10 interesting stories served every morning and every evening.




1 1,006 shares, 121 trendiness

Netlify just sent me a $104K bill for a simple static site

So I re­ceived an email from Netlify last week­end say­ing that I have a $104,500.00 bill over­due. At first I thought this is a joke or some scam email but af­ter check­ing my dash­board it seems like I am truly ow­ing them 104K dol­lars:

So I was like 😅😅😅 and think okay maybe I got ddos at­tacked. Since Netlify charges 55$/100GB for the ex­ceed­ing band­width, the peak day Feb 16 has 33385/55 * 100GB = 60.7TB band­width in a day. I mean, it’s not im­pos­si­ble but why at­tack a sim­ple sta­tic site like mine? This site has been on Netlify for 4 years and is al­ways okay with the free tier. The monthly band­width never ex­ceeded even 10GB, and has only ~200 daily vis­i­tors.

I con­tacted their billing sup­port and they re­sponded me that they looked into it and the band­width came from some user agents, mean­ing it is a ddos at­tack. Then they say such cases hap­pen and they usu­ally charge their cus­tomer 20% on this. And since my amount is too large, they of­fer to dis­count to 5%, which means I still need to pay 5 thou­sand dol­lars.

This feels more like a scam to me. Why do server­less plat­forms like Netlify and Vercel not have ddos pro­tec­tion, or at least a spend limit? They should have alerted me if the spend­ing sky­rock­eted. I checked my in­box and spam folder and found noth­ing. The only email is Extra us­age pack­age pur­chased for band­width”. It feels like they de­lib­er­ately not sup­port these fea­tures so that they can cash grab in sit­u­a­tions like this.

The ddos at­tack was fo­cused on a file on my site. Yes it’s partly my fault to put a 3.44MB size sound file on my site rather than us­ing a third-party plat­form like SoundCloud. But still this does­n’t in­val­i­date the point of hav­ing pro­tec­tion against such at­tacks, and limit the spend­ing.

I haven’t paid that $5k yet and de­cided to post here to hear what oth­ers think first. And yes I have mi­grated my site to Cloudflare. Learned my les­son and will never use Netlify (or even Vercel) again.

UPDATE: Thank you all for the sug­ges­tions I have posted this on HackerNews.

UPDATE: Here’s the email re­sponse I got from their billing sup­port:

I have taken down that .mp3 file but still, it’s only 3.44MB size and I don’t think it’s en­tirely my fault leav­ing it there.

...

Read the original on www.reddit.com »

2 573 shares, 14 trendiness

Au Large

Mistral Large is our flag­ship model, with top-tier rea­son­ing ca­pac­i­ties. It is also avail­able on Azure.

We are re­leas­ing Mistral Large, our lat­est and most ad­vanced lan­guage model. Mistral Large is avail­able through la Plateforme. We are also mak­ing it avail­able through Azure, our first dis­tri­b­u­tion part­ner. Mistral Large is our new cut­ting-edge text gen­er­a­tion model. It reaches top-tier rea­son­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties. It can be used for com­plex mul­ti­lin­gual rea­son­ing tasks, in­clud­ing text un­der­stand­ing, trans­for­ma­tion, and code gen­er­a­tion.Mis­tral Large achieves strong re­sults on com­monly used bench­marks, mak­ing it the world’s sec­ond-ranked model gen­er­ally avail­able through an API (next to GPT-4) [see be­low for de­tails on bench­marks].Fig­ure 1: Comparison of GPT-4, Mistral Large (pre-trained), Claude 2, Gemini Pro 1.0, GPT 3.5 and LLaMA 2 70B on MMLU (Measuring mas­sive mul­ti­task lan­guage un­der­stand­ing).Mis­tral Large comes with new ca­pa­bil­i­ties and strengths:It is na­tively flu­ent in English, French, Spanish, German, and

Italian, with a nu­anced un­der­stand­ing of gram­mar and cul­tural con­text.Its 32K to­kens con­text win­dow al­lows pre­cise in­for­ma­tion re­call from large doc­u­ments.Its pre­cise in­struc­tion-fol­low­ing en­ables de­vel­op­ers to de­sign their mod­er­a­tion poli­cies — we used it to set up the sys­tem-level mod­er­a­tion of le Chat.It is na­tively ca­pa­ble of func­tion call­ing. This, along with con­strained out­put mode, im­ple­mented on la Plateforme, en­ables ap­pli­ca­tion de­vel­op­ment and tech stack mod­erni­sa­tion at scale.Part­ner­ing with Microsoft to pro­vide our mod­els on AzureAt Mistral, our mis­sion is to make fron­tier AI ubiq­ui­tous. This is why we’re an­nounc­ing to­day that we’re bring­ing our open and com­mer­cial mod­els to Azure. Microsoft’s trust in our model is a step for­ward in our jour­ney! Our mod­els are now avail­able through:La Plateforme: safely hosted on Mistral’s in­fra­struc­ture in Europe, this ac­cess point en­ables de­vel­op­ers to cre­ate ap­pli­ca­tions and ser­vices across our com­pre­hen­sive range of mod­els.Azure: Mistral Large is avail­able through Azure AI Studio and Azure

Machine Learning, with as seam­less a user ex­pe­ri­ence as our APIs. Beta cus­tomers have used it with sig­nif­i­cant suc­cess.Self-de­ploy­ment: our mod­els can be de­ployed on your en­vi­ron­ment for the most sen­si­tive use cases with ac­cess to our model weights; Read suc­cess sto­ries on this kind of de­ploy­ment, and con­tact our team for fur­ther de­tails.We com­pare Mistral Large’s per­for­mance to the top-lead­ing LLM mod­els on com­monly used bench­marks.Mis­tral Large shows pow­er­ful rea­son­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties. In the fol­low­ing fig­ure, we re­port the per­for­mance of the pre­trained mod­els on stan­dard bench­marks.Fig­ure 2: Performance on wide­spread com­mon sense, rea­son­ing and knowl­edge bench­marks of the top-lead­ing LLM mod­els on the mar­ket: MMLU (Measuring mas­sive mul­ti­task lan­guage in un­der­stand­ing), HellaSwag (10-shot), Wino Grande (5-shot), Arc Challenge (5-shot), Arc Challenge (25-shot), TriviaQA (5-shot) and TruthfulQA.Mistral Large has na­tive multi-lin­gual ca­pac­i­ties. It strongly out­per­forms LLaMA 2 70B on HellaSwag, Arc Challenge and MMLU bench­marks in French, German, Spanish and Italian.Figure 3: Comparison of Mistral Large, Mixtral 8x7B and LLaMA 2 70B on HellaSwag, Arc Challenge and MMLU in French, German, Spanish and Italian.Mistral Large shows top per­for­mance in cod­ing and math tasks. In the table be­low, we re­port the per­for­mance across a suite of pop­u­lar bench­marks to eval­u­ate the cod­ing and math per­for­mance for some of the top-lead­ing LLM mod­els.Fig­ure 4: Performance on pop­u­lar cod­ing and math bench­marks of the lead­ing LLM mod­els on the mar­ket: HumanEval pass@1, MBPP pass@1, Math maj@4, GSM8K maj@8 (8-shot) and GSM8K maj@1 (5 shot).Along­side Mistral Large, we’re re­leas­ing a new op­ti­mised model, Mistral Small, op­ti­mised for la­tency and cost. Mistral Small out­per­forms Mixtral 8x7B and has lower la­tency, which makes it a re­fined in­ter­me­di­ary so­lu­tion be­tween our open-weight of­fer­ing and our flag­ship model.Mis­tral Small ben­e­fits from the same in­no­va­tion as Mistral Large re­gard­ing RAG-enablement and func­tion call­ing.We’re sim­pli­fy­ing our end­point of­fer­ing to pro­vide the fol­low­ing:Open-weight end­points with com­pet­i­tive pric­ing. This com­prises

open-mis­tral-7B and open-mix­tral-8x7b.New op­ti­mised model end­points, mis­tral-small-2402 and mis­tral-large-2402. We’re main­tain­ing mis­tral-medium, which we are not up­dat­ing to­day.Be­yond the new model of­fer­ing, we’re al­low­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion man­age­ment multi-cur­rency pric­ing and have up­dated ser­vice tiers on la Plateforme. We have also made a lot of progress in re­duc­ing the la­tency of all our end­points.JSON for­mat mode forces the lan­guage model out­put to be valid JSON. This func­tion­al­ity en­ables de­vel­op­ers to in­ter­act with our mod­els more nat­u­rally to ex­tract in­for­ma­tion in a struc­tured for­mat that can be eas­ily used in the re­main­der of their pipelines.Func­tion call­ing lets de­vel­op­ers in­ter­face Mistral end­points with a set of their own tools, en­abling more com­plex in­ter­ac­tions with in­ter­nal code, APIs or data­bases. You will learn more in our func­tion

call­ing guide.Func­tion call­ing and JSON for­mat are only avail­able on mis­tral-small and mis­tral-large. We will be adding for­mat­ting to all end­points shortly, as well as en­abling more fine-grained for­mat de­f­i­n­i­tions.Mis­tral Large is avail­able on La Plateforme and Azure as of to­day. Mistral Large is also ex­posed on our beta as­sis­tant demon­stra­tor, le

Chat. As al­ways, we’re ea­ger to have your feed­back!

...

Read the original on mistral.ai »

3 554 shares, 23 trendiness

How to find the AWS Account ID of any S3 Bucket

How to find the AWS Account ID of any S3 BucketIn 2021 Ben Bridts pub­lished a highly in­ven­tive method for find­ing the AWS Account ID of a pub­lic S3 bucket. This post de­scribes a tech­nique to find the Account ID of any S3 bucket (both pri­vate and pub­lic).I’d highly rec­om­mend read­ing Ben’s tech­nique first as we will re-use a lot of con­cepts.Shell out­put can be worth a thou­sand words, here’s what our tech­nique en­ables - find­ing the pre­vi­ously un­known AWS Account ID for the bucket bucket-al­pha:sh-5.2$ python3 find-s3-ac­count.py bucket-al­pha

VPC end­point vpce-0e76855aad­b0dafb5 pol­icy al­ready con­fig­ured

Requesting bucket-al­pha us­ing ses­sion name 0–––––-

Requesting bucket-al­pha us­ing ses­sion name 1–––––-

Requesting bucket-al­pha us­ing ses­sion name 2–––––-

Requesting bucket-al­pha us­ing ses­sion name 3–––––-

SNIP

Requesting bucket-al­pha us­ing ses­sion name –––––-7

Requesting bucket-al­pha us­ing ses­sion name –––––-8

Requesting bucket-al­pha us­ing ses­sion name –––––-9

Finding ses­sion names which passed the VPC end­point in CloudTrail…

Found –––––-1 for bucket-al­pha in CloudTrail

Found ––––-1– for bucket-al­pha in CloudTrail

Found ––––9–- for bucket-al­pha in CloudTrail

Found ––-6––– for bucket-al­pha in CloudTrail

Found –3––––- for bucket-al­pha in CloudTrail

Found -2––––– for bucket-al­pha in CloudTrail

Found 1–––––- for bucket-al­pha in CloudTrail

Found –––––0- for bucket-al­pha in CloudTrail

Found –––-8–– for bucket-al­pha in CloudTrail

Found –––7––- for bucket-al­pha in CloudTrail

Found ––5–––- for bucket-al­pha in CloudTrail

Found –-4–––– for bucket-al­pha in CloudTrail

Bucket bucket-al­pha: 123456789101How ex­actly does this work?When ex­plor­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties for this tech­nique, I started by break­ing down ex­actly why Ben’s method works. There are three key el­e­ments which com­bine to make it work:The abil­ity to ap­ply an IAM pol­icy to the re­questIn the Ben’s tech­nique, this is achieved by ap­ply­ing a cus­tom pol­icy when as­sum­ing the role.The abil­ity to in­fer whether this IAM pol­icy per­mit­ted the re­quest or notIn the case of pub­lic buck­ets, this is quite sim­ple. If our pol­icy blocked the re­quest, the re­quest will fail with AccessDenied. Otherwise, the re­quest will suc­ceed as ex­pected with re­quests to pub­lic buck­ets.The abil­ity to ap­ply a wild­card match on the s3:Re­sourceAc­count con­di­tion keyThis al­lows us to dis­cover the Account ID in­cre­men­tally, one digit at a time, re­duc­ing the search space from tril­lions to hun­dreds.Af­ter ex­plor­ing a few dif­fer­ent ideas, I found a so­lu­tion which works. It in­volves us­ing a VPC Endpoint for S3, and a dif­fer­ence of be­hav­iour in CloudTrail when a re­quest is de­nied by a VPC Endpoint pol­icy.The abil­ity to ap­ply an IAM pol­icy to the re­quest­Cre­at­ing a VPC Endpoint of type Interface” for S3 will al­low us to ap­ply an IAM pol­icy to the re­quest. This pol­icy in­ter­sects with the other poli­cies which ap­ply to the re­quest (e.g. the bucket pol­icy, the IAM pol­icy of the prin­ci­pal mak­ing the re­quest etc) when the re­quest is made through the VPC Endpoint.The abil­ity to in­fer whether this IAM pol­icy per­mit­ted the re­quest or no­tAs the tar­get bucket is owned by a third party and is a pri­vate bucket, we’re (thankfully) go­ing to re­ceive an AccessDenied re­sponse, re­gard­less of whichever poli­cies we ap­ply to the re­quest. However, we can in­fer whether the VPC Endpoint pol­icy blocked or per­mit­ted the re­quest by whether it ap­pears in our own CloudTrail logs.If the re­quest does ap­pear in our CloudTrail logs, it was per­mit­ted by our VPC Endpoint pol­icy but blocked as ex­pected by the bucket pol­icy.If the re­quest does not ap­pear in our CloudTrail logs, it was blocked by our VPC Endpoint pol­icy.The abil­ity to ap­ply a wild­card match on the s3:Re­sourceAc­count con­di­tion keyWe can use the full power of IAM pol­icy con­di­tions, in­clud­ing StringLike wild­cards and re­source con­di­tion keys in a VPC Endpoint pol­icy, so the same ba­sic tech­nique will work here.Let’s say that we want to find the Account ID of the bucket bucket-al­pha.Note that some of our ac­tiv­i­ties here will be vis­i­ble to the owner of the bucket in their own CloudTrail logs.We need to find the re­gion in which the bucket lives so that we can cre­ate a VPC in the same re­gion. This can be done by curl­ing the buck­et’s HTTP end­point and ex­am­in­ing the x-amz-bucket-re­gion header (which is re­turned de­spite the re­quest be­ing for­bid­den).curl -v bucket-al­pha.s3.ama­zon­aws.com

x-amz-bucket-re­gion: us-east-1De­ploy a VPC and VPC Endpoint in the same re­gionWe need to de­ploy a VPC and a VPC Endpoint for S3 in the same re­gion as the tar­get bucket. It’s best to cre­ate a VPC specif­i­cally for this pur­pose as our VPC Endpoint will in­ter­fere with re­quests to S3 from the VPC. The VPC Endpoint should be of type Interface” so we can ap­ply a pol­icy to the re­quest.Launch an EC2 in­stance within the VPC and con­firm that it’s us­ing the VPC Endpoint for S3We’ll need to send re­quests to S3 from within the VPC so that the VPC Endpoint is used. An EC2 in­stance is a con­ve­nient way of do­ing so.Mod­ify the VPC Endpoint pol­icy to de­ter­mine whether the ac­count ID of the tar­get bucket starts with 0″Apply a pol­icy to the VPC Endpoint which per­forms a wild­card match on the s3:Re­sourceAc­count con­di­tion key. This will only per­mit re­quests through the end­point if the buck­et’s Account ID starts with 0”.{

Version”: 2012-10-17″,

Statement”: [

Action”: s3:*”,

Effect”: Allow”,

Resource”: *”,

Principal”: *”,

Condition”: {

StringLike”: {

s3:ResourceAccount”: 0*”

}Via the EC2 in­stance, make a re­quest to the tar­get bucket. This re­quest will be de­nied as ex­pected. It’s best to use a Management” re­quest rather than a Data” re­quest so we don’t need to do any­thing spe­cial with our CloudTrail setup. In this case I used GetBucketAcl.aws s3api get-bucket-acl –bucket bucket-al­pha

An er­ror oc­curred (AccessDenied) when call­ing the GetBucketAcl op­er­a­tion: Access DeniedCheck whether the re­quest ap­pears in CloudTrailNow we want to check whether our re­quest ap­pears in CloudTrail.aws cloud­trail lookup-events –lookup-attributes AttributeKey=EventName,AttributeValue=GetBucketAcl –start-time $(date -d -10 min­utes” +%s)If we find our re­quest in CloudTrail, it means that the VPC Endpoint pol­icy per­mit­ted the re­quest - i.e. the Account ID of the bucket starts with 0. If we don’t find the re­quest, then the VPC Endpoint pol­icy blocked the re­quest - i.e. the Account ID of the bucket does not start with 0.{

Bear in mind that it will take a few min­utes for the re­quest to ap­pear in CloudTrail. To be safe, I’d rec­om­mend wait­ing a 10 min­utes be­fore de­cid­ing the event won’t ap­pear in CloudTrail.Depending on the re­sult of the pre­vi­ous step, mod­ify the VPC Endpoint pol­icy to dis­cover more in­for­ma­tion about the ac­count ID. For in­stance, if the event did­n’t ap­pear in CloudTrail, mod­ify the con­di­tion to test whether the first digit is 1:“Condition”: {

