28 February 2020

One Classy Dame - part the third

Found another paper, only two pages, that makes the case for non-filesystem storage with SCM.
The existing OS structure of file systems as a kernel-level service may no longer be necessary with storage class memory, and causes unneeded complexity and lower performance.

The paper is undated (another paper by these authors notes it's from 2011), so the idea of using SCM the way I want it used has been living for some time. As mentioned in these missives, with regard to RDBMS use of storage, I've often said that industrial strength RDBMS have all provided access to 'raw' devices (in *nix terms), although most vendors have been discouraging that approach for some time.
In addition, some applications, such as databases, bypass the file system but still rely on the lower levels of the storage stack.

The latter paper is more complete, in that it documents a PoC implementation on linux. And is somewhat different from a single-level store on SCM.

It seems that there are a few identifiable issues:
1 - a mix of DRAM and SCM makes the most sense, since code need not be persistent and need not be hobbled by slower access
2 - kernel code that knows how to handle access to both types of 'RAM'
3 - application code that knows how to write transactions to SCM, rather than files
4 - limitation of SCM by the amount of memory available on a X86 motherboard; currently 256GB, modulo https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-most-RAM-a-computer-has-ever-hadbespoke> boards not in general circulation.
5 - unlike disk based storage, expansion has a (nearly?) hard limit, so RDBMS applications would have to result to evicting aged data to SSD/HDD on a regular basis

Here is a Master's paper from 2019, so rather current, on transaction semantics. The paper isn't geared toward RDBMS or ACID, rather to general data consistency. A bit dense, but worth the effort.

25 February 2020

Deja Vu All Over Again - part the fourth

Well, we're revisiting Olde The Manchurian President's stupidity. All over again.
The White House explained that its May 9 decision to dismantle the directorate was intended to "streamline" operations. In reality, it was far more than that. Memories of the Ebola crisis in 2014 have faded, and the Trump administration implicitly is signaling that it flatly rejects the notion that health security ranks as a true national security policy priority.

This is what happens when poorly educated shitkickers in the empty states get to say who runs the Damn Gummint.

24 February 2020

Thought for the Day - 24 February 2020

OK. So, today the Dow dropped 1,031 points. If you know of any econometric model that predicted that, let me know. Ditto for any econometric model that knows what to do with that info. Most of the real world is driven by events, not data streams.

19 February 2020

I Am A Patriot

I pledge allegiance to the Hair of the Fascist State of Trump, and to the Barr for which it stands, one Tyranny under Ivanka, divided, with poverty and disease for 99%.

18 February 2020

Krugman vs. Zombies

It's too much to ignore
What's your name?
Who's your daddy?
(He rich) Is he rich like me?
Has he taken, any time (any time)
(To show) to show you what you need to live
-- 'Time of the Season'/The Zombies 1968

In today's rant, Krugman calls out zombies in the Right Wingnut brigade.
And crucially, the housing bubble was an international phenomenon; Spain had a bigger bubble than we did, followed by a worse slump. Did the U.S. liberals force Spanish banks to make bad loans?

And, of course, what's worse is that Spain's experience was largely based on bad vacation home loans. This is one of them.

The Great Recession had its roots (not that I'm following any orthodoxy that I know of) in the DotBomb. Following that meltdown, all the Big Money Holders went looking for some other place to stash their excess moolah. What they wanted was high return at low risk of another meltdown. No such instruments exist, of course. But, the answer was obvious to everyone: mortgages, particularly residential. Not spectacular returns, but better than Treasuries, and there's never been (so the legend went) sector/nation wide collapse of home mortgages. The problem was that if you had hundreds of millions (or more) of moolah, buying up individual mortgages was out of the question.

Enter, stage right, securitization instruments. There was a new problem: where was the necessary supply of securities to sop up all that excess moolah? The answer stage further right, was Countrywide, making loans for McMansions to the poor. If it all stopped there, then the mortgage companies would have gone belly up once it became clear that the poor couldn't pay for McMansions. But no one noticed when Blythe Masters invented the credit default swap (CDS). This grenade allowed anyone to bet on the solvency of anyone else in the form (titularly) of insurance, regardless of whether the bet was made by anyone involved. The result was a chain reaction through the finance sector when the Viagra wore off. The assumption, clearly, by the likes of Countrywide and the regular banks that lined up like lemmings, was that if a few/some/many of these subprime McMansion mortgages went stinky, well we still have the house, so we'll just sell it again and clear the note. The 'asset' didn't disappear. But supply doesn't create its own demand, alas.

