* Posts by trevorde

251 posts • joined 2 Jun 2015


All-electric plane makes first flight – while lugging 2 tons of batteries aloft


Recharging time?

Will probably have to exchange batteries at the destination

Watch an oblivious Tesla Model 3 smash into an overturned truck on a highway 'while under Autopilot'


Re: Call it what it is

Wonder how many people would use it if they called it 'Artificial Guessing'?

This'll make you feel old: Uni compsci favourite Pascal hits the big five-oh this year


When I were a lad...

Cut my programming teeth with 'Think Pascal' on a Mac, then 'Turbo Pascal' on MS-DOS. 'Delphi' and 'C++ Builder' were years ahead of their time. Makes me all misty eyed and nostalgic now. Time for a beer!

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


Take some leave DCM

Don't Come Monday

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


Just like a movie

Logan's Run

Rust marks five years since its 1.0 release: The long and winding road actually works


Follow the money!

Unfortunately, it still leads to javascript :-(

IBM to GTS staff: Not volunteering to leave with a redundo cheque? We'll give you a helping hand


I thought companies had given up on voluntary redundancies because all the good people take it and they get left with the dead wood. Mind you, with the number of Resource Actions at Big Blue, all that's left is probably dead wood by now.


At least one full time job

At this rate, Employee Consultation Committee (ECC) will be a permanent position!

If at first you don't succeed... IBM finds Watson a new job: IT ops and cloud-to-the-edge computing in the 5G era


What happened next

Watson is given a 4 rating (well below average) in it's annual performance review and is put on a PIP (Performance Improvement Plan) for failing to meet its PBC (Personal Business Commitments). Inevitably, it is fired for 'poor performance' after previously getting all 1 ratings (well above average). Watson sues IBM for age discrimination but IBM drags out the case for years.

Watson dies of old age in a nursing home for obscure code (Github). The Register marks its passing in a footnote to an article about Big Blue's latest tech. Gartner is too busy working on its Hype Cycle to notice. IBM awards its CEO a bonus and a new helicopter; revenue continues to fall.


Many years later, a young software undergrad stumbles across the code on Github and forks the repo. After a few months of sleepless nights, she manages to get the code to build and run, but most of the tests are broken. Undeterred, she drops out of college, puts together a convincing PowerPoint deck touting its benefits and a flaky demo. She speculatively forms a startup and does the rounds of VC's (Venture Captialists) in Silicon Valley. A bidding war erupts and she cashes out to ... IBM.

Find your wallet, Apple: Ex-engineer adds eight more patents to lawsuit seeking credit for his developer work


Patents are worthless

Worked in several companies where colleagues were named as an inventor on the company's patents. In all cases, they were awarded a beautiful certificate of achievement, in a handsome plastic frame and round of applause.

Red Hat’s new CEO on surviving inside Big Blue: 'We don’t participate in IBM's culture. It’s that simple'


Mandatory Participation

Resource Actions

workforce rebalancing

firing older, experienced, expensive staff


Elevating cost-cutting to a whole new level with million-dollar bar bills

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Rubber Stamp

Worked with a bloke whose first job was doing Crystal Reports (or something similar) to generate annual safety certificates for lift inspections. After a few years, he realised there was a bug in his code which automatically approved *every* inspection. He quietly fixed the issue and was *very* relieved there were no incidents.

The rumor that just won't die: Apple to keep Intel at Arm's length in 2021 with launch of 'A14-powered laptops'



Apple have less than 10% (and falling) of the desktop market. Further, they don't care about backward compatibility, unlike Microsoft. Thus, Apple can do what they want because NO ONE CARES.

What's vexing Linux-loving Gophers? A few things: Go devs want generics, easier debugging


Caught in the middle with Go

Learnt Go for a project at work, after 20+ years C++/C# experience. I can't decide if it's an up market C++ or a down market C#.

Getting a pizza the action, AS/400 style



Ordered a pizza in 1999, during the early days of the internet. Entered my credit card details, clicked submit and waited... I suspect that it just faxed an order to the local pizza shop. Anyway, my Thai yellow chicken curry pizza (goes well with beer!) arrived after 45 mins. The most amazing thing was not that the pizza combination was awful but that it arrived at all.

In case you need more proof the world's gone mad: Behold, Apple's $699 Mac Pro wheels



I thought the price was per wheel, so $699 for four is a steal!

India kicks off competition for home-grown video conferencing clone


Aaaaand the winner is ...

Tata/Wipro or some other large outsourcer. We all know how that's going to end.

