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Author: kris

Velo-City Expo, and the Dutch view on cycling helmets

Bicycle Dutch has a selection of news:

Velo-City  is a conference on June, 13 in Nijmegen, NL. Because he’s not flying for KLM on that day, Willem-Alexander will open the conference.

Also, the Dutch View on cycling helmets:

Take the bicycle helmet. If you make it mandatory, you strengthen the idea that the bike is a dangerous means of transport. That leads to a decrease in the number of cyclists. That again decreases the safety, because the more cyclists there are, the more other road users will consider them. In short: the bicycle helmet increases the individual safety, but decreases the safety in general.

I have yet to see Dutch people riding their bikes with helmets on.

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Rolling out patches and changes, often and fast

Fefe had a short pointer to an article Patching is Hard. It is, but you can make it a lot easier by doing a few things right.  I did s small writeup (in German) to explain this, which Fefe posted.

I do have an older talk on this, titled “8 rollouts a day” (more like 30 these days). There are slides and a recording. The Devops talk “Go away or I will replace you with a little shell script” addresses it, too, but from a different angle (slides, recording).

Here is the english version of the writeup:

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Cloud Costs

Cloud cost models are sometimes weird, and billing sometimes is not quite transparent. The cost model can also change at will.

The Medium story reported by Home Automation is an extreme example, and contains a non-trivial amount of naiveté on their side, but underlines the importance of being spread through more than one cloud provider and having an exit strategy. Which is kind of a dud, if you are using more than simple IaaS – if you tie yourself to a database-as-a-service offer, you can’t really have an exit strategy at all.

 

TL;DR: Firebase accidentally wasn’t billing some traffic, and fixed that (the billing). They did not communicate the change, they did not update their status panels to report the increased traffic, and they did not measure the billing impact of their change to find extreme cases before the change and contact them.

The customer, Home Automation, has close to zero clue to using TLS correctly, was using connection inefficiently and kind of maximised overhead, ran into the worst case scenario for the change, got fucked. They would want out, but also had zero strategy for that, because DBaaS fuckup.

In the cloud you don’t need operations. Until you do.

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Microsoft fixed Wannacrypt on XP in February, didn’t release

The Register reports:

[O]ur analysis of the metadata within these patches shows these files were built and digitally signed by Microsoft on February 11, 13 and 17, the same week it had prepared updates for its supported versions of Windows. In other words, Microsoft had fixes ready to go for its legacy systems in mid-February but only released them to the public last Friday after the world was engulfed in WannaCrypt.

Here’s the dates in the patches:

  • Windows 8 RT (64-bit x86): Feb 13, 2017
  • Windows 8 RT (32-bit x86): Feb 13, 2017
  • Windows Server 2003 (64-bit x86): Feb 11, 2017
  • Windows Server 2003 (32-bit x86): Feb 11, 2017
  • Windows XP: Feb 11, 2017
  • Windows XP Embedded: Feb 17, 2017

This is bad.

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Gemini Offshore Wind Park opens in the Netherlands

The Gemini Offshore Wind Park opens in the Netherlands:

With 150 wind turbines spanning 68 square kilometers, Gemini is one of the largest offshore wind parks in the world. Located 85 kilometers off the coast of Groningen in the North Sea, the Gemini is invisible from land. The project chose the location due to its high, constant wind speeds […] Management and maintenance headquarters for the wind park are in Eemshaven.

The park features 4MW turbines, so about 600 MW best case capacity (Wikipedia, Van Oord building this, 4C offshore, official website)

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