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published by noreply@blogger.com (Ben Witten) on 2017-03-06 20:41:00 in the "360" category


End Point?s Liquid Galaxy recently had an exciting breakthrough! We can now show 360° panoramic video effectively and seamlessly on our Liquid Galaxy systems.

Since our integration of seamless 360° panovideo, our marketing and content teams have been loading up our system with the best 360° panoramic videos. The Liquid Galaxy system at our headquarter office has 360° panoramic videos from National Geographic, The New York Times, Google Spotlight, gaming videos, and more.


The technical challenge with panoramic video is to get multiple instances of the video player app to work in sync. On the Liquid Galaxy, you're actually seeing 7 different video player apps all running at the same time and playing the same video file, but with each app showing a slightly adjusted slice of the 360° panoramic video. This synchronization and angle-adjustment is at the heart of the Liquid Galaxy platform, and allows a high-resolution experience and surrounding immersion that doesn't happen on any other video wall system.

We anticipate that our flawless 360° panoramic video will resonate with many industries, one of whom is the gaming industry. Below we?ve included a video of 360° gaming videos, and how they appear on Liquid Galaxy. Mixed with all the other exciting capabilities on Liquid Galaxy, we anticipate the ability to view angle-adjusted and 3D-immersive 360° video on the system will be a huge crowd-pleaser.

If you are interested in learning more about 360° panoramic video on Liquid Galaxy, don?t hesitate to contact us or visit our Liquid Galaxy website for more information.


Comments

published by noreply@blogger.com (Josh Williams) on 2017-03-01 02:07:00 in the "linux" category
We had an interesting problem to track down. (Though I suppose I wouldn't be writing about it if it weren't, yes?) Over the years a client had built up quite the collection of scripts executed by cron to maintain some files on their site. Some of these were fairly complex, taking a long while to run, and overlapping with each other.

One day, the backup churn hit a tipping point and we took notice. Some process, we found, seemed to be touching an increasing number of image files: The contents were almost always the same, but the modification timestamps were updated. But digging through the myriad of code to figure out what was doing that was proving to be somewhat troublesome.

Enter auditd, already present on the RHEL host. This allows us to attach a watch on the directory in question, and track down exactly what was performing the events. -- Note, other flavors of Linux, such as Ubuntu, may not have it out of the box. But you can usually install it via the the auditd package.
(output from a test system for demonstration purposes)
# auditctl -w /root/output
# tail /var/log/audit/audit.log
type=SYSCALL msg=audit(1487974252.630:311): arch=c000003e syscall=2 success=yes exit=3 a0=b51cf0 a1=241 a2=1b6 a3=2 items=2 ppid=30272 pid=30316 auid=0 uid=0 gid=0 euid=0 suid=0 fsuid=0 egid=0 sgid=0 fsgid=0 tty=pts2 ses=1 comm="script.sh" exe="/usr/bin/bash" key=(null)
type=CWD msg=audit(1487974252.630:311):  cwd="/root"
type=PATH msg=audit(1487974252.630:311): item=0 name="output/files/" inode=519034 dev=fd:01 mode=040755 ouid=0 ogid=0 rdev=00:00 objtype=PARENT
type=PATH msg=audit(1487974252.630:311): item=1 name="output/files/1.txt" inode=519035 dev=fd:01 mode=0100644 ouid=0 ogid=0 rdev=00:00 objtype=CREATE
The most helpful logged items include the executing process's name and path, the file's path, operation, pid and parent pid. But there's a good bit of data there per syscall.

Don't forget to auditctl -W /root/output to remove watch. auditctl -l will list what's currently out there:
# auditctl -l
-w /root/output -p rwxa
That's the short version. auditctl has a different set of parameters that are a little bit more verbose, but have more options. The equivalent of the above would be: auditctl -a always,exit -F dir=/root/output -F perm=rwxa ... with options for additional rule fields/filters on uid, gid, pid, whether or not the action was successful, and so on.
Comments

published by Eugenia on 2017-02-20 00:42:12 in the "Metaphysics" category
Eugenia Loli-Queru

If extraterrestrials were to land on Earth, here is how five types of people, based on their soul evolution, would react:

Infant souls: “Ugly m0therf/ers. Kill ’em and steal their tech.”

Baby souls: “They’re demons! Pray, pray to be saved! Oh Lord!”

Young souls: “Gentlemen, let’s do business! Coffee?”

Mature souls: “They’re different than us, but we accept diversity.”

Old souls: “Aliens? What aliens?”


Comments

published by noreply@blogger.com (Emanuele 'Lele' Calo') on 2017-02-13 23:22:00 in the "brussel" category

In case you happen to be short on time: my final overall perspective about FOSDEM 2017 is that it was awesome... with very few downsides.

If you want the longer version, keep reading cause there's a lot to know and do at FOSDEM and never enough time, sadly.

This year I actually took a different approach than last time and decided to concentrate on one main track per day, instead of (literally) jumping from one to the other. While I think that overall this may be a good approach if most of the topics covered in a track are of your interest, that comes at the cost of missing one of the best aspects of FOSDEM which is "variety" in contents and presenters.

Day 1: Backup & Recovery

For the first day I chose the Backup & Recovery track which hosted talks revolving around three interesting and useful projects: namely REAR (Relax and Recovery), DRLM, a wrapper and backup management tool based on REAR and Bareos, which is a backup solution forked from Bacula in 2010 and steadily proceeding and improving since then. Both REAR and DLRM were explained and showcased by some of the respective projects main contributors and creators. As a long time system administrator, I particularly appreciated the pride in using Bash as the main "development platform" for both projects. As Johannes Meixner correctly mentioned, using bash facilitates introduces these tools into your normal workflow with knowledge that you'll most likely already have as a System Administrator or DevOps, thus allowing you to easily "mold" these scripts to your specific needs without spending weeks to learn how to interact with them.

