* Posts by sketharaman

39 posts • joined 6 May 2019

Dell cuts jobs again... which in Dell-speak is 'addressing cost structure to make sure we’re competitive'

sketharaman

Re: Computerless Cloud

...because cloud providers don't need DELL computers. ICYMI, the AWSes and Azures of the world tend to buy servers and other computer equipment from relatively unbranded companies, and not from DELL. While cloud is not a challenge for computers, it's definitely a major challenge for DELL - and HPE, Lenovo, and other onprem computer gear suppliers.

Server buyers ask Lenovo for made-in-Mexico models instead of Chinese kit

sketharaman

Nutanix for Lenovo

What exactly is the locus standi of Nutanix's VP to talk about Lenovo? What makes him so confident that he can make assurances like "Lenovo will go out of its way to make sure the customer is happy” on behalf of another company?

Infosys to hire 12,000 more Americans – especially the cheapest ones it can find

sketharaman

Striking the Balance

Great question! Especially when the cost against quality is a non-linear scale. I've been in IT for 20+ years. In my experience, if it costs $X to get 70% of a software right, it costs another $X to go to 95% and yet another $X to reach near 100% quality. Quite often, project sponsors forget this and assume that they can go from 95% to 100% by incurring just 5% of the project cost, which is why some software never reaches 100% quality. https://twitter.com/s_ketharaman/status/1181955118482313217 . Also, different usage scenarios needs different levels of quality. https://twitter.com/GTM360/status/1264896602822578178

Google, Amazon pass on UK Digital Services Tax by hiking ad prices, fees at same rate the government takes

sketharaman

Move on nothing to see.

Taxes are always passed on to customers. Nothing to see move on.

Outage: Faulty UPS at data centre housing London Internet Exchange causes grief for ISPs and telcos alike

sketharaman

OMG, this is close - next door to my ex-house in Meridian Place E14 9FF!

Geneticists throw hands in the air, change gene naming rules to finally stop Microsoft Excel eating their data

sketharaman

SEPT2 ... automatically formatted to 2-Sep.

Nope. Excel autoformats the numeral as year, not day. SEPT2 becomes 1-Sep-2002, not 2-Sep.

Someone made an AI that predicted gender from email addresses, usernames. It went about as well as expected

sketharaman

I once wished for an algo to predict a person's religion from their name and email to ascertain whether it was appropriate to send them a Diwali Greeting. https://gtm360.com/blog/2014/01/24/how-a-small-problem-in-mail-merge-leads-to-a-big-lesson-about-content-marketing/. I never dreamt that it was so damn hard to just predict gender. On a side note, this tool claims to predict gender from email addresses and usernames. All examples that have busted the tool have words like stupid, women, etc. TBH, while whatever has happened to this tool has happened, I can't think of any email addresses or usernames with these words. In other words, I find these tests dubious. Twitter works like Twitter but no rigorous testing methodology for this tool will use such test cases.

India drops the bar on e-commerce seller's listings: You want to sell it? Tell us where it came from from then

sketharaman

"Inform people in case they go Chinese and ignore self-sufficiency drive". This is the first I'm hearing about this. Since it's in the title, I'm assuming this is a provision under the new law. How exactly are ecommerce companies supposed to do that informing? By simply declaring China as Country of Origin and leaving it to people to draw the inference by themselves or do they need to flash some banner at the point of purchase saying "traitor" or something like that?

Machine-learning models trained on pre-COVID data are now completely out of whack, says Gartner

sketharaman

They say past results are no guarantee of future performance. Then they use AI/ML systems to improve future performance. But these systems can't work unless they're trained on past data. #GoFigure

ServiceNow slammed for 'tone deaf' letter telling customers contracts can't be tweaked as COVID-19 batters businesses

sketharaman

Re: @Chris Hills - Are you telling me

Having been a part of the vendor sales team, that's exactly how it works. Totally agree - except for the word "implantation" unless you meant "implementation". But there's also another side to it. Large customers take 3-6 months to whet and sign contracts whereas their CxOs put pressure on vendor to start work immediately. Ergo, we end up where we end up. This hasn't changed in my last 20 years of experience in software sales and marketing.

sketharaman

Re: Legal?

