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Comment Ex-IBM for 12 years, and glad of it (Score 1) 294

I have to say that the decline started a long time ago. This is simply another symptom of a dying culture; it's a death throe. There is no technology issue that forces this change; there is no business, or cultural, or teamworking imperative. It's an attempt at controlling something that looks a lot like leakage. The view from the top, as IBM implodes must seem like someone is shoplifting all of the spare hours, taking all of the passion for the product line, the productivity and creativity away and they must get control back! What they have failed to realise is it's just the force of entropy; they've been shot through by Time's arrow. The only solutions are to re-invent or die.

. I don't recall Louis V Gerstner worrying about remote working. I *do* remember him going crazy about having hundreds of Vice Presidents, none of whom could give him an elevator pitch on any subject of their choosing without having someone prepare a slide deck for them.

Comment Brute Force in AI (Score 1) 188

Maybe it is time to let go, retire and go repair motorcycles or support local communities by starting up a Hackerspace or something.

I've been watching the development of AI recently, reflecting on all of the work we did in the 70s on Machine Intelligence and Perception, or in the 80s on Expert Systems, and ruing the day that all of that expertise was kind of lost; we seem to now be benefiting from the march of technology to provide huge resources for computation that are built into Brute Force solutions for Deep Mind kind of AI, and we have lost the focus on what makes an intelligently coded algorithm.

Comment Been there, done that (Score 1) 301

I have it already on my own phone; it's a requirement that I change my security settings so that the entire phone is factory reset if the passcode is entered incorrectly a set number of times. I also need to change my PIN regularly, and to register the device with a central authentication server; AND the internal and SD card storage are both encrypted. The requirements came from my desire not to have another work phone to access my NHS emails, but to use my own handset. Since the NHS are so cautious about any unauthorised person having access to patient information, it is entirely understandable. It's inconvenient having to change my PIN or passphrase with the regularity they demand, and when I get a new handset it's a pain to re-register my device - but convenience is always an enemy to security.

Comment My job may change, but never replaced totally (Score 1) 369

Twas ever thus. I have been downsized, outsourced, offshored, insourced, relocated, TUPE'd and re-employed as a contractor to sort out the bugger's muddle that attempted to replace me more times than I care to remember. The only saving grace that AI has is there is far too little human competition.

When a robot can write a successful business case for a new project in the public sector, I know it will be time to retire and take a ticket in God's waiting room

My ex-wife has replaced me with a robot as far as I can tell. A battery-powered one, at that.

Comment My mother's fave paper (Score 1) 405

My mother turned 90 this week, and she reads the Daily Mail, and the Mail on Sunday with fervour. I swear she is keeping the Post Office going in her village posting clippings from the Mail to me, highlighted in yellow marker around articles telling me why the NHS is in the state it is, how the Liverpool Care Pathway was invented by GPs colluding with unscrupulous relatives to knock pensioners off their mortal coils, how migrants from Eastern Europe are coming here to shoplift and have free dental care ..

She is 90 years old, and I can forgive her sucking all this garbage in and believing it, but it is really just as well the Wikipedia has implemented a spam filter.

Comment Re:Email Client (Score 1) 302

They did shut down the list. Unfortunately there was about an hour's worth of emails launched before they did. I am still receiving emails sent at 9:23 this morning; I am pretty sure that this particular distribution list can't be used any more, but I suspect it will take most of tonight and tomorrow to get the backlog sorted out. It's only Exchange running this - 190M emails might take a while to send.

Comment Post hoc ergo propter hoc (Score 4, Insightful) 61

If you RTFA, you'll find one HUGE get-out clause saying "These findings cannot support conclusions on causation. Effect-cause remains a possibility: poor sleep may lead to increased screen-time"

Meaning if people have a poor night's sleep, they may be spending more time on their phone BECAUSE THEY ARE AWAKE.

I wonder how much these geniuses spent to work out yet another statement of the bleeding obvious?

Comment Give them some worthwhile problem to solve! (Score 1) 435

The absolute best way of training anyone in a new (technology, language, API, set of bindings, class library, toolset etc) is to give them some worthwhile, engaging and difficult problem to solve.

I'm older than I care to admit, and I am the one who is trying to tempt a bunch of much younger people who think they know better into adopting a new technology, since it solves a problem that they otherwise could only solve by spending a *lot* of money. However, they are now recognising that this "new" technology (FPGA in this case) is the only way to solve a particularly worthwhile and engaging problem - viz, how to crunch clinical exomes from the output of an Next Gen Sequencer without having to move a ton of data across the Internet to a big cloudy HPC, or buying one so they can keep it mildly busy. They are going to learn a whole new set of tools and programming methods, and there is some significant paradigm shifting going on; but the problem is that the problem itself is intractable without such a change.

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