March 30, 2009
i have a new favourite internet site, dropular. It’s a great place to lose some valuable time but, strangely, I never seem to mind.
Dropular is a media bookmarking service loosely based on the idea of a droplet contributing to a pool, filling it ever-so slightly one by one. This amazing tool lets you discover, remember and share images, videos and links - all in one place.
it has a great interface, beautiful really. i love the simplicity of cursor navigation.
March 28, 2009
in the enterprise world there are very few file server cloud solutions. i only know of two that fit the bill. i’ve talked about egnyte. but there is also mezeo. they have a product that ticks the boxes. their client works, users can map drives (though webdrive is probably the better option). the web interface is good, and there’s a bunch of very good features, not unlike egnyte.
however, their business model is to sell to telcos and isps. to use them you therefore have to find a reseller. i dislike resellers. there is double the due diligence for a start. but the choice to pursue this model is governed by economics. they have narrowed their market to an obtainable few. the sales force is small and focused. and the support team required is manageable. sell to a thousand, or ten thousand enterprises and you’d need an army.
the thing is that the software is probably good enough that enterprises would service this overhead. i can’t help feeling that the model is awry. the truth is that the market is out there. ultimately it’s mezeo that have to service their product, regardless of the filtering through their resellers. their strategy seems short sighted. the market is big and is only going to get bigger.
i ask myself what i would do if i were them. i think i’d follow a twin track. host the software, and allow others to do so, charging regardless on a per user basis.
March 26, 2009
i studied chinese foreign policy. i enjoyed that they often made policy moves out of left-field. there was the incident that saw chinese sailors moon overboard at russian cadres on the beach; the invitation to the US ping-pong team that brought about nixon’s visit in 1972, the “pre-emptive counter-attack” in korea. The actuality of the latter is well described here:
They came out of the hills near Unsan, North Korea, blowing bugles in the dying light of day on 1 November 1950, throwing grenades and firing their “burp” guns at the surprised American soldiers of the 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. Those who survived the initial assaults reported how shaken the spectacle of massed Chinese infantry had left them. Thousands of Chinese had attacked from the north, northwest, and west against scattered U.S. and South Korean (Republic of Korea or ROK) units moving deep into North Korea. The Chinese seemed to come out of nowhere as they swarmed around the flanks and over the defensive positions of the surprised United Nations (UN) troops. Within hours the ROK 15th Regiment on the 8th Cavalry’s right flank collapsed, while the 1st and 2d Battalions of the 8th Cavalry fell back in disarray into the city of Unsan. By morning, with their positions being overrun and their guns falling silent, the men of the 8th Cavalry tried to withdraw, but a Chinese roadblock to their rear forced them to abandon their artillery, and the men took to the hills in small groups. Only a few scattered survivors made it back to tell their story. The remaining battalion of the 8th Cavalry, the 3d, was hit early in the morning of 2 November with the same “human wave” assaults of bugle-blowing Chinese. In the confusion, one company-size Chinese element was mistaken for South Koreans and allowed to pass a critical bridge near the battalion command post (CP). Once over the bridge, the enemy commander blew his bugle, and the Chinese, throwing satchel charges and grenades, overran the CP.
yes, massive numbers of chinese swamping the US troops unexpectedly. for twenty years i’ve been wondering when we’d see this again.
i was taught a number of things about the motivation of chinese policy. i have no idea, now, how accurate these are. it depends on your view on the relative merits of ideology and pragmatism. (btw ideology, here, is nothing to do with communism, more to do with chinese nationhood.) i don’t know so much of the modern chinese hierarchy. i think i lost it after deng. but up until him, i would say that china wouldn’t hold back given such an obvious opportunity as they have now. they’re holding the west to ransom and they know it. but what will they do? i’m pretty certain that, whatever it is, it won’t be obvious.
* slumdog millionaire is not “the feelgood movie of the year”. at all.
* had a conversation in a lift today with an office messenger about thomas pynchon
* spent a whole bunch of time on one graphic for a ppt presentation, probably needlessly. felt like chippendale carving the back of a cabinet.
* trying not to do any work this evening
* know anyone who wants to rent a 3 bed flat in london?
