* Posts by jeffty

51 posts • joined 25 May 2016


SmartNICs, IPUs, DPUs de-hyped: Why and how cloud giants are offloading work from server CPUs


Re: This is to replace soon to die peripherals like GPUs

It's not so much a question of resolution as a question of use.

GPUs on the same die as an x64 CPU have existed for over a decade - Intel and AMD have both produced CPUs (IGT/APU respectively) with this functionality. Integrated graphics (on the same motherboard) go back even further. Neither has replaced standalone cards.

For everyday use (where they're just used as a display output at 1080p or 4k) they do the job nicely with no additional hardware needed, but for specialist use (gaming, animation, rendering etc) they lack the raw grunt or features needed and a standalone card (or multiple cards depending on your use case) are still the way to go.

VMware shreds planned support for 'cheese grater' Mac Pro


Re: Why were they even thinking about ESXi on Mac Pro?

The older Mac Pro units made great ESXi hosts. I know people who had multiple Pro boxes in their homelab. Same with the older Mac Minis. You could even get it running on the trashcan (6.1) variant at a pinch.

As for VMware support, this doesn't necessarily mean that the latest Mac Pro won't work - just that you're on your own getting it there.

Two of the boxes in my homelab are examples of this - vSphere 7.0 won't install as the CPUs aren't supported (dropped from the compatibility list even though they're capable of running the hypervisor). Neither of them are supported officially but with a bit of mucking about you can get it running with all hardware recognised.

Undebug my heart: Using Cisco's IOS to take down capitalism – accidentally


I remember cisco debug commands being a minefield...

Best thing you could do before running them is issue the commands to ensure it doesn't dump to console (and to logs only), but even then some commands would cause spikes in CPU usage and make the CLI sluggish.

"debug spanning-tree all" is another one you don't want logging to console in a switch that's part of a live/prod environment. Every STP broadcast, event, topology change, uplink change or error thrown onto the screen, and getting it to turn off once it's running is almost as bad...

Also a minefield - making sure your colleagues are aware of what debug output looks like and what it means. A former junior associate of mine was running DHCP debug on a pair of campus distribution switches (troubleshooting an IP address allocation issue), another engineer saw it and assumed it was a problem - he responded by rebooting one of them. Thankfully quicker hands managed to stop him from rebooting the other at the same time (which would have taken out the entire site whilst the switches came back up...)

Another platform on which Java will not run – platform 1 of Newcastle's Central Station


Re: What is geordie for Bork?

"pua knackared that leek"

IBM, Red Hat face copyright, antitrust lawsuit from SCO Group successor Xinuos


Checked the date hoping this was an April Fools...

... clearly not.

How this is still rumbling on is beyond comprehension.

X.Org says it's saving a packet with Packet after migrating freedesktop.org off Google Kubernetes Engine


Re: Cloud Costs

Customers don't seem to get a lot of these hidden costs, because they've never had to think about them previously, especially from a network perspective. In the on-prem world, they'd pay for a nice shiny Cisco/Arista/HPE fabric in their DC (which hits them smack in the wallet for refreshes, support and maintenance), but they can hammer traffic across it all day long.

Noone cares about the utilisation as long as there's no congestion, no bottlenecks, and noone suffering slow responses to their application. The only monitoring is typically for links going down or physical failures. There's very rarely any sort of capacity/impact analysis on new infrastructure or apps - 25/40/100gb uplinks on the LAN and gb uplinks on the WAN mean they don't have to think about it and if it proves a problem, all they do is increase the bearer size, or add more uplinks or more LAN internally to meet the demand.

Those costs and considerations don't go away in a public cloud, the cloud builders just incorporate them into bandwidth charges as the cost of maintaining their internal network fabrics. All of those data transfers you took for granted (image pulls/pushes, updates, backups, migrations) now all have a dollar cost associated with the data you intend to shift about, even if it's just internal and not leaving your cloud instance. Before it was all you can eat, now it's definitely pay as you take a bite.

