4770
IBM broke its cloud by letting three domain names expire - The Register
“multiple domain names were mistakenly allowed to expire and were in hold status.”
outages  fail  ibm  the-register  ops  dns  domains  cloud 
7 hours ago
Solera - Wikipedia
Fascinating stuff -- from Felix Cohen's excellent twitter thread.
Solera is a process for aging liquids such as wine, beer, vinegar, and brandy, by fractional blending in such a way that the finished product is a mixture of ages, with the average age gradually increasing as the process continues over many years. The purpose of this labor-intensive process is the maintenance of a reliable style and quality of the beverage over time. Solera means literally "on the ground" in Spanish, and it refers to the lower level of the set of barrels or other containers used in the process; the liquid (traditionally transferred from barrel to barrel, top to bottom, the oldest mixtures being in the barrel right "on the ground"), although the containers in today's process are not necessarily stacked physically in the way that this implies, but merely carefully labeled. Products which are often solera aged include Sherry, Madeira, Lillet, Port wine, Marsala, Mavrodafni, Muscat, and Muscadelle wines; Balsamic, Commandaria, some Vins doux naturels, and Sherry vinegars; Brandy de Jerez; beer; rums; and whiskies. Since the origin of this process is undoubtedly out of the Iberian peninsula, most of the traditional terminology was in Spanish, Portuguese, or Catalan.
wine  aging  solera  sherry  muscat  vinegar  brandy  beer  rum  whiskey  whisky  brewing  spain 
21 hours ago
Open-sourcing RacerD: Fast static race detection at scale | Engineering Blog | Facebook Code
At Facebook we have been working on automated reasoning about concurrency in our work with the Infer static analyzer. RacerD, our new open source race detector, searches for data races — unsynchronized memory accesses, where one is a write — in Java programs, and it does this without running the program it is analyzing. RacerD employs symbolic reasoning to cover many paths through an app, quickly.


This sounds extremely interesting...
racerd  race-conditions  data-races  thread-safety  static-code-analysis  coding  testing  facebook  open-source  infer 
yesterday
Alarm systems alarmingly insecure. Oh the irony | Pen Test Partners
Some absolutely abysmal security practices used in off-the-shelf self-installed wireless home alarm systems -- specifically the Yale HSA6400. Simple replay attacks of the unlock PIN message, for instance
security  home  wireless  alarms  yale  fail 
yesterday
"1 like = 1 delicious cocktail recipe or booze fact."
Great cocktail factoid thread from Manhattans Project/Every Cloud's Felix Cohen
felix-cohen  cocktails  booze  factoids  history  drinks 
2 days ago
Cyclists: Let's Talk About Shoaling
You're stopped at a red light with a bunch of folks on bikes, when someone who's just arrived sails past everyone, right to the head of the class. It's a lot like seeing somebody in the Whole Foods express lane with too many things. In other words, it's the kind of behavior that triggers toothy-toddler rages in otherwise emotionally competent adults.


Oh god. This drives me nuts. (via Mark)
shoaling  cycling  commuting  bikes  red-lights  commute  rage 
3 days ago
What Parents Can Do When Bullying is Downplayed at School | Psychology Today
Despite the "Bully-Free Zone" posters that line the school cafeteria walls and the Zero-Tolerance policy that was boasted about during last September's Back-to-School night, your experience is that the school would rather not address the problem at all. The responses you get from your child's teacher include bland lip service [...]


Good advice for this nasty situation -- I'm thankfully not facing it myself, but bookmarking just in case...
bullying  kids  school  education  psychology  children  parenting 
3 days ago
Falling through the KRACKs
I want to talk about why this vulnerability continues to exist so many years after WPA was standardized. And separately, to answer a question: how did this attack slip through, despite the fact that the 802.11i handshake was formally proven secure?
krack  security  wpa  wifi  ieee  crypto  vulnerabilities 
4 days ago
A history of the neural net/tank legend in AI, and other examples of reward hacking
@gwern: "A history of the neural net/tank legend in AI: https://t.co/2s4AOGMS3a (Feel free to suggest more sightings or examples of reward hacking!)"
gwern  history  ai  machine-learning  ml  genetic-algorithms  neural-networks  perceptron  learning  training  data  reward-hacking 
4 days ago
One person’s history of Twitter, from beginning to end – Mike Monteiro
Twitter, which was conceived and built by a room of privileged white boys (some of them my friends!), never considered the possibility that they were building a bomb. To this day, Jack Dorsey doesn’t realize the size of the bomb he’s sitting on. Or if he does, he believes it’s metaphorical. It’s not. He is utterly unprepared for the burden he’s found himself responsible for.
The power of Oppenheimer-wide destruction is in the hands of entitled men-children, cuddled runts, who aim not to enhance human communication, but to build themselves a digital substitute for physical contact with members of the species who were unlike them. And it should scare you.
politics  twitter  mike-monteiro  history  silicon-valley  trump 
4 days ago
Turtle Bunbury - THE NIGHT OF THE BIG WIND, 1839 (Reprise)

The Night of the Big Wind was the most devastating storm ever recorded in Irish history. Known in As Gaeilge as ‘Oiche na Gaoithe Moire’, the hurricane of 6th and 7th January 1839 made more people homeless in a single night than all the sorry decades of eviction that followed it.
1839  1830s  19th-century  ireland  turtle-bunbury  history  storms  weather  hurricanes 
4 days ago
srcecde/aws-lambda-cheatsheet
'AWS Lambda cheatsheet' -- a quick ref card for Lambda users
aws  lambda  ops  serverless  reference  quick-references 
4 days ago
Over The Air - Vol. 2, Pt. 3: Exploiting The Wi-Fi Stack on Apple Devices
This is the most amazing hack.

