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The Delirium Brief The Delirium Brief

So The Delirium Brief is imminent! It officially goes on sale on July 13th in the UK and (in a different binding, from a different publisher) on July 11th in the USA.

I'll be doing my usual launch reading/signing event in Edinburgh at Blackwell's Bookshop on Wednesday July 12th — it's a ticketed event but tickets are free.

You can order signed copies of The Delirium Brief both from Blackwell's (see the bottom of the linked event page for details) and from my favourite local specialist SF bookstore, Transreal Fiction in Edinburgh. (Transreal takes Paypal and can ship overseas; Mike can also provide signed copies of many of my other books upon request.)

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Posted by Linode

Jun 26, 14:55 UTC
Scheduled - On Friday, June 30, 2017 we will be performing a code upgrade on our core network devices in our Atlanta data center. Keeping up to date software improves stability and security for network infrastructure. The maintenance is scheduled to begin at 08:00pm UTC with a 2-hour window to complete the work. We do not expect any downtime, however a brief period of packet loss or increased latency may be observed.

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Posted by Linode

Jun 26, 14:35 UTC
Scheduled - On Thursday, June 29, 2017 we will be performing a code upgrade on our core network devices in our Fremont data center. Keeping up to date software improves stability and security for network infrastructure. The maintenance is scheduled to begin at 09:30pm UTC with a 2-hour window to complete the work. We do not expect any downtime, however a brief period of packet loss or increased latency may be observed.

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Posted by Linode

Jun 26, 14:16 UTC
Scheduled - On Wednesday, June 28, 2017 we will be performing a code upgrade on our core network devices in our Frankfurt data center. Keeping up to date software improves stability and security for network infrastructure. The maintenance is scheduled to begin at 11:30pm UTC with a 2-hour window to complete the work. We do not expect any downtime, however a brief period of packet loss or increased latency may be observed.

5k!

Jun. 25th, 2017 02:27 pm
rbarclay: (rad)
[personal profile] rbarclay
Milestones etc.

5,002.7 km, €0.66/km. Linear extrapolation points to 5k5-5k7 km/year.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

Second (and last, I think) book in Hamilton's Chronicle of the Fallers sub-series of his Commonwealth books (now up to about N, maybe N log(N), sub-series).

We follow a few main viewpoint characters, some of which were present for the previous book. It's eminently readable and while there's some on-page sex, it's at least pretty much down to "sex happens" rather than stroke-by-stroke descriptions, which is better.

Would I recommend this? I am in two minds, if you've read a bunch of Commonwealth books, this is likely to evoke the same feeling. If you haven't this really is not where to start.
[syndicated profile] charlie_stross_diary_feed

Hi: I'm back. And a regular commenter asked me an interesting question anent the state of current US/UK politics: how much money can you make by crying fire in a crowded theatre?

Note that "crowded theatre" and "crying fire" are not to be taken literally; rather, it's a question about how much money you can make by manipulating social media to drive public opinion.

I'm going to start with the money markets: hedge funds bet big on Brexit, because they predicted that in event of a "leave" vote going through, shares in the FTSE 100 would underperform by 20%: so they shorted the entire market. However, it's a bet that, by and large, they lost money on. Rather than the FTSE 100 dropping 20%, Sterling dropped 20% and the shares continued to trade at much the same level (in the now-debased currency). Oops. Notably, billionaire Peter Hargreaves, who donated £3.2M to the Leave campaign, managed to lose on the order of £400M (warning: DM over-simplification alert—the market didn't tank, his portfolio lost value). Still, as bets go, it's a good if obvious example of crying fire in a crowded theatre for pleasure and profit: put £3.2M into sending 15 million letters to voters urging them to vote one way, aiming to profit to the tune of hundreds of millions.

Another fairly obvious example is the investment by the current Russian leadership in cyberwar ops against the perceived-as-more-competent candidate in the last US presidential election. Regardless of her other characteristics, Clinton was experienced in foreign affairs and no friend of Russia's. Russia today is primarily an oil and gas exporter, with the world's second largest (official) reserves after Saudi Arabia, and the current leadership can't help but be aware that they're vulnerable to some of the same factors that brought down the USSR —notably vulnerability to externally induced commodity price fluctuations. Clinton could have continued the transition to renewables that the Obama administration began, and applied the decreased US dependency on fossil fuel as an economic weapon against Russia (by depressing global oil prices): she had to be defeated at all costs. Meanwhile, the Trump administration is full of fossil fuel connections. Oil, gas, and coal companies contributed heavily to Trump's campaign, to his inauguration, and in federal lobbying since then, with predictable results.

Anyway, those are the two big recent examples; investors pushing Brexit propaganda not because they think leaving the EU would be good for the UK but in the pursuit of short-term profit: and big fossil fuel interests (national-level actors like Russia/Gazprom and corporate actors like Koch Industries) seeking a fossil-fuel-friendly policy environment by buying targeted political campaigning and deploying cyberwar techniques against politicians perceived as being less receptive to their desire for profit.

