10434
Istio vs Hystrix
Good introduction to the circuit breaker design pattern and how to implement it in two different platforms.
december 2018
Become A Facebook-Free Business – Signal v. Noise
This is an interesting idea. I wonder if a broader push like this might be successful. Companies could proclaim how they respect your privacy as part of their value proposition.
december 2018
My Must-Have iOS Apps, 2018 Edition – MacStories
Viticci knows iPad productivity better than anyone else I know. HIs list of apps that he's using is a great place to find new tools. I follow his writing pretty closely and still found three or four new apps in this list.
december 2018
Python gets a new governance model [LWN.net]
An interesting read to see how the Python language will be governed now that the [BDFL](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benevolent_dictator_for_life) has stepped aside.
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december 2018
Timing 2018.4: Calendar Integration, "Weekend Mode", Project Colors, and More! — Timing Time Management Blog
I continue to believe that there is hidden insights locked away in our calendars, and software should help us get more from it. Timing has now added calendar integration. I still don't like using Timing or Rescue Time. Knowing that I have software watching me feels creepy, even when it’s software I’m using to watch myself.
december 2018
16 (x4) Books We Read Winter 2018 – Andreessen Horowitz
Expansive book list. I find these fun to browse for inspiration.
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december 2018
Minnesota United FC on Twitter: "DING DONG DING DONG 🔊 SOUND ON 🔊… "
I really don't like linking to Twitter, but this video is fun and I can’t find it on the open web. I can’t wait to see games in 2019 at [Allianz Field](https://www.mnufc.com/stadium/)!
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december 2018
Ethical Hypocrisy and Social Networks – Leah Cunningham – Medium
My friend [Leah Cunningham](https://medium.com/@cunningleah) has decided she's done with Facebook properties, and shares why.
december 2018
Away from Keyboard #10: Maria Boland Ploessl found her home in technology
Fun interview with the ED of [Minnestar](https://minnestar.org), [Maria Boland Ploessl](https://www.linkedin.com/in/mariabploessl/) about minnestar and her transition into parenthood.
december 2018
How much is social media worth? Estimating the value of Facebook by paying users to stop using it
Oh my…

> Though the populations sampled and the auction design differ across the experiments, we consistently find the average Facebook user would require more than $1000 to deactivate their account for one year.

🤦‍♂️
december 2018
Stripe Atlas: Writing copy for landing pages
Quick primer for non-marketing types to help write better copy to engage.
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december 2018
As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants - The New York Times
This should surprise nobody.

> For years, Facebook gave some of the world’s largest technology companies more intrusive access to users’ personal data than it has disclosed, effectively exempting those business partners from its usual privacy rules, according to internal records and interviews.

Facebook is a surveillance engine, not a company or a social network. It’s goal is to surveil you and to profit from that. Preferably addict you as well.
december 2018
What Leadership Really Feels Like
A good explainer on why telling stories that connect to the future matters so much!
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december 2018
How to Take Great Holiday Photos – The Sweet Setup
Just in time for the holidays some simple tips on better photos. It misses one that I think is very important, particularly with kids, which is to get to eye level with your subject. Kids are often taken pictures from "above" them. It’s better if you get your camera right at eye level for the subject.
december 2018
Darkroom 4.0: The MacStories Review – MacStories
Darkroom is amazing but it badly needed an iPad version, and now there is one!
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december 2018
Launch Center Pro 3.0 Review: Universal Version, New Business Model, NFC Triggers, and More – MacStories
It never made sense to me that this wasn't universal since it messed up syncing. I’m giving this app another try since it seems like something I would like, but I've never gotten into the habit of using it.
december 2018
AutoSleep 6: Effortless Sleep Tracking More Accessible Than Ever – MacStories
I use this app passively to get approximate data about sleep patterns. You can get reasonably good data by just installing it and letting it go.
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december 2018
Why the US Air Force believes in Santa
An absolutely delightful article for Christmas on NORAD and Santa Claus… 🎄

> This year, 1,500 volunteers at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs will, once again, answer over 150,000 telephone calls and thousands of emails from children all over the world. And the NORAD Santa Tracker itself will receive over 20 million visits.

