* Posts by Gunboat Diplomat

51 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Jun 2016


Microsoft wants Activision so badly, it's handing streaming rights over to ... Ubisoft?

Gunboat Diplomat

I think the CMA should hold out for...

A Morrowind remaster

IBM launches Watsonx to help enterprises streamline workers out the door

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Watsonx won't be any different from Watson

I remember the fanfare that came with the original Watson; a technology suite that did not improve IBM's fortunes. I can't see how adding an X will make this any different.

IBM lost its way a long time ago and is in slow terminal decline. I'm hoping watsonx is a way to accelerate it's demise - its sad to see what has become of IBM.

Fed up with Python setup and packaging? Try a shot of Rye

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Avoiding pip

I'm guessing they look up the package source code online and type it in locally using vi with pins wedged under their fingernails while fighting a bear.

Or maybe they use conda.

Basecamp details 'obscene' $3.2 million bill that caused it to quit the cloud

Gunboat Diplomat

Re: Cyber-darwinism - Adaptation is the key

My argument is that as far as the market goes, on-prem is the new COBOL. Although COBOL still survives and there are plenty of systems out there that still use it, it isn't mainstream any more and certainly isn't a desirable skill for most engineers. On-prem is becoming the same regardless of whether or not it's fair.

Gunboat Diplomat

Hiring impact

I'm not sure moving away from the public cloud providers is feasible from a hiring perspective for companies that develop software internally even if the financials make sense.

Most job adverts these days seem to consist of a title like Software/Data Engineer that lists a primary programming language (and may even include it in the title) and then list all the services of a particular cloud as essential to the role. However, this seems to be changing to include the target cloud in the title (e.g. Azure Data Engineer, Software Engineer - AWS).

With this focus on a particular cloud when hiring, it doesn't make sense to join a company that isn't using the cloud you prefer work in as it could cause you problems when dealing with either AI CV filtering or non-technical recruitment staff when applying for future roles. IT professionals have on the whole always been good at following trends so may not want to work at a company that isn't in their preferred cloud.

Scientists use dead spider as gripper for robot arm, label it a 'Necrobot'

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Re: I wonder how many of the folks screaming "inhumane!" ...

There's a big difference between a quick death via the sole of a shoe and being frozen to death over a week.

Gunboat Diplomat

What's the point?

This just seems cruel and unnecessary.

EU to formally probe Nvidia's $54bn takeover over British chip designer Arm – report

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Re: Whatt???

Some fabs are in china's sphere of influence admittedly, but please do explain precisely how this falls under eu jurisdiction beyond just both companies sell product there.

JavaScript, GitHub, AWS crowned winners in massive survey of 32,000 developers

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Re: Wot?

Well, the L in SQL stands for language and there are all sorts of crimes against computing you can commit with stored procedures. Apparently some versions of SQL are even Turing complete (joy of joys).

European Parliament's data adequacy objection: Doubts cast on UK's commitment to privacy protection

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Re: Just

Churchill's United States of Europe is often trotted out in defence of the EU and it's tiresome and disingenuous. The EU does not resemble the United States, if it did I suspect the UK would still be in it. Key differences you'll notice are that the US isn't run by a commission and that the federal government isn't trying to standardise every state law centrally.

VC's paper claims cost of cloud is twice as much as running on-premises. Let's have a look at that

Gunboat Diplomat

Cloud benefits

One of the big benefits of clouds is the ability to bypass processes and approvals you need with physical tin.

Large companies required any kind of hardware spend to be capex which if you're even spending a penny thereof usually requires approval and sign off from finance and a host of other departments. With the cloud, most managers can just increase their opex footprint without any of the hassle associated with capex. This becomes really handy in companies which have reached the capacity of their data centre - you don't want to fight and be billed for an entire new hosting location just because you want to add one more server.

So yes, on-prem is cheaper but only attractive to managers in a large company if that company is excellent at capacity planning and has streamlined approval processes that are reasonable.

Gunboat Diplomat

Re: There is a reason ...

