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‘Of course, all of this will go out of the window’: The refresher’s guide to Cannes

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‘Of course, all of this will go out of the window’: The refresher’s guide to Cannes

The Cannes Lions weeklong festival has always been a tough test of endurance — now it’s close to Herculean. The festival was once second nature to attendees, but many would benefit from tips, recommendations and advice following the three-year gap since the last event. Never fear — Digiday has you covered. We asked Cannes veterans — those who have been on the front lines and seen it all — to help make your return to the Croisette as stress-free as possible.

“Early morning is either a great or a terrible time for meetings depending on your perspective. Don’t be surprised by any last minute cancellations. If you have a glass of water for every glass of rosé, you can at least use this quieter time to catch up on messages — assuming you weren’t also up all night at a pool party. The juice and coffee bars are quiet(er) and the sun is not yet out in full force. If you can drag yourself away from revelries before dawn, you’ll more than likely thank yourself for it the next day.”

Travis Clinger, svp of addressability and Ecosystem at LiveRamp

“Call it a night before 1am each night and head out for a morning run to the west of Cannes along the water to kick start each day. This will enable you to still enjoy the rosé, but stay grounded and be the first to arrive for the morning meetings.”

Peter Wallace, general manager of EMEA at GumGum

“The chaos comes from the fact that a lot of the beauty that drives Cannes is the unscheduled random interactions that happen over the course of the week. Leave some time to meander through the area, you’ll no doubt bump into old acquaintances that you didn’t even know were there and make new friends along the way. These unscheduled meets can be the most productive and valuable during the week, embracing both the organized and the chaotic elements of what Cannes has to offer.”

Beth Wade, global CMO of VMLY&R  

“Cannes is a beautiful city to explore beyond the Palais and Croisette. For those looking for a little exercise and scenery, a walk through Old Town moves away from the non-stop parties to steep, winding streets, which can lead you to the Musee de la Castre. From this perfect height above the city, you can look out over the marina down below and walk the gallery to see a wonderful display of primitive artwork. And if running is your passion, there is plenty of promenades to call your own as you escape the scene of meetings, parties and presentations.”

Suzanne Taylor, head of global brand and event Marketing, Xandr

“As there are so many events going on, make sure to manage your own time and even set a morning routine. Hit the beach for a yoga class or visit one of the yachts for a massage and a smoothie – self care is just as important as all the great parties. It is also worth being aware of other people’s concerns around health, with this being some people’s first major event post-pandemic you’ll need to check on their comfort levels when it comes to wearing masks and meeting outdoors. Finally, the best advice I’ve ever received is to know when to stop the celebrating and head home from the yachts (and grab a late night pizza on the way home).”

Rob Hall, CEO of Playground XYZ

“Wear comfortable shoes! Whether it’s running around for meetings or cruising from one party to the next, you’re going to be on foot almost constantly. I had a brain-explosion one year and wore flip flops. Pick your footwear wisely. Oh, and don’t forget sunscreen. They don’t have a gaping hole in their ozone layer like we do here in Australia, but all that sun adds up and, before you know it, ‘you have a nice tan’ can turn into ‘you look like an overripe tomato’.”

Anna Forbes, chief operating officer for Azerion in the U.K.

“My advice to those attending Cannes for the first time would be to plan your outfits ahead of time and definitely pack shoes you can walk in; the Croisette is long and hot so make sure comfort is at the forefront. Also, you’ll have to take your shoes off if you’re going on one of the boats so practicality is key — think business casual for hot weather.

It’s best to confirm your morning meetings that morning – just send them a quick text to ensure they’re alive and kicking, rosé heads and alarms don’t always get along! I’d also suggest leaving space in between meetings – you don’t want to be running up and down the Croisette in the midday sun… it’s Cannes Lions not the Olympics. It’s also a sure fire way to arrive as a hot mess at your next meeting which certainly isn’t ideal.

Lastly, make sure to drink as much water as you can, it’s very important to reach the hydration station.”

James Leaver, CEO of multilocal

“Fortunately, even at the busiest time of the day, there are quiet corners to be found in the conference center and around La Croisette. Invest in an hour or so familiarizing yourself with the layout of the Palais des Festivals when you first arrive. Find yourself some shade and recharge. It takes longer than you think to get around. Remember: It’s a marathon, not a sprint.”

