It turns out that a whole lot of The So-Called Cloud is relying on magnetic tape for its backups.
Sunday, September 9th, 2018
Wednesday, November 8th, 2017
Thursday, August 24th, 2017
Jason lists the stages of gradually turning the Cloud Four site into a progressive web app:
And you can just keep incrementally adding and tweaking:
You don’t have to wait to bundle up a binary, submit it to an app store, and wait for approval before your customers benefit.
Monday, May 1st, 2017
A documentary by Matt Parker (brother of Andy) that follows in the footsteps of people like Andrew Blum, James Bridle, and Ingrid Burrington, going in search of the physical locations of the internet, and talking to the people who maintain it. Steven Pemberton makes an appearance in the first and last of five episodes:
- What is the Cloud vs What Existed Before?
- Working out the Internet: it’s a volume game
- The Submarine Cable Network
- How Much Data Is There?
The music makes it feel quite sinister.
Thursday, December 8th, 2016
Jason talks through the service worker strategy for his company website.
Tuesday, January 26th, 2016
Remember when I mentioned that you can get free certificates from Amazon now? Well, Oliver has written an in-depth step-by-step description of how he got his static site all set up with HTTPS.
More of this please! Share your experiences with moving to TLS—the more, the better.
Thursday, November 5th, 2015
This sounds genuinely good—Alvin and the Chipmunks slowed down to reveal their true ’90s post-punk goth-grunge nature.
Monday, November 2nd, 2015
In a strikingly accurate replica of the original IMP log (crafted by UCLA’s Fowler Museum of Cultural History) on one of the room’s period desks is a note taken at 10:30 p.m., 29 October, 1969—“talked to SRI, host to host.” In the note, there is no sense of wonder at this event—which marks the first message sent across the ARPANET, and the primary reason the room is now deemed hallowed ground.
Monday, June 22nd, 2015
If you were at Responsive Day Out on Friday and you liked the music that was playing during the breaks, here’s the track listing. Creative Commons licensed.
Sunday, January 4th, 2015
Matt wrote a great article called Ten Years of Podcasting: Fighting Human Nature (although I’m not entirely sure why he put it on Ev’s site instead of—or in addition to—his own). It’s a look back at the history of podcasting, and how it has grown out of its nerdy origins to become more of a mainstream activity. In it, he kindly gives a shout-out to Huffduffer:
…a way to make piecemeal meta-podcasts on the fly built up from random shows (here’s my feed).
If you use the iOS app Workflow, there’s a nifty tutorial for extracting the audio from YouTube videos, posting the audio to Dropbox, and subscribing in Huffduffer. I’m letting the side down somewhat though: Huffduffer’s API is currently read-only, but it would so much more powerful if you could post from other apps. I need to wrap my head around OAuth to do this. I was hoping to do OwnYourGram-style API with IndieAuth and micropub (once your Huffduffer profile has your website URL, and that URL has
rel="me" links to OAuth providers like Twitter, Flickr, or Github, all the pieces should be in place), but alas IndieAuth only works on a domain or subdomain basis so
/username URLs are out.
Anyway, back to Matt’s article about podcasting. He writes:
Personally, I like it when new podcasts use Soundcloud for their hosting, because on a desktop computer it means I can easily dip into their archives and play random episodes, scrub to certain segments and get a feel for the show before I subscribe.
It’s true that if you’re sitting in front of a desktop computer, Soundcloud is a great way to listen to an audio file there and then. But it’s a lousy way to host a podcast.
The whole point of podcasting is that it’s time-shifted. You get to listen to the audio you want, when you want. The whole point of Soundcloud is that you listen to audio then and there. That’s great if you’re a musician, looking to make sure that people can’t make copies of your music, but it’s terrible if you’re a podcaster.
To be fair, Soundcloud’s primary audience is still musicians, rather than podcasters, so it makes sense for them to prioritise that use-case. But still, they really go out of their way to obfuscate the actual audio file. Even if the publisher has checked the right box to allow users to download the audio file, the result is a very literal interpretation of that: you can download the file, but you can’t copy the URL and paste it into, say, an app for listening later (and you certainly can’t huffduff it).
Case in point: Matt finishes his article with:
If you don’t have time to read the above, it’s available as a 14min audio file…
That audio file is hosted on Soundcloud. You can listen to it there, or you can listen to it through the embedded player on the article itself. But that’s it. You can’t take it with you. You can’t listen to it later. You can’t, for example, listen to it in your car, even though as Matt says:
…for most Americans, killing time listening to podcasts in a car is a great place.
If you can figure out a way to get at Matt’s audio file (and maybe even huffduff it), I’d be much obliged.
Like Merlin says:
If the episode page for your podcast doesn’t have a clear link to a downloadable audio file? That ain’t no podcast. [mic drop]— Merlin Mann (@hotdogsladies) December 23, 2014
Friday, December 19th, 2014
Airships in the atmosphere of Venus. More plausible than it might sound at first.
Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
Great news from Cloudflare—https endpoints by default!
This means that if you’re planning on switching on TLS for your site, but you’re using Cloudflare as a CDN, you’ve got one less thing to change (and goodness knows you’re going to have enough to do already).
