Blogroll

I read blogs, as well as write one. The 'blogroll' on this site reproduces some posts from some of the people I enjoy reading.

Disclaimer: Reproducing an article here need not necessarily imply agreement or endorsement!

Want to try Warp? We just enabled the beta for you

CloudFlare - 1 hour 40 min ago

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the United States. It’s a holiday for getting together with family characterized by turkey dinner and whatever it is that happens in American football. While celebrating with family is great, if you use a computer for your main line of work, sometimes the conversation turns to how to setup the home wifi or can Russia really use Facebook to hack the US election. Just in case you’re a geek who finds yourself in that position this week, we wanted to give you something to play with. To that end, we’re opening the Warp beta to all Cloudflare users. Feel free to tell your family there’s been an important technical development you need to attend to immediately and enjoy!

Hello Warp! Getting Started

Warp allows you to expose a locally running web server to the internet without having to open up ports in the firewall or even needing a public IP address. Warp connects a web server directly to the Cloudflare network where Cloudflare acts as your web server’s network gateway. Every request reaching your origin must travel to the Cloudflare network where you can apply rate limits, access policies and authentication before the request hits your origin. Plus, because your origin is never exposed directly to the internet, attackers can’t bypass protections to reach your origin.

Warp is really easy to get started with. If you use homebrew (we also have packages for Linux and Windows) you can do:

$ brew install cloudflare/cloudflare/warp $ cloudflare-warp login $ cloudflare-warp --hostname warp.example.com --hello-world

In this example, replace example.com with the domain you chose at the login command. The warp.example.com subdomain doesn’t need to exist yet in DNS, Warp will automatically add it for you.

That last command spins up a web server on your machine serving the hello warp world webpage. Then Warp starts up an encrypted virtual tunnel from that web server to the Cloudflare edge. When you visit warp.example.com (or whatever domain you chose), your request first hits a Cloudflare data center, then is routed back to your locally running hello world web server on your machine.

If someone far away visits warp.example.com, they connect to the Cloudflare data center closest to them, and then are routed to the Cloudflare data center your Warp instance is connected to, and then over the Warp tunnel back to your web server. If you want to make that connection between Cloudflare data centers really fast, enable Argo, which bypasses internet latencies and network congestions on optimized routes linking the Cloudflare data centers.

To point Warp at a real web server you are running instead of the hello world web server, replace the hello-world flag with the location of your locally running server:

$ cloudflare-warp --hostname warp.example.com http://localhost:8080 Using Warp for Load Balancing

Let’s say you have multiple instances of your application running and you want to balance load between them or always route to the closest one for any given visitor. As you spin up Warp, you can register the origins behind Warp to a load balancer. For example, I can run this on 2 different servers (e.g. one on a container in ECS and one on a container in GKE):

$ cloudflare-warp --hostname warp.example.com --lb-pool origin-pool-1 http://localhost:8080

And connections to warp.example.com will be routed seamlessly between the two servers. You can do this with an existing origin pool or a brand new one. If you visit the load balancing dashboard you will see the new pool created with your origins in it, or the origins added to an existing pool.

You can also set up a health check so that if one goes offline, it automatically gets deregistered from the load balancer pool and requests are only routed to the online pools.

Automating Warp with Docker

You can add Warp to your Dockerfile so that as containers spin up or as you autoscale, containers automatically register themselves with Warp to connect to Cloudflare. This acts as a kind of service discovery.

A reference Dockerfile is available here.

Requiring User Authentication

If you use Warp to expose dashboards, staging sites and other internal tools to the internet that you don’t want to be available for everyone, we have a new product in beta that allows you to quickly put up a login page in front of your Warp tunnel.

To get started, go to the Access tab in the Cloudflare dashboard.

There you can define which users should be able to login to use your applications. For example, if I wanted to limit access to warp.example.com to just people who work at Cloudflare, I can do:

Enjoy!

Enjoy the Warp beta! (But don't wander too deep into the Warp tunnel and forget to enjoy time with your family.) The whole Warp team is following this thread for comments, ideas, feedback and show and tell. We’re excited to see what you build.

Categories: Technology

The Christiana Resistance: The First Shots of the Civil War

Mises Institute - 1 hour 40 min ago
By: Chris Calton
 Season 2

Chris Calton looks at one of the first episodes of armed resistance to the Fugitive Slave Acts. He explains how abolitionist William Parker, a free black man, changed America forever.



Categories: Current Affairs

Things not to do: Place a cap on maximum earnings

Adam Smith Institute - 3 hours 40 min ago

Place a cap on maximum earnings

The earnings of Chief Executive Officers have risen spectacularly over the course of the century. This has been especially true of those involved in the finance industries, but has also been true of most of the FTSE 100 companies. Salaries and bonuses running into millions of pounds are common, and even those running into tens of millions are not unknown. The gap between what is earned by the average employees of a company and what is earned by its executives has widened dramatically over the same period.  

