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* Posts by Trevor_Pott

4451 posts • joined 31 May 2010

Ask Santa to give you our pricey certs for Christmas, says Oracle

Trevor_Pott
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If someone gifted me something I'd be grateful they thought of me. They'd be on my nice list because the thought really is the thing that counts. I'd even try to take the exam, see if I could make their monetary expenditure worthwhile.

...but I don't think there's much call for Oracle anything in the world I inhabit. Indeed, I think the relevance of Oracle to the world at large is shrinking. The margins may be going up - squeal, hostages, squeal! - but they are the core of their own little niche. The rest of the world has adapted to exist without them, and - I think - we are happier for it.

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Microsoft yanks Surface 2 DIM SCREEN of DEATH fix in update snafu

Trevor_Pott
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Re: what to buy

With the exception of the Empire of Sadness, I don't really get angry at anyone. Even people I consider to be the worst humans on the planet - various warlords, the government of Burma, Dick Cheney, General Alexander, etc - elicit more of a sadness than anger.

I can count on one hand the number of posts in which I was actually angry while I wrote it. Frustrated at things that refuse to install? Sure. But that's transient. In fact, writing comments helps those sorts of frustrations dissipate.

Passion is not anger. Nor is zeal. Telling me to be passionate about things is like telling a fish not to swim of a human not to breathe. It is simply a part of my personality. It can not be disabled.

Additionally, I also disagree with you that I am in way asking Microsoft to cater to "frontiersmen." Quite the opposite: I rather loudly insist they continue to cater to the entrenched gentry instead of going out and chasing after rogues and renegades.

You and I see the world in very different ways, I expect.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: what to buy

I disagree with your thesis. People being angry over Microsoft's actions has indeed caused changes. The thing is, in order to cause changes you need to be angry everywhere. You need the common man to say "no". You need pros, partners and more to stand up and say "no."

Getting Microsoft to change requires a constant drumbeat of change. Everywhere they turn they need to see opposition to hostile choices and unpopular "features." We wield the only power Microsoft cares about: our own wallets.

Some of us, however, also wield influence. That influence can take the form of direct purchasing power by being a decision maker somewhere important. It can be in the form of being a regulator (or influencing a regulator) or it could be in the form of being a respected individual in authority with a following.

Alternately, that influence can come from the power of arguments; or from biting sarcasm, barely repressed rage, etc...tailor your text to your audience. There are tens of thousands of readers of El Reg's comments section. There are over 9 million readers of the site itself. Add in Social media amplification through Twitter, writing for SearchVMware and other sites...my angry ranting has reach.

Our options are more than "accept what's on the plate or walk away from the table." They always have been. Changing the course of the beast is a long, miserable, thankless task, but it is a possible one. (If only just barely).

The beauty of it - for me, anyways - is that it doesn't take up much of my time. I'm a writer. Rattling off a few thousand words in a thread takes me a matter of a few minutes. It lets me vent some steam and even try to put ideas that are rattling around in my head into an organized form. It's like an alpha test lab for some article writing.

I thrive on the challenges brought forth by other commenters. Sometimes they point out quite legitimate flaws in my logic. Other times they are completely irrational. Either way, attacking the problem in different ways - using different tones, different words, different styles of logical argumentation or emotional appeal - allows me to test drive writing concepts on real live people.

If you think for a moment that I get angry writing in the comments, you're mistaken. Oh, I'm often furious at the Empire of Sadness for making my life miserable, but that would be the case whether or not I skewered some hapless nerf herder in the wild text fields.

Instead, I get to vent. To let the pressure off. It helps, especially when I am trying to do something miserable. Like Install the Windows Azure Pack in it's entirety in 4 hours. And components for one of the critical items won't download. Because cocks. (Thanks Microsoft!)

So whilst I'm busy inventing new curse words in three or four different languages trying to get the damned widget to work, taking two or three minutes out to rip off a comment like this one provides me an odd sort of Zen. I don't expect that you'll understand it - it's a quirk of my psychology, not yours - but I hope that (one day) you learn to accept it.

Cheers.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: With Surfaces potentially going under Christmas trees this season....

Again, any devices shipping with Lithium battery packs in the volumes achieved by the iPad will have some units that do this. Boeing airplanes do this.

That Microsoft hasn't' had a surface spontaneously combust is merely an indication that they've shipped a pitiful amount of them, nothing more. All sorts of consumer - or even professional, industrial and military - electronics that ships with lithium packs have had the same self-immolation issues over the years.

That isn't bad design. It isn't bad engineering. (Well, Boeing...) It's bad quality control and razor-thin manufacturing margins. The only problem with attacking Apple for that is that Microsoft's kit is made by the same companies on the same bloody lines. (Actually, IIRC, Apple has the best QA in the business and some of the highest wages for the assemblers.)

There are lots of reasons to lay into Apple. That isn't one.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: what to buy

Uh, you're berating me for "riding the Microsoft train"? The fuck, what?

