Category Archives: Uncategorized

Links for 2018-06-20

Visa admits 5m payments failed over a broken switch “We operate two redundant data centres in the UK, meaning that either one can independently handle 100% of the transactions for Visa in Europe. In normal circumstances, the systems are synchronised and either centre can take over from the other immediately … in this instance, a […]

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Links for 2018-06-19

Save on your AWS bill with Kubernetes Ingress decent into to Kubernetes Ingress and the Ambassador microservices API gateway built on Envoy Proxy (tags: envoy proxying kubernetes aws elb load-balancing ingress ambassador ops) Is America Ready for a Global Pandemic? – The Atlantic The egg-based [vaccine manufacture] system depends on chickens, which are themselves vulnerable […]

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Links for 2018-06-18

A few observations on the bikesharing systems in China Mindblowing Twitter thread. The variety of systems, most of which are barely impinging on our systems over here in Ireland! (tags: china bikesharing cycling bikes transit public-transit commuting) Fibonacci Hashing: The Optimization that the World Forgot (or: a Better Alternative to Integer Modulo) Turns out I was […]

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Links for 2018-06-15

The best Mario Kart character according to data science Unless you’re going all-in on acceleration, it looks like a heavy character is the way to go; the two heaviest character classes (Wario and Donkey Kong) account for 11/15 of the Pareto-optimal configurations. Wario/Sports Bike/Slick or Wario/Gold Standard/Slick get the top billing! (tags: wario nintendo mario-kart […]

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Links for 2018-06-14

Taming the Beast: How Scylla Leverages Control Theory to Keep Compactions Under Control – ScyllaDB This is a really nice illustration of the use of control theory to set tunable thresholds automatically in a complex storage system. Nice work Scylla: At any given moment, a database like ScyllaDB has to juggle the admission of foreground […]

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Links for 2018-06-13

Trans kids & the people who hate them Research (Mental Health of Transgender Children Who Are Supported in Their Identities, Olson et al. 2016) has shown that children whose preferred gender identity is accepted by family and friends have no worse mental health outcomes than other children. But those who are not accepted are much […]

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Links for 2018-06-11

Woman’s Tongue Gets Inseminated By Squid After Eating Undercooked Seafood | IFLScience As documented in a 2012 edition of the Journal of Parasitology, the foreign bodies were identified as squid spermatophores (sperm-containing capsules) belonging to a Japanese flying squid (Todarodes pacificus). Rather foolishly, the woman had not removed the internal organs of the squid and proceeded […]

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Links for 2018-06-08

Amazon EKS is now GA – Official Discussion Thread and Ask the Experts r/aws discussion thread on EKS now that it’s GA (tags: eks ga aws kubernetes ops architecture clustering docker) NTSB: Autopilot steered Tesla car toward traffic barrier before deadly crash This is the Tesla self-crashing car in action. Remember how it works. It […]

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Links for 2018-06-06

AWS Region Table what products are available where (tags: amazon aws regions azs services architecture ops) How to change JVM arguments at runtime to avoid application restart This is a super nifty feature of the JVM: turn on and off heap class histogram dumps at runtime, for instance. java -XX:+PrintFlagsFinal -version|grep manageable (tags: jvm ops […]

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Links for 2018-06-05

How Ireland’s Abortion Referendum Became a Test Case for Democracy in the Social Media Age Exploring the “fake news” merchants attempting to subvert the Irish abortion referendum. On 4chan, a number of users who identified as Irish attempted to infiltrate the online conversation and tarnish the pro-repeal campaign. Operation Zyklon encouraged users to spread awareness […]

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Links for 2018-06-02

How Ireland Beat Dark Ads – Foreign Policy In practice, while these recognizable attempts to disrupt the democratic debate with microtargeted ads, bot activity, and misinformation were active, they appear to have been relatively ineffective and may even have turned voters away from those employing them. Given the battleground online discourse has become in democracies […]

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Links for 2018-06-01

‘Abroad For Yes’ Helped Irish Voters Get Home for Abortion Referendum This was one of the most amazing things I saw during the referendum campaign, alright! I had the pleasure of helping to fund several journeys home to vote: Rebecca Wilson, one of the Abroad for Yes co-founders, said she and two other women, her […]

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Links for 2018-05-31

How to revoke all ad permissions from Oath GDPR pages in summary: document.querySelectorAll(‘input[type=checkbox]’).forEach(val => val.checked = false) (via stx) (tags: via:stx oath gdpr privacy tracking ads) A first draft of history For journalists it is always easier to point to the politician with the pearly-white smile and the pithy sound-byte as the harbinger of change […]

