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Elsevier 讓德國的研究機構在還沒有續約的情況下繼續使用

德國的研究機構在 2017 年年底前,也就是與 Elsevier 的合約到期前,還是沒有續約,但 Elsevier 決定還是先繼續提供服務,暫時性的為期一年,繼續談判:

The Dutch publishing giant Elsevier has granted uninterrupted access to its paywalled journals for researchers at around 200 German universities and research institutes that had refused to renew their individual subscriptions at the end of 2017.

The institutions had formed a consortium to negotiate a nationwide licence with the publisher. They sought a collective deal that would give most scientists in Germany full online access to about 2,500 journals at about half the price that individual libraries have paid in the past. But talks broke down and, by the end of 2017, no deal had been agreed. Elsevier now says that it will allow the country’s scientists to access its paywalled journals without a contract until a national agreement is hammered out.

Elsevier 會這樣做主要是要避免讓德國的學術機構發現「沒有 Elsevier 其實也活的很好」。而不少研究人員已經知道這件事情,在大多數的情況下都有 Elsevier 的替代方案,不需要浪費錢簽那麼貴的費用:

Günter Ziegler, a mathematician at the Free University of Berlin and a member of the consortium's negotiating team, says that German researchers have the upper hand in the negotiations. “Most papers are now freely available somewhere on the Internet, or else you might choose to work with preprint versions,” he says. “Clearly our negotiating position is strong. It is not clear that we want or need a paid extension of the old contracts.”

替代方案有幾個方面,像是自由開放下載的 arXiv 愈來愈受到重視,很多研究者都會把投稿的論文在上面放一份 pre-print 版本 (甚至會更新),而且近年來有些知名的證明只放在上面 (像是 Poincaré conjecture)。而且放在人家家裡比放在自己網站來的簡單 (不需要自己維護),這都使得 arXiv 變成學術界新的標準平台。

除了 arXiv 外,其他領域也有自己習慣的平台。像是密碼學這邊的「Cryptology ePrint Archive」也運作很久了。

除了找平台外,放在自家網站上的論文 (通常是學校或是學術機構的個人空間),也因為搜尋引擎的發達,使得大家更容易找到對應檔案可以下載。

而且更直接的攻擊性網站是 Sci-Hub,讓大家從 paywall 下載後丟上去公開讓人搜尋。雖然因為常常被封鎖的原因而常常在換網址,不過透過 Tor Browser (或是自己設定 Tor Proxy) 存取他們的 Hidden Service 就應該沒這個問題。

希望德國可以撐下去,證明其實已經不需要 Elsevier...

Amazon CloudWatch Logs 換 SSL Certificate 的 CA

收到標題是「Upcoming Changes to SSL Certificates in Amazon CloudWatch Logs」的信件,說明 Amazon CloudWatch Logs 要換 SSL Certificate 的 CA,看起來是要換成自家的:

We will be updating the certificate authority (CA) for the certificates used by Amazon CloudWatch Logs domain(s), between 8 January 2018 and 22 January 2018. After the updates complete, the SSL/TLS certificates used by Amazon CloudWatch Logs will be issued by Amazon Trust Services (ATS), the same certificate authority (CA) used by AWS Certificate Manager.

然後有提到 cross-sign 的部份,有透過 Starfield 的 Root CA 簽,所以只要下面有任何一個有在 Root CA store 裡面就應該會信任:

The update means that customers accessing AWS webpages via HTTPS (for example, the Amazon CloudWatch Console, customer portal, or homepage) or accessing Amazon CloudWatch Logs API endpoints, whether through browsers or programmatically, will need to update the trusted CA list on their client machines if they do not already support any of the following CAs:
- "Amazon Root CA 1"
- "Starfield Services Root Certificate Authority - G2"
- "Starfield Class 2 Certification Authority"

另外條列出有哪些 API endpoint 會改變:

This upgrade notice covers the following endpoints:
logs.ap-northeast-1.amazonaws.com
logs.ap-northeast-2.amazonaws.com
logs.ap-south-1.amazonaws.com
logs.ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com
logs.ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com
logs.ca-central-1.amazonaws.com
logs.eu-central-1.amazonaws.com
logs.eu-west-1.amazonaws.com
logs.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com
logs.eu-west-3.amazonaws.com
logs.us-east-1.amazonaws.com
logs.us-east-2.amazonaws.com
logs.us-west-1.amazonaws.com
logs.us-west-2.amazonaws.com
logs.sa-east-1.amazonaws.com

