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Bryan Pendleton: Spider Woman's Daughter: a very short review

Tue, 2017-08-15 22:14

Over more than three decades, Tony Hillerman wrote a series of absolutely wonderful detective novels set on the Navajo Indian Reservation and featuring detectives Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn and Sergeant Jim Chee.

Recently, I learned that, after Hillerman's death, his daughter, Anne Hillerman, has begun publishing her own novels featuring Leaphorn, Chee, and the other major characters developed by her father, such as Officer Bernadette Manuelito.

So far, she has published three books, the first of which is Spider Woman's Daughter.

If you loved Tony Hillerman's books, I think you will find Anne Hillerman's books lovely, as well. Not only is she a fine writer, she brings an obvious love of her father's choices of setting, of character(s), and of the Navajo people and their culture.

I'm looking forward to reading the other books that she has written, and I hope she continues writing many more.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Justin Mason: Links for 2017-08-14

Mon, 2017-08-14 19:58
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Bryan Pendleton: Windows Update: 1, Fallout 4: 0

Mon, 2017-08-14 00:37

I was starting to get interested in Fallout 4, which seems like a fairly interesting game.

But, I just got Windows 10 Creators Update installed.

Which, you might think, would be a good thing!

Unfortunately, it seems to have been the kiss of death for Fallout 4.

This is not the first bad experience I've had with the Fallout games. Fallout New Vegas was totally unplayable on my machine, as well.

When will I learn?

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Aaron Morton: Limiting Nodetool Parallel Threads

Sun, 2017-08-13 20:00

A handy feature was silently added to Apache Cassandra’s nodetool just over a year ago. The feature added was the -j (jobs) option. This little gem controls the number of compaction threads to use when running either a scrub, cleanup, or upgradesstables. The option was added to nodetool via CASSANDRA-11179 to version 3.5. It has been back ported to Apache Cassandra versions 2.1.14, 2.2.6, and 3.5.

If unspecified, nodetool will use 2 compaction threads. When this value is set to 0 all available compaction threads are used to perform the operation. Note that the total number of available compaction threads is controlled by the concurrent_compactors property in the cassandra.yaml configuration file. Examples of how it can be used are as follows.

$ nodetool scrub -j 3 $ nodetool cleanup -j 1 $ nodetool upgradesstables -j 1

The option is most useful in situations where disk space is scarce and a limited number of threads for the operation need to be used to avoid disk exhaustion.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Justin Mason: Links for 2017-08-13

Sun, 2017-08-13 19:58
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Justin Mason: Links for 2017-08-12

Sat, 2017-08-12 19:58
  • Hyperscan

    a high-performance multiple regex matching library. It follows the regular expression syntax of the commonly-used libpcre library, yet functions as a standalone library with its own API written in C. Hyperscan uses hybrid automata techniques to allow simultaneous matching of large numbers (up to tens of thousands) of regular expressions, as well as matching of regular expressions across streams of data. Hyperscan is typically used in a DPI library stack. Hyperscan began in 2008, and evolved from a commercial closed-source product 2009-2015. First developed at Sensory Networks Incorporated, and later acquired and released as open source software by Intel in October 2015.  Hyperscan is under a 3-clause BSD license. We welcome outside contributors. This is really impressive — state of the art in parallel regexp matching has improved quite a lot since I was last looking at it. (via Tony Finch)

    (tags: via:fanf regexps regular-expressions text matching pattern-matching intel open-source bsd c dpi scanning sensory-networks)

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Bryan Pendleton: Arcadia: a very short review

Sat, 2017-08-12 18:13

I've been trying to put my finger on why Iain Pears's Arcadia is such an engrossing and entertaining book.

For one thing, it's a book that you can enjoy in many different ways:

  • Like Connie Willis's To Say Nothing of the Dog, it's a delightful piece of time travel fiction.

  • Like David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, it's a collection of multiple stories, involving the "same" characters in wildly different settings, inter-twined and juxtaposed.

  • Like C.S. Lewis's Narnia series, and George Orwell's Animal Farm, it's a rumination on current events, by way of a complex fantasy allegory describing how characters work out their problems in a completely different world with completely different rules.

  • And, oh, yeah, like George Orwell's 1984, it's a dystopian novel about the dangers of science, technology, and authoritarian social structures.

Uhm, that's a lot of pretty wonderful books to compare Arcadia to.

Yet I don't feel it's unfair to put Arcadia in the midst of such a discussion; Pears is a superb writer and pulls off these various technical exploits with flair and ease.

But I'd like to suggest that Arcadia's main interest lies in a slightly different direction, something suggested less by the above comparisons but more by Yuvah Noah Harari's Sapiens.

Harari, as you will recall if you've read Sapiens, advances the premise that what makes Homo Sapiens unique is that we are creatures who can envision, imagine, and communicate about things that don't (yet?) exist. That is: Sapiens can invent fiction; Sapiens can tell stories.

I think Pears is fascinated by that most basic of questions that faces writers of fiction: can a story actually change the world?