Veronique Rhys Evans, head of communications for creative at Dentsu International

Remember to enjoy it. We’re so lucky as an industry to get to go to a place like Cannes. There’s something amazing and restorative about being by the sea and the fact that you’re with the best and brightest from the industry across the world is an exciting opportunity. So, embrace it. These moments don’t come round often. This is easier said than done, of course. But in some ways, it’s simpler this year because the programming at the Palais isn’t as crammed as it has been. Cannes is intense at the best of times, and after two years of doing a lot less it could be overwhelming for many to be swept up in the schedule and in the midst of all those people. It was exhausting before the pandemic to be always on like that, let alone now. We all need to look after ourselves. So, try to be mindful about what you do and who you see, make some space for yourself and for the unexpected, the unplanned and to be inspired.

Guy Bradbury, creative partner at M&C Saatchi London

“If you’re going to Cannes for the first time, you need a game plan. Sure, you’ll want to network, be seen in all the right places and get an invite to the best parties. And after two years, we could all do with a reunion. But there is no place like Cannes to see all the best creative work in one place. Work that creates change. It’s the best training you can get as a creative or client partner. It helps you to get a feel for future trends and the confidence to buy innovative ideas, firing you up for the next 12 months. So, be disciplined and spend the day soaking up the work, one category at a time, then use the late afternoon to enjoy the atmosphere and network. Of course, all of this will go out of the window on day one when you end up staying up ‘til the morning. But at least go into Cannes promising that you’ll take something back to the agency beyond just sunburn.”

Virginie Dremeaux, vp of marketing and communications for FreeWheel’s international business

“Bobo Bistro is the perfect spot for a chance to have more relaxed conversations. If, instead, you need a place away from everything, look no further than La Guérite and its incredible coastline views.” 

Anthony Lamy, vp of VidMob’s client partners across EMEA

“Remember that you are only in Cannes for four days. I fit everything I need in hand luggage to avoid the unpredictable check-in queues on the way home; Nice airport will be incredibly busy over these few days. Booking a taxi before you leave home is also crucial, saving time and energy at the airport and avoiding long waiting-times once landed.”

Jay Stevens, CEO of Redmill Solutions.

“Firstly, don’t meet with people you can easily meet in the same city where you both work and live. The value of Cannes is that it brings people together the world over and it’s the only time you can have global stakeholders in one place. Secondly, try not to book meetings back-to-back and try to keep in mind travel time and distance between them. Remember, it’s been three years since we’ve been together, a simple walk down the Croisette mid-day will take a half hour minimum this year with impromptu meets along the way. Be prepared for that and embrace the serendipity that comes with it. Thirdly, try to be on time, everyone has packed agendas and remember, there’s a LOT of investment that companies make in being there. Missing a meeting because you slept in, got delayed, were hungover costs hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to the other party. Lastly, have an agenda for each meeting with clear actions to be followed up on.”

Charlie Johnson, vp of international at Digital Element

“Cannes can be an overwhelming scene, so my top tip is to take the opportunity to slip away if you can. Take the short train journey to Monaco for a breath of fresh air from the craziness of the event and a cool glass of champagne with your favorite person.”

Paul Coggins, CEO and founder of Adludio

“When it comes to parties and meetings, planning is key. If it’s as busy as it used to be, do not expect access to any boats, parties or beachside offices, if you haven’t already been invited. Time is of the essence when there, so keep meetings short and effective with plenty of post Cannes follow ups. Finally, you will probably bump into people you know, and impromptu meetings can be very effective, so keep a notes agenda open in your phone.”

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Google Pixel 7 and 7 Pro are getting a built-in VPN at no extra cost

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Google Pixel 7 and 7 Pro are getting a built-in VPN at no extra cost
Google Pixel 7 Pro hands on front Snow



(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Users of the Google Pixel 7 and 7 Pro devices will be able to secure their data without the need to pay for an additional Android VPN after the company said it would be including its Google One VPN service at no extra cost. 

The move will make the Pixel 7 and 7 Pro the first smartphones to include a free VPN connection. 

The offer is restricted to just some countries, though – and what’s more, some data won’t be secured inside the VPN tunnel.  

Peace of mind when you connect online ✨Later this year, #Pixel7 and 7 Pro will be the only phones with a VPN by Google One—at no extra cost.¹#MadeByGoogle¹See image for more info pic.twitter.com/P7lzyoMdekOctober 6, 2022

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Google Pixel 7 VPN

Despite the aforementioned limits, the big tech giant assures that the VPN software won’t associate users’ app and browsing data with users’ accounts. 

