* Posts by Doctor Huh?

77 posts • joined 1 Oct 2014


National Enquirer's big Pecker tried to shaft me – but I wouldn't give him an inch, says Jeff Bezos after dick pic leak threat

Doctor Huh?

I don't think this is how you blackmail...

Is anyone else thinking about that scene in the Dark Knight where Morgan Freeman incredulously asks Joshua Harto if his plan really is to blackmail one of the richest, most powerful men in the world -- https://youtu.be/1z6o1GIEsQE

Also, let's face it -- if your semi-saluting manhood is poking out all over the place and making noticeable bulges, is being exposed as someone who is incredibly wealthy, dates attractive women, and has a large schlong really much of a threat. There are men who PAY to get that kind of PR.

IBM to kill off Watson... Workspace from end of February

Doctor Huh?

And the root of the problem...

"A Power9 desktop at sensible price (say £1000) would have me jump like a shot off X86."

Precisely. IBM isn't capable of functioning in a low-margin, high-volume environment, so IBM cannot take advantage of such opportunities. IBM functions best in markets like the one for the Mainframe -- one where there are very specific requirements that only a specific product can meet, where cost is not a critical concern, and where being locked in to a particular vendor is not a problem. There aren't many markets where customers are willing to let their vendors grab them by the tallywags and squeeze until wallets pop open, and there are fewer such markets with each passing year.

IBM insists it's not deliberately axing older staff. Internal secret docs state otherwise...

Doctor Huh?

Amused that IBM thinks its the geezers repelling the Millennials

Yes, IBM. Rest assured that it is the grey hair that repels Millennials and not anything else about the company.

For giggles, I turned to the Millennial next to me and asked. His response: "I have friends who work for Google and Facebook. I know those companies and their products. I can't think of anything IBM makes that I can buy or want to buy."

I'm thinking the kid has managed to put his finger on the problem (he is a bright guy with a great future in front of him).

OK Google, why was your web traffic hijacked and routed through China, Russia today?

Doctor Huh?

Random Kevin Bacon Reference

The incidents goes to show that a USA telco like ATT, VZ, etc (the ones which Google "peers" with) will accept anything China telecom feeds them and say "thank you, with pleasure".

I believe the phrase you are looking for is "Thank you sir, may I have another?"


Google logins make JavaScript mandatory, Huawei China spy shock, Mac malware, Iran gets new Stuxnet, and more

Doctor Huh?

Heroic Horny Geologist Does Favor for Fans of Solo Sex

I'm shocked that there are 8,999 safe porn sites. The USGS might recoup some of its costs by publishing the list.

IBM memo to staff: Our CEO Ginni is visiting so please 'act normally!'

Doctor Huh?

IBM memo to staff: Our CEO Ginni is visiting so please 'act normally!'

2 words: Potemkin Village

1 acronym: IBM

On the seventh anniversary of Steve Jobs' death, we give you 7 times he served humanity and acted as an example to others

Doctor Huh?

Drax the Destroyer comments...

It's not April 1st, is it?

Look up "hagiography" in the dictionary and this article will be the definition.

"Nothing goes over my head! My reflexes are too fast; I would catch it!" -- Drax


Apple leaks rekindle some hope for iPhone 'supercycle' this year

Doctor Huh?

Re: Apple will end up like Nokia

Symbian's problems with hardware were basically limited to dealing with chips wtih bugs (TI, ST, etc.).

Huh? For those of us who have been involved in porting/adapting an OS to new hardware, "chips with bugs" == "chips". They all have bugs.

Your Twitter app stopped working? Here's why

Doctor Huh?

Twitter: Everything Wrong with Humanity and the Internet in a Single Service

Why does Twitter exist? It showcases the absolute worst in humanity with very little real benefit. Its business model is straight out of South Park:

1. Give every clod a 144 (now 288!) character megaphone.

2. ???

3. Profit!

At what point to investors finally realize that there is no path to "monetization" and that they own a piece of the next MySpace? While other services are at least paying lip-service to addressing cyberbullying and propaganda distribution, Twitter is cautiously playing footsie. Why? Because most of the "problems" with Twitter are actually its features and are the reasons it is attractive for many people.

