* Posts by Tom 13

7611 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Missing matter found by squinting through gravitational lens

Tom 13

Re: Implications

No, willi0000000 nailed the funamental problem: They move like solid objects.

No matter how much more stuff you add to the gravitational matrix, they shouldn't move like dots drawn on the surface of a balloon. It should look more like the rings around Saturn. Fine detail, but a complete jumble. It doesn't jump out with the globular galaxies, it's the spirals where you first notice the problem. And the bars, at least according to our theoretical basis for gravity, simply shouldn't exist. It's a bit like a helicopter or bee flying.

Tom 13

Re: Implications


Despite El Reg claiming the "lots of uncertainty" is a characteristic of this branch of cosmology, the truth is there's lots more uncertainty about most of astro than scientists will freely admit. In fact one of the things that's the most amazing about astro is how accurately we can describe stuff given the uncertainties.

While the emphasis on this study is on the Sunyaev-Zeldovich discrepancy, the problem is bigger than that. You can also estimate the speed at which galaxies rotate based on difference in the red shift between edges of the galaxy. Based on those results and the masses we estimated galaxies shouldn't hold together even a little. And spiral arms? That's serious black box voodo magic. Add bars to those arms and there's grey matter all over the place following the exploding heads. If we didn't have the observational data we'd swear it was impossible.

Uni of Maryland hacked: 300,000 SSNs of staff, students, alumni swiped

Tom 13

Re: "300,000 SSNs swiped "

No the problem as Don correctly pointed out is that too many people who have no justifiable reason have the data. The law needs to revert to its original form where the only thing it was used for was tracking income for tax purposes. That leaves it with government, banks (or bank equivalents), investment firms and your employer. Nobody else should ever have need of your SSN.

Tom 13

Re: Stupid

The whole SSN regime needs to be redone. Part of the reason they probably don't issue new ones is that they already have to recycle numbers. You'd think with that many digits there's be more than enough not to worry about that. But they include some geographic identifiers in the number, so there aren't as many as you think there are.

After that, they were ONLY supposed to be used for purposes of tracking income tax, not as a replacement for a national id card. There's no good reason for any university to have your SSN number if you are only a student. And if you work for them, that information should be in a completely separate system with limited internet access. And I say that as someone who attended a university where my student number WAS my SSN. Of course given that was more than 20 years ago, I don't expect it will change.

TV scraper Aereo pulled off air in six US states after tellyco court injunction victory

Tom 13

Re: Comparative case scenario

You know damn well how it is different or you wouldn't have put the quotes around 'leases'.

Tom 13

Re: So at what point does it become illegal?

It becomes illegal at the point where your company is making money from rebroadcasting someone else's copyrighted materials. Oh, and the DVRs are a real telling point that that's exactly what the upstart is doing: rebroadcasting.

The antenna vendor isn't rebroadcasting.

The neighbor house isn't rebroadcasting.

Once you get much past 100 meters you are into rebroadcasting territory, although some might try to weasel their way out of it by claiming they are only "signal boosting". (Basic physics, not a legal issue.)

Cable companies evolved the way they did because they were trying to do precisely what you describe: a bunch on neighbors with crappy reception put together better reception for over the air and rebroadcast it to their homes. Same rules should apply to the new guys even if it uses slightly different tech. This is Fairness 001, not even Fairness 101.

Tom 13

Re: are cable companies allowed to swap out the broadcaster's original commercials

A more complicated question than you might think grasshopper. It depends on how the cable company has structured their agreements with the broadcasters.

Historically the networks did their big satellite broadcasts with a set of commercials hard coded and bits where the local affiliate would plug in their local ads. If you are a small cable company (not sure they actually exist anymore) and you are picking up the local affiliate I think you'd have to broadcast the ads as they appear over the air. But if you are a big cable company and you've contracted directly with the main network the same way the affiliate would, I think you get to put your own ads into the same blank spots the affiliates get. Mix in the cable only content with ads and now you're headed really deep into the rabbit hole.

