Links for 2017-03-02

  • “I caused an outage” thread on twitter

    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.’

    (tags: outages reliability twitter downtime fail ops post-mortem)

  • Facebook, patient zero in fake news epidemic, proudly advertises ability to sway elections

    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.

    (tags: facebook fake-news elections news pat-toomey republicans advertising)

  • S3 2017-02-28 outage post-mortem

    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.  

    (tags: s3 postmortem aws post-mortem outages cms ops)

  • Phoenician Sun God in Eighteenth-Century Ireland? – Beachcombing’s Bizarre History Blog

    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.

    (tags: phoenicia dionysus baal history tory-hill kilkenny carthage gods typos fail archaeology graffiti)

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