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

Fourth book in McKenna's Tales of Einarinn series. It takes place simultaneous to book #3, With Ryshad as primary viewpoint character (and two or maybe three other characters as secondary POV characters). As usual, the primary POV is written in first person and the other POVs are written in third person, which works really well for me, as a reader.

Anyway, a most pleasant read. I would hesitantly recommend starting at the beginning of the series, there's a fair chunk of background, but it may be enough to sort-of catch up in this volume?
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Bundle haul

Oct. 16th, 2017 10:38 pm
[syndicated profile] eaglespath_feed

Confession time: I started making these posts (eons ago) because a close friend did as well, and I enjoyed reading them. But the main reason why I continue is because the primary way I have to keep track of the books I've bought and avoid duplicates is, well, grep on these posts.

I should come up with a non-bullshit way of doing this, but time to do more elegant things is in short supply, and, well, it's my blog. So I'm boring all of you who read this in various places with my internal bookkeeping. I do try to at least add a bit of commentary.

This one will be more tedious than most since it includes five separate Humble Bundles, which increases the volume a lot. (I just realized I'd forgotten to record those purchases from the past several months.)

First, the individual books I bought directly:

Ilona Andrews — Sweep in Peace (sff)
Ilona Andrews — One Fell Sweep (sff)
Steven Brust — Vallista (sff)
Nicky Drayden — The Prey of Gods (sff)
Meg Elison — The Book of the Unnamed Midwife (sff)
Pat Green — Night Moves (nonfiction)
Ann Leckie — Provenance (sff)
Seanan McGuire — Once Broken Faith (sff)
Seanan McGuire — The Brightest Fell (sff)
K. Arsenault Rivera — The Tiger's Daughter (sff)
Matthew Walker — Why We Sleep (nonfiction)

Some new books by favorite authors, a few new releases I heard good things about, and two (Night Moves and Why We Sleep) from references in on-line articles that impressed me.

The books from security bundles (this is mostly work reading, assuming I'll get to any of it), including a blockchain bundle:

Wil Allsop — Unauthorised Access (nonfiction)
Ross Anderson — Security Engineering (nonfiction)
Chris Anley, et al. — The Shellcoder's Handbook (nonfiction)
Conrad Barsky & Chris Wilmer — Bitcoin for the Befuddled (nonfiction)
Imran Bashir — Mastering Blockchain (nonfiction)
Richard Bejtlich — The Practice of Network Security (nonfiction)
Kariappa Bheemaiah — The Blockchain Alternative (nonfiction)
Violet Blue — Smart Girl's Guide to Privacy (nonfiction)
Richard Caetano — Learning Bitcoin (nonfiction)
Nick Cano — Game Hacking (nonfiction)
Bruce Dang, et al. — Practical Reverse Engineering (nonfiction)
Chris Dannen — Introducing Ethereum and Solidity (nonfiction)
Daniel Drescher — Blockchain Basics (nonfiction)
Chris Eagle — The IDA Pro Book, 2nd Edition (nonfiction)
Nikolay Elenkov — Android Security Internals (nonfiction)
Jon Erickson — Hacking, 2nd Edition (nonfiction)
Pedro Franco — Understanding Bitcoin (nonfiction)
Christopher Hadnagy — Social Engineering (nonfiction)
Peter N.M. Hansteen — The Book of PF (nonfiction)
Brian Kelly — The Bitcoin Big Bang (nonfiction)
David Kennedy, et al. — Metasploit (nonfiction)
Manul Laphroaig (ed.) — PoC || GTFO (nonfiction)
Michael Hale Ligh, et al. — The Art of Memory Forensics (nonfiction)
Michael Hale Ligh, et al. — Malware Analyst's Cookbook (nonfiction)
Michael W. Lucas — Absolute OpenBSD, 2nd Edition (nonfiction)
Bruce Nikkel — Practical Forensic Imaging (nonfiction)
Sean-Philip Oriyano — CEHv9 (nonfiction)
Kevin D. Mitnick — The Art of Deception (nonfiction)
Narayan Prusty — Building Blockchain Projects (nonfiction)
Prypto — Bitcoin for Dummies (nonfiction)
Chris Sanders — Practical Packet Analysis, 3rd Edition (nonfiction)
Bruce Schneier — Applied Cryptography (nonfiction)
Adam Shostack — Threat Modeling (nonfiction)
Craig Smith — The Car Hacker's Handbook (nonfiction)
Dafydd Stuttard & Marcus Pinto — The Web Application Hacker's Handbook (nonfiction)
Albert Szmigielski — Bitcoin Essentials (nonfiction)
David Thiel — iOS Application Security (nonfiction)
Georgia Weidman — Penetration Testing (nonfiction)

Finally, the two SF bundles:

