Archive for the ‘Internet’ Category

Amazon Web Services is taking over the cloud computing world

November 23rd, 2014


When Amazon launched Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2006, it made sense to provide computing services because there are always Amazon servers idling, until Thanksgiving or Black Friday comes along.
Little did people know that the AWS is now the leader in the Cloud Computing and I for one think that AWS will be at the top spot for few more years to come.
In the 2014 Cloud Infrastructure as a Service Magic Quadrant, Gartner placed Amazon Web Services in the “Leaders” quadrant and rated AWS as having the furthest completeness of vision and highest ability to execute.
Amazon is clearly the winner at the fore leaving the competition far away.


If the AWS used to be the hardware infrastructure in Cloud Computing, Amazon has made it clear that AWS is going to be the entire ecosystem of cloud computing – that includes software as well.
The long list of its partners and customers – including agencies that requires top-notch security clearly states that AWS is the leading choice for your data center, infrastructure, and now even software development.

AWS re:Invent 2014, its third year running annual conference, shows that AWS is not going to be only an infrastructure provider.

AWS re:Invent 2014 | Day 1 Keynote with Andy Jassy – Sr. Vice President, Amazon Web Services

AWS re:Invent 2014 | Day 2 Keynote with Werner Vogels – CTO,



Here’s a summary of the existing Amazon Web Services products:


>>Storage and Content Delivery

Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) provides a fully redundant data storage infrastructure for storing and retrieving any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the Web.

Amazon Glacier is an extremely low-cost storage service that provides secure and durable storage for data archiving and backup.

Amazon EBS (Elastic Block Store) provides block level storage volumes for use with Amazon EC2 instances. Amazon EBS volumes are off-instance storage that persists independently from the life of an instance.

AWS Storage Gateway is a service connecting an on-premises software appliance with cloud-based storage to provide seamless and secure integration between an organization’s on-premises IT environment and AWS’s storage infrastructure.

AWS Import/Export accelerates moving large amounts of data into and out of AWS using portable storage devices for transport.

Amazon CloudFront is a content delivery web service. It integrates with other Amazon Web Services to give developers and businesses an easy way to distribute content to end users with low latency, high data transfer speeds, and no commitments.


>>Compute Products

Amazon EC2 provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers and system administrators.

Auto Scaling allows you to automatically scale your Amazon EC2 capacity up or down according to conditions that you define.

>>Networking Products

Amazon VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) lets you provision a private, isolated section of the AWS Cloud where you can launch AWS resources in a virtual network that you define. With Amazon VPC, you can define a virtual network topology that closely resembles a traditional network that you might operate in your own datacenter.

Amazon Route 53 is a highly available and scalable Domain Name System (DNS) web service.

AWS Direct Connect

AWS Direct Connect is a network service that provides an alternative to using the Internet to utilize AWS cloud services.

Elastic Load Balancing automatically distributes incoming application traffic across multiple Amazon EC2 instances.


>>Database Products

Amazon RDS (Relational Database Service) makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale a MySQL, Oracle, SQL Server, or PostgreSQL database in the cloud. It provides cost-efficient and resizable capacity while managing time-consuming database administration tasks. Currently in preview, Amazon Aurora is a MySQL-compatible, relational database engine that combines the speed and availability of high-end commercial databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open source databases.

DynamoDB is a highly scalable, fully managed NoSQL database service. Its seamless throughput and storage scaling, as well as automatic 3-way replication frees you from time-consuming database administration tasks and allows you to focus on your application and business.

Amazon Redshift is a fully managed, easily scalable petabyte-scale data warehouse service that works with your existing business intelligence tools. It delivers fast query performance by using columnar storage technology and by parallelizing queries across multiple nodes.

Amazon ElastiCache is a web service that makes it easy to deploy, operate, and scale an in-memory cache in the cloud.


>>Deployment and Management

AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) enables you to securely control access to AWS services and resources for your user. With AWS IAM, you can create and manage users in AWS, and grant access to AWS resources for users managed outside of AWS in your corporate directory.

Amazon CloudWatch is a web service that provides monitoring for AWS cloud resources, starting with Amazon EC2.

AWS Elastic Beanstalk is an easy-to-use service for deploying and scaling web applications and services developed with
popular programming languages such as Java, .NET, PHP, Node.js, Python and Ruby.

AWS CloudFormation is a service that gives developers and businesses an easy way to create a collection of related AWS resources and provision them in an orderly and predictable fashion.

AWS OpsWorks AWS OpsWorks is an application management service that makes it easy for DevOps users to model and manage the entire application from load balancers to databases.

The AWS CloudHSM service helps you meet corporate, contractual and regulatory compliance requirements for data security by using dedicated Hardware Security Module (HSM) appliances within the AWS cloud.

AWS CloudTrail is a web service that records AWS API calls for your account and delivers log files to you.


The new products announced in re:Invent 2014


>> Compute

Amazon EC2 Container Service is a highly scalable, high performance container management service that supports Docker containers and allows you to easily run distributed applications on a managed cluster of Amazon EC2 instances.

AWS Lambda is a compute service that runs your code in response to events and automatically manages the compute resources for you, making it easy to build applications that respond quickly to new information.


>> Database

Amazon RDS for Aurora

Amazon Aurora is a MySQL-compatible, relational database engine that combines the speed and availability of high-end commercial databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open source databases.


