Guus Bosman

software engineering director

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Visit by Jennie and Ronald

Our friends Jennie and Ronald are making a trip along the East Coast, and yesterday they arrived in Washington, DC.

They came to see us in the morning and we had lunch together -- it was very nice to see them.

After a few minutes of shyness Nora enjoyed meeting them, and she was very happy with her gift, a big inflatable pink cow. Koe! Koe! Koe!


Djurre Boshuizen

Djurre Boshuizen is born!

Our dear friends Joost and Ankie were blessed with a baby boy yesterday morning. Mother and child are doing fine and Elin is now big sister.


Paper: From Throw-away Traffic to Bots: detecting the rise of DGA-based malware

Well-written paper that outlines the Pleiades system which tries detect infected computers by looking at DNS traffic at the network-level. Pleiades combines a cluster of failed DNS lookups (NXDOMAIN results) with a cluster of nodes that tried to resolve failed DNS names. It filters out "well-known" domain names and is able to achieve high detection rates with very low false positive rates. Pretty cool.

It was funny that the system also detected (and got confused by) Chrome's "DNS hijacking detection" feature.

I read the paper as part of an online course I'm taking, Malicious Software and its Underground Economy: Two Sides to Every Story.



Nora is walking, as of today. We are very proud.

She was excited about her new 'baby carpet' and enjoyed walking on it and continued to hike throughout the living room.

In America a one-year old baby is called a "toddler", from the verb "to toddle". The Dutch translation for that verb is "waggelen" -- to walk unsteadily.


Working on the guest room

Today was a productive day. We worked all day on the house, unpacking and getting things ready, and the guest room is now ready to use and all the books there are unpacked.

Most of the previous weekends have been like this. It's a lot of work, moving into a house, but very rewarding.


First steps!

Nora made her first steps this weekend! For a while now she was able to walk while holding our hands, but she started walking all by herself now, sometimes up to 8 steps.

In other news: we bought two gates to close off the kitchen and the stairs.


Trip to Montreal, Canada

This weekend we made a very nice trip to Montreal, Canada. Sasha was speaking at a conference there and we decided to make it a family weekend.

We left on Friday from Dulles airport. It was Nora's first ever flight. At times she was overwhelmed by all the people and the noises but she was interested in all the things around her and didn't cry very much much. In the plane she kept crawling around on our laps and looking at everything and everybody.

We stayed in a hotel near Old Town, a few minutes from the river and the "Notre Dame", which does look quite a bit like the one in Paris. The city has a distinct European feel to it, and we enjoyed the good food everywhere. Nora liked the local food. She's an adventurous eater and loved the French cheese and duck confit.

Nora was thrilled to see the horses downtown. She even touched one of them, after some encouragement, and whenever she would see one she'd shout: "paard!". She also saw boats for the first time, "boot!".

On the way back we waited outside the plane for the stroller to be unloaded. It took a little longer and Nora and I touched the front of the plane, which she referred to as "boot" as well.


Eventual Consistency Today: Limitations, Extensions, and Beyond

Interesting overview by Peter Bailis and Ali Ghodsi on what the current practices are in system architecture when dealing with eventual consistency of distributed data sources.

They discuss research that shows that eventual consistency is in practice often strongly consistent, and thus "good enough" for most practices.

The paper concludes with a short overview of research into pushing the limits of what is achievable with high availability.

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