I really like their reasoning for doing this, despite the fact that it might mean that they take a financial hit:
Having cutting-edge encryption may not seem important to a small blog, but it is critical to advancing the encrypted-by-default future of the Internet. Every byte, however seemingly mundane, that flows encrypted across the Internet makes it more difficult for those who wish to intercept, throttle, or censor the web. In other words, ensuring your personal blog is available over HTTPS makes it more likely that a human rights organization or social media service or independent journalist will be accessible around the world. Together we can do great things.
Monday, August 25th, 2014
Josh walks through the process he took to enabling SSL on his site (with particular attention to securing assets on CloudFront).
Sunday, June 29th, 2014
Here’s the Creative Commons licensed music that was playing during the breaks at Responsive Day Out 2.
Monday, May 6th, 2013
Scott points out a really big problem with the current state of the “internet of things”: everyone is inventing their own proprietary walled-garden infrastructure instead of getting together to collaborate on standards.
The single biggest fallacy I want to blow up is this utopian idea that there is this SINGLE thing called ‘The Cloud’. Each company today reinvents their own cloud. The Cloud as a concept is dead and has been for years: we are living within a stormy sky of cranky clouds, all trying to pretend the others don’t exist.
Wednesday, March 13th, 2013
Best. Chrome extension. EVER!
Paul’s Chrome extension replaces every instance of “the cloud” with “the moon” (something I do in my head anyway).
It’s forked from an extension that replaces every instance of “the cloud” with “the clown.”
Oh, and Ben has written a version for Safari …forked from code that converts every instance of “the cloud” to “my butt.”
Saturday, March 2nd, 2013
Thursday, August 30th, 2012
The cloud is not only a lie, it’s a lie that everyone pretends to understand.
When asked what “the cloud” is, a majority responded it’s either an actual cloud (specifically a “fluffy white thing”), the sky or something related to the weather (29 percent).
Wednesday, July 18th, 2012
HP “On That Cloud Thing That Everyone Else Is Talking About” | The Onion - America’s Finest News Source | Onion News Network
Pitch-perfect parody from The Onion:
HP announced they’re making a new push into cloud computing and that they totally know what that is.
In related news, I’ve ordered my “the cloud is a lie” T-shirt from James.
Saturday, June 30th, 2012
After speaking at Go Beyond Pixels in St. John’s, I had some time to explore Newfoundland a little bit. Geri was kind enough to drive me to a place I really wanted to visit: the cable station at Heart’s Content.
I’ve wanted to visit Heart’s Content (and Porthcurno in Cornwall) ever since reading The Victorian Internet, a magnificent book by Tom Standage that conveys the truly world-changing nature of the telegraph. Heart’s Content plays a pivotal role in the story: the landing site of the transatlantic cable, spooled out by the Brunel-designed Great Eastern, the largest ship in the world at the time.
For all the talk of the placelessness of our digital age, the Internet is as fixed in real, physical places as any railroad or telephone system ever was.
Now there are more places I want to visit: the nexus points on TeleGeography’s Submarine Cable Map; the hubs of Hibernia Atlantic, whose about page reads like a viral marketing campaign for some soon-to-be-released near-future Hollywood cyberpunk thriller.
I’ve got the kind of travel bug described by Neal Stephenson in his classic 1996 Wired piece Mother Earth Mother Board:
In which the hacker tourist ventures forth across the wide and wondrous meatspace of three continents, acquainting himself with the customs and dialects of the exotic Manhole Villagers of Thailand, the U-Turn Tunnelers of the Nile Delta, the Cable Nomads of Lan tao Island, the Slack Control Wizards of Chelmsford, the Subterranean Ex-Telegraphers of Cornwall, and other previously unknown and unchronicled folk; also, biographical sketches of the two long-dead Supreme Ninja Hacker Mage Lords of global telecommunications, and other material pertaining to the business and technology of Undersea Fiber-Optic Cables, as well as an account of the laying of the longest wire on Earth, which should not be without interest to the readers of Wired.
Maybe one day I’ll get to visit the places being designed by Sheehan Partners, currently only inhabited by render ghosts on their website (which feels like it’s part of the same subversive viral marketing campaign as the Hibernia Atlantic site).
Perhaps I can find a reason to stop off in Ashburn, Virginia or The Dalles, Oregon, once infamous as the site of a cult-induced piece of lo-tech bioterrorism, now the site of Google’s Project 02. Not that there’s much chance of being allowed in, given Google’s condescending attitude when it comes to what they do with our data: “we know what’s best, don’t you trouble your little head about it.”
It’s that same attitude that lurks behind that most poisonous of bullshit marketing terms…
What a crock of shit.
Whereas other bullshit marketing terms once had a defined meaning that has eroded over time due to repeated use and abuse—Ajax, Web 2.0, HTML5, UX—“the cloud” is a term that sets out to deceive from the outset, imbued with the same Lakoffian toxicity as “downsizing” or “friendly fire.” It is the internet equivalent of miasma theory.
My friend @substitute suggested replacing every technobabble instance of “cloud” with “the Moon” and it’s changed my life— Pinboard (@Pinboard) January 6, 2012
Death to the cloud! Long live the New Flesh of servers, routers, wires and cables.