Links for 2020-01-09

  • “One of our office chairs turns off monitors”

    Crappy unshielded display cables are prone to electrostatic discharges from gas-lift office chairs… “we have also seen this issue connected to gas lift office chairs. When people stand or sit on gas lift chairs, they can generate an EMI spike which is picked up on the video cables, causing a loss of sync. If you have users complaining about displays randomly flickering it could actually be connected to people sitting on gas lift chairs. Again swapping video cables, especially for ones with magnetic ferrite ring on the cable, can eliminate this problem.”

    (tags: chairs furniture funny hardware emi esd monitors twitter video)

  • Disinformation For Hire: How A New Breed Of PR Firms Is Selling Lies Online

    If disinformation in 2016 was characterized by Macedonian spammers pushing pro-Trump fake news and Russian trolls running rampant on platforms, 2020 is shaping up to be the year communications pros for hire provide sophisticated online propaganda operations to anyone willing to pay. Around the globe, politicians, parties, governments, and other clients hire what is known in the industry as “black PR” firms to spread lies and manipulate online discourse. A BuzzFeed News review — which looked at account takedowns by platforms that deactivated and investigations by security and research firms — found that since 2011, at least 27 online information operations have been partially or wholly attributed to PR or marketing firms. Of those, 19 occurred in 2019 alone.

    (tags: disinformation china propaganda pr disinfo social-media marketing)

  • How to monitor Golden signals in Kubernetes

    Most of this doc is Kubernetes specific, but this “golden signals” idea is interesting; basically, the four metrics of requests per second, average request latency, CPU usage on service fleet, errors per second. I would modify by adding the P99 or P99.9 request latency, and representing errors per second as a proportion of that period’s request-per-second figure.

    (tags: kubernetes monitoring sysdig golden-data k8s golden-signals metrics latency errors)

  • Serving 100µs reads with 100% availability · Segment Blog

    Distributing read-only snapshotted SQLite databases to shared volumes works! nifty hack

    (tags: architecture databases performance sqlite segment ops docker)

  • Ironies of automation

    Wow, this is a great paper recommendation from Adrian Colyer – ‘Ironies of automation’, Bainbridge, Automatica, Vol. 19, No. 6, 1983.

    In an automated system, two roles are left to humans: monitoring that the automated system is operating correctly, and taking over control if it isn’t. An operator that doesn’t routinely operate the system will have atrophied skills if ever called on to take over. Unfortunately, physical skills deteriorate when they are not used, particularly the refinements of gain and timing. This means that a formerly experienced operator who has been monitoring an automated process may now be an inexeperienced one. Not only are the operator’s skills declining, but the situations when the operator will be called upon are by their very nature the most demanding ones where something is deemed to be going wrong. Thus what we really need in such a situation is a more, not a lesser skilled operator! To generate successful strategies for unusual situtations, an operator also needs good understanding of the process under control, and the current state of the system. The former understanding develops most effectively through use and feedback (which the operator may no longer be getting the regular opportunity for), the latter takes some time to assimilate.
    (via John Allspaw)

    (tags: via:allspaw automation software reliability debugging ops design failsafe failure human-interfaces ui ux outages)

  • Bellingcat’s Online Investigation Toolkit – Google Docs

    ‘Welcome to Bellingcat’s freely available online open source investigation toolkit […] The list includes satellite and mapping services, tools for verifying photos and videos, websites to archive web pages, and much more. The list is long, and may seem daunting. There are guides at the end of the document, highlighting the methods and use of these tools in further detail.’ (via Damien)

    (tags: bellingcat osint mapping archival search image-search geo-search web fact-checking)

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