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Four short links: 5 December 2018

O'Reilly Radar - Wed, 2018/12/05 - 05:00

NLP for Code, Monolith vs. Modular, Automatic Gender Recognition, and Budget Simulator

  1. code2vec -- a dedicated website for demonstrating the principles shown in the paper code2vec: Learning Distributed Representations of Code. An interesting start to using a productive NLP technique on code.
  2. Monolithic or Modular -- When monolithic adherents look at a modular project, they may think that it’s low quality or abandoned simply because commit count is low and rare, new features are not being added, and the project has no funding or community events. Interestingly, these same properties are what modular adherents will perceive as a good thing, likely to indicate that the module is complete. Monolithic adherents don’t believe a project could ever be “complete.”
  3. The Misgendering Machines: Trans/HCI Implications of Automatic Gender Recognition -- I show that AGR consistently operationalizes gender in a trans-exclusive way, and consequently carries disproportionate risk for trans people subject to it. In addition, I use the dearth of discussion of this in HCI papers that apply AGR to discuss how HCI operationalizes gender and the implications that this has for the field’s research. I conclude with recommendations for alternatives to AGR and some ideas for how HCI can work toward a more effective and trans-inclusive treatment of gender. (via Alvaro Videla)
  4. Occult Defence Agency Budgeting Simulator -- a hilarious exercise whose point is about what happens the year after you cut the budget, with parallels to UK fiscal policy left as exercise for the (pixie-ravaged) reader. I've long held that simulations are a fantastic way to make a point. (via David Stark)

Continue reading Four short links: 5 December 2018.

Categories: Technology

120+ live online training courses opened for January and February

O'Reilly Radar - Wed, 2018/12/05 - 04:00

Get hands-on training in Kubernetes, machine learning, blockchain, Python, management, and many other topics.

Learn new topics and refine your skills with more than 120 new live online training courses we opened up for January and February on our online learning platform.

Artificial intelligence and machine learning

Getting Started with Chatbot Development with the Microsoft Bot Framework, January 7-8

Essential Machine Learning and Exploratory Data Analysis with Python and Jupyter Notebook, January 7-8

Managed Machine Learning Systems and Internet of Things, January 9-10

Machine Learning in Practice, January 15

Deep Learning Fundamentals, January 17

Practical MQTT for the Internet of Things, January 17-18

Natural Language Processing (NLP) from Scratch, January 22

Getting Started with Machine Learning, January 24

Artificial Intelligence for Robotics, January 24-25

Machine Learning in Python and Jupyter for Beginners, January 30

Protecting Data Privacy in a Machine Learning World, January 31

Artificial Intelligence: Real-World Applications, January 31

Hands-On Chatbots and Conversational UI Development, February 4-5

Building a Deep Learning Model Using TensorFlow, February 7-8

A Practical Introduction to Machine Learning, February 13


Blockchain Applications and Smart Contracts, January 11

Introducing Blockchain, January 22

IBM Blockchain Platform as a Service, January 23-24

Certified Blockchain Solutions Architect (CBSA) Certification Crash Course, January 25

Building Smart Contracts on the Blockchain, January 31-February 1


Spotlight on Innovation: AI Explained with James Cham, December 12

Building the Courage to Take Risks, January 8

Fundamentals of Cognitive Biases, January 14

Negotiation Fundamentals, January 17

Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace, January 22

Writing User Stories, January 23

Adaptive Project Management, January 24

Business Strategy Fundamentals, January 24

Introduction to Time Management Skills, January 25

Having Difficult Conversations, January 28

The Power of Lean in Software Projects: Less Wasted Effort and More Product Results, January 29

Giving a Powerful Presentation, January 30

Tools for the Digital Transformation, January 30-31

Managing Your Manager, January 31

Introduction to Critical Thinking, February 6

How to Give Great Presentations, February 7

Introduction to Strategic Thinking Skills, February 11

Your First 30 Days as a Manager, February 12

Data science and data tools

Apache Hadoop, Spark, and Big Data Foundations, January 15

Python Data Handling - A Deeper Dive, January 22

Practical Data Science with Python, January 22-23

Hands-On Introduction to Apache Hadoop and Spark Programming, January 23-24

Cleaning Data at Scale, January 24

Foundational Data Science with R, January 30-31

Introduction to DAX Using Power BI, February 1

Managing Enterprise Data Strategies with Hadoop, Spark, and Kafka, February 13


Reactive Spring Boot, January 7

Design Patterns in Java, January 7-8

Spring Boot and Kotlin, January 8

Ground Zero Programming with JavaScript, January 8

SOLID Principles of Object-Oriented and Agile Design, January 11

Fundamentals of Rust, January 14-15

Mastering C++ Game Development, January 14-15

Mastering SELinux, January 15

Java Full Throttle with Paul Deitel: A One-Day, Code-Intensive Java Standard Edition Presentation, January 15

