* Posts by cloth

31 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Jan 2016

IBM overhauls rewards program for staff inventions, wipes away cash points


Re: Best reward

Yes - it was a gold plastic frame of the filing - I have quite a few :-)

Most "inventions" are nothing more than unique bits of code (at least in the IBM dev world - obviously not when you're talking hardware etc). They are pretty worthless as a single asset - but they get bundled up and sold or used to get money out of competitors. IBM is always amongst the highest filers - and it was always on the internal sales pitches to the employees - looks good for the share price.

UK's Co-operative Group to centralise IT teams across various divisions, warns redundancies 'inevitable'


My mate got redundancy back in January

During his time there He was employed by co-op who then let it go to a.n.other out-sourcer who was almost seen off by IBM, for a while, then came back to them.

Funny that - could almost be like this is just one of many things they're doing to try and salvage an internal mess of an IT arm. He took the money and ran - and what a sum ! None of your "statutory minimum's" - took me back to the 80's !

Things can't go on like this. You need to get fit for the sake of your health. I'm going to write you a prescription for... an e-bike


Wouldn't cycle in Sheffield if you paid me

The traffic is horrendous and the hills more so - and I'm a cyclist (sans electric)

'Boringly reliable': Red Hat architect thinks Kubernetes is 'mostly done' – but there are still plenty of bugs


Improve the user interfaces

Kubernetes is typical of computer software that is driven by the technical requirements not the user problem or "human" usable interfaces. that's fair enough - but to concentrate on the bugs is to miss the point for me. Concentrate on making it consumable to the simpletons *and* fix the bugs* please. Then you won't get usurped by the next big container thing. Sigh - it won't happen.

OOP there it is: You'd think JavaScript's used more by devs than Java... but it's not – JetBrains survey


Python !?

I love it - I was using python in 1996 for the pre-cursor of IBM's Websphere app server and here it is - making a "resurgence" :-) I've always thought that one of the biggest issues computing is that it has no lingua franca. So, to hear that a language has survived all this time despite all the "excitement" around yet another new language is heart-warming. Maybe one-day a language or three will be it - no more, net, nix and we can all get on with doing what we're supposed to be doing which is writing really hard to define logic into machines.

Just a thought - I can't wait for the backlash from the "but this language doesn't" brigade - sigh, my point exactly.

Lockdown endgame? There won't be one until the West figures out its approach to contact-tracing apps



Oh (cough)

It usually takes years for "standards" to be created. Plenty of long-winded phone calls and "challenging" opinions. And this thing has to work asap, across multiple systems in multiple countries and, as the article hints at, should really work globally so that travellers can get notified as they move around the world - regardless of where they are now. Hmmm, that sounds easy then . Oh, and anyone noticed that America, Russia and China aren't best buddies ? If we're lucky we'll get individual countries producing their own variants. And, it only works if the testing is upped and works - no issues there either then.

The winners and losers of infrastructure clouds revealed: AWS, Microsoft, Google and Alibaba get fatter


Re: Who are the others?

IBM is the only one I'm aware of that's any size. No comment on how good it is - but they play a good marketing game !

Blockchain is a lot like teen sex: Everybody talks about it, no one has a clue how to do it


There are two types of blockchain

There is the truly open one (proof of work and non-authenticated) i.e. bitcoin. The exciting thing about this version is that it (supposedly) allow untrusted participants to agree that something happened. The fact it does it by a chain of hashblocks is completely immaterial to the average person. The fact that money gets stolen from this blockchain on a reasonably regular basis a) scares me b) never makes the main news!

The second are more closed blockchains (often proof of stake and authenticated). I still get lost as to what's so special about an authenticated blockchain and why it's better than a distributed/shared database. As soon as I know who someone is then why do I need consensus? I trust them don't I ? I don't get how we don't get contention - I must use transactions ?

Most of the business focussed (think maersk) are run on the latter type of blockchain and therefore aren't costing the earth in electricity to run (well, not much more than any of the rest of our day-to-day computing tasks do.). Also, I believe that the banks are using the shared ledgers to share information like codes - that don't change a lot and aren't public per se. Again - why not a DB with an API fronting it - I'm lost. I guess they like the idea of saying they literally have a ledger technology holding their ledger of codes. Sort of makes sense, but, to me, there's other tech that can (and presumably did?) do it. I'm betting that blockchain will be "just another tech" sometime in the not too distant future that has a niche or two - the rest of us will just use DBs.

How many Reg columnists does it take to turn off a lightbulb?


Lucky he could find the switches !

For the third time in succession a few weeks ago I was stuck as to where the switches were, never mind the order :-( Turns out that they've started to put smaller and smaller switches on the actual lights themselves - none of this single-point-of-entry nonsense - and you're supposed to walk around each light figuring out the switch location then turn them off individually- sigh.

Official: IBM to gobble Red Hat for $34bn – yes, the enterprise Linux biz


And no mention of JBoss?

Funny how everyone is talking about the OS - what about the middleware stack !? Is that so small that it's insignificant ?

