Foreign currency hedges

Google blames, yet IBM credits foreign currency hedges, for losses and profits, respectively:

The results were much sunnier than those posted by Google Inc and Microsoft Corp, which both missed analysts’ targets, with the software maker citing a tough U.S. economy and Google blaming expenses for foreign currency hedges.

IBM Chief Financial Officer Mark Loughridge told a conference call U.S. business grew in the quarter, the weak dollar helped IBM and that currency hedges would help it mitigate any strengthening of the dollar next year. It was difficult not to say IBM was ahead on reaching its 2010 profit target, he concluded.

… IBM gets about two-thirds of its revenue from outside the United States.

Source: “IBM profit tops targets, forecast up” from Reuters, Jul 17 2008, emphasis added.

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Motivations driving embedded Linux

LinuxDevices.com ran a poll on corporate embedded Linux use; 812 people responded.  Highlights below.

Top 10 motives to develop embedded FLOSS

9. Which factor(s) will have the greatest influence on your choice of an embedded Linux source?
Cost 11.3 %
Documentation 9.5 %
Technical support 6.8 %
Ease of installation 4.9 %
Completeness of distribution 7.4 %
Development tools 12.1 %
Availability of device drivers 9.9 %
Minimized footprint 5.8 %
Real-time responsiveness 6.1 %
Availability of free, modifiable source code 13.7 %

Source: “2008 Embedded Linux Market Survey”, linuxdevices.com

Questions on cost structure:

12. Would you consider paying per-unit royalties to your embedded Linux OS vendor?
Yes 11.5 %
Undecided 16.5 %
No 66.5 %
Question does not apply 5.4 %
13. Would you consider paying for Linux development/support services?
Yes 60.8 %
Undecided 15.5 %
No 19.8 %
Question does not apply 3.8 %

Source: ibid.

Company size

20. How many people work at your company?
1-25 33.2 %
25-49 13.5 %
50-99 9.9 %
100-499 14.1 %
500-999 4 %
1000+ 19.3 %
Question does not apply 5.6 %

In conclusion, while the ininitial reasons vary greatly, very small and rather large companies comprise the majority of embedded Linux developers.  What’s more, most companies are willing to pay for development (NRE) and support costs, but unwilling to pay per-unit royalties.

On Python Yoda Speaks

You may be familiar with Luke Skywalker’s training on the force from Yoda…

EXTERIOR: DAGOBAH — DAY

With Yoda strapped to his back, Luke climbs up one of the
many thick vines that grow in the swamp. Panting heavily, he
continues his course — climbing, flipping through the air,
jumping over roots, and racing in and out of the heavy ground
fog.

YODA: Run! Yes. A Jedi’s strength flows from the Force. But beware of
the dark side. Anger…fear…aggression. The dark side of the Force
are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you
start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny,
consume you it will, as it did Obi-Wan’s apprentice.

LUKE: Vader. Is the dark side stronger?

YODA: No…no…no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.

LUKE: But how am I to know the good side from the bad?

YODA: You will know. When you are calm, at peace. Passive. A Jedi uses
the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.

LUKE: But tell me why I can’t…

YODA: (interrupting) No, no, there is no why. Nothing more will I
teach you today. Clear your mind of questions. Mmm. Mmmmmm.

Source: The Empire Strikes Back Script from blueharvest.net

… It turns out Yoda is also a master of Python:

EXTERIOR: DAGOBAH–DAY

With Yoda strapped to his back, Luke climbs up one of the many thick vines that grow in the swamp until he reaches the Dagobah statistics lab. Panting heavily, he continues his exercises–grepping, installing new packages, logging in as root, and writing replacements for two-year-old shell scripts in Python.

YODA
Code! Yes. A programmer’s strength flows from code
maintainability. But beware of Perl. Terse syntax… more
than one way to do it… default variables. The dark side of
code maintainability are they. Easily they flow, quick to join
you when code you write. If once you start down the dark
path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you
it will.

LUKE: Is Perl better than Python?

YODA: No… no… no. Quicker, easier, more seductive.

LUKE: But how will I know why Python is better than Perl?

YODA: You will know. When your code you try to read six
months from now.

Source: A morality tale of Perl versus Python Posted to rec.humor.funny.  Note that I do not petty condone language wars.