- Think about a Shakespearean play. Imagine the accent of the performers. Here's the best current guess at what the original pronunciation might have been: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FF5K8VlcRI#t=41m40s (The whole thing is interesting but it's also an hour and a half long so...)
What do you do when a foreign power is in a position to take over one of your states? Muck up some dollars: http://www.futilitycloset.com/2015/08/21/hawaii-overprint-notes/
- Ever wonder what those diamonds on trucks mean? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NFPA_704
- With that context: https://i.imgur.com/EmmRHo3.png
- "Three sheets to the wind" doesn't quite mean what you think it does: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheet_%28sailing%29#Three_sheets_to_the_wind
- SMBC is great: http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?id=3831
- Also the author's brother is now the cto of reddit.
- I won't pretend that I'm following this but there's quite a lot of drama around Bitcoin lately. https://medium.com/@octskyward/why-is-bitcoin-forking-d647312d22c1 and https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10066118
- Who saved the most lives in history? http://scienceheroes.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=258&Itemid=27
- Ever wonder what's under the water around here? http://nymag.com/news/features/56609/
- The chinese symbol for poop is 屎 which is made up of 尸 meaning corpse and 米 meaning rice
- Ramez Naam (author of Nexus which I recommend) has been writing a good bit about solar energy: http://rameznaam.com/2015/08/10/how-cheap-can-solar-get-very-cheap-indeed/
Well this week's weird is extra long. This is what happens when I spend all week avoiding hanging the pot rack.
- I don't really have anything reasonable to say about Tianjin. Reading about it led me to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vince_Coleman_%28train_dispatcher%29 which is worth sharing I think.
I guess Google is now Alphabet? Weird.
- HN Comments: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10037157
- Mefi comments: https://www.metafilter.com/151985/We-go-by-G-now
- Tyler Cowen presents some interesting links about conglomerates: http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2015/08/alphabet-and-google.html
- Matt Levine: http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-08-11/abc-xyz-and-the-rmb
- Vox: http://www.vox.com/2015/8/11/9130055/google-alphabet-big-deal
In a previous Weird I mentioned Calico, using BGP to do warehouse-scale datacenter networking. Well, if that's the Layer 3 model, here's the layer-1 alternative: Plexxi
- I think this is the best technical intro on their page: http://www.plexxi.com/2013/09/plexxi-paths-and-topologies-part-1-let-there-be-light/
- The tl;dr is you plug these switches into each other with a fiber ring and they have a photonic engine that lets them move waves from being terminated on one switch vs another. Because they can dwdm on a single strand the inter-switch bandwidth is insane and because the photonics engine is plugged into the switching engine it can reassign those lambdas wherever the big-ring-of-switches needs tham at super low latency. Instead of acting at a TCP-level to move load around they do it at the switch-interconnect layer. Seems clever though I wonder if latency of reorouting is that important at scale vs determining what to reroute in the first place.
Holy hell that's a big hard drive: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/08/samsung-unveils-2-5-inch-16tb-ssd-the-worlds-largest-hard-drive/ (I'll take 5)
Infosec is the funnest part of tech.
- Dear Oracle, never change: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/08/11/oracle_anti_security_research_rant/ (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10040428 and https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10039202 )
- Add UEFI to the list of "low level systems that are super vulnerable" alongside IPMI: https://trmm.net/Thunderstrike2_details
- Dear Lenovo, Please stop (existing). Sincerely, everyone: http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/08/lenovo-used-windows-anti-theft-feature-to-install-persistent-crapware/
Matt Levine is on fire this week:
- Web Design: The First 100 Years: http://idlewords.com/talks/web_design_first_100_years.htm
- I've mentioned Amazon's robots before, here's a slightly newer video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tg2lcTdloIQ Apparently the big lifting robot at 1:34 is just loading pallets from trucks onto Kivas to presumably be re-packed onto the shelves you see being picked-from.
- The US offered to buy Grenland after WWII apparently: http://www.gwern.net/Greenland
- Yo dawg, I heard you liked cranes: http://giant.gfycat.com/EasyArcticAmericangoldfinch.gif
- The Missile knows where it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZe5J8SVCYQ
- This Fantastic Four movie is really lighting up my schadenfreude gland: http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2015/08/fantastic-four-marvel-fox-review/400850/
- How good are you at spotting someone who's drowning? http://spotthedrowningchild.com/ (good comments at https://www.metafilter.com/151719/Spot-the-Drowning-Child )
- Sooo, AIM + paypal? https://a16z.com/2015/08/06/wechat-china-mobile-first/
Today's delayed weekly weird brought to you by the letters 'H' and 'angover'
Fortunately there's plenty of Schadenfreude to make me feel better. Mark Karples of MtGox fame was arrested in Japan for being a giant idiot. Seriously, do you know how hard you have to try to give php programmers a bad name?
