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

Postings for December 2019:  (21 posts)
Fri, 06 Dec 2019 02:42:28 UTC

Radicalized is one of the CBC?s best books of 2019!

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Well this is pretty great! Radicalized, my book of four novellas, is one of the CBC’s picks for best Canadian fiction of 2019. It’s in pretty outstanding company, too, including Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments.

Thu, 05 Dec 2019 18:00:30 UTC

Pia Betton on Service Design

Posted By Diomidis D. Spinellis

I attended an excellent talk by Pia Betton on service design , which according to Wikipedia is the activity of planning and organizing people, infrastructure, communication and material components of a service in order to improve its quality and the interaction between the service provider and its customers. Here are my notes.

Thu, 05 Dec 2019 17:00:00 UTC

AWS's HPC leadership recognized by industry experts with HPCwire awards

Posted By Werner Vogels

During AWS re:Invent 2019, we announced a number of High Performance Computing (HPC) innovations including the Amazon EC2 M6g, C6g, and R6g instances powered by next-generation Arm-based AWS Graviton2 Processors. We also recently announced that new AMD-powered, compute-optimized EC2 instances are in the works. Today, I'm happy to share some exciting news about our HPC solutions. On November 18, AWS won six HPCwire Readers' and Editors' Choice Awards at SC19, the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis.

Thu, 05 Dec 2019 02:38:03 UTC

Revenge through spam

Posted By Greg Lehey

I can't be the only person who is receiving torrents of spam from RAY-BAN and UGG&nbspBOOTS. Time to update my ~/.procmailrc file. Why do renowned companies resort to such tactics? Why, do renowned companies resort to such tactics? While looking at things to filter on, noticed that the headers appear to have nothing to do with the companies: From: "RAY-BAN[2019]" <> From: "RAY-BAN" <> From: "RAY-BAN[2019]" <> From: "UGG BOOTS" <> And so on. Interestingly, the domain part of the email address is correct, and they're presumably expecting people to use toy MUAs that are too polite to show the originator's email address.

Thu, 05 Dec 2019 02:05:54 UTC

X problems

Posted By Greg Lehey

One of the puzzling things I had with lagoon was still outstanding when I started the upgrade: Two years ago I put in the current display card, which identifies as: [  1606.734] (II) NVIDIA(0): NVIDIA GPU GeForce GT 710 (GK208) at PCI:1:0:0 (GPU-0) That's very convenient, because on teevee I had: [    18.506] (II) NVIDIA(0): NVIDIA GPU GeForce GT 710 (GK208) at PCI:1:0:0 (GPU-0) In other words, exactly the same hardware.

Thu, 05 Dec 2019 01:57:25 UTC

/etc/crontab problems: solved?

Posted By Greg Lehey

Why isn't cron on lagoon honouring the contents of /etc/crontab? Spent some time RTFMing, without any obvious insights. And then I checked the log files: Dec  2 09:43:00 lagoon /usr/sbin/cron[900]: (*system*) RELOAD (/etc/crontab) OK, clearly it's looking at /etc/crontab, and presumably it's doing it automatically. But that was 2 days ago, and it was the only time. When does it reload? When the file is updated, in other words when the modification time stamp increases? === root@lagoon (/dev/pts/0) /etc/X11 20 -> l /etc/crontab -rw-r--r--  1 root  wheel  768 30 Jun  2018 /etc/crontab That makes sense.

Thu, 05 Dec 2019 01:52:20 UTC

More mail forwarding insights

Posted By Greg Lehey

I worked around my problems with /etc/mail/aliases on lagoon by creating a file /root/.forward that forwarded all email to And that works, and I'm getting root mail for lagoon again. And then on a hunch I did: === root@lagoon (/dev/pts/3) /usr/src 6 -> diff /destdir/root/.forward  ~/.forward === root@lagoon (/dev/pts/3) /usr/src 7 -> That's exactly what I did last time! So it's quite possible that mail on lagoon hasn't been working properly for a long time.