During the Day 1 Backup & Recovery track there were also a few speeches from two Bareos developers (Jörg Steffens and Stephan Dühr) that presented many aspects of their great project, ranging from very introductory topics, to providing a common knowledge ground for the audience, up to more in depth topics like software capabilities extension through Python Plugins, or a handful of best practices and common usage scenarios. I also enjoyed the speech about automated testing in REAR, presented by Gratien D'haese, which showed how to leverage common testing paradigms and ideas to double-check a REAR setup for potential unexpected behaviors after updates or on new installations or simply as a fully automated monitoring tool to do sanity checks on the backup data flow. While this testing project was new, it's already functional and impressive to see at work.

Day 2: Cloud Microservices

On the second day I moved in a more "cloudy" section of the FOSDEM where most of the conferences revolved around Kubernetes, Docker and more in general the microservices landscape. CoreOS (the company behind the open source distribution) was a major contributor and I liked their Kubernetes presentation by Josh Wood and Luca Bruno which respectively explained the new Kubernetes Operators feature and how containers work under the hood in Kubernetes.

Around lunch time there was a "nice storm of lightning talks" which kept most of the audience firmly on their seats, especially since the Microservices track room didn't have a free seat for the entire day. I especially liked the talk from Spyros Trigazis about how CERN created and is maintaining a big OpenStack Magnum (the container integrated version of OpenStack) cloud installation for their internal use.

Then it was Chris Down's turn and, while he's a developer from Facebook, his talk gave the audience a good perspective on the future of CGROUPs in the Linux kernel and how they are already relatively safe and usable, even if not yet officially marked as production ready. While I already knew and used "sysdig" in past as a troubleshooting and investigation tool, it was nice to see one of the main developers, Jorge Salamero, using it and showing alternative approaches such as investigating timeout issues between Kubernetes Docker containers by just sysdig and its many modules and filters. It was really impressive seeing how easy it is to identify cross-containers issues and data flow.

Atmosphere

There were a lot of Open Source communities with "advertising desks" and I had a nice talk with a few interesting developers from the CoreOS team or from FSFE (Free Software Foundation Europe). Grabbing as many computer stickers as possible is also mandatory at FOSDEM, so I took my share and my new Thinkpad is way more colorful now. In fact, on a more trivial note, this year the FOSDEM staff decided to sell on sale all the laptops that were used during the video encoding phase for the streaming videos before the upload. These laptops were all IBM Thinkpad X220 and there were only a handful of them (~30) at a very appealing price. In fact, this article is being written from one of those very laptops now as I was one of the lucky few which managed to grab one before they were all gone within an hour or so. So if you're short of a laptop and happen to be at FOSDEM next year, keep your eyes open cause I think they'll do it again!

So what's not to like in such a wonderful scenario? While I admit that there was a lot to be seen and listened to, I sadly didn't see any "ground-shaking" innovation this year at FOSDEM. I did see many quality talks and I want to send a special huge "thank you" to all the speakers for the effort and high quality standards that they keep for their FOSDEM talks - but I didn't see anything extraordinarily new from what I can remember.

Bottom line is that I still have yet to find someone who was ever disappointed at FOSDEM, but the content quality varies from presenter to presenter and from year to year, so be sure to check the presentations you want to attend carefully before hand.

I think that the most fascinating part of FOSDEM is meeting interesting, smart, and like-minded people that would be difficult to reach otherwise.

In fact, while a good share of the merit should be attributed to the quality of the content presented, I firmly believe that the community feeling that you get at FOSDEM is hard to beat and easy to miss when skipped even for one year.




I'll see you all next year at FOSDEM then.


Comments

published by noreply@blogger.com (Dave Jenkins) on 2017-02-07 15:44:00 in the "cesium" category

A few months ago, we shared a video and some early work we had done with bringing the Cesium open source mapping application to the Liquid Galaxy. We've now completed a full deployment for Smartrac, a retail tracking analytics provider, using Cesium in a production environment! This project presented a number of technical challenges beyond the early prototype work, but also brought great results for the client and garnered a fair amount of attention in the press, to everyone's benefit.

Cesium is an open source mapping application that separates out the tile sets, elevation, and markup language. This separation allows for flexibility at each major element:

  • We can use a specific terrain elevation data set while substituting any one of several map "skins" to drape on that elevation: a simple color coded map, a nighttime illumination map, even a water-colored "pirate map" look.
  • For the terrain, we can download as much or as little is needed: As the Cesium viewer zooms in on a given spot, Cesium uses a sort of fractal method to download finer and finer resolution terrains in just the surrounding area, eventually getting to the data limit of the set. This gradual approach balances download requirements with viewable accuracy. In our case, we downloaded an entire terrain set up to level 14 (Earth from high in space is level 1, then zooms in to levels 2, 3, 4, etc.) which gave us a pretty good resolution while conserving disk space. (The data up to level 14 totaled about 250 GB.)
  • Using some KML tools we have developed for past projects and adapting to CZML ("cesium language", get it?), we were able to take Smartrac's supply chain data and show a comprehensive overview of the product flow from factories in southeast Asia through a distribution center in Seattle and on to retail stores throughout the Western United States.
The debut for this project was the National Retail Federation convention at the Javitz Center in New York City. Smartrac (and we also) wanted to avoid any show-stoppers that might come from a sketchy internet connection. So, we downloaded the map tiles, a terrain set, built our visualizations, and saved the whole thing locally on the head node of the Liquid Galaxy server stack, which sat in the back of the booth behind the screens.

