Twitter: @ewenmcneill -- September 2022

Wed Aug 31 21:23:36 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @Foone: Hey Cloudflare, here's a fun fact: you aren't the only CDN/reverse proxy/DDOS protection service. And when my boss is like "hey…

Thu Sep 01 01:16:13 +0000 2022 (#)

🧵⬆️⬇️ At this point it seems fairly clear that Cloudflare do have an editorial policy, which seems to include minimising their support for the “free speech” of sex workers and maximising their support for the “free speech” of hate groups. Interesting choice; not exactly neutral.

Fri Sep 02 00:44:35 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @fastly: @foxtrotluna We have a CDN, offer many of the same services, and do not conduct business with companies who promote violence or…

Fri Sep 02 06:28:41 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @asteracode

I’d guess O(affordable on a tech salary). Just saying :-)

(Guesstimate: mid hundreds of dollars as a one off.)

Fri Sep 02 21:32:04 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @MalwareJake: Someone awesome put together a parody site offering "Hate Offsets" so you can "rainbow wash your sins away."

Please RT th…

Sat Sep 03 05:32:22 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @CarlosMCorderoB and @BR3NDA

From memory one of the 3M Aura models comes with braided elastic (the others are “single use” rubber).

IIRC 9205 and 9320A+ are rubber straps but I think it’s the 9210 that is braided elastic (I’ve seen a “compare models” which listed this). IIRC all 3 models are N95.

Sat Sep 03 05:36:34 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @CarlosMCorderoB and @BR3NDA

Yes, 3M 9210+ is N95 with braided elastic head bands. Two random pages from a quick search.

(Not sure if I found a 9210+ supply in NZ; most here are 9205+ or 9320A+. 9320A+ adds a good nose seal gasket though. )

Sat Sep 03 05:39:04 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @beccadownes and @BR3NDA

FWIW I can confirm the seal of the 3M 9123 with the braided elastic hooked together behind the head is good (only 3M 9320A+ has sealed better for me, but 9320A+ has somewhat annoying rubber straps).

Sat Sep 03 21:26:35 +0000 2022 (#)

This sudoku solves uniquely from an almost empty grid: a four cell thermo, an ordered negative diagonal, and the constraint that the sum of any run of three cells divides evenly by three.

It’s a “think for a bit, then write in the answer” puzzle 💖

Sat Sep 03 23:19:55 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @mjg59

“The bad thing got worse” is such an obvious face saving reason, for acting now and not two weeks ago, that I expect most can see through it.

I’m just glad they found their own face saving reason and didn’t require others to walk them through a “convenient excuse” for blocking.

Sun Sep 04 01:29:54 +0000 2022 (#)

Excellent talk from SREcon22 Americas (earlier this year) about the 737 MAX flight control design flaws (with detailed breakdown of Lion Air flight telemetry), and “thinking in systems” (mentioning book of the same title).

Sun Sep 04 21:19:21 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @zephray_wenting: @ReverseRetro Most of these mono reflective screens only do 1 bit (no grey shades) natively including this one. But it…

Mon Sep 05 10:20:48 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @eey0re and @__fincham

Ironically sending email is too easy. Hence 25 years of barely controlled spam problem. Hence increasingly desperate anti-spam measures.

And sadly fairly early on (~15 years ago?) the original SMTP “your email delivered to the recipient or an error back” got sacrificed 😢

Mon Sep 05 10:26:11 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @eey0re and @__fincham

TBH I’m amazed email still works. Like, at all. But a lot was lost to get to “kinda still works”.

FWIW, agencies answering Official Information Act requests ought to have an standardised API for accepting/responding to them which is more reliable than email. By legislation.

Wed Sep 07 08:36:51 +0000 2022 (#)

TIL that Dell manages to save one MAC address in their S series (OS10) switches by using the same MAC address for the mgmt 1/1/1 interface and for a bunch of “front side ports” layer 2 announcements (eg Spanning Tree) 😢

Wed Sep 07 08:38:40 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Which means if your VLAN connected to mgmt 1/1/1 ever meets the front side networking on the same VLAN at layer 2, the MAC learning for that “mgmt 1/1/1” MAC will bounce back and forth between interfaces and only work some of the time 😬

Wed Sep 07 08:40:59 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

It turns out to be surprisingly hard to have a switch management VLAN that is out of band to some switches and in band to others (eg ones without an OOB management interface) without the mgmt 1/1/1 VLAN ending up crossing the front side ports of some “core”switches.

