* Posts by dinsdale54

40 posts • joined 16 Oct 2015

HP loses attempt to deny colossal commission to star sales staffer


I spent 25 years in presales - the techie working with the sales folks. I have never seen a situation where a sales rep can price a deal at low margin without approval from a long way up the management chain. Salesfolks are often targeted just on revenue but the levels above them have a margin target as well.

I have on two occasions worked with sales reps who had recently joined from HP and were sueing HP for not paying commission. It's been standard practice there for a long time.

Virtual cycling service bans riders for doping – doping their data, that is


Re: it is for some a good way to get some social contacts

In Zwift? Loads. I'm riding with several hundred other people and chatting with them on discord at the same time.

It's the whole point of Zwift.

Synology to enforce use of validated disks in enterprise NAS boxes. And guess what? Only its own disks exceed 4TB


If you want it to work....

This is normal if you are serious about trying to provide enterprise level kit. You are selling kit with a support contract and with performance & reliability expectations

I had 10+ years at an enterprise storage vendor. Disk drive validation by our engineers took a lot of time & resources. It would usually take a couple of firmware revisions before a new drive actually worked satisfactorily. To quote the guy in charge of testing new drives/firmware - "You'd be amazed by the new and creative ways the disk drive manufacturers find to screw this up"

Two clichés, one headline: 'No good deed goes unpunished' and 'It's always DNS'


Re: My Manager!

That's a good approach. One of my best managers described his job as 'a 2 way bullshit filter'

'Best tech employer of the year' threatened trainee with £15k penalty fee for quitting to look after his sick mum


Re: As a woman in tech myself...

Unsupporting, shurely?

Supreme Court mulls whether a cop looking up a license plate for cash is equivalent to watching Instagram at work


Re: Why case law?

While this is nice in theory, the turnaround for modifications to a law can be measured in decades. For a computer analogy, think of parliament writing the spec and the legal system doing the user acceptance testing and bug fixing.

Ticketmaster cops £1.25m ICO fine for 2018 Magecart breach, blames someone else and vows to appeal


Re: Oh, has it been that long?

Back when I used to travel to the US frequently, about 1 trip in 3 would result in me needing a new credit card after fraud attempts. I now endeavour to use disposable credit card numbers for most transactions. As well as protecting me, I realise they will make fraud detection much easier as ANY second usage is a red flag.

Another eBay exec pleads guilty after couple stalked, harassed for daring to criticize the internet tat bazaar


Re: Let's hope somebody makes a deal

Having worked for a company run by Meg Whitman I can assure there's no chance whatsoever of her knowing anything that is going on in her company - ever.

SpaceX’s Starlink finally reveals its satellite broadband pricing for rural America: At $99 a month, it’s a good deal


Compared with what's available in many rural areas - and some urban if you're the poor schmuck at the end of a 70 year old bit of copper - the latency isn't even close to an issue. There's nothing that will push up your latency faster than running out of bandwidth and a lot of rural internet is shockingly bad - my parents never saw more than 2mbit/s in leafy Surrey.

I'm currently showing 10ms to theregister.co.uk and 15ms to bbc.co.uk over broadband in London. 40ms with decent bandwidth is just fine and will allow all the streaming services - Netflix etc. to work.

OpenStack at 10 years old: A failure on its own terms, a success in its own niche


Yup, difficult to use.

I did some work with OpenStack a few years ago and found it incredibly fiddly to set up and with documentation that assumed a high level of pre-existing knowledge. It reminded me of Unix in the early 90s. If you have a room full of techies to understand it all and manage the configuration then I can see how it is a good cloud platform with a lot of functionality. Otherwise, no go.

Also, a company I worked for had a product where the entire management interface was OpenStack based. The techies referred to it as Brokenstack

Meet the ‘DPU’ – accelerated network cards designed to go where CPUs and GPUs can’t be bothered


Having worked for a number of companies that have implemented DPUs - offload cards as we used to call them - they nearly always ended up being more trouble than they were worth. Aside from very real "new batch of implementation flaws" the problem usually boiled down to having some connection state information on the card. This is a nightmare when you want to load balance/fail over etc as you have to find a way to move state information between cards - which you end up doing via the main CPU anyway.

If you are Amazon/Microsoft/Google you can work round these problems with tightly controlled configurations and if you are Joe Schmo running a single server in an office you probably aren't pushing any limits. For everybody else, you are opening the door to a world of difficult to diagnose network issues for the sake of a few % more free CPU cycles.

Unusually I find myself agreeing with Gartner. "Applicable to less than 1%"

Splunk sales ace wins sex discrimination case after new boss handed her key accounts to blokes deemed 'flight risks'


Companies typically allocate a percentage of the revenue of the company to pay for selling it. It makes up much of the SG&A expenses on the balance sheet. A sales rep will typically have a base salary, a sales target - for example - $5 million and an OTE - what you make if you hit your target.

