99 posts • joined 29 Jan 2007
IBM products, licensing, etc
26 years at IBM, so I've seen this before. When you the product manager go to Legal before launch, to get the licensing decided, your project can end up being assigned to the nasty paranoid tight-ass, and you end up with an unworkable propositon in the market place. Even at behemoth companies like IBM, it oftens comes down to the attitudes of individuals.
In my day, it was not unusual to have to have a very large number of Go/NoGo signoffs before being permitted to launch. In one case, 57 signoffs, any one of whom could kiil the product after hundreds of thousands had been spent on developing it.
So... Windows 7, then?
No. Dual-boot with Linux. Mint Cinnamon looks like XP, mostly works like XP, closer to XP than Win 8, easier upgrade path than Win 8, lower rate of support calls from friends and family ...and in my experience, it's lighter and faster and more responsive than XP. So, no, I won't be laying out hundreds of pounds/dollars on a new machine or even more hundreds on replacing all the software that will not work on Win 8.
Re: How many XPers?
Go dual-boot with Linux. I went to Mint Cinnamon a while ago. Looks like XP, mostly works like XP, closer to XP than Win 8, easier upgrade path than Win 8, lower rate of support calls from friends and family ...and in my experience, it's lighter and faster and more responsive than XP. So, no, I won't be laying out hundreds of pounds/dollars on a new machine or even more hundreds on replacing all the software that will not work on Win 8.
When I "need" XP (for software I've paid for), I select it at boot time.
BTW, I have an nVidia graphics card - it works smoother and faster under Mint Cinnamon than it did in XP.
Can anyone point to a list of vulnerable devices?
Could be a useful list [cough cough] both coming and going.
BT fix a software problem...
...don't hold your breath. I've seen what their software development process looks like from the inside. I know it used to be good, while BT still had its own IT development shop, now long gone. Nowadays everything is outsourced, takes for ever, and costs more and takes longer. And bugs don't get fixed because BT does not manage the contracts.
Please create the Essential Guide to Getting Up Like a Sex Machine
The collected writings, build instructions, mission reports, launch stories, software code of the LOHAN-Vulture-PARIS Special Projects team. With feeeelthy pictures.
I'd pay for that.
Firefox joins the insanity
There's a brain-eating paradigm loose on the streets - the idea that your UI has to be the same on your desktop, your laptop, your tabet, and your phone. So the designers either make the icons big enough for touch (and space-wasteful for mouse use) or too small to touch so they make you move your hands from mouse to keyboard and back (which James Martin condemned 40 years ago). We've seen Windows Metro and Ubuntu Unity.
One look at this and I've turned off Firefox's auto update on all my computers.
Test question for the alert student: what does the "fairy cake" icon do?
What He Got Wrong
1. Failed to oversee Global Services division while they were busy making a £100 million loss
2. Failed to get the land round Adastral Park sold (worth £300 million (at least) if planning permission is granted for the 2000 houses they want to erect next to an extremely sensitive European Protected Area.
3. Failed to sell Adastral Park itself (very likely that's their end game for AP which they no longer need or use)
4. Failed to see or deal ith the huge operational issues arising out of closing BT's own software development (who knew what they were doing, sort of) and shipping the work offshore to people who have no clue how BT's internal systems quirk (sic).
Re: IBM Songbook
That was so long ago that anyone who actually experienced it is now in their grave (or balancing on the lip thereof).
Where do you hide a book?
...in a library...
1. I want to get a copy of secret files out of UK reach
2. I make up up a shiney-shiney, a distraction, a bauble to attract the eye of spooks
3. I "hide" the real files among the shiney-shiney (encrypted differently).
4. I let it fall into the hands of GCHQ/NSA
5. Spooks are satisfied, but they don't know that the real thing has passed them by.
If you are going to Brazil from Germany, there are surely direct flights - if not, you go via Schiphol, not Heathrow. The only reason to go via Heathrow is to wave the shiney-shiney under the noses of the spooks.
The purpose was intimidation
1. This time it's your computer that gets the hammer. Next time you publish something, it's your head.
2. This time it's your boyfriend gets done over. Next you publish something, it's you, and it won't be the hammer, it'll be an HIV infection, your home burnt down, and your boyfriend renderd to an American jail.
Chris Date was my instructor...
..on the various database models..he had to get pretty egotistical and dogmatic because of the "misleading" (aka pack of lies) FUD being spread by the Codasyl advocates. Chris came up with a simple and obvious Codasyl design, a simple and obvious program code example - no-one was ever able to debug it - if I remember rightly it was about 20 lines of code and contained at least 18 bugs. The fundamental problem that he was illustrating was that ring structures like Codasyl look nice in the abstract, but it is impossible to validate programs wrtten for them..