Introduction to Android Application Development with Kotlin, January 17-18

Learn Linux in 3 Hours, January 18

Scala Core Programming: Methods, Classes Traits, January 22

Programming with Java Lambdas and Streams, January 22

Getting Started with Node.js, January 23

Mastering the Basics of Relational SQL Querying, January 23-24

Developing Modern React Patterns, January 24

Getting Started with Spring and Spring Boot, January 24-25

Building Data APIs with GraphQL, January 28

Getting Started with React.js, January 28

Functional Programming in Java, January 28-29

Julia 1.0 Essentials, January 30

Reactive Spring and Spring Boot, January 30

Advanced React.JS, February 6

React Beyond the Basics - Master React's Advanced Concepts, February 7

Advanced SQL Series: Relational Division, February 7

Scala: Beyond the Basics, February 7-8

Basic Android Development, February 7-8

Object Oriented Programming in C# and .NET Core, February 8

Developing Incremental Architecture, February 11-12

Beginning Frontend Development with React, February 11-12

Getting Started with Pandas, February 12

CSS Layout Fundamentals: From Floats to Flexbox and CSS Grid, February 12

Advanced SQL Series: Proximal and Linear Interpolations, February 12

Getting Started with Python 3, February 12-13

Mastering Pandas, February 13

Kotlin for Android, February 14-15

Fundamentals of IoT with JavaScript, February 14-15


Introduction to Ethical Hacking and Penetration Testing, January 8-9

CompTIA Network+ Crash Course, January 16-18

Introduction to Encryption, January 22

AWS Security Fundamentals, January 28

CISSP Crash Course, January 29-30

Professional SQL Server High Availability and Disaster Recovery, January 29-30

CompTIA PenTest+ Crash Course, January 30-31

Security for Machine Learning, February 13

Systems engineering and operations

Hands-On Infrastructure as Code, December 11

Introduction to Kubernetes, January 3-4

Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) Crash Course, January 7-10

Creating Serverless APIs with AWS Lambda and API Gateway, January 8

Amazon Web Services (AWS): Up and Running, January 11

Getting Started with OpenShift, January 11

Building a Deployment Pipeline with Jenkins 2, January 14-15

Microservices Architecture and Design, January 16-17

AWS Certified Solutions Architect Associate Crash Course, January 16-17

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) for AWS Professionals, January 18

Red Hat RHEL 8 New Feature, January 22

Rethinking REST: A Hands-On Guide to GraphQL and Queryable APIs, January 22

Docker: Beyond the Basics (CI & CD), January 22-23

Domain-Driven Design and Event-Driven Microservices, January 22-23

Chaos Engineering: Planning, Designing, and Running Automated Chaos Experiments, January 23

Building and Managing Kubernetes Applications, January 24

Continuous Deployment to Kubernetes, January 24-25

API Driven Architecture with Swagger and API Blueprint, January 25

DevOps Toolkit, January 28-29

End-to-End Containerization with Amazon ECS, January 28-30

Ansible in 4 Hours, January 29

CompTIA Cloud+ CV0-002 Exam Prep, January 29

Amazon Web Services: AWS Managed Services, January 29-30

CISSP Certification Practice Questions and Exam Strategies, January 30

AWS Monitoring Strategies, February 4-5

From Developer to Software Architect, February 6-7

Building Applications with Apache Cassandra, February 6-7

Moving from Server-Side to Client-Side with Angular, February 7-8

Docker: Up and Running, February 12-13

Web programming

Modern Web Development with TypeScript and Angular, January 22-23

Continue reading 120+ live online training courses opened for January and February.

