Tech Today w/ Ken May

Archive for March 2nd, 2017

Amazon is apologizing for the disruptions to its S3 storage service that knocked down and — in some cases affected — dozens of websites earlier this week. The company also outlined what caused the issue — the event was triggered by human error. The company said an authorized S3 team member using an established playbook executed a command which was intended to remove a small number of servers for one of the S3 subsystems that is used by the S3 billing process. “Unfortunately, one of the inputs to the command was entered incorrectly and a larger set of servers was removed than intended, ” the company said in a press statement Thursday. It adds: The servers that were inadvertently removed supported two other S3 subsystems. One of these subsystems, the index subsystem, manages the metadata and location information of all S3 objects in the region. This subsystem is necessary to serve all GET, LIST, PUT, and DELETE requests. The second subsystem, the placement subsystem, manages allocation of new storage and requires the index subsystem to be functioning properly to correctly operate. The placement subsystem is used during PUT requests to allocate storage for new objects. Removing a significant portion of the capacity caused each of these systems to require a full restart. While these subsystems were being restarted, S3 was unable to service requests. Other AWS services in the US-EAST-1 Region that rely on S3 for storage, including the S3 console, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) new instance launches, Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes (when data was needed from a S3 snapshot), and AWS Lambda were also impacted while the S3 APIs were unavailable. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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90-Year-Old Mold Sold for Almost $15k

Posted by kenmay on March - 2 - 2017

The idea that a bit of gross mold would be worth $14, 617 seems absurd until you realize it may be the most important mold to that was ever grown. Read more…

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How to Get Windows and macOS Apps on Your Chromebook

Posted by kenmay on March - 2 - 2017

As capable as Chromebooks have become , there are times when you might need to load up Photoshop, iTunes or something else that relies on Windows or macOS. Not only can Chrome OS do this, it’s not that difficult to set up…if you know the right plug-ins to use. Here’s how to get started. Read more…

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An anonymous reader shares a Quartz report: Annoying pauses in your streaming movies are going to become less common, thanks to a new trick Netflix is rolling out. It’s using artificial intelligence techniques to analyze each shot in a video and compress it without affecting the image quality, thus reducing the amount of data it uses. The new encoding method is aimed at the growing contingent of viewers in emerging economies who watch video on phones and tablets. “We’re allergic to rebuffering, ” said Todd Yellin, a vice president of innovation at Netflix. “No one wants to be interrupted in the middle of Bojack Horseman or Stranger Things.” Yellin hopes the new system, called Dynamic Optimizer, will keep those Netflix binges free of interruption when it’s introduced sometime in the next “couple of months.” He was demonstrating the system’s results at “Netflix House, ” a mansion in the hills overlooking Barcelona that the company has outfitted for the Mobile World Congress trade show. In one case, the image quality from a 555 kilobits per second (kbps) stream looked identical to one on a data link with half the bandwidth. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Ever wished you could access your Raspberry Pi when you’re on the road? Perhaps you’ve set up a home security camera, you’re running a private Minecraft server, or you’re using your Pi for some crazy hacked together internet appliance of your own making. Whatever your reasons, it’s easy than you think to access that… Read more…

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Kotaku recently contacted Nintendo to ask them why Nintendo Switch cartridges taste so awful. Nintendo replied: “To avoid the possibility of accidental ingestion, keep the game card away from young children. A bittering agent (Denatonium Benzoate) has also been applied to the game card. This bittering agent is non-toxic.” Snip: According to Wikipedia, denatonium benzoate is the most bitter chemical compound known, commonly used as an aversion agent to prevent accidental ingestion, which is why the Switch cards are coated in it. It’s also used in animal repellent, shampoos, soaps and nail-biting prevention. I put that Switch cart in my mouth and I’m not sure what those things are made of but I can still taste it. Do not try this at home. — Jeff Gerstmann (@jeffgerstmann) February 25, 2017

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The strawberries in this photo are blue

Posted by kenmay on March - 2 - 2017

This picture has NO red pixels. Great demo of color constancy (ht Akiyoshi Kitaoka) pic.twitter.com/pZHvbB6QHE — Matt Lieberman (@social_brains) February 27, 2017 My daughter send this photo to me. I put it in Photoshop to check. The “reddest” part I could find using the eyedropper had an RGB value of 153/181/182. So technically there is some red in the image, but here is what 153/181/182 looks like: Not very red!

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