9 posts • joined 28 Aug 2008
'Round and 'Round I.T Goes
Vertical integration is dead. At least that's what we used to say. As an old fart in this dusty corner of the world, I have seen the model shift from one-vendor-for-everything--hardware, services, software (OS and applications), think I.B.M in the 70s and 80s--to stick-to-your-knitting, chose best of breed: OS from company A, hardware from company B, applications from C-L, services from company M. Here we go again.
Oracle, it appears is no longer satisfied to be a huge software shop making healthy margins on licensing (short of running the mint, I know of nothing that comes closer to printing money than licensing).
Virtualization has revived the big box mainframe model. The new vertical integration, just like the old, will prize product differentiation over interoperability. Will Java be forked, with some features proprietary to Oracle and others remaining freely available? Will ZFS be proprietary?
A vertically integrated company can assure themselves acceptable margins on products that have up to now been under price pressure from outside vendors in one of two ways: Will it be innovation and economies of scale, or proprietary designs and walled gardens?
Early days. Oracle is accustomed to higher margins than many (any?) hardware companies. I wouldn't bet the house on openness. If R&D is slashed, that does not bode well for innovation. In the near term, bet on layoffs.
Err Got It About Right.
The argument seems to be, when we were only denying a few people gainful employment that was fine, but once there were more fish in the barrel, then the agreement was no longer binding. A pox on both their houses.
Such an agreement between employers should never be in forcible. That such an agreement was entered into should result in both companies paying steep penalties and large sums to all of those laid off.
A non compete clause would apply only to the employer and those employees who left one or the other company voluntarily. Certainly and employer can, as a condition of employment, and at the time one is hired, restrict the ability of an employee to voluntarily separate service and take up with a competitor.
That is not what happened here. The employees were, as I understand it, terminated not, by contrast, furloughed until things picked up. Once terminated, they ceased to be employees and that status was not voluntary. To enforce a non compete agreement under such circumstances amounts to slavery, or at least a scheme to assure that the workers never work in this industry again.
Sadly, I will not be surprised to find that the courts find no fault with the agreement between RIM and Motorola. Having not seen the percise language of the agreement, I doubt the number of such employees available due to lay offs has any bearing on the agreement's validity.
HP At It Again
If HP had done this openly to protest a foolish law, I might be sympathetic. It seems to simply be HP doing what HP does.
Then:That private investigator, who broke any number of laws to get us the information we demanded? He is no longer employed by HP.
Now: One of our distributors has been shipping our goods to Iran in violation of federal law? We'll take care of it. Boy is his wrist is going to sting.
There appears too be no law HP won't break for a dollar. Something should be done. It is likely nothing will be. If the law does not specify a penalty, I will suggest one: 10 times the retail value of all goods found to have been shipped in violation. Shoddy records? Can't tell what was shipped where from that distributor? 10 times the value of all goods shipped to that distributor.
The Hinderburg on Wheels
No one (well, almost no one) intends to crash a car. Four kilos of hydrogen at 5000 psi positioned in the rear of a car. I am sure the design engineers did all they could to make it safe. I wonder they could ever do enough. I doubt it.
As for harvesting hydrogen from water for fuel, I am even less sure. Here in Southern California we pretend we do not live in a desert. We do this by pumping millions of gallons of water hundreds of miles from the north and central parts of the state to the southern part. We also get water from the Colorado river. It defines the boarder between this state and Arizona.
I am supposed to accept as a good idea--which is to say as ecologically and economically sound the idea--that we should take potable water and convert it into hydrogen, destroying the water in the process, and burn the hydrogen. The net has to be a loss of water. Water we will never get back. Water we imported at great cost from somewhere else. And this is the least expensive mode of transit--again, in ecological and economic terms? I hope not. The true long term cost must quite high.
Mine's the Nomex number with the armor plating and re-breathing gear.
Watch the Watcher
CCTV at the Post Office, evidently not at the airport where bags are rifled. I pay for a ticket. I am treated like a criminal, searched, and compelled to check my luggage rather than carry it on because somebody decided too many ounces of toothpaste is a threat.
Those I am forced to let open my luggage far out of my view are not monitored closely while they do it. Nor are they searched on their way out of the airport--where they work and get paid--to thwart theft from luggage. In short, I pay and get scrutinized and searched. These cretin get paid and are not monitored or searched.
If they can sneak something as large as a laptop out of my luggage and out of the airport, does anyone truly believe they could not easily sneak a bomb or contraband into luggage and on to the plane?
Pay Your Bills, or Pay the Domain Name Holder
Registration fees are there to keep folks from controlling domain names and not using them. What would it cost to register a domain name if your bank or credit card company set the rates? I dare say more than $10.00. If you don't pay, the name goes back into the available pool.
Want the name back, then pay for it.
A More Productive Approach
It would be far more news-worthy for the editors the "El Reg" to seek out anyone who has had an email responded to by Ebay or one of its minion. There won't be many, if any, found.
I have received many emails that appeared to be from PayPal or Ebay. None were genuine and neither PayPal or Ebay were the least bit concerned. It wasn't going to cost them a cent even if I had responded to the scams.
Why anyone would allow automatic debiting to take place without per-transaction pre-approval baffles me. The companies involved will work hard to see that they get their money. Those same companies will do as little as possible to protect the funds of others. The bare minimum the law requires, and that only if forced.
Slamming has a long history in the telephone industry. It is easy for the companies to do, often goes unnoticed for at least a few billing cycles, and when noticed it is your word against their "records". A huge money maker.
A pox on all their houses.
Let me Get This Straight
I live in the country where the atom bomb was built, where nuclear weapons are taken for granted (unfortunately) and that country cannot produce medical isotopes? I understand being a net oil importer. But medicine?
For no reason I can make sense of, folks here seem more concerned about a potential vice-president's sex life and the sex life of her minor daughter than are about the availability of medicine. Go figure.
A Plot to Sell Faster Hardware
The near-term solution appears to be encrypt 100% of your traffic.I guess that is why we all need multicore processors, fast connections, and more memory than ever before. At least Intel will make money.