Thu, 05 Dec 2019 01:34:16 UTC

lagoon continued

Posted By Greg Lehey

OK, lagoon is up and running, but I had had some strange problems installing the userland after the last buildworld, probably as a result of moving file systems around. OK, update and build the latest FreeBSD 12-STABLE. It crashed on me! And in a way I know: Dec  4 09:05:05 lagoon kernel: pid 4073 (c++), jid 0, uid 0, was killed: out of swap space Dec  4 09:05:07 lagoon kernel: pid 4082 (c++), jid 0, uid 0, was killed: out of swap space Huh? I have 20 GB of swap!

Wed, 04 Dec 2019 02:14:36 UTC

YouTube reviews: fake news?

Posted By Greg Lehey

I've already taken Tony Northrup to task for his misinterpretation of ?ISO? and his claims of the demise of the Micro Four Thirds system. In the latter case, in particular, I suspected that he was paid to spread rumours, as he did two weeks ago again about Olympus closing their camera business. But it seems that he doesn't just have it in for Olympus. He also has a clip Nikon is DYING ?(but it's not too late)?, and most intriguingly, Are DSLR Cameas DEAD?!. That seemed worth watching. It seems that Ricoh (the only serious camera maker without a mirrorless offering) has claimed Ricoh Thinks Mirrorless Shooters Will Switch Back to DSLRs in 1-2 Years.

Wed, 04 Dec 2019 01:59:25 UTC

Email requirements

Posted By Greg Lehey

Email proves to be a bigger problem than I had expected. I need to take a step back and think what I really need, and then how I achieve it. There are at least three separate configurations: Firstly, the main email configuration at eureka, externally better known as This is the final destination for all mail to What do I need? Send mail to the outside world with a uniform domain name This is not the standard, which leaves the complete hostname (for example

Wed, 04 Dec 2019 01:36:16 UTC

lagoon again

Posted By Greg Lehey

Basically things are working on lagoon now. Email continues to be a problem, but I have workarounds for the time being, and I'll need to spend more time to consider all the issues. Apart from that, there are things like the nightly backups. They're run from a cron job in /etc/crontab: 0 21 * * * root /home/local/bin/cleanup But for some reason it doesn't get started, and there's no obvious reason why not. As expected, there were problems running my photo software. The strangest one was: === yvonne@lagoon (/dev/pts/1) ~/Photos/20191203 26 -> for i in `ls *.jpeg *.gif *.png 2>/dev/null`; do  echo $i;  done | by 2 /Photos/Tools/mktinysmall.php /Photos/Tools `pwd` tiny 67500;  MYDIR=`pwd`;  IMAGELINKS=`pwd`/Imagelinks;  if [ -f $IMAGELINKS ]; then  (cd ~/public_html/Photos/`basename $MYDIR`/tiny && checkimagelinks $IMAGELINKS tiny);  fi sh: /Photos/Tools/mktinysmall.php: not found ...

Tue, 03 Dec 2019 19:24:04 UTC

DevOpsDays NYC 2020 Call For Participation!

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

DevOpsdays NYC is happening March 3-4, 2020. The Call For Participation (CFP) is now open! If you have any ideas that you want to share with the local community please submit your talks using the link below:

Tue, 03 Dec 2019 00:19:17 UTC

Understanding postfix

Posted By Greg Lehey

So lagoon is up and running, and so far Yvonne hasn't found anything wrong. But there's still the mail configuration to worry about, and it occurs to me that I haven't really ever understood postfix. That's why I still use a configuration that I cobbled together 18 years ago, and which I have been hacking ever since. Today I had two main problems. Firstly, I don't really understand postfix's configuration file. I've told it to use a virtual map for delivery outside the local system: # $Id: diary-dec2019.php,v 1.2 2019/12/03 01:51:17 grog Exp $ # While they're blocking 25 * postmap then converts this to a database format.

