3636 posts • joined 31 May 2010
Re: @Trevor_Pott: What have you been smoking?
"without regulation unfettered competition screws the consumer."
Unfettered competition benefits the consumer by driving down the margins of the providers and commoditising their wares. It is only when those providers are allowed to consolidate into a monopoly or to engage in anti-competitive practices that the consumer is screwed. Massive competition benefits consumers. Regulations need to ensure competition and restrict viciously the ability of any company to restrain competition.
"The FTC and regulators should take their duties seriously and when I last looked they were happy with the massive concentration of power in the telco sector."
At least we can agree on something. The FTC are a bunch of weak-kneed chumps with no political will and even less backbone.
"Now, given that the internet has grown for 20 years with no explicit “Open Internet Orders”
Woah, woah, woah. Stop right there. "New nodes have been added to the network" does not mean that the internet's direction has been good in any way. The internet used to be neutral: all packets were the same, no discrimination against any service, individual, region, etc. There was healthy competition at one point...not "Google turns off and internet traffic drops by 40%."
We used to be looking at expanding last mile infrastructure, with companies bringing fibre to the premesis and an overall understanding amongst consumers and providers that everyone would eventually be wired up, no different than the POTS requirements.
Instead, we have a series of emerging monopolies. We can carriers that are fighting tooth and nail to avoid putting in last-mile infrastructure, demanding instead to be allowed to provide third-rate connectivity via wireless. We have the data providers merging with content creation companies and massive legal battles being fought to prevent independent content providers from emerging.
We have artificial scarcity in the form of data caps and we have had continued attempts to play favourites by either making carrier-owned content provisioning immune to data caps or to outright prevent third party companies from providing service. We've also had shenanigans where your last mile providers have tried to play silly-nilly with CDNs in order to thwart independant content providers because they felt they were somehow "entitled" to double dip on carriage charges.
"and bearing in mind the law of unintended consequences every new regulation must be justified."
The internet used to be a network of openness and equality. There are more people on it now, and more services, but that equality has been dramatically eroded in the name of "capitalism." The reason it has been eroded is that your pathetic regulators have allowed companies to engage in anti-competitive practices.
Competition is good for consumers. Repeat that three times. Got it? Good. Now do it again, because you don't seem to be capable of understanding that.
That you feel unfettered capitalism is a good thing while pooh-poohing unfettered competition (capitalism in practice is about the creation of monopolies and consortiums...something antithetical to competition) is why I bring up Somalia. That's where you'll find your unfettered capitalism. No regulations. No government.
I far prefer competition, as competition is good for the people. Oddly enough, I tend to side with the 99%, as you - or anyone else - seem completely unable to prove that bullshit like "tickle down economics" actually works. Allowing megacorporations to run roughshod over the people is never the answer. Competition - good for the people - is.
Re: Seems reasonable to me
If you want a country with no government regulation whatsoever and the pure, unbridled capitalism of an unhindered free market please go to Somalia. That is the land where greed unfettered has been deified, codified and enacted en masse.
The civilized world, on the other hand, prefers fewer monopolists, warlords, bullies and charlatans. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the you, even if the you happens to be a multi-billion dollar corporation. Net neutrality is about the freedoms of the people at large supplanting the freedoms of the plutarchy.
I fail to see a damned thing wrong with that.
Re: Odd asymmetry
1) The replacements for rare earths don't work as efficiently as rare earths.
2) Rare earths aren't all that rare, nor are they particularly expensive to produce, so there's no rational reason to move to a less efficient process.
Oil will run out in short order. Rare earths will go for thousands of years yet.
Re: A monopoly is all we need
The problem with your analysis, Tim, is that all your understanding is based on rare earths deposits where there are a great many "undesirable" materials that have to be filtered out and disposed of. (Usually Thorium, Uranium, Mercury, etc.) The particular deposits I am aware of in Canada simply don't have these issues. It's actually quite odd; vast quantities of Tantalum available without much in the way of refining issues? Even China doesn't have that.
Yes, you can pull certain rare earths out from the tailings of other mining operations...but they are tailings for a reason; processing them further produces diminishing returns and increasingly purified Bad Things. That leaves you with ever more expensive leftovers that become increasingly complicated to dispose of.
So while I'm sure your analysis holds for many situations, I promise you it doesn't hold here. In this situation a new hold in the ground would allow you to pull out tantalum and sell it at a profit even if the price of tantalum goes down a fair bit. The only reason it doesn't attract investors is because there is a greater profit to be made elsewhere. But the properties in question here could indeed be exploited profitably, assuming anyone cared enough to do so.
Of course, for you to understand that you would have to actually do some investigation and research regarding the properties in question and not assume that what holds true for one source is true of all. Each hole produces rocks with different chemistry...and that chemistry makes a big difference in how profitable (or not) pulling rocks out will be.
Rare earths extraction simply can be done cheaper here than it can be done elsewhere, except for a few places where murder, torture, maiming rape and slavery are commonplace profit-enhancement methods for getting the goods. Of course, that's just not a big enough deal to anyone to bother with. They're just brown people, who cares, eh?
There are plenty of sources on earth that can produce a reliable source of the metals with a low environmental impact. Australia, California, many of the other Canadian mines, and a few in Europe (that I know of off the top of my head...I'm sure there are more.) Where these specific Canadian properties stand out is that they could produce the materials cheaper than any of the other first-world sources, though not quite as cheaply as blood mineral sources.
To put it bluntly: companies that use rare earths would rather put the same capital to use inventing new ways to not have to use rare earths than invest in new and better ways to get at metals that will only ever have a low number of sources.
If they do so, they can patent the technologies they develop and seek rent on them. They can also use materials that have a far wider number of suppliers around the world than rare earths ever will. It doesn't matter of the replacement technologies are quite as good at the job as rare earths. It doesn't matter if rare earths aren't all that rare and production can be done in a profitable and sustainable way.
What matters is that there are long-term strategic concerns surrounding thwarting others that take precedence. Because Capitalism. Let's all cheer loudly, now. We're making the world a better place!
Re: A monopoly is all we need
Canada has rare earth deposits without Thorium - or Uranium - contamination of any note. Wife's dad is senior geo on a project in Blue River (amongst others) where this is well proven.
