“The SAW films lack political subtext, they aren’t like classic horror films.”
wHAT is more politically relevant than a self-righteous babyboomer demanding that millennials engage in nearly impossible acts of self torture for the dubious reward of being allowed to go on living?????
if you’re in the hamilton fandom, you probably know about the amazing fanfic writers on it. with them in mind, we joined forces to create the newest place for you to find all the fics you want: hamwriters.
what is hamwriters? hamwriters is a network where you’ll be able to share your work and the work of writers that you like and admire. here you’ll also make new friends on our group chat and find people that you can brainstorm with to find new ideas, talk about headcanons and story ideas!
can i join? if you’re a writer, of course! here’s how to join:
WannaCry: How to stay safe from the deadly ransomware if you own a Windows PC
A deadly ransomware named WannaCrypt or WannaCry is holding hostage troves of data across the globe, until their owners pay up. The hackers are still unknown but institutions and individuals across nearly 100 countries have been infected with over 100,000 attacks.
The ransomware exploits a Windows vulnerability for which Microsoft released a patch but most older systems like Windows XP, Windows 2003 and more have failed to install it. Microsoft has acknowledged the great ransomware threat and issued security guidance for all Windows users on how to protect your data.
“Many of our customers around the world and the critical systems they depend on were victims of the malicious ‘WannaCrypt’ software,” the company said in a blog post. “We are taking the highly unusual step of providing a security update for all customers to protect Windows platforms that are in custom support only, including Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2003. Customers running Windows 10 were not targeted by the attack.”
The company recommends all Windows 10 users to immediately deploy the Microsoft Security Bulletin MS17-010. A special update has also been released by them for customers using Windows Defender which will detect this ransomware threat.
The company also recommends updating your anti-virus software regardless of the company it belongs to, to its latest version. If organisations want to protect their network of computers, they have been advised to block legacy protocols on their networks.
As most Windows machines around the world are far from having the Windows 10 installed on their systems, Microsoft has issued manual patches for these versions. This means users still on these versions will have to manually download the patch, follow instructions and install the patch to fend off any ransomware threats. Below are the patches issued:
Windows Server 2003 SP2 x64
Windows Server 2003 SP2 x86
Windows XP SP2 x64
Windows XP SP3 x86
Windows XP Embedded SP3 x86
Windows 8 x86
Windows 8 x64
This guidance is only a preventive measure. For systems that have already been affected by the ransomware, there is no decryption tool yet. Your only way to get your data back is to pay the ransom or wait for a decryption tool to arrive which is expected to take a long time.
Hello there! A year has passed and things are AHAH worse than before. As a little recap of what’s happening: my mom needs medical treatments for her health (she suffers of many phisical illnesses, like cardiac disfunction, diabetes and psoriasis, as well as depression and anxiety). My biological father was sentienced to give us money bit he refused and now he’s breaking the law by sending us 70€ every month instead of 420€. My aunt is a fucking selfish piece of shit, abusive, who wastes money in useless trips and alcohol (and yes, she still abuses me verbally) and never, EVER pays bills (we got EVERYTHING cut out because of her, from phone to internet, gas and electricity). We still don’t have the money from a heredity, and it’s been 7 fucking years. We’re forced to live with less than 350€ per month. And you can understand how that’s hard. I’m still searching for a fucking damn job, still with no luck.
So I’m here to ask you guys if you could commission me. Even few things could help us go on for another month of two. If you can’t do it, please spread the word around.
If you’re interested, you can message me here or at email@example.com. Paypal payments, but if someone knows another way to pay for art, feel free to tell me (but I usually use paypal because I have my credit card associated to it).
Won’t draw incest, adult x minor, anything too morally wrong.
Art is all I can offer for people’s kindness. More examples of my art can be found here and here.
By James Penick, Cloud Architect & Gurpreet Kaur, Product Manager
A version of this byline was originally written for and appears in CIO Review.