Mon, 02 Dec 2019 23:50:42 UTC

Party Discipline, a Walkaway story (Part 1)

Posted By Cory Doctorow

In my latest podcast (MP3), I’ve started a serial reading of my novella Party Discipline, which I wrote while on a 35-city, 45-day tour for my novel Walkaway in 2017; Party Discipline is a story set in the world of Walkaway, about two high-school seniors who conspire to throw a “Communist Party” at a sheet... more

Mon, 02 Dec 2019 20:00:00 UTC

Strongly Typed Events

Posted By Tim Bray

Back in 2016, in Message Processing Styles, I was sort of gloomy and negative about the notion of automated mapping between messages on the wire and strongly-typed programming data structures. Since we just launched a Schema Registry, and it?s got my fingerprints on it, I guess I must have changed my mind. Eventing lessons I?ve been mixed up in EventBridge, formerly known as CloudWatch Events, since it was scratchings on a whiteboard. It has a huge number of customers, including but not limited to the hundreds of thousands that run Lambda functions, and the volume of events per second flowing through the main buses are keeping a sizeable engineering team busy.

Mon, 02 Dec 2019 00:53:13 UTC

Rusty Wrench again

Posted By Greg Lehey

Mail from Linux Australia today, soliciting nominations for next year's ?Rusty Wrench Award?: The Rusty Wrench Award is Australia's highest honour for community contributions to the Open Source movement in the country. It was eponymously named after luminary Rusty Russell, one of Australia's most prominent contributors and community members, founder of (as CALU, in 1999), and the inaugural recipient of the award. And how about that, I was there at the first presentation, nearly 15 years ago at the conference dinner for

Mon, 02 Dec 2019 00:34:04 UTC

Google: don't obfuscate

Posted By Greg Lehey

Juha Kupiainen came up with some interesting information today: Google Slammed Over Chrome Change That Strips 'www' From Domain URLs . But it seems that Google doesn't care: When asked about this change in a long discussion thread on a mailing list, a Google staffer wrote: "www is now considered a 'trivial' subdomain, and hiding trivial subdomains can be disabled in flags (will also disable hiding the URL scheme)..." They may consider that to be the case.

Sun, 01 Dec 2019 23:41:48 UTC

Talking with the Left Field podcast about Sidewalk Labs?s plan to build a surveilling ?smart city? in Toronto

Posted By Cory Doctorow

We’ve been closely following the plan by Google sister company Sidewalk Labs to build a surveilling “smart city” in Toronto; last week, I sat down with the Out of Left Field podcast (MP3) to discuss what’s going on with Sidewalk Labs, how it fits into the story of Big Tech, and what the alternatives might... more

Sun, 01 Dec 2019 23:29:29 UTC

Recovering lagoon, day 2

Posted By Greg Lehey

On with the recovery of lagoon today. In principle, it's simple. Change /boot/loader.conf on the first bootable partition: === root@lagoon (/dev/pts/3) /usr/src 36 -> rcsdiff -wu /destdir/boot/loader.conf --- /destdir/boot/loader.conf   2017/10/04 22:51:33     1.1 +++ /destdir/boot/loader.conf   2019/12/01 01:06:44 @@ -1,5 +1,5 @@ -currdev=disk0p1 -rootdev=disk0p1 +currdev=disk0p4 +rootdev=disk0p4 Copy or merge the important files in /etc/ to the new root partition, and we're away. Oh. The loader can't find the root partition. Somehow I had messed up my file systems, and the new /etc/fstab still reflected the old Vultr system: # Device        Mountpoint      FStype  Options Dump    Pass# /dev/ufs/rootfs /               ufs     rw      1       1 ...

Sun, 01 Dec 2019 03:07:41 UTC

Garage sale. Where?

Posted By Greg Lehey

Yvonne back from Ballarat with the news that there was a 5 town garage sale again, like they had last year. OK, details please. It's on the DEREEL OUTPOST Facebook group. OK, take a look: That's not exactly what I expected. Oh, says Yvonne, the addresses are on the ?rokewood, dereel, cape clear, cressy, skipton district buy swap and sell? list. OK, take a look. Members only. Apply for membership, but of course nothing happened. And Yvonne was out somewhere, so she couldn't help.

Sun, 01 Dec 2019 02:31:30 UTC

Recovering lagoon

Posted By Greg Lehey

What's the easiest and least disruptive way to recover the mess I made of lagoon? By the time I woke up this morning, the answer was clear: I need a Vulture. Off to create a new, small and temporary virtual machine, this time in Sydney, for no particular reason. OK, Create a new vulture, using FreeBSD 12.1, a relatively new release. The IP address brought back memories: