Google Vowel Outage

If you logged into Gmail over the last hour (or visited the Gmail homepage), you probably noticed that something looked a bit off: all the vowels are missing. We realize this makes things difficult for all of you who rely on Gmail — whether at home or at work — and we’re incredibly sorry. We take morphological issues like this extremely seriously, so we want to let you all know what happened and what we’re doing about it.

At 6:01 am Pacific Time, during routine maintenance at one of our datacenters, the frontend web servers in that particular datacenter started failing to render the letter ‘a’ for a subset of users. As error rates escalated, the strain spread to other datacenters. We worked quickly to avoid a cascading failure of the entire alphabet by implementing a stopgap solution that limited the damage to the letters ‘a,’ ‘e,’ ‘i,’ ‘o,’ and ‘u.’ As a result, we’re experiencing Gmail’s first temporary vowel outage. (We’re still investigating whether the letter ‘y’ is impacted and will post an update here shortly.)

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Sparkfun Free Day Over

SparkFun.comFree Day is over at SparkFun.com. Over $100k was given away in just under 1 hour and 45 minutes. According to their site they had over 1,000 orders and nearly 70,000 unique visitors.

OpenSSH Public Key Authentication

Key Generation

ssh-keygen -q -f ~/.ssh/id_rsa -t rsa
Enter passphrase (empty for no passphrase): …
Enter same passphrase again: …

Key Distribution

# first, upload public key from client to server

scp ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub user@server.example.org:

# next, setup the public key on server

cat ~/id_rsa.pub >> ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
chmod 600 ~/.ssh/authorized_keys
rm ~/id_rsa.pub