the-ultimate-bowlcut
djsckatzen:

shugarskull:

shugarskull:

cokekitty:


This is pretty serious stuff. Bayer might be about to overturn the EC’s decision to ban the pesticides implicated in killing off the bees! If they win this case, it could be truly disastrous for both the bees and our own future. Please share, and please see the SumOfUs link (no affiliation) to make a donation to help the campaign to save the bees.
Early in 2013, the European Food Safety Authority stated that three specific neonicotinoid insecticides (imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam) pose an acute risk to honeybees, and the European Commission proposed a two-year ban on them.
This is due to go into effect on Dec 1st – and the ban was introduced because of mounting scientific evidence that these insecticides, produced by Syngenta and Bayer, have been the agents responsible for Colony Collapse Disorder – a major problem threatening both the bees and the safety of our own food supply!
However in a horrifying twist, and despite huge public opposition, Syngenta and Bayer are now suing the European Commission over their “right” to continue to produce the pesticides which have been implicated in the massive die-off of millions of bees. Yes, their “right”. Because as we know, corporations’ sole agenda is to make money. They cannot let a trivial thing like nature get in their way.
These insecticides continue to be produced and used on a vast scale in the USA and in other countries and are huge moneymakers for the chemical corporations…
[x]

This threw up a few red flags when some of the links led to wiki pages but I looked up the lawsuit and it seems to be legit. Bayer is trying to lift the ban on pesticides that have been linked to the death of millions of bees in Europe. This is, unquestionably, terrible enough on its own, because bees are amazing little insects and deserve all our love, but if all the bees in the world go extinct, human life as we know it will change drastically. Produce will virtually cease to exist. That is a big freaking deal.
In addition to the donation page listed above, SumOfUs also has a petition going around that is still in need of signatures to help stop this. And it needs to be stopped. We cannot risk losing any more bees.
Bees get a pretty bad rap, but honestly? The scary, stingy things you’re afraid of? Most likely wasps. Bees, particularly honeybees and bumblebees, are just these fluffy little cuddle balls that fly around and pollinate stuff. They won’t sting you unless you’re a direct threat to them, because if they sting you, they’ll die. Don’t be scared of bees. Be scared for bees.
I’ve done as much looking around as I can because I know Tumblr is a cesspool of misinformation, and this looks as legit as it gets. Please tell people, sign the petition, and donate if you can.
And in the meantime, if you’re a gardner, please try to encourage bees to come to your garden. You can use the tips listed here. There’s also some information about different kinds of bees you might run into, in case you’d like to learn more about bees and why they’re wonderful.
Thanks for reading, guys. Please share this.

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION AND DONATE

They need 60K more signature and time is almost up! Please sign and reblog!

bees are important as fuck

djsckatzen:

shugarskull:

shugarskull:

cokekitty:

This is pretty serious stuff. Bayer might be about to overturn the EC’s decision to ban the pesticides implicated in killing off the bees! If they win this case, it could be truly disastrous for both the bees and our own future. Please share, and please see the SumOfUs link (no affiliation) to make a donation to help the campaign to save the bees.

Early in 2013, the European Food Safety Authority stated that three specific neonicotinoid insecticides (imidacloprid, clothianidin, and thiamethoxam) pose an acute risk to honeybees, and the European Commission proposed a two-year ban on them.

This is due to go into effect on Dec 1st – and the ban was introduced because of mounting scientific evidence that these insecticides, produced by Syngenta and Bayer, have been the agents responsible for Colony Collapse Disorder – a major problem threatening both the bees and the safety of our own food supply!

However in a horrifying twist, and despite huge public opposition, Syngenta and Bayer are now suing the European Commission over their “right” to continue to produce the pesticides which have been implicated in the massive die-off of millions of bees. Yes, their “right”. Because as we know, corporations’ sole agenda is to make money. They cannot let a trivial thing like nature get in their way.

These insecticides continue to be produced and used on a vast scale in the USA and in other countries and are huge moneymakers for the chemical corporations…

[x]

This threw up a few red flags when some of the links led to wiki pages but I looked up the lawsuit and it seems to be legit. Bayer is trying to lift the ban on pesticides that have been linked to the death of millions of bees in Europe. This is, unquestionably, terrible enough on its own, because bees are amazing little insects and deserve all our love, but if all the bees in the world go extinct, human life as we know it will change drastically. Produce will virtually cease to exist. That is a big freaking deal.

