- SmugMug's Camera Awesome Photography App Review - Katherine Boehret - The Digital Solution - AllThingsD - RT @waltmossberg: Camera Awesome -- @kabster728 has first review of an iPhone photo app that lives up to its name.
- Ideal Features for Cloud Management | Cashdollar Automation - "However, I think a corporate decision to use EC2 is usually a top down management decision based on trendy buzzwords." << How shall I put this? Oh right, nonsense.
- Will we ever kill the business card? | BostInno - Solutions for getting business cards into digital form.
- Library of Congress, Twitter Record Life Today - Re: the latest hand-wringing around archived tweets. Isn't it all already being stored by Library of Congress?
- Could This Cat Gamble its Way Into MIT? [Video] | BostInno
- With Help From the Government, MIT Researchers Work on Developing a Self-Healing & Secure Cloud | BostInno - Self-sensing & responding to cyber attack research from MIT CSAIL w DARPA funding
- Ad Fail: Dramamine Ads Cause Air Sickness « Doug Garnett's Blog - "Airlines have yet to show that they’ve figured out a sensitivity for their travelers. And companies like Dramamine look like they will buy anything. So buckle up. The noise has started and the volume will only increase."
- Tom's Hardware US - RT @thomasdcameron: Really good article on SSD reliability. I was (unpleasantly) surprised: #fb
- Infochimps and the Future of Data Marketplaces – tecosystems - "Certainly the friction towards the marketing and sale of data as an asset is, at present, high. In comparing current market perceptions of data to enterprise acceptance of open source a decade ago, we’ve argued that mundane issues like licensing make data marketplaces at present largely inefficient, which in turn acts as a drag on adoption in a vicious cycle."
- Search User Interfaces
- Guy Kawasaki: Don’t Plan Your Social Media; Just Do It | Inc.com - RT @ZUrlocker: Inc: @guykawasaki says "Don't plan your social media strategy --just do it!" #custserv
- Yelp Product & Engineering Blog: Towards Building a High-Quality Workforce with Mechanical Turk
- The Emotional Pull of NoOps by @RobynWeisman - "Despite my previous assessment that NoOps is a misnomer, the term seems to be gaining steam in the developer community."
- RHEV 3.0 Sets Stage for VMware Challenge - Virtualization - News & Reviews - eWeek.com - RT @screnshaw: eweek: RHEV 3.0 Sets Stage for VMware Challenge - Virtualization - News & Reviews
- HP’s PC Addiction | Monday Note
- Parcel 104 - Santa Clara, CA - I checked in at Parcel 104 (2700 Mission College Blvd) on #Yelp
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012
- River Maps « somethingaboutmaps
- Freeform Comment: Big data storage technologies - "When we look at managing the data explosion, we can boil it down to three core elements that are commonly referred to as the ‘Three Vs’ - namely Volume, Velocity and Variety"
- Instagram - Dinner at CIA in Napa
- No, a 14-year-old didn't invent email in 1978 - Input Output
- Gallery: Dead technologies Gen-Y and younger will only find in old movies and TV | ZDNet - Quite cool. Even if it does make me feel old.
- The Story Behind the Olympus Scandal - BusinessWeek - RT @stshank: Good long blow-by-blow piece on the Olympus scandal in BW << bumped to Instapaper f tomorrow's flight.
- The Netflix Tech Blog: 5 Lessons We’ve Learned Using AWS - "When designing customer-facing software for a cloud environment, it is all about managing down expected overall latency of response. AWS is built around a model of sharing resources; hardware, network, storage, etc. Co-tenancy can introduce variance in throughput at any level of the stack. You’ve got to either be willing to abandon any specific subtask, or manage your resources within AWS to avoid co-tenancy where you must."
- Plug It In | Blog | Tesla Motors - Tesla is doing a really piss-poor job of PR around the battery discharge matter IMO
- Whatever Happened to First Class? - NYTimes.com - In my experience domestic first class never (for values of ~ last 20 yrs) huge upgrade other seat size & leg room
- So how much is a fair price to pay for an e-book? | Digital Media - CNET News - Per comments here, many assume printing/distrib larger % of physical books than reality
Friday, February 24, 2012
- Weekend Playlist: SF/F Songs About Love - SF Signal – A Speculative Fiction Blog
- The True Agent of Technological Change | Andi Mann – Übergeek - "Rather than look for a single driver, let’s look at where the entire constellation of drivers is taking us as an industry and as a society. Do that, and you find not technology, but a cultural revolution as the real change agent – and it is built on mobile, social, and cloud computing."
