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

Postings for June 2018:  (32 posts)
Fri, 22 Jun 2018 23:34:41 UTC

I?m a maker, baby

Posted By Benjamin Mako Hill

  What does the “maker movement” think of the song “Maker” by Fink? Is it an accidental anthem or just unfortunate evidence of the semantic ambiguity around an overloaded term?

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 19:00:00 UTC

SotD: What a Wonderful World

Posted By Tim Bray

That?s all, folks. Welcome to the last Song of the Day. I knew pretty early what I wanted it to be, because every extended endeavor should endeavor to end on a high note. And What a Wonderful World fits, albeit indirectly, into the exit theme, worship and reverence. It is of course, a wonderful world, from my point of view. After all, I?m its apex predator, the product of an evolutionary process that?s extended over most of our fair planet?s lifetime. In effect, I?m specifically the organism that is most well-suited to this particular world. Put another way, this world made us, and we should show reverence towards our Creator.

Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:00:00 UTC

A one size fits all database doesn't fit anyone

Posted By Werner Vogels

A common question that I get is why do we offer so many database products? The answer for me is simple: Developers want their applications to be well architected and scale effectively. To do this, they need to be able to use multiple databases and data models within the same application. Seldom can one database fit the needs of multiple distinct use cases. The days of the one-size-fits-all monolithic database are behind us, and developers are now building highly distributed applications using a multitude of purpose-built databases. Developers are doing what they do best: breaking complex applications into smaller pieces and then picking the best tool to solve each problem.

Wed, 20 Jun 2018 19:00:00 UTC

SotD: It?ll Shine When It Shines

Posted By Tim Bray

At the end of the day, the pursuit of the divine is supposed to offer up wisdom and, practically speaking, teach you how to live life better. But for me, the sacred scriptures are songs; not that I listen to them looking for life lessons, but sometimes they?re there anyway. It?ll Shine When It Shines is by the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, and it?s up-front about its message; one that I feel good about passing along. Let?s hand the mike over the Daredevils for a moment: Seems like everyone is out looking for the sun singing rain and pain on he who hesitates.

Wed, 20 Jun 2018 11:18:31 UTC

2017 Turing Award: Dave Patterson & John Hennessy

Posted By James Hamilton

Earlier this year, Berkeley?s Dave Patterson and Stanford?s John Hennessy won the 2017 Turing Award, the premier award in Computing. From Pioneers of Computer Architecture Receive ACM A.M. Turing Award: NEW YORK, NY, March 21, 2018 ? ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, today named John L. Hennessy, former President of Stanford University, and David A. Patterson, retired Professor...

Tue, 19 Jun 2018 19:00:00 UTC

SotD: The Return

Posted By Tim Bray

I introduced Ferron to the Song of the Day a couple weeks back with Bellybowl, and I?d like to use her beautiful The Return in this closing focused-on-the-divine sequence, to help talk about my own experience of worship. But first, the song. The melody sways back and forth like the willow tree in the words, and the voice ambles through those words, pausing in unlikely places as the tree bends. And those lyrics: They mostly don?t parse into coherent sentences but Ferron knows what she?s doing and there?s no doubt where she?s aiming. Also, the harmonies are gorgeous and the arrangement is approximately perfect.

Tue, 19 Jun 2018 18:03:29 UTC

How markets coopted free software?s most powerful weapon (LibrePlanet 2018 Keynote)

Posted By Benjamin Mako Hill

Several months ago, I gave the closing keynote address at LibrePlanet 2018. The talk was about the thing that scares me most about the future of free culture, free software, and peer production. A video of the talk is online on Youtube and available as WebM video file (both links should skip the first 3m 19s … Continue reading "How markets coopted free software’s most powerful weapon (LibrePlanet 2018 Keynote)"

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 22:40:54 UTC

Honey Buckets

Posted By Benjamin Mako Hill

When I was growing up in Washington state, a company called Honey Bucket held a dominant position in the local portable toilet market. Their toilets are still a common sight in the American West. They were so widespread when I was a child that I didn’t know that “Honey Bucket” was the name of a … Continue reading "Honey Buckets"

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 19:00:00 UTC

SotD: Graceland

Posted By Tim Bray

In case it wasn?t obvious from yesterday?s piece, Graceland???the real one I mean, Elvis? mansion in Memphis???is a place of worship. The visitors are serene, experiencing belief not faith; a lot of them saw Elvis on TV or even in the flesh. They know that, as Paul Simon sings, in his lovely, lovely song also called Graceland, that there?s reason to believe that they?ll all be received there. And also just the name ?Graceland? is the prettiest word imaginable. ?Poor boys and pilgrims? Paul sings, but getting into the mansion is kind of expensive so I guess it?s just pilgrims.