Re: Is there a basic flaw in this reasoning?
You have not understand how these bugs arise.
The process of removing bugs is called debugging. So what is it called, the process of putting bugs into software?
It's called programming.
Every time MS add or change anything in XP, they add bugs. The best news about April 2014? MS will stop screwing around in XP.
Cloud is so over
or at least, cloud provided by a third party (see recent news about NSA, GCHQ, ISPs and telcos spreading their legs). The Data Protection Act 1998 (and EU legisation) makes it illegal for you put personal data into the care of a cloud provider that is not wholly compliant within the correct jurisdiction.
OTOH, having your own cloud implementation makes sense if (1) you have the problems that cloud solves (2) you have the expertise in-house to design and build it. Few places have (1) and (2).
"Building apps for Big Blue".
"to help IBMers quickly find experts in a field using simple keyword searches" was what I was doing in 1986-1987. Obviously, the moment the real hotshots leave, the entire company falls into disrepair.
Re: Translation needed
Customer to IBM salesman: You want me to buy this? Do YOU use it?
IBM salesman desperately wants to be able to say, not just YES, but How would you like to see it in action?
- Chance to show off the products, that they really do what it says on the tin
- Chance to get customer away from the office, more willing to open up
I remember one outing to see the new colour screens (circa 1978). We went on a IBM company jet to Brussels. Don't tell me that wasn't exactly what the salesman wanted.
Re: IBM Software
I was an employee, and already an experienced email user since several years back, when we were all pushed over to PROFS (aka Noddy Email for The Toddlers of Corporate HQ). I am still deeply scarred by the experience, and the thought has me reaching for the whisky, beer, anything to blot out the memory...
I did what he told me to do..
I used his 1973 book " Design of man-computer dialogues" to design the interface for an IBM software product, which got launched with my interface. The product was very profitable, and is still out there, still doing what it is supposed to (but of course the UI has been replaced since by far better technology than was available to me). And I think my copy of the book is still in the store room - might worth taking a look to see if it still makes sense in this fascinating modern world we live in.
I'll raise a glass for him.
Re: AC: This wasn't a hardware flaw. This wasn't a mainframe flaw.
" what would probably have been a far simpler task on UNIX, Linux or Windows.....?"
You have just revealed how little you understand of what the night batch at a bank actually entails...
Re: Caveat Emptor
I agree about British managers. I worked in Sweden for many years, where 75% of managers have a technical or science degree, and are fully numerate - they do the calculations on every business decision, very little is decided on dogma or fashion. I've seen the stats on British managers - less than 50% have education as high as A-levels. In my experience, they are selected to be wilfully ignorant bullies.
Forget getting a job...
become a contractor. Being an employee means that the company takes all the value from your work and pays you a pittance. Being a contractor means that the value of your work remains in your control for you to choose what to do with. You can build up a cushion to pay the bills with, so you sleep well at night. When it is your own company, it can buy you a stakeholder pension and deduct the cost.. You can take your income as salary or dividends, according to your tax situation. You decide how much holiday to take and pretty much when. Best of all, you can pick and choose who you work for. You can charge the d**kheads double rate, or refuse the gig, or give notice when they behave badly, confident that there'll be another gig along in a minute.
Re: Workforce rebalancing
IBM invents these stupid phrases for all these layoffs, but the inmates of the asylum rename them instantly.
1992 Career Transition Program (CTP) became "Cash To Piss-Off"
1993 Skills Rebalancing Option (SRO) became "Smiling, Rich, and Out".
Re: Pork Barrel
@ Danny14 "Data roaming across the WHOLE of the EU would be the best pork barrel contract known to man for some telco."
Vodafone are deeply interested and have been gearing up for this for some time....mind you, their mindset is conditioned by their history with mobes ("try the product in the marketplace and dump it if it doesn't fly immediately"), which is completely wrong for a life-and-death service that has to function reliably for decades.
..government ministers who have absolutely zero clue how any of this actually works, ranting on about things they don't understand...and ignoring the things they are actually supposed to understand (namely, human nature). [Actually, this is probably just theatre, like airport security]
Every time you ban something, it goes underground and becomes impossible to control, and a moneyspinner for criminals.
It will end up just like the guns thing (nobody has guns except the criminals, who have as many as they want). or the Prohibition thing (people go right on drinking, thereby fundng the rise of the Mob).
How to get rich: (1) harvest material likely to be banned while it is easy to find (2) put it on web servers that do not have a domain name associated (3) sell the IP addresses to those who want access (4) let the ISP dynamic reallocation occur (5) those who want access have to buy the new IP addresses every time they change(6) PROFIT!!!
You can use multiple servers in multiple jurisdictions and TOR or proxies to make it hard to find you - just be a moving target.
