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The Actuator – September 5th

Level 17

Back from VMworld and it's hotter here at home than in Las Vegas. I've no idea how that is possible. VMworld was a wonderful show, and it's always good to see my #vFamily.

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

AWS announces Amazon RDS on VMware

There were lots of announcements last week at VMworld, but I found this one to be the most interesting. AWS and VMware are bringing the cloud to your data center. I expect Microsoft to follow suit. It would appear that all three companies are working together to control and maintain infrastructure for the entire world.

Earthquake early-warning system successfully sent alarm before temblor felt in Pasadena

I applaud the effort here, and hope that these systems will allow for more advanced warnings in later versions. Because alerting me 3 seconds before an earthquake strikes is not enough of a warning.

Two seconds to take a bite out of mobile bank fraud with Artificial Intelligence

OTOH, alerting within two seconds seems reasonable for detecting fraud, because fraud usually doesn’t involve a building falling on top of me. And this is a great example of how AI research can make the world a better place.

Video games that allow in-game purchases to carry Pegi warning

I think this is a great first step, but more work is needed. I’d like to see video games publish the amount of time and/or money necessary to complete the game.

World's Oldest Customer Complaint Goes Viral

After reading this, I do not recommend shopping at Ea-nasir’s store. Avoid.

Major Quantum Computing Advance Made Obsolete by Teenager

Ignore the clickbait title. The kid didn’t make anything obsolete. But he did stumble across a new model for recommendations. The likely result is that when quantum computing finally lands, researchers will be able to focus on solving real issues, like global warming, and not worry about what movies a person wants to rent next.

How to Roll a Strong Password with 20-Sided Dice and Fandom-Inspired Wordlists

The next time you need to rotate a password, start here.

Adding this to my conference survival guide:

breakfast_bacon.JPG

42 Comments
jwilson2013
Level 12

Mmmmm....Breakfast Bacon!

ecklerwr1
Level 19

The few seconds earthquake warning is really ridiculous... I wonder how much that cost CA?

smttysmth02gt
Level 13

Thanks.....mmmm bacon.

ScottRich
Level 12

Finally, a reason to get out the D&D dice!

bobmarley
Level 15

Wow, 3,800 years and the vendor is finally working on that ticket... 

bleggett
Level 12

On the one hand, breakfast bacon seems a tad redundant.  Of course bacon is for breakfast.  On the other hand, it's also for lunch, and supper, and maybe even some of those hobbit meals at odd hours of the day.  Why limit one's options when considering bacon for a meal?

david.botfield
Level 13

Interesting articles.

petergwilson
Level 14

Jack Links don't sell the Breakfast Bacon in the UK but I have just finished a load of the Biltong that I bought at the Great British Beer Festival a few weeks ago.  Nice stuff.

petergwilson
Level 14

Amazon RDS sounds good but we have just installed VMWare NSX on premises so we can move all of our stuff OFF the IBM cloud.  It is unlikely we will move any SQL stuff or anything else to the cloud any time soon.

petergwilson
Level 14

Earthquake early warning.  3 seconds.  I suppose that gives you time to kiss your arse goodbye.

Fortunately here in the UK our biggest earthquakes aren't enough to cause any damage.  I can see why it might be useful for Cali residents.  Can't read the LA Times article as the website is unavailable.  There hasn't been a earthquake has there.

petergwilson
Level 14

I don't think anyone in the UK is worried about mobile banking fraud.  Our banking systems are rarely up long enough to allow someone to hack in.  Every day there are news stories about yet another banking outage.

petergwilson
Level 14

PEGI alerts about in game purchases.  Not going nearly far enough.  It really needs a complete block on in game purchases unless prior authorisation has been made by the bill payer.  Even then you could add a separate authorisation for each purchase. 

petergwilson
Level 14

Oldest customer complaint.  Nothing ever changes.  Don't pay up front.  Pay on delivery or use a third party that holds the goods and payment in escrow until both sides are happy. 

petergwilson
Level 14

Looks like Quantum Computers are still a solution looking for a problem.  Might be useful some day but Quantum Entanglement could be a good way of moving data quickly.

petergwilson
Level 14

Dice for password generation.  I can just imagine it.

User - I didn't create a strong password because YOU didn't supply me with 5 x 20 sided dice.

IT - You could just use the one die 5 times.

User - Would that work ?

jkump
Level 15

Breakfast Bacon.   Might have to add that to my vendor visit survival guide!  Great set of articles!

rschroeder
Level 21

RDS in the cloud?  What'll they think of next?

rschroeder
Level 21

The earthquake advance warning story didn't initially float my boat.  Getting a four-second or ten-second warning in advance of an earthquake didn't seem useful to me yet.  Since this solution merely leverages reporting a quake's vibrations to customers via radio waves, I didn't see a great practical use with today's technologies.

I was much more interested in predictive tools than relay tools about an event that's already occurred.  If tools can accurately predict a quake and its expected strength a week or more in advance, THAT will be significant.

