympathetic to your point in general, I am not clear on how it applies to this particular submission. staticflickr.com is the domain that Flickr serves images from; presumably the submitter uploaded the images to Flickr so they would be on a solid host, and then used them in the submission. I doubt Flickr cares if he is increasing their traffic numbers.

http://www.flickr.com/services/api/misc.urls.html [flickr.com]

actually fudging the numbers is a good skill to le (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44407275)

It s the best way to get ahead, after all.

suckdot (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44407287)

Picking on them for donating money to nonprofits - MS bashing has reached a new low.

Yeah they should hoard their cash like Apple and Oracle.

Re:suckdot (1)

theodp (442580) | about 9 months ago | (#44407329)

It's not clear whether the 'donations' are cash money, software,etc. BTW, not to dismiss $100K (split five ways), but that's less than what a Microsoft exec spends to put one kid through high school at Lakeside School [lakesideschool.org] (BillG's alma mater).

Re:suckdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44407763)

Either way, given your propensity for trolling, Microsoft is doing a hell of a lot more than you've ever done for children.

Re:suckdot (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 9 months ago | (#44407357)

It's not what they're doing, it's how they're doing it that is drawing this criticism. Evaluate the programs on their mission, program plan and management competence instead of a popularity contest would be a good start. That's what they'd do if they were thinking about acquiring a company, right?

Re:suckdot (1)

edibobb (113989) | about 9 months ago | (#44408205)

Nope. Management competence is obviously not considered in MS acquisitions.

Re:suckdot (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 9 months ago | (#44411477)

Well, that may be true, and that's fairly normal. Usually after you acquire a company you cherry pick the best managers, fire the rest and replace them with people you trust. "If they're so good, how come we bought their company?" But you do a careful job of studying their products, processes, financials and how well they address the market.

Re:suckdot (5, Insightful)

plopez (54068) | about 9 months ago | (#44407421)

They refuse to pay taxes which support services like schools and then brag about the few crumbs they throw out on the floor for a few non-profits. There is plenty to bash Microsoft for.

Re:suckdot (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44408575)

Linux users fuck each other in the ass and spread AIDS. Those kinds of things cost tax payers too but I don't see you crying about it.

Has the bar been lowered? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44407325)

It used to be that literacy was a basic fundamental. Now they want to find a way to let kids squeak by with being "technically" literate.

Re:Has the bar been lowered? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44407519)

The best kind of literate.

Re:Has the bar been lowered? (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 9 months ago | (#44409547)

Technical literacy is a higher standard than literacy is. Literacy itself just requires the ability to read. Which doesn't take very long to achieve, especially since you're allowed to use a dictionary.

Technical literacy though, requires mathematics as well as various research skills in order to understand and operate technology.

That was a pretty silly rant (4, Informative)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | about 9 months ago | (#44407347)

A leader board shows the TOP competitors. That's the point of a leader board. It is not "cherry picking" to only show the top.

The rounding is not dubious. They are rounding to 10% increments because that is the resolution of the progress bars.

The "percent-10", "percent-50", and so on that the "developer tool" is showing are the classes of the progress bars. There is a style correspond to each in main.css, and that determines the length of the progress bar. The style sheet provides "percent-0", "percent-10", ..., "percent-100".

Re:That was a pretty silly rant (4, Insightful)

theodp (442580) | about 9 months ago | (#44407373)

Crediting an organization receiving just 46 out of 6,735 votes with 10% of the vote instead of 0.68% probably wouldn't receive a thumbs-up from data viz folks like Edward Tufte.

Re:That was a pretty silly rant (2)

peragrin (659227) | about 9 months ago | (#44407609)

No but it is correct according to MSFT marketing dept. Hell pretty much any advertiser uses the same kind of math to show how effective their campaigns are.

We had a 15% increase in sales(but can't prove it was related to the marketing). Or sales of advertised goods went up 200%(from 5 to 15 units) . Pretty much anyone who ever failed statistics gets into marketing as a back up.

