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Links for 2016-03-29

  • Mass surveillance silences minority opinions, according to study – The Washington Post

    This is excellent research, spot on.

    Elizabeth Stoycheff, lead researcher of the study and assistant professor at Wayne State University, is disturbed by her findings. “So many people I’ve talked with say they don’t care about online surveillance because they don’t break any laws and don’t have anything to hide. And I find these rationales deeply troubling,” she said. She said that participants who shared the “nothing to hide” belief, those who tended to support mass surveillance as necessary for national security, were the most likely to silence their minority opinions. “The fact that the ‘nothing to hide’ individuals experience a significant chilling effect speaks to how online privacy is much bigger than the mere lawfulness of one’s actions. It’s about a fundamental human right to have control over one’s self-presentation and image, in private, and now, in search histories and metadata,” she said.

    (tags: culture privacy psychology surveillance mass-surveillance via:snowden nothing-to-hide spiral-of-silence fear)

  • Qualys SSL Server Test

    pretty sure I had this bookmarked previously, but this is the current URL — SSL/TLS quality report

    (tags: ssl tls security tests ops tools testing)

  • Observability at Twitter: technical overview, part II

    Interesting to me mainly for this tidbit which makes my own prejudices:

    “Pull” vs “push” in metrics collection: At the time of our previous blog post, all our metrics were collected by “pulling” from our collection agents. We discovered two main issues: * There is no easy way to differentiate service failures from collection agent failures. Service response time out and missed collection request are both manifested as empty time series. * There is a lack of service quality insulation in our collection pipeline. It is very difficult to set an optimal collection time out for various services. A long collection time from one single service can cause a delay for other services that share the same collection agent. In light of these issues, we switched our collection model from “pull” to “push” and increased our service isolation. Our collection agent on each host only collects metrics from services running on that specific host. Additionally, each collection agent sends separate collection status tracking metrics in addition to the metrics emitted by the services. We have seen a significant improvement in collection reliability with these changes. However, as we moved to self service push model, it becomes harder to project the request growth. In order to solve this problem, we plan to implement service quota to address unpredictable/unbounded growth.

    (tags: pull push metrics tcp stacks monitoring agents twitter fault-tolerance)

  • These unlucky people have names that break computers

    Pat McKenzie’s name is too long to fit in Japanese database schemas; Janice Keihanaikukauakahihulihe’ekahaunaele’s name was too long for US schemas; and Jennifer Null suffers from the obvious problem

    (tags: databases design programming names coding japan schemas)

  • How we implemented the video player in Mail.Ru Cloud

    We’ve recently added video streaming service to Mail.Ru Cloud. Development started with contemplating the new feature as an all-purpose “Swiss Army knife” that would both play files of any format and work on any device with the Cloud available. Video content uploaded to the Cloud mostly falls into one of the two categories: “movies/series” and “users’ videos”. The latter are the videos that users shoot with their phones and cameras, and these videos are most versatile in terms of formats and codecs. For many reasons, it is often a problem to watch these videos on other end-user devices without prior normalization: a required codec is missing, or the file size is too big to download, or whatever.
    Mainly around using HLS (HTTP Live Streaming).

    (tags: hls http streaming video audio players codecs)

  • A shot that rang round the world

    The international impact of the Easter Rising has rarely been acknowledged. This rebellion did not only rattle British rule in Ireland — it inspired radical movements in Britain itself and across the globe, and it shook colonial rulers and states worldwide.

    (tags: history easter-rising 1916 ireland revolution colonialism)

  • Hashed Wheel Timer

    nice java impl of this efficient data structure, broken out from Project Reactor

    (tags: scalability java timers hashed-wheel-timers algorithms data-structures)