It is impossible to ignore avro at work - it is the data serialization format
of choice at work (and rightly so), whether it is to store data into Kafka
or into our document database Espresso. Recently, I had the need to read
avro data serialized by a Java application, and I looked into how I might use
Python to read such data.
Having worked with Python for a while, I am trying to pick up Ruby, especially
for some of my work with logstash. While trying out a small program in Ruby, I
got stumped with a peculiar trait of Ruby hashes with default values. It made
me lose an hour of my life I am not going to get back. :(
Ok, I don’t particularly like calling a bug fantastic, in this case, it is
more of a fantastic troubleshooting of a bug. What I found interesting was the
layers that were unpeeled one by one to reach the probable region of the root
cause. (Yeah, the root cause is probably so esoteric and confined to a specific
combination of version, that it is unlikely to be looked at by anybody).
I have a confession to make. Hollywood has always fascinated me. Not because of the larger-than-life
stories they come up with. But because of the enormous machinery that churns out a movie. To the
utter frustration of my family, I always stay back at the end of a movie, looking at all the credits
which flash by - to see the rest of the iceberg under the tip. The thousands of people who made this
movie happen, out of which only a fraction gets the world wide adulation, but all of them were
needed to make it happen.
Apple has patented a piece of technology which would allow government and
police to block transmission of information, including video and photographs,
from any public gathering or venue they deem “sensitive”, and “protected from
In other words, these powers will have control over what can and cannot be
documented on wireless devices during any public event.
And while the company says the affected sites are to be mostly cinemas,
theaters, concert grounds and similar locations, Apple Inc. also says “covert
police or government operations may require complete ‘blackout’ conditions.”
Who said the field of security cannot have humour! An Android app to
control the commode in Japan (you know the
land of fully programmable toilets, I kid you not) has announced a
vulnerability because the bluetooth pairing code is hardcoded.
photo by zebedee Just now read a rather disturbing article from Sophos security. The article describes the interpretation of the law by NSA and some of the internal policies that they use in surveillance.
They also reveal that courts don’t always determine who’s targeted for surveillance because that discretion is practiced by the NSA’s own analysts, with only a percentage of decisions being reviewed by regular internal audits.
Curious about several peculiar Apple related 404 errors for images in my web
server logs, I decided to find what is going on, and became knowledgeable about
yet another nugget that I really didn’t want to know. (sigh)
A scene from the 'Touch of Evil' (1958). Flickr image by Luisru León In this day and age of the surveillance state, a quotation worth remembering from the legendary Orson Welles over 50 years back.
A policeman's job is only easy in a police state. -- Charlton Heston as Mike Vargas in the movie "Touch of Evil"(1958), Orson Welles (screenwriter and director) Curiously, a similar statement was made over a decade back, in fact a couple of years before 9⁄11, before the world changed, or actually before the United States’ war on terror changed the world.
High Scalability had an interesting link today about a project that combines Raspberry
PI, btsync and owncloud to create essentially a personal Dropbox
replacement with none of the costs or the storage limitation. Also very importantly, keeping up with
the hot topic nowadays, the peace of mind from knowing that you are not making it easy for
intelligence agencies to go through your most important and personal data.