Links for 2018-08-09

  • How I gained commit access to Homebrew in 30 minutes

    If I were a malicious actor, I could have made a small, likely unnoticed change to the openssl formulae, placing a backdoor on any machine that installed it. If I can gain access to commit in 30 minutes, what could a nation state with dedicated resources achieve against a team of 17 volunteers? How many private company networks could be accessed? How many of these could be used to escalate to large scale data breaches? What other package management systems have similar weaknesses? This is my growing concern, and it’s been proven time and time again that package managers, and credential leaks, are a weak point in the security of the internet, and that supply chain attacks are a real and persistent threat. This is not a weakness in Homebrew, but rather a systemic problem in the industry, and one where we need more security research.

    (tags: homebrew github security jenkins credentials scary)

  • Fonez – Pre-owned Phones

    Galway-based refurb phone retailer, recommended by co-worker Ciaran where he picked up his Pixel

    (tags: phones ireland shopping mobile)

  • ncw/rclone

    “rsync for cloud storage” – Google Drive, Amazon Drive, S3, Dropbox, Backblaze B2, One Drive, Swift, Hubic, Cloudfiles, Google Cloud Storage, Yandex Files

    (tags: backup github sync cloud s3 storage rsync rclone google aws dropbox backblaze yandex onedrive)

  • People Think This Whole QAnon Conspiracy Theory Is A Prank On Trump Supporters

    This, if true, is the most gloriously Discordian thing ever.

    “Let us take for granted, for a while, that QAnon started as a prank in order to trigger right-wing weirdos and have a laugh at them. There’s no doubt it has long become something very different. At a certain level it still sounds like a prank. But who’s pulling it on whom?” they [Roberto Bui, Giovanni Cattabriga, and Federico Guglielmi] said.

    (tags: q conspiracy politics trump qanon luther-blissett discordianism wu-ming funny crazy)

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Links for 2018-07-17

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Links for 2018-07-16

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Links for 2018-07-13

  • Facebook’s new rules for moderators on dealing with far-right pages are awful

    This is a total shitshow. Facebook needs to sort this out, it is not remotely desirable.

    Facebook: “We allow to call for the creation of white ethno-states.” In other words, Facebook is officially ok with people calling for ethnic cleansing and genocide. The time for Facebook to hire/consult with experts re: the far-right was about three or four years ago. That they now *agree* with the rationale of Alt-Reich rebranding in 2018 shows that this company is simply not fit for purpose. […] t’s quite something that Facebook’s advice to their moderators literally mirrors Nazi propaganda: “Being interested in and caring for one’s kind is not to disparage foreign peoples and races”- Nazi party pamphlet “Why the Aryan Law?” (1934)

    (tags: facebook awful moderation far-right nazis fascism ethnic-cleansing genocide social-media fail)

  • How my research on DNA ancestry tests became “fake news”

    I was not surprised to see our research twisted by fake news and satire websites. Conspiracy theories are meant to be just as entertaining as they are convincing. They also provide a way out of confronting reality and reckoning with facts that don’t confirm preexisting worldviews. For white nationalists and racists, if test results showed traces of African American or Jewish ancestry, either the tests did not work, or the results were planted by some ideologically motivated scientists, or the tests were part of a global war against whites. With conspiracy theories, debunking is rarely useful because the individual is often searching for an interpretation that confirms their prior beliefs. As such, DNA conspiracy theories allow white supremacists to plan new escape routes for the traps they laid for themselves long ago. With DNA testing, the one-drop rule—a belief made law in the 1900s that one drop of African blood makes one Black—becomes transmuted genealogically into the one-percent rule, according to which to remain racially white, an individual’s results must show no sign of African or Jewish origin. Through the genealogical lens, American white nationalists consider “one hundred percent European” as good results, which in turn substantiates their “birth right” to the United States as a marker of heredity and conquest.

    (tags: racism science fake-news conspiracy genealogy dna dna-testing)

  • Second Wind CPAP

    Second-hand CPAP machines — decent prices here, recommended by @Searcher on FP

    (tags: cpap second-hand appliances)

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Links for 2018-07-12

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Links for 2018-07-11

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Links for 2018-07-10

  • Basho investor to pay up $20m in damages for campaign that put biz on ‘greased slide to failure’ • The Register

    This is disappointing. Basho was very promising.

    An investment fund and its manager have been ordered to pay up $20.3m after “misinformation, threats and combative behaviour” helped put NoSQL database biz Basho on a “greased slide to failure”. As reported by The Register, the once-promising biz, which developed the Riak distributed database, faded away last year amid severe criticisms of the way its major investor, Georgetown Capital Partners, operated. These centred around the control the investment firm and boss Chester Davenport gained over Basho, and how that power was used to block other funders and push out dissenting voices, with the hope of selling the company off fast.

    (tags: basho distcomp riak vc software silicon-valley)

  • Scarr

    S3 + Cloudfront + ACM + Route53, automated.