Categories: Technology

Survey reveals the opportunities and realities of microservices

O'Reilly Radar - Tue, 2018/12/04 - 07:00

A new report explores how far companies have come with microservices.

Fads come and go in the technology world—anyone remember AJAX? When new, shiny things appear, architects often struggle to determine whether this is merely the latest fad or a genuine future direction.

Microservices are evolving from fad to trend. Several years ago, many companies experimented with microservices but had doubts about the operational complexity and engineering maturity required to achieve success. However, enough companies tamed the dragons to realize real benefits, making this architectural style the prevailing trend in many industries for both new application development and the migration target for many existing systems.

The O'Reilly Software Architecture Conference tracks microservices, and we periodically check in with practitioners to see how it’s being implemented in the real world. O’Reilly conducted a survey on microservices maturity in July 2018 that aimed to assess how far companies have come with microservices, what challenges they face, and some common best practices. The 866 responses were summarized and analyzed in our free report, The State of Microservices Maturity.

Insights from the report include:

  • Containers continue to rise in popularity for microservices: 69% of survey respondents use containers for microservices deployment.
  • Although Kubernetes enjoys great popularity in the press and at conferences, adoption is still below the 40% mark for our survey respondents.
  • More than 50% of respondents use continuous deployment, which speaks to overall engineering maturity in the industry.
  • 86% of respondents rate their microservices efforts at least partially successful.

For the full survey findings and analysis, download The State of Microservices Maturity.

Continue reading Survey reveals the opportunities and realities of microservices.

Categories: Technology

Four short links: 4 December 2018

O'Reilly Radar - Tue, 2018/12/04 - 04:35

Voice Technology, AI Summaries, Time Tracker, and Homomorphic Encryption

  1. Fifteen Unconventional Uses of Voice Technology (Nicole He) -- Students had half a semester to learn tools like the Web Speech API, Dialogflow, and Actions on Google, and then were tasked with making something...interesting. The in-class code examples we used are on GitHub. Here are 15 funny, subversive, and impressively weird final projects from the class.
  2. Summary of 2018's Most Important AI Papers -- To help you catch up, we’ve summarized 10 important AI research papers from 2018 to give you a broad overview of machine learning advancements this year. There are many more breakthrough papers worth reading as well, but we think this is a good list for you to start with.
  3. arbtt -- a time tracker that sits in the background. You write rules that tell it how to categorize your activity.
  4. Microsoft Simple Encrypted Arithmetic Library -- an easy-to-use but powerful homomorphic encryption library written in C++. It supports both the BFV and the CKKS encryption schemes. (via Microsoft Research Blog)

Continue reading Four short links: 4 December 2018.

Categories: Technology

Four short links: 3 December 2018

O'Reilly Radar - Mon, 2018/12/03 - 04:45

Amazon and OSS, Audio to Keystrokes, The New OS, and Software Sprawl

  1. Amazon is Competing with Its Customers -- What's more, Kreps said, Amazon has not contributed a single line of code to the Apache Kafka open source software and is not reselling Confluent's cloud tool. Sometimes Amazon contributes back, but increasingly often it seems like its software MO is exploitation not co-creation. This is what prompted the creation of various "open except if you resell it as a cloud service"-source licenses, like the Commons Clause.
  2. kbd-audio -- tools for capturing and analyzing keyboard input paired with microphone capture.
  3. Kubernetes is the OS That Matters (Matt Asay) -- provocative clickbait title, but the point is important: if single-machine apps are the exception, then the lowest layer of critical shared software is no longer the OS but instead the cluster manager.
  4. Software Sprawl, The Golden Path, and Scaling Teams with Agency (Charity Majors) -- good talk on how to recover from "we're using too many shiny tools, and it's hard to make progress because there's no common set of tools, so everyone's reinventing the wheel, and omg fire."

Continue reading Four short links: 3 December 2018.