Dude, I give more to open source than I do in federal taxes and I am building out my company in the hopes that 2014 will see one - maybe two - full time dev positions payed for by my company to advance the technologies needed to move more and more of my customers aware from Microsoft.

...what are you on about?

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Trevor_Pott
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@LDS

"What's my experience?"

I am the systems administrator for a photo lab that owns the profesisonal photography market for western Canada. There are some 4000 pro photographers whom I deal with through them and a few dozen that are large enough to require the IT services of my consulting company directly.

I have worked with these people on damned near every kind of portable endpoint imaginable. From 17" notebooks that were workstation-class (I.E. they plugged into La Cie monitors back in the grey room and needed to do full DDC/CI communication to get automated calibration) to tablets to OQO devices, portable servers, mini-racks on wheels and everything in between.

If there's an off-the-shelf solution for the photographic industry, I've used it. If there's a custom solution, I've designed it. A good chunk of the non-Adobe hardware - and software - that gets built for professional photographers has had my personal input involved.

I give zero fucks about fanboyishness. I don't care who makes the widget, the software or so on and so forth. I don't care if the solution is a tablet, a notebook, a PC or a server rack. What I care about is that when my photographers go into the field they have tools that work. These have to be tools the photographers understand, that are unbelievably reliable and they have to be cheap. (Photographers - with rare exceptions - don't have money to spend on IT.)

Tablets just haven't passed muster so far. We've trailed hundreds over the past decade with dozens of companies. Including both Surfaces. They aren't good enough yet. They certainly don't handle the requirements of things like Flow, SchoolDays, PDI, ROES, KPDP2 or other industry standard software. In some cases it's a screen res issue. In others it is a requirement to pin the CPU at the redline for an hour.

Lightroom is one of those things that came down to "usability." Nobody could see the damned screen well enough to get the quality they wanted out of the thing. Worse, calibrating the screen to get it to match the lab's paper output profile exactly is a miserable, protracted bitch. (Put this up against the panel in the new ASUS utlrabooks and you'll see what I mean.)

Storage is also an issue. You just can't shoot volume to the thing. You aren't getting a single team into Flow on that bloody thing, let alone doing an entire school. I could go on. Suffice it to say that "my experience" in this regard is...extensive.

More to the point, it is the experience of multiple professional photographers who have made the call, not me.

A real notebook - or in the worst case one of those awful ultrabooks - is the best tool for a professional photographer today. Surface is a wretched compromise that makes nobody happy and iDroidTat is consumptive, not productive.

That's my take on the matter, informed from what I believe to be a large enough sample size - and a wide enough body of professional experience - to be relevant. Y'all can lay into me over not "understanding" the subtleties of any number of fields, but IT support for professional photographers is my turf.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: The Surface 2 good news story from 2-3 days ago not reported on The Reg...

"almost all other cheap Android tablets are useless and will be broken by the end of January."

[Citation needed]

"However [Surface's] sales are growing, "

[Citation needed]

"the majority of users who have purchased one (The Surface RT / 2) use it as a combined tablet and laptop replacement ideal for work like editing documents, presentations, emails and ease of access to you files on the full size USB port."

[Citation needed]

T"he surface is the most innovation and distinct tablet in the market currently,"

[Citation needed, should contain reviews from a number of sources addressing everything from ease of use to user satisfaction, adoption rate to ecosystem size, developer response to hardware reliability]

"ok some parts of windows RT have a few rough edges however that is progressing as can be seen in the 8.1 upgrade."

[Citation needed, general opinion seems to be that 8.1 was "not good enough." You have to do a lot to prove otherwise.]

"The Reg from the get go have been trying to blacken the Surface and Windows RT from the start, this article is more of the same....."

Bullshit. We aren't trying to "blacken" the Surface or Windows RT at all. I think you'll find that most of us don't care one way or another about the Surface (except for Tim Anderson, he loves it) and even fewer care about Windows RT at all (except for me, I think it's the biggest missed opportunity in modern computing and I lament the mismangement of what could have been the saviour of modern endpoint computing. I love RT. I hate how it was handled.)

You have a lot of proving your statements to do here. Get to it.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: The Surface 2 good news story from 2-3 days ago not reported on The Reg...

I'll publish something nice about Surface when something nice about surface exists to be published...and proof of that crosses my desk.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Are all their employees chiefs?

"Testers?" That would imply that Microsoft products are potentially imperfect as designed. Clearly you don't understand Redmondian culture. Take "not invented here" mix with 30% total planetary arrogance, whip on medium for 15 minutes and serve using sharks with frikkin plasma beams attacked to their frikkin tails.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: With Surfaces potentially going under Christmas trees this season....

The iPad has sold so many units that - statistically speaking - we'd see a few breached lithium cells by now.

Microsoft has accomplished the feat of burning their users without a manufacturing defect or battery-puncturing user-error. +1 those guys.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: 2000?