I've only come across one organisation that took into account the impact on WAN bandwidth usage (nationally) that changes to their applications in the DC would impose, and even then it wasn't to anywhere near the level of scrutiny to work out the increase in bytes/kb per transaction within the DC (and % or gb increases across the board) that would be needed to derive the costs of running this stuff in the cloud. If you've done the modelling to anticipate this kind of cost - awesome, but you're in the (sensible) minority.

MPs slam UK's £22bn Test and Trace programme for failing to provide evidence that it slows COVID pandemic


To put it in context...

DWP pays about £3.2bn to run its entire IT infrastructure to a combination of vendors, outsourcers and internals. That covers 900+ offices, 80,000+ staff, 18m claimants using 150+ different apps, and payments of £100bn+ in benefits a year.

DWP isn't a shining beacon of efficiency either, it's had some horrendous cockups and overspends on technology in the past (EDS and the CSA computer system, Universal Credit, PIP etc).

Even with all that in mind, T&T is a fraction of the size/staff and has spent DWP's entire IT budget nearly 7 times over.

Apple appears to be charging Brits £309 to replace AirPods Max batteries, while Americans need only stump up $79


Re: Compare to Apple's competitors...

Noise cancelling relies on the headphones taking into account the environmental noise (and adding an additional noise designed to cancel it out), which means a microphone is needed to detect environmental noise and a digital signal processor (DSP) is used to analyse and produce the correct sound needed to cancel or minimise it. The transparency feature just involves passing the environmental sound through into the audio feed without any processing to eliminate unwanted background noise. It's a common feature on nearly every ANC headphone I've looked at (before buying the Sony pair I decided on). It's also why most active noise cancelling headphones allow you to use them as a bluetooth hands-free, the microphone is already integrated into the headset.

As for equalisation/calibration, most decent noise cancelling headphones require this for the functionality to work properly. I can't speak for the rival manufacturers but the Sony ones even take into account atmospheric conditions (altitude, air pressure).

This is bread and butter stuff for audio equipment manufacturers, noise cancelling is just a form of audio signal processing. Audio manufacturers have decades of experience with integrating DSP into their products. With the exception of the spatial sound location feature you refer to (which I'll admit sounds interesting), none of the features Apple are launching with their new cans are either new or groundbreaking.


Compare to Apple's competitors...

The market "leaders" in terms of sound/build quality and battery life are the Sony WH1000XM3/4 or B&O Beoplay H9s. Both cost less than the Apple equivalent (or even an Apple battery replacement) brand new, have better battery life and better sound.

Replacing the Sony battery - with a spudger and a single Phillips screwdriver, you can easily get to the battery yourself and replace it with 5-10 mins of effort. Replacement batteries cost about £34 for Sony branded part, or £20 for a no-name equivalent.

The B&O battery replacement is even easier - no tools needed, just open the compartment and remove the battery. Replacements cost about £40 for the B&O official battery (direct from B&O's website), £20ish for a no-brand version.

Both manufacturers use a standardised battery model that fits most of their previous versions too. I know where I'd be voting with my wallet.

Aruba warns of storage destruction flaw that bricks some switches


Re: SD Cards?

Most top-of-rack/access-layer switches and branch routers don't have easily removable SD cards. It's more of a common thing on enterprise-grade routers, core switches and carrier-grade equipment, but usually these cards fail once in a blue moon (usually as a result of a power cut or PSU failure). Most of them only use the flash to store the firmware, once it's loaded everything runs in memory with configuration saved to seperate NVRAM. They shouldn't be making excessive write cycles to the flash storage, regardless of format.

I can count on the fingers of both hands the number of flash cards I've had to replace in 10+ years as a network engineer. If I was having to replace cards every four months across a line of switches, I'd try my very best to make sure that vendor never gets picked again at the next hardware refresh.

Luke Skywalker used to bullseye womp rats in his T-16 on Tatooine. But Star Wars: Squadrons misses the mark


The LucasArts originals had the formula perfectly balanced...

In the LucasArts original games ((X-Wing, Tie Fighter, X-Wing vs Tie Fighter, or X-Wing Alliance), the Rebel craft had superior craft with shields and hyperdrives, the Imperial craft had less in the way of shielding (until the Gunboat, Tie Advanced/Defender and Missile Boat came along) but superiority in numbers (there was always more of them). The original games reflected this accordingly. Squadrons doesn't seem to address this imbalance with it's focus on even numbers battling each other, which is why I'd suspect the Rebel flight groups usually end up winning engagements.