There are calls for government to take action by setting an upper limit on what executives can earn, and by legislating to impose a maximum ratio between the earnings of average employees and those of directors and board members. The claim by some is that directors have been abusing their power by voting themselves unjustified salary and bonus increases simply because they can, and that only legislation can curb this misuse of power.

One reason behind these dramatic increases has been globalization, and another has been advances in technology. Globalization has opened up vast new markets for firms and placed a premium on successful expansion. The rewards of this activity have been huge, spawning multinationals with an outreach into many countries.

Technology has seen the rise of hugely profitable companies such as Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook, all of which make huge sums on a global scale and have seen their shares rocket as they have expanded.

This backdrop has meant that successful chief executives can make a dramatic contribution to corporate earnings. There is a limited pool of outstanding talent, as there is in many sports. It means that those at the peak of their profession or their performance are in great demand. Because they are in relatively short supply, organizations bid against each other to secure them. This happens in business as in football. The presence of Ronaldo on a team can make the difference between success and failure, and the same is true of top executives. Often when a talented director leaves a company, its shares plunge in consequence. The recruitment of a known outstanding talent can similarly see an immediate increase in a company's shares.

Top executives are paid huge sums because, for the most part, they earn it for their companies. In a highly competitive world with great revenues at stake, companies want to hire the best, and to hire the best they must pay the most.

There are undoubtedly some cases of abuse, in which executives are given rewards beyond any value they have added to their company, but the solution here is not to limit maximum earnings and punish the ones who are worth it, but to encourage shareholders to resist unjustified awards. A maximum earnings limit would severely damage the UK economy by depriving its companies of the top talent that can augment their revenues. The UK would be reduced to employing second rate people and would become a second-rate economy.

Categories: Current Affairs

Moscow meeting for Welby and Hilarion

Anglican Ink - Wed, 22/11/2017 - 19:42

Discussed was a wide range of topics of mutual interest touched on at the meeting of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia with the Archbishop of Canterbury,

ACNS press statement on Moscow meeting of Welby & Kirill

Anglican Ink - Wed, 22/11/2017 - 19:36

Lambeth report of the proceedings markedly different from the Moscow Patriarchate's read

Russian press release on the Moscow meeting between Welby & Kirill - original text

Anglican Ink - Wed, 22/11/2017 - 19:31

Text as released by the Moscow Patriarchate on 21 Nov 2017

Joint statement by the Russian Patriarch and Archbishop of Canterbury on Christian persecution in the Middle East

Anglican Ink - Wed, 22/11/2017 - 18:52

We cannot remain indifferent to the afflictions of our sisters and brothers, write Kirill and Welby

An update on the Workflow Initiative for Drupal 8.4/8.5

Drupal - Wed, 22/11/2017 - 17:57

This blog has been re-posted with permission from Dries Buytaert's blog. Please leave your comments on the original post.

Over the past weeks I have shared an update on the Media Initiative and an update on the Layout Initiative. Today I wanted to give an update on the Workflow Initiative.

Creating great software doesn't happen overnight; it requires a desire for excellence and a disciplined approach. Like the Media and Layout Initiatives, the Workflow Initiative has taken such an approach. The disciplined and steady progress these initiative are making is something to be excited about.

8.4: The march towards stability

As you might recall from my last Workflow Initiative update, we added the Content Moderation module to Drupal 8.2 as an experimental module, and we added the Workflows module in Drupal 8.3 as well. The Workflows module allows for the creation of different publishing workflows with various states (e.g. draft, needs legal review, needs copy-editing, etc) and the Content Moderation module exposes these workflows to content authors.

As of Drupal 8.4, the Workflows module has been marked stable. Additionally, the Content Moderation module is marked beta in Drupal 8.4, and is down to two final blockers before marking stable. If you want to help with that, check out the Content Moderation module roadmap.

8.4: Making more entity types revisionable

To advance Drupal's workflow capabilities, more of Drupal's entity types needed to be made "revisionable". When content is revisionable, it becomes easier to move it through different workflow states or to stage content. Making more entity types revisionable is a necessary foundation for better content moderation, workflow and staging capabilities. But it was also hard work and took various people over a year of iterations — we worked on this throughout the Drupal 8.3 and Drupal 8.4 development cycle.

When working through this, we discovered various adjacent bugs (e.g. bugs related to content revisions and translations) that had to be worked through as well. As a plus, this has led to a more stable and reliable Drupal, even for those who don't use any of the workflow modules. This is a testament to our desire for excellence and disciplined approach.

