* Posts by SecretSonOfHG

286 posts • joined 30 Jul 2014


Microsoft flips request to port Visual Studio Tools for Office to .NET Core from 'Sure, we'll take a look' to 'No'


Re: Not Many Options

Good idea. However I'm sure that out-of-process will fight with the internal Office machinery because that assumes everything is running in-process. Which likely is a decision dating back to the 32-bit Office/COM days and that in turn requires porting of yet another piece of legacy Office code that has not been touched in decades, possibly breaking existing add-ons in the process.

So yes, the only way for Office out of this multiple-decades-old-compatibility nightmare is to do an Apple and declare "Office add-ons are now JavaScript" and let add-on developers sort out all their (perceived and existing) issues.

Of course some add-ons won't we never ever ported and that will leave a trail of machines running old Office versions forever, much like there are still XP boxes around running old software.

History repeats itself.

The common factor in all your failed job applications: Your CV



I've a close relative that is starting to drift into long term unemployment territory, while I've switched jobs twice in the last five years, always improving pay scale, quality of life, and fun while working. A month or so ago he asked me how could it be that I keep getting job offers without even trying or actively doing anything while he was not being offered nothing above entry level work, if at all. I took a look as his online CV and discovered most of the flaws mentioned in this article: no keywords, no tailoring for what he wanted, missing concrete deliverables and achievements... and pointed him to them.

But this is a much better articulated and exhaustive summary than I ever would be able/willing to do. So I'm forwarding him a link to this article.

Google drinks from Oracle's pond: SQL system log slurp part of grand data-sharing vision


Re: Reinventing triggers?

Been there. At first I had the same opinion as you. But no, these kind of systems are not triggers 2.0 because triggers have a number of drawbacks:

1- Trigger code is database dependent. It is much easier to drop a module of this type already tested by someone else than try to develop DB specific code to push a message into some kind of message bus. For each DB engine and version. And I've been in places with three different DB engines in at least two different versions each.

2- Depending on the DB, not all operations invoke triggers or there are specific commands to disable triggers during execution of other statements. This is usually done for performance reasons, and as such...

3- Withou rigorous inspection and review (and even with those by accident), trigger code easily can become a bottleneck, something you do not want when you're interested in your DB transactions being commited as quickly as possible.

Triggers are wonderful when you have no other means of expressing a business domain constraint and want to enforce it at the database level (those that say that these constraints can be enforced at the app level have a special place in hell filled with junior external consultants banging directly on a database violating all business constraints and repeating "but it works for my use case") Triggers as the foundation of a data bus are one of those ideas that look good in your head but become headaches on the medium term. That's why these kind of tools exist.


Oracle license auditors have started salivating

Every single tool that extracts data from Oracle is a potential candidate to apply one of the many, many different licencing scenarios that Oracle keeps changing and adapting as technology evolves (mullti core CPUs, VMs, cloud...) in order to keep their revenue stream growing. Just bear that in mind before dreaming up that system that allows you to get data out of your application and into a less expensive (or even free of licensing) platform or into many, many more hands. Oracle has a dedicated team devoted to evaluating how big is the "gap" between what they think you should be paying and what you're actually paying. If that gap is big enough, Oracle has no problem suing its own customers. Google for recent examples and you'll see what I mean.

The only way of avoiding Oracle licencing headaches is to completely stay clear of any of its products. Even free ones.

AWS Free Tier, where's your spending limit? 'I thought I deleted everything but I have been charged $200'


Re: AWS - Automated Wallet Slimming?

There's an easy fix for that: if you have an American Express card you can claim back anything charged to that card by Amazon up to 90 days after the purchase. Well, on the other hand American Express charges you for having a card...

IBM Cloud resets ‘Days Since Last Major Incident’ clock to zero – after just five days


RCAs from IBM must be something worth watching

Given the ratio of overstaffed management (multiple layers, on-shore, blame shifting experts) vs. understaffed technicians (off-shore, young and and inexperienced if not likely underqualified) at IBM, the meetings where they perform their required-by-process RCA analysis could probably be the source of a Silicon Valley comedy script.