Regardless: I can see it being killed off - it's a direct competitor to the IBM stack.


But *Why* did they buy them?

I'm still trying to figure out "why" they bought Red hat.

The only thing my not insignificant google trawling can find me is that Red Hat sell to the likes of Microsoft and google - now, that *is* interesting. IBM seem to be saying that they can't compete directly but they will sell upwards to their overlords - no ?

IBM talks 'emerging, high value segments' – so you know the Q3 numbers aren't great


only us then

Sign of the times that only the three of us have commented !

IBM wins five-year whole-of-government deal with Australia


Quantum !?

Really !? No wonder Governments are notorious for losing money if they get suckered with pie in the sky words like Quantum ! IBM marketing machine on full tilt there.

Zero arrests, 2 correct matches, no criminals: London cops' facial recog tech slammed


Re: Surely though

Hmm, so the conversation goes like this...

"Hello Sir, you have been identified by our systems as a person of interest - are you Dr Death who is an international terrorist?". "No Mr/Ms PC sir, I am not but, as I'm not living in a police state I have no official proof other than these fake credit cards on me". "Oh, in that case, thanks for your time. Did you want a leaflet on why we pulled you up sir and made you feel like a piece in a machine?...."

Nice !

So when can you get in the first self-driving car? GM says 2019. Mobileye says 2021. Waymo says 2018 – yes, this year


European drivers

I'd love to see this in Britain or perhaps italy - we don't have such niceties as the Yanks do when it comes to driving. It's a dog eat dog attitude on the roads here. Poor little auto car wouldn't which way was up !

BTW: Whatever happened to the fun of just driving ?

Cost-hurling IBM seeks more volunteers for employment bonfire


IBM Recruiting in Hursley

They are recruiting in Hursley for new MQ bods. They culled the oldies and the lags over the years but now need some newbies back.

Mastercard launches card that replaces PIN with fingerprint sensor


I've got a skin condition- that screws up my print

I'm allergic to some stuff and when it kicks in my android, my laptop and previous laptops can't recognise my fingerprint. I always have to revert to "old fashioned" methods. let's hope that no one forgets about me.

Oh and today I seem to get more and more people who just swipe my card and don't give a damn about identification - pin, signature or otherwise. Clearly, it's too expensive for them to worry about my small transactions so they are only interested in the large ones. the large ones are mainly going to be on-line going forwards so it has to link up to my home somehow - in which case what's the point ?

BONG! Lasers crack Big Ben frequency riddle BONG! No idea what to do with this info BONG!


Just the one comment about the twitter account?

Can't believe we only have one comment about the twitter account. Sigh - we've obviously become so inane (or insane!) that this is normal now.

The only twitterers I want to see/hear are the type in my garden - sigh.

Congratulations IBM for 'inventing' out-of-office email. You win Stupid Patent of the Month


Re: Spoilsport

Ex-IBMer here with a few IBM patents under my belt. I was assuming that IBM hadn't re-invented the wheel and that this was just bad reporting. It's a nightmare trying to get a patent past the IBM system and its lawyers. They do not want to waste their time with any of the hundreds of would be inventors that fling nonsense at them all day long. There is a *very* rigorous process that weeds out the failures before they happen. So, you can bet your bottom dollar (pound in my case !) that the IBM patent has something significant/different in it.

Thanks for reading the patent Bakker ! (not a fun thing to do in my experience).

Don't believe the 5G hype! £700m could make UK's 4G better than Albania's


"Futurist gets it right"

LOL - someone who can predict the future is telling a government what to do - awesome. That's bound to work then !

Plastic fiver: 28 years' work, saves acres of cotton... may have killed less than ONE cow*


Re: Pandora's box?

Speaking as one who is married to a vegan she is more concerned about the animal's welfare as a whole. Think e.g. dipping in chemicals, confined environments, slaughtered at an early age, stress at any one of those stages.

Another comment is oft heard coming from the less well educated in this field (a major majority of people ) - the "animals dead anyway" - clearly, not the point !

Google's neural network learns to translate languages it hasn't been trained on


*the researchers found evidence that....*

What fascinates me about this stuff (and I know enough to be dangerous) is that you don't know what the NN is going to do before it happens. Nor do you know where "the logic" is when it's finished. to that end, progress will always be slow - it's taken us 25 years to get to this state.

When I look at the NN research of today it's not moved on hugely but it's just that we have more researchers now playing with it as the "simpler" problems of enterprise solutions have been cracked so we're got time/money to focus on it. I hope we find a new tech that beats NNs because I'm not convinced they are the answer.

WD gives My Passport spinning rust drives a lick of paint


Don't touch them with a barge pole if....

I've got a WD duo drive and I'm getting rid of it. Regardless of whether you asked it to or not they encrypt the drives using hardware in the enclosure. if the enclosure dies - you've pretty much lost your data !! The "passwd encryption option" merely encrypts the passwd - the data is already encrypted regardless of whether you set it or not.

