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How to 3D Print Your Own Lithophane
Lithophanes are essentially embossed photos generated by a 3D printer. The print results don’t show much at first, but shine some light through one and you’ll be amazed by the details.
lithophanes  3d-printing  3d  objects  photos  cool 
11 hours ago
How Hindu supremacists are tearing India apart | World news | The Guardian
This sounds pretty terrifying.
For seven decades, India has been held together by its constitution, which promises equality to all. But Narendra Modi’s BJP is remaking the nation into one where some people count as more Indian than others.
bjp  abvp  rss  india  fascism  hindutva  politics  asia 
18 hours ago
Stop Using Encrypted Email
This is very persuasive and I'd have to agree.
Email is unsafe and cannot be made safe. The tools we have today to encrypt email are badly flawed. Even if those flaws were fixed, email would remain unsafe. Its problems cannot plausibly be mitigated.


Key point: this isn't (just) about PGP or SMTP, it's email as a whole system:
The least interesting problems with encrypted email have to do with PGP. [...] But that’s a whole other argument. Even after we replace PGP, encrypted email will remain unsafe. Here's why:

If messages can be sent in plaintext, they will be sent in plaintext.

Metadata is as important as content, and email leaks it.

Every archived message will eventually leak.

Every long term secret will eventually leak.
cryptography  security  email  pgp  smtp  flaws  metadata  crypto 
yesterday
Kashmiri cops filed a case against people using VPN and social media
The police in the Jammu and Kashmir region have issued an "FIR" against individuals using social media via a VPN; "army personnel were allegedly checking phones to see if the owners had any VPN apps installed." Critics have regularly argued that this partial access to the internet still counts as an internet shutdown.
vpns  future  grim-meathook-future  politics  censorship  india  kashmir  social-media 
yesterday
An Indian politician is using deepfake technology in an election campaign
A deepfake of the president of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Manoj Tiwari, went viral on WhatsApp in the country earlier this month, ahead of legislative assembly elections in Delhi, according to Vice. It’s the first time a political party anywhere has used a deepfake for campaigning purposes. In the original video Tiwari speaks in English, criticizing his political opponent Arvind Kejriwal and encouraging voters to vote for the BJP. The second video has been manipulated using deepfake technology so his mouth moves convincingly as he speaks in Haryanvi, the Hindi dialect spoken by the target voters for the BJP.
deepfakes  video  fakes  campaigning  politics  india  bjp 
yesterday
The Heartland Lobby
A joint investigation from CORRECTIV and Frontal21 reveals how the American Heartland Institute is supporting climate change deniers in Germany with the goal of undermining climate protection measures:
Throughout the next half hour, Taylor shares the inner workings of his disinformation toolbox. He believes that Mathias, the PR agent sitting opposite him, wants to help his clients funnel cash into the intricate network of climate change deniers.

Taylor explains how he is able to raise awareness of topics in exchange for money, how people can make tax-deductible donations anonymously through a U.S. foundation, and how the Institute’s publications mimic the tone of the New York Times so obscure ideas are taken more seriously. He detailed how he intends to make a young YouTuber from Germany the star of climate denier, and how he works closely with German partners whose ideas are consistently cited by the AfD in the Bundestag.

Then a few weeks later, Taylor will send an offer in writing. It is something like a strategy document for a PR campaign in Germany: A campaign that the public will not recognize for what it really is, making it even more effective. The goal: No more prohibitive climate laws. Diesel instead of electric cars, energy from coal instead of wind turbines, industry growth instead of environmental protection. 
heartland-institute  germany  lobbying  astroturfing  misinformation  disinformation  climate-change  climate-denial 
2 days ago
Opinion: Why has the State invested €70m in a private company to look at our genetic data?
In the UK, the publicly-funded 100,000 Genomes Project is attempting to sequence 100,000 genomes from 85,000 NHS patients. It is a private company, owned by the Department of Health and Social Care, that partners with industry and has transparent policies in place on ethics, access to the genetic data and engagement with patients and the public.

Ireland too has decided to invest in genomic medicine. Rather than ensure that this investment is in a manner that best serves the Irish public, €73.5 million was given to Genomic Medicine Ireland (GMI), a company owned by the Chinese pharmaceutical company WuXi with zero public ownership, to sequence the genomes of 400,000 Irish people. This investment has serious legal and ethical concerns that are likely to negatively impact genomic research in Ireland.
ireland  genomics  genomes  medicine  health  future  china  wuxi  gmi 
3 days ago
The false promise of “renewable natural gas”
RNG [renewable natural gas] can, depending on feedstock and circumstances, be low or even zero-carbon. Utilities argue that ramping up the production of RNG and blending it with normal natural gas in pipelines can reduce [greenhouse gases] faster and cheaper than electrifying buildings. By pursuing electrification, they say, regulators are pushing unnecessary cost hikes onto consumers.

It would be nice for the utilities if this were true. But it’s not. RNG is not as low-carbon as the industry claims and its local air and water impacts are concentrated in vulnerable communities. Even if it were low-carbon and equitable, there simply isn’t enough of it to substitute for more than a small fraction of natural gas. And even if it were low-carbon, equitable, and abundant, it still wouldn’t be an excuse to expand natural gas infrastructure or slow electrification.

It isn’t a close call. The research is clear: Especially in a temperate climate like California, RNG is not a viable alternative for decarbonizing buildings. It is a desperate bid by natural gas utilities to delay their inevitable decline. Policymakers would be foolish to fall for it.
decarbonization  carbon  climate-change  rng  renewables  natural-gas  pollution  environment 
3 days ago
12 Signs You’re Working in a Feature Factory
I’ve used the term *Feature Factory *at a couple conference talks over the past two years. I started using the term when a software developer friend complained that he was “just sitting in the factory, cranking out features, and sending them down the line.”


heh, this rings a bell....
features  product-management  agile  teams  work  management  product  companies  prioritization  planning 
3 days ago
Radbot
This seems very clever -- replace traditional central heating radiator thermostatic regulation valves (TRVs) with "Radbot" TRVs, for energy efficiency:

'Extensive testing of Radbot in both controlled laboratory conditions and field trials have demonstrated it is possible to save up to 30% of your heating energy per radiator. 4-5 Radbots installed in the average sized house can save up to 30% of your energy bill.'