Oracle sues Envisage claiming unauthorized database use amid licensing crackdown


Suing your customers sounds like a great marketing tactic

Oracle is ensuring a future where only existing customers and products where its DB is part of the backend (yes, SAP) will keep paying their annual support fee.

Visual Basic 6 returns: You've been a good developer all year. You have social distanced, you have helped your mom. Here's your reward


Will ActiveX be back??

Let's have again a component model that allows for local execution of arbitrary binaries and exposes RPC calls over the network. The security community is surely welcoming that.

Stuck in R/3verse: East Sussex County Council struggles to move forward with £25m SAP replacement


Re: Probably not upgradeable

Think about not being willing to change even a single aspect of your operations and processes and instead demand that your SAP system adapts and performs exactly as you are doing today. Including all satellite systems that depend on that.


Re: Gone sapped?

<< Your data is in a DB to which you have full access and control>>

Really? You worked on a different SAP than I did back in the day. You could not even login to the DB with any credentials at all, because the SAP staff could refuse to support you on the grounds of uncontrolled changes to the environment.

And even if you manged to get a DB account (of course with limited rights), you started to run into those nicely "packed" rows where in their infinite wisdom, SAP decided to encode in a single database row the contents of one or more of their "entities", so you could not extract data with raw SQL but instead had to go thru the time consuming ABAP extraction.

The only fun part of all that was hearing how the SAP staff called these tables "encrypted", as if the information was in some form transformed to prevent you reading it. It wasn't. The reason for these "packed" tables was that SAP ABAP programs used nested loops instead of using database joins, fetching one row at a time from the DB for each one to many relationhip. This was a huge performance penalty in multi million row jobs. So instead of fixing that, the SAP engineers created yet another layer that avoided performing the join operation inside a loop by serializing the joined rows together in a single database row. Of course, that meant that you would not ever be able to read those rows with a SQL SELECT statement, but who cares about openess and integration. Also, why learn about database joins, or query optimization.

So much to have full access to the DB...

They said it'd never happen, but here we are in the year of our Lord 2021 and Microsoft has its own OpenJDK flavour


They're not saying that they won't feed changes back to upstream, they're saying that they are not waiting for those changes to be in upstream to have them in their build. Of course, if those changes never reach upstream your sentence will be true.

Over a decade on, and millions in legal fees, Supreme Court rules for Google over Oracle in Java API legal war


Common sense prevails



Re: Wah Wah Wah! Oracle! They don't like the ruling!

Yes, there are a lot of new projects started using Java these days. In the enterprise space, Java won the battle over .NET years ago, out of openness and availability and in spite of the incredibly complex (and mostly unnecessary) J2EE architecture.

Enough useful systems have been built with Java and .NET to survive and transition to the flatish "useful" part of the hype curve. Yesterday's top of the curve (Ruby/Rails) has not been so lucky I'm afraid and has been replaced by Node.js which I think will neither survive to reach the "useful" part of the curve and will be replaced by Python or something else that is not promoted via the usual hype cycle.

LG Electronics finally gives up cellphone business


Pity, hope their TV division keeps running

Because I've found LG to be the sweet spot in price-performance-reliability ratios on a few product segments. Our backup phone for the times one of our main phones is broken/missing is still a G4 and we have 3 LG TVs, 13, 8 and 2 years old all running flawlessly. Can't say the same of Samsung gear: poor quality control and even worse service.

State of Maine orders review of $54.6m Workday project as it alleges delivery failure and threatens cancellation


Re: Replace COBOL with Python?

You're absolutely right, migration with minimal changes is the only viable technical option wherever there is a large amount of legacy data and/or complex processes. However, that always clashes with the higher-ups view of "how is that we cannot add changes if we're spending an awful lot of money?" and usually is not the preferred approach.

No matter how hard you try to explain that, after the "migration with minimal changes" done properly, they'll be able to introduce changes at a fraction of the cost of the current system. Or that the minimal change approach is really the only viable option because the "let's redesign our current processes to fit an imaginary best practice that no one is able to actually implement in the real world" approach always fails.