From experience, Lightroom is pretty miserable on a Surface anyways...

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Oracle: Our figures say hardware has flatlined, but we assure you it hasn't

Trevor_Pott
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Screw Oracle

and the boat they sank on the way in.

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Bah! No NSA-proof Euro cloud gang. Cloud computing standards will 'aid data portability'

Trevor_Pott
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Except that - by and large - the US legal system is entirely complicit in the destruction of the rights of natural persons, especially any semblance of privacy. The EU may be bureaucratic, but it has a far higher chance of standing up for the average guy than anything American.

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Feminist Software Foundation gets grumpy with GitHub … or does it?

Trevor_Pott
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Yeah, but at first, nobody believed that Amazing Grace had a working compiler. She had to fight like a caged rat to convince people. That makes all compilers symbolic of the oppressive patriarchy's refusal to place trust and faith in female professionals.

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Drawers full of different chargers? The IEC has a one-plug-to-rule-them-all

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Forget Apple

Small bug in your calculation. My Alienware MX18 has a 220W PSU...

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XMAS SPACEWALK planned to fix ISS's dicky cooling gear

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Ssshhhh.....

Correction: falling tin can. Technically, things in orbit are constantly falling towards the earth. They're just doing so whilst going sideways fast enough not to hit it.

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Yes, you ARE a member of a global technology elite

Trevor_Pott
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Re: IT Pros who can't code?

Define "can code." I can write applications in about 4 different languages. Maybe 5. I know enough of the fundementals of coding that if I had a yen to, I could learn (almost*) any other language and go from there. "Not knowing the language" is usually a matter of "not knowing the built-in functions" and having to look up bits of syntax.

That said, I can debug in languages I can't code in. This is because you can identify the syntax from context and teh googlz will tell you what you need to know about the functions in use. I write primarily in PHP, and ASP but can cheerily debug PERL, Python or C/C++/C# without too much difficulty.

Yet I'm not a developer. I wouldn't say I "can code" in a professional fashion. I can write you an application. It will probably be shite and a real developer will laugh at it, but it will do what it needs to do for now. It's the kind of thing that would be used for prototyping and working out workflow bugs, but if you are going to trust your business to it then madre de dios get a real developer.

Would I count as "can code?" The ability to take a POST from an HTML page, do some string manipulation in PHP and then bung it into a MySQL database shouldn't count as coding, any more than scratching awkward signs on the sidewalk in chalk is "writing."

"Coding" should include training in bit banging, assembler, catching buffer overflows, null pointer errors, input sanitisation, code optimisation...hell, just learning to make SQL queries that are even a close to optimal is an art of itself.

Real programmers need to grok the difference between O(n log n) and O(log2 n) sorting, I (shamefully) had to look it up because I couldn't remember what the "Big O" for bubble sort was.

What I know is the developer equivalent of "how to change your car's oil." That's a hell of a long way from being the developer equivalent of a proper mechanic or - more "elite" - the developer equivalent of a proper engineer.

Yet it seems to me they'd count me among those who "know how to code". That's not right, I think. Binary is the improper database field to contain the full spectrum of options required to cover "can they code?"

*LISP and I are unlikely to ever be friends. Bash scripting is another one of those things that I requires a lot of time with books.

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Striking Amazonians warn: Don't rely on us for Christmas pressies

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Speed test started "AMAZON WINS!"

And real, living, breathing, thinking, feeling, hoping, dreaming, loving, caring, laughing, crying human beings everywhere lose.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Fair play to them.

mmeier, it's not that "agents of the union" have found their way onto El Reg, it's that you're a douche.

Maybe you'd attract a few less downvotes if you weren't always out to screw the average guy.

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Kiwi inventor's court win rains on Apple's parade

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Why not dryPhone?

This is the internet. You're not allowed to be rational here.

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Factories are too DULL for Google's robo-dreams: Behold the GATAMAMs

Trevor_Pott
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Re: Google Rover

If Google sell me an actual, factual, working robot butler then I am their loyal evangelist until the end of time.

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NSA alleges 'BIOS plot to destroy PCs'

Trevor_Pott
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@Roo

A true patriot ignores everything except that which makes the current power elite look good.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @Trevor_Potts

You mean like these drones?

I never said it was a highly militarized border, only that it was a militarized border. It is not one of trust. It is one where drones track you and men with guns prevent you from driving (or flying) across as you choose. It as once the world's longest undefended border. In my youth. Now it's not. Simple as.

And yes, to me, that's militarized. Maybe it's not to you, but you've had so much kool-aid who the fuck knows how you interpret things? "Other borders are more militarized this this doesn't count" would be my guess. It seems to be the kind of logic you've been employing this far.

As for "they'll help your reading comprehension", no I don't mean "it'll". I was referring to the voices in your head. Do they come in via transmitter? CONFORM. CONSUME. OBEY. Seems about right.

