Expendable looks at the world of super spies from the vantage of a henchman. This was really great, you must watch it. Thanks to Marius for sharing.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Posted By Allen at 11:20 PM
Fellow Googler, Matt Cutts, has an entry on his blog today about cloud services, or at least about why cloud services would have been good for him over the weekend:
So there you go: I went on vacation for a week and came back to two scary reminders why hosted services and storing data “in the cloud” (on someone else’s servers) can be better than doing it yourself. In general, a well-run cloud service is going to be much more reliable than any average person would be.I couldn't agree more, but hadn't really thought about my own network for awhile. So I took a step back and realized that I've moved completely into the cloud. Currently I use the following services, which I used to have to maintain myself on dedicated servers:
- Blogging - I use Blogger to maintain all of my blogs. It works great for me, and I don't have to worry about updating software. I do still have a few years of old posts that I haven't moved into blogger yet, but that is a minor problem.
- Email - I use Google Apps for email for my domain, so no need to maintain IMAP, POP, and SMTP servers.
- DNS - I use dreamhost to manage my DNS.
- Backup - I've been playing with Mozy to keep my Backups online, although my upstream bandwidth on my home DSL may not be able to handle this.
- Storage - I store many of my documents in a Subversion repository on a hosted shell account.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Posted By Allen at 12:18 PM
Webware has a follow up post to the antics of the Gizmodo team at CES. According to Webware, the folks who run CES have decided to ban the individual who pulled the prank from future CES shows, and is following up with Gizmodo.
Posted By Allen at 12:08 PM
I love taking pictures of London at night. There is so much light in the city that you can really get creative with it. Also, because of the long exposure times, you get the great effect of all the people disappearing from your images. This lends an eerie and deserted feel to the pictures of places that are usually teaming with people. I went out this evening to take a couple of pictures. My two favorites were one of Big Ben: And a picture of the moon rising over Westminster Abbey: You can find the rest on my Flickr stream, or over at my London blog, Culture Shock.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Posted By Allen at 11:25 PM
Gizmodo took a couple of TV-B-Gone remotes with them to CES so that they could play pranks on the various booth staff. You can see a video of it on their site. I think it's incredibly disappointing for a set of bloggers to do something like this. Bloggers as a group have been trying to gain acceptance and trust as real journalists for years, and were starting to make some headway. Then one of the communities most popular gadget blogs starts playing pranks on the exhibitors at CES. I'm sure that there will be some well-deserved fallout from this for Gizmodo. I suspect that they will not be allowed back to CES, and I wouldn't be surprised if some of the companies they harassed take legal action. Personally, I'll just unsubscribe from the Gizmodo feed. Engadget is a much better blog anyway.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Posted By Allen at 12:00 PM
I've been looking into the possibility of traveling without a laptop. Last December my wife and I took a week long vacation in Germany. On that trip we visited several cities and did all our travelling by train, so we packed light. Today we're in California for a few days. This was a last minute trip so, again, we found the need to pack light. On both trips we've been pretty happy using our iPhones instead of hauling along our laptops and the assorted cables that go with them. The only difficulty I've had is using my calendar. Google calendar has a custom iphone interface, but that interface doesn't allow you to cancel appointments. I had to borrow a computer for that. Other than calendar issues though, everything has gone smoothly with email, rss, maps, and now blogging.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Posted By Allen at 8:09 AM
Day 3 started out early in the morning. We got up before dawn, had some coffee and headed out. Our goal that morning was to see some of the lions we had heard the previous morning. Our guide, Adam, thought the best place to see them would be down by the river at dawn. So, bleary eyed but excited, we went out in search of lions. The first thing we saw that morning were eland. The eland were aggressively hunted at one time, so it's rare to see them today in Tarangire: We were even able to get fairly close to the eland: After the eland, we had another fortunate encounter with a pair of jackal pups playing by the trail we took. They were black-backed jackals, and I think this is the closest we ever got to a jackal on the entire trip. A little while later, the sun finally crested the horizon, and we were happy to see the dawn. It was a great view, and it brought some welcome warmth to the air. We continued our drive down into the river valley. One thing we all noticed was that we started seeing a lot of vultures. There were other birds of prey about as well: While the evidence was all around us that lions were active in the area, we didn't spot any of them. It seemed that they had made a kill in the night or the previous evening and were now sleeping off their feast. We were treated with a sight of elephants wallowing in a mud pit: We also got a close up look at some Acacia trees and the amazing thorns they have. I still have a hard time believing that the elephant can eat these without pain. After the morning game drive, we had to pack up and hit the road. This was our last day in Tarangire, and we were now headed off toward the Ngorongoro conservation area. It would take us the rest of the day, plus a good piece of the next day to reach Ngorongoro and that evening we stopped at a place called Gibb's Farm, which is a coffee plantation with a great view. We spent the night at Gibb's farm for some great food, and a hot bath. There are more pictures from this third day on my Flickr account, and for more on the safari see Africa Safari.
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Posted By Allen at 4:28 AM
My friend Chris put up a post yesterday about failing hard drives in 2007. I had a similar problem in 2007, only with a non-backed up primary drive. I almost lost all of my music to this drive failure, and ended up paying a lot of money to have the data recovered from the broken drive. I know what you are going to say, that I should have been backing up, and you were right. I had gotten into a situation where I had outgrown my old drives and replaced it with a 1TB primary storage drive. I had been waiting a few months to buy the second backup 1TB drive, and that was when the first one failed. Anyway, I got my data back, bought a new computer with 3TB of internal storage and used the replacement 1TB drive as the current backup (I'm at about 900GB of data). So backup is an incredibly pain for me right now. In his post, Chris mentions online backup firm Mozy. I took a look at their services and was really surprised to find that they offered unlimited online storage for about $5 per computer per month. They also advertise Mac OS X support in beta, so I signed up right away. At the end of the sign up process, I found that the link for their Mac client results in a 404. I sent an email to their support folks to find out what is going on, but needless to say I'm not left with a warm fuzzy feeling about them. I'll post more when they get back to me, but if you were thinking about Mozy for Mac backups, I would say wait because their client is AWOL.