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#69 Disappeared

2016-07-07

This week a man decides to sabotage the entire internet. Plus, PJ discovers the secret code he’s accidentally been speaking, and learns about the people who created it.

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This episode is brought to you by better for him a new podcast from eighty people in each so Francesca Ramsay talks to visionaries in business leaders about mistakes. They ve made how they work their way through them and came out better for it listen unspent. Fi or wherever you get your pot if the afternoon of March twenty second, twenty, sixteen and Katy Caldwell, who is a program manager. Microsoft in Seattle, is in a meeting at approximately two thirty p m. Her phone starts to blow up- and I remember just receiving a number of twitter like
update like all. At the same time, I just like saw all of the people that I follow and I follow a lot of tech folk just explode. So first I was like who died two thousand miles away in Houston, Texas, a development in Dakota, Psmith stung. He's trying to update a programme, something is done a thousand times before and its failing, and he has no idea why. But his boss is not pleased he's like. Well, that's not supposed to happen. I mean he was kind of incredulous like this was so without precedent. I'm certain that at the time he thought that I was just misreading. Error message developers all over the world: France, Korea, Russia, China, there all. Getting these error messages just like decoded it into something surfing the web. Everything looks fine, but these developers, who are just trying to do their jobs cant, do anything that
break. The internet is by now this tired cliche that used to describe something really popular like a viral video, but on this one afternoon in March, even though most will have no idea that is happening. The internet is really and truly busted. No one can figure out why I ox I dj ivo question. Yes, why is everything broken? Well, there's just one clue, which is The error messages that everybody, seeing their all coming from a site called NP, em and understand how the internet is breaking. You need to understand how end pm works, so, what's in it you're working on a website any one of his code, that light automatically recesses images or automatically bold certain words, but you don't want a rate that code yourself. You can go to NP em and grab a piece of code that someone else has already written developers, call these This could package's people started talking to us in going hey, so this package, which absolutely has to be there, is missing. What's wrong.
Your servers. This is largely vos he's the chief technology officer and co founder of ten p m and that was how you know. As soon as we went into investigating that we were like. Oh it's not our servers. Those packages actually gone and that's a problem because people dont typically store packages on their own computer. If they need a package for whatever it is their working on. They just go to an pm and grab it from their. So what is the package? That's missing like what's the thing, so is this peace code there was called left pad. First of all, what does left pad do? Well, it's! It's really sort of hilariously simple if you ve, a piece of text that you need to be aligned to the right. There that you align line at piece of text to the right, as you put a bunch of spaces left of that piece of text, and that act is called left padding and that's all that's left pad does so it's basically margin and as someone who is not a quota, that sounds pretty simple but
To make sure I asked Katy Caldwell for Microsoft. How long would it take you to write a program like left bed? I was just riding at my head fell. I beg you, could take a bow. It'll probably take me about five minutes. How do less but do yeah yeah. I didn't that air, it's not that complex, but on March twenty second Le Pen is the most important programme in the world. So back in PM's office, it's two thirty five PM pacific time. An end pm servers are getting hundreds of requests per minute for left, bad and they're all failing it's this weird unprecedented event on the internet and to illustrate the scale of how broken everything is lorry compared it
newest episode of the West Wing, where mad cow disease breaks out of small ranch in Nebraska, and it has this ripple effect that impacts the entire country's food system. So suddenly they realize they're going to have to recall all beef and- and they start walking through, I think it's it's. The president starts walking through the impact that this is going to have. So. First, all the bee farmers are going to go bankrupt because no one's going to buy beef, but that's just the beginning, because all the fast food restaurants are going to go back cuz, they depend on beef and then all the people who worked at fast food restaurants are going to be out of work, so all of the services that they depend on us only going to have a lot less money. Although you know the people who, let us in the people who may catch up and the people who make bread for living there suddenly gonna be out of work. There's gonna be this here huge economic impact caused by one farm
covering that their their cow is sick, so lorry and his team start to investigate they look up the author of left had his name is our canoe, and this was the second clue about what was going on, because other had written summit two hundred and fifty packages them on in pm and when they went to look for what was going on left? Had they were all gone there s all his packages were yes ha. So what had happened well are had gotten into a fight with this company called kick sure you are familiar with the company. Kick right, o K, O K, the other there, sir, like slacker message there messaging thing: it's like a chat programme, but it has hundreds of me
years of users of whom are very young, we I us olds, don't know who they are noise at all times. You really a helluva lot more relevant friends. So anyway, the fight other declined to do an interview with us, but he has written about it, and this is based What happened so, as I wrote a package of kick and he says at the time he didn't even know that there was a company called kick but an notably the company reached out to him and said: hey we want to post a package on in PM. Call kick. Can you please change course and others said no until kick wrote back. And did a little bit sabre rattling. They basically said: look, we weed want wanna, be dicks, but since it ain't kick is a registered trademark. We're gonna get lawyers involved and you dont want lawyers beating down your door. Deviation Harry, don't be a deck yes,