Buzz Aldrin & John Barnes — Encounter with Tiber (sff)
Poul Anderson — Orion Shall Rise (sff)
Greg Bear — The Forge of God (sff)
Octavia E. Butler — Dawn (sff)
William C. Dietz — Steelheart (sff)
J.L. Doty — A Choice of Treasons (sff)
Harlan Ellison — The City on the Edge of Forever (sff)
Toh Enjoe — Self-Reference ENGINE (sff)
David Feintuch — Midshipman's Hope (sff)
Alan Dean Foster — Icerigger (sff)
Alan Dean Foster — Mission to Moulokin (sff)
Alan Dean Foster — The Deluge Drivers (sff)
Taiyo Fujii — Orbital Cloud (sff)
Hideo Furukawa — Belka, Why Don't You Bark? (sff)
Haikasoru (ed.) — Saiensu Fikushon 2016 (sff anthology)
Joe Haldeman — All My Sins Remembered (sff)
Jyouji Hayashi — The Ouroboros Wave (sff)
Sergei Lukyanenko — The Genome (sff)
Chohei Kambayashi — Good Luck, Yukikaze (sff)
Chohei Kambayashi — Yukikaze (sff)
Sakyo Komatsu — Virus (sff)
Miyuki Miyabe — The Book of Heroes (sff)
Kazuki Sakuraba — Red Girls (sff)
Robert Silverberg — Across a Billion Years (sff)
Allen Steele — Orbital Decay (sff)
Bruce Sterling — Schismatrix Plus (sff)
Michael Swanwick — Vacuum Flowers (sff)
Yoshiki Tanaka — Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Volume 1: Dawn (sff)
Yoshiki Tanaka — Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Volume 2: Ambition (sff)
Yoshiki Tanaka — Legend of the Galactic Heroes, Volume 3: Endurance (sff)
Tow Ubukata — Mardock Scramble (sff)
Sayuri Ueda — The Cage of Zeus (sff)
Sean Williams & Shane Dix — Echoes of Earth (sff)
Hiroshi Yamamoto — MM9 (sff)
Timothy Zahn — Blackcollar (sff)

Phew. Okay, all caught up, and hopefully won't have to dump something like this again in the near future. Also, more books than I have any actual time to read, but what else is new.

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Oct 17, 08:33 UTC
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Free software log (September 2017)

Oct. 15th, 2017 09:47 pm
[syndicated profile] eaglespath_feed

I said that I was going to start writing these regularly, so I'm going to stick to it, even when the results are rather underwhelming. One of the goals is to make the time for more free software work, and I do better at doing things that I record.

The only piece of free software work for September was that I made rra-c-util compile cleanly with the Clang static analyzer. This was fairly tedious work that mostly involved unconfusing the compiler or converting (semi-intentional) crashes into explicit asserts, but it unblocks using the Clang static analyzer as part of the automated test suite of my other projects that are downstream of rra-c-util.

One of the semantic changes I made was that the vector utilities in rra-c-util (which maintain a resizable array of strings) now always allocate room for at least one string pointer. This wastes a small amount of memory for empty vectors that are never used, but ensures that the strings struct member is always valid. This isn't, strictly speaking, a correctness fix, since all the checks were correct, but after some thought, I decided that humans might have the same problem that the static analyzer had. It's a lot easier to reason about a field that's never NULL. Similarly, the replacement function for a missing reallocarray now does an allocation of size 1 if given a size of 0, just to avoid edge case behavior. (I'm sure the behavior of a realloc with size 0 is defined somewhere in the C standard, but if I have to look it up, I'd rather not make a human reason about it.)

I started on, but didn't finish, making rra-c-util compile without Clang warnings (at least for a chosen set of warnings). By far the hardest problem here are the Clang warnings for comparisons between unsigned and signed integers. In theory, I like this warning, since it's the cause of a lot of very obscure bugs. In practice, gah does C ever do this all over the place, and it's incredibly painful to avoid. (One of the biggest offenders is write, which returns a ssize_t that you almost always want to compare against a size_t.) I did a bunch of mechanical work, but I now have a lot of bits of code like:

     if (status < 0)
         return;
    written = (size_t) status;
    if (written < avail)
        buffer->left += written;

which is ugly and unsatisfying. And I also have a ton of casts, such as with:

    buffer_resize(buffer, (size_t) st.st_size + used);

since st.st_size is an off_t, which may be signed. This is all deeply unsatisfying and ugly, and I think it makes the code moderately harder to read, but I do think the warning will potentially catch bugs and even security issues.

I'm still torn. Maybe I can find some nice macros or programming styles to avoid the worst of this problem. It definitely requires more thought, rather than just committing this huge mechanical change with lots of ugly code.

Mostly, this kind of nonsense makes me want to stop working on C code and go finish learning Rust....

