* Posts by a_yank_lurker

3593 posts • joined 16 Nov 2013

Before IBM started axing staff, it told them Q3 2020 would be super-busy with post-lockdown catch-up jobs

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Super busy for .whom? The company shysters or the regular grunts?

Frontier: Yes, yes, we've filed for bankruptcy protection, but that's not stopping us giving key staff $38m in bonuses

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Re: The Golden Rule

The bankruptcy court will act if the filing is deemed frivolous. Also, a Chapter 11 can be converted into a Chapter 7. The creditors have a lot of say in the bankruptcy settlement. So there is a risk the creditors might not like your plans (a big problem).

Home working is here to stay, says Lenovo boss, and will grow the total addressable PC market by up to 30%

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Re: "it’s going to last forever" LMAO

Short term the computer market will likely be volatile as Mark192 suggests. But long term the shift will rob units from on column to another, possibly stabilizing at a modest increase in yearly sales from current levels.

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Re: I have to say I'm with Lenovo on this

WFH with the option of being on premise when needed is probably the best overall option for many. Most of the time you are except when you need to do something at/near the office. This will take some time to occur but many have successfully been WFH for several months now.

WFH will have several knock on effects.

Commercial real estate will be underutilized and companies will reducing their commercial foot print as they need much less physical space. Many office buildings will be empty with rents dropping. Also, this will have an effect on local businesses around the offices that depended on the staff for business.

A side benefit of not commuting is less pollution and wear and tear on the car, this will help stretch vehicle lifespans and might reduce the overall number of cars per family. Less driving will mean less demand for oil and fewer cars being sold every year. It might make electric vehicles a more viable option for many more people accelerating the demand.

There will be shift in the types of computer equipment sold, more laptops vs desktops. But I do not see a long sales boom but more likely the more will stabilize around the current levels with a possible modest increase in the yearly volume. This would change if remote education becomes more common at the lower grades as this would require more computers for the family. But here again it would probably create a modest increase in yearly volume (kids do not need a new computer every year).

Business travel will be another area hit, as people get use to online meetings they will perceive less need to travel for meetings. There will always be some face-to-face meetings but fewer. This will hit the hospitality industry and airlines hard as leisure travel is not likely to make up for the loss.

General retail will not be affected that much though segments may have to switch their mix. Restaurants will hit or miss. Many that cater to the office workers will hit hard but those that cater to shoppers and local residents will probably recover somewhat. The problem they face is with the time needed to commute it is easier to cook at home. Also, food delivery services might do very well for the lunch trade. Food trucks will probably be hard hit.

Lawsuit klaxon: HP, HPE accused of coordinated plan to oust older staff in favor of cheaper, compliant youngsters

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Re: This Is About As Shocking As The News That Bears Shit In The Woods.

What gray haired staff have over the diaper brigade is life and professional experience. How many fads have you seen if are over 40 that flamed out, the answer is many. Also, anyone who is beyond wearing diapers realizes there is more to life the working around the clock, there is such a thing as burnout and work-life balance. In the professional area, they are aware of the history of the development of something. This is often overlooked as people who were not around do not know what was like to work in an office 25 to 40 years ago. Look at any technology and the gray hairs can tell what using the predecessor was like and often give a good idea how it developed. And sometimes they might have an example of the previous technology around in the attic.

What a work force needs is a balance between gray hairs for their knowledge and wisdom and youth for their enthusiasm and curiosity (asking questions is always good). But Silly Valley does not realize (or the diaper wearing leaders do not know) is how technology and markets develop. A gray hair will have seen products come and go, companies come and go, and might have idea of what makes a product a long term success (e.g. it has to solve a real pain point for people that is not being solved with current products).

Microsoft announces official Windows package manager. 'Not a package manager' users snap back

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Re: Cough, Splutter, Gasp

AFAIK you only have one or occasionally two package managers in Linux distro so what is used elsewhere is irrelevant.

Mind your language: Microsoft set to swing the axe on 27 languages in iOS Outlook

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Re: Got to love ‘em

The Rejects of Redmond butcher American English for good measure. It is unclear exactly what language they actually do speak.

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Re: Abdroid

I am surprised the Rejects of Redmond did not ditch Welsh or Scots Gaelic among others.

IBM cuts deep into workforce – even its Watson and AI teams – as it 'pivots' to cloud

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When I saw the manglement turn pivot my thoughts were I've Been Mangled is pivoting to irrelevancy and eventual liquidation. The death watch continues.