A successful private cloud presents a consistent and reliable facade over the complexities of hyperscale infrastructure. It must simultaneously handle constant organic traffic growth, unanticipated spikes, a multitude of hardware vendors, and discordant customer demands. The depth of this complexity only increases with the age of the business, leaving a private cloud operator saddled with legacy hardware, old network infrastructure, customers dependent on legacy operating systems, and the list goes on. These are the foundations of the horror stories told by grizzled operators around the campfire.
Providing a plethora of services globally for over a billion active users requires a hyperscale infrastructure. Yahoo’s on-premises infrastructure is comprised of datacenters housing hundreds of thousands of physical and virtual compute resources globally, connected via a multi-terabit network backbone. As one of the very first hyperscale internet companies in the world, Yahoo’s infrastructure had grown organically – things were built, and rebuilt, as the company learned and grew. The resulting web of modern and legacy infrastructure became progressively more difficult to manage. Initial attempts to manage this via IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) taught some hard lessons. However, those lessons served us well when OpenStack was selected to manage Yahoo’s datacenters, some of which are shared below.
Centralized team offering Infrastructure-as-a-Service
Chief amongst the lessons learned prior to OpenStack was that IaaS must be presented as a core service to the whole organization by a dedicated team. An a-la-carte-IaaS, where each user is expected to manage their own control plane and inventory, just isn’t sustainable at scale. Multiple teams tackling the same challenges involved in the curation of software, deployment, upkeep, and security within an organization is not just a duplication of effort; it removes the opportunity for improved synergy with all levels of the business. The first OpenStack cluster, with a centralized dedicated developer and service engineering team, went live in June 2012. This model has served us well and has been a crucial piece of making OpenStack succeed at Yahoo. One of the biggest advantages to a centralized, core team is the ability to collaborate with the foundational teams upon which any business is built: Supply chain, Datacenter Site-Operations, Finance, and finally our customers, the engineering teams. Building a close relationship with these vital parts of the business provides the ability to streamline the process of scaling inventory and presenting on-demand infrastructure to the company.
Developers love instant access to compute resources
Our developer productivity clusters, named “OpenHouse,” were a huge hit. Ideation and experimentation are core to developers’ DNA at Yahoo. It empowers our engineers to innovate, prototype, develop, and quickly iterate on ideas. No longer is a developer reliant on a static and costly development machine under their desk. OpenHouse enables developer agility and cost savings by obviating the desktop.
Dynamic infrastructure empowers agile products
From a humble beginning of a single, small OpenStack cluster, Yahoo’s OpenStack footprint is growing beyond 100,000 VM instances globally, with our single largest virtual machine cluster running over a thousand compute nodes, without using Nova Cells.
Until this point, Yahoo’s production footprint was nearly 100% focused on baremetal – a part of the business that one cannot simply ignore. In 2013, Yahoo OpenStack Baremetal began to manage all new compute deployments. Interestingly, after moving to a common API to provision baremetal and virtual machines, there was a marked increase in demand for virtual machines.
Developers across all major business units ranging from Yahoo Mail, Video, News, Finance, Sports and many more, were thrilled with getting instant access to compute resources to hit the ground running on their projects. Today, the OpenStack team is continuing to fully migrate the business to OpenStack-managed. Our baremetal footprint is well beyond that of our VMs, with over 100,000 baremetal instances provisioned by OpenStack Nova via Ironic.
How did Yahoo hit this scale?
Scaling OpenStack begins with understanding how its various components work and how they communicate with one another. This topic can be very deep and for the sake of brevity, we’ll hit the high points.
1. Start at the bottom and think about the underlying hardware
Do not overlook the unique resource constraints for the services which power your cloud, nor the fashion in which those services are to be used. Leverage that understanding to drive hardware selection. For example, when one examines the role of the database server in an OpenStack cluster, and considers the multitudinous calls to the database: compute node heartbeats, instance state changes, normal user operations, and so on; they would conclude this core component is extremely busy in even a modest-sized Nova cluster, and in need of adequate computational resources to perform. Yet many deployers skimp on the hardware. The performance of the whole cluster is bottlenecked by the DB I/O. By thinking ahead you can save yourself a lot of heartburn later on.