A lot of the other mechanics (energy management, repairing systems, selective squadron orders, objective scoring etc) that made the originals so immersive and such a challenge have been glossed over or are missing.

Still, all of the originals are on Steam and have received upgrades in terms of textures and animation of late, X-Wing Alliance has a massive modding community that have completely overhauled the graphics of the game (and I thought the original version looked good when I was playing it on a 3dfx card). You can usually pick them all up fairly cheaply in a Steam Sale or on CDKeys/GoG. They've held up surprisingly well and are still worth a play.

BoJo buckles: UK govt to cut Huawei 5G kit use 'to zero by 2023' after pressure from Tory MPs, Uncle Sam


Even if you aren't convinced by the potential spying threat from China through Huawei kit, there are other problems associated with their use as a vendor, namely their worrying habit of copying source code from rival manufacturers.

Quick example - Huawei used Cisco source code to implement EIGRP, a Cisco-only proprietary routing protocol in their kit - https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10485560675556000

They only stopped selling kit with this functionality when Switchzilla sueballed them.

Assuming for sake of argument that they'd continued to sell it, and a flaw was uncovered in EIGRP that allowed for DoS or information to be leaked from a target device (like this - https://tools.cisco.com/security/center/content/CiscoSecurityAdvisory/cisco-sa-20051220-eigrp ), Cisco would patch their code and their devices, but you've got no guarantee that Huawei would have access to the fixed code, nor that they would fix it themselves, as they've obtained the code by copying the original source code (which I can only assume was leaked or obtained via questionable practices, and you can't guarantee that mechanism to grab the afffected code is still open to them).

If they have previous for copying code just to support a proprietary protocol used by a competitor, we have no guarantees that the rest of the code running on their devices isn't copied from elsewhere, and we have no assurances that they'd patch upstream fixes for vulnerabilities found by these rival vendors, or even that they've realised their own devices are at risk to an exploit affecting someone elses switch and associated source code.

I'd be less concerned if they were licensing code from other vendors and using it with commercial support in place, then they'd be tracking the versions properly, they'd entitled to see the fixed code and would apply it themselves.

Boris celebrates taking back control of Brexit Britain's immigration – with unlimited immigration program


Controlling immigration was never that easy...

The home office currently divides immigrants into two categories - EU and non-EU.

EU migrants are subject to freedom of movement and the number of controls we have against their migration to the UK or against their rights to reside are fairly limited to some checks around self-sufficiency and removing people only in limited circumstances. We're unable to increase the scope of these controls without leaving the EU and breaking treaties and existing agreements.

Non-EU migrants are subject to any scheme we choose, or any treaty we agree with the country of origin. It could be a traditional quota, skills based, income based, points based, there could be temporary right to reside only, no granting of rights to claim benefits, pick and choose as politically fashionable. We could stop it completely if we wanted to.

Yet for all of the last 47 years we've been part of the EU, Non-EU migration has made up the majority of migrants to this country. I'm fully aware this is a incredibly simplified view on immigration (as both groups come to the UK for different reasons and stay for different periods of time associated with those reasons), but every government since Heath had the ability to halve immigration to the UK if they so chose to do so, without leaving the EU.

This is why (for me personally) the arguments around leaving the EU to "take back control" of our own borders never stacked up. We have that control for over half of all migrants to this country, and it isn't exercised extensively. I can only conclude that our politicians can't exercise that control correctly, or choose not to do so.

Whirlybird-driving infosec boss fined after ranty Blackpool Airport air traffic control antics


Flying private is costly, listening to/obeying ATC is mandatory...

Get used to it. If you don't like the costs, there are plenty of cheaper alternatives. LSA and Blackpool are less than ten miles apart ffs. Why you need to fly such a short distance is beyond me.

If this clown is that "entitled" he shouldn't be flying or driving. Last thing the airways or roads need is another person with this bloke's attitude.

