* Posts by JamesTGrant

153 publicly visible posts • joined 18 Aug 2021


Staff say Dell's return to office mandate is a stealth layoff, especially for women


Re: Feeeeeeemales

Depends what you are being paid for. My contract provides a weekly hour total, my business expects an amount of output and I try to ensure that output produces value that the company can get money from. If I have an ‘inspirational’ week and do something excellent I am able to relax the following week - give and take. I chat with my team for 15mins every day and have a 30min chat with my line manager every week or two - so there’s no way for me to unilaterally develop a high or low self opinion.

A job is just people, find a group of people that are compassionate, intelligent and motivated and, chances are you’ll enjoy the job.

If you’re inflexible and want people in a certain geographic location for a fixed period of time then chances are you’ll only employ people who accept those conditions - which some might find great. Others may not. A lot of the ‘Dell wtf’ is them making arbitrary changes to their working conditions in contradiction to previously vaunted terms.

Apple Vision Pro units returned as folks just can't see themselves using it


Re: re: Overall, once you've had the Watch, it becomes very difficult to live without it.

I’ve the opposite ‘problem’ - if it’s not got knives and forks, or clothes in it, there’s an excellent chance any randomly selected drawer in my place will have a couple of pencils, a tape measure and a calculator. I still do spend quite a bit of time hunting for my favourite ones.

At one point we had a power cut that lasted about 2 hours at night, the next day Mrs G when shopping and for a few years afterwards you could find wax candles and lighters in every drawer - still haven’t used any of them.

The thing I should sprinkle in every draw - elastic bands - never lay my hands on one quickly.

Cutting kids off from the dark web – the solution can only ever be social


Re: Forbidden fruit

That’s exactly how I learned - by the time I was doing my A Levels I had a cracked f/w running on our home modem - with a hole cut into the top and a heat sink on the two hottest chips and cooling fan glued to the top. My folks were happy that there was someone in the house that could tell them when it was a ‘turn off and on again, or problem that needs a phone call to ISP’ and I wasn’t motivated to do anything more nefarious than downloading lots of pictures of ladies with no clothes on and playing computer games like Championship Manager and hacking stats!

Someone had to say it: Scientists propose AI apocalypse kill switches


It’s all very portable though?

Current ChatGPT4 storage size is (according to some articles that Google pops up!!) about 700GB and needs a fair few GB RAM to run - you could run it at home for a single user on a computer you can build from normal computer hardware from normal computer resellers.

Think of Llama2 - once it’s ‘trained’ (or ‘baked’) it’s quite a small footprint and very portable. And easy to run on a modest home computer with no Internet access. You can run it on a Mac Mini.

What are they proposing, a knock on the door and a home inspection?

There’s no way to put the genie back in this bottle - even if you somehow persuaded a dozen private companies around the globe that they should prevent users accessing their backends in some coordinated way.

Raspberry Pi Pico cracks BitLocker in under a minute


Re: A brilliant testament to analysis

Mallory, who dat? Charlie shurley!

Windows 3.11 trundles on as job site pleads for 'driver updates' on German trains


Re: Disappointed

ISA bus? Nah, it’s a train!

Leaked email: Unit4 ERP system leaves some school staff with 'nil pay'


Re: Software is not "the easy part" of systems.

I think badly run projects go badly. Why do ERP projects have a poor reputation? I think because they are relatively ‘one-off’ per organisation per generation, they tend to require indepth knowledge about every role in the organisation and often large organisations have no one group that understands what and how the organisation does/runs, and every user is a stakeholder but not every user is considered or even included in testing.

Then, the project is generally outsourced to an integration partner who are looking to get the thing signed off as fast as possible for a fee and don’t share the same motivations and pains as the organisation that is receiving the ERP. Often the ‘project completion’ criteria are fine grained but rather miss the point of the bigger picture. Often the organisation holds its nose and ‘goes live’ because the prospect of continuing to spend money on the project is deemed too unpalatable, and the ‘scream test’ step is missed - leading to screaming and weeping for a while after launch until the organisation muddles through (usual) or goes bust. Either way it often ends up looking like a financial disaster. And inflicts misery on all the end users.

Linus Torvalds postpones Linux 6.8 merge window after being taken offline by storms


Re: Single point of failure?

To be fair - the NT kernel was pretty flippin’ excellent (one might argue that it’s still in use and as everyone who worked on it is now retired and there’s no one at Microsoft brave enough to work on it, it is the only reason Windows OS is stable. But that’d be unkind…)


Re: I sympathize with Linus.

You can still find homes with a similar layout in rural areas in the Middle East. Particularly on hill slopes.

Standards-obsessed boss ignored one, and suffered all night for his sin


Same! Not Kathy though.