Upon successful execution, the exploit exposes APIs to read and write the host’s physical memory directly over-the-air, by mapping in any requested address to the controlled DART L2 translation table, and issuing DMA accesses to the corresponding mapped IO-Space addresses.
hacks  exploits  security  ios  wifi  apple  iphone  kernel 
4 days ago
Spotify’s Discover Weekly: How machine learning finds your new music
Not sure how accurate this is (it's not written by a Spotify employee), but seems pretty well researched -- according to this Discover Weekly is a mix of 3 different algorithms
discover-weekly  spotify  nlp  music  ai  ml  machine-learning 
8 days ago
Amazon Shipping Filter - Chrome Web Store
a user script to determine when Amazon.{com,co.uk,fr,de,it,etc} will not deliver to your chosen delivery address, which is a common risk for Irish users
ireland  shipping  amazon  buying  extensions  chrome  userscripts  shopping 
8 days ago
How to operate reliable AWS Lambda applications in production
running a reliable Lambda application in production requires you to still follow operational best practices. In this article I am including some recommendations, based on my experience with operations in general as well as working with AWS Lambda.
aws  cloud  lambda  ops  amazon 
8 days ago
Study: wearing hi-viz clothing does not reduce risk of collision for cyclists
Journal of Transport & Health, 22 March 2017:
This study found no evidence that cyclists using conspicuity aids were at reduced risk of a collision crash compared to non-users after adjustment for confounding, but there was some evidence of an increase in risk. Bias and residual confounding from differing route selection and cycling behaviours in users of conspicuity aids are possible explanations for these findings. Conspicuity aids may not be effective in reducing collision crash risk for cyclists in highly-motorised environments when used in the absence of other bicycle crash prevention measures such as increased segregation or lower motor vehicle speeds.
health  safety  hi-viz  clothing  cycling  commute  visibility  collision  crashes  papers 
8 days ago
House Six, the Heartbeat of Student Life – The University Times
Dilapidated but beloved, House Six shapes student life in Trinity and has for decades been the backdrop to changes in Irish society.


Ah, memories -- in my case mostly of all-night Civ games in Publications
history  tcd  trinity  house-six  csc  tcdsu  dublin  buildings  landmarks 
9 days ago
Jepsen: Hazelcast 3.8.3
Not a very good review of Hazelcast's CAP behaviour from Aphyr. see also https://twitter.com/MarcJBrooker/status/917437286639329280 for more musings from Marc Brooker on the topic ("PA/EC is a confusing and dangerous behaviour for many cases")
jepsen  aphyr  testing  hazelcast  cap-theorem  reliability  partitions  network  pacelc  marc-brooker 
10 days ago
A Decade of Dynamo: Powering the next wave of high-performance, internet-scale applications - All Things Distributed
A deep dive on how we were using our existing databases revealed that they were frequently not used for their relational capabilities. About 70 percent of operations were of the key-value kind, where only a primary key was used and a single row would be returned. About 20 percent would return a set of rows, but still operate on only a single table.

With these requirements in mind, and a willingness to question the status quo, a small group of distributed systems experts came together and designed a horizontally scalable distributed database that would scale out for both reads and writes to meet the long-term needs of our business. This was the genesis of the Amazon Dynamo database.

The success of our early results with the Dynamo database encouraged us to write Amazon's Dynamo whitepaper and share it at the 2007 ACM Symposium on Operating Systems Principles (SOSP conference), so that others in the industry could benefit. The Dynamo paper was well-received and served as a catalyst to create the category of distributed database technologies commonly known today as "NoSQL."


That's not an exaggeration. Nice one Werner et al!
dynamo  history  nosql  storage  databases  distcomp  amazon  papers  acm  data-stores 
11 days ago
"Why We Built Our Own Distributed Column Store" (video)
"Why We Built Our Own Distributed Column Store" by Sam Stokes of Honeycomb.io -- Retriever, inspired by Facebook's Scuba
scuba  retriever  storage  data-stores  columnar-storage  honeycomb.io  databases  via:charitymajors 
11 days ago
A Branchless UTF-8 Decoder
This week I took a crack at writing a branchless UTF-8 decoder: a function that decodes a single UTF-8 code point from a byte stream without any if statements, loops, short-circuit operators, or other sorts of conditional jumps. [...] Why branchless? Because high performance CPUs are pipelined. That is, a single instruction is executed over a series of stages, and many instructions are executed in overlapping time intervals, each at a different stage.