Extremely well said: "as I've learned from painful life experience, people don't want to be educated on the negatives of their decisions; either they learn it themselves or they don't wish to learn about them at all."

Indian app that deleted Chinese apps from Androids deleted from Play Store

sketharaman

Re: What horrid security Android has to allow this in the first place

I have installed and used this app. It does not delete anything. The app only lists apps it calls China apps. It gives me the option to delete the listed apps. If I don't exercise that option, the apps remain on my phone. It's just like many other storage management apps like CCleaner.

sketharaman

Re: Remove China Apps

OIC I didn't know that!

Wipro names new CEO: Former Capgemini COO Thierry Delaporte

sketharaman

Western India ....

When I worked in WIPRO in the late 1980s, we were told the full form is WESTERN INDIA VEGETABLE PRODUCTS, after the company's origin in Bombay in western India, trading and later manufacturing of soaps and "vanaspati" (hydrogenerated vegetable oil). I just Googled, I see that the "vegetable" has been dropped but otherwise it's the same. I don't think WIPRO ever had Palm Oil as a part of its name.

US cable subscribers are still being 'ripped off' by creeping price increases – and this lot has had enough

sketharaman

What Is Cable TV?

By now I thought "Cord Cutters" would have killed Cable TV?

Uber plans to ride out of stable Singapore, move APAC HQ to high-tension Hong Kong

sketharaman

Uber & Regulatory Gaps

I was curious about Uber's legality status in Hong Kong. Apparently, it's not legal enough for having rider protections and insurances as a rider would get with licensed taxi, so it's a case of "caveat rider". Just the type of "regulatory gap" that Uber has thrived on in many other cities it operates. What can go wrong in HK, eh?

$500bn fewer greenbacks to be forked out on IT in 2020 due to... well, you know what

sketharaman

Yes. Gartner's forecasts about tech are generally more accurate than Imperial College of London's forecasts about epidemics.

Twitter sticks a beak in, Clippy-style: Are you sure you want to set your account alight with that flame?

sketharaman

You can certainly edit a tweet

Didn't think they kept a screenshot of the punchcard back in the day...

Google says no more shady anonymous web ads – if you want your billboard up, you've got to show us some valid ID

sketharaman

Google Knows!

I run a marketing solutions company and we've been buying Google Ads for over 10 years. Of course, Google knows the identity of the Advertiser. If Google wanted to, it can also verify some or all of the ID by using the bank account or credit card information submitted by the Advertiser. (For the uninitiated, it's impossible to set up a Google Ads account without adding at least one funding source). But what Google is doing with its new measure, I'm guessing, is seeking additional info like incorporation location, making the advertiser info public, and simultaneously giving a chance to the advertiser to clean up their accounts, if required, and submit the info regarding name, address, incorporation location etc. that they want their prospects and customers to know them by. For example, when I set up my Google Ads account, it was in my personal name. Even if I subsequently run my company ads on the same account, it doesn't matter since the ID is between me and Google. But, if my ID is going to be shown to the public, I'd rather change the name to my company name, which is how I want my ad to be seen.

New York Attorney General probes Charter over claims it forced staff to work in offices amid coronavirus pandemic

sketharaman

Onsite or Remote?