    There are a bunch of free/cheap options for hosting static sites (just html/css/js) out there: github pages, netlify, firebase hosting – but when I want to build a bulletproof static site “for real”, my go-to toolset is S3 for hosting with Cloudfront caching in front of it. I figured that after a few times doing this, I’d automate it. There are a few pre-existing tools for parts of this, but none I could find that did the whole thing from registration through uploading and Cloudfront invalidation.

    (tags: cli acm aws s3 cloudfront route53 static-sites web html hosting)

  • Hospitality boom: What’s happening with Dublin’s bars and restaurants?

    Good article with an insider look at what’s going on with venues, bars and restaurants in Dublin:

    They call it “meanwhile use” in property developer shorthand. It’s the market or cafe that slots itself temporarily into a building earmarked for redevelopment. Rent is low and terms are flexible. Cheap space is hewn out of a lull. Cool creative things happen. You don’t need the backing of a private equity fund or a multinational developer to set up a cafe or restaurant. No one is asking for a six-figure sum just to hand you the keys. […] That era has gone. Landlords are back in the driving seat. Between the canals the key money, a once-off upfront payment just to get the keys, is mind-boggling. The pace of new openings seems relentless and “not particularly sustainable”, as one industry insider puts it: how many burritos do you have to sell when you’ve paid €500,000 upfront, before the costs of fitting it out, staffing it and paying the rent?

    (tags: dublin hospitality bars restaurants pubs nightlife landlords property boom key-money)

  • Dublin Cargo Bike Rental

    EUR40 per day from the Dutch Bike Shop in Belfield

    (tags: dutch-bikes bakfiets cargo-bikes cycling bikes rental dublin)

  • Google Cloud Platform Blog: Introducing Jib

    ‘build Java Docker images better’:

    Jib takes advantage of layering in Docker images and integrates with your build system to optimize Java container image builds in the following ways: Simple – Jib is implemented in Java and runs as part of your Maven or Gradle build. You do not need to maintain a Dockerfile, run a Docker daemon, or even worry about creating a fat JAR with all its dependencies. Since Jib tightly integrates with your Java build, it has access to all the necessary information to package your application. Any variations in your Java build are automatically picked up during subsequent container builds. Fast – Jib takes advantage of image layering and registry caching to achieve fast, incremental builds. It reads your build config, organizes your application into distinct layers (dependencies, resources, classes) and only rebuilds and pushes the layers that have changed. When iterating quickly on a project, Jib can save valuable time on each build by only pushing your changed layers to the registry instead of your whole application. Reproducible – Jib supports building container images declaratively from your Maven and Gradle build metadata, and as such can be configured to create reproducible build images as long as your inputs remain the same.

    (tags: build google java docker maven gradle coding builds jars fat-jars packaging)

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Links for 2018-07-09

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Links for 2018-07-06

  • Wifi Design Tips

    PDF with a few good tips on wifi layout, AP placement etc. Also recommended: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Adep0SeOjAE&feature=youtu.be&t=17m22s (via irldexter)

    (tags: via:irldexter wifi 802.11 wireless ops networking)

  • What I’ve learned from nearly three years of enterprise Wi-Fi at home

    I am happy to note that I’ve grown out of this kind of pain (I think)….

    Do you just want better Wi-Fi in every room? Consider buying a Plume or Amplifi or other similar plug-n-go mesh system. On the other hand, are you a technically proficient network kind of person who wants to build an enterprise-lite configuration at home? Do you dream of VLANs and port profiles and lovingly tweaked firewall rules? Does the idea of crawling around in your attic to ceiling-mount some access points sound like a fun way to kill a weekend? Is your office just too quiet for your liking? Buy some Ubiquiti Unifi gear and enter network nerd nirvana.

    (tags: networking wifi wireless ubiquiti sdn vlans home ops)

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Links for 2018-07-05

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Links for 2018-07-03

  • ‘Nothing to worry about. The water is fine’: how Flint poisoned its people | News | The Guardian

    The anxiety reverberated all the way to the state capital, Lansing, where Governor Rick Snyder was weeks away from winning reelection. His chief legal counsel, Michael Gadola, wrote in an email: “To anyone who grew up in Flint as I did, the notion that I would be getting my drinking water from the Flint River is downright scary. Too bad the [emergency manager] didn’t ask me what I thought, though I’m sure he heard it from plenty of others. My mom is a city resident. Nice to know she’s drinking water with elevated chlorine levels and fecal coliform … They should try to get back on the Detroit system as a stopgap ASAP before this thing gets too far out of control.”

