Worth Reading: Automated Safe Cracking

14 August 2017

In the process of building his safecracking robot, which he will demonstrate live at the Defcon cybersecurity conference next week, Seidle discovered a series of real vulnerabilities in the relatively cheap, but popular, SentrySafe he tested. But the larger lesson of his work goes beyond his particular safe’s security flaws. It points instead to a…

Worth Reading: Deep dive into Sky Lake

11 August 2017

The architecture of Skylake is very different from that of the prior “Haswell” and “Broadwell” Xeon chips, and will be carried forward with the next-generation “Cascade Lake” processors that will very likely be implemented in a highly tuned 14 nanometer process – what Intel calls 14++ nanometer in its chip manufacturing presentations. (We had not…

Worth Reading: Ops is everyone’s job now

11 August 2017

Distributed systems are never “up”; they exist in a constant state of partially degraded service. Accept failure, design for resiliency, protect and shrink the critical path. You can’t hold the entire system in your head or reason about it; you will live or die by the thoroughness of your instrumentation and observability tooling. You need…

Worth Reading: Web archiving and the importance of context

10 August 2017

One of the most basic tenants of all data science is that data doesn’t exist in a vacuum, it is the result of a massive pipeline of explicit and implicit decisions, yet so much of the output of the data science world proceeds as if data can be cleanly separated from the contexts in which…

Worth Reading: Making mainstream switches malleable

10 August 2017

While the hyperscalers of the world are pushing the bandwidth envelope and are rolling out 100 Gb/sec gear in their Ethernet switch fabrics and looking ahead to the not-too-distant future when 200 Gb/sec and even 400 Gb/sec will be available, enterprise customers who make up the majority of switch revenues are still using much slower…

Worth Reading: What we learn in transitioning from card catalogs

9 August 2017

When we transition to a new technology, do we lose valuable metadata? Could errors be introduced in the process of transfer of data from one medium to another? It’s an issue society has already had to confront — when the world’s libraries transitioned to digital and online catalogs from their older systems based on paper…

Worth Reading: Speeding up doesn’t help

9 August 2017

The evolution then began, first at 1.5x speed, and eventually working up to twice the speed. At first, it made me laugh. Those distinct voices I had grown so accustomed to had turned into high-speed ramblings. Listening to Ira Glass and Terry Gross at 2x speed is like expecting a massage at a spa and…

Worth Reading: Ageism in technology

8 August 2017

Age is the silent career killer in the tech industry. While companies openly wrestle with the lack of racial and gender diversity, regularly releasing workforce demographics, they refuse to disclose the average age of their staffers and offer little in the way of internal support for older workers. —Jon Swartz @ USA Today

Worth Reading: A code camps getting the boot?

8 August 2017

Within the past week, two major learn-to-code boot camp programs have announced that they are going out of business. Iron Yard, a boot camp-style tech and coding school, was founded in 2012 and grew to twenty campuses nationwide (including Las Vegas, baby). Trouble was apparent three months ago when Iron Yard shuttered five of its…

Worth Reading: Erasing Tech Debt

7 August 2017

I worked on projects based on the following premise: “We’re going to switch to a different technology and everything will get discarded. For now, as long as it works, don’t worry too much about coding standards.” If it doesn’t sound too bad for you, let’s look at it from a different angle: “We’re all going…