- Inside Google's recruiting machine - Fortune Tech - Interesting read about Google's recruiting process.
- Google Music not living up to expectations (exclusive) | Media Maverick - CNET News - At what point does Google's really dismal track record outside of search/ads/email(sorta) bite them hard?
- Here’s What “Post-PC” Looks Like: Over Half Of Info Workers Use 3 Or More Devices | TechCrunch - "Info workers reported using 60 percent of all their PCs and mobile devices for both personal and business use, with only 14 percent used just for work, and 26 percent for personal purposes. The numbers indicate a further blurring of the boundaries between personal time, and time spent working."
- The BLS Thinks These Jobs Will Grow a Lot. I Think They’re Wrong. - "My first question when I look at this graph is not ‘what do these jobs pay?’ but instead ‘which of these will be deeply affected by automation and other kinds of technological progress — more deeply than the BLS is currently thinking?’ This of course is an impossible question to answer precisely, but after spending some time looking at the BLS’s projections methodology and its factors affecting occupational utilization, I think it’s likely underestimating the broad impact of technology."
- Playing The News: To Push Social Gaming Forward, Two New Startups Look To The Real World | TechCrunch
- Data mining's adult challenges | The Pervasive Data Center - CNET News - Data mining's adult challenges:
- The Tesla Bricking Story? It’s Nonsense | TechCrunch - Hmm. I read this Tesla story and my takeaway is the dead battery story has the tech facts largely correct.
- At Amazon, Buggy Bots, Confused Markets and Books Collide - Business - GOOD - Crazy story of bots gome wild at Amazon.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Artsy photo filters don't make me as cranky as they do Stephen Shankland. That said, I generally prefer the subtle to over-the-top. And I give B&W a pass even if it's only special pleading because of the many years I spent doing B&W photography with film. Thus, when Alien Skin offered me a look at their new Exposure 4, which can "accurately simulate classic films, like Kodachrome, Polaroid, and Panatomic-X," it caught my eye. It sounded like effects I might actually use rather than dabble with one or twice and then forget about.
The software works with either Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom. I use the latter almost exclusively for my photo editing these days, so that's how I tested Exposure. Lightroom is a "non-destructive editor," which means that changes made within Lightroom are essentially stored as a change log relative to the original image rather than altering the bits in the image itself as Photoshop and other traditional editing programs do. The implication is that because Exposure (and competitive products such as those from Nik Software) have to work outside the framework of Lightroom's non-destructive settings, you'll typically make a copy of an image, work on it within Exposure, and then return to Lightroom. This whole workflow is reasonably well automated though, so it's certainly not onerous.
Exposure has all manner of effects including soft focus and dust & scratches. However, its centerpiece is a wide range of film types that it attempts to simulate. I don't buy their marketing copy that claims "the result is a photo that looks like it was made by a human, not a computer." (And, in fact, I'm not even sure what that means.) However, it's a nice collection of both color and B&W effects, many of them quite restrained. I certainly don't claim to be an expert on the nuances of all the films represented but, for those with which I'm at least passingly familiar, the effects seem appropriate. Below, I apply presets to a few photos in my Lightroom collection.
The first photo, of a dead tree in Utah, shows the conversion from a fairly conventionally processed color image to a Platinum B&W effect.
This next takes a woman standing in fog in Montepulciano, Italy and punches it up subtly using a Velvia 50 effect. While I was never a huge fan of Velvia when I was shooting film, in this case I like the pop the effect gives relative to my initial editing.
Finally, we have a faded Kodacolor effect applied to a railroad crossing in the Mojave desert.
The program has a lot of features but it does a nice job of hiding most of the complexity until you want to dive in. My experience was that using standard effects offered a lot of good options right out of the box. The company says that the user interface was redesigned for Exposure 4. I don't have a comparison point but I certainly had no major complaints.
The one significant downside is one that I suspect will be a show stopper for a lot of potential users: the price at $249. This is a product that is priced for professionals, often I assume portrait or wedding photographers looking for a particular look that they can apply quickly and consistently across many pictures.