Neat hack (via Tony Finch)
algorithms  optimization  unicode  utf8  branchless  coding  c  via:fanf 
11 days ago
Kremlin info-ops measured to have a total reach of 340 million with dark, divisive ads
when the virality and resharing is measured, it's far higher than previously estimated, according to this Washington Post article
virality  news  fake-news  facebook  politics  russia 
11 days ago
London's Hidden Tunnels Revealed In Amazing Cutaways | Londonist
these really are remarkable. I love the Renzo Picassos in particular
design  history  london  3d  cutaways  diagrams  comics  mid-century 
11 days ago
poor man's profiler
'Sampling tools like oprofile or dtrace's profile provider don't really provide methods to see what [multithreaded] programs are blocking on - only where they spend CPU time. Though there exist advanced techniques (such as systemtap and dtrace call level probes), it is overkill to build upon that. Poor man doesn't have time. Poor man needs food.'

Basically periodically grabbing stack traces from running processes using gdb.
gdb  profiling  linux  unix  mark-callaghan  stack-traces  performance 
14 days ago
This Future Looks Familiar: Watching Blade Runner in 2017
I told a lot of people that I was going to watch Blade Runner for the first time, because I know that people have opinions about Blade Runner. All of them gave me a few watery opinions to keep in mind going in—nothing that would spoil me, but things that would help me understand what they assured me would be a Very Strange Film.
None of them told me the right things, though.
culture  movies  film  blade-runner  politics  slavery  replicants 
14 days ago
Slack 103: Communication and culture
Interesting note on some emergent Slack communications systems using emoji: "redirect raccoon", voting, and "I'm taking a look at this"
slack  communications  emojis  emoji  online  talk  chat 
14 days ago
The world's first cyber-attack, on the Chappe telegraph system, in Bordeaux in 1834

The Blanc brothers traded government bonds at the exchange in the city of Bordeaux, where information about market movements took several days to arrive from Paris by mail coach. Accordingly, traders who could get the information more quickly could make money by anticipating these movements. Some tried using messengers and carrier pigeons, but the Blanc brothers found a way to use the telegraph line instead. They bribed the telegraph operator in the city of Tours to introduce deliberate errors into routine government messages being sent over the network.
The telegraph’s encoding system included a “backspace” symbol that instructed the transcriber to ignore the previous character. The addition of a spurious character indicating the direction of the previous day’s market movement, followed by a backspace, meant the text of the message being sent was unaffected when it was written out for delivery at the end of the line. But this extra character could be seen by another accomplice: a former telegraph operator who observed the telegraph tower outside Bordeaux with a telescope, and then passed on the news to the Blancs. The scam was only uncovered in 1836, when the crooked operator in Tours fell ill and revealed all to a friend, who he hoped would take his place. The Blanc brothers were put on trial, though they could not be convicted because there was no law against misuse of data networks. But the Blancs’ pioneering misuse of the French network qualifies as the world’s first cyber-attack.
bordeaux  hacking  history  security  technology  cyber-attacks  telegraph  telegraphes-chappe 
14 days ago
Report an Issue Online | Dublin City Council
handy self-service issue report portal, more direct possibly than FixMyStreet.ie
dcc  dublin  city  council  reporting  civic  traffic-lights  roads  paths 
15 days ago
Google and Facebook Have Failed Us - The Atlantic
There’s no hiding behind algorithms anymore. The problems cannot be minimized. The machines have shown they are not up to the task of dealing with rare, breaking news events, and it is unlikely that they will be in the near future. More humans must be added to the decision-making process, and the sooner the better.
algorithms  facebook  google  las-vegas  news  filtering  hoaxes  4chan  abuse  breaking-news  responsibility  silicon-valley 
17 days ago
Intel pcj library for persistent memory-oriented data structures
This is a "pilot" project to develop a library for Java objects stored in persistent memory. Persistent collections are being emphasized because many applications for persistent memory seem to map well to the use of collections. One of this project's goals is to make programming with persistent objects feel natural to a Java developer, for example, by using familiar Java constructs when incorporating persistence elements such as data consistency and object lifetime.

The breadth of persistent types is currently limited and the code is not performance-optimized. We are making the code available because we believe it can be useful in experiments to retrofit existing Java code to use persistent memory and to explore persistent Java programming in general.


