Monthly archives of “October 2011

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Create a torrent file to share with Amazon S3

As the final part of my series on stuff you can do with Amazon, I’ve already blogged about how you can share files using amazon S3 and hosting a static website on amazon S3. Now as a final part on what you can do with your FREE amazon web services account is to host a torrent file. A torrent file would allow you to share stuff online, and not pay for the full bandwidth cost of doing it, provided your leechers share the burden as well.

The concept is really simple, Amazon S3 can act as a torrent tracker as well as a storage facility, so it’s an all in one package that ensures that your torrent is tracking and there will be at least 1 tracker ๐Ÿ™‚

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Hosting a Web Page on Amazon S3

Yesterday, I blogged on how to share files on Amazon S3, today I’ll show you how you can host a webpage on amazon S3. Now Amazon S3 is a simple storage service, and all it does it store files, but if you store a html file you can change this simple storage service into a webhost.

How does it work? Simple.

If you store a picture file (jpeg for example), and then share a url to everyone. Chances are people will click that URL and it’ll open the picture in a browser. However, if you share a html file, then people clicking on that URL will be able to view a web page on their browser and they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference, because that’s essentially what webhost do anyway, they merely store your html file.

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Sharing Files using Amazon S3

There are a couple of ways you can share files on the web for free, for instance you can create a website to share your files (although that depends on whether you have a hosting plan) or you use websites like to share it (but they have limits to the file size etc etc). For sharing large files like your wedding photos, may require you fork out a bit of cash to truly have unlimited downloads and good connectivity.

If you’ve got a large 1GB file for example you’re hoping to send out to a bunch of friends and colleagues, your best bet may be Amazons Simple Storage Service (S3). The reason why I like S3, is that just like everything else with Amazon it’s a pay as you use model, which means there are no monthly fix fees and the moment your files stop becoming the flavor of the month, you’ll stop paying bandwidth for it. Plus I’m applying for a job at Amazon and hopefully this scores me some points ๐Ÿ™‚

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Domain Names: .xxx domain and what you should know

The internet Corporation for assigned Names and Numbers (more affectionately known as evil ICANN) has recently announced a new .xxx domain specifically for adult content online. Basically a safe place we can store porn on the internet away from our children. What’s interesting though, is that a .xxx domain are by definition associated with pornography and smut, that certain corporations and even people would not want to be a part of. For instance, I’m quite sure everyone’s lining up for but Bill Clinton may not be too happy about it. So in light of this rather special domain name, comes a very special process that involves ensuring regular tax-paying adult content providers can bid for domain names they want, while allowing the rest of us to also work towards preventing others from getting our names tarnished with an .xxx post-fix.

So can we work on preventing my name from being associated with pornography?

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Google: Typing your flight number in Google reveals the flight status

Apparently Google isn’t content being the number one place you have for your knowledge thirst. Google is working on being the number place you’d look for anything and everything, from the price of gold to currency exchange and now even flight schedules.

Typing in a flight number (with no spaces) directly into Google yields the flight status in terms of departure and arrival times. Not to mention letting you know of delays ahead of time, the flight data is pulled from and Google does a fine job of displaying the data directly before the query results.

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DOH! : Mark Zuckerberg is the No.1 Google+ user

Sometimes life throws you surprising ironies that you can’t help but just bury your head in sorrow, like an ex-girlfriend becoming your boss or the office jerk winning the lottery.

Google aspires to overcome facebook as the number 1 social networking site by launching things like +1 and Google+, however in a surprising twist of fate the number 1 user on Google+ was none other than Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. You almost hear the collective ‘DOH!’ from the googleplex echo through silicon valley. Homer Simpson would be proud.

The situation is made even worse by the fact that the 2nd most popular user on the social networking site is Google co-founder Larry Page, missing out on theย  number 1 spot by more than 20,000 followers. Marks probably thinking to himself, If Google can’t even beat me in their own back yard how do they intend to beat me when facebook really starts competing?

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Find out who missed call you…

Social media and sites like twitter have done fantastically well to enable to arab uprising or finding bone marrow donors. However, a group of people decided to use social media to answer some fundamentally important question , or rather just one very important question…who missed call me?

The web site (very aptly named) allows user to post up missed calls from numbers they don’t recognize and people with similar calls usually try to respond. The response rate is pretty good although it mostly focuses on calls from credit agencies (quite obvious once you think about it)

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Why WordPress is so important

Imagine for a moment you’re an ancient social activist, somewhere in Babylon or Persia, or even ancient Rome, and you’ve just uncovered a secret of money laundering among elected officials. Armed with this information and a burning desire to expose the elected official you march out to tell the world of his exploits and hopefully stand over him in the expectation of swift justice to be executed.

How would you do it?

If you like most ancient social activist (if ever there were) would go out to the streets and shout it aloud, you’d meet the judges and the kings, and you may have your story heard. However, if you were known to be a troublemaker (as most social activist are) you’d probably not be taken seriously (at best) or even executed (at worst). This was how it was in the ancient world, where money bought power and the control of information was strongly held by those with power and by extension the money.

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Accomplished: 1000 hits in 30 days

Mission Accomplished…GWB style!

When I started this blog on my birthday, I wasn’t so sure what was going to happen. I didn’t have a target, I didn’t have a goal and all I wanted to do was to start a website and keep it to myself.

Over time as I learnt about the awesomeness of wordpress, and the wonderful stuff you can do on the web, I knew I had to share that or at least write about it. So I started blogging about setting up wordpress blogs or Joomla on nearlyfreespeech, dreamhost and amazon web services. If you didn’t know how much I loved wordpress, let me tell you now…I Love it a Lot !!(arms stretched wide open)

So I set about a goal to create a blog that would get a modest hit rate of 1000 hits a month, and as of yesterday I finally crossed that target and now have had 1003 hits in the past 30 days….AMAZING!

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WordPress on Amazon Web Services (AWS)

A couple of days ago, I met some guys from Amazon web services strutting their stuff out in a brilliant presentation about cloud computing. Now I must admit I haven’t been the most ardent cloud computing follower (I wasn’t really sure what it meant) , but I was ‘converted’ by these guys….to the point where I wanted to dive in and learn about the cloud.

And in keeping with my belief that the best way to learn is to do, I decided to host a website on Amazon Web Services and see if it really could be setup in minutes (as promised by Amazon). Amazon also promised year long free trial of their EC2 platform, basically you get a very small virtual machine hosted on Amazon for free (for a whole year), which was too damn ridiculous to turn down. So if Amazon was spot on their promises you could setup a wordpress site on Amazon in minutes AND it would cost you nothing for the first year…now that IS interesting.