top wifi tips, via irldexter on ITC Slack
Simon McGarr on Twitter: “That time a priest and a nun and a guy who were on an Irish hospital board blocked cancer treatment that required contraception. https://t.co/A7alospojJ” This happened in 2003 in Dublin’s Mater Hospital. useful the next time someone says that hospital board member ethos won’t impact clinical care
‘FREE WiFi Site Survey Software for MAC OS X & Windows’. Sadly reviews from pals are that it is ‘shite’ :(
I do not believe that ownership of the €300 million, state-of-the-art National Maternity Hospital should be gifted to the Sisters of Charity. A lot of other people appear to share my view. Secondly, a properly independent board needs to oversee the running of the new hospital. The Minister has the power to intervene to protect both the medical interests of women and their infants and the financial interests of the Irish taxpayer. He must now do so.Dr Peter Boylan is chairman of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and a former master of the National Maternity Hospital. Nobody is more qualified on this
Amazon DynamoDB Accelerator (DAX) is a fully managed, highly available, in-memory cache for DynamoDB that delivers up to a 10x performance improvement – from milliseconds to microseconds – even at millions of requests per second. DAX does all the heavy lifting required to add in-memory acceleration to your DynamoDB tables, without requiring developers to manage cache invalidation, data population, or cluster management.No latency percentile figures, unfortunately. Also still in preview.
When we signed up to pump money into this juice company, it was because we thought drinking the juice would be a lot harder and more expensive. That was the selling point, because Silicon Valley is a stupid libertarian dystopia where investor-class vampires are the consumers and a regular person’s money is what they go shopping for. Easily opened bags of juice do not give these awful nightmare trash parasites a good bargain on the disposable income of credulous wellness-fad suckers; therefore easily opened bags of juice are a worse investment than bags of juice that are harder to open.
Machine intelligence is here, and we’re already using it to make subjective decisions. But the complex way AI grows and improves makes it hard to understand and even harder to control. In this cautionary talk, techno-sociologist Zeynep Tufekci explains how intelligent machines can fail in ways that don’t fit human error patterns — and in ways we won’t expect or be prepared for. “We cannot outsource our responsibilities to machines,” she says. “We must hold on ever tighter to human values and human ethics.”More relevant now that nVidia are trialing ML-based self-driving cars in the US…
Fred Benenson: Mathwashing can be thought of using math terms (algorithm, model, etc.) to paper over a more subjective reality. For example, a lot of people believed Facebook was using an unbiased algorithm to determine its trending topics, even if Facebook had previously admitted that humans were involved in the process.
We built the commercial internet by mastering techniques of persuasion and surveillance that we’ve extended to billions of people, including essentially the entire population of the Western democracies. But admitting that this tool of social control might be conducive to authoritarianism is not something we’re ready to face. After all, we’re good people. We like freedom. How could we have built tools that subvert it? As Upton Sinclair said, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” I contend that there are structural reasons to worry about the role of the tech industry in American political life, and that we have only a brief window of time in which to fix this.
interesting recipe to try out:
2 oz blanco tequila 12 to 15 blueberries, plus a few more for garnish 2 basil sprigs 1 oz agave nectar Juice of 1 lime Muddle the blueberries and basil with the tequila in a shaker. Add the agave nectar and lime juice, and shake with ice. Pour into a rocks glass over fresh ice, and top with filtered water if desired. Garnish with a few blueberries.
udp.c in the Linux kernel before 4.5 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via UDP traffic that triggers an unsafe second checksum calculation during execution of a recv system call with the MSG_PEEK flag.
wow, this was a pretty major screwup
by the URL! totally not what I expected!
Lots and lots of shots of “Space: 1999” interiors. <3
regarding some seriously derelict houses on Connaught St in Phibsboro and the bureaucracy tomfoolery which has resulted in them not appearing on the Derelict Sites Register
‘notes on this great “When the pager goes off” article from @incrementmag https://increment.com/on-call/when-the-pager-goes-off/ ‘ — cartoon summarising a much longer article of common modern ops on-call response techniques. Still pretty consistent with the systems we used in Amazon
“scacchi alla rabiosa” (“madwoman’s chess”) faced a backlash from 16th-century gamergaters
Prisoners built computers from parts, hid them in the ceiling, and connected them to the administrative network. ‘The Ohio Inspector General says investigators found an inmate used the computers to steal the identity of another inmate, and then submit credit card applications, and commit tax fraud. They also found inmates used the computers to create security clearance passes that gave them access to restricted areas.’
Funnily enough, this is exactly what Ross Anderson warned about 10 years ago re patient record digitisation in the UK. ‘Occupational therapists working for an employer, doctors working for insurance companies, a dietitian, an optometrist or a dentist or their staff can view the [patient] record and see if individuals have a sexually transmitted disease, a mental illness, have had an abortion or are using Viagra.’
Stiff Upper Lip is studded with startling stuff. Discussing the importance of football, for instance, in 19th-century public schools, he drops in the line that “in Charterhouse’s version a small boy was the ball”. I blithely went over that one, thinking he meant “a small boy was [expected to crouch on] the ball” or similar; but it was no typo. In a cheery kickabout on Good Friday, 1924, the Earl of Sussex’s son died from his injuries – _having been [used as] an actual football_.(via Eva Wiseman)
Awesome StackOverflow answer for detecting “similar” images — promising approach to reimplement ffffound’s similarity feature in mltshp, maybe
interesting — faster boots, CPU throttling resolved on t2.micros, other nice stuff
Delete tweets based on search terms. Wonder why you’d want that
There are plenty of other explanations for the dampening of Google’s ardor: The bad taste left from the lawsuits. The rise of shiny and exciting new ventures with more immediate payoffs. And also: the dawning realization that Scanning All The Books, however useful, might not change the world in any fundamental way.