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Links for 2018-05-30

How the #repealshield Twitter Blocklist is legal under GDPR a long and gif-heavy Twitter thread from @hazel_ok (tags: repealthe8th repealshield twitter blocklists gdpr law ireland eu abuse) If only Brexit had been run like Ireland’s referendum | Fintan O’Toole | Opinion | The Guardian Good postmortem review on how the abortion referendum evaded Trumpian “fake […]

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Links for 2018-05-29

_Random Slicing: Efficient and Scalable Data Placement for Large-Scale Storage Systems_, ACM Transactions on Storage, July 2014 ‘The ever-growing amount of data requires highly scalable storage solutions. The most flexible approach is to use storage pools that can be expanded and scaled down by adding or removing storage devices. To make this approach usable, it […]

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Links for 2018-05-28

antisemitism in the Irish “NO” prolife campaign against repeal of the 8th amendment Good twitter thread documenting some specific examples (tags: twitter antisemitism george-soros nazis alt-right ireland prolife repealthe8th)

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Links for 2018-05-24

This is why you’re still seeing referendum ads online summary: Google can’t block ads placed via their own exchanges (tags: advertising adtech google ireland ads repealthe8th)

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Links for 2018-05-23

ACLU to Amazon: Get out of the surveillance business This is a fair point from the ACLU: Already, Rekognition is in use in Florida and Oregon. Government agencies in California and Arizona have sought information about it, too. And Amazon didn’t just sell Rekognition to law enforcement, it’s actively partnering with them to ensure that […]

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Links for 2018-05-21

schibsted/strongbox: A secret manager for AWS Strongbox is a CLI/GUI and SDK to manage, store, and retrieve secrets (access tokens, encryption keys, private certificates, etc). Strongbox is a client-side convenience layer on top of AWS KMS, DynamoDB and IAM. It manages the AWS resources for you and configure them in a secure way. Strongbox has […]

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Links for 2018-05-18

EC2 Instance Update – C5 Instances with Local NVMe Storage (C5d) With a 25% to 50% improvement in price-performance over the C4 instances, the C5 instances are designed for applications like batch and log processing, distributed and or real-time analytics, high-performance computing (HPC), ad serving, highly scalable multiplayer gaming, and video encoding. Some of these […]

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Links for 2018-05-17

Canaries As Poisonous Gas Detectors n the late 1890s, [John] Haldane began experimenting on small animals like white mice and canaries [to detect carbon monoxide]. Small animals have faster metabolism rate, and hence show the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning much earlier even in the presence of small quantities of the noxious gas. Canaries are […]

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Links for 2018-05-16

Face recognition police tools ‘staggeringly inaccurate’ – BBC News “In figures given to Big Brother Watch, South Wales Police said its facial recognition technology had made 2,685 “matches” between May 2017 and March 2018 – but 2,451 were false alarms.” This is going to be a disaster. (tags: surveillance bbc wales facial-recognition privacy false-positives ml) […]

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Links for 2018-05-15

GDPR will pop the adtech bubble Without adtech, the EU’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) would never have happened. But the GDPR did happen, and as a result websites all over the world are suddenly posting notices about their changed privacy policies, use of cookies, and opt-in choices for “relevant” or “interest-based” (translation: tracking-based) advertising. Email […]

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Links for 2018-05-08

The Tidelift Subscription The core idea of the Tidelift Subscription is to pay for “promises about the future” of your software components.   When you incorporate an open source library into your application, you need to know not just that you can use it as-is today, but that it will be kept secure, properly licensed, and […]

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Links for 2018-05-03

DNA databases: biology stripped bare Unlike other biometrics, [DNA] also provides revealing [data regarding] thousands of other related individuals; even to an entire ethnic group. Such markers may reveal a genetic predisposition towards cancer, or early onset dementia. Mining that data and linking it to family trees and thus, individuals, might interest insurance companies, or […]

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Links for 2018-05-02

An Algorithmic Investigation of the Highfalutin ‘Poet Voice’ – Atlas Obscura ‘It’s easy to make fun of Poet Voice. But its proliferation across the space of academic poetry may have more serious implications as well. In a 2014 essay, “Poet Voice and Flock Mentality,” the poet Lisa Marie Basile connects it to an overall lack […]

