* Posts by dinsdale54

108 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Oct 2015


Robocar tech biz sues Nvidia, claims stolen code shared in Teams meeting blunder


Re: Puzzled

Quite! This isn't slashdot (yet)

Will anybody save Linux on Itanium? Absolutely not


Re: Other VLIW systems

If somebody says they have a new architecture and part of the pitch is 'we can fix problem [X] in the compiler' - You should probably run rather than walk away.

At the couple of places I've worked where there was a compiler team - they were usually very cautious about what was achievable. It was the processor architects with some clever pet project who handwaved away significant problems as something for the compiler.

Apple might have to pay that €13B EU tax bill after all


Or an 'error of judgement' :)

TBF this is actually largely how tax law works. If you are found liable for a tax bill, the govt just wants the money. If you pay up, you generally are in the clear (apart from little people doing their tax returns obviously)

The important bit is not to keep evading tax after being investigated, that's when they throw the book at you. See Lester Piggott / Bernie Ecclestone. In Bernie's case, it was more of a leaflet they thew at him, in exchange for another £650 million.

Privacy advocate challenges YouTube's ad blocking detection scripts under EU law


Re: I've always been curious...

Sounds like a Bolt action rifle would be more appropriate.

It is 20 years since the last commercial flight of Concorde


Re: Gorgeous aircraft

My main memory is that they were noisy. I flew pre refurbishment and sitting in a window seat you had to speak up to the cabin crew in the aisle. Excellent wine list! I believe the work of Jancis Robinson.

The interior was small but once sitting down it was fine. The seats were comfortable, if a little vintage looking and you were only there for a bit over 3 hours.

I was booked for a 2nd flight when they were grounded.

I also cycled to Heathrow to watch the last commercial flights land there - 3 Concordes landing one after the other. It was VERY busy on all the perimeter roads.

Oh yes, the windows got hot to the touch.

Teardown reveals iPhone 15 to be series of questionable design decisions


Re: It cuts Apple’s costs, so they do it.


A pilot at DHL told me that the cargo needed to cover the cost of the flight was half a palette.

Planes are expensive compared to most ground transport but for high value items it's still noise on the bottom line.

Post Office Horizon Inquiry calls for compensation to be brought forward


Re: False

That's getting in to the weeds. There was evidence given during the enquiry that testing was taking place, concerns were raised about the quality and it was signed off for release anyway. The module that came in for the most criticism was the 'cash accounts' module that deals with --- in branch transactions.

Goodbye Azure AD, Entra the drag on your time and money


The quality of a product is inversely proportional to how often it is renamed.

I can't really think of any counterexamples from my working career.

Man who nearly killed physical media returns with $60,000 vinyl turntable


Re: Maybe not.

Get a second hand Thorens TD150/TD160. Should be possible at that price.

If you also spend a bit more for a better arm then you effecively have a Linn Sondek with at least one zero missing from the price.

I ripped all my remaining vinyl and sold my TD150 to a mate so he could do the same thing.

Oracle pours fuel all over Red Hat source code drama


Re: Opensolaris anyone? @containerizer

Sun converted from BSD to SVR4 to try to end the Unix wars which set Unix back several years. On balance this was sensible.

Given that a lot of SVR4 IS SunOS, it wasn't a major technical challenge but it did result in a fair bit of change for existing users without any immediate benefit.

Sun was very innovative for many years. SunOS and then Solaris introduce a load of advanced features - some mentioned previously - so if you were on Solaris, you could do things that other people couldn't. In the early years there was NFS, NIS, RPC and then later SMF, Zones, ZFS, DTrace etc.

Working with Solaris was a good place to be for a long time.

NASA 'quiet' supersonic jet is nearly ready for flight


Re: Concorde, so loud

They were stupidly inefficient at low speed and when using afterburners. At mach 2 and 60,000ft they were incredibly efficient. The problem was getting up there.

Twitter rate-limits itself into a weekend of chaos


Additionally, Perhaps El Reg could consider not filling an article about how Twitter is difficult to access with endless links to Twitter. Duh!