Well, this makes scents: Kotlin code quality smells better than Java

Doctor Huh?

Re: Fewer lines of code == fewer bugs?

You can argue that boiler-plate patterns ought to be incorporated into the language. Any case where the IDE could automatically generate code (Java bean pattern, for example), could be made a case for a language extension that would allow the compiler to generate the code.

So that code DOES offer an opportunity for bugs, but they are only likely to occur if the meatsack at the keyboard messes with the generated code.

I choke at the notion of counting lines as a measure of conciseness, but I'm from a time where the size of the input file mattered, so readability would be sacrificed to the Great God of the 180K Floppy Disk. I much prefer readability. I _like_ if statements that take up 3 or more lines, with one of them devoted solely to the closing bracket. I _like_ always using brackets for clauses, even where they are optional. It vastly increases readability and decreases screw-ups.

Often concise code uses obscure or infrequently-used features of the language. You may be a bad-ass C programmer who can go 5 levels deep into ?: constructs with multiple comma operators and fit 50 lines' worth of if statements in a single line, but if you are lucky, in any given country the number of people who can make sense of such a line might fit into a single bathroom stall. If you are very lucky, YOU still might be eligible for the stall 6 months after having written that monstrosity.

Facebook deletes 17 accounts, dusts off hands, beams: We've saved the 2018 elections

Doctor Huh?

Re: Moron!

Facebook is NOT a source for information!

It is when you don't trust the media or your source is people like Alex Jones .

Information doesn't work like that. Pizza and beer don't become health foods just because your normal diet consists of Cool Ranch Doritos by the pound,

Indiegogo grants ZX Spectrum reboot firm another two weeks to send a console

Doctor Huh?

Is this really a surprise?

Yes, I understand that crowdfunding is the new, hot trend, and the spin put on it is that crowdfunding is the democracy of capital in action. What it amounts to in practice is that no single party has enough money in the game to make it worth hiring a lawyer to go after anyone for non-performance. In theory, one might expect the crowdfunding sponsor, who takes a cut of the investment, to police the funded projects. That expectation ignores the central fact that crowdfunded projects are, almost by definition, too dodgy to receive conventional funding. A lot of conventionally funded ventures fail for various reasons in various ways, and those ventures were carefully vetted and usually have a sensible business plan, participants with experience in business and in the relevant aspects of their project (logistics, manufacturing, etc.). The real shock is that there are a non-negligible number of crowdfunded projects that succeed and deliver product.

Real fake scam offers crypto-coin to replace frequent flier points

Doctor Huh?

So the cryptocurrency is a scam, but the points aren't? Hmmmm

I'm all in favor of the SEC actually regulating the scam-filled Wild West that is "the market." I'd encourage them to do more. As the article notes, the loyalty points are a "pseudo-currency," and the rules, such as they are, favor the issuer far more than the recipient. It would be nice to see some adjustment in that area, but that is asking a bit much from a Republican Congress and from a President who has dabbled in scams himself from time to time.

IBM bans all removable storage, for all staff, everywhere

Doctor Huh?

Is IBM anything but a bellwether for business-crippling mistakes?

When you find your company making the same sad business decisions that IBM makes, it is time to pull the handle on the ejector seat and punch out of there. IBM is your stoner friend who lies on the sofa all day watching Netflix and eating brownies -- when you even accidentally find yourself making any choice that he would make, you need to immediately reconsider.

Equifax reveals full horror of that monstrous cyber-heist of its servers

Doctor Huh?

Why on Earth are the clowns still in business?

This really should be a complete deal-breaker for anyone. It should be the end of the company. I keep hearing how litigious Americans are, and yet these incompetent morons haven't been sued into oblivion!?!?!

If only personally identifying information were guarded as closely as the Coca-Cola formula or the Colonel's fried chicken recipe (although the original gravy recipe is the true gem).

Admin needed server fast, skipped factory config … then bricked it

Doctor Huh?

80186 elusive?


Standard equipment on both the HP 200-LX and HP 100-LX.

They were brilliant machines that gave me pocketable work-from-a-cafe capabilities in 1994 that I didn't achieve again until Wi-Fi, smartphones, and netbooks became widespread in around 2010. Being old-school HP devices, they both still function perfectly.