HPE's Black Thursday: Staff face pay cuts or the ax, office closures to save $1bn+ after coronavirus slams IT titan

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Will the last employee

turn off the lights.

Chicago: Why I just grin like a dork... It's my kind of Bork

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The Chcago Way

Could be someone did not get their payoff and this is their way of striking back? This is home of Bugs Moran and Al Capone after all.

Linux desktop org GNOME Foundation settles lawsuit with patent troll

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Re: An excellent result

For all patent trolls, I suggest Vlad the Impaler as their executioner if Pontius Pilate's boys are not available.

You know this Land of the Free thing, yeah? Well then, why allow the FBI to trawl through America's browsing history without a warrant?

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Re: Fourth AND Fifth Amendments

Except I do not trust the Nine Seniles to read the Constitution. If they did they would not understand simple concepts like needing warrant to search, a conviction to seize property (see civil asset forfeiture), etc.

SAP proves, yet again, that Excel is utterly unkillable

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Spreadsheets are the original malware as they are very difficult to verify once the size or complexity is beyond dead simple. They are useful for certain tasks but because of they appear to require minimal training to be competent using they have an allure that makes them 'femme fatale' of the office suite. You can do more damage with a buggy spreadsheet than with any other office program. Worse it is often not easily noticed.

Beer gut-ted: As many as '70 million pints' spoiled during coronavirus pandemic must be destroyed in Britain

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Pasteur is turning over in his grave

Pasteur was an Alsatian (e.g. from the civilized area of France) which is beer drinking region, Alsatians being civilized. Pasteurization was developed to prevent beer spoilage and later used on milk. I would have thought English beer was Pasteurized but then I am on other side of the Pond. What are the British requirements on beer Pasteurization?

Everything OK with Microsoft? Windows giant admits it was 'on the wrong side of history' with regard to open source

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My Hope

My relationship with Bloat 10 (company computer) is pure hatred of the evil abomination. My hope would be the Rejects from Redmond would ditch Bloat in favor something that is stabler and generally works. Until the Rejects get their act together I will try to avoid their trash whenever possible.

Micros~1? ClippyZilla? BSOD Bob? There can be only one winner. Or maybe two

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They are still are evil, just more devious.

US-CERT lists the 10 most-exploited security bugs and, yeah, it's mostly Microsoft holes people forgot to patch

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Good Practices

It is good practice to keep your system updated. This is OS and application independent. The issue is how fast do you need to update, immediately or wait a couple of weeks to see what happens. Both options have good arguments for them. But in either case keep the system updated.

You overstepped and infringed British sovereignty, Court of Appeal tells US in software companies' copyright battle

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SAS is the new Erie

SAS is engaging in shyster shopping to find a favorable 'judge' much like the Erie Railroad did in the 19th century. Reading the history of the Erie RR makes you wonder if our shysters are ever taught ethics or if they could spell it.

Researchers spot thousands of Android apps leaking user data through misconfigured Firebase databases

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Securing Databases

It seems there are 2 extremely common ways to leak data. Misconfiguring the database (many have mentioned) seems to be very popular. Also, the misconfigured cloud service (AWS is often mentioned) is also popular. It would seem the first items to check would be the database configuration and website/cloud security

We maintained or increased IT spending, say seven-in-ten pros, execs polled mid-crisis. PS: We love Microsoft most

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Re: Got my popcorn . . .

Too easy a target to go after MigraineSoft aka Slurp aka the Rejects of Redmond.

What do you call megabucks Microsoft? No really, it's not a joke. El Reg needs you

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In honor

In honor of what Slurp causes:


By the way I use Slurp to refer to their TOS allowing them to slurp up user date willy-nilly.

'A' is for ad money oddly gone missing: Probe finds middlemen siphon off half of online advertising spend

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Re: "middlemen siphon off half of online advertising spend"

Taking your example of a hoe and context, you might have a set of perfectly fine gardening tools and just needed a new rake. Or you might need some more tools but obviously not a rake. Or it was a gift. It is hard to tell without the context behind the specific purchase.

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Re: "middlemen siphon off half of online advertising spend"

To me targeted ads are a scam. They are allegedly based on information about my interests as expressed by searches, purchases, etc. But the information used has one glaring weakness, no context as to reason for the search, purchase, etc. That makes 'targeted ads' nothing more than are a roll of the dice. A more sensible ad campaign would take into account the nature of the site and the likely readership and target that general demographic. While the conversion rate might not be great it will be about as effective as radio or TV advertising.