🎅 Via [Chad Burdette](https://www.linkedin.com/in/strategyanddatawins/).
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december 2018
SPS Commerce Acquires CovalentWorks - MarketWatch
Some acquisition news from SPS Commerce! 👍
december 2018
Senate Intelligence Reports On Russia Detail Broad Disinformation Plan : NPR
Instagram doesn't get the focus that Facebook does regarding potential misuse, but it should. And please remember, it’s all just Facebook since they bought Instagram.

> The new research also points to the previously underappreciated prominence of the IRA's use of Instagram. It notes that IRA posts on the photo-sharing platform received 187 million engagements, which dwarfed the 76.5 million engagements that IRA posts received on Facebook.

That's pretty amazing engagement.
december 2018
Introducing MacStories Selects: The Best New Apps, App Updates, and iOS Games of 2018 – MacStories
MacStories produces some of the most in-depth looks at iOS apps out there. The idea of an annual award is a little gimmicky, but from them I'll pay attention. I've played with Agenda, which they pick as the top app, but it hasn't resonated with me. I might give it another go given their enthusiasm. Scriptable here is a nice nod to it’s potential, but it’s still far too complicated for even most power users.
december 2018
Darkroom For iPad: Faster. Easier. More Powerful. – Dispatches From Darkroom – Medium
I've been impressed with Darkroom on iOS since I first used it. I had two issues that kept me from using it a lot: it was buggy and crashed somewhat frequently, and it had no iPad app. The bugs got better, and today we get an iPad app that looks great! This continues to be an incredible impressive RAW editing app for iOS.
december 2018
A random emoji in your terminal prompt. How and Why!
A nice way to add some fun to your command line! 😍
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december 2018
ongoing by Tim Bray · SF-4: Serverless Latency?
Tim Bray's entire [set of essays on Serverless](https://www.tbray.org/ongoing/When/201x/2018/12/09/Serverlessness) are fabulous. He's incredible knowledgable in this domain. This one on latency I thought was particularly informative to help the reader think about the problem in a more precise way.
december 2018
Amazon’s Disturbing Plan to Add Face Surveillance to Your Front Door | American Civil Liberties Union
The headline here is intentionally overstated. Technology companies file patents constantly for stuff that they have no plan to make. With that said, the patent described here is straight out of some Orwellian surveillance state.

> Imagine if a neighborhood was set up with these doorbell cameras. Simply walking up to a friend’s house could result in your face, your fingerprint, or your voice being flagged as “suspicious” and delivered to a government database without your knowledge or consent. With Amazon selling the devices, operating the servers, and pushing the technology on law enforcement, the company is building all the pieces of a surveillance network, reaching from the government all the way to our front doors.

It’s not obvious to most people that a bunch of houses with fancy "smart doorbells" can result in a surveillance state, but it surely can.
december 2018
Ant Colonies Retain Memories That Outlast the Lifespans of Individuals | Science | Smithsonian
Insect colonies do some pretty incredible things:

> The Finnish myrmecologist Rainer Rosengren showed that when the ants emerge in the spring, an older ant goes out with a young one along the older ant’s habitual trail. The older ant dies and the younger ant adopts that trail as its own, thus leading the colony to remember, or reproduce, the previous year’s trails.

My [book club](https://rwbook.club/) read [Ant Encounters](https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8895494-ant-encounters) several years ago and it had several incredibly interesting insights into how ant colonies work and learn.
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december 2018
Martin Tomsky - Illustrator - Gallery
Featured in Dec/Jan 2019 Make magazine. Incredible pieces of art.
december 2018
Bikes, culture and a North Loop joint in the middle | Star Tribune
I used to go to One + One nearly every day for coffee when I worked in the warehouse district.
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december 2018
Our learnings from adopting GraphQL – Netflix TechBlog – Medium
Another recap, this time from Netflix, on the successes of using GraphQL.