Bottom line: Nice interface, nice effects, but at a price that will scare off casual users.
You can also check out Stephen Shankland's review on CNET.
- Flickr Is Getting a Major Makeover | Betabeat — News, gossip and intel from Silicon Alley 2.0. - Apparently flickr is going to roll out major interface changes
- What made Deep Throat leak? | Jack Shafer - "Leak, to be published Mar. 6, vindicates journalist Edward Jay Epstein, one of the earliest critics of Woodsteinmania. In a Commentary piece published in July 1974, about a month after the Woodstein book came out, Epstein eviscerates what he calls the “sustaining myth of journalism.” Naïve readers believe that intrepid reporters expose government scandals by doggedly working their confidential sources. Of course such scoops do occur, but the more conventional route to a prize-winning series is well-placed leaks from well-oiled government investigations, which Holland maintains was the case with Watergate."
- Project Narwhal: How a top-secret Obama campaign program could change the 2012 race. - Slate Magazine - "This year, however, as part of a project code-named Narwhal, Obama’s team is working to link once completely separate repositories of information so that every fact gathered about a voter is available to every arm of the campaign. Such information-sharing would allow the person who crafts a provocative email about contraception to send it only to women with whom canvassers have personally discussed reproductive views or whom data-mining targeters have pinpointed as likely to be friendly to Obama’s views on the issue."
- Political, personal struggles in China - Boston.com - I pretty much agree with the Boston Globe review of Wild Swans, both the good and the not so good.
- Dell's Predicament by Dustin Curtis - "While productive corporate employees might not give up PCs, the vast majority of other workers will. That is not industry growth; that is transition and consolidation. When thinking in the long term, Dell's PC group can be basically ignored. It's the end of an era, and it puts the company in a terrifying predicament. There is now no clear end game for Dell, and the company's core competencies are being rendered irrelevant by evolution."
- Six Ways Boston’s Museums are Utilizing Social Media to Bring Their Exhibits to Life | BostInno
- FINALISTS: 2011 Nebula Awards (With Free Fiction Links!) - SF Signal – A Speculative Fiction Blog
- Paintings of the Americas | Museum of Fine Arts, Boston - The MFA catalog of American paintings is now online
- Making Hybrid Real: Disambiguation via Operations | Ferris f(x) - Hybrid clouds by @mikeferris
Monday, February 20, 2012
Thursday, February 16, 2012
- AwkwardCloud: Here’s Hopin’ For Open | Rational Survivability - "“Open Cloud” is described as a set of solutions for those looking to deploy clouds that provide “… better economics, greater flexibility, and less lock-in, while maintaining control and governance” than so-called Enterprise Clouds that are based on what Randy tags are more proprietary foundations. The case is made where enterprises will really want to build two clouds: one to run legacy apps and one to run purpose-built cloud-ready applications. I’d say that enterprises that have a strategy are likely looking forward to using clouds of both models…and probably a few more, such as SaaS and PaaS."
- Guidance and perspectives from Vivek Kundra - CA Technologies - RT @AndiMann: #Salesforce.com EVP & ex-US CIO Vivek Kundra on '#cloud first' policies,security, beating inertia, … ...
- [Interview] Harish Pillay, Global Community and Technology Architect, Red Hat Inc - RT @marcosluis2186: [Interview] Harish Pillay, Global Community and Technology Architect, Red Hat Inc
- Decoding the World of Portlandia « Acculturated
- The Apache Software Foundation Announces Apache Deltacloud as a Top-Level Project - MarketWatch - Deltacloud is now a top-level open cloud API project at Apache. Happy graduation!
- 451 CAOS Theory » On the continuing decline of the GPL - "The figures indicate that not only has the usage of the GNU GPL family of licenses (GPL2+3, LGPL2+3, AGPL) continued to decline since June, but that the decline has accelerated. The GPL family now accounts for about 57% of all open source software, compared to 61% in June."
- The 1st Tenet of Open Cloud: Open is About Control | tentenet.net - "Many people think that an open cloud means an open source cloud. It’s true that open source is an important mechanism for creating an open cloud. But, an open cloud is about much more than code or even community—it’s about giving you control."