Shame there isn't an idiot tax (other than a fine) that can't be applied to his flights on a regular basis.

'Buyer's remorse' drove HP's legal crusade to go after Lynch, High Court told


They're not suing Leo out of self-preservation.

If they went after Leo, it would call into question the board's judgement in appointing him in the first place, all of the correspondence and communication between board members (before, during and after his tenure). The number of skeletons falling out of various closets and the fallout in either direction would probably prove useful ammunition for any pending shareholder lawsuit against HP and it's board of directors (and I've no doubt there will be one after this omnishambles).

Far easier to blame Autonomy and Lynch (the outsider) than start exposing the inner manglement circle to the scrutiny of the outside world...

Autonomy did count some hardware sales as marketing costs, ex-finance bod tells High Court


It still doesn't sound like a smoking gun...

... accounting for hardware as marketing costs.

I'm not from a sales or accounting background (so excuse my ignorance), but to me if the end customer is paying for a solution, and it's provided as an appliance (software + hardware), and your end goal is to get the end customer to pony up for a software subscription (subscription-model income), then I can see the logic in running the hardware as a loss-leader - you make the product cheap to adopt, but the recurring subscription costs eventually net you the profit over a longer term. I could understand the hardware being sold as "marketing costs", effectively it's a promotional deal on the longer-term revenue you're hoping to net and does carry a short-term cost to the business.

HP had similar appliance product offerings at the time (Arcsight etc), would be interesting to know if they worked on a similar model as Arcsight appliances were software bundles on rebranded HP tin (usually Proliant servers). That's before you get to HP's SOHO printers where the printer is sold at a loss and they make their profit via proprietary consumables (ink cartridges)...

Even if you assume HP didn't use their hardware as a loss-leader for similar products, this still smacks of a fundamental lack of understanding of Autonomy's revenue stream (or more likely, they just assumed it was categorized in the same fashion as their own sales and didn't bother to check).

You looking for an AI project? You love Lego? Look no further than this Reg reader's machine-learning Lego sorter


That's an impressive piece of work.

123-Reg is at it again: Registrar charges chap for domains he didn’t order – and didn't want


Re: I had the same experience with 123-reg.

Cheers, I'll check them out.


Re: I had the same experience with 123-reg.

Yep, you're completely right. I'm staying out of laziness more than anything else. If I'd been stung for unwanted domains like the gent in this article I'd probably be more determined to move everything over.

Any recommendations? Never moved registrars before...


I had the same experience with 123-reg.

.UK domains added to my list, all of them set to auto-renew. After reading on here about it I decided to leave their status as is up until a week before they were due just to see what would happen. They were never removed from the auto-renew list, 123-reg didn't send out any further communications to customers. No apologies, no corrections, no clarifications. Just a series of automated emails telling me that the .uk domains were due for renewal (and the cost of doing so).

I removed them all from the list myself, I have no problem with registrars offering discounts on new TLDs, that's their line of business and it's fair enough. Auto-assigning a TLD you didn't ask for and then setting it to automatically draw payment is shady though, I've removed all of my .uks and won't be paying for any through 123-reg. If they'd behaved differently I might have grabbed a couple of them.

Only reason I'm still with 123 is because I use them purely as a registrar, and we host everything else...

We lose money on repairs, sobs penniless Apple, even though we charge y'all a fortune


The difference between Jones/Rossman and Apple is the same as the difference between a motor engineer and most car dealers.

Jones/Rossman have expert skills in low-level hardware diagnostics/repairs. They understand the connectivity between the electrical components and have the tools needed to interrogate them for faults. They're able to quickly determine and resolve the cause of a hardware fault, usually right down to the faulty chip, IC or transistor. They'll then obtain replacement components, remove the faulty ones and solder the replacements onto the board.

Your average Apple store will probably just diagnose the fault down to the nearest board and replace that entire assembly, regardless of which chip on it failed.

The expert costs more in labour but less in materials used, Apple have probably worked out that it's cheaper to hire support staff of a lower expertise level and just to take the hit on the increased cost of replacement parts and lost data.