And others response in this is a direct quote: was ha ha you're, actually being a deck? So fuck you don't email me back. Ok, kick send him a couple: more emails burden get anywhere, so they just cut a winner. Had they went to MP him directly and said: look run this place sky answer is using our company name. Please help us. An M p M says: ok, here's lorry again the guy from India. We made the car, we said. Well, the deck. So fuck you don't know me back, ok, Rebecca, kick, send him a couple: more Eu Males burden, get anywhere the that the very famous messenger application should probably had this name kick and so gave the application to name to kick Asia, really really really didn't like that. We had taken that the package
Way and given it to these other people and so in protest he decided that he was going to delete kick itself his his kick, but he also wanted lead everything else, he'd ever written, which included, left Pat and that doesn't seem like it such a big deal because left tat is not that complicated, but it built into tons of other package it. So tens of thousands of people were using. It
today, without even realizing that they were using. So when others yanked it it just broke. Everything which is crazy, but what's crazier is that there is nothing to stop us from deleting his package because because it was so unthinkable that someone would delete their package like that that India hadn't build any safeguards to protect against it. So once everybody figures out, what's going on that, our canoe decided to take everything off of and p M there really pissed, I mean they tweeted things Adam, like quote fuck this, as our canoe kicks claim, is reasonable Mp Imposition correct cartoon response, childish, she's or developers these, and these are the insults of comparative elvers or maybe seven, who only at a hundred and forty characters were out entering say but part of
and that their so mad is that other has just violated. This were wholly agreement of the internet, which is called Opensource, assume you're, familiar opensource. Yes, yes, in a way where, if you asked me to explain, I probably couldn't do it well, basically, open source. Is this community of people who develop code, and the idea is that anybody can borrow anybody else's best ideas and work on them. They can build something else on top of it, they can basically take her coat and do whatever they want with it, and you here, ok with that, we want to pay you yet if you share code and you share in his opensource, like your essentially giving it away right. So the thing that I feel like I did not realise that I am rising now is that you can share with everybody. But if you decide later that you don't want to share it anymore, it's not just like new people can't use it. It's like
goes away like. If you were like the real world it will. You invented a screw that when in a bridge and then right now, I'm mad and every bereaves, those ever built that has those crews just collapses because the screws disappear. Yes, that's right! That's insane! That's insane system too! So ass! He took the screws up, everybody's bridges collapsed and it's a total mass. But luckily M p m. Has a backup of left out on their servers, civilians, but the scarce beckoned right so at four fifty four p m like two and a half hours after our pull the package's in the first place and p M restores LE pen, which of course lorry knows is against others. Will he d
these things for reason, but lorry basically says well, listen! Other sorry! But it's not your decision to break the internet. By pulling your code, you explicitly said you gave in an open source license. You explicitly said it is ok that other people can do anything that they want with this code. In fact, the licence that is attached to left bad. It's literally called the W T, F, P, L, which means the You know paraphrasing slightly the whatever the hell you want licence. That's what it is the licences incredibly simple. It says do whatever the hell you want with this code, it doesn't get more explicit than a w e f licence it just, underlines how open sources this community that built top to bottom on sharing, but for all the people who are mad at other for deleting is code. There were just as many
but who are mad at lorry and an pm for fixing the thing that he broke, and one of them is this guy kid deem he's a developer from Australia and cases. Yes, what answer did was of noxious, but he was definitely not Adeline. Yes, it's a dick merger to kill off all of your neuron packages, but at the same time, page within his rights, even if it does break a whole bunch of projects. If anyone were concerned about people on publishing, they shouldn't it had that feature as part of their other tree in the first place. The real thing that bothers Kate about this whole debacle is that, as far as he is concerned and p M colluded with kick, which is this powerful corporation and they totally shut out other was the author of the code to Kay this felt like a power play, we totally against the spirit of open source and the way he describes, the open source community is not just a bunch of coders working on their own independent stuff. It's like this big utopian experiment, open source
this swirling amazing literary and technical anarchy, and so when I say that an annex iii and not talking about Malta cocktails and instead talking about an occurrence purest form which is self governance across the internet and, of course, that this, some parts of this in a really bad, but for the most part the whole reason why we have this is technology. Ecosystem is because of that that funding philosophy and how open source, essentially self governance and to answer ecosystem where everyone shares their ideas gets totally disrupted. If any time a corporation says boo, everyone just gets out of way. He won't stand for it and he told me in an email quote: previous generations told us that big fishes eat small fish. I'm a small fish that doesnt, except that big fish, can threaten steel and get away with it. Big fishes can't dictate small fishes anymore
we're awake power to the people. How yeah? So the weird thing that I noticed we're talking to so many people in the open source community for the story is that even if they disagreed with what our did like, even if they thought he was being a brat, they all seem to respect his worldview They believed what he was standing up for even lorry the guy who's. Many other sabotaged not to get to you. No high minded about things but open source is it's a political act? It's a statement, about how you want the world to work. It's his statement of how you want things to be open and free and part of being open and freeze. The ability to protest in Asia had done. This is a protest and I knew that I was limiting. The impact of his protest in a way that was exactly opposite to what Why did he wanted a bunch of people to be broken? He'd wanted a legit people to notice that this thing was broken and hear about it and by fixing it I
diminishing the number of people who would who would be broken about it and also diminishing the impact of his profile, I was limiting his free speech in some way, so net result of this entire fight. Is that an p m made it? So people can't unpublished stuff in the way that hazarded anymore. So it's like There wasn't a guardrail there and now there's a guardrail exactly, but that is not to say that this was not happen again, because something like this will happen definitely happen. Again. I mean maybe not a ten p dot m, maybe not like a severe but open sources in everything on the internet, like that website is an operating system. Open source just touches everything. It's like the foundation of the internet. That's the internet that we chosen to build.
In the benefit. Is that is open and anyone can improve it, but the downside is that it very vulnerable to like hurt feelings and egos in this weird way that I haven't really realised in a way that life bridges Rightly nobody gets mad and takes their red come right. So I mean, if you look at it that way, this act of sabotage by other strangely makes me feel pretty good. Some sense I mean every single day. There are countless people who could decide to break things, but they don't instead, this fragile, flawed human system, this system that we all rely on its soldiers on for another week
coming up after the break, we realised that we didn't get yes, yes, yes, last week, this up so it is brought to you by better for it a new podcast from eighty p hosted by Francesca Ramsay. We all make mistakes,
better, for it looks at how mistakes have shaped the lives and careers of visionaries and business leaders and helps them think differently about what their working for you'll hear from an entrepreneur who ventured out on his, and so I went out. I took seven hundred dollars. I had in the bank, but my own pickup truck took some flyers business cards in a week later ahead of business and H our rule breaker, whose learned why we all care about work in the first place that you wanted to proud of the work that you do. You want to be able to tell your friends it that you want to be able to feel like you're, making a difference. You'll hear how they work their way through their mistakes and came out better for listen on Spotify. Wherever you get your pockets. So regular listeners that out now that we have the segment called. Yes, yes, now, where we explain
in confusing things on the internet, to our boss, ASP and the unspoken premise of course of yet has now, that Alex Gorman and I are like extremely with people who are smart and relevant and no Everything there is to know about culture. Otherwise, why would we be experts? Okay, so last episode, yeah. Just now we are looking at a tweet bloomer did understand and he was specifically confused by this word. He didn't recognize yeahs. So then yeah ass, well, ass. I'm gonna take this one, which is like an emphatic yes justly yes right any. We moved on. We just missed this huge story about where the word came from, we were three straightway guys saying in a room time out something that it turns out. We knew basically nothing about
to everybody who heard this and cringed and wanted to punch their iphones. I'm sorry for people who are just as ignorant about where word yes comes from, as I was good news. The story of how this word got here is so fascinating, so let's work backwards, so probably the biggest reason that mainstream cultured knows. Yes, right now is because on the show, broad city, they say it all the time there is actually a scene where I wanna Glaser teaches her best friend how to say it: gas, Queen yeah, ass, clearly ass, clean ass, clean ass, clean ass, Queen gas yeah ass queen I squeeze task biases and from broad city wanting lasers said she got from this viral video of twenty two year old, lady Gaga Affair, you look so good, so I want to give Zach a credit for your house and so do a lot of people, but the website mic dot, com, interview them and he went out of his way to say there wasn't his. He said quote
something we just said. Naturally, I was saying yes with everyone else, so that we there is really important, because that we is gay people. Yeahs comes from gay culture which still isn't an answer like when who how we're specifically did the thing start. So I got home from work my girlfriend, just like you idiot. I cannot believe you don't worry us from. She told me to go. Watch this documentary film in the eighties called Paris is burning. And I say so- I watched it wholly crap I saw so he asked is literally read their little things in this beautiful golden drag queen spreads out in framing adoring crowd and they're all yelling at so I went in with ITALY a treaty accords