They have proven there is tantalum down there in large quantities. They have proven that it can be extracted without harming the environment. They have proven that it can be refined without harming the environment. They have even proven that all of this can be done in an economically viable fashion: i.e. they could turn a profit mining this stuff in a manner that meets Canada's (and British Columbia's) ecological guidelines.
Why isn't this up and running? No investors. They are trying hard to drum up enough capital to actually get the mine operational. All the relevant studies are done, impact assessments...everything. The people that own the land just don't have enough money to make the hole...and so far the only people interested in investing seem to be the Chinese.
They are somewhat against making said hole.
This story is repeated over and over across Canadian mining properties. There's a hell of a lot of stock market scam crap with Canadian mining and exploration companies...but there are also a lot of proven, assessed, economically viable mines that just cannot attract enough capital to make the gor'ram hole in the ground.
So i have zero sympathy for any company out there bitching about the cost of rare earths. I can personally introduce you to people who can solve the rare earths issue, if only there's a some up front investment.
Companies like Samsung have had a boo at some of these properties and decided they'd rather just invest their money in developing rare-earths-free technologies. They agreed that it was economically viable, but didn't want to be beholden to any foreigners - Canadian, Chinese or Australian - for access to critical elements.
It's also why I've no sympathy for Worstall's "slavery is okay if I get a cheaper phone because brown people don't value their own lives as much as we value ours" view. We have a perfectly ethical option that wouldn't cost us additional money but: we are choosing as a society not to exercise it. (And what the hell does that say about our society?)
There is no monopoly on rare earths. There's just apathy and abject greed. Electronics companies could solve this problem tomorrow if they wanted. They won't. If it costs $500m to spin up a mine and they see (number pulled from ass) 20% return on investment for that $500M over the next 10 years, they still won't invest. Why? Because they believe that same $500M could be invested in $_other_investment and get 21% return on investment over the next 10 years.
There is an actual profit to be made in digging rare earths out of the ground of a first-world nation and selling them to people in a manner that doesn't impact the environment. The sad truth of the matter, however, is that there isn't enough of a profit to be made, so bloody few people are interested.
Re: Fatboy Dell
No, that requires a good set of SEs. The salesman is just the monkey pushing the knobs to make the invoices occur. :)
Re: Fatboy Dell
"Good argument as long as you accept your initial premise which requires a company to have ethics and care about the customer instead of only the next quarter's bonuses which is becoming rarer and rarer."
...which is purportedly why Michael Dell took the company private, no? To be free of the Wall Street pressures that make this myopic "only this quarter's numbers matter" view such a necessity? I believe that the theory is "Wall Street's demands make it impossible to treat the customer properly, ultimately leading to customer exodus, thus Dell will go private in order to free itself from Wall Street's demands enabling customer acquisition and retention by not being douchenozzles."
Here's hoping they succeed, because I'd love to see Wall Street's chronic economic myopia disproven in spectacular fashion.
Re: Fatboy Dell
No, it doesn't have anything to do with upselling...at least not if it's done honestly and properly. A good example is something as simple as "power over Ethernet."
Way back in the day, I had some PoE equipment installed that fried a bunch of badly designed older hardware as soon as the cable was plugged in. This was in the early days of PoE stuff and a lot of widgetry was not constructed to be able to cope with it. I have been wary of PoE ever since.
Today, virtually all equipment you could find should coexist just fine with PoE, and modern PoE stuff should be able to detect if there's a non-PoE device on the other end and simply not send voltage. A really bad salesman came to visit one day and tried to sell me things involving PoE. It might well have been a decent solution, however, I certainly had an irrational fear of PoE given my previous negative experience. (Which was about ten years prior to said salesman's visit.)
Had the salesman had a decent sales engineer with him, they could have explained the advances in PoE equipment, worked with me to identify all devices on teh network and determine if they'd insta-fry and otherwise put the "myths" that I had accumulated surrounding the technology firmly to bed.
That is the job of the sales engineer. It isn't to sell, and certainly it isn't to upsell. (That's what Mr. Charisma is for.) The job of the sales engineer is to answer the technical questions and get to the truth of the matter.
I hate pushy salespeople as much as the next guy...but I have nothing but shitloads of respect for proper sales engineers. IT weenies are inherently conservative people: change is anathema and they need to understand and control every last element. The sales engineer is the dude that explains the minute details so that the nerd brigade has the appropriate amount of warm fuzzies and will sign off on it.
Good sales engineers are the difference between getting the right solution into an enterprise and getting a bunch of upsold shite that is unfit for purpose...or piles of unnecessary shite that doesn't meet business requirements, but are bought because the nerds want toys.
Now, if you could convince a Dell or an HP to fire Mr Charisma Closer Guy and just run the joint on SEs, that would be awesome. I can dream...
@Ledswinger HP doesn't make money off Enterprise services for two reasons
A) They skimp on the sales staff and support staff training, pay and incentives, leading to poorly trained, lower-quality people
B) They don't invest in R&D or sensible acquisitions, leading to having technology a generation and a half (or more) behind.
Dell thinks they can do well in enterprise, MSP, CSP and government services because they believe that without the pressures of Wall Street forcing them to behave in very proscribed ways they can offer superior quality and service resulting in a slow, but steady building of reputation for being "the best." Ultimately, they hope this will lead those with money to choose them over companies like HP that never will be "the best".
Will that work? Nobody knows. However, that is the great experiment currently underway.
Re: Fatboy Dell
Actually, "sales engineers" are often required for a few reasons.
A) Dispelling myths about technologies held by sysadmins whose knowledge hasn't kept up with the evolving technology
B) Helping design solutions that meet the needs of a given business
C) Helping craft transitions between extant product sets and the new stuff
We have reached a point where no human brain can contain all knowledge required to know every single feature, option, configuration and artifact of VMware, let alone the whole of our industry. A properly designed sales team is a charismatic fellow (the closer) who can talk dollars and cents backed up by a small fleet of domain experts (the sales engineers) who can talk shop and know their tech inside and out.
This is how you design and build a proper IT sales team, especially for enterprise.
If you, personally, know enough to know exactly what you need...great. A lot of folks don't, even if they are great sysadmins or engineers. There's just too much out there to know the quirks of it all, it's all evolving...and everyone is evolving in different directions at the same time.
Dell needs to be more than "NewEgg for Enterprises." I think Dell (the man) recognized that. That's what this corporate bloodbath is all about.
Uh...did they just say DuckDuckGo was illegal?