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


Money, money, money!

One of our friends ran a very successful company. She used to agonise about how much she could *increase* her salesman/woman's commissions. She knew the more money they got, the more money she got. Everyone wanted to work for her.

RHEL pusher Paul Cormier appointed CEO to lead Red Hat into the IBM era



"Resource Actions" in about 18 months as the expected synergies [insert other marketing BS here] fail to materialise. However, CEO still gets massive bonus and a new helicopter.

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


Career choices

Worked with an intern c2000 when Windows, COM and C++ were the latest, shiniest tech. Everyone was really excited about the tech and new toys, except him. We asked him about whether he'd be working with us on the bleeding edge after he graduated. He replied that he wanted to work on COBOL systems, much to our revulsion, disgust and horror. He pointed out that he'd always have a job. Not sure what happened to him but he's probably coining it right now.

Real-time tragedy: Dumb deletion leaves librarian red-faced and fails to nix teenage kicks on the school network


Fat Mac

Back in the day (1986), one of the blokes on my engineering course monopolised the Fat Macs (512kB RAM!) to do Mandelbrot simulations. He left big notes on them about "DO NOT TURN OFF - RUNNING SIMULATION". We rebooted them because we wanted to play our dungeon crawler (name escapes me). AFAIK, none of his simulations ever finished.

Former Googler Anthony Levandowski ‘fesses up to pinching trade secrets about self-driving cars


Google got Uber stock

sounds like the booby prize to me

Apple updates iPad Pro with a trackpad, faster processor. Is it a real computer now?


My, my ...

What big cameras you have!

- All the better to see you with...

What big microphones you have!

- All the better to hear you with...

What a big stylus you have!

- All the better to gouge with!!!

IBM puts 1,248 frontline techies at risk of redundo, warns of data centre closures



Take your pick of:

aggressive cost take-out

resource action

workforce rebalancing


In the end, it all comes down to firing employees.

Theranos vampire lives on: Owner of failed blood-testing biz's patents sues maker of actual COVID-19-testing kit


Re: Bad arguments

AFAIK, having worked in the patent/IP area, there has never been a requirement to show a working version. The only requirement is the invention is "novel/new" and the patent applicant discloses a way to implement/perform the invention. The level of disclosure required is so that "a non-inventive person, skilled in the art" can create the invention.

Most patent systems around the world are broken in that patent offices are motivated to grant patents because that generates revenue/renewal fees. Searches for prior art and examinations are minimal; and broad claims are readily granted. This has led to big businesses, and patent trolls, hoarding patents and using them as a stick to threaten other companies.

Most patent systems have a "compulsory licensing" clause but this has been rarely enforced; thereby encouraging patent trolls.

The only ray of hope is that "extension of term" for pharmaceuticals is a little easier in acknowledgement of how long it takes to get a drug to market.

Microsoft Teams gets off to a wobbly start as the world and its cat starts working from home


Usual start to any telecon

Had to use MS Teams the other day and we spent the first 5 mins shouting: "HELLO! CAN YOU HEAR ME?" to each other, generally followed up by: "I THINK YOU'RE ON MUTE!"

No-no-no-notarised: Apple gives Microsoft's Visual Studio Code the all-clear for Mac devs



People actually using a Mac to develop code!

You've duked it out with OS/2 – but how to deal with these troublesome users? Nukem

Paris Hilton

Monitoring usage

Many years ago, I wrote a program to replace some flaky Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheets. To encourage engineers to use it, I displayed some NSFW images after the program performed some calculations. It also logged the Novell NetWare user name, so I could see which engineers were using it (or were excessively h0rny!).

Paris Hilton icon, even though it was long before her 5 mins of fame.

Microservices guru warns devs that trendy architecture shouldn't be the default for every app, but 'a last resort'


Tick boxes

Worked on a project for a large, government organisation where we had a very small team of 6. We delivered something based on a monolithic architecture and the customer was happy. We then acquired more people, including a 'Technical Architect'. Said TA decided that a micro-services architecture was the only way to do the project because the monolithic architecture 'would not scale'. We then rewrote it as microservices, at great expense, and made sure it scaled to ridiculous levels. There were a maximum of 12 people using the app, each for a few minutes each day.

The self-disconnecting switch: Ghost in the machine or just a desire to save some cash?


Re: How much?