If it only reports thirty minutes or an hour in advance, lives and property should still be saved.

ANY significant and accurate "prediction" will be more valuable than learning you'll be feeling a quake in the next ten seconds.  To be meaningful, one must have the info far enough in advance to take effective and significant action.  Like leaving the state in time to avoid traffic jams, or even simply turning off the gas and water and going outside.

And then I thought "this only can help people if there's something that can be done to prevent disaster in a few short seconds before the quake hits somewhere else.  What actions could possibly be significant with only seconds of notice?"  (Wait!  It's like the Omega-13 device in Galaxy Quest!   Galaxy Quest - OMEGA 13 - YouTube )

The gears engaged and I realized a warning by radio of an imminent quake, even if only a few seconds before the quake arrived, could conceivably be leveraged by automated systems (yet to be developed and purchased and installed) to turn off the gas and water by automated systems before the quake hits.  Perhaps these radio-based quake shut-off valves would save lives and property damage.  Imagine if such a system were 100% in place before the 1906 quake hit San Francisco.  Instead of 3000 people dying, and 400,000 people being left homeless (in part due to fires associated with liquid natural gas or propane gas systems in businesses and homes and below streets), there might have been a very different outcome.

And then the pessimist stepped out and said "This suddenly just became another IoT item, a vector for people to use to disable water and gas systems to leverage political goals."

df112
Level 13

As always, a number interesting links to read.  Hadn't seen the bacon yet.  Have to check that out.

rschroeder
Level 21

Using AI to reduce bank fraud is cool.

What will it cost?

How effective will it be?

How much better would it be to create educational systems that teach children to be honest?  How much more effective would the money be if it were spent on requiring ethical behavior of all people?

rschroeder
Level 21

A person has to REALLY be incensed to carve their complaint in stone!

Thanks for sharing that one--it got great mileage from my peers.

rschroeder
Level 21

My preference would be to prohibit in-game purchases of any type.  It's a game.

rschroeder
Level 21

When Tang came up with a different way to predict what movies Netflix users would like, or what products Amazon users might want to buy, did Netflix or Amazon use his information?

It seems not.  I still recommendations for things in which I have no interest.

Maybe that's a good thing!

mcam
Level 14

long been a fan of pass phrases, but love the idea of making it a geek badge of honor as well

jm_sysadmin
Level 13

I saw those and almost bought them to try it

bobmarley
Level 15

I still think they have the double slit experiment wrong. Even though they are firing single photons through the slits I think they are assuming they are firing them through a complete vacuum of everything when in fact there are still gravity waves that those photons

have to cross to go through the slit. The patterns are probably just the effect of the gravity waves on the photons during their travel. Thus the pattern at the far end.

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vinay.by
Level 16

Cool article

vinay.by
Level 16

Nice click

tinmann0715
Level 16

Nice choice with the Jack Links. Lately I have become addicted to their jerky chew. My wife is soooo happy (NOT!)

Original Jerky Chew – Jack Link's Protein Snacks

petergwilson
Level 14

I think I hate you.  In the UK we only get the Beef Jerky Original, Sweet & Hot, Teriyaki and Biltong Original.  All are very nice but there is a proper South African jerky shop near me that does loose.  Expensive but worth it.  I've usually buy it by the kilo.

vinay.by
Level 16

AWS announces Amazon RDS on VMware - Nice

bobmarley
Level 15

AWS announces Amazon RDS on VMware

pastedImage_0.png

In 20 years everything will be in 'the cloud'

vinay.by
Level 16

Earthquake early-warning system successfully sent alarm before temblor felt in Pasadena - this definitely is a great start to something that would be more sophisticated in the coming years

robertkcampbell
Level 8

Thanks for posting this!

jwilson2013
Level 12

I entirely understand the gears engaging and realizing how it could work well. I also entirely get/agree that boneheads would use it for their own nefarious purposes

vinay.by
Level 16

Two seconds to take a bite out of mobile bank fraud with Artificial Intelligence - Cool

vinay.by
Level 16

Video games that allow in-game purchases to carry Pegi warning - This really is a good thing that happened to parents

vinay.by
Level 16

World's Oldest Customer Complaint Goes Viral - Nice

vinay.by
Level 16

Major Quantum Computing Advance Made Obsolete by Teenager - hmm interesting

vinay.by
Level 16

How to Roll a Strong Password with 20-Sided Dice and Fandom-Inspired Wordlists - lol

sqlrockstar
Level 17

It does seem silly, but I'm hopeful it's just a v1 of a system that will get better. But home much time is enough time? I really don't know.

rschroeder
Level 21

That's a LONG way to go for Jack Links.  Comparatively speaking, they are made not that far from my back yard.

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Jack Link's Beef Jerky - Wikipedia

About the Author
Thomas LaRock is a Head Geek at SolarWinds and a Microsoft® Certified Master, SQL Server® MVP, VMware® vExpert, and a Microsoft Certified Trainer. He has over 15 years experience in the IT industry in roles including programmer, developer, analyst, and database administrator.