* Posts by EricM

79 posts • joined 2 Sep 2016

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Oracle co-honcho Mark Hurd can't wait to turn your $1 of IT support spend into $4 of pay-as-you-go cloud revenue

EricM

"We don't have an IT person" ... and selected Oracle Cloud to run our business

I have a feeling as if these 2 facts might be connected ...

EricM

Re: license audit/support strong-arm tactics

Yes, just imagine having a company behaving like Oracle posessing all your data AND servers, giving them the power to take your whole company fully offline in case of a commercial dispute.

President Trump sits down with Twitter boss for crunch talks: Why am I losing followers?

EricM

According to Twitter's policy about promoting more "civil" discussions...

they should probably treat this Twitter account as the mental health issue it is and simply close it..

New UK counter-terror laws come into force today – watch those clicks, people. You see, terrorist propag... NOOO! Alexa ignore us!

EricM
Alert

What are they trying to prevent - instant brainwash?

Is such law based on the assumption that terrorist propaganda, in a way, _creates_ more terrorists? So that a normal, law-abiding citizen just reads through some BS posted online and thinks: "Hey, killing people and using $DEITY or $IDEOLOGY as a pretense might be a great idea after all"?

Is it instant brainwash that should be prevented by this law?

Looks like someone watched too much Sci-Fi...

This is an interesting interpretation of "free will" and free speak that seems to form the rationale of this law.

Also note that the definition of what might be regarded as terror OR propaganda is rather foggy ...

Huawei savaged by Brit code review board over pisspoor dev practices

EricM

Re: "Likely, similar issues will be uncovered in most other equipment."

No, that is "Likely, similar issues _would_ be uncovered in most other equipment, _if_ said other equipment was put through the same detailed tests"... but it isn't.

Oracle asks Supremes to snub Google's Java API copyright protest – and have a nice cuppa tea, instead

EricM
Flame

If Oracle wins, expect the SCO-vs-Linux case to rear its ugly head again ...

After all, SCO also claimed copyright violations that centered around the header files of kernel functions.

So Google using the API defintions of Java to cleanly re-implement the bodies of internal Java functions ist to me ( programmer, not lawyer) exactly the same.

As Red Hat prepares to become part of Big Blue, its financials look as solid as Linux kernel 2.4

EricM
FAIL

Wise move financially? Perhaps. Culturally? Nope ....

The culture you need to maintain to retain staff in a company that is actively developing on the bleeding edge of IT and the culture of IBM ( or any on of the remaining IT dinosaurs) are two very different things.

Let's see what happens to RedHat's innovative drive - and revenue - once the standard IBM management techniques regarding (or better: disregarding) their human ressources kicks in.

This ain't AI, it's a goddamn arms race – but US shouldn't get too heated, Congressman warns

EricM

AI has become the latest pretense to funnel money and favorable regulation changes to corporations?

This must mean AI has now truly joined the industrial mainstream... thought this would never happen :)

Two in five 'AI startups' essentially have no AI, mega-survey of nearly 3,000 upstarts finds

EricM

19 is equivalent to hyping your startup as utilizing "blockchained AI" ...

22 would be Artificilally Intelligent Blockchains hosted serverless in the cloud and distributed via mobile App....

Seems to work in tech, too...

Age checks for online pr0n? I've never heard of it but it sounds like a good idea – survey

EricM

Re: Age check = ID

The one sensible idea in this whole mess is having a third-party do the actual identity validation completely independently from anything else. They are then able to provide some sort of verification token to any site that asks for it, presumably based on some sort of username/password you provide,

Yep, but providing uid/pw to a second or third party also reveals your identity to that party.

The possible promise of said third party to immediatly forget your identity after the queston does not count.

EricM

Age check = ID

The real problem: There is no anonymous way to prove your age.

You can only prove it by publishing also your identity to every site you want to access which does not seem to be the brightest of ideas for multiple obvious reasons.