Is this the reason, or is the underlying reason that companies just shoved everything into the cloud 'as is' - i.e. just move the VMs into EC2 and hope it works out as opposed to refactoring to use cheaper services (e.g. use S3 rather than fsx and so on)?

The Epic vs Apple trial is wrapping up, but the battle has just begun

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Re: Anyone remembered that Epic have their own store?

"that does make their arguments about controlling the market a bit hollow..."

No it doesn't, as there are other stores available on Windows including Steam which is by far the largest. They are free to compete for products and exclusivity deals and customers can choose to have one or all the stores on their machine - something not possible on IOS.

Gunboat Diplomat

Re: The lawyers have more paydays coming

"As far as Apple "taxing" in app purchases, it is very difficult to see any justification for the "tax". Apple are not providing any service - they are just demanding money with menaces."

That isn't entirely fair, they are effectively providing a hosting service for packages so there is a service and some costs.

The big problem is that there is no alternative so this is a rigged market. I don't have a problem with apple making money from the app store, but I do have a problem with them banning rival app stores as that is an antitrust problem.

Cloudflare stops offering to block LGBTQ webpages

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Re: Bravo, new El Reg. Finally arrived in the 2020s.

I too am glad that we can focus on one man's virtue signalling rather than the tiresome world of IT.

Over a decade on, and millions in legal fees, Supreme Court rules for Google over Oracle in Java API legal war

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Re: Wah Wah Wah! Oracle! They don't like the ruling!

Sun's management destroyed Sun (which was heartbreaking to read about at the time on this very website). Oracle just bought up what was left after Jonathan Schwartz ran it into the ground.

SAP exec reminds the world that Microsoft is a customer

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Re: As you note...

Exactly this! I've never seen a company not list Ericsson as a user.

Can Teradata avoid being grounded by on-prem legacy? Actually it helps in avoiding nasty cloud costs, says CEO

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Re: Admin

It's nothing like that at all. In your analogy it would be because Tesla charged it automatically for you.

Gunboat Diplomat

Re: Admin

You do realise that having to manually create indexes inside a database cluster on lots of tables is time consuming and is separate from general infrastructure setup?

Yes AWS, etc has multiple admin panels but they give you a lot more than AD did (provision servers, serverless functions, database clusters, networking, etc). Besides, you can use terraform to script your provisioning anyway.

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It's worth pointing out teradata needs a lot of admin work which the cloud-native offerings heavily reduce. For, example you don't have to worry about creating indexes in fields on Redshift, etc.

You wouldn’t know my new database, she goes to another school: Oracle boasts of earthshattering tech the outside world cannot see

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Autonomous tech isn't going to help

It wouldn't matter if Oracle databases we're completely self-managing. I suspect the cost of it and the concerns about lock in are something that few IT pros not already running Oracle would risk.

Personally, Oracle could release a database 50 times more powerful than anything else and I'd still avoid it due to lock in fears and the horror stories I hear about "licence audits".

React team observes that running everything on the client can be costly, aims to fix it with Server Components

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Re: Server side = not in user control?

I really don't think server side is a way to avoid EU regulations

Snowflake Q3 losses almost double, stock market flinches, then reckons: Nah, it's fine

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Re: Snowflake comes from the snowflake schema

The name isn't related to snowflake schemas which are a data warehouse anti-pattern. When I asked their sales team about that they stated the snowflake name was unrelated to snowflake schemas.

It's a really nice piece of tech with some cool features but it's quite expensive for a lot of SMEs compared to say Redshift but highly competitive compared to Teradata etc

Amazon’s cloudy Macs cost $25.99 a day. 77 days of usage would buy you your own Mac

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Not just about cost

I imagine it makes sense for some companies during the current situation - it's cheaper to buy your own but what if you've got multiple devs/testers working from home and due to lockdown/social distancing? Renting Macs on the cloud is probably a reasonable short term solution. Buying a Mac for everyone may not make sense and you may not want to send people to an office or data centre to set them all up.