Early on, we are introduced to our protagonist, Henry Lytten, who has had a number of careers in the past, but now entertains himself by working on his book, a passion he's had since his youth, when he used to read "tales of knights and fair maidens, of gods and goddesses, of quests and adventures."

Regularly, he meets with his friends in the pub; they are all storytellers, and they discuss their efforts. This week, it is Lytten's turn:

"Very well, gentlemen, if you could put your drinks down and pay attention, then I will explain."

"About time."

"In brief..."

"Surely not?"

"In brief, I am creating the world."

He stopped and looked around. The others seemed unimpressed. "No goblins?" one asked hopefully.

Lytten sniffed. "No goblins," he said. "This is serious. I want to construct a society that works. With beliefs, laws, superstitions, customs. With an economy and politics. An entire sociology of the fantastic."

"An entire sociology of the fantastic." Oh, my, that is a gorgeous turn of phrase.

But: creating the world? Constructing a society? How does this actually work, in practice?

Later, Pears tries to explain this in more detail.

I spent many years reading -- really reading, I mean, in libraries at a wooden desk, or curled up on a settee with a little light, holding the book in my hands, turning the pages, glass of brandy, warm fire, all of that. Anyway, I was reading La Cousine Bette by Balzac (which I also recommend) and was struck by how convincing were both the characters and the situations he described. I wondered whether Balzac had taken them from personal observation and simply amended real people and circumstance to serve his purpose.

Then it dawned on me in a moment of such excitement I can remember it perfectly well to this day. Of course he had done that; he had transferred reality into his imagination. But -- and this was my great insight -- he must, at the same time, have transferred his imagination into reality. Clearly, in an infinite universe every possibility must exist, including Balzac's. Imagining Cousin Bette called her into being, although only potentially. The universe is merely a quantity of information; imagining a fictional character does not add to that quantity -- it cannot do so by definition -- but does reorganize it slightly. The Bette-ish universe has no material existence, but the initial idea in Balzac's brandy-soaked brain then spreads outwards: not only to those who read his books, but also, by implication, backwards and forwards. Imagining Cousin Bette also creates, in potential, her ancestors and descendants, friends, enemies, acquaintances, her thoughts and actions and those of everybody else in her universe.

This is as marvelous and compelling a vision of the power of the imagination as I could ever want.

Of course, Pears knows that it isn't, certainly, as simple as that.

Not many people, I suppose, have even the remotest chance of seeing their literary creation in the flesh. Henry is convinced that Shakespeare knew his Rosalind personally in some guise, but that is quite rare. I am sure Dickens would have jumped at the chance of some time in the pub with Mr. Pickwick. No doubt Jane Austen would have got on like a house on fire with Mr. Darcy, and what about Bram Stoker spending an evening chatting away to Count Dracula over a cup of cocoa.

Things move on, and there is some folderol about time travel, and the multiple universes hypothesis, and other notions of that sort, but really, Pears is after something simpler.

Something more fundamentally human.

Something more fundamentally powerful.

Something more fundamentally literary:

"Nothing could happen, because there was no cause of anything happening. Similarly, without effects, there could be no causes. That was to ensure it could have no past or future."

"She got it wrong?"

"No. That girl messed it up, and you don't seem to have helped just now either."

"Rosie? How?"

"She walked into it. You say hello, they say hello back, which they otherwise would not have done. Cause and effect, you see. Anyone who says hello must be real. They must have parents, grandparents, all the way back. That girl started this frozen experiment moving and developing, and that is causing it to join up to the past and future. When I arrived, the effects had already spread back that far. it is now clear the shock waves have spread very much further."

You say hello, they say hello back; anyone who says hello must be real.

What a beautiful sentiment.

What a marvelous illustration of the magnificence and wonder and joy of communication, of imagination, and of storytelling.

Arcadia is a book you can enjoy on many levels.

I certainly did.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Bryan Pendleton: Software Engineering Interns at Salesforce

Fri, 2017-08-11 22:33

I hope you can find a few minutes to read this wonderful article by Aditya Shetty: More Than a Brand Name and a Tech Stack: What I Learned During My Engineering Internship at Salesforce.

Aditya sat at the next desk to mine during his summer at Salesforce, and I really enjoyed getting to know him during a brief summer that went by very fast.

He's already a very good software engineer; I think he will be a great one, assuming that's what he decides to do.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Shane Curcuru: Dear future self (Time Capsule 2017)

Fri, 2017-08-11 10:15
We’re rebuilding the front steps, and since the masons are using concrete blocks, we have an opportunity to include a time capsule. Here are a few notes we’re including. Dear Future Shane This is a message from the past. The … Continue reading →
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Bryan Pendleton: Backpacking 2017: Trinity Alps, South Fork of the Salmon River

Thu, 2017-08-10 20:44

Some backpacking trips go exactly as planned.

Others do not.

This one did not go as planned, but in the end it was wonderful, in that "well, nobody was seriously hurt, after all!" way that mis-adventures sometimes happily are.

