"Rothwell said Microsoft hoped the three-year window would give customers "long enough to evaluate where they want to go next"."
I should hope that the answer would be "Somewhere else".
55 posts • joined 2 May 2012
"Rothwell said Microsoft hoped the three-year window would give customers "long enough to evaluate where they want to go next"."
I should hope that the answer would be "Somewhere else".
Somebody's following the ITIL playbook to the letter -- and completely ignoring that there are _humans_ involved in the equation. I studied this a few years ago* and concluded that the hallmark of a superb IT support operation is sensitivity to users' realities. It's not (just) about the tech, it's how well you support the people behind it. Support the humans, not the systems.
Yes, I'm linking to it: http://hdl.handle.net/2381/9556
Let's take this off the computer screen and see how much sense it makes:
"We're going to post a guard at the entrance of the building who will check everybody's person and carried items to ensure that NSFW items do not enter the premises."
If it's senseless in meatspace, then it's senseless on the computer screen.
It is categorically impossible to "cure all disease" within the context of current human biology. It's like suggesting that we're going to make everybody happy, all the time.
So, really, we're looking at the inherent (in)security of Windows 95 in a burgeoning array of IoT devices. And not just a single behemoth obsessed with profit at any cost, but a teeming host of companies that are solely concerned with making this quarter's earnings call.
What could possible go wrong?
All hyperbole aside, isn't this -- on a slightly different scale -- precisely the situation that will ensue if the TLAs prevail in their demands for backdoors that "only the good guys know about"?
"Germany's interior minister Thomas de Maiziere wants facial recognition systems in the country's airports and train stations to identify terror suspects."
That's the problem right there: he says he wants to identify terror suspects, but he's going to wind up identifying _everyone_, and if you can't imagine how this information will be misused, then you've drunk way too much of the corporate kool-aid.
We need a new conception of privacy and property -- one which acknowledges the power of "big data" to aggregate and correlate previously discrete data points into a damning whole, and one which treats such data points for both individuals and groups of individuals as valuable property to which we have inalienable rights and ultimate control.
Scotty: "The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain."
Make mine a horse or a bicycle.
Parallel: food aid? Notwithstanding the edge case of famine, nothing destroys local farming quite as effectively as low-cost food dumped into a poverty-stricken country.
A western-owned company offering "free" internet will effectively kill any Indian company that might have wanted to establish a business in the "low-cost" internet provision space. Keeping Facebook out will encourage local industry and innovation.
Could a "manipulation" story be written around the decision? Yes. Could the decision have been reached for reasons that are entirely beyond the sphere of the imputed manipulation? Also yes.
Ultimately, wide-scale internet access is India's problem. If India wants help, it surely has a voice to ask. And if it rejects an offer, I'm willing to consider the possibility that the decision-makers might be wise enough to have made their own decisions.
I do not believe that barriers to entry are inherently bad.
Would this lead to more compact web sites, where content is valued more than frivolous decoration? Where images are sized appropriately and the code is both lean and efficient? Where advertising implicitly costs more? Where site-scrapers will (I think) have an inherent disadvantage over content originators?
I detest the telcos, but there may be a silver lining here.
At least one of the complications is that large-scale services such as social networks will store information (or copies thereof) as locally as possible -- either in part or in whole.
What happens when Brussels Bill and California Carl become Facebook friends? I don't know FB's data architecture, but I can guess that at least some of Bill's data is going to be replicated in California, while some of Carl's data will be replicated in Brussels. When the cops come knocking in California, the server should cough up only data on Carl, while keeping schtum on Bill?
On a much smaller scale, what would this mean for a small business owner who has customers or clients worldwide? Whether I'm using a cloud CRM or a desktop database, I am bound to be breaking the law.
Even under Safe Harbour, this was problematical, insofar as an undertaking to uphold _either_ US or Euro standard would place me into averred conflict with the other -- and we can thank Schrems for forcing the conflict into the open.
The difference is that replacing a broken chair requires no specialised skills. Thanks to codification, even mains electrical work and plumbing are probably more tractable than the inherent complexities of a comprehensive IT implementation. Ironically, the more codified a profession or trade, the less autonomy practitioners typically possess, but the higher the salaries they can typically command.
I suspect that even the best-constructed IT infrastructures cannot be managed and maintained by a succession of replaceable technical folk.
I've lived in all the systems mentioned above _except_ France, and I must say that the US model is genuinely striking. Only in that country do we have the situation where the optimum economic situation is that everybody should be _just well enough_ to go to work, but not actually healthy.
In most countries, the optimum economic condition is one in which people are healthy until the moment that they die; in the US, the government/corps generate the largest amount of revenue by keeping everybody moderately ill until they run out of money.
I must be tired AND showing my age, but that picture just slammed me into a Tetris flashback.