Wed Sep 07 08:43:17 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Dell OS10 appears to assume one would always use a physically separate network for the mgmt 1/1/1 interfaces ending in a router, so the duplicate MAC use wouldn’t matter.

But this assumption doesn’t seem to be documented anywhere. (Confirmed quickly by ProSupport though.)

Wed Sep 07 08:45:23 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

So it seems we’re going to end up with two switch management networks (one for in band, one for out of band) to work around this “interesting” (unfortunate) design that saves the cost of one MAC address per switch 😮

Wed Sep 07 21:48:34 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @__fincham and @BR3NDA

Unfortunately we’ve suffered from “recognised experts” loudly and authoritatively misinforming people for years (including much of the medical profession insisting Covid was not airborne for the whole first year; and NZ’s “surgical masks are equally good as N95/P2”).

Wed Sep 07 21:51:01 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @__fincham and @BR3NDA

I remain optimistic that (global) society might eventually understand the impact and mitigations of airborne diseases.

But it’s clearly going to take 10-20 years at best to be properly accepted. And thus good indoor air turnover, filtration, UV treatment, etc, being “standard”

Thu Sep 08 20:41:34 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @slyall

I didn’t see the news last night that the Queen was unusually sick (she’s been in fairly poor health for months), so woke up to Schrödinger's Queen: simultaneously “sick, but alive” and already passed.

It was one of the weirder “just looked at Twitter” mornings!

Thu Sep 08 20:43:01 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @slyall

From what I can tell the gap between the “poor health” last night and passing this morning was fairly short (British daytime?).

So as you say hopefully not much suffering at the end.

Fri Sep 09 03:05:16 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @tveastman

For a business, NZ$200 per person per year doesn’t seem that hard to justify, if you don’t have an internal chat server.

For personal use, and long term archiving, personally I use email. It’s the easiest to have a threaded conversation archived in multiple locations.

Fri Sep 09 03:07:18 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @tveastman

And yes, I’m sure the end of “startup model” generous free tiers has a lot to do with Slack having been bought by a non startup which wants to maximise the value of their acquisition.

(Discord is same, but not as far along this timeline to “pay for everything”.)

Sat Sep 10 02:15:15 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @BR3NDA

Very unlikely Min Transport had their database stolen. From memory I’ve never had one on the “send me receipt to…” address (still get the invoice on paper mail).

But I get lots of these Min Transport themed phishing emails to lots of other addresses. Some are very well done.

Sat Sep 10 10:54:10 +0000 2022 (#)

Random thought: of the ~182 years since the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand has recognised a Queen as the Monarch for 130 of those years (Queen Victoria from before 1840 to 1900; Queen Elizabeth 1952-2022). So Queens about 70% of the time. 🤔

Sun Sep 11 01:42:19 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @xssfox: Enjoy this 37 minutes glimpse of the CSR from the air. Sit back and enjoy the desert.

Mon Sep 12 03:29:08 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @pjf

TBH I’m still writing Python 2.7 /3.6 compatible Python by default, and expect to be for a while yet. I don’t test it with Python 2.7 often though.

(I am relieved to no longer have to support Python 2.6 compatible code; the last of that moved to a Python 3 platform last year.)

Mon Sep 12 03:42:25 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @eey0re: The government could have spent this time working on clean air - ventilation and purifiers - but only made token gestures. http…

Mon Sep 12 05:49:29 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @RealSexyCyborg


Shenzhen was one of my last hopes for sensible Covid-19 precautions.

Meanwhile here in NZ we’re removing the Covid-19 protection framework entirely. Tonight. Because there are “only” 1-2k cases/day (counted, in 5M population).

Mon Sep 12 06:00:01 +0000 2022 (#)

Apparently the time to go from “we will keep everyone safe” to “this is not a heath priority” is ~2 years. #NZCovid19 protection frame work ends tonight, replaced AFAICT by nothing much.

Despite 1-2k cases/day, for last few weeks.

Mon Sep 12 07:05:42 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @duckalini: Lift the restrictions on additional boosters if you really want to give people more freedom. Disabled people are desperate t…

Mon Sep 12 07:12:33 +0000 2022 (#)

And in other news apparently a NZ public holiday announced on two weeks notice is going to stuff up the rollout timeline for a project I’ve been working on for months. 😔

Mon Sep 12 07:33:34 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @BR3NDA

Citizens-initiated referendum need signatures of 10% of eligible voters to go onto the ballot papers. Apparently a bit over 350k signatures needed at present. 12 months to gather signatures. Seems achievable 🤔

Apparently non-binding though 😢

Mon Sep 12 20:44:33 +0000 2022 (#)

Welcome to the “She’ll Be Right Mate” #NZCovid19 protection framework.

Tue Sep 13 04:30:41 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @attacus_au and @glasnt

Ah yes, that magical timezone that’s the exact opposite of “Anywhere on Earth”: on date, in Last Timezone On Earth 😃

(Unfortunate so much stuff is released in LToE 😔)

Tue Sep 13 05:25:32 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @nye_nicola

Privacy policies, and Terms and Conditions, are pretty much entirely write only. And frequently contain “every possible thing we could think of” clauses like you found. “To protect the business from liability”.

Tue Sep 13 05:27:16 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @nye_nicola

And most of them say “we (the business) can unilaterally change the terms and conditions at any time, and you are deemed to agree by continuing to use the service”. So the current contents of them is largely irrelevant, since it could change at any moment, with minimal notice.

Tue Sep 13 08:55:34 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @eey0re: Hey, look at the sort of thing a government can do to protect people from an airborne virus.

Thu Sep 15 04:40:18 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

It’s okay to take a long lunch break if you’re working early and late the same day; it’s the same number of hours worked and “on break” that way.

“Split shifts”: now for academics too 😃

Thu Sep 15 08:04:28 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @minxdragon

But what of the dreamtime? 🤔

Thu Sep 15 08:11:30 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @puck_ and @__fincham

Yeah, it seems unlikely they’ll ever make any more. So congratulations you own an appreciating collectible :-)

Thu Sep 15 08:15:14 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @zornsllama and @asteracode


Do you know a specific part of the world that uses year-day-month?

The only place I’ve seen year-day-month is as a side effect of a Python date parsing library change, and they didn’t appear to have any citations for it (just a side effect of weird ordering options).

Thu Sep 15 08:26:09 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @zornsllama and @asteracode

Python dateutil parsing regression preferring year-day-month over day-month-year, as of 2.4.2 (2017!). Unfixed, but at this point seems unlikely to ever be fixed.

(Recommended fix is never to upgrade beyond python-dateutil 2.4.1 😔)

Thu Sep 15 08:37:07 +0000 2022 (#)

If you enjoy hour long chats with electronics enthusiasts / makers / musicians / artists and other similar creatives this (nearly) weekly series is very enjoyable listening / watching (mostly talking, but often with examples shown in the video).

About a dozen episode so far.

Fri Sep 16 00:51:42 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @slyall

This is pretty much exactly why Netflix ops started using Chaos Monkey and the like. “Oops your container just restarted at random, wasn’t us, affects everyone. Your app handles restarts properly right?!”

Fri Sep 16 07:48:16 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

Yeah, that was my impression on Wednesday too. Maybe 25% of people wearing them, but no one made any fuss about me doing so.

Hopefully at least the polite tolerance continues.

Fri Sep 16 22:01:58 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @IanColdwater: If phishing a single employee can lead to everything in your infrastructure being compromised that easily, that employee…

Sat Sep 17 07:23:57 +0000 2022 (#)

Tom Scott plus Beardyman, live producing a hyperpop song entirely from Tom’s voice, lyrics from the live Patreon audience (and a bunch of electronic modification) is everything. (The control surfaces are to die for!)

[March 2022]

Sat Sep 17 21:42:14 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @xssfox

As far as most product development teams are concerned, that’d be: “Users willing to switch to Chrome”

(To be added to the “Chrome” total 😢)

Sun Sep 18 04:16:28 +0000 2022 (#)

“Distributed Routing as a Service” :-)

This (2015) talk about the Fastly architecture is fantastic. BGP full table reflected to the edge servers, ECMP, ASN reflected into the metric, static ARP entries, MAC migration for traffic migration, etc. (~30 minute talk.)

Sun Sep 18 05:33:19 +0000 2022 (#)

“Dragonsnake” is indeed a very fun Yin / Yang, Renban, German Whispers Sudoku puzzle. If you understood all those terms, definitely try the puzzle first (link to play in the video description).

