jm +   0

Here’s a list of organizations that are mobilizing to help separated immigrant children | The Texas Tribune
We’ve compiled a list of organizations that are mobilizing to try and help children that have been separated from their parents at the Texas-Mexico border.
texas  children  immigration  family-separations  us-politics  usa  charity 
yesterday by jm
10-hour Microsoft Azure outage in Europe
Service availability issue in North Europe

Summary of impact: From 17:44 on 19 Jun 2018 to 04:30 UTC on 20 Jun 2018 customers using Azure services in North Europe may have experienced connection failures when attempting to access resources hosted in the region. Customers leveraging a subset of Azure services may have experienced residual impact for a sustained period post-mitigation of the underlying issue. We are communicating with these customers directly in their Management Portal.

Preliminary root cause: Engineers identified that an underlying temperature issue in one of the datacenters in the region triggered an infrastructure alert, which in turn caused a structured shutdown of a subset of Storage and Network devices in this location to ensure hardware and data integrity.

Mitigation: Engineers addressed the temperature issue, and performed a structured recovery of the affected devices and the affected downstream services.


The specific services were: 'Virtual Machines, Storage, SQL Database, Key Vault, App Service, Site Recovery, Automation, Service Bus, Event Hubs, Data Factory, Backup, API management, Log Analytics, Application Insight, Azure Batch Azure Search, Redis Cache, Media Services, IoT Hub, Stream Analytics, Power BI, Azure Monitor, Azure Cosmo DB or Logic Apps in North Europe'. Holy cow
microsoft  outages  fail  azure  post-mortems  cooling-systems  datacenters 
yesterday by jm
Visa admits 5m payments failed over a broken switch
“We operate two redundant data centres in the UK, meaning that either one can independently handle 100% of the transactions for Visa in Europe. In normal circumstances, the systems are synchronised and either centre can take over from the other immediately … in this instance, a component with a switch in our primary data centre suffered a very rare partial failure which prevented the backup switch from activating.”
visa  outages  post-mortems  fail  europe  dcs 
yesterday by jm
In America, Naturalized Citizens No Longer Have an Assumption of Permanence | The New Yorker
Michael Bars, the U.S.C.I.S. spokesman, told the Washington Examiner that the agency is hiring dozens of lawyers for the new task force. The mandate, according to both Cissna and Bars, is to find people who deliberately lied on their citizenship applications, not those who made innocent mistakes. The distinction is fuzzier than one might assume.

Back in 1989, I had to make a decision about whether to lie on my citizenship application. At the time, immigration law banned “aliens afflicted with sexual deviation,” among others suffering from “psychopathic personality,” from entry to the United States. I had come to this country as a fourteen-year-old, in 1981, but I had been aware of my “sexual deviation” at the time, and this technically meant that I should not have entered the country. [....]

Over the years, the applications for both citizenship and permanent residence have grown ever longer, filling with questions that seem to be designed to be used against the applicant. Question 26 on the green-card application, for example, reads, “Have you EVER committed a crime of any kind (even if you were not arrested, cited, charged with, or tried for that crime)?” ... The question does not specify whether it refers to a crime under current U.S. law or the laws of the country in which the crime might have been committed. In the Soviet Union of my youth, it was illegal to possess foreign currency or to spend the night anywhere where you were not registered to live. In more than seventy countries, same-sex sexual activity is still illegal. On closer inspection, just about every naturalized citizen might look like an outlaw, or a liar.
law  immigration  us-politics  america  citizenship  naturalization  history 
2 days ago by jm
Is America Ready for a Global Pandemic? - The Atlantic
The egg-based [vaccine manufacture] system depends on chickens, which are themselves vulnerable to flu. And since viruses can mutate within the eggs, the resulting vaccines don’t always match the strains that are circulating. But vaccine makers have few incentives to use anything else. Switching to a different process would cost billions, and why bother? Flu vaccines are low-margin products, which only about 45 percent of Americans get in a normal year. So when demand soars during a pandemic, the supply is not set to cope.

American hospitals, which often operate unnervingly close to full capacity, likewise struggled with the surge of patients. Pediatric units were hit especially hard by H1N1, and staff became exhausted from continuously caring for sick children. Hospitals almost ran out of the life-support units that sustain people whose lungs and hearts start to fail. The health-care system didn’t break, but it came too close for comfort—especially for what turned out to be a training-wheels pandemic. The 2009 H1N1 strain killed merely 0.03 percent of those it infected; by contrast, the 1918 strain had killed 1 to 3 percent, and the H7N9 strain currently circulating in China has a fatality rate of 40 percent.

That the U.S. could be so ill-prepared for flu, of all things, should be deeply concerning. The country has a dedicated surveillance web, antiviral drugs, and an infrastructure for making and deploying flu vaccines. None of that exists for the majority of other emerging infectious diseases.
vaccines  health  diseases  h1n1  flu  pandemics  future  scary 
2 days ago by jm
Save on your AWS bill with Kubernetes Ingress
decent into to Kubernetes Ingress and the Ambassador microservices API gateway built on Envoy Proxy
envoy  proxying  kubernetes  aws  elb  load-balancing  ingress  ambassador  ops 
2 days ago by jm
Halton sequence
In statistics, Halton sequences are sequences used to generate points in space for numerical methods such as Monte Carlo simulations. Although these sequences are deterministic, they are of low discrepancy, that is, appear to be random for many purposes. They were first introduced in 1960 and are an example of a quasi-random number sequence.
algorithms  graphics  random  randomness  coding  monte-carlo-simulation  number-sequences 
3 days ago by jm
Fibonacci Hashing: The Optimization that the World Forgot (or: a Better Alternative to Integer Modulo)
Turns out I was wrong. This is a big one. And everyone should be using it. Hash tables should not be prime number sized and they should not use an integer modulo to map hashes into slots. Fibonacci hashing is just better. Yet somehow nobody is using it and lots of big hash tables (including all the big implementations of std::unordered_map) are much slower than they should be because they don’t use Fibonacci Hashing.


Apparently this is binary multiplicative hashing, and Google's brotli, webp, and Snappy libs all use a constant derived heuristically from a compression test corpus along the same lines (see comments).