Microsoft pivots on Pivot, admits that yanking touch control from WinUI 3 toolset 'was obviously poor judgment'


That Windows UI train departed years ago

Except for a small number of niche apps, the world is either Web apps that either run in a browser, either in a mobile or desktop device, or as native mobile apps, perhaps the same web app with some layer atop. Outside office, photo, 3D/CAD and niche apps (of which are quite a few, but each one addressing a relatively small user base) nobody is interested in Windows user interfaces now. Games usually roll their own fancy UI controls anyway.

So Microsoft, please focus on making Edge, or whatever you want to call your browser now, fully compliant and performant. Windows apps are no longer of interest for the majority of developers.

Microsoft customers locked out of Teams, Office, Xbox, Dynamics – and Azure Active Directory breakdown blamed


Re: I guess they are going to miss their SLA?

So you could be making yourself rich by providing a cloud service that is better and cheaper than the big players but choose not to?

Odd to see how the smarts necessary to beat in cost and quality the hordes of highly paid, painfully recruited, very experienced, top notch engineers at Google, Microsoft and Amazon do not translate into business acumen.

That is, assuming your provided evidence, which equates exactly to nothing, is factually correct.

Please, prove me wrong with facts, otherwise just join the herd, silently downvote and go back to play armchair soccer coach on your TV or whatever else you do to fullfil your self esteem after declaring yourself the smartest IT guy in the world. Which is the extent that this discussion usually goes to and likely will be in this case.


Re: I guess they are going to miss their SLA?

Ahh, the smell of downvotes in the morning... come on, my ratio of up/downvotes is huge. While you're at it, take the time not only to downvote but also to refute any arguments. With facts, of course.


Re: I guess they are going to miss their SLA?

If so, why are you not renting your spare AD capacity if yours is cheaper and more reliable than the Cloud providers? Oh, sorry, have you got spare capacity? If no, how you cope with usage spikes or DDOS attacks? Have you got multiple redundant comm lines/power lines across geographically dispersed sites? Transparent fail over? off site backups?

You could be missing loads of income, but most likely you're being dellusional, ignorant, lying to yourself, or to us. Hopefully is just ignorance, at best.

I'm getting fed up of cloud haters that just don't understand the complexities and range of services that cloud provider offer, their own capabilities or their own cost structure. They just see at their own pet server farm, their annual opex budget and say "gee, I'm cheaper" without even realizing what they DON'T have that are standard cloud features.

Not saying that there are times where on-premise could be cheaper, or just the only alternative for legal/security reasons. Just saying that the only way to compete on cost + features, security and quality with cloud providers is having the huge enconomies of scale that cloud providers leverage.

And if not, please prove me wrong and become a cloud provider yourself.

OK, Google: Unshackled from Windows, Edge team is free to follow where Chromium leads


Starting to see sites that only work right with Chrome

Chrome is becoming the new Explorer. Expect to see "Works only with Chrome/Edge" banners appearing soon in web sites.

The first rule of ERP? Don't talk about ERP: App-maker IFS reckons market has moved on


Re: Interesting and interested...

Exactly my thoughts, the only thing that they're missing is basing its solution on a robust, scalable and open source DB engine (Postgres?) Make that happen and they'll start to see a flood of SAP/Oracle refugees knocking at their doors.

Memo to scientists. Looking for intelligent life? Have you tried checking for worlds with a lot of industrial pollution?


Latest game theories say that in that event we should start building a lightspeed projectile and fire it at them. Just in case they are doing the same.

Now it is F5’s turn to reveal critical security bugs – and the Feds were quick to sound the alarm on these BIG-IP flaws


Oh the irony

Of a security product that has security vulnerabilities by itself. Clearly, we need yet another security layer to protect the protection tools, and so on... One has to wonder if F5 has any kind of security team that checks their own tooling before releasing it.

Now, seriously, complexity always increases the likelyhood of security flaws. Complex security products are much more likely to contain vulnerabilities than simpler ones. Yet, simpler ones are much more difficult to manage because of... their simplicity, so that creates incentives to build complex management shells and user interfaces around them. Which creates more chances for vulnerabilities.

Now, please, get off my IP tables...