Having spent a good part of my career in sales and marketing, I appreciate the advantages of F2F interactions but remote working becomes necessary some times. And I'm not even talking about the current pandemic situation. A decade or two ago, my company was doing a multiyear-long IT transformation project for a Top 5 UK Bank. The HQ and Dev teams were in London whereas the Ops team was in Manchester. It so happened that the Manchester premises was new and extremely short of space. There were only 3 meeting rooms for a total staff strength of 3500 people. Our counterparts in Manchester told us there was no chance of securing a meeting room, so we'd do all our ops work remotely from London. Then one day, the proverbial s**t hit the proverbial f*n in our software and the matter got escalated to the Head of the SBU. This gentleman was one of those guys who read emails after his PA printed them out. To put it mildly, he was a bit skeptical about technology tools even though he was heading a business that was almost entirely driven by technology. When he saw us in his office in London, he shouted at us, asking what the heck we were doing in London when there was a fire in Manchester. We tried telling him about space constraints in Manchester but nothing worked. Long story short, a team of five of us took a Virgin Pendolino from Euston, reached Manchester, entered the office, as expected couldn't find a free meeting room, sat wherever we could find a seat, dialed in to the same bridge that we'd have dialed in from London. Big boss was happy. Who cares about a few thousands of pounds wasted on train tickets and hotel rooms, eh?

Hana-hana-hana: No it's not your dad trying to start a motorboat... It's Northern Gas, renewing its SAP software

sketharaman

Payroll has reduced from six hours to five minutes

Many SAP customers keep an SAP Consultant onsite while running SAP Payroll. Giving the high hourly billing rate of an SAP Consultant, savings obtained by reducing the payroll processing time from 6 hours to 5 minutes should payback the project cost in a month or two.

Wipro says clients already asking for discounts and restructured deals, decides not to offer guidance

sketharaman

So, WiPro is doing fine with its employees at home

"...to be able to mosey over to a colleague's desk and ask him a question". Maybe not.

I was working at a Top 10 Indian IT company at the time. Two coworkers sat across a cubicle partition. Guy 1 could've stood up and seen for himself whether Guy 2 was on his seat or not. But, no, he doesn't do that. Instead, he sends a message to Guy 2 on the company's internal IM system asking "Are you there?" Guy 2 replies, "Yes". Guy 1 then asks Guy 2, "Shall we go for lunch?". Guy 2 replies, "Yes". Then they both get up from their respective seats opposite each other, and walk towards the cafeteria. This was 15 years ago. These two guys were definitely not Millennials. Today, with Millennials in the workforce and smartphones and WhatsApp or InstaGram, "Mosey over" is not a thing in Indian IT companies.

India crowdsources COVID-19 response – startups told to make YouTube vids to win

sketharaman

Re: COVID-19 status in India

I quite like the one from Bing. www.bing.com/covid. Covers all impacted countries, including India.

Fed-up air safety bods ban A350 pilots from enjoying cockpit coffees

sketharaman

I first read about this risk in the book entitled LOW PRESSURE by Sandra Brown. One of the engines shuts down. Root Cause Analysis nails copilot, who spilled coffee on the instrument panel, then technician who disabled another instrument while wiping it clean, and a series of snafus. Takeaway was, for an aircraft to crash, many things have to go wrong at the same time.

Co-Op Insurance and IBM play blame game over collapse of £175m megaproject

sketharaman

TBH, a "no outsource" clause won't help. As someone who has worked in the industry and negotiated such contracts and delivered such projects, it's always possible to circumvent a "no outsource" clause by "insourcing" the subcontractor's product and people. Happens all the time in systems integration contracts where the end-to-end scope of work involves many suppliers and products and customer wants a single throat to choke. It's simply impossible for the Prime Contractor to do everything on its own without partnering with the other suppliers. At least in this case, the saving grace is, the customer has a single vendor - IBM - to sue.

To catch a thief, go to Google with a geofence warrant – and it will give you all the details

sketharaman

Re: Sooo....

Hahaha...

On a side note, I accidentally clicked the link to the Search Warrant. Never thought it'd be such a great source of info about tech. But it is: (1) Crystal clear explanation of features (2) No hype since it's submitted under oath:)

Brother, can you spare a dime: Flickr owner sends mass-email begging for subscriptions

sketharaman

I lost years worth of timesheets, highlights and other stuff when website after website shut down without warning. All of them said they'd let me download my archive but none of them fulfilled that promise. When the deadpool reached three companies, I invoked the "three strikes and you're out" policy and now don't store online any content that I can store in my hard disk. Maybe retro but at least I'm no longer "terrified at the prospect of losing over a decade's worth" of my content.