We had a similar set up - two very expert (and very patient!!) in-house travel folk (Declan and Fiona - much missed). You could walk into their office and they’d tell you all the options within a couple of minutes and you’d say ‘that sounds like the best option’ and by the time you got back to your desk it’d all be booked.

Then came Concur (or Con-curse) and we had to DIY - simply terrible. I live in U.K and was once in Denver for a few weeks and something in Concur automatically cancelled my return flight (I think it was because it’d been rescheduled by a few hours or something). I found out the day of travel when attempting to check in. I called the airline who said ‘ah yes, your ticket was cancelled yesterday’. The Concur ‘emergency’ support was available between 9am-5pm UK time, which is pretty useless if you’re travelling. In the end I bought a ticket (which was very expensive) at the airport on Corporate credit card. Just that additional spend alone was as much as one month’s salary at the time.

I don’t mind ‘wasting’ company time too much if that’s what they have decided to pay me to do (it’s a bit irritating), but I DO mind the company working against me when I’m literally trying to do the job! Stopping me leaving site and making things difficult getting home is NOT ok!

Asda's delayed SAP migration forces extension to Walmart's backend support contract



Replace legacy on-prem system with cloud-based one

Coordinating US company with no incentive with UK company via Indian subcontractor with SAP in Germany in the mix

It’s SAP

Someone said ‘perfect and greenfield’ where there’s already thousands of suppliers and hundreds of stores already using an existing system

Best of luck to all involved. Looking forward to the follow up later this year, and next year, and maybe the year after that.

Ransomware attacks hospitalizing security pros, as one admits suicidal feelings


The El Reg camp is split

Between folk with no empathy and those that have. Some folk will gain insight and the hard edges willl get chipped off and ground down - often after personal experiences. Others will become increasingly dogmatic and genuinely wont understand what it’s like not to have the same views and opinions they hold.

Wherever we are, and how ever you get your feelings of validation and worth - remember that most jobs are not a part of you, someone is paying you to ‘put out the bins’ because they either don’t want to, or don’t know how to, or both. Sometimes they may forget that the only reason the rubbish is not piled up is because of the work you do, when reminded you will get to see if you are valued- it’s better working for the kind of person/business that appreciates and respects you and pays than for one that doesn’t.

Infosys co-founder doubles down on call for 70-hour work weeks


When I started this company…

All I had was my hard work and 6million quid from my parents. I truly am the greatest….

HP customers claim firmware update rendered third-party ink verboten


Distributed electronically

Rather than by word of mouth or ‘telepathically’ one assumes

Cyber sleuths reveal how they infiltrate the biggest ransomware gangs


Re: Fascinating insights

I was expecting some details but it just boils down to: Be credible with some established, historical online presence. Be knowledgeable about the job you’re applying for so the interview goes well. Once ‘in’, try not to give the game away.

Four in five Apache Struts 2 downloads are for versions featuring critical flaw


Totally fair point - but I’ve yet to meet a competent programmer, only human ones.

AWS rakes in half a billion pounds from UK Home Office


Big number or small number?

Assuming there are about 67million people in UK, then this cost is…. approx £2.25per person, per year.

For comparison, a Starbucks latte costs about £3.30

Regulator says stranger entered hospital, treated a patient, took a document ... then vanished


I don’t care!!!

(He does though)

North Korea makes finding a gig even harder by attacking candidates and employers


Re: How Many Gullible Programmers *ARE* There in the Wild?

My guess is this would work 9/10 times.

Interviewee wants to please, and do things quickly.

A simple git clone into a ‘all my favourite things’ workspace would be fine - it’s just text init…

That’s often the tactic in social engineering, the first step is low risk and establishes trust and compliance.

I assume they have an extension that’s compromised, or their next instruction is ‘give this buddah privileges and open this in a web browser’…

I wonder how many of the dodgy applicants end up applying for the dodgy job posts - like that comedy where everyone in a terrorist organisation was an undercover agent but all from different agencies.

OpenAI meltdown: How could Microsoft have let this happen after betting so many billions?


Re: One doesn't resign to.

If 90%+ of folks suddenly leave, then on Monday the few remaining folks realise there’s no legal, financial, HR, IT, or anything else dept. At that point - I guess you draw lots, appoint yourself the CEO, call the company lawyers and empty the bank account? Probably not, more like wonder who to talk to about your next pay check, and who has the office keys.

Generative AI slashes cloud migration hassles, says McKinsey partner



I’d be genuinely interested in the source of the data which caused the AI is cutting cloud migration costs - coz I suspect it’s data which the speaker is using ‘creatively’.