The Radbot detects your presence, and turns down rads in unoccupied rooms, turning them up again when you return.
radbot  trvs  radiators  heating  house  home  gadgets  energy 
3 days ago
News media article tended to focus on e-cigarette risks, rather than potential benefits
This has implications for cigarette smokers trying to quit the habit:
News media may influence public perceptions and attitudes about electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes), which may influence product use and attitudes about their regulation. The purpose of this study is to describe trends in US news coverage of e-cigarettes during a period of evolving regulation, science, and trends in the use of e-cigarettes. [....] Across years, articles more frequently mentioned e-cigarette risks (70%) than potential benefits (37.3%).
media  news  smoking  cigarettes  vapes  e-cigarettes  news-media 
3 days ago
Cheap PC hardware watchdog
Nelson bought a super-cheap, super-simple AliExpress thingy:
It looks like a USB device, but the USB is only for power. The main I/O are two pairs of wires: one that connects to your hard drive activity LED, one that connects to your hardware reset switch. Yes, it’s that dumb. Basically it just watches the LED and if it hasn’t flashed in awhile (no idea how long, maybe a minute?) it sends a reset to the motherboard.
via:nelson  watchdogs  hardware  gadgets  reliability  usb 
3 days ago
Shazam's audio search algorithm
'a combinatorially-hashed time-frequency constellation analysis of the audio' [pdf] (via papers we love)
music  shazam  search  audio  algorithms  papers  pdf  via:papers-we-love 
3 days ago
excellent letter to the editor of the Farmer's Journal regarding the IFA's climate-denialist stance
in full:
Dr Donal Murphy-Bokern M.Agr.Sc. (NUI), Kroge-Ehrendorf, Germany

Dear Sir: I've been involved in reseach on diet, sustainable agriculture and climate change for 25 years. Having followed the public debate across Europe in that time, I can only describe the current debate about diet and greenhouse gas emissions in Ireland as hysterical.

This hysteria started a year ago with the then Irish Farmers Association's president appearing to refer to the EAT Lancet Commission, which includes highly respected nutritionists from the Harvard School of Medicine, as "quacks masquerading as nutrition experts".

This was followed by his condemnation of the Taoiseach for answering a question about his carbon footprint by stating an intention to moderate his consumption of red meat. No vegan-led campaign could have better drawn public attention to the links between diet and environment than the IFA's boorish and ignorant reflex reactions.

The hysteria goes on. Now, just a year later, the IFA's chosen greenhouse gas "guru" reports that methane from farming should be treated differently to CO,, raising hopes of a get-out-of-jail card for cattle and sheep.

Self-description as a guru does not invite the confidence of scientific peers and Dr Mitloehner's presentation, published by the IFA, reveals why he is as controversial as is widely reported.

Methane's short-lived nature does not lead to the public policy outcomes that he implies it should with climate acquittal for ruminant production. He reduced discussion about the impact of livestock to one currency, which is carbon, and then misrepresented the valuation of that currency.

Despite being a native of Germany, where most land not suitable for arable crops is under forest, he argued that marginal land in Ireland cannot be used for anything other than for keeping cattle and sheep.

But what was most striking about the IFA's guru is how he worked the audience using rhetorical tricks more associated with demagogic politicians than science.

This science denial included using the strawman fallacy, raising and then countering several bogus opposing arguments. Listening to him, one could be forgiven for believing that vegans have been protesting on the streets of Dublin threatening to interfere with the nation's food supplies.

He used the classical conspiracy theory complete with a collective name for the conspirators: "destructors".

He then drew on popular images of Ireland ("green and lush" and "happy cows") to ingratiate himself with the audience while making wild and poorly informed assumptions about the scope for carbon sequestration on Irish grassland, displaying a poor understanding of basic soil science.

The IFA's stated purpose was the rebalancing of the public debate. Hosting a controversial US scientist who refers to those with views different to those of the IFA on these matters as "destructors" is hardly a promising way forward.

The IFA seems to continue to take pride in caring little for the concerns and expectations of the wider society upon which the real long-term interests of its members ultimately depend. Their faux-militancy might go down well with some members, but it now risks presenting Irish farmers as environmental and social pariahs.
letters  farmers-journal  farming  ifa  ireland  climate-change  climate-denialism 
3 days ago
Amazon EBS Multi-Attach now available on Provisioned IOPS io1 volumes
Attach multiple EC2 instances to the same EBS volume. Now that is pretty cool
ebs  ec2  filesystems  networking  ops 
3 days ago
An app can be a home-cooked meal
Fantastic -- this iOS user cloned the best bits of Tapstack, an app which I similarly mourned when it was shut down last year. Unfortunately his version is iOS-only, and quite closed for his family -- by contrast, we just moved to a private Telegram group
programming  mobile  coding  family  friends  social-networking  tapstack  apps 
4 days ago
You can't say that! Policing the long tail of public opinion on Facebook
Upcoming talk in Dublin: Wed, Feb 19, 2020 at 7:00 PM. This looks interesting.
Presented by Tech Won’t Build It Ireland and School of Multidisciplinary Technology TU Dublin and the TU Dublin Critical Media Literacy Group:

Social media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter employ around 100,000 people worldwide to vet content posted by their users - online bullying, hate speech, extreme violence, pornography, fake news, and worse. Most content moderators are employed by third-party companies who provide services to the major Internet companies.

Thousands of those content moderators are based here in Ireland. It’s becoming increasingly clear that many moderators experience trauma and PTSD as a result of the volume of disturbing content that they’re exposed to, often without adequate preparation or support from their employer. In late January this year, one contractor (Accenture) even asked employees to sign a document acknowledging the risk of PTSD, and making them individually responsible for dealing with it.

Two groups of current and former employees are suing Facebook over this issue, in both California and Ireland. Chris Gray is the lead plaintiff in the case against Facebook and contractor Cpl Resources that is now going through the Irish High Court.

Chris will walk us through how content moderation works, how moderators are trained, conditions on the job, and how moderators make decisions. He will tell us about the psychological impact of this work, and his experience taking a legal case against his former employer Facebook, one of the world’s largest technology companies.
We’ll also discuss the tradeoffs between free speech, hate speech, censorship and fake news; and the role of regulation versus corporate responsibility for content on Internet platforms.
facebook  google  content-moderation  chris-gray  social-media  media  twitter  moderation  vetting  ptsd  work 
7 days ago
_The Ballot is Busted Before the Blockchain: A Security Analysis of Voatz, the First Internet Voting Application Used in U.S. Federal Elections_
tl;dr: it doesn't do well. US voting infrastructure continues to be garbage.