One of the Onion’s all-time classics. Still eminently quotable.
LHASA, TIBET—Employing the brash style that first brought him to prominence, Sri Dhananjai Bikram won the fifth annual International Yogi Competition yesterday with a world-record point total of 873.6. “I am the serenest!” Bikram shouted to the estimated crowd of 20,000 yoga fans, vigorously pumping his fists. “No one is serener than Sri Dhananjai Bikram—I am the greatest monk of all time!”
The classic “office riot” pamphlet… ‘The Centennial Society, a radical anti-consumerist movement, has come up with a more arty way of returning junk mail. Pre-paid envelopes can be used to send people working in the junk mail industry information about how to break free. No junk mailer really likes his job; wasting tonnes and tonnes of paper on useless advertisements makes few people feel good about themselves. The Business Reply Pamphlet shows them the way to freedom.’
Solid article proselytising runbooks/playbooks (or in this article’s parlance, “Incident Models”) for dev/ops handover and operational knowledge
omg somebody at Spotify really really loves DNS. They even store a DHT hash ring in it. whyyyyyyyyyyy
In case you were thinking Lambda was potentially usable yet
Great stuff from Google – this is really nifty stuff for large-scale privacy-preserving machine learning usage:
It works like this: your device downloads the current model, improves it by learning from data on your phone, and then summarizes the changes as a small focused update. Only this update to the model is sent to the cloud, using encrypted communication, where it is immediately averaged with other user updates to improve the shared model. All the training data remains on your device, and no individual updates are stored in the cloud. Federated Learning allows for smarter models, lower latency, and less power consumption, all while ensuring privacy. And this approach has another immediate benefit: in addition to providing an update to the shared model, the improved model on your phone can also be used immediately, powering experiences personalized by the way you use your phone.Papers: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1602.05629.pdf , https://arxiv.org/pdf/1610.05492.pdf
The denizens of /r/ireland have put together a map of their favourite tourist spots around the country. Some slightly odd choices but definitely a few that may be worth a visit. Thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/ireland/comments/5b0634/i_am_starting_a_rireland_recommended_map_for/
amazing history of a key house sample — the Pacific State loon
SIXEL is one of image formats for printer and terminal imaging introduced by Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC). Its data scheme is represented as a terminal-friendly escape sequence. So if you want to view a SIXEL image file, all you have to do is “cat” it to your terminal.Wow. gif320 lives on!
The proof-of-concept exploit uses a low-cost transmitter to embed malicious commands into a rogue [DVB-T] signal. That signal is then broadcast to nearby devices. It worked against two fully updated TV models made by Samsung. By exploiting two known security flaws in the Web browsers running in the background, the attack was able to gain highly privileged root access to the TVs. By revising the attack to target similar browser bugs found in other sets, the technique would likely work on a much wider range of TVs.
Now the prime minister has embroiled herself in a negotiation in which we are at a disadvantage in terms of time and negotiating capacity. There will of course be no admission from Brexit MPs about this. They fixate on the one prediction economists got wrong – the surprising resilience of consumer spending – while ignoring everything their side was wrong about, like the fall in sterling, the announcement of a second Scottish independence referendum, the threat of a sudden hard border in Ireland or the crisis over Gibraltar. This is not point scoring. Unless there is a sober assessment of what is going right and wrong on both sides there can be no realistic negotiating posture. We are condemned to keep making the same mistakes again and again and working ourselves into ever-more disadvantageous positions.
Nice. we built something along these lines atop MySQL before — partitioning by timestamp is the key. (via Nelson)
‘A Desktop Viewer App for Tabular Data’ — pivot CSV data easily; works well with large files; free, from Antony Courtney
yet another potential risk of IoT
recommended by Eoin for Parcelmotel-style delivery forwarding
omg this is horrible, grim-meathook-future stuff.
A landlord lists a rental space and potential tenants bid against one another to claim the lease. Tenants’ personal information is available to the landlord. The landlord then makes their final decision by weighing what the best offer is along with which bidder seems like they’d be the best tenant
awesome D&D-spoofing April Fool from MeFi
However, the rest of the abuse came from accounts purporting to be supporters of Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders. And these were “people” with whom I believed I shared common values and policy interests. Almost all of the accounts presented as men — mostly young and white — and used sexist and misogynistic tones and words. I was called “mom” and “grandma” as epithets by these “young men.” I was called every vile sexualized name you can imagine. For some reason that I did not understand at the time, they liked to call me a “vagina.” (I now believe non-native English — i.e. Russian — speakers wrote the algorithms controlling these bots and perhaps imagined “vagina” to be the equivalent of the c-word when hurled at a woman.) Not being conversant in the mechanisms of Russian psychological warfare techniques at the time, it never occurred to me that, like the #MAGA bots, these “Bernie Bro” accounts were actually bots too. And the abuse from these accounts was much harder to dismiss. It went in further, emotionally speaking. The vitriol of the attacks felt like a painful betrayal. After all, “we” probably shared 99 percent of our political perspective; we just supported different candidates — which is something I said repeatedly in my attempts to appeal to reason with some of the attackers over the course of those long months. Nonetheless, even the mildest criticism of Sanders or comment of support for Clinton would bring out a swarm of these “Bernie Bro” accounts spouting off with abusive language and mockery.
