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Today in 1976, 48 years ago: in Buenos Aires, the Argentine civil-military dictatorship (1976-1983) "disappears" (murders) Raymundo Gleyzer (1941-1976), a 34-year-old Argentine film director, critic and journalist.


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Today in 1984, 40 years ago: The Danube–Black Sea Canal is opened, in a ceremony attended by the Ceaușescus. It had been under construction since the 1950s.


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Some observations on "the cloud" and data centres 

I was reading a very interesting presentation and technical article by LANL and Honeywell on "Thermal Neutrons in Airplanes"¹ which I remembered downloading a while back.

The reason was the recent incident with turbulence and I remembered that there had been an issue with SEE ("Single Event Effects") on a Quantas flight causing it to lose altitude abruptly.

The original reason for downloading it was somewhat historical - SEEs had been plaguing our first three DEC Alpha machines at Imperial College (1993…) over weekends or, rather, the machines were inexplicably crashing with a machine check error over the weekend, and only over the weekend. At the time it turned out that a particular experiment in the Physics department next door to us (Mathematics, proper stuff ;P) ran over weekends and "might produce some stray neutrons." We did not deploy tinfoil (hats or otherwise) but there was an "environmental change" to the experimental setup²

The bottom line is that if you have neutrons hitting your chips it is Not Good™

Now, in avionics and, in particular on the poor Quantas 72 flight, this had rather dire consequences³ but this can be expanded to other systems.

In a previous life I was loosely associated with the Centre for Software Reliability at City University and got a bit of a hammering on the subject matter of dependable computing (actually, this should be hammered in the heads of so many people we'd cause a hammer shortage world-wide) and this is still something very close to my heart: in everything I design I always try to include "fail safe" and "dependable" as parameters.

Now, as more and more data is moved into the cloud and with it the associated processing I think we have an interesting problem coming up.

¹ "TINMAN Thermal Neutron Detector for Aircraft", 2021 - osti.gov/biblio/1783494 - !!rabbit hole alert!!
² a particularly contrived combination of British understatement and burocratese.
³ see "Ghosts in the code: the near crash of Quantas flight 72" - admiralcloudberg.medium.com/gh (Medium, sorry)

There is almost no way to do it without the employee feeling picked on, but they're fucking up, no two ways about it.

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I have to have a performance/absenteeism chat with an employee tomorrow. Easily the worst part of any job.

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People are spun-up about the new Epoch of ARM computers. Their power consumption is the good news. The bad news is that it will likely further enshittification of software toward the 'mobile paradigm'

We just got our revised Broadcom tarriff. $employer is furious.

Is there any more frustrating evidence of the state of US driving culture than these two stickers:
i) Vehicle speed monitored by GPS
ii) This vehicle does not turn right at red lights
Both are there to try and persuade impatient assholes to not be themselves for a minute. It's depressing.

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I have a rare gap in my work schedule while waiting for feedback and upcoming meetings... who wants me?


#icons #glyphs #design #illustration


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40 Minutes in.
The #Google CEO is convinced that, *technically*, this is the correct way to fix a stuck camera back.

We are so fucked.


We had a tornado touch down 2 miles from work. Four trees down, and one on the the road. I've never seen anything like this here. Passed about a mile north of my house.

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Tornado warnings in SW PA. This is not normal.

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I am trying to figure out a tough #math #maths problem in #combinatorics. Anybody into that kind of thing? Know anybody to tag?

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Thanks to @saghul for the _perfect_ illustration of the problems with chatGPT:

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the solar winds are only making me more powerful. watch out

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The creator of alt-text.org is looking for someone to take over the projects. Please reach out to her if you'd like to help and/or have an interest in accessible software.


#AltText #Disability #VisuallyImpaired

There's about 7 miles of freeway for my daily commute; recent lane closures have led to it running about 50-55mph (which is funny, because that's the speed limit) and it feels slow, but what's a real eye opener is it adds about 3-4mpg fuel efficiency to the route.

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