'In the 2018 midterm elections, West Virginia became the first state in the U.S. to allow select voters to cast their ballot on a mobile phone via a proprietary app called “Voatz.”
Although there is no public formal description of Voatz’s security model, the company claims that election security and
integrity are maintained through the use of a permissioned blockchain, biometrics, a mixnet, and hardware-backed key
storage modules on the user’s device. In this work, we present the first public security analysis of Voatz, based on a reverse engineering of their Android application and the minimal available documentation of the system. We performed a cleanroom reimplementation of Voatz’s server and present an analysis of the election process as visible from the app itself.
We find that Voatz has vulnerabilities that allow different kinds of adversaries to alter, stop, or expose a user’s vote,
including a sidechannel attack in which a completely passive network adversary can potentially recover a user’s secret ballot. We additionally find that Voatz has a number of privacy issues stemming from their use of third party services for
crucial app functionality. Our findings serve as a concrete illustration of the common wisdom against Internet voting,
and of the importance of transparency to the legitimacy of elections.'
voting  e-voting  voatz  security  exploits  android  papers  reverse-engineering 
7 days ago
A Different Type of Card Fraud: Anatomy of a PAN Enumeration Attack
excellent explanation of a new kind of credit card fraud - and also a great ad for privacy.com. Brute-force attacks against cards, basically
attacks  via:briankrebs  privacy.com  security  exploits  credit-cards 
8 days ago
How the CIA used Crypto AG encryption devices to spy on countries for decades - Washington Post
The Crypto AG story returns to the headlines once more:
The operation, known first by the code name “Thesaurus” and later “Rubicon,” ranks among the most audacious in CIA history. “It was the intelligence coup of the century,” the CIA report concludes. “Foreign governments were paying good money to the U.S. and West Germany for the privilege of having their most secret communications read by at least two (and possibly as many as five or six) foreign countries.”


It is worth noting that Ireland was a victim to this snooping as well:
During the sensitive Anglo-Irish negotiations of 1985, the NSA's British counterpart, GCHQ, was able to decipher the coded diplomatic traffic being sent between the Irish embassy in London and the Irish Foreign Ministry in Dublin. It was reported in the Irish press that Dublin had purchased a cryptographic system from Crypto AG worth more than a million Irish pounds. It was also reported that the NSA routinely monitored and deciphered the Irish diplomatic messages.
cryptography  us  nsa  gchq  crypto-ag  surveillance  cia  spying  spies 
9 days ago
The Truth Behind The Theory That Control Was Inspired By The SCP Foundation
Yep! it was indeed:
“I just had this warm fuzzy feeling throughout the game, seeing the cultural influence of something I’ve spent eight years of my life kind of doing as a hobby,” Pierce said. “I think in fairness, they clearly had the inspiration [from us], but they took it in their own direction. They did something with it that we could not do in a thousand years.”


This is fantastic -- the SCP Wiki is behind so many great SF/horror tropes over the past decade. what a legacy. And "Control" is in itself a fantastic game.
scp  scp-wiki  wikis  collaboration  art  writing  horror  science-fiction  control  games 
9 days ago
Why People Say 'Up the RA' - VICE
tl;dr: young people.
The difference between young people and their parents' relationship with Irish Republicanism appears even more pronounced when studying the Irish establishment media, which has failed to acknowledge the widespread understanding that Republican slogans have been denuded of militaristic connotations by most people who use them. In March of last year, as Irish meme-lords continued to post a zesty mixture of IRA, Republican and Gerry Adams memes ad nauseum (some even appearing on Sinn Fein’s official social media pages), Mary Lou McDonald was being slated in the Irish press for saying "tiocfaidh ár lá" during a speech at a party conference.
republicanism  ireland  ira  history  sinn-fein  memes  vice  slogans 
9 days ago
Wikipedia turned to WebAssembly to provide patent-free video
'Wikipedia turned to WebAssembly as a <video> polyfill because video codec patents are a pain for folks committed to fully open source stacks. ogv.js implements Ogg Vorbis/Opus/Theora audio & WebM VP8/VP9/AV1 video. https://github.com/brion/ogv.js/'
ogv.js  ogv  webassembly  wasm  wikipedia  polyfills  standards  video  patents 
9 days ago
Cubism.js
A minimalist dashboard style using horizon charts:
Horizon charts reduce vertical space without losing resolution. Larger values are overplotted in successively darker colors, while negative values are offset to descend from the top. As you increase the number of colors, you reduce the required vertical space [...] . By combining position and color, horizon charts improve perception: position is highly effective at discriminating small changes, while color differentiates large changes. To further increase data density, Cubism favors per-pixel metrics where each pixel encodes a distinct point in time. Cubism also includes thoughtful default colors by Cynthia Brewer.
charts  javascript  visualization  d3  charting  graphs  horizon-charts  ui  monitoring 
10 days ago
Circllhist
'A Log-Linear Histogram Data Structure for IT Infrastructure Monitoring, Heinrich Hartmann, Theo Schlossnagle, (Submitted on 17 Jan 2020).

The circllhist histogram is a fast and memory efficient data structure for summarizing large numbers of latency measurements. It is particularly suited for applications in IT infrastructure monitoring, and provides nano-second data insertion, full mergeability, accurate approximation of quantiles with a-priori bounds on the relative error.

Open-source implementations are available for C/lua/python/Go/Java/JavaScript.'

The paper compares it against 'alternative data-structures which are employed in practice for aggregated quantile calculations: Prometheus Histograms, t-digest, [Gil Tene's] HDR Histograms, and DDSketches'
histograms  aggregation  quantiles  percentiles  measurement  graphs  data-structures  summaries  latency  monitoring  approximation  papers 
10 days ago
the CO2 footprint of email is greatly exaggerated
If you care about the environmental impact of tech, worrying about email is not the place to spend your time and energy.

