Big Tech Lay-offs, Winter 2023
Jan 20th, 2023 by miki

So, recession is here making local and global companies alike feel the heat. Changes in consumer behaviour affects especially the global tech companies very quickly because of the way they have almost completely gobbled up all marketing spending of every seller and reseller with any digital outlet presence.

As the digital advertising chain is decoupled from anything physical this ripples from consumer spending to impacting big tech revenue with immense speed. This, of course will affect how these companies use their resources, and the workforce needed to run their businesses.

To try to quantify what is happening to global tech companies’ workforce, I’ve collected some numbers and below is a chart illustrating the announced lay-offs in nine prominent big tech companies as of 2023-01-20. On this day, Google announced their reduction of 12’000 “roles” which triggered me to look into this.

Note some trends;

  • the lower headcounts, the higher relative lay-offs
    suggesting that bigger companies have equity and willingness to opt keeping more of the workforce/knowledge
  • Tesla and Cisco seems to have chosen a different strategy as their ratio a considerably lower than similar sized companies
    Tesla’s reluctance to lay-off hourly paid production workers (suggestion that production is regarded as a more severe bottleneck than development) is probably a factor in this

Download spread sheet in ODS format

Numbers and Sources

Lay-off Summaries

Uberspace PHP 7.4 to 8.0 migration brakes WordPress <5.3
Jan 10th, 2023 by miki

So, (which hosts this site at the time of writing) announced timely on 2022-10-27 that instances (aka. asteroids) using PHP 7.4 will automatically upgrade to PHP 8.0 on 2022-11-29 due to 7.4 going out of active support on 2022-11-28;


You have selected PHP 7.4 as the active version on your Asteroid. Support for this version will end on November 28, 2022. For your and our security we will upgrade your account to PHP 8.0 on November 29, 2022.

Usually you will not notice anything and there is nothing else to do, because most tools and programs like WordPress and Nextcloud have been working with PHP 8.0 for a long time.
If you want to be on the safe side, please check in advance if your tools are up to date.

By the way: You can also set your PHP version yourself. You can find all the information you need about PHP in our manual:

For questions and feedback please contact our support team:

Best regards
Boni, Janto, Kim, Leah, luto, Moritz, Nati, Nico, Noah, Pelzi, Mo, Sabrina & Jonas

This went under my radar on migration day, and due to the site still being operational I did not think it caused any issues.

However, on 2023-01-09 the site suddenly went offline and investigating logs, PHP errors were thrown in one of the main WordPress includes;

[09-Jan-2023 19:41:58] WARNING: [pool www] child 19454 said into stderr: “[09-Jan-2023 18:41:58 UTC] PHP Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Call to undefined function get_magic_quotes_gpc() in <redacted>/wp-includes/load.php:651”
[09-Jan-2023 19:41:58] WARNING: [pool www] child 19454 said into stderr: “Stack trace:”
[09-Jan-2023 19:41:58] WARNING: [pool www] child 19454 said into stderr: “#0 <redacted>/wp-settings.php(333): wp_magic_quotes()”
[09-Jan-2023 19:41:58] WARNING: [pool www] child 19454 said into stderr: “#1 <redacted>/wp-config.php(39): require_once(‘<redacted>’)”
[09-Jan-2023 19:41:58] WARNING: [pool www] child 19454 said into stderr: “#2 <redacted>/wp-load.php(37): require_once(‘<redacted>’)”
[09-Jan-2023 19:41:58] WARNING: [pool www] child 19454 said into stderr: “#3 <redacted>/xmlrpc.php(29): include(‘<redacted>/’)”
[09-Jan-2023 19:41:58] WARNING: [pool www] child 19454 said into stderr: “#4 {main}”
[09-Jan-2023 19:41:58] WARNING: [pool www] child 19454 said into stderr: ” thrown in <redacted>/wp-includes/load.php on line 651″

This is due to the PHP function get_magic_quotes_gpc(), which is already deprecated in 7.4, being completely removed in 8.0. However in WordPress before 5.3 (released 2019-11-12, see announcement or further details) this function is assumed to be present. The location throwing above is the first location in the code path hitting the use of this;

Function wp_magic_quotes() of load.php:

The quick fix to this was downgrading PHP by following the guide mentioned above, which was surprinsingly possible. However, this should only be regarded as a temporary solution as PHP out of security support is not a good solution. As the guide does not mention when PHP 7.4 is going out of support and being completely removed from uberspace, I tried pinging their support in their fediverse account, no resposnse as of ending this write-up.

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© 2023 Mikkel Kirkgaard Nielsen, contents CC BY-SA 4.0