    (tags: flint michigan bureaucracy water poisoning corrosion poison us-politics environment taxes)

  • The iconic _Fountain_ (1917) was not created by Marcel Duchamp

    In 1982 a letter written by Duchamp came to light. Dated 11 April 1917, it was written just a few days after that fateful exhibit. It contains one sentence that should have sent shockwaves through the world of modern art: it reveals the true creator behind Fountain – but it was not Duchamp. Instead he wrote that a female friend using a male alias had sent it in for the New York exhibition. Suddenly a few other things began to make sense. Over time Duchamp had told two different stories of how he had created Fountain, but both turned out to be untrue. An art historian who knew Duchamp admitted that he had never asked him about Fountain, he had published a standard-work on Fountain nevertheless. The place from where Fountain was sent raised more questions. That place was Philadelphia, but Duchamp had been living in New York. Who was living in Philadelphia? Who was this ‘female friend’ that had sent the urinal using a pseudonym that Duchamp mentions? That woman was, as Duchamp wrote, the future. Art history knows her as Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven. She was a brilliant pioneering New York dada artist, and Duchamp knew her well. This glaring truth has been known for some time in the art world, but each time it has to be acknowledged, it is met with indifference and silence. This article addresses the true authorship of Fountain from the perspective of the latest evidence, collected by several experts. The opinions they voice offer their latest insights.  Their accumulation of evidence strengthens the case to its final conclusion. To attribute Fountain to a woman and not a man has obvious, far-reaching consequences: the history of modern art has to be rewritten. Modern art did not start with a patriarch, but with a matriarch. What power structure in the world of modern art prohibits this truth to become more widely known and generally accepted? Ultimately this is one of the larger questions looming behind the authorship of Fountain. It sheds light on the place and role of the female artist in the world of modern art.

    (tags: elsa-von-freytag-loringhoven marcel-duchamp modern-art history art-history scandals credit art fountain women)

  • Cory Doctorow: Zuck’s Empire of Oily Rags

    the sophisticated targeting systems available through Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other Big Tech ad platforms made it easy to find the racist, xenophobic, fearful, angry people who wanted to believe that foreigners were destroying their country while being bankrolled by George Soros. Remember that elections are generally knife-edge affairs, even for politicians who’ve held their seats for decades with slim margins: 60% of the vote is an excellent win. Remember, too, that the winner in most races is “none of the above,” with huge numbers of voters sitting out the election. If even a small number of these non-voters can be motivated to show up at the polls, safe seats can be made contestable. In a tight race, having a cheap way to reach all the latent Klansmen in a district and quietly inform them that Donald J. Trump is their man is a game-changer. Cambridge Analytica are like stage mentalists: they’re doing something labor-intensive and pretending that it’s something supernatural. A stage mentalist will train for years to learn to quickly memorize a deck of cards and then claim that they can name your card thanks to their psychic powers. You never see the unglamorous, unimpressive memorization practice. Cambridge Analytica uses Facebook to find racist jerks and tell them to vote for Trump and then they claim that they’ve discovered a mystical way to get otherwise sensible people to vote for maniacs.

    (tags: facebook politics surveillance cory-doctorow google twitter advertising elections cambridge-analytica racism nazis)

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Links for 2018-07-02

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Links for 2018-06-26

  • Facial recognition software is not ready for use by law enforcement | TechCrunch

    This is a pretty amazing op-ed from the CEO of a facial recognition software development company:

    Facial recognition technologies, used in the identification of suspects, negatively affects people of color. To deny this fact would be a lie. And clearly, facial recognition-powered government surveillance is an extraordinary invasion of the privacy of all citizens — and a slippery slope to losing control of our identities altogether. There’s really no “nice” way to acknowledge these things. I’ve been pretty clear about the potential dangers associated with current racial biases in face recognition, and open in my opposition to the use of the technology in law enforcement. As the black chief executive of a software company developing facial recognition services, I have a personal connection to the technology, both culturally and socially. Having the privilege of a comprehensive understanding of how the software works gives me a unique perspective that has shaped my positions about its uses. As a result, I (and my company) have come to believe that the use of commercial facial recognition in law enforcement or in government surveillance of any kind is wrong — and that it opens the door for gross misconduct by the morally corrupt.

    (tags: techcrunch facial-recognition computer-vision machine-learning racism algorithms america)

  • Yelp, The Red Hen, And How All Tech Platforms Are Now Pawns In The Culture War

    Though the brigading of review sites and doxxing behavior isn’t exactly new, the speed and coordination is; one consequence of a never-ending information war is that everyone is already well versed in their specific roles. And across the internet, it appears that technology platforms, both big and small, must grapple with the reality that they are now powerful instruments in an increasingly toxic political and cultural battle. After years attempting to dodge notions of bias at all costs, Silicon Valley’s tech platforms are up against a painful reality: They need to expect and prepare for the armies of the culture war and all the uncomfortable policing that inevitably follows. Policing and intervening isn’t just politically tricky for the platforms, it’s also a tacit admission that Big Tech’s utopian ideologies are deeply flawed in practice. Connecting everyone and everything in an instantly accessible way can have terrible consequences that the tech industry still doesn’t seem to be on top of. Silicon Valley frequently demos a future of seamless integration. It’s a future where cross-referencing your calendar with Yelp, Waze, and Uber creates a service that’s greater than the sum of its parts. It’s an appealing vision, but it is increasingly co-opted by its darker counterpart, in which major technology platforms are daisy-chained together to manipulate, abuse, and harass.

