AWS Lambda finally supports Ruby, shared libraries

So here’s my favourite bit of news out of Amazon for today – they’ve finally got Ruby support in AWS Lambda, AND they’ve got support for shared libraries.

I’ve got a metric tonne of scripts for dealing with AWS environments in Ruby that I’ve written over the last six years of working on IES, mostly to organise data and application deployments. I’ve been wanting to put a web interface over them – to make it easier for other people in my team to use them – for some time, and even to make an iOS app for it, but I also didn’t want to run a dedicated backend server for a back-office app that I would use maybe a couple of times a week.

AWS Lambda is the perfect solution for building a backend for backoffice-style apps. But the thought of rebuilding these scripts as Node or Python was too much. Looking forward to trying this out!

Of course negative gearing benefits go mostly to the already wealthy… they can afford it

ABC facts checks claims about negative gearing

Negative gearing is a system where the rent earned on a property – after removing other expenses – doesn’t cover the interest on the mortgage. You can then take that loss, and use it to offset other taxable income. It’s a system where you deliberately run what is a effectively a business at a loss, hoping to offset that loss later by selling the property and pocketing capital gains (which will also be tax discounted)

Continue reading “Of course negative gearing benefits go mostly to the already wealthy… they can afford it”

So you want reliable power?

Want reliable power? Don’t bank on coal says the AEMO

Hmm… one of the key arguments made by the LNP and their supporters is the need for coal (and, to a lesser extent, gas) power stations to provide reliability. Even their nod at a renewables option – the Snowy 2.0 project – is about providing reliable baseline power.

So what does the Australian Energy Market Operator say? “Extreme weather over summer could reduce the output of COAL, GAS and HYDRO power generators and cause problems with the reliability of electricity supply”

Continue reading “So you want reliable power?”

3 lines of JavaScript that breaks Chrome

Three lines of JavaScript that makes a Chrome tab use 100% CPU until you close it:

var oReq = new XMLHttpRequest(); ("GET", " ", false);

Caveat: Tested on macOS 10.13.4, with Chrome 67. And, yes, I’ve reported it.

Update: already fixed, for the next release. So just need to hang out a couple of weeks.

Apple TV – not for me

I bought an Apple TV the other week. I’ll be taking advantage of the 14-day return policy and giving it back.

It’s not that it’s a bad product. I actually liked a lot of its features. But… the interaction model just isn’t great. It’d be fine if it supported a Hand-off like feature from the iPhone or iPad – similar to ChromeCast. AirPlay doesn’t cut it because it needs the AirPlaying device to be available.

The main user of our TV is my wife, and she would be the main user of the Apple TV box if we kept it. But her primary use of it would be Netflix – and it’s just easier for her to drive Netflix from the iPhone client and use ChromeCast than it is to go through the Apple TV.

Maybe AirPlay2 will solve this.