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How Whisper Tracks Users Who Don't Share Their Location

radish The biggest problem is mobile (39 comments)

I've worked with MaxMind stuff on mobile IP location - as they guy says it's pretty useless. If the user is on wifi it's not too bad, at least the IPv4 stuff could pretty reliably get the state and often city. I never had any luck with IPv6 although they claim to support it better now.
The big kicker is if the user is on cellular - at least in the US most cell networks are natively IPv6, and they tunnel connections through giant NAT devices. This leads to two interesting effects - firstly the IPv4 address you see on the server is located at some random data center usually on the other side of the country from the user. Secondly, the IP (and therefore the data center) keeps changing - sometimes multiple times within a few minutes. Doing any kind of tracking leads to a device which appears to keep hopping back and forth between California and Kansas.

This Microsoft Research whitepaper talks more about these issues.

(and before anyone jumps on me for the privacy implications of trying to do this - in my specific case it was tracking devices in an enterprise environment for security purposes and everyone involved had given informed consent)

4 days ago
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If Your Cloud Vendor Goes Out of Business, Are You Ready?

radish Re:Local Backups (150 comments)

Why do they have to be exclusive options? I backup locally to a server under my desk, and remotely to the cloud. In the (more likely) event of an HDD failure I can restore as fast as my server can spit the data back out and be up and running in a few hours. In the (less likely) event of a catastrophe like a fire it might take a while to restore everything but at least it's not gone forever (and if I'm willing to pay they'll fedex me all my data on a drive). If the cloud provider go bust I still have my local backup and I can switch to a new offsite provider.

FWIW I pay around $12 a month for unlimited off site storage (and currently use maybe 4TB) - this is with crashplan. If you have anything remotely valuable it seems like an obvious thing to do for a little more peace of mind.

about a week ago
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Lennart Poettering: Open Source Community "Quite a Sick Place To Be In"

radish Re:In the spotlight (993 comments)

He wrote some software, you weren't charged for it and it's existence doesn't affect anyone. Your anger, if it exists, should be directed to those forcing you to use it. Who are "no-one" or "your distro maintainers" depending on your POV.

about two weeks ago
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Object Oriented Linux Kernel With C++ Driver Support

radish Re:Why do people still care about C++ for kernel d (365 comments)

Our memory usage scales with load. Our load scales with usage. Predictions about growth in popularity of our product are all very well, but no excuse for not monitoring for impending doom

Of course. But testing will tell you something like "a single instance with a 32GB heap will support 9000 tx/sec with acceptable 99.9% latency". So you can monitor traffic levels and scale out as appropriate well before something monitoring GCs starts seeing problems. Where I work we deal with request rates in the 100k/s range and so if things go wrong they do so very fast - the trick is to know the limits and stay well away from them!

(especially since we have some legacy code that doesn't scale horizontally and so we have to keep throwing more memory at the problem for those services until we can fix that).
Oh fun :) Be wary of getting too big. I'm a JVM fan but if you start going above 100GB you need to be careful - GC pauses can start getting extremely significant and tuning new/eden becomes very important. Over 200GB and you're bleeding edge. If you have the budget look at Azul - their stuff is amazing.

about two weeks ago
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Object Oriented Linux Kernel With C++ Driver Support

radish Re:Why do people still care about C++ for kernel d (365 comments)

Tracking the frequency/duration of full collections is the usual approach. The GC has to work harder as heap space runs out, a system which is tight will do frequent full GCs vs one which is running with plenty of head room. In particular if you're using G1, seeing full (single thread) GCs at all is a bad sign. I'd also do this out of process, either by monitoring via JMX or simply scanning GC logs. A process trying to monitor itself rarely works out well :)

The better garbage collector for servers (G1) never pauses the world to free everything it can, so it's not like you can look at post-collection heap size or anything.

It's an over simplification to call G1 "the better collector for servers", it's more complicated than that - and G1 certainly can do a stop the world, it just tries to avoid it.

I'd also say this - if you're capable of writing C++ without any resource leaks you're capable of writing Java without any resource leaks. In which case memory usage will be predictable and simple load testing will show you how big a heap you need to allocate.

about three weeks ago
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Airbnb To Hand Over Data On 124 Hosts To New York Attorney General

radish Re:Bad actors? (149 comments)

Except that's entirely untrue. You may wish it were, but it is not. I don't have an HOA at my house but there are myriad laws (federal, state & local) which restrict what I can and can't do in and to my house.

about 2 months ago
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Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

radish Re:105 megabits per second (401 comments)

It's not about average usage, it's about instantaneous usage. Most of the time my connection is pretty idle, but when I want to download something big (e.g. multiple gigs) I don't really want to wait around for it. That's what I'm paying for - not having to wait.

about 3 months ago
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Mozilla Doubles Down on JPEG Encoding with mozjpeg 2.0

radish Re:Hard to get excited. (129 comments)

Don't forget storage. Bandwidth is one thing, but image storage is a big deal for sites like FB. They often store multiple copies of each one (e.g. at different sizes) and then you also have copies cached on CDNs etc, which also costs money. 5% isn't going to make or break the company, but it's worth investigating.

about 3 months ago
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Test: Quantum Or Not, Controversial Computer No Faster Than Normal

radish Re:The real question in my mind (119 comments)

Which in turn would mean that for the problem space it's capable of operating within it's no faster than a normal computer. Which reduces down to "it's no faster than a normal computer".

about 4 months ago
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The Coming IT Nightmare of Unpatchable Systems

radish Re:The poster is showing his prejudice. (240 comments)

Door opening: See above re: neighbor or friend, or hide a key somewhere.

