* Posts by DeathSquid

22 posts • joined 7 Jan 2013

IBM HR made me lie to US govt, says axed VP in age-discrim legal row: I was ordered to cover up layoffs of older workers


Re: For all you young 'uns out there, this is the "old" IBM in all its glory..

I'll certainly conceed that the same behaviour by a corporation with a different history would be equally as reprehensible. But I'll continue to argue that history is relevant because it sets the trajectory for corporate culture. Not irrevocably but, left uncorrected, fundamental cultural flaws have a way of resurfacing over and over. In IBM's case there appears to be decades of ongoing extreme amorality and anti-social behaviour where corporate social responsibility is given zero or even negative weight. To not recognise the pattern and how it is transmitted is to fail in any attempt at rectification. A fine or punishing an individual will not change embedded culture. In extreme cases, and I believe that IBM is one such, the only viable approach is to disband the company.

Incidently, we see similar patterns with certain banks. "Mistakes were made" goes the non-apology, the fine is paid, and then the circus starts again.


Re: For all you young 'uns out there, this is the "old" IBM in all its glory..

You don't get it, do you? Coroporations have culture that can span generations. It's convenient to say that was then and this is now, especially when then was shameful. But when you see ongoing patterns of abuse across decades the problem is clearly deeper than whatever idiot happens to be in charge today.

And if you feel that swearing somehow makes you sound more erudite, why don't you stop doing it as an AC?


Re: For all you young 'uns out there, this is the "old" IBM in all its glory..

The old IBM says hold my beer, and collaborates with Nazis. Specifically on tabulating populations for termination. This is distasteful history but absolutely true, and I raise it with respect for the millions of victims. Something IBM doesn't seem to mention in their official corporate histories. In any case, the DNA of an organisation has a way of running true, and it seems that IBM has systematically and amorally engaged in decades of abuses against their workers. This shame stained corporation should have been disbanded 70 years ago, but it's never too late.

Stress, bad workplace cultures are still driving security folk to drink


Curiously American

"Vacation allowance". What a curiously North American term. I think what was meant was holiday entitlement. In most countries, for good reason, it is a right that is earned not a largesse at the whim of the employer.

New age discrim row: Accenture, Facebook sued by sales boss for favoring 'new blood'


I suspect the major problem *some* companies have with older workers is that they see through bullshit and prioritise better. If someone asks me to work a string of all-nighters for a totally artificial deadline, my response is going to be "what's in it for me?". My younger self was stupider. It all changed one day when I discovered that the manager got a huge bonus for bringing in a project under time, and the people that pulled the all nighters got nothing. Never again.

Sysadmin trained his offshore replacements, sat back, watched ex-employer's world burn


Re: Not in IT...

They sure do teach this in real MBA school. It's called tacit knowledge. I understand that the world is full of idiot managers and also-ran MBA degrees, but a real MBA is just as rigorous as a science degree. I'm in a position to know.

In dire straits after #CensusFail, ABS to axe up to 150 staff


Why does that muppet David Kalisch still have a job? He oozes ineptitude and incompetence. His whopping $700k salary could be used instead to head off quite a few redundancies, methinks.

Staff 'fury' as penny pinching IBM offers legal minimum redundo payoffs


Not just in the UK

IBM have tried aggressively laying off people in Japan a few years back. They are currently having their balls kicked in a series of lawsuits. It's going to end up costing them waaaaay more than acting like a decent company. I hope the shareholders are happy with all their money being spent on lawyers and, ultimately, vast payouts. I thought managers were supposed to look after shareholders funds?

Streaming speaker biz Sonos lays offs workers as it finds its voice


Corporate Evil

Sonos said "Like many high growth companies, Sonos constantly evaluates its workforce to ensure we have the skills and talent to lead us to the next series of milestones. Our opportunity has never been greater as the transition to streaming accelerates. We’re in a terrific position to continue delivering great listen-out-loud experiences at home now, and in the future", when laying off employees.

I can only conclude that this "high growth" company has strong cash flow, and therefore they were callously discarding loyal staff to improve shareholder returns.

So in return, let me say: Like many high growth customers, I constantly evaluate manufacturers to ensure they show the loyalty and reliability I require for my next series of purchases. My opportunity has never been greater as my transition to Sonos' competitors accelerates. I'm in a terrific position to continue buying great listen-out-loud experiences at home now, and in the future, only never from Sonos.

Good luck guys. You'll need it.

The Mad Men's monster is losing the botnet fight: Fewer humans are seeing web ads


I would volunteer to see more ads...

If I were paid, that is. What I'd like to propose is an area in my browser that advertisers could bid for, with a floor price set by me. I would happily provide demographic data and guarantee to not block the ads. My floor price would be around $0.05 per second. Guaranteed delivery to my eyeball for a low, low price. A 20 second clip would only cost advertisers $1. This is extremely competitive compared to television advertising, and I could live in the manner to which I would like to become accustomed.

Universal Credit: The IT project that will outlive us all


Re: Sounds familiar

"They had to put on 2 more full time entry clerks and a part time position. The real kicker is that none of the mandated paperwork is digitally compatible with pre-existing Federal medical reporting. Everything has to be entered multiple times, which of course leads to multiple errors during input."

You're doing it wrong. The forms should be on the web. The need for data entry then goes to zero. Well designed forms with good error checking can reduce the need for validation to a minimum. An automated process can then move required data to other forms.

So rather than get a good programmer in for a few months to do a quality job, they decide to hire an additional two and some people. That's at least three, probably far more, people on the payroll in perpetuity doing a job that can be automated. I detect the presence of an accountant, making sure that only next quarter's numbers matter.