(Via Michael Fogleman)
algorithms  hashing  hash  fibonacci  golden-ratio  coding  hacks  brotli  webp  snappy  hash-tables  hashmaps  load-distribution 
3 days ago by jm
A few observations on the bikesharing systems in China
Mindblowing Twitter thread. The variety of systems, most of which are barely impinging on our systems over here in Ireland!
china  bikesharing  cycling  bikes  transit  public-transit  commuting 
3 days ago by jm
Paradox of tolerance
The paradox of tolerance was described by Karl Popper in 1945. The paradox states that if a society is tolerant without limit, their ability to be tolerant will eventually be seized or destroyed by the intolerant. Popper came to the seemingly paradoxical conclusion that in order to maintain a tolerant society, the society must be intolerant of intolerance.
psychology  diversity  paradoxes  karl-popper  tolerance  intolerance  racism 
3 days ago by jm
Crazy maths makes nonsense of Irish climate change policy
'John FitzGerald on madness of Ireland burning peat for electricity:

'the current subsidy per job involved is at least €100,000 a year. The Bord na Móna annual report indicates that, in the year 2016/2017, its workers’ average pay was €50,000. In other words, the subsidy per job is around twice what the workers involved actually earn.

If the peat-fired power stations were closed tomorrow, and the workers involved continued to be employed on their current wages, subsidising these jobs would only cost €50 million, not €100 million. Electricity consumers would pay less to subsidise these jobs, and Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions would fall substantially as a result of discontinuing this polluting fuel use.'

We should plan for closure by 2020 of peat-fired electricity generation:

–greatly benefit environment;
–save electricity consumers money;
–protect livelihoods.
environment  peat  ireland  electricity  fossil-fuels  policy  climate-change 
4 days ago by jm
The best Mario Kart character according to data science
Unless you’re going all-in on acceleration, it looks like a heavy character is the way to go; the two heaviest character classes (Wario and Donkey Kong) account for 11/15 of the Pareto-optimal configurations.


Wario/Sports Bike/Slick or Wario/Gold Standard/Slick get the top billing!
wario  nintendo  mario-kart  games  wii  switch 
6 days ago by jm
Twitter thread regarding GDPR-compliance for append-only logs/event sourcing systems
Martin Kleppmann: "What’s current best practice for GDPR compliance (in particular, right to deletion) in systems with append-only logs/event sourcing/blockchains, which are supposed to keep history forever?"

Ben Kehoe: "Crypto delete. The immutable store keeps an encrypted copy, and the key is stored elsewhere. Forget me = throw away the key".

That seems to be the most practical suggestion in general in this thread.
twitter  threads  gdpr  compliance  law  eu  append-only  logs  blockchain  event-sourcing  architecture  storage  kafka  kinesis 
6 days ago by jm
Val on Programming: Making a Datomic system GDPR-compliant
Proposed solution: complementing Datomic with an erasure-aware key/value store.
In cases where Excision is not a viable solution, the solution I've come up with is store to privacy-sensitive values in a complementary, mutable KV store, and referencing the corresponding keys from Datomic.


This seems to be turning into a common pattern for GDPR compliant storage.
gdpr  privacy  clojure  datomic  data-protection  storage  architecture 
6 days ago by jm
Taming the Beast: How Scylla Leverages Control Theory to Keep Compactions Under Control - ScyllaDB
This is a really nice illustration of the use of control theory to set tunable thresholds automatically in a complex storage system. Nice work Scylla:

At any given moment, a database like ScyllaDB has to juggle the admission of foreground requests with background processes like compactions, making sure that the incoming workload is not severely disrupted by compactions, nor that the compaction backlog is so big that reads are later penalized.

In this article, we showed that isolation among incoming writes and compactions can be achieved by the Schedulers, yet the database is still left with the task of determining the amount of shares of the resources incoming writes and compactions will use.

Scylla steers away from user-defined tunables in this task, as they shift the burden of operation to the user, complicating operations and being fragile against changing workloads. By borrowing from the strong theoretical background of industrial controllers, we can provide an Autonomous Database that adapts to changing workloads without operator intervention.
scylladb  storage  settings  compaction  automation  thresholds  control-theory  ops  cassandra  feedback 
7 days ago by jm
The Language of the Trump Administration Is the Language of Domestic Violence | The New Yorker
God this is so awful.
Gaslighting, it needs not be said, is Trump’s preferred mode of communication, and it is encoded in the family-separation policy itself: once their parents have been taken into custody, the children are reclassified as “unaccompanied minors,” their parents effectively disappeared. On Friday, NPR reported on three Guatemalan mothers who were on trial in Alpine, Texas, after D.H.S. flew their children—ages eight, eight, and nine—more than two thousand miles away, to a shelter in Manhattan. “There is no mention in the Border Patrol narrative,” an immigration lawyer told NPR, “that these women had children with them when they entered the United States.” Can you prove this child is yours? Do you even have children? Well, then, where are they?
children  donald-trump  new-yorker  dhs  asylum-seekers 
7 days ago by jm
Trans kids & the people who hate them
Research (Mental Health of Transgender Children Who Are Supported in Their Identities, Olson et al. 2016) has shown that children whose preferred gender identity is accepted by family and friends have no worse mental health outcomes than other children. But those who are not accepted are much more likely to have mental health issues, self harm or take their own lives.
We can take from this that acceptance causes no harm, but non-acceptance causes harm — so why are so many people angry with parents for accepting their trans kids?
trans  children  kids  parenting  society  gender  identity 
7 days ago by jm
Woman's Tongue Gets Inseminated By Squid After Eating Undercooked Seafood | IFLScience
As documented in a 2012 edition of the Journal of Parasitology, the foreign bodies were identified as squid spermatophores (sperm-containing capsules) belonging to a Japanese flying squid (Todarodes pacificus). Rather foolishly, the woman had not removed the internal organs of the squid and proceeded to only parboil it for a few seconds before eating it, meaning its spermatophores were still alive and well.

“As soon as she put a piece into her mouth, she felt like many 'bugs' were biting her oral mucosa,” the study reads. “She experienced severe sharp pain and spat out the entire portion without swallowing. Despite that, she could feel many small squirming white bug-like organisms penetrating her oral mucosa.”


NOOOOOPE
nope  argh  disgusting  gross  squid  sperm  parasitology  spermatophores  korea  tongue 
10 days ago by jm
Software Development and GDPR
You could think, as a developer, that the lawyers worry about this kind of fine-grained issue. They don’t. This is one of those situations where they say, well, here’s the risk, you have to make a decision, document it, and be ready to back that up in front of a judge should the soup hit the fan.