LastPass Enterprise. FFS, Microsoft, the solution is COTS!
Oh, aye, because ANY of the major manufacturers are better. Apple makes some token efforts - after someone discovers issues, not proactively - but pretty much every other manufacturer in the fortune 1000 seems to have no moral qualms whatsoever about abusing or even murdering sentient, sapient beings for their own profit. To say nothing of their utter disregard for the environment.
I too echo the calls for import tarrifs equal to the wage delta + the cost of externality nullification they enjoy by ruining the planet. No business should be allowed to externalise costs onto society; not local ones, nor foreign ones.
We only get one planet, and each of us has but one set of days. It is wildly unethical to ruin either; for ourselves, but especially for others.
Re: Why?@Dan 55
@Ledswinger Venture capitalism is the Patronage of captialism. I know several VCs and they are as much (or more) about ego and vanity than they are about "making money." In fact, in my conversations with them they seem to view funding projects as a simple act of maths. In one variant or another I've had litterally dozens of VCs say the following to me:
"Roughly one in ten will make it big. two in ten will make you back your investment. You just have to see it through and accept there will more losers than winners. Pick projects and people you like, technologies that interest you; ultimately, you'll want to get involved. Maybe you'll mentor. Maybe you'll help with contacts. Maybe it will be to bring in other funders, but being a venture capitalist is more about supporting projects you enjoy than making money. The money will get made; concentrate on the product."
"You could be right, on the other hand you don't know what my background is. My guess is you are more wrong than right on that, but the simple ad hominem is not becoming of you, IMHO."
Saying to you "Ledswinger, I think you're biased against open source and that your personal bias is clouding your judgment as regards your ability to understand how open source coders make money" is not an ad hom. It's saying "nevertheless, it exists" and pointing out that your belief or understanding is unnecessary. It is not the universe's job to reveal itself to you, but your job to understand the universe.
Regardless of your comprehension or approval, open source devs still feed their families the world over.
Use of open source software does not indicate you aren't deeply biased against the ideological and economic policies that underlie open source. A ruthless capitalist who sneers at any concept remotely approaching collectivism or putting the needs of others before themselves would jump at the chance to get something for free, or to use the existence of a free offering as leverage against a non-free vendor.
That said, I do firmly believe that your comments have demonstrated a personal bias against the economic and ideological underpinnings of open source such that you are not allowing yourself to understand the funding models that exist for sailfish and that work for many other projects.
Put simply, I believe you don't like those models you cast about for an alternate explanation - any alternate explanation - that feels more comfortable and familiar.
Imagine a scenario in which someone could invest $5M into Project A, expecting an ROI of 80%. Alternately he could invest into project B, expecting an ROI of 50%.
If he were just a purely hard-nosed capitalist then he would chose Project A. If, however, he were an ideologically - or vanity - motivated capitalist then he might well chose Project B because project B did something he felt was worth doing. That's patronage, even if it comes with a profit motive hanging off of it.
Lots of people - even people with money - do things for reasons that aren't black and white. They may seek to gain personally in some way, but choose to achieve thier capitalistic ends by helping others along the way. As far as I'm concerned, that's a form of patronage...or as close as capitalism gets, anyways.
Whether you accept it or not, these projects still get funded. Developers still feed their families.
Re: Why?@Dan 55
@ Ledswinger patrons who think that Sailfish is something that will ultimately take off and make everyone a lot of money. Jolla - the main group behind the OS - just got 20M+ in VC funding a while ago. That's the modern patronage system at work. Many other developers for to Sailfish are paid for by various companies who feel they'll benefit from the OS (or the core technologies developed as part of it) and together, all the developers form the Sailfish community.
Just like Linux. Just like Mozilla. Just like Apache.
As for your "fairly average piles of code" comment, I think it's pretty clear that
A) You don't understand what people like Torvalds actually do in relation to the projects they run and
B) You're actually rather biased against these efforts.
Mozilla and the Linux kernel team are both responsible for some of the most complex - and miserably difficult - code mankind has ever written. The genius lies in tying so many moving parts together and keeping them working. The modern browser alone is more complex than entire operating systems were in the early 90s, and the Linux kernel is quite the feat of engineering; especially for something that isn't run by a dedicated team of the world's top highest-paid specialists...yet seems to compete with the best that the world's highest-paid specialists can create.
You seem unable to understand how open source works, and how so many projects continue to make money. Project after project, distribution after distribution continues to tick along. The Weyland/Weston team - formerly X.org, formerly X11 - have been doing their thing for 30 years. Red Hat begat both RHEL and Fedora, each of which spawn several derivative distros, and they don't seem to be going anywhere.
Mozilla has sugar daddies, as does Apache, the Linux Foundation, and so forth. Even the equivalent of "open source" musicians make money in today's world: look at John Coulton.
You seem to view code as nothing more than a means to a commercial end and thus seem unable to understand why anyone would pay for anything they could otherwise just get for free and run off with. You completely miss the point, and in doing so fail to understand the model upon which open source thrives.
Open source is far closer to art than commerce. Code as artistic endeavour is the mindset you need if you're to understand how funding occurs in this world. It's miserable. It's a lot of chasing sponsors and a lot of trying to build up a community of people who like your work and convincing them to pay you so you can keep making more. Often, you need a patron...sometimes in the form of a single rich donor, sometimes in the form of a corporation, sometimes in the form of organized community efforts.
I would pay good money for Sailfish. Once a phone is on the streets and in my hands, I will. I'll cut a cheque to Jolla and make sure that the relevant open source foundation for Sailfish is added to my company's yearly list of donation targets.
If I don't support the projects that make the stuff I like then those projects won't be there. I'm even trying to get enough money together to support a full time body to work on open source projects. First Weston/Weyland and FreeRDP Server integration/development, then ReactOS. That's "patronge"...or at least the modern form of it.
It's also how a lot fo open source devs gets paid.
Twice zero is still zero. Third place doesn't matter if your market share is "Microsoft employees + press you are trying to impress + cultists." Eventually you reach saturation of a not very large number of folks.
Re: Why?@Dan 55
The same way Linux devs feed their families. Or Mozilla devs. Corporate (or state) sponsorship. When you think of it, many - if not most - of the greats in our history were able to do their work largely because of patronage. Leonardo, Einstein, Torvalds...even our whole start-up model is based on it.
