* Posts by Sam Adams the Dog

71 posts • joined 6 Apr 2011

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Oracle's Java 15 rides into town, waving the 'we're number one' flag, demands 25th birthday party

Sam Adams the Dog

"Java is in real trouble with a loss of -3.18 per cent in comparison to last year,"

"Java is in real trouble with a loss of -3.18 per cent in comparison to last year,"

Wait! A loss of -3.18% is a GAIN of 3.18%.

Keep it Together, Microsoft: New mode for vid-chat app Teams reminds everyone why Zoom rules the roost

Sam Adams the Dog

Skeumorphism gone crazy!

The one good idea is assigned places. Everything else sounds really awful. I don't know if the leader can assign places, though, which would be useful, especially if we want to go "around the room" making comments or brief presentations. And all that wasted space in the corny elementary-school auditorium mockup. And if I want to turn off the camera, it's usually because I'm still in my underwear. Oh well; black electrician's tape might still work. (Well, not for underwear, but you know what I mean....)

Zoom bomb: Vid conf biz to snap up Keybase as not-a-PR-move move gets out of hand

Sam Adams the Dog

Bruce Schneier likes zoom

Security guru Bruce Schneier recently blogged that he likes Zoom and that they have fixed the most egregious recently disclosed security flaws. He also mentioned that they have some ways to go with key management and with security for the free app, and that the web version remains unencrypted. But he still uses it, even for corporate business. And he likes the feature set.

COBOL-coding volunteers sought as slammed mainframes slow New Jersey's coronavirus response

Sam Adams the Dog

This is not technical debt!

Others have made the same point I'm making without using the words I just used.

Technical debt is when you do a rush job and don't write your code in the manner currently mandated for maintainability and extensibility.

There is no evidence that this happened when the code was written. And (pointed out by others) it's worked fine all along.

This is purely the fact that the code and infrastructure are too slow to handle the suddenly increased load. A capacity problem, as someone else pointed out. They could upgrade their hardware (still possible, as others have pointed it out), or contract out the excess, presumably to IBM. The latter is presumably the wiser course because this rat will work its way through the snake in time.

Grsecurity maker finally coughs up $300k to foot open-source pioneer Bruce Perens' legal bill in row over GPL

Sam Adams the Dog

Re: So, let me get this straight

You don't have it straight. You have it backwards. OSS is the big company, and they lost the case against Perens, paying $300,000.

The article concludes, "As to whether OSS's redistribution terms violate the GPL, that has yet to be tested in court."

So OSS has lost one case so far and the second case has not yet been adjudicated, or, possibly, even filed.

Where's our software, Langowski? Windows Insider Program gets new leader

Sam Adams the Dog

Developing on the Edge with Kyle Pflug

If Microsoft Edge Developer Experience was really a 1970s prog rock band, what role would an individual with a name like Kyle Pflug have?

(a) Lead singer

(b) Front man

(c) Manager / Publicity agent

(d) Roadie

(e) Bus driver

(f) Write in your own answer: __________________________

Apple fans may think they can't get viruses but Cupertino disagrees: WWDC 2020 dev summit goes online-only

Sam Adams the Dog

Re: Conferences and summits need to get with the program

Maybe we need to have live summits to reduce the lines at the supermarkets.

Microsoft's Bill Gates defrag is finally virtually complete: Billionaire quits board to double down on philanthropy

Sam Adams the Dog

As in all else, Orwell is correct.

How do you know he's not a prick instead?

UK contractors planning 'mass exodus' ahead of IR35 tax clampdown – survey

Sam Adams the Dog

Here's the solution

The contractors should get together and start an offshore operation, say in India or the (shudder) EU. That offshore operation then gets contracted for services, takes a small cut, and hires the contractors. Or the contractors could even be employees of the offshore enterprise. Perhaps the contractors themselves would cooperatively own the contracting body.

You're welcome,

SATD.

SF tech biz forks out $146m in fines, settlements after painkiller makers bribed it to design medical software that pushed opioids to patients

Sam Adams the Dog

As in all else, Orwell is correct.

"The big guys spend 1.5-2 X more on selling as they do on actual R&D."