    (tags: culture-war technology silicon-valley yelp reviews red-hen dystopia spam doxxing brigading politics)

  • AWS Developer Forums: m5.xlarge in us-east-1 has intermittent DNS resolution failures

    likewise for C5 instance types — reportedly still an issue

    (tags: c5 m5 instances ec2 aws amazon ops dns)

  • ICE’s Risk Classification Assessment turned into a digital rubber stamp

    If this report is correct, this “statistics-based” risk classification tool is just a cruel joke:

    To conform to Trump’s policies, Reuters has learned, ICE modified a tool officers have been using since 2013 when deciding whether an immigrant should be detained or released on bond. The computer-based Risk Classification Assessment uses statistics to determine an immigrant’s flight risk and danger to society. Previously, the tool automatically recommended either “detain” or “release.” Last year, ICE spokesman Bourke said, the agency removed the “release” recommendation

    (tags: immigration statistics machine-learning rubber-stamping fake-algorithms whitewashing ice us-politics)

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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 component with a switch in our primary data centre suffered a very rare partial failure which prevented the backup switch from activating.”

    (tags: visa outages post-mortems fail europe dcs)

  • 10-hour Microsoft Azure outage in Europe

    Service availability issue in North Europe Summary of impact: From 17:44 on 19 Jun 2018 to 04:30 UTC on 20 Jun 2018 customers using Azure services in North Europe may have experienced connection failures when attempting to access resources hosted in the region. Customers leveraging a subset of Azure services may have experienced residual impact for a sustained period post-mitigation of the underlying issue. We are communicating with these customers directly in their Management Portal. Preliminary root cause: Engineers identified that an underlying temperature issue in one of the datacenters in the region triggered an infrastructure alert, which in turn caused a structured shutdown of a subset of Storage and Network devices in this location to ensure hardware and data integrity. Mitigation: Engineers addressed the temperature issue, and performed a structured recovery of the affected devices and the affected downstream services.
    The specific services were: ‘Virtual Machines, Storage, SQL Database, Key Vault, App Service, Site Recovery, Automation, Service Bus, Event Hubs, Data Factory, Backup, API management, Log Analytics, Application Insight, Azure Batch Azure Search, Redis Cache, Media Services, IoT Hub, Stream Analytics, Power BI, Azure Monitor, Azure Cosmo DB or Logic Apps in North Europe’. Holy cow

    (tags: microsoft outages fail azure post-mortems cooling-systems datacenters)

  • Here’s a list of organizations that are mobilizing to help separated immigrant children | The Texas Tribune

    We’ve compiled a list of organizations that are mobilizing to try and help children that have been separated from their parents at the Texas-Mexico border.

    (tags: texas children immigration family-separations us-politics usa charity)

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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 to flu. And since viruses can mutate within the eggs, the resulting vaccines don’t always match the strains that are circulating. But vaccine makers have few incentives to use anything else. Switching to a different process would cost billions, and why bother? Flu vaccines are low-margin products, which only about 45 percent of Americans get in a normal year. So when demand soars during a pandemic, the supply is not set to cope. American hospitals, which often operate unnervingly close to full capacity, likewise struggled with the surge of patients. Pediatric units were hit especially hard by H1N1, and staff became exhausted from continuously caring for sick children. Hospitals almost ran out of the life-support units that sustain people whose lungs and hearts start to fail. The health-care system didn’t break, but it came too close for comfort—especially for what turned out to be a training-wheels pandemic. The 2009 H1N1 strain killed merely 0.03 percent of those it infected; by contrast, the 1918 strain had killed 1 to 3 percent, and the H7N9 strain currently circulating in China has a fatality rate of 40 percent. That the U.S. could be so ill-prepared for flu, of all things, should be deeply concerning. The country has a dedicated surveillance web, antiviral drugs, and an infrastructure for making and deploying flu vaccines. None of that exists for the majority of other emerging infectious diseases.

    (tags: vaccines health diseases h1n1 flu pandemics future scary)

  • Here’s how you can fight family separation at the border

    Slate’s list of organisations fighting this horrible policy

    (tags: family-separation law immigration us-politics america)

  • In America, Naturalized Citizens No Longer Have an Assumption of Permanence | The New Yorker

    Michael Bars, the U.S.C.I.S. spokesman, told the Washington Examiner that the agency is hiring dozens of lawyers for the new task force. The mandate, according to both Cissna and Bars, is to find people who deliberately lied on their citizenship applications, not those who made innocent mistakes. The distinction is fuzzier than one might assume. Back in 1989, I had to make a decision about whether to lie on my citizenship application. At the time, immigration law banned “aliens afflicted with sexual deviation,” among others suffering from “psychopathic personality,” from entry to the United States. I had come to this country as a fourteen-year-old, in 1981, but I had been aware of my “sexual deviation” at the time, and this technically meant that I should not have entered the country. [….] Over the years, the applications for both citizenship and permanent residence have grown ever longer, filling with questions that seem to be designed to be used against the applicant. Question 26 on the green-card application, for example, reads, “Have you EVER committed a crime of any kind (even if you were not arrested, cited, charged with, or tried for that crime)?” … The question does not specify whether it refers to a crime under current U.S. law or the laws of the country in which the crime might have been committed. In the Soviet Union of my youth, it was illegal to possess foreign currency or to spend the night anywhere where you were not registered to live. In more than seventy countries, same-sex sexual activity is still illegal. On closer inspection, just about every naturalized citizen might look like an outlaw, or a liar.

