Months ago Amazon announced S3, which promised unlimited, fast, and inexpensive storage of any kind as a web service. For $.15/gig/month storage and $.20/gig/month bandwidth, it instantly gives anyone with some programming knowledge the ability to use an enterprise class storage network with zero up front cost. Anyway, today I stumbled upon jungledisk and elephantdrive. JungleDisk seems more like a project than a commercial venture, since you download one of their clients and plug in your own s3 account. You pay nothing to jungleddisk (for now) and pay Amazon for only what you use at s3. Elephantdrive is definitely a commercial venture and completely hides their affiliation with s3, but they do extend amazon’s SLA to the end user. I signed up at Elephantdrive, but unfortunately for now they only have a Windows client and so I’m forced to wait until their cross platform comes out. JungleDisk’s linux client (I believe written in C# and then mono’d) seems to work in that it allows me to upload and download files using my personal s3 account. There’s something wrong with it however, in that it pegs my CPU at 100%. I verified this on two machines and posted on their forums to see if there’s a known reason. Amazon is truly proving themselves a technology company and not just a glorified online bookstore. With bittorrent support, we’re bound to see some more really cool stuff in the near future. Check out this Flickr to S3 backup script.

An amazing juggler

If you like the Beatles, you’ll find this video clip amazing. I keep expecting him to drop something, but he keeps rocking out. He’s much better than the jugglers I see here on Stuttgart’s Koenigstrasse. :)

PHP Scalability?

Brian Fioca of Jobby recently talked to Owen Bryne, senior software engineer and one of the co-founders of digg.com, about the scalability of PHP on big sites. It turns out at digg.com, PHP scales really well: To get a better idea of what was in store for a heavily loaded PHP application, I set up an interview with Owen Byrne, cofounder and Senior Software Engineer at digg.com. From talking with Owen I learned digg.com gets on the order of 200 million page views per month, and they’re able to handle it with only 3 web servers and 8 small database servers (I’ll discuss the reason for so many database servers in the next section). Even better news was that they were able to handle their first year’s worth of growth on a single hosted server like the one I was using. My hardware worries were relieved. The hardware requirements to run high-traffic PHP applications didn’t seem to be more costly than for Java. Mr. Fioca claims to have more experience working with Java and traditional big iron databases, and so he spends most of the article comparing his Java experience with digg’s PHP architecture. What’s really interesting is the tidbit about digg’s tremendous traffic being served by only 3 web servers (and 8 database servers). Technorati Tags: php, apache, architecture

Zooomr, a Flickr challenger?

There’s a new photohosting site that just got out of public beta - Zooomr.  The similarities between it and Flickr don’t just stop at the name - the rest of the site seems to take all of Flickr’s good UI points as well.  However, it’s obvious that the people responsible for Zooomr, BlueBridge Technologies Group, fully intend to innovate. Homer!Hosted on Zooomr One of the first thing you notice when you go to register at Zooomr is that you don’t have to actually register.  You can log in using federated ID authentication from numerous other services - Level9 R5, OpenID, LiveJournal, Google, and Meetro.  I logged in with my Google account, and within seconds I was able to edit my Zooomr profile.  After finding a test picture to upload, I was able to upload and start my Zooomr experience within minutes of signing in (the longest time was spent trying to find an actual photo to upload).  The basic interface is fairly clean, but that is due to it taking LOTS from the flickr interface.  All the basic elements are in the same place as on flickr, and there’s even a photostream, in this case called a "photo catalogue."  Unlike flickr, I found the text elements on the right side of the photo a little distracting - they are too bold and pronounced, whereas on flickr they are more subtle. Aside from this,  Zooomr has all the basic web 2.0 features you would expect - tags, comments, social communities, RSS feeds, AJAX-y interface, etc.  However, they’re adding some pretty cool features like Zooomrtations and Geotagging.  Zooomrtations are basically audio annotations embedded into each image.  This could allow for some pretty interesting visual and audio storytelling.  Geotagging, called Lightmap on Zooomr, is done via GoogleMaps at the moment, and holds a lot of promise.  By extending it a little further, Zooomr could mesh together the functionality of Plazes and Flickr, and in turn create a hot new web 2.0 site. Check it out for yourself, there’s no need to even register! http://beta.zooomr.com/home


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