The biggest uptick in demand for software devs by bosses is for... *rubs eyes* blockchain engineers?!?

EricM

Agree :)

Writing 3 LOC programs which work perfectly, but I won't understand myself any longer after 2 weeks IS fun.

Moneybags Buffett on ditching Oracle stake: I don't think I understand where the cloud is going

EricM

He doesn't understand "cloud" - well, neither does Oracle ...

Oracle still thinks it is becoming a cloud vendor, while in reality they are a tool vendor with a hardware compartment and identity problems ...

Cloud is the reason they they are losing territory due to detoriating tool quality and byzantine licensing terms & conditions in non-cloud and foreign-cloud environments .

It's a good thing Mr Buffet admits to himself he does not really understand the market and draws the correct consequences.

That is exactly the way Oracle is not acting.

Who needs malware? IBM says most hackers just PowerShell through boxes now, leaving little in the way of footprints

EricM

So there might still be hope for IBM?

A news item from IBM that does neither contain "Watson" nor "cognitive" and that contains a valid analysis plus some good advice.

That's better than IBM news bites have been doing for years...

You're on a Huawei to Hell, US Sec State Pompeo warns allies: Buy Beijing's boxes, no more intelligence for you

EricM

Protecting their own industry AND their involuntary intel sources

As the NSA is known to be bugging US-bult servers and routers before delivery for years now, this move not only protects the american industry, but also ensure continued "information sharing" by allies...

Smaller tech firms just aren't ready for a no-deal Brexit, MPs told

EricM

Re: Taking Back Control!

yeah, true.

UK government takes back contol, but - based on what I see in the live stream from british parliarment- doesn't know how or where to drive the country any longer.

Without a deal EU companies are no longer automatically allowed to host data and services in the UK starting April 2019.

Likewise, UK IT staff is no longer automatically allowed to work remotely on EU data.

Hosting data/apps in the UK will be comparable to hosting them in the US or in northern Africa - regulation-wise. The potential legal problems will be enough for most companies to re-locate data and services inside the EU and staff it purely with EU citizens.

I guess there's not much individual businesses can do to prepare for that scanario. They will simply be excluded from what is currently a sizeable portion of their market.

Swiss Public Prosecutor will probe WIPO's misconduct allegations against CIO, says his legal counsel

EricM

WIPO is a broken organization

Out of control without effective ethics and compliance enforcement. Thank god they are not responsible for anything important and have nothing to do with anything "legal" ...

Facebook cuts off independent political ad reviewers, claims security concerns

EricM

Finally FB cares about privacy

even if only about privacy for their revenue earned for letting their customers manipulate the western political systems...

Apple: Trust us, we've patented parts of Swift, and thus chunks of other programming languages, for your own good

EricM

SUN once said the the same positive things about Java Patents and licensing structure

and they promised to only use the Java patents defensively, because they wanted Java to be successful, etc.

I even think they meant it at the time.

But the simple point is: Patents are weapons aimed at certain technologies. Even if they are currently stowed in the basemant of a presumably well-meaning company. Once they get out of that basement, for whatever reason, they are ready to kill.

And the SUN/Oracle debacle shows that hurting its own assets in the process does not stop everyone from trying to inflict damage on others...

Nothing 'unites teams' like a good relocation, eh Vodafone?

EricM

yep, "IBM-style"

Maybe elReg can officially coin the term "IBM-style" for this kind of abusive corporate behavior aimed at forcing people to resign?

Oracle's priorities for 2019? Repeat this handy mantra: Applications! Automation! Integration!

EricM
Thumb Down

Oracle is continuing its descent into oblivion

Today's app developement no longer requires one big tool suite to have embedded all potentially necessary code blocks for a given application.

Instead you typically mix and match several best-of-class tools and combine them into a coherent UI via service interfaces.

Virtualization and Container support is a must for apps develeopment.

Oracle not only lacks badly in this area, they expressively prohibit these environments with their licensing requirmenents.