(via Mario Fusco)
persistent-memory  data-structures  storage  persistence  java  coding  future 
17 days ago
EV Purchase and Import Guide
Importing an EV from the UK into Ireland (specifically the Nissan Leaf). A little dated (2013) but possibly useful all the same
ev  cars  driving  uk  import  nissan-leaf 
18 days ago
S3 Point In Time Restore
restore a versioned S3 bucket to the state it was at at a specific point in time
ops  s3  restore  backups  versioning  history  tools  scripts  unix 
18 days ago
In 1973, I invented a ‘girly drink’ called Baileys
The creation of the iconic booze:
'We bought a small bottle of Jamesons Irish Whiskey and a tub of single cream and hurried back. It was a lovely May morning. 1973. Underdogs Sunderland had just won the FA Cup. We mixed the two ingredients in our kitchen, tasted the result and it was certainly intriguing, but in reality bloody awful. Undaunted, we threw in some sugar and it got better, but it still missed something. We went back to the store, searching the shelves for something else, found our salvation in Cadbury’s Powdered Drinking Chocolate and added it to our formula. Hugh and I were taken by surprise. It tasted really good. Not only this, but the cream seemed to have the effect of making the drink taste stronger, like full-strength spirit. It was extraordinary.'
whiskey  cream  booze  drinks  baileys  1970s  history  1973  chocolate  cocktails 
18 days ago
Share scripts that have dependencies with Nix
Nice approach to one-liner packaging invocations using nix-shell
nix  packaging  unix  linux  ops  shebang  #! 
18 days ago
The copyright implications of a publicly curated online archive of Oireachtas debates
"a publicly curated online archive of Oireachtas debates is so obviously in the public interest that copyright law should not prevent it." (via Aileen)
via:aileen  copyright  oireachtas  debates  ireland  parliament  archival  history 
18 days ago
Cashing in on ATM Malware - A Comprehensive Look at Various Attack Types
rather unnerving report from Trend Micro / Europol.

'As things stand, it looks like different criminal groups have already graduated from physical to virtual
skimming via malware, thanks to the lack of security measures implemented by commercial banks
worldwide. This is common in Latin America and Eastern Europe, but these criminals are exporting the
technique and have started to victimize other countries.'
atms  banking  security  trend-micro  banks  europol  exploits 
18 days ago
the execution of James Connolly in cake form
As depicted in the Decobake 1916 commemorative cake competition. Amazing scenes of edible history
odd  funny  decobake  1916  history  ireland  republican  nationalism  james-connolly  executions  omgwtf  cake 
18 days ago
The Israeli Digital Rights Movement's campaign for privacy | Internet Policy Review
This study explores the persuasion techniques used by the Israeli Digital Rights Movement in its campaign against Israel’s biometric database. The research was based on analysing the movement's official publications and announcements and the journalistic discourse that surrounded their campaign within the political, judicial, and public arenas in 2009-2017. The results demonstrate how the organisation navigated three persuasion frames to achieve its goals: the unnecessity of a biometric database in democracy; the database’s ineffectiveness; and governmental incompetence in securing it. I conclude by discussing how analysing civil society privacy campaigns can shed light over different regimes of privacy governance. [....]

1. Why the database should be abolished: because it's not necessary - As the organisation highlighted repeatedly throughout the campaign with the backing of cyber experts, there is a significant difference between issuing smart documents and creating a database. Issuing smart documents effectively solves the problem of stealing and forging official documents, but does it necessarily entail the creation of a database? The activists’ answer is no: they declared that while they do support the transition to smart documents (passports and ID cards) for Israeli citizens, they object to the creation of a database due to its violation of citizens' privacy.

2. Why the database should be abolished: because it's ineffective; [...]

3. Why the database should be abolished: because it will be breached - The final argument was that the database should be abolished because the government would not be able to guarantee protection against security breaches, and hence possible identity theft.
digital-rights  privacy  databases  id-cards  israel  psc  drm  identity-theft  security 
21 days ago
Anthony Levandowski has founded an AI religion
In September 2015, the multi-millionaire engineer at the heart of the patent and trade secrets lawsuit between Uber and Waymo, Google’s self-driving car company, founded a religious organization called Way of the Future. Its purpose, according to previously unreported state filings, is nothing less than to “develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on Artificial Intelligence.”