Worry instead about the big tech companies accelerating the extraction of fossil fuels, when we need to keep them in the ground. [....] Worry instead about consulting companies you admire doing the same, and helping the same oil and gas companies, but keeping quiet about doing so. Worry about how blase we are about flying when it makes up a significant chunk of company emissions in many tech consultancies and enterprise sales teams.
climate-change  email  factoids  misinformation  carbon 
10 days ago
The sustainable fashion conversation is based on bad statistics and misinformation - Vox
I pulled all of these statistics and other common "facts" from reputable sources. McKinsey. The United Nations. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The World Bank. International labor unions. Advocacy organizations. And these facts have been cited by publications like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times.

Not all of these highly respected experts could be wrong. Could they?

It turns out they could. Because only one out of the dozen or so most commonly cited facts about the fashion industry’s huge footprint is based on any sort of science, data collection, or peer-reviewed research. The rest are based on gut feelings, broken links, marketing, and something someone said in 2003.
bad-data  data  facts  factoids  misinformation  fashion  fast-fashion  climate-change 
10 days ago
Critical Bluetooth Vulnerability in Android (CVE-2020-0022) – BlueFrag
On Android 8.0 to 9.0, a remote attacker within proximity can silently execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the Bluetooth daemon as long as Bluetooth is enabled. No user interaction is required and only the Bluetooth MAC address of the target devices has to be known. For some devices, the Bluetooth MAC address can be deduced from the WiFi MAC address. This vulnerability can lead to theft of personal data and could potentially be used to spread malware (Short-Distance Worm).
On Android 10, this vulnerability is not exploitable for technical reasons and only results in a crash of the Bluetooth daemon.
bluetooth  android  security  exploits  worms 
11 days ago
How can data centers use 100% renewable electricity?
The first step has been to offset. This is followed by matching usage with like-for-like energy purchases somewhere. The final stage is direct consumption of locally generated renewables, either in real time or stored from recent generation.

So the next time you see a tech company announcing a huge renewables project, you should look to see exactly what that mean and where that energy will really go. New renewables are good, but whether that energy is actually powering the company operations directly is another question.
datacenters  renewables  energy  power  climate-change  green  offsetting 
11 days ago
Advancing safe deployment practices in Azure
MS describe their Azure rollout strategy -- canary regions -> pilot phase with hardware diversity -> early regions, building up to larger regions -> full deployment.
deployment  azure  microsoft  rollout  ops  safety  outages 
15 days ago
Green Investing / Finance
a few links for European green users, courtesy of Phil Sturgeon
via:philsturgeon  investing  investment  finance  green  climate  money 
17 days ago
Twitter Likes Deleter
Now that there are creepy companies tracking every tweet you've "liked", here's a Glitch app which will revert those Likes en masse
likes  twitter  social-media  snooping  via:anildash  privacy 
17 days ago
How to Actually Personally Fight Climate Change – Erika Reinhardt
These are concrete, practical suggestions that it's possible for a normal person to achieve -- do them!
Mitigating the climate crisis is top of mind for many people. But it’s such a complex issue that it can be hard to distinguish between data-backed improvements and feel-good distractions. This is your action list with lots of context along the way on why not just how so you can soon be an emissions-fighting climate superhero. If you want to get started by just running through and checking off the easy items, start here.
climate-change  green-living  future  climate  carbon  tips  advice  todo 
21 days ago
Health-Records Company Pushed Opioids to Doctors in Secret Deal - Bloomberg
This is APPALLING. holy crap.
To doctors opening patients’ electronic records across the U.S., the alert would have looked innocuous enough.

A pop-up would appear, asking about a patient’s level of pain. Then, a drop-down menu would list treatments ranging from a referral to a pain specialist to a prescription for an opioid painkiller.

Click a button, and the program would create a treatment plan. From 2016 to spring 2019, the alert went off about 230 million times.

The tool existed thanks to a secret deal. Its maker, a software company called Practice Fusion, was paid by a major opioid manufacturer to design it in an effort to boost prescriptions for addictive pain pills -- even though overdose deaths had almost tripled during the prior 15 years, creating a public-health disaster. The software was used by tens of thousands of doctors’ offices.
healthcare  capitalism  opioids  health-records  pain  painkillers  addiction  practice-fusion 
22 days ago
Why cancer-spotting AI needs to be handled with care
“There’s this idea in society that finding more cancers is always better, but it’s not always true,” Adewole Adamson, a dermatologist and assistant professor at Dell Medical School, tells The Verge. “The goal is finding more cancers that are actually going to kill people.” But the problem is “there’s no gold standard for what constitutes cancer.”

As studies have found, you can show the same early-stage lesions to a group of doctors and get completely different answers about whether it’s cancer. And even if they do agree that that’s what a lesion shows — and their diagnoses are right — there’s no way of knowing whether that cancer is a threat to someone’s life. This leads to overdiagnosis, says Adamson: “Calling things cancer that, if you didn’t go looking for them, wouldn’t harm people over their lifetime.”

As soon as you do call something cancer, it triggers a chain of medical intervention that can be painful, costly, and life-changing. In the case of breast cancer, that might mean radiation treatments, chemotherapy, the removal of tissue from the breast (a lumpectomy), or the removal of one or both breasts entirely (a mastectomy). These aren’t decisions to be rushed.

Overdiagnosis, he says, “is a problem for a lot of different cancers; for prostate, melanoma, breast cancer, thyroid. And if AI systems become better and better at finding smaller and smaller lesions you will manufacture a lot of pseudo-patients who have a ‘disease’ that won’t actually kill them.”
overdiagnosis  health  medicine  cancer  computer-vision  automation  ai  google  diagnosis 
22 days ago
Online Laser Cutting & Engraving
Ponoko provides laser cutting & engraving services to turn your designs into custom products. You select from 99+ beautiful materials, download our design template, add your design to it, then upload it to get an instant online quote to make your design real. Pricing starts from $1. You can make 1 or 100,000. And your designs are made & delivered as fast as same day.
diy  printing  3d  3d-printing  cnc  laser-cutting  engraving  making  maker 
22 days ago
Climate Change Could Force Millions of Americans to Flee the Coast. AI Predicts Where They'll Go
By the end of the century, sea level rise could force 13 million people to move away from the U.S. coasts. But it’s not just the coasts that will be affected—so will the places where those migrants end up.

In a study published last week in PLOS One, researchers used artificial intelligence to predict where those places are. The findings could have huge value to people not only living on the coast, but the communities that may deal with an influx of climate refugees inland over the coming century.