Patronage is how great works are born. Corporatism is how mediocre works with built in obsolescence are born. States are how hyper-expensive public works are born. There are exceptions, but overall, if you want something done in excellence, ensure that patronage exists to get that done.
There is no incentive in capitalism to create excellence. There never has been. If you want the "new thing" that is changing that, look to kickstarter. Crowdfunding is means of democratising patronage. Instead of one (or a small number) of patrons injecting a lot of cash, you get a large number of patrons injecting a small amount of cash.
The whole thing is just a discussion about ditching a federally mandated requirement to actually install and maintain last mile infrastructure. The telcos want to do it all over wireless, and their puppet lobbyist FCC chariman is only too happy to oblige.
Re: Alternate KEY Power Generators ...... Clever Alien Parts with Zero Non-Disclosure Agreements
For the record you're wrong about amanfromMars.
A) Comments from the chap go back (at least) to the early 90s on usenet, if you dig hard enough.
B) He's human. (From the UK, IIRC.)
C) Garbled Words Of Layered Meaning aside, he's still better company than 95% of the "obviously a human" people I meet on the net.
A west coastie? Bitching about winter? Ahahahahahahahahaha. Wake me when you tough out a winter on the prairies.
D'oh! Yes, Jason, you correctly pointed out my blunder of typing and failed braining. +1 to you, and have a beer.
Re: The usual bullshit to becalm those afraid of the Satanic Mills of Manchester.
Uh...the dude is a former lobbyist for the telecoms industry. He's muchos big time capitalist.
Also: if you want a country free of government intervention, where (litterally) cut-throat capitalism reigns and there are no rules to restrain commerce, try Somalia.
I'll believe this guy is anything other than an industry plant when he makes artificial scarcity of bandwidth or "data caps" legal. The network was designed for contention. Not to sit 80% idle because noone can afford to use the capacity in play.
Innovation requires investment. Not rent seeking.
It isn't a "Windows 7 image running on Server 2008 R2." It's a Server 2008 R2 instance. Period.
There are significant differences between the two; mainly that a number of applications need shims in order to believe they are running on Windows 7, and in many cases those shims don't exist. Licensing is the next big difference.
Please see here for more.
Re: Written in Sun headlines ..
Style is a personal choice, neutral in the same way that aesthetics is "in the eye of the beholder." That said, the political, social and economic stances exuded by the prominent individuals and publications of Murdoch's evil empire - particularly any rag I've ever read called "the Sun", regardless of country or city - are very definitely Bad Things.
Given the psychological connection between the style and the "needs of the me outweigh the needs of the HEY, SCREW YOU, PROLE! Goddamn forigners! Now where was I?" I can grok the apprehension that some might have in seeing their morning tech news be "sun"-ified.
Eventually, some "styles" get associated with things. How exactly did pink become a "girly" colour? Or mullets gain their notorious negative social connotations? For better or worse, the connection between the writing style and the publications that most frequently employ it are hard to disentangle.
...no matter how fun it is to write (or read) in that style. :)
Re: " We are sexist to men..."
@Alfred Funny, when I - as a white male - look around me I see plenty of evidence that indicates the scales are massively balanced against me.
I may have a higher than average chance of having been born in A) a first-world nation and B) into a middle-class or upper-class family. After that, however, I appear to be at a distinct disadvantage for everything.
I'll get less post-secondary funding , opportunities for bursaries, grants and so forth. My word is not "as good" as the word of a female or a non-white; if there is a dispute at school, in the legal system or what-have-you, both my gender and my race work against me. If i wish to seek a better job - especially in technology - I have to work harder for that promotion or that contract.
I'm not allowed to speak on any number of topics without being accused of racism or sexism. If I get into a custody dispute then I am overwhelmingly likely to lose, even if the mother is a drug-addled alcoholic who can't keep a job and beats the children.
There are thousands of beds in "women's shelters" in my province, but only a single one for an abused man. That one is paid for privately and by law must be preferentially given up to a woman under any number of circumstances.
My grandparents's generation may have lived in a period where the white male was dominant. My parents' generation lived in a world where the white male earned more money for the same labour.
I am subject to discrimination, told that this is both "good" and "proper", and repeatedly told that it is my "moral duty" to pay for the sins of someone else's ancestors.
Racism and sexism against other groups still exists. That sure as hell hasn't been eliminated yet...but discriminating against white males has only made our society shittier for everyone, it hasn't addressed the core issues of exclusionary thinking and social processes.
You don't make people "more equal" by discriminating against a group that used to traditionally have power. You make people more equal by treating everyone equally, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, height, weight, eye colour...
Seems, however, that it's not "okay" to think like that in today's world. More's the pity.
Re: Don't get it.
I dispute the usefulness of Jane Austin. She created something that appealed to a limited subset of individuals.
So if I petitioned my government to get Commander Hadfield on a bank note, I should expect the full support of the same people, no? What he's done is make science interesting to a large chunk of the world again. This is of appeal only to a limited subset of people, but I argue is even more important than Jane Austin's contribution.
Or would they - and I deeply suspect they would - throw toys out of the pram because my suggestion for a dude on a banknote is a white male? Jane Austin as a face on the bank note seems to have nothing to do with her contributions to society but everything to do with the way she was born (with internal genitalia as opposed to external.)
I don't have an issue with anyone being put on a bank note, so long as their contribution to society at large was monumental enough to justify it. "Because the individual did something important and isn't a white male" is still, of itself, a form of sexism.
It shouldn't matter what gender, race, etc the individual is, or isn't.. Only what the individual has done. Until we can get to that point, our society is still irrecoverably sexist.
PowerCLI is probably as close as you're like to get. :/
Good move. +1 VMware
Re: Surely most of these are Trolls
If I thought for a second I had a chance of making myself fit enough to be useful to the mission I'd have applied in a heartbeat. The urge to explore is quite powerful in some of us...and somethings are entirely worth dying for. My wife feels the same way; we'd have both been quite happy to make the trip, regardless of the risks.
21 miles would get me to work and back every day. The petrol engine does for longer journeys. What's not to like?
This is a welcome development. Well done, Ford. More of this, please.
Re: 2014: Microsofts year of implosion
Microsoft began imploding some time back. (I.E. when the warring fiefdoms started to generate more chaos through internecine fighting than the executive could generate order.) But it takes a hell of a long time for a company the size of Microsoft to evaporate...and they've a number of business units doing quite well, thanks.
