pocket log

These were added to my Pocket queue today:

Factory robots are about to get a lot smarter, and more self-sufficient

The big, dumb, monotonous industrial robots found in many factories could soon be quite a bit smarter, thanks to the introduction of machine-learning skills that are moving out of research labs at a fast pace.

An Open Letter to Melinda Gates
An Open Letter to Melinda Gates

Last week, you announced plans to invest your money and your time in helping women succeed in tech. You shared plans to build up a personal office, separate from the foundation you run with your husband Bill and your friend Warren Buffett.

Catholic hospitals have no right to refuse assisted dying Add to …
Catholic hospitals have no right to refuse assisted dying Add to ...

Canadians are grappling with one of the most difficult legal issues we have faced in decades: our collective responsibility to facilitate medically assisted death for those who choose it and satisfy the legal criteria.

new shepard escape test

Spoiler: Nothing explodes.

aws lambda permissions

so i’m writing a webhook for IFTTT using aws lambda. spent an embarassing amount of time looking for the problem with my cloudformation and lambda deployment. this is what i had in cloudformation:

  Type: AWS::IAM::Role
      Version: "2012-10-17"
          Effect: "Allow"
              - lambda.amazonaws.com
            - "sts:AssumeRole"
    Path: /
  Type: AWS::IAM::Policy
      - !Ref PocketLogRole
    PolicyName: pocketlog-cloudwatch
      Version: 2012-10-17
          Effect: Allow
            - logs:*
            - arn:aws:logs:*:*:*

the function would execute fine, return the expected value, but my logs wouldn’t show up in cloudwatch. the derp: i never wrote anything to stdout. used the python logging module throughout. didn’t assign a streamhandler to it though. my function was whispering into the ether.

i love the future

proof of concept

i worked in corporate IT previously, software development currently, and specialise in linux, so i almost never need money or hardware to do a proof of concept, just some time to read and write.

i’ll take the problem and dream up some minimal criteria for the fix, maybe rank them by importance. then dream up a managable number of reasonable options. those options get examined, and everything is written down. then the everything written down is examined, and shit options get tossed. the not-shit options are taken and argued over with people. qualifications for the argument are minimal: they have an opinion or they’re a user. everyone’s points are written down, the best options are noted.

then i show all best and almost-best options to the person least likely to understand the technical parts. this person’s pick(s) for best option(s) is written down, along with their reasoning. (the idea is that they might be more likely to focus on things i might not.)

finally, i pick my favourite and write it down under the heading “Recommendation”.

the mars colonial fleet

please sir, shut up and take my money.

building samsite.ca

once upon a time, i had a wordpress here. i hated it. still do. it feels like killing an ant with a sledgehammer. it’s slow and prone to plugin overload. going to keep it simple.

all the source for my site and its infrastructure is available on gitlab. i’ll be writing up a more formal page (i may even use Caps in it) where i document the site and its costs. i’d really like to get a live readout on costing direct from aws. we shall see.

no more sledgehammer

pelican is a static site generator. give it a theme (which is easy to customise) and some markdown-formatted source files, and it will give you a modern site encoded entirely in html. unlike wordpress or joomla, there’s no server-side processing or databases required. using it here because: community, simplicity, and python.

as cheap as possible, without being slow and crappy.

i’ve been bathing in the aws kool-aid for a while, so it was the natural choice. this site is 1.3mb in this initial state. it’s stored on s3 at reduced redundancy, so per month, that 1.3mb costs about $0.0000312. s3 is also the webserver, auto-scaling load balancer, and the redundant host. all that costs very little though. data transfer out will cost $0.90 if i get 8,500 whole-site downloads in a month. the average visitor will (hopefully) not download my whole site. there a $0.004 in charges for each 10,000 requests. each page load is made up of many requests so this could scale up into pennies territory fast. it costs $0.50/month to host my domain with aws.

tl;dr: a fast reliable website hosted for $12/yr, if i’m popular. less if i ...