Of course this is the 20 year old model, and I'm not sure what changes they may have made in the intervening time.

Tom 13

Re: Can't say that I understand the TV companies argument

With the switch to hi-def tv in the US, all recording technology is effectively outlawed except as licensed by the broadcasters. You rent your DVR from the channel provider, who in turn pays the broadcast companies.

I don't like it, but it is.

Korean credit card companies hit with 90-day, $100m sales ban

Tom 13

Re: HR would be asked to explain how we got such a person in the first place...

She was a very early hire with the company. And excluding the security violation the most competent receptionist we had. When she did retire the roulette wheel of receptionists began and we never again had one who matched the rest of her skill set. She was also a very pleasant person.

I have scarier stories than that one. But I'd never post them on a public site, only tell them to friends during a board gaming session on the weekend.

Tom 13

Re: mixed feelings about this...

So long as they are the right employees, I don't have a problem with that.

A long time ago I worked at a company where the receptionist kept her password on a piece of paper under her keyboard. Every year we went through the standard it security training which included the bit about not keeping your password on a piece of paper under the keyboard. Everyone on the Help Desk team at one time or another made it a point to raise this issue with her. She stubbornly responded: "There's nothing in my files that's important to anyone and I don't have anything personal on the computer."

Tom 13

Re: A: A summary execution.

Seems a bit wasteful. Send them to the organ bank. That way society at least gets some benefit from them.

Either that or summary execution is being fed to the lions in front of a live studio audience.

Tom 13

@ DavCrav

Back in WWII there were problems at shipyards with subs going out to trials and never coming back even though they hadn't been through enemy territory. I think they managed to retrieve one such sub and found the root cause was bad welds. So the military instituted a lottery system. Each welder who worked on a sub had his name put in a hat. One name was drawn from the hat and that person went to see on the maiden voyage of the sub. They very, very, very rarely had issues with welds after the welders lottery was implemented.

In your particular example, I don't see any good reason to limit to one individual. Each of them played a part in it and shares in culpability. Let the chips fall where they may. Or heads as the case may be.

Retiring greybeards force firms to retrain Java, .NET bods as mainframe sysadmins

Tom 13

Re: @BlueGreen @Tom 13

I've been through too much to accept what you say. Favouritism in hiring an promotion, outright nepotism, underpayment of good staff so they left (despite having the money to pay), childish tantrums at staff cos they had a row at home with hubby, lack of process, lack of automation, disregard of the opinions of professionals, psychopathic bullying, failure to evaluate technical alternatives because they (bosses) weren't technical guys so didn't understand the pros and cons so assumed they didn't matter (common), also - my favourite - rating people's worth by how much you pay them rather than what they contribute (familiar?).

Yeah I've seen all of that too. And given the rants here on the board, smart money is on most of the rest of the posters here have too. But that's the problem: with so many of us seeing so much bad management out there and so little good management it moves from anecdotal to data. If the data say the Darwin is favoring "bad" management, there must be something to it. I don't know what. And I suppose for the people that I know, its good for them that I act on what I've described as your "ideology" even as I question its validity.

I'd probably like you as a boss. And my personal beliefs mirror yours on this issue. But we sure don't seem to be winning the war so I have to start asking "Why?"

Tom 13

Re: @BlueGreen

Reduction in Force (workforce). These days you usually see it as "right-sizing" the company or redundancies.

Tom 13


They had better have good, solid, technical reason to believe these guys they hired, else they are bullshittees who hired bullshitters to lay on the bullshit in thick, soothing layers. In which case, management failure.