To get to the headwaters of the South Fork of the Salmon River, you need to be prepared to do a bit of driving:

  1. Make your way from wherever you may be to the quirky little town of Weaverville
  2. Head north from Weaverville, where you might decide to spend the night at the lovely little Bonanza King Resort if you wish
  3. The next morning, drive up the 20+ mile dirt road to the very end, where you'll find Big Flat Trailhead. This road will take you 75 minutes to drive. Honest.

From the Big Flat Trailhead, ready your pack, and don't forget to make sure you secure your car carefully so that it's completely boring to any California Black Bear who might wander through the campground (this is not uncommon, since the habitat of the California Black Bear is nearly a 100% overlap with the areas of California where there are campgrounds).

Once you're safely out of your car and ready, the rest is easy: walk south.

The canyon which forms the watershed which holds the headwaters of the South Fork of the Salmon River is a spectacularly beautiful mountain canyon. From the trailhead to the end of the canyon is a gentle, peaceful, 6-mile hike which starts at about 5,000 feet of elevation and climbs slowly and steadily to around 5,800 feet near the south end of the canyon.

Most hikers who enter the Trinity Alps Wilderness from this trailhead area actually headed out of the canyon, to one of a variety of destinations: southwest to the Caribou or Sapphire Lakes, south to Deer Creek, south-southeast to Ward and Horseshoe Lakes, or southeast to Bullard's Basin and the mining ghost town of Dorleska.

Instead, we decided to stay in the Salmon River headwaters canyon itself.

Well, I should be a bit more honest.

Originally, we were contemplating going to Ward Lake. But, after more studyand reading, I realized that this particular destination was going to be beyond our capabilities for a one day hike:

Total Length (round-trip): 12 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,549’ to the saddle, then -460’ down to the lake
Difficulty: Moderate-to-Strenuous
or, more colorfully: High above the densely forested moraine, just beginning to emerge against the cloudless blue, rose a massive fortress, a sheer vertical wall of gray rock, toward which our trail zig-zagged.

Uhm, yeah.

That wasn't going to work.

So instead we decided not to take the Kidd Creek trail to Ward Lake, and proceeded south, remaining in the main canyon of the South Fork of the Salmon.

Which is beautiful and delightful, and we made quite good time, until at about 3:00 PM we found ourselves at the far south end of the canyon, confronted by canyon walls on all three sides (east, south, west).

I had (sort of) a plan for this, for I had spotted on the map that the true headwaters of the Salmon River was found at Salmon Lake, a mere three quarters of a mile from where we stood.

And a mere 1,300 vertical feet above our 5,800 foot elevation at the time.

There is no trail to Salmon Lake, but we were standing on the shore of the Salmon River, looking up its course as it descended the narrow and steep canyon above us, and it seemed, tantalizingly, close.

So, with our minds probably clouded from the fatigue of the first 5.5 miles that we'd already hiked, we decided to try to go off-trail and bush-whack our way up the river canyon to the lake.

I estimate that we made it about one tenth of the way to the lake over the next 30 minutes, climbing slowly and stubbornly through dense manzanita fields that clung to scree slopes of sharp fractured shale that shifted unexpectedly and continuously underneath our feet.

And then the lightning clapped, and the thunder boomed, and the rain began.

And, at last, we came to our senses.

After we realized that our plan was hopeless, and we re-grouped back at the trail, we were soaked from the rain and a bit dispirited, even more so when we realized that the mid-slope ridgeline we were on held no decent campsites of any sort.

Worse, several of us had fallen during the bushwhacking on the wet shale, and so twisted ankles and bloodied shins were widespread.

As we sat, resting and recovering, watching a pair of trees on the opposite side of the canyon smouldering from lightning strikes, we cast our eyes below us, and realized that the canyon floor below us was beautiful, had a reliable source of water, and was almost certain to contain some spots where we could make camp.

So back down we headed, retracing our steps about a half mile down the trail until we were back to the canyon floor, then hiking another half mile or so south until we indeed found a spectacularly beautiful location to stay: not too far from water, but not too close either, with just enough trees for shelter, but just few enough to give us glorious views of the canyon ridges above.

Completely exhausted from more than 9 miles of walking with full packs, we just managed to set up camp and prepare dinner before it was fully dark and the stars were out.

Yet the next few days passed blissfully: each day dawned with blue skies and mile weather and we found many nearby areas for lovely day hikes, including an enjoyable long walk up the trail to the pass on the border of Trinity and Siskiyou counties, where we unexpectedly found a beautiful high mountain meadow, with hawks soaring and calling overhead and chipmunks and rabbits and quail busily occupying themselves amongst the meadow grasses.

Quite reliably, it thundered and lightninged and rained every afternoon, and once even delivered a dramatic 15-minute hailstorm, but after surviving our disastrous first day's hike, it all seemed like icing on an unexpectedly tasty celebration cake.

