The Actuator – June 13th

Welcome to another edition of The Actuator! This week we are talking about drones, data centers, and why no one cares about your emails.

As always, here are some links from the Intertubz that I hope will hold your interest. Enjoy!

Why Microsoft Wants to Put Data Centers at the Bottom of the Ocean

No word yet on how to do maintenance for these units, but I suspect they would simply raise it out of the water. It seems crazy now, but in 30 years this could be the norm.

Yahoo Messenger Will Be Discontinued on July 17, 2018, After 20 Years of Service

I didn’t even realize this was still a thing. Once upon a time, Yahoo Messenger was a corporate standard. Too bad Yahoo didn’t invest in the platform a bit more; they could have invented Slack a decade early.

The damage from Atlanta’s huge cyberattack is even worse than the city first thought

NARRATOR’S VOICE: “It was even worse than they second thought, too.”

Drones are now being trained to spot violent people in crowds

As long as the drones aren’t collecting data about the individuals, I have no problem with using machines to detect possible violence in crowds. It’s no different than police using CCTV to monitor a crowd. If it helps keep people safe, sign me up.

The Race to Build Autonomous Delivery Robots Rolls On

Now let’s imagine that same drone that spots violent acts in crowds can deliver pizza and beer to your seat. Welcome to the future of multi-tasking.

Genealogy database used to identify suspect in 1987 homicide

The suspect didn’t give his DNA to the genealogy website, but relatives did. I am both impressed, and horrified, by this detective work. DNA is not 100% accurate, it is just another piece of circumstantial evidence.

The Most Extreme Out-of-Office Message

As a person who dislikes email, and abhors OOO messages, this article hammers home all the reasons that electronic messaging is destroying lives each and every day.

The future for DBAs is closer than you think:


  • I have lots of experience diving in Scapa Flow, have my own dry suit etc.  Put them near the German WW1 wrecks and I could make a holiday of it.

  • I'm certified down to 66m and on any mixture of EANx up to and including 100% O2.  Maybe there's a job vacancy for a field engineer with his own SCUBA gear.   emoticons_laugh.png

  • If you don't see the parallels between the article about "The Girls" taking over the office and the B.O.F.H.'s environment . . . well . . .

    It's coming.

  • "Out of office message" really made my morning--thanks!

    In particular: 

    • ". . . participants who were cut off from email experienced significant reductions in their stress levels..."
    • " . . . a proposed law in New York that would make it illegal for business to contact employees by email or instant-messaging services when those employees are scheduled to be off. This is reality in France, which last year enacted a “right to disconnect” law that allows workers to ignore work emails after business hours."
    • " . . . roughly a third of messages did not clear the bar of needing to be seen at all, and only about a tenth of emails were considered important enough to need to be read within five minutes . . ."
    • “I am currently on vacation and not accepting any emails about anything. I’m not planning on reading any old emails when I get back, either, because that feels antithetical to the vacation experience.”


  • When that article, about a genealogy database being leveraged to capture a bad guy from a thirty-year-old crime, went viral last week, I read it and pointed it out to some friends.

    That's pretty amazing tech.  And hopefully it will serve to deter people from negative behavior in the future, rather than having them scheme about new ways to accomplish their nefarious activities without being caught by this technology.