Aside from these two examples, and also leaving aside the Grenfell Tower disaster (latest: inflammable cladding may have been used on up to 600 other high-rise apartment buildings in the UK; replacing that is going to cost billions), what other examples can you think of where you can profit by crying fire in a crowded theatre?

Linode Critical Xen Maintenance

Jun. 22nd, 2017 11:24 am
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Posted by Linode

Jun 22, 11:24 UTC
Resolved - This incident has been resolved.

Jun 5, 19:01 UTC
Investigating - Linode has received several Xen Security Advisories (XSAs) that require us to perform updates to our legacy Xen host servers. In order to apply these updates, hosts and the Linodes running on them must be rebooted. The XSAs will be publicly released by the Xen project team on June 20th at 12:00 UTC. We must complete this maintenance before then.

These security advisories only affect legacy Xen Linodes. KVM Linodes are not affected and do not require a reboot. Any customer that upgrades to KVM prior to the maintenance can avoid it entirely. You can use the “Upgrade to KVM” link in your Linode’s dashboard to move to KVM. More KVM upgrading information can be found here:

https://www.linode.com/docs/platform/kvm-reference

These updates are required to protect the security and safe operations of not only our infrastructure, but yours as well. We understand that a disruption with such limited notice is inconvenient, and we hope you understand that we have no control over the disclosure dates of these XSAs. As such, we must adhere to this strict timeline to ensure the security of both our customers and platform. We strongly recommend you read through our Reboot guide, which will help you prepare your Linode for these reboots. The Reboot guide is available here:

https://www.linode.com/docs/uptime/reboot-survival-guide

Each Linode's maintenance window will be communicated to you via email and will also be visible within the Linode Manager. Unfortunately, unless you’re able to upgrade to KVM, due the logistical demands of this effort your assigned maintenance windows are not changeable and the host reboots are mandatory. All customers with Xen Linodes in our Tokyo 1 facility are strongly encouraged to upgrade and migrate to KVM in our new Tokyo 2 facility.

During the maintenance window, Linode instances will be cleanly shut down while we perform the updates. Your Linode will be inaccessible during this time. A two-hour window is allocated, however the actual downtime should be much less. After the maintenance, each Linode will then be returned to its last state (running or powered off).

Stay tuned for more information.

vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

First book by Daniels that I've read. On the whole, a pleasant surprise. I suspect this is in the "YA" bucket, not because of the content, but based on the formatting. Wider line-spacing, for one. Also a very quick read, based purely on the ebook-reader's page number function, 300 pages, or within 1%-2% error margin, started on the morning commute, finished during the evening commute. Clear YA sign, that. 250 pages, I could've believed it was just the quality of the book (the better, the faster I read, or something like that). Where was I?

Ah, yes. We follow Danny Tozer, who, when the book starts, is a teen with one set of problems, which quickly change for whole other set of problems, which slowly transmute to a third, somewhat related, set of problems. The rapid change at the start have something to do with "a dying superhero just gifted his powers to you", and the slow transmutation is definitely related to the same thing (and various other reactions of the book's world to this).

This is not the bookmeme post I was planning, but this one is better, even though (until now) it didn't mention lesbians, nor trans-phobic feminists. But you can't have it all, people.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

Fourth in chronology, fifth in publication order. Gladstone's Craft Sequence goes from strength to strength. In this volume, we meet several characters we've met in previous volumes, with some twists and/or new information occasionally revealed.

If I had to summarise these books, I'd say they fall in that narrow overlap between theology and jurisprudence. Or possibly gaping void. It probably makes sense if you've red them, though.

But, basically magic, fantasy, epic, thingie, wossname. Go, read, pretty good.

Ah fuck that shit

Jun. 20th, 2017 07:10 am
rbarclay: (stinkefinger)
[personal profile] rbarclay
We have a "vacation law" around here. Which states that after 25 years of working at a company, one is entitled to an extra week of vacation per year. I look at the details.

Oh hey, previous employments of >= 6 months count.
Check.

School, after the first 9 years, counts. To a maximum of 4 years.
Check.

Military service (or equivalent) counts, too.
Check.

And: bingo! That adds up to exactly 25 years for me. Yay, extra vacation time!

Of course, after explaining all that, another couple paragraphs down, there's restrictions: previous employments only count to a maximum of 5 years, and school time (after being counted as a max. of 4 years) is reduced to a maximum of 2 years. So if I stay with this employer, in about 2025 I can get that extra week.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

First in internal chronology, fourth in publication (and presumably writing) order. Still an eminently readable series.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

The Art of Space Travel - Nina Allen
A fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers - Alyssa Wong

Neither felt exceedingly groundbreaking, but neither was a waste of time reading.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

You should probably read this and ponder the contents. Especially if you think you would be outraged by it.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

This series pretty much goes from strength to strength.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Reread.

been a while since I read this. It's basically three novellas/long-shorts with a framing story wrapped around them. Works pretty well. One of these is heavily echoed in KKomarr.
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