Anyway, apart from work, the biggest thing I managed to do last month that was vaguely related to free software was upgrading my personal servers to stretch (finally). That mostly went okay; only a few things made it unnecessarily exciting.

The first was that one of my systems had a very tiny / partition that was too small to hold the downloaded debs for the upgrade, so I had to resize it (VM disk, partition, and file system), and that was a bit exciting because it has an old-style DOS partition table that isn't aligned (hmmm, which is probably why disk I/O is so slow on those VMs), so I had to use the obsolete fdisk -c=dos mode because I wasn't up for replacing the partition right then.

The second was that my first try at an upgrade died with a segfault during the libc6 postinst and then every executable segfaulted. A mild panic and a rescue disk later (and thirty minutes and a lot of swearing), I tracked the problem down to libc6-xen. Nothing in the dependency structure between jessie and stretch forces libc6-xen to be upgraded in lockstep or removed, but it's earlier in the search path. So ld.so gets upgraded, and then finds the old libc6 from the libc6-xen package, and the mismatch causes immediate segfaults. A chroot dpkg --purge from the rescue disk solved the problem as soon as I knew what was going on, but that was a stressful half-hour.

The third problem was something I should have known was going to be an issue: an old Perl program that does some internal stuff for one of the services I ran had a defined @array test that has been warning for eons and that I never fixed. That became a full syntax error with the most recent Perl, and then I fixed it incorrectly the first time and had a bunch of trouble tracking down what I'd broken. All sorted out now, and everything is happily running stretch. (ejabberd, which other folks had mentioned was a problem, went completely smoothly, although I suspect I now have too many of the plugin packages installed and should do a purging.)

Hmm, this could actually work #3

Oct. 15th, 2017 08:59 pm
rbarclay: (donald)
[personal profile] rbarclay
Friday evening at a company event, I tried smoking a normal cigarette. Like inhaling an ashtray.

Largely About Largesse

Oct. 15th, 2017 12:51 pm
[syndicated profile] vikas_vestments_feed

Posted by Victoria Swann

Largesse examples from the Citadel of the Southern Pass,
in Ansteorra.  

The original meaning of largesse is, coins thrown to the populace on some great occasion, such as a wedding or a coronation.  E.g., during the wedding of Mary Stuart to the future François II (1558):

This is the best screencap I could find,
and it ain't great, but it's Col. Brandon
with a fistful of coins he's about to
throw to the crowd after his wedding.
(Sense and Sensibility, 1995)
"Then the heralds cried for a third time "Largesse!" and threw among the people a great number of gold and silver coins of all descriptions, as Henrys, ducats, crowns of the sun, pistolets, half-crowns, testons, and douzains.  Such a rush and outcry among the people followed, that nothing was ever heard like it, as they precipitated themselves one upon the other...During the offertory, pieces of gold and silver were again thrown among the people, in token of liberality and largesse."  (Lives of the Queens of Scotland, Agnes Strickland)

In the SCA context, though, it's taken on a meaning closer to the idea of tokens or gifts of favor (not favors, per se; I have a different rant about those)--a way for the Crown (or local barons, for that matter) to give an attaboy-in-passing, so to speak, outside of the formal awards & orders context, for any reason that moves them: you did them a service, you did something cool, they like your display or your performance or how you comport yourself on the field--any ol' thing.  This is a Great Idea and very medieval and I love it and I want to contribute to it.  But I have been perennially stuck on "how".

Disclaimer: I have some personal madness here; particularly I want to note that this madness is entirely personally-applied, and I do not have any mental wharrgarbl about anyone else's work or contributions but my own.

Very broadly speaking, it seems to me that there are two kinds of largesse; "high-end" (bigger or more expensive or more painstakingly crafted) one-off creations that might be given, for example, as gifts to other royalty; and the more, and understand that this is not said with any degree of denigration, "mass gift" items which are smaller and less expensive of money and effort to produce.   I haven't really been thinking about the high-end largesse, since I can barely keep up with my own big projects, but I should like to contribute to the other kind, the more so since there's more of a need for those.  But where I get stuck on is, what's appropriate for me to do?  For my craft, nearly everything I do is a hefty time investment, and I can't produce items quick enough to be useful in this context.

Well, let's cut to the nubbin of it: of course I could...if I wanted to machine sew / use non-period techniques / make other compromises.  For instance, one of the obvious items I thought of is to make small "relic"-size pouches.  None more medieval!  So appropriate, 
Relic purse from the Abbaye
de Saint-Maurice d'Agaune
and even useful!  Right the hell in my wheelhouse!  And you'd think, pretty quick to make...and you'd be right, generally speaking...but I have a bug up my butt about tablet-woven edges, and I'm still slow AF on that, so it'd take me an inefficient amount of time to finish even one, let alone several.  Is this stupid?  Will the recipient notice, or know, or care?  If my king gave me a nice little pouch to say "attagirl", would it bug me if the sides were sewn instead of having a tablet-woven edge? I'm pretty darn sure it wouldn't.[1]

I guess the core question is, what's the right balance between purity of work vs. actually producing things?  I am comfortable with that line for the various things I'm making for me, because I'm the only person it affects; but for largesse, it affects the honor of the Crown and the happiness of the recipient, neither of which I want to trifle with.  Possibly--yes, probably--I am overthinking the living shit out of this.  But I really don't want to create things that the Crown winces to give, or that the recipient winces to receive; and I don't where the generally accepted wince line is.