> We have been running GraphQL on NodeJS for about 6 months, and it has proven to significantly increase our development velocity and overall page load performance.

They share some good learnings from the transition.
december 2018
Four Days Trapped at Sea With Crypto's Nouveau Riche
Crypto-currency boat cruise? No thanks.

> I understand why people might want to hire a boat and stuff it with investors: to make money. This cruise measures its takings in old-school pounds and dollars. None of the ship’s bars take bitcoin—fittingly, the only thing you can do with it here is gamble. What I don’t understand is why anyone thought this would make the whole thing look less like a Ponzi scheme with a sleazy post-cyberpunk aesthetic.

😳
december 2018
The State of Technology at the End of 2018 – Stratechery by Ben Thompson
I like Thompson's take on current affairs.

> This, then, is the state of technology in 2018: the enterprise market is thriving, and the consumer market is stagnant, dominated by the “innovations” that a few large behemoths deign to develop for consumers (and probably by ripping off a smaller company). Meanwhile a backlash is brewing on both sides of the political spectrum, but with no immediately viable outlet through competition or antitrust action, the politics surrounding technology simply becomes ever more rancid.

The stagnation is a real thing. We don't have many new service and apps coming to market in the last year. The giants of the industry haven't left much for the rest of the market.
december 2018
Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret - The New York Times
This is a good explanation and examples of how location data can tell organizations so much about you. There is more hidden understanding here than I think people understand. 🗺
december 2018
Antifragile
Bosworth makes a good case here against protecting teams. I tend to agree. I've fallen into this trap myself mostly around acquiring or merging companies. There is a tendency to hold certain things back during that process, and it just delays the inevitable. Better to get out of the way. Protecting causes more problems in most cases.
december 2018
Minneapolis ends single-family zoning, undoing a major component of housing segregation.
Caught my eye to see Minneapolis city matters in Slate. There has been a lot of debate and trepidation around the [Minneapolis 2040](https://minneapolis2040.com) plan. I honestly haven't done the work to really understand all the components myself.
december 2018
Tetris
There is so much Tetris here! History of the game, variants of it. But most notably, a program to read a Tetris game using a webcam and then "play" it using the standard controls. A computer playing Tetris!
december 2018
Verizon Admits Defeat With $4.6 Billion AOL-Yahoo Writedown - Bloomberg
**$4.6 billion** writedown. This was always a bad idea. It makes one wonder where does the support for something like this come from?
december 2018
Introducing the new GitHub Status Site | The GitHub Blog
GitHub has become part of many automated systems inside of companies. Extending their status site to be more specific, and importantly callable via an API, makes a lot of sense.
december 2018
Twin Cities-based movement gives retired men a place to talk, give back and feel valued - StarTribune.com
This seems like a perfect Minnesota thing.

> The Men’s Sheds motto: “Men don’t talk face-to-face. They talk shoulder-to-shoulder.”

Actually, isn't this just ice fishing but without the fishing? 😁
december 2018
Scripting API now in public beta! | Minecraft
I sense a sudden surge of kids learning Javascript!
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december 2018
The Year Ahead Planner
Nice PDF to walk you through a reflection and planning process for the new year. Via [Patrick Rhone](https://www.patrickrhone.net/5024-2/).
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december 2018
Repl.it - Repl.it Multiplayer
I wasn't aware of repl.it but multi-user (I like the fun nod with multiplayer) is a great idea!
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december 2018
'Gorogoa' for iOS — Tools and Toys
I love the new, innovative games that have come to the iPad.
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december 2018
On Blogs in the Social Media Age - Study Hacks - Cal Newport
Interesting analogy from Cal Newport. Is the open web more of a market based system? I can see the logic behind that, and it does make sense.