Another issue overlooked is a good bit of advertising is not so much about a specific product but more about 'brand' awareness. The store, product, etc. exists and if one has need for x you have some idea who might provide it.

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Wanamaker was an optimist

So if half of the total ad spend is wasted and half of the good ad spend is siphoned off then only a quarter of the add spend is actually doing any good.

It seems that many sites have failed to understand they might need to more aggressively seek ads themselves rather than relying on an ad agency to be generous. It used to be that most newspapers ran mostly local ads for the bulk of their advertising. I do not see this being done much these days.

Nervous, Adobe? It took 16 years, but open-source vector graphics editor Inkscape now works properly on macOS

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Re: "starting at £19"

Adobe's target audience has been companies that do image manipulation not the home/hobbyist. A market that has to convince a purchasing agent to buy not necessarily the person using the software.

Open source, too succeed, just needs to have a viable funding model (even if all the time and money is donated) that fits the scale of the project. Open source by existing creates pressure on the excessively greedy scum like Adobe and Slurp to watch what they do. A noisy few percent of the market not supporting the greedy scums' wares is a problem as there is an alternative to peruse. If the greedy scum get to nasty there are alternatives to bolt to.

Joe Christina has series of YouTube videos on ditching Adobe for photographers and the like. He has a lengthy list of options for Adobe for all OSes. This was triggered by Adobe's scumminess and the frustration of many photographers with their shakedown tactics.

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Re: "starting at £19"

Subscriptions are more for businesses than home users. Even if I pay money for an application I strongly prefer the traditional purchase model. I can upgrade as I need to/want to and I am not getting nickeled and dimed to death.

MongoDB and Rockset link arms to figure out SQL-to-NoSQL application integration

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Re: I’ve posted this before

The idea behind a dynamic schema in MongoDB is the schema can evolve more easily with time than is true of relational database. The real problem is not whether MongoDB or a relational db is better but using either in situations which play their strengths.

Does a .com suffix make a trademark? The US Supreme Court will decide as Booking marks its legal spot

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Oh, how the arcane rules trip up the unwary and uninitiated. One point about trademarks is they are used to protect the brand from con artists and other assorted low lifes. So the question is 'Booking.com' a brand that needs protection so some slime could not try to confuse the public. I think that can be argued both ways in which case I would say grant the trademark. Now the USPTO rules say this can be a trademark but me thinks the dim bulbs there have not thought through the rules completely but that's what mindless bureaucrats do best.

There is the issue of 'booking.co.ca' and the like and how would they be treated as a trademark as they would very similar to 'booking.com' itself. This is an interesting thicket as .com is often US based while .co.xx is based in another country. I do not what the various treaties say about trademarks and infringement and if they actually even cover this situation.

Eclipse boss claims Visual Studio Code is an open-source poseur – though he would say that, wouldn't he?

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I detest Eclipse. I have found it an awkward PITA. Not really tried VSCode but the little I have fiddle with it left me unimpressed.

It has been 20 years since cybercrims woke up to social engineering with an intriguing little email titled 'ILOVEYOU'

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Re: The weakest link

Did you get a better set of morons this time?

Oracle faces claims of unequal pay from 4,000+ women after judge upgrades gender gap lawsuit to class action

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Re: Counterclaim?

The Minions are picking a fight with someone who has deeper pockets and spend them into oblivion.

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Personally I would like to see Leisure Suit Larry at the end of a rope as a warning to others.

Android trojan EventBot abuses accessibility services to clear out bank accounts – fortunately, it's 'in preview'

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Re: "The human link is the weakest link in cyber security"

Good systemic security is a balance of convenience and restrictions. A common mistake is to assume you need access to your bank on your phone when access through a desktop or laptop might be all you really need for monitoring and paying bills. A related mistake is not to use a 100% wired connection whenever possible for financial and commercial activities from your desktop. Are both inconvenient, to a degree yes, but both are much more secure.

Microsoft decrees that all high-school IT teachers were wrong: Double spaces now flagged as typos in Word

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Re: It may be a US "standard", but...

The 2 space 'rule' for typewriters came about because there was no way to properly space sentences on a typewriter. So 2 spaces became the rule as the actual spacing used in books is about 1.5 spaces back then and now. This was the rule in the US since at least the mid 50s. It may have been different earlier and in other places.

The Adobe Flash Farewell Tour 2020: LibreOffice to axe export support for .SWF in version 7

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Re: Still companies trying to foist it on users

Companies run by imbeciles.