Chicago cops under fire for astonishingly high dashcam, mic failures

Paris Hilton

Of course that's 10 inches, dear!

The first, and largest, floppies were 8 inches, first marketed circa 1971 when Jon Pertwee was Doctor Who. There were a lot of variants, with soft versus hard sectoring, double sided versus single sided and several recording densities being differentiation points.

Circa 1976, during the Tom Baker years, Wang requested a smaller, cheaper floppy which drove the development of the 5.25 inch format offering similar variations to its bigger cousin. You could also physically hack a single sided 5.25 inch to become a flippy.

In early 1980s, many smaller variants were developed until everyone settled on the 3.5 inch format and Peter Davison.

The point of all this being that there never was a 10 inch floppy. There were some specialist 10, 12 and 14 inch optical media dating back to the 80s. Perhaps Officer Plod saw a 3.5 inch drive and made an understandable mistake? I blame the metric system.

Oh, hi there, SKYNET: US military wants self-enhancing software that will outlive its creators



Software compiled into LLVM intermediate representation can be easily targeted to new hardware. LLVM has front ends for a wide variety of languages, including old school (Fortran, Ada, C), new school (Java, Rust, Ruby) and the plain weird (Haskell).

Thought PCs were in the toilet? They're STILL eating Apple's lunch


I have a macbook air that I've run linux on for the past 2.5 years. Prior to that I was a regular purchaser of thinkpads becuase of their ruggedness, but around 2008 their quality dropped into the toilet. Lenovo support for faulty hardware proved to be non-existent.

My macbook, on the other hand, has proved to be rock solid. Also Apple really stand behind their products (unlike Lenovo). If there is a problem, they will fix it quickly, cheerfully and at their expense if there is a shade of a chance that it is their fault.

Consequently, I have bought macbooks for my whole family. A nice side effect is that I now no longer spend any time doing technical support. When my father had a windows box, I would lose days every time I visited him getting the accursed thing working properly again.

I think the dip in Apple sales has more to do with their product release cycle than an underlying trend. A lot of people are waiting for the new broadwell based macbook air retina. In the meantime, their existing macs are working just fine thank you.

Google's self-driving car breakthrough: Stop sign no longer a problem


Re: Existing Solutions

The problem with intoxicated passengers on public transport is not the alcohol. There are plenty of tipsy people on the trains in Japan and very few problems. On the other hand, your typical bogan Aussie downs a VB or three and turns into an idiot looking for a fight. Sigh. It really is embarressing to be Australian sometimes.

Who wants 10TB of FREE cloud storage? Hands down if China is a deal breaker?


Why should China be a deal breaker?

I'm going to encrypt everything I store remotely anyway. If they can break AES cheaply, they probably have all my data by now anyway. 10TB for free sounds like an awesome deal.

Four ways the Guardian could have protected Snowden – by THE NSA


Bigger isn't always better

I'd suggest using AES 128 in preference to the article's recommendation of AES 256. There was a related key attack on the latter, first published back in 2009. That doesn't mean that AES 256 is "broken" in a practical sense, but it does raise flags.

Cryptography is hard. Please seek advice from experts (amongst whom I am not numbered).

Mine's the one with the encrypted thumbdrive in the pocket.

Dead STEVE JOBS 'touts rival Lenovo gear' FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE


IBM made great kit. I used to buy their Thinkpads all the time. Lenovo inherited this tradition of quality and slowly chipped away at it until I ceased to be a loyal customer. That was about 18 months ago; I have no idea if they have pulled out of their tailspin and no inclination to ever spend my money with them again. Big spending on Hollywood actors to tout their tat is simply indicative of their decline.

BBC abandons 3D TV, cites 'disappointing' results


OK for cheese...

I only bought a 3D set because it was substantially cheaper than the 2D equivalent from the same manufacturer. Shows how desperate they must have been to seed the marketplace at the time...

That being said, I quite enjoy watching the odd 3D bluray, especially if it is some kind of cheesy SF or horror flick. In fact, the stereoscopic effect enhances the cheese, as it were.

But regular television? First you have to find the glasses, then they are not charged, and then when you are channel flipping the transition from 2D to 3D to 2D is just bloody annoying. We don't watch the tele the same way that we do movies. The fact that it took the BBC so long to work this out is simply amazing.

Mine's the one with the 3D glasses in one of the pockets.

Cryptocat WIDE OPEN, new version a must


Fool me once, shame on me...

It's nice that they have a new version, but ALL the previous chats protected by ECC keys are compromised. That can't be fixed by a software patch.

It's pretty clear that the developers are still climbing the crypto learning curve. This stuff is complicated, non-intuitive and even the smallest error can have large consequences. Worse still, the mistakes they made were absolutely basic, like using way too short keys. Only a fool would trust their software going forward.

Hitch climate tax to the actual climate, says top economist

Paris Hilton

Re: The debate

"Why are there so few voices of reason in climate debate?"

Because it is a mass debate.

Paris, obviously.

Lenovo proclaims PC victory, re-orgs to take on Apple


Lenovo Fail

Thinkpads used to be the best of the best, and I wouldn't buy anything else. Over the last few years, however, Lenovo quality and service appears to have gone into freefall. My recent experiences with them have convinced me to spend my money elsewhere. It's a shame to see such a great brand brought low by short sighted management, but everything has a lifespan.

The fact that Lenovo management are claiming they lead the industry when they are no longer even in the top 100 list of brands shows how out of touch they are.

If you are looking for high build quality that the manufacturer will stand behind, Macbooks are great. If Lenovo thinks they are competing with Apple, they are in for a terrible shock. They should focus on their true competitors; no-name, shoddily built laptops with no meaningful warrantee.

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