* Posts by JacobZ

114 posts • joined 26 Nov 2014


Dinobabies latest: IBM settles with widow of exec who killed himself after layoff


Funnily enough...

...de-aging the work force never seems to apply to the CEO and other senior execs, where extensive experience is considered a plus.

Businesses confess: We pass cyberattack costs onto customers



I hate to break this to you, but eventually companies pass _all_ costs onto customers.

That's how business works.

Intel tried selling software before. Will it succeed this time?


Deja vu all over again

Intel has had many forays into software - remember it's stewardship of Lustre, for example, which was decidely... uh... lackluster? And every time it fails for the same reason: ultimately, Intel cares only about selling hardware.

And you can't make good software unless your goal is to make good software. So Intel always ends up making software that is neither good in its own right nor good at driving hardware sales. Then it loses patience, throws the software business out, and after a couple of years repeats the cycle. Prediction: DAOS will be next to be thrown out of the boat.

1.9m patient records exposed in healthcare debt collector ransomware attack


The root cause here...

...is that there is such a thing as "healthcare debt", and therefore "healthcare debt collectors".

The first and best protection against security issues is to minimize the attack surface. Not only does the American health care system provide the worst care at the highest cost, and bankrupt people for reasons beyond their control, it also creates this entire class of security risks that simply should not exist.

IBM settles age discrimination case that sought top execs' emails


Re: I'm shocked, I tell you...

Data are my favorite character in Star Wars!

IBM-powered Mayflower robo-ship once again tries to cross Atlantic


Chico Marx explains why...

...it's taking so many attempts.


Logitech Lift: Vertical mouse for those with small hands


Will try it.

I have small hands.

Nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands.

IBM deliberately misclassified mainframe sales to enrich execs, lawsuit claims


Words matter...

"Rometty in 2017 earned was paid $1.6m in salary and $5m in AIP compensation"


Cringe: Salesforce latest megacorp to jump on non-fungible tokens bandwagon


Translation, please

"Winners will move past NFTs as simply collectable to find greater utility through the token"

Translation: "We don't actually know why anybody would pay money for one of these yet, but we're sure we'll figure out sometime soon".

Car radios crashed by station broadcasting images with no file extension


Thank you Re: HD radio

No apologies needed. Obscure historical dead ends in the evolution of tech are always fascinating and *never* a waste of time.

Machine learning the hard way: IBM Watson's fatal misdiagnosis


Re: One doesn't imply the other

"As far as I understand it (thirty seconds on Google), Jeopardy gives you an answer and you have to respond with the correct question. This likely isn't that hard to do if you have a fast processor and access to a massive data set."

Not to be rude, but you really don't understand it very well. Jeopardy questions/answers are very hard to figure out, often more like crossword clues than pub trivia, and the best humans are highly regarded for both their knowledge and skill. And Watson, like the best human players, was also really good at introspecting on how confident it was of its answer, and therefore whether to take the risk of buzzing in (Jeopardy penalizes for wrong answers).

It really did take a lot of work to get Watson to the point where it could not only win the game but also avoid making a fool of itself (early iterations were sometimes hilariously bad).

The problem with Watson's Jeopardy win is that Watson achieved something very difficult... that did not translate into anything financially valuable in the real world. It solved a problem that nobody had.


Re: Speaking of diagnoses...

IBM: "What are you supposed to do with a sick Healthcare AI?"

Watson: "You think that's bad - what are you supposed to do if you *are* a sick Healthcare AI?"

(with apologies to Douglas Adams)

Joint European Torus celebrates 100,000 pulses: Neither Brexit nor middle age has stopped '80s era experiment


40 years in the making

So we're only 10 years from commercial fusion power then.

When product names go bad: Microsoft's Raymond Chen on the cringe behind WinCE


Re: Vixen

And for completeness, the word in question has cognates in the Nordic languages, and of course in English as the F in WTF.

MongoDB logs 50% hike in Q4 sales, beats analysts forecasts for next quarter


Revenue is easy, profit is hard.

Any idiot can make revenue selling dollars for fifty cents.

The problem comes, to borrow a phrase, when you run out of other people's money to spend.

IBM tells POWER8 owners: The end is nigh for upgrades



I worked in IBM for 15 years without learning that. I guess I should have stuck it out for another five.

Nothing to see here, says IBM, Redbooks are still a thing. Move along please


PR weaselry at its finest

Read the IBM statements carefully. They are entirely consistent with the original plan to move all internal staff to "other projects" and to produce Red Books using external contractors. PR weaselry at its finest.