At least - that's what I have found out from the forums e.g. https://community.wd.com/t/wd-my-book-duo-data-forever-lost-if-drive-enclosure-dies/6496/23

and, as WD seemed to not take this on-board, I'm outta here - they can keep it.

From Watson Jr to Watson AI: IBM's changed, and Papa Watson wouldn't approve


IBM is an internal market place

Two points if i may...

IBM is full of in-fighting. Employees are incentivised to be better than their piers. Depts are incentivised to be better than their piers and countries are incentivised to be better than their piers. This is why IBM's software set is such a confusing mish-mash of offerings. Every new acquisition has its own goals and isn't towed into line PDQ. No one can tell you - including IBM - what it's one definitive answer is to a solution. Just ask the guys at Hursley how many ESBs IBM has (five I think !!).

Second point: I'm glad to see that someone else has caught up with the IBM ers. When I worked there we used to say that the company was being run only for the top execs in IBM. It wasn't being run for the customers, it certainly wasn't being run for the employees - the only message relayed down was the share price. And who made the most direct money out of the share price - the execs ! (go look at when they sell shares - say no more !).

Samsung: Don't install Windows 10. REALLY


Re: If proof is needed...Microsoft isn't responsible

I was pestered into upgrading our Sammy to win10 and it kept on blue screening. It was then that it dawned on me that perhaps, just perhaps, computing is still in the dark ages when it comes to actually working easily. Checking the samsung website told me that I couldn't upgrade my specific model. So, quick uninstall later and I'm left with the incessant requests to upgrade to win10 - aarrgh - I hate computers !!!!

HSBC swinging axe on UK IT department, 840 heads to roll


Re: downward spiral is almost assured.

And that's kinda the point. Yes, you can get programmers ten a penny nowadays but to get someone who knows the business and a wide angle of technology and has the foresight to 'do the right; thing' is a lot harder. Consistently I've seen off-shoring becoming near-shoring becoming on-shoring.The UK still have some of the worlds best quality IT folk and that's just fine. You have to accept that the clue is in the name - Hong Kong... This is not a British company being disloyal - this is a multi-national company doing the right thing for its share holders. They are already a highly distributed workforce with numerous local regulations that they abide by so to them this is nothing more than another restructure to save money. I find it strange that India is mentioned so many times in these diatribes, In my experience China is where the skilled people are.

Don't buy from multi-nationals if you don't like 'em !

Old, complex code could cause another UK banking TITSUP – study


Re: "I am a coder..."

I did once argue that in order to be a good coder you had to have a good command of grammatical structures and ability to communicate well. I don't know many story telling 'coders' or 'programmers' - but I do know an awful lot of introverted techies who are always looking for something more interesting than 'making sure that thing runs well and is maintainable'.....Sigh.

Hey, tech industry, have you noticed Amazon in the rearview?


Re: Nice Rant

I agree - this is an over simplistic view on a very complex problem. There are lots of things that can be gotten 'just like that' - but there an awful lot that can't. Most people I end up speaking to have no idea what they are creating and need specialised help - you know - that sort of technical help that isn't just asking for what sort of anti-virus I need. If every Tom Dick and Henrietta got the company credit card - watch out world - IT has just descended into Chaos.

Simplistic article - however, I quite liked the style and a lot of the content - it just needs moving away from 'IT' as a whole..

(But he did get an article published so what does he care ;-)

'No regrets' says chap who felled JavaScript's Jenga tower – as devs ask: Have we forgotten how to code?

IT Angle

Libraries & Micro Services anyone

Wow - so, node.js doesn't have libs that do the standard edge-cased out stuff (as many others have said already). And... How ironic that people are also complaining about tiny packages in the potentially dawning era of Micro-services.

I've always said that micro-services are a management nightmare waiting to happen. It turns out that we already have such a version of that nightmare - screaming at us!

Ah well - I love it every time somebody tells me that the way they do it is just that little bit better than the last one. Is it any wonder that programming is still in the equivalent age of finding new metals and not the age of building bigger and better bridges from pre-made girders !

And - before anyone quips in. Yes, It's just fine (and sometimes good ) to make new shiny languages/paradigms etc. BUT - make sure they do all the best bits of the previous new shiny thing so we have just a strong as girder as we did last time but shinier and quicker.

What to call a £200m 15,000-tonne polar vessel – how about Boaty McBoatface?


I think there's a nice compromise here - RRS David Attenborough is third in the most popular list.

He's got an eccentric British twist to him, loves the planet, and is pretty much unanimously loved by on and as he approaches his final years.

UK energy minister rejects 'waste of money' smart meters claim


Re: Purpose

I always laugh at the idea that I can save money by spending it e.g. save pounds per year by replacing your boiler. LOL ! so, let me get that straight 400 quid plus of boiler will save me how much - hmmm.

As for smart meters - I used to work on them at IBM and they were all about the consumer voting in to get their electricity reduced at times of high-demand. It's also going to mean the death of the meter man as it'll be remote,possibly, drive-by (depending on the tech they use). But, so what - that'll save the companies money but it won't be handed on. This is nothing more than big companies lobbying the government with their usual corrupt back-handers.