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September 07 2013

Heureusement qu'Obama n'est vraisemblablement qu'un “tigre de papier” par Pierre Leconte « Le blog…

Heureusement qu’Obama n’est vraisemblablement qu’un “tigre de papier” par Pierre Leconte « Le blog A Lupus un regard hagard sur Lécocomics et ses finances

Nous ne parlons que rarement de questions vraiment politiques dans notre site mais, pour une fois, l’actualité nous y oblige d’autant que leur impact sur les tendances des marchés financiers s’accroit. Nous vous invitons à lire régulièrement‎ pour rester informé au plus près des événements.

Le comportement d’Obama dans la question syrienne, qui pourrait hélas dégénérer en guerre régionale au Moyen Orient voire mondiale, est typique de sa personnalité de beau parleur velléitaire sans courage. Comme d’habitude, ses actes n’ont pas suivi ses discours, ce qui est généralement négatif en politique (comme dans la vie tout court) mais cette fois-ci positif parce que, en renvoyant au Congrès US (qui probablement ne décidera pas d’aller plus loin tant il est divisé, pas plus qu’il n’osera bafouer la légalité internationale incarnée par le Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU seul habilité à décider de la paix ou de la guerre) la prise de décision d’une intervention militaire illégale US contre la Syrie, il nous a vraisemblablement évité un désastre encore plus grand que la tragédie actuelle.

Nous exprimions dans notre dernier commentaire notre scepticisme sur la capacité d’Obama à mettre en place une action pour “punir” le gouvernement syrien (pour le cas où ce serait ce dernier et non pas les djihadistes qui se soient servis des armes chimiques, ce qui n’est toujours pas prouvé et de toutes façons n’autorise personne à envahir l’État souverain de Syrie, à le démembrer et à tuer ses ressortissants). Parce qu’Obama s’est déjà révélé incapable d’agir contre les gouvernements de Corée du Nord ou d’Iran et parce que les USA n’ont plus les moyens d’imposer leur hégémonie mondiale. Ils doivent compter avec la Russie et la Chine qui, dans le nouvel équilibre multipolaire actuel, ne les laisseront plus décider seuls sur la plupart des sujets pour le monde entier. Quant aux opinions publiques, elles ne veulent plus revoir la répétition des massacres effectués par les Américains et leurs supplétifs occidentaux au Vietnam, en Irak, en Afghanistan, en ex-Yougoslavie, en Libye et ailleurs… Sans compter que les USA ont tellement menti et manipulé les opinions publiques pour tenter de justifier leurs agressions armées, tout en continuant de violer le droit international avec leurs écoutes (NSA, CIA, etc.), sans parler de leurs manipulations permanentes de tous les actifs financiers, qu’ils n’ont plus de “droit moral” à juger et condamner quiconque......

#écoutes (NSA, CIA, etc.)

August 31 2013

Sponsored post

July 18 2013

U.S. to Push for Israeli Seat on U.N. Security Council

U.S. to Push for Israeli Seat on U.N. Security Council

“The United States has no greater friend in the world than the state of Israel,” Power told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday. “We share security interests, we share core values, and we have a special relationship with Israel.”

#Obama #Israël #USA

November 26 2012

The Narwhal and the Orca

Leaving politics aside, there’s a lot that can be learned from the technical efforts of the Obama and Romney campaigns. Just about everyone agrees that the Obama campaign’s Narwhal project was a great success, and that Romney’s Orca was a failure. But why?

I have one very short answer. If you follow technology, you don’t have to read between the lines much to realize that Narwhal embodied the best of the DevOps movement: rapid iteration, minimal barriers between developers and operations staff, heavy use of “cloud” technology, and constant testing to prove that you can handle outages and heavy load. In contrast, Romney’s Orca was a traditional corporate IT project gone bad. The plans were developed by non-technical people (it’s not clear what technical expertise Romney had on his team), and implemented by consultants. There were token testing efforts, but as far as I could tell, no serious attempts to break or stress the system so the team understood how to keep it running when the going got tough.