然後也列出了有哪些系統「應該」會支援:

* Operating Systems With ATS Support
- Microsoft Windows versions that have January 2005 or later updates installed, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and newer versions
- Mac OS X 10.4 with Java for Mac OS X 10.4 Release 5, Mac OS X 10.5 and newer versions
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (March 2007), Linux 6, and Linux 7 and CentOS 5, CentOS 6, and CentOS 7
- Ubuntu 8.10
- Debian 5.0
- Amazon Linux (all versions)
- Java 1.4.2_12, Java 5 update 2, and all newer versions, including Java 6, Java 7, and Java 8

不過沒看到 Windows XP 耶,不知道是怎樣 XD

台美之間的租稅協定 (還在橋)

看到「因應美稅改 賴揆:加速洽簽台美租稅協定」這則消息,如果沒記錯的話,有不少服務都是美國公司出帳... (像是 AWSSlackGitHub 這類在公司裡很常用的服務)

參考「我國股利、利息及權利金扣繳率(%)一覽表」這邊的資料,應該有機會從 20% 降到 10%?也就是說實付 100 萬的金額本來要多繳 25 萬 (帳要做成 100 萬 / (1 - 0.2) = 125 萬,其中的 20% 是 25 萬萬稅,100 萬實際支付),現在只要繳 11.1 萬 (100 萬 / (1 - 0.1) = 111.1 萬)?

不過有些特殊情況本來就有更優惠的稅務方式 (像是使用國外平台提供服務 (e.g. AWS),而服務的對象也是境外使用者的情況),這些組合可以研究看看要怎麼搞...

Amazon Elasticsearch 支援 I3 instance (i.e. 1.5 PB Disk) 了

Amazon Elasticsearch 支援 I3 instance 了:「Run Petabyte-Scale Clusters on Amazon Elasticsearch Service Using I3 instances」。

Amazon Elasticsearch Service now supports I3 instances, allowing you to store up to 1.5 petabytes of data in a single Elasticsearch cluster for large log analytics workloads.

i3.16xlarge 單台是 15.2 TB 的硬碟空間,100 台就會是 1.5 PB,不知道跑起來會多慢 XDDD

Amazon Elasticsearch Service – Amazon Web Services (AWS) | FAQs 這邊還沒修正 XD:

You can request a service limit increase up to 100 instances per domain by creating a case with the AWS Support Center. With 100 instances, you can allocate about 150 TB of EBS storage to a single domain.

Googlebot 的 Web rendering service 的細節

在「Polymer 2 and Googlebot」這邊文章裡面才看到 Google 官方在今年八月就有公開 Googlebot 所使用的 Web rendering service (WRS) 的細節:「Rendering on Google Search」。可以想像到是基於 Google Chrome 的修改:

Googlebot uses a web rendering service (WRS) that is based on Chrome 41 (M41). Generally, WRS supports the same web platform features and capabilities that the Chrome version it uses — for a full list refer to chromestatus.com, or use the compare function on caniuse.com.

裡面提到一些值得注意的事情,像是不支援 WebSocket,所以對於考慮 Google 搜尋結果的頁面來說,就要注意錯誤處理了...

TP-Link 的 NTP 流量

在「TP-Link repeater firmware squanders 715 MB/month」這邊看到 TP-Link 因為 NTP 的關係而狂吃流量的情況:(這邊是用逗點表示小數點,所以是 715.4 MB/month)

You should probably avoid TP-Link products if you’re on a tight bandwidth budget. By design, TP-Link firmware sends six DNS requests and one NTP query every 5 seconds, for a total of 715,4 MB per month.

如果拿 24 小時都開機的 Windows 相比的話,會發現這數字天差地別:

To put this number in context: an always-on Windows device will use around 1,6 KB per month on NTP.