In addition to the donation page listed above, SumOfUs also has a petition going around that is still in need of signatures to help stop this. And it needs to be stopped. We cannot risk losing any more bees.

Bees get a pretty bad rap, but honestly? The scary, stingy things you’re afraid of? Most likely wasps. Bees, particularly honeybees and bumblebees, are just these fluffy little cuddle balls that fly around and pollinate stuff. They won’t sting you unless you’re a direct threat to them, because if they sting you, they’ll die. Don’t be scared of bees. Be scared for bees.

I’ve done as much looking around as I can because I know Tumblr is a cesspool of misinformation, and this looks as legit as it gets. Please tell people, sign the petition, and donate if you can.

And in the meantime, if you’re a gardner, please try to encourage bees to come to your garden. You can use the tips listed here. There’s also some information about different kinds of bees you might run into, in case you’d like to learn more about bees and why they’re wonderful.

Thanks for reading, guys. Please share this.

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION AND DONATE

They need 60K more signature and time is almost up! Please sign and reblog!

bees are important as fuck

engineering
engineering:

Who doesn’t love animated GIFs?
Believe it or not, support for GIFs at Tumblr was a happy accident! When Tumblr put together the code for handling JPEGs, support and GIFs (and PNGs) happened to also work using the same code. Perhaps even more surprising is that the tools used to handle GIFs at Tumblr hadn’t changed much from those early days. 
The image above is an original from sukme that could not be posted to Tumblr last June. It also would have failed if he’d tried last Sunday. If you click-through to the original post, you will see a muddy, reduced-saturation mess. All this because our resizer couldn’t handle the original. 
I’ve got ninety-nine problems and the GIF is one
There is a lot of misinformation about GIF limits on Tumblr, so let me set the record straight: We don’t count colors or frames or pixels. We only count bytes and seconds. Every image that comes in is scaled to a number of smaller sizes and the smaller your image is, the fewer resizes need to happen, which means less time. 
We had two core failure modes in our prior resizer: Some images would take as much as several minutes to convert. This was not directly attributable to color, dimensions, or frame count, but a mysterious mix of all of them. Some images would balloon in size (600KB at 400x400, 27MB at 250x250).
The unpredictability of these failures made our GIF limits feel arbitrary and terrible to the end users. Some have gone so far as to threaten monkey kicks. I don’t want to get kicked by a monkey, so we started working hard late last year to fix it. 
A proposed solution
Some of you may have seen this post where the performance of our current converter was compared with a new “mystery” converter. The mystery converter was roughly 1000x faster on the “slapping” GIF and happened to look great, but had quality problems on other images. Those were more fully explored in here a couple of days later.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, the mystery converter is gifsicle.
Getting a better handle on it
To get an unbiased test set, I took a random sample of roughly 90K GIFs that Tumblr users tried to upload, not limiting the corpus only to those that succeeded. These were tested against the current converter, resizing down to the next size we produce. Each resize is given up to 20 seconds to complete in our application, but all resizes must complete in 30 seconds. All resizes must be under 1MB or we will convert the first frame to JPEG and call it a day. 
2.6% of my 90K GIFs took longer than 20 seconds to resize. This is an underestimation of how many GIFs would be rejected for time because this is only one of several resizes required. A whopping 17.1% of all GIFs were over 1MB. Even if we bump up to 2MB, the rejection rate is 2.75%. The converter was making over 25% of all resizes larger than the higher-resolution originals! The total rejection rate for my sample set was 4.46% of all original GIFs uploaded. 
Using gifsicle is so much faster that our CPU rejection rate drops to 0.00 on my test set. Also, just under 99% of all images were smaller when resized than they were at their original resolution. The size rejection rate was a much lower 0.59%.
Gifsicle problems
As compelling as the performance of gifsicle is, the quality problems are too much to ignore. We played around with the code a bit, but eventually we just got in touch with the author, Dr. Eddie Kohler. The specifics are in this post, but the short version is that Eddie was able to improve quality by adding some more advanced resampling methods as well as palette expansion for small-palette images. This increased our size rejection rate to 0.68% while still keeping us well under our CPU budget. 
Proving it
Image processing is all about choices. How do you resample? Do you sharpen? Where in the workflow is gamma correction applied, if at all? The list goes on and on. 
As you can imagine from the performance differences, our previous converter and gifsicle take very different approaches to GIF resizing. The output images look different. Sometimes it is slight, sometimes it is significant, but there is no way we could put out a converter that messes up your images, even if it messes them up quickly. 
We set up a qualitative study. The goal was simply to prove that we weren’t doing worse than our old converter, not necessarily that we were doing better. This study was opened up to all Tumblr employees, as well as some “randomly selected” outsiders (my friends and family). Participants were presented with one of two questions:
1.) Given an original and 1 resize, decide whether it is ok, unacceptable, or completely broken.
2.) Given an original and 2 resizes (randomly choses which was left and which was right, sometimes they were identical), choose the better image or say there is no difference.
The results were everything I could have hoped for. The “acceptable” test showed that users found gifsicle better at producing acceptable results (87% vs. 84%), but not by a statistically relevant amount (p=0.086) and that gifsicle produced fewer broken GIFs (0.71% vs. 1.38%), but again not enough to say it is definitively better (p=0.106). The “better” test found users preferring gifsicle 37% of the time, the prior converter only 16% of the time, but users also preferred one identical image over the other 27% of the time. Again, it is hard to say that gifsicle is better, but it is clear that it is no worse.
Putting it all together
The development and testing described above took from late October until the beginning of March. Packaging, deployment, and integration took only a couple of weeks!
We aren’t done. There is work underway exploring how we handle JPEGs and PNGs. There are a slew of features that we can go after. This was a big step, a necessary step, but not the end for sure. 
We are a community, it takes a village, there’s no “i” in GIF
This project couldn’t have happened without the excellent work of Eddie Kohler in creating, maintaining, and enhancing gifsicle. Tumblr’s Site Reliability Engineering group packaged and helped deploy gifsicle onto hundreds and hundreds of machines in our datacenter. Tumblr’s Security Team vetted the code, both by inspection and by attacking it to make sure we stay safe. This was all for the awesome Tumblr creators, but I have to mention qilme/sukme (same dude, two blogs), reallivingartist, and especially gnumblr for their help in understanding and ultimately attacking this monstrous problem.

