* Posts by computing

20 publicly visible posts • joined 18 Feb 2022

Innocent techie jailed for taking hours to fix storage

computing

Re: I Had Forgotten

"\"get a McDonalds\"

Inhuman punishment."

Cruel, but sadly not unusual, punishment :)

Tesla chair begs investors to bless Musk's billions or face an Elon exodus

computing

This is getting tiresome

Elon is obviously instrumental at Tesla - both for good and for bad. So a fair compensation is Tesla just tithes Elon its profits.

Not pay him based rise in Tesla's market cap -- that funny-money instrument open to abuse by a board which owns much stock. Pay him from profits.

Pay him 10% of profits.

If 10 isn't enough, give him 20%. Or 40%.

Tesla Cybertruck gets cyberstuck during off-roading expedition

computing

Re: Sports Futility Vehicle

That's what I though as I kept updating iOS on my iPhone 3GS and iPad 1. "It'll get faster with the next update"

Hey, don't laugh!!!

Are you ready to back up your AI chatbot's promises? You'd better be

computing

Cutting edge self-harmer?

Cutting edge self-harmer?

People daemonised and oppressed by technolust spirits.

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

computing

>> Having no legacy systems will provide significant competitive advantage,

A (well running) legacy system provides a more significant competitive advantage.

Walmart sold Asda and wants them out. It's a rip and replace expense.

Amazon already has a colossal ads business and will extend it to Prime Video in January

computing

Jassy wait and find out

Exceptions exist of course. But the majority of Prime video is bottom of the barrel: either film-making-school level amateur productions, or old movies that were mediocre when made and are even worse now. Stuff that just eats up personal time with not much of a reward.

This will be a welcome spur for a lot of people to inspect their Amazon procurement spend. A lot of people can better organise their purchases and find alternate channels for some of this stuff (eg music). Many will cancel Prime and save some bucks, and a lot more worth of personal time, per year.

IBM buys 50-year-old Software AG's enterprise tech units for €2.13B in cash

computing

Software AG bought webMethods in 2007 and StreamSets last year. They paid around US $0.5 billion for each purchase. Software AG may have overpaid for StreamSets, which had annual revenues of about $30 million when purchased. Now that they are selling both combined for $ 2.3 billion, I guess the majority of the sale value is webMethods.

IBM shares Software AG's desire to grow cloud revenue. But growing the webMethods.io SaaS integration offering may be a challenge. Why? First, many (most?) webMethods customers host their integration software themselves -- in the same cloud or on-prem data centers where their other application VMs live. This architecture is probably better than pumping key transactions to a SaaS cloud only to have them pumped right back. So webMethods.io may struggle to cannibalise its customer-hosted sibling. Also, Dell Boomi has major mindshare with the cloud-first integration people. Poaching *integrated* SaaS implementation customers isn't easy. You can't just move VMs. You need to re-setup system-to-system integrations and migrate data.

So while webMethods.io has potential, IBM would do well to refocus on the non-SaaS parts of webMethods. That's where most value lies.

SAP admits attempt to adapt on-prem security for its cloud flopped

computing

Re: Wow. You get screwed and never know why.

So SAP's answer is to give it the keys to the cloud infrastructure. Let SAP's CNAPP use your cloud provider's API to manage and monitor your templates, workloads, configuration etc.

Inclusive Naming Initiative limps towards release of dangerous digital dictionary

computing

Nope to Master Chief?

What about the US navy and the Halo franchise.

'Master Chief' has two things going against it! :)

Portable Large Language Models – not the iPhone 15 – are the future of the smartphone

computing

Re: Sure, it's possible, but why would you want it?

A use case? How about multiple advisors are better than fewer! And humans, even expert humans, make silly mistakes.

I went to my doctor one day with chest pains - I was having a heart attack. He prescribed indigestion and sent me home. I was hospitalised that night. After I had recovered, I mentioned the incident to a nurse at the same clinic. She was shocked. She said the doc should have done an ECG with the symptoms I was experincing. She figured she would have done a better job on that day.

