How Microsoft became tech’s good guy

Preston Gralla at Computerworld:

Once upon a time, Microsoft symbolized all that was wrong with the tech world: greedy, monopolistic, single-mindedly focused on profits while caring little about the public good. In the heyday of Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, the company ran roughshod over competitors in its attempt to corral the worldwide market for both operating systems and application software.

But today, Microsoft has embraced the role of the tech world’s better angel. And as events show in recent weeks, that’s not hype. The company has, to some extent, tried to act as the industry’s conscience as well as taking actions for the greater good.

Microsoft has somewhat surprisingly fallen off my radar in recent years, but it’s good to see them taking the lead on important issues like fighting Russian cyber-espionage and speaking out against involuntary facial recognition. Our government should be doing more on the former, but don’t get me started on that…

Rolling back fuel economy standards

The current administration has chosen to put current clean vehicle regulations on hold, only to replace them with weaker ones down the line. Earther reports:

The plan calls for 2020 fuel-efficiency standards to be frozen in place through 2026 while sorting out what a new rule could look like, as well as ending California’s ability to set its own, more stringent standards. The end result will be a huge uptick in carbon emissions.

Waiting for the inevitable changing of the guard at the White House is one strategy, but…

Because people are likely to hang onto their cars for many years, the impacts would continue to play out beyond 2030. An analysis by Energy Innovation found that by 2035, U.S. transportation emissions will be 11 percent higher than they would be if the Obama-era standards and California’s waiver were kept in place.

Many years from now historians will have a full-time job documenting the post-Trump decades of cleaning up his long list of mistakes.