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Tumblr of the Day: Iconic Photos

The Tumblr of the Day is Iconic Photos, which currently comes with the image above and a very nice text explaining the history and making-of of the image and the rise and fall of the drive-in cinema (“By 1958, 83% of American households had a television set in their homes, up from 9% in 1950.”).

Iconic Photos is on Patreon, too.

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Car Sales are a markovian process

A group of people from SEAT, Uni Barcelona, Uni Lausanne and the Captain Obvious Institute for Market Research did Big Data on 10 years worth of car sales (PDF) . They find the process is unsurprisingly Markovian for at least 5 years. Meaning that past sales have an influence on current sales (and expectations of future market changes have an influence on current sales as well).

Meaning that while 2022 is probably not a bad horizon for going electrical, the change to carbon free transport is still going to be fast and violent.

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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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