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Engineering News

Engineering in a World of Wizards and Prophets

From the new book by Charles Mann – The Wizard and the Prophet: “A thick book featuring two scientists unknown to most readers is a tough sell, but bestselling journalist and historian Mann (1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created, 2011, etc.), a correspondent for the Atlantic, Science, and Wired, turns in his usual masterful performance. Nobel Prize–winning agronomist Norman Borlaug (1914-2009) developed high-yield wheat varieties and championed agricultural techniques that led to the “Green Revolution,” vastly increasing world food…

Rethinking Android app compilation with Buck | Engineering Blog | Facebook Code

Every day Facebook engineers make thousands of code changes and iterate frequently through the edit-compile-run development cycle. Several years ago we built and open-sourced Buck, a build tool designed from the ground up for fast iteration, allowing engineers to compile and run changes quickly. We’ve continued to steadily improve Buck’s performance, together with a growing community of other organizations that have adopted Buck and contributed back. But these improvements have largely been incremental in nature and based on long-standing assumptions…

Deploying IPv6 in Dropbox Edge Network

IPv6 request percentage across all Dropbox services In the past few months, we have gradually enabled IPv6 for all user-facing services in Dropbox edge network. We are serving about 15% of daily user requests in IPv6 globally. In this article, we share our experiences and lessons from enabling IPv6 in the edge network. We will cover the IPv6 design in the edge, the changes we made to support IPv6, how IPv6 was tested and rolled out to users, and issues…

Privacy Pass – “The Math”

This is a guest post by Alex Davidson, a PhD student in Cryptography at Royal Holloway, University of London, who is part of the team that developed Privacy Pass. Alex worked at Cloudflare for the summer on deploying Privacy Pass on the Cloudflare network. During a recent internship at Cloudflare, I had the chance to help integrate support for improving the accessibility of websites that are protected by the Cloudflare edge network. Specifically, I helped develop an open-source browser extension…

Cloudflare supports Privacy Pass

Enabling anonymous access to the web with privacy-preserving cryptography Cloudflare supports Privacy Pass, a recently-announced privacy-preserving protocol developed in collaboration with researchers from Royal Holloway and the University of Waterloo. Privacy Pass leverages an idea from cryptography — zero-knowledge proofs — to let users prove their identity across multiple sites anonymously without enabling tracking. Users can now use the Privacy Pass browser extension to reduce the number of challenge pages presented by Cloudflare. We are happy to support this protocol…

NASA advances concepts for next-gen aircraft

Credit: NASA An aviation renaissance, one focused on energy efficiency and economic impact, is on the horizon, and it’s changing how engineers look at aircraft power and design.  Although the aircraft industry continues to adopt innovative technologies, which are making current aircraft more energy efficient, there’s new interest in exploring alternative propulsion systems and energy sources. This new interest presents an opportunity to develop cutting-edge technologies that will dramatically reduce fuel usage, while opening up potential new markets and business opportunities for…

Grads receive James Dyson Award for cancer detection device

Members of the sKan team meet James Dyson during a visit to the company’s UK Headquarters last week. Credit: McMaster University What started as a final year engineering class project at McMaster University is now an internationally recognized improved solution for the early detection of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer. Michael Takla, Rotimi Fadiya, Prateek Mathur and Shivad Bhavsar, all graduates of McMaster’s Electrical and Biomedical Engineering program, have received the prestigious James Dyson Award and $50K…

So You Have Some Clusters, Now What? – Square Corner Blog – Medium

How to Add Value to Your Clusters Written by Fan Zhang, Inna Kaler Problem One of the most common ways to apply unsupervised learning to a dataset is clustering, specifically centroid-based clustering. Clustering takes a mass of observations and separates them into distinct groups based on similarities. Figure 1: Taking a 2 dimensional dataset and separating it into 3 distinct clusters For those who’ve written a clustering algorithm before, the concept of K-means and finding the optimal number of clusters…

Qualcomm vs. Intel CPU comparison

One of the nicer perks I have here at Cloudflare is access to the latest hardware, long before it even reaches the market. Until recently I mostly played with Intel hardware. For example Intel supplied us with an engineering sample of their Skylake based Purley platform back in August 2016, to give us time to evaluate it and optimize our software. As a former Intel Architect, who did a lot of work on Skylake (as well as Sandy Bridge, Ivy…

Research could ‘untangle’ vexing problem in computer-simulation technology

Untangling quadrilateral meshes using locally injective mappings. Credit: Krishnan Suresh The computer simulations used to design, optimize, test or control a vast range of objects and products in our daily lives are underpinned by finite element methods. Finite element simulations use a mesh of geometric shapes—triangles, tetrahedra, quadrilaterals or hexahedra, for instance. These shapes can be combined to form a mesh that approximates the geometry of a model. For example, meshes can be used to model the human knee in…