jm + power   19

A Clash of Cultures
In short, I am in support of Naomi Wu. Rather than let the Internet speculate on why, I am sharing my perspectives on the situation preemptively.

As with most Internet controversies, it’s messy and emotional. I will try my best to outline the biases and issues I have observed. Of course, everyone has their perspective; you don’t have to agree with mine. And I suspect many of my core audience will dislike and disagree with this post. However, the beginning of healing starts with sharing and listening. I will share, and I respectfully request that readers read the entire content of this post before attacking any individual point out of context.

The key forces I see at play are:

Prototype Bias – how assumptions based on stereotypes influence the way we think and feel
Idol Effect – the tendency to assign exaggerated capabilities and inflated expectations upon celebrities
Power Asymmetry – those with more power have more influence, and should be held to a higher standard of accountability
Guanxi Bias – the tendency to give foreign faces more credibility than local faces in China

All these forces came together in a perfect storm this past week.
culture  engineering  maker  naomi-wu  women  stereotypes  bias  idols  power  china  bunnie 
11 days ago by jm
WHAT WENT WRONG IN BRITISH AIRWAYS DATACENTER IN MAY 2017?
A SPOF UPS. There was a similar AZ-wide outage in one of the Amazon DUB datacenters with a similar root cause, if I recall correctly -- supposedly redundant dual UPS systems were in fact interdependent, in that case, and power supply switchover wasn't clean enough to avoid affecting the servers.
Minutes later power was restored was resumed in what one source described as “uncontrolled fashion.” Instead of gradual restore, all power was restored at once resulting in a power surge.   BA CEO Cruz told BBC Radio this power surge  caused network hardware to fail. Also server hardware was damaged because of the power surge.

It seems as if the UPS was the single point of failure for power feed of the IT equipment in Boadicea House . The Times is reporting that the same UPS was powering both Heathrow based datacenters. Which could be a double single point of failure if true (I doubt it is)

The broken network  stopped the exchange of messages between different BA systems and application. Without messaging, there is no exchange of information between various applications. BA is using Progress Software’s Sonic [enterprise service bus].


(via Tony Finch)
postmortems  ba  airlines  outages  fail  via:fanf  datacenters  ups  power  progress  esb  j2ee 
may 2017 by jm
Rule by Nobody
'Algorithms update bureaucracy’s long-standing strategy for evasion.'
The need to optimize yourself for a network of opaque algorithms induces a sort of existential torture. In The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy, anthropologist David Graeber suggests a fundamental law of power dynamics: “Those on the bottom of the heap have to spend a great deal of imaginative energy trying to understand the social dynamics that surround them — including having to imagine the perspectives of those on top — while the latter can wander about largely oblivious to much of what is going on around them. That is, the powerless not only end up doing most of the actual, physical labor required to keep society running, they also do most of the interpretive labor as well.” This dynamic, Graeber argues, is built into all bureaucratic structures. He describes bureaucracies as “ways of organizing stupidity” — that is, of managing and reproducing these “extremely unequal structures of imagination” in which the powerful can disregard the perspectives of those beneath them in various social and economic hierarchies. Employees need to anticipate the needs of bosses; bosses need not reciprocate. People of color are forced to learn to accommodate and anticipate the ignorance and hostility of white people. Women need to be acutely aware of men’s intentions and feelings. And so on. Even benevolent-seeming bureaucracies, in Graeber’s view, have the effect of reinforcing “the highly schematized, minimal, blinkered perspectives typical of the powerful” and their privileges of ignorance and indifference toward those positioned as below them.
algorithms  bureaucracy  democracy  life  society  via:raycorrigan  technology  power 
may 2017 by jm
The private monorail tunnel under North London
20km of private monorail owned and operated by the electricity grid, used to monitor and inspect one of the longest 400kV circuits in Europe
power  monorail  transport  london  underground  tunnelling  electricity  cool 
october 2016 by jm
GCHQ intervenes to prevent catastrophically insecure UK smart meter plan - The Inquirer

GCHQ barged in after spooks cast their eyes over the plans and realised that power companies were proposing to use a single decryption key for communications from the 53 million smart meters that will eventually be installed in the UK.


holy crap.
gchq  security  smart-meters  power  uk  electricity  gas  infrastructure 
april 2016 by jm
The mystery of the power bank phone taking over Ghana
tl;dr: it's being used as a cheap, portable power bank
africa  ghana  battery  phones  power  recharging  gadgets 
december 2015 by jm
Reddit comments from a nuclear-power expert
Reddit user "Hiddencamper" is a senior nuclear reactor operator in the US, and regularly posts very knowledgeable comments about reactor operations, safety procedures, and other details. It's fascinating (via Maciej)
via:maciej  nuclear-power  nuclear  atomic  power  energy  safety  procedures  operations  history  chernobyl  scram 
august 2015 by jm
How Curiosity, Luck, and the Flip of a Switch Saved the Moon Program | Motherboard
"SCE to off?" someone said. The switch was so obscure that neither of his bosses knew what he was talking about. "What the hell's that," blurted out Gerald Carr, who was in charge of communicating with the capsule. The rookie flight director, Gerry Griffin, didn't know either.