8.5+: Looking forward to workspaces

While these foundational improvements in Drupal 8.3 and Drupal 8.4 are absolutely necessary to enable better content moderation and content staging functionality, they don't have much to show for in terms of user experience changes. Now a lot of this work is behind us, the Workflow Initiative changed its focus to stabilizing the Content Moderation module, but is also aiming to bring the Workspace module into Drupal core as an experimental module.

The Workspace module allows the creation of multiple environments, such as "Staging" or "Production", and allows moving collections of content between them. For example, the "Production" workspace is what visitors see when they visit your site. Then you might have a protected "Staging" workspace where content editors prepare new content before it's pushed to the Production workspace.

While workflows for individual content items are powerful, many sites want to publish multiple content items at once as a group. This includes new pages, updated pages, but also changes to blocks and menu items — hence our focus on making things like block content and menu items revisionable. 'Workspaces' group all these individual elements (pages, blocks and menus) into a logical package, so they can be prepared, previewed and published as a group. This is one of the most requested features and will be a valuable differentiator for Drupal. It looks pretty slick too:

Drupal 8 Outside In Content Creation Prototype

An outside-in design that shows how content creators could work in different workspaces. When you're building out a new section on your site, you want to preview your entire site, and publish all the changes at once. Designed by Jozef Toth at Pfizer.

I'm impressed with the work the Workflow team has accomplished during the Drupal 8.4 cycle: the Workflow module became stable, the Content Moderation module improved by leaps and bounds, and the under-the-hood work has prepared us for content staging via Workspaces. In the process, we've also fixed some long-standing technical debt in the revisions and translations systems, laying the foundation for future improvements.

Special thanks to Angie Byron for contributions to this blog post and to Dick Olsson, Tim Millwood and Jozef Toth for their feedback during the writing process.

Categories: Technology

Beta: CloudLinux 7 kernel updated

CloudLinux - Wed, 22/11/2017 - 17:43

The new updated CloudLinux 7 kernel version 3.10.0-714.10.2.lve1.4.76 is available for download from our updates-testing repository.

Changelog since kernel-3.10.0-714.10.2.lve1.4.75:

  • KMODLVE-99: properly handled error during resource setup;
  • KMODLVE-119: fixed potential errors on exit from LVE by using only one namespace;
  • KMODLVE-121: fixed module panic on exit by closing freezer cgroup first before releasing it.

Please note, that you do not need to install this kernel if you have kernel with Reseller limits support installed as it doesn't have Reseller limits functionality.

To install new kernel, please run the following command:

For CloudLinux 7:

yum clean all --enablerepo=cloudlinux-updates-testing && yum install kernel-3.10.0-714.10.2.lve1.4.76.el7 --enablerepo=cloudlinux-updates-testing

For CloudLinux 6 Hybrid:

yum clean all --enablerepo=cloudlinux-updates-testing,cloudlinux-hybrid-testing && yum install kernel-3.10.0-714.10.2.lve1.4.76.el6h --enablerepo=cloudlinux-updates-testing,cloudlinux-hybrid-testing
Categories: Technology

On Bear-Hugging Our Troubles

Blog & Mablog - Wed, 22/11/2017 - 17:38

Job tells us that man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward (Job 5:7). But there are different kinds of trouble, different kinds of adversity, different kinds of affliction.

First there is the kind that we pull down onto our own heads.

“For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: And drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags” (Prov. 23:21).

“He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: But he that heareth reproof getteth understanding” (Prov. 15:32).

And so it is that we have STDs, cirrhosis of the liver, expensive ER visits after drunken “hold my beer” stunts, prison time, lawsuits for loutish groping, messy divorces, and ruined careers. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Gal. 6:7). Country music really does have an excellent grasp of this principle. “Turned my life into this country song . . . I got nobody to blame but me” (Chris Stapleton).

The second kind of trouble is the conflict we find ourselves in with others, and the whole thing is inexplicable to us. A relationship with a good friend goes south for no apparent reason. A previously amicable work environment turns rancid. Euodia and Syntyche have their falling out. A pastor and his elder board, who worked together smoothly for years, suddenly find themselves at loggerheads.

When conflict and trouble arise this way, what we need to do is turn to James for wisdom. He explicitly seeks to answer the question for us. He both poses the question and answers it in one breath, and spends the following passage developing the answer in detail. “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?” (James 4:1ff, ESV). I have written a goodish bit about this kind of conflict in the past.