‘The bakeneko (???, “changed cat”) is a type of Japanese y?kai, or supernatural creature. According to its name, it is a cat that has changed into a y?kai. It is often confused with the nekomata, another cat-like y?kai, and the distinction between the two can often be quite ambiguous.’ Reportedly, Totoro’s catbus is a bakeneko, as is the Maneki Neko good luck totem.
Everyone knows Richard Feynman’s famous televised demonstration that the Challenger had exploded because its O-rings got stiff when they were cold — but it wasn’t Feynman’s discovery. It was Sally Ride’s.’ (via Tony Finch)
Starbird sighed. “I used to be a techno-utopian. Now I can’t believe that I’m sitting here talking to you about all this.”Yep :(
Another challenge is that no matter what solutions people devise to fight trolls, the trolls will fight back. Even among those who are optimistic that the trolls can be beaten back, and that civic discourse will prevail online, there are myriad unknowns ahead. “Online discourse is new, relative to the history of communication,” said Ryan Sweeney, the director of analytics at Ignite Social Media, in his response to the survey. “Technological evolution has surpassed the evolution of civil discourse. We’ll catch up eventually. I hope. We are in a defining time.”
oh god this is pretty awful. this just reads like “don’t try to use Redis at scale” to me
‘March 2017 AWS Online Tech Talks’ — lots about the new volume types
Expect to see a lot more cases of automated discrimination like this in the future. There is no way an auto-adjudication system would be allowed to have this staggering level of brokenness if it was dealing with the well-off:
State officials have said that between Oct. 1, 2013, when the MiDAS [automated unemployment insurance fraud detection] system came on line, and Aug. 7, 2015, when the state halted the auto-adjudication of fraud determinations and began to require some human review of MiDAS findings, the system had a 93% error rate and made false fraud findings affecting more than 20,000 unemployment insurance claims. Those falsely accused of fraud were subjected to quadruple penalties and aggressive collection techniques, including wage garnishment and seizure of income tax refunds. Some were forced into bankruptcy. The agency is now reviewing about 28,000 additional fraud determinations that were made during the relevant period, but which involved some human review. An unknown number of those fraud findings were also false.
Excellent policing folklore here…. ‘Eventually a letter was sent to the Polish embassy to ask for the Polish government’s assistance in bringing this rogue motorist to justice. Their reply was as swift as it was courteous. It said “Prawo Jazdy is Polish for driver’s license”.’
I noticed this when I was living there — it was nearly impossible to file a 1040 without help, and this is why:
Intuit spent more than $2 million lobbying last year, much of it spent on legislation that would permanently bar the government from offering taxpayers pre-filled returns. H&R Block spent $3 million, also directing some of their efforts toward the bill.On the upside, with H&R Block it’s reasonably easy. Just pretty unpleasant that it’s a requirement and effectively private-sector taxation as a result.
The grugq on Putin vs France:
How modern conflicts play out in the informatics sphere, what I mean when I talk about cyber war, is happening in France. After France there will be Germany, then the Scandinavian countries have their elections. There is no chance that Putin attempting to shape the world to best suit Russian interests will abate. Currently, the strongest area that he can contend in is the informatics sphere, the cyber realm, where human perception of reality is shaped.
Whitehat CCC hacker thoroughly pwns N26 bank — there’s a lot of small leaks and insecurities here. Sounds like N26 are dealing with them though
‘For decades, the transaction concept has played a central role in database research and development. Despite this prominence, transactional databases today often surface much weaker models than the classic serializable isolation guarantee—and, by default, far weaker models than alternative,“strong but not serializable” models such as Snapshot Isolation. Moreover, the transaction concept requires the programmer’s involvement: should an application programmer fail to correctly use transactions by appropriately encapsulating functionality, even serializable transactions will expose programmers to errors. While many errors arising from these practices may be masked by low concurrency during normal operation, they are susceptible to occur during periods of abnormally high concurrency. By triggering these errors via concurrent access in a deliberate attack, a determined adversary could systematically exploit them for gain. In this work, we defined the problem of ACIDRain attacks and introduced 2AD, a lightweight dynamic analysis tool that uses traces of normal database activity to detect possible anomalous behavior in applications. To enable 2AD, we extended Adya’s theory of weak isolation to allow efficient reasoning over the space of all possible concurrent executions of a set of transactions based on a concrete history, via a new concept called an abstract history, which also applies to API calls. We then applied 2AD analysis to twelve popular self-hosted eCommerce applications, finding 22 vulnerabilities spread across all but one application we tested, affecting over 50% of eCommerce sites on the Internet today. We believe that the magnitude and the prevalence of these vulnerabilities to ACIDRain attacks merits a broader reconsideration of the success of the transaction concept as employed by programmers today, in addition to further pursuit of research in this direction. Based on our early experiences both performing ACIDRain attacks on self-hosted applications as well as engaging with developers, we believe there is considerable work to be done in raising awareness of these attacks—for example, via improved analyses and additional 2AD refinement rules (including analysis of source code to better highlight sources of error)—and in automated methods for defending against these attacks—for example, by synthesizing repairs such as automated isolation level tuning and selective application of SELECT FOR UPDATE mechanisms. Our results here—as well as existing instances of ACIDRain attacks in the wild—suggest there is considerable value at stake.’
tl;dr: this is not going to happen and we are fucked.
jomsdev notes: ‘Last year, in the AofA’16 conference Robert Sedgewick proposed a new algorithm for cardinality estimation. Robert Sedgwick is a professor at Princeton with a long track of publications on combinatorial/randomized algorithms. He was a good friend of Philippe Flajolet (creator of Hyperloglog) and HyperBitBit it’s based on the same ideas. However, it uses less memory than Hyperloglog and can provide the same results. On practical data, HyperBitBit, for N < 2^64 estimates cardinality within 10% using only 128 + 6 bits.'
