Increasing need for coding among astronomers

This Wired article makes me think of @starstryder and helps me understand in retrospect why she and I have chatted so much about programming and tech over the years despite our very different fields. Given the data intensive nature of modern astronomy, this pressure to bring more capabilities from the realm of software development, from big data to machine learning, is hardly surprising. Kind of makes me want to find some volunteer opportunities to help where I can.

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Comcast tries to quiet efforts to reveal its astroturfing the FCC’s net neutrality proceedings

Hardly surprising that Comcast would sink to both astroturfing then trademark bullying to try to keep it hidden. Good reporting by Brodkin, especially that Fight for the Future has a solid legal precedent on their side. For now, Comcast seems to be backing off. More important is the remaining question of what the FCC will do with the proven faken comments in support of dismantling the net neutrality rules.

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House Republican unveils internet privacy bill

The Hill has the details of Blackburn’s bill which are exactly what the right said they wanted when they repealed the FCC’s pending privacy rules. Worth noting is that this would apply to ISPs and content companies alike along with moving oversight and enforcement to the FTC. No idea if this will shore up the FTC’s authority but the concern I have is its track record in this space, which is not great, and the fact that it traditionally has had far fewer staff technologists to help with efforts like these than the FCC.

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Solid career advice for tech managers, tech leads

First a warning that this blog post contains not safe for work language, in the form of a few expletives here and there. For anyone like me who has ping-ponged between engineering and management over the years, this is worth thinking about: a suggestion that this is a valid career trajectory. Charity makes a good argument, that aligns well with other solid advice I’ve read on being a lead and being a manager.

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Babbage’s vaporware from 1840

I am utterly fascinated by how far back many of the antecedents of modern software go. For those who read on the history of computing, Babbage’s failure to realize all his dreams with regards to his efforts with early computers mean this software is hardly surprising. Gives one pause when considering the push for software demos and other pressures that still lead developers to producing vaporware.

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FCC taking first vote on rolling back net neutrality this week

As Hillicon Valley notes, this is just the first step of what will take several months either way. Thanks to the attention of John Olliver and the support of orgs like EFF and FftF, the public interest has strongly waded into the fray. Like FftF, I am deeply skeptical of the FCC’s claims that the overloading of the comments system was the result of multiple denial of service attacks. Clearly there has been some automated actions but this issue resonates with the public more than folks at the agency will admit.

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Researchers create touchpads with a can of spray paint

Research like this comes right out of some of my favorite fiction. Cheap touch sensing surfaces invite the question, what novel and interesting things can you do when literally anything can be made into a touch interface? Couple this with other recent developments in applying connectivity and computing in this way and it is hard not to see how ubiquitous computing, connectivity and sensing could radically alter not just our connected lives, but our offline lives as well.

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IoT security anti-patterns

Saw this on Boing Boing, thanks again to Cory. Junade Ali at CloudFlare catalogs a few practices implementing IoT devices that contribute to the overall poor state of security. Importantly, there are recommend alternatives that maintain or improve security. We clearly need more of this, alongside existing resources like the OWASP security guide, both for manufacturers and for expert users to effectively hole them to account.

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