Orange Badge · One of our admin people walked into my office, saying “Five-year anniversary, new badge, gimme your old one”. Which means I’ve been here five orbits of the sun, my longest job tenure since my seven-year stay last century at a company I co-founded ...
Jag Diary 11: A Year In · The I-Pace insurance renewal showed up so I knew a year must have (so quickly!) gone by. I’d thought I should write something to draw a line under this diary, and then just now the car saved my life, so now’s the time. Not much new information here but maybe a couple of smiles ... [4 comments]
Horopito · It’s a place near the center of New Zealand’s North Island; we spent the last Christmas of the decade there. It’s considered remote in NZ which I guess makes it doubly so in the wider world. Unless you’re planning southern-hemisphere skiing you’re unlikely to go near it, so I felt words and pictures worth sharing ...
@bluesky · At my day job they say “Think big!”, and @bluesky is that. I can’t stop thinking about it, and bloggers can’t help thinking in public. This work can simultaneously be probably-doomed and obviously-worthwhile ... [2 comments]
Content-based Filtering · The publish/subscribe pattern is central to data in motion — event-driven and messaging-based apps, I mean. I’m increasingly convinced that pub/sub software just isn’t complete without some sort of declarative filtering technology, so that you can subscribe to a huge shared torrent of data and only see the parts of it that you need to process. You could look at everything and write code to reject the data you don’t care about, but it’s nice to write a declarative rule and have the system take care of the filtering for you ...
The Oil Patch Up Against the Wall · I’m terribly worried about how my children — and humans in general — are going to deal with catastrophic global warming in the likely case that the average global temperature spike is somewhere in the 2°-4°C range. I want to highlight a couple of weekend stories on the biggest news story of the twenty-first century: The tragedy of the deniers, and likely consequences for the perpetrators ... [3 comments]
Electric Boats · I love boating, but I hate the fact that powerboats guzzle loads of fossil fuel. I assuage my guilt by noting that the distance traveled is small — a couple of hours for each return trip to the cabin, and there are sadly less than twenty of those per year. Then I got into a discussion on /r/boating about whether electric boats are practical, so herewith some scratchpad calculations on that subject ... [5 comments]
Wolfe and Gika · Chelsea Wolfe I mean, and her opening act Thursday night was Ioanna Gika. It was exceptionally enjoyable, partly because nothing about it was wrong. Lovely music, great staging, good venue, exceptional sound. This happens rarely enough that it’s worth calling out when it does ... [2 comments]
Bits On the Wire · Exactly 100% of everything on the Internet involves exchanging messages which represent items of interest to humans. These items can be classified into three baskets: One for “media” (images, sound, video), one for text (HTML, PDF, XML), and one for “objects” (chat messages, payments, love poems, order statuses). This is a survey of how Object data is encoded for transmission over the Internet. Discussed: JSON, binary formats like Avro and Protobufs, and the trade-offs. Much of what people believe to be true is not ... [11 comments]
Subscription Friction · At Canadian Thanksgiving, friends joined us at our cottage for turkey and the fixings. The food (what we made and what they brought) all came out great and we had happy stomachs. I did a lot of the cooking and wanted to check recipes and was brought face to horrified face with the failure of publishing to work on the Internet. The solution seems plain to me and this won’t be the first time I’ve offered it. But something really needs to be done ... [8 comments]
Easy Reliable Chicken Kebabs · This involves a certain amount of chopping stuff up, also attention to hygiene, but requires no particular technical skill and has never ever failed to get rave reviews ...
Records and Lenses · Sunday included more fun than the recent average — at my age, chilling is often more attractive than partying. Sunday featured vinyl, vintage lenses, Southern guitar boogie, and a photo-assignment. With pictures! (Which may be a little puzzling, but stay with me.) ... [2 comments]
Discogs Pain · As I continue slowly ingesting the 900 classical LPs I inherited, I’ve developed a relationship with Discogs. It’s a good place to track your collection (here’s mine, in-progress). This is the story of my first attempt to use it to buy music, a laughable failure. It’s by way of public service, just leaving a marker, a warning others to be careful about charging into the marketplace ... [3 comments]
At the Climate Strike · I went and so did lots of others, but many couldn’t so I thought I’d try to share the scale and the feel ... [1 comment]
On Sharding · If you need to handle really a lot of traffic, there’s only one way to do it: sharding. Which is to say, splitting up the incoming requests among as many hosts (or Lambda functions, or message brokers, or data streams) as you need. Once you get this working you can handle an essentially unlimited request volume. Of course, you have to make choices on how you’re going to divide up the traffic among the shards. I’ve had intense exposure to the options since I came to work at AWS ... [4 comments]
The Cloud and Open Source · This is eventually about the public cloud and Open Source, but — apologies in advance — takes an indirect and long-ish path ... [6 comments]
CL XXXIX: Island Wildlife · Our probably-last Cottage-Life weekend of 2019 featured cetacean encounters and rodent rage. But I didn’t manage to photograph any of that, so just the usual trees and sunsets ... [2 comments]
Portraits of Puppets · If you happened to check out my Twitter feed on the weekend, you’ll know that I attended a pair of dueling rallies outside a train station in central Vancouver. On one side, a crowd in black supporting the Hong Kong protests; on the other a red-clad flag-festooned squad bringing Beijing’s message. I was dressed in black and took pictures of the other side ... [1 comment]