At the root of this is the American obsession with self-reliance, which makes it more acceptable to applaud an individual for working himself to death than to argue that an individual working himself to death is evidence of a flawed economic system. The contrast between the gig economy’s rhetoric (everyone is always connecting, having fun, and killing it!) and the conditions that allow it to exist (a lack of dependable employment that pays a living wage) makes this kink in our thinking especially clear.
11 stereotypical data scientist roles, and their failings
While this is certainly correct to prosecute, I still think that Twitter need to rethink their UI choices that allow a random stranger to fire graphic images at their targets without any opt-in requirement.
FBI investigators seized the account late last year after tracking him through his iPhone, and allege that Rivello sent several tweets and messages about his intentions to cause Eichenwald to have a seizure — including the text “You deserve a seizure for your post.” According to NBC News, other messages specifically say that “I hope this sends him into a seizure,” while others read “Spammed this at [Eichenwald] let’s see if he dies.”
DRM working as expected:
To avoid the draconian locks that John Deere puts on the tractors they buy, farmers throughout America’s heartland have started hacking their equipment with firmware that’s cracked in Eastern Europe and traded on invite-only, paid online forums. Tractor hacking is growing increasingly popular because John Deere and other manufacturers have made it impossible to perform “unauthorized” repair on farm equipment, which farmers see as an attack on their sovereignty and quite possibly an existential threat to their livelihood if their tractor breaks at an inopportune time.(via etienneshrdlu)
‘One of my sad predictions for 2017 is a bunch of big headline-worthy acquisitions and IPOs that leave a lot of hard working employees at these companies in a weird spot. They’ll be congratulated by everyone they know for their extraordinary success while scratching their heads wondering why they barely benefited. Of course, the reason is that these employees never understood their compensation in the first place (and they were not privy to the terms of all the financings before and after they were hired).’
Huh, interesting development:
If it’s on company time, it’s the company’s dime. That’s the usual rule in the tech industry—that if employees use company resources to work on projects unrelated to their jobs, their employer can claim ownership of any intellectual property (IP) they create. But GitHub is throwing that out the window. Today the code-sharing platform announced a new policy, the Balanced Employee IP Agreement (BEIPA). This allows its employees to use company equipment to work on personal projects in their free time, which can occur during work hours, without fear of being sued for the IP. As long as the work isn’t related to GitHub’s own “existing or prospective” products and services, the employee owns it.
great post. 1. DynamoDB hot shards were a big problem — and it is terrible that diagnosing this requires a ticket to AWS support! This heat map should be a built-in feature. 2. ECS auto-scaling gets a solid thumbs-up. 3. Switching from ELB to ALB lets them set ports dynamically for individual ECS Docker containers, and then pack as many containers as will fit on a giant EC2 instance. 4. Terraform modules to automate setup and maintainance of ECS, autoscaling groups, and ALBs
LocalStack provides an easy-to-use test/mocking framework for developing Cloud applications. Currently, the focus is primarily on supporting the AWS cloud stack. LocalStack spins up the following core Cloud APIs on your local machine: API Gateway at http://localhost:4567; Kinesis at http://localhost:4568; DynamoDB at http://localhost:4569; DynamoDB Streams at http://localhost:4570; Elasticsearch at http://localhost:4571; S3 at http://localhost:4572; Firehose at http://localhost:4573; Lambda at http://localhost:4574; SNS at http://localhost:4575; SQS at http://localhost:4576 Additionally, LocalStack provides a powerful set of tools to interact with the cloud services, including a fully featured KCL Kinesis client with Python binding, simple setup/teardown integration for nosetests, as well as an Environment abstraction that allows to easily switch between local and remote Cloud execution.
“We should always be suspicious when machine learning systems are described as free from bias if it’s been trained on human-generated data,” Crawford said. “Our biases are built into that training data.” In the Chinese research it turned out that the faces of criminals were more unusual than those of law-abiding citizens. “People who had dissimilar faces were more likely to be seen as untrustworthy by police and judges. That’s encoding bias,” Crawford said. “This would be a terrifying system for an autocrat to get his hand on.” […] With AI this type of discrimination can be masked in a black box of algorithms, as appears to be the case with a company called Faceception, for instance, a firm that promises to profile people’s personalities based on their faces. In its own marketing material, the company suggests that Middle Eastern-looking people with beards are “terrorists”, while white looking women with trendy haircuts are “brand promoters”.