this article is full of bananas.
google  crazy  uber  waymo  self-driving-cars  cars  religion  way-of-the-future  ai  god 
22 days ago
Abseil
a new common C++ library from Google, Apache-licensed.
c++  coding  abseil  google  commons  libraries  open-source  asl2  c++17 
22 days ago
@tttthreads
Unroll a long twitter thread with a single tweet. I like it
unroll  threads  twitter  reading  ux  bots 
22 days ago
Sickness absence associated with shared and open-plan offices--a national cross sectional questionnaire survey. - PubMed - NCBI
occupants in open-plan offices (>6 persons) had 62% more days of sickness absence (RR 1.62, 95% CI 1.30-2.02).
health  office  workplace  data  sickness  open-plan  work  offices 
23 days ago
Airtable
looks like a nice web-based database, FileMaker Pro-style
filemaker  collaboration  database  tools  web  sharing  teams 
23 days ago
We’re more likely to get cancer than to get married. This is a wake-up call | Ranjana Srivastava | Opinion | The Guardian
Later, in clinic, I see patients ranging from a stoical university student to a devastated father to the frail octogenarian who can’t remember the day, let alone that he has cancer – each patient an illustration of a recent Macmillan Cancer Support UK finding that it is more common for an individual to be diagnosed with cancer than to get married or have a first child. One in two people will encounter a cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, which is why the report says that, alongside marriage, parenthood, retirement and the death of a parent, cancer is now “a common life milestone”.
cancer  life  milestones  death  uk  health  medicine 
23 days ago
LambCI — a serverless build system
Run CI builds on Lambda:
LambCI is a tool I began building over a year ago to run tests on our pull requests and branches at Uniqlo Mobile. Inspired at the inaugural ServerlessConf a few weeks ago, I recently put some work into hammering it into shape for public consumption.
It was borne of a dissatisfaction with the two current choices for automated testing on private projects. You can either pay for it as a service (Travis, CircleCI, etc) — where 3 developers needing their own build containers might set you back a few hundred dollars a month. Or you can setup a system like Jenkins, Strider, etc and configure and manage a database, a web server and a cluster of build servers .
In both cases you’ll be under- or overutilized, waiting for servers to free up or paying for server power you’re not using. And this, for me, is where the advantage of a serverless architecture really comes to light: 100% utilization, coupled with instant invocations.
lambci  ci  builds  jenkins  testing  coding 
23 days ago
Understanding Uber: It's Not About The App
the next time you see a link to a petition or someone raging about this decision being ‘anti-innovation’, remember Greyball. Remember the Metropolitan Police letter [regarding several sexual assaults which Uber didn't report to police]. Remember that this is about holding ULL, as a company, to the same set of standards to which every other mini-cab operator in London already complies. Most of all though remember: it is not about the app.
uber  ull  safety  crime  london  assault  greyball  taxis  cabs  apps 
25 days ago
European Commission study finds no link between piracy and lower sales of digital content
According to the report, an average of 51% of adults and 72% of minors in the EU have pirated digital content, with Poland and Spain averaging the highest rates of all countries surveyed. Nevertheless, displacement rates (the impact of piracy on legitimate sales) were found to be negligible or non-existent for music, books and games, while rates for films and TV were in line with previous digital piracy studies.

Most interesting is the fact that the study found that illegal game downloads actually lead to an increase in legal purchases. The report concludes that tactics like video game microtransactions are proving effective in converting illegal users to paying users.

The full report goes in-depth regarding potential factors influencing piracy and the challenges of accurately tracking its impact on legitimate sales, but the researchers ultimately conclude that there is no robust statistical evidence that illegal downloads reduce legal sales. That's big news, which makes it all the more troubling that the EU effectively buried it for two years.
piracy  eu  studies  downloads  ec  games  movies  books  content 
25 days ago
'Monitoring Cloudflare's planet-scale edge network with Prometheus' (preso)
from SRECon EMEA 2017; how Cloudflare are replacing Nagios with Prometheus and grafana
metrics  monitoring  alerting  prometheus  grafana  nagios 
25 days ago
Relicensing React, Jest, Flow, and Immutable.js | Engineering Blog | Facebook Code
This decision comes after several weeks of disappointment and uncertainty for our community. Although we still believe our BSD + Patents license provides some benefits to users of our projects, we acknowledge that we failed to decisively convince this community.
facebook  opensource  react  patents  swpats  bsd  licensing 
25 days ago
Legendary aquarium "piscamel" thread from the GotMead forums
I thought I had detected a studied disinterest for my March 28 questions
about raising fish and making mead in the same aquarium --- now I realize
that you mazers probably thought I was drunk. My hypothesis was that fish
manures would provide valuable fertilizer to the yeast, the aquarium
bubbler would keep O2 levels high, and the fish would get a nice honey
drink. The result, instead, was 3 "piscamels" flavored by rotting fish.


This sounds utterly revolting. Mead made with biohazard waste. Those poor fish!
(via John Looney)
via:johnlooney  biohazard  mead  fish  aquarium  gotmead  forums  brewing  disgusting 
25 days ago
Gas Pump Skimmers - learn.sparkfun.com
For those who don’t want to read through the gritty details here’s the summary:

These skimmers are cheap and are becoming more common and more of a nuisance across north america.

The skimmer broadcasts over bluetooth as HC-05 with a password of 1234. If you happen to be at a gas pump and happen to scan for bluetooth devices and happen to see an HC-05 listed as an available connection then you probably don’t want to use that pump.

The bluetooth module used on these skimmers is extremely common and used on all sorts of legitimate products end educational kits. If you detect one in the field you can confirm that it is a skimmer (and not some other device) by sending the character ‘P’ to the module over a terminal. If you get a ’M' in response then you have likely found a skimmer and you should contact your local authorities.
crime  hardware  bluetooth  security  electronics  skimmers  gas-stations  usa  petrol-stations  hc-05 
29 days ago
Wiggle | Panaracer RibMo Folding City Tyre | City Tyres
Recommended for city commuting by a couple of ppl on ITS
tyres  tires  ribmo  panaracer  cycling  bike  to-get 
29 days ago
Turning Off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth in iOS 11's Control Center Doesn’t Actually Turn Off Wi-Fi or Bluetooth - Motherboard
"in iOS 11 and later, when you toggle the Wi-Fi or Bluetooth buttons in Control Center, your device will immediately disconnect from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth accessories. Both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth will continue to be available." That is because Apple wants the iPhone to be able to continue using AirDrop, AirPlay, Apple Pencil, Apple Watch, Location Services, and other features, according to the documentation.
wifi  bluetooth  iphone  ios  security  fail  off-means-off 
29 days ago
"HTML email, was that your fault?"
jwz may indeed have invented this feature way back in Netscape Mail. FWIW I think he's right -- Netscape Mail was the first usage of HTML email I recall
netscape  history  html  email  smtp  mime  mozilla  jwz 
29 days ago
Locking, Little's Law, and the USL
Excellent explanatory mailing list post by Martin Thompson to the mechanical-sympathy group, discussing Little's Law vs the USL:
Little's law can be used to describe a system in steady state from a queuing perspective, i.e. arrival and leaving rates are balanced. In this case it is a crude way of modelling a system with a contention percentage of 100% under Amdahl's law, in that throughput is one over latency.

