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Kenton Varda
Works at Sandstorm.io
Lives in Palo Alto, CA
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Kenton Varda

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This is an excellent Vine.
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It felt weird to see this from Gawker, which shut down yesterday. I wonder what will happen to these social media accounts.
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I wrote a thing, about the most important reason for decentralization of the web (it's not privacy): https://sandstorm.io/news/2016-08-17-decentralization-is-about-diversity
Take control of your web by running your own personal cloud server with Sandstorm.
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+Roberto Bayardo - Funny that it's called YouServ -- I sometimes say (when I'm not afraid to sound ridiculous) that I want Sandstorm to be the YouTube for web apps. But YouTube didn't even exist when you wrote that!
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So, after spending the last week in Minneapolis visiting family, I realized something:

Minneapolis is the Scandinavian-style techno-utopia that we all wish San Francisco could be.

Consider:

- There is a network of connected bike trails throughout the city. Not just bike lanes. Dedicated, beautiful, separately-paved bike trails, surrounded by green grass and trees, extending for miles without a car in sight. They follow the lakes, rivers, and railroad tracks, which together form a network that can take you just about everywhere. Minneapolis is consistently rated the #1 most bikeable city in the US for good reason. Look at the pictures below -- this could be your commute.

- Everywhere you look -- especially along these bike routes -- there are beautiful brand-new apartment buildings, renting for something like 1/3 what they would in SF. Like high density? Many of the new apartments are downtown, built as part of a project to convert it into a modern, high-density, walkable urban center (http://www.2025plan.com/). Rather own a house? Plenty of those too, with houses under $100k to multi-million-dollar lakeside mansions within a mile or two of downtown. Want a huge estate in the country? The Northstar commuter rail can get you from farmland to downtown in 52 minutes -- with free wifi! There is no housing shortage.

- The light rail is brand new, shiny, clean, runs every 10 minutes, and doesn't smell anything like urine. (See the rather messed-up photosphere below.) It'll probably have free wifi soon, seeing as how some of the local busses already have it. Over the next three years, two more lines will be constructed (heading northwest and southwest), doubling the system's coverage. Many of the lines also follow bike trails, so you could bike when the weather is good and hop on the LRT when it's not.

- There is gigabit fiber-to-the-home across much of the city, provided by a local independent internet provider (US Internet) whose only business is IP connectivity. Not the cable company, not the phone company, and not Google, all of whom have serious conflicts of interest. US Internet also provides free outdoor wifi across the city (paid for by the city).

- The inner city is ringed by a nearly-unbroken 26-mile chain of parks, along the Mississippi River in the east, Minnehaha Creek in the south, the chain of lakes in the southwest, and Victory Memorial Drive in the northwest. You can go sailing or kayaking on the lakes, bike around the full loop, and go for hikes in the woods where you can't see any sign of civilization -- while still in the city limits. The park system is consistently rated #1 in the country (with neighboring St. Paul being #2).

- Minneapolis is just as liberal as San Francisco. Minnesota has the longest unbroken record of choosing Democratic presidents of any state. Minnesota legalized same-sex marriage by plain-old legislative action -- the way an effective government is supposed to operate -- while voters explicitly rejected an attempt to amend the constitution to the contrary (one of only two states where this occurred). Target Corp, one of the most vocal corporate advocates for transgender rights, is headquartered in Minneapolis (and hence reflects Minneapolis values). Minneapolis was once rated the #1 gayest city in America -- yes, over SF. OK, that may have been a stretch, but it generated this great Daily Show segment: http://www.cc.com/video-clips/ys5uqo/the-daily-show-with-jon-stewart-minneapolis-is-the-new-gay

- No earthquakes (nor hurricanes, nor any other disaster of such magnitude), and no drought (LOL, there is water everywhere).

- The city is clean. Like you know how you walk around SF and think "ugh, everything is so dirty, but I guess it's hard to keep things clean, so what can you do?" Well, Minneapolis manages it, somehow.

- For all this, taxes are lower than in California. (MN is considered a high-tax state, but it's nowhere near CA, and as you can see, they are actually doing awesome stuff with the money.)

The down side: There is snow on the ground four months out of the year. But even that has advantages: There are ski hills just a 30-minute drive away (no need to stay overnight in Tahoe) and ice skating on the lakes. And yes, people still bike in the winter: just get some super-fat snow tires. They actually look pretty cool.
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Oh boy, +Russ Cox and +Rob Pike must be rolling in their Google office over this one.

http://stackstatus.net/post/147710624694/outage-postmortem-july-20-2016
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Greg S
 
The funny thing is that while capturing parentheses and back references are non-regular expressions, I think look-ahead and look-behind assertions are not. They could be implemented in a straight DFA/NFA implementation
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Dear LazyPlus,

I am once again trying to update my game machines to Win 10, this time using the "Media Creation Tool" as recommended by +Jake Weisz. But there are still problems.