Also: "Microsofts" should be "Microsoft's". I know that's pedantry, but the inability to grok possessive apostrophes is one of the few grammar mistakes that truly irks me.
Disparaging anyone who uses Windows as lacking intellect is infantile. That said, I've not heard "Window cleaners" in this context before so you get a half point for that actually being somewhat clever.
Re: Beware the network guys!!!
@bear_all I agree with you 100% that traditional companies can evolve. Do I believe that 2014 will be the turnaround year for Cisco? No.
The reason for this is that Cisco simply isn't yet willing to cannibalize it's own core competency yet. It's still fighting ridiculous internecine civil wars and is as yet unable to meet the challengers at the gates.
That said, of all the tech giants, I believe Cisco has made the best acquisitions recently, (though I can think of at least five others it needs to make. Preferably now, while the startups are cheap.) What remains to be seen is whether or not Cisco's internal bureaucracy manages to strip away the "souls" of those organizations, or whether it will truly be able to undergo a cultural metamorphosis which allows it to actually become an agile competitor once more.
Cisco has spend the past decade and a half bleeding it's top minds. They have turned around and created the very technologies and companies that will be Cisco's downfall. (Arista, anyone?) They left Cisco for the same reasons that VMware has been shedding bodies for the past 6 years, and why IBM went through yet another purge in the augties: the company culture became staid, stiff, resistant to ideas from "the muck" of the employees.
Workers were to be drones carrying out the grandiose vision of the Supreme Ruler and his core staff of imagineers, not innovating and adapting on their own. Even executives had to cut through red tape with a machete, ultimately leading to a bleed of top talent.
Other companies can do almost all of the things we used to turn to Cisco for...but for far, far cheaper. Cisco's biggest mistake is fighting desperately to keep margin up on those areas. Especially trying to use lock-in tactics and walled gardens to do so. Buyers are wising up to that crap.
For Cisco to keep margins high it needs to be able to find a new market, become the best of the best in it, charge it's margins there, while dropping it's margins elsewhere to "market margins + name cachet". That will give buying into the "complete stack" of Cisco real value. Unfortunately "name cachet" is not the 2x-3x multiplier Cisco believes it to be.
Cisco has been trying to reform. To change this about itself and to expand it's areas of operation such that it will survive the collapse of it's core networking market. Has it done so yet? No. Will it manage it? I honestly can't say. Will 2014 be the year it returns to being an adaptive, innovative behemoth that will redefine markets? I sincerely doubt it.
...but 2015 might. It really just might. Cisco is definitely on my "companies to keep an eye on" list because unlike many of the others it is trying to change. It is simply a question of whether or not Cisco manages to do this before it bleeds all but a hard core of it's customers.
"But you named VCE as one of "2014's big names to watch in the vSAN space", so surely PureSystems would not be out of place in that list as well... right?"
Honestly, no. As I said in the article, I was highlighting those I thought would be major players. In the case of VCE or Nutanix because of raw market domination. In the case of someone like Maxta because they are fundamentally game changing via commoditisation.
If I tried to list every single CI or VSAN player it would be an ebook, not an article. There are well over 100 at last count; the whole area is growing at a level that makes me think of the mobile device management market. That's why I narrowed it to companies I think would make a bang in 2014 here.
The sad truth is, I just don't think IBM is currently very relevant here, nor do I believe they have anything innovative enough to become relevant in the future. You'll have to forgive me here, but I see IBM's PureSystems setup as a "me too" play that mostly will have negative appeal outside IBM's captive market and stands a damned good chance of having even IBM's captive clients turn to VCE or Nutanix.
As for "SVC is more than cutting a big SAN into little SANs because compression"...I must be missing something. Compression and deduplication were neat in 2006. It was right around then that this "younger, hipper feature" emerged that let people defer SAN refreshes for a cycle. Everyone of any value does this today, it's not exactly a point of differentiation. Indeed, today's deduplication is host-based flash caching: add something like Proximal Data to the host and use it's internal flash to buy you extra IOPS. Ultimately, this can save you from needing an upgrade RFN if you're at the IOPS wall: buy you a year or two to get your act together.
I don't believe there's a "dubious value" in SAN virtualisation...just that SAN virtualisation is pedestrian. I can cut a Starwind SAN into baby SANs, if I massage the interface! It's got HA, deduplication, what-have-you. The past is the past: not only is none of that special, it's commodity now.
Big Blue is many things, but it should never allow itself to become merely pedestrian. Surely a company that creates subterranean seismically-stabilized research labs in order to create atomic-resolution scanning tunnelling microscopes capable of demonstrating the strong force has more virtual confetti and storage oomph than SAN virtualisation and inline deduplication to sprinkle about the holidays!
Your point that people mix the two concepts up, however, is well taken. I really should do an article to explain the difference. It's amazing how much interest this one article has driven. I've a lot of interviews to do next year with both vendors and end users. I look forward to seeing what 2014 brings and to seeing how everything unfolds.
I've no ego in being "right" here. I called the players as I saw them and there is just as much information in being wrong as in being right. If I'm wrong, I'd have no problem saying "hey guys, IBM actually did some decent cleaning up and/or innovating in 2014!" Indeed, insert any name in place of IBM: I've no bias about winners or losers here...but no, I don't think IBM is going to make a bang in this area in 2014.
2014 is going to see the old guard fight viciously to defend their aging product lines and business models as newer, more capable companies redefine entire markets. Cisco will be fighting a noisy rearguard action against all comers; everyone from the OpenDaylight project to Juniper to IBM are pushing SDN offerings that will truncate Cisco's relevance and collapse it's market share.
Microsoft will continue to machine gun itself in booth feet while Oracle doubles down on extracting every single bent copper from it's hostages. EMC will continue to bleed market share to the likes of Nutanix and Tintri while VMware will be forced to completely reinvent their pricing model or die.
None of this will mean the death of giants in 2014...but the giants look ever so much more inflexible today than they did only a few years ago. A sea change is coming. With luck, it will not be a sudden collapse and refactoring of the market like the dot-com burst. Instead, it seems likely that the great behemoths of IT will fade slowly, going quietly into that good night over the course of the next decade or two.