Still, there's no reason why they can't just use conventional connectors/form factors (PCIe storage for example) to allow for easy data recovery or repair, and still produce a thin, sleek device. RAM, storage and batteries are usually the three most common hardware failures you see in a laptop (hell, they're the most common failures in a standard PC too if you swap batteries for PSUs). It's price gouging/planned obscelescence and nothing more.

Apple's latest keyboard travels back in time to when they weren't crap


Full teardown is out...


Minor components are modular, but the processor, RAM, and flash memory are soldered to the logic board.

Glue and/or rivets secure the keyboard, battery, speakers, and Touch Bar, making those components a tricky fix.

The Touch ID sensor is the power switch and is locked to the logic board, greatly complicating repairs.

1/10 for repairability. Anyone rivetting components into a laptop in this day and age can't hide behind the excuse of making it "easier to recycle".

Complete with keyboard and actual, literal, 'physical' escape key: Apple emits new 16" $2.4k+ MacBook Pro


Re: Trade in

Yep, it's HP losing the plot.

With the Gen8, you could swap out the Celeron/Pentium CPU for a low-power Xeon, slap ESXi/KVM on it and have a decent low powered server. It also had an iLO so you could stick it somewhere in the house like a cupboard and remote in when it went wrong. HP also had some decent cashback offers on them so you never paid more than £200 or so. It was a cracking little box at a steal.

Gen10 has a soldered down low-powered AMD dual-core Opteron that is slower than a Gen8 rocking a Xeon. No iLO functionality, no HP cashback discounts, no included HDD.


Re: Selective deafness

I'm in the same boat as TonyJ and Hans 1.

Bought a 2012 MBP new with 4GB RAM and a 500GB HDD, as my software/storage needs have expanded, I've upgraded it to 16Gb RAM, 2TB SSD and 3TB HDD (by replacing the optical drive). A 7 year old laptop still happily chugs along running today's workloads as a result. Original battery still working great, but I can easily swap it out when it fails. There's a reason why this model still sells for £500-700 on ebay used - because it's easily repairable and upgradeable. Also, I can plug in all of my peripherals in on the move without needing a sea of fecking stupid dongles (SD slot, USB ports, NIC, etc).

Whoever is suggesting you carry round external batteries, storage and a dock is an idiot. I don't have to do that with my 7-year old laptop (or a model any of Apples competitors), why should I have to do that just for the Apple equivalent? Also, if I'm blowing £2500+ on a laptop I'd expect it to meet my needs out the box, not need a second bag of peripherals to make up for it's hardware limitations on the move.

Given the physical dimensions of RAM/PCIE storage, there's no reason why these have to be soldered/glued in on the new model other than Apple making a killing from forcing you to pay for both upfront. It's certainly not a devotion to a slimeline device.

I'd have no problem with a Macbook Pro that's slightly thicker and heavier if it was easily serviceable and had all the connectivity I needed. Hell, I'd actually pay more. But until they reach that point, I'll pass.

Repairability fiends crack open a Surface Laptop 3: Nice SSD, but shame about the battery


Re: I don't care

At the other end of the spectrum, Apple Macbooks now have the SSD directly integrated into the logic/mainboard. If your storage fails, your only options are external storage via USB-C or a complete logic board replacement. They've even done away with the proprietary recovery port they had on the board that could be used for data recovery in the event of a failure.

I'm still using a Macbook Pro 2012, it was the last model in the range where you could easily swap out batteries, storage and RAM without the application of heat or solvents to remove glue. It's a bit clunkier than the newer models but still a really good bit of kit. Unless Apple relent in their current practices it'll be the last one I own.

Deus ex hackina: It took just 10 minutes to find data-divulging demons corrupting Pope's Click to Pray eRosary app


Unlimited Password retries? Sloppy coding?

That would be an ecumenical matter...

Driving Xtreme Cuts: DXC Technology waves bye bye to 45% of Americas Security divison


Re: Another reason not to use DXC

That's all you ever used to get with HPE before it was DXC.

People saw that big blue HP logo (or the daft green letterbox) and assumed they were getting a premium service or solution. In reality it was best-brand price, best-shore resources.