- Understanding the Controversy Over Silicon Valley's 'Journalism' - Technology Review - "It's easy to dismiss all attempts to put oneself at a remove from the subject of a story. After all, everyone who writes about technology has their preferences—companies we like and don't, and our tastes change over time. What the liberation from old models of objectivity brought us was an escape from the View from Nowhere— that is, the notion that we aren't all biased to begin with, or that we shouldn't disclose it. But wearing your biases on your sleeve doesn't mean you don't have them, or that talking about them is sufficient to inoculate readers against the most pernicious form of delusion there is: your own self-delusion."
- Envisioning a Post-Campus America - Megan McArdle - Business - The Atlantic - "I can see all sorts of factors that might combine to preserve the status quo, from signaling and status and networking, to the desire of college students for a four-year debt-financed semi-vacation. On the other hand, disruption never looks inevitable until it suddenly is--if you'd told someone in 1955 that GM was going to have its lunch eaten by some Japanese upstart, they would have laughed until the tears came. So it's interesting and maybe even useful to contemplate what the college system would look like if this sort of distance learning becomes the norm."
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Discussion of cloud interoperability tend to focus on technical aspects. But there are business aspects too. One of the programs that Red Hat has put in place to simplify moving workloads from on-premise to a public cloud is called Cloud Access. In a nutshell, this allows enterprise subscriptions to be transferred for use in a public cloud such as Amazon. We began the program with Linux but have begun expanding it to, in this case, our MRG-Grid software that's used primarily for high performance computing-style workloads. (PR here.)
If you're interested in learning more, I recorded a podcast with Red Hat's MRG-Grid product manager Tushar Katarki las week. (For a little context, take a listen to the podcast I recorded with Tushar last December in which he discusses grid, MRG-Grid, and how customers like Dreamworks are using the product.)
MP3 version (5:15)
OGG version (5:15)
I sometimes feel similarly when it comes to the ferocity with which a lot of vendors apply the word "open" to cloud computing. Especially given that not a few of those involved aren't very, well, open but make up for the glancing and incidental ways their software and approaches are open with the volume of their rhetoric and the font size they use to display "OPEN" in their marketing literature.
But what does "open" mean in the context of building a hybrid cloud? (In this context, I'm primarily focused on building hybrid Infrastructure-as-a-Service clouds, although a lot of the principles carry over to other forms of cloud computing as well.) It certainly doesn't begin and end with the submission of some format to a standards body or with an announcement of partners endorsing some specific technology platform. And open source may be (or should be anyway) a given. But it's more than that too. In getting ready for a Red Hat Webcast that I helped put together, I did a lot of thinking about the different aspects of openness. Here's what I (with the help of others at Red Hat) came up with. An open cloud:
- Is open source. This allows adopters to control their particular implementation and doesn't restrict them to the technology and business roadmap of a specific vendor. It lets them build and manage clouds that put them in control of their own destiny and provides them with visibility into the technology on which they're basing their business. It provides them with the flexibility to run the workloads of their choice, including proprietary ones, in their cloud. Open source also lets them collaborate with other communities and companies to help drive innovation in the areas that are important to them.
- Has a viable, independent community. Open source isn't just about the code, its license, and how it can be used and extended. At least as important is the community associated with the code and how it's governed. Realizing the collaborative potential of open source and the innovation it can deliver to everyone means having the structures and organization in place to tap it fully.
- Is based on open standards, or protocols and formats that are moving toward standardization and that are independent of vendor and platform. Standardization in the sense of “official” cloud standards blessed by standards bodies is still in early days. That said, approaches to interoperability that aren't under the control of individual vendors and that aren't tied to specific platforms offer important flexibility. This allows the API specification to evolve beyond implementation constraints and creates the opportunity for communities and organizations to develop variants that meet their individual technical and commercial requirements.
- Intellectual property rights owners offer freedom to use IP. Recent history has repeatedly shown that there are few guarantees that intellectual property (IP) assets will remain accessible to all from one day to the next. To have confidence that you will continue to enjoy access to IP assets that you depend on under the terms that you depend on, permission needs to be given in ways that make that technology open and accessible to the user. So-called “de facto standards,” which are often “standards” only insofar as they are promoted by a large vendor, often fail this test.