Re:That was a pretty silly rant (1, Informative)

msauve (701917) | about 9 months ago | (#44407537)

You're absolutely correct. Despite the variable names in the code, the leaderboard itself isn't presented as anything other that a simple "Who's in the lead?" graphic. It accurately reflects the top 5 vote getters (which makes sense for a contest which will have 5 winners) in proper order, and gives a rough indication of their relative popularity. The contest promises "We'll donate $50,000 to the organization with the most votes, $20,000 to the second highest, and $10,000 to each of the three runners up." The graphic clearly and accurately reflects the current status, and allows the view to match the prize with the contestant. It's not like they get a monetary amount based on their percent of the vote.

It's not "math challenged," the poster is just a "hey look at me, I'm smarter than Microsoft coders" troll.

Re:That was a pretty silly rant (4, Informative)

theodp (442580) | about 9 months ago | (#44407705)

C'mon, this could be the poster child for Wikipedia's Misleading graph [wikipedia.org] article. :-)

Other commenters pointed to the .css file, which contains a "min-width: 10%;" statement that adds to the distortion. Below the Leader Board, you'll note that even those nonprofits with essentially 0% of the vote have progress bars that suggest they have 10% of the vote. Guess it looks better than showing that pretty much nobody cared to vote for them (e.g., the Microsoft-backed STEM Education Coalition [stemedcoalition.org] has 13 votes), and they're way out of contention.

Re:That was a pretty silly rant (1)

AK Marc (707885) | about 9 months ago | (#44408041)

Yea, I didn't see anything wrong with it. It was deliberately misleading, but that's what marketing is. It isn't correct. The "totals may not add to 100% due to rounding" should have been on the graphic, but aside from that, it's accurate math.

Re:That was a pretty silly rant (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44408657)

what people don't realize around here is that blindly attacking Microsoft (even when they are trying to increase programming importance) is your wasting your voice. We are some of the leading voices in software and hardware yet we throw our vote away for a chance to kick a puppy. Start being constructive and critical (to all tech parties) and we will see the difference. Telling everyone that metro sucks and nexus is awesome doesn't provide anything, it just pigeonholes us.

Crisis? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44407361)

Hardly.

The USA graduates plenty of CS majors. The crisis is that we're bringing in so many of the programmers on the H1B program, or just outsourcing it outright.

The crisis is of their own making, and they could very easily solve it.

CS majors have skill gaps and school needs (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 9 months ago | (#44407691)

Schools need to be more trades / tech like with some kind of apprenticeship system.

Not loads of theory based classes.

Re:CS majors have skill gaps and school needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44407847)

It's called an internship and co-op... A lot of kids I know have about 6 of those before they graduate. You are in college, you shouldn't be spoon-fed experience, you need to show a little initiative.

but it should not take 4 years and the internships (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 9 months ago | (#44408117)

internships also need to be more apprenticeship like with some level of school control just to keep out the coffee / office boy internships. as well make it more education as well.

And why not also have an tech school / trade school track with internships / apprenticeships maybe even for 2 year schools. Not all people are college material but they can do well in smaller tech school / trades setting or do better with more hands on work vs boat loads of theory classes.

Also college has way to many filler / fluff classes and it some schools due to classes filling up 4 years can take 5-6 years to complete.

With internship and co-op need to find slots and that court ruling likely did kill off the non payed ones. But you should be able to get at least part of the hands on parts as part the cost of schooling. OR have say a full time / near full time apprenticeships count for class credit (more then just an small number of credits)

Some apprenticeships can take 6mo / 1 year and that should be part of an over all school plan and not just be an summer break internship.

It's time for new ideas in Education and not tacking more on / jamming trades / tech schools into the older system.

Re:CS majors have skill gaps and school needs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44408451)

Spoon-fed experience? More like... some people don't want to spend an untold amount of money taking useless classes that don't teach many practical skills.