DXC don't even have the history or recognisable brand to pull that kind of con off.

Judge slaps down Meg Whitman for accusing Autonomy boss of being a 'fraudster who committed fraud'


Re: Wow, that certified software has really had to prove itself.

As an ex-HPE employee, I can assure you that any HP process is more convoluted than a couple of hours filling in a form.

The operational processes consultants, engineers and technical staff had to follow were an absolute nightmare and definitely obstructed our ability to do our job. They hampered our productivity and cost the business money without adding real value. A lot of these processes were established, then never reviewed or changed, meaning we were commonly following guidance and procedure that was years out of date. Any attempt to question the absurdity of the process was met with hostility from upper levels of management.

It wouldn't surprise me if the processes on the sales/procurement side of the fence were just as bad if not worse. I'm more inclined to believe Lynch on this than Whitman.

Better late than never: Cisco's software-defined networking platform ACI finally lands on AWS


Re: If you need ACI in AWS or Azure, you're just doing it wrong

Network engineers retch at ACI because instead of 90 click throughs for a basic VLAN and L2 connectivity, it takes a handful of lines of config on any other switch, whether it's running NX-OS, IOS, Commware, or whatever your poison.

Usually a couple of lines for the VLAN (name and number), a line on every port you want the VLAN assigned or trunked to (which can usually be applied with a range command), plus an additional couple if you want to configure an SVI/gateway interface for routing.

Most network guys I've worked with can script, and can easily and quickly stand up stuff like this in a matter of minutes. ACI has been a massive step backwards in terms of speed and user friendliness.

Autonomy was a 'pure-play software company', testifies former HP chief exec Léo Apotheker


I'd say she was bang on the money too.

He froze her out of the discussions surrounding the acquisition, then tried to fire her when she found out they were going to buy Autonomy anyway. I don't think he can blame her for anything given she was completely ignored during the whole process.

As an ex-HPer I don't hold any of the board members or execs in high regard, but it doesn't sound like you can blame Lesjack for any of this mess.

HP crashed Autonomy because US tech titan's top brass 'lost their nerve', says lawyer for ex-CEO Mike Lynch


"Losing their nerve" is a common theme in all of HP's acquisitions...

They buy something, they think they can force it to run the HP way, they destroy whatever made that acquisition an initial success, drive out all the good staff and then eventually write it off as a lost cause and spin it off.

Lynch isn't wrong there.

DXC Technology asks field-based techies if they'd like to leave


I heard from one of their recruiters this week...

... pinging me via LinkedIn, asking if I'd be interested in a "Senior DevOops position" (their spelling, not mine).

Locally they're struggling to fill vacancies with anything other than fresh grads wanting some experience on their CV or contractors willing to take the coin (but who are well aware of what mess they are getting themselves into).

Apple laughing all the way to the bank – with profits of $5.3m per hour


Re: Apple: You WILL like our designs.

I can think of a couple of reasons for swapping out a laptop drive, and not all of them have to do with needing more onboard storage. Drive failure for one.

Another being that the easiest way to give a creaking laptop a new lease of life is to increase the RAM and throw in an SSD in place of the original drive. I've lost count of the number of colleagues I've seen do this, but usually with an older i5/i7 laptop rather than an Argos £300 core-duo special.

Want to do either with a new Macbook Pro? Forget it.


Re: Apple: You WILL like our designs.


My Macbook Pro 2012 is still going strong, with a RAM upgrade to 16Gb from 4Gb, an SSD swapout, and the optical drive swapped for a second HDD. When it eventually gives up I'd buy another Macbook Pro in a heartbeat if it wasn't a soldered/glued together mess of non-user-servicable parts.

There's no reason why RAM and SSDs have to be soldered to the mainboard either, every other manufacturer gets by without having to do so.

Microsoft's new Surface laptop defeats teardown – with glue


There must be better alternatives to gluing everything together...

... for the purposes of recycling.

I have no problem with laptops that are easier to recycle but this strikes me as the laziest and cheapest way to achieve that, and at the expense of repair/reuse/extending the lifespan of a device.