I’ve a formula, take a known pain point that executes understand enough to talk about (cloud-costs in this case). Take the new thing that they don’t, but feel like they should, combine them - presto. Only works if you deliver confidently, even if it’s total nonsense - like the article.

To see the current state of’AI’ - ask gtp to construct a jq query with more than one selection criteria.

BTW - I think GTP-3.5 and 4 are fantastic tools which I use everyday, brilliant for discovering methodology or for suggesting functions which I’d not considered, excellent at ‘what does this code do’ questions.

GhostBSD makes FreeBSD a little less frightening for the Linux loyal


I used to be pert…

I’ll get my coat and see myself out


Childish Nonsense Balls? A great name for a dog -‘CBalls’ for short.

Mid-contract telco price hikes must end, Ofcom told


Re: Fair increase.

Also - you’ll see RPI used to justify price rises and interest rate used to peg salary increases.


Re: Fair increase.

Let’s imagine my company

wage bill is ‘10’ and my company revenue is ‘100’. A difference of 90.

Now increase everything by 10%

wage bill now ‘11’ and revenue now ‘110’ - a difference of 99.

The top and bottom line have different gradients in absolute terms. That’s why many huge companies like to take in %ages to make things seem less greedy and inequitable.


Re: 75 percent ... would be put off ... if they knew prices were going to rise mid-contract

Pretty sure they don’t offer that plan on the website…


Re: Percentage points surely?

On top.. 1.039*(50*1.105) = £57.4

It is absolutely about increasing profit and not related to cost of business increase. There’s a compound element to it - and you can best believe that the average wage increase at $telco isn’t even tracking those %ages and certainly not in absolute terms.

There are some providers who are stating ‘this is the fixed price for the duration of the contract’ - so that’s a choice.

Trademark fight: Brit biz Threads has a teeny tiny problem with Meta's Threads


Re: Threads


Infosys co-founder calls for youth to work 70-hour weeks


Re: It does

I’ve a genuine question - why? Is your job your passion, is it your company - that I can understand.

Genuinely interested and not judging - what motivates you to do 70hrs/week at work, what more satisfaction/fulfilment do you get from 70hrs that you wouldn’t from doing 40hrs and using the other time to explore other interests and develop other skills?

I hope you can earn what you need in 40hrs per week and are not trapped in a life on the treadmill. Kindest regards.

Sorry Pat, but it's looking like Arm PCs are inevitable


An irrelevant thing….

Recently learned that Stockholm Syndrome isn’t a real thing - turns out that the lady in the bank was very justifiably worried about the possibility that police action would result in her (and everyone else’s) death so she walked the tightrope between the hostage-takers and the police and managed to get out alive. In police interviews afterward she was asked ‘why did you advocate for them?’ Her answers were *careful*. Her behaviour was attributed to her being a ‘woman being overly empathetic under duress’ - rather than a clever adult being canny and working out their most likely route to remaining not dead.

Prior to that, in Sweden there had been several well publicised previous hostage situations where the police had gone in HARD and it hadn’t ended well for the hostages.

Not sure I can tie this up to any aarch64/amd64 analogy - but it’s a super interesting story and well worth watching one of the more recent documentaries or podcasts.

BlackBerry to split into two companies, foraging for tastier fare for shareholders


A rose by any other name…

It’s like The ship of Theseus. But instead, the boat hit the rocks, sank and some vultures lashed together a raft from whatever flopsam and jepson they could gather and reused the nameplate and hope that they can get paying passengers to climb aboard.

Largest local government body in Europe goes under amid Oracle disaster


The Oracle

The Oracle of Delphi was famously obtuse and easily bribed. All the tales I can remember lead to hardship and (usually) the ultimate downfall of the protagonist after acting in response to a consult with The Oracle.

I always thought that Oracle was a strange choice of name for a business - but maybe it’s deliberate!

Rapidus ramps as construction begins on 2nm wafer fab


Re: 0nm

Although we have a chippy on every street

antiX 23: Anarchic for sure, but 'design by committee' isn't always the best for Linux


Re: So, is it true that systemd and elogind are CPU bloat?

Well only sort of.. out-of-the-box there are more compiled binaries running as daemons (writing to binary files which are not human introspect-able which ‘take control’ of config files and processes it itself doesn’t provide.) Also, the Systemd init launches several processes ‘in parallel’ (or at least, without waiting for process to return before kicking off other processes). H/w dependant, you my not want to do that (it’s all configurable of course… and you can turn off a lot of the systemd ‘services’ you don’t want - but it’s very much ‘opt-out’ rather than opt-in, you can strip it right back but I think many folk prefer the ‘start with only the minimum’ approach. Which is (of course) totally understandable and in many cases, necessary.