This scumbag stole and traded victims' nude pics and vids after guessing their passwords, security answers


"Fish is in deeper hot water"

Wasn't expecting that wordplay... well done.

SAP: Come to the cloud with us, we promise there's total accountability and lower TCO with lift-and-shift ERP package


Let me summarize this for you

1- ERP market is close to saturation, hence SAP cannot grow profits by selling more licenses, and the annual license manteinance fees, while substantial, will remain essentially flat in the future.

2- The capex cost of running SAP on premises is starting to look ridiculous in comparison with the cloud costs. Not to mention the lack of flexibilty, staff costs, etc. So much that more and more business are starting to devaluate the "single source of truth" idea as one that is either unattainable, extremely costly or just not valuable enough. Business agility requires processes to be resilient and adaptable, and a single monolithic solution is not. So SAP is not being considered for new deployments.

3- Customers will not touch a single bit in their existing SAP installation if that means even the slightest change on their business processes or SAP customization, which are the result of years of costly, painstaking and complex compromises between the so called "SAP best practices" and the real world. In practice, nobody wants to hear anything about SAP version upgrades or migrations.

With all the above considerations, the "lift and shift" to the cloud is their only option if SAP wants to keep growing profits. Make them move "as is" to the cloud and then force them to move to a higher SAP version (sorry, your "lift and shift" app will not be supported on....) and/or increase revenue by raising cloud fees (now that you've moved to the cloud, where will you run your SAP instances if not on our cloud?)

What happens when the internet realizes the stock market is basically a casino? They go shopping at the Mall


You forgot to explain a crucial point about options

Is that the number of shares involved in an option are not limited by the number of shares that ha company has. That is, the total sum of call and put options people bet on (yes, that's what all this is really, betting) can total more than the actual number of shares issued by a company. This makes for an interesting snowball effect that usually goes under the radar unless something like this happens, and shows that future option trading is more like gambling than anything else.

Red Hat defends its CentOS decision, claims Stream version can cover '95% of current user workloads'


The IBMfication of RedHat

Has started even sooner than I expected

Google reveals version control plus not expecting zero as a value caused Gmail to take an inconvenient early holiday


Have all of you misunderstood/read the Google report?

This is an update to an authentication service, not an end user facing application. So there is little use for any "staging" or "validation" environment for anyone to test. The engineers are more than able to validate the change by themselves during service testing and load/fail over testing.

And in case you've not read the article, the failure was due to leaving the old quota system in place instead of switching it off, and that happened back in october. Yes, that was a time bomb, but when doing these kind of infrastructure updgrades leaving the legacy system switched on instead of turning it off is best practice, as it speeds up the rollback in case you need it. The only fault on Google's side is that they forgot to switch the old system off after more than a month of running the new one, and that caused the outage.

It is just impossible to detect that kind of ommission in any "staging" or "testing" or "pre-anything" environment. The only purpose of having the legacy system running in these environments is to test that you can rollback your changes quickly without breaking it. Unless you leave such environment running for more than month injecting a realistic worload, you'll never, ever catch the omission. Not that it does not make much sense to spend two months running a simulated production environment, as you only have to make a note of switching off the legacy system once everything is working smoothly with the new one. And remember to do it. Which wasn't the case.

About $15m in advertising booked to appear on millions of smart TVs was never seen by anyone, says Oracle


So much for the "science" of marketing

So businesses are spending huge amounts of money to place ads and no one is able to determine if said ads are actually improving anything (sales, direct brand awareness or whatever marketing KPI they wanted to touch) Color me surprised

Rocky has competition as more CentOS alternatives step into the ring: Project Lenix, Oracle Linux vie for attention


The fact that someone at Oracle stated ""This is not some gimmick to ...."

Speaks volumes about Oracle's own perception of itself. Which, refreshingly, mostly matches the perception that Oracle customers have of Oracle. But to hear an Oracle employee state that they know their own company is basically evil sounds both deeply honest and deeply frightening. Does not make anyone want to become an Oracle employee certainly ("join our company and have the opportunity of behaving like scumbag surrounded by people which will admire and reward you for doing that")

Not just Microsoft: Auth turns out to be a point of failure for Google's cloud, too


Re: I beg to differ

Taking your uptime claim at face value there's one missing factor to consider: how much your Exchange platform costs, both in capex (hardware, physical facilities, setup, air conditioning, security) and on going (electricity, off-site backups, license support, support staff) forms.