Yes, but all advertising has to more than pay for itself to be sensible. Without spending those big bucks on advertising, their ales would be lower, so their revenue would be lower; and therefore their research budget (which in pharma runs about 20% of revenue) would also be lower.

Not, of course that I in any way condone the practice that this article is about.

Microsoft: Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, my PowerShell has gone RC

Sam Adams the Dog

Santa is not an elf!

'The annual tracking of "Santa" is due to get underway shortly, and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will be using satellite imagery from Bing Maps to make things a little more, er, realistic for those wishing to monitor the magical elf.'

Umm, Santa is not an elf!

Clutching at its Perl 6, developer community ponders language name with less baggage

Sam Adams the Dog

La Dame aux Camelias

I guess that makes Elizabeth "La Dame aux Camelias"....

IBM ships software portfolio into containers thanks to Red Hat providing the packaging

Sam Adams the Dog

What took them so long?

When the (scientific software) company I used to work for got onto the Cloud, we had a heck of a hard time getting our major pharmaceutical customers to buy into it. They were concerned about security. We would ask, "Do you really think your own security infrastructure is more robust than Amazon's?" There were some lead adopters, but not many, and yet many of these same companies were outsourcing their internal IT to outside organizations, especially IBM, in what was sometimes called an "insourcing" arrangement.

We had close relations with IBM at the time, had historically supported AIX, etc., and I remember telling our contacts at IBM that if you had a cloud, all your existing IT-management customers would buy in, because they would be willing to trust you, even if they don't trust Amazon. IBM would respond with some nonsense like "Well, we already have a cloud." It was not by any means what a cloud had already come to mean at that time. What they had was a farm of supercomputers, fixed partitions of which you could lease by the day, week or month, based on what might be a long reservation list. A cloud implied leasing virtual equipment by the hour, the provision expanding and contracting per demand.

Their Cloud-Pak and OpenShift technologies sound good and are somewhat orthogonal to IBM's public cloud, but I feel they missed a big opportunity not that many years ago.

Admittedly, it takes a lot of water to turn a big ship around, plus they were frying other fish.

Sam Adams the Dog

What took them so long?

When the (scientific software) company I used to work for got onto the Cloud, we had a heck of a hard time getting our major pharmaceutical customers to buy into it. They were concerned about security. We would ask, "Do you really think your own security infrastructure is more robust than Amazon's?" There were some lead adopters, but not many, and yet many of these same companies were outsourcing their internal IT to outside organizations, especially IBM, in what was sometimes called an "insourcing" arrangement.

We had close relations with IBM at the time, had historically supported AIX, etc., and I remember telling our contacts at IBM that if you had a cloud, all your existing IT-management customers would buy in, because they would be willing to trust you, even if they don't trust Amazon. IBM would respond with some nonsense like "Well, we already have a cloud." It was not by any means what a cloud had already come to mean at that time. What they had was a farm of supercomputers that you could lease by the day, week or month, based on what might be a long reservation list. A cloud implied leasing virtual equipment by the hour, the provision expanding and contracting per demand.

Their Cloud-Pak and OpenShift technologies are somewhat orthogonal to their own public cloud, but I feel they missed a big opportunity not that many years ago. Admittedly, it takes a lot of water to turn a big ship around, plus they were frying other fish.

Bill G on Microsoft's biggest blunder... Was it Bing, Internet Explorer, Vista, the antitrust row?

Sam Adams the Dog

As in all else, Orwell is correct.

Well, umm, there were a few more problems with Android in the times you mention, including one which persists now, or might only be ending now: The inability to get OS upgrades was as new versions were released. Considering that the updates included fixes for security issues, that one's a biggie.

Also, and probably a result rather than a cause of the fact that Android is not the market leader, accessories are quite slow to come out for Android phones. I never could get a battery case for my L6, and that's something I can't live without. So that's when I switched to iPhone.

US prosecutors whack another three charges on list against ex-Autonomy boss Mike Lynch over $11bn HP biz gobble

Sam Adams the Dog

Not necessarily!

It's interesting to me that virtually all the commentators so far believe that HP simply failed to do its due diligence.

However, the allegation is that Autonomy cooked the books and lied about their sales and revenue.