However this is an inaccurate way to model a system with locks. Amdahl's law does not account for coherence costs. For example, if you wrote a microbenchmark with a single thread to measure the lock cost then it is much lower than in a multi-threaded environment where cache coherence, other OS costs such as scheduling, and lock implementations need to be considered.

Universal Scalability Law (USL) accounts for both the contention and the coherence costs.
http://www.perfdynamics.com/Manifesto/USLscalability.html

When modelling locks it is necessary to consider how contention and coherence costs vary given how they can be implemented. Consider in Java how we have biased locking, thin locks, fat locks, inflation, and revoking biases which can cause safe points that bring all threads in the JVM to a stop with a significant coherence component.
usl  scaling  scalability  performance  locking  locks  java  jvm  amdahls-law  littles-law  system-dynamics  modelling  systems  caching  threads  schedulers  contention 
4 weeks ago
Normietivity: A Review of Angela Nagle's Kill all Normies
Due to a persistent vagueness in targets and refusal to respond to the best arguments presented by those she loosely groups together, Nagle does not provide the thoroughgoing and immanent treatment of the left which would be required to achieve the profound intervention she clearly intended. Nor does she grapple with the difficult implications figures like Greer (with her transphobic campaign against a vulnerable colleague) and Milo (with his direct advocacy for the nativist and carceral state) present for free speech absolutists. And indeed, the blurring their specifically shared transphobia causes for distinguishing between left and right wing social analysis.

In genre terms, Nagle’s writing is best described as travel writing for internet culture. Kill All Normies provides a string of curios and oddities (from neo-nazi cults, to inscrutably gendered teenagers) to an audience expected to find them unfamiliar, and titillating. Nagle attempts to cast herself as an aloof and wry explorer, but at various points her commitments become all too clear. Nagle implicitly casts her reader as the eponymous normies, overlooking those of us who live through lives with transgenders, in the wake of colonialism, despite invisible disabilities (including depression), and all the rest.

This is both a shame and a missed opportunity, because the deadly violence the Alt-Right has proven itself capable of is in urgent need of evaluation, but so too are the very real dysfunctions which afflict the left (both online and IRL). After this book patient, discerning, explanatory, and immanent readings of internet culture remain sorely needed. The best that can be said for Kill All Normies is, as the old meme goes, “An attempt was made.”
angela-nagle  normies  books  reading  transphobia  germaine-greer  milo  alt-right  politics  internet  4chan 
4 weeks ago
Undercover operation 'Close Pass' reduced cyclist injuries by 20% in a year

An initiative to protect cyclists from dangerous overtaking has been praised, after reducing the amount of cyclists killed or seriously injured on the roads by 20% over the last year.
Operation 'Close Pass' was devised by West Midlands Police as a low cost way of preventing accidents caused by motorists who are driving too close for comfort.


(Via Tony Finch)
cycling  via:fanf  safety  overtaking  roads  bikes 
4 weeks ago
malware piggybacking on CCleaner
On September 13, 2017 while conducting customer beta testing of our new exploit detection technology, Cisco Talos identified a specific executable which was triggering our advanced malware protection systems. Upon closer inspection, the executable in question was the installer for CCleaner v5.33, which was being delivered to endpoints by the legitimate CCleaner download servers. Talos began initial analysis to determine what was causing this technology to flag CCleaner. We identified that even though the downloaded installation executable was signed using a valid digital signature issued to Piriform, CCleaner was not the only application that came with the download. During the installation of CCleaner 5.33, the 32-bit CCleaner binary that was included also contained a malicious payload that featured a Domain Generation Algorithm (DGA) as well as hardcoded Command and Control (C2) functionality. We confirmed that this malicious version of CCleaner was being hosted directly on CCleaner's download server as recently as September 11, 2017.
ccleaner  malware  avast  piriform  windows  security 
4 weeks ago
This Heroic Captain Defied His Orders and Stopped America From Starting World War III
Captain William Bassett, a USAF officer stationed at Okinawa on October 28, 1962, can now be added alongside Stanislav Petrov to the list of people who have saved the world from WWIII:

By [John] Bordne’s account, at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis, Air Force crews on Okinawa were ordered to launch 32 missiles, each carrying a large nuclear warhead. [...]

