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Originally published July 13, 2013 at 8:01 PM | Page modified July 14, 2013 at 10:40 AM

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Microsoft’s reshuffle signals bold move toward reshuffling

The Wrap by Ron Judd

Seattle Times staff columnist

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The earth moved a bit in Redmond.

A big rearrangement of deck chairs at Microsoft leaves workers grouped more according to engineering function than product line.

Insiders at a Duvall barbecue say the plan narrowly won out over CEO Steve Ballmer’s preferred alternative: grouping workers according to height.

No word, meanwhile, on the fate of the company’s noted Forcefeeding A Touch-Screen Operating System to the Desktop World Division.

More upshifting, downloading and right-sizing:

Speaking of Microsoft: The company bent over backward to allow government spies full access to customer data, including handing over keys to its own encryption codes, according to a report in The Guardian. If true, consider it yet another good reason to avoid SkyDrive and

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Outsourcing: In keeping with its new name, another 787 Dreamsmoker caught fire, for unknown reasons, on the ground at London’s Heathrow. It takes us back to the statement made by the increasingly impressive NTSB chairwoman, Deborah Hersman, who soberly opined about earlier 787 calamities: “The expectation in aviation is to never experience a fire on board an aircraft.”

Does Newt “Moon Base” Gingrich Know About This? U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson, D-Space, is pushing legislation that would establish National Park status for portions of the moon, to protect artifacts left by the Apollo missions. And to think people call this a do-nothing Congress.

Speaking of Newt: CNN, responding to a heartfelt public cry for more screaming partisan gasbags on national TV screens, will put him behind a camera as it dusts off its old “Crossfire” political-show format this fall. The program will be on loan from the Spectacularly Dumb Ideas Wing of the Smithsonian Institution.

It’s The Water, And A Lot Less: Voters in fall legislative elections should keep in mind the recent words of former state Democratic chairman Paul Berendt: “Olympia is beginning to look a lot like Washington, D.C. I just think we’re going to see more and more high-stakes negotiations that are settled at the last moment.”

Move Along, Folks: Washington football coach Steve Sarkisian, after the most recent alcohol-related criminal incident involving one of his players (Kasen Williams drinking and driving with bong in car), reiterated that disciplinary measures — if any — “will remain internal to the team.” It’s in keeping with what seems to be the coach’s personal philosophy about public accountability in his absurdly lucrative, public-institution job: Nothing that happens here is any of your business.

Thank God for the First Amendment: Actual text from a breaking Associated Press story about Twinkies making an earlier-than-scheduled reappearance at Wal-Mart Stores: “Coffee Cakes, Ho Hos, Orange CupCakes, Suzy Qs and Zingers will be available by August. Sno-Balls will arrive in the fall.”

And Finally: Sadly, The Times is losing its executive editor, David Boardman, whose contributions to the newspaper, among other less-noteworthy stuff like Pulitzer Prizes, included the birth of The Wrap some years ago. His new job at Temple University is a great gig for him, but frankly disconcerting to those of us left to carry on and struggle to figure out to whom we should now be sucking up.

Ron Judd’s column appears each Sunday. Reach him at 206-464-8280 or

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About The Wrap / Ron Judd

"The Wrap" appears on Sundays, highlighting the absurd and providing the punch line to the week's news headlines.


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