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

Postings for September 2020:  (30 posts)
Thu, 24 Sep 2020 02:20:55 UTC


Posted By Greg Lehey

Mail from the Central Highlands Libraries today: my Oddball DVD was waiting for me. Just bring my library card. Fine, but what library card? They have issued me with a real card number now, but I haven't received a card. Called up on (03) 5338 6850 and spoke to Graham, who agreed to hand the DVD to Yvonne (who happened to be in town) without a card, and at some time I should come in and pick up my card. Also tried again to sign Yvonne up. No luck. Called up again, Graham tried, and also failed. At least we now have documentation of the bug?and Graham also issued a card on the spot, unfortunately after Yvonne had picked up the DVD.

Wed, 23 Sep 2020 19:58:35 UTC

Announcing the Attack Surface tour

Posted By Cory Doctorow

It’s been 12 years since I went on my first book tour and in the years since, I’ve met and spoken with tens of thousands of readers in hundreds of cities on five continents in support of more than a dozen books. Now I’ve got another major book coming out: ATTACK SURFACE. How do you... more

Wed, 23 Sep 2020 18:55:04 UTC

Poesy the Monster Slayer

Posted By Cory Doctorow

POESY THE MONSTER SLAYER is my first-ever picture book, illustrated by Matt Rockefeller and published by Firstsecond. It’s an epic tale of toy-hacking, bedtime-avoidance and monster-slaying. The book’s publication was attended by a superb and glowing review from Kirkus: “The lights are out, and the battle begins. She knows the monsters are coming, and... more

Wed, 23 Sep 2020 03:26:20 UTC

More GPS navigation pain

Posted By Greg Lehey

Off to Geelong again this afternoon for my six-monthly periodontic checkup. More for the fun of it than anything else, I wanted to try a navigation app on my way there. After over 12 hours, iGO had still not loaded any map data. OK, off once again Googling for best gps app. The first hit gave me a choice of 10, with little overview: the first one was for hikers. The next seemed more likely: HERE WeGo. OK, we can try. At least it installed, and it allowed me to select ?Geelong? as a destination, though once again I was left wondering where all the fine detail had gone.

Tue, 22 Sep 2020 00:08:39 UTC

More navigation software

Posted By Greg Lehey

I'm off to Geelong tomorrow for my six-monthly periodontic checkup. And my GPS navigator is on its last legs. I've been looking for a replacement, but this is really a function that a mobile phone should be able to do. Only I haven't found any suitable apps. I'm currently using iGO on my navigator. And it's available for Android too?at a price. But new navigators cost money too. So off to download it. I can't understand it! But one thing was clear: I needed to download maps, at prices comparable to those of a standalone navigator. OK, I get a free week's trial of one map only.

Mon, 21 Sep 2020 19:00:00 UTC

Workflows in AWS and GCP

Posted By Tim Bray

Recently, Google launched a beta of Google Cloud Workflows. This grabs my attention because I did a lot of work on AWS Step Functions, also a workflow service. The differences between them are super interesting, if you?re among the handful of humans who care about workflows in the cloud. For those among the other 7.8 billion, move right along, nothing to see here. Context The Google launch seemed a bit subdued. There was an August 27th tweet by Product Manager Filip Knapik, but the real ?announcement? is apparently Serverless workflows in Google Cloud, a 16-minute YouTube preso also by Knapik.

Mon, 21 Sep 2020 18:17:05 UTC

Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town (part 15)

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Here’s part fifteen of my new reading of my novel Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town (you can follow all the installments, as well as the reading I did in 2008/9, here). This is easily the weirdest novel I ever wrote. Gene Wolfe (RIP) gave me an amazing quote for it: “Someone Comes to... more

Sat, 19 Sep 2020 02:13:07 UTC

Where am I?