    (tags: law immigration us-politics america citizenship naturalization history)

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Links for 2018-06-18

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Links for 2018-06-15

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Links for 2018-06-14

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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 more likely to have mental health issues, self harm or take their own lives. We can take from this that acceptance causes no harm, but non-acceptance causes harm?—?so why are so many people angry with parents for accepting their trans kids?

    (tags: trans children kids parenting society gender identity)

  • The Language of the Trump Administration Is the Language of Domestic Violence | The New Yorker

    God this is so awful.

    Gaslighting, it needs not be said, is Trump’s preferred mode of communication, and it is encoded in the family-separation policy itself: once their parents have been taken into custody, the children are reclassified as “unaccompanied minors,” their parents effectively disappeared. On Friday, NPR reported on three Guatemalan mothers who were on trial in Alpine, Texas, after D.H.S. flew their children—ages eight, eight, and nine—more than two thousand miles away, to a shelter in Manhattan. “There is no mention in the Border Patrol narrative,” an immigration lawyer told NPR, “that these women had children with them when they entered the United States.” Can you prove this child is yours? Do you even have children? Well, then, where are they?

    (tags: children donald-trump new-yorker dhs asylum-seekers)

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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 to only parboil it for a few seconds before eating it, meaning its spermatophores were still alive and well. “As soon as she put a piece into her mouth, she felt like many ‘bugs’ were biting her oral mucosa,” the study reads. “She experienced severe sharp pain and spat out the entire portion without swallowing. Despite that, she could feel many small squirming white bug-like organisms penetrating her oral mucosa.”
    NOOOOOPE

    (tags: nope argh disgusting gross squid sperm parasitology spermatophores korea tongue)

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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 visually recognizes rear ends of cars using a BW camera and Mobileye (at least in early models) vision software. It also recognizes lane lines and tries to center between them. It has a low resolution radar system which ranges moving metallic objects like cars but ignores stationary obstacles. And there are some side-mounted sonars for detecting vehicles a few meters away on the side, which are not relevant here. The system performed as designed. The white lines of the gore (the painted wedge) leading to this very shallow off ramp become far enough apart that they look like a lane.[1] If the vehicle ever got into the gore area, it would track as if in a lane, right into the crash barrier. It won’t stop for the crash barrier, because it doesn’t detect stationary obstacles. Here, it sped up, because there was no longer a car ahead. Then it lane-followed right into the crash barrier. That’s the fundamental problem here. These vehicles will run into stationary obstacles at full speed with no warning or emergency braking at all. That is by design. This is not an implementation bug or sensor failure. It follows directly from the decision to ship “Autopilot” with that sensor suite and set of capabilities.

    (tags: tesla fail safety self-driving autopilot cars driving sonar radar sensors ai)

  • 8thref.ie

    An archive of 489,506 Irish abortion tweets from the period around the 8th referendum in Ireland

    (tags: ireland history analytics archives archival repealthe8th)

  • Software Development and GDPR

    You could think, as a developer, that the lawyers worry about this kind of fine-grained issue. They don’t. This is one of those situations where they say, well, here’s the risk, you have to make a decision, document it, and be ready to back that up in front of a judge should the soup hit the fan. In this particular case it’s straightforward enough. Are you in control of the presence of data in your database? Yes. It’s up to you to delete it when requested. Are you in control of the data on your harddrive? Yes. It’s up to you to delete it when requested. Are you in control of the operating system implementation or database implementation of deletion? No. Could you get the data back if you wanted to? Yes – but that’s not part of your usual run of business, so why would you explicitly do that? What if some bad dude steals your harddrive and then rummages through it? Ok we are getting a little far-fetched here for most businesses that are not keeping special category data, but if this does happen, then you have failed in your security controls. I guess my overall point here is that GDPR Compliance is a continuum, not a tickbox. You want to be doing the best you can with it and document why you can go so far and not further. The companies that will be getting the big legislative fines are the guys that are willy-nilly exporting special category data out of the EEA en masse without the knowledge of the people associated with that data. The rest of us just need to muddle along as best we can.

    (tags: gdpr privacy dev tech coding data-protection law eu storage)

  • What to Do When a Loved One Is Severely Depressed – The New York Times

    This is good advice (or seems to be, at least)

    (tags: depression health friends sympathy nytimes medicine advice)

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Links for 2018-06-06

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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 of a connection between Amnesty International Ireland and the philanthropist George Soros, who donated €137,000 to Amnesty’s My Body My Rights campaign in 2016. Operation Trojan Horse saw users sharing templates of fake pro-repeal posters with extreme captions such as, “There should be no limit on abortion up to birth”. Users were encouraged to print and spread these posters around college campuses and share them across social media. A particularly curious operation called Operation Drunken Monkey aimed to stifle student voter turnout by organizing club nights on May 24 in the hope that students would be too hungover to vote the following day.

