Sunday, November 07
Nobody Goes There Anymore Edition
- Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded.
Complexity is killing software developers. (InfoWorld)
I linked to this on Wednesday as a minor item, but it's something that deserves more attention. The entire software industry is falling apart because of two conflicting factors:
1. Nobody knows the answer.
2. Everybody is convinced they know the answer.
Just look at the linked stories from that article:
Three real world Kubernetes success stories.
No one wants to manage Kubernetes anymore.
Why you should use a microservice architecture.
Started migrating to microservices and everything fell apart? The answer is more microservices!
It's all chaos and it's not going to get better, but that's right and normal so stop complaining.
AWS can solve all your problems.
Azure can solve all your problems.
No. It's all crap.
From Azure's multiple recent security catastrophes to Amazon's swirling cesspool that they call a dashboard that nobody on the planet can navigate, to all cloud vendors grand larceny that they call bandwidth charges, to vendor-managed databases and search engines, to "open source" licenses that prohibit doing anything with the code that might slightly inconvenience the company behind it, it's all crap.
Anyone proposing a microservice architecture who can't also tell you the horror story about how they didn't sleep for two weeks propping up a failed rollout that couldn't be reverted because of a cyclic dependency cascade while the rest of the team scrambled to fix the bugs, and how they turned it all around in the end - out the airlock with them.
Anyone proposing orchestrated deployment who can't tell you about the time they caught the debug message that publicly shared admin access tokens five minutes before it would have hit production for a million users at a billion-dollar customer, and how they prevented that from ever happening again - out the airlock.
Anyone proposing any vendor or technology that can't swear for five minutes straight on the subject without repeating themselves - out the airlock.
And anyone who suggests Node.js - forget the airlock, enter parking orbit around a neutron star and launch them out of a torpedo tube.
- But God forbid you say that programming is hard. (Communications of the ACM)
That might offend people who can't code.
- Our hosting provider has 12900K servers. Not too horribly expensive either, and 60% faster on both single and multi-threaded workloads than our current main server. (The Phoronix article from yesterday included Python benchmarks, and they are very good on Alder Lake.)
There's a problem though: Our current servers (but one) have ECC RAM. Intel desktop CPUs don't support ECC, with rare exceptions. AMD CPUs do, and that's what we currently have.
DDR5 RAM has on-die ECC. That doesn't catch all possible errors, and I don't have any hard data on the percentage of errors it does catch, but it's something. I'd be willing to run my own servers on desktop DDR5. We survived a datacenter catching fire; we can survive the rare memory error that isn't caught by on-die ECC.
But the biggest DDR5 server they are currently offering is only 16GB because that is also out of stock everywhere.
- Amazon is planning to launch 7774 new communications satellites, expanding on its current fleet of, uh, zero. (The Register)
You have to crawl before you can leap, I guess.
- A drone tried to blow up a power substation in Pennsylvania last year. (Wired)
Or rather, someone tried to use a drone to do so, planning to drop a thick wire across two existing conductors to short things out. The drone crashed and the attack failed, because they had disabled the camera feed to avoid being traced.
The article discusses anti-drone technologies from signal jamming to killer drones to geofencing to actual literal eagles, but somehow doesn't ever suggest building a roof.
- There's more - and cheaper - Alder Lake chips coming in a couple of months. (Tom's Hardware)
The i5-12400 looks like it might be very good for the average user. Reasonably priced, relatively low power, integrated graphics if you don't want to splash out on a graphics card, and still six full-size cores. No low-power cores, but on the desktop that's not a huge loss.
The other three models listed all lack integrated graphics, and given the pricing and availability of graphics cards right now are not nearly so enticing.
- Speaking of Intel's desktop integrated graphics, how do they hold up? (Phoronix)
This being Phoronix, they're testing under Linux, but it should be much the same as on Windows.
The answer is: Poorly.
Better than the 11th generation parts, yes, but they still get their clocks cleaned by AMD's 5700G. On gaming tests the AMD part is up to twice as fast, and on GPU compute workloads as much as five times.
Intel has dramatically improved the performance of its integrated graphics - on their laptop parts. Their desktop parts, not so much.
- Yikes. Thunderstorm is right on top of me.
- Stop making students use Eclipse. (Nora Codes)
Or NetBeans, or PyCharm, or whatever.
Now, if you're a professional Python programmer - or just working on your own projects in the evening - you need to be using PyCharm. But there's a good argument for starting out every student with a Linux command line and nothing else.
In fact, there's a good argument for starting out every student with a Commodore 64.
- Spending $5k to learn how database indexing works. (Brian Anglin)
DON'T USE MANAGED DATABASES.
On MySQL or PostgreSQL or, frankly, anything sane, this would have been Huh, that's not as fast as I'd have expected followed by a scan of the slow query log followed by some swearing followed by the addition of an index. Which you could likely do without any - hang on, I actually need to do that, let me see.
