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Category: Computer Science

The missing standard for Datacenter Space…

20th century dross

There is a very nice talk by John Laban on the accumulation of cruft and old style features in how we are currently building data centers. Being an advocate for the Open Compute Foundation, Laban is an advocate for OCP, which at the core has several ideas.

One of them being the vision of a Data Center Room, Rack and Machine as a system that are depending on each other in construction.

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The Great DOM Fuzz-off of 2017

I generally recommend people use a current stable Chrome. It’s the most secure browser. Please also install uBO and use 1Password.

Turns out, that recommendation can also be backed up by data. Check the “Results” headline.

Note also how they did not test Safari on Apple, because that hurts too much:

Instead of fuzzing Safari directly, which would require Apple hardware, we instead used WebKitGTK+ which we could run on internal (Linux-based) infrastructure. We created an ASAN build of the release version of WebKitGTK+. Additionally, each crash was verified against a nightly ASAN WebKit build running on a Mac.

Yup, Apple development and testing happening on Linux.

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How The Internet Kept Humming During 2 Hurricanes

The New York Times has a nice article about Data Center Infrastructure vs. Hurricanes, suitable for muggles.

Yet another data center, west of Houston, was so well prepared for the storm — with backup generators, bunks and showers — that employees’ displaced family members took up residence and United States marshals used it as a headquarters until the weather passed.

“It wasn’t Noah’s ark, but it was darn close,” said Rob Morris, managing partner and co-founder of Skybox, the company that runs the center.

 

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How do people develop for MacOS at scale?

So, how do people develop people for MacOS at scale?

Normal people throw compile jobs at their Kubernetes cluster, and fan out a compile across some two racks full of 50 core machines, giving you some 4000 cores to play with for distributed compiles.

Is there a MacOS LLVM docker image that runs the Xcode compiler in Linux containers and that can be plugged into this? Or are people piling Mac mini and Mac pro or other unrackable bullshit with insufficient remote management into racks, creating a nightmare farm of snowflakes?

How does Apple itself do this? Like animals, on the Desktop?

And how do you integrate such a remote compile farm into Xcode?

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What G+ thinks you like to read…

The latest incarnation of “What’s hot”…

Google plus always has had a content discovery feature. In the past that have been the infamous “What’s hot…” entries. Postings that went into that category usually attracted a ton of spammers and even more haters, and one had a pretty blood crusted banhammer until the waves were through. Ask me how I know…

The current incarnation of “What’s hot” is marginally better at selecting and offering content, because it is somewhat more personalised. This is actually interesting, because the top bar shows a list of clickable keywords, which can give you a way to filter and also show you what Google plus would associate with your behavior.

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From Data Centers to Computronium and Riding Light

So at work we discussed Data Center Design at scale, and then things got out of hand. We ended up discussing Computronium, a hypothetical stuff  that basically is a piece of thinking matter, performing computation, the ultimate composable piece of hardware.

Computronium is a problem, though. You can’t just cover the planet in a crunchy Computronium crust – not only because the Hotels have to go somewhere. But also, because whatever thickness of Computronium you propose, it has to be powered somehow.

Ultimately, it has to be powered by the amount of energy hitting us from the sun. So there is likely a Dyson sphere behind the earth or elsewhere, collecting even more energy from the sun and sending it into the Computronium.

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The road to hell is paved with outdated passwords…

So I am using Chrome in a corporate context. Outdated password regulations force me to increment my password every three months. The reason for that is well understood (PCI compliance), but can’t be changed from inside the corporation.

Previously, Chrome stored my passwords in the Apple Keychain. So I could script this, using /usr/bin/security and push my password change into all saved passwords, or, alternatively, bulk delete all those old passwords.

Recent Chrome does not do that any more.

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