    (tags: 4chan repealthe8th abortion referenda politics fake-news amnesty)

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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 across the world, this small country’s resistance to it may offer some cause for hope. The resilience offered by the small size and close-knit nature of the Irish electorate may be difficult to reproduce in larger democracies. But the active measures taken by media, volunteer groups, and campaigners against potentially corrosive techniques can be a powerful inspiration.
    +1 — it’s heartening that we were able to defeat these 21st century dirty tricks after the damage they did with Trump and Brexit.

    (tags: brexit elections trump fake-news propaganda bots dark-ads facebook social-media repealthe8th referenda abortion ireland repeal-shield twitter)

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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 sister Lauren Wilson and Hannah McNulty Madden, decided to launch the group when the referendum date was announced in late March. Wilson was visiting Helsinki, where Lauren and McNulty Madden are students. After realizing Lauren and McNulty Madden weren’t eligible for a postal vote, they looked up the cost of flights and panicked. On Twitter, however, McNulty Madden noticed that people were expressing interest in helping people who wanted to go home to Ireland but couldn’t afford it. The women decided to set up the Abroad for Yes Facebook group as a community for supporters of repealing the eighth amendment to gather and find one another. Wilson thought they’d help fund travel for maybe 10 people total, but in the first day of the group’s existence funded 5 trips, including for Lauren and McNulty Madden. After traveling back to Dublin, Wilson and the group continued to help others, enlisting three other group administrators. Wilson said they don’t have an exact figure, but she believes they’ve helped raise at least 30,000 euros.

    (tags: ireland repealthe8th abortion referenda abroad-for-yes t4y facebook)

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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 – they attract the cameras and the microphones and make us turn our backs on the truth. It’s like we cannot – or will not – believe that change can be brought about by ordinary people doing extraordinary things, no matter how often we see it. It’s like we need the fallacy that our leaders are somehow better than us, somehow in control to sleep safely at night, when in fact much of our insomnia and worry is their creation. My first draft of history is this: “On Friday May 25 2018, the women of Ireland repealed the Eighth Amendment.” And that’s it. It may have taken them 35 years, and in that time they were scorned and laughed at and belittled and abused, right up until Saturday morning and in some cases beyond, and yet they did it. Nothing else is relevant. Through the day I saw women, from teenagers who had just cast their first vote to political veterans who started out on this trail 35 years previously, gradually realising what they had done. One by one, it dawned on them the immense power that they now wield. They banded together, and over the weeks and months and years, they changed a country. And they’re not done yet.
    Amen to that. Resist the rewriting of history — this was a revolutionary moment for Ireland, and in some ways, the world.

    (tags: ireland history repealthe8th abortion referenda journalism)

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Links for 2018-05-30

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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 is necessary to provide a solution to locate data items in such a dynamic environment. This article presents and evaluates the Random Slicing strategy, which incorporates lessons learned from table-based, rule-based, and pseudo-randomized hashing strategies and is able to provide a simple and efficient strategy that scales up to handle exascale data. Random Slicing keeps a small table with information about previous storage system insert and remove operations, drastically reducing the required amount of randomness while delivering a perfect load distribution.’

    (tags: randomness architecture algorithms storage hashing slicing scaling)

  • Archiving the 8th

    ‘archiving & collecting the 2018 referendum’:

    This site was set up as a voluntary effort to answer some of these questions, and to quickly compile information on all known archiving and collecting activities happening nationwide, on both sides of the referendum campaign. It’s still very much a work in progress but the aspirations include: to provide an immediate, temporary resource to consolidate information on who’s archiving the 8th, and offer contact details share resources and suggestions, particularly for people wishing to donate material identify potential gaps or opportunities in collecting support networking of folks around the country engaged in archiving the 8th share models of protocols and examples of other ‘rapid response’ collecting elsewhere

    (tags: repealthe8th history archives archival 2018 referenda)

  • I am a computer — docubyte

    absolutely glorious classic microcomputing GIFs

    (tags: micros computing history apple ibm gifs images art)

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Links for 2018-05-28

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Links for 2018-05-24

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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 authorities can fully utilize Rekognition’s capabilities. Amazon has branded itself as customer-centric, opposed secret government surveillance, and has a CEO who publicly supported First Amendment freedoms and spoke out against the discriminatory Muslim Ban. Yet, Amazon is powering dangerous surveillance that poses a grave threat to customers and communities already unjustly targeted in the current political climate. We must make it clear to Amazon that we won’t stand by and let it pad its bottom line by selling out our civil rights.

    (tags: aclu amazon rekognition facial-recognition faces law privacy data-privacy civil-rights)

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Links for 2018-05-21

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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 applications can benefit from access to high-speed, ultra-low latency local storage. For example, video encoding, image manipulation, and other forms of media processing often necessitates large amounts of I/O to temporary storage. While the input and output files are valuable assets and are typically stored as Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) objects, the intermediate files are expendable. Similarly, batch and log processing runs in a race-to-idle model, flushing volatile data to disk as fast as possible in order to make full use of compute resources.
    Very nice!