The show was a great success, with visitors running through the visualizations almost non-stop for 3 days. The client is now taking the Liquid Galaxy and the Cesium visualizations on to another convention in Europe next month. The NRF, IBM, and several other ecommerce bloggers wrote up the platform, which brings good press for Smartrac, Cesium, and the Liquid Galaxy.


Comments

published by noreply@blogger.com (Ben Witten) on 2017-02-02 17:55:00 in the "Liquid Galaxy" category
The U.S. Embassy to Jakarta features a high-tech cultural center called ?@america?. @america?s mission is to provide a space for young Indonesians to learn more about the United States through discussions, cultural performances, debates, competitions and exhibitions.

Since Google generously donated it six years ago, @america has had a Liquid Galaxy deployed for use at the center. Not until recently, however, has @america taken advantage of our Content Management System. This past year, End Point developed and rolled out a revamped and powerful Content Management System for the fleet of Liquid Galaxies we support. With the updated Content Management System, End Point?s Content Team created a specialized Interactive Education Portal on @america's Liquid Galaxy. The Education Portal featured over 50 high quality, interactive university experiences. Thanks to the CMS, the Liquid Galaxy now shows campus videos, university statistics, and fly-tos and orbits around the schools. The campus videos included both recruitment videos, as well as student-created videos on topics like housing, campus sports, and religion. These university experiences allow young Indonesians the opportunity to learn more about U.S. Universities and culture.

@America and the US Embassy report that from December through the end of January, already more than 16,500 Indonesians have had the opportunity to engage with the Education Portal while visiting @america. We are thankful to have had the opportunity to help the US Embassy use their Liquid Galaxy for such a positive educational cause.


Liquid Galaxy systems are installed at educational institutions, from embassies to research libraries, around the world. If you?d like to learn more about Liquid Galaxy, please visit our Liquid Galaxy website or contact us here.
Comments

published by Eugenia on 2017-01-26 23:23:34 in the "Politics" category
Eugenia Loli-Queru

All these anti-Trump posts are laughable. Your fellow citizens VOTED for him because they felt desperate: racism is stronger when there are financial problems in the middle & lower class. You should have knocked THEIR door and ask them if they needed help BEFORE the election. Yes, it is your fault liberals. It is your FAILURE to be a truly progressive person in your daily life that drove everyone else towards Trump.

When was the last time you gave half of your earnings to a family down the street that’s out of work for months? When was the last time you actively decided to not buy something created in the slums of Asia? When was the last time you decided not to eat an animal that had lived a terrible life and had never seen the sun or ever walked? When was the last time you actively decided to buy an electric car instead? When was the last time you decided to not join the military, and not be in the business of killing? When was the last time you invited a homeless person in your home, even with the risk that entails? When was the last time you decided to not work for that oil firm, even if it’d make *you* homeless?

Oh, all that stuff are too drastic for you? Don’t say! Sorry, but that’s the price of humanity. That’s the price of love. That’s what needs to be done for things to CHANGE. It’s not a matter of a president, it’s a matter of EVERYONE changing. Without showing love, you get an opposite reaction. And this time around, it manifested like a Trump presidency. Now, go and march on, idiots. Trump doesn’t give a rat’s ass about you, he’ll still do what he wants. You did this. Look at the mirror, before you start pointing fingers to others. Your marches and your posts are nothing but hypocrisy.

I’m sick and tired of your blindness. You fail to understand that your life experience is utterly democratic. You create your reality with your everyday actions. If all citizens are all about themselves and no one else, they will create that shared reality, even if some of you paint yourself a “progressive” or not. You’re only progressive in theory! In action, you’re just as ineffective or close-minded as these “alt-right” [complete] idiots. And so you get what you deserve too, along everyone else.

Boo-hoo.


Comments

published by noreply@blogger.com (Ben Witten) on 2017-01-25 14:50:00 in the "Conference" category
Last week, Smartrac exhibited at the retail industry?s BIG Show, NRF 2017, using a Liquid Galaxy with custom animations to showcase their technology.

Smartrac provides data analytics to retail chains by tracking physical goods with NFC and Bluetooth tags that combine to track goods all the way from the factory to the distribution center to retail stores. It's a complex but complete solution. How best to visualize all that data and show the incredible value that Smartrac brings? Seven screens with real time maps in Cesium, 3D store models in Unity, and browser-based dashboards, of course. End Point has been working with Smartrac for a number of years as a development resource on their SmartCosmos platform, helping them with UX and back-end database interfaces. This work included development of REST-based APIs for data handling, as well as a Virtual Reality project utilizing the Unity game engine to visualize data and marketing materials directly on several platforms including the Oculus Rift, the Samsung Gear 7 VR, and WebGL. Bringing that back-end work forward in a highly visible platform for the retail conference was a natural extension for them, and the Liquid Galaxy fulfilled that role perfectly. The large Liquid Galaxy display allowed Smartrac to showcase some of their tools on a much larger scale.

For this project, End Point deployed two new technologies for the Liquid Galaxy:
  • Cesium Maps - Smartrac had two major requirements for their data visualizations: show the complexity of the solution and global reach, while also making the map data offline wherever possible to avoid the risk of sketchy Internet connections at the convention center (a constant risk). For this, we deployed Cesium instead of Google Earth, as it allowed for a fully offline tileset that we could store locally on the server, as well as providing a rich data visualization set (we've shown other examples before).
  • Unity3D Models - Smartrac also wanted to show how their product tracking works in a typical retail store. Rather than trying to wire a whole solution during the short period for a convention, however, they made the call to visualize everything with Unity, a very popular 3D rendering engine. Given the multiple screens of the Liquid Galaxy, and our ability to adjust the view angle for each screen in the arch around the viewers, this Unity solution would be very immersive and able to tell their story quite well.
Smartrac showcased multiple scenes that incorporated 3D content with live data, labels superimposed on maps, and a multitude of supporting metrics. End Point developers worked on custom animation to show their tools in a engaging demo. During the convention, Smartrac had representatives leading attendees through the Liquid Galaxy presentations to show their data. Video of these presentations can be viewed below.