I suspect that a large portion of the disaffection is founded on the schism between expectation and reality. We are constantly told of the opportunity and the golden futures awaiting us -- yet the reality falls far short for a number (an increasing number?) of people.
From teachers to entertainment to politicians... all promising a brighter tomorrow. "You can be anything you want to be!" "Follow your passion!" "The land of opportunity!"
Love el reg, having been with the site almost from the very beginning. That said, I'm not too keen on the design; the more I live in it, the more I dislike it.
I was okay with the "five featured stories" at the top of the main column -- the single headline story is going to be a hit-and-miss proposition, now. With five stories, there was a better chance that at least one would be interesting.
In general, it feels as though the information density has dropped a lot.
I also dislike the black > grey link status. The grey-on-white combination fails 3 out of 4 accessibility standards. This is important: the design is hostile to users with non-optimal eyesight.
And finally, I take issue with the 'live popup' sections at the top of the screen -- particularly since they're pinned to the top of the window. This means that going up to any of the browser application menus or the browser window's buttons will probably -- unless I'm very quick about it -- cause irritating visual interference with what's on the screen. Putting that kind of thing left or right would be better, since it would not interfere with browser activity.
All in all, it's quite off-putting. Sorry.
Let's see -- a soundtrack for two icky companies getting together for a marriage made in Las Vegas...
Like all good playlists, there has to be a conceptual development of sorts, in this case moving from the idealism of young love through to realism/cynicism and then on to mature acceptance of the inevitable fate -- whatever that is.
Among the Clouds - John Williams
What a Wonderful World - preferably Maceo Parker
Burning Rope - Genesis
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes - the Platters
Who's Fooling Who - Mike Rutherford
What a Fool Believes - Doobies
(What's) The Name of the Game - ABBA
(Star Wars IV) The Last Battle - John Williams
Tie Me at the Crossroads (When I Die) - Bruce Cockburn
Ten Years Gone - Led Zep
When All is Said and Done - ABBA
Note that this playlist should, in most cities, be long enough for a trip of about eight blocks.
The inability to commit WordArt is at least one way in which the tablet versions surpass the desktop apps.
Where's the Fallen Madonna?
Thanks for the insights, Don Jefe & Robin Birtstone.
However, I believe that the discussion is chiefly applicable for established, commodity products shipping a few containers per year. I'm currently working with an innovative quasi-publishing project; getting my product into the channel now is going to be practically impossible. However, I suspect that two years down the road, with an established brand and proven sales figures, I might be able to farm out the order fulfillment and product delivery process.
Between now and then, however, I suspect we'll be moving from kitchen to (heated) garage and then (VCs willing) to office/workshop before I have the luxury of worrying about logistics. Besides, early product updates will be based heavily on feedback that comes from direct contact with customers.
Stacks of menus? Good heavens, no. You'll have to go your local planning office, where you'll find the form in a dark cellar with no stairs, in the bottom of locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard.'
I like the idea of Facebook becoming the marketing department of Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, if only for the comfort of knowing what fate awaits them.
It's déjà vu all over again. See Graham Lea's article from 15 years ago in a newish, youngish, website that was just starting to rake up the muck:
The article quotes Brad Silverberg: "What the guy is supposed to do is feel uncomfortable, and when he has bugs, suspect that the problem is dr-dos and then go out to buy ms-dos."
The coy, "Hah, hah, just kidding!" from Microsoft will do nothing to appease the PHB standing over your shoulder when that little warning appears.
I've implemented GLPI and all were fairly happy with it. Also does a brilliant job of asset management and inventory tracking.
If I understand correctly, Google is equating its slurpage with the actions of sysadmins who are engage in securing their own networks and thus 'listening' to traffic.
If this is the argument, Google needs to have its collective ass kicked, starting with the legal team. The sysadmin who secures his/her own network is working within an organisational boundary, where a reasonable argument can be made for judicious oversight. In applying this logic (?) to its own activities, Google appears to tacitly assume a paternal oversight of _all_ computer communications -- and that is something to be struck down with no subtlety whatsoever.
The very act of making this claim begs further punitive action.
Consider the sad probability that several somebodies are likely getting paid several handsome salaries to formulate the "strategy" and the "communications" behind this.
Can you imagine meeting your maker with this on your record?
Droid: I operationalized an emergent reimagining of corporate communications, materializing meaningful cognizant evolutions in the conceptual metaspaces of user consciousness.
Maker: You changed the word "Windows" to "Microsoft".
Droid: Indicative cultural signifiers demonstrated -
Maker: You go to hell.
The spokesdrone says: "Today, the world has become a giant network where connections make information more relevant and people more productive,"
The use of social media does not necessarily make information "more relevant", and absolutely nobody is "more productive" from its use.
It will be depressing to see how many managers drink the Koolaid.