Four years after Europe sorted this, America is still going around in circles on data privacy in stuffy hearings

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Re: "The GDPR is also pretty poor legislation with various issues"

I wasn't quoting Facebook, but thinking of the various books produced at the time of its introduction that disagreed on scope of GDPR. However, the fact that a court case is taking place proves my point. I've heard comments from several DPOs at companies along the lines of "a lot of this will only be determined by judge's ruling on court cases".

Gunboat Diplomat

Re: Yikes.

The poster you're responding to didn't mention the EU at all.

The GDPR is also pretty poor legislation with various issues, so I too would dispute the statement "Europe sorted this". To be fair the EU had a crack at it and it's better than nothing, however it if far from sorted.

As coronavirus catches tech CEOs with their pants down, IBM's Ginni Rometty warns of IT's new role post-pandemic

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Middle management

Ah yes, we don't need middle management. So what are the options? A senior manager deals with the bs coming from the exec team and the board while helping technical staff learn and grow while riding their Unicorn from fire to fire with an extinguisher in hand or; senior manager deals with the bs and expects a bunch of junior staff to plan projects, model and forecast costs, report progress, fight other mangers trying to hand off work, co-ordinate multiple teams all whilst actually doing the tech stuff they were hired for? I'm all for being empowered, but if you're paying someone a junior-mid level dev salary, I think it's only fair to give them the responsibilities of a junior-mid level dev, not half a manager's position responsibilities on top.

That probably isn't a concern for a woman who has continued ploughing the company she works for into the ground. Out of interest, how many layers of management are there between her and the lowest level of "doers"? Surely if they're between her and the lowest level they are in the middle, or is it the job title that makes them senior.

Maybe I'm just bitter, but during my brief stint at IBM I counted 7 levels between me and her and I was far from the lowest level.

The pro-privacy Browser Act has re-appeared in US Congress. But why does everyone except right-wing trolls hate it?

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Re: 2 percent facts, 98 percent ad hominem attacks

Personally, I found it frustrating I had to wade through 22 paragraphs before reaching the actual reason to be concerned about the bill (which admittedly is a very good reason). Please could there be a little less commentary / scene setting next time or at least put the commentary at the end?

Oh snap: AWS has only gone and brought out its own Backup

Gunboat Diplomat

Re: But S3 is only local to that region, no?

You can set up cross region replication in s3 to a bucket in another region.

Fork it! Microsoft adds .NET Core 3.0 including Windows Desktop apps

Gunboat Diplomat

Seems pretty straightforward

MS are porting everything they have to Linux so that they can run it on Linux in Azure (and presumably the Azure fabric on-premise stuff) so everything is being moved to .Net core. In the meantime, most .Net shops are running windows so need a path off the .Net framework platform and onto .Net core over time.

Muglia's monster Snowflake in quarter-of-a-billion-dollar funding blizzard

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It's not much better than AWS Redshift. Not sure why it is valued so highly.

Hehe, still writing code for a living? It's 2018. You could be earning x3 as a bug bounty hunter

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Worth it?

Personally I'd be bored shitless if I swapped building things for bug bounties so 2.7 times salary seems like a bad trade.

Also "The top earning hackers on HackerOne have earned more than the average salary of software engineers in their respective countries" makes me suspicious. How much does the average hacker earn compared to an average software engineer?

Concerns raised about privacy, GDPR as Lords peer over Data Protection Bill

Gunboat Diplomat

This'll be interesting


Postcodes are PII so you have not fully deidentified anything."

Post codes are not PII, they don't identify an individual and are freely available for download from government websites. If you combine it with other data it could result in what might be considered a PII dataset.

This law is a total mess, even the ico doesn't know what guidance to issue. At best we'll end up with the pii equivalent of the websites must notify about cookies rule. Most likely it'll all be decided in a wide variety of court cases which means legal standpoints will be a total shambles.

Onwards to Valhalla: Java ain't dead yet and it's only getting bigger

Gunboat Diplomat

Depends on your situation

It's not a case of Java being good or bad, it's about using the right tool for the job. If you need to build things quickly and aren't concerned about maximising the use of your compute resources, a language like python is probably better for your organisation (significantly fewer lines of code, quicker to dev, easier to cross-train staff, etc).