Once you have achieved your sales target you have in theory covered your costs in the company so commission rates normally jump. At my last place all sales over 120% of target were paid at 3x commission rate. So sell double or triple your target and you will vastly more than your base salary.

This is why people go in to sales. Being smart is not a requirement - merely a bonus. The one thing all the successful salesfolk I worked with had in common is they were highly motivated and not afraid of a days work.

Butterfingers who don't bother with phone cases, rejoice: New Gorilla Glass 'Victus' tipped to survive 6ft drops


Re: Marketing versus warranty

And mine.

My Galaxy S8 didn't survive a 50cm drop when getting out of the car. It cracked from from one side to the other, and back again. It was in a Samsung case at the time.

As a result I am very sceptical of durability claims by phone manufacturers - especially Samsung.

Analogue radio given 10-year stay of execution as the UK U-turns on DAB digital future


Re: Thank fuck for that

And if it doesn't outlive you then you'll be The Man with No Naim

Surprise! That £339 world's first 'anti-5G' protection device is just a £5 USB drive with a nice sticker on it


Re: Jail time

And I hope the people buying it get whacked with some criminal stupidity charges

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


Quite. You can't recognise revenue and sales don't get paid until it lands at the customer.

Britain has no idea how close it came to ATMs flooding the streets with free money thanks to some crap code, 1970s style


Re: Experienced tester.

At one of my former customers, one of the operations folk was referred to as 'The Chaos Monkey' for his ability to break any code the dev team wrote no matter how much testing they had done themselves.

He was always given the new code before anybody else. If it survived him, it was production ready.

Zoom vows to spend next 90 days thinking hard about its security and privacy after rough week, meeting ID war-dialing tool emerges


Re: To be honest you can't blame people for going to Zoom

Lync was always a festering bag of shite. Microsoft had two choices - fix it, or rename it to Skype for Business to try and hide its awfulness behind a rebrand.

No guesses for which approach they took.

As a general rule, the quality of software is inversely proportional to the frequency of name changes.

Sophos was gearing up for a private life – then someone remembered the bike scheme


Re: Well that's embarrassing

They removed the £1000 limit last year sometime but prior to that you had to have authorisation from the FCA to lend more than that to your employees. This typically meant that only companies which already had FCA authorisation (finance companies etc) would go over £1000.

The limit has been increased in particular to include e-bikes which typically cost well over £1000.

'No BS' web host Gandi emits outage postmortem, has 'only theories' on what went wrong


Re: Well it's obvious what went wrong...

ZFS allows you to just check the hashes or do a full block verification. If you are using SHA-2-256 the chances of a hash collision are very very very small. According to the author 50 times less likely than an undetected & uncorrected ECC memory error.


I'd more likely suspect multiple disk failures after a power outage forcing recovery from backup when the procedure hasn't been tested recently.

Train-knackering software design blunder discovered after lightning sparked Thameslink megadelay


Re: Load shedding?

Yup, pretty much.


iFixit surgeons dissect Apple's pricey Mac Pro: Industry standard sockets? Repair diagrams? Who are you and what have you done to Apple?


Re: How much did apple have to do with it?

It's a custom designed case containing a custom designed motherboard with mostly standard chipsets and a couple of Apple specific chips. There are a lot of tech companies in Austin, including Texas Instruments who make a bunch of stuff for Apple.

'Not normal': Dell and NetApp price war puts crimp in Pure Storage revenue growth


Re: There's always some excuse to explain why storage is having the Hell commoditized out of it...

These days, "doing well" means not failing. As you say, the storage industry is mature and being commoditized. Investment is long gone. There are no storage startups being funded unless it's software only/cloud.

IT contractor has £240k bill torn up after IR35 win against UK taxman


Way to miss the point.

The whole issue with IR35 is that HMRC wants to tax contractors as employees of company they are providing the service to while not allowing them the benefits that fulltime employees of said company receive.

Therefore making provision for sick pay etc has to come from income that has already been taxed for that purpose.

Reaction Engines' precooler tech demo chills 1,000°C air in less than 1/20th of a second


I think the relevant bit is that air at mach 5 is what rocket scientists refer to as 'very very hot' :)


As it's a jet engine, the air must be subsonic to go through the compressor. Jet engines with supersonic airspeeds are SCRAMJETs and is still a very experimental technology.

So yes, it's getting slowed down a lot however this is relatively well understood.

I assume the impressive cooling is required for engine efficiency, including not melting immediately

Deloitte man kept quiet at Autonomy's internal audit committees, says scrutiny chairman


Re: Selling direct?

You are correct, this was and still is a common practice.

My last company had a 100% channel model. All orders were fulfilled though a partner - who made a decent margin - even if all the customer contact and deal making was done by the vendor.