engineering:

Who doesn’t love animated GIFs?

Believe it or not, support for GIFs at Tumblr was a happy accident! When Tumblr put together the code for handling JPEGs, support and GIFs (and PNGs) happened to also work using the same code. Perhaps even more surprising is that the tools used to handle GIFs at Tumblr hadn’t changed much from those early days. 

The image above is an original from sukme that could not be posted to Tumblr last June. It also would have failed if he’d tried last Sunday. If you click-through to the original post, you will see a muddy, reduced-saturation mess. All this because our resizer couldn’t handle the original. 

I’ve got ninety-nine problems and the GIF is one

There is a lot of misinformation about GIF limits on Tumblr, so let me set the record straight: We don’t count colors or frames or pixels. We only count bytes and seconds. Every image that comes in is scaled to a number of smaller sizes and the smaller your image is, the fewer resizes need to happen, which means less time. 

We had two core failure modes in our prior resizer: Some images would take as much as several minutes to convert. This was not directly attributable to color, dimensions, or frame count, but a mysterious mix of all of them. Some images would balloon in size (600KB at 400x400, 27MB at 250x250).

The unpredictability of these failures made our GIF limits feel arbitrary and terrible to the end users. Some have gone so far as to threaten monkey kicks. I don’t want to get kicked by a monkey, so we started working hard late last year to fix it. 

A proposed solution

Some of you may have seen this post where the performance of our current converter was compared with a new “mystery” converter. The mystery converter was roughly 1000x faster on the “slapping” GIF and happened to look great, but had quality problems on other images. Those were more fully explored in here a couple of days later.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, the mystery converter is gifsicle.