Pentagon sticks to its guns: Yep, we're going with a single cloud services provider

Doctor Huh?

JEDI Cloud?!?

Please, please tell me that the governing body for this project is called the JEDI Council!

Stop us if you've heard this one: Job cuts at IBM

Doctor Huh?

So, Just Another Friday at IBM, Then?

At this point, the best-working IBM technology is whatever they are using to select RA candidates. Is Watson now The Terminator?

IBM thinks Notes and Domino can rise again

Doctor Huh?

Is this an improvement on IBM's usual business strategy?

I can't tell if IBM has learned anything here. It smacks of the usual IBM mess -- throw good money after bad, by deluding yourself about the problem.

The fundamental problem with Notes is that for all the talk of it being collaboration software, 80-95% of its use is as an E-mail client, and it is a bloated, slow, generally horrid E-mail client. It sucks at the one function its users will employ every single dreary day of their lives as office drones.

But IBM has turned it over to HCL, so they aren't rolling the dice with their own money anymore. That seems to be something of an improvement. They've moved on to ruining other companies' businesses rather than merely their own. That has to count for something. But the story is still dismally familiar.

IBM gives Services staff until 2019 to get agile

Doctor Huh?

Get Agile, OR ELSE!

How will the spam all the employees with the endless barrage of aren't we great emails that consume the 120Mb quota and kill productivity as you wade through them daily?

You've clearly never used Slack. It is more than up to the task of killing what little productivity one could achieve in a Big Blue environment.

I used Slack in Big Blue. It was brilliant -- you could bother a single person through Notes, Sametime, Slack, and telephone almost simultaneously. You get extra points if you criticize a person for not responding on all 4 channels. Add in a few holdouts using IRC, and you really had a lovely mess.

Careful with the 'virtual hugs' says new FreeBSD Code of Conduct

Doctor Huh?

Not to start a FreeBSD vs Linux flame war

But can anyone even try to picture Linus sending a "*hug*" or a "*backrub*" without pissing him/her-self laughing?

IBM's chief diversity officer knows too much and must be stopped!

Doctor Huh?

Plans? IBM Has Plans?

Seriously, shouldn't IBM have to demonstrate an actual plan to claim that someone has knowledge of their plans.

I think the working "plan" right now is:

1. Word cloud of buzzwords involving "Cloud", "AI", and "blockchain

2. ?????

3. Profit!

IBM lifts its 22-quarter shrinking sales curse: Finally, a whole 1% uptick

Doctor Huh?

Re: One thing missing...

Visionaries may be overrated. Execution is underrated.

The big virtue that AWS and Azure share is success in keeping the blinky lights blinking. Their always-on-infrastructure isn't perfect, but it is close enough that outages constitute major international news. IIRC, IBM has been accused of writing its contracts and terms of service such that the penalties for failing to provide the contracted level of service are less than the cost of providing the contracted level of service, hence the predominance of mostly-on-infrastructure. It turns out that there isn't much of a market for high-priced, mostly-on-infrastructure.

Doctor Huh?

Re: Idiots the lot of them

"I have to work with them and they never cease to amaze me how they can invent new ways to fail."

So THAT'S what Watson is doing -- business strategy generation! I'm glad something worthy is replacing those old Dungeons and Dragons dice.

Woo-yay, Meltdown CPU fixes are here. Now, Spectre flaws will haunt tech industry for years

Doctor Huh?

Itanic didn't hit this iceberg!

Really, this is all just an Intel plot to breathe life back into the Itanium architecture!

Teensy weensy space shuttle flies and lands

Doctor Huh?

Back to my childhood...

Does anyone else think that this looks like the lifting-body craft whose crash turned Steve Austin into the Six Million Dollar Man???

"Flight call, I can't hold it! She's breaking up! She's breaking up!"

Firefox bookmark saving add-on gives users that sync-ing feeling

Doctor Huh?


And this plugin _could_ have been architected so well... Bookmarks could have been saved as an encrypted git/CVS repository for full version history and retrievability. The thing could have been architected to blast the encrypted blob to the Cloud file storage of your choice -- Dropbox, AWS, Google, or even one of those WD DIY Cloud drives. Local backups/caches could have been preserved (here is where a git repository would work VERY nicely). Multiple Cloud copies could have been accommodated and synchronized.

