Sunday, January 18, 2009, 10:56am
So then why not then move Bittorrent out of the home/office and into the cloud? This weekend I was able to do just that with great success. Using Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and TorrentFlux (a web-based Bittorrent manager which runs on top of Bit Tornado). I created a web-based, open-source Bittorrent "machine" that liberated my network and leveraged Amazon's instead. I can access it from anywhere, uploading Torrent files from wherever, and manage them from my iPhone. I also pay only for what I use - which by my estimates will hopefully be less than $30 per month (real data to follow). And the best part? My ratio is maintained while my Left 4 Dead games speed along without any annoying lag.
If you think you might be interested in doing the same thing, please read on for a thorough HOWTO.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008, 7:10pm
amazon's elastic compute cloud, "ec2", provides a flexible and scalable hosting option for applications. while ec2 is not inherently suited for running application stacks with relational databases such as lamp, it does provide many advantages over traditional hosting solutions.
in this article we get a sense of lamp performance on ec2 by running a series of benchmarks on the drupal cms system. these benchmarks establish read throughput numbers for logged-in and logged-out users, for each of amazon's hardware classes.
amazon uses xen based virtualization technology to implement ec2. the cloud makes provisioning a machine as easy as executing a simple script command. when you are through with the machine, you simply terminate it and pay only for the hours that you've used.
Monday, February 18, 2008, 1:50pm
When amazon.com sued Barnes and Noble to enforce their patent on one-click ordering, the attorneys for Barnes and Noble did enough research to determine that I had developed one-click ordering back in 1995 for Hearst Corporation, well before Amazon filed their patent. The lawyers contacted me and asked me to be an expert witness for them. I would get paid a fat hourly rate. They said that, in addition to my personal experience with one-click, I would be the ideal expert: I was teaching computer science at M.I.T. and an internet applications development laboratory course at that, I was personally involved in programming for dynamic and database-backed Web sites as far back as 1993, and I was good at explaining stuff in plain language.
I was asked "Why didn't you patent this yourself, if you developed it first?" My reply was "It only took me an hour to build; if I went down to the patent office after every hour of programming, I wouldn't get very much done."
Thursday, January 3, 2008, 4:30pm
Unfortunately, Hollywood isn't quite as thrilled about my new HD Media Dream Machine and they've decided to punish me by revoking my Watch Now privileges from Netflix.
I first found out about the problem on New Year's Eve, when I went to log into my account. When I tried to launch a streaming movie, I was greeted with an error message asking me to "reset" my DRM. Luckily, Netflix's help page on the topic included a link to a DRM reset utility, but when I went to install the program, I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw this warning.
The minute I saw "this will potentially remove playback licenses from your computer, including those from companies other than Netflix or Microsoft" I knew better than to hit continue. Before nuking my entire digital library, I decided to call Netflix's technical support, to see if I could get to the bottom of my C00D11B1 error message.
Netflix's software allows them to look at the video card, cables and the monitor that you are using and when they checked mine out, it was apparently a little too high def to pass their DRM filters.
Because my computer allows me to send an unrestricted HDTV feed to my monitor, Hollywood has decided to revoke my ability to stream 480 resolution video files from Netflix. In order to fix my problem, Netflix recommended that I downgrade to a lower res VGA setup.
As part of their agreement with Hollywood, Netflix uses a program called COPP (Certified Output Protection Protocal). COPP is made by Microsoft and the protocol restricts how you are able to transfer digital files off of your PC. When I ran COPP to identify the error on my machine, it gave me an ominous warning that "the exclusive semaphere is owned by another process."
I'm not allowed to watch low res Netflix files, even though I have the capability to download high def torrents? How does this even make sense? It's as if the studios want their digital strategies to fail.
I like one of the comments:
Just stop. Use Bittorrent. Don't feel bad about it. It's your civic duty. Educating CEOs is a time consuming and expensive process. It's taken ten years on the music side, probably it will take another 5 years on the movie side before they wise up and just start providing unencumbered files to paying customers.
It just doesn't make sense to buy something that is often lower quality and comes with a boatload of restrictions.
Sunday, December 9, 2007, 1:57pm
The Amazon gift ordering patent was revoked by the European Patent Office. In a press release they write: 'The so-called 'Gift Order Patent' has been revoked by the EPO in an opposition proceeding today after a hearing involving three opposing parties and the patent proprietor, Amazon Inc. The patent relates to a method for purchasing goods over the Internet to be sent as gifts.' Santa did not have to lodge opposition against the patent. The opponents were Fleurop, the FFII and the German computer science society. What strikes me is that so many parties were infringing upon the patent, and yet you need very few organizations to file an opposition. Why are not more patents opposed?
Probably because most people either don't know what patents they're infringing on (since there's so many frivolous ones) or know and don't care to litigate (spend more money).
Thursday, October 25, 2007, 1:52pm
mazon (apart from having cool services such as EC2 and S3) is known for it's infamous patents. And the patent office in the US known for having idiots as employees. A great combination! After their "one click shopping" patent, now A9 (amazons's search engine) claims their fame by patenting a String at End of a URL. Prior what?
Thursday, October 18, 2007, 6:59am
Let me just say it: We want native third party applications on the iPhone, and we plan to have an SDK in developersâ€™ hands in February. We are excited about creating a vibrant third party developer community around the iPhone and enabling hundreds of new applications for our users. With our revolutionary multi-touch interface, powerful hardware and advanced software architecture, we believe we have created the best mobile platform ever for developers.
It will take until February to release an SDK because weâ€™re trying to do two diametrically opposed things at onceâ€”provide an advanced and open platform to developers while at the same time protect iPhone users from viruses, malware, privacy attacks, etc. This is no easy task. Some claim that viruses and malware are not a problem on mobile phonesâ€”this is simply not true. There have been serious viruses on other mobile phones already, including some that silently spread from phone to phone over the cell network. As our phones become more powerful, these malicious programs will become more dangerous. And since the iPhone is the most advanced phone ever, it will be a highly visible target.
Took long enough.
I wonder if it will be open enough for Amazon to sell mp3s directly to it. I bet not.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007, 11:19am
In a recent office action, the USPTO has rejected the claims of the Amazon.com one-click patent following the re-examination request that I filed on 16 February 2006.
My review resulted in the broadest claims of the patent being ruled invalid.
In its Office Action released 9 October 2007, the Patent Office found that the prior art I found and submitted completely anticipated the broadest claims of the patent, U.S. Patent No. 5,960,411.
I had only requested the USPTO look at claims 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21 and 22 but the Office Action rejects claims 11-26 and claims 1-5 as well!