So if you ever find yourself wanting to go backpacking in the headwaters canyon of the South Fork of the Salmon River in the Trinity Alps wilderness, let me offer these simple suggestions:

  • Yes, Ward Lake is a long haul, and that ridgeline ascent is as miserable as you fear.
  • But Salmon Lake is even harder. You'd need to be a mountain goat to get there.
  • And, if you spot a lake on the map, even if it looks "close" to the trail, but when you go and search the Internet and you can't find EVEN A SINGLE PICTURE of anyone who's actually made it to the lake's shore, stop and recognize what that means: You Ain't Gonna Get to Salmon Lake
  • So just be happy exploring the beautiful Salmon River canyon instead.

That's what I have to say about that. Enjoy the pictures!

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Justin Mason: Links for 2017-08-08

Tue, 2017-08-08 19:58
  • Beard vs Taleb: Scientism and the Nature of Historical Inquiry

    The most interesting aspect of this Twitter war is that it is representative of a malaise that has stricken a good chunk of academics (mostly scientists, with a peppering of philosophers) and an increasing portion of the general public: scientism. I have co-edited an entire book, due out soon, on the topic, which features authors who are pro, con, and somewhere in the middle. Scientism is defined as the belief that the assumptions, methods of research, etc., of the natural sciences are the only ways to gather valuable knowledge or to answer meaningful questions. Everything else, to paraphrase Taleb, is bullshit. Does Taleb engage in scientism? Indubitably. I have already mentioned above his generalization from what one particular historian (Beard) said to “historians” tout court. But there is more, from his Twitter feed: “there is this absence of intellectual rigor in humanities.” “Are historians idiots? Let’s be polite and say that they are in the majority no rocket scientists and operate under a structural bias. It looks like an empirically rigorous view of historiography is missing.”

    (tags: history science scientism nassim-taleb argument debate proof romans britain mary-beard)

  • Google’s Response to Employee’s Anti-Diversity Manifesto Ignores Workplace Discrimination Law – Medium

    A workplace-discrimination lawyer writes:

    Stray remarks are not enough. But a widespread workplace discussion of whether women engineers are biologically capable of performing at the same level as their male counterparts could suffice to create a hostile work environment. As another example, envision the racial hostility of a workplace where employees, as Google put it, “feel safe” to espouse their “alternative view” that their African-American colleagues are not well-represented in management positions because they are not genetically predisposed for leadership roles. In short, a workplace where people “feel safe sharing opinions” based on gender (or racial, ethnic or religious) stereotypes may become so offensive that it legally amounts to actionable discrimination.

    (tags: employment sexism workplace discrimination racism misogyny women beliefs)

  • a list of all the nuclear war scenarios stored in the W.O.P.R. computer

    For fans of the movie WARGAMES: a list of all the nuclear war scenarios stored in the W.O.P.R. computer. (self.movies) (via burritojustice)

    (tags: via:burritojustice wargames movies wopr global-thermonuclear-war wwiii)

  • Nextflow – A DSL for parallel and scalable computational pipelines

    Data-driven computational pipelines Nextflow enables scalable and reproducible scientific workflows using software containers. It allows the adaptation of pipelines written in the most common scripting languages. Its fluent DSL simplifies the implementation and the deployment of complex parallel and reactive workflows on clouds and clusters. GPLv3 licensed, open source

    (tags: computation workflows pipelines batch docker ops open-source)

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Mukul Gandhi: Mathematical table data with XML Schema 1.1

Mon, 2017-08-07 02:23
Here's a simple example, using XML Schema 1.1 <assert> to validate elementary school mathematical tables.

XML document:
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<table id="2">
  <x>2</x>
  <x>4</x>
  <x>6</x>
  <x>8</x>
  <x>10</x>
  <x>12</x>
  <x>14</x>
  <x>16</x>
  <x>18</x>
  <x>20</x>
</table>

XSD 1.1 document:
<?xml version="1.0"?>
<xs:schema xmlns:xs="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema">
 
   <xs:element name="table">
     <xs:complexType>
        <xs:sequence>
           <xs:element name="x" minOccurs="10" maxOccurs="10"/>
        </xs:sequence>
        <xs:attribute name="id" type="xs:positiveInteger" use="required">
           <xs:annotation>
             <xs:documentation>Mathematical table of @id is represented.</xs:documentation>
           </xs:annotation>
        </xs:attribute>
        <xs:assert test="x[1] = @id"/>
        <xs:assert test="every $x in x[position() gt 1] satisfies $x = $x/preceding-sibling::x[1] + @id">
           <xs:annotation>
              <xs:documentation>An XPath 2.0 expression validating the depicted mathematical table.    
              </xs:documentation>
           </xs:annotation>
        </xs:assert>
     </xs:complexType>
   </xs:element>
 
</xs:schema>
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Matt Raible: Driving, Rafting, Hiking, and Enjoying Life in Montana

Sun, 2017-08-06 22:53

I wanted to spend our summer vacation driving our VWs up the California coast, on a mammoth 3500-mile road trip over two weeks. However, when a landslide happened near Big Sur, I knew it was probably best to move this road trip from my yearly goals to my bucket list. Instead, we opted to drive to Montana and spend a couple of weeks vacationing in my childhood playground.