“Our findings indicate that everybody should care about sea-level rise, whether they live on the coast or not,” Bistra Dilkina, a Computer Science Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California who led the study, said in a statement.


no shit, Sherlock -- and this will be dwarfed by levels of international migration....
climate-change  migration  papers  climate  ai  future  refugees 
22 days ago
Climate Strike Software License
The key bit:
The Software may not be used in applications and services that are used for or
aid in the exploration, extraction, refinement, processing, or transportation
of fossil fuels.

The Software may not be used by companies that rely on fossil fuel extraction
as their primary means of revenue. This includes but is not limited to the
companies listed at https://climatestrike.software/blacklist
climate  activism  climate-change  fossil-fuels  energy  open-source  oss  licensing 
23 days ago
REvil Ransomware
Kevin Beaumont is calling this 'totally out of control'; 'the quiet cover up by companies paying ransoms is creating advanced attackers operating at a skill and capability which are going to be very difficult to defend against':
We’ve seen 150 000 unique infections in the past 5 months. And a total of 148 samples together demanding more than 38 million dollars. Some of the attacks are on a huge scale, encrypting over 3000 unique systems in one attack. Some of these attacks where discussed in the news, but many companies remained silent. Keep in mind we have a limited visibility of all samples; we only extract samples from pastebin. For the infection traffic we don’t have visibility on samples that disable the C2 traffic. Next to this not every sample hits all of the c2 domains. All statistics shown in this blog are a subset of the total scale. The actual problem is even bigger than we can measure. [....]

With the rise of more mature and big malicious business relaying on ransomware it is apparent that infosec plays crucial role. The most important step we as a security industry is secure offsite backups that are not removable from the network or using privileges acquired within the network. After that we can spend time actually securing our networks.
revil  ransomware  security  malware  ransoms  via:gossi 
23 days ago
UTC or GTFO
a laptop sticker to live by
utc  gtfo  time  coding  funny  stickers  laptop 
24 days ago
Making a green internet with the Green Web Foundation
The tech sector is responsible for 2% to 4% of global emissions today. That’s less than all automobile transport, but roughly comparable to the global emissions of all shipping, or aviation. [....]

The problem is that even as our electricity grids transition to more sustainable sources of energy, by dropping coal in favour of renewables, for instance, this doesn’t automatically mean we’re getting a much greener internet. That’s partly because the internet, while distributed around the world, is not evenly distributed. If you were to look at a map of all the major infrastructures of the internet, you’d see that it clusters around a number of geographic features. The reason behind this is that there is a cost, both in time and money, to move data around the world, and even though that cost dropped over time, the rate that we generate and use data for processing has grown faster than this cost has dropped.

This creates incentives to increase the amount of infrastructure in a few places, rather than distribute it evenly. So, where we’ve previously seen data centres built in places with good access to fossil fuel energy, and in a regulatory environment that favours established fossil fuel industries over renewables, you’ll often see even more internet infrastructure being built, often using the same kinds of ‘grey’ power mixes.

The best example of this is the Data Centre Alley in North Virginia, USA. Here, the county of Loudoun boasts that 70% of the world’s internet traffic passes through its digital infrastructure. With 13.5 million square feet of data centres in use, and another 4.5 million planned or developed, it’s the largest concentration of infrastructure in the world. Most of the power needed for this data centre comes from a single company, Dominion Energy, which runs a particularly dirty energy mix, with most of its energy coming from fracked gas, coal and nuclear power. Less than 5% comes from renewables, and this figure will barely pass 10% by 2030.
green  climate-change  datacenters  energy  power  renewables  north-virginia  internet  carbon 
24 days ago
Use ALB auth to add user authentication
AWS now allows services to be secured using 'Cognito User Pool (comes with a built-in user database and supports user federation (Google, Facebook, SAML, OICD, …)', or OpenID Connect (OICD) which 'integrates with any OICD-compliant identity provider.'
aws  alb  authentication  load-balancers  openid  google  saml  auth 
24 days ago
Food types by CO2 footprint
You want to reduce the carbon footprint of your food? Focus on what you eat, not whether your food is local:
For most foods – and particularly the largest emitters – most GHG emissions result from land use change (shown in green), and from processes at the farm stage (brown). Farm-stage emissions include processes such as the application of fertilizers – both organic (“manure management”) and synthetic; and enteric fermentation (the production of methane in the stomachs of cattle). Combined, land use and farm-stage emissions account for more than 80% of the footprint for most foods.

Transport is a small contributor to emissions. For most food products, it accounts for less than 10%, and it’s much smaller for the largest GHG emitters. In beef from beef herds, it’s 0.5%. Not just transport, but all processes in the supply chain after the food left the farm – processing, transport, retail and packaging – mostly account for a small share of emissions.


Excellent graph from Our World In Data. tl;dr: beef is massively damaging in terms of emissions, poultry is far less, then fish, then various kinds of veg are at the low end. It's shocking how much impact beef has.
co2  food  data  farming  carbon  emissions  climate-change  methane  transport  locavores 
25 days ago
Steve Bannon on shitposting
Steve Bannon to Michael Lewis: "The Democrats don't matter. The real opposition is the media. And the way to deal with them is to flood the zone with shit."

This is actually a remarkable comment, as it puts on paper what has been the Tory/Republican tactic -- snowing the media under with bullshit, so they lose track of the important stuff and start rattling on about trivial shitposts like Big Ben bonging or whatever.
shitposting  distraction  tactics  steve-bannon  trump  tories  politics  misinformation  disinformation 
27 days ago
“Cyber Rambo”: How a US Army vet aided the right-wing coup in Bolivia
Twitter's turning out to be a shitfest of a platform:
Julián Macías Tovar, a social media coordinator for the Spanish left-wing party Podemos, analyzed the data from the hashtags and found that thousands of accounts were created in the days before the election and spiked after Bolivian military leaders called on Morales to resign. According to his data, 48,000 accounts were created in a matter of just four days to amplify the hashtags.

Tovar also discovered that a single account contributed more than 13,000 retweets to the hashtags. The account belonged to US Army veteran Luis Suarez, who automated his account to retweet posts with the hashtags using a custom app.