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Links for 2018-05-01

Silicon Valley Can’t Be Trusted With Our History the internet is messing with human cognition in ways that will take decades to fully understand. Some researchers believe it is altering the way we create memories. In one study, researchers told a group of people to copy a list of facts onto a computer. They told […]

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Links for 2018-04-30

Europe fires back at ICANN’s delusional plan to overhaul Whois for GDPR by next, er, year • The Register So was it European law experts Hamilton that wrongly advised ICANN that it could request for a “moratorium” over the new law until it came up with a new solution? It seems unlikely given their expertise […]

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Links for 2018-04-29

repealfacts and FAQs.pdf Louise Kenny, Consultant Obstetrician and Professor of Maternal and Fetal Health, systematically demolishes anti-choice propaganda points with solid scientific facts (tags: repeal repealthe8th science biology medicine pregnancy abortion pro-choice ireland miscarriage)

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Links for 2018-04-26

twitter thread on incel culture, the “manosphere” and the rest of that toxic garbage For the past little while, I’ve been working on a piece about Toronto’s relationship to the alt-right, especially the “manosphere.” Unfortunately that research has become relevant. I’m going to share as much as I can here for people who may not […]

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Links for 2018-04-24

Parallelizing S3 Workloads with s5cmd nice parallel download/upload tool for S3, developed by Peak Games, open source, in Go (tags: golang go s5cmd open-source tools cli s3 aws) The Australian Bureau of Statistics Tracked People By Their Mobile Device Data. The ABS claims population estimates have a “major data gap” and so they’ve been a […]

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Links for 2018-04-23

Use the GDPR to find who has advertised to you on Facebook, and get them to delete your details Sometimes you get ads on Facebook and you are just not interested in what they’re selling. This is a way to find out who has uploaded your email address into facebook to target ads at you, […]

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Links for 2018-04-20

Palantir Knows Everything About You This is so fucking dystopian: Operation Laser has made L.A. cops more surgical — and, according to community activists, unrelenting. Once targets are enmeshed in a [Palantir] spidergram, they’re stuck. Manuel Rios, 22, lives in the back of his grandmother’s house at the top of a hill in East L.A., […]

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Links for 2018-04-19

_Building a Bw-Tree Takes More Than Just Buzz Words_, SIGMOD 2018 ‘An account of our disappointing journey to build a open-source lock-free Bw-Tree for the Peloton DBMS.’ ‘In 2013, Microsoft Research proposed the Bw-Tree (humorously termed the “Buzz Word Tree”), a lock-free index that provides high throughput for transactional database workloads in SQL Server’s Hekaton […]

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Links for 2018-04-18

Securing wireless neurostimulators The latest generation of such devices come with remote monitoring and reprogramming capabilities, via an external device programmer. The manufacturers seem to have relied on security through obscurity (when will we ever learn!) with the very predictable result that the interface turns out not be secure at all. So we end up […]

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Links for 2018-04-17

Best Practices for DynamoDB Amazon have updated this architectural tips doc for DynamoDB users — good reference (tags: dynamodb nosql aws storage databases design coding) “Tweeps! What’s the craziest infra incident you worked on at Twitter” great thread of Twitter outages and production incidents. I would love to hear more details about these, I love […]

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Links for 2018-04-14

How to report graphic abortion imagery to the gardai under Irish law I tried to report ICBR graphic abortion imagery to the Gardai today and met a lot of resistance. The following thread gives an account of what happened and how someone can effectively report this imagery. 1/x At 2pm on Friday the 13th of […]

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Links for 2018-04-12

A Taxonomy of Tech Debt | Riot Games Engineering Very sensible way to group/classify tech debt work — we did something similar in Swrve internally at one point, but this is much more evolved (tags: engineering software coding) Dodgy history of the firm behind “coal power plant reopening to mine blockchain” Here’s the breathless CNet […]

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Links for 2018-04-11

Uses This / Leonard Lin lhl describes the stuff he uses, day to day. Lots of travel gear, drones, Linux and a surprising lack of Macs (tags: travel shopping hardware gear uses-this lhl drones vr linux vive chromebook tips) #Repealthe8th | Are the Irish Media Up To The Job? For years we were subject to speculation […]

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Links for 2018-04-10

Gravis McElroy on Twitter: “The thing that really kills me about the silicon valley hypercapitalist hell spiral….” Epic shouty thread about modern Silicon Valley software products. We know that no company, regardless of size, can be trusted with this information. We KNOW it will not stay private, our photos of our partners genitals and tax […]

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