[1] Though if it was of neon green polyester with pink bunnies and a plastic draw cord, my eyebrow might rise more than somewhat.
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Support Ticket Outage

Oct. 14th, 2017 10:01 am
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Posted by Linode

Oct 14, 10:01 UTC
Resolved - We haven't observed any additional issues with Linode.com, the Linode Manager, or our API, and will now consider this incident resolved. If you are still experiencing additional issues, please email our Customer Support Team at support@linode.com for assistance.

Oct 14, 09:56 UTC
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vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

Takes place about a year (I would say, give or take) after the previous book in the series. What happens if you kidnap the wife of the head of a government agency, and the first child born to any two members of said agency? In front of the mother's child?

I wish I could say "hilarity ensues", but I guess "calamity ensues" has about the same ring to it. I think I've said that I like this series? Hm? You probably want to read ALL of them. Right now.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

The third book in Spangler's Rachel Peng series. This time it looks relatively innocent, "just" a murder, and some suspected theft. Unfortunately, the crime scene is in the basement of the White House. Again, a most excellent read. I could try to say more, but, you know, I can't quite figure out how to say it while remaining both entertaining and non-spoilery.

Oh, yes, there's one thing. This is, I believe, a point where the bok series forks (in one fork, the next book is Greek Key and in the other, it is Brute Force, the latter will soon have an entry all of its own).

On the whole, I quite like this series.
vatine: books-related stuff (books)
[personal profile] vatine
Previously unread.

This is the second book in Spangler's Rachel Peng series. All in all, eminently readable. It takes place a few months after Digital Divide and starts with a series of explosions "somewhere in DC" (sorry, can't be more precise, there's a specific street mentioned, but, you know, I am sufficiently unfamiliar with DC that it pretty much has escaped my mind, now that I get around to do the write-up several books and days later). Not entirely surprising, this ends up being very investigated and we get a ring-side seat, as we see Agent Peng, members of the MPD and several other Agents from OACET follow up and try to solve the crime.
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Posted by Linode

Oct 13, 14:45 UTC
Scheduled - On Tuesday, October 24, at 23:00 UTC (Wednesday, October 25, 08:00 Tokyo local time), our engineers will be performing an edge router upgrade in our Tokyo 2 datacenter. We will be working exclusively on the “A” side of the network, and do not expect any downtime during this maintenance as we have full router redundancy. However, brief periods of packet loss or increased latency may be observed at times. We expect this maintenance to take 4 hours.

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Oct 13, 14:38 UTC
Scheduled - On Monday, October 23, at 23:00 UTC (Tuesday, October 24, 08:00 Tokyo local time), our engineers will be performing an edge router upgrade in our Tokyo 2 datacenter. We will be working exclusively on the "B" side of the network, and do not expect any downtime during this maintenance as we have full router redundancy. However, brief periods of packet loss or increased latency may be observed at times. We expect this maintenance to take 4 hours.

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Posted by Linode

Oct 13, 15:10 UTC
Resolved - We haven't observed any additional issues with Linode.com, the Linode Manager, or our API, and will now consider this incident resolved. If you are still experiencing additional issues, please email our Customer Support Team at support@linode.com for assistance.

Oct 13, 14:19 UTC
Monitoring - We have identified the source of the issue affecting the ability to create Support Tickets via the Linode Manager and the Linode API. We are monitoring the situation and we will provide updates as soon as we can confirm this issue is resolved.

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Update - We are currently investigating this issue.

Oct 13, 13:52 UTC
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Hmm, this could actually work #2

Oct. 12th, 2017 11:27 pm
rbarclay: (donald)
[personal profile] rbarclay
Today is the first day in over 20 years (first in ~27, if I don't count a forced pause via hospital stay) that I didn't smoke even a single cigarette.

This feels strange.

Even stranger when I think that I did not buy this electric vapour-cloud-emitting gizmo to, y'know, quit smoking.

Unconscionable Exceptions

Oct. 11th, 2017 02:26 pm
mangosteen: (Default)
[personal profile] mangosteen
[CW: abortion, rape, and the politics thereof]

I have a theory about why the actively anti-abortion right clings to "abortion is allowed only in cases of rape or incest", and it took me down a different path than I expected.

I don't think it's about the Overton Window. )
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