I paused the video so I could try it, and was glad I did 😃

Sun Sep 18 09:37:09 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

For more explanation of what Beardyman is doing manipulating the human voice, there’s a 2013 TED talk: The Polyphonic Me.

(Definitely the control surfaces evolved since 2013; see Tom Scott’s video ⬆️ thread for tre best view of those in 2022.)

Sun Sep 18 09:45:15 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

Out of interest why this week? IIRC close date is ~3 weeks away.

(I’m with you on “not last minute”, but unclear why ~ASAP.)

Sun Sep 18 10:04:04 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

It’s all good. I just wondered if I was missing something.

“Before we forget” is a good reason for soon :-)

Tue Sep 20 08:39:29 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @isomer and @bert_hu_bert

After 24 hours flying there’s also a non trivial chance you crossed the International date line, and either skipped a day or repeated a day. It can be surprisingly difficult after 20+ hours of travel to figure out which happened! 😃

Thu Sep 22 09:13:30 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @ComfyConAU: 20th November: ComfyCon Spring 2023 - "Anything you can do I can do better" Edition.

Thu Sep 22 09:53:32 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @attacus_au

It was close (~50km away), and moderately long, but rolling rather than sudden/violent. So more surprising than immediately concerning.

TBH I’m surprised it got up-analysed to 5.8. But definitely hope there aren’t more soon :-)

Fri Sep 23 05:50:58 +0000 2022 (#)

Imagine being asked to solve an 8x8 grid that is entirely empty except a “1” on the bottom row. That was the task Mark gave Simon (both of @crypticcracking), by surprise.

The “special domino rule” leads to a beautiful solve that was fun to do, and watch.

Fri Sep 23 06:06:58 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @RealSexyCyborg

There’s also the “Ladies is Gender Neutral” approach (as illustrated by Alice Goldfuss) :-)

(TBH I suspect the men who need tacticool branding to even consider a product already aren’t your target market anyway.)

Fri Sep 23 06:08:09 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @ComfyConAU: It's coming. You asked for it.

Fri Sep 23 09:12:52 +0000 2022 (#)

TIL: 1. -Ofast enables -ffast-math, which affects floating point math precision for the whole process; 2. -ffast-math for a .so is auto enabled when the .so is loaded 3. “pip download” may execute arbitrary (Python) code without further encouragement


Fri Sep 23 09:17:52 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Also it turns out to be possible to download all x86-64 Python binary wheels from PyPI, but (a) do not try this at home (see above), and (b) that’s currently 11.6TB.

(Python’s full PyPI dependency tree also doesn’t seem very accessible, but which is unfortunate.)

Fri Sep 23 09:46:01 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

Also NZDT (daylight time) starts earlier the same Sunday (02:00) so “objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear” :-)

Fri Sep 23 21:21:49 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @David3141593: The image in this tweet displays its own MD5 hash.

You can download and hash it yourself, and it should still match - 13…

Sat Sep 24 05:54:47 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @attacus_au

“History doesn’t repeat, but it often rhymes”

The last decade or so seems to be demonstrating that parts of human nature were, in the past, merely held back by their limited automation/scalability. The “Eye of God” isn’t just a metaphor any more :-/

Sun Sep 25 06:05:38 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

The camera seemed fine to me (although dampening vibrations is always a good thing).

Unfortunately I had to leave before the end: did the LED blink? 🤔

Sun Sep 25 06:11:03 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @__fincham

Oh noes. Hopefully the RAM isn’t cooked, because static RAM ain’t that cheap. (Maybe it’s just RAM CS decode not quite working right? 🤔)

But good news that CPU/ROM/CIA sound like they’re working!

Mon Sep 26 01:26:15 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @JosephPolitano: Incredible that we, as a society, have simply lost the battle to spam.

80% of the physical mail, phone calls, text me…

Mon Sep 26 05:59:22 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @__fincham


Turns out it is harder to kill 1980s (design) static RAM than brief (current limited) reverse voltage!

Glad to hear you found the issue :-)

(Thanks for uploading the stream too: I got to watch the last bit this morning 💚)

Mon Sep 26 07:35:18 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @xssfox

They have federated authentication: by screenshot 🤦🏻‍♂️

Mon Sep 26 07:48:17 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @tveastman

Also 100%. And I too know way less Māori than I’d like to.