The Captain told Missile Operations Center over the phone that he either needed to hear that the threat level had been raised to DEFCON 1 and that he should fire the nukes, or that he should stand down. We don’t know exactly what the Missile Operations Center told Captain Bassett, but they finally received confirmation that they should not launch their nukes.

After the crisis had passed Bassett reportedly told his men: “None of us will discuss anything that happened here tonight, and I mean anything. No discussions at the barracks, in a bar, or even here at the launch site. You do not even write home about this. Am I making myself perfectly clear on this subject?”
wwiii  history  nukes  cuban-missile-crisis  1960s  usaf  okinawa  missiles  william-bassett 
4 weeks ago
Native Memory Tracking
Java 8 HotSpot feature to monitor and diagnose native memory leaks
java  jvm  memory  native-memory  malloc  debugging  coding  nmt  java-8  jcmd 
4 weeks ago
Malicious typosquatting packages in PyPI
skcsirt-sa-20170909-pypi vulnerability announcement from SK-CSIRT:
SK-CSIRT identified malicious software libraries in the official Python package
repository, PyPI, posing as well known libraries. A prominent example is a fake
package urllib-1.21.1.tar.gz, based upon a well known package
urllib3-1.21.1.tar.gz.

Such packages may have been downloaded by unwitting developer or administrator
by various means, including the popular “pip” utility (pip install urllib).
There is evidence that the fake packages have indeed been downloaded and
incorporated into software multiple times between June 2017 and September 2017.
pypi  python  typos  urllib  security  malware 
5 weeks ago
London police’s use of AFR facial recognition falls flat on its face
A “top-of-the-line” automated facial recognition (AFR) system trialled for the second year in a row at London’s Notting Hill Carnival couldn’t even tell the difference between a young woman and a balding man, according to a rights group worker invited to view it in action. Because yes, of course they did it again: London’s Met police used controversial, inaccurate, largely unregulated automated facial recognition (AFR) technology to spot troublemakers. And once again, it did more harm than good.

Last year, it proved useless. This year, it proved worse than useless: it blew up in their faces, with 35 false matches and one wrongful arrest of somebody erroneously tagged as being wanted on a warrant for a rioting offense.

[...] During a recent, scathing US House oversight committee hearing on the FBI’s use of the technology, it emerged that 80% of the people in the FBI database don’t have any sort of arrest record. Yet the system’s recognition algorithm inaccurately identifies them during criminal searches 15% of the time, with black women most often being misidentified.
face-recognition  afr  london  notting-hill-carnival  police  liberty  met-police  privacy  data-privacy  algorithms 
5 weeks ago
"Use trees. Not too deep. Mostly ensembles."
snarky summary of 'Data-driven Advice for Applying Machine Learning to Bioinformatics Problems', a recent analysis paper of ML algorithms
algorithms  machine-learning  bioinformatics  funny  advice  classification 
5 weeks ago
Universal adversarial perturbations
in today’s paper Moosavi-Dezfooli et al., show us how to create a _single_ perturbation that causes the vast majority of input images to be misclassified.
adversarial-classification  spam  image-recognition  ml  machine-learning  dnns  neural-networks  images  classification  perturbation  papers 
5 weeks ago
'Let’s all survive the GDPR'
Simon McGarr and John Looney's slides from their SRECon '17 presentation
simon-mcgarr  data-privacy  privacy  data-protection  gdpr  slides  presentations 
5 weeks ago
The Immortal Myths About Online Abuse – Humane Tech – Medium
After building online communities for two decades, we’ve learned how to fight abuse. It’s a solvable problem. We just have to stop repeating the same myths as excuses not to fix things.


Here are the 8 myths Anil Dash picks out:

1. False: You can’t fix abusive behavior online.

2. False: Fighting abuse hurts free speech!

3. False: Software can detect abuse using simple rules.

4. False: Most people say “abuse” when they just mean criticism.

5. False: We just need everybody to use their “real” name.

6. False: Just charge a dollar to comment and that’ll fix things.

7. False: You can call the cops! If it’s not illegal, it’s not harmful.

8. False: Abuse can be fixed without dedicated resources.
abuse  comments  community  harassment  racism  reddit  anil-dash  free-speech 
5 weeks ago
"You Can't Stay Here: The Efficacy of Reddit’s 2015 Ban Examined Through Hate Speech"

In 2015, Reddit closed several subreddits—foremost among them r/fatpeoplehate and r/CoonTown—due to violations of Reddit’s anti-harassment policy. However, the effectiveness of banning as a moderation approach remains unclear: banning might diminish hateful behavior, or it may relocate such behavior to different parts of the site.