I'm not usually in the room when those decisions are made. But I had a bird's eye view once. The guy making the decision wasn't a bullshitter. He was in fact, the sort of boss I'd like to work for if all bosses were like him. He wanted to find reasonable technical solutions to business issues, pay everyone a fair salary, and have everyone get along. His technical skills were rusty but he knew his stuff in the day and sometimes it still came in handy. They weren't shiny because he'd been placed in a position where he had to deal too much with people who didn't have his outlook on the business. We interviewed three people for a Help Desk Manager position. One of them bored me to tears and I couldn't remember a thing about him. Governmental functionary type but his accomplishments resume looked good. Another one was bright, energetic, and marked off a couple boxes on the quota sheet. In a different environment I would have hired her in a heartbeat. One problem with her stood out. We didn't have a lot of documented processes. What we had was learned by apprenticeship. And while management was trying to move us more toward an ITIL model it was a hard slog. For almost every question she referred checking the documented processes. She wouldn't have lasted two weeks in our environment. The third person was the one I liked. Sounded like he had come from an environment that started like ours, but made significant progress on documenting the processes and was leaving the company in a better place than he'd found it. He'd survive our environment and might even be able to fix some stuff. The Boss hired the first guy. His thinking was he'd be better able to handle some of the contentious office politics than the other two, and what he really needed was someone to offload that work to so he could focus on the other stuff that he really needed to. His rationale wasn't bad. And during the second interview his skill set sounded like it was going to be a decent fit to where we expected our company to be in a couple of years. I was RIFed about 6 months later (made sense from a purely business perspective, no need for the assistant to the manager when you only have half the people). Through the grapevine I heard that a couple months after that the guy broke his leg skiing, and 6 month after that found himself a new job. Yes, after the hire was made it turned out the guy was a really good BSer. But I don't think my boss was looking to be the bullshitee. And while I'm usually fair at smelling the BS, I didn't recognize how much of it he was laying on myself. It's not necessarily bad intentions, sometimes it is just a bad result.

suggests that this core piece of dosh tracking code was seriously underfunded. If so, who was to blame.

No one. When it was written it wasn't known that it was going to last as long as it did and that 15 years down the road it would be handling that much stuff. It was expected to last the length of a smallish five year contract and that it did quite well. But it got re-used because it existed, and more and more contracts were won and added to it. And until the switch to XP it all just kept on working. Keep in mind were talking about a company trying to make money managing government grants. The government regards that as more of a public service than something a private company should make money from, so margins are always razor thin. It's all well and good to argue that good management would have had a code review every time a contract was added and that all risks would be identified and factored into the cost of the contract. The reality is there are always unknown risks.

If there are no real-world examples of success, it is time to give up on the ideology no matter how right it feels.

I'm not saying I haven't gone off on the exact same rant you are when I've had a bad day. And God it feels good to rant like that. But if good management as described by you succeeded we'd see a hell of a lot more of it than we do.

Tom 13


If all you have is a college degree in business management (or the equivalent), I can see where you'd believe that. All it takes is a couple years of real world experience to disabuse you of that notion.

The big bosses have all agreed that because of the way the balance sheets work, the merger should go ahead. None of them have a clue about the incompatibility of the systems, but the guys they hired tell them there are technical solutions to those problems. And the deadlines are unrealistic with no one hired to write the documentation (I know I worked in exactly that field before I moved to break/fix deployment side). So you find the inelegant but workable hack that binds the systems together and maybe even have good intentions of coming back later to fix it properly. Except that the next big merger has come along and you're back in the same fix again next year.