How are the mighty fallen...
IBM used to create a 5-year-plan and keep it up to date, so they knew in advance what was going on and what to do about it.
But now they have fallen into the Wall Street disease, which thinks that knee-jerk reactions to three-month results are the right route to profit. Yes, but that's not a route to long-term profitability.
The decision makers who decided to outsource waited till it could be proclaimed a success, then either have been promoted or moved on to a better job smartish. They are never available to be punished.
Ref doghouse and "tenuous IT link"
Obligatory reference to Raspberry Pi. Camera driven by Pi, image analysis to ensure that the automatic dog-feeder that you install will feed the correct amount to the correct dog. You might as well get the R-Pi in its idle moments to record Radio 4 on iPlayer and play the programs back to the dogs time-shifted to Central European Time. And check the temperature inside the doghouse and spray water onto the roof when it gets unpleasant for the dogs.
A Point Being Missed...
Everybody is talking about suing the thieves. To do that, I have to know it has happened.
How will I ever know that has happened, except by chance? The images could be used anywhere, in any country, on any medium.
I will have to run searches to detect abuse of my images. I will have to run the equivalent of the Google spider with the TinEye image comparison built in. It's not practical., I don't have the resources. In the end, I'll get shafted and never know.
Mind you, if we all club together, build a server farm out of old computers, then run lots and lots of Google spiders, we can bring the web to its knees, and show the government that they can't expect the new Benefits system to go on working while they are simultaneously shafting the citizenry.
Not a word of truth...
This piece reads as if it is a rehash of a BT press release. Let's deconstruct it, using a few facts as crowbars to break through the layers of bullshit.
1. "home to thousands of engineers not just working on the frontier of boffinry"
No boffinry (in the meaning of basic research) has occurred at Adastral in the last 10 years.
2. "Thousands of engineers". there are around 4,000 people working at Adastral, of whom only 1500 are permanent UK employees of BT. The rest are onshore contract workers, mostly from the subcontinent, who are operations and support staff for the various IT services that are hosted there. The 4,000 is down from 11,000 in 2004, who were all permanent UK employees.
3. "the park hosts a £500m scale model of BT’s full global network". When Adastral is redeveloped, that will disappear. The building that houses it does not appear on the redevelopment plans.
4. "The team now has a full licence to invest BT’s cash in helping young Brits discover their creative spark " But it's Google that are buying Raspberry Pis for our schools, not BT.
5. "BT is now working on plans to create 2,000 new jobs and provision for up to 2,000 homes by 2025, by opening up areas of Adastral Park as a science campus." BT has never committed to creating 2,000 new jobs, and cannot even point to more than 1800 jobs that are already in existence on the site, even if they count the restaurant staff and the building maintenance people, none of whom are BT employees.
6."opening up areas of Adastral Park as a science campus" BT has been trying for at least 10 years to attract other firms to the park, without success. I know of at least one firm that tried it out, but left when they found BT could not provide a fast reliable broadband service inside their own science park.
7. The truth about the "provision of 2000 new homes" is that BT having inherited for free a large stretch of land that was bought by taxpayers for the RAF, is now getting the local council to alter its policies to allow BT to sell the land with planning permission, This will give BT a windfall between £100 million and £300 million.
One of the companies resident at Adastral, not listed in the article for some reason, is Huawei, who would dearly love to have a foothold in Europe. An established research park, with a company town literally next door, would be just what they want. Of course there would be no significant numbers of permanent UK employees - they'd be all imported.
Dave Wilby, you've been had.
Roaming charges not the only problem...
..on a Greek island, I unwisely connected to a Turkish provider, one call ate half the battery. This on the first day of the hols, having been allowed out by the missus with my bro on the strict understanding that I was to check in every night...and we were on a sailing yacht.. Recharge the phone every night? You must be joking...
We'll be celebrating on 8 Apri 2014..
...that Mickey-Mouse-rosoft has finally stopped screwing around with XP. Every time they touch it, they put more bugs in. Now, at long last, it will be stable.
If you don't understand what I'm saying, lend me your ears...
Q: What do you call removing removing bugs from software?
Q: What do you call putting bugs into software?
Unisys - are they still alive?
I'm amazed. I thought they were dead long ago.
We should be told...
the day before they turn it up to full, so we have time to make tin hats for the family, write our wills, and kiss our arses goodbye...
Using Nexus 10 as USB drive from XP
Shambles, dear friends.
I can attach the N10 as a drive on my XP machine, and my wife can't (it's her N10).
No clear source for drivers for MTP mode in XP. Vague hints that som USB hardware on PC will not handle MTP mode, and no clear defiinition of which hardware it is.