StringLike”: {

s3:ResourceAccount”: 1*”

}If it did ap­pear in CloudTrail (so the first digit of the ac­count ID is 0), we can start work on the sec­ond digit:“Con­di­tion”: {

StringLike”: {

s3:ResourceAccount”: 00*”

}Bear it mind, it takes a few min­utes for pol­icy changes to fully prop­a­gate and take ef­fect. I’ve found wait­ing 5 min­utes af­ter mod­i­fy­ing the pol­icy to work well.I wrote a script to au­to­mate this process and it could re­li­ably find the Account ID of a bucket. As it’s quite a slow process, I used a slightly mod­i­fied tech­nique of per­form­ing a bi­nary search on each digit so fewer tests were needed, e.g:“Con­di­tion”: {

StringLike”: {

s3:ResourceAccount”: [“0*”, 1*”, 2*”, 3*”, 4*“]

}Leaving it for a few hours re­turned the ac­count ID suc­cess­fully:[ssm-user@ip-172-31-8-184 ~]$ python3 find-s3-ac­count.py bucket-al­pha

Searching for bucket bucket-al­pha

Modifying VPC end­point pol­icy…

Modified VPC end­point pol­icy

Made S3 re­quest to bucket: GPSWS2M4TH9ABX3C

Looking for event in CloudTrail…

Did not find event in CloudTrail (not per­mit­ted through VPC end­point)

State: {‘found’: ’, next_digits’: [0, 1, 2, 3, 4]}

Modifying VPC end­point pol­icy…

Modified VPC end­point pol­icy

Made S3 re­quest to bucket: 8T809NPVDGQSGB1N

Looking for event in CloudTrail…

Did not find event in CloudTrail (not per­mit­ted through VPC end­point)

State: {‘found’: ’, next_digits’: [0, 1]}

Modifying VPC end­point pol­icy…

Modified VPC end­point pol­icy

Made S3 re­quest to bucket: C9F0RTC7QK0G70TB

Looking for event in CloudTrail…

Found event in CloudTrail (permitted through VPC end­point)

State: {‘found’: 1’, next_digits’: [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]}

State: {‘found’: 123456789101’, next_digits’: [0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]}

Found ac­count: 123456789101Waiting for the VPC Endpoint pol­icy to take ef­fect, and wait­ing for long enough to de­ter­mine whether the re­quest ap­pears in CloudTrail is quite a slow process. Even us­ing a bi­nary search, it will take ap­prox­i­mately (40 * 12 min­utes = 8 hours) to find the Account ID.To make this process faster, and elim­i­nate the need to wait be­tween each step, I mod­i­fied the VPC end­point pol­icy like so:{

Version”: 2012-10-17″,

Statement”: [

Effect”: Allow”,

Action”: [

s3:*”

Resource”: *”,

Principal”: *”,

Condition”: {

StringLike”: {

aws:userid”: *:0–––––-”,

s3:ResourceAccount”: 0???????????”

Effect”: Allow”,

Action”: [

s3:*”

Resource”: *”,

Principal”: *”,

Condition”: {

StringLike”: {

aws:userid”: *:1–––––-”,

s3:ResourceAccount”: 1???????????”

SNIP

Effect”: Allow”,

Action”: [

s3:*”

Resource”: *”,

Principal”: *”,

Condition”: {

StringLike”: {

aws:userid”: *:–––––-9″,

s3:ResourceAccount”: ???????????9″

}There are 120 state­ments in the pol­icy - one for each pos­si­ble digit in each pos­si­ble po­si­tion. The con­di­tion on aws:userid is used to match par­tic­u­lar val­ues of the RoleSessionName pa­ra­me­ter (which we can freely spec­ify) used in an STS AssumeRole call. In ef­fect this means we can se­lec­tively choose which pol­icy state­ment (i.e. a par­tic­u­lar digit in a par­tic­u­lar po­si­tion) we want to test for each re­quest, by as­sum­ing a role with a par­tic­u­lar RoleSessionName be­fore do­ing so.As this pol­icy (only just!) fits within the max­i­mum char­ac­ter length of a VPC Endpoint pol­icy, we can test all 120 pos­si­bil­i­ties in par­al­lel, with­out mod­i­fy­ing the pol­icy or wait­ing for the re­sults in­di­vid­u­ally in CloudTrail.This re­duced the time taken to find the Account ID to less than 10 min­utes:sh-5.2$ python3 find-s3-ac­count.py bucket-al­pha

VPC end­point vpce-0e76855aad­b0dafb5 pol­icy al­ready con­fig­ured

Requesting bucket-al­pha us­ing ses­sion name 0–––––-

...

Read the original on tracebit.com »

4 501 shares, 20 trendiness

Search 1000s of personal sites

Find peo­ple to talk to or col­lab­o­rate with by search­ing across the /about, /ideas and /now pages of 7552 per­sonal web­sites.

Read the man­i­festo

Updated February 27, 2024

I live in Bangalore, India. I spend my time on

* CTO at Peppo

* Data Archivist at DataMeet

* Teaching Modern Application Development I (BSCCS2003) and II (BSCCS2006) at IITM Online Degree

* Contributing data us­ing var­i­ous plat­forms like DataCommons, OSM, WikiData etc

* Coding and Blogging. If you are in­ter­ested I pub­lish weekly notes, which cov­ers things as I do on weekly ba­sis

* Spending lots of time with Anju, Uma, Echo and Pathu

* Other de­tailed as­so­ci­a­tions are here.

If my pri­or­i­ties change, I’ll up­date this page. Last up­dated on Feb 27, 2024 @ 1:46 PM.

Inspiration: nownownow.com

Loading… Updated February 27, 2024

Thejesh GN (ತೇಜೇಶ್ ಜಿ.ಎನ್) Thej” is an in­de­pen­dent tech­nol­o­gist, de­vel­oper, hacker, maker, trav­eler, blog­ger and an open data/​in­ter­net en­thu­si­ast from Bangalore, India. He is the co-founder and chair­man of DataMeet trust. DataMeet is the biggest com­mu­nity of data sci­ence and open data en­thu­si­asts in India. They or­gan­ise com­mu­nity mee­tups around the coun­try and runs un­con­fer­ences called Open Data Camps (ODC). His be­lief in open data and open re­search lead him to open up his genome data(DNA) in 2013.

He loves hack­ing open source soft­ware, re­search­ing and de­vel­op­ing prod­ucts, speak­ing at events and host­ing work­shops. His pas­sion for us­ing tech­nol­ogy for so­cial change won him the Infosys Community Empathy Fellowship in 2010. In 2018, he was awarded the IBM Champion ti­tle.

His core skills are re­search and de­vel­op­ment of new ideas, build­ing proof of con­cepts, tech­ni­cal ar­chi­tec­ture, de­sign and de­vel­op­ment.

Easiest way to reach him is by email­ing **\[ i @ the­jeshgn dot com\]** or use this form.

You can sub­scribe to his per­sonal blog by RSS: All posts or just the tech­nol­ogy posts.

He lives with Anju (fictionhead), Uma, Echo and Pathu.

### **Associations**

He grad­u­ated as an Electronics and Communication en­gi­neer from VTU in 2002. His ca­reer started with Siemens Information Systems Ltd as an in­tern. In 2003 he joined Infosys Technologies Ltd as a Software Engineer. Since then, he has taken many roles such as Developer, Programmer Analyst, Technical Specialist and Technical Architect. Below is the list of his as­so­ci­a­tions with var­i­ous or­ga­ni­za­tions.

* Siemens Ltd - Internship Jun 2002 — Dec 2002

* Infosys Tech Ltd - Tech Specialist - Jan. 2003 — Feb. 2011

* UbuntuAtWork - Technologist - Volunteer and then Tech. Consultant - 2009,2010

* Janaagraha - Tech Manager (Infosys Fellowship) - Jan. 2010 - Dec. 2010

* Janaagraha - Technologist - Mar. 2011 - Feb. 2012

* IWP - Data Consultant - Jul.2012 - Mar.2014

* NextDrop Org - Tech Architect - Jul.2012 - Dec.2013

* Mavrix Ltd - Tech Architect - Mar.2011 - Mar.2019

* DataMeet - Co-founder/Organizer - 2012 - Current

* ODCBLR - Open DataCamp - Organizer - 2012 - Current

* Buzz India - Advisor - 2012 - Current

* Fourthlion - Technologist - Project based con­sult­ing - InstaVaani

* First WalkIn Technologies - R&D - Project based con­sult­ing

* OptimumInfoSystem/Client: Google India - Course Builder Engineer - Jan.2015 - Dec.2016

* Executive Board of Oorvani Foundation - Tech - Nov.2015 - cur­rent

* Occasionally write for FactorDaily

* FSF Associate Member, Since 2016

* OptimumInfoSystem/Client: Google India - Course Builder Engineer - Jul.2017 - Mar.2019

* IBM Champion - Cloud - 2018

* OpenStreetMap Foundation - Member

* IBM Champion - Cloud - 2019

* Mavrix Ltd - Tech Architect - Project based

* First WalkIn Technologies - Tech Architect - Apr.2019 - Apr.2020

* Quicksand Design Studio - Tech Architect - Project based

* IITM/Online/Study - Tech Architect - Project based

* IITM/BS in Data Science and Applications - Course Instructor - Modern Application Development 1 and 2.