My machines netboot from iSCSI. It seems that the Windows installer, upon its first reboot, is not quite smart enough to start the iSCSI initiator service before it decides the disk disappeared and freaks out. I get dropped into a WinPE environment.

Using the command-line, I am able to start the iSCSI service ("wpeutil initializenetwork" followed by "net start msiscsi"), and the C drive then magically appears! Yay!

But then I don't know how to tell it: "OK, continue booting into setup!" My only option appears to be to reboot, leading to the same problem coming back the next time.

Any ideas?
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Ugggghhhhh... The Windows installer insists that the BIOS initialize an iBFT -- a table of iSCSI information loaded into a special memory address -- otherwise it totally refuses to consider iSCSI as a concept that exists in the universe.

Now, this was true with Win7 as well. The trick is to have gPXE initialize the table and attempt to boot off a blank volume, fail (because the volume is blank), and then let the boot process proceed to the Windows install media. However, my BIOS seems to have a bug: After successfully PXE-booting into gPXE, if gPXE fails, then the BIOS simply tries PXE-boot again -- it does not proceed to try subsequent boot methods (in this case, USB). Sooooooo... I can't get to the Windows installer with the iBFT initialized.

I honestly don't remember how I dealt with this before. Maybe it was different when installing from a DVD rather than USB? Dunno.

Things I tried:

1) Chain-booting from gPXE to USB. But gPXE can only chain-boot to other PXE files, so I tried to chain-boot into pxelinux and from there to USB. But pxelinux does not seem to support chain-booting to USB, only to traditional hard drives and floppies. The documentation says nothing about USB, so I spent a while trying to figure out if the USB drive looks like a hard drive to it. Answer: apparently no.

2) BIOS update. Nothing.

3) Using the UEFI shell to boot PXE followed by USB, on the theory that scripting boot is what the UEFI shell is there for. However, the UEFI shell doesn't seem to do anything of the sort, and there's no good documentation.

4) Making a PXE-bootable WinPE environment from which to run setup. This is what I'm on now. I had to follow this very-manual process to put together a PXE-bootable image: http://etherboot.org/wiki/winpe The script is based on an older version of the tools and a bunch has changed. Miraculously, I was able to produce a PXE-bootable WinPE environment which could see the iSCSI drive and from which I could run setup.exe from the Win10 USB stick. Unfortunately, after the first reboot, this failed with INACCESSIBLE_BOOT_DEVICE.

The internets seem to assert that iSCSI installs are broken on Win10 -- it is necessary to install to a local drive, modify some registry settings to convince Win10 to load drivers in the right order (network has to be loaded early in the process!), and then copy the image over to the iSCSI volume.

Ugggghhhhhhh.

I'm heading out of town for a week starting tomorrow. So, I'm leaving my housemate with a Win10 USB stick and a pile of Win7 product keys so he can go around and install the damned thing on each one individually to claim the digital entitlement. :(
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I found this article very comforting. I'm actually excited to see Hillary's leadership style works out as president.

EDIT: I really highly recommend reading this article. I do not recommend reading my rambling below.

[Warning: Amateur psych speculation follows. I am no expert in this, so take what I say with a grain of salt.]

In the four-letter Myers-Briggs personality classification -- which I don't fully subscribe to, but I find useful sometimes to illustrate points -- the second letter is N (for intuitive) or S (for sensing).

Basically, N's derive truth intuitively -- they see what is right by simulating it out in their head. S's derive truth by investigating and gathering data.

You need both. If you're headed into uncharted territory -- say, designing a new software product that's unlikely anything else that exists -- you probably want an N at the helm, because an S won't have the data they need to decide what to do next and will end up paralyzed. But the problem is that N's often have large blind spots. When they're right, they can make huge progress quickly, but when they're wrong, they make a mess. When it comes to running a government, that risk is not what you want. You want an S.

The thing is, an S, by their nature as someone who develops opinions by investigating the world around them, listening to people, and putting it all together, will naturally appear to have "no convictions". That's the whole point. In a stable democracy, you don't want a leader who thinks they know everything upfront, you want one who listens, weighs the facts, builds alliances, and makes careful decisions.

It seems pretty clear to me that Bernie Sanders is an archetypal N and Hillary Clinton is an archetypal S.