Two jobs back we had a kludge of a system one of our divisions depended on. It was written in Delphi 2.0 using the Borland Database Engine 5.03 with some Crystal Reports 7.02 something or other I don't remember any more (not a programmer, just the poor schmuck installing the crap). The sexy language at the time was an early iteration of Visual Studio .Net. Now, we could get the BDE installed without too much trouble (well document on the install and two patches) and even the Delphi 2.0 wasn't a problem. Crystal Reports however turned out to be rather a problem AND rather a serious sticking point. The bit that I can't remember was a very, very, specific version of Crystal. From it you could select a subset of functionality that could be run from the network without actually requiring a Crystal install on the desktop. Apparently the next letter revision undid that bit of uniqueness. But the specific letter revision didn't run on the developers machines when we migrated from Windows 2000 to Windows XP. So we patched it. And 8 months later started getting reports about problems with inconsistencies from the user community. It turned out that whenever a developer updated a module with the new version of Crystal, it broke the inter-operability of that shared store on the network. About 30 employees were using the system, but it was tracking hundreds of millions of dollars in research money that was being distributed by the government to various medical research groups. Yeah, not pretty. They brought in a bunch of people who were going to port the data to a new program they were writing in a modular mode with modern software. About 6 months later I was part of a 50% RIF in the IT department. But the last I heard, the new program wasn't nearly as functional as the old one, and still had issues with inconsistencies in the reports.

I don't think anybody anywhere along the chain had bad intentions. But the end result was a serious problem at a midsized company (less than 500 employees, certainly nowhere near the Fortune 10000 in terms of market share). In a company with even longer lines of communications, I don't see things improving any.

Tom 13

Re: in a sort of rapid "job handover" process?

Business use to have a decent planned handover process. Of course there was nothing "rapid" about it, but it worked fairly reliably. The old hand took on an apprentice for a number of years and brought him up to speed. When the old hand retired, the apprentice became the old hand and at some point sought out a new apprentice.

Tom 13

Re: it takes more than 6 month to train a skilled sysadmin

While true, it doesn't mitigate the primary premise: if managers had been valuing the skill they now find to be in short supply, people would have been training for the mainframes.

Here's the thing. I was in high school when the Sinclair and TRS-80s were being released. A friend of my mother's worked at IBM and passed along manuals for some of their stuff to me. Mainframes and minis. At the time people were predicting the demise of mainframes. It still hasn't happened. I don't work on the big iron myself, my area of specialization is on the micros. But I don't foresee the death of mainframes even after 10 years. There are some things they just do better than anything else out there. And the people who are migrating from "old iron" to "modern platforms" will discover that to their dismay.

Another U.S. state set to repeal rubber duck ban

Tom 13

Re: There is a chance of a major win ......

I've got a fiver on one for the roach motel.

And just to make sure were all on the same page, I'm assuming that means I'm actually in for about $10 US as you all are talking pounds.

Tom 13

Re: Well duck me!

That post needs a Kermit the Frog icon.

Tom 13

Re: @ Mad Mike

Your reading comprehension is badly flawed. There is nowhere in the US that you can shoot someone because you feel like it. In Florida you are allowed to stand your ground as opposed to being required to flee when threatened. Which was pretty much the case everywhere back when we had a more polite society.

FCC will have to drop a bombshell to solve net-neutrality conundrum

Tom 13

Re: common carrier

The service providers are already protected against that particular legal abuse.

Tom 13

Re: Separation

There are still reasons to throttle. If Netflix is using too much of your bandwidth relative to Pandora, throttling Netflix may be more profitable than building out your network. Especially if you can spread enough FUD that users don't know the provider is the cause of the problem.

In the end, the only thing that keeps them honest is the ability of the consumer to switch to a new service.

Tom 13

Re: Why not call differentiated service a wiretap

Because under the law as written they aren't carriers they are service providers. This is the crux of the Appeals Court decision. And it is also the part which requires Congress to rewrite the law. It cannot legally be done by Executive order or FCC power grab.

Tom 13

@ Matt_Lohr

Good points as far as they go. There's just one problem.

Given the length of the prior government intervention, the incumbents have built up considerable leverage which they probably can use to continue to distort what should have been the natural market. We may need to break up the current oligopoly into smaller groups. Say 10 years during which they cannot merge with any of the smaller groups created by a court overseen breakup. I'd probably count a new group merging with one of the broken up groups as the broken up group for purposes of further mergers within the 10 year period.

American Idol host's keyboard firm smacks back against BlackBerry in patent spat

Tom 13

Re: a patent owned by a foreign company.

