Archive for games

Q/A with Betsson’s Patrik Jonsson - DevCentral’s Featured Member for April

Posted in f5, big-ip, silva, devcentral, infrastructure, games by psilva on April 4th, 2017

 

 

patrik.jpgPatrik Jonsson lives in Stockholm with his wife and son and works as a network engineer for a company providing online casino games across the world.

Outside work, he likes to spend time with his family, play around with his home VMware lab and enjoys watching movies. He also loves travelling and having a beer with friends.

Patrik is also a 2017 DevCentral MVP and DevCentral’s Featured Member for April! DevCentral got a chance to talk with Patrik about his work, life and his project the BIG-IP Report.

DevCentral: You’ve been a very active contributor to the DevCentral community and wondered what keeps you involved?

Patrik: One of the best, and fun ways to learn new things is to take on problems, or discussions presented by fellow technicians. It forces you to continuously challenge what you think you know and keeps your knowledge up to date. In addition, when I need input, or help myself, DevCentral has so many brilliant and helpful members ready to take on whatever you throw at them.

DC: Tell us a little about the areas of BIG-IP expertise you have.

PJ: The first time I ran into a BIG-IP was just after I graduated from university. It was a 1000 series running BIG-IP v4. When I quit that job 6 years later I considered asking to bring it home with me, but somehow my girlfriend at the time was not as keen to the idea. Still don’t know why. :-)

I’ve been working mostly with BIG-IP LTM and iControl, but recently I’ve started to dabble a bit with APM, GTM/DNS and ASM as well.

DC: You are a Network Security Specialist at Betsson. Can you describe your typical workday?

PJ: At Betsson you never know what’s going to happen when you step into the office. The gaming industry has very tough competition and getting comfortable as one of the bigger players around is not an option since rivals are always ready to take your place. This, combined with awesome colleagues, makes it a joy to step into the office every morning.

DC: Describe one of your biggest BIG-IP challenges and how DevCentral helped in that situation.


betsson_logo.jpgPJ:
Being a multinational company with offices supporting multiple brands, one of the biggest challenges we have is knowledge sharing. Giving the developers the correct information when they need it is vital for an efficient application delivery. In order to provide this, we have used iRules to present troubleshooting information in the form of custom headers so developers can see which pool and member that responded to their request and the current status of all members. We also have a smarter version of the traditional sorry page which shows information about the failed pool and what’s being monitored. And then of course, BIG-IP Report.

All of these are using iRules and iControl and would not have been possible without the DevCentral API documentation and of course, my hero Joe Pruitt.

DC: What can readers learn from your blog: https://loadbalancing.se/ and what is the BIG-IP Report?

PJ: My blog is where I post ideas and projects that I have. There’s a BIG-IP APM + Google Authenticator guide, F5 Web UI augmentation script for version 11 and a few other things.

BIG-IP Report was born out of a need to show people the load balancing configuration in a simple manner without giving them access to the BIG-IP interface. After implementing it we have gone from developers asking us where things are, to instead them telling us about bad configuration. We also discovered that it is awesome for us as well, as we can get an overview of the configuration across multiple devices. Finding a specific VIP, or pool is so much easier when the information is in one place.

I guess the best way to understand it is to try it at http://loadbalancing.se/bigipreportdemo/

The blog is not updated that often, so it’s safe to subscribe without getting too much spam.

DC: Lastly, if you weren’t an IT admin – what would be your dream job? Or better, when you were a kid – what did you want to be when you grew up?

PJ: I think my dream would be working with a non-profit organization helping people in need. I love travelling and combining that with something meaningful would be really nice.

Thanks Patrik! Check out all of Patrik’s DevCentral contributions, check out his blog, or connect on LinkedIn. And visit Betsson on the web or follow on Twitter.

 

 




You Are the Device in 2016

Posted in security, f5, silva, mobile, human behavior, iot, games, things, sensors, fashion, wearable by psilva on January 14th, 2016

… and the controller and data generator.

lil.jpg

Were you surprised with that new car in your driveway sporting a huge bow this holiday season? Yea, me neither. But we did get a new gaming console that doesn’t require you to hold a controller in your hand. You know The One. It has a camera that picks up your body movements and turns that into action on your screen. It’ll even scan your face and create a digitized, animated You right in front of your eyes. You can then choose your You to play games. Now I realize some of you have had these for several years but we’ve been stuck in 2010 at our house…at least with gaming consoles.

For 2016, You are now the device, controller and data generator.