* Data Commons - FOSS Data Contributor

* Peppo - CTO - May.2020 - Current

His ar­eas of in­ter­est in­clude FLOSS, Linux, Open Web, Open Data, Open Formats, Data Visualization, Security, WoT, Cryptography, Online Privacy, IT Laws, Politics, Blogging, Podcasting, P2P net­works, Motor Cycling, Open Hadware, Programming (Python, JavaScript, Lua).

### Pronunciation Guide

Official Name : ತೇಜೇಶ್ ಜಿ ಎನ್ - Thejesh G N - Tējēʃ ji En - t̪e:dʒe:ʃ dʒi en

Short Name: ತೇಜ್ - Thej - Tēj - t̪e:dʒ

### On in­ter­net

Twitter |  GitHub|  BitBucket |  Stack OverFlow |   Pinboard |  LinkedIn |  Flickr |  Wikipedia |  FaceBook |  Instagram | Transifex | Fediverse

You may want to read terms and con­di­tions, dis­clo­sures, re­la­tion­ships, com­ment pol­icy and copy­right re­lated in­for­ma­tion. Last up­dated on Feb 27, 2024 @ 1:46 PM.

Loading… Updated February 27, 2024

Some of the ideas I’d like to work on, in no par­tic­u­lar or­der. Hit me up if you are in­ter­ested in co-op­er­a­tion!

**Updated on 27th of February 2024.**

* Patreon-style plat­form with bet­ter VOD sup­port

* Secondhand mar­ket­place with fixed pric­ing and easy ship­ping (ala Mercari)

* Startup that reuses old cof­fee grounds from of­fice spaces Updated February 26, 2024

> Last up­dated on February 26, 20241

The fol­low­ing are var­i­ous ideas I’ve had in no par­tic­u­lar or­der:

### Blog posts

* Add an ideas page to web­site

* Favorite cof­fee shops

* Transcribe lessons learned car pre­sen­ta­tion

### Code pro­jects

* Obsidian plu­gin for Hugo

1. The last up­dated date needs to be in the con­tent for aboutideas­now.com to be able to find it. See this com­ment thread. ↩︎ Updated February 26, 2024

I al­ways have about a mil­lion ideas and a firm re­al­iza­tion that most will not come to fruition — but you never know… with the right col­lab­o­ra­tors and the right tim­ing.

Things I would like to work on:

* **A com­mu­nity wifi net­work** for my neigh­bour­hood to pro­vide cheap re­li­able in­ter­net (think NYCMesh or Freifunk but small). #CommunityNetworks #Wifi #CommunityWifi

* **A pro­gres­sive pol­i­tics talk­ing shop/​think tank** to talk about ideas of a pro­gres­sive na­ture and en­thuse peo­ple to be in­volved in things when elec­tions or other cam­paigns and is­sues come around. This could be hy­per lo­cal or more re­gional. It would be nice to have an en­gaged and well trained ac­tivist base who could use their ef­forts. Perhaps more on­line than in per­son or mix of the two to make it easy to par­tic­i­pate ca­su­ally. #Progressive #ProgressivePolitics #Activism #CommunityOrganizing #CapacityBuilding

* **Helping set up a com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tion** (like these) for the neigh­bour­hood to help im­prove where I live (I do not want to start and run some­thing but happy to help some­one else). #Neighbourhood #NeighbourhoodAssociation #Community #CommunityAssosociation

* And one mil­lion more around pol­i­tics, tech­nol­ogy and of­ten their in­ter­sec­tion Updated February 26, 2024

_If you find this piece worth­while,_ _consider the Go Fund Me_ _that’s fund­ing on­go­ing care._

I was read­ing Tyler Cowen and Daniel Gross’s book _Talent: How to Identify Energizers, Creatives, and Winners Around the World_, and in it they write: You can open doors for other peo­ple at rel­a­tively low cost (perhaps zero cost) to your­self just by mak­ing some op­tions more vivid to them.… You em­body _something_, and that some­thing will stir some oth­ers into ac­tion” (237). That’s a lot of what Bess and I are do­ing when we write about clin­i­cal tri­als, where get­ting the wrong an­swer means death: thus, our ex­ten­sive fo­cus on it, and the health­care sys­tem more broadly. We’re try­ing to open doors, es­pe­cially for peo­ple who are sick or who don’t re­al­ize what their op­tions are.

Right now, ac­cord­ing to The pharma in­dus­try from Paul Janssen to to­day: why drugs got harder to de­velop and what we can do about it,” ap­par­ently Only 6% of can­cer pa­tients take part in clin­i­cal tri­als na­tion­ally in the US, for in­stance, and the num­ber is gen­er­ally lower in other coun­tries and for other con­di­tions.” A lot of can­cer pa­tients don’t need clin­i­cal tri­als and are healed by ex­ist­ing treat­ments, but, even grant­ing that stan­dard-of-care of­ten works, 6% seems low—it may be low be­cause of poor guid­ance com­bined with fa­tal­ism. If my ex­pe­ri­ence is rep­re­sen­ta­tive,\[1\] a lot of can­cer pa­tients aren’t get­ting ad­e­quate help un­der­stand­ing the sys­tem and find­ing a trial. Bess and I only suc­ceeded in find­ing a clin­i­cal trial to keep me alive be­cause of our own per­se­ver­ance and ob­ses­sive­ness; we were ex­plic­itly en­cour­aged by mul­ti­ple on­col­o­gists not to bother and to let me die. My pri­mary on­col­o­gist at the Mayo Clinic Phoenix of­fered zero guid­ance, aid, or ad­vice. I can’t tell how com­mon this is, though feed­back so far seems to in­di­cate the an­swer might be pretty com­mon.” For a nor­mal per­son with­out some of our traits, back­ground, and re­sources, get­ting an op­ti­mal clin­i­cal trial would be far harder, if not im­pos­si­ble—and it was al­ready hard for us. I’m still puz­zled that more peo­ple with poor prog­noses on stan­dard-of-care treat­ments aren’t work­ing to get the best clin­i­cal tri­als they can.

What’s the bar­rier? Mindset, and dis­cour­age­ment from on­col­o­gists, is prob­a­bly one prob­lem. A guy named Richard Chen, whose pro­file says he wrote two books on clin­i­cal trial re­cruit­ment, said: First, FDAs re­mit is not, and has never been, to get ther­a­pies to pa­tients.” He also said: Its pri­mary mis­sion first and fore­most, is to pre­vent un­safe drugs from in­jur­ing pa­tients.” If the FDAs re­mit is­n’t to get ther­a­pies to pa­tients, that’s bad, and its re­mit should change. The sec­ond com­ment is pure, un­in­ten­tional com­edy. Right now, I’m a dead man walk­ing. The FDA is pre­vent­ing unsafe” drugs from in­jur­ing me, so that I can be injured”—which is to say, killed—by a re­cur­rent/​metasta­tic squa­mous cell car­ci­noma in­fes­ta­tion. If I’m in­jured or killed by a drug, that’s not so dif­fer­ent from my ul­ti­mate tra­jec­tory any­way, and the knowl­edge that can be cre­ated from my sit­u­a­tion might ac­cel­er­ate treat­ments and save the next guy’s life.

Moreover, we al­ready have an ex­am­ple of a med­ical area that works well with min­i­mal FDA in­ter­fer­ence: surgery. Maxwell Tabarrok de­scribes the sit­u­a­tion in Surgery Works Well Without The FDA: The best ev­i­dence against the FDA:”

> Despite ex­treme in­for­ma­tion prob­lems and a com­plete ab­sence of fed­eral over­sight, surgery seems to work well. Compared to sim­i­lar pa­tients on the wait­ing list, 2.3 mil­lion life years were saved by or­gan trans­plants over 25 years. The WHO claims that surgical in­ter­ven­tions ac­count for 13% of the world’s to­tal dis­abil­ity-ad­justed life years.” Coronary artery surgery ex­tends lifes­pan by sev­eral years for $2300 a year. Cataract surgery and LASIK can mas­sively im­prove qual­ity of life for a few thou­sand dol­lars.