Virgin Media email customers enter third day of inbox infuriation


Re: gmail ntlworld

To be fair, Google discontinued offering an email service to ISPs (which VM were using) so VM had no choice but to move it.

I had mostly moved to gmail many years before that when blueyonder were only offering a 30MB mailbox and gmail was offering 7GB. I still have some historic emails on VM that I need to dip in to once in a while. While I can now log in again, all emails before Monday evening are absent. As usual VM have offered no explanation or ETA that's anything other than $TIME+6hrs.

Crypto catastrophe strikes some Atomic Wallet users, over $35M thought stolen


I kept all my money in $SINGLEPOINTOFFAILURE has been stupid for as long as savings have existed. Crypto just seems like a good way to herd the financially naive into one place.

Fed up with slammed servers, IT replaced iTunes backups with a cow of a file



COW storage which saves you having to Moove it Moove it

Fujitsu bags £142M UK government work since Horizon probe announced


Don't forget the Horizon bit of Fujitsu is ICL as was. You would have to travel a long way to find a more useless bunch of fuckwits still operating.

My guess is that there are a bunch of entrenched systems that only they have the people to manage/develop and therefore they are still winning business.

Turns out people don't like it when they suspect a machine's talking to them


Re: Bing Knows

I had a similar experience a couple of years back. After having my problem resolved after speaking to the call centre, I was asked to fill out a survey and the guy told me than anything less than a 9/10 would result in an investigation in to what went wrong with his response.

Parts of UK booted offline as Virgin Media suffers massive broadband outage


Re: The final nail....


Virginmedia, despite their sewage level customer service and constant price gouging have, until now, provided a fast, reliable broadband service for the 20+ years I have had them. It's their one redeeming feature. I am now in the position that 2 of the 3 worst outages in 20 years have happened this week.

Communityfibre called to ask if they could cable up our block of flats. They are currently offering 4 times the performance for half the price. Like you, I'm off as soon as the new fibres are installed.

Defunct comms link connected to nothing at a fire station – for 15 years


In my drunken youth - which was many years ago, before my drunken middle age, we used to dial the japanese speaking clock from public phoneboxes on the way home from the pub with our traffic cones. I assume somebody was paying.

Errors logged as 'nut loose on the keyboard' were – ahem – not a hardware problem


Re: Ahh...yes, metrics

Many years ago when at working for a large computer manufacturer, I saw a presentation given to the operating system development team, who were extremely skilled but also very Ivory tower. One slide was in the form of problem/solution.

Problem : The sales team only sell what we pay them to, not what we want them to.


Save $7 million on cloud by spending $600k on servers, says 37Signals' David Heinemeier Hansson



I've posted this before but cloud is very good for lowering Capex. Opex? not so much. For known demand it's little more than expensive hosting.

At a previous job we had a customer who moved their SQL Server production databases in to AWS. Successfully. This is quite an achievement. They then discovered they were Amazon's biggest customer in the country (many million $ per year) So moved nearly all of them back on prem.

Bringing cakes into the office is killing your colleagues, says UK food watchdog boss


Re: What a load of cobblers

I, for one, am very pleased to hear that you won't eat your nephew.

FTX CTO and Alameda Research CEO admit fraud, pair 'cooperating' with Feds


Institutional embarrassment

The cynic in me says that the speed this is progressing means the aim is to give the various parties a quick slap on the wrist and then pretend it didn't happen. There are too many supposedly smart people looking really dumb who would like all this to go away.

I _really_ hope to be proven wrong.

Swiss bankers warn: Three quarters of retail Bitcoin investors are in the red


Re: Factually wrong

Some good advice - although obvious - from an investment fund manager was "decide before you start whether you are investing or speculating because the stock market is a very expensive place to find out.

The crypto market has proved to be an even more expensive place to find out.