2. Think about how things communicate
Our cluster databases are configured to be multi-master single-writer with automated failover. Control plane services have been modified to split DB reads directly to the read slaves and only write to the write-master. This distributes load across the database servers.
3. Scale wide
OpenStack has many small horizontally-scalable components which can peacefully cohabitate on the same machines: the Nova, Keystone, and Glance APIs, for example. Stripe these across several small or modest hardware. Some services, such as the Nova scheduler, run the risk of race conditions when running multi-active. If the risk of race conditions is unacceptable, use ZooKeeper to manage leader election.
4. Remove dependencies
In a Yahoo datacenter, DHCP is only used to provision baremetal servers. By statically declaring IPs in our instances via cloud-init, our infrastructure is less prone to outage from a failure in the DHCP infrastructure.
5. Don’t be afraid to replace things
Neutron used Dnsmasq to provide DHCP services, however it was not designed to address the complexity or scale of a dynamic environment. For example, Dnsmasq must be restarted for any config change, such as when a new host is being provisioned. In the Yahoo OpenStack clusters this has been replaced by ISC-DHCPD, which scales far better than Dnsmasq and allows dynamic configuration updates via an API.
6. Or split them apart
Some of the core imaging services provided by Ironic, such as DHCP, TFTP, and HTTPS communicate with a host during the provisioning process. These services are normally part of the Ironic Conductor (IC) service. In our environment we split these services into a new and physically-distinct service called the Ironic Transport Service (ITS). This brings value by:
Adding security: Splitting the ITS from the IC allows us to block all network traffic from production compute nodes to the IC, and other parts of our control plane. If a malicious entity attacks a node serving production traffic, they cannot escalate from it to our control plane.
Scale: The ITS hosts allow us to horizontally scale the core provisioning services with which nodes communicate.
Flexibility: ITS allows Yahoo to manage remote sites, such as peering points, without building a new cluster in that site. Resources in those sites can now be managed by the nearest Yahoo owned & operated (O&O) datacenter, without needing to build a whole cluster in each site.
Be prepared for faulty hardware!
Running IaaS reliably at hyperscale is more than just scaling the control plane. One must take a holistic look at the system and consider everything. In fact, when examining provisioning failures, our engineers determined the majority root cause was faulty hardware. For example, there are a number of machines from varying vendors whose IPMI firmware fails from time to time, leaving the host inaccessible to remote power management. Some fail within minutes or weeks of installation. These failures occur on many different models, across many generations, and across many hardware vendors. Exposing these failures to users would create a very negative experience, and the cloud must be built to tolerate this complexity.
Focus on the end state
Yahoo’s experience shows that one can run OpenStack at hyperscale, leveraging it to wrap infrastructure and remove perceived complexity. Correctly leveraged, OpenStack presents an easy, consistent, and error-free interface. Delivering this interface is core to our design philosophy as Yahoo continues to double down on our OpenStack investment. The Yahoo OpenStack team looks forward to continue collaborating with the OpenStack community to share feedback and code.
SpaceX Falcon 9 first stage in the final moments of its flight during the launch of the Iridium-1 mission earlier this month.
Carrying a total of ten Iridium-NEXT satellites, Iridium-1 starts the process of replacing the legacy Iridium satellite phone network. These satellites have much longer design lifespans, higher bandwidth, and can handle far more traffic than their predecessors… and the lack of the large polished aluminum transmitter plane arrays will finally eliminate the infamous “Iridium Flares” that have plagued stellar photography and observations for the last 20 years.
Roaring aloft from Vandenburg AFB’s SLC-4 at 9:54am PST, the Falcon 9 headed south out over the Pacific Ocean with the ten satellite of the Iridium-1 mission safely tucked away in the fairing atop the second stage.