Only the nuttiest of the Right Wingnuts still bray that supply side mantra, 'supply creates its own demand'. If that were true, producers would continue to not only continue production in the face of deflation and collapsing demand, but take advantage by boosting output. You do believe that's how the Real World Works, don't you? If it were true, there would never be recession, much less depression in any economy any where any time.

Among the early examples of mortgage-backed securities in the United States were the farm railroad mortgage bonds of the mid-19th century which may have contributed to the panic of 1857.
-- the wiki

What's that fable about those who ignore history?

17 February 2020

Thought for the Day - 17 February 2020

Working through a missive, which deals in some degree with the status of STEM in the economy and may appear in the next few days. The main point being, as Dr. McElhone was fond of repeating, "the answer is intuitively obvious to even the most casual observer". What's obvious is that much of STEM use in both the private and public sector is in non-producing slots. So, it comes as welcome support that real reporters have found explicit cases where that's true.
The former employee said that there were other red flags: There were more managers than engineers at Essential [fancy smartphone vendor that just went paws up], and many quality assurance engineers, even though there was only one (poorly selling) product.

I shouldn't say so, but I told you so.

14 February 2020

A Must Share

All in all, this might be the funniest post I've seen in a very, very long time. You must read. If you have a developed sense of humor. How I came to find it is certainly TMI.

Thought for the Day - 14 February 2020

Well, time for another Valentine's Day Massacre. The pundit class is engaged in mowing each other down in a circular firing squad. They are all, that I've heard and read, attributing the Barr ABC interview to him 'rebuking' The Manchurian President's tweeting and such. Which is true.

But the point of the rebuke, "I cannot do my job here at the department with a constant background commentary that undercuts me.", is merely that the heat of The Manchurian President publicly demanding that DoJ punish enemies and favor friends makes it impossible to keep doing so. Hasn't actually stopped Barr yet, of course.

Some people are such fucking morons. The truth is staring them in the face.

10 February 2020

The Real Big Brother

The exit line from "The Usual Suspects" is
The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.

The Right Wingnuts keep repeating the Big Lie that the damn gummint is Big Brother, all done by snowflake leftists. Well, not so much.
Despite Facebook's concerns about the company, Peter Thiel, who sits on Facebook's board was an early investor in Clearview. Facebook, Thiel, and Ton-That all declined to comment on whether Thiel knew about how Clearview was downloading Facebook data and that it was against Facebook's rules.

A major Wingnut is doing Big Brother for profit. The American Way.

09 February 2020

Good Grief [update]

There are said to be seven stages of grief. I wonder, are there a number of stages of enamored? As mentioned some times in these endeavors, we've been making yearly visits to Block Island for about two decades. The wife even got us to pony up for a time share or two. That happened during one of the early stages of enamoredness. We go in the very off season, when it's mostly about the climate and the locals.

But as time passed, it's become clear that an isolated place of ~900 souls is ruled in a wacky way; wacky relative to large, diverse, urban culture, that is. The 'Block Island Times', innterTubes edition, lets one keep up, in precis form, with the goings on there.

The defining aspect of the island is that it's getting close to a terminal case of Nantucketitis (the subtitle tells all): a playground for the summer rich, residents be damned. But, there always seems to be a shortage of funds to maintain the infrastructure of the island, both for the islanders and the summer folk. It seems like the islanders, more or less, are subsidizing the summer folk. The latest example is the continuing saga of innterTubes provision. Here's the 'Times' current reporting on the situation. Near as I recall, the process has been on-going for more than a year, and when I first noticed the story, either when we were there or later, I immediately wondered how to pay for fiber(!) to cover that much ground, that far from the mainland grid, for so few domiciles mostly nicely separated from each other?

One answer was this, from an earlier 'Times' report:
"If you think of this as something you need to move forward in your life, it's just something you'll pay for," said committee member Kristine Monje.

Take that sheeple; shut up, we make the rules! And, you should really read through this report as well, to see how small town governance really works. In a nutshell, rubes are just fresh meat to mainlanders who know the score. Having been involved with 'consultants' who, titularly, were to protect our interests, it often happened that the real client was one or more of the RFP crowd.