Maybe if you have to put up with being hauled into the room with the overly bright lights and the condescending people with loaded guns every time you cross the border you'd see things differently. Maybe not.

CONFORM/CONSUME/OBEY

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @tom dial

No, those people with sand and more sand aren't worth worrying about. Yes, they killed some people> It was tragic. Futile attempts to prevent this from recurring are not an acceptable excuse for giving up our rights.

That our countries have organisations whose mission it is to conduct clandestine operations doesn't mean they should have those organisations or that if we must have said organisations that they should be given the kinds of panopticon powers that they have obtained.

That you are unable to comprehend how both regular abuses of power (everything from NSA operatives using their access to track lovers to the IRS targeting political opponents) and elected representatives not bowing to the overwhleming will of the people makes a democracy is pretty fucking sad. The people in charge aren't listening to those who elected them and many are abusing their privileges. This seems perfectly okay by you, business as normal, no need to question it or demand change.

Shut up and like it, eh?

It doesn't matter how many extrajudicial killings there have been. One is too much. One torture is too much. One abuse of power that occurs without consequence to those performing the abuse is too much.

You propose to not only allow those in power to keep their privileges, but to heap upon them more? For what? The 9/11 boogyman?

You have allowed yourself to buy into the propaganda. For reasons incomprehensible you actually seem to thing those in charge of the US are "the good guys." They aren't. They're people, no different form most of us. (Well, actually, statistically you'd find a far higher percentage of sociopaths in the halls of power, but let's set that to one side for a moment.)

Absolute power corrupts absolutely. They have too much power and they use for ill far too often. I do not want them having that power over me. Plain and simple.

I don't find it okay for them to have the power of dragnet surveillance at all. No discussion about "appropriate use" is possible because no appropriate use of dragnet surveillance is possible.

I have no issue with targeted surveillance, but that is a world away from the shit going on now.

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Trevor_Pott
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@Slawek

Hitting the kool-aid a little hard there, aren't you?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: @tom dial

You don't seem to get it. Any situation in which our metadata is being collected in a dragnet fashion is unacceptable. It doesn't matter if it's the FBI, GCHQ, the NSA, the RCMP or the fucking IRS. If you want to investigate a person then you get a fucking warrant for that person and that's that.

You do not trawl through data looking for "suspicious patterns" and use that as justification to trawl through the data! You do not keep a lifetime's worth of metadata (or even a year's worth!) and go back in time to peer through someone's life and find every minor mistake they ever made based on some broken suspicion that a cranky neighbor had that might be leaving our more than the maximum number of bags of garbage.

You keep talking as though it is okay for us to give up our rights. That it is inevitable and that it is an acceptable and natural consequence of...what, exactly? Protection from the boogyman?

Whether the breach today is the FBI or tomorrow the IRS it makes no nevermind. Human beings in positions of power over other human beings abuse that power. It doesn't matter which agency they belong to. The more power you give them to peer into our lives the more harm they will do. The totality of human history is a fucking testament to this fact!

Noone can be trusted with the kind of power represented by unfettered access to our metadata, let alone the communications data in full. Noone.

Any use of technological assets to collect information about an individual must be narrowly targeted, only records relevant to the narrow warrant collected and retained and the entire process carefully reviewed by independent civil rights organisations. (Rotated out so as to prevent regulatory capture.)

The NSA has already been seen to give information to the DEA and then tell them to lie about the source. How long before their databases are used to raid journalists, a practice already underway? You argue that agencies are isolated and that evidence of malfeasance in one isn't evidence that it will occur in another.

I say that the totality of human history says that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and given that the US government in general has thrown out the presumption of innocence as regards proles I think the NSA - and any other TLA - need to prove their innocence. After all, we don't have the means to investigate their guilt. It's all hush-hush tip-top super secret stuff that proles aren't allowed to see.

No TLA cna be trusted with our privacy. No amount of bureaucracy can make dragnets okay. Nothing can justify dragnets. is that clear enough? Or are there more predictable bits of apologist newsspeak you'd like to trot out?

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Trevor_Pott
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@HIt_Snooze

You mean the militarized border partrolled by drones? It hasn't been "the world's longest undefended border" for some years now. Also, In case you hadn't noticed, Canadians have to present passports and go through all manner of security theater today that we didn't have to 20 years ago. Things have changed, buddy.

I do understand entirely how the conservative assholes currently in charge of our nation have sold us down the river, but that doesn't make America our friend. It just means America has co-opted out leadership. America is very much the enemy of the Canadian people. Just ask anyone who has had their livelihood destroyed by the US refusing to abide by NAFTA while simultaneously using any minor Canadian oversight of that same treaty as a an excuse for extortionate economic protectionism.

Participation in things like "five eyes" is not exactly with the consent of the Canadian people. It is largely against the will of the people but often done to ensure our survival. Not from the threat of the Muslim boogyman...but from that of America.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. (Try reading it slowly, maybe they'll help your comprehension.)

