Probably NSFW: The Libertarian Party chose former New Mexico Governor GARY JOHNSON to be their presidential nominee over the weekend. He was also their candidate in 2012.But a chunky dude with a big red beard named James Weeks stole the show. He was running to be the party chairman as a joke. And instead of giving a speech when he bowed out on Sunday, he did a STRIPTEASE on live TV.(Profanity Warning! Search for “James Weeks Strips at Libertarian Party National Convention.” He starts dancing at :30 . . . stripping at 1:20 . . . and says he’s dropping out at 2:48. WARNING!!! There’s some uncensored profanity.)
Way back when I was in high school I found myself in a high school scienceclass. It was your typical experience, replete with bunsen burners, safteygoggles and a science teacher named Norbert. But one day Norbert had aninspriation – he let the class watch a video of James Burke and his Connectionsseries, which described all of the happy accidents in technology through theyears, that have brought us where we are today. My favorite accidentalconnection was the development of fine mist sprays for perfume bottles. While itmay have helped people smell better, the real combustion happened in yourautomobile, where the fine mist sprays became fuel injection nozzles for themodern gasoline engine.Like a fine fragrant perfume, Amazon has a revolutionary technology sittingright under everyone’s noses. Their happy accident? Building a reliable,scalable and robust ecommerce system. While I’m sure Jeff Bezos didn’t envisionhis online company being compared to perfume sprays, the fact of the matter is,even after immense technological investment, retail needs a lot of perfume tomake the margins smell nice– even if you’re online.But in their quest to prove to the world that online retail is the wave ofthe future, Amazon has created not just a fine mist. They have unexpectedlycreated a vapor cloud – orinternet cloud – that is ready for ignition. Most fortunately for Amazon,they’ve been able to build one of the world’s most impressive, massivelyscalable datacenter systems. Most fortunately for you, they’re willing to shareit. And most fortunately for corporate programmers, you’re about to be relevantagain.The Value of SharingHow valuable is a robust, secure, scalable and reliable computing platformthat allows you to store and retrieve any kind of digital data from anywhere inthe world at anytime of the day? While your average high school student doesn’thave much use for one, technology visionaries and corporate titans have beenwilling to pay big money to build such platforms. Groove Networks ran throughapproximately $120 million of investment in order to build and convince theworld that theirs was robust, secure, scalable and reliable. Microsoft, whichpurchased Groove in 2005, is spending upwards of $2billion in order to do the same thing. Google’s entire business modelrequires them to reinvest huge amounts of capital into their storage platform.Throw in Yahoo and Baidu and it’s clear that such computing power is seen as atechnological edge.However a high school student can rent one of the best, most proven, storageplatforms of them all — for a little less than $.50 per month. If he or she iswilling to lay off the occaissional candy bar, he/she can be on an equal webinfrastructure footing with the richest technology companies in the world. If Iwas an investor in MSFT, I might even ask if investing $200 million in Amazonmakes more sense than $2 billion on your own technology and starting fromscratch. In fact, taking it one step further, I might even be worried thatAmazon’s examples treat .NET as just another language – alongsideJava, Ruby, PHP, Python and Perl. Another $1.8 billion into .NET and VisualStudio might take care of that, especially for those prized corporateprogrammers.So Easy a High Schooler Can Do ItLike anything worthwhile, it takesa bit of time to figure out the best way to exploit it. The obvious comesfirst: use Amazon’s storage capacity and scalability to store data such asimages or globs of backup data. Indeed, a simple scan of Amazon’s Simple StorageService solutionsshows many backup, photo sharing and large email attachment services.Furthermore, most of these services are web-based and so their single greatestcost is usually bandwidth. Hence Amazon’s marketing focus on web2.0 apps as their clientele. This makes perfect sense, as it fits the world’scurrent multi-tiered architecture: the simple browser on the client, thebusiness logic on a web server and now the robust data store on the backend.Many well known and successful companies are exploiting this today: SmugMug,37Signals and MyBlogLog to name a few. Would you know it buy using theseservices? Probably not, unless you have a keen eye reading the urls flash by aselements on your web page are downloaded. Does it matter? Not one bit. Each ofthese services uses Amazon S3 in order to offload the work of sending images anddocuments off their servers and onto Amazon’s. As a result, each company canfocus on their distinctiveness and bring it to market as quickly as possible,without worrying so much about infrastructure. In some cases it’s enough toprove the concept and sell to a large company in justa few months.The Next Fortunate EventIn the US there is a saying: “OnlyNixon could go to China.”