    (tags: ec2 instance-types ops storage hardware aws)

  • Thanos: Prometheus at Scale

    interesting

    (tags: devops monitoring tools prometheus ops metrics)

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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 especially good at detecting toxins in the air because of their specialized respiratory system.

    (tags: carbon-monoxide gas safety canaries coal mining mines respiration gas-detectors)

  • Completely Silent Computer

    This computer makes no noise when it starts up.  It makes no noise when it shuts down.  It makes no noise when it idles.  It makes no noise when it’s under heavy load.  It makes no noise when it’s reading or writing data.  It can’t be heard in a regular room during the day.  It can’t be heard in a completely quiet house in the middle of the night.  It can’t be heard from 1m away.  It can’t be heard from 1cm away.  It can’t be heard — period.  It’s taken nearly 30 years to reach this point, but I’ve finally arrived.  The journey is over and it feels great. If you are after a silent — not just quiet, but silent — daily driver, then I strongly recommend a passively-cooled case, heat pipes and solid state drives.  Eliminate the moving parts (e.g. fans, HDDs) and you eliminate the noise — it’s not that complicated.  It also doesn’t need to be really expensive (my system requirements were not ‘average’ so please don’t infer from this post that all DB4-based systems are as expensive).  Silence (and a perfectly respectable computer) can easily be had for half the price.

    (tags: diy hardware pc silence quiet-hardware cooling fanless amd)

  • Docker is the dangerous gamble which we will regret : devops

    The article this Reddit thread links to is garbage clickbait, but the responses are insightful and much better

    (tags: reddit ops containerization docker contrarians rkt)

  • Tracking Firm LocationSmart Leaked Location Data for Customers of All Major U.S. Mobile Carriers Without Consent in Real Time Via Its Web Site

    LocationSmart, a U.S. based company that acts as an aggregator of real-time data about the precise location of mobile phone devices, has been leaking this information to anyone via a buggy component of its Web site — without the need for any password or other form of authentication or authorization — KrebsOnSecurity has learned. The company took the vulnerable service offline early this afternoon after being contacted by KrebsOnSecurity, which verified that it could be used to reveal the location of any AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon phone in the United States to an accuracy of within a few hundred yards.

    (tags: locationsmart verizon sprint t-mobile att brian-krebs security location-tracking tracking mobile phones location)

  • Bitcoin’s energy use got studied, and you libertarian nerds look even worse than usual | Grist

    This is awful. What a waste:

    Bitcoin’s energy footprint has more than doubled since Grist first wrote about it six months ago. It’s expected to double again by the end of the year, according to a new peer-reviewed study out Wednesday. And if that happens, bitcoin would be gobbling up 0.5 percent of the world’s electricity, about as much as the Netherlands. That’s a troubling trajectory, especially for a world that should be working overtime to root out energy waste and fight climate change. By late next year, bitcoin could be consuming more electricity than all the world’s solar panels currently produce — about 1.8 percent of global electricity, according to a simple extrapolation of the study’s predictions. That would effectively erase decades of progress on renewable energy.

    (tags: energy bitcoin blockchain cryptocurrencies money climate-change planet green)

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Links for 2018-05-16

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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 lists are doing the same kinds of things. “Sunrise day” for the GDPR is 25 May. That’s when the EU can start smacking fines on violators. Simply put, your site or service is a violator if it extracts or processes personal data without personal permission. Real permission, that is. You know, where you specifically say “Hell yeah, I wanna be tracked everywhere.” Of course what I just said greatly simplifies what the GDPR actually utters, in bureaucratic legalese. The GDPR is also full of loopholes only snakes can thread; but the spirit of the law is clear, and the snakes will be easy to shame, even if they don’t get fined. (And legitimate interest—an actual loophole in the GDPR, may prove hard to claim.) Toward the aftermath, the main question is What will be left of advertising—and what it supports—after the adtech bubble pops?

    (tags: advertising europe law privacy gdpr tracking data-privacy)

  • Attacks against GPG signed APT repositories – Packagecloud Blog

    It is a common misconception that simply signing your packages and repository metadata with GPG is enough to create a secure APT repository. This is false. Many of the attacks outlined in the paper and this blog post are effective against GPG-signed APT repositories. GPG signing Debian packages themselves does nothing, as explained below. The easiest way to prevent the attacks covered below is to always serve your APT repository over TLS; no exceptions.
    This is excellent research. My faith in GPG sigs on packages is well shaken.

