CyberTech Rambler

February 28, 2007

If Pearl Harbour bombing happens today

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 2:41 pm

Imaging the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbour happening not in WW2 but six months ago. After the bombing, American sends their most advance fighters, F22 Raptor, to pursue the bombers. What happens next? All F22 falls into the sea as soon as it cross the International Date Line.

Impossible? Nope, it happened. Yes, I dramatized the event by saying Pearl Harbour was bombed, and that the F22s drop into the sea. However, the theory is solid. According to reports, F22s on their way to Japan from Hawaii did indeed suffer catastrophic navigation lost when they cross the International Date Line.

“Every time we fly this jet we learn something new,” Raptor squadron commanding officer Lt-Col Wade Tolliver said.



New category for WGA: You might be a pirate

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 2:27 pm

According to arstechnica, MS is adding a new category classify customer under its Windows Genuine (Dis)Advantage (WGA) program, i.e., now you can be “genuine”, “pirate” and “may be pirate” instead of simply black-and white “genuine” and “pirate”.

Its good to see Microsoft acknowledge and manage false positive in its WGA classification program. In any classification program, there are always false positive (and false negative). While the idea is always to try to keep them as low as possible, they cannot be completely eliminated. With programs like Windows, a small tiny percentage point, say 0.0001% false positive can translate to millions of people.

As I said before, the rule of the game, as far as Microsoft is concerned, is whether it can keep the number disgruntle genuine customers down in a way that it will not affect its business. Before this announcement, Microsoft’s stance has been WGA is working and the false positives are low, implying there is no problem with WGA. This public stance is only to be expected. The real deal is to see what the company does quietly. While it is correct to conclude that, with this move, Microsoft is acknowledging WGA needs twicking and thus, there is a problem with WGA, we cannot conclude that this is a big problem. The interesting part will be to see how Microsoft treats this new “you might be a pirate” category: If Microsoft is lenient, we can infer they have a problem, if it is almost as strict as “pirate” category, then it is indeed true that WGA is not as bad as the media and I like to portray it.

February 27, 2007

Road bump for Oracle Linux

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 1:54 pm

IBM throw a speed bump on Oracle Unbreakable Linux route. According to, IBM is refusing to certify that its software works on Oracle Linux. IBM has always certified that its applications works on Red Hat Linux.

I see this as independent confirmation of what Red Hat had claimed after Oracle’s announcement of Oracle Linux, which is Oracle Linux is effectively a derivative of Red Hat Linux. However loud Oracle would like to say it Linux is a clone of Red Hat Linux, just better and cheaper, IBM’s move shows that the techonogically savvy people do not believe Oracle.

Its a big speed bump. Businesses mostly do not want to run their applications on uncertified/unsupported Linux variant for business/technological reasons. Since the cost of acquiring business software far outweights the cost of operating system support, Oracle will have problems convincing business partners to switch… and the Linux operating system market for individuals and hobbyists is simply non-existant.

Non-certification of Oracle Linux means if there is any problem with IBM software running on top of it, Oracle is the person you have to rely on to fix it. Can Oracle does it? Theoretically, it simply has to undo the “improvement” it does to Red Hat Linux and viola, problems solved. But what does Oracle do to calm potential customers’ nerves? It declines to comments. As the article points out, perhaps sarcastically, both IBM and Oracle is taking the “safe approach”.

February 26, 2007

Is MS virtualization policy anti-competitive?

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 4:10 pm

Finally, I am back after a 4 weeks holiday.

First new post is about VMWare finds it necessary to complain loudly about MS Virtualization Policy. Mary Jo’s blog will give you some background and response from Microsoft about this accusation.

My take on this issue is if Microsoft did not write the policy to explicitly favour its own virtualization technology, then it is fair game. As such, I throws out all of VMWare’s claim except the last one, where VMWare claims Microsoft refuses to license the API. Even then, this is conditional on Microsoft being guity of using its Windows monopoly power to muscle into the virtualization market at the detriment of others, which is not yet clear.

Quite a few claims rest on the VHD formats Microsoft is using for its virtualization products can only be used on MS products and prohibition to use it on other virtualization products. These claims are without merits since VHD are only file formats. This is conditional on Microsoft does not modify Windows in such a way that it works better in VHD format. VMWare had not claim that this is the case.

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