Peter Bailis strikes again. ‘Time series visualization of streaming telemetry (i.e., charting of key metrics such as server load over time) is increasingly prevalent in recent application deployments. Existing systems simply plot the raw data streams as they arrive, potentially obscuring large-scale deviations due to local variance and noise. We propose an alternative: to better prioritize attention in time series exploration and monitoring visualizations, smooth the time series as much as possible to remove noise while still retaining large-scale structure. We develop a new technique for automatically smoothing streaming time series that adaptively optimizes this trade-off between noise reduction (i.e., variance) and outlier retention (i.e., kurtosis). We introduce metrics to quantitatively assess the quality of the choice of smoothing parameter and provide an efficient streaming analytics operator, ASAP, that optimizes these metrics by combining techniques from stream processing, user interface design, and signal processing via a novel autocorrelation-based pruning strategy and pixel-aware preaggregation. We demonstrate that ASAP is able to improve users’ accuracy in identifying significant deviations in time series by up to 38.4% while reducing response times by up to 44.3%. Moreover, ASAP delivers these results several orders of magnitude faster than alternative optimization strategies.’
Mr. Kelly describes his reaction as a mixture of surprise, embarrassment and amusement but also love and affection. The couple says they weren’t mad and didn’t scold the children. “I mean it was terribly cute,” Mr. Kelly said. “I saw the video like everybody else. My wife did a great job cleaning up a really unanticipated situation as best she possibly could… It was funny. If you watch the tape I was sort of struggling to keep my own laughs down. They’re little kids and that’s how things are.” “Yes I was mortified, but I also want my kids to feel comfortable coming to me,” Mr. Kelly said.aww!
The United Nations’ special rapporteur on privacy has lambasted a spate of new surveillance laws across Europe and the US, saying that there is “little or no evidence” that mass monitoring of communications works. In a report published this week, Prof. Joseph Cannataci, the first privacy watchdog to take up the post, said he was neither convinced of the effectiveness or the proportionality “of some of the extremely privacy-intrusive measures that have been introduced by new surveillance laws.” He also said that bulk records collection, such as call and email metadata, runs the risk of “being hacked by hostile governments or organized crime.” Cannataci singled out recently-passed laws in France, Germany, the UK and the US, all of which have pushed through new legislation in the wake of the threat from the so-called Islamic State. He said that the passed laws amount to “gesture-politics,” which in his words, “have seen politicians who wish to be seen to be doing something about security, legislating privacy-intrusive powers into being — or legalize existing practices — without in any way demonstrating that this is either a proportionate or indeed an effective way to tackle terrorism.” A rise in public support of increased surveillance powers is “predicated on the psychology of fear,” he said, referring to the perceived threat of terrorism.
One of the most famous attributes of Lord British is that he is almost invincible. In every Ultima game in which he has appeared, he is designed to be almost impervious to a player’s character predations. However, there are ways for a player thinking outside the box to assassinate him. This phenomenon is the origin of the Lord British Postulate which states: “If it exists as a living creature in an MMORPG, someone, somewhere, will try to kill it.” Virtually every MMO game displays numerous instances of this, with players attempting to kill (or, in the case of friendly NPCs, cause the death of) virtually every NPC or monster, howsoever powerful, meek, friendly, or ethereal.
good kid’s board game — age 4+, 2-4 players.
The object of Dinosaur Escape is to get all three dinosaurs safely to Dinosaur Island before the volcano erupts! Work together to move the dinosaur movers around the board and uncover the matching dinosaurs under the fern tokens. On your turn, roll the die. If you roll a number, move any dinosaur mover the indicated number of spaces any direction on the path. Then turn over one fern token anywhere on the board. If you reveal rocks, bones or other items, flip the token back over. If you reveal a dinosaur, and the dinosaur mover of the same species is in the same habitat area, move the dinosaur moved and matching token to Dinosaur Island. You just helped a dinosaur escape! If you reveal a dinosaur but the dinosaur mover of the same species is not in the same habitat as the token, flip the token back over. Dinosaur movers and matching tokens must be in the same habitat to help a dinosaur escape! If you turn over the T-Rex, RUN! Move each of the dinosaur movers in play back to a start space. If you roll a volcano, place volcano piece number 1 in the stand on the board. If you can find and help all three lost dinosaurs escape to Dinosaur Island before completing the 3D volcano puzzle, you all win!
some good boardgame reviews
We summarize the potential impact that the European Union’s new General Data Protection Regulation will have on the routine use of machine learning algorithms. Slated to take effect as law across the EU in 2018, it will restrict automated individual decision-making (that is, algorithms that make decisions based on user-level predictors) which “significantly affect” users. The law will also effectively create a “right to explanation,” whereby a user can ask for an explanation of an algorithmic decision that was made about them. We argue that while this law will pose large challenges for industry, it highlights opportunities for computer scientists to take the lead in designing algorithms and evaluation frameworks which avoid discrimination and enable explanation.oh this’ll be tricky.
“Targeted advertising allows a campaign to say completely different, possibly conflicting things to different groups. Is that democratic?” Berners-Lee said.
Top for containers (ie Docker)
It seems there have been 34 with serious consequences since 2008. Causes include:
– Omission of an underscore when transcribing an e-mail address led to the wrong subscriber information being provided and a search warrant being executed at the premises of an individual unconnected with the investigation. – A CSP’s data warehouse system change affected how GMT and British Summer Time were treated. This was not communicated to staff using the data retention disclosure system. This led to a one hour error in subscriber information disclosed in relation to IP address usage. Of 98 potential disclosure errors identified, 94 were in fact incorrect and four returned the same results when re-run. Of the 94 incorrect disclosures, in three cases a search warrant was executed at premises relating to individuals unconnected with the investigation (and one individual was arrested). – Due to a technical fault causing a time zone conversion to be out by seven hours, a CSP voluntarily disclosed an incorrect IP address to a public authority. That led to a search warrant being executed at premises relating to individuals unconnected with the investigation.In other words, timezones largely screw up everything, yet again.