> As any serious blog consumer can attest, a carefully curated blog feed, covering niches that matter to your life, can provide substantially more value than the collectivist ping-ponging of likes and memes that make up so much of social media interaction.

This is why I don't get any of my incoming information via social media. None of the links I highlight come from social media.
december 2018
Stop Checking Your Email All The Time (How to Break Your Inbox Dependence And Get Real Work Done)
Everything in this is so true.

> The average person checks email 77 times a day, sends and receives more than 122 email messages a day, and spends 28 percent or more of their workweek managing a constant influx of email.

That is a ton of time, and even more when you consider the mental distraction of it all. I find this problem to be very difficult to solve though. Particularly in the workplace people have gotten used to sending emails and expecting immediate awareness. Any time you send an email "Are you coming to this meeting?" you reinforce that in your culture. To some extent, the adoption of messaging in business has been a welcome reprieve from this but not enough.

Personally I use Sanebox to keep emails in different bins, so I can check them on a more appropriate schedule based on the sender and content of the email. It’s a game changer! But I still would like to get to less time in email and more time focused on things that deliver more value.
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december 2018
AlphaZero: Shedding new light on the grand games of chess, shogi and Go | DeepMind
The results of AlphaZero are amazing. It’s shocking how quickly it developed winning strategies only using basic rules and playing games against itself and other algorithms.

> However, it was the style in which AlphaZero plays these games that players may find most fascinating. In Chess, for example, AlphaZero independently discovered and played common human motifs during its self-play training such as openings, king safety and pawn structure. But, being self-taught and therefore unconstrained by conventional wisdom about the game, it also developed its own intuitions and strategies adding a new and expansive set of exciting and novel ideas that augment centuries of thinking about chess strategy.

I like how this article positions that human players will be able to develop new tactics and strategies by working with AlphaZero. That hybrid human plus algorithm approach will be common in a number of areas in the future, and already is in many. Before readers assume this means AlphaZero can do anything, remember that games are closed-systems with extremely specific rulesets. The world we all occupy is nothing like that.
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december 2018
Writing Workflows | Title Page
Interesting book on writing and the workflows around it.
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december 2018
Glengarry Glen Christmas: Elf Motivation - SNL - YouTube
I’m a huge fan of [Glengarry Glen Ross](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glengarry_Glen_Ross_(film)). I've probably seen that movie 30 or more times. Not just the scenes that everyone talks about, but the whole movie. It turned me on to [David Mamet](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Mamet) and his [amazing dialogue](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Mamet#'Mamet_speak'). This Christmas version of it is absolutely hilarious, and done by Alec Baldwin himself. Point of trivia, this scene with Alec Baldwin is one of the most quoted of the entire movie, and it didn’t exist in the original play. It was added for the movie rendition to give additional punch.
december 2018
Microsoft Edge: Making the web better through more open source collaboration - Windows Experience BlogWindows Experience Blog
In 2009 I wrote a blog post on what [Microsoft could do to get "nerds" back](https://www.thingelstad.com/2009/my-solution-for-microsoft-to-get-nerds-back/). I should have titled it "geeks", but oh well. One of the two suggestions was to stop working on their own web engine, at the time Trident. It took 9 years, but Microsoft has announced they shifting their browser engine. Just one thing left, although you might argue that Windows Services for Linux is pretty close to the other recommendation I had.
december 2018
New Documents Show That Facebook Has Never Deserved Your Trust | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Everything you ever thought Facebook might do with your data that you don't want them to, they are doing. The end of this article hits it right:

> No matter how Zuckerberg slices it, your data is at the center of Facebook’s business. Based on these documents, it seems that Facebook sucked up as much data as possible through “reciprocity” agreements with other apps, and shared it with insufficient regard to consequences for users. Then, after rolling back its permissive data-sharing APIs, the company apparently used privileged access to user data either as a lever to get what it wanted from other companies or as a weapon against its competitors. You are, and always have been, Facebook’s most valuable product.