Categories: Technology

Four short links: 30 November 2018

O'Reilly Radar - Fri, 2018/11/30 - 05:00

Advents are Coming, Open Source, Restricted Exports, and Misinformation Operations

  1. QEMU Advent Calendar -- An amazing QEMU disk image every day!. It's that time of year again! See also Advent of Code.
  2. De Facto Closed Source -- You want to download thousands of lines of useful, but random, code from the internet, for free, run it in a production web server, or worse, your user’s machine, trust it with your paying users’ data and reap that sweet dough. We all do. But then you can’t be bothered to check the license, understand the software you are running, and still want to blame the people who make your business a possibility when mistakes happen, while giving them nothing for it? This is both incompetence and entitlement.
  3. U.S. Government Wonders What to Limit Exports Of -- The representative general categories of technology for which Commerce currently seeks to determine whether there are specific emerging technologies that are essential to the national security of the United States include: (1) Biotechnology, such as: (i) Nanobiology; (ii) Synthetic biology; (iv) Genomic and genetic engineering; or (v) Neurotech. (2) Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning technology, such as: (i) Neural networks and deep learning (e.g., brain modeling, time series prediction, classification); (ii) Evolution and genetic computation (e.g., genetic algorithms, genetic programming); (iii) Reinforcement learning; (iv) Computer vision (e.g., object recognition, image understanding); (v) Expert systems (e.g., decision support systems, teaching systems); (vi) Speech and audio processing (e.g., speech recognition and production); (vii) Natural language processing (e.g., machine translation); (viii) Planning (e.g., scheduling, game playing); (ix) Audio and video manipulation technologies (e.g., voice cloning, deepfakes); (x) AI cloud technologies; or (xi) AI chipsets. (3) Position, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) technology. (4) Microprocessor technology, such as: (i) Systems-on-Chip (SoC); or (ii) Stacked Memory on Chip. (5) Advanced computing technology, such as: (i) Memory-centric logic. (6) Data analytics technology, such as: (i) Visualization; (ii) Automated analysis algorithms; or (iii) Context-aware computing. (7) Quantum information and sensing technology, such as (i) Quantum computing; (ii) Quantum encryption; or (iii) Quantum sensing. (8) Logistics technology, such as: (i) Mobile electric power; (ii) Modeling and simulation; (iii) Total asset visibility; or (iv) Distribution-based Logistics Systems (DBLS). (9) Additive manufacturing (e.g., 3D printing); (10) Robotics such as: (i) Micro-drone and micro-robotic systems; (ii) Swarming technology; (iii) Self-assembling robots; (iv) Molecular robotics; (v) Robot compliers; or (vi) Smart Dust. (11) Brain-computer interfaces, such as (i) Neural-controlled interfaces; (ii) Mind-machine interfaces; (iii) Direct neural interfaces; or (iv) Brain-machine interfaces. (12) Hypersonics, such as: (i) Flight control algorithms; (ii) Propulsion technologies; (iii) Thermal protection systems; or (iv) Specialized materials (for structures, sensors, etc.). (13) Advanced Materials, such as: (i) Adaptive camouflage; (ii) Functional textiles (e.g., advanced fiber and fabric technology); or (iii) Biomaterials. (14) Advanced surveillance technologies, such as: Faceprint and voiceprint technologies. It's a great list of what's in the next Gartner Hype Cycle report.
  4. The Digital Maginot Line (Renee DiResta) -- We know this is coming, and yet we’re doing very little to get ahead of it. No one is responsible for getting ahead of it. [...] platforms aren’t incentivized to engage in the profoundly complex arms race against the worst actors when they can simply point to transparency reports showing that they caught a fair number of the mediocre actors. [...] The regulators, meanwhile, have to avoid the temptation of quick wins on meaningless tactical bills (like the Bot Law) and wrestle instead with the longer-term problems of incentivizing the platforms to take on the worst offenders (oversight), and of developing a modern-day information operations doctrine.

Continue reading Four short links: 30 November 2018.

Categories: Technology

Four short links: 29 November 2018

O'Reilly Radar - Thu, 2018/11/29 - 05:00

Security Sci-Fi, AWS Toys, Quantum Ledger, and Insecurity in Software in Hardware

  1. The Cliff Nest -- sci-fi story with computer security challenges built in.
  2. Amazon Textract -- OCR in the cloud, extracting not just text but also structured tables. Part of a big feature dump Amazon's done today, including recommendations, AWS on-prem, and a fully managed time series database.
  3. Quantum Ledger Database -- a fully managed ledger database that provides a transparent, immutable, and cryptographically verifiable transaction log owned by a central trusted authority. Amazon QLDB tracks each and every application data change and maintains a complete and verifiable history of changes over time. Many of the advantages of a blockchain ledger without the distributed pains. Quantum in the sense of "minimum chunk of something," not "uses quantum computing."
  4. Sennheiser Headset Software Enabled MITM Attacks -- When users have been installing Sennheiser's HeadSetup software, little did they know the software was also installing a root certificate into the Trusted Root CA Certificate store. To make matters worse, the software was also installing an encrypted version of the certificate's private key that was not as secure as the developers may have thought. This is the price of using software to improve hardware.