But there is no profit in that approach -- only personal satisfaction for the designer/implementer. It would have been all free with no "mium" to be had...

IBM kills Bluemix, a year after killing SoftLayer

Doctor Huh?


The usual metaphor for this sort of thing is "shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic," however I feel IBM has innovated in this area. Re-naming and re-branding every few months seems like less effort than moving physical chairs. I'd love to come up with a suitable Titanic-based metaphor, but I think "re-branding the IBM Cloud" will become the metaphor everyone uses in the future for a futile, lackluster effort that ultimately promises no significant change.

IBM's Phase Change Memory computer can tell you if it's raining

Doctor Huh?

Re: Computronium!

I'm glad I'm not the only one who came up with this, ahem, connection.

The basic idea of moving the computation to the data has been around for decades and pops up frequently. My most recent favorite is the Netezza appliance, which essentially implemented smart disk storage using FPGAs and hard drives. SSD storage would have solved the low MBTF of the mechanical devices. But, 2 factors have put that technology on life support:

1. About 5 years ago, Hadoop became the shiny new thing (now it's Spark, and tomorrow it will be...?), and interest in dedicated appliances waned as interest in on-demand Cloud-based Hadoop grew.

2. IBM bought Netezza. IBM buying your company is a more effective kiss of death than the one Michael Corleone gave Fredo, because IBM doesn't wait for Mom to die before putting out the hit.

I can see Seth MacFarlane doing a whole bit on how this memory chip is an improvement in rain detection over the "weather rock" present in so many places.

Go on IBMers, tell us what you really think

Doctor Huh?

The picture says it all -- IBM Confidential

That is what I remember most about my IBM days -- "IBM Confidential" plastered over just about everything, whether it really applied or not. IBM was like a kid with a new label maker.

It was amazing how many "IBM Confidential" things escaped into the open. It was astonishing how many lunch menus or conference agendas were "IBM Confidential."

What's HPE Next? Now it's unemployment for 'thousands' of staff

Doctor Huh?

Layoffs, the answer to every problem.

HPE wants to be relevant again. I suppose they could go back to making products that people want to buy at prices they want to pay (hint -- they can't), or... they could fire staff. Stockholders and The Street love that, because it shows "commitment" or some such nonsense. And, despite the fact that every talentless hack of a struggling CEO starts shedding staff to prop up shaky numbers, some investment dolts still think that laying people off shows a CEO who is unafraid to "make the tough decisions."

HP was once a great company. Now it isn't even a shadow of its former self. Maybe Meg can give a valedictory address as cool as Roy Blatty's...

Big Blue's former CIO tried to join AWS, ends up at energy company

Doctor Huh?


How could Smith possibly know IBM's plans for Cloud domination when IBM doesn't seem to know its own plans (that troublesome Step 2 that is always ???, right before "Step 3. Profit"). Given IBM's Cloud successes to date, their BEST strategy is to dump their entire executive team on any competitors foolish enough to hire them.

You can't find tech staff – wah, wah, wah. Start with your ridiculous job spec

Doctor Huh?

Bucolic programming

Nicely said. I live in New Jersey (a nice part -- no, really, there are nice parts), and I get calls from headhunters to work in New York. I explain that to work in NYC, I would be signing up for 60-90 minutes on the train each way, plus whatever time I would need to spend on the subway or walking to whatever hip, happening location the company has selected, or I'm signing up for a bus adventure. Either way, I would be buying a stressful 3-4 hours of commuting every single working day.

My current commute is a 35-45 minute drive (one direction) through farmland, along rivers and a canal, and through quaint villages. Were I so inclined, there are 3 places where I could buy fresh-from-the-hen eggs on the honor system, and I can pick up farm-fresh vegetables on my way home from any number of little stands.

I would have to be an idiot to give this up.

Stealth web crypto-cash miner Coinhive back to the drawing board as blockers move in

Doctor Huh?


The ad-blocker sites seem to be exercising careful judgment.