Likewise tying Oracle tools to Oracle's own cloud environments by way of license disadvantages for other cloud vendors/technologies is something potential customers do seem to no longer take very well.

Additionally, being dependant on one big software vendor is becoming a thing of the past. Especially if this vendor is playing hardball with licensing and tries to lock you in wherever possible.

I guess Oracle can still live a few years off it's locked in customers while these try to figure out how to transform their workloads to other tools.

But they will not gain many new customers if their behavior does not change fundamentally.

Just forget what Gartner said about AI in June 'cos CIOs are all over it now apparently

EricM

I think it's even worse

The term "AI" becomes willfully broadened by the IT companies over time to give the impression of and sell into a growing market.

What really happens in many cases is that stuff that was sold under the label "Analytics", "BI", "Pattern matching", etc already years ago now becomes "AI" by simple rewrite of the marketing materials.

So it's not just "considered" AI by folks, it's actively marketed as "AI", just because it sells...

McKinsey’s blockchain warning irks crypto hipsters

EricM

The Emperor's New Clothes ...

As an engineer I was astonished and frustrated for a long time by the success of the make-believers that claimed blockchain to *somehow* be an universal solution to decentralized data transer.

The why could never be answered, the how never demonstrated and questions into the matter resulted mainly in hand-waiving and references to 1) no need for centralized infrastructure and 2) my somewhat advanced age ....

While both observations are true these alone do not make blockchain a viable solution for data transfer in any given context.

With all due reservations against McKinsey resarch reports - it will be interesting to see what happens, now that the first noteworthy party claims the emperor is naked...

xHamster reports spike in UK users getting their five-knuckle shuffle on before pr0n age checks

EricM
WTF?

Great Britain encapsulates itself not only against the EU, but also against 90% of Internet content.

Color me surprised about the number of ridiclious restrictions a presumably grown-up population accepts from its government in a somewhat western-style democracy.

London Gatwick Airport reopens but drone chaos perps still not found

EricM

How hard is the approximate localization of a 2.4GHz sender operating in or near an airport?

Assuming these things are not flying autonomous, the sender should be detectable - or at least give the police a good hint about its direction.

As it is probably flown out of line of sight, the video stream to the operator should be traceable as well...

Wow, what a lovely early Christmas present for Australians: A crypto-busting super-snoop law passes just in time

EricM
Boffin

Australia is doing a favor to the world

by showing what happens when you elect grossly incompetent persons to govern you.

A state led by incompetent persons (expletitive removed) will act incompetent. Or like in this case like a moron.

I am sure this attempt legislating away mathematics will be watched carefully by a worldwide audience.

To all Australians: Sorry for you, guys... Hope the world will at least learn from your sacrifice how not to do security legislation.

And try to not also screw up the upcoming elections...

A little phishing knowledge may be a dangerous thing

EricM

Re: xxxx@my.email.account.com suggestion (How Can You Tell Without Opening it?)

I start to understand why peaple start to no longer bother with email at all...

EricM
Boffin

C'mon .. it's 2018 - where do you find students with "no knowledge of phishing" today?

Underdefined, non-precise self-assessment maybe?

"How would you rate your knowledge of phishing? [1-5]" can be interpreted as "Have you heard about the topic" or "Do you know how exactly it works and could you pull off a scam using phishing?"

In this case the more aware students might tend to the latter understanding and deliver better results while identifying themselves as having no knowledge.

Dunning-Kruger on the other hand might motivate, other persons who have just heard the term to assess themselves as knowledgeable.

If study results are counter-intuitive, the study itself might be a contributing factor.

'We broke a few things and will continue to do so... in a careful way' – Oracle's Reinhold on Java renovation work

EricM
WTF?

The high levels of change seen in other languages is exactly what kept devs at Java ...

At least the ones doing the the big, complex, "ugly" stuff that is used as code infrastructure.

It wasn't (at least for me) only about "write once run anywhere", but also about "run anytime in the future". The JVM served as a firewall against OS changes. Today I still have code in production that dates back to very early in the 21st century...