Google One VPN typically costs around $10 per month as part of the company’s Premium One plan, which also comes with a 2TB of cloud storage on top. 

This decision is the latest move to bring Google’s mobile data security to the next level. Not too long ago, the company made Google One VPN available also for iOS devices, and also introduced the option of having an always-on VPN across its latest smartphones. 

Google promises that its secure VPN software will shield your phone against hackers on unsecure networks, like public Wi-Fi. It will also hide your IP address so that third parties won’t be able to track your location.

Shorter for virtual private network, a VPN is exactly the tool you want to shield your sensitive data as it masks your real location and encrypts all your data in transit. Beside privacy, it can allow you to bypass geo-restrictions and other online blocks. 

Chiara is a multimedia journalist, with a special eye for latest trends and issues in cybersecurity. She is a Staff Writer at Future with a focus on VPNs. She mainly writes news and features about data privacy, online censorship and digital rights for TechRadar, Tom’s Guide and T3. With a passion for digital storytelling in all its forms, she also loves photography, video making and podcasting. Originally from Milan in Italy, she is now based in Bristol, UK, since 2018.

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The Steam Deck dock is finally here and will ship faster than you think

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The Steam Deck dock is finally here and will ship faster than you think
a steam deck placed in a steam deck dock



(Image credit: Valve)

After months of waiting and delays, Valve has finally announced that the Steam Deck dock is available for purchase on its official site.

Not only that but, according to Valve, the dock will ship out in an incredibly fast one to two weeks, which pairs with the fact that the Steam Deck itself is now shipping with no wait time (not to mention that it’s incredibly easy to set up). The port selection is pretty solid as well, with the dock featuring three USB-A 3.1 gen 1 ports, one Ethernet port, a DisplayPort 1.4, and an HDMI 2.0 port. And for its power supply, it uses a USB-C passthrough delivery.

A Steam Deck dock will run you $90 (around £81 / AU$140), which is a bit steeper than most third-party options on the market right now. But for those waiting it out for an official product until now, price most likely will not be an issue.

Is it worth buying? 

Considering that even Steam Decks themselves are shipping without a queue and that the dock has such a quick turnaround to delivery, it seems that the supply chain issues that had been gripping Valve are loosening considerably.

However, the deck itself is far from perfect. Because of the fact that it uses USB-C for the display port, a third-party USB-C dock that uses its own power supply and video out will output the display of the official dock. 

And as mentioned before, the price of the official Steam Deck dock is steeper than many third-party options on the market, meaning that those who are on a budget might pass this product up in favor of a lower-priced one.

There are also some bugs that Valve is working on fixing at this time, including one involving compatibility with LG displays. According to the FAQ, if the “Docking Station is connected via HDMI, sleep/wake can result in visual noise.”

It might be worth waiting for Valve to work out the kinks of its dock before investing in one. And while you’re waiting, research other options that might better suit your needs.

Allisa has been freelancing at TechRadar for nine months before joining as a Computing Staff Writer. She mainly covers breaking news and rumors in the computing industry, and does reviews and featured articles for the site. In her spare time you can find her chatting it up on her two podcasts, Megaten Marathon and Combo Chain, as well as playing any JRPGs she can get her hands on.

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Why doesn’t Bash’s `set -e` do what I expected?

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Why doesn’t set -e (or set -o errexit, or trap ERR) do what I expected?

set -e was an attempt to add “automatic error detection” to the shell. Its goal was to cause the shell to abort any time an error occurred, so you don’t have to put || exit 1 after each important command. This does not work well in practice.

The goal of automatic error detection is a noble one, but it requires the ability to tell when an error actually occurred. In modern high-level languages, most tasks are performed by using the language’s builtin commands or features. The language knows whether (for example) you tried to divide by zero, or open a file that you can’t open, and so on. It can take action based on this knowledge.

But in the shell, most of the tasks you actually care about are done by external programs. The shell can’t tell whether an external program encountered something that it considers an error — and even if it could, it wouldn’t know whether the error is an important one, worthy of aborting the entire program, or whether it should carry on.

The only information conveyed to the shell by the external program is an exit status — by convention, 0 for success, and non-zero for “some kind of error”. The developers of the original Bourne shell decided that they would create a feature that would allow the shell to check the exit status of every command that it runs, and abort if one of them returns non-zero. Thus, set -e was born.