Why is it necessary to solder RAM and PCIE devices to a laptop's mother/logic board? What's wrong with old-fashioned plastic sockets and plastic clips to hold components in place? If easy dissassembly is a requirement (using heat), why not use a plastic which can cope with the heat generated by normal use but at a higher temperature (say 180C) or with the use of a mild solvent melts away and allows for easy separation of these components?

The current attitude towards this seems to indicate that vendors aren't interested in the life of a device beyond it's initial 3 years (where failures are rare and upgrades aren't usually required). There has been and always will be a market for devices older than this, where people on a budget buy second hand/reconditioned from a reseller or auction site, or retain their device and continue to use it. My current laptop is five years old and should easily last another 3-4 with the upgrades I've installed so far.

Microsoft raises pistol, pulls the trigger on Windows 7, 8 updates for new Intel, AMD chips


There's always a way round it...

... If Win7/8 aren't supported with new CPUs, I'd wager the enterprise equivalent (Win2008 or Win2011 HS) is, and will probably run with new hardware no problem. Looking on the net, you can get a single Win2008 OEM licence for about £99.

The next time I build a new PC for games, I'll try out one of my MSDN keys to see if it works and how games react to it, if it works without any problems I'll get the server licence instead.

That being said, if the support is provided for the Server editions, it can't be that hard to backport it to Win7? Surely some enterprising soul would be able to reverse-engineer the drivers/kernel modules and port them across?

Oracle doing due diligence on Accenture. Yep, you read that right


Re: Whats this GUI thingy?

You'd end up with Oracle's own version of DXC?

Roses are red, violets are blue, fake-news-detecting AI is fake news, too


Why are we creating bots and AI to combat fake news?

Why not educate people to assess information critically and with a healthy dose of skepticism?

Devolving this key thought process to an algorithm gives rise to the belief that critical thinking is a redundant skill, it also means people are more likely to blindly trust what they read without questioning it.

Why I just bought a MacBook Air instead of the new Pro


Glad to see...

... it's not just me thinking this in regards to Apple's latest Pro offering.

I get that Apple have always done their own thing around connectivity, but the new laptops can't even be connected to the new iPhone line unless it's through an adapter. That tells me this new direction isn't thought through in terms of their own devices, let alone anyone elses. It's the same with the iPhone 7 - no headphone jack, yet the much-hyped Airpod option isn't available yet due to the constraints around making it work.

I've got two Macbook Pros in front of me as I type this - one a work laptop (2015 model), the other a personal machine (Mid-2012 i7). The personal is my favourite - one of the last models to be easily upgraded, and I've added 16Gb RAM, a 1TB SSD and a 1TB HDD in place of the optical drive. It still happily powers through anything I throw at it.

Looking at the work Mac, I can see the reduction in connectivity and functionality options and I agree with the design choices. I never really used an optical drive on the go (hence me swapping it for an HDD) or the firewire ports, but actively use the rest (HDMI, Displayport, USB, SD). I don't like the fact this laptop can't be easily upgraded with everything being soldered together, but then again I wouldn't choose to with it being a work laptop.

I can't say that about the new Pro model. Whilst the touchbar is nice, I wouldn't upgrade to a new machine solely to have it. The connectivity options are poor - whilst I get USB ports aren't very elegant in their appearance, they are widely used for every external peripheral going and their omission is a mistake at this point in time. I could understand Apple's direction if the USB-C port was starting to catch on, but you can't even get USB-C cables for Apple's peripherals yet.

I agree with the reduction in connectivity options for the Macbook and Macbook Air - traditionally these laptops have been used by people who want shiny, light and minimalist. The same isn't true for the Pro - it's a machine for the power user on the move. And the power user isn't going to buy it if it doesn't meet their needs, let alone allow them to connect their walled-garden devices easily without a sea of dongle adaptors.

Facebook chokes off car insurance slurp because – get this – it has privacy concerns


This leaves a number of unanswered questions....

... namely - what effect would your collection of dank facebook memes have on your insurance premium?

Possible reprieve for the venerable A-10 Warthog


The A10 is a great of example of a plane that is still relevant...

... to the conditions it was designed to operate in.

