Amazon EC2

Well, the more i have played around with setting up instances in “the cloud” the more I have liked it. Simple enough and completely scalable as necessary. The next step is to have load-balancing going on and robust database servers backing it all up. For almost every application we build, databases are a vital part of the solution – but if we just needed to serve up media or throw cpu cycles at generating/processing video – its definitely the way to go. You can run pretty much any platform you like and only when you need it. Its brilliant and I am still discovering all the ways we can use this and offer it to our smaller clients. We considered using it for our SVN repositories, but anything like that (with versioning and dynamic data) is probably not a great candidate. Although it allows us to get our setup right and build out some cool implementations that are robust and powerful and take them back offline while we work out the kinks. Nice.

Amazon EC2

I had heard about this some time ago, but was wondering how it applies. Like, it looks great for setting up test/dev environments and turning images on/off quickly and deploying scalable testing scenarios. But, what about the risk of losing data? Or privacy? They are the biggest obstacles. I’d love to see a white paper on a large scale use of the service. In any case, I found stormpulse.com today (living in the panhandle has me curious about hurricanes) and noticed it hitting the amazonaws website. Hmm, scalable, data dependent, looks like I found a case for studying.

postmasters, blacklists and commercial emailers


Recently sent this to a client regarding email applications…

  1. Blacklisted? Not sure? Check http://www.mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx
    and enter IP Address
  2. Spamcop got you down? Not sure? Check http://www.spamcop.net/bl.shtml
    and enter IP Address
  3. For gobs of information (and to signup to be in the feedback loop) –
    visit http://postmaster.aol.com. The whole site has a lot of useful
    information. Being in the feedback loop will allow them to notify you if
    a user puts your email in the junk mail. This way you can unsubscribe the
    customer, instead of risking being blacklisted.
  4. Yahoo! wants to be your friend. How can you be their friend? Visit
    http://help.yahoo.com/l/us/yahoo/mail/postmaster/postmaster-15.html
  5. Finally, here is a legal blurb about commercial email systems:
    http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/canspam.shtm

podcast format for iTunes

In case anyone is searching around on Google or Yahoo! for a character encoding format that works for iTunes – I have found that UTF-8 works great. And I use htmlentities($str, ENT_QUOTES, “UTF-8”) to get the text formatted properly.

Also a note, that if you leave the length field empty, iTunes doesn’t display the file as an option to the consumer. It makes sense, but I just want to put it out there because after we fixed our encoding issue, we realized we had to fix a filesize() error that was occuring.

Free tip from Uncle Leroy 🙂

Openid.net Integration, a Necessity?

Now that openid.net has announced that google and microsoft are putting out products with openid included in them i guess its time to get on board. with so many technologies changing so rapidly i like to wait and watch to see how things will evolve. i think they have evolved. anytime you have google AND microsoft backing something, its got some wallup – some real umph. its momentum enough for me and we’ll start recommending it to our clients.