In that sense the time-stability and upward compatibility of the Java VM and its toolchain made Java a platform, not only a language.

Add new things: fine, I might of might not start to use it, but my existing code still runs.

Break "a few things", even if you claim it is done in a considerate way: WTF?

Dear Oracle: If you continue to break things in Java claiming you have to respond to a perceived competition from other languages, you wil end up destroying the platform, that once was Java.

Oz intel committee: Crypto-busting is only bad if you're a commie, and we're not by the way

EricM

The trend towards intellectually inadequate governments continues...

in western countries at least .. UK, US, Australia/NZm Germany, etc. .. just trying to legislate their wishful thinking

Complex problems are met by stupid legislation pushed with stupid arguments by individuals that do not even seem to grasp what they are asking for, that take wishful thinking over real solutions.

It seems that individuals trained in law, economics administration or education, the traditional fields of politicians in western societies, are just not able to really understand 21.st century problems - let alone solve them.

Guess we need more engineers and scientists in politics ...

@ElReg Readers: Yes, I mean YOU...

Super Micro China super spy chip super scandal: US Homeland Security, UK spies back Amazon, Apple denials

EricM

Re: I'm surprised that anyone is surprised that a Chinese owned or controlled company would do this.

I'm not so much surprised they _would_ do this, but if they really _could_ do this.

You cannot just solder a chip on a board to have it spy for you.

You cannot just "alter" data on an SPI bus by just being connected to it.

In short : Putting something unexpected on a server board is very likely to mess things totally up, if not at once, then when the first firmware update arrives...

Oracle cloud supremo Thomas Kurian extends temp leave to the heat death of the universe

EricM

Cloud is crucial to Oracle? I doubt that is really the case.

"Cloud" will in restrorespect probably be the initiative that broke Oracle...

Coud is the actual hype and here to stay, agreed.

However, Oracle was/is mainly a _tool_ vendor. Oracle DB, Oracle Middleware and a host of other products have been very competitive offerings in the past.

As cloud provider Oracle is an also-ran. And I don't see that changing.

The negative effects: While Oracle frantically tries to grow it's own cloud buisiness, other Oracle products suffer from less-than-stellar support, Oracle licensing is tightened up to forbid cloud installs on other vendor's clouds or to make these very expensive.

So it has become rather inconvienient and/or expensive to use Oracle tools on everything else than on Oracle's own cloud stack if your runtime or development enviroments include cloud servers, VMs, containers or anything else apart from bare metal servers... and which environments do not do that in 2018?

My prediction is: Oracle hurt themselves in the long run:

1) Oracle Cloud is set to keep its niche position against the likes of AWS and Azure. Economies of scale prevent keeping pace with the big players.

2) In its effort to help their own cloud business, Oracle destroys the value of their tool portflio they built and purchased in the last 25 years, by driving away customers through licensing mayhem.

3) The way Oracle currently tries to press customers into Java support contracts for Java 8 and 11 will make it very difficult for their sales teams to sell anything to anyone who is not yet dependant on their software.

Russia: The hole in the ISS Soyuz lifeboat – was it the crew wot dunnit?

EricM

Astronauts did it? Bullshit

Not sure how noisy the ISS interior is, but no one noticing someone drilling through the aluminium/steel hull of a docked and therefore acusically coupled capsule?

Given the visible scratches this would probably have been rather loud all over the ISS ...

Nope, the NSA isn't sitting in front of a supercomputer hooked up to a terrorist’s hard drive

EricM

Re: It's about surveilling everyone? This does not matter

just questioning the motives of the backdoor supporters makes it much too easy for them to paint you as a paranoid lunatic or move the debate to a pseudo moral level of good vs. evil.

But even IF every proponent of such a scheme might hold only the sincerest of intentiions for advancing the public well-being by helping law enforcement against the commonly agreed-upon really bad guys - secret government backdoors to encryption do not work also in this best-case scenario.

