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Oracle Co-CEO Mark Hurd Passes Away
Mark Hurd, who was co-chief of Oracle, one of the world's top business-software firms, until he stepped aside last month for health reasons, died Friday. He was 62. From a report: "Oracle has lost a brilliant and beloved leader who personally touched the lives of so many of us during his decade at Oracle," Oracle chairman Larry Ellison wrote. "All of us will miss Mark's keen mind and rare ability to analyze, simplify, and solve problems quickly. Some of us will miss his friendship and mentorship. I will miss his kindness and sense of humor." Hurd announced a leave of absence from Oracle in September due to unspecified health reasons. Oracle stock had gone up about 37% since he and Safra Catz were appointed as CEOs in September 2014.

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School Field Trips: Amazon Warehouses Are the New Smithsonian
theodp writes: On Thursday evening, Amazon is hosting a national field trip of sorts, inviting kids and teachers to take part in a Twitch livestream tour inside an Amazon robotics fulfillment center with the goal of inspiring students to learn about robotics and to "illustrate the importance of a computer science education." From the press release: "On the tour, students will see first-hand how teams of associates work alongside robotic technologies to fulfill customer orders. They will see where inventory items are stowed into the system, learn how robots bring storage pods to our associates to pick customer items, and finally, they'll see trucks being loaded with thousands of customer orders." Hey, "program, or be programmed," as they warn kids and parents over at Amazon-bankrolled!

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GitLab Won't Exclude Customers On Moral Grounds, Says That Employees Should Not Discuss Politics At Work
GitLab, a San-Francisco provider of hosted git software, recently changed its company handbook to declare that it won't ban potential customers on "moral/value grounds," and that employees should not discuss politics at work. The Register reports: The policy addition, created by co-founder and CEO Sid Sijbrandij and implemented as a git pull request, was merged (with no approval required) about two weeks ago. It was proposed to clarify that GitLab is committed to doing business with "customers with values that are incompatible with our own values." Such a declaration could run afoul of legal boundaries in some circumstances. While workers have no constitutional speech protection in the context of their employment, federal labor law requires that employees be allowed to discuss the terms and conditions of their employment and possible unlawful conduct like harassment, discrimination, and safety violations. But it's perhaps understandable given how, over the past few years, workers in the tech industry have become more vocal in objecting to business deals with entities deemed to be immoral or work that conflicts with declared or presumed values. Sijbrandij amended his company's handbook to state: "We do not discuss politics in the workplace and decisions about what customer to serve might get political." And what reason does Sijbrandij's pull request provide to support this position? It says, "Efficiency is one of our values and vetting customers is time consuming and potentially distracting."

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GPL Enforcement Notches Another Victory
The license at the heart of many open source projects is amassing a winning record when it comes to successfully pursuing enforcement lawsuits.