Angelesen #64

The hiatus is real – There were so many articles piled up in the stack that I decided to restart from scratch and just pick a few that I ran into the past few weeks. From bash-scripts to AWS EC2 Spot instances to the usual surveillance topics. Enjoy

Take care editing bash scripts (thomask.sdf.org)

So be careful running editing a bash script that may be currently executing. It could execute an invalid command, or do something very surprising.

If you ever wondered, what happens when you edit a file of a running bash script – tldr – DONT!

The definitive guide to running EC2 Spot Instances as Kubernetes worker nodes (itnext.io)

The title gives it away: a very good and complete primer on running EC2 Spot instances as K8s worker nodes 🙂

Why is Kubernetes getting so popular? (stackoverflow.blog)

A good high level primer why Kubernetes is so popular these days.

Coming from the world of Puppet and Chef, one of the big shifts with Kubernetes has been the move from infrastructure as code towards infrastructure as data—specifically, as YAML. All the resources in Kubernetes that include Pods, Configurations, Deployments, Volumes, etc., can simply be expressed in a YAML file.

Infrastructure as Code – FTW!

One of the main challenges developers face in the future is how to focus more on the details of the code rather than the infrastructure where that code runs on.

Guess what my dayjob is… 😉

Zoom-Müdigkeit: Wieso Videochats so anstrengend sind (nzz.ch)

Sprechen wir online miteinander, versuchen wir die fehlenden Reize zu ergänzen und zu kompensieren. «Wir investieren in Videokonferenzen viel mentale Energie, um fehlende soziale Hinweisreize herzuleiten. Wir sind – teilweise unbewusst – ständig am Ergänzen und Interpretieren dieser sozialen Situation. Gleichzeitig verarbeiten wir das Gesagte und erhalten ja den Dialog aufrecht. Unsere kognitiven Kapazitäten, all dies gleichzeitig zu tun, sind begrenzt. Das strengt uns an – und macht uns müde», sagt Zahn.

The Quick and Dirty Tear Gas Primer (blog.totallynotmalware.net)

Because tear gas is a commonly-used dispersal tactic all around the world, here is a primer containing all the basic information you need to deal with it before, during, and after exposure.

Handy hints for – who knows when…

How we reduced the AWS costs of our streaming data pipeline by 67% (taloflow.ai)

A good overview how to rethink large infrastructures to run more cost efficient on AWS

Slack partners with Amazon to take on Microsoft Teams (theverge.com)

Slack is partnering with Amazon in a multiyear agreement that means all Amazon employees will be able to start using Slack. The deal comes just as Slack faces increased competition from Microsoft Teams, and it will also see Slack migrate its voice and video calling features over to Amazon’s Chime platform alongside a broader adoption of Amazon Web Services (AWS).

tl;dr: Slack is switching to Amazon Chime for voice and video calling

De-escalation Keeps Protesters And Police Safer. Departments Respond With Force Anyway. (fivethirtyeight.com)

One thing they will tell you is that when the police respond by escalating force — wearing riot gear from the start, or using tear gas on protesters — it doesn’t work. In fact, disproportionate police force is one of the things that can make a peaceful protest not so peaceful. But if we know that (and have known that for decades), why are police still doing it?

This article goes deep into studies around using force against demonstrations

Experts say the following decades of research have turned up similar findings. Escalating force by police leads to more violence, not less. It tends to create feedback loops, where protesters escalate against police, police escalate even further, and both sides become increasingly angry and afraid.

De-Escalation would be key…

We Chat, They Watch: How International Users Unwittingly Build up WeChat’s Chinese Censorship Apparatus (citizenlab.ca)

We found that documents and images that were transmitted entirely among non-China-registered accounts were analyzed for Chinese political sensitivity. Upon analysis, files deemed politically sensitive were used to invisibly train and build up WeChat’s Chinese political censorship system. We also conducted analysis of WeChat’s public-facing policy documents, made data access requests, and engaged with Tencent data protection representatives to assess whether those methods could also explain, or uncover, the content surveillance carried out towards international users’ communications. We found that none of the information WeChat makes available to users explains the rationales for such surveillance or the transmission of content hashes from WeChat International to WeChat China.

It’s a long read but a really good one if you want to learn more on how We Chat builds a huge censorship apparatus.