Excellent twitter thread on the topic. Pasted:
It is often said that everyone knew what was happening in such places, or about the rape of children by priests. That is not true. It is true that deep veins of knowledge existed across Irish society, at all levels, but not everyone knew. Or were allowed to know. Just like is always the case, the terrible things that were done were possible only because they were tolerated. They went unchecked. They were tolerated by those in positions of authority who either dared not, or did not wish to, challenge the power strictures that existed They were tolerated by those without power or position because they feared what speaking up might do to them and to their families That was an Ireland where challenging such vile abuse by power would see you become its victim. It was brutal and vicious. If you did not, or could not, conform to the demands of the powerful, you were in real danger. At best, ostracisation and excommunication. But many experience far worse than that. They found themselves in the very places we now acknowledge as hell holes. Locked up in institutions I always remember the late, great Mary Rafferty exposing the scale of such abusive institutionalisation. She pointed out that at one point in our relatively recent history, we led the world in one regard. Per capita, we locked up more people in psychiatric institutions than any other country on the planet. Only the Soviet Union came a distant second to us. That was how Ireland treated dissent or difference That what was happened to many who could not conform to a brutal demand to be somehow ‘acceptable’ to dogma & unaccountable power And it wasn’t some ancient Ireland either. The last laundry closed in 1996. In 2002, when fighting for inquiries into child rape by priests and it’s cover up by bishops, cardinals and popes, those same princes declared themselves above the rule of the law of this Republic insisting that the law of their church was superior to the law of this state. And their position was taken seriously by many. It took months of dogged battle by me and others to get past that bullshit. For our political and legal system to assert itself. The Ireland where the lives of women & children were controlled & brutalised by people who felt they had a God given right to do so is not some other country that existed back in some other time. It is this Ireland. We have changed a lot – but it is still this Ireland. The difference now is that we ALL know. That the truth is out, and that more is being revealed. And yes, undoubtedly there is more to come. So it is NOT true all past members of society, or even anything close to a majority, colluded with such abuses. That is a falsehood. It is also a falsehood to suggest that the church did what the state would not do, and provided as best it could. That is a lie. The Catholic Church captured control of what should have been arms of the state. Health, education and social care. And it exploited them. It used them to drive its own agendas, to enforce its own dogma. And at every turn it resisted any ‘intrusion’ into those realms by others. including the state. Look at the Mother & Child Scheme for eg, or the response to the first multi-denominational schools, and much more. Catholic orders defended themselves against accusations of appalling abuse of children in their institutions by claiming that the state did not give them enough money to feed, clothe and properly care for the children they detained in those places. This was a lie. in the same institutions where children went starving, clergy were well fed and housed. They went for nothing. Funded by the state and the forced labour of the children or women they detained. The Ryan Report debunked that lie in its entirety. Ryan found that religious orders maintained “bloated congregations” by bringing in more and more children, and therefore more and more money And now we know. Now the threat of brutal reprisal is lifted. Now is the time for truth, to own what has been done to so many vulnerable people in our Republic. To learn from it and ensure we identify how that same corrupting tendency manifests today. Because it does of course It may not be quite as vicious, but it prevails.Look at how power still treats a reasonable demand for accountability: Maurice McCabe for eg Look at how our education and health systems still allow religious dogma to exert extraordinary power over people’s lives. We are a different Ireland, but are we different enough?
The original DoNotPay, created by Stanford student Joshua Browder, describes itself as “the world’s first robot lawyer”, giving free legal aid to users through a simple-to-use chat interface. The chatbot, using Facebook Messenger, can now help refugees fill in an immigration application in the US and Canada. For those in the UK, it helps them apply for asylum support.
A google SRE annotates the Google SRE book with his own thoughts. The source material is great, but the commentary improves it alright. Particularly good for the error budget concept. Also: when did “runbooks” become “playbooks”? Don’t particularly care either way, but needless renaming is annoying.
good advice. See also http://www.teenvogue.com/story/how-to-keep-messages-secure (via Zeynep Tufekci)
Unfortunately, a bug was recently introduced into the allocator which made it sometimes not try hard enough to free kernel cache memory before giving up and invoking the OOM killer. In practice, this means that at random times, the OOM killer would strike at big processes when the kernel tries to allocate, say, 16 kilobytes of memory for a new process’s thread stack?—?even when there are many gigabytes of memory in reclaimable kernel caches!