Non-unicorn $700 e-scooter shop Unicorn folds with no refunds – after blowing all its cash on online ads

sketharaman

Re: The only winner in this

Online ads is growing at double digit rates. Proof that everyone is not like you.

SAP bet the house on S/4HANA but most users aren't ready to move

sketharaman

Re: Profitable

LOL. On top of profits, I believe SAP's market cap has gone up 50% in the last 5 years.

Blood, snot and fear: Why the travelling lone tech reporter should always knock twice

sketharaman

Re: lucky you...

LOL. He obviously doesn't subscribe to the NRA slogan "it's better to have it and not need it..."!

A stranger's TV went on spending spree with my Amazon account – and web giant did nothing about it for months

sketharaman

Uh oh, I didn't know there was something like linking a device to an Amazon account (although I know about that feature in Google accounts). Anyone knows where I can find the feature on Amazon's website to link a device?

Careful now, UK court ruling says email signature blocks can sign binding contracts

sketharaman

Why is there no mention of the email address? To me, whether the email has my signature or not, if it comes from my email address, I should be held liable for what it says. PS: Of course, email addresses can be spoofed but let's not make things too complicated at this stage.

Right-click opens up terrifying vistas of reality and Windows 95 user's frightful position therein

sketharaman

LOL at least you can right-click anytime and empty the Windows Recycle Bin. Not like my glass trash in Germany which could be emptied out in the bin located 2 kms away only by appointment. Memory serves, it was twice a week, one hour each time.

GoDaddy's daddy goes: Chief exec Scott Wagner steps down as hosting biz swings into the red

sketharaman

No I don't ... I hope it dies completely

My experience with GoDaddy is exactly the opposite. The price keeps going up every time the domain name comes up for renewal. Even if GoDaddy was cheap at year 1, it's no longer so cheap a few years later. I've rarely required support from GoDaddy - maybe because I only buy domain names from GoDaddy and host my websites elsewhere - but whenever I've reached out to GoDaddy via Twitter or Email, I've got good support.

This is not the cloud you're looking for.... Oracle's JEDI mind tricks work as Trump forces $10bn IT project to drop out of warp

sketharaman

Re: a really stupid way to run a country?

Totally agree. That's exactly what the problem with Cloud is. Cloud provider's marketing says, "Cloud helps you eliminate IT admin costs". Decision maker tends to assume that mundane stuff like backup done by IT admin will be taken over by Cloud provider. Only much later they find out that backup is not included in the basic cloud plan.

The Eldritch Horror of Date Formatting is visited upon Tesco

sketharaman

I'm not sure what's the international / ISO standard but, ever since I switched to 26 June 2019 format - whatever it's called - neither me nor my readers / customers from across the world have had any confusion.

Lyft, Uber drivers boost app surge prices by turning off, tuning out – and cashing in

sketharaman

Alternative Revenue Source for Uber

I keep having this experience. Back in the day, when the driver canceled, rider wasn't fined (I've heard that driver was fined). Whereas, nowadays, I, as rider, get fined even if driver cancels. What I think is happening behind the scenes is, Uber fines driver and rider when driver cancels. Rider can get a refund but only after claiming it on the app. Not many people would be willing to jump thru' so many hoops for a fairly small amount, so Uber gets to pocket the amount. I'm reasonably sure this Rider fine is an "alternative" source for Uber, not driver. Saddens me to find out that the poster child of startups, creator of new gig economy, and $80B company has to resort to nickel-and-diming, just like streetside handyman.

A real head-scratcher: Tech support called in because emails 'aren't showing timestamps'

sketharaman

Anecdotally, 70% of Fortune 500 companies have ERPs but over 90% of them submit reports to their board of directors in Excel. When he heard this, an ex-boss of mine who used to report to the Board quipped, “Makes sense. No other software lets you make so many last minute changes"!

sketharaman

I saw so many paper printouts in the SUITS legal drama TV series that, when it came to a lawyer playing a video, I was bracing myself for someone to roll out a projector and white screen. Thankfully, he used an iPad.

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