    (tags: apt security debian packaging gpg pgp packages dpkg apt-get ops)

  • “Mudslinging” campaigns drive down voting rates, particularly among the unsure

    Does negative campaigning influence the likelihood of voting in elections? Our study of U.S. Senate campaigns indicates the answer is “yes.” We find that people distinguish between useful negative information presented in an appropriate manner and irrelevant and harsh mudslinging. As the proportion of legitimate criticisms increases in campaigns, citizens become more likely to cast ballots. When campaigns degenerate into unsubstantiated and shrill attacks, voters tend to stay home. Finally, we find that individuals vary in their sensitivity to the tenor of campaigns. In particular, the tone is more consequential for independents, for those with less interest in politics, and for those with less knowledge about politics.
    (via Mark Dennehy)

    (tags: politics strategy ireland referenda via:markdennehy dirty-tricks)

  • Abortion – the street demonstrations in pictures

    There’s me, marching after the X Case in 1992; bookmarking for posterity and my own scrapbook! Repeal the 8th! ‘1992: A demonstration against the High Court injunction forbidding a 14-year-old alleged rape victim from obtaining an abortion in Britain. Photograph: The Irish Times’

    (tags: 1992 1990s history ireland x-case abortion repealthe8th law)

  • Dickens invented “gammon” as a slur in 1838, in ‘Nicholas Nickleby’

    This is thoroughly brexiteering stuff:

    The time had been, when this burst of enthusiasm would have been cheered to the very echo; but now, the deputation received it with chilling coldness. The general impression seemed to be, that as an explanation of Mr Gregsbury’s political conduct, it did not enter quite enough into detail; and one gentleman in the rear did not scruple to remark aloud, that, for his purpose, it savoured rather too much of a ‘gammon’ tendency. ‘The meaning of that term — gammon,’ said Mr Gregsbury, ‘is unknown to me. If it means that I grow a little too fervid, or perhaps even hyperbolical, in extolling my native land, I admit the full justice of the remark. I AM proud of this free and happy country. My form dilates, my eye glistens, my breast heaves, my heart swells, my bosom burns, when I call to mind her greatness and her glory.’

    (tags: brexit funny gammon charles-dickens history gb politics uk-politics uk)

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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 well maintained in the future. The Tidelift Subscription creates a direct financial incentive for the individual maintainers of the software stacks you use to follow through on those commitments. Aligning everyone’s interests—professional development teams and maintainers alike. Critically, the Tidelift Subscriptions for React, Angular, and Vue.js cover not just the core libraries, but the vast set of dependencies and libraries typically used in these stacks. For example, a basic React web application pulls in over 1,000 distinct npm packages as dependencies. The Tidelift Subscription covers that full depth of packages which originate from all parts of the open source community, beyond the handful of core packages published by the React engineering team itself.

    (tags: tidelift open-source libraries dependencies coding)

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Links for 2018-05-03

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Links for 2018-05-02

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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 half the group that the facts would be saved when they finished and the other half that the facts would be erased. Those who thought that the facts would be saved were much worse at remembering them afterward. Instead of relying on our friends and neighbors — or on books, for that matter — we have started outsourcing our memories to the internet. So what happens if those memories are erased — and if the very platforms responsible for their storage are the ones doing the erasing? That scenario is a threat everywhere, but particularly in countries where the authorities are most aggressively controlling speech and editing history. We say the internet never forgets, but internet freedom isn’t evenly distributed: When tech companies have expanded into parts of the world where information suppression is the norm, they have proven willing to work with local censors. Those censors will be emboldened by new efforts at platform regulation in the US and Europe, just as authoritarian regimes have already enthusiastically repurposed the rhetoric of “fake news.” The reach and power of tech platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are so new and strange that we’ve barely begun formulating a response. But we can learn from the activists already doing it; from Mosireen, or the team behind the Syrian Archive — six people, with a budget of $96,000, who are preserving thousands of hours of footage from their country’s civil war. The archive recently published the Chemical Weapons Database, documenting 221 chemical weapons attacks with 861 verified videos, implicating the Assad regime in a pattern of war crimes and putting the lie to armchair investigators helping to propagate conspiracy theories in the West. One of its cofounders recently told the Intercept that he spends nearly all his time making sure videos aren’t deleted from the big tech platforms before he gets a chance to download them.

    (tags: censorship syria chemical-weapons assad history youtube video archival mosireen the-syrian-archive archives memory facebook)

  • I tried leaving Facebook. I couldn’t – The Verge

    Facebook events, Facebook pages, Facebook photos, and Facebook videos are for many people an integral part of the church picnic, the Christmas party, the class reunion, the baby shower. (The growing scourge of gender reveal parties with their elaborate “reveal” rituals and custom-made cakes seems particularly designed to complement documentation on social media). The completeness of Facebook allows people to create better substitutes for in-person support groups in a wide range of ever-narrowing demographics — from casual interests like Instant Pot recipes for Korean food to heavy life-altering circumstances like rare forms of cancer. Of all people, I know why I shouldn’t trust Facebook, why my presence on its network contributes to the collective problem of its monopolistic hold on people. Everyone is on Facebook because everyone is on Facebook. And because everyone is on Facebook, even the people who aren’t are having their data collected in shadow profiles. My inaction affects even the people who have managed to stay away. I know this, I barely use Facebook, I don’t even like Facebook, and I find it nearly impossible to leave.

    (tags: privacy facebook deletefacebook social-networking social life social-media data-privacy)

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