But many commands return non-zero even when there wasn’t an error. For example,

if [ -d /foo ]; then ...; else ...; fi

If the directory doesn’t exist, the [ command returns non-zero. Clearly we don’t want to abort when that happens — our script wants to handle that in the else part. So the shell implementors made a bunch of special rules, like “commands that are part of an if test are immune”, and “commands in a pipeline, other than the last one, are immune”.

These rules are extremely convoluted, and they still fail to catch even some remarkably simple cases. Even worse, the rules change from one Bash version to another, as Bash attempts to track the extremely slippery POSIX definition of this “feature”. When a SubShell is involved, it gets worse still — the behavior changes depending on whether Bash is invoked in POSIX mode. Another wiki has a page that covers this in more detail. Be sure to check the caveats.

A reference comparing behavior across various historical shells also exists.

Story time

Consider this allegory, originally posted to bug-bash:

Once upon a time, a man with a dirty lab coat and long, uncombed hair
showed up at the town police station, demanding to see the chief of
police.  "I've done it!" he exclaimed.  "I've built the perfect
criminal-catching robot!"

The police chief was skeptical, but decided that it might be worth
the time to see what the man had invented.  Also, he secretly thought,
it might be a somewhat unwise move to completely alienate the mad
scientist and his army of hunter robots.

So, the man explained to the police chief how his invention could tell
the difference between a criminal and law-abiding citizen using a
series of heuristics.  "It's especially good at spotting recently
escaped prisoners!" he said.  "Guaranteed non-lethal restraints!"

Frowning and increasingly skeptical, the police chief nevertheless
allowed the man to demonstrate one robot for a week.  They decided that
the robot should patrol around the jail.  Sure enough, there was a
jailbreak a few days later, and an inmate digging up through the
ground outside of the prison facility was grabbed by the robot and
carried back inside the prison.

The surprised police chief allowed the robot to patrol a wider area.
The next day, the chief received an angry call from the zookeeper.
It seems the robot had cut through the bars of one of the animal cages,
grabbed the animal, and delivered it to the prison.

The chief confronted the robot's inventor, who asked what animal it
was.  "A zebra," replied the police chief.  The man slapped his head and
exclaimed, "Curses!  It was fooled by the black and white stripes!
I shall have to recalibrate!"  And so the man set about rewriting the
robot's code.  Black and white stripes would indicate an escaped
inmate UNLESS the inmate had more than two legs.  Then it should be
left alone.

The robot was redeployed with the updated code, and seemed to be
operating well enough for a few days.  Then on Saturday, a mob of
children in soccer clothing, followed by their parents, descended
on the police station.  After the chaos subsided, the chief was told
that the robot had absconded with the referee right in the middle of
a soccer game.

Scowling, the chief reported this to the scientist, who performed a
second calibration.  Black and white stripes would indicate an escaped
inmate UNLESS the inmate had more than two legs OR had a whistle on
a necklace.

Despite the second calibration, the police chief declared that the robot
would no longer be allowed to operate in his town.  However, the news
of the robot had spread, and requests from many larger cities were
pouring in.  The inventor made dozens more robots, and shipped them off
to eager police stations around the nation.  Every time a robot grabbed
something that wasn't an escaped inmate, the scientist was consulted,
and the robot was recalibrated.

Unfortunately, the inventor was just one man, and he didn't have the
time or the resources to recalibrate EVERY robot whenever one of them
went awry.  The robot in Shangri-La was recalibrated not to grab a
grave-digger working on a cold winter night while wearing a ski mask,
and the robot in Xanadu was recalibrated not to capture a black and
white television set that showed a movie about a prison break, and so
on.  But the robot in Xanadu would still grab grave-diggers with ski
masks (which it turns out was not common due to Xanadu's warmer climate),
and the robot in Shangri-La was still a menace to old televisions (of
which there were very few, the people of Shangri-La being on the average
more wealthy than those of Xanadu).

So, after a few years, there were different revisions of the
criminal-catching robot in most of the major cities.  In some places,
a clever criminal could avoid capture by wearing a whistle on a string
around the neck.  In others, one would be well-advised not to wear orange
clothing in certain rural areas, no matter how close to the Harvest
Festival it was, unless one also wore the traditional black triangular
eye-paint of the Pumpkin King.

Many people thought, "This is lunacy!"  But others thought the robots
did more good than harm, all things considered, and so in some places
the robots are used, while in other places they are shunned.

The end.

Exercises

Or, “so you think set -e is OK, huh?”