Continue reading Four short links: 29 November 2018.

Categories: Technology

Four short links: 28 November 2018

O'Reilly Radar - Wed, 2018/11/28 - 05:00

FaaS, Space as a Service, Bot Yourself, and Facebook's RL Platform

  1. Firecracker -- Amazon's open source virtualization technology that is purpose-built for creating and managing secure, multitenant containers and functions-based services. Docker but for FaaS platforms. Best explanation is on Firecracker is solving the problem of multitenant container density while maintaining the security boundary of a VM. If you’re entirely running first-party trusted workloads and are satisfied with them all sharing a single kernel and using Linux security features like cgroups, selinux, and seccomp, then Firecracker may not be the best answer. If you’re running workloads from customers similar to Lambda, desire stronger isolation than those technologies provide, or want defense in depth, then Firecracker makes a lot of sense. It can also make sense if you need to run a mix of different Linux kernel versions for your containers and don’t want to spend a whole bare-metal host on each one.
  2. Amazon Ground Station: Ingest and Process Data from Orbiting Satellites -- a sign that space is becoming more mainstream. Also interesting because they're doing a bunch of processing in EC2 rather than at the basestation. General-purpose computers often beat specialized ones.
  3. Me Bot -- A simple tool to make a bot that speaks like you, simply learning from your WhatsApp Chats. (via Hacker News)
  4. Horizon -- FB open sources reinforcement learning platform for large-scale products and services, built on PyTorch.

Continue reading Four short links: 28 November 2018.

Categories: Technology

Four short links: 27 November 2018

O'Reilly Radar - Tue, 2018/11/27 - 04:55

Open Source, Interactive Fiction, Evolving Images, and Closed Worlds

  1. Open Source is Not About You (Rich Hickey) -- As a user of something open source, you are not thereby entitled to anything at all. You are not entitled to contribute. You are not entitled to features. You are not entitled to the attention of others. You are not entitled to having value attached to your complaints. You are not entitled to this explanation. Tough love talk. See also this statement by the author of the event-stream NPM module, who passed maintenance onto someone who added malware to it. If it's not fun anymore, you get literally nothing from maintaining a popular package.
  2. Ganbreeder -- explore images created by generative adversarial networks.
  3. 2018 IFComp Winners -- interactive fiction is nextgen chatbot tech. Worth keeping up with to see how they stretch parsers and defy expectations of the genre.
  4. The Architecture of Closed Worlds (We Make Money Not Art) -- One of the most striking lessons of the book is that it is extremely difficult to create a miniaturized world without inheriting some of the problems of the surrounding world. No matter how much control was exerted on the synthetic habitats, no matter how ambitious the vision, the breadth of engineering and human ingeniosity, the results were marred by surprisingly mundane obstacles: gerbils outsmarting the machine, bacteria loss, fingernails and skin infiltrating collectors, or simply the difficulty of implementing behavioural changes. The physical version of online social networks that are shocked to discover their userbase includes pedophiles, racists, stalkers, murderers, nutters, and malicious folks.

Continue reading Four short links: 27 November 2018.

Categories: Technology

Four short links: 26 November 2018

O'Reilly Radar - Mon, 2018/11/26 - 05:35

Graphics Engine, Graph Library, Docker Tool, and Probabilistic Cognition

  1. Heaps -- a mature cross-platform graphics engine designed for high-performance games. It is designed to leverage modern GPUs that are commonly available on both desktop and mobile devices. 2D and 3D game framework, built on the Haxe language and toolkit.
  2. VivaGraphJS -- JavaScript graph manipulation and rendering in JavaScript, designed to be extensible and to support different rendering engines and layout algorithms.
  3. dive -- tool for exploring each layer in a docker image.
  4. Probabilistic Models of Cognition -- This book explores the probabilistic approach to cognitive science, which models learning and reasoning as inference in complex probabilistic models. We examine how a broad range of empirical phenomena, including intuitive physics, concept learning, causal reasoning, social cognition, and language understanding, can be modeled using probabilistic programs (using the WebPPL language).