and so they ve done a story about people. People were in an extremely dire situation and who responded: TED's intrusion by making something very beautiful and merely the fact that a lot of us don't know this. That's part of the story is actually part of it. Tragedy of the story so to understand what you're about to hear you Jesse A little bit about Paris is bringing this document. Here's the set up for the movie nineteen eighties, and there are these late made parties happening in Harlem the parties, by young queer, black Emma Teen Ex people and their called balls at the balls, they were prizes given to miss fabulous, drag queens, but there are also these other prizes. People competed to see who can dress up and do the best impression of just like normal architectural people who they see on the street to choose the best like Q girl, who picks up her brother from school or the best like tough guy outside the party who's, gonna mug, you when you leave, or the best like Wall Street, guys
so. I said well just spent up there. He stared into the suit and get into the bluffs, so the empty to speak announcement and out box. This man, who is just dressed like a boy he's, got a three peace gray suit he's got a briefcase. He walks to one's either room, he walks the other and there is an audience of people studying him and the goal for this guy is to be real and if he's real emergency plans, is he could walk around in straight society and nobody would know that he was queer like it. He could get on the subway and nobody would beat him up, but that's not exactly why they do it. In a movie drag queen enduring Corey, explains why people have our time getting anywhere and those that do are usually stress and you can be You think really equity of you're. Looking like an executive-
Therefore you saw industry where that I candy and executive. I actually had to talk to somebody who is there back then his aims Jose extravaganza, he's forty four. Now he came to see you and he told me about the first time he ever went to a ball. I was fifteen years, and I was, as I stood there, the whole time with my mouth mouth open the cheering and all this creativeness making something out of nothing. You know like how did you do that? What all the time and energy they put into these things just to go there and get a? acknowledge to before someone tell me. Oh, yes, you are fabulous, that's it! That's all you guys, you're getting a big prize. You know you to be able to use it as a school credit. As a class credit. You know it was your fifty minutes to feel good. All this work and others creativity just for the benefit of the people who were there that night, but a lot as culture is stuck around, particularly the language, so obviously them
You here of people saying ass, but there's also these other words that I'm you sitting here as internet language that comes from there that you here, the movie sovereigns reading, seed on the internet, all the time. If somebody gets read, it means a yacht criticized and these reading somebody there like, criticising them in very fine detail. That comes from the balls you why I talk about waiting. Let's talk about ready, you have made up my mind. Or Shea everybody in the arena is always growing shape, in shady getting shaded I thought I knew that man I got one more synonym for criticising somebody, but in a movie during Korea explains that change more. But the mat shade is, I dont tell your ugly but I have to tell you, because you know you're alive, she's, a nun.
The other thing that street Cultured took from the ball scene was voting, Jose a actually became really famous because Madonna hired him to teach her how to vote and to go and tore with her and be one of her dancers. Actually, the very first time he competed ball. It was in the Vogue Category B as that. His thing. I went and I went with a group of friends. Then I wanted a walk audience. Anybody, though, that I was going to compete, I was so afraid and when they called the category, I remember that going out their edges voting at the speed Of life you see that a bit in Paris is burning, there's a clip of it. Yeah yeah! That's your first wind ass, my first war a little kid! That's like moving on the floor, guy and they're asking him. What is your name? What is it I didn't even here that I did even hear nothing and my first boy, my one and that night they asked me to be a part the House of Extravaganza, the house DR again, so houses were like fear
these, but non biological families and getting asked during the house is a big deal, because a lot of the kids who showed about these balls were homeless. They left or they'd, been kicked out. Have a piece of homes as they were just sleeping outside on the piers in New York, but he went to the ball and you were good. Somebody would ask you to join their house. Your laugh became your house's name. That's why hoses Jose extravaganza and the people in the house would actually take care of you, like you, had a place to sleep if you needed it, you had food was actually got an allowance from his house. The house even had people who are like the mother of the and the Father of the House Jose, is now the Father of House Extravaganza back then the Father is this guy named Danny. I remember going over to Danny shrubby answer. Who may he rest he passed away earlier, and I remember wages
his house every day and every time I would come visit. They would be like sleeping bags and lay people on the floor and unless people waking up Ben somebody coming out of the bathroom alike, who are these people I wanna be here? I want to sleeping bag to know he was the best feeling that feeling of light are you a unit? It was a unit and yeah and then, of course, lately I've lost a lot of them to you know, ease and stuff, like that, you know, but there with me, do you have people like to your people on your phone, now you have kids and sleeping bags and stuff like that that at the moment, but I had a headache, a girl who just had a sex change a little yeah. She just went through a very big trend. Listen and didn't know how to feel so. She came over my house yeah and just
Imagine just having this big procedure done: no parent parents, you know this. No one there to be like to hold your hand, that's horrible, a summons responsibility me It is, but its responsibility that you feel is is it responsibility. It is life. I know that I've made a difference this young girls life. She really looks to me like a father. I see it in her eyes and I've, given you nothing because I really don't have anything saucer like someone who's outside of it. The fact that you can like just make family is, I mean it's like you got very fucking Lake, exactly that and if it was so good at I'm just an emotional dude. Now, I'm sorry now that's fine yeah!
