Links for 2014-05-29

  • Tracedump

    a single application IP packet sniffer that captures all TCP and UDP packets of a single Linux process. It consists of the following elements: * ptrace monitor – tracks bind(), connect() and sendto() syscalls and extracts local port numbers that the traced application uses; * pcap sniffer – using information from the previous module, it captures IP packets on an AF_PACKET socket (with an appropriate BPF filter attached); * garbage collector – periodically reads /proc/net/{tcp,udp} files in order to detect the sockets that the application no longer uses. As the output, tracedump generates a PCAP file with SLL-encapsulated IP packets – readable by eg. Wireshark. This file can be later used for detailed analysis of the networking operations made by the application. For instance, it might be useful for IP traffic classification systems.

    (tags: debugging networking linux strace ptrace tracedump tracing tcp udp sniffer ip tcpdump)

  • You Are Not a Digital Native: Privacy in the Age of the Internet

    an open letter from Cory Doctorow to teen readers re privacy. ‘The problem with being a “digital native” is that it transforms all of your screw-ups into revealed deep truths about how humans are supposed to use the Internet. So if you make mistakes with your Internet privacy, not only do the companies who set the stage for those mistakes (and profited from them) get off Scot-free, but everyone else who raises privacy concerns is dismissed out of hand. After all, if the “digital natives” supposedly don’t care about their privacy, then anyone who does is a laughable, dinosauric idiot, who isn’t Down With the Kids.’

    (tags: children privacy kids teens digital-natives surveillance cory-doctorow danah-boyd)

  • Shutterbits replacing hardware load balancers with local BGP daemons and anycast

    Interesting approach. Potentially risky, though — heavy use of anycast on a large-scale datacenter network could increase the scale of the OSPF graph, which scales exponentially. This can have major side effects on OSPF reconvergence time, which creates an interesting class of network outage in the event of OSPF flapping. Having said that, an active/passive failover LB pair will already announce a single anycast virtual IP anyway, so, assuming there are a similar number of anycast IPs in the end, it may not have any negative side effects. There’s also the inherent limitation noted in the second-to-last paragraph; ‘It comes down to what your hardware router can handle for ECMP. I know a Juniper MX240 can handle 16 next-hops, and have heard rumors that a software update will bump this to 64, but again this is something to keep in mind’. Taking a leaf from the LB design, and using BGP to load-balance across a smaller set of haproxy instances, would seem like a good approach to scale up.

    (tags: scalability networking performance load-balancing bgp exabgp ospf anycast routing datacenters scaling vips juniper haproxy shutterstock)

  • Tron: Legacy Encom Boardroom Visualization

    this is great. lovely, silly, HTML5 dataviz, with lots of spinning globes and wobbling sines on a black background

    (tags: demo github wikipedia dataviz visualisation mapping globes rob-scanlan graphics html5 animation tron-legacy tron movies)

  • CockroachDB

    a distributed key/value datastore which supports ACID transactional semantics and versioned values as first-class features. The primary design goal is global consistency and survivability, hence the name. Cockroach aims to tolerate disk, machine, rack, and even datacenter failures with minimal latency disruption and no manual intervention. Cockroach nodes are symmetric; a design goal is one binary with minimal configuration and no required auxiliary services. Cockroach implements a single, monolithic sorted map from key to value where both keys and values are byte strings (not unicode). Cockroach scales linearly (theoretically up to 4 exabytes (4E) of logical data). The map is composed of one or more ranges and each range is backed by data stored in RocksDB (a variant of LevelDB), and is replicated to a total of three or more cockroach servers. Ranges are defined by start and end keys. Ranges are merged and split to maintain total byte size within a globally configurable min/max size interval. Range sizes default to target 64M in order to facilitate quick splits and merges and to distribute load at hotspots within a key range. Range replicas are intended to be located in disparate datacenters for survivability (e.g. { US-East, US-West, Japan }, { Ireland, US-East, US-West}, { Ireland, US-East, US-West, Japan, Australia }). Single mutations to ranges are mediated via an instance of a distributed consensus algorithm to ensure consistency. We’ve chosen to use the Raft consensus algorithm. All consensus state is stored in RocksDB. A single logical mutation may affect multiple key/value pairs. Logical mutations have ACID transactional semantics. If all keys affected by a logical mutation fall within the same range, atomicity and consistency are guaranteed by Raft; this is the fast commit path. Otherwise, a non-locking distributed commit protocol is employed between affected ranges. Cockroach provides snapshot isolation (SI) and serializable snapshot isolation (SSI) semantics, allowing externally consistent, lock-free reads and writes–both from an historical snapshot timestamp and from the current wall clock time. SI provides lock-free reads and writes but still allows write skew. SSI eliminates write skew, but introduces a performance hit in the case of a contentious system. SSI is the default isolation; clients must consciously decide to trade correctness for performance. Cockroach implements a limited form of linearalizability, providing ordering for any observer or chain of observers.
    This looks nifty. One to watch.

    (tags: cockroachdb databases storage georeplication raft consensus acid go key-value-stores rocksdb)

  • Tuning LevelDB

    good docs from Riak

    (tags: leveldb tuning performance ops riak)

  • Proof of burn – Bitcoin

    method for bootstrapping one cryptocurrency off of another. The idea is that miners should show proof that they burned some coins – that is, sent them to a verifiably unspendable address. This is expensive from their individual point of view, just like proof of work; but it consumes no resources other than the burned underlying asset. To date, all proof of burn cryptocurrencies work by burning proof-of-work-mined cryptocurrencies, so the ultimate source of scarcity remains the proof-of-work-mined “fuel”.

    (tags: bitcoin proof money mining cryptocurrency)

  • The programming error that cost Mt Gox 2609 bitcoins

    Digging into broken Bitcoin scripts in the blockchain. Fascinating:

    While analyzing coinbase transactions, I came across another interesting bug that lost bitcoins. Some transactions have the meaningless and unredeemable script: OP_IFDUP OP_IF OP_2SWAP OP_VERIFY OP_2OVER OP_DEPTH That script turns out to be the ASCII text script. Instead of putting the redemption script into the transaction, the P2Pool miners accidentally put in the literal word “script”. The associated bitcoins are lost forever due to this error.
    (via Nelson)

    (tags: programming script coding bitcoin mtgox via:nelson scripting dsls)

  • Moquette MQTT

    a Java implementation of an MQTT 3.1 broker. Its code base is small. At its core, Moquette is an events processor; this lets the code base be simple, avoiding thread sharing issues. The Moquette broker is lightweight and easy to understand so it could be embedded in other projects.

    (tags: mqtt moquette netty messaging queueing push-notifications iot internet push eclipse)

  • “Taking the hotdog”

    aka. lock acquisition. ex-Amazon-Dublin lingo, observed in the wild ;)

    (tags: language hotdog archie-mcphee amazon dublin intercom coding locks synchronization)

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