- HN Comments on the arrest: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9985664
- A reddit thread of an early MtGox employee answering questions: https://www.reddit.com/r/Bitcoin/comments/3fe92x/im_ashley_barr_aka_adam_turner_the_first_mtgox/
- and HN comments on that thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9988090
Also firefox has been uploading your .bash_profile and .ssh keys to the Ukraine for a while now. No biggie. https://blog.mozilla.org/security/2015/08/06/firefox-exploit-found-in-the-wild/
- I generally steer clear of politics in general but this is too juicy to pass up: http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2015/08/donald-trump-and-bill-clinton-collide-best-conspiracy-story-ever
THE MOON IS AWESOME!
- Lagrange points are awesome: https://www.nasa.gov/sites/default/files/thumbnails/image/dscovrepicmoontransitfull.gif (also ZZ Top's favorite gravitational phenomenon)
- Apollo 11 averaged about 7 inches to the gallon: http://www.vox.com/2015/8/2/9086791/buzz-aldrin-apollo-11-document
Do you struggle to explain IaaS, PaaS, WhateveraaS to people? Try the pizza analogy: http://t.co/vWJQAAyTRM
- Well, I think we all know who's piloting this: http://gfycat.com/SnappyYellowGraywolf
- Sort of nsfw: http://interretialia.tumblr.com/post/27494054838/carpe-natibus-has-been-corrected-to-carpe-natem
- English is so dumb: https://i.imgur.com/qTaxHpI.jpg
- Today's example of why checking credentials is important: http://www.thelocal.de/20140625/fake-engineer-di-mauro-designed-berlin-airport-fire-system (From a long Bloomberg article about the airport that's a little long on Greece analogies but entertaining: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2015-07-23/how-berlin-s-futuristic-airport-became-a-6-billion-embarrassment )
- A great webcomic: http://www.viruscomix.com/page588.html (lots of reading. I vaguely recall other comics on that site not being entirely sfw but I didn't actually check. This page is entirely fine)
- Cat tax: https://i.imgur.com/9PKQ7Rt.jpg
- It has come to my attention that some of you are not acquainted with Peter Watts. Hopefully this will convince you of your tragic error http://www.rifters.com/crawl/?p=6116 Now go read all his fiction, much of which is freely downloadable
Oh dear, you've lost your remotely piloted vehicle? Don't worry, you can get it back with:
Anyone have $30k I can borrow? https://bokeh.digitalrev.com/article/canon-camera-can-film-at-iso-4-million
- Various comments suggest this is mildly oversold as "the first" but still newsworthy: http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/semiconductors/devices/the-first-white-laser
- Oh, you thought using a typewriter would protect you from being bugged? Ha. https://www.nsa.gov/public_info/_files/cryptologic_histories/learning_from_the_enemy.pdf
- Ever wonder why NYC is called 'Gotham' ? WONDER NO MORE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wise_Men_of_Gotham
- Here's a tank putting out an oil fire with jet engines: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsTe6CMQQgQ
- I...have no words: https://i.imgur.com/uSgz83b.jpg
- Go Soyez, it's your birthday (ok, no it's not but still): http://i.imgur.com/4v9nLC2.gifv (Why you ask is it doing this? Towers of hanoi: http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2013/07/nasa-planning-module-relocations-future-vehicles/ )
"Rules" on wikipedia:
The NYC Subway system is old. Warning, includes a 9-minute video about train signaling (i.e. train porn): http://secondavenuesagas.com/2015/07/22/the-long-tail-of-the-subways-history-of-deferred-maintenance/
- Jupiter Rising: Google's network infrastructure: http://conferences.sigcomm.org/sigcomm/2015/pdf/papers/p183.pdf
Some good case studies on scaling websites:
- LinkedIn: http://engineering.linkedin.com/architecture/brief-history-scaling-linkedin
- "Algolia" which I'd never heard of but is interesting (parts 1 and 2 are ok, this is the best part): http://highscalability.com/blog/2015/7/27/algolias-fury-road-to-a-worldwide-api-part-3.html
- Note the reference to multiple ASes and read about BGP: https://blog.opendns.com/2015/06/18/bgp-and-the-system-of-trust-that-runs-the-internet-pt-1/ and https://blog.opendns.com/2015/06/25/bgp-and-the-system-of-trust-that-runs-the-internet-pt-2/
- CircleCI demonstrates how hard it is to get right: http://blog.mihasya.com/2015/07/19/thoughts-evoked-by-circleci-outage.html
Did you remember to test everything? (Spoiler: no) http://blogs.msdn.com/b/micahel/archive/2004/07/07/did-i-remember-to.aspx (via http://blog.codinghorror.com/doing-terrible-things-to-your-code/ )
- "Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier, or not having been at sea." - Johnson.