Our journey began with a bit of work involved. Trish's company was sponsoring a family movie night event in Sandy, Utah. We found out that my company was sponsoring as well, so we decided to take the scenic route to Montana. We left Denver at 9 pm on Thursday, June 29, and arrived in Grand Junction, CO at 2 am. Trish needed to be in Sandy for a lunch meeting, so we woke up promptly at 6 am and got back on the road.

The event in Sandy was super-fun. We enjoyed talking to customers, handing out swag, and watching the Despicable Me 3 premiere with everyone.

We high-tailed it to Montana after that, spending two days driving along scenic I-15 through Utah, Idaho, and Montana. We arrived at the Raible Homestead on Sunday afternoon.

The next two weeks were spent rafting, hiking, hanging out with friends, driving a lot, and relaxing with good books. Rafting the Middle Fork of the Flathead was a highlight for me, especially watching Abbie do all the rapids by herself in a duckie.

We also hiked up to Lower Rumble Lake. The trail goes straight up the mountain, with no switchbacks. It can be a grueling hike. My Mom, Abbie, Jack, our two border collies (Sagan and Jake), and I made up the trail crew. About halfway up, I thought, "this isn't as hard as I remember." By the time we got to the top (90 minutes later), it was just as challenging as I remembered. It was probably 30 years since I was last at Rumble Lake; it's still as majestic as ever.

Our final event in Montana was the Bob Marshall Music Festival. We attended the first annual event last year and had a great time. This year was even better, especially since we had one of the bands camped right next to us. Trish and I loved the late night campfire sessions listening to the local pickers.

Trish and the kids flew back to avoid the long drive home. I took the slow, scenic route home with Stout the Syncro, living the #vanlife for a couple days. Waking up with a view of the Tetons was awe-inspiring, as was the view driving through the Flaming Gorge Recreation area. I used an AT&T Unite Explore MiFi device for connectivity, or worked at coffee shops along the way.

More photos on Flickr → Summer Vacation in Montana 2017

I arrived home around midnight on Wednesday, July 19. Total miles: 3450. Issues with Stout the Syncro: none.

Epilogue: On my journey home, I wrote and polished presentations for ÜberConf. I delivered those presentations that Friday and uploaded them to Speaker Deck. You can view them using the following links:

Two weeks later, and I'm writing this from the back of our van on another Raible Road Trip. This time, we're heading to central Idaho for a week-long rafting trip with family and friends. Another couple thousand miles, many more unforgettable memories. There's something special about traveling the country in a VW Van.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Marco Di Sabatino Di Diodoro: Managing Zimbra Accounts with Apache Syncope

Sun, 2017-08-06 18:00
Have you ever thought about centralizing control with Apache Syncope of your Zimbra accounts?
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Bruce Snyder: Car vs. Bike in Boulder, Colorado :: Bruce Snyder's Status

Sun, 2017-08-06 14:41

On Thursday, April 24, 2014, I was in a very serious cycling accident in Boulder, Colorado while riding my new Cervélo S3 during the lunch hour and I am currently hospitalized in Denver, Colorado for at least the next 60 days. Damage ReportIn the wreckage, I suffered 11 fractured ribs (10 on the left side, most in multiple places, and one on the right), fractures of the L3 and L4 spinal vertebrae, one collapsed/punctured lung, one deflated lung, a nasty laceration on my left hip that required stitches and loads of road rash all over my back and left hip from being run over and rolled by the car. The worst part was being conscious through the entire ordeal, i.e., I knew I was being run over by a car.
Current Status After undergoing emergency spinal surgery involving the insertion of mounting hardware, rods and screws from the L2 - L5 vertebrae to support the fusion between L3 - L4. Also, L3 and L4 were dislocated which is what damaged the disc between them requiring the fusion. They also had to clean out much debris from various spinal process fractures (fractures on T9, L1, L2, L3, L4) that punctured the spinal dura and required repair. There was also damage to the left psoas muscle and I experienced an ileus, a disruption of the normal propulsive ability of the gastrointestinal tract. Luckily they removed my chest tube while I was in the ICU under heavy pain meds. When getting out of bed, first I must put on a rigid clamshell brace from my armpits to my pelvis, two pieces that velcros very tightly together. This is not fun due to all the rib fractures. I am now able to control everything from the knees up with the exception of my butt. I do feel my feet somewhat as I can distinguish sharp vs. dull touches in some areas but I am not able to flex my feet/ankles or wiggle my toes at this time. After the surgery, I was in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Boulder Community Hospital for 10 days or so. Since this time, I have been transferred to Craig Hospital in Denver, Colorado. Craig is a world-renowned hospital for it's spinal and brain injury rehabilitation programs.