I continue to happily live in an Internet, with my 1Blocker setup, that doesn't include any Facebook properties. They simply cannot be trusted with any data, and they have the most of it.
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december 2018
Stripe Atlas: Guide to scaling engineering organizations
Very thorough and detailed overview of how Stripe builds out their technology teams from recruiting to onboarding. A lot of great practices!
december 2018
Fujitsu ScanSnap 64-bit Software Update — macsparky
I have a ScanSnap scanner and was worried they were not going to make a 64-but release! Whew.
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december 2018
Apple ID Data & Privacy
I didn’t know Apple had this tool to allow you to get at your data, and even have it deleted if you wish.
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december 2018
Events, the DNA of Kubernetes · Do not go gentle into this good night. Rage.
Very approachable read on how Kubernetes handles internal communication.

> Event-driven design has many more advantages and can address a lot of problems in distributed systems (back-pressure, queuing, retries, scale-out, etc.). However, it’s not a new idea. Not at all! For example, relational databases work the same way (transaction log). The database is said to be the (stale) cache of the immutable log 😄.

Neat! 🤓
december 2018
Show your skills with Pokémon GO Trainer Battles! - Pokémon GO
Trainer Battles in Pokémon Go look like a great addition to the game!
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december 2018
5 books I loved in 2018 | Bill Gates
[Educated](https://www.gatesnotes.com/Books/Educated) has shown up on a lot of book lists. I’m not sure about the Harari book. My book club read Sapiens and liked it, but then read followup materials that suggested it was not sound science. It’s crazy to me that I’m a [Headspace](https://www.headspace.com) subscriber but didn’t know that there was a book!
december 2018
Software Sprawl, The Golden Path, and Scaling Teams With Agency – charity.wtf
I like the concept that Majors' puts forward here. It’s all carrot and no stick. I do a similar concept in tech teams. There are great support options to help your team, but to get them you need to adopt certain patterns and technologies.
december 2018
Gendered Linguistics: Why Words Matter - YouTube
Gendered language is something that I have thought about a number of times lately. The topic is coming up more in job postings when recruiting, and I've also considered it when companies write policies or training material. This talk is thought provoking regarding where gender coding of language comes from. Is it the language or the usage?
december 2018
Twilight of the Taj - BBC News
I got to visit the Taj Mahal when I was in India this year. It’s an amazing site and I hope that the government of India takes action to reverse these issues.
december 2018
How to Start Amazon FBA - My FBA Experiment 2018 - Updated Regularly
This is an interesting journal of all the activity this person is taking to sell a product on Amazon. It goes through each step in the process, and highlights the myriad of things that need to be dealt with. It’s an interesting read.
december 2018
The Total Incompatibility of Mindfulness and Busyness
Article from [Jon Kabat-Zinn](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Kabat-Zinn), one of the leaders of mindfulness practices.

> Precisely because if we are overloaded to the point of being overwhelmed, it is likely that we will be so agitated, so distraught, so self-preoccupied that we won’t be able to meet anybody or any situation from a place of ease within the fullness of our own being in that moment, and that includes, most importantly, even an authentic meeting of ourselves and those we most care about.

This is worth reading a few times, just to make sure it sinks in. Via [Leah Cunningham](https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6474770166122102784).
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december 2018
Apple presents the best of 2018 - Apple
Many "Best of…" content lists for 2018.
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december 2018
Hackers breach Quora.com and steal password data for 100 million users | Ars Technica
Another day another giant breach. This reminds me I don't need a Quora account since I don't use it.
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december 2018
@bfeld v53.0 - Feld Thoughts
Writing letters to yourself on your birthday, or commemorating the year and looking ahead, is a fun thing and I like reading these when people share them. It is a way to capture a little bit of wisdom for free.
december 2018
After 12 draws, Magnus Carlsen is once again the chess world champion - Time is of the essence
The state of Chess at the highest level is amazing.

