* Posts by TM™

38 publicly visible posts • joined 18 Oct 2021

Apple crushes creativity and its reputation in new iPad ad


Here's hoping it comes to light that Cook personally signed off on the campaign himself and they get someone better in instead.

US semiconductor building boom means staff shortages and talent slipping away


I'm afraid McKinsey lost what little credibility they had in their infamous measuring developer output report. Them complaining about a situation that they and their ilk are directly responsible for doesn't help either.

We've been in race to the bottom for the last fifty years. We've even avoided the effort of walking down the stairs by jumping out of the window. Here comes the ground.

Open Source world's Bruce Perens emits draft Post-Open Zero Cost License


Seems Overly Complex to Me

Seems overly complex to me, but like most of the other posters I agree something needs to happen. I am loathed to do anything to OSS licenses that make them less attractive. The musician analogy/comparison doesn't bode well - musicians really don't so well out of similarish systems. Good to see someone try though. I wish you all the luck. Some thoughts:

1. Someone needs to take IBM to court or close the loophole. To me their restriction is just that and thus illegal, but let's fix it one way or another.

2. Using the code as SaaS just needs to be counted as distribution and customers given the same rights to have the source code as that used on the server. A tweak to the GPL?

3. My guess is hyperscalers et al. would be happyish to throw key OSS developers some crumbs (upto N x $100k pa) for better code if there was a single central organisation that made it really, really easy to do so - i.e. removed any hint of employment liability, and dealt with (self)employed tax and sales tax around the world. The organisation would have to do some due diligence to make sure the right people (and not just the noisy ones) got rewarded. Perhaps throw in some sort of enterprisey like support thing to make the C level suite happy. This would be voluntary, but maybe my opinion of the hyperscalers et al isn't low enough!? They might just do nothing. Perhaps have a public record of who the good and bad guys are?

City council audit trail is an audit fail after disastrous Oracle ERP rollout


The Bureaucrat's Paradox

Ironically, these expensive, late delivered, 'm'uck ups are usually caused by a culture of extreme risk avoidance, time estimate fixation and penny pinching.

AI PCs are here but a killer application for biz users? Nope


AI PC? I assume that means it has a very powerful and well priced GPU for doing exciting ML work and running 3D games at very high quality?

What's that you say? You don't make one of those?


Fancy building a replacement for Post Office's disastrous Horizon system?


Face Palm

"Whilst Post Office is responsible for overall programme management, strategy and architecture it has a requirement to engage with third parties to help create the necessary solution," the notice said.

Which is why it will fail, because software creation is in large part: programme management, strategy and architecture. Only someone who mistakes a knowledge gaining exercise like software creation for manufacturing would think of using nineteenth century Taylorism to manage it, i.e. "We've come up with the plan, we just need someone to bolt it all together".

New flash: No software plan survives contact with the enemy. Software programming is not the twenty first century equivalent of brick laying.

Obviously no lessons have been learnt.

AI will reduce workforce, say 41% of surveyed executives


Human society has been dumbed down to the point where a mathematical algorithm can now take over. Principally, this has been done by making everything about a single short term number, i.e. cost. For example:

- If I sack my most experienced (AKA expensive) engineers will the share price go up?

- If we keep printing money will our exports get cheaper, our welfare liabilities go down, our civil service costs go down?

- If we focus on delivering on time and on budget (regardless of quality or value) will I get a raise?

- If we internationalise trade will labour costs be driven down?

For the last fifty years we've been in a race to the bottom. Now we've automated it.

How governments become addicted to suppliers like Fujitsu


Nobody understands software creation - it's always managed with the wrong paradigm - Taylorism - a more than hundred year old discipline for running manufacturing projects.

Software creation is a knowledge gaining exercise - if you manage it like a factory, it's doomed to fail.

Uncle Sam wants to make it clear that America's elections are very, very safe


TLDR: Government with long and documented history of interfering in the internal politics of other countries and lying to own citizens assures own citizens that election will be fair and fraud free.

COVID-19 infection surge detected in wastewater, signals potential new wave


I took the vaccine because I trusted the virus 0% and the powers that be 1%

From what I've learnt in the intervening two years, that 1% may have been misplaced.

P.s. I am a scientist.

NASA celebrates 40 years of Discovery, the longest-serving Space Shuttle


It stopped the spread of democracy and self determination throughout central Asia. I guess those in charge considered the escalation a price worth paying.

As it prepares to abandon its on-prem server products, Atlassian is content. Users? Not so much


Oh no! How will we micro manage our developers and use measurement dysfunction now?

I guess we could always try some of that agile stuff we keep hearing about.

LinkedIn lays off nearly 700 staff, engineers to suffer the most


Big tech is a monopsony and appear to be working in concert.

The west's race to the bottom on education has produced a massive shortage of skilled people - especially in IT.

With this massive upward pressure on wages how else is big tech going to reduce the cost of employing minions?

Treat em mean keep em keen.

Meta can call Llama 2 open source as much as it likes, but that doesn't mean it is


Closed is the new Open. Expensive is the new Free.

Maybe they are using RedHat's definition.

Rocket Lab wants to dry off and reuse Electron booster recovered from the ocean


I wonder what the maths of a single orbit ballistic trajectory looks like. One where you almost make it into orbit but (mostly) glide back down to the takeoff point.

P.S. See Dawn Aerospace for a space glider project (also New Zealand).

Oracle pours fuel all over Red Hat source code drama


I must say I feel confused.

My understanding is the GPL gives recipients the right to redistribute the source code WITHOUT RESTRICTION. Red Hat threatening to take away a customers' licenses and support is an extremely large restriction. The fact that Red Hat claims they have a right to do that is irrelevant - it doesn't prevent it from being a restriction.

No open door for India's tech workers in any UK trade deal


There is no way the UK government doesn't want lots of cheap IT labour flooding the market and driving down wages. Especially a Tory government. This is an announcement designed to mollify the electorate, nothing more.

China chokes exports of semiconductor secret sauces gallium and germanium


Re: Middle Kingdom

I believe they call that the U S of A.

Rocky Linux claims to have found 'path forward' from CentOS source purge


Free as in fear

You're free to complain about the mold, leaky roof and rats in the kitchen, but if you do we won't renew your contract.

I for one will not be recommending any company I work with gets into bed with RedHat or IBM - quite the opposite.

The question is: Who can be trusted? I know we're all running to Ubuntu, but I'm left wondering if they're not able to pull the same stunt. Debian? Arch Linux? RedHat's approach had undermined the whole trust model open software is built on. I think someone needs to tweak the GPL to rebuild that trust.

Community to RedHat: "We've revoked your right to use our software on the grounds that we believe (rightly or wrongly) that you add no value to our businesses"


You Keep Using That Word But I Don't Think It Means What You Think It Means

You're free to vote for any person you like, but if you vote for someone else we'll burn your house to the ground.

Meta cranks Zuckerberg's personal security budget to $14m while cutting everything else


All the layoffs are an attempt to push back on rising wage costs produced by a lack of skilled people. A lack created by the slashing of western education budgets at the behest of the rich and powerful, because money wasted on educating people should be spent on making rich people richer.

Europe's USB-C deadline: Lightning must be struck from iPhone by December, 2024


All apple devices will move to wireless charging. The wireless charging pads will be propriety (i.e. expensive) Apple technology and powered via a propriety Apple cable and PSU.

Biden wants SpaceX to beam internet to Iran amid uprising

Big Brother


With American help, Iranians will soon be as free as the rest of us.

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.