Posted By Greg Lehey

One of the prerequisites of taking my analemma photos is to know the time of mean solar noon. My GPS navigator tells me that my location (well, the post outside my office) is at -37.80061,143.75168. You can calculate mean solar noon easily enough from the longitude: multiply by 4 minutes and subtract from UTC. That gives me 01:24:59.6 UTC, close enough to 01:25 to not make any difference. Sometimes web sites want to know my location. I've grumbled about that in the past: they won't take my word for it, and instead go via some IP address or another. Which address?

Thu, 17 Sep 2020 03:21:07 UTC

Voigtländer Nokton reexamined

Posted By Greg Lehey

I don't use my Voigtländer Nokton 25 mm f/0.95 lens very often, but I've come to terms with it. Since it's a completely manual lens, I have to update the Exif data manually, and I have methods in place for that. But yesterday I took another photo (full aperture, of course, the only time it has any advantage) and got this: That's clearly vignetted. OK, fix it in DxO PhotoLab and save the profile, in the process running afoul of the horrible interface presented by DxO's editor, and overwriting my default profile in the process: But it's only at full aperture.

Thu, 17 Sep 2020 02:06:08 UTC

Bloody ?smart? phones!

Posted By Greg Lehey

It's been nine years since I first started thinking about getting a ?smart? phone, though it took until less than four years ago before I finally got one, and then mainly because it was free. Looking back, my objections were the same from the very start, like here: hard to use, no keyboard, amongst other random objections. All that has changed is that my hatred has increased. On the positive side, I can now use it as a phone with relatively few problems. It almost always rings when a call comes in, and almost always I can answer it. What's wrong with this picture?

Thu, 17 Sep 2020 00:03:41 UTC

Adarsh Shah on "Continuous Delivery for Machine Learning" (September NYCDEVOPS Meetup)

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

Come one, come all! nycdevops does its first virtual meetup! All are invited! Speaker: Adarsh Shah Topic: "Continuous Delivery for Machine Learning" Time: Thursday, September 17, 2020, 5-630 PM Link: Hope to see you there!

Mon, 14 Sep 2020 15:44:08 UTC


Posted By Cory Doctorow

This week on my podcast, I read the first half of my latest Locus Magazine column, “IP,” the longest, most substantial column I’ve written in my 14 years on Locus‘s masthead. IP explores the history of how we have allowed companies to control more and more of our daily lives, and has come to mean,... more

Mon, 14 Sep 2020 09:00:00 UTC

Reinventing virtualization with the AWS Nitro System

Posted By Werner Vogels

Running a business at the scale of Amazon, we often have to solve problems that no other company has faced before. The disadvantage of this is that there is no ?how to? guide for us?a lot is unknown. However, the advantage is that when we solve a new problem, it?s an opportunity to reinvent our services and create new benefits for our customers. Indeed, we have created some of our most innovative and successful ideas when we have entered unchartered territory. When you?re a customer-centric company, you often find yourself in the great unknown because customers will always want more and better.

Sun, 13 Sep 2020 19:00:00 UTC

Slow Drone Soar

Posted By Tim Bray

I recently invited you to read a thousand-page novel without much in the way of sentences, so I think it?s perfectly reasonable to point you at a 69-minute drone-metal album that largely lacks melody and rhythm. I refer to Life Metal, a 2019 release from Sunn O))). Because in 2020 we really ought to be sharing good things with each other, and this is a good thing; the new music I?ve enjoyed most this year. Lots of people probably don?t think they?d like drone metal, just from the name.

Fri, 11 Sep 2020 19:21:44 UTC

My plans at CppCon

Posted By Herb Sutter

It’s hard to believe CppCon 2020 is nearly here… in fact, pre-conference tutorials are already in progress. I’ll be at the conference throughout the week in the hallways and session rooms. Here are some of the times I’ll be participating on the actual program: Sunday 1300 MDT: Organizer’s Panel. In the middle of the Welcome … Continue reading My plans at CppCon →

Wed, 09 Sep 2020 05:20:25 UTC

Ports pain, 10 years on

Posted By Greg Lehey

On Saturday I commented, after having to search for the canonical Samba port: How I wish the Ports Collection would recognize generic names! And then today I read my diary of ten years ago: There seems to be no canonical Samba port. The one I have in my scripts was net/samba3, which happily started building and told me it was deprecated. So I went looking for the correct one, which you'd expect to be net/samba.