I am not an economist, but aren't _most_ currencies effectively virtual these days? Control mechanisms vary, but in most (all?) cases, that colored sheet of stuff that you exchange for goods and services doesn't actually correlate to anything other than blind faith.
"...a good level of respect from Facebook."
Facebook is only respecting its ability to tag you with ever-more-focused labels for its own marketing benefit -- not yours or mine.
Although I'm a big fan of good design, there's an point at which responsibility for device integrity passes from the manufacturer to the consumer and -- by extension -- to third-party accessory suppliers. I suspect that a more realistic test would have included the "case + device" situation.
Personal experience: I have an iPadMini and I've housed it in both soft and solid Trexta cases. Dropped it, thrown it, spilled water on it, and tossed it into a bag filled with sharp metal bits: not a scratch on the Mini, which speaks well of the device and the cases.
The excuse that this will deter crime is absurd; it's an excuse to inject further government control into your everyday activities. If they think you're a bad 'un, this will just make it easier for somebody to shut you down. Your car, your phone, your 'leccy...
Just waiting for them to try shoving a (figurative or literal) barcode up my butt.
Analysts are great... as ballast.
I once set a Bladecenter chassis on its side.
My lawyers have been mobilised. Don't bug me whilst I shop for my private island, okay?
Unintended consequences, anyone? I am increasingly depressed at the blunt stupidity of people who think they can cause large-scale disruption to biological systems without incurring long-term damage.
I would like to see the end of efforts by marketing departments (a.k.a. government rubber-stamping agencies) to assure us that their concentrated concoctions are anything other than deferred debts.
I'm not (yet) a luddite, but I would like to see a greater willingness by industry participants to project the consequences of actions beyond a simplistic "this miracle powder will keep bugs off your plants and doesn't have any long-term effects on rats that we could observe in a two-week test period and we don't care what happens beyond our next quarterly earnings call anyway".
"hackers" are lovely; it's "crackers" you might want to target.
If you're reading this site, you should probably know the language. See
Then read backwards to "(TM)" and forwards to "zorkmid".
I've been the victim on both sides of the IT management / user divide, so I sympathise with both perspectives. I can respect the pressures from both sides, and I usually try to reach a compromise between them. Ultimately, both extremes are untenable. Whether IT tells me that I am _required_ to use only sanctioned hardware and software, or a user tells me (as IT dept) that I am _required_ to support everything he happens to like using, the extremes show a lack of leadership.
In practice, this is easy to set up and requires only intelligence and flexibility to sustain: there's a common core of functionality and support offered by IT that extends as far as management can stretch; a user who wants to venture beyond those 'safe waters' does so without the support of IT.
Unfortunately, the unholy trinity of bean-counters and careerist IT managers and MBAs has led to rigidly-defined decision structures that incompetent manager cling to in lieu of thinking.
I'll cast another vote in favour of the free base version VMWare ESXi. While OS-based hypervisors are fine to start with and for casual desktop use, the additional features of ESXi are well worth the marginal learning curve. With all due respect to my colleagues, I maintain that the desktop hypervisors don't offer a compelling platform for somebody who really wants to explore the power of a VM infrastructure.
As for hardware, any contemporary CPU is an acceptable starting point, but I would consider 16gB RAM to be a reasonable minimum. I would also very strongly recommend having four (or more) network ports, allowing you to manage traffic more effectively. Start with a capable but humble bit of server hardware, knowing that ESXi will allow you to shape hardware utilization far more effectively than a non-virtualized OS. Also understand that, in 12-18 months, your new-found understanding of virtualization -- and your own requirements/interests -- will allow you to spec your _next_ VM host far more efficiently.
Of course, this may only be the start of your voyage into the lovely world of VMs, but using ESXi and a low-end server config will give you enough experience to venture into some fairly deep waters.
I don't recall setting my privacy settings for my gmail account when I first created it, but when I recently checked those settings in response to a notification of this new 'feature', I discovered that the 'permission to use' was already checked OFF. It _seems_, therefore, to be "off by default".
Anybody else look at this?
I have four complaints with Word.
First, it attempts to overwrite system fonts with its own -- often inferior -- versions. It does this on the assumption that you will ONLY use Microsoft products to create and view your work.
Second, it commits the sin of execrable typography. Last time I checked, ligatures were turned off by default, and it still can't seem to handle kerning pairs.
Third, it can't seem to handle styles in any rational form. I guess I could take a few days to create a handful of 'never-to-be-modified' templates, but I'd rather get on with the task of creating content, rather than accommodating the tantrumesque child that Word has been for most of its life.
Finally -- and this is the big one -- Word invariably pisses me off by trying to think for me. Word persists in pretending to know what I want, changing and re-arranging without my having asked it to do these things. This is why formatting gets changed, pagination gets fouled up, images won't stay where they are (or move when they should), and lists look like garbage.