In this particular case it’s straightforward enough. Are you in control of the presence of data in your database? Yes. It’s up to you to delete it when requested. Are you in control of the data on your harddrive? Yes. It’s up to you to delete it when requested. Are you in control of the operating system implementation or database implementation of deletion? No. Could you get the data back if you wanted to? Yes – but that’s not part of your usual run of business, so why would you explicitly do that? What if some bad dude steals your harddrive and then rummages through it? Ok we are getting a little far-fetched here for most businesses that are not keeping special category data, but if this does happen, then you have failed in your security controls.

I guess my overall point here is that GDPR Compliance is a continuum, not a tickbox. You want to be doing the best you can with it and document why you can go so far and not further. The companies that will be getting the big legislative fines are the guys that are willy-nilly exporting special category data out of the EEA en masse without the knowledge of the people associated with that data. The rest of us just need to muddle along as best we can.

gdpr  privacy  dev  tech  coding  data-protection  law  eu  storage 
13 days ago by jm
8thref.ie
An archive of 489,506 Irish abortion tweets from the period around the 8th referendum in Ireland
ireland  history  analytics  archives  archival  repealthe8th 
13 days ago by jm
NTSB: Autopilot steered Tesla car toward traffic barrier before deadly crash
This is the Tesla self-crashing car in action. Remember how it works. It visually recognizes rear ends of cars using a BW camera and Mobileye (at least in early models) vision software. It also recognizes lane lines and tries to center between them. It has a low resolution radar system which ranges moving metallic objects like cars but ignores stationary obstacles. And there are some side-mounted sonars for detecting vehicles a few meters away on the side, which are not relevant here.

The system performed as designed. The white lines of the gore (the painted wedge) leading to this very shallow off ramp become far enough apart that they look like a lane.[1] If the vehicle ever got into the gore area, it would track as if in a lane, right into the crash barrier. It won't stop for the crash barrier, because it doesn't detect stationary obstacles. Here, it sped up, because there was no longer a car ahead. Then it lane-followed right into the crash barrier.

That's the fundamental problem here. These vehicles will run into stationary obstacles at full speed with no warning or emergency braking at all. That is by design. This is not an implementation bug or sensor failure. It follows directly from the decision to ship "Autopilot" with that sensor suite and set of capabilities.
tesla  fail  safety  self-driving  autopilot  cars  driving  sonar  radar  sensors  ai 
13 days ago by jm
How to change JVM arguments at runtime to avoid application restart
This is a super nifty feature of the JVM: turn on and off heap class histogram dumps at runtime, for instance.
java -XX:+PrintFlagsFinal -version|grep manageable
jvm  ops  switches  cli  java  heap-dumps  memory  debugging  memory-leaks 
15 days ago by jm
AWS Region Table
what products are available where
amazon  aws  regions  azs  services  architecture  ops 
15 days ago by jm
How Ireland’s Abortion Referendum Became a Test Case for Democracy in the Social Media Age
Exploring the "fake news" merchants attempting to subvert the Irish abortion referendum.
On 4chan, a number of users who identified as Irish attempted to infiltrate the online conversation and tarnish the pro-repeal campaign. Operation Zyklon encouraged users to spread awareness of a connection between Amnesty International Ireland and the philanthropist George Soros, who donated €137,000 to Amnesty’s My Body My Rights campaign in 2016. Operation Trojan Horse saw users sharing templates of fake pro-repeal posters with extreme captions such as, “There should be no limit on abortion up to birth”. Users were encouraged to print and spread these posters around college campuses and share them across social media. A particularly curious operation called Operation Drunken Monkey aimed to stifle student voter turnout by organizing club nights on May 24 in the hope that students would be too hungover to vote the following day.
4chan  repealthe8th  abortion  referenda  politics  fake-news  amnesty 
15 days ago by jm
How Ireland Beat Dark Ads – Foreign Policy
In practice, while these recognizable attempts to disrupt the democratic debate with microtargeted ads, bot activity, and misinformation were active, they appear to have been relatively ineffective and may even have turned voters away from those employing them.

Given the battleground online discourse has become in democracies across the world, this small country’s resistance to it may offer some cause for hope. The resilience offered by the small size and close-knit nature of the Irish electorate may be difficult to reproduce in larger democracies. But the active measures taken by media, volunteer groups, and campaigners against potentially corrosive techniques can be a powerful inspiration.


+1 -- it's heartening that we were able to defeat these 21st century dirty tricks after the damage they did with Trump and Brexit.
brexit  elections  trump  fake-news  propaganda  bots  dark-ads  facebook  social-media  repealthe8th  referenda  abortion  ireland  repeal-shield  twitter 
19 days ago by jm
‘Abroad For Yes' Helped Irish Voters Get Home for Abortion Referendum
This was one of the most amazing things I saw during the referendum campaign, alright! I had the pleasure of helping to fund several journeys home to vote:
Rebecca Wilson, one of the Abroad for Yes co-founders, said she and two other women, her sister Lauren Wilson and Hannah McNulty Madden, decided to launch the group when the referendum date was announced in late March. Wilson was visiting Helsinki, where Lauren and McNulty Madden are students.

After realizing Lauren and McNulty Madden weren’t eligible for a postal vote, they looked up the cost of flights and panicked. On Twitter, however, McNulty Madden noticed that people were expressing interest in helping people who wanted to go home to Ireland but couldn’t afford it. The women decided to set up the Abroad for Yes Facebook group as a community for supporters of repealing the eighth amendment to gather and find one another.

Wilson thought they’d help fund travel for maybe 10 people total, but in the first day of the group’s existence funded 5 trips, including for Lauren and McNulty Madden. After traveling back to Dublin, Wilson and the group continued to help others, enlisting three other group administrators. Wilson said they don’t have an exact figure, but she believes they’ve helped raise at least 30,000 euros.
ireland  repealthe8th  abortion  referenda  abroad-for-yes  t4y  facebook 
19 days ago by jm
A first draft of history
For journalists it is always easier to point to the politician with the pearly-white smile and the pithy sound-byte as the harbinger of change – they attract the cameras and the microphones and make us turn our backs on the truth. It’s like we cannot – or will not – believe that change can be brought about by ordinary people doing extraordinary things, no matter how often we see it. It’s like we need the fallacy that our leaders are somehow better than us, somehow in control to sleep safely at night, when in fact much of our insomnia and worry is their creation.