Re:Crisis? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44407701)

The crisis is that too many of those graduates expect to make more than minimum wage working in the field they studied. We can't progress as a society until an overabundance of potential employees allows us to treat them like expendable cattle.

I would rather see them pay taxes (5, Informative)

plopez (54068) | about 9 months ago | (#44407457)

I would rather see them pay the billions they owe Washington state end the US government. The money would be better spent. Rather than a few non-profits getting a pittance, the money which could make a real difference would be available. NGOs are horrifically inefficient. See Haiti as an example.

Re:I would rather see them pay taxes (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 9 months ago | (#44407507)

I would rather see them pay the billions they owe Washington state end the US government ...NGOs are horrifically inefficient.

Second only to governments.

See Haiti as an example

Exactly.

Imagine if they threw a billion dollars in matching funds to Kiva [kiva.org] - it would have a revolutionary impact by leveraging millions of volunteer decision makers, and they'd probably get it all back.

Re:I would rather see them pay taxes (3, Insightful)

plopez (54068) | about 9 months ago | (#44407663)

They gave money to NGOs in Haiti where if there had been centralized governmental agencies running the efforts the waste would have been far lower. Governments are actually more efficient than the private sector in many things, esp. those for which there is no profit. And NGOs do not have economy of scale.

Re:I would rather see them pay taxes (3, Informative)

nbauman (624611) | about 9 months ago | (#44408549)

Correct. That's what Paul Farmer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_farmer [wikipedia.org] said. Farmer did more than anybody else in the world to improve Haiti's health care system.

Farmer said that, to run a health care system, you need an overall plan, and that requires a central government. You can't have volunteer charities from the US and elsewhere parachute in for 6 months to do their thing. You need the government to decide what the priorities are. Maybe some church group wants to come in for 6 months and hand out eyeglasses, which is all well and good. But their urgent problems are infant mortality, maternal mortality, diarrhea (which is the main cause of infant mortality), and sheer starvation. Somebody has to come up with a strategy to assign priorities, and the free market isn't good at that. (The free market has already assigned its priority as taking care of the needs of rich people.)

Unfortunately, Farmer (who spends half the year in Haiti and half in Harvard) said that the Clinton Administration was trying to drive Aristide, the (elected) president, out of office, so the U.S. prevented funds from going directly to the Aristide government, but sent them to the NGOs, some of whom were run by Aristide's rivals. You wind up with warehouses full of (say) enough mosquito nets for 10 years, when hospitals don't have essential drugs like morphine to give people who have their limbs amputated, or drugs for people with cancer.

Haiti is a classic case of a government that, for all its faults, could have run its health care system better than NGOs.

Re:STEM does more (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 9 months ago | (#44407703)

Right now they are training me to become a math and computer teacher for middle school and highschool.

I used to hate them with a passion (typical slashdotter), but STEM is used to teach inner city children math, science, and engineering. My opinion has changed and STEM is not MS technology specific. I think it is great for non education majors who want a career change and STEM also is heavily investing in lego mindstorm projects too. This helps the tax payers out too as STEM students enrolled have higher test scores and achievement levels so they can persue greater opportunities in life.

STEM is part of Gates foundation to train engineering majors and not just paper MCSE to be I.T. professionals and encompasses many different things.

The tax and his personal dollars are appreciated and I get all sorts of training from other teachers as well while I spend my first year with 20 classroom observations and coaches. I see this as something that benefits everyone and I in Florida, not Washington state.

I wish the federal government cared more as other countries have similiar programs in their education system.

Anyway just a different opinion here I am presenting.

Re:I would rather see them pay taxes (1)

edibobb (113989) | about 9 months ago | (#44408235)

They don't owe WA and the U.S. anything. They adhere to the current tax laws. Change the law if you want them to pay, but it will cost a bundle to outbid MS when buying the politicians.