March 23, 2009
i like the way music can be listened to now. i hear about some new album, take a trip to last.fm and go listen to it, free of charge. if i like it enough, want to take it out on an mp3 player, then i’d buy it.
been listening to new albums by david byrne, and now pete docherty.
March 22, 2009
i just got sent this link. i like that it tries to lay responsibility for the economic crises on individuals. individuals you’ve never heard of. some guy in AIG, a senator responsible for deregulation. it reminds me of visiting the anne frank museum in amsterdam. there they name the german offices that turn up to take them away. it’s the gladwellisation of reporting. an individual is wot did it.
March 17, 2009
this is why the cloud works. any cloud solution comprises a modular framework. there are a number of choices for each module (mostly). over time, whatever solution you choose will just get better. you’ll swap out modules and change things around but it will get tighter, and more functional, over time. you just have to make sure that your data is portable. that is the first rule in moving to the cloud.
March 16, 2009
korea’s daewoo corporation is buying half of all the arable land in madagascar in return for $6bn over 20 years.
I feel more convinced than before that Korea needs Daewoo’s success in Madagascar, not only to prove that its model is different from the models of Britain, the United States, the Netherlands, France, Germany and Japan during their colonial pasts, but also that it is setting a new precedent for both African states and outside investors to benefit from.
what a mess. sounds like the start of something ugly.
March 14, 2009
if you do a google search for enterprise cloud file server solutions, you’ll see Egnyte all over the first page of results. you won’t see much else. it appears as though there is a massive gap in the market here. there are personal back-up solutions and file-sharing sites aimed at very small numbers of users, but nothing enterprise class. and there should be.
so what about egnyte? well it looks pretty good. it has a bunch of nice features, like versioning, excellent permissioning, local caching, change notifications, and in other respects it’s a regular store of files familiar to most users. and it’s well priced.
egnyte is a young company and no one else is doing this. they’re as helpful as could be, but they don’t have all the answers yet. here are the bigger issues:
Egnyte provides secure access to your files using a web browser, and additionally, from a mapped drive on your desktop. You can drag and drop files, edit documents in Egnyte using My Computer on Windows or Finder on a Mac.
for any enterprise user, the ability to open a document and save it to a mapped drive is crucial. you can’t do this here. drag and drop requires a user to save a document to a local drive then copy it across. it’s inconvenient, it encourages bad habits. it’s worse than the user had before. it’s unacceptable. egnyte should have a client that makes this possible. it doesn’t. luckily you can go out and buy webdrive. this does the job, but at half the cost again of using egnyte.
Egnyte Local Cloud is an always available local
cache of files from the On Demand File Server.
The Egnyte Local Cloud solution provides
the following capabilities:
* Off-line access to the files
* Work faster with large files
* Local copy of your files
this sounds perfect, but might not be all it seems. it appears to be only available for caching on an individual user basis at the moment. more is promised soon.
who are they? how long are they going to be around? Egnyte is a start up that was self-funded until late last year when they raised an undisclosed sum, according to venturebeat:
The funding was led by Maples Investments, with participation from retired serial entrepreneur Steve Blank. Although Jain wouldn’t say how large the round was, he did mention that it was “substantially less” than the $7 million first round he raised for his previous company, Kleiner Perkins-backed Valdero.
Egnyte looks good. it looks like the issues can be solved with some work. in a few months they may be a much better proposition. others are sure to follow.
March 12, 2009
i have never regretted spending money on art. i have rarely bought art. today i went to the affordable arts fair in battersea park. it was enjoyable. i saw two pieces that i really liked and was in two minds whether to dip my hands in my pocket. but i’ve never regretted . . .
i bought one, still in its wrapping next to me. it was by vanessa smith (mine, not shown, is of the same ilk, but better, than these).
but i almost regret not buying the above, by emil amzamora. it may not be a coincidence that, amidst all the colour and pretension, both the pieces i liked displayed suicidal elements.
i just noticed that this figure looks like me. obviously, i suppose.
2nd update in 3 minutes
fuck. i wish i’d bought it. might go back. ha etc.