America is not Canada's friend. It is our master. The slave is never friends with one who would purport to own them.

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Trevor_Pott
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@tom dial

"Cost effective" is not a consideration. Our freedoms are not for sale at any price, certainly not as protection against boogymen. Regardless of how large their sticks.

And frankly, yes, I do view the US as a tyranny. As an example: 95% of her people support mandatory background checks on guns. That cannot make it through government. The same amount support restrictions on automatic firearms. *crickets*

The US government murders civilians without trial - their own, as well as civilians. It uses the IRS against political opponents, attacks the freedom of the press, suppresses dissent with violence and imprisons people in perpetuity without trial.

That you have patriotism wrapped up in that nation doesn't change the fact that their so-called "democracy" is a sham, the republic is broken and they are treating both their own citizens and their allies with contempt and outright hostility.

The people with sand and more sand aren't the ones we need to be worried about. The ones in charge of the US government are.

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Trevor_Pott
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@tom dial

Feeding my metadata into the machine so that I can be mistakenly Jean Charles de Menezesed based on some trial-less "guilt by association" cranked out by an algorithm is being fucking tracked.

Too tinfoil hat for you? Too bad. The burden of proof is on your government now, not those who just want to be left alone.

Or will I be targeted for tax audits because of my political group? Have my e-mails raided because I'm a journalist? Be thrown in gitmo because I work with whistleblowers?

Computer says no. Your life, thus, goes bye-bye. And you're okay with this?!?

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@Hit Snooze

You're delusional. Canada is subjugated by the US. The US isn't "on our team" in any way. Were we on the same team as the US they would treat us as equals, not serfs. They do not.

Fro the record, I lobby my government strongly to distance ourselves from the US, politically, economically and militarily. I don't view the US as remotely trustworthy and I sure as hell don't view them as a Canadian ally.

Even if our government is complicit in selling the rights and freedoms of Canadians off to the US for a pat on the head, there's a fair amount of cultural difference between the two nations; far more than I am going ot get into here. Suffice ti to say that I would cheerfully accept a much lower standard of living if it meant that my country would cut ties with the USA.

After all, unlike you, I'm fully capable of understanding that the only "team" the US is on is the one where the very elite of the elite in the US win and everyone else loses. Though i can understand how you could be blind to it if you're raised amongst enough nationalism and propaganda.

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@Wzrd1 Re: @Christian Berger

The comment was directed at me, personally. Where have I been plotting to kill people? I was told that I, personally, should be on one of those lists for non-conformance. Why?

You're the pro NSA scaremonger. Explain to me why I deserve to be monitored, tracked, and have my rights removed?

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@Wzrd1

If you honestly believe - or worse, would encourage - that your military would turn B52 bombers, AC130 gunships, AH64 gunships, AH1 gunships, 105mm and 155mm howitzers, 120mm and 81mm mortars on their own civilian population and choose to do nothing about it then you're a fucking sociopath.

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@Wzrd1

In the past 235 calendar years the US has been at peace for only 21 of them. Who cares if the US is at war? That doesn't remove from them the requirement to act with honour. After all, they're always at war. If being at war removes the requirement for them to behave we need to, as a planet, cut them the fuck off. Blockade, isolate, cease trading with, you name it.

They can't be allowed to act with impunity just because they can't seem to learn to leave others alone.

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@Marshalltown

I don't fear middle easterners with sand, sticks and more sand. I fear the very real abuses of power by the very fallible humans in positions of power in the countries I actually visit.

"Security" is protection from the overreach of the people in power over you. Privacy is part and parcel of that (but extends to the right to be free from interference and snooping by other proles and companies as well.)

"Terrorists" are just a boogyman. A rock from space could fall on me too. I'm far more likely to get killed by a drunk driver or the toxic (and radioactive) emissions from a dirty coal plant. If the price of freedom (and actual security) is that every now and again we fail to stop a lunatic that we probably wouldn't have been able to stop even in the panopticon...I'll take it.

If an individual is prepared to martyr themselves in order to strike at a target there's not a whole hell of a lot you can do to stop them. Our freedoms are not an acceptable price for the obsession of some with trying.

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@Christian Berger

So you are saying that if an individual doesn't conform to the whims of those in power he deserves neither security nor privacy? Conform or expect to be on a watchlist?

Jesus, what a fucked up worldview you have.

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Trevor_Pott
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NSA: not OK.

I'm not a US person and as such you can eat a sack of

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Neither Snowden nor the NSA puts CIOs off the cloud, it's just FUD

Trevor_Pott
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Re: A stacked panel of NSA flunkies

It has nothing to do with them being NSA flunkies. It has everything to do with them being sociopaths ho don't give a flying fuck about anyone but themselves (and their own bank accounts.) It's very rare to those levels in society without being a complete sociopath.

