Roundup, August 2020
Lots of items this month that caught my eye.
Dear Google Cloud, Your Deprecation Policy is Killing You
Steve Yegge’s Platforms Rant was deeply influential in how I thought about platform design, and this is similarly thought provoking for building and maintaining SaaS infrastructure. I want to call it “Sustainable Infrastructure”.
Related: Rachel by the Bay’s post are also always on point, and this one ends with a nice coinage:
VendorOps” as a job: http://rachelbythebay.com/w/2020/08/14/jobs/
Here’s why Apple believes it’s an AI leader—and why it says critics have it all wrong
This isn’t really par for the course of error states, but as I continue doing research into how Machine Learning is deployed in the world, I find Apple’s position an interesting one:
Machine learning is used to help the iPad’s software distinguish between a user accidentally pressing their palm against the screen while drawing with the Apple Pencil, and an intentional press meant to provide an input. It’s used to monitor users’ usage habits to optimize device battery life and charging, both to improve the time users can spend between charges and to protect the battery’s longterm viability. It’s used to make app recommendations.
It’s very much about Machine Learning as augmenting experience based on your data, among other things. I think it’s a worthwhile exploration of microdata and microdetails that can be used to craft adaptive experiences that you wouldn’t even think of personalized.
Gigapixel AI Accidentally Added Ryan Gosling’s Face to This Photo
Chalking this one up to “bad AI”:
Quite possibly the opposite of this is the following project:
Machine learning is a fantastic tool for renovating old photos and videos. So much so that it can even bring ancient statues to life, transforming the chipped stone busts of long-dead Roman emperors into photorealistic faces you could imagine walking past on the street.
The Joys of Owning an OG Email Account:
But what still blows me away is the number of financial and other sensitive accounts I could access if I were of a devious mind. This particular email address has accounts that I never asked for at H&R Block, Turbotax, TaxAct, iTunes, LastPass, Dashlane, MyPCBackup, and Credit Karma, to name just a few. I’ve lost count of the number of active bank, ISP and web hosting accounts I can tap into.
I’m perpetually amazed by how many other Gmail users and people on similarly-sized webmail providers have opted to pick my account as a backup address if they should ever lose access to their inbox. Almost certainly, these users just lazily picked my account name at random when asked for a backup email — apparently without fully realizing the potential ramifications of doing so. At last check, my account is listed as the backup for more than three dozen Yahoo, Microsoft and other Gmail accounts and their associated file-sharing services.
Choose Riven Wood
No, this isn’t something related to a DnD campaign. Riving wood means splitting it along the direction of its long fibers. It’s a 17th century technique this is unused anymore because cheap mechanical manufacturing and demand for low cost goods means we don’t need to care as much about the quality of construction. I’m filing this one under “skills we’ve lost with time.”
Russian tourist offered employee $1 million to cripple Tesla with malware
“The purpose of the conspiracy was to recruit an employee of a company to surreptitiously transmit malware provided by the coconspirators into the company’s computer system, exfiltrate data from the company’s network, and threaten to disclose the data online unless the company paid the coconspirators’ ransom demand,” prosecutors wrote in the complaint.
Some Notes on Ethereum & Blockchain:
Filed under “beyond the hype”:
Ethereum is a dark forest
Blockchain, the amazing solution for almost nothing