Continue reading Four short links: 26 November 2018.

Categories: Technology

PLUG meeting - Holiday party on 12/13

PLUG - Sun, 2018/11/25 - 23:42
It's December and time for our annual end of year pot luck. Bring friends and family.

It's a pot luck, so bring some food or drinks to share if you can.

As it's a holiday party, we'll likely have tons of snacks and deserts. This presents an opportunity to bring a main course, salad or veggie side dish. Or cupcakes or pie if you prefer .

We still meet at Desert Breeze.

Since we're eating for the party, we will not go out to a restaurant afterwards.

No alcohol.

As always, the PLUG east side meeting is on the 2nd Thursday of the month.

Desert Breeze Substation
251 North Desert Breeze Blvd,
Chandler, AZ 85226

Four short links: 23 November 2018

O'Reilly Radar - Fri, 2018/11/23 - 06:20

Chinese iPhone Users, Sci-Fi UI, MITM Framework, and HTTP/3

  1. Chinese iPhone Users are Poor -- The Shanghai-based firm also found that most iPhone users are unmarried females aged between 18 and 34, who graduated with just a high school certificate and earn a monthly income of below 3,000 yuan (HK$3,800). They are perceived to be part of a group known as the “invisible poor”—those who do not look as poor as their financial circumstances.
  2. eDEX-UI -- a fullscreen desktop application resembling a sci-fi computer interface, heavily inspired from DEX-UI and the TRON Legacy movie effects. It runs the shell of your choice in a real terminal and displays live information about your system. It was made to be used on large touchscreens but will work nicely on a regular desktop computer or perhaps a tablet PC or one of those funky 360° laptops with touchscreens.
  3. evilginx2 -- a man-in-the-middle attack framework used for phishing login credentials along with session cookies, which in turn allows one to bypass 2-factor authentication protection.
  4. Some Notes About HTTP/3 (Errata Security) -- QUIC is really more of a new version of TCP (TCP/2???) than a new version of HTTP (HTTP/3). It doesn't really change what HTTP/2 does so much as change how the transport works. Therefore, my comments below are focused on transport issues rather than HTTP issues.

Continue reading Four short links: 23 November 2018.

Categories: Technology

Four short links: 22 November 2018

O'Reilly Radar - Thu, 2018/11/22 - 06:50

XOXO Talks, Git Illustrated, Post-REST Services, and Learning Projects

  1. XOXO 2018 Videos -- playlist of talks from XOXO 2018. (via BoingBoing)
  2. Learn Git Branching -- visual!
  3. Post-REST (Tim Bray) -- musings on what might replace REST in different parts of the current world of web services.
  4. Projects -- list of practical projects that anyone can solve in any programming language, divided into categories according to what the project will exercise your knowledge of—e.g., Files, Data Structures, Threading, etc. Good for teachers looking for ideas.

Continue reading Four short links: 22 November 2018.

Categories: Technology

Building tools for enterprise data science

O'Reilly Radar - Wed, 2018/11/21 - 07:00

The O’Reilly Data Show Podcast: Vitaly Gordon on the rise of automation tools in data science.

In this episode of the Data Show, I spoke with Vitaly Gordon, VP of data science and engineering at Salesforce. As the use of machine learning becomes more widespread, we need tools that will allow data scientists to scale so they can tackle many more problems and help many more people. We need automation tools for the many stages involved in data science, including data preparation, feature engineering, model selection and hyperparameter tuning, as well as monitoring.

I wanted the perspective of someone who is already faced with having to support many models in production. The proliferation of models is still a theoretical consideration for many data science teams, but Gordon and his colleagues at Salesforce already support hundreds of thousands of customers who need custom models built on custom data. They recently took their learnings public and open sourced TransmogrifAI, a library for automated machine learning for structured data, which sits on top of Apache Spark.

Continue reading Building tools for enterprise data science.