Lots of mergers and acquisitions don't go well, but very few lead to allegations of fraud against the principals of the purchased company.

Therefore, I'm inclined to give at least equal credence to the allegation: that HP did perform due diligence, but that the principals of Autonomy lied and committed fraud, perhaps in depth, i.e., by concocting and presenting fictitious accounting records.

Core-blimey! Riddle of Earth's mysterious center finally 'solved' by smarty seismologists

Sam Adams the Dog

Gone fission....

@denarius I think the belief is still prevalent that the reason that the earth has not cooled down more than it in fact has since the birth of the solar system is that heat has indeed been generated by fission reactions deep within.

The mysterious life of Luc Esape, bug fixer extraordinaire. His big secret? He's not human

Sam Adams the Dog

Free Beer

Most importantly, if Repairinator accepted a monetary reward for fixing a bug, how would it buy a beer for its buddies?

Your RSS is grass: Mozilla euthanizes feed reader, Atom code in Firefox browser, claims it's old and unloved

Sam Adams the Dog

I've always liked RSS

I use feedly.com now and am pretty happy with it.

It seems to me that The Reg used to supply RSS links to individual authors. I used to use it to keep up with new postings by Alistair Dabbs, but I haven't been able to find an alternative for a long time. Perhaps someone can tell me if there is a way to do this that I am just missing.

I like RSS a lot and have been annoyed at its gradual demise.

Python joins movement to dump 'offensive' master, slave terms

Sam Adams the Dog

Brain-dead

But don't we already have "client" and "server" for that purpose? Or is "server" now too politically incorrect? (Or too sullied by its predominant use to refer to web clients and servers?)

How about "exploiter" and "exploited", instead, or maybe "lord" and "serf"?

Sheesh!

A decade on, Apple and Google's 30% app store cut looks pretty cheesy

Sam Adams the Dog

They still distribute the IOS version via the Apple store.

"This means it doesn't pay the high, non-negotiable distribution fee Apple and Google both require."

Not. They still distribute the IOS version through the Apple store, perhaps because that's the only way you can distribute and IOS app.

Microsoft takes another whack at killing off Windows Phone 8.x

Sam Adams the Dog

Not

Actually, the Palm Treo phone was the precursor to the iPhone.

Extract, transform, load? More like extremely tough to load, amirite?

Sam Adams the Dog

How do the data integration platforms actually work?

@Trevor I thought the article was quite cogent and to the point re. ETL, which conceptually IMO is well used to apply to the problem, regardless of implementation. But I wish you had given as much detail about how the data integration platforms work as you did about the general ETL problems and its other solutions. The moreso because they are now your preferred solution. Perhaps you could do this in a future article.

Open source community crams itself into big tent

Sam Adams the Dog

Umm....

It all sounds very tent-ative....

Are you an open-sorcerer or free software warrior? Let us do battle

Sam Adams the Dog

"Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose"

With apologies to Kris Kristofferson....

I can't believe how many respondents are harping on the multiple meanings of "free." Stallman told us what he meant, and we all probably agree that "free" is a crummy word to describe it, because it's bound to be misunderstood if you haven't read Stallman's gloss. But enough already about that.

Having said that, I don't subscribe to Stallman's social agenda, which is very obviously what his definition of "free" is about. He reluctantly accepted LGPL as a compromise, understanding that without such compromises the Free™ SW he espouses is unlikely to gain traction. LGPL is Free™ technically, but is in practice as usable in the commercial context as un-free open source.

Stallman was already on the slippery slope with LGPL; from there it is only a small step to BSD, MIT, and Apache open-source licenses. But the earliest BSD license (1988) actually predated GPL (1989), so I would alter the author's remarks to rather state that Free™ is what open-source became after the ideologues showed up.

Hitchcock cameo steals opening of Oracle v Google Java spat

Sam Adams the Dog

Been there, done that

The federal appeals court that Oracle is appealing to previously took on an appeal by Oracle, which resulted in their remanding the case back to the district court for trial. The result was a unanimous jury decision for Google, which Oracle is now appealing. Which means that they have to get the federal appeals court to agree that no fair jury could possibly have rendered such a decision. Well, if so, it would seems that the federal court would have summarily ruled in their favor on the previous appeal. Aside from the merits of the case, the history does not augur well for Oracle.