My first draft of history is this:

“On Friday May 25 2018, the women of Ireland repealed the Eighth Amendment.”

And that’s it.

It may have taken them 35 years, and in that time they were scorned and laughed at and belittled and abused, right up until Saturday morning and in some cases beyond, and yet they did it. Nothing else is relevant.

Through the day I saw women, from teenagers who had just cast their first vote to political veterans who started out on this trail 35 years previously, gradually realising what they had done.

One by one, it dawned on them the immense power that they now wield.

They banded together, and over the weeks and months and years, they changed a country.

And they’re not done yet.


Amen to that. Resist the rewriting of history -- this was a revolutionary moment for Ireland, and in some ways, the world.
ireland  history  repealthe8th  abortion  referenda  journalism 
20 days ago by jm
How to revoke all ad permissions from Oath GDPR pages
in summary:
document.querySelectorAll('input[type=checkbox]').forEach(val => val.checked = false)


(via stx)
via:stx  oath  gdpr  privacy  tracking  ads 
21 days ago by jm
on the etymology of "ramen"
One day it hit her when she heard her Chinese chef using his call to let her know an order was done: "Hao-ra" (好了), meaning "it's ready."
She decided to start calling it Ra-men, and the name quickly took off.
ramen  food  japanese  noodles  words  etymology  history 
22 days ago by jm
If only Brexit had been run like Ireland’s referendum | Fintan O’Toole | Opinion | The Guardian
Good postmortem review on how the abortion referendum evaded Trumpian "fake news" tactics.
Irish voters were subjected to the same polarising tactics that have worked so well elsewhere: shamelessly fake “facts” (the claim, for example, that abortion was to be legalised up to six months into pregnancy); the contemptuous dismissal of expertise (the leading obstetrician Peter Boylan was told in a TV debate to “go back to school”); deliberately shocking visual imagery (posters of aborted foetuses outside maternity hospitals); and a discourse of liberal elites versus the real people. But Irish democracy had an immune system that proved highly effective in resisting this virus. Its success suggests a democratic playbook with at least four good rules.
trump  fake-news  abortion  referendum  repealthe8th  democracy  ireland  fintan-o-toole 
22 days ago by jm
I am a computer — docubyte
absolutely glorious classic microcomputing GIFs
micros  computing  history  apple  ibm  gifs  images  art 
23 days ago by jm
Archiving the 8th
'archiving & collecting the 2018 referendum':
This site was set up as a voluntary effort to answer some of these questions, and to quickly compile information on all known archiving and collecting activities happening nationwide, on both sides of the referendum campaign. It’s still very much a work in progress but the aspirations include:

to provide an immediate, temporary resource to consolidate information on who’s archiving the 8th, and offer contact details
share resources and suggestions, particularly for people wishing to donate material
identify potential gaps or opportunities in collecting
support networking of folks around the country engaged in archiving the 8th
share models of protocols and examples of other ‘rapid response’ collecting elsewhere
repealthe8th  history  archives  archival  2018  referenda 
23 days ago by jm
_Random Slicing: Efficient and Scalable Data Placement for Large-Scale Storage Systems_, ACM Transactions on Storage, July 2014
'The ever-growing amount of data requires highly scalable storage solutions. The most flexible approach is to use storage pools that can be expanded and scaled down by adding or removing storage devices. To make this approach usable, it is necessary to provide a solution to locate data items in such a dynamic environment. This article presents and evaluates the Random Slicing strategy, which incorporates lessons learned from table-based, rule-based, and pseudo-randomized hashing strategies and is able to provide a simple and efficient strategy that scales up to handle exascale data. Random Slicing keeps a small table with information about previous storage system insert and remove operations, drastically reducing the required amount of randomness while delivering a perfect load distribution.'
randomness  architecture  algorithms  storage  hashing  slicing  scaling 
23 days ago by jm
This is why you're still seeing referendum ads online
summary: Google can't block ads placed via their own exchanges
advertising  adtech  google  ireland  ads  repealthe8th 
28 days ago by jm
ACLU to Amazon: Get out of the surveillance business
This is a fair point from the ACLU:
Already, Rekognition is in use in Florida and Oregon. Government agencies in California and Arizona have sought information about it, too. And Amazon didn't just sell Rekognition to law enforcement, it's actively partnering with them to ensure that authorities can fully utilize Rekognition's capabilities.

Amazon has branded itself as customer-centric, opposed secret government surveillance, and has a CEO who publicly supported First Amendment freedoms and spoke out against the discriminatory Muslim Ban. Yet, Amazon is powering dangerous surveillance that poses a grave threat to customers and communities already unjustly targeted in the current political climate.
We must make it clear to Amazon that we won't stand by and let it pad its bottom line by selling out our civil rights.
aclu  amazon  rekognition  facial-recognition  faces  law  privacy  data-privacy  civil-rights 
29 days ago by jm
course-hero/slacktee
'a bash script that works like tee command. Instead of writing the standard input to files, slacktee posts it to Slack.'

(via Ardi)
via:ardi  shell  slack  ops  hacks  notification 
4 weeks ago by jm
Louise Kenny's repeal facts and FAQs
Dr Louise Kenny, Professor of Obstetrics in UCC, with some extremely valid science
science  medicine  louise-kenny  repealthe8th  abortion 
4 weeks ago by jm
Tricks, Lies and Videotape: The Dirty Tactics of the Anti Choice Side - HeadStuff
Hearing so, so many dirty tricks being pulled by the NO side. Please vote yes for repeal if you have a vote on Friday
repealthe8th  ireland  law  abortion  prochoice  dirty-tricks  tactics 
4 weeks ago by jm
schibsted/strongbox: A secret manager for AWS
Strongbox is a CLI/GUI and SDK to manage, store, and retrieve secrets (access tokens, encryption keys, private certificates, etc). Strongbox is a client-side convenience layer on top of AWS KMS, DynamoDB and IAM. It manages the AWS resources for you and configure them in a secure way. Strongbox has been used in production since mid-2016 and is now used extensively within Schibsted.
schibsted  strongbox  kms  aws  dynamodb  storage  secrets  credentials  passwords  ops 
4 weeks ago by jm
EC2 Instance Update – C5 Instances with Local NVMe Storage (C5d)
With a 25% to 50% improvement in price-performance over the C4 instances, the C5 instances are designed for applications like batch and log processing, distributed and or real-time analytics, high-performance computing (HPC), ad serving, highly scalable multiplayer gaming, and video encoding. Some of these applications can benefit from access to high-speed, ultra-low latency local storage. For example, video encoding, image manipulation, and other forms of media processing often necessitates large amounts of I/O to temporary storage. While the input and output files are valuable assets and are typically stored as Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) objects, the intermediate files are expendable. Similarly, batch and log processing runs in a race-to-idle model, flushing volatile data to disk as fast as possible in order to make full use of compute resources.


