Welcome to The Long View—where we peruse the news of the week and strip it to the essentials. Let’s work out what really matters.
This week: No remedy for banned Facebook users, new ARM-based VMs on Microsoft Azure, and The Great Resignation will still be a Thing for the foreseeable.
1. “Your Facebook Account was Disabled. This Decision Can’t Be Reversed.”
First up this week: Facebook users are revolting after being blocked from Meta’s social cesspit—without cause. A stark error message has been raising the stress levels of countless innocent people.
Analysis: Don’t be like Facebook
Don’t automate sanctions. Or, if you must, at least have a robust, efficient process in place to review complaints about false positives.
Jane Wakefield: Facebook users angry after accounts locked for no reason
Facebook users around the world have been waking up to find themselves locked out of their accounts for no apparent reason: … “Your Facebook account was disabled because it did not follow our Community Standards. This decision can’t be reversed.” … There was no warning or explanation given.
Meta’s Andy Stone said: “We’re aware that some users are experiencing issues accessing their Facebook accounts and we are working to resolve them as quickly as possible.” He did not say how many were affected, or what the issue was.
Jen Roberts was one of those to find herself locked out of her account. … Despite not being an avid user, finding her account locked was still upsetting: “All of the images from my university years and family occasions are on Facebook. I will no longer have access … which is genuinely sad. It is also quite stressful not knowing what the issue is, and having no recourse to resolve it.”
Algorithmic moderation is hard, yo. But this is worse, as gurps_npc explains:
Problem is not the lock out, but instead the “non reviewable.” People are OK with the risk of a false ‘conviction,’ and others will accept that risk. But nobody likes being told “NO APPEAL.”
Yes, appeals processes are expensive and may not be worth it [but] the absence of it is an incredibly bad idea. It means you are offering **** rather than something of value, are too arrogant to be trusted, and most importantly you despise your constituents.
Heed the experience of u/nobody-u-heard-of:
Facebook … has absolutely zero customer support. … Most modern companies now at least have a chat system for getting help right away. [On] Facebook, you can submit a request and get zero feedback. Or get a computer generated answer after several weeks. With no chance for a back and forth to still try to resolve the issue.
2. Azure on ARM: Faster, Greener, Cooler
Microsoft is serious about ARM. As I’ve said before, ARM chips are an increasing fixture in cloud and on-premises data centers—especially those that value “performance per Watt.”
Analysis: What’s not to like?
Whether your guest is Linux or Windows, Azure appears agnostic. And Kubernetes is king. With the ability to scale up to 64 cores, 208 GB of RAM and 2.4 TB of SSD, this ain’t no toy.
Mary Jo Foley: Microsoft brings Arm support to Azure
Microsoft announced on April 4 a preview of Arm support on Azure virtual machines via its work with Ampere Computing … a startup that makes server chips. [It] will offer up to 50 percent better price-performance than comparable x86-based VMs [said] Microsoft.
The preview is initially available in the West US 2, West Central US, and West Europe Azure regions. … The Dpsv5 and Epsv5 Azure VM-series feature the Ampere Altra Arm-based processor operating at up to 3.0GHz. … The new VMs provide up to 64 vCPUs and include VM sizes with 2GiB, 4GiB, and 8GiB per vCPU memory configurations, up to 40 Gbps networking, and optional high-performance local SSD storage.
[They will] support Canonical Ubuntu Linux, CentOS, and Windows 11 Professional and Enterprise Edition. … Support for additional operating systems including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, Debian, AlmaLinux, and Flatcar is on the way.
This is a trend that’s picking up speed, notes orly_andico:
AWS Graviton2 is similar: AWS says up to 40% better price-performance for Graviton2 versus Intel. They are comparing vCPU to vCPU … comparing say an 8 core Intel, with a 16 core ARM64. But that 16 core ARM64 is still cheaper.
Power draw is also much less (even with twice the cores). So sustainability wise, ARM is a win.
But there’s a fly in darkain’s ointment:
Too bad they’re only supporting Windows and Linux. … There is more to the world of computing than just these two kernels. The BSDs for instance have great Aarch64 support, and have been well supported by VMware’s ARM offerings since day-one. They also work on AWS and OCI. Microsoft, gotta step up your support game a little here please!
3. WTH? We Still Wanna WFH
A new study shows staff don’t want to come back to the office—or, at least, not to a job they hate. And with the supply/demand equation the way it is, they feel they hold all the cards.
Analysis: No change any time soon
As we saw in January, DevOps attrition is running at savage levels. Three months on, things are just as gloomy for lovers of the in-person experience. What one commentator calls “the sadistic torture” of returning to the office is seriously focusing minds among workers—including DevOps professionals. And cynical, low-value incentives aren’t going to move the needle.
Cagan Koc: Great Resignation Isn’t Slowing and May Persist
The Great Resignation shows no sign of easing and a dwindling supply of workers may be here to stay. … Fewer people in the job market, underpinned by a long-term demographic trend, is allowing talented workers to have more options—and they’re going where their needs are met.
Economies bouncing back from the pandemic and work from home options have made it easier for employees to quit unappealing positions and look for alternatives, driving up wages. … In Randstad’s survey … more than half of Millennials and Gen-Z respondents said they would quit a job if it prevented them from enjoying life. That compares with just over a third of … Boomers.
83% and 71% of those polled say flexible hours and workplace were important. [But] with a decline in Covid-19 cases, companies are increasingly calling their employees back to the office, at least for part of the week.
What’s an employer to do? Give free stuff! Andrew J. Hawkins:
Google is preparing to bring its employees back to the office this week. And as an added bonus, it’ll be offering them free electric scooters to help ease the transition. … Employees must also use the scooter for at least nine commutes per month to get fully reimbursed for their monthly subscription.
Two years after the pandemic upended work patterns, employers are doubling down on office real estate, bringing them into conflict with a workforce that has grown accustomed to working at home. … And just in case it runs into any friction, Google has shown a willingness to spend money on perks to entice workers back.
Is a $44/month benefit good enough? I guess StormReaver speaks for many:
Nothing can make the sadistic torture of going back to the office anything less than soul crushing. All company office space should be sold off. … In-person workspace is an anachronism that needs to be nuked from orbit.