Data scientist Rubén Rodríguez Casañ similarly found that Suarez's account was able to retweet as many as 69 posts in a single second.
twitter  hashtags  bolivia  propaganda  botnets  bots  coups 
27 days ago
BurntSushi/xsv
a command line program for indexing, slicing, analyzing, splitting and joining CSV files. Commands should be simple, fast and composable:

Simple tasks should be easy.
Performance trade offs should be exposed in the CLI interface.
Composition should not come at the expense of performance.
rust  csv  cli  tools  data  xsv  command-line  unix 
28 days ago
Star-Tree Index: Powering Fast Aggregations on Pinot | LinkedIn Engineering
An interesting new indexing technique for multi-dimensional data set queries, where you can predefine the _order_ of query dimensions:
With such huge improvements for both latency and throughput, the Star-Tree index only costs about 12% extra storage space compared to data without indexing techniques and 6% extra compared to data with inverted index.
star-tree  sql  querying  search  pinot  linkedin  algorithms  databases  indexing  indexes 
29 days ago
The No Code Movement
'No code is the best way to write secure and reliable applications. Write nothing; deploy nowhere.'
coding  no  nocode  funny  true 
29 days ago
Expert reaction to World Health Organisation Q&A on e-cigarettes
It does seem that scaremongering about vaping is hurting efforts to get people off cigarettes:
“Practically all the factual statements in it are wrong. There is no evidence that vaping is ‘highly addictive’ – less than 1% of non-smokers become regular vapers.  Vaping does not lead young people to smoking – smoking among young people is at all time low.  There is no evidence that vaping increases risk of heart disease or that could have any effect at all on bystanders’ health. The US outbreak of lung injuries is due to contaminants in illegal marijuana cartridges and has nothing to do with nicotine vaping. There is clear evidence that e-cigarettes help smokers quit.

“The authors of this document should take responsibility for using blatant misinformation to prevent smokers from switching to a much less risky alternative.”
cigarettes  smoking  vaping  addiction  health  medicine  scaremongering  who  cancer 
29 days ago
Historic S3 data corruption due to a fault load balancer
This came up in a discussion of using hashes for end-to-end data resiliency on the og-aws slack. Turns out AWS support staff wrote it up at the time:
We've isolated this issue to a single load balancer that was brought into service at 10:55pm PDT on Friday, 6/20 [2008].  It was taken out of service at 11am PDT Sunday, 6/22.  While it was in service it handled a small fraction of Amazon S3's total requests in the US.  Intermittently, under load, it was corrupting single bytes in the byte stream.  When the requests reached Amazon S3, if the Content-MD5 header was specified, Amazon S3 returned an error indicating the object did not match the MD5 supplied.  When no MD5 is specified, we are unable to determine if transmission errors occurred, and Amazon S3 must assume that the object has been correctly transmitted. Based on our investigation with both internal and external customers, the small amount of traffic received by this particular load balancer, and the intermittent nature of the above issue on this one load balancer, this appears to have impacted a very small portion of PUTs during this time frame.

One of the things we'll do is improve our logging of requests with MD5s, so that we can look for anomalies in their 400 error rates.  Doing this will allow us to provide more proactive notification on potential transmission issues in the future, for customers who use MD5s and those who do not. In addition to taking the actions noted above, we encourage all of our customers to take advantage of mechanisms designed to protect their applications from incorrect data transmission.  For all PUT requests, Amazon S3 computes its own MD5, stores it with the object, and then returns the computed MD5 as part of the PUT response code in the ETag.  By validating the ETag returned in the response, customers can verify that Amazon S3 received the correct bytes even if the Content MD5 header wasn't specified in the PUT request.  Because network transmission errors can occur at any point between the customer and Amazon S3, we recommend that all customers use the Content-MD5 header and/or validate the ETag returned on a PUT request to ensure that the object was correctly transmitted.  This is a best practice that we'll emphasize more heavily in our documentation to help customers build applications that can handle this situation.
aws  s3  outages  postmortems  load-balancing  data-corruption  corruption  failure  md5  hashing  hashes 
29 days ago
XGBoost
'an optimized distributed gradient boosting library designed to be highly efficient, flexible and portable. It implements machine learning algorithms under the Gradient Boosting framework. XGBoost provides a parallel tree boosting (also known as GBDT, GBM) that solve many data science problems in a fast and accurate way. The same code runs on major distributed environment (Hadoop, SGE, MPI) and can solve problems beyond billions of examples.'
python  xgboost  gradient-boosting  ml  machine-learning  mpi 
29 days ago
A Review of Netflix’s Metaflow
Metaflow looks nice, and used by $work's data scientists
metaflow  data-science  data  batch  architecture 
29 days ago
People + AI Guidebook
"Designing human-centered AI products". Some good UX recommendations when working with AI smarts behind the scenes
ux  ai  design  google  graphics  tips  machine-learning 
4 weeks ago
Experiencing WSL as a Linux Veteran
Sounds like they've done a great job at integration
linux  windows  wsl  desktop  unix  cli 
4 weeks ago
Revealed: betting firms use schools data on 28m UK children
So much for "strict privacy rules":
Betting companies have been given access to an educational database containing names, ages and addresses of 28 million children and students in one of the biggest breaches of government data. They have used it to help increase the proportion of young people who gamble online. It contains details of children age 14 and above in state schools, private schools and colleges in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
privacy  data-protection  children  kids  schools  uk  betting  gambling 
4 weeks ago
Microsoft announces it will be carbon negative by 2030
This is *amazing* news, and really puts it up to the other big tech companies, particularly Google and Amazon: carbon negative by 2030, more responsibility for Scope 3 emissions, 100% renewables by 2025, and a $1billion fund for climate tech.
climate-change  microsoft  good-news  carbon  tech 
5 weeks ago
Snowboy Hotword Detection
Open-source, Apache-license hotword detection library for homebrew IoT:

'Snowboy is an highly customizable hotword detection engine that is embedded real-time and is always listening (even when off-line) compatible with Raspberry Pi, (Ubuntu) Linux, and Mac OS X.

Currently, Snowboy supports:

all versions of Raspberry Pi (with Raspbian based on Debian Jessie 8.0)
64bit Mac OS X
64bit Ubuntu (12.04 and 14.04)
iOS
Android with ARMv7 CPUs
Pine 64 with Debian Jessie 8.5 (3.10.102)
Intel Edison with Ubilinux (Debian Wheezy 7.8)'
audio  iot  hardware  hotwords  speech-recognition  speech  devices 
5 weeks ago
Facebook Ad Library Showed Just How Unreliable Facebook’s Security System For Elections Is
On Dec. 10, just two days before the United Kingdom went to the polls, some 74,000 political advertisements vanished from Facebook’s Ad Library, a website that serves as an archive of political and issue ads run on the platform. [....]