Smartrac?s Liquid Galaxy received positive feedback from everyone who saw it, exhibitors and attendees alike. Smartrac felt it was a great way to walk through their content, and attendees both enjoyed the content and were intrigued by the display on which they were seeing the content. Many attendees who had never seen Liquid Galaxy inquired about it.

If you?d like to learn more about Liquid Galaxy or new projects we are working on or having custom content developed, please visit our Liquid Galaxy website or contact us here.
Comments

published by noreply@blogger.com (Elizabeth Garrett Christensen on 2017-01-25 00:09:00 in the "case study" category

Overview

End Point has been working with state and local health agencies since 2008. We host disease outbreak surveillance and management systems and have expertise providing clients with the sophisticated case management tools they need to deliver in-house analysis, visualization, and reporting - combined with the flexibility to comply with changing state and federal requirements. End Point provides the hosting infrastructure, database, reporting systems, and customizations that agencies need in order to service to their populations.

Our work with health agencies is a great example of End Point?s ability to use our experience in open source technology, Ruby on Rails, manage and back up large secure datasets, and integrate reporting systems to build and support a full-stack application. We will discuss one such client in this case study.

Why End Point?

End Point is a good fit for this project because of our expertise in several areas including reporting and our hosting capabilities. End Point has had a long history of consultant experts in PostgreSQL and Ruby on Rails, which are the core software behind this application.

Also, End Point specializes in customizing open-source software, which can save not-for-profit and state agencies valuable budget dollars they can invest in other social programs.

Due to the secure nature of the medical data in these database, we and our clients must adhere to all HIPAA and CDC policies regarding hosting of data handling, server hosting, and staff authorization and access auditing.




Team

Steve Yoman

Steve serves as the project manager for both communication and internal development for End Point?s relationship with the client. Steve brings many years in project management to the table for this job and does a great job keeping track of every last detail, quote, and contract item.


Selvakumar Arumugam

Selva is one of those rare engineers who is gifted with both development and DevOps expertise. He is the main developer on daily tasks related to the disease tracking system. He also does a great job navigating a complex hosting environment and has helped the client make strides towards their future goals.


Josh Tolley

Josh is one of End Point?s most knowledgeable database and reporting experts. Josh?s knowledge of PostgreSQL is extremely helpful to make sure that the data is secure and stable. He built and maintains a standalone reporting application based on Pentaho.




Application

The disease tracking system consists of several applications including a web application, reporting application, two messaging areas, and SOAP services that relay data between internal and external systems.

TriSano: The disease tracking web app is an open source Ruby on Rails application based on the TriSano product, originally built at the Collaborative Software Initiative. This is a role-based web application where large amounts of epidemiological data can be entered manually or by data transfer.

Pentaho: Pentaho is a PostgreSQL reporting application that allows you to run a separate reporting service or embed reports into your website. Pentaho has a community version and an enterprise version, which is what is used on this particular project. This reporting application provides OLAP services, dashboarding, and generates ad hoc and static reports. Josh Tolley customized Pentaho so that the client can download or create custom reports depending on their needs.

Two Messaging Area applications: The TriSano system also serves as the central repository for messaging feeds used to collect data from local health care providers, laboratories throughout the state, and the CDC.

SOAP services run between the TriSano web app, the Pentaho reporting application, and the client?s data systems translate messages into the correct formats and relay the information to each application.

Into the Future

Based on the success over 9+ years working on this project, the client continues to work with their End Point team to manage their few non open-source software licenses, create long term security strategies, and plan and implement all of their needs related to the continuous improvement and changes in epidemiology tracking. We partner with the client so they can focus their efforts on reading results and planning for the future health of their citizens. This ongoing partnership is something End Point is very proud to be a part of and we hope to continue our work in this field well into the future.


Comments

published by Eugenia on 2017-01-24 23:45:35 in the "Metaphysics" category
Eugenia Loli-Queru

That’s the premise of a well known book by Nigel Kerner. Below, I will delve into such popular mythology, to logically explain why Kerner’s theory is wrong. Let’s assume that the alien agenda mythology of our time, is true.

So, the whole premise of Greys trying to acquire a soul is truly laughable. It makes no historical or logical sense. It’s been widely reported that Greys also abduct in the astral world, not just the physical. So Greys do have souls (or a group soul with limited individuality). Not to mention DMT reports of getting abducted in spirit. These abductions don’t have to do anything with trying to get a soul. If that was the case, they would have accomplished that *thousands of years ago*, on this planet, or some other planet with similar life. There is ZERO logic to think that these beings would suddenly get interested in getting a soul in the 1950s (when their program intensified), and not in 10000 BC. Obviously, their motives are different.

It probably has to do with trying to “save” the human race (which is why their program intensified after the first atomic bomb went off, after a grace period of thousands of years of letting humans figure out peace by themselves failed). Just like priests go and preach in other continents to convert natives into a new way of thinking (for better or worse), same way, the Greys are trying to shove some logic into us, via releasing these hybrids onto the world. Just like our priests, they think they’re doing the right thing. Usually, it proves to be a disaster because the populations in these converted places don’t have the background and culture to sustain a civilized Western society (think the state of Africa today, with continuous warfare).

