* Posts by TM™

15 posts • joined 18 Oct 2021

Your job was probably outsourced for exactly the reason you suspected


Perfect example of making important what you can measure (cost of N programmers) vs measuring what is important (quality of output).

Anyone who actually understands programming knows that objectively measuring programming 'output' is pretty much impossible (https://martinfowler.com/bliki/CannotMeasureProductivity.html). That's what a manager who is technically competent is for - they will get an understanding over time of how their team (subjectively) performs.

FWIW my experience of outsourcing is that it is always a disaster. Funny how we never outsource senior management jobs...

'IBM is now a very different company' says CEO as Q1 2022 beats expectations


I'm not sure that without a cash cow monopoly (Office - MS, DB - Oracle, Ink - HP, Advertising - Google) these companies can make money. The need to quickly produce returns to shareholders severely limits big company's abilities to do things well, let alone innovate, or, worse still, turn things around. These companies are forced to make 'making money' the goal, but the paradox is the pursuit of money (as opposed to excellence, customer satisfaction, employee retention, etc) is not profitable. All that is left is stupid things like cutting expenses - e.g. sacking all your skilled staff, to make things look profitable while making one's executive bonus.

French court pulls SpaceX's Starlink license


Eutelsat appears to be geo-stationary which means that a round trip takes almost a second, i.e. 750ms latency. That is more than an order of magnitude worse than the latency in Starlink and means the Eutelsat is useless for online meetings, gaming, or telecommuting VDI work. Apart from that it's totally 21st century. It's lucky people who live in rural areas never need or want any of these things.

It constantly amazes me that those in government that are responsible for regulating this stuff need this stuff explaining to them.

US, UK, Western Europe fail to hit top 50 cheapest broadband list


Something to bear in mind when we here another one of those bullshit arguments for the efficiency of capitalism and the free market economy*. If you can't provide your service cheaper (or even come close) to that in a war torn country than me thinks there are a lot of fingers in the pie.

The cost of living argument is fairly moot when you consider that all the equipment will be coming from overseas (bought with that massively devalued currency these countries have) along with most of the expertise required to install and run it.

* If only, most western broadband infrastructure is run by private monopolies that spend lots of money lobbying to keep things that way.

But hey maybe I'm wrong, those photons and electrons don't pay for themselves. I also hear they are incredible heavy and difficult to move around.

Intel debuts Arc discrete GPUs for laptops


Seems weird that when AMD and games games consoles have demonstrated that APUs are able to produce (consumer) state of that art 3D graphics that Intel would go in the opposite direction. If anything needs the space, power and heat saving features of an APU it's a laptop. The only reason I look for a laptop with discrete graphics is because I need to program in NVidia's propriety CUDA platform. Then I look for the lowest power dGPU variant. I'd much rather be carrying around a Thinkpad X1 carbon than a Thinkpad X1 Extreme (not that I can afford either).

Yes, I know everyone is different, just talking about the average laptop usecase - a computer you carry around everywhere with you and use away from a power source. Not talking about lug-able workstations.

Mozilla creates paid-for subscriptions for web doc library


I feel for Mozilla. Their contribution to IT is massive, but they're in a really tough position to monetise it. The big players with the money naturally prefer people to use their own browsers that best protect their income streams and give their browsers away for free (at the point of use) so there is no incentive for people to pay Mozilla for the same thing.

The fact is Mozilla, amongst others, is saving us from a bleak future where browsing is controlled by big corporations, but that future would take years to materialize if Mozilla were to disappear today. By then it would probably be too late to resurrect a free browser because said corporations would have tweaked the standards to require something akin to secure boot that requires a large, 'trusted', corporate entity to work (for our own safety you understand).

It's a long stretch but I guess the guaranteed privacy route is the only way to go, but then you have to restrict functionality in a browser that was once totally open source. Tough one.

114 billion transistors, one big meh. Apple's M1 Ultra wake-up call


Sinclair ZX Spectrum (Plus): First PC that really did stuff (I had a ZX81 but that was all about getting the keyboard to register key presses).

Commodore Amiga: Biggest wow moment I've ever experienced in a computer (and I've worked in VFX). Never to be surpassed experience of leap in computing power. I guess the matrix might do it, but I'm probably already in that (things are crazy enough).

PlayStation 3: Another quantum leap in performance per price. Massive respect for CELL.

Everything else has been more of the same.

The Apple studio is impressive, but the price! Can't help but wonder if there is a missed opportunity for a top notch living room entertainment / games console at competition beating price here. I'm guessing they can church out a 32GB, 1TB Ultra pretty cheaply. If they came in at 60% of a PS5 / XBOX it would be really disruptive.

Fujitsu wants technology to shape a better future – its technology, of course


Don't use the F word.

SUSE announces 'tech and support' product Liberty Linux


They almost lost me at only providing 8.5 (I have software that requires specific versions, but sometimes it works on other versions).

Then they totally lost me at a different kernel - although RHEL user land compatible with an up to date kernel is attractive for hobby stuff.

If it's not the same - it's not the same.

Nice try though.

Billionaires see wealth double during pandemic as tech bros lead the charge


We've all been duped. I very much doubt their wealth has doubled, only that the numerical dollar value assigned to their wealth has doubled.

Governments and banks are printing and creating money. This just redistributes the existing wealth in society - taking it from people that have to work to pay the bills and giving it to people who's money comes from their (real) assets. Which rather handily defines the only two classes that count in this discussion: Wealthy and working.

Every year since the 1970s governments give everyone a 10% pay cut, recently this has been closer to 20 - 30% (which is why people are beginning to notice).

The trick to stopping people rioting on the streets is to give just enough to just enough people to make them think that every five years the value of their houses are doubling. Really the fact is that every five years the value of the money they earn is halving. The other trick is to publish official inflation figures that are a total fabrication of the truth. Better the voters are focused on house prices than daylight robbery.

Fun fact: In most years the US government's take from inflation is roughly the same as the amount they collect through income tax.

Insurance giant Lloyd's hires DXC to migrate org off legacy mainframes to AWS cloud


And here in lies the problem. If they'd said:

"we'll pay them to migrate the simplest part of the simplest system to the cloud. We'll keep everything else running on the old stuff. Then if that works we'll give them some more money to do the next bit"

Then I'd have hope. If only the above approach had a name that hadn't been totally destroyed through BS.

Robo-Shinkansen rolls slowly – for now – across 5km of Japan


Re: Up the workers!

As someone who has spent almost 50 years of working directly with cutting edge technology I can state that I have even less faith in the ability of 2020s technology to get me to my desired destination than 1970s technology.

The 1970s version would have been written when engineers were real engineers and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri.

The 2020s version will probably comprise of scores of layered systems all containing millions of line of code written by the lowest neo-liberal sociopath conglomerate bidder.

This is also why I won't be taken a rocket to Mars anytime soon (amongst other reasons).

Red Hat forced to hire cheaper, less senior engineers amid budget freeze


In a knowledge economy a big part of your assets are your people.

I was wondering about this approach less than a day ago and realised that it takes years to kill a company, but remuneration is typically based on short term metrics. If you can live like bandits for 4 years and leave the sinking ship before it goes south then I guess that constitutes success for these people.

Google's 'Be Evil' business transformation is complete: Time for the end game


"Data trading for ad revenue must be regulated like finance, aviation, medicine, and power"

I would argue that it is already regulated in just the same way those other things are.

Reg readers: Don't assume anything when sharing health data


Your Numbers Are Wrong - It's 100% Against

If you assume those who voted for, are happy for their vote to be counted as against.


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