Coldest, oldest, fastest : 10 extreme sea creatures

Coldest, oldest, fastest : 10 extreme sea creatures – these are amazing, both in looks and facts.  Here are my favorite two.

Angler Fish Photo: Edith Widder
Angler Fish
Photo: Edith Widder

Anglerfish inhabit the deep sea, and for a century they baffled marine biologists. At first only female anglerfish were known; where the males were and what they looked like was a complete mystery. Then a parasitologist began studying the worm-like parasites generally attached to anglerfish females. What he found, instead of parasites, were anglerfish males — each undergoing a radical transformation. When a male anglerfish is tiny, he finds and attaches to a female. First his jaws dissolve and his bloodstream fuses with the female’s. Then his brain disappears and his guts shrink. Eventually he is little more than a testis, fertilizing the eggs of one female, for the rest of his life.

Anemone purple anemonefish CC BY-SA 3.0 Photo: Nick Hobgood Purple anemone (Heteractis magnifica) and resident anemonefish (Amphiprion ocellaris) (clownfish) in East Timor. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocellaris_clownfish#mediaviewer/File:Anemone_purple_anemonefish.jpg
Anemone purple anemonefish
CC BY-SA 3.0
Photo: Nick Hobgood
Purple anemone (Heteractis magnifica) and resident anemonefish (Amphiprion ocellaris) (clownfish) in East Timor.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocellaris_clownfish#mediaviewer/File:Anemone_purple_anemonefish.jpg

Clownfish families were made famous in ‘Finding Nemo,’ but real ones have more peculiar lives than the movie lets on. In a sea anemone where the clownfish live, the biggest fish is always a female, laying all the eggs. The next biggest fish is a functional male, fertilizing them. And lots of smaller clownfish are immature males. When the female dies or is eaten by a predator, the biggest male switches sex to become female. At the same time the biggest immature male grows into a functional male that can fertilize the eggs. This conveyor belt system of parenting assures a constant supply of baby Nemos.

House of Keys

Here’s yet another research confirming how much of a myth online security really is – “House of Keys: Industry-Wide HTTPS Certificate and SSH Key Reuse Endangers Millions of Devices Worldwide“:

We have correlated our data with data from Internet-wide scans (Scans.io and Censys.io) and found that our data set (580 unique keys) contains:

  • the private keys for more than 9% of all HTTPS hosts on the web (~150 server certificates, used by 3.2 million hosts)
  • the private keys for more than 6% of all SSH hosts on the web (~80 SSH host keys used by 0.9 million hosts)

So in total at least 230 out of 580 keys are actively used. Other research has pointed out the extent of this problem (Heninger, Nadia, et al. “Mining Your Ps and Qs: Detection of Widespread Weak Keys in Network Devices“, Durumeric, Zakir, et al. “Analysis of the HTTPS certificate ecosystem“). However using our approach, an attribution at a vendor/product level is now possible. Plus the private keys have now been obtained.

On automation of work, relationship, and everything else

OK, so this story is circulating the Russian-speaking web for a few days now.  Somebody got it translated to English and Business Insider picked it up.

After the guy left for a new job, his former coworkers were looking through his work and discovered that the guy had automated all sorts of crazy things, including parts of his job, his relationships, and making coffee.

While it’s nice of them to link to the GitHub repository with all the scripts, I hate to see how this is being over hyped.

Firstly, the title itself – “A programmer wrote scripts to secretly automate a lot of his job — and email his wife and make a latte”.  There is nothing secret about this.  Mundane tasks are mundane tasks and we all hate doing them.  Programmers and sysadmins have the tools to automate those, so that’s what they do.  In fact, it’s quite a common practice.

Secondly, the language of the article:

After the guy left for a new job, his former coworkers were looking through his work and discovered that the guy had automated all sorts of crazy things, including parts of his job, his relationships, and making coffee.

How are scheduled messages “crazy things”?  I think these days you can even do that with mouse clicks in something as stupid as Microsoft Outlook.  And with all the APIs these days, it’s trivial to send SMS messages or make your own scheduled coffee.

In regards to coffee in particular, The Linux Documentation Project used to have The Coffee HOWTO for as long as I can remember (back in late 90’s at least).  It was updated in 2004 and is still available as Coffee Making HOWTO.

This article just once again highlights how far apart are business people and technical people in their understanding and use of technology.  In fact reminds me a story from one of my previous jobs when a release of a new major project on which the team worked for a few month was frowned upon, while the news of a replaced image slider on the website’s homepage got a standing ovation from the full room of staff… Sad, sad truth about the state of the world.

And just so that I don’t leave it on that sad note, if you are not too technical and want to look at some of things which are trivial to do, have a look at IFTTT website, which can help you connect your web services (social networks, emails, calendars, etc), smart devices (Android and iPhone gadgets, lights, etc), locations, and certain actions in just a few clicks.  And it’s all free too.  And if that’s not enough and you want to automate more, including some of your business stuff, have a look at Zapier.  They are awesome too.

Stop wasting time on silly things.  And maybe even learn to code…