Very nice!
ec2  instance-types  ops  storage  hardware  aws 
4 weeks ago by jm
Bitcoin’s energy use got studied, and you libertarian nerds look even worse than usual | Grist
This is awful. What a waste:
Bitcoin’s energy footprint has more than doubled since Grist first wrote about it six months ago.

It’s expected to double again by the end of the year, according to a new peer-reviewed study out Wednesday. And if that happens, bitcoin would be gobbling up 0.5 percent of the world’s electricity, about as much as the Netherlands.

That’s a troubling trajectory, especially for a world that should be working overtime to root out energy waste and fight climate change. By late next year, bitcoin could be consuming more electricity than all the world’s solar panels currently produce — about 1.8 percent of global electricity, according to a simple extrapolation of the study’s predictions. That would effectively erase decades of progress on renewable energy.
energy  bitcoin  blockchain  cryptocurrencies  money  climate-change  planet  green 
4 weeks ago by jm
Tracking Firm LocationSmart Leaked Location Data for Customers of All Major U.S. Mobile Carriers Without Consent in Real Time Via Its Web Site
LocationSmart, a U.S. based company that acts as an aggregator of real-time data about the precise location of mobile phone devices, has been leaking this information to anyone via a buggy component of its Web site — without the need for any password or other form of authentication or authorization — KrebsOnSecurity has learned. The company took the vulnerable service offline early this afternoon after being contacted by KrebsOnSecurity, which verified that it could be used to reveal the location of any AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon phone in the United States to an accuracy of within a few hundred yards.
locationsmart  verizon  sprint  t-mobile  att  brian-krebs  security  location-tracking  tracking  mobile  phones  location 
4 weeks ago by jm
Docker is the dangerous gamble which we will regret : devops
The article this Reddit thread links to is garbage clickbait, but the responses are insightful and much better
reddit  ops  containerization  docker  contrarians  rkt 
5 weeks ago by jm
Completely Silent Computer
This computer makes no noise when it starts up.  It makes no noise when it shuts down.  It makes no noise when it idles.  It makes no noise when it’s under heavy load.  It makes no noise when it’s reading or writing data.  It can’t be heard in a regular room during the day.  It can’t be heard in a completely quiet house in the middle of the night.  It can’t be heard from 1m away.  It can’t be heard from 1cm away.  It can’t be heard — period.  It’s taken nearly 30 years to reach this point, but I’ve finally arrived.  The journey is over and it feels great.

If you are after a silent — not just quiet, but silent — daily driver, then I strongly recommend a passively-cooled case, heat pipes and solid state drives.  Eliminate the moving parts (e.g. fans, HDDs) and you eliminate the noise — it’s not that complicated.  It also doesn’t need to be really expensive (my system requirements were not ‘average’ so please don’t infer from this post that all DB4-based systems are as expensive).  Silence (and a perfectly respectable computer) can easily be had for half the price.
diy  hardware  pc  silence  quiet-hardware  cooling  fanless  amd 
5 weeks ago by jm
Canaries As Poisonous Gas Detectors
n the late 1890s, [John] Haldane began experimenting on small animals like white mice and canaries [to detect carbon monoxide]. Small animals have faster metabolism rate, and hence show the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning much earlier even in the presence of small quantities of the noxious gas. Canaries are especially good at detecting toxins in the air because of their specialized respiratory system.
carbon-monoxide  gas  safety  canaries  coal  mining  mines  respiration  gas-detectors 
5 weeks ago by jm
Crank magnetism
Crank magnetism also denotes the tendency — even for otherwise "lone issue" cranks — to accumulate more crank beliefs over time. You know that old saying about not being so open-minded that your brain falls out? People with crank magnetism didn't pay attention to that. Crank magnetism is an important stepping stone on the path towards being wrong all of the time. Its opposite is the stopped clock (which is when otherwise overly credulous people actually find some crankery that they won't believe in, and may even actively denounce it).
cranks  psychoceramics  crazy  crank-magnetism  antivaxxers  climate-change-denial 
5 weeks ago by jm
Face recognition police tools 'staggeringly inaccurate' - BBC News
"In figures given to Big Brother Watch, South Wales Police said its facial recognition technology had made 2,685 "matches" between May 2017 and March 2018 - but 2,451 were false alarms."

This is going to be a disaster.
surveillance  bbc  wales  facial-recognition  privacy  false-positives  ml 
5 weeks ago by jm
Dickens invented "gammon" as a slur in 1838, in 'Nicholas Nickleby'
This is thoroughly brexiteering stuff:

The time had been, when this burst of enthusiasm would have been cheered to the very echo; but now, the deputation received it with chilling coldness. The general impression seemed to be, that as an explanation of Mr Gregsbury’s political conduct, it did not enter quite enough into detail; and one gentleman in the rear did not scruple to remark aloud, that, for his purpose, it savoured rather too much of a ‘gammon’ tendency.

‘The meaning of that term — gammon,’ said Mr Gregsbury, ‘is unknown to me. If it means that I grow a little too fervid, or perhaps even hyperbolical, in extolling my native land, I admit the full justice of the remark. I AM proud of this free and happy country. My form dilates, my eye glistens, my breast heaves, my heart swells, my bosom burns, when I call to mind her greatness and her glory.’
brexit  funny  gammon  charles-dickens  history  gb  politics  uk-politics  uk 
5 weeks ago by jm
Abortion - the street demonstrations in pictures
There's me, marching after the X Case in 1992; bookmarking for posterity and my own scrapbook! Repeal the 8th!