Regarding drugs, par­tic­u­larly drugs for peo­ple who are al­ready ef­fec­tively dead, like me, we should be mov­ing closer to a sur­gi­cal model.

I think Chen is a smart and well-mean­ing per­son. But he’s so bu­reau­cra­tized, and he’s so im­bibed the FDAs line, that he does­n’t re­al­ize the Kafkaesque ab­sur­dity of telling me, a dy­ing man who’s failed all stan­dard ther­a­pies, that the FDA is pro­tect­ing me from po­ten­tially un­safe drugs, so that I can safely die of can­cer. If the FDA did­n’t flex their pa­ter­nal­ism quite so ag­gres­sively, ter­mi­nal pa­tients could at least con­sent to try some­thing that _might_ help them, which is bet­ter odds than try­ing noth­ing and wait­ing for a cer­tain end. Look, if the FDA wants to have long trial pe­ri­ods for du­bi­ous drugs like those meant to lower cho­les­terol or what­ever, fine. Once a per­son has a fa­tal di­ag­no­sis, how­ever, that per­son is prob­a­bly, like me, a lot more in­clined to take a flyer on what’s avail­able and see what hap­pens. And we should be al­lowed to do that. We’re ter­mi­nal, not with­out ca­pac­ity. If the FDAs re­mit is, ul­ti­mately, pre­vent­ing pa­tient in­jury, maybe they should ask them­selves if they’re caus­ing in­jury with their cur­rent ap­proach?

Knowledge among pa­tients and on­col­o­gists seems to be an­other bar­rier, ac­cord­ing to Why drugs got harder to de­velop:”

> _Many pa­tients are will­ing to take part in clin­i­cal tri­als in prin­ci­ple, but aware­ness is poor. About 50% of the time when pa­tients are in­vited to clin­i­cal tri­als they ac­cept, but_ _90% are never in­vited to par­tic­i­pate__, mainly be­cause most pa­tients are not treated in set­tings that con­duct tri­als. Patients are also not nec­es­sar­ily aware of or ed­u­cated about the ben­e­fits of tri­als, and how they may en­able them to ac­cess a high stan­dard of care. Leading clin­i­cal re­search cen­tres of­ten have too many stud­ies and not enough pa­tients. When it comes to the trial it­self, the site may be far from where the pa­tient lives, re­quir­ing them to travel or even re­lo­cate for the du­ra­tion of the trial — with­out ad­e­quate sup­port for do­ing so._

Poor aware­ness is con­sis­tent with my ex­pe­ri­ence—no one ex­plic­itly told me to seek clin­i­cal tri­als. Bess writes about the dearth of on­col­o­gists re­fer­ring their pa­tients to clin­i­cal tri­als in Please be dy­ing but not too quickly: part three” and I’ve writ­ten about this is­sue as well, but, as I men­tioned above, if I’d fol­lowed my then-on­col­o­gist’s guid­ance, I’d have done some pal­lia­tive chemo and then died. That does­n’t seem like an op­ti­mal out­come. If I die, Bess will be lonely. In spaces like on­col­ogy, I’d ex­pect pa­tients to be more like me—that is, highly mo­ti­vated to at­tempt to not die. I don’t wholly un­der­stand what’s go­ing on, which is why I ti­tled my last es­say on the sub­ject Puzzles about on­col­ogy and clin­i­cal tri­als.”

I guess (or in­fer from be­hav­ior) that most on­col­o­gists aren’t pe­nal­ized or re­warded for help­ing their pa­tients find and en­ter clin­i­cal tri­als. In the emer­gency room, a doc­tor who rou­tinely misses heart at­tacks or strokes will find his or her li­cense at­tacked and him or her­self in a court room. In on­col­ogy, there’s ap­par­ently no real ef­fort to con­sis­tently help pa­tients who’ve ex­hausted stan­dard treat­ments. It’s not, I guess, part of the pro­fes­sional el­e­ments of the pro­fes­sion, which I find sur­pris­ing. Sure, many pa­tients are likely el­derly and too sick to pur­sue clin­i­cal tri­als, but a fair num­ber must be like me: mo­ti­vated and able to un­der­take some­what ar­du­ous ef­forts to pre­vent or de­lay death.

One rea­son too few peo­ple par­tic­i­pate may be lo­gis­ti­cal:

> _To get enough pa­tients to fill up large tri­als com­pa­nies need to con­duct tri­als at mul­ti­ple sites. The more sites in­volved in a trial, the greater the lo­gis­ti­cal com­plex­i­ties in­volved in co­or­di­nat­ing that the pro­to­col is ex­e­cuted ap­pro­pri­ately across sites, the data is col­lected to a good stan­dard, and the drug is dis­trib­uted to all sites as needed. This all in­creases costs. More sites also in­creases vari­ance in ex­e­cu­tion, and im­proper trial con­duct can de­lay or even sink a de­vel­op­ment pro­gram. According to_ _data from Tufts uni­ver­si­ty__, >80% of tri­als fail to re­cruit on time, ac­tual en­rol­ment times are typ­i­cally around dou­ble the planned time­lines, and ~50% of ter­mi­nated tri­als re­sult from re­cruit­ment fail­ures. An es­ti­mated 11% of trial sites fail to re­cruit a sin­gle pa­tient, and an­other 37% don’t reach their tar­get en­roll­ment cri­te­ria._

There are ef­forts to cre­ate virtual” trial sites—in other words, to al­low clin­i­cal tri­als to pro­ceed at lo­cal sites that reach some min­i­mum thresh­old of com­pe­tence. To use my­self as an ex­am­ple, if the petosem­tamab trial I’m do­ing at UCSD in­cluded a real vir­tual site com­po­nent, petosem­tamab could be shipped to HonorHealth in Scottsdale or one of the Ironwood Cancer Centers in Chandler, and I could re­ceive my in­fu­sions and mon­i­tor­ing lo­cally, with the data re­ported to UCSD and/​or Merus (the drug com­pany). Although that would mean more sites in­volved in a trial,” it also means less re­spon­si­bil­ity at each site. The recruitment fail­ures” is­sue is in­ter­est­ing in light of the fact that al­most no trial sites seem to do ba­sic, mod­ern mar­ket­ing.

**I’m not hugely op­ti­mistic** about fo­ment­ing real change. Real change is slow in a so­ci­ety like the United States, which has been char­ac­ter­ized since the 1970s over­whelm­ingly by com­pla­cency, sta­sis, and sta­tus-quo bias. One sees that in our in­abil­ity to build new hous­ing, our in­abil­ity to build new ships for the Navy, our re­fusal to ac­cel­er­ate sub­way de­vel­op­ment, our pref­er­ence for in­ter­minable lit­i­ga­tion over in­fra­struc­ture, the Jones Act, the FDA, dis­hon­est and tu­ition-seek­ing uni­ver­si­ties, and the in­nu­mer­able other veto play­ers who, like Richard Chen, are great at say­ing no” and un­able to say yes.” I hope we can build O’Neill Habitats that will al­low a re-open­ing of the fron­tier and a new space where the dream­ers who are tired of hear­ing no” can in­stead cre­ate a new polity where it’s pos­si­ble to say yes.” The United States is huge on safe­ty­ism in­stead of true safety—and hu­man flour­ish­ing.\[2\] We can and should do bet­ter. I doubt we will, how­ever, be­cause the peo­ple who most need FDA re­form are dead. They’re not writ­ing. They’re not do­ing pod­casts. They’re not ag­i­tat­ing Congress.

Still, some­times change hap­pens, and the bu­reau­cratic in­er­tia is some­how over­come. For ex­am­ple, voucher and char­ter schools seem to con­tinue to as­cend, de­spite en­trenched and in­tense monied union in­ter­ests op­pos­ing them, and decades af­ter their in­tel­lec­tual foun­da­tions were laid. Marijuana le­gal­iza­tion seemed un­likely un­til it hap­pened. Psychedelics look like they’re on the path to med­ical le­gal­iza­tion, at the very least, and pos­si­ble gen­eral le­gal­iza­tion; based on my ex­pe­ri­ences, psy­che­delics are both safer and far more in­ter­est­ing than al­co­hol. SpaceX has rev­o­lu­tion­ized the space game, and I’d have in­cor­rectly pre­dicted fail­ure. Tesla is the sole bul­wark against state-af­fil­i­ated and sub­si­dized Chinese com­pa­nies own­ing the en­tire elec­tric car mar­ket. Who knows what’s pos­si­ble? I don’t hope for this, but if some­one in some sen­a­tor or se­nior house mem­ber’s fam­ily gets can­cer, and that sen­a­tor or house mem­ber learns what I’ve learned, FDA re­form might be­come a vi­tal is­sue for that per­son. Few peo­ple I’ve seen on­line have de­fended the cur­rent sys­tem (there are some—just not a lot).