I agree. An LLM with access to my conversations with the doctor on the day may have asked me get a second opinion.

Think of our cafes and dry cleaners, says Ohio as budget slashes WFH for govt workers

computing

Keep it fair

It's fair as long as the same law compels all legislators to commute to their office or the legislature and work normal hours -- except on holidays and for 6 week of leave a year.

They are state employees after all.

Microsoft would rather spend money on AI than give workers a raise

computing

Companies nickel-and-dime us with below-inflation payrises, hoping we don't notice

Microsoft CMO: "The most important lever for almost all our employees' compensation upside is the stock price. So great quarterly results contribute to making the stock attractive which in turn drives everyone's total compensation up."

By that logic, cut employee pay! That'll improve quarterly results, which will jack up the stock price - (almost) all employees wiil be fabulously rich!

So that's what they just did. :-)

I'm sure this works well for CEO/CMO/CIO-level employees who get a lot of stock and cash that they can funnel into investments. Not so much for folk far below their level who have mortgages to pay.

The average Microsoft employee tenure seems to be around 5 years. Microsoft stock dips and swells (there was an almost 50% dip last year, before its rescue by ChatGPT). However, Microsoft stock is up 50% from 2.5 years ago. So let's assume stock increase 20% in value annually for the last 2-3 years.

Assume employee stock is about 20% of MS employee pay (Source: https://www.levels.fyi/companies/microsoft/salaries/software-engineer). The vesting schedule is 5 years, so on average only half of the first year's stock award has vested. But let's be generous and assume half of all annual stock RSUs have vested. That means 10% of pay (which is stock) is available to sell. Over 2.5 years, this stock increased in value (say) to 15% of pay -- but that's over 2.5 years. So if you sell off the increase in stock value, that a pay hike of 2% per year. Not enough to beat inflation (around 5%), nor loss of bonus this year (another 5%).

So the average Microsoft employee got a pay cut of around 5-8% this year. If they do this in a good season, imagine why they'd do in a bad one.

It's sad how companies hire at one price, then nickel-and-dime you with below-inflation payrises, hoping you don't notice. Eventually, people leave just to maintain their standard of living. Maybe that's why the average Microsoft employee tenure is just 5 years - the lure of unvested stock isn't enough to offset pressure to move elsewhere. However, it's the same dance at many other companies.

I recall discussing this with my manager once. I'd received a payrise significantly below inflation, so I asked if I'd performed poorly that year. He denied it. Then I asked "then why did you cut my pay?". He denied that even more strenuously, saying "you're getting more dollars this year than last year, so we have given you a pay rise", etc. I said it was a pay cut in real terms. To his credit, he came back a couple of days later saying he'd thought about it and that I was right - it was a paycut. I don't recall what happened after - it was almost two decades ago. But I like to think I got an out-of-turn payhike to compensate.

Anyway -- all the numbers are approximate. I may be wrong but that's my view at this point in time.

Gartner: Stop worrying and love the cloud, with all its outages and lock-in

computing

Good point.

Also, safety depends on how you measure it - per-journey, or per-mile.

When measured per-mile, aircraft win of course.

But when measured per-journey, cars are three times safer than air travel. So if you flew to work each morning (think air-taxis), you'd be thrice as likely to never come home than if you drive in.

Source: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/rail-journeys/trains-are-better-than-planes/

Red Hat layoffs spark calls to unionize, CEO wades in

computing

Re: The original American way

I'd guess half the 19K employees support the 70-100K companies using RedHat products. Another quarter are developers and a quarter are salespeople. The frothy layer of executives on top decide what sort of coffee RedHat is -- the beans, the process, the grind, and whether espresso or latte.

Only, RedHat executives are tuning their beverage to their one true customer - IBM executives.