Also, (although you didn’t ask for a systemd gripe…) even the Systemd init was unreasonably buggy, even for ‘normal’/basic server use as late at 2016. (Not to mention NetworkManager which was initially terrible - an immediate ‘yum remove’.) It felt at the time that someone who didn’t care about the impact of undertested s/w, was forcing their s/w on the masses, with a view to supplanting very mature s/w just ‘because swapping networks on a laptop is hard’ - even though I have a server and the word ‘Enterprise’ is in the distro name… grrrr.

Understandable that it was very frustrating at the time


Re: The sytemd-free ecology

Try Googling ‘best car’ or ‘best toaster’..

OpenTF forks Terraform, insists HashiCorp is the splinter group


A question for y’all

From the license text: ‘does not include offering the Licensed Work to third parties on a hosted or embedded basis which is competitive with HashiCorp's products.’

Surely this is problematic - how can I possibly know what HashiCorp’s products are going to be tomorrow? If tomorrow they add a feature that compares to something in my product today, have they just caused me to become non-compliant?

If Terraform is used by my product to deploy and manage the lifecycle of some infrastructure in t’cloud for my product to run on, and I charge my customer for use of my application, am I ‘competing’ with HashiCorp?

Given their insistence that they’ve made a good job on the license with their legal experts, it seems very losey goosey to me.

US Republican party's spam filter lawsuit against Google dimissed


Re: This ain't rocket science.

You are joking?


Re: This ain't rocket science.

‘Idiot’ comes from Ancient Greece where you could collectively nominate people by writing their name on broken pottery. The names were placed in a big ol pot and then counted out (all in public) and if someone was ‘voted’ for enough times then they were ejected from the town. They were deemed an ‘idiot’ and had 1day to gtfo. It’d be nice if El Reg had a commentard peer voting system so we could choose to filter out certain handles. Or a ‘you have been nominated for being a moron, please think about why that might be (hint, the answer lays inside). Please note this is not a reflection on your personality, it’s the result of your output’

Ah well. There again, I’m not sure I’d want to live in a society where I was in charge..

Google Photos AI still can't label gorillas after racist errors


In less tense times it was always very funny (to me, a Brit) to say in an American bar ‘I’m just going outside to smoke a fag’

Very childish, I know.

IT security analyst admits hijacking cyber attack to pocket ransom payments


…from his home

Having sat down and thought about the perfect crime, the perpetrator then proceeded to email over a video of him logging in and doing the deed.


Re: The New International English Dictionary by ChatGPT

I found this easy to readerize

ChatGPT can't pass these medical exams – yet


Re: A fundamental misconception

It’s all about thought expression through transmitted means. If you can’t express a thought clearly to the intended target in a language that presumably (for a native-speaker) you’ve both been using since you were two years old, one can only assume the confused spaghetti code that will be churned out in a computer-interpreted language! Even if that person has some sort of neuro-symbiosis with the matrix and writes fluent machine code, the person maintaining the code later will probably be a meat-brained human and require the code to be followable. So, I think that is a very good and useful interview icebreaker! Nice.

Microsoft decides it will be the one to choose which secure login method you use


Re: Who's PC?


NHS England spends £8M to extend Microsoft deals by a month


Re: Maybe not Linux but Office maybe ditchable

For £8million, I’ll write you a SystemOne replacement, it might even take longer than one person month to complete.

I could even add the ability to attach media files to a patient record… you wanna hear a chesty cough? You got it!!

It’s not like going Microsoft removes the need for all the IT support folk, they are all still beavering away resetting passwords, fixing laptops etc (not changing usernames though, coz they are (apparently) immutable…

Elon Musk finally finds 'someone foolish enough to take the job' of Twitter CEO


Re: Better choice


Sonatype axes 14 percent of staff, reminds them not to talk to the press


What this means is: ‘trying to win business from new customers’

It’s a really simple way to make it clear to the audience that the person speaking/writing is a wazzock with no real skills who is somehow in the high earners club.

Musk decides to bury dead Twitter accounts, warns users follower counts could sink


Speaking out of near total ignorance… perhaps there’s some indexing overhead that’s reduced if the number of collections in the database is reduced. Even that’s a bit of a stretch though. So yeah, genuinely interested in what resources that cost money would be liberated by removing unused Twitter accounts and their tweets and stats.

Florida folks dragged out of bed by false emergency texts


Re: UK test warning

What’s the difference between a train and a tree?

One leaves it’s shed, the other sheds it’s leaves

As for the rather pulse gunning alert at 3pm it was effective - effective at waking me up from a snooze.

CEO sorry after telling staff to 'leave pity city' over bonuses


So nearly…

I’m sorry you’re upset =\= I’m sorry I upset you

Every husband should know this…