The third kind of conflict is a particular kind of conflict with God. Now the first kind mentioned above is conflict with God the way arguments with gravity are conflicts with Him. The second kind might well be something that He is using in the course of this third kind, but it is still helpful to distinguish them. So this third kind of conflict is a struggle with God, in the course of which He helps us in that fight with Himself. The model here is Jacob wrestling with the Angel of the Lord, who turned out to be God Himself. “He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God” (Hosea 12:3).

The striking thing about this episode is that Jacob wrestled the angel to a standstill, in some mysterious way matching him. At the same time, he refused to let the angel go until He blessed him. In Scripture, blessing is an acknowledgement of superiority. “It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior” (Heb. 7:7, ESV). But the most remarkable thing about this great wrestling match is that it was an agonistic struggle for Jacob—it was a great affliction. And what did he do with this affliction? He refused to let it go without a blessing.

If I might, I would like to finish this out by citing Calvin’s commentary on this great passage. Calvin says that God intends “to represent all the servants of God in this world as wrestlers.”[1] Cotton Mather once said that for the faithful, wars will never cease. Calvin again: “We, also, are to learn from him, that we must fight during the whole course of our life.”[2]

Distinguishing different kinds of trouble, as I did above, Calvin also says that “adversity is either the rod with which he corrects our sins, or the test of our faith and patience.”[3] Discipline can be corrective, meaning chastisement for sin. Spanking a child for getting into the cookie jar is discipline. But enrolling the child in third grade is also discipline. This latter kind is positive discipline, inculcating certain habits that the child will most certainly require later on. You do not enroll a child in the challenges of third grade because he did something wrong. You do it because he did second grade right.

“Jacob, therefore, having been accustomed to bear sufferings, is now led forth to real war.”[4]

When God determines to bless us with this kind of trouble, He confronts us with Himself. We wrestle with Him in a mysterious way. But when He does this to us through our external circumstances, He is also doing something internally, something that is much hard for us to see. We see the trouble approaching, and we think we see the entire picture. But if that were the entire picture, why would James tell us to count it all joy when we meet these kinds of conflicts?

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:2–5).

We are to count it all joy because the external trials outside are God’s means of strengthening and establishing us internally. And if we don’t quite see this yet, we should ask God for that kind of wisdom. The promise in v. 5 is not a promise that God will give you wisdom about whether to turn left or right at the intersection. It is a promise to give you the kind of wisdom that sees the point of your trials.

Or, as Calvin puts it, He “becomes in us stronger than the power by which he opposes us.”[5]

God wrestles from the outside, and God equips us on the inside through the means of the pressure He is applying in both directions.

“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Rom. 5:3–5).

James says to count it all joy when we meet various trials. Paul says that we are glory in tribulation. What is the point of this instruction? The point of the instruction is the same thing as the point of your trial, and in both passages it is patience.

You are grappling with the angel, and you are called, like Jacob, to fight to the point of stalemate. When you get to that point, you are to grasp your affliction with both arms, bear-hugging it, and you are to refuse to let go until you have the blessing.

 

End Notes

[1] John Calvin and John King, Commentary on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis, vol. 2 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 195.

[2] John Calvin and John King, Commentary on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis, vol. 2 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 197.

[3] John Calvin and John King, Commentary on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis, vol. 2 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 195.

[4] John Calvin and John King, Commentary on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis, vol. 2 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 197.

[5] John Calvin and John King, Commentary on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis, vol. 2 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 196.

The post On Bear-Hugging Our Troubles appeared first on Blog & Mablog.

Categories: People I don't know

Productivity is everything, here's how we boost it

Adam Smith Institute - Wed, 22/11/2017 - 17:31

The Chancellor decided not to exercise his traditional right to present the budget alongside a stiff drink. That’s a surprise, because today’s OBR GDP Growth projections would have any reasonable person reaching for the bottle. The stubborn refusal of productivity growth to return to its pre-crisis levels has led the OBR to predict that growth will be a sluggish 1.5% for the next five years. By contrast, the US is currently growing at twice that rate.

Forget the gimmicks, the jokes and the tweaks to the tax system, this should be the big the story out of the budget. And if the OBR’s forecasts are correct, we should expect voters to be even more likely to risk it all on a radical socialist agenda.

Hammond understands the problem. It’s welcome to see him commit to boosting R&D spending and recognise the importance of sorting out the housing crisis so people can move to the high-paying jobs of the future. But frankly, the measures announced in the budget won’t do enough to really move the needle.

If the government wants to get a grip on productivity, here’s what they need to do.

Housing

As my colleague Sam Bowman persuasively argues the housing crisis is a key driver of the productivity crisis. Nobel Prize Winner Ed Prescott found that wages in the US would be 12.4% higher if planning regulations were relaxed in the most productive cities. It’s likely that the problem is even worse in the UK.