Twitter engineer calls out Elon Musk for technical BS in unusual career move


Re: And.... "He's Fired"


One of my more enlightened bosses described his job as a "two way bullshit filter" He once showed me the sheer numbers of pointless requests he was filtering out from above in order to let me get on with my job.

Goodbye, humans: Call centers 'could save $80b' switching to AI


Re: You mean...

I've found the Virgin Media call centre in India to be polite and relatively easy to understand. Obviously they didn't fix my problem (billing issue) until after 5 hours of calls but they were nice about it.

The offensive and difficult to understand Scot on the other hand.....

Crypto exchange Kraken reportedly hunted by the Feds for alleged sanctions busting


Re: "Kraken has robust compliance measures in place"

That's right up there with

"Your call is important to us"

"$COMPANY takes security seriously"

Grifters be grifting

Record players make comeback with Ikea, others pitching tricked-out turntables


Re: Digital transmission?

You've moved in to the "denying Shannon-Nyquist sampling theorem" territory

I suggest you watch these videos by Chris Montgomery (who knows a thing or two aboout codecs) which explain why they are correct and you aren't.



Banks talk big cloud game but few have migrated over 30% of apps


Report produced by cloud provider disappointed that not everybody uses the cloud for everything. News at Ten!

I mentioned this previously but a bank I used to do a lot of work with said that for fixed demand, the cloud was just hosting which they could do much cheaper than any of the cloud providers. They already have many large datacentres all over the world and were running at way lower costs than any of the cloud providers.

Another customer in Australia moved a huge amount of their SQL Server workload to the cloud - successfully - and then discovered that the bills made them the biggest customer in the country. They moved most of it back on prem to save money.

Cloud services are very useful to many people and organisations. Not all of them..

GPL legal battle: Vizio told by judge it will have to answer breach-of-contract claims


Re: GPL: Compliance Web Page

You can also use your Pi to turn your TV dumb which was my preference.


My Samsung TV generates more blocked requests than anything else in my home.

ZX Spectrum, the 8-bit home computer that turned Europe on to PCs, is 40


Re: "Rival machines, such as the Commodore 64, did not suffer from the same problem"

For various definitions of "much" :)

The 4 bits of colour information per pixel being every alternate bit in 16 colour mode (mode 2) was a PITA. I hate to think what some of the other machines must have been like to work on!

IBM ordered to pay $105 million to insurer over tech project's collapse


Re: "Nobody ever got fired for choosing IBM"

Also "I Bring Many"

I did some work with IBM about 10 years back when they were reselling our product.

We had a meeting at IBM South Bank to run over a few technical details. 1 person from the customer, 2 from my company and EIGHTEEN (yes, really!) from IBM.

Nice pastries TBF.

IBM deliberately misclassified mainframe sales to enrich execs, lawsuit claims


The cynic in me assumes this is standard practice in all large corporates. I've certainly seen it.

"Hey, Mr customer, how about we give you a 90% discount on these servers if you buy a couple of cloud software licences?" No worries if you don't use them.

It's much the same as colleagues at a large corporate referring to the busiest sales day of the year as the 32nd of March.

Any fool can write a language: It takes compilers to save the world


Re: It isn't C that was/is fragmented @Bitsminer


A friend worked on databases at UCB, Ingres, ASK, Postgres anf others. He was at ASK when the takeover by CA was announced. More different corporate cultures you could not imagine. Apparently Oracle had a recruitment van parked outside within a couple of hours, Sybase a bit after that.

By the end of the day over 90% of the development team had quit. That was the final nail in the coffin of Ingres as a leading product.

I worked extensively on Oracle & Ingres back in the day. By the mid 90s Ingres was reliable and low maintenance but was looking VERY out of date by then.

Microsoft accused of spending millions on bribes to seal business deals


Re: Illegal Bribes?

That depends on your definitions.

I've done my fair share of tedious online training on the UK bribery act and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and one key difference is the FCPA allows for something called Grease Payments - which are roughly defined as something that speeds up the process but doesn't change the outcome. This is not legal under the UK Bribery act.

