Thursday, September 14, 2017

[Links of the Day] 14/09/2017 : Automating Turing test, Deep Learning Survey, Unix History


  • Toward Automatic Turing Test : when software is used to detect if its a software or a real person talking, feel like it should be submitted to totally, not robot subreddit. The problem is way more complex and useful than it seems. By automating the procedure you could do fast prototyping and testing of models with limit human input. Accelerating the research and reducing costs. 
  • Survey of Deep Reinforcement Learning : l cover central algorithms in deep reinforcement learning, including the deep Q-network, trust region policy optimisation, and asynchronous advantage actor-critic.
  • Unix - History and Timeline : The history of Linux's grandfather OS , surprisingly enough the latest version 3 spec and ISO/IEC spec came out in 2003. Which is only 14 years ago ( I feel old now.... )

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

[Links of the Day] 12/09/2017 : OpenFaaS serverless framework, Papers I like, Docker comparison tool

  • FaaS : Functions as a Service (OpenFaaS) is serverless framework using Docker & Kubernetes. What I really like about this approach is that it simply relies on using STDIN and STDOUT as a way of passing event trigger and output of the serverless function. It allows great flexibility and open up functionality that you wouldn't have by using Lambda by example. As it constraints you behind the REST + API gateway model.
  • Papers I like : start of a really cool series ( 5 parts so far) of interesting fundamental papers. Must check out!
  • lstags : a practical little tool that allows you to compare local docker image with the ones in a repository.


Thursday, September 07, 2017

[Links of the Day] 07/09/2017 : Platform for Partial Differential Equations solver, High perf serverless event & data processing, K8s serverless framework

  • FEniCS Project : a platform for solving partial differential equations. It's really cool as it allows you to rapidly solve and test pde model using a minimum amount of code. 
  • nuclio : High-Performance Serverless event and data processing framework
  • kubeless : Kubernetes Native Serverless Framework, I have a feeling that Mesos lost the container orchestrator war ...


Tuesday, September 05, 2017

[Links of the Day] 05/09/2017 : Patent Surviving Alice, Hot Cloud 17 conference papers

  • 7 Post-Alice Patent Cases That Survived 101 Rejections : Alice US supreme court decision started a slaughter in the US patent office regarding IT related patent: 8400 applications dropped and 60k+ rejected. While courts invalidated the vast majority of patent litigation. However, it seems that there is a way to survive the onslaught, and it's quite simple. You just need your patent to satisfy the following criteria: novelty, enablement, non-obvious, and last but not least useful. it seems like a no brainer, but it seems that the USPTO allowed itself to be flooded by sub par applications that gamed the system. Not to mention that the agency financially gained from such practice to some extent also. 
  • Hot cloud 17 : hot cloud conference just finished, here is a selection of interesting paper
    • JavaScript for extending low-latency in-memory key-value stores : Adrian Colyer takes a look at in memory javascript engine using RamCloud. RamCloud project is entering the use case phase of the research project,  eyeing the comercialisation. Sadly most solution put forward are extremely niche. The risk is for great people to be stuck in a zombie startup if they try to run with it. Taking separately, the tech that came out of the RamCloud project is amazing. However, the solution as a whole doesn't really have a great killer app or any potential beyond some niche market.  [paper]
    • Towards Index-based Global Trading in Cloud Spot Markets :  the authors propose to use an index based prediction model rather than per spot instance in order to obtain greater reliability at lower cost.
    • DAL: A Locality-Optimizing Distributed Shared Memory System :  Different take on the whole in memory K/V system, the authors aggressively move the data to the computation rather than offering remote access. This allows great data reuse. We used something similar in hecatonchire. However, there is a certain risk when you have a high level of churn or serial data access and local caching of data generate a high level of eviction, effectively doubling the bandwidth usage. 
    • Leader or Majority: Why have one when you can have both? : raft is a great consensus protocol ( and easier to understand). However, the over reliance on the leader is the main bottleneck for scalability of operations. The authors ( from cockroachdb ) propose a quorum based read operations that allow alleviating the load on the leader while still retaining strong consistency. This allows them to improve write by 4x write perf and increase throughput by 60%. Which is quite impressive. 
    • DCCast: Efficient Point to Multipoint Transfers Across Datacenters : the authors proposed an efficient multipoint data transfer protocol allowing greater efficiency and bandwidth usage.


Tuesday, August 08, 2017

[Links of the Day] 08/08/2017 : Python image drawing & animations, Breaking x86 ISA, Correlation between NYT and Stock markets

  • pywonderland : A collection of python scripts for drawing beautiful figures or animating interesting algorithms in mathematics.
  • Breaking the x86 ISA : Back hat conf presentation on the sand sifter tool for detecting hardware bug or undocumented instruction in modern processors. Sadly, it's known that Intel's microcode binaries are encrypted, and are secured with a RSA2048-SHA256 signature. Which makes any discovery a little bit useless. Unless it's a bug and then it opens up a whole new world of possibility. [Slides] [Github]
  • Correlations and Flow of Information between The New York Times and Stock Markets : Well as everybody knows, there is a correlation between information and the market state. Nothing new, but it confirms to some extent that the new york time especially has a specific influence on wall street ( and vice versa).



Thursday, August 03, 2017

[Links of the Day] 03/08/2017 : NVMe over TCP , Lineage mapping of cryptocurrency , Perceptions of probability


  • NVMe Over TCP : interesting kernel module by solarflare that allow people to use NVMe over TCP. It will be really interesting to see what type of performance you can start to get out of such setup. Even if performance is significantly decreased ( but higher than other storage solution) the economic gain vs costly NVMe solution would make this worth it. Also, It can start to accelerate the arrival of a new type of high-performance low-cost storage applications by lowering the barrier to entry.  
  • Map of Coins : Impressive lineage mapping of crypto currency. But what is more concerning is the amount of dead Bitcoin child cryptocurrency, a lot of pump and dump scheme going on
  • Perceptions : this really cool graphics show the how human perceive probability and how fuzzy it can be.  This can explain why a certain type of person might take more risk or less based on certain information due to a different interpretation of the content. 




Tuesday, August 01, 2017

[Links of the Day] 01/08/2017 : Os Image generation, K/V optimized for SSD, Command line cloud deployment tool


  • mkosi : Tool for generating OS image. This is nice if you need to create an maintain low-level OS image with EFI support and GPT based table. It is invaluable if you do bare metal deployment / PXE  based deployment. [github]
  • WiscKey : Key / Value pair system optimised for SSD systems. Especially aiming at avoiding write amplification with traditional LSM based K/V system. 
  • Arc :  plaintext manifest for provisioning and deploying a cloud infrastructure. It's quite nice and elegant interface for such tedious task. If you have used chef, puppet, cloud formation or terraform you know how verbose this can get.