So intentions do not really matter here...

Law of mathematics/physics cannot be overruled by law of justice.

Just as you cannot pass laws to change gravity, you cannot pass laws to enforce decryption in the middle of an end-to-end encrypted data transfer.

The only alternative is to force companies by law to roll out defective encryption that opens all communication, mail, bank accounts, etc. to criminals.

Which government official wants to explain why that might be a good trade-off?

No do-overs! Appeals court won’t hear $8.8bn Oracle v Google rehash

EricM

Re: On the one hand

@ bazza

> But isn't there a subtle difference between the two cases?

There may be a lot of subtle and not-so-subtle differnces, sure. I'm a CS major, not a lawyer.

However the latest appeals court ruling makes in my understanding - and I'm probably over-simplifying here - APIs copyrightable and therefore even clean-room re-implementations of any given API might/does violate copyright.

From Wikipedia:

> This led the court to conclude "that the overall structure of Oracle's API packages is creative, original, and resembles a taxonomy" (p. 14). It therefore reversed the district court on the central issue, holding that the "structure, sequence and organization" of an API is copyrightable.

Maybe there are some other clauses that cause the myriad of other APIs in the industry to not be affected by this ruling. As stated: IANAL. And mybe my understanding of this ruling is incorrect.

BUT if not, this ruling could be rather dangerous for nearly every software developer ...

EricM

Re: On the one hand

> Remember that the only thing that forces things like Linux to be open in the way it currently is is the strict interpretation of copyright laws.

Copyright for code: Yes. Copyright for APIs: Hell, no.

A good part of the SCO wars was about the claim that infringing code implements the same API as Unix and therefore is owned by the copyright holder of Unix (SCO).

Which at the time was eventually rejected by the courts.

Now in this case a clean-room re-implementation of an existing API IS regarded as copyright violation. That's outright dangerous.

To that end Linux and other O/S software that cleanly re-implements existing APIs might even be endangered by the Oracle/Google ruling...

IBM slaps patent on coffee-delivering drones that can read your MIND

EricM

Pointing out absurdities in current patent system and invasive big-data madness at the same time...

Well played, IBM :-)

Open plan offices flop – you talk less, IM more, if forced to flee a cubicle

EricM

Re: Hot desking

> Open plan facilitates "hot desking"

Yeah, which also leads to more electronic comms, as you can't find people anymore for doing this F2F thing without setting up a meeting in a designated meeting space first ...

Wah, encryption makes policing hard, cries UK's National Crime Agency

EricM

Please tell me they _are_ aware that they mainly caught the stupid/lazy ones in the past...

..., namely the ones that cintinued to communicate in clear text, although easy usable encryption has been around for quite a while ... The ones that thought emails and phone calls are tapping-proof and secure (along with postcards)

As for serious/intelligent actors, the job of law enforcement should be as hard as it has ever been.

This includes gaining evidence by other means than just listening/reading every coms that is exchanged.

Total WIPOut: IT chief finds his own job advertised

EricM

Makes you think "Intellectual Property" is shady business ...

WIPO (as well as the EPO) as an organization shows an astonishing lack of respect to the the laws governing its own behavior.

As opposed - of course - to the respect they demand for the laws governing their their reason for existence (IP laws), their revenue streams or the revenue streams of their members.

May this be an effect of organizations made up primarily by lawyers seeing the law more as a tool to achieve a certain outcome than as a, well, common "law", governing all?

Microsoft: Yes, we agree that Irish email dispute is moot... now what's this new warrant about?

EricM

But the EU is pressing for similar powers

*shrug*

Every country can assume its laws to apply globally. Or even make a new law to that effect.

The question is how much inclined other countries are to share that viewpoint and act accordingly.

The cloud act basically puts foreign employees of US companies in a conflict between following company direction or local laws.

I would recommend everyone involved to see a lawyer before following one of the two in case of a conflict.