- Cat tax: https://i.imgur.com/mPIbHwm.jpg
- I'm sure the Russian Army has thought this through thoroughly and we have nothing to worry about: http://rbth.com/defence/2014/07/02/new_combat_robot_is_russian_armys_very_own_deadly_wall-e_37871.html
- Wifi drone scoffs at your puny air gap: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/07/hacking-team-built-drone-based-wi-fi-hacking-hardware/
- Fire drone scoffs at your puny firefighters: http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/18/us/california-freeway-fire/index.html
- I'm digging this whole de-structuring of compute, I can't wait to be able to upgrade my stuff anime-style by just plugging in more stuff: http://anandtech.com/show/9436/quick-note-intel-knights-landing-xeon-phi-omnipath-100-isc-2015
- Paging N. Stephenson, N. Stephenson please pick up a white courtesy phone: http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/navy-ships/a15047/washington-state-aircraft-carrier-bridge/
- Oh Theo, never change: http://marc.info/?l=openbsd-tech&m=143725996614627&w=2
China is, well, China:
- Censors gonna cense, cense, cense: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/jul/22/taylor-swift-1989-china-clothing-line-tiananmen-square
- of course we don't know wtf we're talking about: http://www.vox.com/2015/7/22/9017411/taylor-swift-china-tiananmen-square
- No comment: http://devopsreactions.tumblr.com/post/124823725833/systemd-evolving
- Oh PHP, never change: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9941364
- If it ain't broke... http://hackaday.com/2015/07/23/this-little-amiga-still-runs-school-districts-hvac/
- SpaceX lost a Falcon 9 due to a goddamn strut: https://www.reddit.com/r/spacex/comments/3dyvta/rspacex_crs7_failure_investigation_teleconference/ (As an aside, can you /imagine/ the angry phone call some supplier got from Elon?)
- Shoot holes in the ground with hypervelocity bullets: http://spectrum.ieee.org/energywise/energy/renewables/digging-for-geothermal-energy-with-hypersonic-projectiles
- Maybe I should switch from Nikola to this (because Ocaml): https://zoggy.github.io/stog/
- Cat tax: http://laughterkey.com/post/124081769052/gifak-net-video-launch-an-endless-supply-of
- So much worse than sirens on radio ads: http://www.marketingmagazine.co.uk/article/1355388/clever-toyota-ad-hijacks-siri-switch-off-iphones-driving
- I feel like if you go to enough meetings to need a weakly-godlike AI to help you out you might have bigger problems: http://www.businessinsider.com/amy-ingram-personal-assistant-2015-7
- Somehow this got omitted from a previous week but it's totally awesome: http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/consumer-electronics/audiovideo/femtosecond-lasers-create-3d-midair-plasma-displays-you-can-touch
- Never underestimate the power of static content: http://blog.stackexchange.com/2015/07/how-we-built-our-blog/
- Java: http://epickrram.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/improving-journalling-latency.html
- I haven't read in detail but sounds neat: http://sydney.edu.au/news/84.html?newsstoryid=15128
- Look, if your whole lede is that the greenhouses are beautiful, should you not maybe include pictures? http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2015/06/30/the-worlds-most-beautiful-greenhouses-are-underwater-and-growing-strawberries/
- Frankly, I think this is all nonsense, this thing has all the opsec sophistication of a bad Bond film: http://arstechnica.com/security/2015/07/a-200-privacy-device-has-been-killed-and-no-one-knows-why/ It's probably not hard to build one anyway: http://hackaday.com/2015/07/14/how-to-build-a-proxyham-despite-a-cancelled-defcon-talk/
- "Hit a 1200-kilometer target that's five billion kilometers away? No problem. Which side do you want us to get?"
