Archive for August 14, 2016

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Why the Airline Industry Could Keep Suffering System Failures

Laura Sydell (via Hacker News):

Delta canceled about 530 flights on Tuesday in addition to about 1,000 canceled a day earlier after a power outage in Atlanta brought down the company’s computers, grinding the airline’s operation virtually to a halt.


“Because they have to worry so much about safety and security, they are constrained in ways that other businesses aren’t,” he says. “Delta can’t just host its systems on Joe Blow’s cloud server somewhere else in the way that another business might be able to do.”

Kaplan says if Delta and other airlines distribute their computing to many different locations, it will make them more vulnerable to, say, hackers or terrorists. In other words, given a choice between more backup systems and more security, airlines are picking security.


First, AWS, Azure and GCE are not just “Joe Blow’s cloud server”, they are multi-billion dollar companies, and they all can provide hosting environments compliant with a multitude of security programs including SOC 1, 2, 3, PCI DSS, HIPAA, etc.

If a hospital can store patient records on AWS, why can’t Delta store my flight records there? If the government is worried that a public cloud leaves them open to terrorist attacks, then they can sponsor them to run on Gov Cloud for better isolation.


I am confused: they talk about terrorists & critically etc. And they have only 1 site holding their entire system with no backup? A couple of fibers to cut and those baddies cripple your airline?


There’s more information available now. Apparently part of their system switched to backups, but not all of it. A Delta rep says “We are actually fully operational, it’s just that we’re not able to use that newer interface.” Unclear what that means.

Preferred E-mail Addresses in Apple Mail


I like keeping a comprehensive an accurate addressbook that includes all past email addresses for my contacts, including those which are no longer valid. I do this because I want to be able to see conversations stretching back over the years as originating from that person.

Unfortunately this causes problems when sending mail sometimes. On macOS, at least as of El Capitan, neither the Mail application nor the Contacts application have any mechanism for indicating preference-order of email addresses that I’ve been able to find. Compounding this annoyance, when completing a recipient’s address based on their name, it displays all email addresses for a contact without showing their label, which means even if I label one “preferred” or “USE THIS ONE NOW”, or “zzz don’t use this hasn’t worked since 2005”, I can’t tell when I’m sending a message.

This has long been an issue for me. My workaround has been to put the old e-mail addresses in the note field, so that Mail doesn’t see them as addresses, but his “most recent outgoing address” hack sounds promising.

Xcode Modifying .xib Files on Open

Matt Diephouse:

Xcode 8ß5: “Interface Builder is much less likely to modify documents on open, prior to any user events or manually saving.”

Quinn Taylor:

Of the files we tested, < 5% were still modified on open. Please file bugs for specific cases that still occur.

Finally. (And it seems to work with my files.)

Xcode, Frameworks, and Embedded Frameworks

David Owens II:

Xcode supports the concept of embedding frameworks into your bundle. This is essentially the same thing as the old “Copy Files” build phase where you can copy a dependency into your app bundle under a particular directly, such as “Frameworks”.

However, there is an extremely important distinction between the “Copy Files” build phase and the “Embed Frameworks” option.


If you are providing frameworks to people that you expect to be able to develop with and not just use at runtime, please be sure to distribute the non-embedded framework version! Otherwise, well, all of your consumers will face the above issues.

Caution Flags for Tech in Classrooms

Anya Kamenetz (via Jeremy W. Sherman):

Last fall, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development published its first-ever, and one of the largest-ever, international analyses of student access to computers and how that relates to student learning. (The OECD administers the PISA test, the world-famous international academic ranking.)

For this report, the researchers asked millions of high school students in dozens of countries about their access to computers both in the classroom and at home, and compared their answers to scores on the 2012 PISA. Here’s the money quote:

“Students who use computers very frequently at school do a lot worse in most learning outcomes, even after controlling for social background and student demographics.”