The Tyranny of the Little Brothers

It wasn’t until this year that I realized I was no longer in control of my personal narrative. I believed that I could be in charge of how private or public my life was. But it’s become increasingly obvious this year that it’s not in Facebook’s financial interest for me to be able to control my narrative. Too many of us are disengaging with the social network to a large degree. So now others can post about me and tag me and there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s quite frustrating that all too many conversations nowadays begin with, “please don’t post this to Facebook.” It just makes me want to turn in on myself and spend less time socializing. Because, at least for now, anything that happens in my home when I’m by myself will only end up on the Internet if Danielle and I both want it online.

As I’ve said before, it’s not Big Brother you need to worry about – The Government doesn’t give a darn what you do on the weekend. It’s the Little Brothers catching you on a million cell phone cameras and any of them can decide to post and tag you.

Rolling Your Own

Another event has once again cemented my thoughts that the informed technical person needs to run their own services rather than depend upon the benevolence of companies. It started with Google closing Google Reader. Then Facebook and Twitter got extra censorious. During all that, people started abusing DMCA requests on Youtube. Recently Google decided to close Google code. Now there the Ars Technica story that SourceForge is installing malware on software that is considered abandoned on their site.

Little by little, I’ve been trying to make myself less dependent on others. Sure, until we finally get to IPv6 and ISPs allowing users to run their own servers at reasonable cost I’ll still be dependent upon my hosting provider and upon the ICAAN not being pressured by some government to screw over my domain, but there’s nothing I can do about that for now. So I’ve been taking advantage of HTML5 and WordPress’ new built-in video abilities to upload videos here rather than Vimeo or Youtube where they can be removed at a whim. I might still ALSO upload them there for discoverability purposes, but they’re here – safe. Although I’m still posting some images to flickr and Google Plus, I’ve also (over the last year) reduced my dependence on those services. Both are likely in precarious states: flickr is owned by Yahoo and Google Plus seems about to tank. I’d rather not have my carefully constructed blog posts fall apart because the links no longer go back to those sites.

In the wake of this SourceForge thing, lots in the FLOSS community have begun to question what might happen with GitHub. At the moment it appears to be a very different situation because Github actually has a business model – charge for private git projects. So they don’t necessarily need to start adding malware to code in order to make money. But it’s still in someone else’s hands. I looked into GitLab today, but since I’m currently on shared hosting rather than a VPS, it doesn’t seem I can run it at the moment. On the plus side, all my git repositories on Github are just mirrors of what I have on my computer so they can never fully take them away from me. I’m also not running particularly popular projects at the moment so it really doesn’t matter too much. Still, if we ever move to where I’m able to once again self-host without going against my ISP’s terms of service, it may be something I end up doing to ensure that I am as self-reliant as possible.

Outside of what I decide to do for myself, we do seem to be at an interesting crossroads where it is in the interests of many of the companies to get us on their clouds so they can mine our data and sell it. But the social (and/or legal) contract isn’t there to keep them from acting incorrectly – adding malware, removing your data, etc. Will the prices continue to fall such that it becomes negligible for us techno-nerds to roll our own solutions? The biggest reason I don’t run OwnCloud is that it doesn’t provide a solution at a cheap enough price that’s better than dropbox, Google Calendar, etc. But if that day comes, do we just leave the non-technical people behind in their gilded jails? Do we try and help them out? Will they even care?

Free Spotify Complicates Things

Technology continues to complicate the media landscape. The other day I learned on the Fedora Planet how to send Pulse Audio over the net – allowing one computer to listen to music (or other audio) from another. But, in the context of music, who cares? I have all my music on Google Music. I can just plug my phone into the sound system and listen to music (or any other speakers). This also eliminates my need to use DLNA / uPNP servers/clients to play my music. (They never worked all that well anyway)

Up until recently, it never made sense for me to sign up for Spotify. $10/month – I just didn’t spend that much on music – even on average. Most years I only buy 2-3 albums. Now it’s free – even for mobile. (Although free mobile only has access to a Pandora-like experience) Although the web player’s scrobbler is annoyingly broken, there are Google Chrome extensions I can install to fix that. So now what should I do for music?

With my situation, I don’t want to pay any more for music than I am now and don’t really want to waste the data plan on listening to Spotify in the car. So anything I want to be able to listen to in the car needs to be purchased so I can copy it to Google Music and then d/l it to the phone. If I want to be able to pick exactly want I want to listen to in the house, I either need to be on a laptop or buy the music so I can have it on Google Music.

