with 'amazon' tag

the amazon web services startup challenge is a great idea. the top prize is $50,000 cash, $50,000 of amazon web services credit, and the offer of an investment in the amount to take your idea to market (more or less — read the rules).

just for entering, you get a $25 credit for amazon web services for usage from now until the end of the year.

the entry deadline is october 28.

backing up: photos

one of the things i’m really behind on doing is setting up a good way of backing up all of the photos i’ve taken (and will take in the future). one thing i’ve considered is using amazon’s simple storage system (s3). i have about 25GB of pictures, so unless my math is faulty, it would cost about $5/month to store and $6 (once) to upload them all.

but hey, i’m already paying $25/year for a flickr pro account, and that includes unlimited storage and bandwidth. so now it is just a matter of figuring out how to get all of my pictures over there — easy to do, unless i want to do it right.

doing it right would include synchronizing the photo titles, description, and keywords (tags) between flickr and iphoto, and dealing intelligently with the photos that i have already uploaded to flickr. there’s also the issue of photos that are edited in iphoto, where it would be nice to also have the original (unmodified) photo backed up.

maybe picturesync is much of what i want.

i still want to play with amazon s3, but i have another idea for that: email archiving.

fuck fucking dhl

being a couple of procrastinators, there were a few gifts that celia and i left for the last minute, but thought we were still safe because amazon was offering next-day saturday delivery. unfortunately it went through dhl, which has not noticed that today was an important day for packages to get delivered.

in addition to totally failing to deliver packages to us even though we were home (twice in one day — there were two orders), their local office closed at noon, long before their local trucks stopped delivering. now they (claim that they) cannot call the delivery person to get them to actually try to deliver the package, and there is no place we can go and pick up the packages ourselves.

i was afraid this was going to get all fucked up when i saw that amazon had used dhl to ship these packages. i guess i should have been camped out in front of our building all day to tackle any dhl drivers that “attempted a delivery.”

wired news happened to publish an article about a9.com’s block view, which they generate by driving around in a van with a specially mounted camera hooked up to gps equipment. here’s the block view of broadway in downtown los angeles, which you may also recognize from my photo set yesterday.

on the whole photo thing, i have this vague idea that i should get a real digital slr camera and learn what i’m doing. but i’m loathe to spend money on a camera that i may not end up using much, so i am able to resist the urge for now. we’ll see how much i keep going with my current photo-taking forays.

i thought briefly about taking a photography course at someplace like la city college, but i’m not terribly interested in non-digital photography. i’ve already done my time in a darkroom.

i wondered how the folks at a9.com dealt with the driving-by-a-bus problem. it turns out they don’t. that makes some shots rather less than useful. but it does mean i can say that the shots of broadway were taken in early october or late september of 2004. the ads for taxi on the bus were the telltale sign.

on privacy erosion

this is probably some violation of the terms of service, but this finding in my amazon associates report is just too funny not to pass along: someone ordered on intelligence and an economy pack of trojan ultra thin lubricated latex condoms. i earned 35¢ on the referral fee for the condoms.

(if it was you, i really don’t want to hear about it. but i hope it worked out.)

damn you, amazon!

the playstation two (with games) that i ordered last weekend won’t arrive until monday, just in time for me to go to seattle for the rest of the week. naturally, one of the games and the cordless controller i ordered at the same time have already arrived to mock me.

but i guess i know what i’ll be doing next weekend. (constrained by the fact that it won’t really be playable during the day — the downside of a projector in an apartment that gets a ton of light.)