This week on GitHub: Facebook's forecaster and a sysadmin CURSE

You always wanted an autonomous T-shirt cannon, right? Here you go


Repo Roundup To kick off this week's Repo Roundup, in which we trawl online code repositories so you don't have to, Facebook's emitted a prophecy, and we don't mean Mark Zuckerberg's manifesto: it's a forecasting procedure for R and Python, designed to work with the kind of datasets Facebook slurps.

It's aimed at time series data, “based on an additive model where non-linear trends are fit with yearly and weekly seasonality, plus holidays. It works best with daily periodicity data with at least one year of historical data. Prophet is robust to missing data, shifts in the trend, and large outliers.”

Prophet uses the popular open-source Stan statistical modeller, and as its white paper (PDF) explains, Prophet combines scalability and configurable models.

As well as the repo on GitHub, it's on CRAN-R and PyPi.

A T-shirt and an Earth-shattering kaboom

Next, the bonkers. Everybody wants a T-shirt cannon, right? That's obvious.

How about a semi-autonomous T-Shirt cannon? You got it right here, with the control software and a parts list (some assembly required).

A few years ago, Steven Edouard used a chunk of 4” x 2” to secure an ordinary T-Shirt cannon to a pan and tilt control, added a couple of servo controllers and a box-mount for the whole lot, and got to work on the software.

Natively, Edouard wrote to the Windows Presentation Foundation and the Kinect SDK, but he's put together an open source implementation as well.

His video only has 8,000 or so hits, presumably because there's a lot of exposition and only one “Earth-shattering kaboom”.

Youtube Video

Curse you, Michael Smith

From Mike Smith (username: Mikesmitty) comes something handy for the sysadmin: an SSL ephemeral certificate signing server.

As Smith explains, the Netflix BLESS (Bastion's Lambda Ephemeral SSL Service) is a very useful tool. It generates ephemeral SSH certificates for users to access hosts, meaning the sysadmin doesn't have to worry about letting SSH private keys out among users.

However, it's designed to run on an AWS Lambda account. Smith's CURSE (Certificate Utilization for Robust SSH Ephemerality) gets rid of that dependency, letting a sysadmin create a private SSH certificate signing server on CentOS 7.0, Ubuntu 12.04 or newer, with OpenSSH 5.6 or newer. ®

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • Millions of people's info stolen from MGM Resorts dumped on Telegram for free
    Meanwhile, Twitter coughs up $150m after using account security contact details for advertising

    Miscreants have dumped on Telegram more than 142 million customer records stolen from MGM Resorts, exposing names, postal and email addresses, phone numbers, and dates of birth for any would-be identity thief.

    The vpnMentor research team stumbled upon the files, which totaled 8.7 GB of data, on the messaging platform earlier this week, and noted that they "assume at least 30 million people had some of their data leaked." MGM Resorts, a hotel and casino chain, did not respond to The Register's request for comment.

    The researchers reckon this information is linked to the theft of millions of guest records, which included the details of Twitter's Jack Dorsey and pop star Justin Bieber, from MGM Resorts in 2019 that was subsequently distributed via underground forums.

    Continue reading
  • DuckDuckGo tries to explain why its browsers won't block some Microsoft web trackers
    Meanwhile, Tails 5.0 users told to stop what they're doing over Firefox flaw

    DuckDuckGo promises privacy to users of its Android, iOS browsers, and macOS browsers – yet it allows certain data to flow from third-party websites to Microsoft-owned services.

    Security researcher Zach Edwards recently conducted an audit of DuckDuckGo's mobile browsers and found that, contrary to expectations, they do not block Meta's Workplace domain, for example, from sending information to Microsoft's Bing and LinkedIn domains.

    Specifically, DuckDuckGo's software didn't stop Microsoft's trackers on the Workplace page from blabbing information about the user to Bing and LinkedIn for tailored advertising purposes. Other trackers, such as Google's, are blocked.

    Continue reading
  • Despite 'key' partnership with AWS, Meta taps up Microsoft Azure for AI work
    Someone got Zuck'd

    Meta’s AI business unit set up shop in Microsoft Azure this week and announced a strategic partnership it says will advance PyTorch development on the public cloud.

    The deal [PDF] will see Mark Zuckerberg’s umbrella company deploy machine-learning workloads on thousands of Nvidia GPUs running in Azure. While a win for Microsoft, the partnership calls in to question just how strong Meta’s commitment to Amazon Web Services (AWS) really is.

    Back in those long-gone days of December, Meta named AWS as its “key long-term strategic cloud provider." As part of that, Meta promised that if it bought any companies that used AWS, it would continue to support their use of Amazon's cloud, rather than force them off into its own private datacenters. The pact also included a vow to expand Meta’s consumption of Amazon’s cloud-based compute, storage, database, and security services.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022