Facebook has said it will not fact-check political ads or restrict the ability for campaigns to target people. Instead, it said it will provide transparency with tools like the Ad Library, the Ad Library report, and the Ad Library API, so the public, researchers, and journalists can monitor how elections play out on the platform. But that only works to the degree that those tools operate properly. It was only the news media’s reporting that brought the issue out into the open.

“The fact that they could have an outage like this that went up to the day before an election, and they didn’t really publicly communicate,” Laura Edelson, a computer scientist at NYU whose work involves using the API, told BuzzFeed News, “that’s just not how you treat a security system. That’s what this is — this is a security system for elections.”
facebook  ads  politics  uk-politics  transparency  microtargeting  social-media 
5 weeks ago
The Center Blows Itself Up: Care and Spite in the ‘Brexit Election’
The center of British politics has become a smoldering pit. The country is now being governed by a hard-right government placed in power by its oldest citizens, in the face of the active hatred of its increasingly socialist-inclined youth. It’s fairly clear that for the Johnson team, Brexit was never anything but an electoral strategy, and that they don’t have the slightest idea how to translate it into economic prosperity. (It is an unacknowledged irony of the current situation that the people most likely to profit from the Brexit process are, precisely, lawyers—and, probably secondarily, accountants. For everyone else, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where they will improve their current situation, and quite easy to imagine Johnson being remembered as one of the most disastrous prime ministers in British history.)
labour  brexit  uk  politics  tories  boris-johnson  jeremy-corbyn  centrism 
5 weeks ago
How is computer programming different today than 20 years ago?
Some good answers:

A desktop software now means a web page bundled with a browser.

You are not officially considered a programmer anymore until you attend a $2K conference and share a selfie from there.

Code must run behind at least three levels of virtualization now. Code that runs on bare metal is unnecessarily performant.

Running your code locally is something you rarely do.

A tutorial isn’t really helpful if it’s not a video recording that takes orders of magnitude longer to understand than its text.

Mobile devices can now show regular web pages, so no need to create a separate WAP page on a separate subdomain anymore. We create mobile pages on separate subdomains instead.

We run programs on graphics cards now.

Since we have much faster CPUs now, numerical calculations are done in Python which is much slower than Fortran. So numerical calculations basically take the same amount of time as they did 20 years ago.

Storing passwords in plaintext is now frowned upon, but we do it anyway.


There's also some serious answers, but I prefer these ones.
evolution  dev  programming  humour  coding  lols  fortran  history 
5 weeks ago
Citizens' assembly ready to help Macron set French climate policies
(a) Good to see the citizen's-assembly model applied in other countries, after its success here in Ireland on the same-sex marriage and abortion issues; and (b) also a good idea to apply it to the thorny and potentially divisive issue of dealing with climate change at a national level.
france  climate-change  citizens-assemblies  lawmaking  government  future  taxation 
5 weeks ago
Barry Dalby's maps
I have to get my hands on some of these -- amazingly beautiful and detailed maps of Achill, Clare Island, the Blackstairs, Comeragh, Galtee and Knockmealdown mountains, the Way of the Táin in Louth, and various parts of Wicklow:

Having chosen an area, Barry consults the aerial images taken by companies such as Bluesky Ireland, a commercial survey company providing high quality geographic data.

He also studies other existing published sources before setting out himself in search of locals who know most about their native place. The folklore gathered by schoolchildren in Ireland in the 1930s, known as the Schools' Collection, is a particularly useful initial source, he says.

On his field trips, Barry relies on a chain of social connections. One person introduces him to another and gradually he builds up his knowledge of the particular area. His informants are often farmers or fishermen, some of whom use local features – a rock, a hill or a cove – as landmarks.

Barry then examines as much of the landscape as he can himself with this own eyes and with his GPS device in order to clarify the nature of certain features not easily interpreted from the aerial images alone.

Having brought all the data together, Barry has created a remarkable and substantial map of Achill and Clare Island – a scale of 1:25,000 and 1:7,500 respectively. That is, in the case of Achill, one centimetre on the map equates to 250 metres of real area. In the case of Clare Island, the scale is even greater – one centimetre equating to 75 metres.


https://www.eastwestmapping.ie/ is the website -- looks like they sell non-folded, flat versions for framing too....
barry-dalby  maps  mapping  ireland  folklore  history 
5 weeks ago
SSP3: The Nightmare Scenario for Climate Scientists
“A resurgent nationalism, concerns about competitiveness and security, and regional conflicts push countries to increasingly focus on domestic or, at most, regional issues. This trend is reinforced by the limited number of comparatively weak global institutions, with uneven coordination and cooperation for addressing environmental and other global concerns. Policies shift over time to become increasingly oriented toward national and regional security issues, including barriers to trade, particularly in the energy resource and agricultural markets... A low international priority for addressing environmental concerns leads to strong environmental degradation in some regions. The combination of impeded development and limited environmental concern results in poor progress toward sustainability. Population growth is low in industrialized and high in developing countries. Growing resource intensity and fossil fuel dependency along with difficulty in achieving international cooperation and slow technological change imply high challenges to mitigation. The limited progress on human development, slow income growth, and lack of effective institutions, especially those that can act across regions, implies high challenges to adaptation for many groups in all regions.”

Hausfather called our current world “SSP3-ish,” particularly the rise of populism. Leah Stokes, an energy policy researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara, told Earther that in some ways “beginning to wake up to much of what SSP3 captures, which is fascism and nationalism and erecting of border between places.”

Research linking this vision with society and the climate paints a bleak picture. Findings show there’s no scenario in which society achieves the Paris Agreement goals of limiting warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) under SSP3. And the 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) goal is but a pipe dream if the world continues its march to fragmentation and lack of cooperation. Hausfather said because of this and computing limitations, the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report will only model SSP3 in conjunction with a high emissions scenario since it’s the most likely outcome.