Matt Hicks' response mirrors the usual, chutzpah-heavy justifications Wall St. gives for firing people. Instead of bowing to peer pressure, he should consider the canonical example of what his people are referring to (whether they say it ot not) -- H-P in the 70s! That's where Messers. Hewlett and Packard (the originals) had H-P staff take a pay cut rather than firing people.

Matt seems to an engineer who got his start in consulting for IBM. He then dove straight into internal RedHat IT leadership with Executive MBA-like training at Harvard along the way. A stint as a RedHat OS developer or in product support may have brought him a different, more sympathetic perspective -- the 'original American way' at the 'original H-P'.

US Supreme Court snubs that guy who wants AI recognized as patent inventors

computing

"No surprise for a panel that appears to enjoy taking away rights rather than granting them"

Ah - the subtext appears to be the repeal of 'Roe versus Wade'.

Well, that the particular decision is granting of rights to a human fetus - an entity that is orders of magnitude more intelligent than any generative-AI we've been able to do prompt engineering with.

Activision to begin union negotiations with workers from Raven Software

computing

Re: Exploitation

> Is every employee ever going to earn $6.8m in their lifetime at the company? I highly doubt.

No, *the employee* won't earn it for themselves, but their work earns their *employer* something in that range (say, a few million dollars in revenue in 10 years).

Companies typically make many times (say, 2-10 times) more value from an employee than what they pay that employee.

I support the unionisation effort because of their retaliation. Also, I think MS is overpaying.

China-linked Twisted Panda caught spying on Russian defense R&D

computing

Or just run the doc attachment inside an adhoc virtual machine. Spun up earlier and the file transferred to it right then, when the user double clicks the attachment

GPL legal battle: Vizio told by judge it will have to answer breach-of-contract claims

computing

The article says the SmartCast TV software app depends on the Linux kernel. The kernel is is GPL 2 licensed. The app also uses additional components which the article notes are "GPLv2 and LGPLv2.1 copyleft-licensed components". There is no mention of GPL 3.

From what I know, GPL 2 does not prevent Tivoization -- where a system blocks its owners running modified software. GPL 3 was created to combat Tivoization. Vizio have been compelled to release (incomplete) source already. So Vizio evidently created a derivative work based on GPL-licensed software (e.g., kernel modifications). So I understand the SFC compelling Vizio to release the complete source code (make it compilable).

"Kuhn said the SFC brought the case against Vizio to build alternative firmware for Vizio TVs and to exercise the right to repair and improve one's own devices."

But can the SFC compel Vizio to let users **run** modified software? Everything about this situation seems GPL 2 only.

You can forget your fancy ERP customisations because that's not how it works in the cloud, SAP's Oliver Betz tells users

computing

Some reasons to go to cloud go up in smoke

You're right of course.

But, "people are building equivalently robust systems using cloud parts all the time" is rare. Yes, people build, people shift, and it's mighty convenient -- but people downgrade.

Many large customers try shift their on-prem data center to the cloud looking for savings in these areas:

1 - data center infrastructure (airconditioning, fire-suppression, UPS, backup generation)

2 - manpower for infrastructure management

3 - money in general (because the cloud supposedly is more efficient)

But for (1), the cloud provider has near-equivalent expenses; (2) was never that high anyway; and as for (3) the cloud provider wants those juicy profits all for themselves!

So once the honeymoon is over, the corner-cutting begins:

- "Do you need premium SSD? What not standard SDD?

- "Why use SSD at all for non-prod servers?

- "Why so many non-prod servers? So much disk? So much memory?

- "Can you switch DEV/TEST off at night and boot in the morning?

- "Multi-zone redundancy?? But the cloud is so reliable!

Then come the cloud VMs crashing without notice. And 'live migration', an Azure specialty -- a VM freezes as it's migrated to different hardware. Too bad if you had clustering software with a heartbeat detector sensitive to timing delays.