Fascinating Unicode details — a lot of which were new to me. Love the heat map of usage in Wikipedia:
One more interesting way to visualize the codespace is to look at the distribution of usage—in other words, how often each code point is actually used in real-world texts. Below is a heat map of planes 0–2 based on a large sample of text from Wikipedia and Twitter (all languages). Frequency increases from black (never seen) through red and yellow to white. You can see that the vast majority of this text sample lies in the BMP, with only scattered usage of code points from planes 1–2. The biggest exception is emoji, which show up here as the several bright squares in the bottom row of plane 1.
lol. I hadn’t seen this one, but it’s a good beatdown on distributed objects from back in 2003
Featuring this interesting reactive-block evasion tactic:
In that screenshot, a RCM co-conspirator describes a technique in which the spammer seeks to open as many connections as possible between themselves and a Gmail server. This is done by purposefully configuring your own machine to send response packets extremely slowly, and in a fragmented manner, while constantly requesting more connections. Then, when the Gmail server is almost ready to give up and drop all connections, the spammer suddenly sends as many emails as possible through the pile of connection tunnels. The receiving side is then overwhelmed with data and will quickly block the sender, but not before processing a large load of emails.(via Tony Finch)
If our code has modest resource requirements, and can tolerate large changes in performance, then it makes sense to start with the least amount of memory necessary. On the other hand, if consistency is important, the best way to achieve that is by cranking the memory setting all the way up to 1536MB. It’s also worth noting here that CPU-bound Lambdas may be cheaper to run over time with a higher memory setting, as Jim Conning describes in his article, “AWS Lambda: Faster is Cheaper”. In our tests, we haven’t seen conclusive evidence of that behavior, but much more data is required to draw any strong conclusions. The other lesson learned is that Lambda benchmarks should be gathered over the course of days, not hours or minutes, in order to provide actionable information. Otherwise, it’s possible to see very impressive performance from a Lambda that might later dramatically change for the worse, and any decisions made based on that information will be rendered useless.
omg the Obama coup one is INSANE
Forensic archaeologists are combing through the soil in Tuam. Perhaps justice might be better served if forensic accountants were combing through the accounts of the Bon Secours Sisters. They sold healthy babies and let the rest to die.
‘The battle to protect cash is one full of ambiguities – it feels somewhat like trying to protect good ol’ normal capitalism from a Minority Report surveillance-capitalism’
well what a surprise
nice Lambda use-case with some techie details
Anil Dash: “What was the first time you took the website down or broke the build? I’m thinking of all the inadvertent downtime that comes with shipping.” Sample response: ‘Pushed a fatal error in lib/display.php to all of FB’s production servers one Friday night in late 2005. Site loaded blank pages for 20min.’
The online social network is highlighting the Toomey campaign’s ability to make ads that performed exceptionally well on Facebook even as it downplays the ability of the site to influence elections. In the days following the President Donald Trump’s election, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to the potential influence of fake news on the election as “a pretty crazy idea.” Taking Facebook at its word means holding two contradictory beliefs at once: that the site can sway an election on behalf of paying customers, but doesn’t exert influence when it comes to the spread of misinformation by independent profiteers.
The Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) team was debugging an issue causing the S3 billing system to progress more slowly than expected. At 9:37AM PST, an authorized S3 team member using an established playbook executed a command which was intended to remove a small number of servers for one of the S3 subsystems that is used by the S3 billing process. Unfortunately, one of the inputs to the command was entered incorrectly and a larger set of servers was removed than intended. The servers that were inadvertently removed supported two other S3 subsystems. One of these subsystems, the index subsystem, manages the metadata and location information of all S3 objects in the region. This subsystem is necessary to serve all GET, LIST, PUT, and DELETE requests. The second subsystem, the placement subsystem, manages allocation of new storage and requires the index subsystem to be functioning properly to correctly operate. The placement subsystem is used during PUT requests to allocate storage for new objects. Removing a significant portion of the capacity caused each of these systems to require a full restart. While these subsystems were being restarted, S3 was unable to service requests. Other AWS services in the US-EAST-1 Region that rely on S3 for storage, including the S3 console, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) new instance launches, Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes (when data was needed from a S3 snapshot), and AWS Lambda were also impacted while the S3 APIs were unavailable.
It is the most extraordinary inscription. This mill-stone rock, which once stood on the top of Tory Hill in County Kilkenny in Ireland, has been taken as proof of Carthaginian contact and settlement or at least trade with Ireland in antiquity. The words clearly read (give or take some distorted letters) Beli Dinose, a reference to the Carthaginian god Bel or Baal Dionysus. Extraordinary to think that Phoenicians, in the early centuries B.C. brought their nasty child-killing faith to the green hills of Ireland. Only of course they didn’t… At least not on this evidence. The stone celebrating ‘the lordly one’ actually has a rather different origin.excellent tale.
Teleport enables teams to easily adopt the best SSH practices like: Integrated SSH credentials with your organization Google Apps identities or other OAuth identity providers. No need to distribute keys: Teleport uses certificate-based access with automatic expiration time. Enforcement of 2nd factor authentication. Cluster introspection: every Teleport node becomes a part of a cluster and is visible on the Web UI. Record and replay SSH sessions for knowledge sharing and auditing purposes. Collaboratively troubleshoot issues through session sharing. Connect to clusters located behind firewalls without direct Internet access via SSH bastions.
Many DynamoDB users store data that has a limited useful life or is accessed less frequently over time. Some of them track recent logins, trial subscriptions, or application metrics. Others store data that is subject to regulatory or contractual limitations on how long it can be stored. Until now, these customers implemented their own time-based data management. At scale, this sometimes meant that they ran a couple of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances that did nothing more than scan DynamoDB items, check date attributes, and issue delete requests for items that were no longer needed. This added cost and complexity to their application. In order to streamline this popular and important use case, we are launching a new Time to Live (TTL) feature today. You can enable this feature on a table-by-table basis, specifying an item attribute that contains the expiration time for the item.