Well, this week's report on a pricing/cost protocol, shown first, appears headed where it had to: the rich summer folk will "socialize" (yes those crusty don't-tread-on-me New Englanders will use the word when it benefits them directly) the cost. The only question that remains is, to what degree? Interestingly, the town fathers hold out the possibility of fractional payment; if you open your summer house just in July and August you might only be dinged for two months of charge. Now, that will defray the total sum for the islanders, but the only true remedy is to make hook up mandatory for all domiciles, no matter the months inhabited, and pay up that fixed cost of service. The mansions way up Corn Neck Road, for instance, set back half a mile will pay more than the affordables on Cherry Lane. That's how economics is supposed to work. Whether to charge all hook ups twelve out of twelve for service, even when there's no one on the innterTubes in January, is another matter. Most of the cost is amortization of the infrastructure build out (direct cost of service for as small an area as Block Island is basically the power to push the little photons down the glass), so mandatory hook up would go a long way to protect the islanders from catastrophe.
I think one of the things people don't realize [relates to] the question of capital intensity and having to keep spending to keep up with capacity. Those days are basically over, and you are seeing significant free cash flow generated from the cable operators as our capital expenditures continue to come down.

Here's a tale that might curl your hair.

It remains, to my mind, an open question whether useful innterTube service at a Gb/sec is really necessary. Download a movie in a minute or so? Does that really matter? We get Xfinity copper/wifi at 54Mb/sec/computer and no complaints; when it runs, that is.

So, on to the next stage of enamoredness. Small town governance is nothing to which one should aspire. It's not someplace to call home. Just look at Iowa, a collection of small towns run by rubes, scalped by con artists. That was Jefferson's model. Progress and invention and all the good things that make your next generation better off than you are happen in cities. Full stop.

06 February 2020

Minority Report - part the sixth

Despite The Manchurian President's crowing here's the truth:
Senators representing 151.5 million Americans outvoted senators representing 169.5 million Americans to acquit President Donald Trump in his Senate impeachment trial.

That's 18.5 million more voting to toss the crook out.

Once again, like Germany in the 30s, the USofA is slipping into dictatorship.

05 February 2020

A Tale of Two Tails

The tale of immuno-oncology hasn't been of the fairy variety, you know, with the happy ending. The number of approved IC therapies is less than earlier predicted, and has led to a bit of silliness from certain quarters. Nano-cap drug companies attempting some better mouse trap (so they claim, of course) IC have not gotten much done. Realizing that clinical trial results have been non-stellar, sponsors have turned to a new excuse for trial failure: IC only works over longer (years) periods than previously used for older agents (and earlier IC trials), aka chemotherapy. This argument goes by the name 'long tail'.

The notion behind long tail is that IC takes much longer to be therapeutic than old fashioned chemo. Most, if not all, of this argument lies on the foundation of trials not yet reaching event termination; the control (SoC or placebo) can't be the reason deaths haven't yet occurred, so it must be that the IC under trial must be extending survival. Not explained is how it could be that these patients are making it past the control's survival (and/or previous trials) in the first place? You don't avoid dying from cancer in order to get to the presumed long tail if the therapy hadn't been working during the early part of the trial. Now would you? It's not like a precocious 8 year old skipping third grade, now is it?

Here's the larger problem. Cancer survival (and most clinical trials) is measured by median survival. The reason is straightforward: with any disease, some survive longer whether on SoC, placebo, or no intervention at all. Survival distribution is known to be skew right; replete with outliers, no matter what happens. Data folk always turn to some other measure than mean in the face of outliers, and most often median is where the turn goes.

One doesn't even need fancy graphs to see why long tail may be utterly bogus. Consider these two distributions of survival:

A: 1 2 3 4 10 11 12 13 14
B: 1 2 3 4 10 110 120 130 140

The answer is that both measure 10 for median survival. The long tail zealots will claim that B is superior, but it isn't. It hasn't reduced the number of early events, nor increased the number of late events. I don't expect that any real trial would be this wacky, but only to show how median rejects the effect of outliers, per se. Without a rational MoA that explicates simple extension past the base median without changing the counts, such a result has to be accorded to random chance, because it is. A long tail effect, if one chooses to continue that name, can exist if the IC therapy changes the distribution to be less right skew by reducing the number of events before the base median and increasing the number of events after the base median.

Since the P&D folks have been extrapolating from blinded data, good luck. If PII trials have been stellar at 12 or 18 or 24 months, there's some reason to believe that PIII at 36 or 48 would at least squeak by at stat sig; although history shows that PIII trials (nearly?) always come in worse than PII, across the board. But, if as history shows, PII trials (and/or previous PIII) of these compounds have failed, then where are the patients coming from to fill out that long tail? Again, to ride that long tail, patients have to get past the base median, and not be matched by another fatality before the median. Arithmetic has rules.