If you're doing something like large scale data stream processing (100s of thousands of records per second and above) using Apache Spark and budget constraints mean you need to make the most of your cluster then you are much better off on the JVM (Scala / Java /etc).

Note: Of course you can scale Python to extreme levels (youtube) and Java (Google). However, most organisations don't need extreme scale.

UK PC prices have risen 30% in a year since the EU referendum

Gunboat Diplomat

Re: Markets are mostly psychology

"Protip: it's not the 1600's any more, the UK is not an empire. UK needs EU more than EU needs UK."

Incorrect - check out the trade deficit figures.

Spotify just can't wash those songwriters out of its hair

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I don't understand

Why do Spotify have to pay the songwriter if they've already paid the record label? I really don't see why the songwriter should be paid a royalty by the consumer of a recording (or distributor or whatever spotify is considered) by the consumer of said recording when the publisher of said recording has been paid - why shouldn't this be covered under the recording deal (i.e. publisher gets paid for use of recording, they sort out their own commercial deals with the songwriter)?

It just seems a messy approach with the only certain outcome being the creation of repeated legal issues.

Linus Torvalds slams 'pure garbage' from 'clowns' at Grsecurity

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It's pretty tiresome seeing the 'ends justifies the means' argument being dusted off to defend Torvalds again. The man clearly has a great amount of technical ability, but he's not a leader. Imho, Linux is the best os available, but it's still got a lot of flaws, being rude won't encourage more people to get involved and fix those flaws.

Microsoft makes cheeky bid for MongoDB devs on Azure security grounds

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Yes, the auth approach in mongo is a pain in the arse, but why change the port? Just don't open it up to the whole world. If you allow connections from anywhere to your DB you're going to suffer regardless of tech.

Munich may dump Linux for Windows

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Might I suggest...

Contacting them for comment if the translation is imprecise?

China and Russia aren't ready to go it alone on tech, but their threats are worryingly plausible

Gunboat Diplomat


If I were allowed to run a country with no regard for human rights and the ability to imprison / execute people who didn't agree with me, I could also manage amazing growth and productivity. Literally starving to death is quite the workforce motivation.

However, we don't allow that in the West and I don't think it is something to aspire to. The fact we praise and do business with countries that behave in such a way appalls me.

Enterprise Yammer goes on end-of-life list for January 2017

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Big Brother

Re: What is yammer

It's a cracking way of identifying who in your organisation doesn't have enough work to do - the list of most active users is great ;)

Loss-making data-viz biz to investors: You know what our problem is? We did too well

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Am I being thick?

Shouldn't more sales translate to more profit rather than bigger loss due to commission? Should commission be a percentage of the sale, not exceed it?

Happy Sysadmin Day!

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Are there any sysadmins left?

I thought they'd all been sent off to the El Reg DevOps re-education camps.

Why Big Business is usually last to the party

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Re: Its the power to say 'no'

Yes - exactly this! Loads of people can say no, but they aren't expected/required to suggest a way to solve a problem/make it work.

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Agree in principle

I agree with the article - large businesses can afford to do this, but they often won't. As core systems that underpin the business are seen purely as cost, with senior management not understanding/refusing to acknowledge that no system changes mean they can't do all those new things they want. Apparently revenue generation is a concept only applied to sales fleshware.

Linus Torvalds in sweary rant about punctuation in kernel comments

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I'm always astounded at these childish outbursts. I've got a lot of respect for the kernel devs who put up with this man's shit. I wouldn't stay on a project if the lead behaved like that.

Microsoft buys LinkedIn for the price of 36 Instagrams

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@Sammy Smalls

"Maybe I'm wrong, but there must be something better to spend $26B on."

Oh absolutely, I would have thought porting everything they have onto Linux (Office, etc) would be good - they'd get more sales probably.

Of course, to me the dream would be to just have the Windows 7's UI as a Desktop manager on top of a Linux distro and get AD ported to Linux and then we'd never have to see Windows on the server or desktop ever again.

[Reluctant] Windows User [at work] icon

Alternatively, throw $25 billion in a fire and buy linked in with the final billion?