Links for 2017-05-02

  • explainshell.com

    This is pretty excellent work — paste a UNIX command line and it’ll contextually inline manual page snippets to match, highlighting the matching part of the command line.

    (tags: cli unix documentation explainshell shell scripting syntax manual-pages)

  • Sufjan Stevens – Carrie & Lowell Live on Vimeo

    the entire concert set. This was the highlight concert for me in 2015

    (tags: music video sufjan-stevens concerts 2015)

  • Exclusive: The Leaked Fyre Festival Pitch Deck Is Beyond Parody | Vanity Fair

    This is the worst future ever.

    As the pitch deck claims, within the first 48 hours of the social-media blitz, the Fyre Starters had reached “300 million social impressions”—impressions being the kind of dumb synonym one uses instead of the word “people,” in the same way someone at a bar tries to sound smart by saying he is “inebriated” instead of “drunk.” (And to be fair, an impression isn’t even a sentient person. It’s essentially reaching a person when they aren’t paying attention.) To pull off the 300 million impressions, McFarland and Ja Rule partnered with a P.R. agency, a creative agency, and Elliot Tebele, a once-random nobody who has created a social-media empire by siphoning other people’s jokes into the Instagram account @FuckJerry. One of the biggest deceits of the entire media campaign was that almost all of the 400 influencers who shared the promotional videos and photos never noted they were actually advertising something for someone else, which the Federal Trade Commission requires. This kind of advertising has been going on for years, and while the F.T.C. has threatened to crack down on online celebrities and influencers deceitfully failing to disclose that they are paid to post sponsorships, so far those threats have been completely ignored.

    (tags: fyre fail grim influencers instagram ftc pr advertising festivals)

  • Towards true continuous integration – Netflix TechBlog – Medium

    Netflix discuss how they handle the eternal dependency-management problem which arises with lots of microservices:

    Using the monorepo as our requirements specification, we began exploring alternative approaches to achieving the same benefits. What are the core problems that a monorepo approach strives to solve? Can we develop a solution that works within the confines of a traditional binary integration world, where code is shared? Our approach, while still experimental, can be distilled into three key features: Publisher feedback?—?provide the owner of shared code fast feedback as to which of their consumers they just broke, both direct and transitive. Also, allow teams to block releases based on downstream breakages. Currently, our engineering culture puts sole responsibility on consumers to resolve these issues. By giving library owners feedback on the impact they have to the rest of Netflix, we expect them to take on additional responsibility. Managed source?—?provide consumers with a means to safely increment library versions automatically as new versions are released. Since we are already testing each new library release against all downstreams, why not bump consumer versions and accelerate version adoption, safely. Distributed refactoring?—?provide owners of shared code a means to quickly find and globally refactor consumers of their API. We have started by issuing pull requests en masse to all Git repositories containing a consumer of a particular Java API. We’ve run some early experiments and expect to invest more in this area going forward.
    What I find interesting is that Amazon dealt effectively with the first two many years ago, in the form of their “Brazil” build system, and Google do the latter (with Refaster?). It would be amazing to see such a system released into an open source form, but maybe it’s just too heavyweight for anyone other than a giant software company on the scale of a Google, Netflix or Amazon.

    (tags: brazil amazon build microservices dependencies coding monorepo netflix google refaster)

  • acksin/seespot: AWS Spot instance health check with termination and clean up support

    When a Spot Instance is about to terminate there is a 2 minute window before the termination actually happens. SeeSpot is a utility for AWS Spot instances that handles the health check. If used with an AWS ELB it also handles cleanup of the instance when a Spot Termination notice is sent.

    (tags: aws elb spot-instances health-checks golang lifecycle ops)

  • cristim/autospotting: Pay up to 10 times less on EC2 by automatically replacing on-demand AutoScaling group members with similar or larger identically configured spot instances.

    A simple and easy to use tool designed to significantly lower your Amazon AWS costs by automating the use of the spot market. Once enabled on an existing on-demand AutoScaling group, it launches an EC2 spot instance that is cheaper, at least as large and configured identically to your current on-demand instances. As soon as the new instance is ready, it is added to the group and an on-demand instance is detached from the group and terminated. It continuously applies this process, gradually replacing any on-demand instances with spot instances until the group only consists of spot instances, but it can also be configured to keep some on-demand instances running.

    (tags: aws golang ec2 autoscaling asg spot-instances ops)

  • Rule by Nobody

    ‘Algorithms update bureaucracy’s long-standing strategy for evasion.’

    The need to optimize yourself for a network of opaque algorithms induces a sort of existential torture. In The Utopia of Rules: On Technology, Stupidity, and the Secret Joys of Bureaucracy, anthropologist David Graeber suggests a fundamental law of power dynamics: “Those on the bottom of the heap have to spend a great deal of imaginative energy trying to understand the social dynamics that surround them — including having to imagine the perspectives of those on top — while the latter can wander about largely oblivious to much of what is going on around them. That is, the powerless not only end up doing most of the actual, physical labor required to keep society running, they also do most of the interpretive labor as well.” This dynamic, Graeber argues, is built into all bureaucratic structures. He describes bureaucracies as “ways of organizing stupidity” — that is, of managing and reproducing these “extremely unequal structures of imagination” in which the powerful can disregard the perspectives of those beneath them in various social and economic hierarchies. Employees need to anticipate the needs of bosses; bosses need not reciprocate. People of color are forced to learn to accommodate and anticipate the ignorance and hostility of white people. Women need to be acutely aware of men’s intentions and feelings. And so on. Even benevolent-seeming bureaucracies, in Graeber’s view, have the effect of reinforcing “the highly schematized, minimal, blinkered perspectives typical of the powerful” and their privileges of ignorance and indifference toward those positioned as below them.

    (tags: algorithms bureaucracy democracy life society via:raycorrigan technology power)

  • Reverse engineering the 76477 “Space Invaders” sound effect chip from die photos

    Now _this_ is reversing:

    Remember the old video game Space Invaders? Some of its sound effects were provided by a chip called the 76477 Complex Sound Generation chip. While the sound effects1 produced by this 1978 chip seem primitive today, it was used in many video games, pinball games. But what’s inside this chip and how does it work internally? By reverse-engineering the chip from die photos, we can find out. (Photos courtesy of Sean Riddle.) In this article, I explain how the analog circuits of this chip works and show how the hundreds of transistors on the silicon die form the circuits of this complex chip.

    (tags: space-invaders games history reverse-engineering chips analog sound-effects)

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