The Greys are doing the same mistake, thinking that offering us telepathy, it would fix us. I’m certain that it would fix a lot of our problems, for sure, but at what cost? Telepathy and empathy are good things, but only when the species is ready for it. Humans aren’t ready for it. If we were ready for it, we would have evolved (or manufacture) these senses ourselves. Instead the Greys are pushing the matter for us. Maybe they see our demise in our current ways and they can’t stay idle by. But it’s our right to destroy ourselves up if we’re that stupid. It should be our decision, not theirs. However, you need to take into account here that humans aren’t the only life on this planet. Taking ourselves out would most certainly mean animals and plant life too, which is something we do NOT have a right to decide for them!

So someone might ask: why do they even care? Well, maybe we belong to a bunch of planets under someone’s rule, without ourselves even knowing it. In that case, the Greys are simply contractors, trying to keep the livestock from killing itself by altering its genetic makeup, instead of playing cop 24/7 which would be much more costly, and intrusive in the daily life of the planet.

The way Pleiadians on the other side go about the whole thing, is more careful and wise IMHO. Instead of doing genetic experiments to alter our way of thinking, they get volunteers to incarnate here as 100% humans (aka starseeds). These starseeds simply offer their spiritual point of view to their fellow humans, and then it’s up to these humans to decide if they want to adopt that point of view, or simply dismiss these “spiritual” people as cranks. Pleiadians offer a CHOICE. Greys do not.

In a sense, if the Greys are professional contractors hired to do a job, the Pleiadians are the hippies entering the field disguised as cows, trying to convince the other cows that grass is greener on the other side.

In reality, they BOTH interfere, because humanity does need a helping hand in this day and age. But HOW you help humanity, is of major importance. The Greys have decided for us, to make us, “not us”. And that’s unacceptable, EVEN if they might have had our best interests in mind, and EVEN if it might work just fine at the end, by replacing homo sapiens with a more logical version. Someone said once that the definition of evil is “removal of free will”. The Greys are doing just that, both on a local level (abductions), and on a worldwide level (forced evolutionary steps to replace homo sapiens). The Pleiadians on the other hand, do not remove free will. They interfere only up to the point of offering a choice. Free will stays intact in that case.

This is my personal opinion on the whole alien agenda thing. I try to offer a practical view on why this is happening NOW and not thousands of years ago (that’s the key to understand what they’re doing and why, IMHO). It’s simply because it’s NOW that humanity is in the crossroads. It’s only NOW that such interventions make sense in our history.

And that’s why the US government can NOT (and should NOT) disclose the truth about alien activity. It’s not about “humans aren’t ready to accept aliens”, because humans have been ready for it for over 50 years! What humans are NOT ready to accept is that level of helpless interference, or even the idea of being owned. THAT is the stingy point in the whole story, not merely that “aliens exist”. Because of that, I SUPPORT the US government decision to NOT disclose anything about aliens to the public. Let homo sapiens go, in peace, and without any brouhaha. Why make a mess about it? Especially if we can’t change anything?

Of the two philosophies and points of view (Pleiadian and Greys), who’s going to win at the end? Of course the Greys will win. They’re methodical, and they have immediate results. If humans were wise to accept the Pleiadian offer, they wouldn’t need the Greys’ intervention in the first place because they’d be peaceful on their own. The very fact that we need such intervention, points to the adoption of the fastest solution: and that’s the one that the Greys are offering. The Pleiadian solution of (essentially boiling down to) “if you sit down and meditate 5 hours a day you become more spiritual”, just doesn’t play well with most humans. Not more than 5% of humans would do that, even if their life depended on it (and it does!). The rest 95% of people, the people who don’t want to change their ways, “democratically” dictate the action that needs to be taken: their replacement. The Greys are hired for just that. And frankly, they do an awesome job at it.

Don’t get confused from the above btw, as to if I support the Pleiadians or the Greys. IMHO, after eons of existence, we all go back to becoming One. How we get there, one way or another way, the end result is always the same. So who cares who wins this time? If the whole thing makes you too sad, then it’s only because you don’t manage to get hold of the even bigger picture. In other words, even if the Greys win this time around, to get the bigger picture and get freed from that cycle of interference, you’d need to adopt the Pleiadian way anyway. So there’s always time to do that, in a few thousands years from now. When even that new “logical” human hybrid era will come to an end too, and a new way of thinking will naturally (or unnaturally) emerge.

That’s why, the only thing you can do today, and you should do, is live your life. Be happy.


Comments

published by Eugenia on 2017-01-24 03:36:52 in the "Software" category
Eugenia Loli-Queru

Some would be quick to say that the time to innovate in the social media industry has passed. It’s true that the operating system doors closed in 1995 when Microsoft released Windows 95, but I really believe that there is just one more step forward before we can say the same about social media.

Here’s how I imagine a post-instagram app. These features must be implemented from the get-go btw.

– Every text post also contains a picture (up to 2:3 size ratio) or up to 1 minute video, as on Instagram.
– Every post is repostable, like on Twitter or Tumblr — unless if it’s marked as private. Very important for artists, so friends of friends can then follow the original poster.
– All posts can be viewed under the Recent tab, or categorized, like on Pinterest.
– 1-1 chat, live video, and group chat abilities like on FB/Hangouts/Snapchat.
– Follow people, like posts, follow tags, view automatically curated tags.
– Some of the tags must be completed automatically via AI.
– To bring more people in: make it also a game: let people mark places based on GPS with provided graphics. The more places are marked, the more points a user gets, and the more his posts are exposed in curated lists, which gets him more followers.
– Individual posts can be marked private, shared with specific people or lists, and can be set as “artistic nudity” or not. Don’t flag a whole account as mature or not, but specific posts only. These posts should still show up, just blurred until clicked. Fully mature posts would still need to be removed.
– Tools to manage traffic, which guarantees more celebrity support (very important to get users).
– Each post can be a sellable product. 10% commission if payment is done via the app’s system, or a $3 flat fee if the shopping page is an external page. Like on fancy.com.
– To get users immediately, various OpenID systems can be used as additional email credentials. Login requires a cellphone number for extra security.
– Primarily a fast, sexy app, but also a web front end.