Hammond is right that housing has become increasingly unaffordable because we’re not building enough. Indeed, if rumours are true he understood the need to build on the Green Belt but was blocked by the PM. Still if the government are truly committed to ending the housing crisis they need to be bolder and focus less on distractions like second homes and land banks, and more on fixing the broken planning system.

Investment

The UK has one of the lowest levels of business investment in the EU. Only Greece and Portugal invest less as a share of GDP. Part of that is down to a tax system that encourages consumption at the expense of long-term investment. Corporations are able to deduct day-to-day expenses (e.g. stationary) from their annual taxable income, but they can only deduct long-term productivity boosting investments in new machinery gradually as the investment depreciates. But a £100 tax benefit is worth much less if I don’t get it in full until ten years down the line. Worse still, even as corporation tax has fallen (a good thing) the cuts were funded in part by lengthening capital allowances and for industrial buildings scrapping them altogether.

Infrastructure

Cheaper off-peak rail travel is a nice perk, but it’s no substitute for ensuring that Britain’s towns are well-connected to growing cities and ensuring everyone has a fast connection to the web.

Since Thatcher, the fundamental debate between Labour and the Conservatives has been about whether it’s better to grow the pie (the Conservative way) or slice the pie more evenly (the Labour way). If the Conservatives can’t deliver the real growth, voters will desert them for a less dynamic but more egalitarian Labour government. Put simply, if the OBR’s forecasts come to pass then this government is toast. But we shouldn’t be fatalists, we know the policies that can kickstart growth across Britain, we just need a government with the guts to implement them.

Categories: Current Affairs

How to Beam Factories to Mars

Mises Institute - Wed, 22/11/2017 - 17:30
By: Robert P. Murphy
mars.PNG

In a recent blog post, Paul Krugman tried to illustrate a point about the GOP tax cut plan by imagining interplanetary trade with Martians. (At least he’s now entertaining voluntary transactions, rather than an alien invasion.) Yet in his zeal to downplay the potential benefits to workers from a corporate tax cut, Krugman ends up shortchanging the versatility of markets. As a teaching exercise, I’ll walk through the full implications of Krugman’s story about Martians, to show the elegance of capitalism.

Krugman’s Martian Scenario

The context for Krugman’s fanciful thought experiment is the GOP plan to cut the corporate income tax rate from 35 to 20 percent. In order to sell this plan as pro-worker, the GOP defenders are arguing that capital is very mobile on the international market. Therefore, global investors can be picky, and must earn the same after-tax rate of return (due account being made for risk), wherever they invest. This means — so the GOP argument continues — that a large cut in the US corporate tax rate will simply invite a flood of foreign capital into the US, pushing down the pre-tax rate of return to reestablish equilibrium across all countries. Yet this process helps American workers, who are now mixing their labor with a larger capital stock. Because labor productivity is higher with more tools and equipment, wage rates end up rising. Thus, so the argument concludes, the primary beneficiaries of the GOP tax cut won’t be international capitalists, but instead will be American workers.

As you can imagine, Krugman has been doing his best to throw cold water on this chain of reasoning. One line of attack has been the casual assumption that a flood of new foreign investment could come into the United States and quickly increase the capital stock, in order to push down the earnings of capital (while raising the earnings of workers). Krugman argues that because global markets are not fully integrated, that the adjustment process could take decades, meaning that workers would have to wait a long time to see the alleged benefits from the big tax cut on corporations.

To drive home his point, Krugman dreams up a Martian scenario:

In such matters, it’s often helpful to start with extreme cases. What if nothing were tradable? Suppose, for example, that we were to discover a capitalist society on Mars, with a stock market, a corporate profits tax, and everything. We could easily send data back and forth, with only a few minutes’ delay imposed by the speed of light. We could conceivably trade assets, since ownership is really nothing but data. But until Elon Musk finds a way to reduce transport costs by several orders of magnitude, we can’t really ship useful stuff to or from our new Martian friends.

So, suppose Mars cuts its corporate tax rate. How much is the incidence of that cut affected by the existence of an interplanetary capital market? Not at all: we can’t send physical capital to Mars, we can’t convert any earnings on Martian assets into something with any Earthly use, so nothing happens. The total lack of real integration makes financial integration irrelevant.

Now suppose that somehow a teensy bit of Martian output becomes tradable – say, certain services that can be provided over the Solar Wide Web, amounting to 1 or 2 percent of Martian GDP. Surely this can’t drastically change the story. [Krugman, bold added.]

It’s this last part of Krugman’s scenario that I think is wrong. Depending on the specifics, the opening up of Mars to (limited) trade with Earth could have large consequences for the Martian capital market.