Similar dumb legislation on EU side will just have similar effects.

EricM

and the Microsoft Ireland executive, who own the servers and the responsibility for the data on them, will face heavy fines

Probably not only the executive, but maybe also employees involved in what is - from en EU legal perspective, where the employees are living - violation of EU law.

Cambridge Analytica 'privatised colonising operation', not a 'legitimate business', says whistleblower

EricM

Re: Really?

There is no way an advertising agency can have that much of an effect on anything. This reminds me of the “subliminal advertising” nonsense in the 60s.

Psychology is a field only a little better than homeopathy. It doesn’t work as well as these guys want you to think.

Somewhat true for any given individual as far as psychological cause and effect are not exact science and not 100% predictable.

However, exposing large parts of the general population to psychological manipulation of which they are unaware might indeed have measurable effects.

Of course one will not be able to change the outcome of an election from 20/80 to 80/20.

But neither of the elections/referendums in question was that clear.

Influencing just 5% of the voters to change their mind can modify an election result by 20% when voter turnout is 50%.

And targeted engagement of single voters based on profiling data might even have better success rates than 5%.

Patent quality has fallen, confirm Euro examiners

EricM

Re: How the EU will deal with this...

This is undermining the good name of the EU,

yes - and rightly so - and especially because the EPO was created as an international organization not bound by EU law. This combined with lack of oversight from the AC created this ridicilous situation in the first place.

which is illegal.

by which - international - law exaclty?

Age checks for UK pr0n site visitors on ice as regulator cobbles together some guidance

EricM

Silly legislation implemented completely imcompetently ... Welcome to Britain 2018

Mindset of the 60's paired with utter incompetence and fear-mongering that marks todays politics.

Ministry of Silly Walking was not meant as a how-to ...

Euro Commission gives tech firms an hour to take down terror content

EricM

Cowards

Trying to put all of this contradicting non-sense into a law would have actually shown all its ridicilousness. Therefore they go with a non-binding "recommendation" to push everyone so when this fails or has effects on free speech and free thoughts (and it will) they can wiggle out of it.

The EC are real cowards at that. Guys: If you feel that something need to be done then please: legislate - and take responsibility for your actions.

Hypersonic nukes! Nuclear-powered drone subs! Putin unwraps his new (propaganda) toys

EricM

Great CGI show, I must admit - but how credible is all that?

Given the upcoming eletions in Russia - how do you estimate the fiction/fact relation of that presentation?

80/20? 90/10?

New Launcher: OK. I think a Laser weapon, and nuclear powered sub drone prototypes could be somehow built. Long-term reliability in a military context would have to be seen.

However, all these pretty much do not change much in the current threat scanrios.

But the rest? Highly doubt it.

So MAD was ever and is still assured ...

Europe's Unified Patent Court fate in the balance amid German probing (yes, Brexit is in the mix)

EricM
FAIL

*retain* confidence Europe's patent system? Get real ...

...that would imply there was such a feeling in the past ...

The European patent system is broken. There are absolutely no guards left against patenting the most obvious bullshit. Patents on as-per-the-rules unpatentable things (like DNA or code) are granted without hesitation.

Number of patents granted has replaced quality of examination as the number 1 requirement for examiners at the EPA.

That way the EPA is effectively laying out a mine-field in the way of future innovation.

Patent examiners critical of that development are pushed out of their jobs.

Regaining control over the EPA is the necessary first step.

Re-examining the patents granted in the last years and invalidating 90% of these would be a good second step.

Opportunity knocked? Rover survives Martian winter, may not survive budget cuts

EricM

Re: It won't save any money

There ARE costs at 3 levels. First is the Deepspace Network costs. Second is Mars-relay-orbiter costs. Third is project-direct costsfor MER.

Beancounter detected ...

Helicopter crashes after manoeuvres to 'avoid... DJI Phantom drone'

EricM

Re: Jammers might do it ...

Operate jammers near an airport? This _might_ have some uninteded consequences...

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