Yes, without any downtime at all. Took me 0.82 seconds. I tried to do it last week while the database was under heavy load and ended up in table metadata lock hell, and had to come up with a workaround, but now that things are quiet again it's trivial. It's a pretty straightforward task but not when you're running services for a 100,000 person live event.
Anyway, a missing query, coupled with a larcenous billing model, produced an API request that cost fifteen cents. Which may not sound like a lot, but by way of comparison we were fielding - I think the number was 280 API requests per second - during that event.
Deploying our own services we have a $2000 per month main database server, a physical, not virtual, 96 core AMD Epyc system, with an easily understood billing structure: Every month they bill us $2000. If we'd faced the same issue described in the article, we'd have been hit with a bill for as much as $150,000 per hour.
- The chip industry is spending $2 billion a week to scale up production. (EETimes)
Shortages and delays are affecting every part of the production line. If you haven't already bought your electronic gadgets for Christmas, start shopping for socks, because you're probably not going to get that iPod Pro Plus Max Mini in time for Little Timmy or Aunt Tammy.
And you may want to start planning for Christmas next year, because it's not going to get better quickly.
- You haven't bought a new computer! Why haven't you bought a new computer? Here's our free 18 page report explaining how this is all your fault. (Microsoft)
Get all the way fucked, Microsoft.
- Peloton cut its revenue forecast by $1 billion and saw its stock plummet by 35% after Apple introduced new privacy controls preventing them from tracking everywhere you go and everything you do. (Yahoo Finance)
Which is - from their own mouths - a very convincing argument that Peloton is a massive scam that needs to be erased from the face of the Earth.
Anime Opening Video of the Day
It's Komi Can't Communicate. I can't say I love the song, though maybe it will grow on me, but again, they've nailed the feel of the manga here, and the manga is wonderful.
And I can't say I've watched it, because I long since cancelled my Netflix account, and AnimeLab, formerly independent but now Funimation, doesn't carry it. This is the first show since Little Witch Academia that has made me care about Netflix at all.
"Most" makes the headline less meaningful. "workers" shouldn't be using "device" "big" makes the ridiculously danging subhead less meaningful. "problem" is a sad attempt to make a stupid point into clickbait. "here's why that's" the person who unearthed this construction should be dug up, shot, hanged, burned, reburied, and then hanged in effigy.
Posted by: nromal at Monday, November 08 2021 12:03 AM (obo9H)
Posted by: Frank at Monday, November 08 2021 12:12 AM (rglbH)
Well, if a publication has funding from an organization, most of the writers are probably stupid. But there are two reasons a roof might not be obvious.
Have you ever seen a US power substation? There is a really tall transmission line pole, and wires go down from it, to the really big weather proofed transformers, and from there the wires go back up to the smaller transmission line poles. (Smaller poles are wood, larger are steel truss.)
Reason one, the default assumption may be building the things in the open. Designers may be locked into that mindset, and not talking about it it. It may have been originally decided that open air was cheaper. The big transformers do have to be replaced from time to time, and tearing open a building each time would be expensive.
Reason two, it may be that if you have a roof, a safe design will require a bigger foot print.
Anyway, putting a roof on is not a simple task. At a minimum, you would have to shut things down while the roof is going up. If it requires getting different transformers, the proposal is not feasible. Because of Thor power tools, there is not a great inventory of transformers that are not actively being used.
This is a federal push to address. From a non-federal perspective, ordinary attention to who is moving may be enough physical security. Because if you are not a fed, the probable threat actors are mainly the feds, and people that the current regime is using the feds to back.
The feds talk a nice game about providing improved security, but the Democrats have used influence over funding to suborn some of the security organizations. And the Democrats are at the root of many of the important security problems.
Posted by: PatBuckman at Monday, November 08 2021 01:58 AM (r9O5h)
And Microsoft can piss up a rope when it comes to replacing devices.
Posted by: PatBuckman at Monday, November 08 2021 02:16 AM (r9O5h)
Posted by: Rick C at Monday, November 08 2021 02:36 AM (Z0GF0)
Posted by: Rick C at Monday, November 08 2021 02:41 AM (Z0GF0)
Posted by: PatBuckman at Monday, November 08 2021 04:16 AM (r9O5h)
Posted by: Frank at Monday, November 08 2021 04:24 AM (rglbH)
As far as I can tell (and I may be off-base), containers are a bad attempt to paper over to Linux's failure to solve DLL hell, python's failure to solve library version conflicts, etc. Most servers in the world are Linux, so server software is particularly hammered by this. Add in the general global-nature of the stack of libraries for languages like python, and people have decided, instead of somehow putting dependencies with the application in a folder, to spin up an entire virtual machine (don't argue, it's a VM) containing an entire language version to wrap up all the loose ends.