The resulting Red Books will, of course, be complete crap, and will come at the cost of doubling the effort required from the IBM SMEs who create and check the meat of the content - and, I suspect, many of those SMEs will be exactly the same IBM Garage people who were previously professionally producing the old Red Books that customers loved so much.

HPE picks Taiwan as 'global strategic hub for next-generation technology'


HPE loves political troublespots

First Texas, now Taiwan. I'm not sure which is the bigger strategic risk.

CentOS Stream^W^W Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9 emerges in beta form


RHEL 8 was the Windows Vista of Linux distros. Even the upgrade paths from various minors of RHEL 7 was a PITA.

Let's hope RHEL 9 migration is smoother.

Google deliberately throttled ad load times to promote AMP, claims new court document



I'm not sure that "ads load faster" is the killer benefit that Google seems to think it is.

NFTs not annoying enough? Now they come with wallet-emptying malware


Armed robot dogs

Very bad news for self-driving cars

'Extraordinary' pigs step in to protect Schiphol airport from marauding geese


The pigs only have three legs

...you have to know the joke.

Big Blue's quantum rainmaker jumps to room-temp diamond quantum accelerator company


Disappointed in El Reg sub-eds

Missed opportunity for a Quantum Leap headline.

With Alphabet's legendary commitment to products, we can't wait to see what its robotics biz Intrinsic achieves



Google will kill this program in about three years.

Because the one thing the robot apocalypse really needs is orphaned robots.

‘Fasten your seat belts, raise your tray table, and disconnect your Bluetooth headsets from the entertainment unit’


10 inches of screen?

So 10 inches of screen room and 8 inches of legroom.

They think it's all over. It's not now: US judge rejects HPE motion to have Oracle's Solaris sueball dismissed


Or don't

Seriously, don't become a corporate lawyer. Every single one I have ever met has been completely miserable and regrets their career choice.

Need some chips? The Raspberry Pi Pico's RP2040 is heading to a channel near you


Re: Expensive part

What this world needs is a really solid $1 supercomputer.

'Chinese wall'? Who uses 'Chinese wall'? Well, IBM did, and it actually means 'firewall'


Grandfather should have been grandfathered in

I'll get my coat.

IBM creates a COBOL compiler – for Linux on x86


Re: [Aside] Storage media

As always, some people want to make it into a disk-measuring contest

Boffins revisit the Antikythera Mechanism and assert it’s no longer Greek to them

Paris Hilton

Where are the others?

It seems enormously unlikely that something like this exists in isolation, if only because the skills and techniques had to be developed through simpler predecessors. Even Babbage's Difference Engine, huge advance that it was, did not appear out of thin air, and it had a number of successors.

Were they just very few of these? Were they not preserved well?

Or are there other examples that have just been missed, mistaken for lumps of mud and rock?

OVH data centre destroyed by fire in Strasbourg – all services unavailable


Turns out there was a hole in their firewall

Also, many geeks are just now learning the physical origin of the term "firewall"

Google admits Kubernetes container tech is so complex, it's had to roll out an Autopilot feature to do it all for you



Deployment of workloads and dependency management are fundamentally hard. Adding more layers of abstraction doesn't make that go away.

Atheists warn followers of unholy data leak, hint dark deeds may have tried to make it go away


International Alliance of Atheists

"Are you the International Alliance of Atheists?"

"F*ck off! We're the Atheist International Alliance!"

"Wait, I thought we were the International Atheism Alliance?"

"No, they split years ago. By the way, whatever happened to the International Atheism Alliance?"

"He's over there."

(All) "Splitter!"

Citibank accidentally wired $500m back to lenders in user-interface super-gaffe – and judge says it can't be undone


"Hmm I don't agree with the judges decision"

Honestly, unless you're an appellate judge in the relevant circuit, it really doesn't matter whether your amateur opinion agrees with the judge. But thanks for playing.



"Random internet person thinks he understands financial law better than highly experienced judge who write 100-page opinion citiing authorities, statute, and precedent".

What is with some people that they think they can just wake up, fall out of bed, and pronounce on complex matters of law?


Size doesn't matter Re: Interesting legal argument there....

The combination of the large size of the error *and* the fact that it was the exact amount due is critical here. Neither part *by itself* sets a precedent, dangerous or otherwise. Indeed, the judge relied strongly on *existing* precedent.

