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Engineering News

Doubling Down on Project Jengo

Jengo Fett by Brickset (Flickr) We knew the case against patent trolls was the right one, but we have been overwhelmed by the response to our blog posts on patent trolls and our program for finding prior art on the patents held by Blackbird Tech, which we’ve dubbed Project Jengo. As we discuss in this post, your comments and contributions have allowed us to expand and intensify our efforts to challenge the growing threat that patent trolls pose to innovative…

Rebuilding Slack’s Emoji Picker in React – Several People Are Coding

Slack is transitioning its web client to React. When Slack was first built, our frontend consisted of established technologies like jQuery and Handlebars. Since then, the community has developed better ways to create scalable, data-driven interfaces. jQuery’s “render and modify” approach is straightforward, but it’s prone to falling out of sync with the underlying model. In contrast, React’s “render and re-render” pattern makes consistency the default. Slack is evolving alongside the industry to improve performance and reliability. We determined that…

Military-funded prosthetic technologies benefit more than just veterans

A high-tech prosthesis for a child draws on decades of research. Credit: Mark Geil, CC BY-ND In 1905, an Ohio farmer survived a railroad accident that cost him both of his legs. Two years later, he founded the Ohio Willow Wood company, using the namesake timber to hand-carve prosthetic limbs. The company grew, surviving the Great Depression and a fire that destroyed the plant, and still thrives today in rural Ohio. Few who work there now might remember the curious…

Benefits of Having Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

OCR is a well-known feature used in offices worldwide, but despite being accessible to everyone it is a feature that remains relatively unknown to the general public. The reason for this is that there haven’t been that many applications for OCR pushed to mainstream consumption, although there are plenty of situations in which it can be very good to have such a tool on hand. To further expand on this, we will take the opportunity of this article to explore…

Novel technology applied to replace aging bridge

A new bridge replacement system allows for rapid and cost-effective construction. Credit: Majid Talebi/ University of Delaware America’s bridges received a grade of C+ on the 2017 Infrastructure Report Card, put out by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Aging is a factor in this score—almost four in 10 of the 614,387 bridges in the U.S. are 50 years or older, and the average age keeps climbing. But repair and rehabilitation are extremely costly—the most recent estimate puts the…

Code Camp Takes Atlanta – Square Corner Blog – Medium

Square’s immersion program aims to inspire future engineers and further their pursuit of a career in computer science. Code Camp — Square’s immersion program for college women interested in pursuing careers in tech — is coming to Square’s Atlanta office for the first time! We developed Code Camp five years ago in San Francisco, then took it to New York City, and are excited to expand to another city that’s integral to our robust engineering team. In August, participants will join us in our Atlanta…

Reflections on reflection (attacks)

Recently Akamai published an article about CLDAP reflection attacks. This got us thinking. We saw attacks from Connectionless LDAP servers back in November 2016 but totally ignored them because our systems were automatically dropping the attack traffic without any impact. CC BY 2.0 image by RageZ We decided to take a second look through our logs and share some statistics about reflection attacks we see regularly. In this blog post, I’ll describe popular reflection attacks, explain how to defend against…

Managing resources for large-scale testing | Engineering Blog | Facebook Code

As more people across the world connect on Facebook, we want to make sure our apps and services work well in a variety of scenarios. At Facebook’s scale, this means testing hundreds of important interactions across numerous types of devices and operating systems for both correctness and speed before we ship new code. Last year, we introduced the Facebook mobile device lab, which lets engineers run tests by accessing thousands of mobile devices available in our data centers. Since then,…

Jupiter: A high-performance job-matching service | Engineering Blog | Facebook Code

As part of the engineering workflow — writing, editing, testing, and shipping code — we rely on backend services and machines to do a variety of jobs, such as building new packages, installing dependencies, and running tests. At Facebook’s scale, the number and variety of jobs engineers need to execute every day can build up and become a bottleneck in the system. Our goal is to minimize the amount of time engineers spend waiting on machines so that they can…

AL: A new declarative language for detecting bugs with Infer | Engineering Blog | Facebook Code

At Facebook, every change made to our mobile code is checked by our static analyzer Infer. Static code analyzers are tools that scan the source code of a program to detect possible bugs. The main advantage of a static analyzer is its ability to detect bugs without running the program and before the software is shipped to the users. One benefit of Infer over other static analyzers is that it performs sophisticated interprocedural/interfile analysis at scale. That is, Infer can…