What foreign company? Haven't you heard? We regard Canada as the 51st through 60th states.*

*Excludes Quebec for obvious reasons.

Tom 13

Re: The Sony P910 had an external keyboard

BB aren't suing because they attached an external keyboard. They're suing because the external keyboard looks an awful lot like their keypad.

Seacrest claims to have spent millions developing their keypad. BB most likely did too. Sometimes the exact angle for part of a device is the key to how it works. If the sizes of each of the keys and the angles on all of them are the same BB might have a legitimate case if they spent millions to determine that was the best engineering solution. If I were sitting on a jury hearing the case and BB pointed out the similarity of the placement of symbols on the keypad, I would certainly consider that while weighing the evidence. I've used both android and apple tablet type devices and their keyboards are quite different. Quite honestly, apples' is crap as far as I'm concerned, but some people like it.

FCC chairman vows to rewrite net rules – with Prez Obama's blessing

Tom 13

Re: "enforce transparency"

No thanks. I'd prefer to wait for an administration that treats all its citizens equally before handing them another tool of oppression.

Not so FAST: Another discount software broker BOOTED OUT

Tom 13

Re: Value, what value?

I'd handle it a bit differently. If you purchase a software license, unless you lose your license via legal action taken in the courts by the vendor, your license can be resold for long as the vendor claims copyright protection of the software.

Essentially, since software is a machine of business, a business needs to be able to handle it just like they would any physical machine (printing press, car, calculator).

Tom 13

Re: FAST flashes its knickers

I'm not sure I'd even go that far. Given his prior position this looks like M$ shafting another consumer group that advanced a consumer policy they didn't like. Holding up the other producers and saying it is for them could simply be part of their FUD campaign.

Silk Road admins: Sorry for the hack, we're sorting out refunds

Tom 13
Black Helicopters

Once again

it's not the FBI, its the NSA. And yes, they've already turned the 1s and 0s into cash. Where the cash is, they won't say. Ever. And don't ask, because they'll know you did.

Tom 13
Black Helicopters

Re: Apply for your refund here:

wrong addy. You need this one:


Nasty holes found in Belkin's home automation kit

Tom 13

Re: the usual barrage of 6 point size light grey-on-white disclaimers

And those aren't worth the paper they are printed on no matter what the lawyers hired by the company printing them tell you. At least in the case of home automation.

I worked for one such company back in the dark ages when 386 processors were new. They originally planned to integrate home security into their automation system. That was dropped when they found out that as soon as they included it they were fully liable if the bad guys used the remote access system to allow entrance to the domicile. They planned a "romantic" house mode that was supposed to bring on the lights dim, set the music playing, and turn on the gas fireplace all at the press of a button. Right up until the safety engineers said the light dimmers need to fail safe in the event of power loss and that meant all lights came on at full brightness and dimmed down.

You can swindle someone out of a couple hundred bucks on an OS that runs their business and it turns out to not be fit for purposes, but people's safety is a whole other kettle of fish.

HP 'KNEW' about Autonomy's hardware sales BEFORE the whistle blew: report

Tom 13

Re: You're damn right they knew...

Nobody has yet alleged that HP knew BEFORE the deal. The current allegation is that HP knew after the deal was complete, but a year before they announced it. Unfortunately in the legal roulette world of publicly traded companies, if you announce an allegation of fraud at your company without a fair amount of proof, if it turns out the allegation was unfounded you are subject to essentially the same lawsuits as if you don't announce it when you have the proof. If you're a decision maker in that sort of damned if you do, damned if don't environment, I can see the logic of holding off the announcement. I can also see the corruption problems that come with those types of decisions.

Tom 13

Re: either they knew or didn't.

Almost, but not quite that simple. WHEN they knew is also important.

If they found out after the sale was completed that's one set of circumstances. I'll make a small allowance for them not announcing it as soon as someone reported it to them. At that point it is still an allegation, and there's a fiduciary responsibility to the stockholders to avoid spooking the market without good justification. Not sure that is a full year's allowance, but I expect they need some time to determine what the actual facts are.