Worked in engineering, many years ago, and was in the weekly engineering meeting (circa 1995). There were 10 or so of us, so we were burning $1000 AUD per hour. The manager and some other people spent 10 min debating whether M8 or M10 bolts would be sufficient for some job; whether or not they needed to be stainless steel; and the grade of stainless steel. I was thinking: "There must be at least 10K bolts involved here; probably more like 100K the way they're arguing." Turned out it was a mere 10 bolts! They had just burnt $150 AUD on something that was worth $10 AUD. That is when I learned about a 'bike shed' (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_triviality).

Call us immediately if your child uses Kali Linux, squawks West Mids Police


Too much...

Kali Linux? They've been watching too much 'Mr Robot'.

Microsoft's little eyes light up as Oscar-winning Taika Waititi says Apple keyboards make him 'want to go back to PCs'


The answer is...

... Linux!

Need 32-bit Linux to run past 2038? When version 5.6 of the kernel pops, you're in for a treat


Re: "I've been to the year 3000... Not much has changed..."

... except that this year will *definitely* be the year of the Linux desktop

How a Kaggle Grandmaster cheated in $25,000 AI contest with hidden code – and was fired from dream SV job




Server-side Swift's slow support story sours some: Apple lang tailored for mobile CPUs, lacking in Linux world


What the ecosystem needs...

... more Taylor Swift puns!

The delights of on-site working – sun, sea and... WordPad wrangling?


Smart Users

Worked at a company where our (Windows) MFC serialised files contained references to other files. For anyone who doesn't know, MFC serialisation is essentially a memory dump of the object graph. If you open it up in WordPad, it looks like gibberish. All of that didn't stop some of our users from opening files up in WordPad; doing a find-replace on said files references; and saving files. Much to our amazement, there were no instances of file corruption!

Long-term Linux Mint: 19.3 release unchains the Gimp, adds HiDPI, is kind to your older, less-beefy kit


2020 will be...

... the year of the Linux desktop (again)

EA boots Linux gamers out of multiplayer Battlefield V, Penguinistas respond by demanding crippling boycott


Re: Few things jump out

3. People actually use Linux for gaming?

Dell slathers on factor XPS 13 to reveal new shiny with... ooh... a 0.1 inch bigger screen


Re: I guess I'm not the target market.

Worked at a company where the sales reps had super slim, super thin, super light, super powerful, super sexy Dell laptops. Unfortunately, battery life was super short and the power brick was super heavy.

2 more degrees and it's lights out: Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix's toasty mobile bit barn


Re: I'll never really understand...

Many years ago, I worked with a bloke whose brother worked in the wind tunnel for the Jordan F1 team. They were on a bonus of £1000 for every point the team got. Unfortunately, that year the team didn't score a single f*&%$g point!

IBM to Google: Istio, Knative, TensorFlow should be under 'open governance'


Re: What was that ?

I was part of an industry initiative which was meant to promote interoperability, so users could mix and match components from different vendors. Someone described it as "Trying to get a pack of hungry rats to share lunch". It was supported by various vendors to different levels such that it was never really useful, so quickly disappeared.

Put the crypt into cryptocoin: Amid grave concerns, lawyers to literally dig into exchange exec who died owing $190m



"Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated"

- Gerald Cotten

Where's our data, Google? Chrome 79 update 'a catastrophe' for Android devs with WebView apps


The browser

is the new operating system :-(

Write once and test on every version/update of Chrome. If you manage to find a serious bug in a canary build, good luck with convincing Google to fix it for you.

FUSE for macOS: Why a popular open source library became closed source and commercially licensed

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Bus factor

Being a software dev, I totally agree with what he's done but the 'bus factor' (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bus_factor) for the project is now 1...

Cops storm Nginx's Moscow offices after a Russian biz claims it owns world's most widely used web server, not F5


Welcome to Russia

Where copyright owns you!

Are you writing code for ambient computing? No? Don't even know? Ch-uh. Google's 'write once, run anywhere' Flutter is all over it


Here we go again

Write once, debug everywhere

ERP disaster zone: The mostly costly failures of the past decade


Profits to be made

Met a guy about 15 years ago who was an SAP consultant. After spending 10k Euros on an SAP training course, his consulting rate was 1k Euros per day. Basically, after going through the 'orientation phase' of your first project, it's full steam ahead on the gravy train. I did seriously consider it but it means dealing with accountants and management people. I shudder to think what his day rate must be now...

How much cheese does one person need to grate? Mac Pro pricing unveiled



as there's no software for Mac. All the best software is on Windows or Linux.

[see icon]

Join us on our new journey, says Wunderlist – as it vanishes down the Microsoft plughole


Re: Hmmmm

yeah - but does it work offline without an internet connection or a Microsoft account?



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