Were I appointed God of the Web, that abhorrent piece of trash would have been blocked within a minute of the first reports, and I would have spent the rest of the day devising means to smite the perpetrators. On The Second Day, the smiting would begin.

It is good to have adults in charge of such things.

Microsoft's foray into phones was a bumbling, half-hearted fiasco, and Nadella always knew it

Doctor Huh?

Re: Lack of "cool"...

As an unfortunate soul who used a Windows Phone for a month in 2012, when I was still using a flip-phone (I know. I should be ashamed) and 2 years before I would finally buy an iPhone, allow me to explain what the lack of "cool" was.

The user experience sucked. Hard. The phone required the stylus for fine control. Any given task seemed to require several more clicks to perform than it should have. The phone was slow. Microsoft may have optimized the experience for certain apps, but they optimized the paths that THEY wanted users to take, not the ones that users actually take. I recall the calendar functionality being a special form of torture, and I rely on my phone's calendar heavily. Just entering the settings menu was annoying.

Perhaps they deserve points for trying to push cheap hardware to its limits; the phone I was using certainly didn't cost anywhere near what an iPhone costs. But the central problem with Microsoft is that they view the Windows UI and user experience as the apex of engineering. That perspective warped their approach to the phone, where they seemed to believe that employing a familiar paradigm was more comforting to users than employing a new approach that better conformed to the constraints of the mobile device.

The phone experience should have been a warning that Windows was proceeding on inertia.

Web uni says it will get you a tech job or your money back. So our man Kieren signed up...

Doctor Huh?

But the premise is pure horseshite

"The problem at the moment is not even qualifications," Dubuc said. "It's the number of people. The current [US education] system is producing 100 to 200 people every couple of years but the market wants hundreds or thousands of them." He claimed 96 per cent of tech companies say they are struggling to grow because of a lack of tech talent.

I'm calling BS. MIT alone is going to produce on the order of 300-600 computer science SB degree-holders each year. Sure it would be a waste to have them doing JavaScript front ends, so perhaps they are overqualified for the jobs the education organizations are training people for, but the figures quoted in the article are off by at least 2 orders of magnitude.

I gripe, because every year US tech firms play games about how hard it is to find qualified people, when the real problem is finding qualified US-based people willing to work for the wages paid in Manilla, Bangalore, or Riga. Allowing anyone to claim there is a shortage of qualified CS graduates without justifying such a bold statement simply plays into the hands of the greedy.

HPE coughed up source code for Pentagon's IT defenses to ... Russia

Doctor Huh?

Re: " Все ваши письма принадлежат нам"


HPE sharpening the axe for 5,000 heads – report

Doctor Huh?

Circling the drain

"That woman won't be happy until she's finished off what was once a stunning company."

Oh, Whitman can't take all the credit, Multiple generations of managerial incompetence had to combine to put HPE in its current position. I'd like to blame Carly Fiorina for starting the slide, but it was in progress before she wandered along. She did stomp the accelerator, though.

Thank God her campaign for President went nowhere, as her sole reason for running seemed to be that the problem with Mitt Romney's bid for the office as a "successful business-person" was the "successful" part. She may have been right, though -- we seem to have a richer, but far less successful business-person in the office now.

Pretend Python packages prey on poor typing

Doctor Huh?

Re: The number of packages for a language...

"There's a package for a telnet server? Seriously? Just how hard is it to open a listening socket, accept some connections , parse a simple inline protocol like telnet and do some tty handling? Answer: Not very."

That depends on how you do it. A typical, half-assed, 2-minute typing session that works passably on the happy path and blows up in the face of the tiniest deviation from that path is easy. Bullet-proof code that handles error cases with grace and as automatically as possible while making available accurate and helpful status information is more difficult and takes enough time that encapsulating it in a library is worthwhile. Now, of course, if half-assed crap code is encapsulated in a library and widely distributed, nobody benefits and the entire programming language ecosystem is harmed, but that situation is usually rectified with some alacrity.

The great programmer Tolstoy opined that happy paths are all easy and all the same, but every error path is erroneous in its own way. Or something like that.

Homeland Security drops the hammer on Kaspersky Lab with preemptive ban

Doctor Huh?