It’s particularly important to look at two factors: the way testing was done, which I’ve already mentioned, and the use of cloud computing. While Orca was “tested,” there is a big difference between passing automated test suites and the sort of game day exercise that the Narwhal team performed several times. In a game day, you’re actively trying to break the system in real time: in this case, a fully deployed copy of the actual system. You unplug the routers; you shut down the clusters; you bombard the system with traffic at inconceivable volumes. And the people responsible for keeping the system up are on the team that built it, and the team that ran it in real life. If you read the Atlantic account of Narwhal’s game day, you’ll see that it involved everyone, from the most senior developers on down, sweating it out to keep the system running in the face of disaster. They even simulated what would happen if one of Amazon’s availability zones went down, as has happened several times in the past few years (and happened again a few days before the election). Game day gave the Obama team a detailed plan for just about every conceivable outage, and the confidence that, if something inconceivable happened, they could handle it.

You never get the sense that Orca was tested in the same way. If it had, the Romney team would have had a plan for what happened when network outages occurred, or when the server load went critical. I don’t see any evidence that the consultants who wrote the code were involved when operational problems started to show up. There were minimal plans for backup or disaster recovery, and on election day, they found out that the network couldn’t take the load. The Romney campaign had someone asking the right questions; but he didn’t get any answers.

Narwhal’s use of Amazon Web Services was another significant advantage. “In the cloud” is a cliche, but the capabilities Amazon provided were anything but. The Narwhal team didn’t have to worry about running out of compute capacity, because they could start more server instances as needed. Their disaster strategy included maintaing a hot backup of their applications in Amazon’s Western zone, in case the Eastern zone failed. Because they were relying on Amazon’s network services, network capacity wasn’t a concern. Amazon’s network handles Black Friday and Christmas with ease, along with many popular Internet sites. Election day wasn’t a challenge for their network.

While nobody knows exactly what the Orca team did, it’s believed that they were operating out of a single data center, either in Boston Garden or nearby, running on a fixed set of servers. This looks very much like a traditional IT operation, where the computing facilities are all owned and either on-premises or at a colocation facility. Arguably, this gives you increased control and security, though I believe that these advantages are a mirage. I’d much rather have Amazon’s staff fighting attempts to compromise their infrastructure than anyone I could afford to hire. The downside is that the Romney team wasn’t able to add capacity as load increased on election day. It’s just not possible to acquire and integrate new hardware on that time scale. Furthermore, by concentrating their servers at a single location, the Orca team effectively concentrated all their traffic, leading to outages when load exceeded capacity.

I’ve seen studies claiming that 68% of IT projects fail, so the end result isn’t a big surprise. I don’t believe that Orca’s failure was the determining factor in the election. But it is a cautionary tale for anyone working in IT, whether at a web startup or a large, traditional IT shop. Separating developers from the operations staff responsible for running the system is inviting trouble. Consulting contracts that extend beyond development to deployment and operations aren’t unknown, but neither are they common. DevOps is impossible when the devs have met their contractual obligations and have left the building. Inadequate testing, particularly stress testing of the entire system, is a further step in the wrong direction. And while cloud computing in itself doesn’t prevent or forestall disaster, building an IT infrastructure that runs entirely on-premises denies you the flexibility you need to deal with the problems that will inevitably arise.

What will we see in the 2016 election? By then, DevOps may well sound staid and corporate, and we’ll be looking forward to the next trendy thing. But I can guarantee that the major campaigns in the next presidential election will have learned the lessons of 2012: take advantage of the cloud, don’t separate your development staff from operations, and Test All The Things. If you’re working in IT now, you don’t have to wait to put those lessons into practice.


November 16 2012

Four short links: 16 November 2012

  1. Under the Hood of Team Obama’s Tech Operation (Mother Jones) — The new platform allowed OFA to collect feedback from the ground on an enormous scale, and respond accordingly. In short, it made the flow of information bidirectional. “What it did was it listened, and it trickled up information.”
  2. Surprisingly Undervalued BooksI’m not necessarily talking about obscure books/authors here. I’m talking about the ratio of how good the book is to how good you expect it to be. These are the outliers, the ones that most people don’t talk about very much or haven’t heard of, and yet turn out to be profoundly brilliant.
  3. SoundSlice — Adrian Holovaty’s new tool to help transcribe music from YouTube videos.
  4. 3D Printable Copter — it’s all that. See also assembly instructions.