The first stage carried the second stage and payload through the thickest part of the atmosphere and added about 1/7th of the downrange velocity needed to reach orbit before detaching and flipping end-for-end and firing three of its nine engines for several seconds to reduce its downrange velocity and put the stage on a rough course for the targeted LZ, the Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship (ASDS) “Of Course I Still Love You”.
This was followed by the entry burn, a unique aspect of the Falcon 9 mission profile. Due to the high speeds of entry and the lack of a high-performance thermal protection system, SpaceX has adopted what the industry calls “hypersonic retropropulsion” to protect the first stage as it reenters the atmosphere. This slows the stage from 6 times the speed of sound to about 2.5 times, and provides a much finer trajectory correction to help put the stage on track for recovery.
While all this excitement is happening with the first stage, the second stage has been pushing to orbit, going from about 1km/s to, at this point, around 5.5km/s. (For those of you who don’t know metric, that’s REALLY freaking fast.) The fairing which has protected the ten satellites of the payload has been ejected, as it no longer needed to keep even the most tenuous wisps of atmosphere off the satellites.
Back at the first stage, the four sets of grid fins at the top of the booster have steered the stage to a pre-determined point in space above the ASDS, and the centermost engine lights for a fourth and final time. With a maximum thrust of nearly 100 tons, the engine provides an incredible thrust to weight ratio at this point in the flight. As a result, the engine is throttled back to around 70%, which is still a staggering 70 TONS of thrust… which is still more than the stage weighs!
Careful management of that thrust allows the onboard computer to put the stage at a dead stop right as it touches down on the ASDS, and the stage has successfully been returned to Earth.
High above the Pacific Ocean, the second stage completes most of the push to orbit and shuts down its engine, entering a 30 minute coast phase before a final burn to enter the target orbit, followed by the dispersal of the satellites.
Virgos and Scorpios are ambitious, but no one can outthink, outplan, outsmart a Capricorn (unless that Cap is deep in love, like stupid love… or on hard drugs, and even then, they can be pretty mentally impressive). Capricorns are master diplomats and they know how to move easily between different groups of people. They have the gift of gab and charm on the same level of Libra. they can understand others’ feelings, though they’re not really partial to dealing with them. they don’t even like dealing with their own feelings, honestly, so instead of dealing with how they feel, they commit themselves wholly to their work, which is why they’re all really successful people who are emotional wrecks lmao. they really need stability, someone to keep them from whirling off into a unending spiral of networking and legacy-building, someone who can handle a panic attack, someone who has a mind for details (Caps are big-picture people). Caps are also the worst enemies in the world besides Aries, Geminis and Scorpios because they’ll perfectly plan your demise. it’ll be flawless and deliciously petty so they can bask in how clever their revenge is and how sorry you are for ever crossing them. they need people around them who truly believe in them no matter what. if you doubt their dream for a minute, they write you off. this is because they’re usually faking it until they make it in regards to believing in themselves, and the facade is VERY barely held together, so they have to eliminate outside doubt in their camp so they won’t begin to REALLY doubt themselves and fall apart.
Mel here. I have a confession to make: I’m a secret huge fan of the Kardashian franchise. I keep up with the Kardashians, in part because I love Khloe (who doesn’t) but also because a) I think their success says a lot about our culture and b) I think they are super smart with how they use the Internet and social media to promote their brand and c) I think Kris Jenner is an astute businesswoman who has figured out how to monetize every last inch out of her immediate family.
Anyone who dismisses the Kardashians isn’t looking at the bigger picture and what we can learn from the way they approach digital. They are a digital-first family on a legacy network (cable TV) but they cross mediums and promotions better than anyone else. They – or their teams – seamlessly drift from TV to social to mobile and back to TV again.
As it so happens, I’m always on the lookout for intriguing case studies to present to the NPR newsroom, so here it is: What Public Media Can Learn from the Kardashians.
1. If You’re Releasing Something Big, Have Everyone On Your Team Promote It In Different Ways
Every Sunday, a new episode of the Kardashians airs on E!. Prior to that, every single member of the Kardashian empire – that’s mom Kris, sisters Khloe, Kim, Kourtney and occasionally little sisters Kylie and Kendall – releases a different promo for the episode on their Instagram channels. (Which means E! creates at least 6 different promotional images or videos for the same episode and tells each Kardashian (or Kardashian Instagram handler) which one to post.)