If you're big enough, Cisco will cook you a private software SKU

Sam Adams the Dog

Wait a second....

Were they trying to run a cloud across Telco-owned routers at customer sites?

Sounds a bit like the days of Grid Computing, when an emergent concept (so-called because it never actually emerged ;-) ) was for cable companies to rent out (to third parties) computational resources on large numbers of set-top boxes that the cable companies owned. The boxes usually had MIPS chips, and they were nodes in a fast network connection, so what else did you need? Or so the argument went....

Firefox doesn't need to be No 1 – and that's OK, 'cos it's falling off a cliff

Sam Adams the Dog

Re: Two wrongs don't make a right

@Chemical Bob: "I would like to point out that three lefts do make a right."

Especially in radical politics.

You are the one per cent if you read Firefox's privacy spiels

Sam Adams the Dog

Tedious or Devious

Ummm... why do we have to choose? I'll take both (with my pony....)

Tanks for the memories: Building a post-Microsoft Office cloud suite

Sam Adams the Dog

I like the google suite, but....

I rarely use anything but the google suite. Easy to use, free of some brain dead Office legacy (like the fact that sorting in Excel on a column by default sorts only that column. I don't think I've ever wanted to do that). The interface and options are far more limited than in Office, and that's for the most part a good thing, to me. I find it nearly impossible to find a even feature that I've used in Office if I can't remember where it is to be found. Some features are entirely missing in the Google suite, but I'm not sure I've ever missed them; but whatever I've wanted to use in Google has been easy to find.

I have used the JavaScript API to Google Sheets to mock up a full working POC for a new facility I was developing for a web-based, spreadsheet-like existing product. It worked great. I'm sure I could have done it with VBA in Excel, but I was happy to be able to stay within the Google suite.

But clearly, the Google suite isn't under serious development & improvement. What you can do with a multiple selection is very limited. You can't define style profiles for re-use. The viewing options for a Doc are limited (even if you don't show a paginated view, you get a heavy horizontal line in the middle of a table cell at the place where a page break would be). Another thing I'd really like in Google docs is the ability to tag revisions with names. It's nice that you can recover to any edit in the past, but I'd still like to be able to tag and recover revisions myself.

What I miss most in ALL the suites I am aware of is the ability to have a single, tabbed document where each tab can be a different type of document: a doc in one tab, a spreadsheet in another, a presentation in another. I realize that today we use folders for that, but it gets quite cumbersome. So if I were writing a new suite of my own, that's the main differentiating feature I'd add.

Looking for an Ubuntu Unity close cousin? Elementary, my dear...

Sam Adams the Dog

Omygod! You actually like the Mac OS Finder?

I've been mainly a Mac user since (true confessions) 1985. I've simultaneously had Windows at home and at work, and for many years my main desktop at work was CentOS. More recently I was able to switch to Mac OS there, too (though I'm retired now).

To me, the single worst feature of the Mac has been the Finder. Why can't we just have a hierarchical display of files in the column, as on Windows? OK, a list of favorites would be a cute enhancement, but as as the only option? No effin' way!

My opinion only, but then again whose else could it be, right? Besides, IOAD™ ("I'm Only A Dog), so what do I know?

-SATD.

What a To-Do! Microsoft snuffs out Wunderlist

Sam Adams the Dog

On Letting a Thousand Flowers Bloom

If you're going to let a thousand flowers bloom, you'd better be willing to weed the garden.

Zut alors! Uber wrecked my marriage, fumes French businessman

Sam Adams the Dog

My favorite ...

My favorite is the Frenchman who sued Google because a street view depicted him peeing in his garden.

"The greater the truth, the greater the libel."

Pair programming – you'll never guess what happens next!

Sam Adams the Dog

What's next?

Clearly, what's next after pair programming is ménage-à-trois programming....

Good God, we've found a Google thing we like – the Pixel iPhone killer

Sam Adams the Dog

Re: I hope...