So now I’m left asking myself – how badly do I want to listen to this whenever and however I want? Is it worth the money? And many psychologists have shown this is bad for the music because I am putting a dollar value instead of focusing on entertainment value. Although, with some musicians – like Taylor Swift – I don’t have a choice. Buy it or don’t listen. The question is – what do people do in the long run? And what if the musician thinks they’re more powerful than they are when they make that choice? Do they burn their good will?

Of course that makes me think of the ethics; this is getting pretty tiresome. Did people die for these diamonds? Were these fruits raised the right way? And now, is this artist getting paid for entertaining me?

Just as tablets, texting, and smartphones evolved in my mind as I saw various utilities when the technologies matured, there’s an interesting evolution of thought with all-you-can-experience vs outright ownership. Do I just watch movies when they’re rotated in and out of Netflix? It’s not too different from my childhood when I’d catch my favorite movies when they were on USA or TNT. Same with books and now music. Of course, I like to listen to the same songs over and over while the length (and other factors) make that much less practical for movies and books. Right now the only definite benefit to owning media is that it’s yours for as long as you can keep from losing it – theft, hard drive crash, home fire, etc. Spotify, Netflix, Amazon, and anywhere else you don’t truly own the media can take it away for any reason – creators don’t want it there, censorship, you piss them off (Steam basically says in their agreement that if you piss them off you lose all your games), etc.

And the only definite benefit to Spotify, et al is the ability to sample songs and/or albums at longer than a 30 second clip (mostly eliminating the “I d/l it to sample it” argument). Speaking of which, while I’m not hugely into pop music I like that Spotify has a Tuesday playlist of the new music that came out. It’s nice to be conversant in the new stuff even if I’m not going to listen to it more than once. I know WordPress supports Spotify playlists; we’ll see if this works. (Also I don’t know if you need to be signed in to Spotify to see the resulting playlist)

Garmin Swim

For my birthday, my mother got me a Garmin Swim watch. The watch uses an accelerameter and gyroscope to figure out how many laps I’m swimming and what strokes I’m swimming. It’s not perfect, but it works well enough that it was able to allow me to focus on my strokes instead of counting intervals on the first day I used it. I’m not sure what I am doing wrong with breaststroke, but it made it add 2 extra laps to my third set of 400 IM. Even with those issues, (and the fact that something I do with backstroke is so wrong, it thinks I’m doing breaststroke) I was able to confirm some things I’d supposed, but didn’t want to waste time confirming with a less feature-full stopwatch. For example, I confirmed that, on average, I swim 25 meters in 30 seconds with freestyle. I also confirmed that I do my 400s in slightly less than 10 minutes, but slower with each set as I get tired.

I couldn’t wait to get a chance to upload it and this was my default Garmin dashboard:

Garmin Connect Dashboard
Garmin Connect Dashboard

And here was my workout for the first day. I expect the second day will be more accurate since it’ll be all freestyle. I do a reverse IM and it’s no surprise to me that my freestyle laps were the best pace, strokes, and SWOLF – a measure of stroke efficiency.

1 Dec Swim Stats
1 Dec Swim Stats

One neat thing I was able to see on my export was that the device measures my rest time. That’s pretty awesome. I rested about 1.5 minutes in between sets. I’ll be more cognizant of that in the future to try and help make better use of my time at the pool.

Swim CSV File 20141201

Year of the Linux Desktop? For Real this time!

I still really love using Linux, but I don’t follow the Linux press like I used to. I’ve settled into a comfortable zone where I only follow Fedora and KDE news since that’s what I use. But I followed it very closely for nearly 10 years. Every year there’d be multiple articles asking whether this was the year of the Linux desktop, meaning people would finally see the Microsoft hegemony for what it was and throw off the shackles of proprietary software. It never came. Thanks to Ubuntu and Vista, we almost got there. Then there were the Netbooks, but the manufacturers chose horrible versions of Linux and underpowered machines and Microsoft came out with Windows 7 starter edition. And people went to Macs instead of Linux in the biggest tech comeback of … ever.

But then a few interesting things started happening. Although they’d been trying to convince consumers to go back to the Mainframe model since the 90s, broadband penetration finally reached a critical point and Nettops because Cloud Computing. And the bookseller which had turned into the world’s online mall began offering computing resources. And the search engine company came out with a phone and a laptop based on the Linux kernel. And suddenly, Linux was everywhere even if, in a somewhat Pyrrhic victory, no one actually knew they were running Linux.