Getting a better handle on it

To get an unbiased test set, I took a random sample of roughly 90K GIFs that Tumblr users tried to upload, not limiting the corpus only to those that succeeded. These were tested against the current converter, resizing down to the next size we produce. Each resize is given up to 20 seconds to complete in our application, but all resizes must complete in 30 seconds. All resizes must be under 1MB or we will convert the first frame to JPEG and call it a day. 

2.6% of my 90K GIFs took longer than 20 seconds to resize. This is an underestimation of how many GIFs would be rejected for time because this is only one of several resizes required. A whopping 17.1% of all GIFs were over 1MB. Even if we bump up to 2MB, the rejection rate is 2.75%. The converter was making over 25% of all resizes larger than the higher-resolution originals! The total rejection rate for my sample set was 4.46% of all original GIFs uploaded. 

Using gifsicle is so much faster that our CPU rejection rate drops to 0.00 on my test set. Also, just under 99% of all images were smaller when resized than they were at their original resolution. The size rejection rate was a much lower 0.59%.

Gifsicle problems

As compelling as the performance of gifsicle is, the quality problems are too much to ignore. We played around with the code a bit, but eventually we just got in touch with the author, Dr. Eddie Kohler. The specifics are in this post, but the short version is that Eddie was able to improve quality by adding some more advanced resampling methods as well as palette expansion for small-palette images. This increased our size rejection rate to 0.68% while still keeping us well under our CPU budget. 

Proving it

Image processing is all about choices. How do you resample? Do you sharpen? Where in the workflow is gamma correction applied, if at all? The list goes on and on. 

As you can imagine from the performance differences, our previous converter and gifsicle take very different approaches to GIF resizing. The output images look different. Sometimes it is slight, sometimes it is significant, but there is no way we could put out a converter that messes up your images, even if it messes them up quickly. 

We set up a qualitative study. The goal was simply to prove that we weren’t doing worse than our old converter, not necessarily that we were doing better. This study was opened up to all Tumblr employees, as well as some “randomly selected” outsiders (my friends and family). Participants were presented with one of two questions:

1.) Given an original and 1 resize, decide whether it is ok, unacceptable, or completely broken.

2.) Given an original and 2 resizes (randomly choses which was left and which was right, sometimes they were identical), choose the better image or say there is no difference.

The results were everything I could have hoped for. The “acceptable” test showed that users found gifsicle better at producing acceptable results (87% vs. 84%), but not by a statistically relevant amount (p=0.086) and that gifsicle produced fewer broken GIFs (0.71% vs. 1.38%), but again not enough to say it is definitively better (p=0.106). The “better” test found users preferring gifsicle 37% of the time, the prior converter only 16% of the time, but users also preferred one identical image over the other 27% of the time. Again, it is hard to say that gifsicle is better, but it is clear that it is no worse.

Putting it all together

The development and testing described above took from late October until the beginning of March. Packaging, deployment, and integration took only a couple of weeks!

We aren’t done. There is work underway exploring how we handle JPEGs and PNGs. There are a slew of features that we can go after. This was a big step, a necessary step, but not the end for sure. 

We are a community, it takes a village, there’s no “i” in GIF

This project couldn’t have happened without the excellent work of Eddie Kohler in creating, maintaining, and enhancing gifsicle. Tumblr’s Site Reliability Engineering group packaged and helped deploy gifsicle onto hundreds and hundreds of machines in our datacenter. Tumblr’s Security Team vetted the code, both by inspection and by attacking it to make sure we stay safe. This was all for the awesome Tumblr creators, but I have to mention qilme/sukme (same dude, two blogs), reallivingartist, and especially gnumblr for their help in understanding and ultimately attacking this monstrous problem.

staff

Urgent security update

staff:

Bad news. A major vulnerability, known as “Heartbleed,” has been disclosed for the technology that powers encryption across the majority of the internet. That includes Tumblr.

We have no evidence of any breach and, like most networks, our team took immediate action to fix the issue.

But this still means that the little lock icon (HTTPS) we all trusted to keep our passwords, personal emails, and credit cards safe, was actually making all that private information accessible to anyone who knew about the exploit.

This might be a good day to call in sick and take some time to change your passwords everywhere—especially your high-security services like email, file storage, and banking, which may have been compromised by this bug.

You’ll be hearing more in the news over the coming days. Take care.