(And Trump is a 6-year-old in a grown man's body, making further speculation moot.)
Why we keep missing Hillary Clinton’s greatest strength.
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Thanks for sharing this, Kenton. This is a great article. I also think your commentary is insightful. I'd argue a pure 'S' isn't what you want in place either, mostly given the negatives of having the wrong advisors mentioned in the primary article. You do need someone with a strong independent compass--just not so strong that it can't be swayed by reasonable evidence.

That said, we could seriously do with a big 'S'ward swing, so even though I wish she was more progressive and driven like Bernie, I'm all in favor of seeing her influence on the whitehouse.
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Kenton Varda

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Wait Colin Powell used an AOL account for state department e-mail?

AOL!?!

"He did write former Secretary Clinton an email memo describing his use of his personal AOL email account for unclassified messages and how it vastly improved communications within the State Department," the statement reads.

OK I think basically what's going on here is that these people are all technologically clueless, which is understandable because it was never expected to be their area of expertise. They can only see the UX, not the back-end, and they make decisions based on that. For Powell, he apparently liked AOL (uhh???). For Clinton, she liked the private email server that she had presumably hired someone to set up, located in her house, that worked with her Blackberry. Neither really understood the implications of data storage location. In all likelihood, the state department internal systems have awful UX (as all big crusty organizations' e-mail systems do) and they didn't want to waste time learning a new thing, so...

To be perfectly frank, though, Hillary was probably far closer to being in compliance with FISMA/ITAR/etc. than Powell was. Admittedly, perhaps, by accident. But consider how easy it would be for a foreign spy to get a job at an AOL datacenter, vs. how easy it would be for them to get a job being the person who maintains Hillary's literally-in-house email server.

(The following is the magic word that prevents Google from promoting me on Google News or What's Hot or whatever: fuck)
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+Scott Hess +Kenton Varda Thanks guys. I'm checking out Pete's earlier verdicts to see what I think about his decisions on previous props (so far, I've agreed with everything I've checked).

And that's an interesting default position: agree with legislation, disagree with ballot/signatures, except ballot/signatures that regulate the legislation themselves. That'll be a helpful perspective when looking at each prop.
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Headline: Trump says Obama is the founder of ISIS.

Me: Meh. That sounds like something any Republican might say, metaphorically obviously. I rate it 2/10 on the Trump-o-meter.

Headline: Trump clarifies that he "meant that Obama founded ISIS, literally."

Me: There we go. 7/10.
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Perhaps he doesn't know what "founded" actually means, which would explain his insistence that he did mean it literally.
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And that, my friends, is how the fucking professionals run a convention.
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The people don't want professionals. Professionals are corrupt insiders who have gamed the system. People want outsiders that they feel they can have a beer with.

sigh
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Peter Thiel is speaking at the RNC today. I still have trouble believing that he could be a Trump supporter. OTOH, I do not have trouble believing that he's up to some shenanigans. Let's hope for shenanigans.

EDIT: Nope, no shenanigans. Lame.
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His points as far s I recall were:
-Silicon Valley is successful and full of opportunity
-but... it's small
-There are few opportunities for most people
-The government is broken
-Government software is of much lower quality than in Silicon Valley
-Most military technology is getting woefully out of date
-Culture wars are a huge distraction from more important issues
-The US is no longer the optimistic technological country that created the Manhattan Project and the Apollo Missions
-He's proud to be gay, Republican and American
-Clinton is a dangerous hawk and we should vote for Trump

It seems like a libertarian manifesto until the last bit.
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Sandstorm south bay meetup tomorrow: "Web app packaging in Sandstorm: It's not LAMP."
 
RSVP to our Sandstorm.io meetup on July 19: Web app packaging in Sandstorm: It's not LAMP. http://www.meetup.com/Sandstorm-SF-Bay-Area/events/231954146/
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(for)get LAMP
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We've been playing mostly Overwatch at the last three LAN parties. We sometimes try playing something else for a bit but everything else just seems boring now so we go back to Overwatch.

It's highly amusing to me that Blizzard seems to have built the best multiplayer FPS ever by accident while trying to make an MMO. Especially given that they are the masters of MMOs but have never made an FPS before.
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I haven't been to one of your LAN parties in a while, but our house has a weekly halo night that has also totally transformed to overwatch night.
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In his circles
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Gudel “Goedell” boyst's profile photo
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Marianne St Clair's profile photo
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  • Sandstorm.io
    Founder, 2014 - present
  • Google
    Software Engineer, 2005 - 2013
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The Cap'n Proto Guy (formerly The Protobuf Guy)
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