How to Beam Factories to Mars

In this short post, I am not of course trying to exhaust all possible thought experiments involving Martian economic growth. My modest purpose is to show that Krugman—motivated no doubt by his desire to pooh-pooh the defenders of the GOP plan—was far too hasty when concluding of the Earth/Mars trade channel that “Surely this can’t drastically change the story.”

So let me stack the deck in my favor by picking an extreme example. Suppose the Martians have very high time preference, meaning that (other things equal) they strongly prefer to consume sooner rather than later. Before they make contact with the Earthlings, the Martians have a real interest rate of (say) 100%. Because they are so prodigal, the Martians don’t save much, even at this high interest rate. Consequently they have very little physical capital invested per worker. Indeed the entire Martian capital stock only represents 2% of GDP. Currently, the Martians only save and invest a tiny amount each year — say, 0.2% of GDP — to replace the worn-out tools and equipment as they depreciate.

Now suppose that the Martians finally get their wifi routers working, and they are shocked to discover intelligent life on the nearby blue planet. After figuring out how to communicate and consummate financial transactions, an amazing thing happens: Massive amounts of financial capital from human investors start pouring into the Martian economy. The human investors are amazed at the real interest rates of 100% available on the red planet, and rearrange their portfolios accordingly. This pushes down the market rate of interest on Mars, and pulls up the market rate of interest on Earth, until the Martian interest rate — due account being made for the riskiness of the investments — is comparable to the yield on terrestrial assets.

Yet to answer Krugman, we need to be more specific about how this process occurs physically. Well, in the extreme example I’ve constructed, we can imagine that the huge Earth economy swamps the Martian economy. So what happens in the first year is that all trade goes one-way. Specifically, anything that can be imported from Earth is imported from Earth. This includes database and cloud hosting, CPA services, math tutoring, and website design. Any work that can be done by Earthlings and then beamed to Mars, will be performed.

Yet as Krugman says, this may only account for, at most, 2% of the Martian economy. Even so, consider the impact. The Martian workers who used to maintain databases and perform CPA services, will now be freed up to do other jobs. Indeed, Martian workers and industries will be reshuffled so that they now devote 2% more of their economic output to the production of machines, tools, and other equipment.1

The capitalists on Earth ultimately wanted to send physical capital goods to Mars, where the “marginal product of capital (goods)” is much higher than on Earth. But because of prohibitive shipping costs, instead what they did was export electronic services to Mars, in order to earn the Martian currency with which to hire Martians to build capital goods. Then the Earthlings retained ownership of those capital goods (located on Mars), where they would generate high earnings because capital goods are so initially scarce.2

Does It Matter?

Finally, we can ask of our fanciful scenario: Would the option of trading with Earth matter to the Martians? Yes, it certainly would in the extreme example I constructed. Specifically, the influx of 2% of Martian GDP’s worth of foreign investment would allow the capital stock on Mars to double in the first year.3 (Remember I said that they started out with a capital stock equivalent to 2% of Martian GDP.) This would push down Martian interest rates and would raise the real wages earned by Martian workers. (Note that we should be careful not to confuse physical and financial capital, as I explain here. But for our simple story we can be somewhat loose.) So contrary to Krugman, we can’t automatically dismiss the impact of 2% of the economy being tradeable.

The point of my article isn’t to defend the GOP tax plan, and it’s certainly not to study the economy of Mars. Rather, Krugman’s whimsical thought experiment provided an opportunity to showcase the ingenuity and opportunities that can be unleashed in financial markets. Even if they were limited to transfers of information, we have seen how capitalists on Earth could effectively “beam factories” to Mars, in order to boost the productivity of Martian workers.



  • 1. Strictly speaking, in a more formal argument I’d have to specify the labor skills and other capabilities of the Martian economy, to see how much of the influx of human financial capital translated into increased investment on Mars, as opposed to increased Martian consumption. I could make generous assumptions to pin that down. Or, I could also go the other way and say that the initial Martian capital stock was only 1% of Martian GDP, so that even if the influx of Earth “imports” pushed the electronic sector down to only 1% of the Martian economy (since relative prices on CPA services, database management, etc. would plummet once trade with Earth opened up), nonetheless we could still get roughly a doubling of the Martian capital stock in the first year.

  • 2. If you’re wondering why the Earthlings would do this, we could simply say that they are amassing wealth for when the first humans start moving to Mars. But even if that could never occur, it would still be a mutually advantageous exchange for the humans to send the Martians a big influx of electronic services upfront, in exchange for a net flow of electronic services back to Earth down the road. This is the same pattern of a win-win exchange as when a bank lends money to a homebuyer, who then pays back more money over the life of the mortgage.