The rise of Cloud Computing and home networking have converged to create a world in which the OS is slowly mattering less and less. Go back through history and read the forum posts, mailing lists, and Newsgroups and you’ll see two things holding people back even as Linux continued to make strides that made it only marginally harder to run than Windows: Video games and Photoshop.  Valve’s SteamOS finally convinced more than just indie developers to make Linux and Mac ports. So I can install games like Guacamelee on my Linux computer. But there’s also streaming which lets me have but one Windows computer that others can stream to their Linux boxes. I tested this last weekend over wifi and I was even able to get a decent framerate on Saint’s Row The Third. (Though not quite the perfect way to play) So Linux ports for the new stuff and streaming for the old stuff. And today I heard about Streaming Photoshop. Now, I still have reservations about this because I usually shoot gigs of photos and wouldn’t want to wait for it to be uploaded to the net so I could then use Photoshop streaming. However, for those unwilling to use Digikam and using Photoshop only occasionally – this could be a game-changer. From ChromeOS to a traditional Linux desktop – there is now no real reason not to go from the average user’s point of view. (There are still some exceptions and niche software programs)

There are lots of issues we still need to sort out – like the fact that rented software (like rented music a la Spotify) can be removed at any moment; like the fact that US law doesn’t treat your files on a server that same was as files in your house; like the fact that if we lose Net Neutrality, a lot of this may become prohibitively expensive. But the fact that more and more computing is moving to the web (and a Mainframe mentality like early computing) means that it no longer really matters what you’re running as your OS as long as it can access the web. And that means it’s kinda dumb to pay for Windows (and upgrades) when you can get Linux for free. (Plus then you have software freedoms) So we may be closer to the year of the Linux desktop than ever – even if the desktop itself seems to be more irrelevant than ever. At least to the general public – I still think we have a role for desktops (both as in computers: not doing EVERYTHING on tablets and as in running local programs).

Profiting from Inefficiencies?

I went with Backblaze first because they were highly recommended by LifeHacker. Then I chose Crashplan for my main Linux computer because Backblaze doesn’t do Linux. Crashplan offers a family plan that covers 2-10 computers, but I only need to cover 2 computers (my laptops don’t have anything that needs backing up). Covering two computers on Crashplan is more expensive than doing one computer on Crashplan and one on Backblaze. So the less efficient and more complicated setup is the cheaper one; oh well.

Aereo: Is it Worth the Money?

I cut the cord and left cable TV about five years ago. I had tested the over the air (OTA) channels and they came in well enough. Plus there was innovation going on that might mitigate not having cable. The other day my sister-in-law’s boyfriend mentioned that Aereo was going to start working on Chromcast. They have a micro-antenna array technology that allows them to get the local signals clearly and then allow their customers to watch the channels on computing devices. I’d been following them for a while and checked to see if they were finally in Baltimore. They were! So I signed up for the free month trial.

Aereo has been in the news a lot lately. They’re at the Supreme Court arguing why their service should be legal. Good luck to them. The reason I wanted to look at Aereo is that, while my OTA antenna works very well most of the time, there are times when it glitches out and that is so annoying. On top of that, Aereo provides DVR functionality. I didn’t want to setup MythTV because it’s more complicated in our house than it was in our apartment, so this was potentially a great service.

Aereo - Featured Content
Aereo – Featured Content

Signing into Aereo shows featured content – shows you might want to DVR so you don’t have to worry about appointment TV. I don’t know if they eventually learn your preferences, but if not, it’d definitely be an area worth expanding into.

Aereo - The Program Guide
Aereo – The Program Guide

If you want to watch live TV, you want to go to the program guide. This shows all the local channels and the programs currently on (as well as future programs). At this point you can either choose to watch it live or change your mind and choose to record it.

Aereo - Guide - selecting a show to watch
Aereo – Guide – selecting a show to watch

And if you watch it live, you get this screen:

Aereo - Watching Live TV
Aereo – Watching Live TV

Awesomely enough, you also get subtitles.

There are many benefits to using Aereo’s service. First of all, you can use the tablet/phone apps to watch TV anywhere in your house. Second, since they have Roku and Chromecast apps, you can watch it on TVs that aren’t connected to a computer (how we watch XBMC and Hulu on our TVs). Third, you have a DVR without the complications of needing to setup and maintain a DVR. It’s a pretty neat value proposition.