Sun, 17 Jun 2018 19:00:00 UTC

SotD: So High

Posted By Tim Bray

More music on the subject of God (and Heaven too); a traditional spiritual arranged by Elvis Presley for his 1967 Gospel album How Great Thou Art, which was a triple-platinum hit and won the 1967 Grammy for Best Sacred Performance. So High is a fine, rousing tune with a good arrangement, and just terrific singing. Elvis never won a Grammy for pop music, but more than one for Gospel. I have a story to tell, possibly relevant. In about 1990, I had a business trip to Nashville, so I took my then-wife along and we did Tennessee: the Opry, Jack Daniels, Beale Street, Sun Studios, and of course Graceland (visit that Web site).

Sat, 16 Jun 2018 19:00:00 UTC

SotD: O vis aeternitatis

Posted By Tim Bray

Ladies, gentlemen, and others, welcome to the 2018 Song of the Day closing sequence. This has been a lot of work and I thought I should try to end it with more than just a set of random tunes, so I picked a theme: Worship, the sacred, and the divine. To start, from Hildegard von Bingen, the oldest song to appear, first sung sometime in the years around 1150: O vis aeternitatis means ?The Power of Eternity?. Hildegard was a remarkable person; reading her Wikipedia entry makes me want to find out more. Normally, upon discovering an interesting ancient I?d go looking for their own writings in translation.

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 21:00:00 UTC

Google has changed GSuite's SPF records

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

(DNSControl unrolls your SPF records safely and automatically. Sure, you can do it manually, but at the end of this article I'll show you how to automate it so you can 'set it and forget it'.) Google has changed the SPF records for GSuite. You don't have to make any changes since you still do and the magic of SPF takes care of things for you. However, if you unroll your SPF records to work around the 10-lookup limit, you need to take a look at what you've done and re-do it based on the new SPF records.

Fri, 15 Jun 2018 19:00:00 UTC

SotD: Live at Leeds

Posted By Tim Bray

I love rock music, and I love live albums, and this might be the best live rock&roll recording ever. I?m not claiming the whole album?s a Song of the Day (and anyhow, there?s been a baffling parade of re-issues and remasters and so on). But I am going to double up and recommend two songs: I Can?t Explain and the My Generation Medley. The first because it?s a pure pop gem, the second, even though it?s way long, because inhabits the joyful heart of the music I love. Live At Leeds was recorded on Valentine?s Day in 1970; it?s messy, chaotic, and full of brilliant moments.

Thu, 14 Jun 2018 19:00:00 UTC

SotD: Subcode

Posted By Tim Bray

By appearing twice in this series Jah Wobble joins luminaries like Miles Davis and J.S. Bach. Im not going to claim that he looms as large on the musical landscape; just that he writes and plays nice tunes featuring divinely great bass lines. And, well, I just cant say no to that. Subcode is a slithery, icy-cool river of funk. This is off Radioaxiom: A Dub Transmission which pairs Mr Wobble with Bill Laswell, famous American bassist/producer/impresario. Two basses are better than one! But it leads to a practical problem. If you want to hear this the way its meant to sound, your subwoofer has to emulate an Imperial Battle Cruiser exploding a medium-sized planet.

Wed, 13 Jun 2018 19:00:00 UTC

SotD: One More Cup of Coffee

Posted By Tim Bray

This is my favorite Bob Dylan song, by a mile. Maybe its Scarlet Riveras violin that grabs me. Maybe its Emmylou Harris harmonies. Maybe its the fearsome chord hook when he sings To the valley below. Its just great. In fact, Ive liked it so long that I wrote a whole blog piece on it twelve years ago. In the unlikely event you want words by Bray on Dylan, there are plenty there. Lets skip ahead straight to the links. This is part of the Song of the Day series (background). Links Spotify playlist. This tune on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify.

Tue, 12 Jun 2018 19:00:00 UTC

SotD: Im Not Afraid

Posted By Tim Bray

If this series brings one or two of you one or two really hot rock-n-roll tunes you never know existed, then I can go home happy. Maybe this is one: Im Not Afraid is by Fleming and John, a husband-and-wife tune who have never been big stars or anything like that, but should go down in history for this song. Its fast, its electric, its melodic, and the words run through your head in a fun way. Also, its an important question: What are you afraid of, and not afraid of? The answer, in this case, is heart-warming, but youll have to listen to the tune to hear it.

Mon, 11 Jun 2018 19:00:00 UTC

SotD: Steady As She Goes

Posted By Tim Bray

This is off Broken Boy Soldiers by the The Raconteurs, better known as Back when Jack White did a couple of records with Brendan Benson. Steady, As She Goes (why that comma?) was the big single on that record, co-written by White & Benson, and is just an outstanding pop tune, although Jack has his own ideas about where to take it. I took this myself, in 2008. The Raconteurs were maybe my favorite of the Jack White vehicles over the years, mostly because Benson didnt seem intimidated, clearly saw himself as co-frontman, able to play a guitar break or sing lead on a chorus when he felt like.

