MaisonBisson

a bunch of stuff I would have emailed you about

Competing approaches to deadlines and excellence

Some people see deadlines as guidelines to aim for, not absolute dates by which a deliverable is expected by

This view of deadlines as flexible guidelines can be seen throughout western culture, as exemplified by the ongoing, oft delayed Brexit negotiations. However, deadlines also compete against other factors in any project. Consider the three constraints in the project management triangle:

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A mathematical theory and evidence for hipster conformity in four parts

  1. Academic publishes mathematical theory for conformance among hipsters: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1410.8001.pdf
  2. MIT Tech Review covers it, with a fancy photo illustration using a stock photo of a hipster-looking male: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/613034/the-hipster-effect-why-anti-conformists-always-end-up-looking-the-same/
  3. A hipster-looking male contacts MIT Tech Review to loudly complain about their using a picture of him without asking: https://twitter.com/glichfield/status/1103040764794363904
  4. It turns out the hipster-looking male in the photo isn’t the same as the one who complained: https://twitter.com/glichfield/status/1103044630134882305

The legal case for emoji

Emoji are showing up as evidence in court more frequently with each passing year. Between 2004 and 2019, there was an exponential rise in emoji and emoticon references in US court opinions, with over 30 percent of all cases appearing in 2018, according to Santa Clara University law professor Eric Goldman, who has been tracking all of the references to “emoji” and “emoticon” that show up in US court opinions. So far, the emoji and emoticons have rarely been important enough to sway the direction of a case, but as they become more common, the ambiguity in how emoji are displayed and what we interpret emoji to mean could become a larger issue for courts to contend with.

From Dami Lee, amplifying Santa Clara University School of Law professor Eric Goldman’s ongoing research into the role of Emoji in legal proceedings. Lee tells us emoji have “shown up in all types of cases, from murder to robbery,” and the examples in the story include solicitation and a civil complaint. Goldman is especially concerned about how the courts will handle the different rendering of emoji on on different devices.

Inter-AZ cloud network performance

Archana Kesavan of ThousandEyes speaking at NANOG75 reports that network traffic between AZs within a single region is generally “reliable and consistent,” and that tested cloud providers offer a “robust regional backbone for [suitable for] redundant, multi-AZ architectures.”

ThousandEyes ran tests at ten minute intervals over 30 days, testing bidirectional loss, latency, and jitter. Kesavan reported the average inter-AZ latency for each tested cloud:

AWSAzureGCP
.82ms1.05ms0.79ms

Within the four tested regions in AWS, they found:

RegionLatency
us-east-10.92ms
ap-south-10.72ms
eu-west-20.61ms
sa-east-11.13ms

Kesavan’s slides and video are online.

Default fonts that could have been

I learned about serif and sans serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

From Steve Jobs in Stanford Graduation Address, explaining how he fell in love with typography during his time at Reed College. He studied calligraphy like a monk, but….

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Spectre is here to stay

As a result of our work on Spectre, we now know that information leaks may affect all processors that perform speculation…. Since the initial disclosure of three classes of speculative vulnerabilities, all major [CPU] vendors have reported affected products…. This class of flaws are deeper and more widely distributed than perhaps any security flaw in history, affecting billions of CPUs in production across all device classes.

From Ross Mcilroy, Jaroslav Sevcik, Tobias Tebbi, Ben L. Titzer, and Toon Verwaest (all of Google) in Spectre is here to stay; An analysis of side-channels and speculative execution. They continue:

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Bare metal clouds are hard

The problem, explains Eclypsium, is that a miscreant could rent a bare-metal server instance from a provider, then exploit a firmware-level vulnerability, such as one in UEFI or BMC code, to gain persistence on the machine, and the ability to covertly monitor every subsequent use of that server. In other words, injecting spyware into the server’s motherboard software, which runs below and out of sight of the host operating system and antivirus, so that future renters of the box will be secretly snooped on.

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