Is it work the money? Aereo is worth $8 a month; close to Netflix instant streaming’s price (I think Netflix recently announced a price hike) and close to Hulu Plus’ price. I wanted it to make sure I got my channels clearly, and I did get them very clearly. However, with an over the air antenna (precisely what Aereo is supposed to replace) I can get channels from Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington DC. That last one is important since it’s only 20-30 minutes away so it’s nice to watch DC news to know what’s going on over there as well as weather. Aereo only provides me with the explicitly Baltimore channels. They come in pristinely, but I’d rather get 30 channels that come in most of the time, than 10 channels that come in all the time. So on channel clarity, I’d say that Aereo is a win if you live far from transmitters and/or in the first floor of an apartment. Digital signals need as unobstructed path as possible, so the higher the better. I know this has to do with following the letter of the law, but I should be able to get the same channels as I would with an antenna, regardless of the media market. So that’s a no from me.

What about couch potato viewing? One complaint I read about on the internet all the time is that regular TV (cable or OTA) is better than Neflix, et al because you just sit there and flip channels. I know I discovered many things, like Monty Python, by flipping channels and being intrigued by what I found. Also, there’s the paralysis of choice with Netflix et al where there’s so much you want to watch that you choose nothing and turn it off. I only rarely suffer from that – usually when I’m stress or depressed and find the idea of picking the wrong choice to be too stressful. 99% of the time I am not affected by paralysis of choice, but others may be moreso. The problem with Aereo (as currently implemented) is two-fold. First of all, you cannot easily flip channels. You’d need to go back to the channel guide and pick a program and pick to watch it. Not conducive to flipping around during commercials. Second, Aereo currently does not provide seamless viewing. Say you’re watching Friends and after Friends the Simpsons is aired on the same channel. When Friends ends, you need to go back out and pick the Simpsons to watch. So for me this is a wash. I really don’t care either way. For others, this could be a deal-breaker.

A potential missed opportunity, although they’re doing it so they can survive court battles like the current Supreme Court battle is that you cannot access your channels if you’re not home. I could see Aereo being awesome if you’re out of town and want to keep up with local stuff. But it’s ok, if you setup a VPN at home, it’d probably work. Not a knock against them, just a mention of how current copyright sucks.

Time for the biggest knock for me. It’s $8 for one antenna. That means you are either recording or watching live. If you want to be able to do both, it’s more money; $12 a month. They don’t mention watching live on two devices at once, but they mention recording two at once and recording while watching live. So I’ll assume this means for $12 you can watch two at once. On its face, pretty fair. All the antennas I’ve looked at for OTA say they can power two TVs. Without an amplifier, that is. With an amplifier they can usually do at least four TVs. Whether or not this is a dealbreaker depends on whether you live alone. Once you start getting more people involved, it quickly becomes a lot cheaper to just get basic cable, an OTA antenna, or satellite.  So, for me this makes it not worth it. Again, if you’re a solitary person or live with people who don’t watch TV, it is worth it. If you have the typical 4-5 person family, it probably will just lead to arguments.

Having your own DVR/PVR isn’t as convenient as having it in the cloud; especially if you roll your own via MythTV. But once you go through the headache of setup and maintenance, you can do whatever you want with the recordings. You can keep them forever. You can put them on any device. You can use them for mashups and other fair use things. I am pretty sure you can’t do that with the Aereo recordings. Yes, they have Android and iOS apps. But that doesn’t get to the fair use cases.

I shall close with my wife’s evaluation. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but when it comes to the visual arts, my wife (and now my daughter as well) is the primary consumer. There are lots of TV shows and movies that I hear are are great. Most of the time I believe the tastemakers who tell me this. But I just can’t muster the interest. There are a few shows I enjoy – The Daily Show, Last Week Tonight, The Colbert Report, Game of Thrones, and Archer. For the most part, however, I just can’t bring myself to spend 20-40 minutes on TV and 90-200 minutes on movies. I’d much rather read, play video games, or create. I prefer my entertainment to require more creativity: reading requires imaging the visuals; video games require input and my favorites have player-determined narratives or are puzzle-based; and creation – writing, coding, drawing, etc – is inherently creative. So when it comes to deciding whether to spend money on visual entertainment, I tend to delegate to the wife. And her response to the description of Aereo was: what does Aereo give me that Hulu doesn’t? The only answer I could think of was – the ability to watch inherently live TV like the news, the Grammys, the Oscars, etc. She told me she didn’t really give a crap about those things and she could usually find the highlights on Youtube and elsewhere the following day.