The fact that the cur­rent os­si­fied, slow sys­tem has per­sisted as long as it has is an ar­gu­ment for it con­tin­u­ing. Good enough is good enough, right? Moreover, the way the press re­sponds to events helps per­pet­u­ate sta­sis: if a drug has neg­a­tive side ef­fects, in­clud­ing po­ten­tially death, that gets plas­tered all over the news. Investigations are launched. Scapegoats are sought. If a drug works, and saves lives, the re­sponse is muted. The ar­ti­cles go un­read. The ben­e­fi­cia­ries are happy but don’t start cam­paign­ing for more and bet­ter med­ical treat­ment, faster. One per­son who dies from a drug out­weighs one hun­dred who might be saved by an­other. It re­minds me of all the press given to any kind of air­line ac­ci­dent, even one with­out ca­su­al­ties, while 40,000 peo­ple a year die in car crashes, with­out most of them mak­ing head­lines.

One per­son on LinkedIn said this about Bess’s clin­i­cal trial es­say-guide:

> _An ex­tra­or­di­nar­ily damn­ing overview of the way things op­er­ate cur­rently, that puts every­thing we com­plain about from within the in­dus­try into per­spec­tive. Thanks for shar­ing this Brad \[Hightower—mentioned above\] — as you say, a must read that un­der­lines how we must all work to­gether to im­prove things._

It might be a damn­ing overview, but it also turns out that seem­ingly every­one work­ing in or ad­ja­cent to clin­i­cal tri­als knows about the prob­lems al­ready. That in­cludes every­one from the re­searchers them­selves to the drug com­pa­nies to the hos­pi­tals to the on­col­o­gists to the sup­port staff. If a lot of peo­ple have known for a long time how bad the sys­tem is, and no one has man­aged to co­or­di­nate suf­fi­ciently to make sub­stan­tial im­prove­ments, that im­plies that the prob­lems will per­sist. Can Bess and I be the cat­a­lysts that fi­nally gal­va­nize some change? That’d be great, and yet I’m pes­simistic. There’s a say­ing in in­vest­ing: The mar­ket can stay ir­ra­tional longer than you can stay sol­vent.” Call this Seliger’s Law: A bro­ken sys­tem can stay bro­ken for longer than peo­ple have the time, en­ergy, and abil­ity to try fix­ing it.”

Still, Bess and I would like to try to make the world a bet­ter place, to the ex­tent we can, and within what­ever lim­its our abil­i­ties and skills may im­pose, and try­ing to nudge the clin­i­cal trial sys­tem into a bet­ter equi­lib­rium is part of our ef­fort. It’s too late to save my tongue, but it may not be too late to save the tongues and lives of oth­ers. In an al­ter­nate world, petosem­tamab, or a can­cer vac­cine, would’ve been ap­proved and avail­able in Oct. 2022. I’d have got­ten surgery, and then petosem­tamab, which is way less toxic than chemother­apy. Maybe that would­n’t’ve saved my tongue—but maybe it would’ve. Oncologists are re­luc­tant to use chemother­apy, but mod­ern al­ter­na­tives like petosem­tamab should help peo­ple like me in the fu­ture.

...

Read the original on aboutideasnow.com »

5 445 shares, 24 trendiness

New York medical school eliminates tuition after $1bn gift

It is one of the largest ever do­na­tions made to a US school and is the largest ever made to a med­ical school.

In a state­ment, uni­ver­sity dean Dr Yaron Yomer said that the transformational” gift radically rev­o­lu­tionises our abil­ity to con­tinue at­tract­ing stu­dents who are com­mit­ted to our mis­sion, not just those who can af­ford it”.

The state­ment from Einstein noted stu­dents in their fi­nal year will be re­im­bursed for their spring 2024 tu­ition, and from August, all stu­dents, in­clud­ing those who are cur­rently en­rolled, will re­ceive free tu­ition.

The do­na­tion will free up and lift our stu­dents, en­abling them to pur­sue pro­jects and ideas that might oth­er­wise be pro­hib­i­tive”, Dr Yomer added.

Her late hus­band, David Sandy” Gottesman, founded a promi­nent in­vest­ment house and was an early in­vestor in Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffet’s multi­na­tional con­glom­er­ate. He died in September 2022 at the age of 96.

Dr Gottesman said in a state­ment that the doc­tors who train at Einstein go on to provide the finest health­care to com­mu­ni­ties here in the Bronx and all over the world”.

I am very thank­ful to my late hus­band, Sandy, for leav­ing these funds in my care, and l feel blessed to be given the great priv­i­lege of mak­ing this gift to such a wor­thy cause,” she added.

About 50% of Einstein’s first-year stu­dents are from New York, and ap­prox­i­mately 60% are women. Statistics pub­lished by the school show that about 48% of its med­ical stu­dents are white, while 29% are Asian, 11% are Hispanic and 5% are black.

In an in­ter­view with the New York Times, she re­called that her late hus­band had left her a whole port­fo­lio of Berkshire Hathaway stock” when he died with the in­struc­tions to do what­ever you think is right with it”.

I wanted to fund stu­dents at Einstein so that they would re­ceive free tu­ition,” Dr Gottesman said she im­me­di­ately re­alised. There was enough money to do that in per­pe­tu­ity.”

She added that she oc­ca­sion­ally won­ders what her hus­band would have thought of the do­na­tion.

I hope he’s smil­ing and not frown­ing,” she said. He gave me the op­por­tu­nity to do this, and I think he would be happy - I hope so.”

...

Read the original on www.bbc.com »

6 342 shares, 15 trendiness

A bad day at the office

While look­ing for some­thing else, I came across this rather in­cred­i­ble photo in the Imperial War Museum col­lec­tion. That’s a sea­plane stuck 300 feet up a 350ft tall ra­dio mast! If that’s not amaz­ing enough, the pi­lot was res­cued by three men who climbed up to re­trieve him. And he sur­vived.

A British sea­plane, whilst car­ry­ing out ex­er­cises, emerged from a cloud at high speed and struck one of the masts of a shore wire­less sta­tion. The mast, which was about 350 feet high, was com­posed of lat­ticed steel gird­ers and the sea­plane’s en­gines be­came wedged in the in­ter­stices of the gird­ers, in such a way, that the body of the ma­chine stuck out at right an­gles to the mast. The pi­lot, who was stunned, was un­con­scious, three hun­dred feet above the ground. A small party of blue­jack­ets were at work paint­ing the mast, and one of these, a sea­man of the Naval Reserve named Rath climbed up the in­side of the mast un­til he reached the ma­chine, and then crawled out to the plane to hold the pi­lot un­til help came. Two more men, Ordinary Seaman Knoulton and dock­hand Abbott, passed a rope out to him, which Rath se­cured to the body of the un­con­scious pi­lot, and low­ered him down to safety. The gal­len­try of these men is ac­cen­tu­ated by the fact that the mast was very badly dam­aged, and might at any mo­ment have col­lapsed. The dam­aged fuse­lage was only held in a hor­i­zon­tal po­si­tion by the en­gine be­ing jammed be­tween the gird­ers, and at the height of 300 feet the wind caused the mast and the ma­chine to sway as if threat­en­ing to crash to earth. The pi­lot owes his preser­va­tion to the in­tre­pid gal­len­try of these three men, who, while aline to the risks they ran, per­formed the res­cue with­out hes­i­ta­tion for per­sonal safety.

Some more in­for­ma­tion: the crash took place on 14 September 1917 at Horsea Island in Portsmouth Island. The pi­lot was Acting Flight Commander E. A. de Ville, fly­ing a Sopwith Baby, which you can see a bit bet­ter here:

Rath was awarded the Albert Medal in Gold, Knoulton and Abbott the Albert Medal. Hopefully they also got the rest of the day off!

This work is li­censed un­der a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Permissions be­yond the scope of this li­cense may be avail­able at http://​airminded.org/​copy­right/.

...

Read the original on airminded.org »

7 245 shares, 10 trendiness

Here’s Why Jalapeño Peppers Are Less Spicy Than Ever

It’s not just you: jalapeño pep­pers are less spicy and less pre­dictable than ever be­fore. As heat-seek­ers chase ever-fiercer va­ri­eties of pep­per—Car­olina reapers, scor­pi­ons, ghosts—the clas­sic jalapeño is go­ing in the op­po­site di­rec­tion. And the long-term de-spicification” of the jalapeño is a de­lib­er­ate choice, not the prod­uct of a bad sea­son of weather.

This in­ves­ti­ga­tion be­gan in my own kitchen. After months of buy­ing heat-free jalapeños, I started tex­ting chefs around Dallas to see if they were hav­ing the same ex­pe­ri­ence. Many agreed. One promi­nent chef fa­vors ser­ra­nos in­stead. Regino Rojas of Revolver Taco Lounge sug­gested jalapeños are now more veg­gie-like than chile.” Luis Olvera, owner of Trompo, said that jalapeños now have so much less heat that I tell my staff, I think my hands are just too damn sweet,’ be­cause I can’t make salsa spicy enough any­more.”