Re:I would rather see them pay taxes (1)

hedwards (940851) | about 9 months ago | (#44409561)

No, they don't. They're legally on the hook for the goods they produce for sale in Washington State. It doesn't mean crap that they're incorporated in Nevada for the purposes of selling licenses, they are under the jurisdiction of Washington State and that's where they do all their actual business.

This is settled case law, it's just that the state has been hesitant to actually enforce the law.

Re:I would rather see them pay taxes (2)

deego (587575) | about 9 months ago | (#44408369)

How can we complain about corporations following law A to the letter but not *in spirit* (tax payment), when law B compels them, *in letter*, to minimize taxes for their shareholders?

Secondly, I have no love lost for MS, but do I really think our US Govt. will spend money any wiser? No! It goes into more crappy wars around the world, or to bail out rick banks. Heck, even money they *don't* have goes into that.

no such law (2)

raymorris (2726007) | about 9 months ago | (#44409633)

There isn't any law requiring a corporation to maximize profits. The Free Software Foundation is a corporation. Do you think they maximize profit? How about the Red Cross, another corporation? The ACLU?

The closest requirements that actually exist are:
Directors and executives can't give THEMSELVES benefits at the expense of shareholders, aside from agreed salary and benefit packages. So they can't give company money (shareholder's money) to themselves.

They must act in furtherance of the purpose(s) stated in the articles of incorporation. Microsoft's articles, like most corporations, say only that it's purpose is for "any lawful business", so there's no restriction there.

Re:I would rather see them pay taxes (1)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about 9 months ago | (#44409025)

I would rather see them pay the billions they owe Washington state end the US government

There could be no more noble a goal.

It's not bad faith or bad math, it's bad CSS (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44407579)

It looks like the only real complaint here is the "misrepresentative" bars. Those can be blamed on lazy development. There are a couple clues to this:

1: They didn't bother to minimize their CSS
They're apparently using the dev version of their CSS to serve on the site: http://www.azuredevs.com/css/main.css
One could maybe argue they're offering some fun for "developers" who show up. But my money is on a misconfiguration or some generally shoddy web development.

2: The debug notations provide a clue to the source code
Aside from the huge waste of bytes sent to users, using debug code in production provides hints to the actual source. In this case, the percent-bar classes read like this: /* line 1479, C:\Projects\Microsoft\MWA\Repo\mwa\AzureDev\css\main.less */
figure.progress-bar.percent-70 span {
    width: 70%;
} /* line 1484, C:\Projects\Microsoft\MWA\Repo\mwa\AzureDev\css\main.less */
figure.progress-bar.percent-80 span {
    width: 80%;
}

As you can see, each class is 5 lines apart, which means that they probably look more or less like we see here. If they were using a loop structure (non-trivial in LESS, but do-able), they could have easily generated 25 different versions of the bar. It would also have meant that each iteration would have been generated from the same line of code. So they're not doing that. And since someone had to hand-code each of the 10 version of the bar, they were probably a bit lazy about it.

3: Another clue from the CSS: The developer probably doesn't work for Microsoft.

If you look at the file paths from the debug CSS, you'll notice the source is stored under "C:\Projects\Microsoft\..." If you work for Microsoft and are developing Microsoft software on a Microsoft device, isn't it a bit redundant to have a "Microsoft" directory in your Projects folder? The only way that makes a lot of sense is if the person who wrote the code didn't actually work for Microsoft.

So, my conclusion: Microsoft farmed out their website to someone who was either under-skilled, over-worked, under-motivated, or some combination of those. The result isn't of top quality. Go figure. Next story please. :-D

So yeah, I think what we're seeing here is just bad/lazy web development. Another clue from the

Re:It's not bad faith or bad math, it's bad CSS (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44407637)

So yeah, I think what we're seeing here is just bad/lazy web development. Another clue from the

Wow. Was I drunk when I read the preview?

Ignore that last line.

Also, some <code> tags would have been nice for that code, eh?