Mon, 11 Jun 2018 14:00:38 UTC

Podcast: Petard, Part 04 ? CONCLUSION

Posted By Cory Doctorow

Here’s the fourth and final part of my reading (MP3) of Petard (part one, part two, part three), a story from MIT Tech Review’s Twelve Tomorrows, edited by Bruce Sterling; a story inspired by, and dedicated to, Aaron Swartz — about elves, Net Neutrality, dorms and the collective action problem. MP3

Sun, 10 Jun 2018 19:00:00 UTC

SotD: Bellybowl

Posted By Tim Bray

At one point in my life, I found myself married to a lesbian. Its a long story, not terribly happy. This arrangement had important disadvantages, but a pretty big upside: I discovered womens music. Its not actually a genre, its just that the performers are mostly lesbian and the audiences are mostly, women (although men were perfectly welcome; I have yet to encounter any class of musician who objected to any class of person enjoying their music, and (especially) paying for it. If youre wondering what kind of music Im talking about, listen to Bellybowl by Ferron, and youll know; mostly, excellent.

Sat, 09 Jun 2018 19:00:00 UTC

SotD: Crazy Fingers

Posted By Tim Bray

Im sad that I never saw the Grateful Dead live; theyve left marks on the collective musical consciousness that will be there as long as such a thing exists. But Blues For Allah is my favorite of their studio recordings, and Crazy Fingers by a wide margin the best song there. Thats a photo of my own personal copy of the record. Man, thats some really old cardboard and vinyl. Now, Im prejudiced, Crazy Fingers provided background for one or two very special moments in my youth, not the kind of thing I can share, but theres a warm glow and a smile inside every time I hear that tune.

Fri, 08 Jun 2018 19:00:00 UTC

SotD: High

Posted By Tim Bray

High by Sir Sly (cool name) will be the last 2018 Song Of The Day in the current-hit category. The usual thing: I heard it on the car radio and it sounded good and then kept sounding good even on heavy rotation. While theres a serious problem with this work, its still a masterful piece of songwriting. Did I say there was a problem? Well, yeah& as the title might suggest, its totally about getting all whacked out on drugs, and Im thinking not just nice wholesome herb either. But I kind of suspect that my readership here is lacking in impressionable young folk who will be driven to a life of dissolution by a single pop song, and Im pretty sure that a few of you are in the Been There Done That camp, and might actually be amused.

Thu, 07 Jun 2018 19:00:00 UTC

SotD: Little Fugue by Stokowski

Posted By Tim Bray

What happened was, in the time of J.S. Bach there were no big orchestras, so most of his music emphasizes that boring stuff like inner detail and emotional tension and shifting soundscapes. When he wanted to write Big Loud Music, he wrote organ music. Which left modern orchestra conductors who really liked Bach with not much to play. So Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977) solved that problem by arranging lots of Bach compositions  mostly organ pieces  for big modern orchestras. This horrified a lot of Bach purists, but the arrangements are mostly pretty great, and that Fugue, properly called BWV 578, is a fine example.

Wed, 06 Jun 2018 19:00:00 UTC

SotD: Somnambule

Posted By Tim Bray

Id ever heard of CSur de pirate until she popped up on my radio a few weeks ago. Shes from Québéc and I think the name best translates as Pirates Heart, but shes bilingual and at one point referred to herself as Her Pirate Heart, which is cool too. Anyhow, the singing is in French and is very beautiful, and also an oasis of peace in among all the loud male music Ive been hosting here recently. I dont know much more about this piratic performer than what you can read on her Web site or on Wikipedia. The songs are soft, sparsely arranged, and if I had to choose one adjective to describe them itd be feminine.

Tue, 05 Jun 2018 19:00:00 UTC

SotD: Badlands

Posted By Tim Bray

I was never that huge a Springsteen fan, right through Born to Run; I think I was just too much of a head-banger at the time. But when Darkness on the Edge of Town came out I snapped it right up and went and saw the tour in Toronto. A lot of his songs over the years just go right by me. But Darkness is a hell of a collection of songs, and that tour& OMG. Theres a lot of back-story here; Springsteen had been locked out of recording for three years by a legal fight with his ex-manager, and came out with a real chip on his shoulder.