But they have peaked. They have allowed themselves to become wrapped up in pride and hubris; to let innovation occur beyond their borders to an extent that is shocking. Some - like VMware - simply clone the ideas of their own "partners" (the lawsuits once the patents are granted will be hilarious good fun.) Others attempt to buy up these companies one by each and lament their failed integration as the soul-destroying corporate culture of the IT behemoth evaporates the very things that drove innovation in those startups to begin with.
There is a divide here. The staid, high-margin, enterprise-tech-driven model reliant on "services" and 4-hour engineer rollouts is meeting the world of DevOps. Like a freight train meeting a mountain.
In the new order everything is dynamic. Everything is scriptable. This new world sees 4 hours as "not nearly good enough" and requires double and triple redundancy for everything. The new world is burstable. It is programmatic. It is responsive and automated. It is built on commodity everything and change is a feature, not a bug that needs 5 months of change management to plan around.
This is the transition period. It is the time where the old school IT market starts shrinking and the vendors that supply it start winking out one by one: going bankrupt, getting bought, or leaving the market and doing something else. Oracle has proven you can dine on that for some time...but the future is being written by the likes of Puppet and OpenDaylight, not Cisco or VCE.
So, against that backdrop...why would I see PureSystems being a big player in 2014? VCE is the name enterprises and governments trust when it comes to old-school infrastructure. They'll give you a pod of stuff that Just Works and support it in a traditional enterprise fashion. All the big names are on board, it ticks all the old-school CTO paranoia boxes.
Anyone looking for futureproof IT isn't going to be looking at anything VCE like - not from VCE, IBM, Oracle or anyone else - so what chance to any of these other enterprise players have?
IBM's version of "innovation" seems to be "the all flash datacenter." That's great, if you happen to have a continent full of virgins and access to one of the three volcanos on earth with a phonolitic lake. Even for the Fortune 500 that's a bit rich. None of that, of course, addresses how one is to overcome the bottlenecks or latency issues inherent in centralized storage or the transition from North-South networking to East-West networking. (IBM does have some OpenFlow stuff that shows promise, however, it does seem to require that you have a stead supply of virgins to afford it.)
IBM is - to my mind - like the US military. It's really quite spectacularly prepared to fight the last war it was engaged in. Every now and again the R&D department vomits up something truly amazing (like the internet)...but it's the wars of right now, today, that it can't ever seem to quite win. Every now and again both will hold a "Mission Accomplished" ceremony, but disentangling real world victory from meaningless marketing mumbo jumbo designed to fool the plebes is itself a full time job.
IBM is working on hundreds of astonishing new technologies that I think will make the latter half of this decade amazing. (Some of the AI stuff begin done with WATSON, for example.) Storage, however...just isn't one of them. Yet.
Here's hoping that for all the length of that comment, I'm wrong multiple times. Life's far more interesting if you can't predict it quite right. Cheers! Have a great new year. :)
Erik: unless I'm missing a great deal here, IBM's offering isn't a virtual SAN in the commonly accepted sense. There's a lot of weaseling around trying to shoehorn existing product into a new category, but the fact that when anyone I've talked to over the past 8 months talks about a "virtual SAN" they are talking about converged storage and compute where the VMs are being run on the same systems as are providing the storage. Most critically so that one can add both compute and storage to the network simply by adding another node."
Attempts to stretch the definition beyond that, or twist the definition to say "that's not a virtual SAN, this is" are reminiscent of nothing so much as hangers-on putting time and effort into muddying the term "cloud computing" to make themselves seem relevant. They certainly managed to muddy the waters, but...they didn't really win that battle either, now did they?
If IBM actually has something that plays in the area, I'd be more than happy to take a look at what they offer and include them in a follow up article sometime in the next few months. So far I've seen nothing that fits, despite having looked. I'll go look at GPFS Storage Server one more time, but as it was demoed to me before it was emphatically not a virtual SAN.
Also: "virtual SAN" has bloody nothing to do with SAN virtualisation. They are completely distinct concepts. I think anyone serious about storage will be able to tell the difference between A and B here. They aren't "similar" in any way.
Virtual SANs are about A) commoditising storage by making it possible to run it on the commodity compute nodes we already use for visualization and B) increasing speed/decreasing latency by putting the storage a VM uses in the same compute node it runs on while still offering full redundancy equal or superior to that which you would find in a traditional SAN.
SAN virtualisation is about taking a traditional SAN and cutting it up into logical SANs and delivering these logical SANs to compute nodes across the network. It doesn't drive down the cost and it doesn't move the storage closer to the compute.
Again, here I do not see "Pure Systems" as being remotely the same. It's like VCE: old school infrastructure that is shipped as a single blob. It is thus "converged" in enterprise-tech-speak, but is not "converged" in a practical sense, nor does it have any of the advantages of a virtual SAN. It's just...wanting to be VCE. For whatever that's still worth. For my money, Nutanix is going to crush VCE like a bug.
Re: @Andy Prough
There's a world of difference between saying "I like this and here's why" and trying to convert people. Let's explore:
Person A: "I've just had a bad day. My girlfriend left me, I lost my job, my cat died and I stepped on my brand new Macbook."
Person B: "When life gets me down, I turn to my faith and it helps me through the issues."
Person A: "That's nice, but I'm not a person of faith, I need a different solution."
Person B: "Well, if you come up with any other way I can help, let me know!"
Person A: "I've just had a bad day. My girlfriend left me, I lost my job, my cat died and I stepped on my brand new Macbook."
Person B: "When life gets me down, I turn to my faith and it helps me through the issues."
Person A: "That's nice, but I'm not a person of faith, I need a different solution."
Person B: "You really should consider it. Jesus saved me, and he can save you too! These sorts of issues are so much better when you believe in Jesus. Also, when there's a church full of people who also believe in Jesus, then you can all believe in Jesus together and everyone sympathizes with your issues, things are better."
Person A: "Uh, that's nice, I really don't feel that your religion is the answer to my problems."
Person B: "But if you don't believe in Jesus you'll go to hell!"
Person A: "I think you should leave now."
I hope you are capable of understanding the difference. If not, I recommend seeking professional help; the majority of our species does indeed make a distinction, and indeed we see it as a critical definition of character.
You are right in that there are a very specific set of people I believe are shills. There is one particular Anonymous Coward (*ahem*) whom I believe to either be an outright shill for Microsoft, or who has a significant interest in seeing others adopt Microsoft en masse or very clearly has psychiatric problems requiring medication. It would seem to be the same guy every time. We all of us know the one.