And when I got to be the Father, it was in a very hard time. You know eighteen, eighteen years old below all my friends are dying and it's funny because I've never been. Anyone else like them. You know how you always be people. Are you remind me of this person? Do These guys were somewhere. A very David geniuses from miss them every day. It's crazy! So that's where he asked comes from those people who are gone there, the winter top of that. So what does it mean? Then? What does it mean to take something from them and not know it? A lot of the people from Paris is burning. Are now dead, the places they used to dance argon, the piers, where they used to sleep, there's a golf course there now
And the really bitter irony is that, while they are gone, their language is so present, their fashion is so present, and that means that people like me straight people, we use the things they invented without knowing the story of the people who invented them. Shrewdly was producing this interview says you sitting in the room. I think it also makes so much more sounds like hearing, thus that that, if you feel that anger of forestry, and when you see words like shady, were hurrying thrown around, because it's not just words that are being taken. It's like, clearly made these where it's a good people you're talking about people, you mess it's like it's In the end, it was kind of like code. It was we were speaking code. You know, for no one else to understand us just ass, you know
It was our court against the city so to speak. You know, have you ever been to a boy? Now we have to go what July thirty it we have to guard against me and a ward off the absolutely. The tax law was that the late secondly like for, whereas there having add stage forty, eight, ok yeah. How do we dropped hurry were far less you wanna cover you wanna covered a fabulous outfit. I refer you add to this day. I want to fit in and not stand out. Fitted justified, unified, it'll, be fun. Absolutely Jose. Extravaganza, Father thousand extravaganza, albeit late export I turn I'll, be there too, and if you can't make it there, there is
All new generation people throwing balls, you go check it out. You see how and the new documentary strike oppose, which is coming to theatre soon and coming buys alarming Netflix seriously get down requires me to devote our common wherever it is as well I share the opinion that any fear, Bannon Chloe procedures and dominant Omar, carry our executive producers, TIM Howard Hughes, on vacation this week, so he can tell me not to tell you to go, listen to his band so terrible. I resign his fight sign for true love production. Since, from Tom Cody, we were edited by Peter County and mixed by requiring special day.
Sid Jenny Livingston for letting us he's. Clubs from a documentary, Paris is burning. Find out about twenty fifth anniversary screenings of the film at a website: Jenny, Livingston, dot com, there's also information, better new film Project Earth camp. One also thanks Lord. How agree now for telling me I was down and made me watch it. We had so. Child with Antium story. Thanks systematic in unison, over a rain. Wasn't Perkin Crystal Gunnar and thank you too. What are Julia outside? Who prayers in touch with Jose? There's a girl? interview she did with him for Latino, USA, listen to it and finally, thank you so much to every person who emailed or tweeted or just got in touch with us and told us that we screwed up. Please always tell us when we screw up we really appreciate our theme: music, ass from a mysterious break, master, cylinder and our add music is by build buildings, Natalie Where is the smoke from fireworks July? Thirteenth is the deadline for them. I'll August internship. If your interested more information,
You might media dot com. Another website you can visit is reply. I've got limo, Greekan, you're, more up, says the show or you can take us out in. Itunes or Google play wherever else. You get your pike s thanks for listening, we'll see you next week.
Transcript generated on 2020-02-13.