Welp, that's depressing.
ssp3  climate-change  climate  populism  politics  fascism  nationalism  racism  future 
5 weeks ago
Google AI Blog: An All-Neural On-Device Speech Recognizer
This is very impressive. Can't wait to see it rolled out widely.
Today, we're happy to announce the rollout of an end-to-end, all-neural, on-device speech recognizer to power speech input in Gboard. In our recent paper, "Streaming End-to-End Speech Recognition for Mobile Devices", we present a model trained using RNN transducer (RNN-T) technology that is compact enough to reside on a phone. This means no more network latency or spottiness — the new recognizer is always available, even when you are offline. The model works at the character level, so that as you speak, it outputs words character-by-character, just as if someone was typing out what you say in real-time, and exactly as you'd expect from a keyboard dictation system.


(Via Nelson)
asr  voice  ai  google  rnn-t  rnn  neural-networks  via:nelson  offline  gboard  speech 
5 weeks ago
Google Cloud Run
'Deploy your side-projects at scale for basically nothing':
After using Cloud Run for over a year now I have never had to touch a server, VM, cluster or anything else. This is truly a deploy and forget service.

Due to it being fully managed there are a few requirements to make your application compatible. The only real one you have to worry about it to ensure your application runs an HTTP server and listens on the port set in the PORT environment variable that is present at runtime of your container.

The beauty of Cloud Run is that it is only ‘running’ your container when it gets traffic. The pricing model is setup that you only pay for the CPU/memory/network bandwidth used when your app is getting requests.

It achieves this by deploying your app on demand when traffic hits the domain name they give you, it hangs around for a bit (undetermined) until after traffic stops, and the the app is torn down. The other way to look at this is autoscaling - when there is no traffic, it scales to 0.

There is a cost in the form of time - if you app takes time to ‘setup’ when it starts up, you will be making your users wait as Cloud Run scales up your application from 0 to 1+ instances. From my own use I’ve found this to be negligible though.

Due to this pricing model I’ve never paid more than a few cents - yes CENTS - a month for all my side projects (10+ deployed currently). This is a factor of the little traffic I get to them so you may need to do the maths for yours - the pricing page is here.

As Cloud Run takes any container image and deploys it, you can use any language you want. Be it Node, Go, Java, PHP or something entirely obscure, as long as it speaks HTTP and listens on the port defined in the PORT environment variable, Cloud Run doesn’t care what you do inside the container.


I've become increasingly impressed by Google's cloud offerings, and this sounds great. Gonna have to give it a go.
hosting  cloud  docker  google  containers  cloud-run 
5 weeks ago
Good home automation ideas
I'm vaguely thinking about home automation, while also being fairly sceptical, so this is good:
She also loves data, so automatic temperature logging from all the sensors in the house to a spreadsheet is something she likes. We've got a camera outside and lately there have been cats and possums hanging around, so if you send a command to our telegram group chat, you'll get a snapshot of the current view sent (we like the local wildlife). She absolutely loved the WLED LED strings I made and wants them to be left up all year. For TV, we can either use the harmony remote and click 'Watch TV' or say 'Hey Google Turn On Watch TV' and it'll get everything set up with the correct inputs.

Find a couple projects that actually improve quality of life, but don't have a super high impact if they don't work quite right and use that as a starting point. Our landlord didn't give us the remote to the garage, so my first project was wiring a pi and relay to the opener so we could use it. Then, I added a ultrasonic detector so I could tell if the door was open/closed and then added the timer to it in homeassistant. Now, if I want to automate something, I've built up enough credit with her that it's not an issue as long as I don't make it hideous (which ... duh ... that shouldn't even be about WAF).

Also -- No one wants to tell Alexa/Google to turn on the lights all the time. Mine are as automated as possible. PIR sensors to turn them on and timers to turn them off [timers get reset every time motion is re-detected, which allows for plenty of 'wiggle room']. If we want to deviate from the automation, voice is great, but it shouldn't be the primary method of turning on the lights. Everything I just said about voice, apply double to apps, 10x if you need to use different apps for different devices.
tips  advice  home-automation  home  pirs  motion-sensors  sensors  waf 
5 weeks ago
The “Smoky Cokey” cocktail tastes exactly how it sounds, and that’s a good thing
Via Ben -- here's a bunch of critics going nuts about a fecking whiskey and coke.

'The 'Smoky Cokey' [...] is a Coca-Cola that tastes smoky thanks to the addition of peaty scotch.
Specifically, the drink as it was explained to me requires Lagavulin 16, a scotch that sells for around $75 a bottle in the United States.

My god the critics go overboard with this:

'the rich smoke and intensity of Lagavulin is beautifully countered by the sweet vanilla and gentle spices of the cola'

'I actually like to make mine with Mexican Coke when I have one handy, because I find the extra sweetness works even better with the fairly aggressive peatiness of something like a Lagavulin'

'There’s something about the sherry notes present in the Lagavulin that makes it really sing when drowned in high fructose corn syrup'

My theory is that this is a marketing wheeze devised by Diageo PR to garner a bit of clickbait....
diageo  marketing  morkeshing  smoky-cokey  cocktails  trolls  whiskey  coke  lagavulin 
5 weeks ago
ecotrip
Figure out how to get from A to B with estimates of CO2 emissions involved --

'Ecotrip is a platform that offers a solution to planes’ large CO2 emission by showing routes from user’s origin point to their desired destination, suggesting alternative means of transport ordered by their level of sustainability.'

works great! Pity it's almost impossible to get anywhere from Ireland without flying :(
travel  green  climate-change  co2  emissions  maps  sustainability  via:cat 
5 weeks ago
Scary twitter thread on the new US fascist/"radical catholic" crossover movement
The Groyper movement, "Deus Vult", Nick Fuentes, and "America First":

"two weeks ago [...] employees at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Dover, Delaware, watched stunned as protesters who usually gather outside the clinic performed the Nazi salute as patients were going in."

grim.
groyper  fascism  america  us-politics  catholicism  religion  nazis 
6 weeks ago
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)
bellingcat  osint  mapping  archival  search  image-search  geo-search  web  fact-checking 
6 weeks ago
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)
via:allspaw  automation  software  reliability  debugging  ops  design  failsafe  failure  human-interfaces  ui  ux  outages 
6 weeks ago
Serving 100µs reads with 100% availability · Segment Blog
Distributing read-only snapshotted SQLite databases to shared volumes works! nifty hack
architecture  databases  performance  sqlite  segment  ops  docker 
6 weeks ago
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