作者抓出韌體上面的設定,發現裡面寫死了不少伺服器... 那個 aunz 的選擇讓人頗好奇,另外直接把幾個大學的 NTP server 放進去不知道是什麼樣的想法:

TP-Link has hardcoded the following non-configurable NTP servers and server pools in their firmware:

  • time.nist.gov, time-a.nist.gov, time-b.nist.gov, time-nw.nist.gov
  • au.pool.ntp.org, nz.pool.ntp.org
  • 133.100.9.2, 128.138.140.44, 192.36.144.22

The first sets of servers are operated by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The second is the Australian and New Zealand public NTP project time server pools. The IP addresses are owned by universities in Japan, Colorado; US, and Sweden respectively.

而從行為可以看到沒有遵守這些 NTP service 的規範:

The NTP Pool project asks device manufacturers and vendors to register (and optionally sponsor) their own pools through the service (e.g. tplink.pool.ntp.org), and emphasize that they “must absolutely not use the default pool.ntp.org zone names”. They also request that vendors don’t check more often than every 5 minutes at the most.

而且因為沒有地方可以修改這些設定,唯一的解法是不要買 TP-Link 的產品:

You can avoid buying TP-Link products to avoid this problem.

You can’t turn this behavior off in TP-Link’s web administration interface nor in their management app for mobile. You can’t change the NTP server addresses it targets either.

Amazon Aurora 的 MySQL-Compatible Edition 開始提供相容於 MySQL 5.7 的服務

Amazon AuroraMySQL-Compatible Edition 開始支援相容 MySQL 5.7 的服務:「Announcing Preview of Amazon Aurora with MySQL 5.7 Compatibility」。

Amazon Aurora with MySQL 5.7 compatibility offers enhancements such as JSON support, spatial indexes, generated columns and performance improvement of 5x over MySQL 5.7, and up to 10x for spatial datasets.

雖然目前還在 Preview (需要申請才能用),而且開放區域有限,但總算是有消息了:

The preview is currently available in US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), and Canada (Montreal).

會一定要 5.7 的,主要的需求應該是在 spatial index 上吧... JSON 反倒還好。

用 PublicWWW 分析網站

在「Keylogger Found on Nearly 5,500 Infected WordPress Sites」這邊看到的網站服務 PublicWWW

雖然原文是說 WordPress 被感染的情況,但注意到的反而是他提到的網站 PublicWWW。

在 PublicWWW 上面目前收錄了兩億個網站的資料,有些東西頗不賴的,像是可以搜尋有哪些是使用同樣的 Google Analytics 帳號:

Sites with the same analytics id: "UA-19778070-"

這拿來找誰是內容容場後面的人超棒的啊,而且可以拿來補內容農場的清單,像是「UA-31425034 - 19 Websites - PublicWWW.com」這個 XD

免費版只能搜 Top 3M 的部份,付費版 (USD$49/month) 則是可以搜所有的資料。

Amazon ECS 與 AWS Fargate 都納入 Amazon Compute SLA 計算

AWS 宣佈的這兩個服務 (Amazon ECSAWS Fargate) 都納入 99.99% 的 SLA 合約範圍:「Amazon Compute Service Level Agreement Extended to Amazon ECS and AWS Fargate」。

Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) and AWS Fargate are now included in the Amazon Compute Service Level Agreement (SLA) for 99.99% uptime and availability.

ECS 已經跑一陣子了可以理解,但 Fargate 的概念算比較新,剛出來沒多久就決定放進去比較意外...

用 Amazon Route 53 做 Service Discovery

Amazon Route 53 的新功能,可以解決以前自己要建立 Service Discovery 服務的工作:「Amazon Route 53 Releases Auto Naming API for Service Name Management and Discovery」。官方的文件在「Using Autonaming for Service Discovery」這邊。

不過目前有些限制,一個 namespace (domain name) 目前只能有五個服務:

DNS settings for up to five records.

然後 DNS 回應時,最多回八個 record:

When Amazon Route 53 receives a DNS query for the name of an instance, such as backend.example.com, it responds with up to eight IP addresses (for A or AAAA records) or up to eight SRV record values.

回應八個 record,但應該是可以註冊超過八個吧... (i.e. 每次都回不一樣)

自建服務 (像是 Cassandra 或是 ScyllaDB) 可以直接用這個服務掛上去,就不用自己架 Consul 了。

目前支援了這四區,亞洲不在這波提供範圍:

Amazon Route 53 Auto Naming is available in US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), and EU (Ireland) regions.

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