We regularly need to drop large numbers of large files onto the N10 for her to take with her, and we've ended up using the utterly crappy file manager apps on the N10.
Apart from that, it's a gorgeous gadget, better screen than an iPad, better battery life, and cheaper too.
Re: Single Point of Failure
And the supplier of said card? By any chance, was it the preferred supplier to the 21CN project that could not deliver what they had promised during the tender process? A supplier from a very large country in the distant not-West?
>The Pi doesn't offer anything over a standard computer with USB.<
>What they need is imaginative programming software/language that is easy to learn but uses the same principals as proper programming<
It's called Scratch and it's already there.
Bless your heart, anyonbe would think you were blabbering on without knowing anything about the Pi.
Vulture Central is redoing the cions...
Can we have a Black Lawnmower, please?
Kate? Kate? You're joking
..Kate is is too close to vi, and only works well in the KDE environment.
Geany and Gedit are fine but don't go nearly far enough.
There can be only one, and it's Bluefish <a href="http://bluefish.openoffice.nl/index.html" target=_blank>here</a>
- mutliple windows for many files open at once
- syntax highlighting for many more languages
- code block folding (to make IFs or subroutines appear and disappear)
- tooltips for language reference
and lots lots more
Bluefish is also available on That Other Operating System.
Re: Most important thing any Linux user needs to install:
You have failed to notice who is copying whom. The Metro interface is a direct copy of the appearance of Unity on Ubuntu, which came out long before Win 8 and Metro.
And Jakob Nielsen is right, a plague on both those interfaces because they are perversions.
Re: Kate? Kate?
Good illustration of the perils of installing an app dependent on a windows manager other than the one you already have.
If you are not already using KDE, installing any KDE-based app will do exactly this - install vast buckets of dependencies that unecessariiy flll your disk space.
Efficient and virus-free
Last mainframe I worked on had 64 MB of RAM and was supporting 3000 users. In the PC world, 64 MB is the minimum to boot up Win98 for one user.
Buffer over-runs were impossible to exploit because memory was divided up in 4K "pages" which you either owned or didn't own. The hardware detected attempts to write to any page you didn't own and promptly stabbed your program in the heart. i386 and i686 architecture is a child's mindless babble in comparison to mainframe architecture.
Unfortunately it is nowadays common for the big software packages to insist (invalidly) on running in privileged status, because their programmers can't be arsed to learn how to write safe supervisor calls. Result? You could drive a coach-and-horses through mainframe security today.
There's a difference when it is a deliberate act...
>most orphan works are actually recent digital images that have been stripped of their attribution,<
Perhaps we should criminalise deliberately stripping attribution....the only possible reason to do that is to resell and make money without crediting or paying the author/photographer..
Even the DVD freetards and the music freetardss don't sink so low as remove the name of the originator...
Help on El Reg Units
Just what is the formal definition of the Jub? can't find the original article in which it is first described.
Weather Man at Port of Tilbury
...was Captain Gale, not so long ago.
Dinosaurs in Publishing
Giving away free copies of books functions as advertising and increases the sales of paper books, according to Cory Doctorow, who has been doing exactly that for years. His publisher, Tor Books, agrees. So DRM as usual screws the person most likely to cough up some actual dough for your main product, and is seriously counter-productive.
Any publisher who stll does not understand after all these years and all the experience, is a f***ing dinosaur and needs to be shot.
"current information suggests that the culprit was a ship's anchor"
Drunken or lazy captain with an anchor...that's the maritime equivalent of a builder with a JCB...and it happens frequently, despite the cable runs being marked on the bloody chart.
Now that's how to write a headline!
Congrats to those at El Reg who did that headline. You absolutely nailed it!
What YouTube needs is a reputation system
In the auto DMCA takedown system, those who complain should lose reputation for every false claim.
One strike and your complaints get diverted to be checked manually (and YouTube makes sure the handling team is small and slow).
Two strikes and your complaints have to be backed up by a sworn statement in front of a judge that you have checked properly that you are the copyright owner.
Three strikes and you lose your userid in the auto takedown system permanently, and all your subsequent complaints have to be written by a lawyer at vast expense.
Three strikes should also trigger a Small Claims Court case demanding immediate payment of all DMCA false claim penalties - in Small Court, the defendant (in this case, the false claimant) has to send someone empowered to settle or the judge will decide against them by default. The punishment here is not the $500, but either wasting the time of senior execs or spending money to send a lawyer to a hopeless case.
Re: Isn't there [DMCA penalty]
The penalty is laughable ($500).
Paris Hilton keeps that much in her knickers.
... the remaining trees of his forests will be so few that a child could write them down ...
And that, dear children, is why the land of Mesopotamia is a rock-strewn hellhole today...