/* line 1479, C:\Projects\Microsoft\MWA\Repo\mwa\AzureDev\css\main.less */
figure.progress-bar.percent-70 span {
        width: 70%;
} /* line 1484, C:\Projects\Microsoft\MWA\Repo\mwa\AzureDev\css\main.less */
figure.progress-bar.percent-80 span {
        width: 80%;
}

And here I am chastising someone else's web development. I should be ashamed.

Microsoft farmed out their website? (1)

dgharmon (2564621) | about 9 months ago | (#44408771)

"So, my conclusion: Microsoft farmed out their website to someone who was either under-skilled, over-worked, under-motivated, or some combination of those. The result isn't of top quality. Go figure. Next story please. :-D".

Yea, it's not as of Microsoft was ever caught before jiggling the code to make the competition look bad. link [theregister.co.uk]

MSN deliberately breaks Opera's browser [theregister.co.uk]

Classic neckbeardism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44407587)

Classic neckbeardism. Microsoft is donating $100k to kids' programming organizations? LET'S SHIT ALL OVER THAT.

I mean, what the hell? They can choose how to give away money to good causes however they want! Jesus, people...

Re:Classic neckbeardism (5, Insightful)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 9 months ago | (#44407869)

It's about like a typical person complaining that they can't find enough people to mow their lawns at a competitive rate, so they offer to distribute $2400 towards the problem (to be split up between 5 local schools).

MS is awarding is less than what a single, typical developer in Washington state makes in a year, a fraction of which alone goes to the school(s) that win. I think if it were $10 million across the top 10 schools evenly it would be a lot more impressive, and impactful. Or, just maybe $5 million across 5 schools, and $50k scholarship to 100 students chosen from those schools for use in higher education later on.

As it stands the award money (might) pay for a teacher at one school, and a T/A at another, but it's really a drop in the bucket, and won't impact any change in the system. MS is probably spending close to as much as the award on the website for the award, and whatever marketing they are doing here, for what is a really pitiful award.

Dover Publications has excellent collection (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44408053)

Dover Publications has excellent collection of cheap math & science books, just couple dollars each.
Here what I have on my bookshelf :
Theory of Functions (Part 1 & 2) by K. Knopp
Theory & Applications of Infinite Series K. Knopp
Elem. Real & Complex Analysis G.Shilov
Matrices and Linear Transforms. C. Cullen ................
Just saying ..... M$ doesn't have reinvent the wheel. There is enough materials to teach kids !!!!

Teaching kids that MS sucks and is the only game (1)

gweihir (88907) | about 9 months ago | (#44408129)

.. in town, will certainly motivate the best and the brightest to seek success elsewhere than in anything MS advocates. The real problem is that "managers" (a.k.a. MBA qualified idiots) have taken over and STEM people are not respected anymore, despite their education being a lot harder and they being a lot more critical on an individual level. No surprise smart people start to avoid STEM. No prospects, being treated and paid badly, and then get fired at 40 by a nil-whit and going into unemployment. Unless STEM people again get the respect they deserve, things will not change. And yes, that may involve preventing a lot of incompetent cretins from calling themselves "software engineer" or the like.

Don't forget drop in / NON degree classes (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 9 months ago | (#44408137)

The tech / IT field can move fast and people who take some classes hear and there should have that count for something with out having to take 2+ year block out.

Also There some topics that can be ether to much / may need to be cut down to fit into an college time table or some stuff that may need to be padded out to fit in as well.

Pay taxes so we can run our schools (5, Informative)

nbauman (624611) | about 9 months ago | (#44408293)

Why doesn't Microsoft pay its taxes, so that we can run the schools, libraries and support services for kids to grow up to be programmers or anything else they want?