A truly special reply suggesting mitigating a theoretical, limited, network security vulnerability by quite literally leaving the physical keys to the castle out in public. Please hand in your risk assessment credentials at the door.

about 5 months ago
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Swedish Fare Dodgers Organize Against Transportation Authorities

radish Re:Turnstile Jumping and Broken Windows Policing (389 comments)

Or you pay a couple of bucks and complain later. Given that this scenario has never happened to me in years of riding the subway makes me quite happy to take the $2 charge every few years to avoid dealing with the police.

about 5 months ago
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How much use would you get from a 1 gigabit internet connection?

radish Re:Nobody actually gets 1 Gbps (224 comments)

I get over 100mbps on FIOS right now. I've frequently maxed out my 150mbps connection pulling from a single server (well, single URL), particularly if I use a download manager which opens a few connections. It's true you don't usually see those traffic levels in normal browsing but for large file downloads it's not hard.

about 5 months ago
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Inside the Stolen Smartphone Black Market In London

radish Re:Um Yeah. Right. (109 comments)

Speaking as someone who's been robbed for his cellphone twice - bring it on!

about 6 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

radish Re:Freedom of political activism (1746 comments)

He wasn't fired, he chose to resign as it was in the best interests of Mozilla. As CEO he was the figurehead of the company, and he simply cannot distinguish his private beliefs from those of the company in the same way as a rank-and-file employee can. No one cared that he worked at Mozilla - they cared that he _led_ Mozilla.

about 7 months ago
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Amazon's Fire TV: Is It Worth Game Developers' Time?

radish Re:Amazon Prime (88 comments)

Seriously, how much value does this device have without access to video streaming via Amazon Prime?

Pretty much the same values as a Roku - you can use it to stream Netflix etc. I really don't understand your point - yes this device is more integrated into the Amazon ecosystem, but it does do the same basic things that most other similar devices do.

about 7 months ago
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FTC Settles With Sites Over SSL Lies

radish Re:Tip from a programmer (78 comments)

If you don't trust your CA chain then do cert pinning. Either way you need to know you're talking to the right server, pretending that's impossible so it's not worth trying is a cop out.

about 7 months ago
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The Era of Facebook Is an Anomaly

radish Re:Counterexamples... (260 comments)

I'm certainly not one of the beautiful people but I've frequented several of those :) My memory is that Twilo had a pretty legendary door policy back in the day - I know the only time I got in was because I got on a list.

about 7 months ago
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Amazon Hikes Prime Membership Fee

radish Re:Still worth it (276 comments)

Then again, ordering something on amazon every 2-3 days already seems borderline compulsive behaviour to me too.

How often do you go to a physical store? More than twice a week? Now multiply that to cover a whole family.

I personally go to a physical store for non food items maybe once a month. My wife goes maybe once a week as she gets stuff for the house/kid which isn't easy to get online.

And I mentioned this in another reply - but a big part of it is not having to think. Let's say I make 100 orders in a year. That's $1 per order for shipping. Now, you're right, I could probably get some of those free. And there are other's I'd pay say $8 for 2 day. And yet others I'd pay $15 for overnight. You know what? If it takes even 1 minute per order to figure out which is which $100 a year is CHEAP - my time is worth a lot more than that.

about 7 months ago
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Amazon Hikes Prime Membership Fee

radish Re:Still worth it (276 comments)

Because we're not all as organized as you? :)

In fact we do that, the subscribe & save system amazon have allows us to setup recurring deliveries of the stuff we predictably need (baby supplies, cosmetics, etc). But other than groceries we buy pretty much everything online, and most of that from amazon. Not having to think about delivery times or prices is what allows us to do that. Having to worry about whether it would be delivered in time, or whether spending $10 to ship a $10 widget is worth it is a waste of mental energy I just don't need.

about 7 months ago
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Amazon Hikes Prime Membership Fee

radish Re:Still worth it (276 comments)

You're completely ignoring speed. My family buy tons of stuff from Amazon (typically 2-3 orders per week, sometimes more) and so of course we could cancel prime and get free shipping pretty easily. But waiting a week+ for delivery? Not interested. Which means we'd be spending $5-10 per order for 2-day, which would pay for prime in maybe a month.

about 7 months ago

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