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Elop Continues His Losing Strategy: It’s Time For Him To Go

In Stephen Elop’s breezy and somewhat callous email to former Nokia staffers at Microsoft (‘Hello there’ is a poor start to firing 12,500 people), he showed that he’s continuing the losing play of fighting against Android+Samsung (and hundreds of other Asian-based competitors with Windows+Nokia. Of course, Elop might be a bit blasé since he’s fired 50,000 since taking the job as CEO of Nokia.

Elop wrote in that memo, 

In the near term, we plan to drive Windows Phone volume by targeting the more affordable smartphone segments, which are the fastest growing segments of the market, with Lumia.

Om Malik is merciless in a recent post, pointing out that this strategy has been failing since Elop — that lunkhead — wrote the 'burning platform memo' three years ago, and pushed Nokia to drop its own Symbian OS and MeeGo activities, and adopt Windows.

Nadella’s strategy is more nuanced. He wants Windows phones to be the leader in dual use: when users need business and personal capabilities on the same phone. You don’t hear that nuance in Elop’s memo.

I bet that Elop will soon be out, and Nadella will put one of his more trusted and less tarnished executives in place.

How Bad Is The Drought Out West?

The drought in the southwest continues to worsen:

John Metcalfe, To End California’s Drought, More Than 1 Foot of Rain Needs to Fall in a Month

Every so often there comes an image that really brings home the West’s damnable dryness. There was that photo of California’s disappearing Folsom Lake, for instance, and now there’s this: a map showing how much rain must fall in one month to end the reigning drought.

NOAA

The map, tweeted out by NOAA, is an illustration in impossible outcomes. (It’s dated for June, though with practically no rainfall in California since then it’s safe to assume it still applies.) Though the northern and southeastern parts of the state would require a relatively modest-sounding 3 to 6 inches of rain to escape drought, the parched Central Valley (where so much of America’s food is grown) needs a biblical dousing of 12 to as much as 15 inches. To put that in perspective, 15 inches of liquid precipitation is equal to 12.5 feet of snow.

Now here’s the probability of that rain bomb happening: zero. Forecasters see drought in July not slacking off but persisting or intensifying, according to this outlook from the Climate Prediction Center:

It’s going to get worse, too.

How long will it take before people start moving east, where the rain is?

Why Invade Gaza? So Israeli Kids Can Have A ‘Normal Summer’

Here’s the worst rationale I have seen for an Israeli invasio of Gaza: so Israeli kids can have a ‘normal summer’:

Jodi Rudoren, Israeli Invasion of Gaza Is Likely, Official Says; Brief Cease-Fire Is Set Mark Regev, Mr. Netanyahu’s spokesman, said an invasion of Gaza was “definitely an option.”

“It’s being discussed,” he said. “I can’t go beyond that.” Asked about the military official’s characterization of the likelihood as “very high,” Mr. Regev said, “That’s a professional opinion of the military.” Then he added, “But you can be assured that opinion was expressed by the military to the political wing.”

Mr. Netanyahu has been fending off demands for a ground operation from some members of his cabinet and party. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who has been at turns partner and rival to the prime minister, reiterated his call for a more substantial campaign against Hamas on Wednesday, as did Yuval Steinitz, the minister of strategic affairs, who has been a Netanyahu stalwart and frequent mouthpiece.

“It is not possible to ensure summer vacation, a normal summer for our kids, without a ground operation in Gaza,” Mr. Lieberman said during a visit to Ashkelon.

“We don’t need to rule Gaza or build settlements in Gaza,” he added. “We need to ensure that all Hamas terrorists run away, are imprisoned or die.”

But the Palestinian kids don’t get a normal summer, do they?

My true religion is kindness.

The Dalai Lama

I want 8pen.

iStick: A USB Drive For The LIghtning Connector

Walt Mossberg, iStick Is a USB Thumb Drive for the Latest iPhones and iPads

I’ve been testing an early, pre-production version of iStick and its companion app of the same name, and found that it does indeed work as advertised for file transfers. It still has a few bugs to work out before shipping, and the process isn’t quite as simple as it is between two computers, due to the unusual file system used by iOS. But the product works, and I suspect it will be welcomed by many iPhone and iPad users.

The iStick is a small, rectangular plastic device with a light-up slider button in the middle. You slide the button one way to expose a standard USB jack you can use in a Mac or PC, and slide it the other way to expose a Lightning connector you can plug into a late-model iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

It’s made by a company called Sanho, based in Fremont, Calif., whose mostly Apple-oriented hardware accessories go by the brand Hyper. And it’s much pricier than a simple, commodity USB thumb drive. It starts at $80 for an eight gigabyte model, and ranges up to $250 for 128GB of storage. The company says the higher prices are required to license the Lightning connector and to meet stringent Apple requirements.

Why do I need this, if I have Dropbox or iCloud Drive? The only use case that makes sense is wanting to carry around a bunch of videos or documents, and not wanting to use up a lot of storage on the devices.