Some pointers to things I’ve recently liked

Here’s a random smattering of links to things that I’ve recently checked out, and that I really like:

  • Children of Men: A well made film about an interesting story in dystopic England (though, to be perfectly honest, it’s a bit hard to tell the difference between that England and the one outside my window). I had the “last generation” story idea last weekend. I sent it to Curtis, and he told me about Children of Men. I made the link go to the Wikipedia page and not the IMDB page, as is customary. The Wikipedia article on the movie is really nice, with great director’s commentary, as well as other goodies.
  • Jungle Disk: Best solution to off-site backups. You pay USD 20 one time for a nice piece of software, and you have perpetual rights to use it on as many computers as you want (Mac, PC, Linux). It helps you put data into your Amazon S3 account. You pay your bills to Amazon. You own your data, Amazon makes sure you don’t lose it (Jungle Disk has published their schema, so even if you decided to throw away their program or they go out of business, your data is still available to you). Key points: Amazon S3 is cheaper than any possible backup medium you could choose in your own house (include amortized hardware costs, energy costs, and the hassle factor — don’t cheat on the hardware, you have to have reliability as high as S3, which means both your hardware cost and your hassle factor will be much higher than you think it is), because you have a direct relationship with Amazon, there’s no markup on storage or bandwidth. The price of your backups can only go down relative to the on-line offsite backup market as a whole.
  • Onlive: Karl, Cary, and Arnold are finally out of stealth mode! Yay! It seems like “Xbox over vnc” to me, but what do I know. I never really mastered minesweeper. Just give me a good book…
  • …like The Shadow of the Wind: A good book. Multiple layers, several stories running at once, from different times, coming at you at once, all set in beautiful and atmospheris Barcelona. Good stuff.

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