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Engineering News

Improving the Deployment Experience of a Ten-Year Old Application

In 2018, Etsy migrated its service infrastructure from self-managed data centers to cloud provisioning. (We blogged about it at the time.) The change opened up opportunities for improvements to technical processes across the company. For the Search team, the flexible scaling that comes with a cloud environment allowed us to completely reevaluate a somewhat cumbersome deployment process. Inspired by the existing architectural pattern of canary rollouts, we wrote a new custom tool to supplement our existing deployment infrastructure.  What we…

Handling Flaky Unit Tests in Java

Introduction to Flaky Tests Unit testing forms the bedrock of any Continuous Integration (CI) system. It warns software engineers of bugs in newly-implemented code and regressions in existing code, before it is merged. This ensures increased software reliability. It also improves overall developer productivity, as bugs are caught early in the software development lifecycle. Hence, building a stable and reliable testing system is often a key requirement for software development organizations.  Unfortunately, by definition, flaky unit tests undercut this requirement.…

Artificial photosynthesis promises clean, sustainable source of energy — ScienceDaily

Humans can do lots of things that plants can’t do. We can walk around, we can talk, we can hear and see and touch. But plants have one major advantage over humans: They can make energy directly from the sun. That process of turning sunlight directly into usable energy — called photosynthesis — may soon be a feat humans are able to mimic to harness the sun’s energy for clean, storable, efficient fuel. If so, it could open a whole…

Bacteria adapt to a lifestyle in flux — ScienceDaily

Summer picnics and barbecues are only a few weeks away! As excited as you are to indulge this summer, Escherichia coli bacteria are eager to feast on the all-you-can-eat buffet they are about to experience in your gut. However, something unexpected will occur as E. coli cells end their journey through your digestive tract. Without warning, they will find themselves swimming in your toilet bowl, clinging to the last bits of nutrients attached to their bodies. How do these tiny…

Building an Inclusive Codebase. Our playbook for driving down… | by Michael Bachand | The Airbnb Tech Blog | Jun, 2021

Code is our craft. At Airbnb, we view our code and product as a reflection of our values. Each developer imbues their work with a piece of themselves. We want all engineers to be proud of the codebase in which they work and the systems that they use every day. We want to share with you some of the work that we are doing at Airbnb to build an inclusive engineering culture. We hope that sharing our story may energize…

Smart fabrics and self-powered sensing

Preparation of LM sheath-core microfibers. (A) Schematic setup and the main components for the coaxial wet-spinning process for producing LM sheath-core microfibers. (B) A single as-spun fiber with the length of 380 m was collected on a continuously winding collector. (C) Microscopic images of LM sheath-core microfiber and human hair. (D) Photo of the microfiber threaded into a needle. (E) SEM image of the external surface of the microfiber. (F) SEM image of a knotted microfiber. (G) An LED can…

Network hose: Managing uncertain demand

Our production backbone network connects our data centers and delivers content to our users. The network supports a vast number of different services, distributed across a multitude of data centers. Traffic patterns shift over time from one data center to another due to the introduction of new services, service architecture changes, changes in user behavior, new data centers, etc. As a result, we’ve seen exponential and highly variable traffic demands for many years. To meet service bandwidth expectations we need…

Enable secure access to applications with Cloudflare WAF and Azure Active Directory

Cloudflare and Microsoft Azure Active Directory have partnered to provide an integration specifically for web applications using Azure Active Directory B2C. From today, customers using both services can follow the simple integration steps to protect B2C applications with Cloudflare’s Web Application Firewall (WAF) on any custom domain. Microsoft has detailed this integration as well. Cloudflare Web Application Firewall The Web Application Firewall (WAF) is a core component of the Cloudflare platform and is designed to keep any web application safe.…

How to improve energy efficiency of historically significant buildings

Improve energy efficiency – and preserve. A new thesis shows the way towards energy efficiency improvements of historic buildings that do not harm the buildings’ heritage values. Photo: Petra Eriksson How can historic buildings become more energy efficient while conserving their heritage values? A doctoral thesis provides the answer by presenting a new method for combining climate goals and heritage values in historic buildings stocks. Renovate to improve energy efficiency of historic buildings—and at the same time preserve them for…

A glove with five inertial sensors for hand gesture recognition

The WaveGlove Prototype. An inertial sensor is attached to each of the five fingers, measuring acceleration and angular velocity, which are used for gesture classification. All the used components are low-cost and widely available, which further showcases the potential of a mass production of a similar device in the future. Credit: Kralik & Suppa. Over the past few decades, computer scientists have developed a wide array of models and approaches to analyze different aspects of human behavior and communication, such…