Having worked for companies doing business in the Middle East, I always assume that every deal involves payments to individuals, it's just you normally have a middleman to make it a bit less obvious.

UK govt signs IT contracts 'without understanding' the needs


Re: No shit, Sherlock?!

Agree with the NSS.

If you don't have the skills to implement it, you probably don't have the skills to write the spec either. The devil is in the details.

ARPANET pioneer Jack Haverty says the internet was never finished


A line I have repeatedly used in presentations when referring to underdeveloped/incomplete products and technologies is :

"Runs best on powerpoint"

IT advice fuelled by beer is the best IT advice of all, right?


Re: He is very bright

A friend who used to work at BT Martlesham labs said "we have people here so bright they have to be helped to the door"

As with the story above, massive knowledge in one area can result in lacking skill in others.

Worst of CES Awards: The least private, least secure, least repairable, and least sustainable


Re: unintelligible random sound from person in bed

More worrying to me is that the AI has developed enough to get turned on by sex sounds.

£42k for a top-class software engineer? It's no wonder uni research teams can't recruit


Re: if the salaries were improved./ Universities need serious reform across the board

This is already happening. My local university (a polytechnic when I attended it) has run out of money and is culling not just courses but whole departments where the enrollment numbers aren't covering the costs. It's also trying to nerf the pensions.

This is rough if you are one the lecturers but it's the consequence of overspending and overexpanding during the good years.


Re: "In IT" != software development

40K definitely appropriate for London. A couple of years back a relative started on that after graduating. 18 months later moved to a new job on 60K.

Here's the similar story from a few months ago. Military rather than academia but same issue.


Meg Whitman – former HP and eBay CEO – nominated as US ambassador to Kenya


Re: Give Biden some credit

Don't worry. Having worked for a Meg Whitman run company, I can confirm that there's no danger of her noticing anything that's going on right in front of her.

In the '80s, spaceflight sim Elite was nothing short of magic. The annotated source code shows how it was done



I also remember lines and and lines of ROL/ROR operators when doing graphics to move things around on screen. I guess whoever added the barrel shifter to the first ARM had experienced the same!

Computer and data scientists should be as highly regarded as 'warriors' says top UK cybergeneral


Re: Pay

That's wonderfully delusional. Double that and you might get people with some basic experience. Triple that and you might get somebody reasonable.

IBM sued again by its own sales staff: IT giant accused of going back on commission payments promise


Re: Pay 'em what they are worth !

Some companies do pay commission on margin, most don't. However while the salesrep might not be paid on margin you can bet his boss has a margin target. The problem is that the margin changes with the amount you sell. i.e. you sell 3x as much then the %overhead of you being employed has just dropped by 2/3 (OK, oversimplification)

This is why sales plans tend to have big commission multipliers once you have sold over your target. You have covered your costs to the company so it's all upside from there on.


Re: Just

That's a fine way to guarantee you won't have many decent sales people.

Salesfolks are coin operated. This is a feature, not a bug. Take advantage of it by paying generously to people who sell a boatload of stuff.

SCO v. IBM settlement deal is done, but zombie case shuffles on elsewhere


Re: This will run and run because...

No, it's a spinoff from the American Dodgeball Association of America

After quietly switching to slower NAND in an NVMe SSD, Western Digital promises to be a bit louder next time


Re: Revenue is ego, it doesn't mean anything

Pulling this sort of stunt is WHY their gross margin is that high.

Corporate culture always comes from the top. These actions are by design.

Eight-year-old bug in Microsoft's 64-bit VBA prompts complaints of neglect


Re: Not even PHP or JavaScript

Quite. It's a key feature of relational databases designed to deal with missing data.

Let's give the classic example. If you don't know your blood type, you really don't want to be given a blood transfusion of another unknown blood type. NULL does not equal NULL.

Magna Carta mayhem: Protesters lay siege to Edinburgh Castle, citing obscure Latin text that has never applied in Scotland


"Midvale Castle for the Gifted"