So they're right: enterprise CIOs don't give fuck 1 about the NSA snooping their customers' data unless that could somehow cost them money. While possible, it is unlikely that privacy lawsuits would cost an enterprise enough to matter, though they would bankrupt small businesses.

Oddly enough, small businesses are also most likely to care about their customers enough to have ethical concerns about NSA spying.

So selection bias is definitely at work on this panel, but I doubt it's because any of the folks in question are "bought and paid for" by the NSA. They don't need to be. That's the saddest part of it all.

CONFORM. CONSUME. OBEY.

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Google may drop Intel for own-recipe ARM: Bloomberg

Trevor_Pott
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Re: @Trevor

I don't think I'm overestimating anything. I think it's more than "just making the code work." Workloads as they exist - including entire segments of the application design - were tuned for x86-based systems. Bottlenecks will appear and they'll have to be identified, worked around and redesigns done.

In addition, hardware support for ARM isn't great. Each SoC is it's own little world, and a lot of what's out there (widget-wise) doesn't have ARM Linux drivers. Want to use Inifiniband to lash together your servers? You're probably going to have to get a custom driver. Want to use a Micron PCI-E flash device? Same deal.

I don't think it's impossible, or even uneconomic. I do, however, think that in the long run Google would do far better to create an ecosystem around the SoC it chooses so that others can take some of that R&D off their shoulders.

I'm not doom mongering by any means, merely being pragmatic. The bigger the ecosystem, the larger the component choice (without having to go to the mats with every vendor) and the wider the code base. Additionally, you bring up an entire generation of devs ho are designed to think around the limitations and design quirks of your chosen SoC variant instead of x86.

Really, there's no rational reason for Google to "simply switch CPU vendors" without going for the ecosystem play. For that matter, there is nothing syaing that their existing workloads even make sense given the differences in CPU to I/O balance between ARM and x86, so on and so forth.

Testing, planning, more testing, redesign, lots more testing...it's part and parcel of shifting architectures, especially when you measure your computer in acres.

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Re: @Trevor

DougS: the cost of porting everything they have to ARM is huge. If they go ARM it also places them in a position of either

A) being beholden to a given manufacturer without much of an ecosystem (Intel might be a single manufacturer, but there is a hell of a lot of stuff that bolts on to x86 systems!) or

B) designing everything themselves, including potentially having to write drivers and what-have-you for any widgets they want to add on that aren't part of the design as it exists now.

Cycles are not "just cycles." Attached to the CPU are networking components, disk components, sensors and so forth. It takes an ecosystem to ensure you have real choice (and thus the ability to grind your suppliers.)

The fact that you have a Linux kernel on ARM doesn't mean you have Google's Linux kernel on ARM. Nor their apps. Nor support for any apps they use that aren't in house. Also: lower power CPUs means less likelihood of virtualisation which means having to figure out how to move workloads like virtualisation but from a metal install.

A move to ARM carries with it changes that could indeed be smoothed over by having an ecosystem built up around your CPU of choice. I think it's more than "just a new source of cycles."

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Pat Gelsinger

VMware has an ARM hypervisor. Remember the "VMware for phones" thing a while back? Pleas etell me you don't think they abandoned it.

Also: Windows RT is Windows 8 recompiled for ARM. The Kernel and major services are largely intact. That means Hyper-V for ARM exists.

The issue isn't that the existence of ARM hyperviors, it's the existence of applications for ARM that would drive ARM server OS adoption (and hence hypervisors.) Further compounding the issue is the ARM SoCs aren't cross-compatible. So you can't fully pass back a Samsung SoC into a VM and then vMotion that across to a Qualcomm-based server.

Right now, only a select few ARM providers are really heading into the server market. Here nVidia and AMD are the really big players to watch for. Microsoft and VMware are both working closely with those vendors (and others), but the market needs to exist before they start bringing resources to bear on it. If Microsoft bets on AMD (for example) and the market chooses nVidia, then Microsoft is left holding the bag.

Similarly, is Microsoft devotes a whole tonne of resources into compiling the hypervisor for all possible SoCs (along with getting drivers made for Windows RT for all possible SoCs...egads!) then they could be pissing a great deal of time and effort into a market that just won't get born.

They have the tech right now, but everyone is in a holding pattern until someone takes a huge risk and dumps a big pile of resources into ARM server. This is what startups are for...and there are several in stealth mode. The 2014/2015 ARM server startup bloodbath will in fact determine the outcome of the x86/ARM relationship for the next two deacdes.

...unless Google (or any other Big Name) decide to become kingmakers. The investment pattern I described above would easily change the market. It would also trigger all out war between all major parties. That is something everyone wants to avoid right now, they are still licking their wounds from the mobile wars.

Google, however, managed to offload their risk onto Samsung for the bulk of those battles and is in pretty good shape. They could tank the ARM wars pretty well and have a crazy amount of IP (from Moto) that is relevant.