- Is deployable across a customer's choice of infrastructure. Hybrid cloud management should provide an additional layer of abstraction above virtualization, physical servers, storage, networking, and public cloud providers. This implies—indeed requires—that cloud management be independent of virtualization and other foundational technologies. This is a fundamental reason that cloud is different from virtualization management and a fundamental enabler of hybrid clouds that span physical servers, multiple virtualization platforms, and a wide range of public cloud providers including top public clouds.
- Is pluggable and extensible with an open API. This lets users add features, providers, and technologies from a variety of vendors or other sources. Critically, the API itself cannot be under the control of a specific vendor or tied to a specific implementation but must be under the auspices of a third-party organization that allows for contributions and extensions in an open and transparent manner. Deltacloud, an API that abstracts the differences between clouds, provides a good example. It is under the auspices of the Apache Software Foundation and is neither a Red Hat controlled project nor tied to a particular implementation of cloud management.
- Enables portability to other clouds. Implicit in a cloud approach that provides support for heterogeneous infrastructure is that investments made in developing for an open cloud must be portable to other such clouds. Portability takes a variety of forms including programming languages and frameworks, data, and the applications themselves. If you develop an application for one cloud, you shouldn't need to rewrite it in a different language or use different APIs to move it somewhere else. Furthermore, a consistent runtime environment across clouds ensures that retesting and requalification isn't needed every time you want to redeploy.
If you're interested in seeing my thoughts fleshed out in a bit more depth, here's a white paper that I wrote on the topic.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
- Real Dan Lyons Web Site » Blog Archive » Hit men, click whores, and paid apologists: Welcome to the Silicon Cesspool » Real Dan Lyons Web Site - "Now Arrington and Siegler have appointed themselves the watchdogs of tech journalism, eager to point out the irresponsible and inaccurate reporting that they see all around them. This might ring a little less hollow if they hadn’t been such egregious violators themselves, and if they weren’t writing this stuff to protect the people they’re in bed with financially."
- Twitter Is All in Good Fun, Until It Isn’t - NYTimes.com - "In the 15,000 or so tweets and retweets I have written, there are a few I’d like back and a few that probably made my betters uncomfortable, but mostly I’ve stayed out of the ditch. The rule at The Times is that there is no rule, but there is an expectation, as Philip B. Corbett, the standards editor for the paper, told me in an e-mail: “We expect Times journalists to behave like Times journalists, and they generally do.”"
- Outgrowing Instagram? Alien Skin releasing Exposure 4 | Deep Tech - CNET News - Alien Skin Exposure 4 looks kinda cool But seems pricey f what will just be a novelty f most ppl (by @stshank)
- Mountain Lion Strategy
- NOVA | Rosalind Franklin's Legacy
- Microsoft gets it right with Windows 8 on ARM, and why Apple should be worried | ZDNet - Personally I tend towards thinking that unifying device & desktop experience is a bug rather than feature.
- Mobile Cloud Backend as a Service Ecosystem Map – All roads lead to BaaS | BostInno - Nice visualization too. "The phrase Backend as a Service came about because when I talked to mobile developers about how they wanted to setup and operate backends for their mobile apps to host data, run business logic, etc., they didn’t directly want to use Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings like Amazon EC2, RackSpace Cloud and Windows Azure – that was too hard, and most of them didn’t want to deal with Linux prompts or virtual machine setup. At the same time, they didn’t want to get stuck with building a backend platform stack from scratch with Platform as a Service (PaaS) offerings from Heroku, CloudFoundry and OpenShift."
- designboom shop: airframe by james kim - Oh good. What I need. To always feel like I'm up in the air :-)
- Of funerals, digital photos and impermanence — Tech News and Analysis - "In the past, photographs were treasured because they were so rare: it took so long to make them and the process was so expensive that having one meant a lot. It was like a moment in time had been frozen forever, and the way those photos could trigger memories was unlike almost anything else. Now, photos are just another form of digital detritus; there may be treasures in there somewhere, but we don’t have time to find them, if we can even remember where they are. Photography seems to have become more ephemeral, less permanent — whether that’s a good thing or not remains to be seen."
- Roll Over, Beethoven: 14 Years of U.S. Weather Meets 'The Emperor' - Very cool.