  • 3. I am disregarding the probable outcome that the Martians themselves would stop reinvesting, and so (counting depreciation) the Martian capital stock would end up at only 3.8% of their initial GDP. However, I obviously could have played with the initial numbers to still get the bottom-line result of a doubling during the first year.


Categories: Current Affairs

Birmingham priest arrested on child porn charges

Anglican Ink - Wed, 22/11/2017 - 16:39

Dr Michael Rich of St Andrew's Episcopal Church arrested by state internet child porn task force

Diocese of SC takes appeal to US Supreme Court

Anglican Ink - Wed, 22/11/2017 - 16:21

Statement from the bishop and standing committee on the next phase of its legal appeal issued on 21 Nov 2017

Imunify360 2.5.8 released

CloudLinux - Wed, 22/11/2017 - 15:58

We are pleased to announce that the new updated stable Imunify360 version 2.5.8 is now available. This latest version embodies further improvements of the product as well as the new features. Imunify360 has also become more reliable and stable due to the bug fixes described below.

Should you encounter any problems with the product or have any questions, comments or suggestions, please contact our support team at cloudlinux.zendesk.com: Imunify360 department. We’d be more than happy to help you.

Imunify360 2.5.8

Changelog:

  • DEF-3519: fixed TimeoutError for CAPTCHA;
  • DEF-3644: fixed infected domains execution;
  • DEF-3647: separate error from malscan library;
  • DEF-3656: advanced data for incidents are now kept;
  • DEF-3666: imunify360-captcha service for CentOS7 is now stopped when imunify360 is stopped.

To install new Imunify360 version 2.5.8, please follow the instructions in the documentation.

To upgrade Imunify360 run:

yum update imunify360-firewall

More information on Imunify360 can be found here.

Categories: Technology

CloudLinux 7 kernel updated

CloudLinux - Wed, 22/11/2017 - 15:34

The new updated CloudLinux 7 and CloudLinux 6 Hybrid kernel version 3.10.0-714.10.2.lve1.4.75 is available for download from our production repository.

Changelog since 3.10.0-714.10.2.lve1.4.74:

  • fixed Provides field to avoid update problems;
  • KMODLVE-69: avoid an error while checking CPU limits by adjusting the value;
  • KMODLVE-73: fixed resource refcounting for disabled LVE;
  • KMODLVE-109, KMODLVE-114: improved thread killing process while destroying LVE;
  • KMODLVE-111: made module more verbose in case of errors during cgroup rename or rmdir;
  • KMODLVE-118: fixed a race on module unloading.

Please note, that you do not need to install this kernel if you have kernel with Reseller limits support installed as it doesn't have Reseller limits functionality.

To install kernel, please run the following command:

CloudLinux 7

yum clean all && yum install kernel-3.10.0-714.10.2.lve1.4.75.el7

CloudLinux 6 Hybrid

yum clean all && yum install kernel-3.10.0-714.10.2.lve1.4.75.el6h
Categories: Technology

Beta: MariaDB and MySQL for MySQL Governor updated

CloudLinux - Wed, 22/11/2017 - 14:20

The new updated cl-MariaDB and cl-MySQL packages for MySQL Governor are available for download from our updates-testing repository.

Changelog:

cl-MariaDB102

  • updated up to 10.2.10.

cl-MariaDB100

  • updated up to 10.0.31.

cl-MariaDB55

  • updated up to 5.5.58.

cl-MySQL56

  • updated up to 5.6.38.

cl-MySQL55

  • updated up to 5.5.58.

cl-MySQL57

  • updated up to 5.7.20.

Note. We recommend to save the database before update.

To update run:

cl-MySQL:

# yum update cl-MySQL-meta-client cl-MySQL-meta cl-MySQL-meta cl-MySQL* governor-mysql --enablerepo=cloudlinux-updates-testing #restart mysql #restart governor-mysql

cl-MariaDB:

# yum update cl-MariaDB-meta-client cl-MariaDB-meta cl-MariaDB-meta cl-MariaDB* governor-mysql --enablerepo=cloudlinux-updates-testing #restart mysql #restart governor-mysql

To install on a new server run:

# yum install governor-mysql --enablerepo=cloudlinux-updates-testing # /usr/share/lve/dbgovernor/db-select-mysql --mysql-version=[mariadb version] # /usr/share/lve/dbgovernor/mysqlgovernor.py --install-beta
Categories: Technology

Releasing AddThis on Cloudflare Apps: Making Disciplined Product Design Decisions

CloudFlare - Wed, 22/11/2017 - 13:00
 Making Disciplined Product Design Decisions

This is a guest post by Emily Schwartz, Product Manager for the AddThis team at Oracle. With a background in digital media that has spanned across NPR, WaPo Labs, Trove, and others, Emily cares deeply about helping publishers leverage data and technology for success.