'1992: A demonstration against the High Court injunction forbidding a 14-year-old alleged rape victim from obtaining an abortion in Britain. Photograph: The Irish Times'
1992  1990s  history  ireland  x-case  abortion  repealthe8th  law 
5 weeks ago by jm
"Mudslinging" campaigns drive down voting rates, particularly among the unsure
Does negative campaigning influence the likelihood of voting in elections? Our study of U.S. Senate campaigns indicates the answer is “yes.” We find that people distinguish between useful negative information presented in an appropriate manner and irrelevant and harsh mudslinging. As the proportion of legitimate criticisms increases in campaigns, citizens become more likely to cast ballots. When campaigns degenerate into unsubstantiated and shrill attacks, voters tend to stay home. Finally, we find that individuals vary in their sensitivity to the tenor of campaigns. In particular, the tone is more consequential for independents, for those with less interest in politics, and for those with less knowledge about politics.


(via Mark Dennehy)
politics  strategy  ireland  referenda  via:markdennehy  dirty-tricks 
5 weeks ago by jm
Attacks against GPG signed APT repositories - Packagecloud Blog

It is a common misconception that simply signing your packages and repository metadata with GPG is enough to create a secure APT repository. This is false. Many of the attacks outlined in the paper and this blog post are effective against GPG-signed APT repositories. GPG signing Debian packages themselves does nothing, as explained below. The easiest way to prevent the attacks covered below is to always serve your APT repository over TLS; no exceptions.


This is excellent research. My faith in GPG sigs on packages is well shaken.
apt  security  debian  packaging  gpg  pgp  packages  dpkg  apt-get  ops 
5 weeks ago by jm
GDPR will pop the adtech bubble
Without adtech, the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) would never have happened. But the GDPR did happen, and as a result websites all over the world are suddenly posting notices about their changed privacy policies, use of cookies, and opt-in choices for “relevant” or “interest-based” (translation: tracking-based) advertising. Email lists are doing the same kinds of things.

“Sunrise day” for the GDPR is 25 May. That’s when the EU can start smacking fines on violators.

Simply put, your site or service is a violator if it extracts or processes personal data without personal permission. Real permission, that is. You know, where you specifically say “Hell yeah, I wanna be tracked everywhere.”

Of course what I just said greatly simplifies what the GDPR actually utters, in bureaucratic legalese. The GDPR is also full of loopholes only snakes can thread; but the spirit of the law is clear, and the snakes will be easy to shame, even if they don’t get fined. (And legitimate interest—an actual loophole in the GDPR, may prove hard to claim.)

Toward the aftermath, the main question is What will be left of advertising—and what it supports—after the adtech bubble pops?
advertising  europe  law  privacy  gdpr  tracking  data-privacy 
5 weeks ago by jm
The Tidelift Subscription
The core idea of the Tidelift Subscription is to pay for “promises about the future” of your software components.  

When you incorporate an open source library into your application, you need to know not just that you can use it as-is today, but that it will be kept secure, properly licensed, and well maintained in the future. The Tidelift Subscription creates a direct financial incentive for the individual maintainers of the software stacks you use to follow through on those commitments. Aligning everyone’s interests—professional development teams and maintainers alike.

Critically, the Tidelift Subscriptions for React, Angular, and Vue.js cover not just the core libraries, but the vast set of dependencies and libraries typically used in these stacks. For example, a basic React web application pulls in over 1,000 distinct npm packages as dependencies. The Tidelift Subscription covers that full depth of packages which originate from all parts of the open source community, beyond the handful of core packages published by the React engineering team itself.
tidelift  open-source  libraries  dependencies  coding 
6 weeks ago by jm
Fraandship
Manish is definitely aware of how he and his other fraandship-seekers are perceived by Western women. But he says, “It’s a difficult problem to solve because men speaking to women they aren’t married to — or who aren’t in their families — isn’t usually allowed.” In fact, he later tells me that he’s spoken to very few women in his life, and that the internet has finally allowed him and others like him to speak to women without being worried about their parents or family finding out.

It’s this inexperience with women that leaves them defaulting to what they know best: “What we see in movies, [especially] Western movies.”

“We think if we talk about sex, or we try to act like people we see in films, we will be like them,” Manish explains. “So then, we get [upset] and confused when we’re blocked, or when these girls don’t talk back to us.”

Still, Manish and his friends are undeterred. Blocked or not, rejected or not, they continue to spend hours on other people’s Facebook and Twitter profiles, imagining what their lives are like — and how those lives could be theirs one day. “I will still go to America, or maybe London!” he says as we finish up our Skype call. “Soon, I will go. I do not want to stay here. I want to see the world. By [talking] to you, I’m already doing that.”
fraandship  fraands  south-asia  india  pakistan  internet  chat  dms 
6 weeks ago by jm
One space between each sentence, they said. Science just proved them wrong. - The Washington Post
Reading speed only improved marginally, the paper found, and only for the 21 “two-spacers,” who naturally typed with two spaces between sentences.  The majority of one-spacers, on the other hand, read at pretty much the same speed either way.  And reading comprehension was unaffected for everyone, regardless of how many spaces followed a period.
The major reason to use two spaces, the researchers wrote, was to make the reading process smoother, not faster.  Everyone tended to spend fewer milliseconds staring at periods when a little extra blank space followed it.


Yes yes yes. But two spaces is better!
two-spaces  spaces  typing  reading 
6 weeks ago by jm
DNA databases: biology stripped bare
Unlike other biometrics, [DNA] also provides revealing [data regarding] thousands of other related individuals; even to an entire ethnic group.

Such markers may reveal a genetic predisposition towards cancer, or early onset dementia. Mining that data and linking it to family trees and thus, individuals, might interest insurance companies, or state health bodies, or – as ever – advertisers. Or? Who knows?

And the ability of a third-party potentially to reveal such information about me, about you, without us having any say, by providing their DNA profile for some personal purpose? Consider how furious so many have been on the basis of their Facebook profile data going to Cambridge Analytica via some Facebook friend deciding to do a quiz.

Facebook profile data is revealing enough. But DNA is you, fully, irrevocably, exposed. And whatever it displays about you right now, is trivial compared to what we will be able to read into it in the future.

That’s why this case isn’t just about a solitary law enforcement outcome, but about all of us doing an unintended, genetic full monty.
dna-matching  dna  data-privacy  privacy  future  health  cancer  insurance  karlin-lillington 
7 weeks ago by jm
I Am the One Woman Who Has It All | The New Yorker

I have two kids and the unspoken pressure to act like they don’t exist when I’m on a conference call.