This is so spot on. I hope Google address this issue —
YouTube is crucial part of the misinformation ecology. Not just a demand issue: its recommender algo is a “go down the rabbit hole” machine. You watch a Trump rally: you get suggested white supremacist videos, sometimes, auto-playing. Like a gateway drug theory of engagement. I’ve seen this work across the political spectrum. YouTube algo has discovered out-flanking and “red-pilling” is.. engaging. So it does.This thread was in response to this Buzzfeed article on the same topic: https://www.buzzfeed.com/josephbernstein/youtube-has-become-the-content-engine-of-the-internets-dark
At dinner I asked some of the women to speak to me about this, how astronomy became so (relatively) egalitarian. And one topic became clear: role models. Astronomy has a long history of women active in the field, going all the way back to Caroline Herschel in the early 19th century. Women have made huge contributions to the field. Dava Sobel just wrote a book about the women who laid the foundations for the discovery of the expansion of the universe. Just a couple of weeks ago, papers ran obituaries of Vera Rubin, the remarkable observational astronomer who discovered the evidence for dark matter. I could mention Jocelyn Bell, whose discovery of pulsars got her advisor a Nobel (sic). The most famous astronomer I met growing up was Helen Hogg, the (adopted) Canadian astronomer at David Dunlap Observatory outside Toronto, who also did a fair bit of what we now call outreach. The women at the meeting spoke of this, a history of women contributing, of role models to look up to, of proof that women can make major contributions to the field. What can computing learn from this? It seems we’re doing it wrong. The best way to improve the representation of women in the field is not to recruit them, important though that is, but to promote them. To create role models. To push them into positions of influence.
[The] results suggest that classifiers based on modern machine learning techniques, even those that obtain excellent performance on the test set, are not learning the true underlying concepts that determine the correct output label. Instead, these algorithms have built a Potemkin village that works well on naturally occuring data, but is exposed as a fake when one visits points in space that do not have high probability in the data distribution.
what the absolute fuck. Celestine Omin on Twitter: “I was just asked to balance a Binary Search Tree by JFK’s airport immigration. Welcome to America.”
Great idea — an “escape hatch” for your teenage kids, so they can be extricated from scary/dodgy peer-pressure situations without losing face among their peers.
This is a massive bug. C considered harmful! See also jgc’s blog post: https://blog.cloudflare.com/incident-report-on-memory-leak-caused-by-cloudflare-parser-bug/
Wow, this is creepy.
Tracy and Leupp described twilight sleep as “a very fine balance in the states of consciousness,” which required “special knowledge of the use of drugs that cause it.” Once a woman had gone into labor, she was given a combination of morphine to dull the pain and scopolamine to dull her memory of the experience. (Today, scopolamine is sometimes called the “zombie drug” because its users become susceptible to suggestion but retain no memory of their actions.) These drugs had been used in the past as anesthetics, but few doctors had adopted them with enthusiasm. But the German clinic, the McClure’s article reported, had reached a technical breakthrough with scopolamine, which allowed the doctors to administer it with more precision and therefore with more success. Women who they treated with these drugs would retain muscle control and would follow orders from doctors, but would remember none of it. There were some strange conditions that went along with the use of these drugs. Because the women’s state of suspension was precarious, women in twilight sleep were kept in padded, crib-like beds, with eye masks blocking out the light and cotton balls in their ears blocking out sound. Sometimes they were fitted into straight-jacket-like shirts that limited the movement of their arms. When the birth was over, women also often experienced a moment of dissociation, as Carmody did: Had they really had a baby? Was the baby they’d been handed really theirs?
I’d never heard of this term!
On “techies” and their tenuous relationship with Indian society:
Technology was supposed to deliver India from poverty, but in Bangalore it’s also deepened the division between rich and poor, young and old, modern and traditional. As the city has grown richer, it’s also become unruly and unfamiliar. If the tech worker is the star of the Indian economy, then the techie is his shadow— spoiled, untrustworthy, adulterous, depressed, and sometimes just plain senseless. (“TECHIE WITH EARPHONES RUN OVER BY TRAIN.”) In one occupational boogeyman, Bangaloreans can see their future and their fears. [….] “TECHIE’S WIFE MURDERED” read the headlines in both the Hindu and the Bangalore Mirror. “TECHIE STABS FRIEND’S WIFE TO DEATH” ran in the Deccan Herald. To read the Indian newspapers regularly is to believe the software engineer is the country’s most cursed figure. Almost every edition carries a gruesome story involving a techie accused of homicide, rape, burglary, blackmail, assault, injury, suicide, or another crime. When techies are the victims, it’s just as newsworthy. The Times of India, the country’s largest English-language paper, has carried “TECHIE DIES IN FREAK ACCIDENT” and “MAN HELD FOR PUSHING TECHIE FROM TRAIN”; in the Hindu, readers found “TEACHER CHOPS OFF FINGERS OF TECHIE HUSBAND” and “TECHIE DIED AFTER BEING FORCE-FED CYANIDE.” A long-standing journalistic adage says, “If it bleeds, it leads.” In India, if it codes, it explodes.
‘Their decidedly un-hygge reluctance to partake in comforting, clear-brothed Vietnamese soups most likely stems from the generation’s reckless spending habits?—?many bought homes in their early 20’s. Some even claim they have owned upwards of seven cars over the course of their lifetimes. Unbelievably, many have never ridden a bicycle post-childhood.’