In truth, these aren’t so difficult that Instagram itself can’t implement, but the fact that they don’t already support re-posting is troubling.


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published by noreply@blogger.com (Matt Galvin) on 2017-01-22 17:35:00

I'd like to begin by acknowledging that some time ago Scott Young completed the MIT Challenge where he "attempted to learn MIT?s 4-year computer science curriculum without taking classes".

I examined MIT's course catalog. They have 4 undergraduate programs in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science:

  • 6-1 program: Leads to the Bachelor of Science in Electrical Science and Engineering. (Electrical Science and Engineering)
  • 6-2 program: Leads to the Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and is for those whose interests cross this traditional boundary.
  • 6-3 program: Leads to the Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering.(Computer Science and Engineering)
  • 6-7 program: Is for students specializing in computer science and molecular biology.
Because I wanted to stick what I believed would be most practical for my work at End Point, I selected the 6-3 program. With my intended program selected, I also decided that the full course load for a bachelor's degree was not really what I was interested in. Instead, I just wanted to focus on the computer science related courses (with maybe some math and physics only if needed to understand any of the computer courses).

So, looking at the requirements, I began to determine which classes I'd require. Once I had this, I could then begin to search the MIT OpenCourseWare site to ensure the classes are offered, or find suitable alternatives on Coursera or Udemy. As is typical, there are General Requirements and Departmental Requirements. So, beginning with the General Institute Requirements, lets start designing a computer science program with all the fat (non-computer science) cut out.


General Requirements:



I removed that which was not computer science related. As I mentioned, I was aware I may need to add some math/science. So, for the time being this left me with:


Notice that it says

one subject can be satisfied by 6.004 and 6.042[J] (if taken under joint number 18.062[J]) in the Department Program

It was unclear to me what "if taken under joint number 18.062[J]" meant (nor could I find clarification) but as will be shown later, 6.004 and 6.042[J] are in the departmental requirements, so let's commit to taking those two which would leave the requirement of one more REST course. After some Googling I found the list of REST courses here. So, if you're reading this to design your own program, please remember that later we will commit to 6.004 and 6.042[J] and go here to select a course.

So, now on to the General Institute Requirements Laboratory Requirement. We only need to choose one of three:

  • - 6.01: Introduction to EECS via Robot Sensing, Software and Control
  • - 6.02: Introduction to EECS via Communications Networks
  • - 6.03: Introduction to EECS via Medical Technology


So, to summarize the general requirements we will take 4 courses:

Major (Computer Science) Requirements:


In keeping with the idea that we want to remove non-essential, and non-CS courses, let's remove the speech class. So here we have a nice summary of what we discovered above in the General Requirements, along with details of the computer science major requirements:


As stated, let's look at the list of Advanced Undergraduate Subjects and Independent Inquiry Subjects so that we may select one from each of them:



Lastly, it's stated that we must

Select one subject from the departmental list of EECS subjects

a link is provided to do so, however it brings you here and I cannot find a list of courses. I believe that this link no longer takes you to the intended location. A Google search brought up a similar page, but with a list of courses, as can be seen here. So, I will pick one from that page.

Sample List of Classes

So, now you will be able to follow the links I provided above to select your classes. I will provide my own list in case you'd just like to us mine:

The next step was to find the associated courses on MOC
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published by noreply@blogger.com (Ben Witten) on 2017-01-20 16:21:00 in the "Business" category


Recently Chase unveiled a digital campaign for Chase for Business by asking small businesses to submit themselves ringing their own morning bells every day when they open for business. Chase would select one video every day to post on their website and to play on their big screen in Times Square.

A few months back, Chase chose to feature End Point for their competition! They sent a full production team to our office to film us and how we ring the morning bell.

In preparation for Chase, we built a Liquid Galaxy presentation for Chase on our content management system. The presentation consisted of two scenes. In scene 1, we had ?Welcome to Liquid Galaxy? written out across the outside four screens. We displayed the End Point Liquid Galaxy logo on the center screen, and set the system to orbit around the globe. In scene 2, the Liquid Galaxy flies to Chase?s Headquarter office in New York City, and orbits around their office. Two bells ring, each shown across two screens. The bell videos used were courtesy of Rayden Mizzi and St Gabriel's Church. Our logo continues to display on the center screen, and the Chase for Business website is shown on a screen as well.

The video that Chase created (shown above) features our CEO Rick giving an introduction of our company and then clicking on the Liquid Galaxy?s touchscreen to launch into the presentation.

We had a great time working with Chase, and were thrilled that they chose to showcase our company as part of their work to promote small businesses! To learn more about the Liquid Galaxy, you can visit our Liquid Galaxy website or contact us here.

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published by Eugenia on 2017-01-18 17:46:27 in the "General" category
Eugenia Loli-Queru

This is my own theory, and it only works IF we accept that the Great Pyramid of Khufu was not built by humans, but by aliens. Yes, that’s a big stretch, because the pyramid was (most likely) built by humans, but in the case that all these crazy conspiracy theorists are correct, then I could think of a different theory of why it was built.

I base my theory on the simplest answer of what the pyramid is. The simplest answer is usually the correct one. So, if you ask a child “what’s the Great Pyramid”, their answer would be: “it’s a big, big building”.

The only reason why an alien race would build a humongous building on Earth at a time when only huts existed, in my opinion, is that so it can be seen from space. There are not many spacious rooms inside the pyramid (so it wasn’t grain storage), it wasn’t a temple, and we already know that they weren’t tombs. What it is though is just that: a huge building, visible from space, with basic equipment.