(For those who are curious, I'm told that the bike was left almost untouched. But I will certainly have my family take it to Excel Sports in Boulder to be fully evaluated. )

A Very Special Thank You There is one guy who deserves a special thank you for his compassion for a stranger in distress. Gareth, your voice rescued me and got me through the initial accident and your clear thinking helped me more than you will ever know. After you visited me at the Boulder Hospital, I totally fell apart just because I heard your voice again. We will meet again, my brother. 
Also, a special thank you to Mike O. for introducing Gareth and I after the accident. Thanks, buddy. To My Family and Friends My wife Janene has truly been my rock through this entire ordeal. Never did she waver and, for me, the sun rises and sets with her. She and my girls have given me such strength when I needed it most. I am truly blessed with my family and friends.

My brother, Michael, was like a sentry -- by my side, from early morning until late into the night, supporting me in any way he could. I love you, Michael!

The moment my brother, my parents and my in-laws received the news of the accident, they packed their cars and hauled ass through the night 1000 miles to be by my side. I love you all so much and I could not have gotten this far without you. You are all amazing!

Thank you to my close friends for whom this experience only brought us closer. Karen, Dan, Anna, Sarah, and Sasha, I love you guys! Filip, you are very special to me and your dedication to visiting me and helping me keep my spirits high is stellar, thank you! Mike O., the chicken curry was delicious! Who knew this dude can cook *and* write code, thank you! Tim R., you have been my cycling buddy for a number of years and we were riding together the day of the accident just prior to its occurrence. You've stayed by me and met my family and helped in any way you can, thank you!

To all my friends and neighbors who immediately mobilized to provide my family with more delicious meals than they could possibly keep up with eating, you have really made us feel loved and watched over. Not only has Louisville, Colorado been ranked as one of the best places to live in the USA by Money Magazine for the last several years, the community of friends and neighbors is like an extended family -- you guys are the best!
Thank You To Everyone Thank you for all of your phone calls, emails, texts, tweets, concerns, hospital visits and well-wishes from everyone around the world. The level of compassion that I have experienced from near and far has been absolutely overwhelming for me. Please understand that I am not able to communicate directly with every single person simply due to the sheer volume of communications and the amount of time I am now spending doing rehab at Craig Hospital. I still get exhausted fairly easily doing rehab and just trying to live my life right now at Craig Hospital -- and this is coming from someone who could easily run 10 miles or ride 30+ miles at lunch just a couple weeks ago. This whole experience is absolutely flooding me emotionally and physically.

The Gory Details For those who want more details as the shit went down, please see the Caring Bridge :: Bruce Snyder website set up my extraordinary friend Jamie Hogan. This website is where Janene has been posting updates about my experience since the beginning. I will be adding my experiences henceforth here on my blog as I travel the winding road of recovery.

Conclusion Life is precious and I am so very happy to be alive.

And please, please do not ever text and drive. 
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Apache Velocity news: Velocity Engine 2.0 released

Sun, 2017-08-06 04:00

The Velocity developers are pleased to announce the release of Velocity Engine 2.0.

Among the main new features and enhancements:

+ Logging to the SLF4J logging facade.

+ Configurable whitespace gobbling.

+ Method arguments and array subscripts can now be arithmetic expressions.

+ Configurable method arguments conversion handler with automatic conversions between booleans, numbers, strings and enums.

+ Significant reduction of the memory consumption.

+ JSR-223 Scripting Engine implementation.

For a full list of changes, consult Velocity Engine 2.0 Changes section and JIRA changelog.

For notes on upgrading from Velocity 1.x, see Velocity Engine 2.0 Upgrading section.

Note for Velocity Tools users: Velocity Tools 3.0 shall soon be released. Meanwhile, you are encouraged to use the Velocity Tools 3.x last snapshot (see Velocity Tools 3.x Upgrading notes).

Downloads of 2.0 are available here.

Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Justin Mason: Links for 2017-08-03

Thu, 2017-08-03 19:58
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets

Bryan Pendleton: Stuff I'm reading, hot days of summer edition

Thu, 2017-08-03 17:37

Never enough hours in the day for anything, sigh.

  • Millennium Tower keeps on sinking, but there may be a fixThe LERA firm and DeSimone Consulting Engineers say the problem can be remedied by drilling 50 to 100 new piles down to bedrock from the building’s basement. Each pile would be anywhere from 10 inches to a foot in diameter.

    ...

    The high-rise’s 900 piles now descend 60 to 91 feet — well short of the 200 feet to bedrock.

    The engineering firms estimate the fix will cost $100 million to $150 million — more than your average home foundation repair, but a lot less than the billion-dollar-plus price tag that some experts have feared.

    ...

    One source told us that residents would probably be able to stay in the building while the repairs were under way.