Google says no more shady anonymous web ads – if you want your billboard up, you've got to show us some valid ID

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A Good Step

This is a good step as it allows one to know who is pitching the ad if it is not already transparent. For most ads I doubt this will have much of an effect as the vast majority are from (semi)-legitimate organizations.

Mayday! Mayday! The next Windows 10 update is finally on approach to a PC near you

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Surp is run by idiots

With the current situation, Slurp could have announced a more sensible downgrade policy with new Bloat10 spyware releases. A once year major update with monthly security patches and bug fixes with biennial feature update release. Annual update would concentrate on implementing new specs such as the latest USB spec. Feature updates would add new features. Alas, the chief idiot did not see the opportunity make Slurp do something somewhat reasonable.

Cloudflare goes retro with COBOL delivery service. Older coders: Who's laughing now? Turns out we're still vital

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Re: Why COBOL?

Getting it right the first time is always a good procedure for the medium to long term code stability. What is usually overlooked in half-assing the code and pushing it out is that the code will usually be used for a long time, conceivably a couple decades or more. Half-arsed code is more time consuming to update and maintain than well written code. This is language independent.

IBM age discrimination lawsuit suddenly ends, suggests Big Blue was willing to pay to avoid discovery process

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Re: Yay ! Justice is served !

While the settlement cannot be used in other cases it is a tacit admission of guilt.

PC shipments went over a cliff in Q1, which may be only moderately terrifying

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Reading Tea Leaves

The explanation that the demand drop is due to certain virus is not very good. There were reports that laptops were being scarfed up which should have juiced the numbers. I suspect the actually decline is mostly due to underlying fundamental problems in the market not a certain virus.

Stop worrying – Larry Ellison and Prez Trump will have this whole coronavirus thing licked shortly with the power of data

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Oh Well

With Leisure Suit Larry and his Minions on the job I think I will plan to be under a stay at home orders for a couple more years at least.

Suspicious senate stock sale spurt spurs scrutiny scheme: This website tracks which shares US senators are unloading mid-pandemic

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Mark Twain

Twain observed Congress is America's native criminal class. They haven't changed in over 100 years. The only question is whether Congress critter stock sales are exempted from insider trader, the critters are notorious for exempting themselves for the laws they inflict on us peasants.

Google Cloud's AI recog code 'biased' against black people – and more from ML land

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Photographic Quality

If Chocolate Factory is using snap shots from Instagram and the like they are truly the idiots. Most people do not know how to operate a camera and thus use whatever settings the camera/phone selects. Also most do not use a quality camera that has very good resolution and lens ever. Up to point image quality is affected by the quality of the device (sensor size, lens, etc.) as well as the skill of the user. I have not addressed lighting conditions and how to try to compensate for them.

To properly 'train' the artificial idiocy system you need high quality portraits taken from different angles of a large number of people. This costs real money. The reason they sort of get away with it on lighter skinned people is there is naturally better contrast in the face than with darker skinned people. Basically they got lucky. But the poor quality of the original images means more error in the system. Depending on what you need the system to do, the error could be unacceptable.

Guess what's heading to trial? IBM and its tactic of yoinking promised commissions after sales reps seal the deal

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I've Been Mangled

Somehow claiming something is both a contract and not a contract is a shysterly way abusing staff. Hopefully the court will hammer I've Been Mangled as it is either a contract or not one at all times.

RAND report finds that, like fusion power and Half Life 3, quantum computing is still 15 years away

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Quantum computing and fusion will at least 15 to 20 years away for the foreseeable future.

Ransomware scumbags leak Boeing, Lockheed Martin, SpaceX documents after contractor refuses to pay

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Re: Nice of them to promise not to attack healthcare

rather permanently offline and left to see if vultures (real ones) have any standards.

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I would guess a phishing attack that hit a target with enough permissions to be interesting.

Cloudflare dumps Google's reCAPTCHA, moves to hCaptcha as free ride ends (and something about privacy)

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Re: Audio versions

The problem with any CAPTCHA system is they will need a default dialect. That is inherent in the method. For English it could any of a number dialects depending on where the developers are from. And everyone who does not speak that dialect will have problems with the system.

Time to brush up on current affairs. Because we're predicting Li-ion batt lifetimes using impedance and AI

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Is this new?

This sounds like the patents that basically took a tedious manual process and did it on a computer with a bunch of buzzword bingo. Reasonably accurate determination of battery's useful life has been something people have been interested to some extent at least for 100+ years because batteries have been in use for numerous semi-critical applications even then.


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