Mon, 04 Jun 2018 19:00:00 UTC

SotD: Heart To Hang Onto

Posted By Tim Bray

Heart To Hang Onto is a song by Pete Townshend and Ronnie Lane on their 1977 album Rough Mix. This piece is really a recommendation for the whole album, which is an outstanding collection of beautiful songs beautifully performed; its been played as often as anything in my collection, over the years. Heart To Hang Onto is one of Pete Townshends finest compositions, which is a strong statement. The album was maybe Townshends first-ever non-Who outing. He and Ronnie didnt co-write any of the songs; each sings their own, with the other accompanying, along with a gaggle of guest stars including John Entwistle, Charlie Watts, and Eric Clapton.

Mon, 04 Jun 2018 01:49:11 UTC

More hugin problem investigation

Posted By Greg Lehey

Spent much of the day chasing down my panorama stitching problems. I had already noted that under some circumstances, I got no control points at all between adjacent images. But what was causing that? I tried: Different image formats (JPEG instead of TIFF). No change. Different processing (enfuse instead of Photomatix PRO). No obvious change. Change control point detector. No obvious improvement. Hugin version? Installed the latest version (a good idea in any case).

Mon, 04 Jun 2018 01:31:24 UTC

Scam mail gets more sophisticated

Posted By Greg Lehey

Received in the mail today: I bought something from FarmVille games? No way. But a second look makes things clear: Costumer"? Not just misspelt: it should be my name, but they don't know that. And of course if you have a sensible mail system you can look at the envelope details: From exp-[email protected]  Sun Jun  3 03:40:08 2018 Return-Path: <exp-[email protected]> Received: from ( [])         by (Postfix) with ESMTP id 142351B72837         for <[email protected]>; Sat,  2 Jun 2018 17:37:50 +0000 (UTC) Received: from apache by with local (Exim 4.88)         (envelope-from <exp-[email protected]>)         id ...

Sun, 03 Jun 2018 19:00:00 UTC

SotD: Little Wing

Posted By Tim Bray

Yesterday I quoted DvoYák saying (in 1893) I am convinced that the future music of this country must be founded on what are called Negro melodies. These can be the foundation of a serious and original school of composition, to be developed in the United States. These beautiful and varied themes are the product of the soil. They are the folk songs of America and your composers must turn to them. Somehow he failed to predict that Americas composers would be what they called Negros back then. I want to recommend one piece by such a composer: Little Wing, by Jimi Hendrix.

Sun, 03 Jun 2018 02:30:29 UTC

More house photo pain

Posted By Greg Lehey

Saturday is house photo day. Once again today I had pain with the photos; somehow it seems to be getting more complicated all the time. Spent some time investigating different issues, without coming to any clear conclusion. Last week I had suspected that the problem was related to my changes in processing, in particular using TIFF and Photomatix PRO, but today I got the same results with the old method. I didn't get beyond this panorama (here from last week): This is taken with 4 or 5 images.

Sat, 02 Jun 2018 19:00:00 UTC

SotD: DvoYák Symphony No. 9

Posted By Tim Bray

On the title page of his 9th Symphony manuscript, Antonín DvoYák wrote Z Nového svta From the new world; its thus become popularly known as the New World Symphony. And by popularly I mean really, right up there among the most-played classical works. I can pretty well guarantee that almost everyone will have heard, and remember, the big swooshy melody at the front of the 2nd movement. The title is literally correct; it was composed in 1893 while DvoYák had a lucrative gig in New York as Director of the National Conservatory of Music of America. He was fascinated by Afro-American and Native American music; I quote: I am convinced that the future music of this country must be founded on what are called Negro melodies.

Fri, 01 Jun 2018 19:49:01 UTC

I'm hiring SREs/sysadmins and more!

Posted By Tom Limoncelli

My team at Stack Overflow has a number of open positions on the team that I manage: Windows-focused SRE, New York City or Northern NJ: If you love PowerShell, you'll love this position! If your background is more sysadmin than SRE, we're willing to train. Linux SRE, Denver: This will be particularly exciting because we're about to make some big technology changes and it will be a great opportunity to learn and grow with the company. We have a number of other openings around the company: Junior Technology Concierge (IT Help Desk): New York City Engineering Manager: Remote (US East Coast Time Zone) VP of Engineering: New York City.

Fri, 01 Jun 2018 19:00:00 UTC

SotD: Any Time

Posted By Tim Bray

This was written in 1921 by Herbert Happy Lawson and was a country hit for others including Patsy Cline, but todays song is a 2001 performance by Leon Redbone. Its an absolutely fabulous piece of singing and a guaranteed four minutes and two seconds worth of smiles. Very little is known about this artist, including whether Leon Redbone is his real name, or where he actually comes from; theories include Cyprus and Philadelphia. His entire professional career has been out of Toronto, and not that far out either; having survived an airplane crash, he travels only on vehicles with wheels. He plays music of bygone days; this 1921 composition is toward the later end of his repertoire.