Still, the "gentleman's agreement" is to let the VCs take the risks, let the market decide (I.E. see who gets to revenue first and most consistently) then buy up the winners and short the losers. The Bad Blood Microsoft is stirring up with both VMware and Google, however, make me think that might not happen this time.

Google and VMware have reason to make common cause against Microsoft in an ARM arena and just enough of hte right egos have been bruised by Microsoft's asnine behavior that I remain convinced they may well decide to play kingmaker out of pure spite.

The real blocker here is that VMware has strong ties to Intel and Google doesn't have any real strong ties to any ARM makers except Samsung, whom they would rather not crown (given the animosity over Samsung's attempts to control Android.)

All the above leaves me wondering if Google might not do something amazingly hostile like buy AMD. It would be foolish, but not too foolish...but none of my sources point in this direction (yet). That said, Google (like Apple) has an enormous pile of money that they can't repatriate. Buying an ARM vendor (or at least a foundry) that is located outside the US is not remotely out of the question, if it came wiht the right people.

At this point, there are enough reasons to do this thing and enough reasons not to do this thing that it is really going to come down to ego. For all that a lot of Register readers believe that decisions like this are made on a purely rational, purely by-the-numbers basis my experience says otherwise. The more I learn how the tech industry works, the more I realize that "who snubbed who, when and why" is a huge factor in how this all plays out.

Our entire industry has been thrown into revolution more than once because A pissed of B and B decided they were going to show A what's what.

As you pointed out by noticing the hypervisor issue - and the article author by noting the ecosystem - this potential ARM server play is not simply a matter of numbers, nor is it simply a matter of poking Intel in the eye. The considerations are many and vast...and it seriously could all come down to "I'll show X who's boss."

Makes ya think, eh?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Pat Gelsinger

America is 350M(ish) people. There are 7 Billion of us out there and Google has the bulk of the market share everywhere else.

With the rapidly growing wealth gap in the US (that has seen virtually every single dollar of the "recovery" from the latest recession go towards the super-rich with almost none of it making its way down the stack) the US is of rapidly decreasing relevance. To put it simply: an increasingly impoverished and indebted populace with a rapidly shrinking middle class has ever less disposable income to spend.

Apple can have the USA. Nobody cares. They can clean up there for the next decade and every year they will continue to show less growth than the last as the US population is simply no longer capable of sustaining Wall Street's appetites for corporate growth. A decade from now they will be a middle-tier country no different from so many others.

Google prefers to play the world at large. To continue to bolster growth they need to chase booms and abandon busts. When an economy looks to be slowing down or closing it's borders to outsiders Google moves on and invests elsewhere. They are perfectly prepared to jumpstart the economy of an entire nation in order to skim a % off the top as profits.

Real US purchasing power stagnated years ago. It has been in decline for the past several. Worse, the hoi polloi are paying off their debts and this is further restricting consumer activity. At the same time issues like the NSA being douchenozzles, laughably terrible US government (literally, laughing stock of the world) and continued horrible foreign policy mean that pepole of other nations dislike the US more today than they have in quite some time.

Wrapping yourself in an American flag will win you points at home, but kill you overseas. If your domestic market is collapsing, that doesn't seem like the brightest move.

Oh well, Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft...screw 'em all, I say. I've no loyalty to any of 'em.

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Microsoft's licence riddles give Linux and pals a free ride to virtual domination

Trevor_Pott
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Uhhhh...what?

Essentials Plus is less than $5500 for 3 servers and offers everything you could possibly want, virtualisation-wise, including backups and VCSA. Look, I've been accused by some of being "the big voice of small business." I'm a cranky, pro-SMB type who is always looking to grind costs...

...but you're talking bollocks.

Item Description Qty Unit Price Total

CORE Supermicro FatTwin F627G3-F73PT+ 1 $5,304.00 $5,304.00

CPU Intel Xeon E5-2609 8 $309.00 $2,472.00

RAM 16GB DDR3 ECC REG 64 $158.00 $10,112.00

LAN Dual-port Intel X540 included 1 $0.00 $0.00

RUST 4TB WD WD4000F9YZ 8 $269.99 $2,159.92

FLASH Crucial CT480M500SSD1 480GB 8 $316.99 $2,535.92

HV VMware Essentials Plus Kit 1 $5,439 $5,439.00

TOTAL $28,022.84

Even the companies I support can afford that. VMware essentials plus gives you licensing for 3 nodes - in this case hella beefy ones - and this configuration gives you an entire cold spare node for under $30K.

So what the fucking fuck are you on about?

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: Monkey trap maybe . . .

The option of checking the source doesn't help you if you don't have the time, skills or money to do so.

The Linux Kernel is a small, small fraction of a distribution.

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Munich signs off on Open Source project

Trevor_Pott
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@Turtle

It takes me an average of 6 years to move a company 85% of Microsoft and 10 years to hit 100%. A decade seems reasonable. It takes time to recode applications to standard or find/wait for applications that third parties are making to to replace ones that have no open source alternative.

