Tue 12 January 2021
Fri 11 September 2020
Thu 10 September 2020
For every computer system, someone needs to know what they are doing, and check up on it when something goes wrong. That person is the sysadmin.
If you don’t know who the sysadmin is, it’s you.
It’s just like everything else in life: if you care about a thing, you are responsible for taking care of it. If nobody takes care of it, it decays and dies.
Wed 15 July 2020
Thu 19 December 2019
The scientific method goes boing.
- Form a question.
- Observe evidence.
- Form hypotheses.
- Create experiments.
- Observe results.
- Compare hypotheses.
- Be critical.
The scientific method runs off the rails in step 2 and explodes into uncertainty in step 3. It turns out that observing evidence is rarely easy or straightforward: it’s a great big universe, and we’re all really puny. And “forming hypotheses” is synonymous with “make guesses” – potentially educated, informed guesses, but still a creative process that is likely to baffle AI for decades to come.
That brings us to today’s problem: why does Netflix hate me?
Sun 06 October 2019
Centralized facilities are easier to manage. Centralized facilities are easier to control.
Distributed facilities are harder to manage, harder to control.
Centralized facilities need expensive, difficult redundancies to maintain function during a partial outage. Distributed facilities need coordination.
Centralized is cheaper than distributed if you don’t pay for the things that can make it reliable.
Fri 21 September 2018
One problem: we have built an immense network of supercomputers that is essentially a Commons. An abuse of this Commons that would be ridiculously unprofitable if it had to be carried out by humans – say, an expected return of one one-hundredth cent per attempt – is highly attractive to unscrupulous actors …
Tue 16 January 2018
Thu 07 September 2017
Wed 06 September 2017
Wed 10 May 2017
Tue 04 April 2017