The relevant New York law says that a transaction made in error is not reversible iff

(a) It is (or appears to be) payment in full for a debt that is owed


(b) The receiving bank has done "due diligence" to verify that the payment was correctly made

So the size of the loan is not the important thing by itself, but rather its supports the receiving banks' belief that it couldn't possibly be a mistake, i.e. it is one part of satisfying (b). Several of the banks also checked with each other to see if they had also been paid and when the answer came back yes, said to each other "Welp, I guess Revlon refinanced with somebody else". And the judge said that was a reasonable inference under *all* the circumstances, size included.

Forget about an AI stealing your job, even pigs can be trained to use computers


Three-legged pigs...

...because you don't eat a pig like that all at once.

You have to know the joke...

FYI: Alibaba Cloud says it has robot sysadmins that swap faulty disks in four minutes


Re: Hierarchical storage management

Funnily enough, I proposed a patent for both of these things to my employer several years ago. There was no prior art nor competing patents at the time. Nobody was interested, basically the response was "there's no value in that, it'll never happen".


Remember when the keyboard was the computer? You can now relive those heady days with the Raspberry Pi 400


Internal M.2 NVMe

An internal M.2 connector seems like the natural upgrade rather than trying to stuff a 2.5" SSD in there

IBM still not offering future revenue guidance, suffers yet another quarter of falling sales


Systems “driven primarily by product cycle dynamics”

Not that complicated. A big chunk of the revenue in the Systems business is driven by z (mainframe) sales. Whenever a new z machine is released there is a massive spike in revenue as buyers rush to the new machine. The following quarter there is typically a smaller but still significant spike in mainframe-attached storage. And as that machine generation ages, demand declines... until the next release and the next spike.

So if you want to understand what is happening in the rest of the Systems business - primarily Storage and Power - you need to factor out the extremely cyclical z impact.

We bought a knockoff Lego launchpad kit from China for our Saturn V rocket so you don't have to


In addition, as Tom Lehrer pointed out, he endowed many widows and orphans in London with generous pensions.

IBM made ‘top-down’ efforts to fire older workers, says US employment discrimination watchdog


Yes, they mean that Re: Do you mean that?

If the author is American, "could care less" is exactly what they meant. The phrase has a universally understood meaning in American English that decades ago diverged from the literal meaning of the words taken out of this context. "Understanding what the phrase should really mean".

Fun fact: I have a list of things called "More Wrong", where the people correcting others are actually incorrect. This is on the list

As promised, Apple will now entertain suggestions from the hoi polloi on how it should run its App Store


Re: hoi polloi

Um, actually... "the hoi polloi" is correct English.

Yes, "hoi polloi" means "the people" in Greek. However, we are not speaking Greek, and the phrase "hoi polloi" has been thoroughly assimilated into English entirely independently of the grammar of its Greek source. And "hoi" does not mean "the" in English. Hence, "the hoi polloi". That's how languages work.

For the same reason, the plural of "octopus" is "octopuses" and not "octopodes".

Linux kernel maintainers tear Paragon a new one after firm submits read-write NTFS driver in 27,000 lines of code


Re: Bit harsh

"Beware of geeks bearing gifts"?

IBM job ad calls for 12 years’ experience with Kubernetes – which is six years old


Pseudocode Re: HR droids...

By coincidence, I'm currently working on a pseudocompiler for pseudocode

A memo from the distant future... June 2022: The boss decides working from home isn't the new normal after all


Prove the rule (Re: New Normal?)

Fun fact: it's a common misconception that "prove" in "the exception proves the rule" really means test.

The original, original meaning comes from lawyers, in particular the Latin phrase "exceptio probat regulam in casibus non exceptis" - the last part meaning "in cases not excepted". When a sign says something like "Parking is allowed between midnight and 5am", this exception "proves" that there is a general rule against parking there; otherwise, why would there be a need to state the exception?

There, isn't that fun?

FCC boss pleads with Congress: Please stop me from auctioning off this spectrum for billions of dollars


No real danger

If this depends on Pai actually doing his job, we're all going to be fine.

ALGOL 60 at 60: The greatest computer language you've never used and grandaddy of the programming family tree


Re: No love for CORAL 66?

We used to call that the Pessimizing Compiler

It is unclear why something designed to pump fuel into a car needs an ad-spewing computer strapped to it, but here we are


Relief from the ads

If you mash all of the buttons around the display, you will usually find one that silences the adverts, and occasionally want that turns them off entirely.



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