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is this week and plenty of new gadgets are being unveiled to interact with our lives.

Starting at the bottom, smart shoes might be the next big thing to hit stores this year. According to the manufacturer, you’ll be able to control the temperature of the shoe with a mobile app and it’ll count your steps more accurately than the thing you wear on your wrist or carry in your pocket. The temperature control idea is interesting since one of the ways to stay comfortable in the summer heat is to keep your feet cool. There’s also self-lacing shoes on display. A fitness company also unboxed smart footwear that tracks time and date, duration, distance and splits, without a runner having to carry other devices.

As we move up the body, a smart belt called Belty is grabbing people’s attention. Like any other belt, it fits through your pant loops but the motorized insides will adjust loose when sitting and tighten up when you stand. You can also have it vibrate to remind you to stand every so often if you’re on your bottom too long. It keeps track, via a smartphone app, not only of your steps but also your expanding or diminishing waistline over time. Will it shame you come next Thanksgiving? Maybe not, but the sounds and sights of a roomful people unhinging their pants after a big meal might become an era gone by.

There are also new fitness trackers, smart shirts, smartwatches, gesture controlled cars, grocery shopping fridges, and even a digital laser hair treatment that you put on your scalp for 90 seconds every night and the company claims that it’ll restore thinning hair.

Home hubs will be built into smart televisions and fridge cams will allow you to see if the light really goes out when you close the door. Sensors in our society have become commonplace and while in the past they’ve been used to track weather, traffic conditions and how much we weigh, they are now attached to our bodies gathering information about us and reporting back.

Forget about BYOD, we’re back to the old, ever popular BYOB – Bring Your Own Body.

ps

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IoT: Tabs to be Read Later

Posted in security, f5, silva, intelligent devices, RFID, infrastructure, iot, games, sensors, nfl by psilva on October 2nd, 2015

I've been traveling a bit over the last month and my tabs-to-read-later pile is growing. We'll be at AWS re:Invent next week so I thought I'd unload some of the IoT stories that caught my eye recently, that I'm finally getting to read. Apologies if this is old news to you.

One I've been holding on to almost the longest is an interesting INC article Our Future Will be Analog, Not Digital. Geoffrey James talks about the Internet of Things and how people think the convenience of connectivity is more important than the risks involved. He talks about how snail mail, cash and unplugging are tending up along with how analog objects are becoming status symbols. This is a good one if you think all this connectivity will become so hackable and fragile that no one will want to use it.

Next from The Economist, saying on the IoT theme, is Their own Devices. From Barbie's to cars to televisions, compromised computers are all over the place and few companies have the incentive to take security seriously within their widgets. there needs to be a change in corporate culture especially within non-computer companies. From the early days of the boiler explosions and crashes on railways to the safety of cars in the 70's to the hacks of medical devices today, we all need to recognize that connected devices need protection. And so do we.

To that, from Mashable, is how Major automakers are forming an alliance to tackle cybersecurity.With the growing concerns and actual demonstrations of cars getting breached, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers and the Association of Global Automakers are forming an Information Sharing and Analysis Center, according to Automotive News. Chris Perkins says, the creation of the Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC) represents an important proactive step from the industry to address these hacks before they happen.

The last couple years during the NFL season, I've written some stories about technology in sports including Are You Ready For Some...Technology!! and more recently with Will Deflate-Gate Lead to Micro-Chipped Footballs? On Ars Technica, David Kravets goes deeper into the sensor technology being used by the NFL this year with How the NFL—not the NSA—is impacting data gathering well beyond the gridiron. He talks about how RFID is being used to track all the player's movements and how they will use the 2 to 3 gigs of data generated each game. Also how teams can use the data for training and coaching along with how console gaming might use it and how it could affect fantasy bets. Very interesting article on how all this connectivity plays into the games we watch, play and enjoy.

OK, that's it for now and thanks for the chance to clean up some of my browser tabs. Now I got room for the next bunch.

ps

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The Analog Generation

Posted in security, f5, silva, emotions, games, 2017, digital, scams, the analog kid, society by psilva on January 12th, 2015

From Baby Boomers to Gen X, Y, & Z, there are certain characteristics that define, at least according to demographers and historians, each generation. Generation X, specifically, might also remember a Rush song called The Analog Kid. While not as frequently played as Tom Sawyer or Subdivisions, it has always been my favorite Rush song. Driving bass, awesome guitar solo, amazing imagery and Peart.

I am that Generation. The Analog Generation.