If they had any knowledge, even a hint, BEFORE the sale was completed, they are in a world of hurt from investor lawsuits.

Tom 13

Re: Caveat emptor

Not oversimplified, but you did leave out one possibility in the universe of all possibilities:

4) HP knew about the improprieties BEFORE the purchase.

So far nobody is suggesting that. It would be quite a game changer if it enters the equation.

Tom 13

Re: Resulting in big company having lost all the expertise they acquired.

If Autonomy were improperly recording revenues before they were purchased by HP, seems to me that's not the sort of expertise you want in your company in the first place.

Vertical take-off and laughing: Space Harrier

Tom 13

Re: P.S. Greatest arcade game ever.

I have trouble picking out the greatest one ever. I played a bunch of them and to me, they were all great.

It was usually difficult for me to get on the Space Harrier cabinet. Neither of the arcades in my college town went in much for the console rigs: too much lost floor space. I fondly remember dieing entirely too quickly whenever I played Robotron. Defender was great as was Time Machine. I was probably best at either Galaxian or Mario Brothers at the time (turtles and the two bouncing balls on the tri-level metal frame). They were the machines located in the dining hall and each got a quarter each night after dinner. Oddly enough my favorite game in the arcade was a pinball machine with a potential for 5 ball multi-play. It was some space race type theme. You would lock up to five balls and then drop a set of targets to launch them all. It had a continuously increasing score multiplier (I think it maxed out at 20 and I never got past 10). Wish I could remember the name of it.

Of course, I'm one of those weirdos who also loved 'Beserk!' - Come back and fight like a robot.

Tata says USA rejecting HALF of Indians' work visa requests

Tom 13

Re: onus was on the part of the employeer to prove they could not fill the position

Theoretically. In practice, not so much.

Case in point from way back in the dark ages (as in, before "outsourcing" was even a buzzword in management circles). I went to uni at a college town. That is if it weren't for the university, you wouldn't be able to find the place on a map. Not necessarily top 10 for computer programming, but a solid and respected department and degree. By luck I landed a tech writing job at a local company. They started work on a computer program and needed to hire on someone full time to work on it. Employment in the town was either federally paid work/study or burger flipping/pizza delivery for students. Did my company find someone from uni to work on the program? Nope. They brought in an H1-B visa, emergency provision because her student visa had just expired. Granted she was knowledgeable, well spoken, and a nice lady, but really? Out of a couple thousand students they couldn't find anyone who wanted that sort of work even part time? I hold her no grudges but I know the system is and has been corrupt for a long, long time.

Tom 13

Re: 1 billion Indians want visas for the USA

Not what the article says. It says the rejection rate is up because of the pending immigration legislation. Which it probably is. I don't want it passed because it will make our sieve even more of a joke than the UK immigration sieve. Ironically, we both have the same problem: neither of our countries are likely to let someone from the other immigrate, but they are happy to let in just about anyone from anywhere else.

Tom 13

Re: At least somewhere has entry criteria.

Yes, but only while the immigration bill is temporarily on hold. Once it passes everything will go back to SNAFU.

Tom 13

Re: 50% rejected? In the name of sanity it should be 100%.

I don't have a problem with hiring from outside the country if there really isn't someone inside the country who has the qualifications to perform the work. Problem is, as Tata seems to be admitting, this has nothing to do with there not being anyone here who is available and can do the work. I think the same thing should apply to every country: hire from your own ranks first, then seek additional help from elsewhere when you run out of qualified people.

Tom 13

Re: 50% Rejection Not Bad

Yeah, but that's only 50% on India Indians. For Mexicans it is -50% (that it, we import 50% more than we're legally permitted).

How NOT to evaluate hard disk reliability: Backblaze vs world+dog

Tom 13

Re: Shurely Shome Mishtake?