We study the ban of r/fatpeoplehate and r/CoonTown in terms of its effect on both participating users and affected subreddits. Working from over 100M Reddit posts and comments, we generate hate speech lexicons to examine variations in hate speech usage via causal inference methods. We find that the ban worked for Reddit. More accounts than expected discontinued using the site; those that stayed drastically decreased their hate speech usage—by at least 80%. Though many subreddits saw an influx of r/fatpeoplehate and r/CoonTown “migrants,” those subreddits saw no significant changes in hate speech usage. In other words, other subreddits did not inherit the problem. We conclude by reflecting on the apparent success of the ban, discussing implications for online moderation, Reddit and internet communities more broadly.


(Via Anil Dash)
abuse  reddit  research  hate-speech  community  moderation  racism  internet 
5 weeks ago
How to Optimize Garbage Collection in Go
In this post, we’ll share a few powerful optimizations that mitigate many of the performance problems common to Go’s garbage collection (we will cover “fun with deadlocks” in a follow-up). In particular, we’ll share how embedding structs, using sync.Pool, and reusing backing arrays can minimize memory allocations and reduce garbage collection overhead.
garbage  performance  gc  golang  go  coding 
5 weeks ago
So much for that Voynich manuscript “solution”
boo.
The idea that the book is a medical treatise on women's health, however, might turn out to be correct. But that wasn't Gibbs' discovery. Many scholars and amateur sleuths had already reached that conclusion, using the same evidence that Gibbs did. Essentially, Gibbs rolled together a bunch of already-existing scholarship and did a highly speculative translation, without even consulting the librarians at the institute where the book resides. Gibbs said in the TLS article that he did his research for an unnamed "television network." Given that Gibbs' main claim to fame before this article was a series of books about how to write and sell television screenplays, it seems that his goal in this research was probably to sell a television screenplay of his own. In 2015, Gibbs did an interview where he said that in five years, "I would like to think I could have a returnable series up and running." Considering the dubious accuracy of many History Channel "documentaries," he might just get his wish.
crypto  history  voynich-manuscript  historians  tls 
5 weeks ago
Teaching Students to Code - What Works
Lynn Langit describing her work as part of Microsoft Digigirlz and TKP to teach thousands of kids worldwide to code. Describes a curriculum from "K" (4-6-year olds) learning computational thinking with a block-based programming environment like Scratch, up to University level, solving problems with public clouds like AWS' free tier.
education  learning  coding  teaching  tkp  lynn-langit  scratch  kids 
5 weeks ago
Java Flame Graphs Introduction: Fire For Everyone!
lots of good detail on flame graph usage in Java, and the Honest Profiler (honest because it's safepoint-free)
profiling  java  safepoints  jvm  flame-graphs  perf  measurement  benchmarking  testing 
5 weeks ago
HN thread on the new Network Load Balancer AWS product
looks like @colmmacc works on it. Lots and lots of good details here
nlb  aws  load-balancing  ops  architecture  lbs  tcp  ip 
5 weeks ago
The React license for founders and CTOs – James Ide – Medium
Decent explanation of _why_ Facebook came up with the BSD+Patents license: "Facebook’s patent grant is about sharing its code while preserving its ability to defend itself against patent lawsuits."
The difficulty of open sourcing code at Facebook, including React in 2013, was one of the reasons the company’s open-source contributions used to be a fraction of what they are today. It didn’t use to have a strong reputation as an open-source contributor to front-end technologies. Facebook wanted to open source code, though; when it grew communities for projects like React, core contributors emerged to help out and interview candidates often cited React and other Facebook open source as one of the reasons they were interested in applying. People at Facebook wanted to make it easier to open source code and not worry as much about patents. Facebook’s solution was the Facebook BSD+Patents license.
facebook  bsd  licenses  licensing  asf  patents  swpats  react  license  software-patents  open-source  rocksdb 
5 weeks ago
Firms involved in biometric database in India contracted by Irish government
Two tech firms – one owned by businessman Dermot Desmond – involved in the creation of a controversial biometric database in India, are providing services for the Government’s public services card and passports. Known as the Aadhaar project, the Indian scheme is the world’s largest ever biometric database involving 1.2 billion citizens. Initially voluntary, it became mandatory for obtaining state services, for paying taxes and for opening a bank account.

[...]
Dermot Casey, a former chief technology officer of Storyful, said that if the Daon system was used to store the data and carry out the facial matching then the Government “appears to have purchased a biometric database system which can be extended to include voice, fingerprint and iris identification at a moment’s notice”.

Katherine O’Keefe, a data protection consultant with Castlebridge, said if the departments were using images of people’s faces to single out or identify an individual, they were “by legal definition processing biometric data”.
biometrics  databases  aadhar  id-cards  ireland  psc  daon  morpho 
5 weeks ago
Download 67,000 Historic Maps (in High Resolution) from the Wonderful David Rumsey Map Collection | Open Culture
You do not need to be a Stanford student or faculty or staff member to access the vast treasures of the Rumsey Map collection, nor do you need to visit the university or its new Center. Since 1996, the Rumsey collection’s online database has been open to all, currently offering anyone with an internet connection access to 67,000 maps from all over the globe, spanning five centuries of cartography.


(via Oisin)
via:oisin  maps  art  graphics  open-access  mapping  history  david-rumsey  collections 
6 weeks ago
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