February 17 2012

Visualization of the Week: Four ways to look at Obama's 2013 Budget

This week, President Barack Obama submitted to Congress his budget for the 2013 fiscal year. You can wade through the entire budget here, or you can get a different look at the budget data through the New York Times' interactive visualization. The Times visualization offers four different ways to examine the budget proposal: all spending, types of spending, changes, and department totals.

Screenshot of New York Times Budget Visualization
Screenshot from the New York Time's 2013 budget visualization. See the full interactive version.

The visualization opens on the "all spending" tab where you can see circles whose color and size represent the size and changes in spending. The size of the circle depends on the amount of spending, and the colors show change — green for more money proposed, red for less.

The transition between the tabs is animated. For example, when you click between the "all spending" and "types of spending" tabs, the circles reposition and regroup.

The full visualization can be seen here.

(Hat tip to Flowing Data.)

Strata 2012 — The 2012 Strata Conference, being held Feb. 28-March 1 in Santa Clara, Calif., will offer three full days of hands-on data training and information-rich sessions. Strata brings together the people, tools, and technologies you need to make data work.

Save 20% on registration with the code RADAR20

More Visualizations:

March 15 2010


Democracy Now! - 20100315 - Noam Chomsky on Obama’s Foreign Policy, His Own History of Activism, and the Importance of Speaking Out


We spend the hour with world-renowned linguist and dissident, Noam Chomsky. In a wide-ranging public conversation at the Harvard Memorial Church in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Chomsky talks about President Obama’s foreign and national security policies, the lessons of Vietnam, and his own activism. “You just can’t become involved part-time in these things,” Chomsky says. “It’s either serious and you’re seriously involved, or you go to a demonstration and go home and forget about it and go back to work, and nothing happens. Things only happen by really dedicated, diligent work.” [includes rush transcript]

February 11 2010

Tuesday February 9, 2010 GRITtv

President Obama promised change in Washington, but one year in we’ve got nothing but gridlock. Professor Lawrence Lessig has known Obama for years, and in this video from our friends at The Nation, Lessig calls on Obama–and all of us–to push for real change: change in Congress. We’ll be discussing this issue with Lessig and others on the show soon!
Reposted bySigalon02 Sigalon02

February 01 2010

Play fullscreen
During the State of the Union YouTube follow-up interview on Feb. 1, President Obama again expressed his strong commitment to Net Neutrality.

Join the 2 Million for Net Neutrality campaign at
Reposted bykrekk krekk

November 20 2009

LBJ's Path to War

Bill Moyers reflects on LBJ's Vietnam

April 29 2009

April 26 2009

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No proof torture stopped terror attacks

April 25 2009

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Pardon or prosecute

April 24 2009

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Past is present in Latin America Pt2

April 20 2009

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Obama boycotts anti-racism conference

April 19 2009

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'Past is present in Latin America' by Ramón Rivas

on the realnews network - permalink

At Summit Obama interested in looking forward, while many live the past every day - El Salvador report

Historic power shift in El Salvador
Journalist leads former guerrilla army to left's first presidential victory in country's history

In their first ever meeting, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gave US President Barack Obama a copy of Eduardo Galeano's classic historical essay, Open Veins of Latin America. A best-seller in Latin America, the book is arguably the most complete history of imperialism in the region. And the move by Chavez represents the importance of understanding the context of the rise of the left in Latin America if you want to work with Latin America. But when Obama got to the podium, he announced "I didn't come here to debate the past, I came here to deal with the future." The most recent country to join Latin America's leftist block is El Salvador, with the election of the FMLN's Mauricio Funes to the presidency. Salvadoran anthropologist Ramón Rivas believes that the only way mutual understanding can be achieved is with a commitment to understanding the present, by learning the past.

see also concerning the latest elections:

Related Story

Historic power shift in El Salvador
Journalist leads former guerrilla army to left's first presidential victory in country's history
Play fullscreen
The struggle for the Employee Free Choice Act

April 18 2009

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Motown blues or Detroit green

April 17 2009

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US strategy Russia's disintegration

April 15 2009

Play fullscreen
Pepe Escobar: There will be class war and blood
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