I have no problem lying about “being in a meeting” when I’m with my kids and no problem lying to my kids about “needing to work” when I’m on Facebook.
parenting  funny  new-yorker  women  life  work  work-life-balance  kids 
7 weeks ago by jm
Twitter thread: "People still talk about charging speed like it's a long-term obstacle for electric cars. It's not, for several reasons"
great thread on EV futures. Range anxiety is rapidly dwindling and they are the way of the future for sure
evs  cars  driving  batteries  bevs 
7 weeks ago by jm
An Algorithmic Investigation of the Highfalutin 'Poet Voice' - Atlas Obscura
'It’s easy to make fun of Poet Voice. But its proliferation across the space of academic poetry may have more serious implications as well. In a 2014 essay, “Poet Voice and Flock Mentality,” the poet Lisa Marie Basile connects it to an overall lack of diversity in the field, and a fear of breaking the mold. The consistent use of it, she writes, “delivers two messages: I am educated, I am taught, I am part-of a group … I am afraid to tell my own story in my own voice.”'
poet-voice  talking  speech  voices  intonation  droning  poetry 
7 weeks ago by jm
I tried leaving Facebook. I couldn’t - The Verge
Facebook events, Facebook pages, Facebook photos, and Facebook videos are for many people an integral part of the church picnic, the Christmas party, the class reunion, the baby shower. (The growing scourge of gender reveal parties with their elaborate “reveal” rituals and custom-made cakes seems particularly designed to complement documentation on social media). The completeness of Facebook allows people to create better substitutes for in-person support groups in a wide range of ever-narrowing demographics — from casual interests like Instant Pot recipes for Korean food to heavy life-altering circumstances like rare forms of cancer.

Of all people, I know why I shouldn’t trust Facebook, why my presence on its network contributes to the collective problem of its monopolistic hold on people. Everyone is on Facebook because everyone is on Facebook. And because everyone is on Facebook, even the people who aren’t are having their data collected in shadow profiles. My inaction affects even the people who have managed to stay away. I know this, I barely use Facebook, I don’t even like Facebook, and I find it nearly impossible to leave.
privacy  facebook  deletefacebook  social-networking  social  life  social-media  data-privacy 
7 weeks ago by jm
Silicon Valley Can't Be Trusted With Our History
the internet is messing with human cognition in ways that will take decades to fully understand. Some researchers believe it is altering the way we create memories. In one study, researchers told a group of people to copy a list of facts onto a computer. They told half the group that the facts would be saved when they finished and the other half that the facts would be erased. Those who thought that the facts would be saved were much worse at remembering them afterward. Instead of relying on our friends and neighbors — or on books, for that matter — we have started outsourcing our memories to the internet.

So what happens if those memories are erased — and if the very platforms responsible for their storage are the ones doing the erasing? That scenario is a threat everywhere, but particularly in countries where the authorities are most aggressively controlling speech and editing history. We say the internet never forgets, but internet freedom isn’t evenly distributed: When tech companies have expanded into parts of the world where information suppression is the norm, they have proven willing to work with local censors.
Those censors will be emboldened by new efforts at platform regulation in the US and Europe, just as authoritarian regimes have already enthusiastically repurposed the rhetoric of “fake news.”

The reach and power of tech platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are so new and strange that we’ve barely begun formulating a response. But we can learn from the activists already doing it; from Mosireen, or the team behind the Syrian Archive — six people, with a budget of $96,000, who are preserving thousands of hours of footage from their country’s civil war. The archive recently published the Chemical Weapons Database, documenting 221 chemical weapons attacks with 861 verified videos, implicating the Assad regime in a pattern of war crimes and putting the lie to armchair investigators helping to propagate conspiracy theories in the West. One of its cofounders recently told the Intercept that he spends nearly all his time making sure videos aren’t deleted from the big tech platforms before he gets a chance to download them.
censorship  syria  chemical-weapons  assad  history  youtube  video  archival  mosireen  the-syrian-archive  archives  memory  facebook 
7 weeks ago by jm
The brave new world of genetic genealogy - MIT Technology Review
The combination of DNA and genealogy is a potentially a huge force for good in the world, but it must be used responsibly. In all cases where public databases like GEDmatch are used, the potential for good must be balanced against the potential for harm. In cases involving adoptee searches, missing persons, and unidentified bodies, the potential for good usually markedly outweighs the potential for harm.

But the situation is not so clear-cut when it comes to the use of the methodology to identify suspects in rape and murder cases. The potential for harm is much higher under these circumstances, because of the risk of misuse, misapplication or misinterpretation of the data leading to wrongful identification of suspects. The stakes are too high for the GEDmatch database to be used by the police without oversight by a court of law. 

However, we are not looking at a dystopian future. In the long run the public sharing of DNA data, when done responsibly, is likely to have huge benefits for society. If a criminal can be caught not by his own DNA but through a match with one of his cousins he will be less likely to commit a crime in the first place. With the move to whole genome sequencing in forensic cases in the future, it will be possible to make better use of genetic genealogy methods and databases to identify missing people, the remains of soldiers from World War One and World War Two as well as more recent wars, and casualties from natural and manmade disasters. We will be able to give many more unidentified people the dignity of their identity in death. But we each control our own DNA and we should all be able to decide what, if anything, we wish to share.
gedmatch  genealogy  dna  police  murder  rape  dna-matching  privacy  data-privacy 
7 weeks ago by jm
Warning signs for TSB's IT meltdown were clear a year ago – insider | Business | The Guardian
The team behind the development were celebrating. In a LinkedIn post since removed, those involved in the migration were describing themselves as “champions”, a “hell of a team” and were pictured raising glasses of bubbly to cheers of “TSB transfer done and dusted”. However, only hours after the switch was flicked, systems crumpled and up to 1.9m TSB customers who use internet and mobile banking were locked out. “I could have put money on the rollout being the disaster it has been, with evidence of major code changes on the hoof over last weekend and into this week,” the insider said.

Customers reported receiving texts saying their cards had been used abroad, that they had discovered thousands of pounds in their accounts they did not have – or that mortgage accounts had vanished, multiplied or changed currency. One bemused account holder showed his TSB banking app recording a direct debit paid to Sky Digital 81 years from now. Some saw details of other people’s accounts and holidaymakers complained that they had been left unable to pay restaurant and hotel bills.