> The result is human chess that increasingly resembles computer chess. Chess.com has developed a metric, Computer Aggregated Precision Score (CAPS), which compares a player’s moves to those of a top engine. Mr Carlsen scores higher than any other champion; his moves parallel those of the engine’s more than 85% of the time, and his overall choices are better than 98% as effective as those of the computer.

These players are literal human computers. ♟
december 2018
Tesla API
First car I’ve had with an API. 😁
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december 2018
Marriott: Data on 500 Million Guests Stolen in 4-Year Breach — Krebs on Security
This is a giant and deep breach.

> Marriott said the breach involved unauthorized access to a database containing guest information tied to reservations made at Starwood properties on or before Sept. 10, 2018, and that its ongoing investigation suggests the perpetrators had been inside the company’s networks since 2014.

**Four years** is an incredibly long time for an attacker to have access. 😳
december 2018
PlugShare - EV Charging Station Map - Find a place to charge your car!
This is the most comprehensive map I've found of charging stations for electric cars. I was looking for one in Faribault by our cabin and this is the only one that had the *single* station there.
december 2018
The 40 greatest family games, from Guess Who to Catan.
Just in time for the holiday shopping season! 🎁
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november 2018
Amazon Quantum Ledger Database
Amazon introduced this highlighting that it was a technology they built in-house and are now making available to the public. It looks interesting.

> Amazon QLDB is a new class of database that eliminates the need to engage in the complex development effort of building your own ledger-like applications. With QLDB, your data’s change history is immutable – it cannot be altered or deleted – and using cryptography, you can easily verify that there have been no unintended modifications to your application’s data.

There is a lot of overlap with [Event Sourcing](https://www.martinfowler.com/eaaDev/EventSourcing.html) concepts, but I’m not sure it is applicable to that. This is marketed as providing the audit history trust of a blockchain, but not using decentralization.
november 2018
Amazon Textract | Extract Text & Data | AWS
Pulling text data out of forms isn't glamorous, but it’s an important problem and one that a service should do very well.
november 2018
We Wasted Ten Years Talking About Performance Ratings. The Seven Things We've Learned. – JOSH BERSIN
Like this perspective on performance management systems. Things of note:

1. Curious to see [BetterWorks](https://www.betterworks.com) highlighted. They seem to show up in this topic more than most. Noting to look into their solutions more.
2. The feedback topic highlighted is a component of why I've been pushing to provide more structure and guidance to the 1:1 functions in our teams. There is an incredible amount of time and investment in 1:1's, and I think many of them do not have clear goals and objectives.
3. I like seeing OKR's highlighted here.
4. I like the way this framed the engagement topic, and how a manager should think about team engagement in their overall work.

Good things to consider as your organization evolves and grows. Via [Juselly French](https://www.linkedin.com/in/jusellyfrench/).
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november 2018
AWS DeepRacer – Go Hands-On with Reinforcement Learning at re:Invent | AWS News Blog
How do you get a bunch of developers to learn machine learning techniques? Give them a cool 1:18th scale autonomous car and have them build self-driving code for it! This is a pretty neat idea. I ordered some for our team at SPS to play with and learn.
november 2018
Amazon CloudWatch Logs Insights – Fast, Interactive Log Analytics | AWS News Blog
Amazon will continue to make log analytics better. Companies like [SumoLogic](https://www.sumologic.com) and even [Splunk](https://www.splunk.com) will need to continue to invest to stay ahead.
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november 2018
Amazon FSx for Lustre | AWS News Blog
Shared file systems are a pain to do well, and are often times not a great solution, but sometimes they are needed. Doing them **fast** is even harder. Grid computing applications need highly performance shared file systems, and now there is one of those coming for the cloud.
november 2018
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