Sixty seconds had passed since the initial lightning strike. No one else knew what to do. The call to abort was fast approaching. 

Finally, Carr reluctantly gave the order in a voice far cooler than the moment. "Apollo 12, Houston, try SCE to Auxiliary, over."
spaceflight  stories  apollo  sce-to-aux  power  lightning  weather  outages  simulation  training  nasa 
november 2014 by jm
Inside a Chinese Bitcoin Mine
The mining operation resides on an old, repurposed factory floor, and contains 2500 machines hashing away at 230 Gh/s, each. (That’s 230 billion calculations per second, per unit). [...] The operators told me that the power bill of this specific operation is in excess of ¥400,000 per month [..] about $60,000 USD.
currency  china  economics  bitcoin  power  environment  green  mining  datacenters 
august 2014 by jm
Google's Pegasus
a power-management subsystem for warehouse-scale computing farms. "It adjusts the power-performance settings of servers so that the overall workload barely meets its latency constraints for user queries."
pegasus  power-management  power  via:fanf  google  latency  scaling 
june 2014 by jm
They called it "big iron" for a reason: the Cray Motor-Generator Unit
I think the deal with the Motor-Generator Unit was that the Cray 1 needed not just enormous amounts of power (over a hundred kilowatts!), but also very stable power. So it ran from a huge electric generator connected directly to a huge electric motor, the motor running from dirty grid power and the generator, in turn, feeding the computer's own multi-voltage PSU. The Cray 1 itself weighed a mere 2.4 tonnes, but all this support stuff added several more tonnes.


via RobS.
via:rob-synnott  cray  history  big-iron  motors  power  electricity  generators 
april 2014 by jm
ESB Networks | Power Check | Service Interruptions Map
real-time service outage information on a map, from Ireland's power network
esb  ireland  mapping  data  outages  service  power 
april 2013 by jm
Belgium plans artificial island to store wind power
' Belgium is planning to build a doughnut-shaped island in the North Sea that will store wind energy by pumping water out of a hollow in the middle, as it looks for ways to lessen its reliance on nuclear power. One of the biggest problems with electricity is that it is difficult to store and the issue is exaggerated in the case of renewable energy from wind or sun because it is intermittent depending on the weather.' 'The island is still in the planning stages, but will be built out of sand 3 km off the Belgian coast near the town of Wenduine if it gets the final go-ahead. The island, which would also work as an offshore substation to transform the voltage of the electricity generated by wind turbines, could take five or more years to plan and build.'
power  via:daev  belgium  wind-power  hydro  sea  islands  manmade  storage 
january 2013 by jm
BBC News - The hum that helps to fight crime
'Dr Harrison said: "If we have we can extract [the hum of the mains AC power's 50Hz wave] and compare it with the database, if it is a continuous recording, it will all match up nicely. "If we've got some breaks in the recording, if it's been stopped and started, the profiles won't match or there will be a section missing. Or if it has come from two different recordings looking as if it is one, we'll have two different profiles within that one recording." In the UK, because one national grid supplies the country with electricity, the fluctuations in frequency are the same the country over. So it does not matter if the recording has been made in Aberdeen or Southampton, the comparison will work.'
buzz  hum  uk  mains  power  50hz  crime  forensics  bbc 
december 2012 by jm
Nuclear energy: Inside the black box
What's going on inside the Fukushima nuclear reactor, and how it is hoped meltdown can be averted
nuclear-power  meltdown  disasters  japan  fukushima  power  electricity  nuclear  from delicious
march 2011 by jm
Eirgrid System Demand
'The system demand displayed here represents the electricity production required to meet [Irish] national electricity consumption, including system losses, but net of generators' requirements. It includes power imported via the interconnector and an estimate of the power produced by wind generators, but excludes some non-centrally monitored generation (i.e. small scale CHP).' via Juan Flynn
via:juanflynn  eirgrid  national-grid  ireland  power  charts  statistics  from delicious
august 2010 by jm

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