If you’ve worked your tush off on an investigative series, a simple Facebook post and tweet isn’t going to reach your entire audience – mainly because your audience is asynchronous. (Which means: people dip in and out of social at different times of the day.)
You’re going to want to have every member of your team release a different promo that specially appeals to their audience. And put their own spin on it. Each of the Kardashians is followed by millions of people and while there is overlap, the Kardashians make sure those overlapping audiences aren’t bored because they’re seeing new stuff with a different spin.
2. Promote other people who represent your brand
The Kardashian empire is massive – it spans TV, fashion, perfume, magazines, radio, and endorsement deals.
Look at what happened when Kendall was named the new face of Estee Lauder. Again, back to Instagram. Mentions from Kim and Kourtney, as well as Kris. Their family unit is their brand and they heavily promote each other.
We can learn from this. Look at what others in the building are doing and if you like it, talk about it. We have a lot of conversations here at NPR that could be made more public, if we were having them online with each other. It lets the audience in, in a natural way.
3. Make Sure You’re Not Constantly Touting Your Own Stuff
If every Kardashian post were a tequila or clothing line endorsement, people would get bored – and quickly. They’d quickly realize that the Kardashians were using Twitter and Instagram to post advertisements that rake in lots of money while promoting their TV show, which also makes a lot of money.
But the Kardashians parse their endorsements out slowly. Even Scott waits about 18 posts between toutingproducts.
What can we take from this? It’s good to be multi-dimensional. Parse your beat out slowly – and be human and discuss other things. You are a multi-dimensional person in real life. That can spread to digital.
4. Use Your Archives
The Kardashians are masters of the #TBT – a look into their archives. All of them routinely post photos of when they were little, usually to tout a birthday or Mother’s Day or special anniversary. Again, this shows that their family is their brand – and eases the burden to produce new content (which is more expensive.)
Two months ago, a photo leak revealed personal photos of many celebrities. A week ago, Kim’s nude photos – photos that had been sanctioned and taken with Kim’s consent – were published on the cover of Paper Magazine. Conversation shifted.
This is not to say we need to jump on every viral story out there. Far from it. But what it does say is that we can enter conversations about topics and figure out what the NPR take on it is. We offer nuanced, well-reported pieces. How do we maintain our own voice while differentiating ourselves from the pack?
6. Be Consistent
I don’t turn on the Kardashians for hard-hitting news. I turn on the Kardashians because it’s escapist and absurd with little cost. I know exactly what I’m going to get out of them and I like it.
In the next installment of this series, I’m going to explain what we can learn from ESPN. I’m hoping to do one of these a week. Let me know if there are other comparisons you’d like to see.
The Huntington’s Education staff recently formed a partnership with WriteGirl,
a Los Angeles-based creative writing and mentoring organization that,
according to the WriteGirl website, “launched in December 2001 to bring
the skills and energy of professional women writers to teenage girls who
do not otherwise have access to creative writing or mentoring
programs.” Huntington reader Ayana Jamieson is the founder of the Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network, a group of scholars, artists, activists, and fans devoted to the works of science fiction writer Octavia E. Butler, whose papers reside at The Huntington.
Jamieson helped develop curriculum for the partnership, which included a
one-day creative writing workshop at The Huntington using Butler
materials. She shares a description of the day.
captions: Octavia E. Butler near Mt. Shuksan, in the state of Washington, 2001. Photographer unknown. The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
The Butler archive, which The Huntington acquired in 2009, includes more than 35 cartons (350 boxes) of correspondence, manuscripts, photographs, and ephemera. Photo by Kate Lain.
(Note: When we originally posted this, we quoted from the VERSO post. The wording of that bit of the blog post has changed a little in response to a great note from racheldoinglines, and the quote block above now reflects that.)