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Tim Hogarth
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Reading up on the cloud state of the nation now in 2015.    A couple of interesting things that Amazon now holds some 2 million servers (postulated by Gartner) and 27% of the cloud market, and pulls in about $4bn in revenue for it (which is tiny compared to the $70bn in the book store revenue, but the margins are higher on cloud).       Google has a much smaller market share in cloud, but rumoured to have more than a million servers.    Microsoft expected to have close to a million.        

Then there's this quote:  "A single @awscloud datacenter consumes enough electricity to send 24 DeLoreans back in time"


The scale of the available public compute is well beyond mind boggling.     What's interesting is that the demand hasn't slowed:  we didn't need 10m public servers a few years ago, we sure as hell didn't commission that much private compute at that rate.   The oversupply of compute is clearly being met by accelerated demand - and its more than just simple high price elasticity driving this, the pool of compute power must be being used to drive entirely new types of use that probably weren't envisaged until the compute became this accessible.    I wonder how much of that power is actually clustered into solving big problems - analytics on consumer behaviour, economic modelling, machine learning on market movements, mechanical turks trawling through dragnets metadata.

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Karen Rich was the overall winner of our 'Your Summer in Light' photo competition. Her entry captured a summer storm providing welcome relief from the heat and casting dramatic light over a rock platform in Coledale, NSW.

Sunsets and star trails, fireflies and fireworks, smoke and shadows, rainbows and reflections: this is your summer in light.

Congratulations to all winners and finalists - check out the full gallery by clicking the link below.

ABC Science | http://ab.co/1vEQKi9
Photo

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Interesting perspective on the appeal of randomness.

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Hehehe.

The solar system to scale. Keep scrolling right people.

(In the vein of a recent conversation on the unimaginably reality of a trillion dollars. All scale problems are hard for us humans to process.)

http://www.phrenopolis.com/perspective/solarsystem/

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The ongoing news of intelligence agencies massive invasion of privacy irritates and worries me.   We've now heard that 60% of all internet traffic is routinely copied and trawled, that most of our emails have probably been copied and read, that major internet companies have either been coerced or co-opted into producing back doors - all with basically no real level of accountability or any form of transparency.     Now we've learned they've broken SSL and fundamentally undermined the basic security plumbing that makes the internet work - and allegedly, working with crypto companies to make things weaker - a program with 10X the funding of Prism.

In a world where we share more and more online, its critical we can all choose what we make private and what we make public.  The weakening of SSL affects banking, commerce, personal networks of trust, anonymity - basically the internet's foundations.   We already have a glut of spyware undermining the value of the net - we don't need the US govt to chip in too.    

The revelations of the fundamental breaking of internet trust really deserves your attention.   I really hope the world doesn't tire too quickly of the really important detail being shared by the Guardian and the NYT. 

(Yes, this post is public as there's not whole lot of point in thinking you're having a private conversation if you're online)

 http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/05/nsa-gchq-encryption-codes-security

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Been laid up in bed for 4-5 days with a normal winter flu, so spent some time helping my Dad out with his new Win8 tablet.  I stumbled across the most annoying and - on the surface - ridiculous behaviour that's in both Windows 7 and Windows 8.   This particular behaviour highlights a serious problem inside of Microsoft - cultural, technical, organisational (probably all of the above) - that will stymie their ability to create world class products.

Win7/Win8 has this feature called Libraries, which essentially are shortcuts to all your files - Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos.   This is where you put all your files, but if you have more than one location, you can add them all.  That way your documents or pictures might be sourced from several places.

Increasingly, media apps use this location for all their sources.  And in Windows 8, the default apps for Pictures, Music and Video only use this location.  

The problem is that Libraries have a twist:  one cannot add an SD card, a USB key or a network drive to the libraries. The reason?   Officially?  Because the locations are not indexed.     Basically, the Windows Indexing service doesn't index these locations, so you can't add them.     

Doesn't sound so bad, right?    Well - wait till you buy a Windows 8 PC with limited hard disk space.   Thankfully you often get an SD card slot, so you can through 32Gb or 64GB more space.     But oh-no you can't actually use it for anything particularly useful!  

If you put your photos on there...no photos for you.   Music files?   Nope, the Win8 Music player can't play files from a non-library location.   Videos are the same.    

Now on the surface this just looks plain stupid.   Team A builds the Libraries, Team B builds apps that rely on them, Team C design Surface with an SD card.   None of the teams talk (or are aren't incentivised to).    Consumer loses, people shrug and say "that's Windows for you".  However, it goes into plain-old-insane when you look at the workaround.

What you have to do is 
* Create a Virtual Hard Disk on it (ideally the same size)
* Set up a job to auto-mount the Virtual Hard Disk at start up.
* Add the new drive to the Indexing locations

From that point on, you can then add folders and files normally and it behaves as you'd expect. (full instructions here http://mattblogsit.com/windows/configure-surface-to-use-microsd-as-primary-storage)


What. Were. They. Thinking.    


So I can trick Windows into doing....what it should be able to do in the first place, via a complicated technical path.    Ergo, either the rules for Libraries not using SD cards are esoteric and not needed, or they're not tight enough.   Alternatively if the Virtual Disk solution somehow fixes the core technical problem , someone in Microsoft never came up with the idea of creating a dialog that says "SD card detected.   Do you want to make this just work?"

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Wonderfully twisted.

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