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Engineering News

Introducing Petastorm: Uber ATG’s Data Access Library for Deep Learning

In recent years, deep learning has taken a central role in solving a wide range of problems in pattern recognition. At Uber Advanced Technologies Group (ATG), we use deep learning to solve various problems in the autonomous driving space, since many of these are pattern recognition problems. Many of our models require tens of terabytes of training data acquired from numerous sensors, including cameras, lidars, and radars. Researchers and engineers at Uber ATG are actively pushing the state of the…

Paper-based electronics could fold, biodegrade and be the basis for the next generation of devices

A foldable, biodegradable battery based on paper and bacteria opens a new opportunity in electronics. Credit: Seokheun Choi/Binghamton University, CC BY-ND It seems like every few months there’s a new cellphone, laptop or tablet that is so exciting people line up around the block to get their hands on it. While the perpetual introduction of new, slightly more advanced electronics has made businesses like Apple hugely successful, the short shelf life of these electronics is bad for the environment. Modern…

Securing Time with Digital Signatures

When you visit a secure website, it offers you a TLS certificate that asserts its identity. Every certificate has an expiration date, and when it’s passed due, it is no longer valid. The idea is almost as old as the web itself: limiting the lifetime of certificates is meant to reduce the risk in case a TLS server’s secret key is compromised. Certificates aren’t the only cryptographic artifacts that expire. When you visit a site protected by Cloudflare, we also…

Building a dynamic and responsive Pinterest – Pinterest Engineering – Medium

Bo Liu | Engineering Manager, Serving Systems team In 2015, the majority of content on Pinterest was pregenerated for users prior to login. It was stored statically in HBase and served directly upon entering the service. (More details can be found in the blog post Building a smarter home feed.) Although our earlier architecture helped us grow to 100 million monthly active users by 2015, it had several weak points that prevented us from building more dynamic and responsive products.…

Our Adventures in Scaling – Engineering Blog

Unpredictable Scaling Wealthfront’s position as a financial services company presents interesting scalability challenges. The announcement of a stock market decline for instance can cause a large number of our clients to simultaneously pick up their phones, load their Wealthfront accounts, and look to see how the market activity has impacted their finances. After one particularly steep market decline on February 5th of this year, Wealthfront’s site (along with those of Vanguard, TD Ameritrade, Betterment, and T. Rowe Price) had trouble…

Researchers patent technology for smart seat cushion, adaptable prosthetics

this is smart seat cushion. Credit: UTA The University of Texas at Arlington has patented a smart seat cushion that uses changes in air pressure to redistribute body weight and help prevent the painful ulcers caused by sitting for long periods of time in a wheelchair. The same technology can be used to create prosthetic liners that adapt their shape to accommodate changes in body volume during the day and maintain a comfortable fit for the prosthesis. Poor prosthetic fit…

Wayfair’s Inaugural Site Reliability Engineering Conference – Wayfair Tech Blog

Ever since Google pioneered the concept of Site Reliability Engineering (SRE), we’ve seen product reliability, accountability, and assorted innovation in this space skyrocket in importance and scope. At Wayfair, we’ve been working hard to evangelize contemporary solutions to tricky scalability scenarios, investing thoughtfully in cloud enablement and containerization. With a growing team dedicated to this capacity, as well as fostering relationships via embedded partnerships, we’ve pulled together our learnings to bring together the most authoritative minds in SRE today. We’re…

The Dambusters raid took place 75 years ago – here’s how they made a bomb bounce

Sir Barnes Wallis was a genius engineer who designed a very special bomb during World War II. The idea was that it would bounce across water and destroy German dams along the Ruhr Valley, causing massive flooding and damage to water and hydroelectricity supplies. Partly thanks to the 1955 film The Dam Busters, the story behind Operation Chastise, which took place on May 16 and 17 in 1943, has become a familiar war time tale. But Wallis’s actual working calculations…

Introducing the Cloudflare Onion Service

When: a cold San Francisco summer afternoon Where: Room 305, Cloudflare Who: 2 from Cloudflare + 9 from the Tor Project What could go wrong? Bit of Background Two years ago this week Cloudflare introduced Opportunistic Encryption, a feature that provided additional security and performance benefits to websites that had not yet moved to HTTPS. Indeed, back in the old days some websites only used HTTP — weird, right? “Opportunistic” here meant that the server advertised support for HTTP/2 via…

Production Secret Management at Airbnb – Airbnb Engineering & Data Science – Medium

Our philosophy and approach to production secret management Airbnb is a global community built on trust. The Security team helps to build trust by maintaining security standards to store, manage and access sensitive information assets. These include secrets, such as API keys and database credentials. Applications use secrets to provide everyday site features, and those secrets used to access production resources are particularly important to protect. This is why we built an internal system we call Bagpiper to securely manage…