Another disappointing quarter for Pure Storage as expanded sales team fails to close large deals


Better have a cloud strategy

After 20 years at storage vendors where you were competing with other storage vendors the competition is now cloud. Previously you just had to be better than the incumbent storage providers, EMC, HP, Dell NetApp, IBM etc. That's usually quite achievable for a startup with a half decent product - Pure has done this exceedingly well.

Now you are competing with AWS, Azure, Google etc and the move from CapEx to OpEx. Pure's announcement about targeting Dell/EMC refreshes is a tougher proposition than it was even a couple of years ago. Several of the existing storage vendors have better cloud offerings than Pure does so for companies moving that way. they are less likely to ditch the incumbent for another non-cloud vendor.

If the growth slows without a plan for being profitable, the share price is going to take a battering.

<edit> I just checked the after hours trading. The share price has taken a battering.

UK's Dyson to vacuum up 300 staffers for its electric car division


Dyson have been doing a lot of work on electric motors for the last few years, particularly permanent magnet motors. A lot of this should be directly applicable to EVs - witness Tesla's recent move to permanent magnet motors for the model 3. If you have already solved many of the difficult problems - control, efficiency - starting the motor in the right direction etc. then scale the torque up and revs down and you have a very efficient EV motor.

Magic hash maths: Dedupe does not have to mean high compute. Wait, what?


Re: Dunno what he’s on about...

It's not the calculating the hash that's the hard work, it's scanning the hash table looking for matches for every incoming write. Say you have 1TB of data and 50% of the 4K blocks are unique. If you are using a 256bit hash (SHA-256) that's 8GB of space for the hash table and you have to search for a match for every incoming block. Hence the need for clever ways to minimize the above. Some implementations are much more efficient than others.

That's an overly simplistic example but points out where the issue lies

Another day, another British Airways systems screwup causes chaos


BA (well, IAG) is trying to sell itself to Qatar who want control. Therefore they are trying to bump up short term profits at the expense of everything else - reliability, quality, service, reputation etc - through the traditional methods of cutting costs like a bastard. It may well terminally damage BA's reputation but it will make the board members & shareholders rich in the short term which is the primary goal.

Gartner's Magic Quadrant flashes up pure flash array-pusher prize-plucker. It's Pure


This shows how powerful Gartner are. Several vendors have introduced all flash only variants of systems that could otherwise use spinning disks as well solely to get in to the Gartner report. The customer just ends up with a less flexible system and more pointless part numbers.

Software glitch led to London Ambulance Service outage – report


If you didn't have any IT expertise at the top, they may well not have realised that you need a decent Oracle DBA to run an Oracle database.

Good Oracle DBAs aren't cheap as Oracle is pretty complex.

Facebook in the dock: Web giant faces trial for allegedly ripping off data center blueprints


Re: Meanwhile, back at the ranch ...

GPL for a start.

If you remove the GPL licence from the code - as Goldman allegedly did - you are in violation of it, regardless of any distibution.

Microsoft's Azure cloud feels the pinch in price war with Amazon's AWS


Re: I think the author is confused

The SLAs offered by all the main providers are pretty poor. All offering around 99.95% service availability. Vendors would be laughed out of your typical large enterprise if you offered that.

AWS v Oracle: Mark Hurd schooled on how to run a public cloud that people actually use


Re: "I’m proud to say that AWS hasn’t had a regional failure in recent history"

Far more recent than that!


Amazon might try some alternate reality and claim it's not a 'regional failure' but if you had any system that relied on S3 then you were SOL. AWS/Azure/Google are all very interesting and useful tech but reliable and cheap aren't words that can be used to describe them.

Larry Ellison today said really nice things about rival Amazon's cloud


Re: Could get interesting

This is kind of self answering. People use Oracle's software despite Oracle's behaviour, not because of it. The software is good enough that Oracle can treat its customers like that.

BA 'offers' IT bods extra leave, flexible working - unpaid of course


done before

They did this in the early 00's recession. A relative used it to take 3 months off and travel the world with his family - with cheap BA flights of course. It's a pragmatic way to save money in the short term, but not a long term solution

Zero. Zilch. Nada. That's how much Netflix uses its own data centres now


Re: What Netflix produces?

For all major markets, Netflix put their own hardware in to ISPs to deliver content. Basically a rack full of compute and disks. They push content updates once a day. For smaller countries, AWS makes a lot of sense, especially when you first offer a service. I assume there's a crossover point when it's worth swapping from AWS to your own kit.

Minicab-hailing app Uber is lawful – UK High Court


Utterly fact free post.

As has already been pointed out, Uber drivers are licensed and insured the same as any minicab. The Uber app will tell you the cost before you accept, like a minicab company, only better. All the Uber drivers I have spoken were pretty happy with it.


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