Categories: Technology

Four short links: 21 November 2018

O'Reilly Radar - Wed, 2018/11/21 - 05:55

Black Mirror, Innovation Toolkits, Code-Generator for APIs, and Hardware Effects

  1. Black Mirror Brainstorms (Aaron Lewis) -- In light of the latest FB scandal, here's my proposal for replacing Design Sprints: "Black Mirror Brainstorms." A workshop in which you create a Black Mirror episode. The plot must revolve around misuse of your team's product. See Casey Fiesler's Black Mirror, Light Mirror, which I've linked to before on 4SL.
  2. Toolkit Navigator -- A compendium of toolkits for public sector innovation and transformation, curated by OPSI and our partners around the world.
  3. Conjure -- Palantir's open source simple but opinionated toolchain for defining APIs once and generating client/server interfaces in multiple languages. For more, read the blog post.
  4. Hardware Effects -- this repository demonstrates various hardware effects that can degrade application performance in surprising ways and that may be very hard to explain without knowledge of the low-level CPU and OS architecture. For each effect I try to create a proof of concept program that is as small as possible so it can be understood easily. How full stack ARE you?

Continue reading Four short links: 21 November 2018.

Categories: Technology

Four short links: 20 November 2018

O'Reilly Radar - Tue, 2018/11/20 - 05:15

East African ML Needs, Autonomy Corrections, Information Security, and UIs from Doodles

  1. Some Requests for Machine Learning Research from the East African Tech Scene -- Based on 46 in–depth interviews [...] a list of concrete machine learning research problems, progress on which would directly benefit tech ventures in East Africa. Example: Priors for autocorrect and low-literacy SMS use—SMS text contains many language misuses due to a combination of autocorrection and low literacy. E.g., “poultry farmer” becoming “poetry farmer.” Such mistakes are bound to occur in any written language corpus, but engineers working with rural populations in East Africa report that this is a prevalent issue for them, confounding the use of pretrained language models. This problem also exists to some degree in voice data with respect to English spoken in different accents. Priors over autocorrect substitution rules, or custom, per–dialect confusion matrices between phonetically similar words could potentially help. Expect much more work like this as AI/ML moves into non-WEIRD (Western Educated Industrialized Rich Democratic) nations.
  2. How the Media Gets Tesla Wrong -- a reminder that our convenient shorthand and once-over-lightly reading of the news gives a false and rosy picture of what's possible.
  3. Why Information Security is Hard: An Economic Perspective -- fascinating arguments! I particularly like the statistical argument: a lone attacker might find 10 bugs a year, a well-prepared defender might find 1,000 bugs a year, but if there are 100,000 available bugs for exploitation, then there's very low probability that the defender found and patched the same bugs that the attacker found...
  4. DoodleMaster -- sketches->UI via a CNN, a proof-of-concept.

Continue reading Four short links: 20 November 2018.

Categories: Technology

Four short links: 19 November 2018

O'Reilly Radar - Mon, 2018/11/19 - 05:00

Partial Time, Black Mirror, Implant Usability, and Open Source Game

  1. Time is Partial -- Even though time naturally feels like a total order, studying distributed systems or weak memory exposes you, head on, to how it isn’t. And that’s precisely because these are both cases where our standard over-approximation of time being total limits performance—which we obviously can’t have.
  2. Black Mirror, Light Mirror: Teaching Technology Ethics Through Speculation (Casey Fiesler) -- This is not a new idea, and I’m certainly not the only one to do a lot of thinking about it (e.g., see “How to Teach Computer Ethics Through Science Fiction”), but I wanted to share two specific exercises that I use and that I think are easily adaptable.
  3. How I Lost and Regained Control of My Microchip Implant (Vice) -- After a year of living with a totally useless NFC implant, I kind of started to like it. That small, almost imperceptible little bump on my left hand was a constant reminder that even the most sophisticated and fool-proof technologies are no match for human incompetence. (via Slashdot)
  4. System Syzygy -- open source puzzle game for Mac, Windows, and Linux. (via Andrew Plotkin)

Continue reading Four short links: 19 November 2018.

Categories: Technology

10 top Java resources on O’Reilly’s online learning platform

O'Reilly Radar - Mon, 2018/11/19 - 05:00

Our most-used Java resources will help you stay on track in your journey to learn and apply Java.

We dove into the data on our online learning platform to identify the most-used Java resources. These are the items our platform subscribers regularly turn to as they apply Java in their projects and organizations.