To be fair, not every­one agreed with these views. One restau­ra­teur won­dered if jalapeños seem less hot be­cause din­ers have be­come in­fat­u­ated with ha­baneros and ser­ra­nos. Wayne White, gen­eral man­ager at Hutchins BBQ, of­fered a mid­dle ground. I no­ticed dur­ing covid, the qual­ity got re­ally bad, but now to me they’re beau­ti­ful,” he said. We did have a sea­son dur­ing covid, you could tell they were pulling them too soon, they weren’t that ripe. But I ate a whole jalapeño the other day, just to eat one, and it lit me up.”

I searched the in­ter­net to see whether jalapeños are re­ally get­ting milder, but only found shop­ping tips. Gardening web­sites of­fered savvier ad­vice: that pep­pers grow hot­ter un­der stress. If they’re well-wa­tered, they won’t pro­duce as much cap­saicin, the chem­i­cal that gen­er­ates the sen­sa­tion we know as spici­ness. But even this ex­pla­na­tion leaves unan­swered ques­tions. My sunny back­yard, which pro­duces fe­ro­cious pep­pers, is one thing. What about all the pep­pers in the gro­cery store?

Clearly, a real in­ves­ti­ga­tion was re­quired. So I called Stephanie Walker, ex­ten­sion veg­etable spe­cial­ist at New Mexico State University, ad­vi­sory board mem­ber of that uni­ver­si­ty’s Chile Pepper Institute, and chair of the 2023 New Mexico Chile Conference.

Other com­plaints have come my way,” Walker said at the start of our phone call. This turned out to be a comedic un­der­state­ment: she has a mas­sive, ex­is­ten­tial com­plaint about the state of the chile pep­per in­dus­try. I got on the phone ex­pect­ing to hear a pro­saic story of weather pat­terns shift­ing, un­usual rains in pep­per-grow­ing re­gions, or the spread of green­houses. I would not have been sur­prised if she val­i­dated Rojas’ the­ory: that jalapeños are now grown to look pretty, shiny, and big, re­gard­less of fla­vor. Pesticides and other en­hanc­ing farm­ing el­e­ments make them look beau­ti­ful but not re­ally spicy,” Rojas sug­gested to me.

People lost a lot of in­ter­est in toma­toes for a long time un­til heir­looms came back. Now we have the same thing with pep­pers.

There’s truth to all these the­o­ries, but Walker says they are only sec­ondary fac­tors.

As more grow­ers have adopted drip ir­ri­ga­tion, more high-tech farm­ing tools to grow the pep­pers, they’ll tend to be milder,” Walker told me first, as a sort of throat-clear­ing ex­er­cise be­fore the real ex­pla­na­tion. But there’s more to it than that.”

The truth is more like a vast in­dus­trial scheme to make the jalapeño more pre­dictable—and less hot.

Most jalapeños go straight to fac­to­ries, for canned pep­pers, pick­led pep­per rings, sal­sas, cream sauces, dress­ings, fla­vored chips and crack­ers, dips, sausages, and other pre­pared foods. For all those com­pa­nies, con­sis­tency is key. Think about the salsa world’s mild,” medium,” and hot” la­bels.

According to The Mexican Chile Pepper Cookbook by Dave DeWitt and José Marmolejo, 60 per­cent of jalapeños are sent to pro­cess­ing plants, 20 per­cent are smoke-dried into chipo­tles, and just 20 per­cent are sold fresh. Since big proces­sors are the pep­pers’ main con­sumers, big proces­sors get more sway over what the pep­pers taste like.

It was a re­ally big deal when breed­ers [told the in­dus­try], hey, look, I have a low-heat jalapeño,’ and then a low-heat but high-fla­vor jalapeño,” Walker ex­plained. That kind of be­came the big de­mand for jalapeños—low heat jalapeños—be­cause most of them are used for pro­cess­ing and cook­ing. [Producers] want to start with jalapeños and add ole­o­resin cap­sicum.”

Oleoresin cap­sicum is an ex­tract from pep­pers, con­tain­ing pure heat. It’s the ac­tive in­gre­di­ent in pep­per spray. It’s also the ac­tive in­gre­di­ent, in a man­ner of speak­ing, for processed jalapeños. The salsa in­dus­try, Walker said, starts with a mild crop of pep­pers, then sim­ply adds the heat ex­tract nec­es­sary to reach medium and hot lev­els. She would know; she started her ca­reer work­ing for a processed-food con­glom­er­ate.

I’ve worked in pep­pers in my en­tire life,” she told me. Jalapeños were orig­i­nally prized as be­ing a hot pep­per grown in the field. When we were mak­ing hot sauce in my pre­vi­ous job, we had the same prob­lem, that you could­n’t pre­dict the heat. When you’re do­ing a huge run of salsa for ship­ment, and you want a hot la­bel, medium la­bel, mild la­bel, it’s re­ally im­por­tant to pre­dict what kind of heat you’ll get. We tried a sta­tis­ti­cal de­sign from the fields, and it just did­n’t work, be­cause mother na­ture throws stress­ful events at you or, some­times, does not bring stress.”

The stan­dard­iza­tion of the jalapeño was rapidly ac­cel­er­ated by the de­but, about 20 years ago, of the TAM II jalapeño line, a re­li­ably big, shiny, fleshy pep­per that can grow up to six inches long—with lit­tle to no heat. TAM II pep­pers have be­come some of the most pop­u­lar in the pro­cess­ing busi­ness. The 2002 pa­per in HortScience trum­peted TAM IIs ben­e­fits: virus re­sis­tance, ab­sence of dark spots, longer fruit with thicker flesh, ear­lier mat­u­ra­tion, and, com­pared to a va­ri­ety of jalapeño called Grande, less than 10 per­cent of the spici­ness. TAMs grown in one lo­ca­tion mea­sured in at 1620 Scoville units, while those at an­other came in at just 1080, which is milder than a poblano.

In con­clu­sion, the pa­per’s au­thors wrote, The large, low-pun­gency fruit of TMJ II will make it equally suited for fresh-mar­ket and pro­cess­ing uses.”

DeWitt, writ­ing in his solo book Chile Peppers: A Global History, says TAM be­came wide­spread in Texas af­ter its in­tro­duc­tion. It was much milder and larger than the tra­di­tional jalapeños, and genes of this mild pep­per en­tered the gen­eral jalapeño pool. Cross-breeding caused the gene pool to be­come over­all larger and milder.”

Since I know you’re won­der­ing who the in­ven­tors are: the clue is in the name TAM II. The hot (but also not hot) new jalapeño is an in­ven­tion of Texas A&M University. Yes, Aggies took the spice out of life.

And yes, II means it’s a se­quel. The orig­i­nal TAM came out much ear­lier and was pro­filed in a 1983 ar­ti­cle in the Christian Science Monitor. At the time, the A&M sci­en­tists es­ti­mated 800 acres were be­ing grown na­tion­ally, and they told re­porter Daniel Benedict that there was plenty of room left on the mar­ket for spicier stuff. (“For the hot-pep­per lover, there’s some­thing for him al­ready.”)

After 40 years of the milder pep­per en­joy­ing in­creased pop­u­lar­ity, virus re­sis­tance, higher yields, and a shiny new se­quel, hot­ter pre-TAM jalapeños ap­pear to have lost sub­stan­tial ground. Exact sta­tis­tics on plant­ing de­mand are hard to ob­tain be­cause grow­ers do not want to tip off seed sup­pli­ers on how to price their prod­ucts.

As the in­ven­tion of TAM I and II sug­gests, jalapeño” as a name does not con­note a sin­gle breed or ge­netic line. There are va­ri­eties of jalapeño as there are of toma­toes. Mitla pep­pers are at the op­po­site end of the scale from TAMs, some­times reach­ing 8000 Scoville units. (The A&M pa­per de­rides Mitlas since they are of­ten wonkily curved, and need more culling.)

In my in­ter­views around Dallas, I learned many restau­ra­teurs don’t know what breed their sup­plier is of­fer­ing, or even that var­i­ous breeds ex­ist. At Hutchins BBQ, which em­ploys four peo­ple full-time prepar­ing around 7,000 jalapeños a week for its iconic brisket-stuffed Texas Twinkies, sup­pli­ers drop off pep­pers and the bar­be­cue joint sorts through, pick­ing the spec­i­mens they want and re­turn­ing the rest. Hutchins de­seeds the pep­pers to re­duce any re­main­ing heat.

For heat seek­ers, Walker rec­om­mends Mitla and Early jalapeños; they’re called Early” not be­cause they were picked early but be­cause, as a breed, they grow quickly and are well-adapted to cooler en­vi­ron­ments.