But the transitions get made, and the savings are considerable. Enough to hire full time developers (even in SMBs!) to contribute back to the community by taking the applications coded internally and open sourcing them.

Every transition away from Microsoft that I've done helps to serve as an enabler for others. Maybe one day so many of these will have been done that a critical mass is reached and the bulk of businesses start walkung away from the chains.

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Trevor_Pott
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Hey Microsoft marketing shill: why is a decade to slowly disentangle oneself from a vendor a bad thing? It sounds like it is being done carefully, methodically and permanently. It is taking most of my clients similar timeframes to leave the MS ecosystem, but once out, they're out! After that they never have to go back.

Is it expensive up front? Yes. But it pays for itself after one refresh cycle.. Then the next refresh cycle comes along and holy shit savings.

Microsoft is obviously paying you too much, it seems like you have so much money you've forgotten just how burdensome their licensing is on people and corporations that actually have to pay Microsoft's ransom out of their own pockets.

Let me make this perfectly simple for you - and please, do take this up the chain to your masters in Redmond - Microsoft will not be well recieved by the technology community (or by Register readers) until it makes massive changes to it's licensing regime.

We do not object to paying a fair amount for out software, despite what you and your masters think. In fact, we see value in paying for ongoing support and to have someone take various burdens of support and testing off of our hands. Microsoft's fees are absolutely in no way fair or reasonable.

The body Microsoft and I cannot be friends until the fucking fix VDI licensing. That includes the SPLA potion of the exercise.

I think a lot of people here are Microsoft Partners (I am, for one), and they are sick of 15% hike after 15% hike and the dramatic narrowing of their margins. a 50% hike in the cost of Datacenter earned Microsoft no friends, nor has the utter failure to listen to their customers, partners and end users when it comes to the design of their operating systems.

If you want to peddle your shit then you have to start listening to the people who you are demanding buy said shit.

That so many - first one, then two and now an ever accelerating amount - feel that the price of leaving the Microsoft ecosystem is one worth paying should be something that causes you and yours to sit up and take notice, not vitriol, FUD and marketing. The readers of The Register are a canny bunch; far too bright to be taken in by Microsoft's bullshit.

You have the reactions of the masses to your marketing messages. Please, go take those to the next meeting and have and honest discussion about your messages will be met. Maybe you can convince your boss that the best way to meet the marketing challenge of Munich's success is to convince the Empire of Sadness to start making licensing less horrific.

It's a hell of a lot easier to market a good product than to try to shovel shit and proclaim it gold.

Come back after the meeting and let's try this again with the modified marketing message to hand. The existing one is....awful.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

"That it costs say far less say to run Windows 7 than Windows NT on an enterprise desktop is a well established fact with widely accepted TCO figures to back it up...,.,"

OH NO YOU FUCKING DON'T

You lay into someone for not providing figured in their post and then you outright lie in a comment and don't back it up? Fuck you with charging rhinoceros, covered in 2 inches of gelatinous capsaicin! And you had damned well better provide facts and figured that proove that the operating system alone provides in millions of dollars worth of productivity enhancements to all cognitive classes (as people are different in how they process information) over a deployment size of around 15000.

Live by the FUD, die by the FUD.

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Trevor_Pott
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Re: €30 million @Chemist 09:18

Waitaminute. I need to get this straight here. Are you - the AC Microsoft shill - actually cracking? ARe you attacking someone because they didn't provide facts and figures? Despite months of you spooging made up, outdated or outright bullshit figures all over the comments section?

You live by the FUD, buddy and you die by the FUD.

Munich paid a one-time ding to buy their freedom. Would that we could all afford the cost.

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Keeping warm in winter the el Reg way: Setting a NAS box ON FIRE

Trevor_Pott
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Re: And this beats Glacier...how?

You expect everyone to have cloudy everything because you're a cloudy cheerleader who has a miserable time understanding the downsides. (You posint history speaks to your bias quite well.)

Like price.

Glacier is far more expensive than something like an IOsafe. You also can't sweat assets you don't own. That's before we get into the cost of bandwidth, the cost of recovery and the time it takes to recover.

Additionally, you're far too cavalier about security; currently, there is no way (short of one time pads, or you uploading everything heavily encrypted to begin with) that you can keep any data in the American cloud safe from the NSA. SSL is broken. Any key that lives with the provider belongs to the NSA. If you encrypt on your side before pushing up, you can't do WAN optimization.

The American public cloud is only an option for rich Americans. It's a stupid plan for the rest of humanity, period.

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Microsoft rallies channel troops: Sell, sell, sell our spanking new 'Cloud OS'

Trevor_Pott
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Re: history repeating itself, why?

Hey, uh, MS shill dude...you know how RedHat made Linux Enterprise class?

PistonCloud is the RedHat of Openstack. Keep an eye out next year for lots on them. They've made my list of "companies Trevor is interested in" and I expect I'll be testing their stuff in my lab rather a lot.

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