Hmm... gotta say... I've been using Android phone since it first came out; currently with a paid-off T-Mobile G3 running 6.0.

I have to say I've tried 3 or 4 Android keyboards, including Swype and have found them all awful.

I also assumed iPhone keyboards must be better, but maybe not. I suspect all cell-phone keyboards are awful. I wish we could get a built-in stylus and use Grafiti, like the early Palms. (I once had a Samsung with a mechanical keyboard, and didn't like it either.)

A finger banging or sliding across a small LED screen is a terrible input method.

BSODs of the week: From GRUB to nagware

Sam Adams the Dog

These are not real...

They are obviously all ads for Apple.

Google's become an obsessive stalker and you can't get a restraining order

Sam Adams the Dog

Re: Do people care?

I don't care very much, and to the extent that I do care, I like it more than I hate it.

I'm always amused when my phone tells me something that proves it knows where I am, what I'm doing and what I'm thinking; and in the far more frequent situation when it is dead wrong, I get to chortle over its stupidity in a self-satisfied manner.

BSODs at scale: We laugh at your puny five storeys, here's our SIX storey #fail

Sam Adams the Dog

Apple Ad?

Some years back, there was a BSOD displayed on the large sign on the Ernst & Young building, high above Times Square. We all joked that it was secretly an Apple ad.

Windows Update borks PowerShell – Microsoft won't fix it for a week

Sam Adams the Dog

How does something as bad as this get through QA?

Seriously. No hint of irony expressed or intended, or requested in reply.

How does something like this not get caught in their automatic testing? They have to have this, right?

If you really know enough about MS's QA process to comment, please do.

Thank you.

-Confused in NY.

Oracle Java copyright war latest: Why Google's luck is about to run out

Sam Adams the Dog

Mr. Orlowski seems to misunderstand fair use

IANAL, but AFAIK, neither is Mr. Orlowski. I thought I'd look a few things up -- mostly Wikipedia, and therefore, not the word of God, but relevant just the same, I believe.

1. Orlowski states "Fair use is not a right, it's an affirmative defense." According to the Wikipedia Fair Use page, "the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit concluded that fair use was not merely a defense to an infringement claim, but was an expressly authorized right, and an exception to the exclusive rights granted to the author of a creative work by copyright law." The parties agreed that ninth-circuit law applies, so this interpretation applies. (https://www.eff.org/files/2014/11/10/oracle_v_google_13-1021.opinion.5-7-2014.1.pdf, p.15.)

2. Back to Wikipedia: "The third factor assesses the amount and substantiality of the copyrighted work that has been used. In general, the less that is used in relation to the whole, the more likely the use will be considered fair. ¶Using most or all of a work does not bar a finding of fair use. It simply makes the third factor less favorable to the defendant.... the 'substantiality' of the portion used is considered in addition to the amount used." I don't know what fraction of the source code the 11K copied lines subsumes; not much, I would guess, though this is not the only consideration, as noted. But if all it does is call other code which Google themselves wrote, as we would expect in API interface code, the courts would likely consider this insubstantial, and rule in Google's favor. I do recall a lawyer's opinion being relayed to me to the effect that if the code is so simple that there is basically only one simple way it makes sense to do write it, copying it would be fair use. Admittedly, the example in question was something as trivial as "int add(int x, int y) { return x +y; }". But if the interface code just contained a little logic that terminated in calling functions (re)written by Google, presumably the same rule would applyl.

My Microsoft Office 365 woes: Constant crashes, malware macros – and settings from Hell

Sam Adams the Dog

Re: Interesting quote on Google's mail client

Heh. A user of Office and Windows should be the last to complain that someone else "keeps changing the UI"....

You've got to be ribbon me. ;-)

But I agree that the old ways are best. Long live BSD mail (or rather, Mail).

Cheers,

-P.

Sam Adams the Dog

Interesting quote on Google's mail client

"Google's mail client can only be described as the result of colliding MC Escher with Dr Seuss while simultaneously tearing a whole into multiple alternate space-times, allowing for an unpredictable and constantly shifting non-Euclidean design philosophy."