Tell us the cost per user, and if it is less than Google's, no doubt you'll have a queue of customers lined up in no time!


Re: Damned if you . . .



Re: Redundancy

So you proceed to move to the cloud so that you can save yourself the hassle of backups, only to find yourself making backups in your local disk just in case the cloud goes down. Sort of defeats the purpose of the cloud move.

Backdoored SolarWinds software, linked to US govt hacks, in wide use throughout the British public sector


Food for the paranoid

Because, you know, the cloud is not secure enough, so I'll keep my on premises servers which are thightly managed by... oh wait, some compromised product. Assume it, the discussion is not how this can happen, but when. No matter how tight or obscure your infrastructure it is, even if it does not have any degree of exposure to the outside world, assume and be prepared for it to be compromised and prepare to react according to the scope and scale of the attack.

You cannot stop an attack when the attacker is motivated enough.

Google Cloud (over)Run: How a free trial experiment ended with a $72,000 bill overnight


Re: The cloud is a scam

Are you aware that "a dedicated server with a monthly fixed price" plus bandwidth charges is one of the basic offerings of all cloud providers, right?


I'd likely would have (wrongly) believed that "budget" term meant...

I've checked the linked docs and it is clearly stated in a highlighted section that the term "budget" does not mean "expense limit" but only "a number above which we'll notify you at some point in time in the future" Not sure if the documentation was so clear when this happened or Google updated it as a consequence of this incident.

But if anyone thinks that everyone is reading all EULAs and service agreements of every service they purchase, sorry, it is no happening. True, one should be careful and read all the terms and conditions, but in this case I'd assumed that "budget" meant something more close to "expense limit" than its actual meaning.

New t-shirt slogan: 'My job was outsourced to an Indian company that moved it to Vietnam'


Re: Be careful Vietnam

In my experience, the level of honesty, integrity and common sense is more a matter of company culture than country of origin. I've worked with outsourced resources that ranged from absolute dishonest and self-serving to ones that really cared about their customers. All from India.

South Korea kills ActiveX-based government digital certificate service


ActiveX was an horrible idea from the beginning

Native code execution in a web page from basically anywhere speaks a lot about the view MS had of the web and the internet in general back at that time. The idea itself not only dismisses any concerns about security, but also assumes everyone everywhere is running the same piece of software on the same processor architecture and instruction set. Both assumptions were already false when the idea of embedding ActiveX controls in a web page was conceived, but someone at MS was keen to ignore reality and proceed with something that in a matter of a couple of years failed in both fronts: ActiveX became one of the most prolific source of security holes in the history of computing and people started to use anything but Wintel boxes to browse the internet.

Say again, who was the technology "visionary" at MS back then?

Life after proprietary wares: German support biz flees IBM Db2 databases for something more Postgres-shaped


<<What on earth is a department-sized database?>>

Whatever has been evolved from a simple prototype by your local Access "guru" that has become crash-prone, corrupts itself so often and is so fragile and unresponsive that they all somehow think that moving to a "proper" SQL database instance on its own dedicated machine will magically solve all the problems (hint: only the tendency to crash and corrupt itself is solved, the rest of the issues still remain)


1,500 operational databases supporting 8,500 IT users?

So in BG Phoenics the average user count for each database was less than six users? I'm surre I'm missing something. Perhaps they had 10 DBs with 700 users each and then 375 DBs with four users per DB?

AWS Babelfish for PostgreSQL: A chance to slip the net of some SQL Server licensing costs?


Re: Unless I 've misunderstood something...

I think you confuse client-agnostic with back end agnostic. Yes, ODBC is client agnostic, but the SQL you write and run using ODBC stops being back end agnostic the moment you start using any DB specific features. And no, if you try to be careful and not use DB specific features in your app, that is going to be a very, very simple app.