Walker com­pares the cur­rent state of the pep­per in­dus­try with the world of American toma­toes, which were bred for har­di­ness in ship­ping, firm­ness, and can­ning. Only re­cently has an heir­loom tomato rev­o­lu­tion tried to cater di­rectly to home cooks and chefs with tomato breeds that em­pha­size fla­vor and juici­ness first.

People lost a lot of in­ter­est in toma­toes for a long time un­til heir­looms came back,” Walker said. Now we have the same thing with pep­pers. There’s a place for peo­ple to em­brace heir­loom pep­pers, the way that we have with toma­toes.”

For gar­den­ers and small grow­ers, the Chile Pepper Institute sells seeds but re­sults will al­ways be com­pli­cated, since a hot, dry sum­mer can turn even TAM jalapeños into weapons, and a cool, wet sea­son will re­sult in pam­pered plants. But how can you find hot­ter pep­pers if you are shop­ping, or look­ing to sup­ply your restau­rant?

Walker’s best ad­vice is to lobby sup­pli­ers and gro­cers for spe­cific pep­per breeds. Ask a pro­duce man­ager or a sup­plier if you can get Early or Mitla pep­pers, or if the store can la­bel its pep­per breeds. And ig­nore the bo­gus fac­toids spread by many on­line shop­ping guides. I found a Rachael Ray Show ar­ti­cle claim­ing that big­ger pep­pers are al­ways spicier than smaller ones—which con­tra­dicts every­thing I had just learned about TAMs be­ing de­lib­er­ately en­gi­neered for size. Walker called that tip misinformation.”

If lob­by­ing your gro­cery man­agers sounds like a fu­tile ef­fort, look at the changes that have rip­pled through the tomato in­dus­try as breed­ers re-em­brace heir­looms. Or look at the wide­spread adop­tion of a less stinky breed of Brussels sprouts, sci­en­tif­i­cally de­vel­oped through a sim­i­lar se­lec­tive breed­ing process, which turned that veg­etable from a punch­line into a fa­vorite.

I think it’s a great op­por­tu­nity for grow­ers who re­ally want to get into spe­cial­iz­ing in some of these heir­loom va­ri­eties,” Walker said.

Let’s hope some farm­ers are read­ing this and yearn­ing for the days when a jalapeño was a re­li­able source of spice. Those days can re­turn.

...

Read the original on www.dmagazine.com »

8 244 shares, 14 trendiness

Why Isn’t Taxpayer-Funded U.S. Broadband Mapping Data Owned By The Public?

We’ve noted for decades how, de­spite all the po­lit­i­cal lip ser­vice paid to­ward bridging the dig­i­tal di­vide,” the U. S. doesn’t truly know where broad­band is or is­n’t avail­able. The FCCs past broad­band maps, which cost $350 mil­lion to de­velop, have long been ac­cused of all but hal­lu­ci­nat­ing com­peti­tors, mak­ing up avail­able speeds, and ex­clud­ing a key met­ric of com­pet­i­tive­ness: price.

You only need to spend a few min­utes plug­ging your ad­dress into the FCC’s old map to no­tice how the agency com­i­cally over­states broad­band com­pe­ti­tion and avail­able speeds. After be­ing man­dated by Congress in 2020 by the Broadband DATA Act, the FCC struck a new, $44 mil­lion con­tract with a com­pany named Costquest to de­velop a new map.

While an im­prove­ment, the new map still has prob­lems with over-stat­ing cov­er­age and avail­able speeds (try it for your­self). And the FCC still re­fuses to col­lect and share pric­ing data, which in­dus­try op­poses be­cause it would only work to fur­ther high­light mo­nop­o­liza­tion, con­sol­i­da­tion, and muted com­pe­ti­tion.

But there’s an­other prob­lem. As broad­band in­dus­try con­sul­tant Doug Dawson notes, the pub­lic does­n’t even own the fi­nal­ized broad­band map­ping data. Costquest does:

…the FCC gave CostQuest the abil­ity to own the rights to the map­ping fab­ric, which is the data­base that shows the lo­ca­tion of every home and busi­ness in the coun­try that is a po­ten­tial broad­band cus­tomer. This is a big deal be­cause it means that CostQuest, a pri­vate com­pany, con­trols the por­tal for data needed by the pub­lic to un­der­stand who has or does­n’t have broad­band.”

In ad­di­tion to the $44.9 mil­lion the FCC paid Costquest to cre­ate the maps, Costquest re­ceived an­other $49.9 mil­lion from the NTIA to pro­vide the data­bases and maps for the $42 bil­lion broad­band sub­sidy and grant pro­gram (included in the 2021 in­fra­struc­ture bill). Third par­ties (like states try­ing to shore up ac­cess to af­ford­able broad­band) have to pay Costquest even more money to ac­cess the data.

So it’s all been in­cred­i­bly prof­itable for Costquest. But tax­pay­ers are clos­ing in on pay­ing nearly half a bil­lion dol­lars for broad­band maps that not only still aren’t fully ac­cu­rate, but which they can’t trans­par­ently ac­cess and don’t own de­spite pay­ing for.

That’s fairly in­sane any way you slice it, and as Dawson notes, it’s a detri­ment to the cash-strapped folks who could be help­ing ex­pand ac­cess to af­ford­able broad­band (and help­ing fact-check the data):

Our in­dus­try is full of data geeks who could work won­ders if they had free ac­cess to the map­ping fab­ric data­base. There are cit­i­zen broad­band com­mit­tees and re­tired folks in every com­mu­nity who are will­ing to sift through the map­ping data to un­der­stand broad­band trends and to iden­tify lo­ca­tions where ISPs have ex­ag­ger­ated cov­er­age claims. But cit­i­zens will­ing to do this re­search are not go­ing to pay the fees to get ac­cess to the data — and should­n’t have to.”

For decades, feck­less and cor­rupt state and fed­eral reg­u­la­tors turned a blind eye as re­gional tele­com mo­nop­o­lies dom­i­nated the mar­ket and crushed all com­pe­ti­tion un­der­foot, re­sult­ing in spotty ac­cess, high prices, and ter­ri­ble cus­tomer ser­vice. Usually un­der the pre­tense that deregulation” (read: very lit­tle real con­sumer pro­tec­tion over­sight) had re­sulted in im­mense in­no­va­tion.

Not only did gov­ern­ment not ad­dress (or of­ten even ac­knowl­edge) that prob­lem, they’re still prov­ing some­what in­ca­pable when it comes to trans­par­ently map­ping its im­pact.

The $42 bil­lion in sub­si­dies flow­ing to many states to shore up ac­cess is a good thing, but its im­pact will most as­suredly be cor­rupted by feck­less bu­reau­crats who can’t stand up to in­dus­try gi­ants, aren’t keen on the idea of data trans­parency, and will lack the courage nec­es­sary to en­sure gi­ant mo­nop­o­lies with a his­tory of fraud (like Comcast and AT&T) don’t pocket most of the funds.

...

Read the original on www.techdirt.com »

9 211 shares, 20 trendiness

About Rapier

Rapier is a set of 2D and 3D physics en­gines writ­ten us­ing the Rust pro­gram­ming lan­guage. It tar­gets ap­pli­ca­tions re­quir­ing real-time physics like video games, an­i­ma­tion, and ro­bot­ics. It is de­signed to be fast, sta­ble, and op­tion­ally cross-plat­form de­ter­min­is­tic. Rapier fea­tures in­clude:

Rapier is free and open-source, re­leased un­der the Apache 2.0 li­cense. It is de­vel­oped by the Dimforge

open-source com­pany. You can sup­port us by spon­sor­ing us on GitHub spon­sor.

...

Read the original on rapier.rs »

10 177 shares, 10 trendiness

miciwan/PaintMixing

Skip to con­tent

We read every piece of feed­back, and take your in­put very se­ri­ously.

Include my email ad­dress so I can be con­tacted

Use saved searches to fil­ter your re­sults more quickly

To see all avail­able qual­i­fiers, see our doc­u­men­ta­tion.

Sign up

You signed in with an­other tab or win­dow. Reload to re­fresh your ses­sion.

You signed out in an­other tab or win­dow. Reload to re­fresh your ses­sion.

You switched ac­counts on an­other tab or win­dow. Reload to re­fresh your ses­sion.

This com­mit does not be­long to any branch on this repos­i­tory, and may be­long to a fork out­side of the repos­i­tory.

You can’t per­form that ac­tion at this time.

...

Read the original on github.com »

To add this web app to your iOS home screen tap the share button and select "Add to the Home Screen".

10HN is also available as an iOS App

If you visit 10HN only rarely, check out the the best articles from the past week.

If you like 10HN please leave feedback and share

Visit pancik.com for more.