I've been using Gmail since it first came out, and the company I worked for prior to retirement has been using Google Apps for at least the past 5 or so years. The calendaring interface is good. I've used Windows in the past including Outlook, but just as a client; my only real knowledge of the server is the complaints such as yours, which I've been hearing forever. It's been many years since I've even used the client. I also use Office on a Mac (and have used it on Windows).

What don't you like about the Google mail client? I rather like it, and in the past I've used Thunderbird as well as Outlook, and of course in the very distant past (going back to 1983) whatever email client was available on the BSD Unixes of the day. (Who remembers zmail?) And of course, Apple's Mail on the Mac. And Pine for a while on Linux, before I switched to Thunderbird.

Even those in my company who don't like the Google mail client have found it non-problematic to use the client of their choice to pull from the Google mail server using IMAP or POP3. What they didn't like was the threaded nature of the Gmail "conversations." They much preferred to keep related emails in manually managed named folders of their own and view them individually. (That's what I did prior to gmail, but I had a hard time recalling which of my folders I had kept for a particular purpose, when there were several equally logical choices.)

I'd be curious to hear what you find so annoying about the Gmail client as to warrant your umm, vituperative, but inexplicit, outburst. Could you make it a bit more explicit? (The vituperative part is OK....)

P.S. Separately, and FWIW, I use Office 2011 on a Mac, but have never tried O365. I find that Google Docs and Sheets more than satisfies my personal needs for docs and spreadsheets, but have always fount PowerPoint indispensable for presentations. Also, I've found Word indispensable for some forms of collaborative document revision, especially for Legal documents (where I think Word is just better than Docs) or with others tied to Word (where, for informal collaboration, Google Docs actually has a collaboration model that I prefer).

Dell tempts hordes with MASSIVE DISCOUNTS on PCs

Sam Adams the Dog

Canadian money

Yes, but that's just $1000.60 [US].

Who you callin' stoopid? No excuses for biz intelligence's poor stats

Sam Adams the Dog

Re: Pearls to Swine

Neither is going to happen but neither is necessary. As the article makes clear, it is not Sales or Management that has to understand the math. It's the planners and developers of BI software, who presumably can understand the math and can translate the conclusion into fairly simple assertions.

Here's a great idea: Let's make a gun that looks like a mobile phone

Sam Adams the Dog

As in all else, Orwell is correct.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iw1LxIq4g8

Linux fans may be in for disappointment with SQL Server 2016 port

Sam Adams the Dog

Is a Linux Fan some sort of IoT device?

Well, what sort of DB would such a device require? Hmmm...

Good thing this dev quit. I'd have fired him. Out of a cannon. Into the sun

Sam Adams the Dog

As in all else, Orwell is correct.

Fortran 90 and successors are actually reasonable languages. Fortran 77 and earlier didn't even have dynamic allocation. One of my more interesting projects was converting a multi-hundred-thousand-line Fortran 77 program to Fortran 90. Because allocation was static, (1) There were many places in the program where a given array could be first filled; and (2) It made use of "work arrays", which were utility arrays that were equivalenced (Fortran programmers know that word!) to different arrays of different types, depending the current input. Even when a single array was used for a single purpose throughout the code, depending upon the work flow, it might be first filled in any of a number of places. So it was a challenge to know when and how to allocate it. Fortunately, I already knew the program pretty well, but I have to say that by the end, I knew it much better. The program is still widely respected and in general academic and commercial use, and his been greatly advanced since I worked on it in the '90s.

AMD sued: Number of Bulldozer cores in its chips is a lie, allegedly

Sam Adams the Dog

The lawsuit and charge are a lot of crap

At one time, it was common to build computers without any floating-point units at all. By this lawsuit's argument, these computers had no cores at all. And by the way, there are lots of operations that don't require floating point, and it appears that each of what AMD calls a core can independently perform integer operations. So, for such loads, one can, at least in theory, get 8-core performance.

HP slaps dress code on R&D geeks: Bin that T-shirt, put on this tie

Sam Adams the Dog

It would be really terrible if...

... you were a new employee and had just laid in a fresh supply of torn shorts and tee-shirts.

AI finally understands primitive sketches – aka marketing presentations

Sam Adams the Dog

OK, so it could circle the square. But could it square the circle?

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