Picture this: humans transition from hunter-gatherers to organized societies around the same time. When you have a young race evolving to become something more than animals, that could raise some alien eyebrows. And so they erect… a sign to all other alien races: “KEEP OFF”. Passerbys are much more likely to enter a wild field and claim it their own or just mess with it, than entering one that has a sign to keep off.

Building a large building visible from space is a much smarter way to accomplish this than simply putting a satellite on orbit. The satellite would need servicing, it can go bad at any time, and it would transmit at a frequency or digital format that another alien race might not understand. These problems don’t exist if you just erect a big-a$$ building though, one that it shows high mathematics in its various elements/ratios/location etc. Math is a universal language, and one that would be respected by another alien race that has already mastered interstellar travel.

On top of that, the pyramid shape and construction is earthquake-proof, so it can stay erected for thousands of years, as it has. I don’t know if the Bauval/Hancock theory that the pyramids are older is correct, but it’s of a little consequence if my theory is correct.

Now, as to the pyramids placement point to Sirius or not, I don’t know. But it is possible to fathom that the builder alien race did leave a clue about “please inquire at the XYZ starsystem for access”, just like one would potentially put a telephone number on a Keep Off sign. But I don’t think that’s necessary.

As to why any alien race would care to “protect” this new human race by leaving them alone to develop in peace and erecting big “keep off” signs, I think that protective (or even possibly ownership) tendencies exist in all biological creatures. I don’t think that these aliens would be much different than us in basic behaviors if they have a biological base in this universe like we do. As above, so below.

Of course, as I mentioned in the beginning, this theory makes sense only if aliens built the pyramids. Which probably they didn’t. But it’s nice to spend the afternoon theorizing, if they did.


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published by noreply@blogger.com (Kamil Ciemniewski) on 2017-01-18 13:35:00 in the "awk" category

Recently we've seen a sprout of re-implementations of many popular Unix tools. With the expansion of communities built around new languages or platforms, it seems that apart from the novelties in technologies ? the ideas on how to use them stay the same. There are more and more solutions to the same kinds of problems:

  • text editors
  • CSS pre-processors
  • find-in-files tools
  • screen scraping tools
  • ... many more ...

In this blog post I'd like to tackle the problem from yet another perspective. Instead of resolving to "new and cool" libraries and languages (grep implemented in X language) ? I'd like to use what's out there already in terms of tooling to build a nice search-in-files tool for myself.

Search in files tools

It seems that for many people it's very important to have a "search in files" tool that they really like. Some of the nice work we've seen so far include:

These are certainly very nice. As the goal of this post is to build something out of the tooling found in any minimal Unix-like installation ? they won't work though. They either need to be compiled or require Perl to be installed which isn't everywhere (e. g. FreeBSD on default ? though obviously available via the ports).

What I really need from the tool

I do understand that for some developers, waiting 100 ms longer for the search results might be too long. I'm not like that though. Personally, all I care about when searching is how the results are being presented. I also like to have the consistency of using the same approach between many machines I work on. We're often working on remote machines at End Point. The need to install e.g Rust compiler just to get the ripgrep tool is too time consuming and hence doesn't contribute to getting things done faster. Same goes for e. g the_silver_searcher which needs to be compiled too. What options do I have then?

Using good old Unix tools

The "find in files" functionality is covered fully by the Unix grep tool. It allows searching for a given substring but also "Regex" matches. The output can not only contain only the lines with matches, but also the lines before and after to give some context. The tool can provide line numbers and also search recursively within directories.

While I'm not into speeding it up, I'd certainly love to play with its output because I do care about my brain's ability to parse text and hence: be more productive.

The usual output of grep:

$ # searching inside of the ripgrep repo sources:
$ egrep -nR Option src
(...)
src/search_stream.rs:46:    fn cause(&self) -> Option<&StdError> {
src/search_stream.rs:64:    opts: Options,
src/search_stream.rs:71:    line_count: Option<u64>,
src/search_stream.rs:78:/// Options for configuring search.
src/search_stream.rs:80:pub struct Options {
src/search_stream.rs:89:    pub max_count: Option<u64>,
src/search_stream.rs:94:impl Default for Options {
src/search_stream.rs:95:    fn default() -> Options {
src/search_stream.rs:96:        Options {
src/search_stream.rs:113:impl Options {
src/search_stream.rs:160:            opts: Options::default(),
src/search_stream.rs:236:    pub fn max_count(mut self, count: Option<u64>) -> Self {
src/search_stream.rs:674:    pub fn next(&mut self, buf: &[u8]) -> Option<(usize, usize)> {
src/worker.rs:24:    opts: Options,
src/worker.rs:28:struct Options {
src/worker.rs:38:    max_count: Option<u64>,
src/worker.rs:44:impl Default for Options {
src/worker.rs:45:    fn default() -> Options {
src/worker.rs:46:        Options {
src/worker.rs:72:            opts: Options::default(),
src/worker.rs:148:    pub fn max_count(mut self, count: Option<u64>) -> Self {
src/worker.rs:186:    opts: Options,
(...)

What my eyes would like to see is more like the following:

$ mygrep Option src
(...)
src/search_stream.rs:
 46        fn cause(&self) -> Option<&StdError> {
 ?    
 64        opts: Options,
 ?    
 71        line_count: Option<u64>,
 ?    
 78    /// Options for configuring search.
 ?    
 80    pub struct Options {
 ?    
 89        pub max_count: Option<u64>,
 ?    
 94    impl Default for Options {
 95        fn default() -> Options {
 96            Options {
 ?    
 113   impl Options {
 ?    
 160               opts: Options::default(),
 ?    
 236       pub fn max_count(mut self, count: Option<u64>) -> Self {
 ?    
 674       pub fn next(&mut self, buf: &[u8]) -> Option<(usize, usize)> {

src/worker.rs:
 24        opts: Options,
 ?    
 28    struct Options {
 ?    
 38        max_count: Option<u64>,
 ?    
 44    impl Default for Options {
 45        fn default() -> Options {
 46            Options {
 ?    
 72                opts: Options::default(),
 ?    
 148       pub fn max_count(mut self, count: Option<u64>) -> Self {
 ?    
 186       opts: Options,
(...)

