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/