We're a wealthy country. We should be able to raise money among ourselves and decide among ourselves how we want to spend it. (It's called taxes.) I think most of us would want to spend the money on free public schools, including free college (like the countries we compete with, including the countries those HB-1 immigrants come from). I don't think many people here want their children to graduate college $50,000 in debt, or to drop out of college because they can't afford it. (The Gates Foundation, BTW, was a member of ALEC, which did so much to cut our taxes and destroy low-cost public university education http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_members_of_the_American_Legislative_Exchange_Council#Former_corporate_members [wikipedia.org] )

We don't need billionaires making these decisions for us, instead of paying taxes so we can decide ourselves.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/27/us-microsoft-tax-idUSTRE76Q6OB20110727 [reuters.com]

Insight: Microsoft use of low-tax havens drives down tax bill

By Lynnley Browning

FAIRFIELD, Connecticut | Wed Jul 27, 2011 7:07pm EDT

(Reuters) - If you want to know why tax from surging corporate profits isn't making much of a dent in the United States' crippling budget deficit, a glance at Microsoft Corp's recent results provides some clues.

Things were rosy in the giant software company's just-ended fiscal fourth quarter, which produced record sales of nearly $17.4 billion, a 30 percent increase in after-tax profit, and a 35 percent gain in earnings per share.

But for the Internal Revenue Service and foreign tax authorities, things weren't so rosy. Microsoft reported only $445 million in taxes in the U.S. and other foreign countries, just 7 percent of its $6.32 billion in pre-tax profit....

Re:Pay taxes so we can run our schools (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44408887)

Why doesn't Microsoft pay its taxes

And what taxes might they be? I read your article, it mentions none. It does mention, however:

Shifting income to low-tax jurisdictions "is not illegal," said Robert Willens, a tax and accounting expert in New York. "It behooves companies to do this."

So at least one person thinks they have to do it [google.com.au] :

behoove (Verb) It is a duty or responsibility for someone to do something; it is incumbent on: "it behooves any coach to study his predecessors"

Re:Pay taxes so we can run our schools (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44409029)

Why doesn't Microsoft pay its taxes, so that we can run the schools, libraries and support services for kids to grow up to be programmers or anything else they want?

Microsoft does pay their taxes in accordance with the laws that our democratically elected representatives wrote out. If you don't think the process of law-making results in fair laws, maybe *you* need to reconsider having the government run as many services as it does. You also need to consider all the big corporate handouts that Obama has been making to corporations like GE, who paid no taxes because they got all the green energy handouts.

And it's entirely irrelevant, anyway. Schools are funded by property taxes, and they are the biggest item in every state budget. Schools are only underfunded because all the funding gets gobbled up by unionized labor. And, face it, we need to rethink how our school system works. The industrial-based progressive model is entirely obsolete for the modern economy anyway, and, again, it's the public employee unions that are clinging to it with a death grip, with no concern for the needs of the students or the taxpayers.

Re:Pay taxes so we can run our schools (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44409031)

I wonder if their total includes the employer contribution to FICA/Social Security tax. It would be nice if all the taxes paid were presented so I would have a fuller understanding of what the government is taking for its cut.

Re:Pay taxes so we can run our schools (2)

OhANameWhatName (2688401) | about 9 months ago | (#44409039)

We're a wealthy country

No, you're not. The US is a country with many wealthy people, the country itself is close to bankrupt due to it's endemic plutocratic corruption.

Barak Obama And Anthony Weiner (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44409425)

Barak H. Obama is the President Of The United States Of America and Anthony B. Weiner Will BE THE MAYOR Of New York City!

On Mayor Weiner's first day, first hour in office, he will issue an order to the NYPD: Kill ALL latino 'things' walking the streets of NY,
as well to kill ALL black 'things' walking the same streets.

Blood will flow in the 5 Points, Again!

Blessed the rabbits.

Making kids technologically literate? (1)

intermodal (534361) | about 9 months ago | (#44411545)

You mean like they're already doing?

I think they must have meant Microsoft-literate. Perhaps they are concerned that the current uprising of youth is not learning Windows 8 like they are supposed to.

H-1b scab results (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#44414563)

Employ nothing but H-1B scabs, get nothing but crap out.

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