Tue, 08 Sep 2020 16:13:47 UTC

My first-ever Kickstarter: the audiobook for Attack Surface, the third Little Brother book

Posted By Cory Doctorow

I have a favor to ask of you. I don’t often ask readers for stuff, but this is maybe the most important ask of my career. It’s a Kickstarter ? I know, ‘another crowdfunder?’ ? but it’s: a) Really cool; b) Potentially transformative for publishing. c) Anti-monopolistic Here’s the tldr: Attack Surface ? AKA Little... more

Tue, 08 Sep 2020 16:00:53 UTC

Attack Surface Kickstarter Promo Excerpt!

Posted By Cory Doctorow

This week’s podcast is a generous excerpt – 3 hours! – of the audiobook for Attack Surface, the third Little Brother book, which is available for pre-order today on my very first Kickstarter. This Kickstarter is one of the most important moments in my professional career, an experiment to see if I can viably publish... more

Sun, 06 Sep 2020 22:44:45 UTC

C++20 approved, C++23 meetings and schedule update

Posted By Herb Sutter

A couple of interesting things happened in the ISO C++ world this week… C++20 passed unanimously, on track to publish later this year On Friday September 4, C++20’s DIS (Draft International Standard) ballot ended, and it passed unanimously. This means that C++20 has now received final technical approval and is done with ISO balloting, and … Continue reading C++20 approved, C++23 meetings and schedule update →

Sun, 06 Sep 2020 03:48:55 UTC

Integrating disks, day 3

Posted By Greg Lehey

Yesterday's disk installation went smoothly, so today I did the third one, moving the second one to lagoon. All I need now is to bend things to talk to the disks instead of /Photos and /photobackup on eureka. Or maybe there's more to do. Where did yesterday evening's backup of lagoon go? Usually it's finished shortly after 21:00. But this morning there was no sign of it. Went looking: === root@lagoon (/dev/pts/2) /Photos 45 -> ps wwaux | grep dump root    92902   0.1  0.1   12036   2480  -  S    21:24        2:51.59 dump: /dev/da0p1: pass 4: 7.21% done, finished in 166:15 at Sat Sep 12 08:35:36 2020 (dump) === root@lagoon (/dev/pts/2) /Photos 46 -> date Sat  5 Sep 2020 10:20:55 AEST Not only was it trying to back ...

Sat, 05 Sep 2020 02:08:41 UTC

Shopping in Ballarat

Posted By Greg Lehey

How do you kill 20 minutes waiting for the car work? To ALDI, next door to Autobarn, where we looked around for things that Yvonne would not normally buy, and found some pre-marinated chicken satay that didn't look too bad. Also a couple of other random things. Then to Woolworths to look for satay sauce. How about that, a parking place straight ahead: It wasn't until I was almost into it that I read: Yes, there was something on the wall, partially obliterated by a truck (who was probably not picking things up).

Sat, 05 Sep 2020 01:21:11 UTC

Integrating external disks, for real

Posted By Greg Lehey

As planned, partitioned and loaded Yvonne's first backup disk on dereel today (it has USB 3, so it's much faster). Also as planned, noted exactly what to do. Get it wrong and you can really shoot yourself in the foot. To be careful, I divide into 3 steps: Confirm the correct disk. On connection, the kernel reports the details, including in particular the device name da0.

Fri, 04 Sep 2020 02:20:09 UTC

lagoon backup disk

Posted By Greg Lehey

Into the office this morning to look at how the data copy to Yvonne's new photo disk was progressing: ... x ./20171214/orig/2C149984.ORF x ./20171214/orig/2C149985.ORFtar: (null) : Truncated tar archive tar: Error exit delayed from previous errors. I really must get in the habit of redirecting error output for these things.