Exercise 1: why doesn’t this example print anything?

   1 
   2 set -e
   3 i=0
   4 let i++
   5 echo "i is $i"

Exercise 2: why does this one sometimes appear to work? In which versions of bash does it work, and in which versions does it fail?

   1 
   2 set -e
   3 i=0
   4 ((i++))
   5 echo "i is $i"

Exercise 3: why aren’t these two scripts identical?

   1 
   2 set -e
   3 test -d nosuchdir && echo no dir
   4 echo survived
   1 
   2 set -e
   3 f() { test -d nosuchdir && echo no dir; }
   4 f
   5 echo survived

Exercise 4: why aren’t these two scripts identical?

   1 set -e
   2 f() { test -d nosuchdir && echo no dir; }
   3 f
   4 echo survived
   1 set -e
   2 f() { if test -d nosuchdir; then echo no dir; fi; }
   3 f
   4 echo survived

Exercise 5: under what conditions will this fail?

   1 set -e
   2 read -r foo < configfile

(Answers)

But wait, there’s more!

Even if you use expr(1) (which we do not recommend — use arithmetic expressions instead), you still run into the same problem:

   1 set -e
   2 foo=$(expr 1 - 1)
   3 
   4 echo survived

Subshells from command substitution unset set -e, however (unless inherit_errexit is set with Bash 4.4):

   1 set -e
   2 foo=$(expr 1 - 1; true)
   3 
   4 echo survived

Note that set -e is not unset for commands that are run asynchronously, for example with process substitution:

   1 set -e
   2 mapfile foo < <(true; echo foo)
   3 echo ${foo[-1]} 
   4 mapfile foo < <(false; echo foo)
   5 echo ${foo[-1]} 

Another pitfall associated with set -e occurs when you use commands that look like assignments but aren’t, such as export, declare, typeset or local.

   1 set -e
   2 f() { local var=$(somecommand that fails); }
   3 f    
   4 
   5 g() { local var; var=$(somecommand that fails); }
   6 g    

In function f, the exit status of somecommand is discarded. It won’t trigger the set -e because the exit status of local masks it (the assignment to the variable succeeds, so local returns status 0). In function g, the set -e is triggered because it uses a real assignment which returns the exit status of somecommand.

A particularly dangerous pitfall with set -e is combining functions with conditionals. The following snippets will not behave the same way:

   1 set -e
   2 f() { false; echo "This won't run, right?"; }
   3 f
   4 echo survived
   1 set -e
   2 f() { false; echo "This won't run, right?"; }
   3 if f; then  
   4     echo survived
   5 fi

As soon as a function is used as a conditional (in a list or with a conditional test or loop) set -e stops being applied within the function. This may not only cause code to unexpectedly start executing in the function but also change its return status!

Using Process substitution, the exit code is also discarded as it is not visible from the main script:

   1 set -e
   2 cat <(somecommand that fails)
   3 echo survived

Using a pipe makes no difference, as only the rightmost process is considered:

   1 set -e
   2 somecommand that fails | cat -
   3 echo survived

set -o pipefail is a workaround by returning the exit code of the first failed process:

   1 set -e -o pipefail
   2 failcmd1 | failcmd2 | cat -
   3 
   4 echo survived

though with pipefail in effect, code like this will sometimes cause an error, depending on whether the output of somecmd exceeds the size of the pipe buffer or not:

   1 set -e -o pipefail
   2 somecmd | head -n1
   3 
   4 echo survived

So-called strict mode

In the mid 2010s, some people decided that the combination of set -e, set -u and set -o pipefail should be used by default in all new shell scripts. They call this unofficial bash strict mode, and they claim that it “makes many classes of subtle bugs impossible” and that if you follow this policy, you will “spend much less time debugging, and also avoid having unexpected complications in production”.

As we’ve already seen in the exercises above, these claims are dubious at best. The behavior of set -e is quite unpredictable. If you choose to use it, you will have to be hyper-aware of all the false positives that can cause it to trigger, and work around them by “marking” every line that’s allowed to fail with something like ||true.

Conclusions

GreyCat‘s personal recommendation is simple: don’t use set -e. Add your own error checking instead.

rking’s personal recommendation is to go ahead and use set -e, but beware of possible gotchas. It has useful semantics, so to exclude it from the toolbox is to give into FUD.

geirha’s personal recommendation is to handle errors properly and not rely on the unreliable set -e.

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