With all of our digital things getting connected, including things on and in our body, I started thinking that I'm part of the generation that transitioned from analog to digital. Not that analog or analog signals are disappearing anytime soon, but as a kid, there were way more analog things than digital, that's for sure. Audiophiles will also argue that analog recordings are better at capturing the true representation of sound due to it being continuous, rather than specific values to represent sound, as in the discrete digital.

I wondered if I was the only one who figured this out - highly doubtful - so I searched. And actually, there are a few people who have made the connection. One who argues that today's kids, at least his kids, are very analog. They love playing outside, playing board games and other non-digital activities. He talks about the importance of parents giving their children attention in the real world. And the other one specifically talks about the analog things we remember as a kid - records, 8mm, rotary phones, black & white TV, VHS and others verses the CDs, DVDs, iPhones and HD TVs today's kids live with.

Some feel that Rush's The Analog Kid is about a more innocent time with less technology in the world, longing for the simpler days. A cautionary tale. One person notes, 'Perhaps Peart's social comment with the two songs is how technology and science creates incredible wonders, but there's a cruel price to pay if there's no heart to guide it.' The other song he references is Digital Man, also on the Signals album. When I hear The Analog Kid it immediately takes me back to 1982 and whatever I was doing in high school. It is interesting that I took my first computer class in high school around that time...while still learning how to type...on a real typewriter. If you remember those, with the little IBM ball to change fonts, you're analog.

The last lines of the song are:

Too many hands on my time
Too many feelings
Too many things on my mind

When I leave I don't know
What I'm hoping to find
When I leave I don't know
What I'm leaving behind...

We are certainly entering a new realm with IoT with a lot of hopes, dreams and ideas of things to come. And while they all might help us automatically adjust home temperatures, become a little healthier, auto drive our car, keep an eye on our home, and cook better dinners, we can't forget that humans are social creatures, not necessarily social media darlings, and our real family, friends and loves are what really matter.

We're already forging a new frontier but we must tread carefully.

ps

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Playground 2.0

Posted in f5, silva, fun, humor, games by psilva on January 29th, 2014

My backyard is apparently either connected to the internet or somehow got included in a mobile game app.

Like many families, we like to play in the back yard.  Ahhh, the back yard.  Many, many, many configurations exist from grass to pools to gardens to trees to BBQs to swing-sets to concrete to nothing to...you get the idea.  We play ball, fake sword fights, run around, have picnics and all the fun things that can happen outside, on the grass, in the sun.  'Turn off that radio, TV, tablet, game, device, whatever and play outside!' many parents have said over the years.  Including mine. 

But something bizarre has happened to my backyard over the last year.  Levels.

No, not the Kramer style - 'Levels, Jerry, Levels,' not the rulers with the water bubble to make sure something is level nor the 2nd floor balcony protruding from the house.  But game levels. 

It started at one of the trade shows last year.  We always have our F5 squishy balls available at the booth and I usually grab a few to juggle, give to others and take back for my kid.  She loves them.  One day we were tossing them to each other and she decided to become a target - like in a game.  So she started to pace back and forth (as a moving target) for me to hit the target.  After the 1st 'round,' she says, 'ok 2nd round,' and paces back and forth again but this time, she also ducks up and down.  2nd round, harder level.  We continued to add various 'challenges' to the simple back and forth target practice with a squishy ball.  It was fun but then dissolved into one of those, 'remember when we...?'

Fast forward to a couple weeks ago.  We are out back playing some kingdom game having a pretend sword fight.  I got a Wiffle bat and she has a bamboo stick.  We both have kid water boards as our shields and swing away, complete with sound effects.  We complete our joust and I'm informed that she won and for the next level, I needed to wear a mask.  A mask?  Since when did Infinity Blade land in my back yard?  Multiple costume changes later, she reached level 10, along with all the accolades that comes with such an achievement.

And just last weekend, we got our various 'swords' sticking out of an old, round bamboo/wicker ottoman looking thing, that's lost its pillow top.  You know, outside furniture that has been outside for too long?  So she gives me my default Wiffle sword and then announces that I can upgrade to the cooler bamboo sword if I get enough coins.  Coins?  I don't see any Temple Run coins floating around the back yard.  'How do I get coins?' I wonder.  'Oh, you earn them by winning battles,'  she asserts.  'But wait, you always win - how am I gonna get some coins?' I lament.  Noting my concern, she assures, 'Oh, don't worry about it daddy, this is all fake.' 

Got it.

ps

 

 

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