Burningbird Technology

The wonders of S3

The only domains I’m keeping are,, and Burningbird is my major site, I’m turning the into an online CV, resume, what have you, and developing MissouriGreen more fully.

One unique feature of Missouri Green is that most of the site resources will be hosted on Amazon’s S3. I’ve already tried out S3 for a Flash-based photo show, and it works remarkably well. I figure that I can offload everything but the dynamic applications, such as whatever tool I use for the content. I’m leaning towards Drupal right now for the content. Drupal or WordPress most likely.

I’m using a variation of a Python script to bulk load to S3 from my server, but it needs work. I’m also using the Firefox add-on, S3 Firefox Organizer for loads from my desktop.

I’ve been enjoying myself immensely but I have to watch it: I’m almost up to a dollar in monthly charges.

Since S3 is a third party service, I’m not making it my key storage device. My photos I upload I have in RAW format on external hard drive and backup DVD. Same with the database dumps, as well as the code. If Amazon decides to enforce a minimum charge, or the service become less than robust, I have a plan to programatically recover the data and host elsewhere.


The cultural divide

Kimberly Blessing has a good follow up discussion on the recent diversity discussion. She specifically pointed out something I also noticed, and it had to do with Robert Scoble’s comment to my post.

Robert wrote:

One thing about Digg and TechMeme (and, really, Megite and TailRank too): they reward networkers. How do you get links? Learn to beg for them via email and/or face-to-face meetings at conferences and other events. Men do this far far more often than women do.

Kimberly took issue with this because the expectation here is that we women have to emulate male behavior patterns in order to succeed. The whole point of diversity is that society, generally, and the tech field, specifically, has to work towards an environment that’s comfortable for all people, not just the current dominant holders of the gate. Otherwise, we lose all the benefits of diversity.

Contrary to what seems to be popular opinion among too many people, diversity is a good thing, not an onerous burden.

I agreed with Kimberly, but I also had an almost atavistic reaction to the whole idea of ‘begging’ for anything. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I know that I would never beg for anything. The very idea is hugely repugnant, with its reminders of not-so-long ago times when the only ‘rights’ given women were those which we could beg.

This isn’t to pick on Robert, but does demonstrate, perhaps, one of the many subtle and not so subtle ‘biases’ built into the tech environment. It is these cultural blips that makes the tech field fit like a tailored suit for the men, while women feel decidedly off the rack.


Short takes

The editing process can be fraught with possibilities for humor, especially when looking at typos. In one example, the text of the sample web site talked about “Poor the margarita into a glass”, leading to expressions of sympathy from my editors. My favorite so far, though, is “Transversing collections of data..” instead of “Traversing collections of data…”.

Alternate lifestyle code, indeed.

I’d already found the occurrence of “can’t” misspelled with a ‘u’ before sending it off for editing. Good thing, too, as editors never let you forget slips like this. Ever.

Speaking of geekery, OpenID is now the new cat’s jammies. For those new to this darling, all you really need is a bit of open source software and a URI, and it magically opens doors for you everywhere. I had an OpenID URI once but found it too blasè. I know what I really want, but unfortunately,, is already taken.


iCephalopod V

More cephaloporn thanks to Mr. Moult, who is also the happy owner of the domain.

The site linked has some wonderful, though short, videos of Taningia danae, eight armed squid, captured recently by Tsunemi Kubodera. They demonstrate how amazingly quick and aggressive squid can be. When you consider how big the colossal was that was recently recovered, 39 feet long, almost 12 meters, makes you think twice about going for a dip, eh?

At least I didn’t invoke Gorton’s Law and equate colossal with tire sized calamari:

In the tradition of Internet adages, I’d like to add another. In any discussion of sea life, no matter how rare, strange or disgusting, some knucklehead will always ask how well it goes with lemon or butter. I am calling this Gorton’s Law.

In case you haven’t been around, like, forever, I wrote a four part story on giant squid, Nessie, legends, and cryptozoology back in 1997, which is when I started developing a fascination of all things in our Other World. In celebration of its ten year anniversary, a link to the first part, A Tale of Two Monsters: Legends.

I wonder if I’ll get my annual nasty email from Jan?


Links Feb 27

What an absolutely beautiful fish.

From Galactic InteractionsGravity as the curvature of spacetime— it’s such a simple, elegant, beautiful concept that it almost pains me to think that efforts to unify gravity with quantum mechanics may result in our learning that General Relativity is just the effective limit of a deeper theory (much as Newton’s gravity is an effective limit of GR).

(I hope to actually finish my copy of Kip Thorne’s “Gravitation” before I die. I may have to live a long time.)

The Head Lemur’s Ning–the Latest Sharecropping Network, Part 1 and Part 2Zing!

Via 3Quarks DailyMarvin Minsky writes on Love. As always, a unique perspective from one of the premier AI scientists.

RDF and microformats rumble: post here, then comment, with follow up and referee. Why does all technology have to break along adversarial lines in weblogging? Probably needs more women.

Speaking of…Dori SmithThis is about claims that I “simply don’t exist.” This is about claims Shelley doesn’t exist. This is about claims that people like Molly don’t exist — ’cause nobody, but nobody could know that we exist, talk to any of us for five minutes, and still say that. Being as we three are the shy and retiring type.

Oop! Oop! No more of that. This year’s Diversity Steeple Chase and companion, Wondering where are the broads is over. Stay tuned, next year: same time, different channel.

via onegoodmoveWhy I refuse to blog for Edwards“So, it’s not a problem that I’m an outspoken atheist?” I asked.

Twelve-year-old Deamonte Driver died of a toothache Sunday. Let’s spend more time on congressional resolutions on Iraq that don’t do anything–and more billions in Iraq so kids like Deamonte can die.

It’s spring in California. Speaking of which, we’re expecting our first spring storm tonight or tomorrow, if it doesn’t float north of us.

Bill has loaded his first spring photo.

Come midnight, it will surely sound like spring.

To all my fellow Missourians: Be safe.