  • Millennium Tower can survive Big One, city-ordered report says an engineering analysis ordered up by the city has concluded that, while the 58-story downtown high-rise continues to both sink and tilt, it can nonetheless withstand a magnitude 8.0 earthquake.
  • Structural Safety Review of the Millennium TowerObservations of the site conditions, geotechnical reports (Treadwell & Rollo, 2005, SAGE, 2016), building foundation drawings and settlement measurements indicate that the primary mechanism for the large vertical settlement is consolidation of the Old Bay Clay that exists at depths of roughly 90 to 220 feet beneath the ground surface. These Old Bay Clay layers underlie the Marine Sands (occurring at depths of 40 to 90 feet) into which the precast piles are driven. The deep-seated settlement occurs primarily below the building but extends gradually outside the footprint of the tower foundation. The consolidation of the clay layers is a relatively slow process, occurring over a period of years, due to the increase in effective stress in the Old Bay Clay layers. This understanding as to the mechanism of the settlement is important to help confirm that the settlement is not due to distress in the foundation piles that may affect their ability to sustain forces associated with gravity and earthquake loading demands.
  • The Hijacking of a $100 Million SupertankerBarely seven hours had passed since the gunmen had taken the ship. But already an international cast was activating: salvors from the region’s cutthroat ports, to scavenge millions from the wreckage; U.S. military investigators, to determine if Somali pirates had adopted brutal new tactics; and most urgently of all, an operative from the stony world of London insurance, to discover what really happened aboard his clients’ $100 million liability. Because if the hijacking of the Brillante Virtuoso wasn’t a case of fumbled piracy, it would be the most spectacular fraud in shipping history.

    The events of July 6, 2011, set in motion a tangle of lawsuits and criminal investigations that are still nowhere near conclusion. Six years after it was abandoned, the Brillante Virtuoso is an epithet among shipping veterans, one that reveals their industry’s capacity for lawlessness, financial complexity, and violence. This account is based on court evidence, private and government records, and more than 60 interviews with people involved, almost all of whom asked not to be identified, citing the sensitivities of nine-figure litigation and, in some cases, concern for their own safety. Everyone at sea that night survived. But the danger was just getting started.

  • As California’s labor shortage grows, farmers race to replace workers with robotsSuch has been the progress of ag-tech in California, where despite the adoption of drones, iPhone apps and satellite-driven sensors, the hand and knife still harvest the bulk of more than 200 crops.

    Now, the $47-billion agriculture industry is trying to bring technological innovation up to warp speed before it runs out of low-wage immigrant workers.

    California will have to remake its fields like it did its factories, with more machines and better-educated workers to labor beside them, or risk losing entire crops, economists say.

    “California agriculture just isn’t going to look the same,” said Ed Taylor, a UC Davis rural economist. “You’re going to be hard-pressed to find crops grown as labor-intensively as they are now.”

    Driscoll’s, which grows berries in nearly two dozen countries and is the world’s top berry grower, already is moving its berries to table-top troughs, where they are easier for both human and machines to pick, as it has done over the last decade in Australia and Europe.

    “We don’t see — no matter what happens — that the labor problem will be solved,” said Soren Bjorn, president of Driscoll’s of the Americas.

  • How Uber's Hard-Charging Corporate Culture Left Employees DrainedAs interviews with more than two dozen former and current Uber employees show, the company reached such great heights by asking forgiveness, never permission, and pushing to the limits everything that it could: laws, municipalities, markets — and workers.

    These employees — all of whom shared their experiences with BuzzFeed News on condition of anonymity, mostly for fear of repercussion — described impossible workloads, around-the-clock emergencies, fear of management, a total erosion of work-life balance, and a pattern of public humiliation at the hands of higher-ups as Uber pushed to become the juggernaut it is today. Many attributed panic attacks, substance abuse, depression, and hospitalizations to the stress of the job. All — even those who ultimately enjoyed their time there — recall a uniquely high-pressure environment in which employees were regularly pushed to a breaking point, but afraid to quit and leave large amounts of equity on the table.

  • The Real Legacy of Crazy HorseThe atmosphere primes Red Cloud’s students to be both community prodigies and the young leaders of an indigenous renaissance of sorts: The reservation’s young people are driving a new wave of activism, like that seen in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. It’s a subtle yet intense movement that promises to define the future of Pine Ridge. After all, roughly half its population is under 25.

    “We are part of the Seventh Generation ... prophesied to be the generation that creates those individuals that will spearhead the economic, spiritual, and social renewal,” Rosales said. The tall, slim 19-year-old sported a sharp haircut, Nike skate shoes, khaki-colored jeans, and a thick, crew-neck sweater when we spoke. Rosales was referring to a prophecy made by the Oglala Sioux leader Crazy Horse, who shortly before his death in the late 1800s predicted that a cultural renaissance was afoot. “We are going to be that group of people that makes that prophecy come true,” Rosales said. “Red Cloud is helping us to do that.”

  • Saving forests saves lives this is not “a cheap fix for climate change”: we’re going to have to do a lot more than mitigate the pace of deforestation if we want to have a chance at meeting that goal. But it is a reminder that incentives matter, and that at the margin, small sums can tilt the balance in surprisingly meaningful ways.