What an incredible shitfest.
banks  tsb  fail  banking  uk  sabadell 
7 weeks ago by jm
Europe fires back at ICANN's delusional plan to overhaul Whois for GDPR by next, er, year • The Register
So was it European law experts Hamilton that wrongly advised ICANN that it could request for a "moratorium" over the new law until it came up with a new solution?

It seems unlikely given their expertise and the fact it was them that first warned ICANN that it had wrongly persuaded itself that it was not affected by the new law. What seems more probable is that ICANN's staff and management board simply persuaded themselves that they could stall for time for no reason other than the fact that it would be convenient for them.
icann  fail  gdpr  whois  law  regulation  eu 
7 weeks ago by jm
repealfacts and FAQs.pdf
Louise Kenny, Consultant Obstetrician and Professor of Maternal and Fetal Health, systematically demolishes anti-choice propaganda points with solid scientific facts
repeal  repealthe8th  science  biology  medicine  pregnancy  abortion  pro-choice  ireland  miscarriage 
7 weeks ago by jm
The Handmaid’s Tale doesn’t quite get modern American misogyny - The Verge
Soft biological determinism doesn’t inevitably lead to harsh oppression, but that’s not the point. In The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood imagined how seeds of xenophobia, misogyny, and authoritarianism could utterly corrupt a popular ideology with many well-meaning supporters — because a Gilead can grow in any group that lets its principles take root. That includes Evangelical Christianity, but also a modern secular rationalism that’s being co-opted by white male supremacists, speaking the language of science and logic.
It’s not hard to envision a world that’s as cruel to women as Gilead, which is why watching The Handmaid’s Tale is so exhausting. But despite all its brutality, the show softens a more painful truth: misogyny doesn’t just persist, it evolves.
handmaids-tale  margaret-atwood  science-fiction  sf  misogyny  incels  4chan 
8 weeks ago by jm
keiichishima/yacryptopan
'Yet another Crypto-PAn implementation for Python':
This package provides a function to anonymize IP addresses keeping their prefix consistency. This program is based on the paper "Prefix-Preserving IP Address Anonymization: Measurement-based Security Evaluation and a New Cryptography-based Scheme" written by Jun Xu, Jinliang Fan, Mostafa H. Ammar, and Sue B. Moon. The detailed explanation can be found in [Xu2002]. This package supports both IPv4 and IPv6 anonymization.


(via Alexandre Dulaunoy)
via:adulau  anonymization  ip-addresses  internet  ipv4  ipv6  security  crypto  python  crypto-pan 
8 weeks ago by jm
The Joy Reid fight reinforces how critical the Internet Archive is to modern politics - The Washington Post
What the Wayback Machine provides, in essence, is a third-party archiving service that largely escapes the influence of the content creators. If you publish a blog on a blogging platform (or a tweet on Twitter, etc.), you still have the power to go in and remove or alter what you’ve written. The Wayback Machine makes it much more difficult to cover your tracks, should you wish to. As more people who grew up creating content for the Web enter positions of authority in media and politics, that archive becomes more important.

If the Wayback Machine hadn’t indexed Reid’s site, her words might have been lost. Or if someone had stumbled onto her old blog post, her expert’s argument that the post was fraudulent in some way might carry more weight. But with that index timestamped more than a decade ago, the argument is substantially undercut.

Reid’s blog, though, is not currently available on the Wayback Machine. Her old blog updated the file on its server telling automated systems what can and can’t be indexed, a set of instructions that the Wayback Machine’s system respects as it gathers information from around the Web. By changing that file, Reid’s team essentially pulled a curtain down on her past writing.
internet-archive  archival  history  joy-reid  web  blogging  wayback-machine  robots.txt 
8 weeks ago by jm
TheJournal.ie FactCheck is first Irish outlet to officially tackle misinformation on Facebook
TheJournal.ie FactCheck project has signed on to carry out third-party fact-checking on Facebook. This will involved testing the veracity of articles posted on the platform and attaching a rating and contextual information to contested items.


Awesome. nice one TJ
the-journal  fact-checking  facebook  fake-news  facts  journalism 
8 weeks ago by jm
twitter thread on incel culture, the "manosphere" and the rest of that toxic garbage
For the past little while, I've been working on a piece about Toronto's relationship to the alt-right, especially the "manosphere." Unfortunately that research has become relevant. I'm going to share as much as I can here for people who may not be familiar with these movements.
incels  manosphere  4chan  hate  internet  pua  kill-all-normies 
8 weeks ago by jm
The Australian Bureau of Statistics Tracked People By Their Mobile Device Data.
The ABS claims population estimates have a “major data gap” and so they’ve been a busy bee figuring out a way to track crowd movement. Their solution? Mobile device user data. “…with its near-complete coverage of the population, mobile device data is now seen as a feasible way to estimate temporary populations,” states a 2017 conference extract for a talk by ABS Demographer Andrew Howe.

While the “Estimated Resident Population” (ERP) is Australia’s official population measure, the ABS felt the pre-existing data wasn’t ‘granular’ enough. What the ABS really wanted to know was where you’re moving, hour by hour, through the CBD, educational hubs, tourist areas. Howe’s ABS pilot study of mobile device user data creates population estimates with the help of a trial engagement with an unnamed telco company. The data includes age and sex breakdowns. The study ran between the 18th April to 1st May 2016. [....]

Electronic Frontiers Australia board member Justin Warren also pointed out that while there are beneficial uses for this kind of information, “…the ABS should be treading much more carefully than it is. The ABS damaged its reputation with its bungled management of the 2016 Census, and with its failure to properly consult with civil society about its decision to retain names and addresses. Now we discover that the ABS is running secret tracking experiments on the population?”

“Even if the ABS’ motives are benign, this behaviour — making ethically dubious decisions without consulting the public it is experimenting on — continues to damage the once stellar reputation of the ABS.”

“This kind of population tracking has a dark history. During World War II, the US Census Bureau used this kind of tracking information to round up Japanese-Americans for internment. Census data was used extensively by Nazi Germany to target specific groups of people. The ABS should be acutely aware of these historical abuses, and the current tensions within society that mirror those earlier, dark days all too closely.”
abs  australia  tracking  location-data  privacy  data-privacy  mobile 
8 weeks ago by jm
Parallelizing S3 Workloads with s5cmd
nice parallel download/upload tool for S3, developed by Peak Games, open source, in Go
golang  go  s5cmd  open-source  tools  cli  s3  aws 
8 weeks ago by jm
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