I've always wanted a monitoring system that did this: http://techblog.netflix.com/2015/07/tracking-down-villains-outlier.html and https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9886817
- For you know who (though he's certainly already read it and found six bugs): http://www.brendangregg.com/blog/2015-07-08/choosing-a-linux-tracer.html
- I'VE MADE A TERRIBLE MISTAKE http://www.wsj.com/article_email/google-takes-stricter-approach-to-costs-1436827885-lMyQjAxMTE1NzEzNDQxNjQwWj
- IBM is happy to brag about their 7nm process: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/07/ibm-unveils-industrys-first-7nm-chip-moving-beyond-silicon/
- But of course actually /shipping/ is quite different: http://www.techspot.com/news/61103-intel-10nm-cannonlake-delayed-replaced-14nm-kaby-lake.html
- When androids dream of not stopping in bat country: http://www.twitch.tv/317070
- "Yes, some of that snow is still here. No, it has not all melted yet. Yes, it is July." http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/07/us/remnant-of-bostons-brutal-winter-threatens-to-outlast-summer.html
- From the glasnot-what-glasnost department: http://theaviationist.com/2015/07/07/f-22-and-f-15-intercepted-off-alaska/
- "Cjdns implements an encrypted IPv6 network using public-key cryptography for address allocation and a distributed hash table for routing." https://github.com/cjdelisle/cjdns
- We don't need no stinking operating system: https://github.com/rumpkernel/wiki/wiki/Tutorial%3A-Serve-a-static-website-as-a-Unikernel
- The CBOT and NYMEX pits closed this week. If you need a fix of open outcry and Trading Places isn't doing it for you there's a documentary called FLOORED that's up in its entirety on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--H8SY334Zw
- Viking GPS: http://news.discovery.com/earth/navigating-by-sunstone-and-a-sixth-sense.htm
- You can see the effect yourself: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haidinger's_brush
- Glacier is the obvious place to put data-retention rules but it's cool that you can institute ones that /even you can't revoke/ (short of going bankrupt I assume): https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/glacier-vault-lock/ (Bonus points for a product announcement that cites the heat death of the universe)
H/t to Ralph for these two:
- There's not enough scientific research into finding a cure for the common jerk: http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/06/21/opinion/sunday/is-your-boss-mean.html?referrer=&_r=0
- Your cat is 2% less of a jerk than you thought they were! http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/04/your-cat-is-trying-to-talk-to-you.html
Well, that's oddly specific: http://www.icd10data.com/ICD10CM/Codes/V00-Y99/Y35-Y38/Y38-/Y38.5X3
- "Let the record show that when the witness was asked 'WHOSA CUTIE PIE!?!' the witness gurgled happily indicating that it is indeed the cutie pie in question." https://np.reddit.com/r/legaladvice/comments/3cmmsa/my_almost_3_month_old_daughter_has_been/
- The lesson here: don't answer the phone. Wait, no that's not right. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-07/friday-afternoon-scam-cost-hedge-fund-1-2-million-and-cfo-s-job
- Oh, good: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/14/science/scientists-demonstrate-animal-mind-melds.html
Last August there was a great story about BGP hijacking a bitcoin mining pool. I though that was just the funniest thing ever so I decided to send it out to an internal mailing list at work along with a few other things that had accumulated in my browser tabs. I jokingly named it "The Weekly Weird" and promptly forgot about it. Six days later a coworker walked up and asked where the this week's weird was. Never one to dissapoint my adoring public, I continued writing these little snapshots of things that had happened that week and, now that I'm moving on, it's time to share with the wider world. Some of them have been edited to remove internal references and in-jokes and others now simply have no text right now. The format isn't what you'd call sexy owing to the fact that these were originaly emails and all emails should be plaintext.
I intend to continue putting these out roughly weekly on this blog. If there's sufficient demand I'll also rig some kind of mailing list.
Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not express the views or opinions of any current or former employer.
- Try it before you read: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/07/03/upshot/a-quick-puzzle-to-test-your-problem-solving.html?abt=0002&abg=1
- I'm not sure if this is low tech or high tech 3d printing: http://hackaday.com/2015/06/29/hope-its-real-3d-printing-houses-with-bricks/
- Yo dawg, we heard you like trees: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pando_(tree)
- No comment: http://www.pappaspost.com/german-businessman-trademarks-grexit-for-vodka-drink/
- However, during pre-market hours, Sigma Options employed a “default” price check that allowed the transmittal of options orders with any price greater than $0.01 and less than 1.5 times the highest closing price for any listed option from the prior day: http://www.sec.gov/litigation/admin/2015/34-75331.pdf
Someone has been cutting fiber cables in California:
That headline: http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/7779.html
A plausible-sounding take on the new 'tech bubble':
Oh boy do we have some weird for you this week.
- I don't think I can improve on the URL to this one: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/1517884/Man-to-adopt-1000-in-revenge-on-Berlin.html
- Now this is dedication to a con: http://www.sportskeeda.com/football/carlos-henrique-kaiser-the-story-of-footballs-greatest-conman
- I may have already included this but it's good enough that I don't care. "Lateral thinking" questions: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ericlippert/archive/2011/02/14/what-would-feynman-do.aspx
- What month you're born in has a statistically significant effect on your likelihood to develop certain conditions. This is an impressive breakdown of all of the different ones: http://jamia.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2015/06/01/jamia.ocv046
- Pushing the boundaries of starch-based security vulnerabilities: https://www.tau.ac.il/\~tromer/radioexp/ I look forward to a countermeasure called ATKINS.
- "Zero-point-six-eight seconds, sir. For an android, that is nearly an eternity." http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jun/26/google-delphi-two-self-driving-cars-near-miss
- Turns out the jokes in Seinfeld aren't very funny in foreign languages. (Or English /rimshot) http://www.theverge.com/2015/6/24/8809723/jerry-seinfeld-tv-show-international-translation