There's Matt Bryant. He's not quite a textbook shill, but he's close enough for jazz (in that, IIRC he has a noted financial interested in the products he pushes) that I have no problems labelling him as such. Mmeier and RICHTO both may quality, though in both of those cases I'm more than willing to go with "brand tribalists bordering on religious zealots" and not necessarily label them as "shills".
That said, I'm not the one labelling people "Linux shills"; that would be the province of the aforementioned Anonymous Coward. (Also completely ignoring the underlying "how do you become a Linux shill/who would pay someone to shill Linux" argument...)
I don't think that someone who pushes Apple is an "Apple shill." I loathe Chrome, but I still don't think you're a "Google shill" if you push Google. None of those companies have any history of employing Astroturfers, nor do their "partners". Microsoft and Samsung (amongst a few others) do.
Similarly, the chances of someone being an "EMC shill" or a "Cisco" shill are pretty damned minimal. Enterprise-focused admin that hates the SMB? Sure. Shill? No.
When I call someone a shill I mean it. It is an indication that I honestly believe they are writing comments because of their personal financial interest, not because they have any professional interest in helping others find the best solution for their needs. I do not use the word lightly.
If you like something, that's great, I'm happy for you. Whether that be your personal vision of Jesus, Windows 8, and EMC filer or the special shape of UK power plugs. I don't give a bent damn.
Where my tits get twisted is when you unrelentingly try to make others like what you like. "Hey, I like this and I think it could solve your problem" is a big fucking world away from dogged determination to convert unbelievers. That usually involves both a dogged determination to both slag off the competition as well as pushing your own "chosen one."
What you seem incapable of understanding is that I do not have a brand/product*/protocol/service/company that I push on others religiously. What exactly do I go out of my way to say "damn it Jim, this will solve all your problems!" Where, do I say "you should trow away everything you have and try Crest(TM) Teeth Whitening Super-Hypervisor to make the baby Ballmer happy and save the world!"
Instead, I encourage people to think critically. I encourage them to analyze each and every case separately, independently, and take factors ranging from the technical to the personal, the financial to business in mind.
In a world of near-religious brand-tribalists and technical holy-wars I encourage rational thought and science. Indeed, I feel the use of the brand-tribalism-as-religion comparison is wholely apt primarily because brand tribalism and religious fundamentalists are the groups I have encountered in my life who go on the offensive against critical thinking.
It is irrational to claim that I am trying to convert anyone to a given brand, product, service or company because I have advocated for and against every single brand, product, service and company I can think of, when and where circumstances seemed appropriate.
And yes, I do bang on about choice. Deal with it.. I believe in choice at a fundamental philosophical level. Everyone has a right to believe what they want, however, I do not hold that anyone has the right to attempt to forcibly convert another. The individual's right to religion ends at the point that their expression of religious beliefs would deny another individual their own right to freedom of belief or expression.
Again, let's try some specific examples:
1a) You can sit in your house and worship Jesus all you want. You don't get to tell gay people that they can't get married just because they're gay.
1b) You can sit in your house and use Windows 8 all you want. You don't get to tell people they they must change their workflow, business model or the way their brains work (which is genetic, thanks, and cannot be altered in most people) in order make themselves more conducive to a multinational corporation's chosen means of embiggening it's profit margin.
2a) You can sit in your house clutching your bible and wishing really, really hard that all those Muslims would go away. You don't get to deny Muslims the vote just because they're Muslim.
2b) You can sit in your house fondling Metro and wishing that really, really hard that the desktop would go away. You don't get to tell people they shouldn't be allowed to petition Microsoft to make changes in their software to better suit their needs.
3a) It is not the duty of a citizen to alter their beliefs in order to align with the desires of their government. It is the duty of a government to represent and govern according to the desires of it's citizens.
3b) It is not the duty of the customer to adapt themselves to the business model of the vendor. It is the duty of the vendor to sell a product that customers want to buy.
You come into The Register's forums and attempt to play the aggrieved victim on a regular basis. Yet when I actually look at your arguments, I repeatedly find that If I replaced "Microsoft" and "Windows" with "Jesus" and "God" you start to look a hell of a lot like Westboro Baptist Church. Everything from telling people they shouldn't have a right to choice to screaming that you have a right to convert people to your religion that somehow overrides the right of people to believe what they want.
If's all fair game for you to viciously lay into Linux, Linux users and so forth...but it's persecution for someone to call you out on your bull or - worse yet - to say Mean Things about your chosen fuzzy wuzzy. Again, all very in line with the pile of bullshit I've come to expect to be shovelled by religious fundamentalists.
If you want to try to take me on personally, to make me the centrepiece for your demented little power games and requirement for technological faith, you go right ahead. I will defend myself vigorously and I will defend the right of others to believe what they wish. Even if that annoys you.
I will also continue to advocate that a rational, logical, needs-based analysis be done on a case-by-case basis as the standard for professional conduct in our industry. I believe that leaving faith behind and moving towards needs-based and evidence-based IT architectures is a necessary evolution of our industry.
If you view that as an Ivory Tower then you have a ball with that. You will be the very first - to my knowlege the only - person to have ever accused me of arguing anything from an Ivory Tower. Given that I have been called "the big voice of small business," "argumentum ad edge case", "the SMB personified" and "the ultra-populsit" I am pretty sure that your assessment of my arguments as coming from an Ivory Tower are so utterly singular that it borders on ludicrous.
I don't give a fig if people recommend something different than what I'd recommend. There are lots of cases in which I get into arguments just to understand why a given recommendation is being made. Shocker of shockers I'll even admit to being wrong on a regular basis, and say "yep, that looks like a better choice.
Like whatever you like. Recommend whatever you like...but if you are going to recommend something, be prepared to back your recommendation up. When you do so, don't use pesudo-religious techniques and wishy-washy arguments in your attempt to convert someone. I will challenge you, and anyone else who does so...just as I expect to be challenged in turn when I make such mistakes.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go nuke a tablet because the Windows 8.1 update somehow blew up. The ISO for the clean install is done downloading and we're going to take this thing to 8.1 from scratch. Long night ahead of me...
*Okay, Ninite. I am allowed one, and I do try to keep the noise on that to a minimum.