. While Amazon has positioned itself as aproven resource for eager online entrepreneurs, they have also (accidentally?)created a solution that makes the client chic again – actually both the Clientand the Server. Indeed, Amazon’s Simple Storage Service takes us back tothe 1980s, resurrects Client/Serverarchitecture and provides it on such a scale that it actually works.In the late 1980s, when C/S became a holy grail, it quickly sprang a leak atthe supper table as large deployments grappled with networking protocoldecisions, scaling issues, big capital investments for servers and, of course,maintenance. Amazon has moved these giant obstacles aside and resurrectedsomething most thought dead. And this from an online department store!While Amazon is still very much a consumer site selling anything they candisplay on a web page, at some point people will see the light and realize thata lot of C/S architecture implemented, deployed and wheezing along incorporations around the world can be refactored with services like Amazon S3. Byproviding the ultimate server, Amazon has made it possible for programmers tobuild corporate client software that a) actually scales and b) actually cutscosts – no more corporate servers to procure, house and maintain. A corporateprogrammer can create a client that can scale for the entire organization byusing a good GUI tool and something only moderately more complicated thanFile.Open. Web application stacksof functionality might not look as appealing compared to this new reality.(Have you noticed that programming stacks have evolved like razor blades? Westarted with one, then two blades, then three solved the problem, until fourblades really did the trick, and so on – in fact, aren’t servers even calledblades now?)But while Amazon has provided the fuel, it’s still up to the developers toprovide the ignition; and right now we’re dealing with sticks. By that I meanthat Amazon isn’t offering a database, nor server side scripting, interpretedlanguages, web server plugins or anything else to add complexity. Instead, atits core, is the world’s greatest file server.Groaning from the Peanut GalleryThe collective moan you just heard was from everyone who actually livedthrough the client/server days rolling their eyes and recalling how difficult itwas to merge everyone’s changes into a single file on the server. That wasindeed a huge problem and yes it did lead to C/S being discredited. HOWEVER, theproblem was twofold: 1) tackling multi-user scalability issues for the serverand 2) tackling multi-user data issues for the client. In the 1980s, personalcomputing was still in its infancy, and nascent applications struggled to meetthe needs of a single user, much less two.If we look at the path highly available and scalable servers have travelledthe last twenty years, we see a single machine– even a really big one– wassimply inadequate for the task– it’s just too prone to failure. Furthermore,data needs have exploded past workgroups or departments in a single location–people across the globe may need access to specific data now. Although it willtake a post in the future to adequately describe how Amazon and others arebuilding scalable and reliable data services, they do require multiple datacenters located around the world connected by fiber optics, with each datacenter housing thousands of redundant systems built for quick switching in caseof any single point of failure. In other words, a far cry from a PC running IBMOS/2 with an Intel 386 and 32 megs of RAM locked in a closet.But while the server side of the equation has advanced over the last twentyyears, can the same be said for the client? Or, more specifically, for the dataclients are producing? No. While operating systems are more powerful today andprettier to look at, the state of application data today is not so differentthan it was back in the 1980s– a stream of data supporting the state of theapplication as last saved by a single user. In this day and age, multiple peopleneed to work in single context to produce a deliverable. Unfortuantely up tillnow this has been dealt with using the checkout, checkin, ‘hey, you overwrote mydata!’ design pattern. The server has improved, now it’s time for clients torespond in kind.One More Event Before The Big BangThe solution? How client applications read and write data needs to make thesame advancements that server platforms made to make data storage reliable anddelivery scalable. As application’s become decoupled from the desktop, theyshould also decouple from the notion that a single user updates data at onetime. Does only one person work ever work on a document? Does only one personever participate in a project? Only if they wish to remain in the past.Now that a superserver like Amazon S3 is almost a given (just a bitmore reliability and maybe onemore feature), applications can pull ‘multi-user’ files off, perform mergeoperations using local computing power and then