Of course, it's possible to wrestle Word into submission -- one tedious document at a time. And if you're locked into some corporate style and workflow that somebody else has created, then all you have to do is follow somebody else's script and ignore the indignities. But if you're trying to create original work that doesn't match the preconceived notions underpinning the software, then you're in for a world of pain.
I received an alert from Google that this would be happening, got a fairly informative page that told me what they planned to do, and saw some inks to control the "opt-in/opt-out" setting. When I went to that page -- which I had NOT seen before -- it was definitely an opt-IN, so the default setting is not malicious.
I always thought antimatter was spontaneously consumed after the aperitivo and before the primo.
Furthermore, it's clear that the real reason for the pear shape has to do with an excessive indulgence of the secondo, not to mention the formaggio e frutta.
Maybe I missed a turn somewhere, but this is clearly an advertorial, yet appears to be billed as 'reportage'. For all the protestations in the "whitepaper" that it is not an advertisement, it clearly is -- not least because it has MS plastered all over it, there is a preponderance of pro-MS rhetoric, and the conclusions are remarkably kind.
This is a disappointing term for The Vulture, which in this case more closely resembles a haggard and violated chicken.
In principle, this seems like a good idea. However, I would very much like to know exactly _which_ 60 Londoners won't be culled from the gene pool. These things matter.
Apple are hardly an NPE, thus not a troll by all but the most bilious definition.
"...Edwards is now studying horny rhinos at Chester Zoo. She hopes her examination of sexy hormones in the animals will encourage them to breed."
That depends on how she examines their hormones, doesn't it? I mean, maybe she's doing her fieldwork whilst wearing that sexy off-grey number that accentuates her horn and shows off her well-muscled...
Wait, did I misunderstand that sentence?
My experience is different -- I've found Parallels to be the least stable and most problem-prone of the OSX-based hypervisors... and on the Mac I've used them all since Connectix Virtual-PC with DOS back in the early 90s. YMMV.
I'm afraid that "scheming" makes perfect sense in light of two decades of MS behavior. The last thing MS really want is for Mac devs to have a good time using their computers. Far better to sour the milk with a little FUD.
Do people really get paid to write stuff like this? Ever? Do people pay to listen to it? People can actually make a living out of this?
I always thought you had to know something, be able to do it, get the job done, and preferably not piss off everybody in the process.
Only female pigs are used to search out truffles, because the truffle smells like the saliva of a male pig.
So it's unlikely this gentlepig would ever find a truffle, unless he's gay -- which would explain both his behaviour and the young lady's dismay.
"...FUDgasm started on Wednesday, Canadian time, when Canada.com revealed..."
Although I heartily applaud "FUDgasm" as a delightful neologism, I take exception to the phrase "Canadian time". Canada spans six time zones, which makes the reporter's word choice ironically provincial.
The hell of astronomy
is all that taxonomy.
There's an object for everyone famous.
I understand Triton
was one of the Titans.
But I don't know much of Uranus.
I'm very impressed by Uranus.
The cold gassy blob is Uranus.
I can confirm the music connection -- I saw Ray Kurzweil speaking at a "synthesis pioneers" roundtable discussion at Berklee in the early 1990s. After the Young-Chang buyout, many of the brains went to Berklee, where they had a lab full of K250 rackmounts for sampling classes. Finding zero-crossings for loop points was a bit... um... nightmarish. On the other hand, those output smoothing filters were soooooooooo warm. No quantizing grit on long instrument tails here, no indeed.
There were other samplers at the time, but Kurzweil absolutely WAS one of the best. Their first instrument, the K250, was much cheaper than either the NED Synclavier or the Fairlight. For sheer sound quality (to my ears) Kurzweil blew away anything from Emu, Roland, Akai, and Yamaha well into the 90s. I owned a Roland S-550 and loved editing with it, but there was no other choice than the Kurzweil when it was time for acoustic work.
Google has gained a fine mind.
...I think Goldman Sachs are pretty close on the money here. A smartphone can certainly do some things that used to be the domain of a laptop. Tablets sound an even louder death-knell for the Windows hegemony: it's possible to use them instead of a laptop for some more purposes -- a tablet user sitting on a train, typing into GoogleDocs can get a fine start on some work that is picked up at the home or the office. Nothing to install, no licenses to worry about, no viruses...
Yes, there will be Very Loud and Impressive Boys on this board who will insist that You Cannot Do Real Work on anything other than Office on Windows... but that's a minority. Most people can do lots of work without that combination, and it is the breaking of a monopoly that bodes ill for Microsoft. When you can't count on everybody having your particular variety of application and platform, you start thinking in more heterogeneous terms -- which brings us straight to Trevor Pott's eminently sensible argument.