Once upon a time, Windows had DLL hell too: The idea was pieces of software would refer to shared libraries to save hard-drive space. The problem was pieces of software would step on each other, because of version conflicts with the libraries. Anything breaking backwards compatibility would break every piece of software that depended on the library. Then hard drive space got cheap, and instead every application has it's own set of dlls that lives in the application folder. Same on macs. Any libraries which are actually shared are things which never change, or never break backwards compatibility that live in system32.
Problem sovled. For compiled apps, on systems that allow this.
Python somehow never learned this lesson. Same with the vast pile of stuff that ends up in /usr/lib on Linux. Instead of every application installing itself to its own folder, each application not bothering the others, Linux needs complicated package managers to deconflict all the libraries. In python, if application A needs version x of pytorch, and application B fails with version >y of pytorch, I need two entirely seperate installations of python. That's insanity.
Instead of unsnarling the insanity, software engineers seem to have doubled-down on it, and created this tangled nightmare of complexity that I can't spare the brainpower to even attempt to untangle.
Perhaps the same problems apply to web-applications on servers using php/java/whatever.
Anyway, THIS WAS A SOLVED PROBLEM IN 200x. Windows 95/Xp/7 never managed to have these issues. It's amazing that it eats the entire mental bandwidth of an entire discipline in 2020.
Posted by: MadRocketSci at Monday, November 08 2021 05:22 AM (hRoyQ)
Far better, IMO, than anything involving Docker. Kubernetes repels me from a purely phoenetic standpoint: It sounds too painfully trendy to be real, and I don't want to ever have to know what it is, much less associate with people who think a painfully particular blob of software constitutes "a technology". (The gas turbine is a technology. Silicon lithography is a technology. Powerpoint is a lovecraftian mistake that is ending civilization, and Gitlab may be it's successor.) Seriously, what is it with these names? Hadoop, Drupal, Bippityboppity. Ugh. Get off my lawn, and call me back when you want to pay me $$$ in exchange for applications, not "user-stories". (sarcasm)
Posted by: MadRocketSci at Monday, November 08 2021 05:35 AM (hRoyQ)
Maybe for system administrators, but for average, non-technical users I can't disagree more. And I'm certainly not alone. Linus from Linus Tech Tips has been doing a Linux Gaming challenge where he and one of his staff go to Linux for day to day, especially gaming use, and evaluate how ready it is for average gaming users. (Videos not yet released on You Tube) They've discussed a lot of the issues on their WAN show, and one of the points he constantly hammers is how over dependent Linux is on the command line and how bad this is from a UX point of view. And I fully agree. I date back to the C64 days and I've been daily driving Linux for about 3 years now. Every time I have to go to the command line to do something, I'm having to piece together half understood commands from different websites hoping I don't somehow FUBAR my system. It's the major reason I won't recommend Linux to non-technical friends and relatives. Having tech support people through a GUI via a phone call to fix something is bad enough. Having to help them use a command line... *shudder*
Posted by: StargazerA5 at Monday, November 08 2021 05:36 AM (0vRQl)
VSCode/Atom/nano and a command line is what I've found to be most useful. I did have to go through a learning curve to understand the compiler and linker, but with that out of the way, it's fairly painless to organize library-projects and link them without becoming beholden to someone's do-everything environment.
Posted by: MadRocketSci at Monday, November 08 2021 05:54 AM (hRoyQ)
Posted by: David at Monday, November 08 2021 07:29 AM (t/97R)
David - Yeah, a sturdy nylon mesh would do just as well as a solid roof for this sort of attack.
MadRocketSci - I'm not in love with Go as a programming language, but its ability to produce a single binary, containing all dependencies, that runs on any version of Linux - that I do love. It's not the only language to support that, but it makes it easy.
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, November 08 2021 09:18 AM (PiXy!)
"Click on the start menu. Okay, now move your mouse over, and hopefully you can scroll down throught your programs. Yes, try to find a folder under that named 'Accessories' or maybe 'System Tools' or perhaps 'Microsoft' or it might be called 'Lunchables' depending on whether you installed the 2021H2 update. See if there's a program somewhere named 'Search My Files' or 'Find Files and Folders' or maybe 'Query File Index Tables'. Right, now click on that. No, just click on the start menu again, to repoen that set of cascading, and scriolling nested menus. Yes. No, don't move your pointer over the news tab there, because that will force popup a multimedia ad that you can't stop playing. Oh, too late. Okay, so we'll just wait a few minutes for the ad to finish playing. Call me back in a while."
Posted by: normal at Monday, November 08 2021 10:00 AM (obo9H)
ld $(LDFLAGS) -static
Posted by: normal at Monday, November 08 2021 10:02 AM (obo9H)
Posted by: Pixy Misa at Monday, November 08 2021 01:16 PM (PiXy!)
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