So, in summation, Aereo is not worth it FOR ME. It provides nothing I cannot already get for free or am not already paying for. Sure, it provides DVR, but that’s inherent in Hulu. And for those few times I want to watch something live, I can make do with the antenna and its intermittent dropouts. Is it worth it for you? Do you live alone? Do you lack good TV reception for OTA? Do you enjoy watching inherently live TV? Then YES, Aereo is worth it.

An Interesting Trend that shows that Teens just want their own special space

Here’s a funny fake-news video reporting on the mass-migration of teens from Facebook (where their parents have migrated) to the comments section of a slow-motion Youtube video of a deer running. While I don’t think there’s going to be mass-migration of all the world’s teens to one comment board, there’s a grain of truth here. My old Informationweek editor, Mitch Wagner, once discovered some young girls holding a gossipy chat in the comments section of an old blog post of his; when he asked them what they were doing there, they told him that their school blocked all social media, so every day they picked a random blog-post somewhere on the Internet and used it as a discussion board for the day.

25th Anniversary of The Web Invites some Introspection

If you’ve been following Internet news recently, you know that the World Wid Web is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year. Lots of people have been talking abou tthe first websites they ever set up. Unfortunately for me, my earliest sites were not captured by the Internet Archive. But I started on the web around 1995 or 1996 on Angelfire. From there I went to Tripod and Geocities. Eventually, I joined the two so that I could have a whopping 20 MB of hosting space between the two providers. I’ve mentioned it many times before, but my first web presence was a Squaresoft fan site – mostly revolving around Final Fantasy 6 (3 in the US) and Chrono Trigger. I also used it here and there in High School for various things. When I got back to Tripod in college and found that Tripod had deleted that site, I created a personal site for the first time.  Around 2003 I started messing around with running my own server using Fedora Core 1. And since 2005 I’ve been blogging here at It’s A Binary World 2.0. And in the last few years I’ve had a web comic and a site that comments on commercial comics. It’s incredible that we’ve gone from 10 MB at Tripod to my current host giving me unlimited storage because it’s gotten so cheap. I’ve gone from one website to 3 with more to come in 2014.

So I jumped into the Wayback Machine to see how my websites have changed over time. Man, design-wise I’m a bit embarrassed. It is so much easier now with WordPress, themes, and CSS customization. For example, here’s my Tripod site in 2004 – which used to be www.ericsbinaryworld.com (This is why my blog is, at the time of this writing, at server.ericsbinaryworld.com. Although, as I mentioned before, that may soon change) I had an intro video (which was all the rage back then). But even then people found them annoying so I also had a link to skip it. Which would take you here. I had used image maps before, but they still weren’t completely passe at the time. Interestingly, I had a little proto-blog going on at the bottom of that page. Also I was trying to sell my photos on ebay, how quaint. (By the way, you can use the Wayback Machine’s interface to scroll through the changes to my websites over time)

I’ve split my server Wayback into two links because when I first started I was using frames and that breaks the Wayback Machine’s ability to go forward in time past a certain point. Looking back at that it’s so funny that I thought I would somehow become a new web host running a server out of my dorm on a crappy old PC running Fedora Core 1. i was about 10-20 years too late for that. Still, the way I organized things is definitely revealing into the way my mind worked then. Later on, I went for elegance in simplicity. And it remained that way (with a few tweaks here and there) until now. I plan to change it over the next few months as I decide whether or not to move the blog and clean up links and other things that broke because of the move to Dreamhost.

So, there you go, a tour of my 18 years on the Internet, slightly more than half my lifetime. (And, unfortunately, only the last 10 years captured on the Wayback Machine) It’s been a whirlwind of a journey through different topics and design preferences. (And that doesn’t even count the often recounted way I’ve gone through so many different phases of what I talk about on the blog or the theme changes the blog has had) It’ll be very interesting to see how it goes for the next 18 years as technologies come and go and things go in and out of style. First everyone had personal home pages or fan tribute sites. Then everyone had blogs. Then everyone got scattered. Some to MySpace and then Facebook. Others stayed with blogs and yet others went to other types of CMSes like Joomla or Drupal. See you at the next anniversary.

Photos and the Changing Online Landscape

I’ve been on flickr nearly since it first started. It’s been a great community to learn about photography and hook up with others who are really into photography as well. I have 10 700 photos on flickr so I’ve looked on various flickr developments with fear because of how invested I am in the site. I was scared when Microsoft was going to buy them because they haven’t always been as open a company as Yahoo. Frankly, I wasn’t too happy when Yahoo bought flickr because they’ve been so stagnant and development did stall for many years there. I used to listen to a lot of photography podcasts and they were constantly talking about the fall of flickr because the largest photo repository online was now Facebook. There were two reasons I never put photos on Facebook. At first it’s because I wanted to aggregate all the comments and views in one place. Later it was because posting photos to Facebook was a bad deal copyright-wise.