Re: @Andy Prough
I feel that way about Linux zealots too. Anyone who pushes a given a technology or company as a religion is a douchebag. The proper and professional response is to do a needs assessment based upon the individual's circumstances, provide list of multiple different technologies that could solve the problem, with an objective and impartial list of pros and cons then allow the individual to make an informed choice.
Linux zealots were really bad for being functionally incapable of that about a decade ago. Most of them have since matured, as - quite frankly - have the bulk of the Macolytes.
That leaves Metroids as the primary group of technological religious zealots I encounter on a daily basis. Personally, I hope the get [redacted] and [redacted] themselves to [redacted]. Every last miserable [redacted] one of them.
There's nothing wrong with being an edge case. Macolytes of the early 2000s had their own religion. Desktop Linux is "a thing" in some corners. So on and so forth.
The issue comes when Metroids desire to "convert" others, usually with by belittling and using broken logic. My favourite argument is that it is somehow the "duty" of paying customers to adapt their desires, workflow and even how their brains process information to better suit the profitability of a multinational corporation.
I tend to believe it is the duty of the multinational corporation to sell products that people actually want to buy.
So, enjoy your operating system, I've no issue with that. What I do take issue with is the constant drumbeat of lies saying "if you just put a startmenu back on it then there's no reason to dislike it." That's bullshit. There are a litany of complaints that go beyond the start menu and the issues - on these forums and elsewhere - arise when Metroids refuse to acknowledge that truth and proceed to prosletyse their religion.
It really is no different than Macolytes. I never cared that they used a Mac. I wouldn't care if they decided to have a great big Mac parade down Jasper Ave to proclaim their love of their weird and wonderful brain chemistry that made Macs the Right Choice for them. If other minorities can have a parade, hey, why the hell not them?
But I loathed the bastards who tried to convert me. To my mind a Macolyte or a Metroid that demands I accept their special, different floweryness whilst denying my right to life my life as I want are no different than the asshole religious nutters showing up at my doorstep at 7:00am asking if I've "heard of God the Mother."
There's a reason I answer the door in the nude now.
If I had a way to answer the internet in the nude and subject the unwanted evangelism of the Macolytes and Metroids to the same "shit you can't unsee" visual horror show I would. I loathe those people. It's the sheer arrogance of it all. It isn't enough that they like what they like, they have to convert people.
If other users want to pressure a multinational, profit-driven corporation to provide features that they desire before spending money on that product, rest assured some asshole Metroid will pop up out of the fucking ground and proclaim that their religion demands other people be denied the choice of having features they want.
Macolyte, Metroid...it's all just religious posturing. I hope each and every one of the evangelical pricks spend however long is necessary getting constantly barraged by a dozen different religious missionaries until they finally come to understand that other people - in this case the overwhelming fucking majority - deserve the right to choice as well.
I don't care what religion people want to push, just don't fucking push it here.
Let me get this straight, just so we're clear.
1) The PC is not dead. Desktops and notebooks (whether Windows, Mac or Google) still sell by the truckload.
2) Small, simple "good enough" notebooks that look an awful lot like netbooks are doing "surprisingly" (to whom?) well.
3) Windows is suffering in the wake of Windows 8 and Microsoft alienating virtually their entire customer base. ("If you're an edge case you don't matter" versus "everyone is an edge case at some point.)
Well holy pants batman. Who the fnord could have predicted that?
Legal != Moral
Legal != Ethical
Legal = People with guns force you to comply.
Re: Trevor_Pott: Air Con?
Can't see why cracking a window wouldn't work. You'd blow all the hot air out of the station. If you then closed and repressurised, you would have air that was cold (pressurized air being rather cold.) Would suck for the astronauts, but maybe they could hide in a Soyuz for the duration.
Also, aren't the ESA transfer vehicles corner shops?
Re: Air Con?
Actually, air conditioning is the biggest issue in space. Here on earth you can cool things relatively easily because there's this whole "atmosphere" thing. Molecules of air strike a surface warmer than they are, absorb energy and go off elsewhere.
That doesn't happen in space.
In space, the only way to get rid of excess heat is what's called "blackbody radiation." All matter radiates electromagnetic energy on it's way down to absolute zero and is only really prevented from reaching absolute zero because it is also capable of absorbing energy int eh same manner.
A star (like our sun) pumps out photons which are absorbed by various types of matter. Matter will then pass along that energy by emitting radiation of it's own or, if the possibility exists, through physical contact of a warmer molecule with a colder one.
This is why cooling is such a big thing in space. Space isn't cold. Space is, in face, nothingness. There are many cold things in space, but there are also many hot things. They don't tend to interact much, so cold things that don't have the opportunity to absorb radiation stay cold while warm things sit there and crank out radiation.
Every satellite, spacecraft and station has cooling issues. So much so that they are among the most difficult and expensive elements of the design. There is not "temperature outside" because there is no anything outside to create "temperature" as we would understand it.
So that's your science for the day, I hope you have a great holiday season!
Re: Oi Mr AC!
@Chemist: I write for a living. Things have been discovered to make it simple and quick. Notably, the switch to Writer as my spellchecker was a big quickener. Less of Word going insane trying to "help" with formatting...
"The question is should an OS design be degraded, watered down, just to facilitate such mundane and unfulfilling tasks? It surely should be the responsibility of the users to improve themselves as people"
Changing myself to be more conducive to making a multinational company more profit is not "improving myself as a person." Quite the opposite: if a company wants me to pay me money it is the job of htat company to provide me something I actually want to buy.
Your entire perspective on life is warped. Totally, completely and utterly.
"HOW LONG IS LINUX GOING TO TAKE"
...to reach 95% of the endpoint market instead of the 65% it has now?
No idea. But my new game finished downloading and I'm off to enjoy the benefits of Steam for Linux.
So you didn't install a proper browser? Firefox, say, which (with it's numerous extensions) is the most secure OS on earth with the best chance of protecting your privacy.
You didn't at least use Chrome? With 51% market share it is the most popular browser on earth, and is a damned sight more secure than IE, even if it shares IE's utter inability to allow plugins at a low enough level to really protect your privacy. (Not to mention IE's utter unwillingness to design the OS from the ground up to protect privacy, but then again both Microsoft and Google are financially motivated to track you everywhere in everything and sell your information to advertisers. The difference is that we get Free Stuff from Google for it, whereas Microsoft demands we pay them for the privilege
So yeah, what browser were you using? What version of Linux? Was it from the beforetime?