 Making Disciplined Product Design Decisions

The Process of Paring Down

When our team learned about the opportunity to build an AddThis app on Cloudflare Apps, I was ready to pounce. Building for distribution platforms is a core part of our business and product strategy, and I knew AddThis could bring a lot to the table for Cloudflare users. With a media background in my pocket, I understand the necessity of making content easily and quickly distributable -- and I wanted to get our tools in front of new users so we could learn more about the critical needs of publishers, merchants, and website owners.

The decision to build was the easy part. What to build was the challenging part.

 Making Disciplined Product Design Decisions

With time and resources tight, I knew building an app that offered our full suite of website tools wouldn’t be immediately feasible—or even make sense. Share buttons, follow buttons, related posts, list building, link promotion, and tip jar are all useful products, but launching with a more narrow tool and feature set meant we could reach the market sooner, learn from user behaviors, and identify needs unique to Cloudflare Apps publishers. I opted to forge ahead with our most popular tool: share buttons.

If you try to configure share buttons from addthis.com, there are a lot of ways to do this: Floating, Inline, Expanded, Image Sharing, Popup, Banner, and Slider. Seven options just for share buttons! My goal with Cloudflare Apps was to launch something simple, useful, and closer to drag-and-drop than code-and-configure. With this in mind, I made a hard decision: pare down our app to the simplest version of our floating sharing sidebar—our most popular share buttons type—and cut many of the advanced configuration options. Instead, I decided to serve auto-personalized buttons and limit settings to cosmetic changes like number of services displayed and bordered styling. Perhaps the biggest change: users don’t even need to register an AddThis account to use our share buttons on Cloudflare Apps or work with any code. We created the simplest version of our share buttons to date.

With the scope trimmed down to “Share Buttons Lite,” we got to work.

 Making Disciplined Product Design Decisions

The AddThis team is no stranger to building for third-party platforms. Our tools are found on platforms like WordPress, Shopify, Magento, and others. Building for Cloudflare Apps turned out to be more of a dream, better than we could have imagined. There was one wrinkle to figure out: if we weren’t asking users to create or log in to an addthis.com account, how would we save unique configuration settings?

Some background

Every website with AddThis tools has a configuration object where on-page tool settings are stored. This includes configuration data such as layout, color, theme, and social media handles. This data needs to be stored each time tools are updated via the Cloudflare portal and loaded each time a website visitor lands on a page with AddThis tools. Ideally, this information is stored in a database and read each time tools are rendered. While this approach is feasible when users configure tools through the addthis.com dashboard, it’s not an option in Cloudflare Apps.

How to store and render sidebar settings for each user became an anticipated hurdle. Luckily, there was a good solution: save the tool configuration data on a JS global variable using Cloudflare’s suggested INSTALL_SCOPE JS technique and, using the AddThis Smart Layers API, render the tools from this global variable to display in the preview portal. When the user saves their configuration, we call and serve the settings stored on that global variable each time tools need to be rendered.

Anyone can check out this method in action by previewing the AddThis Share Buttons app from Cloudflare Apps and playing around with the tools’ positioning, styling, and other settings.

 Making Disciplined Product Design Decisions

In the few weeks since our launch, we’ve received a lot of useful feedback—good, bad, and ugly. The Cloudflare Apps developer portal allows developers to view basic metrics and user comments that keep third parties up-to-date about what’s important to websites and publishers. In the future, we’re considering connecting the app to the addthis.com dashboard and including other tool styles or types. We’ve heard a lot about page speed scores and mobile performance being important to users, and I’m pleased to report these are both areas of continued investment for AddThis. Paring down Share Buttons—AddThis’ flagship product—was a risk, and it’s one we’re happy we took.

Check out a live preview of AddThis in Cloudflare Apps »

Want to shape the future of content and sharing? We’re all ears at help@addthis.com and @addthissupport. Happy sharing.

Categories: Technology

The Challenge of Islam in the UK

Christian Concern - Wed, 22/11/2017 - 12:13
Tim Dieppe writes about the challenge of Islam in the UK, asking how the church should respond. He reviews the increasing influence of Islam, discusses some perspective on the beliefs of Muslims, and then outlines some ways that the church can and should be responding.

Tim Dieppe writes about the challenge of Islam in the UK, asking how the church should respond. He reviews the increasing influence of Islam, discusses some perspective on the beliefs of Muslims, and then outlines some ways that the church can and should be responding. This article was originally published in the Affinity Social Issues Bulletin for November 2017.

read more

Pages

Subscribe to oakleys.org.uk aggregator
Additional Terms