LibreOffice 7.1 beta boasts impressive range of features let down by a lack of polish and poor mobile efforts


Re: Unit testing

<<Why do people keep misusing this term when it's f'ing obvious what it means?>>

Because developers tend to be so tangled in the testing stage that at some places "Unit testing" means simply "exercise each line of code", not "test that this does what it should do" Thus, people end up writing modules as a collection of one liners and then create their "unit tests" as just collections of mocks that supress execution of everything except the one line they want to exercise and get away with their "unit testing"

And yes, I've seen that, a lot of times. Special mentions to places where there is a persistence layer. That tends to be mocked during unit testing instead of setting up a throw away test database (look at Django's test case to see how to do it properly) Ends up making most of the testing virtually useless while at the same time providing a false sense of confidence about the code working.

The problem, as always with code, it is not that is hard to understand, it is that is hard to implement correctly.

Six months after Oracle trumpeted Zoom as a cloud customer, AWS says it is Zoom’s ‘preferred’ cloud


Oracle cloud claims are questionable

Wonder where are the auditors looking at when they see revenue statements from "cloud" sales and close to no one is actually using the Oracle "cloud" part. Same with SAP, BTW.

Marmite of scripting languages PHP emits version 8.0, complete with named arguments and other goodies


Re: They keep blaming best practice

I disagree: any tool, no matter how good it is, can be misused. Best practices are there to prevent that

Bloated middle age beckons: Windows 1.0 turns 35 and is dealing with its mid-life crisis, just about


The best thing I learned from Windows all these years

... was at some point borking a W2000 install for the n-th time and asking myself: why I can't trace all this and know exactly what is wrong? why "reinstall from scratch" is the only means of fixing things? A CD with RedHat was the starting point. Windows gave me a true perspective on the value of open source: the ability to peek at absolutely everything and being able to trace and change it. In addition to the other freedoms, of course, but that was the key point for me: understanding what went wrong and fixing it.

I now currently use professionally (SW development) both Windows and Linux and I wherever I have the option, I choose Linux.

Google to end free unlimited online photo, vid storage, will eventually delete files if accounts go over their cap


Amazon Prime has unlimited photo storage

Just photos, no videos or other kind of files, but original files are kept pristine and considering that membership includes Video, it is for me a good bargain

We've made it: Microsoft deems El Reg relevant enough to have a play with the nerfed version of its upcoming Xbox


The Reg reputation is at stake

This is the site that bites the hand... so I don't really know what to think about the review. Is it positive because El Reg is becoming yet another mainstream media source or because the product is actually good?

After figuring out that hope is not a strategy, SAP has a new one: We're gonna shift on-prem customers to the cloud!


Re: Security and cost

<<Hosting your own environment is way cheaper than hosting it on the cloud>>

Ironically, AWS started when the Amazon folds asked themselves "what if we rent this equipment that we're seldom using?"

So if it is true that hosting your own environment is cheaper than the cloud at the same levels of quality of service and reliability, why on earth aren't you renting your spare capacity? You're either being a fool for losing money, intentionally not comparing apples to apples (that is, ignoring all the true costs involved) or just... plain lying to yourself.


Re: Security and cost

<<Look at the AWS charges for the equivalent of a small server and compare that to the cost of the same server>>

I've never seen a cost comparison of cloud vs. on premise that, in addition to the usual server HW costs, factors in the costs of: real estate space (data center), proper and redundant cooling, redundant power sources, redundant network links, fire prevention, access management, support personnel, backup rotation plus storage and medium costs. And on top of that, the monitoring of all that, 24/7, please.

If you compare just the server hardware costs, sure, on-premise is cheaper. After including all of the above mentioned costs, you realize that economies of scale favor having huge data centers, and in that regard you (or I) simply cannot compete with the likes of AWS, Google, Azure, etc.

If your costs are smaller including all the additional items, you're just being foolish by not setting up your own cloud business and competing with the big providers. If your costs are not smaller, please shut up. Which is going to be the case in 99,99% of the times.


Re: The percieved impact on the european markets is interesting

Add Oracle to the list....



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