Although, I didn’t think it was perfect, I thought the most recent change was pretty nice in that that photos got a larger screen space and more emphasis. However, when I logged in today, I saw tons of protests for the upcoming view. I don’t know how long it’ll be up so here’s a quote:

Want to know why?
Please read along.

Flickr recently launched the a beta version of there new photo “experience”.
Also known as; the page where you view a picture.

Oké good, so what, no problem right?

Except just a new jacket for the page they silently changed much more.
They try to break up the community Flickr is.
Some small changes can be seen already.
Your contacts have become followers, you follow people now.
They are no contact anymore, you’r supposed to just follow them.
If you can’t acces the new beta you probably still miss the point I make here, so read further with me.

The new layout discourages comments in every way.
Read the problems with it:
– It’s impossible to make goot structured multi lined comments
– Comments are moved to a very tine box at the side.
-No more images possible in comments.
Further failures.
-Tags are replaced by a #. Words with a hashtag infront are tags, you place them in the discription.
-Not possible to have HTML- or Forum links.
-Not able to see who faved your photo.
-A bunch more (See link beneath)

Want to see the new flickr photo page:
www.flickr.com/photos/jord1/10159497355/

conclusion: Flickr wants to become a shoutbox like twitter. Some things were directly stolen form twitter like hastags and “followers”
How will the future Flickr look like:
www.flickr.com/photos/jord1/10171498594/

Photo’s need to be look at, not shout over. There is no place for good discussion on the new Flickr, this is sad. Photo’s have to be discussed, we all can improve our pictures and knowledge by looking and discussing the photo’s of Flickr. The future Flickr removes this place of thoughts, removes the soul of images, the story, the Shot. We’re left with Iphone pictures of people breakfasts and activity’s.

Protest, let call our voice. Post #Twickr .

I enabled the new view again (I’d enabled it a long time ago and I didn’t like it) and, interestingly, it’s similar to Google Plus’ photo view. However, I find Google Plus and flickr to have very different aims – one is for socializing and one is for the photo community.

Well, it has become the perfect time to re-evaluate the photo landscape only and how I’ll use it going forward. Up until now, I was basically using flickr for a dual purpose – sharing photos with the family and posting photos I was proud of. (Maybe a great animal capture or some great technique) Other than that, Danielle and I had decided that for really personal photos of Scarlett that we wanted to share with the family, we’d use Google Plus. I really like Google Plus’ use of Circles for limiting your posts’ visibility and not bombarding strangers with photos of your kids. Your friends and family might still get sick of seeing them, but at least they’re a more targeted audience. It’s one of the reasons I never posted all the photos I took at any particular family function to flickr.

As you know, I recently finally got an Android smart phone. I set it to automatically backup my photos to Google Plus because I don’t feel I should I lose memories just because I lose my phone. And once it’s there, it’s just so easy to share it out.

So from here on out I’m going to do the following. Photos I’m sharing between family and friends will be on Google Plus. That way everyone can look and comment without having to join Yahoo/flickr. The only photos I’m going to post to flickr are photos I’d like to share with the public because they’re clever, funny, or artistic. It should work well for everyone – both audiences will get the best of what works for them. As a plus, it reduces my dependence on flickr without requiring me to host my own solution.

Netflix does what many have been recomending

Lots of technologist have been suggesting that the entertainment industry should view illicit Internet sources of their products as indicative of unmet demand. Netflix is doing just that.

Senior executives from Netflix have explained their method for choosing which programs to license for the service: they buy the rights to the most-pirated shows in each territory, because that’s where the demand is.

Technology Growth is Pretty Awesome

Atmel Webserver
Atmel Webserver

It’s pretty neat how much technology has changed in the past 8 years. Eight years ago Rich West and I coded up a web server on a microcontroller (code here) and part of my justification was that, for only $50, someone would be able to have a web server on a microcontroller. Wouldn’t that be so awesome for people without a lot of money for technology? Yet, less than a decade later, the Raspberry Pi can be had for around $50 (give or take depending on the features) and implements an entire computer, not just a web server. You can install a full Linux distro on it and do everything that a Linux disto can do (including serve web pages). I hope we can continue to grow technology like this for years to come.