Something about horses and barn doors...

It's funny/scary that this plan only works if Kaspersky AV ISN'T a threat.

If it is a threat, the software has had administrative access to the machine and can affect the deepest levels, and the only certain remedy would involve scrapping hardware. They don't appear to be doing that.

Facebook posts put Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli in prison as a danger to society

Doctor Huh?

Re: Club Fed

"What makes you think you're not an inmate? You're just in the lowest security part of the penal system."

I was hoping for something that looks more like Portmeirion. And perhaps a single-digit number.

Sci-Fi titan Jerry Pournelle passes,
aged 84

Doctor Huh?

Re: IT angle

"So was that a mini or a mainframe? If it wasn't a personal computer, it must have been one or the other."

Your thesis is entirely wrong. Ye Gods!! In an era where one can obtain information instantly, why do people choose to remain ignorant? You can even TALK to your computer now to get that information.



For the record, the term was "microcomputer," to denote a computer smaller and less powerful than a minicomputer or a mainframe, suitable for use by a single person. The term "personal computer" quickly (and long before 1980) became more or less synonymous.

The kids have no sense of history these days. Once upon a time, "building a computer" involved using a soldering iron, and having a detachable keyboard involved using a hacksaw and a few feet of ribbon cable. And we had to walk uphill both ways to get to Radio Shack to buy solder...

Lottery-hacking sysadmin's unlucky number comes up: 25 years in the slammer

Doctor Huh?

Re: No code review??

"When lotteries became a thing in the late 1980's, they used ping pong balls blown around in a chamber. Completely random, completely observable, and quite simple."

And trivially hacked with old-school methods:


Oracle's systems boss bails amid deafening silence over Solaris fate

Doctor Huh?

Re: This makes me sad

"Don't write Solaris or SPARC off just yet."

Really?!?! We are in an era of elastic pools of commodity hardware and software that can be thrown at problems as provided by every Cloud provider. You can even get GPU pools on The Cloud. If that won't do it for you, you could go the Google route and grab a cheap open source (or custom) design for hardware and scale the crap out of that. Or you can go to the low end and bulk out with Raspberry Pi.

I loved SPARC back in the day, and Solaris was rock solid, but where today is there enough volume to justify a pricey bespoke Enterprise architecture and OS? And if there is enough volume to support that, is there really enough volume to support 3 (add in HP with PA-RISC/HP-UX and IBM with Power/AIX). The Cloud isn't the solution to everything, and X86_64/Linux/BSD may not be the solution to every problem, but is the remainder really enough to support ongoing SPARC/Solaris development?

Snopes.com asks for bailout amid dispute over who runs the site and collects ad dollars

Doctor Huh?

Facts are... hard

"Plus some facts are, in fact , facts that are demonstrably true and no amount of "spin" will make them change to what you want them to be . Like the value of Pi for instance."

That is an interesting example. The last time I looked, pi was calculated to about a dozen trillion decimal digits. So, if I hand you a value for pi with 100 trillion digits, and it matches the known first dozen trillion digits, is it fact? You might be able to verify it, but then I come back with another hundred trillion digits. It is inherently faster to make up digits than it is to calculate pi, so I will win this "race" until my credibility is exhausted.

I'm not trying to argue that there aren't facts -- I agree that facts are demonstrably true. We just get in trouble because sometimes the demonstrations require more time, effort, and energy than anyone is willing to put into the task.

.. ..-. / -.-- --- ..- / -.-. .- -. / .-. . .- -.. / - .... .. ... then a US Navy fondleslab just put you out of a job

Doctor Huh?

Repeater ID themselves with morse and so do aviation NDBs.

And thus we have the Rush classic "YYZ" ...

Multics resurrected: Proto-Unix now runs on Raspberry Pi or x86

Doctor Huh?

"I think some universities ran Multics, but whether they got the source code, I can't say."

MIT certainly ran Multics. Yeah, they had THE source.

Ex-NASA bod on Gwyneth Paltrow site's 'healing' stickers: 'Wow. What a load of BS'

Doctor Huh?

What a shock that smart and pretty are uncorrelated

Because I always take medical advice from the best looking people available, degrees be damned.


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