place the file back in the cloudwith an updated, combined view – ready for the next user to come along. Savedoesn’t have to mean ‘write out my view of the data only’ – it can also mean‘merge my view of the data with the group’. It might sound like a database,but it’s really functionality that all apps working with groups, or in a groupcontext, should have. The applications themselves will have the knowledge tomerge files they recognize together – an excercise left to the developers of thenext generation of client software.There’s a lot of refactoring to do, but this time the benefits are tangible.Entrepreneurs seem to be embracingAmazon web services, and the next wave can’t be far behind. If Amazon manages tocatch that next wave, they could be in for a great ride. And however it worksout, in their quest for the ultimate online department store, Amazon might havefinally solved the server side of the equation in Client/Server architecture. Ifthey manage to attract the corporate programmers ready to build the nextgeneration client pieces, then not only would Amazon again enjoy first moveradvantage, but it would be for something worth a lot more than books. Even JamesBurke would have been proud of that connection. john milan 1 A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Amazon#Analysis#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts
Texans keep telling us “don’t mess with Texas” and yet there are still those who refuse to listen. One thief did not heed that warning and wound up on the wrong side of a store clerk who just so happens to be a cowboy hailing from west Texas.WFAA News reports that police responded to reports of an armed robbery at a Dallas 7-Eleven shortly after 11 PM on August 20. The criminal, apparently having no idea who they were dealing with, attempted to rob the store and stab the store clerk with a screwdriver. The robber was foiled, however, when the 7-Eleven employee overpowered them, grabbed a nearby rope and tied them up, subduing them until the police arrived. The store clerk identified himself as a West Texas cowboy. We’re sure he has plenty of experience lassoing, but… Wide Open Country Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now
Uruguay and Ghana have progressed to the quarterfinals at the FIFA World Cup 2010.With two goals from Luis Alberto Surez, two-time champions Uruguay beat South Korea 2-1 in the first Round of 16 game in Port Elizabeth.Later today in Rustenburg, Ghana warded off the hard-fighting USA 2-1 in extra-time.Asamoah Gyan struck the winning goal for Ghana in the 93rd minute after the game went into extra-time with the score tied 1-1. Ghana took the lead in the fifth minute with a goal from Kevin Prince.Landon Donovan took a penalty kick in the 62nd minute to equalise for USA.Earlier, Uruguay’s struck twice in the eigth and the 80th minute. Korea had equalised in between with Chungyong’s goal in the 68th.Uruguay would meet Ghana in the second quarterfinal.Uruguay had last won the World Cup in 1950 and their best finish since then has been fourth place in 1970.Uruguay are unbeaten in the tournament with two wins over South Africa and Mexico after a goalless draw with France.
Defending champion Roger Federer won his seventh Dubai Championships title and second of the year in defeating top-ranked Novak Djokovic 6-3, 7-5 on Saturday.This marked the seventh consecutive year – 11th time in 13 years – that Federer or Djokovic won this title. The only other tournaments Federer won seven times are Wimbledon, and Halle, Germany, both on grass.”Ever since I won here the first time, I fell in love with the tournament,” Federer said. “The seventh is quite unbelievable. It sounds pretty crazy to me.”Federer, who has 84 career titles, won in Brisbane, Australia, in January.”He deserved it,” Djokovic said. “I expected that from him.”I knew he was going to chip and charge, come to the net, serve and volley.”The 5,000-seat stadium was sold out, but many more people were standing around at the top. They were treated to a high-caliber match. Federer needed five more aces to become just the fourth player since 1991 to serve 9,000 career aces. He served 12 in the final.He joined Goran Ivanisevic (10,183), Ivo Karlovic (9,375), and Andy Roddick (9,074) in cracking the 9,000 aces mark.”I even remember which one it was because I was counting them,” Federer said. “It was one of the swinger wides.”It’s nice to get past that so I don’t have to think about it ever again, or until the next thousand or so.”Federer saved all seven break points he faced, while Djokovic lost both break points he faced. Djokovic sailed a backhand long on break point in the eighth game of the first set.advertisementIn the second set, Djokovic had a 40-0 lead in the 11th game, but watched Federer rebound to break his serve with an inside out forehand crosscourt winner.”The first set belonged to me, but the second set belonged to him more, really,” Federer said. “It was a huge game at 5-all, 40-love for him.”I crawled my way back into that game and ended up breaking him,” Federer added. “That was big but the break points I saved were even bigger.”