The proposed Aotearoa bilingual signs are considerably easier to navigate than bilingual signs I’ve encountered overseas, which just showed multiple languages I didn’t speak. And I managed okay there too.

Mon Sep 26 09:06:40 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @puck_


Not sure what your VoIP issue was, but I’m glad it’s fixed. Again :-)

(And yay for email archives providing the solution back to you!)

Tue Sep 27 03:45:41 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @Dram_Of_Sleep


(IIRC the policy last I looked was “your lateness totally comes off the time for your exam” but otherwise you could turn up anywhere within your exam window you booked/paid for that it was plausible you could do the exam. Glad it worked out for you anyway.)

Tue Sep 27 08:51:43 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @jpwarren, @asteracode and @ssharwood

Tue Sep 27 08:53:07 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @QueenOliviaStR: The bright spot is Jupiter

Wed Sep 28 01:44:43 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @__fincham


There was a bit that was Telstra NZ before they bought Clear.

And also a bit spin out of VUW that I’m forgetting: Netsomething. Maybe Netgate? 🤔

Wed Sep 28 02:00:29 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @jpwarren: Sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice. #OptusHack

Wed Sep 28 09:20:24 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @domknight: We need a way for companies like @Optus to confirm identity without needing our DL/passport/Medicare. It should be possible…

Wed Sep 28 23:59:27 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @xssfox

Per-person direct sequence enumeration.

Advanced! 😔

Thu Sep 29 22:18:19 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @xssfox

Hopefully not NZ/AU/UK/EU AC then. 230V AC has sine wave peak DC voltage above 300V DC ~50 times per second 😬

(I guess this is an advantage of the North American 110/120V AC split phase system…)

Thu Sep 29 22:32:10 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @slyall

Looks like the answer is “no http://Linux.Conf.Au 2023”. Seems likely they’re going to run one in person conference (“Everything Open”, March 2023, Melbourne in person), to replace LCA, PyConAU and OSDC.

Thu Sep 29 22:35:28 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @slyall

FYI, I’m unlikely to go to an in person AU event in March 2023. (Apart from travel issues, March 2023 already looks like a work crunch period at one client.)

Also FYI, seems to be 3 day conference, no special streams/miniconfs. At a convention centre. (Weirdly Tue/Wed/Thu.)

Thu Sep 29 23:31:43 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @slyall

I get the impression it’s a format reboot.

There were a bunch of tensions in the “miniconfs and main conference” setup, that only got worse when miniconfs became more integrated.

(And yes I’d guess Tue/Wed/Thu is venue availability, given the short lead time.)

Fri Sep 30 00:34:23 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @asteracode: Reasons I didn't ever sign up for Google Stadia:

• I assumed they would inevitably kill it off • I assumed they'd already…

Fri Sep 30 02:15:59 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @asteracode

Google is an advertising company, that has a weird promotion requirement of having launched a new product to the public. There’s no requirement to maintain said product after getting promoted.

(Google runs search, email hosting, and video hosting to provide advertising targets)

Fri Sep 30 03:10:45 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @aurynn

Last I remember Discord “paused” their web3/NFT plans, given the user feedback. But I’ve heard nothing further about it in months, so I’m assuming that’s a fairly permanent pause at this point.

Fri Sep 30 03:59:11 +0000 2022 (#)

RT @tqbf: Matrix is not the first group chat system to have this basic flaw, which is apparently non-obvious: if you can’t securely control…

Fri Sep 30 06:01:56 +0000 2022 (#)

TIL one of the main reasons PostgreSQL won’t do the “obvious” index only scan with the perfect index is that there are too many “dead” tuples in the table. (Its metrics for the cost of rechecking tuples seem way off for SSDs.)

So VACUUM ANALYZE might help more than you think 😮

Fri Sep 30 06:55:39 +0000 2022 (#)

At some point the only way you walk back a reputation for cancelling things is to make cancelling a thing impossibly expensive: eg guarantee to run something for 5 years, or you pay each relying user/company $20m/month for every month missed. And put the money in escrow up front.

Fri Sep 30 06:58:56 +0000 2022 (#)

Replying to @ewenmcneill

Google of course won’t make that promise up front to run something for N years no matter what. Let alone put non-trivial money behind their words. So 🤷‍♂️

(Lots of other tech companies do, credibly, guarantee N years minimum support for things. In ways that are difficult to undo.)