Thu, 03 Sep 2020 19:00:00 UTC

Long Links

Posted By Tim Bray

I seem to have fallen into a monthly rhythm of posting pointers to what I think are high-quality long-form pieces. One of the best things about not having a job as such is that I have time to read these things. My assumption is that most of you don?t, but that maybe one or two will reward an investment of your limited time. In The New Yorker, Jane Hu writes The Second Act of Social-Media Activism, subtitled ?Has the Internet become better at mediating change?? People like me would like to believe this; back when the Arab Spring was first a thing, we did.

Thu, 03 Sep 2020 19:00:00 UTC

Studying Water

Posted By Tim Bray

I have the good fortune to live in a seafront city, the further fortune to travel often by boat to a cabin by ocean?s edge, and still further, to work in a boat/office, many hours a week within arm?s reach of salt water. The water exhibits mysteries and tells me things I don?t understand but would love, given another lifetime, to study. The sea?s surface is never uniform, always patterned. I assume the patterns reflect the effects of wind and tide, but not how, nor what message they?re trying to send. I?m pretty sure that the motorboats that crisscross the open water leave long-lasting traces on the surface patterns.

Thu, 03 Sep 2020 01:28:21 UTC

Another 24 TB of storage

Posted By Greg Lehey

A courier arrived today with the 3 8 TB backup disks that I ordered last week. Small, light package. We had just been talking about early disk drives (Seagate ST-506, 5 MB) on IRC, and it occurred to me that these three would correspond to 4,800 ST-506s. Oh. Not 4,800. 4,800,000! How storage has increased over the last 35 years! Idly considered the space that that many ST-506s would take up, not helped by not knowing the exact dimensions. OK, for the sake of comparison, I could go back a year or two further and consider the IBM 2311 that I had considered interfacing in the days before I could afford a real disk drive: This page gives the dimensions: 38"×40"×24".

Tue, 01 Sep 2020 17:19:16 UTC

Get Radicalized for a mere $2.99

Posted By Cory Doctorow

The ebook of my 2019 book RADICALIZED — finalist for the Canada Reads ward, LA Library book of the year, etc — is on sale today for $2.99 on all major platforms! Books There are a lot of ways to get radicalized in 2020, but this is arguably the cheapest.

Tue, 01 Sep 2020 15:33:24 UTC

Book: Become Ansible by Josh Duffney

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

My coworker Josh Duffney launches his self-published book on Ansible today! Congrats and I wish great success! Crawl, walk, run, sprint your way through learning Ansible with "Become Ansible"! Visit his website

Tue, 01 Sep 2020 08:00:00 UTC

Now Go Build - Season 2

Posted By Werner Vogels

I have always been very fortunate to meet our AWS customers where they have most impact, at their customers. Many of these AWS customers are solving really hard human problems, in ways that is extremely inspiring for any builder, like me. That became the inspiration for the Now Go Build series that chronicles my conversations with these innovators and their customers. In the first season, we had a wonderful diverse group of young businesses showing their impact on the world. From providing identity to smallholder farms in Indonesia to healthcare in Brazil and conservation in South Africa. The second season that we are launching today will again have four wonderful stories.

Tue, 01 Sep 2020 03:15:17 UTC

Ports pain

Posted By Greg Lehey

What's the purpose of porting software? I wrote the book on the subject, so I went looking for a statement. None. Clearly it was too obvious: take some sources you have received and convert them to binaries that run in your environment, typically operating system and display environment. But lately we've been in a discussion on the FreeBSD lists which makes me wonder if everybody sees that as the purpose. People wanted to remove ports because they no longer compiled under the set of options chosen for the Ports Collection, because there's no upstream maintainer, or just because they're too old.