Over half a ton of titanium armour around the cockpit, great maneuverability at low speed, the ability to carry lots of additional armament in addition to a huge capacity for cannon rounds, multiple redundancies in its flight systems, able to take off from short runways near the front line and designed to be easy to keep in service with minimal access to spares. The requirements of air-to-ground support haven't really changed since it was designed and built. It's now a great example of a mature design that has proven itself over decades, and that will cost less to keep in service as a result.

The F35 isn't suited to this sort of role, so trying to divert the funding from the A10 doesn't really make sense. Still, I suspect this is more about the politics of funding rather than the merits of a proven plane.

I couldn't honestly see an F35 staying airborne after this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Campbell_(pilot)

HP doorsteps Apple shoppers at the altar of dreams


Re: The problem with the HP kit no matter how good it is, is...

It's not Windows 10 you have to worry about, it's the bloatware layer introduced by HP's drivers and "free" software shoved onto their consumer devices.

Guaranteed to reduce any HP device to a crawl unless it's flattened and rebuilt from scratch without them.


HP management miss the point again...

"Apple has been the defining brand for engineering amazing premium devices. Apple has defined premium design for decades."

Ironic, because HP used to be known for making well-engineered devices too, then they cut corners on components, build, and support all to turn a profit. Their devices went from rock-solid, state-of-the-art performers to cheap bits of plastic that fell to bits.

Personally, I'd have preferred it if HP had continued to make decent devices, rather than retreating from it to make a cheap buck then running back towards it when they think they can sell more units. If they had, Apple might have had more competition and customers would have had a better choice.

Latest Intel, AMD chips will only run Windows 10 ... and Linux, BSD, OS X


What's to stop...

... AMD, Intel and other processor vendors from writing their own drivers to fill the gaps for older operating systems to run on new hardware?

Microsoft don't control their entire ecosystem (unlike Apple), so can't prevent third party drivers being written that provide the necessary compatibility...

IBM swings axe through staff, humming contently about cloud and AI


Re: IBM managemant plan

Not quite.

Customers unhappy with paying top-dollar for overseas support instead go to specialists in overseas support (WiPro, Infosys, Tech Mahindra etc) and pay far less for the same support by cutting out the expensive (and useless) IBM middle-management layer.

Same situation with HPE.

VMware: We're gonna patent hot-swapping your VMs' host OS


Good job Microsoft didn't get there first...

otherwise they'd be "hotswapping" us all onto Windows 10...

HPE is still swinging the layoffs axe: 500 more services folk get chop


The daft bit about all of these cuts isn't that the company isn't profitable in it's present form, it's just not as profitable as the shareholders want.

HPE and HPI (pre-split) made $7bn in profit in 2014 (on sales of $111bn).

I agree there's a lot HPE could be doing better, but a lot of it involves thinking smarter, overhauling internal processes, and investing in their infrastructure and staff. Problem is that all of these measures take years to produce meaningful results, and you can't do them half-heartedly or you end up in a worse mess than you were before.

The only measure the short-sighted management at HPE can come up with is to cut heads, even if they do meaningful/important/revenue generating work, like my former team.

If you feel the need to shed 40,000 staff in two years, then really it says one of two things about your stewardship:

1) You don't have a firm grip on the organisation (you're incompetent) and should resign as chairwoman/director/board member

2) You don't have a clue what these people do or why they matter to your organisation, and again, you're incompetent and should resign.

HPE spins out enterprise services business into CSC


It doesn't surprise me that HPE are spinning off ES, they've been completely void of ideas as to how to turn it round, short of laying staff off by the thousands.

A lot of the ex-EDSers I worked with at HPE/HPES in ITO saw parallels in the way EDS was run prior to the HP buyout and how it has been run over the last couple of years.

Bans on overtime, travel and home working, screws tightened on investment and internal spend (training, staff education etc). Huge cuts into staff numbers. All of these short-term measures enacted to give the impression to a potential buyer that the company was lean, mean and profitable.

The truth is that EDS were holed below the waterline by these same measures pre-acquisition, and HP found out they'd been sold a pup. Odd to see history repeating itself.

If CSC think they can make "synergies" they're in for a rude shock.



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