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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.


Jim boosted

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.


@yngmar I don't think it would be permitted anyway.

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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)

Some observations on "the cloud" and data centres 

@cynicalsecurity This is incredibly interesting.

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.

@ParadeGrotesque it's a lot more than it used to be. That's as much as I can say.

@HebrideanHecate @Flick Of course it is totally irrational, but the real issue is the belief it doesn't matter.

@HebrideanHecate @Flick I used to work with someone who straight up told me he thought everything was about 30 minutes away. He lost job opportunities because of it.

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