They included the provision that their setup is planned so that they expect failures. That would seem to entail even the double or triple simultaneous drive failures most of us would never see except in cases of significant manufacturing defect or onsite catastrophe (data center caught fire, got flooded).

Tom 13

Re: duty cycle and usage hasn't really been taken into consideration.

I think that may be a moot point in real world context.

Yes, Enterprise drives might have a longer life in the duty cycled described. But does that matter if for the most part drives aren't used in what we think of as a classical HPC environment? If 90% of real world applications look more like Backblaze than a classic HPC does the duty cycle actually matter to the purchaser of the hard drives?

And I don't really accept the argument about the small sample size. An additional 2 spindles not failing sounds small, but when you're supposed to be talking six sigmas or better on your engineering quality, that's a huge number. Put in another context, in order to get to the 4.2 failure rate given 17 hard drives failed, you'd need to add another 103 drives to the mix before you'd expect to achieve an experimental 4.2 failure rate if the true failure rate is 4.2. (4.2463). That is, I'm assuming the true rate is 4.2, and we only see the true rate of failure over the next 103 drives without any variation.

Object to #YearOfCode? You're a misogynist and a snob, says the BBC

Tom 13

Re: how everyone learnt about programming?

Not necessarily. I got frustrated trying to learn on the Oddessey my Dad bought and gave up.

The following year the high school got some TRS-80s and the teachers were learning how to program them. I'd taken an elective class in Probability and Statistics (go figure for someone who hates math). The teacher gave us what he initially thought was an moderately difficult problem. Later he realized it was exceedingly complicated and would require a computer to solve. So he setup an iteration to produce the computation. The next day the computer still wasn't finished and he turned it off and explained it to us. Then he had us do an experiment to calculate expected parameters. I asked him about getting a broader experimental base using the computer and he set me to work on it. That was how I learned programming.

The next year we had a formal class on it which I took. I actually knew 90% of what they taught because of my previous work with the prob stat teacher, but most of those kids didn't.

I haven't gone into programming professionally. I do user support. Some of those students who learned programming in the class did go into it professionally.

My smelly Valentine: Europe's perfumers wake to V-Day nightmare

Tom 13

Re: I can see the point

Perfumes can irritate* me. Cigarette smoke too. I don't see the point. Label the stuff and you can choose not to buy it. If you do actually need to work with someone who wears it, you should be capable of working it out amicably amongst yourselves.

*Ironically, the ones most likely to do it are men who bathe in them and call it 'cologne'.

Tom 13

Re: Not the first time

Actually these days you'll find a fair number of PhD chemists working for cosmetics manufacturers, especially in the R&D departments. Maybe because of precisely those past issues.

Not a big user of them myself, but at least I know a smidgen about the industry.

HP claims ProLiant server audits to stop 'competitive misuse'

Tom 13

Re: Poor move HP

All HP needs to do is look at how well that plan worked out at Oracle after they bought Sun.

I never worked on the big iron, but I have friends who do. Oracle doubled the price of the support contracts and made the paperwork maddeningly difficult even for governmental types who are more use to dealing with maddeningly difficult paperwork than the rest of us. The places where my friends worked on those Sun systems are all now running Linux on their servers instead of the proprietary stuff that was originally delivered. Redhat mostly I think, but that doesn't really matter. Point is they would happily have continued to part with the dosh for the originally priced contracts rather than undertake the conversion work (even the smoothest upgrade takes a fixed amount of time and some troubleshooting for unforeseen issues).

Tom 13

Re: customers will get access to updates


I use to work in a screwdriver shop (going on 15 years back now). Most of our clients were small businesses with no tech knowledge whatsoever. They were willing to pay $75/hr on the occasion when they needed it to have someone come out and apply the appropriate updates. HP were charging at least twice that. We'd go out, check the parts, the serial numbers, and the download sites, then download the appropriate bits and apply them. HP are trying to outlaw the $75/hr guy doing the work.

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