    What’s more, preventing deforestation has substantial benefits which have nothing at all to do with climate change.

  • BBR: Congestion-Based Congestion ControlRethinking congestion control pays big dividends. Rather than using events such as loss or buffer occupancy, which are only weakly correlated with congestion, BBR starts from Kleinrock's formal model of congestion and its associated optimal operating point. A pesky "impossibility" result that the crucial parameters of delay and bandwidth cannot be determined simultaneously is sidestepped by observing they can be estimated sequentially. Recent advances in control and estimation theory are then used to create a simple distributed control loop that verges on the optimum, fully utilizing the network while maintaining a small queue. Google's BBR implementation is available in the open-source Linux kernel TCP
  • Breaking open the MtGox case the shared keypool of the wallet.dat file lead to address reuse, which confused MtGox's systems into mistakenly interpreting some of the thief's spending as deposits, crediting multiple user accounts with large sums of BTC and causing MtGox's numbers to go further out of balance by about 40,000 BTC.
  • Current Harvard OddnessSometime back, the powers-that-be at Harvard decided that they didn't like the Harvard final clubs (Harvard's kind-of-like fraternities, "social clubs" that have been around for ages, but that are not in any official way affiliated with Harvard). There's plenty of reason not to like them, but at least initially concerns about sexual assault seemed to be the motivating factor. So the powers-that-be decided that if you belonged to some private single-sex organization, they would not let you be captain of a sports team, or be approved by Harvard for a Rhodes fellowship, or things like that. A number of faculty -- perhaps most notably, Harry Lewis -- objected to this policy, on multiple grounds. (Perhaps one large one is that there are many private single-sex organizations that are quite positive, and it seems odd to put all these organizations under the same blanket policy.) So after it was clear that there was some significant faculty objections, for a bit it was temporarily shelved, and a new committee put in place to make recommendations.

    Several weeks deep in the summer, the report comes out, suggesting policies even harsher and more draconian than the original plan.

  • Maryam Mirzakhani, 1977–2017She made several breakthroughs in the geometric understanding of dynamical systems. Who knows what other great results she would have found if she had lived: we will never know. Besides her research she also was the first woman and the first Iranian to win the Fields Medal.
  • AI leads to reward function engineeringWith the recent explosion in AI, there has been the understandable concern about its potential impact on human work. Plenty of people have tried to predict which industries and jobs will be most affected, and which skills will be most in demand. (Should you learn to code? Or will AI replace coders too?)

    Rather than trying to predict specifics, we suggest an alternative approach. Economic theory suggests that AI will substantially raise the value of human judgment. People who display good judgment will become more valuable, not less. But to understand what good judgment entails and why it will become more valuable, we have to be precise about what we mean.

  • Inside Salesforce’s Quest to Bring AI to Everyone“What do I work on next?” Most of us ask that question many times every day. (And too many of us end up answering, “Check Facebook” or “See if Trump tweeted again!”) To-do apps and personal productivity systems offer some help, but often turn into extra work themselves. What if artificial intelligence answered the “next task” question for you?

    That’s what the Salesforce AI team decided to offer as Einstein’s first broadly available, readymade tool. Today Salesforce offers all kinds of cloud-based services for customer service, ecommerce, marketing and more. But at its root, it’s a workaday CRM (customer relationship management) product that salespeople use to manage their leads. Prioritizing these opportunities can get complicated fast and takes up precious time. So the Einstein Intelligence module—a little add-on column at the far right of the basic Salesforce screen—will do it for you, ranking them based on, say, “most likely to close.” For marketers, who also make up a big chunk of Salesforce customers, it can take a big mailing list and sort individual recipients by the likelihood that they’ll open an email.

  • Is Productivity Growth Becoming Irrelevant?Our standard mental model of productivity growth reflects the transition from agriculture to industry. We start with 100 farmers producing 100 units of food: technological progress enables 50 to produce the same amount, and the other 50 to move to factories that produce washing machines or cars or whatever. Overall productivity doubles, and can double again, as both agriculture and manufacturing become still more productive, with some workers then shifting to restaurants or health-care services. We assume an endlessly repeatable process.

    But two other developments are possible. Suppose the more productive farmers have no desire for washing machines or cars, but instead employ the 50 surplus workers either as low-paid domestic servants or higher-paid artists, providing face-to-face and difficult-to-automate services. Then, as the late William Baumol, a professor at Princeton University, argued in 1966, overall productivity growth will slowly decline to zero, even if productivity growth within agriculture never slows.

    Or suppose that 25 of the surplus farmers become criminals, and the other 25 police. Then the benefit to human welfare is nil, even though measured productivity rises if public services are valued, as per standard convention, at input cost.

  • The Long Dark -- "Make It Right" -- WINTERMUTE LAUNCH TRAILERWelcome to The Long Dark —an immersive survival simulation set in the aftermath of a geomagnetic disaster. Experience a unique first-person survival simulation that will force you to think and push you to your limits with its thought-provoking gameplay.
Categories: FLOSS Project Planets