The most bizarre website you will ever encounter. White Glove Tracking needs your help to isolate the white glove in Michael Jackson’s performance of Billy Jean. Every frame. This would have been an ideal project for Amazon’s Mechanical Turk.
I keep regular backups of everything on this server just in case something happens. Recently I switched to a more automated and secure (PGP encrypted) solution for this blog due to it’s fast-paced nature. Just the critical stuff (database, media, templates). I choose PGP (implemented using GPG) since it’s easy, and I only have to store the public key on the server, making it safer than most alternatives.
I’m strongly considering moving it all eventually over to Amazon’s S3 storage. At $0.15 per GB-Month of storage used and $0.20 per GB of data transferred it would be very affordable to keep backups in an even more secure fashion. I’d still use my own encryption on top of theirs for extra security. For things like media, I could even see myself hosting it solely at Amazon. It just seems like that may be a more practical and scalable approach.
Unfortunately until either FTTH or DOCSIS 3.0 comes to town, it doesn’t look like Amazon’s S3 will be practical for home backup purposes. This server has a beefy connection to a few large pipes to the internet (Level3, Global Crossing, and Cogent last I checked). They provides high speed connectivity so a backup would take only a few seconds. At home with a cable modem on a DOCSIS 1.1 network (such as Comcast) the bandwidth is just to slim to allow enough upload capacity. Comcast still only allows 384kbps up. Even the top plans in select areas don’t top 1Mbps. Of course these are Comcast’s numbers (the actual performance is often less). In areas that they currently serve, Verizon FiOS (FTTH) is available at 15 Mbps/2 Mbps. Much better suited for such purposes (though more would be welcome). As strange as it may seem pricing is quite competitive, giving cable a run for it’s money. Perhaps one day DOCSIS 3.0 will appear, though that seems to be a while away. Perhaps one day all homes will have 100Mbps full duplex connections with low latency.
The only real way to get around this limitation is to perhaps use rsync to perform backups. Initial backups would still suck, but after that it wouldn’t be too bad. Though that wouldn’t work with services such as Amazon’s S3, which are token based. There is an rsync-like clone, but it’s still not the real thing. Perhaps Google’s upcoming GDrive will be cool enough to allow the use of rsync over SSH (I could dream) in addition to WebDAV (which is what I expect to see). Last I checked rsync doesn’t support WebDAV because WebDAV is done over HTTP. If I understand it right, RFC 3229 would add Delta encoding support to HTTP, making something like rsync over WebDAV possible since it uses delta encoding.
In the wake of this weeks events, I decided to spend several minutes browsing the home pages of the world’s largest companies, just to see how many made an alteration either as a memorial or to raise funds for disaster relief… I easily hit all the big brands here in the US, odds are I tackled most of the top 100 companies in the United States. Here were my findings:
Apple cleared the entire homepage. Amazon as usual took advantage of it’s ability to quickly collect payments. Google has a huge audience, and put a link to a page containing help info. Marriott did as well. eBay has setup a few things as well.
I was surprised how many have no indication of such events. During 9/11 several websites completely redid their corporate homepage. This isn’t anywhere near a US trend, as I checked many international companies as well. IBM, Intel, Microsoft, all have no mention or indication.
It appears Amazon is giving a geeky (π/2) discount to early adopters who uses their search engine.
So before you make an amazon purchase do the following:
- Visit a9 and perform a search
- Visit amazon.com (if you like me… use my link so I get affiliate credit)
Robert Accettura, since you’ve been using A9.com recently, virtually everything at Amazon.com is automatically an additional π/2% (1.57%) off for you. Collecting this discount is zero effort on your part. It will be applied automatically at checkout (it will happen whether you use the shopping cart or our 1-Click Shopping®). You don’t need to do anything to get this discount except keep using A9.com as your regular search engine.
We don’t advertise this additional discount that we give in exchange for using A9.com, so if you want your friends to know about it, please tell them. It is probably the only way they’ll find out. All they have to do is use A9.com as their regular search engine. They should make sure they are signed in to A9.com (it should be recognizing them by name) so that we can be certain they get credit for their visit.
While the π/2% discount is a good additional reason to use A9.com it isn’t the best reason. A9.com licenses its web search results from the industry leader Google, and then supplements those results with Amazon’s Search Inside the Book™ results. The coolest feature is that A9.com keeps track of your search history for you on the server side. To see how this works, do some A9 searches from your computer at work and then sign in to A9.com from your computer at home.
How can we afford this additional π/2% discount?
Sponsored links revenue -from the small text-based ads on A9.com and Amazon.com search results pages -will help offset costs we incur through the Rewards promotion. With our automatic π/2% discount, we are effectively sharing with you some of the money we collect from sponsored links, i.e. sharing the pi.
Please use A9.com and tell your friends.
- A9.com Instant Rewards will not be applied to the purchase of gift certificates or gift cards, such as Amazon.com Gift Certificates, Target GiftCards, or Borders Gift Cards.
- A9.com Instant Rewards will not be applied to purchases from Amazon.com zShops or Amazon.com Auctions; payments and contributions made using the Amazon.com Honor System; Marketplace Pre-Orders; or In-Store Pickup purchases.
- A9.com Instant Rewards may be inactivated for any Amazon.com account at any time depending on the number of A9.com Web searches performed.
- Product searches performed on Amazon.com will not help to qualify an account for A9.com Instant Rewards.
- You do not have to click on sponsored links to qualify an account for A9.com Instant Rewards.
- The A9.com Instant Reward rate is π/2% (1.57%) off the total purchase price, including tax and shipping.
- The exact amount of the A9.com Instant Reward stated on the order summary is only an estimate. After taxes are finalized, the exact amount of the Instant Reward will be finalized.
- A9.com Instant Rewards are not for use on Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.co.jp, Amazon.ca, Amazon.fr, or any Web site other than www.amazon.com.
- Amazon.com reserves the right to change or discontinue the A9.com Instant Reward program at any time.