An aggregation of our Blog Roll, made up of acmqueue authors.   more

Postings for February 2017:  (11 posts)
Sun, 19 Feb 2017 20:00:00 UTC

Looking Up

Posted By Tim Bray

Seems like everyone I know is blue and grouchy and angry; cant say as I blame them. But its time to turn a corner, because the futures just as long as ever, and we need joy to face it. Let me see if I can help. Canadas first few crocuses are up! Yes, I did blog about the spring crocuses in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 (twice!) , 2009 (twice!) , 2010 (twice!) , 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. Clearly I need to remediate 2016s lacklustre performance. Once again, as I often do, I should echo the question from John Crowleys awesome Little, Big (seriously, one of the best books): What is Brother North-Winds secret? The answer: If Winter comes, Spring cant be far behind. This winter, our discontent has been political mostly.

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 20:00:00 UTC

Geek Career Paths

Posted By Tim Bray

Suppose youre doing technology, and like doing technology, and your careers going well, and you find yourself wondering what youre going to be doing in twenty years. Ive been down several of the roads you might decide to take, and it occurs to me that talking them over might amuse and inform. Thanks are due to Andre Leibovici, who tweeted Is it possible to be in a sr. leadership position and still be hands-on w/ tech & code? For geek leaders out there... how to juggle? and got me thinking about this. Q: Should you stay in tech-related work? Seriously, this is the most important question.

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 08:55:44 UTC

The Road to Debugging Success

Posted By Diomidis D. Spinellis

A colleague recently asked me how to debug a Linux embedded system that crashed in the Unix shell (and only there), when its memory got filled through the buffer cache. He added that when he emptied the buffer cache the crash no longer occurred.

Tue, 14 Feb 2017 20:00:00 UTC

February NYCDevOps meetup: Tiny Talks CfP

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

The NYC DevOps meetup is trying something new in February: Tiny Talks. Tiny talks are short, 5-10 minute talks usually presented by members. They can be basically any topic related to DevOps. The idea is to encourage local members to present at meetings. We'll be doing this for our first time at the February 21, 2017 NYCDevOps meetup. You are encouraged to sign up here (though we won't be strict if you show up with a presentation.) From the website: Tiny talks are 5-10 minute talks on any DevOps-related topic. We want to encourage everyone to submit a proposal.

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 18:00:00 UTC

Tom speaking at NYCDevOps meetup, Feb 21, 2017

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

I'll be the speaker at the February meeting of NYCDevOps. I'll be presenting my talk "Stealing the Best Ideas from DevOps: A Guide for Sysadmins without Developers". If you didn't see me give this talk at Usenix LISA, you can catch it here. Please RSVP. Seating is limited.

Sun, 12 Feb 2017 20:00:00 UTC

Two AWS Years

Posted By Tim Bray

Wow, it was December 2014 when I climbed on board this train. Im sitting in a pretty interesting place and feel I owe the world some reportage. In terms of what its like to work to work here, I dont have much to add to last years write-up. Since then Ive got my fingerprints all over two AWS services: CloudWatch Events and Step Functions. There are few things as much fun as helping ship something and watching people start to use it. If you want opinions on what those products mean and how well they work, there are lots of blogs out there written by people who are less biased.

Sat, 11 Feb 2017 17:22:51 UTC

Now in the UK! Pre-order signed copies of the first edition hardcover of Walkaway, my first adult novel since Makers

Posted By Cory Doctorow

The UK’s Forbidden Planet is now offering signed hardcovers of Walkaway, my first novel for adults since 2009 — this is in addition to the signed US hardcovers being sold by Barnes and Noble. Walkaway has scored starred reviews in Booklist (“memorable and engaging” and “ultimately suffused with hope”) and Kirkus (“A truly visionary techno-thriller... more

Fri, 10 Feb 2017 19:00:00 UTC

Back-to-Basic Weekend Reading: Monte-Carlo Methods

Posted By Werner Vogels

I always enjoy looking for solutions to difficult challenges in non-obvious places. That is probably why I like using probabilistic techniques for problems that appear to be hard, or impossible to solve deterministically. The probabilistic approach may not result in the perfect result, but it may get you very close, and much faster than deterministic techniques (which may even be computationally impossible). Some of the earliest approaches using probabilities in physics experiments resulted in the Monte Carlo methods. Their essential idea is using randomness to solve problems that might be deterministic in principle. These are a broad class of computational algorithms that rely on repeated random sampling to obtain numerical results.

Tue, 07 Feb 2017 22:00:00 UTC

Cascadia IT Conference: Registration is open!

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

I am pleased to announce that the 7th Annual Cascadia IT conference Registration is open at This years conference features tutorials on Git, Reusable Infrastructures, Time Management (based on my book), AWS, and Advanced Communication Strategies along with several talks and a keynote by Corey Quinn. Cascadia IT Conference will be held on March 10-11 in Seattle WA.

Fri, 03 Feb 2017 19:00:00 UTC

Back-to-Basics Weekend Reading - Bloom Filters

Posted By Werner Vogels

Listening to the "Algorithms to Live By" audio on my commute this morning I once again was struck by the beauty of Bloom Filters. So I think it is time to resurrect the Back-to-Basics Weekend Reading series, as I will be re-reading some really fundamental CS papers this weekend. In the past I have done some weekend reading about Counting Bloom Filters, but now I am going even more fundamental. Bloom Filters, conceived by Burton Bloom in 1970, are probabilistic data structures to test whether an item is in a set. False positives are possible but false negatives are not. So if a bit in the filter is not set you can be sure the item is not in the set, if it is set, the mapped item may be in the set.

Wed, 01 Feb 2017 21:08:03 UTC

Pre-order a signed first edition of Walkaway, which got a starred review in Booklist today!

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Here’s a reminder that you can pre-order a signed first edition hardcover of Walkaway, my first novel for adults since 2009, which William Gibson called “A wonderful novel” and Edward Snowden called “a reminder that the world we choose to build is the one we’ll inhabit” and Kim Stanley Robinson called “a utopia is both... more