SVLUG: Systemd: The Modern Linux init System You Will Learn to Love

Alison Chaiken gave a talk tonite at SVLUG on “Systemd: The Modern Linux init System You Will Learn to Love.”

Alison works with linux in automotive applications and is a systemd contributor.

systemd is a replacement for SysV init scripts and can boot services in parallel. It is the default init system on many linux distros now.

About 100 members attended.

Thanks again to Symantec for hosting.

wikipedia: systemd

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Systemic International Aviation Defects and Affordable Solutions

A third Malaysian airliner, AirAsia QZ8501, goes missing, but Malaysia is not at fault. The reality is that airliner safety is an illusion.

Besides holding a US Commercial Airplane license, I’ve read over 2,000 airplane accident reports and recently studied the NatGeo Air Crash investigation documentaries.

Although most airline accidents are in some way pilot error, the following systemic international aviation defects should be improved as soon as possible, without waiting for thousands more passenger deaths:

Problem Solution Cost
GPS is too accurate When navigating via GPS, fly right of airway centerline by 50 meters to avoid opposite-direction traffic at same altitude (GLO 1907) Free
Pilots flying blind Add cameras and lights on all engines and control surfaces and put the displays in the cockpit expensive to retrofit
Pitot/Static Icing verify pitot/static system readings with radar altimeter and throttle setting (XL 888T, AF 447) Cheap
Lost Airliners emit location tracking pings every 15 seconds (MH 370, Adam Air 574, AF 447) Cheap
Pilot confusion Pilot emergency retraining by AI (attitude indicator) in thunderstorms and turbulence (AF 447, Adam Air 574) Cheap
Airliners are bullseyes Avoid war zones/NK/Russia (KAL 902, MH 17) Additional fuel costs for some airlines
Airliners are deathtraps on the apron Need fire-proof jetways and buses to help evacuate large airliners at each major airport (QF32) Cheap
SE Asia weather Better understanding of weather in SE Asia, similar to successful US microburst and hurricane studies (QZ8501) Cheap
Externalizing risks on passengers US regional airlines that don’t allow bookings and exist only for cost-cutting need to be decertified. Colgans and Comairs are an abomination. Free
Congressional roulette US ATP pilot certification changes are a safety unknown. Get Congress out of FARs Free
FAA bureaucracy run amok The FAA should stop lying to the public about their unattainable “One Level of Safety” policy for both Part 121 (airline) and Part 135 (charter) operations, reminiscent of NASA mgmt. saying the Space Shuttle was safe.

Post a warning sign outside Part 135 operations saying, “We are not a large airline. Buyer beware.”

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Mobile and Sharing Economy in Manila – End of 2014 Review

I was in Manila for the holidays. Here’s what’s new in mobile and sharing there. (Manila can be used as a proxy to understand other large SE Asian cities.)


The biggest news in 2014 was the rise of “ride-sharing” – and Uber is getting killed in this market!

– taxi drivers use CloudFone and HuaWei Android phones and phablets with Google Maps because they’re cheap and thus theft-deterrent compared to brand-names. This illustrates the rise of good-enough Chinese smartphones.
– Google maps are pretty accurate in metro Manila
– some drivers enable Wifi hotspot in their taxi.

Grabtaxi “valet” kiosk at Magnolia Mall in New Manila with holiday hours schedule. Photo credit M. Santos.

Grabtaxi is the #1 ride-sharing system in Manila. It is a well-funded (Softbank) Uber-clone used by regulated, metered taxi drivers with an excellent Uber-style app.
– less robberies for driver and pax (some pax register with phone #, name and address but leave off house number). Women adore Grabtaxi.
– booking fee is P70 (USD $1.59) if no promo (xmas promo “hohoho”) added to fare, collected from driver.

– Uber is not as safe because private cars are used, not regulated public transport (India case in point), but operator can avoid/delay the P180,000 (USD $4,090.00) taxi licensing fee
– Uber’s surge pricing results in surprises.


iPhone 6 un-availability at Beyond the Box, Century City Mall in Makati. Photo credit M. Santos.

– outside the office, desktop computers are dead – everything is phone or tablet now
– half and half iPhone vs. Android, Samsung if they can afford it
– Blackberry rapidly disappearing.

Carriers and Data Plans

– 70% Globe (including Touch Mobile)/30% Smart (including Talkntext)
– Smart had unlimited plans for P2,000 (USD $45.45)/month/2 years (crushing Globe sales) before iPhone 6 release – that means Smart iPhone users are reluctant to upgrade from iPhone 5 at contract renewal time.

Domestic Phones

– Cherry and MyPhone Android devices are assembled locally


– not that popular yet because of fees compared to Facebook pages
– Citibank has a P2000 discount offer for AirBnB users.


– not popular because of listing fee and shipping to other countries

Social Media

– Facebook/Instagram dominates.

Text Chat

– Vibr most popular because of graphics and stickers, Whatsapp not as fancy.

Video Chat

– Facetime used within family or group of friends who use iPhone
– Skype also used.


– still prefer in-person brick-and-mortar shopping to check size and quality, as returns are generally not allowed. The average Filipina shops in malls for discount sales, otherwise enjoys the food court and cinema.
– ecommerce is a last resort, used for international items to obtain special brands or sizes like luxury goods (ie. collectibles, golf gloves, replacement parts, etc.)
– “hobby ecommerce” using Facebook fan page/album or Instagram. Payment in advance with free delivery to friends/co-workers.
– Pinterest still kind of new
- not a single web site in SE Asia is safe to enter your credit card number! Use Paypal via a US booking site, like or

Exchange rate: USD $1 = P44.

New Questions in Mobile: An Asian Perspective
New Year’s Eve 2014 Manila Fireworks

SoftBank Emerges As The Biggest Challenger To Uber

Posted in Business, Cloud, Tablets, Tech, Toys, Travel | Leave a comment

todo Formats

Simple Format

– item
x – finished item
2 – half-finished item

Modified Simple Format

“Only do items that make money or customers happy in the next 30 days.”

More Complex Format

Gina Trapani’s todo.txt format
Memo file format
Why We Procrastinate (We think of our future selves as strangers)

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Small Airline Operators Get Crushed by FAA

It’s interesting to watch the FAA ratchet up pilot requirements for Part 135 operators and regional airlines.

The new ATP and FAR 117 flight and duty-time rules requirements essentially give smaller operators the cost structure of a Part 121 airline with only a fraction of the passengers to pay for it.

So far, smaller operators have reacted by either shutting down, or by “going pro” and upgrading from turobprops to jets. (Cargo haulers are somehow exempted.)

This is a natural progression of FAA’s policy of “One Level of Safety.” Although it’s unrealistic to expect charter operators to fly as safely as the airlines, passengers cannot evaluate the differing risk levels, so bureaucrats will destroy smaller operators in the name of safety.

SkyWest To Shed Brasilias, Reaches New Terms with United
FAA Letter Implies CVR Required for Twin T-prop 135 Ops

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