Fortunately, even the tiniest of Unix like system installation already has all we need to make it happen without the need to install anything else. Let's take a look at how we can modify the output of grep with awk to achieve what we need.

Piping into awk

Awk has been in Unix systems for many years ? it's older than me! It is a programming language interpreter designed specifically to work with text. In Unix, we can use pipes to direct output of one program to be the standard input of another in the following way:

$ oneapp | secondapp

The idea with our searching tool is to use what we already have and pipe it between the programs to format the output as we'd like:

$ egrep -nR Option src | awk -f script.awk

Notice that we used egrep when in this simple case we didn't need to. It was sufficient to use fgrep or just grep.

Very quick introduction to coding with Awk

Awk is one of the forefathers of languages like Perl and Ruby. In fact some of the ideas I'll show you here exist in them as well.

The structure of awk programs can be summarized as follows:

BEGIN {
  # init code goes here
}

# "body" of the script follows:

/pattern-1/ {
  # what to do with the line matching the pattern?
}

/pattern-n/ {
  # ...
}

END {
  # finalizing
}

The interpreter provides default versions for all three parts: a "no-op" for BEGIN and END and "print each line unmodified" for the "body" of the script.

Each line is being exploded into columns based on the "separator" which by default is any number of consecutive white characters. One can change it via the -F switch or by assigning the FS variable inside the BEGIN area. We'll do just that in our example.

The "columns" that lines are being exploded into can be accessed via the special variables:

$0 # the whole line
$1 # first column
$2 # second column
# etc

The FS variable can contain a pattern too. So for example if we'd have a file with the following contents:

One | Two | Three | Four
Eins | Zwei | Drei | Vier
One | Zwei | Three | Vier

The following assignment would make Awk explode lines into proper columns:

BEGIN {
  FS="|"
}

# the ~ operator gives true if left side matches
# the regex denoted by the right side:
$1 ~ "One" {
  print $2
}

Running the following script would result with:

$ cat file.txt | awk -f script.awk
Two
Zwei

Simple Awk coding to format the search results

Armed with this simple knowledge, we can tackle the problem we stated in the earlier part of this post:

BEGIN {
  # the output of grep in the simple case
  # contains:
  # <file-name>:<line-number>:<file-fragment>
  # let's capture these parts into columns:
  FS=":"
  
  # we are going to need to "remember" if the <file-name>
  # changes to print it's name and to do that only
  # once per file:
  file=""
  
  # we'll be printing line numbers too; the non-consecutive
  # ones will be marked with the special line with vertical
  # dots; let's have a variable to keep track of the last
  # line number:
  ln=0
  
  # we also need to know we've just encountered a new file
  # not to print these vertical dots in such case:
  filestarted=0
}

# let's process every line except the ones grep prints to
# say if some binary file matched the predicate:
!/(--|Binary)/ {

  # remember: $1 is the first column which in our case is
  # the <file-name> part; The file variable is used to
  # store the file name recently processed; if the ones 
  # don't match up - then we know we encountered a new
  # file name:
  if($1 != file && $1 != "")
  {
    file=$1
    print "n" $1 ":"
    ln = $2
    filestarted=0
  }

  # if the line number isn't greater than the last one by
  # one then we're dealing with the result from non-consecutive
  # line; let's mark it with vertical dots:
  if($2 > ln + 1 && filestarted != 0)
  {
    print "?"
  }

  # the substr function returns a substring of a given one
  # starting at a given index; we need to print out the
  # search result found in a file; here's a gotcha: the results
  # may contain the ':' character as well! simply printing
  # $3 could potentially left out some portions of it;
  # this is why we're using the whole line, cutting off the
  # part we know for sure we don't need:
  out=substr($0, length($1 ":" $2 ": "))

  # let's deal with only the lines that make sense:
  if($2 >= ln && $2 != "")
  {
    # sprintf function matches the one found in C lang;
    # here we're making sure the line numbers are properly
    # spaced:
    linum=sprintf("%-4s", $2)
    
    # print <line-number> <found-string>
    print linum " " out
    
    # assign last line number for later use
    ln=$2
    
    # ensure that we know that we "started" current file:
    filestarted=1
  }
}

Notice that the "middle" part of the script (the one with the patterns and actions) gets ran in an implicit loop - once for each input line.

To use the above awk script you could wrap it up with the following shell script:

#!/bin/bash

egrep -nR $@ | awk -f script.awk

Here we're very trivially (and somewhat naively) passing all the arguments passed to the script to egrep with the use of $@.

This of course is a simple solution. Some care needs to be applied when trying to make it work with A, B and C switches, it's not difficult either though. All it takes is to e.g pipe it through sed (another great Unix tool - the "stream editor") to replace the initial '-' characters in the [filename]-[line-number] parts to match our assumptions of having ":" as the separator in the awk script.

In praise of "what-already-works"

The simple script like shown above could easily be placed in your GitHub, BitBucket or GitLab account and fetched with curl on whichever machine you're working on. With one call to curl and maybe another one to put the scripts somewhere in the local PATH you'd gain a productivity enhancing tool that doesn't require anything else to work than what you already have.

I'll keep learning "what we already have" to not fall too much into "what's hot and new" unnecessarily.


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