Effective Java, 3rd Edition — Joshua Bloch covers language and library features added in Java 7, 8, and 9, including the functional programming constructs that were added to its object-oriented roots. Many new items have been added, including a chapter devoted to lambdas and streams.

Java 8 and 9 Fundamentals: Modern Java Development with Lambdas, Streams, and Introducing Java 9’s JShell and the Java Platform Module System (JPMS) — Paul Deitel applies the Deitel signature live-code approach to teaching programming and explores the Java language and Java APIs in depth.

Java 8 in Action: Lambdas, streams, and functional-style programming — Raoul-Gabriel Urma, Mario Fusco, and Alan Mycroft cover lambdas, streams, and functional-style programming in this clearly written guide to to the new features of Java 8.

Head First Java, 2nd Edition — Bert Bates and Kathy Sierra offer a complete introduction to object-oriented programming and Java.

OCP Oracle Certified Professional Java SE 8 Programmer II — Scott Selikoff and Jeanne Boyarsky bring you a comprehensive companion for preparing for Exam 1Z0-809 as well as upgrade Exam 1Z0-810 and Exam 1Z0-813.

Java Concurrency in Practice — This book arms readers with both the theoretical underpinnings and concrete techniques for building reliable, scalable, maintainable concurrent applications.

Optimizing Java — Chris Newland, James Gough, and Benjamin Evans teach you how to tune Java applications for performance using a quantitative, verifiable approach.

Java: The Complete Reference, 10th Edition — Herbert Schildt covers the entire Java language, including its syntax, keywords, and fundamental programming principles.

Java for Beginners: Step-by-Step Hands-On Guide to Java — Manuj Aggarwal and the TetraTutorials Team bring you a course jam-packed with practical demos, homework assignments, and live coding to help you grasp the complex topics.

Cloud Native Java — Josh Long and Kenny Bastani show Java/JVM developers how to build better software, faster, using Spring Boot, Spring Cloud, and Cloud Foundry.

Continue reading 10 top Java resources on O’Reilly’s online learning platform.

Categories: Technology

Four short links: 16 November 2018

O'Reilly Radar - Fri, 2018/11/16 - 05:00

Illuminated Paper, Software Forge, Leak Checklist, and PC on ESP

  1. IllumiPaper -- illuminated elements built into regular paper, with implementation.
  2. -- (pronounced "sir hat") a software forge like GitHub or GitLab, but with interesting strengths (e.g., very lightweight pages, and the CI system).
  3. Leak Mitigation Checklist -- If you just leaked sensitive information in public source code, read this document as part of your emergency procedure.
  4. Emulating an IBM PC on an ESP8266 -- an 8086 PC-XT emulation with 640K RAM, 80×25 CGA composite video, and a 1.44MB MS-DOS disk on an ESP12E without additional components. (via Alasdair Allen)

Continue reading Four short links: 16 November 2018.

Categories: Technology

Four short links: 15 November 2018

O'Reilly Radar - Thu, 2018/11/15 - 04:50

Punish Online Criminals, Fake Fingerprints, Implementing Identity, and Project Visbug

  1. USA Needs to Pursue Malicious Cyber Actors -- a report that argues that the United States currently lacks a comprehensive overarching strategic approach to identify, stop, and punish cyberattackers. (1) There is a burgeoning cybercrime wave. (2) There is a stunning cyber enforcement gap. (3) There is no comprehensive U.S. cyber enforcement strategy aimed at the human attacker. This is definitely a golden age of online crime.
  2. DeepMasterPrints: Generating MasterPrints for Dictionary Attacks via Latent Variable Evolution -- MasterPrints are real or synthetic fingerprints that can fortuitously match with a large number of fingerprints, thereby undermining the security afforded by fingerprint systems. Previous work by Roy, et al., generated synthetic MasterPrints at the feature level. In this work, we generate complete image-level MasterPrints known as DeepMasterPrints, whose attack accuracy is found to be much superior than that of previous methods. (via Mikko Hypponen)
  3. The Tripartite Identity Pattern (Randy Farmer) -- The three components of user identity are: the account identifier, the login identifier, and the public identifier.
  4. Project VisBug -- edit/tweak existing webpages.

Continue reading Four short links: 15 November 2018.

Categories: Technology


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