- Release Notes - oVirtWiki - RT @quaid: ♺ @ovirt: In case you missed the #oVirt 3.0 first community release announcement: Also:
- images.4channel.org/f/src/589217_scale_of_universe_enhanced.swf - Cool (even with up-front ad). See also Eames Powers of 10 film.
- Prezi - The Zooming Presentation Editor
- How to fix any computer - The Oatmeal - How to fix any computer from The Oatmeal--priceless
- Don't Confuse Passion with Competence - Scott Anthony - Harvard Business Review - "Passion only matters if it leads to an innovation that delivers impact, whether that impact is measured in revenues, profits, improved process performance, or something entirely differently. This is one reason why good venture capital investors dole out capital in stages. They are waiting to see if the vision that looks so great on paper bears any resemblance to reality."
Thursday, February 09, 2012
- 6 Core Competencies to Use and Provide Enterprise Cloud Services - The CA Cloud Storm Chasers - CA Technologies - Good list of core competencies needed to operate enterprise clouds by @andimann
- BOT: Business, Operations, Technology | Ferris f(x) - Framing cloud in terms of business, operational, & technical issues By #redhat colleage Mike Ferris
- The Apple fanboy problem | ZDNet - RT @sjvn: The Apple fanboy problem, by @violetblue at ZDNet ~~ Scumbags. << Sadly, broader internet mob mentality
- Comic: Canon, Nikon, and iPhone - RT @petapixel: Funny comic - Canon, Nikon, and iPhone: << Like it :-)
- 'Huffington Post' Employee Sucked Into Aggregation Turbine | The Onion - America's Finest News Source
- Untitled (https://plus.google.com/109074857816744029470) - I pretty much agree w Stephen Levy on Groupon deals. Increasingly uninteresting or "crumb snatching"ly small
- Community Types « Wild Webmink
- The Death of Slander by Leslie Yalof Garfield :: SSRN - "Technology killed slander. Slander, the tort of defamation by spoken word, dates back to the ecclesiastical law of the Middle Ages and its determination that damning someone’s reputation in the village square was worthy of pecuniary damage. Communication in the Twitter Age has torn asunder the traditional notions of person- to-person communication. Texting, tweeting and other new channels of personal exchange have led one of our oldest torts to its historic demise. "
- New York's 9 Most Iconic Dishes ~ Food News - Restaurant News | Zagat Buzz
- 5 Things You Should Know Before Trying to Fix Your Computer | Cracked.com - "I come from an era where computers were designed for geeks and geniuses. Without the Internet, their only practical uses were data storage, being a really expensive word processor and being a kickass solitaire machine. Growing up in that mindset, you learned to fix computers because there wasn't much else to do with them. "
- Adobe: Here's why Creative Cloud is worth $600 a year | Deep Tech - CNET News - SW subscriptions probably reasonable deal for heavy users but they're hard on users who don't need latest.
Thursday, February 02, 2012
- Are Your Titles Irresistibly Click Worthy & Viral?! - YouMoz | SEOmoz - Personally, I thought the trick was just to put "Apple" in the title :-)
- Why Facebook Clearly Belongs in the 10X Revenue Club « abovethecrowd.com - Amongst an awful lot of blather around the Facebook IPO, this is an interesting analysis (and framework for analyzing other companies).
- Julie Craig, EMA video on Devops
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
- The Future of GlusterFS – Slides « Red Hat Storage - The future of GlusterFS presentation from community manager John Mark Walker
- LensRentals.com - Sensor Size Matters – Part 1 - "Why do manufacturers keep using such an archaic measurement? Because it helps them lie to you, of course. "
- Red Hat | Red Hat Updates Messaging, Realtime and Grid Platform - RT @RedHatNews: News: Red Hat Updates Messaging, Realtime and Grid Platform #redhat
- HP v Oracle - Amended Cross Complaint - While some of the (new?) details about the Itanium Collaboration Agreement are indeed quite juicy, putting on my former analyst hat, they are also thoroughly unsurprising.
- We Have a Winner! (And Many Losers.) - Despair, Inc. - I bet this new demotivator poster is going to be a big seller aorund Baltimore :-)
- Self-Publishing Your Own Book is the New Business Card Altucher Confidential
- The Only Chart You Need To Mix A Proper Cocktail | Co.Design: business + innovation + design