>>Deployment and Management

AWS CodeDeploy is a service that automates code deployments to Amazon EC2 instances

AWS CodeCommit is a secure, highly scalable, managed source control service that hosts private Git repositories.

AWS Data Pipeline is a service that helps you reliably process and move data between different AWS compute and storage services as well as on-premise data sources at specified intervals.

AWS Config provides you with a detailed inventory of your AWS resources and their current configuration, and continuously records configuration changes.

AWS Key Management Service (KMS) is a managed service that makes it easy for you to create and control the encryption keys used to encrypt your data.

Marvin’s Summary
The existing list of AWS Products and Services is already intimidating, especially for anyone who have some interests in getting to know more about AWS.
Topping that with more new features simply overwhelms an already overwhelmed list of products.
However, it is worth to note that the Free Tier given by AWS for a free trial of all the paid services at a lower specification is a very good deal to go dive right into AWS and take a short swim.
AWS has amazing products and features that it is definitely worth investing time in, considering that for any such services, there were never a pay-per-use pricing to go along.
Knowledge and experience in AWS is going to be pretty valuable, because AWS is taking over the cloud computing world.

Hardware, Internet, Software, Technology

The Digital Mystique: How the Culture of Connectivity Can Empower Your Life – Online and Off by Sarah Granger

June 4th, 2014

Sarah Granger is a noted author, blogger, speaker and entrepreneur. Her work focuses on how the Internet and digital media is changing our lives and our world. Her first solo book, The Digital Mystique shares real-life stories and surprising facts about our lives—both online and off—to shed new and fascinating light on the positive effects of the digital media revolution, showing us how we can personally learn, grow, and thrive by engaging in our digitized world.
While this is Sarah’s first book, she has already written hundreds of articles and blogs, several scripts, and four chapters for collaborative books.

If you think this could be just another book about “digital world”, “social media” or the internet, you might want to read on.
Sarah got herself online at the age of nine, coding at by ten, and subsequently ran a message board at 14.
She got her email address at 17!
Truth be told, I was intrigued by this introduction more than its cover.

The chapters organized in the book:
Connecting Is Just the Beginning
Friending Is Trending
Love in the Time of Messaging
The Kids Are Online
The Senior Moment
The Passion of the Web
There’s No Business Like E-Business
Community Is the Key
The Difference a Tweet Makes
What We Leave Behind
A Stitch in Digital Time

This book is particularly useful for non techies as the reader would definitely learn more than the average tech user about the digital world.
The author gave many examples of her personal experience and most topics are from her own account.
By doing that, she is able to show her credibility in the digital world and as such has made the chapters more interesting.
Useful advice can be found, especially for people who have just discovered the web and got into the excitement mode. Readers could relate on how to establish an online identity and about the risk of over-sharing.
Personally, I like the chapters that cover the kids and seniors, especially how they could benefit from the digital technologies as well as its danger.
There is a chapter dedicated for e-business. Being a serial enterpreneur herself, the author is able to give many tips about doing online business the right way.
The book ends with how you could or should leave the world – both online and offline, leaving a legacy to people you know or may not know.
I also like the topic about how people should limit their online activity as to avoid getting into the social addiction trap where fear of missing out is apparent.

All in all, this an educational book as it provides content that have exceeded my expectation.
This book is beneficial for everyone to learn how to leverage the use of the digital world to our advantage and also to avoid the pitfalls of getting too much digital influence into our lives.

Books, Internet, Review ,

How to edit or view Outlook email HTML source

April 1st, 2012

You might not know but more often than not, the email you compose and send out is in HTML format.

However, the email client software rarely allow you to edit the HTML source directly.
One recent use-case I have:

I want to put a yahoo emoticon into a Gmail composed email, not by attaching the image file, but a direct HTML img tag which shows the online image.

Obviously Gmail does not support coding HTML email.
There are many ways to do this, you could also sign up for some bulk email services that you can edit the HTML template, but that’s another story for sending more than one email.

So one easy way is to use Microsoft Outlook, edit the source and forward it to Gmail.

One thing is missing in some older Outlook versions though.
You cannot edit HTML source in Outlook directly.

Found the solution here: Outlook 2007: Edit your Messages HTML Source

1) Create a VB module with the following code
Create a module from Tools menu > Macros > Visual Basic Editor

Sub EditHTML()
Dim mit As MailItem
Dim fname As String
Dim fcon As String
If Application.ActiveInspector.CurrentItem.Class <> olMail Then
MsgBox “The HTML Code cannot be edit for this item.” & vbCrLf & “Only Mail Items are supported.”, vbExclamation, “Edit HTML Error”
Exit Sub
End If
Set mit = Application.ActiveInspector.CurrentItem
fname = Environ$(“temp”) & “\temptxt.txt”
On Error Resume Next
Kill fname
Open fname For Binary As #1
Put #1, , mit.HTMLBody
Close #1
Shell “notepad.exe ” & fname, vbMaximizedFocus
MsgBox “Click OK when Done and the saved HTML will be inserted to your message”, vbOKOnly + vbInformation, “Edit HTML”
Open fname For Binary As #1
fcon = Space(LOF(1))
Get #1, , fcon
Close #1
mit.HTMLBody = fcon
End Sub

2) Add ‘Edit HTML’ function to New message menu
Open a new message,
Click The Ribbon Customization Button
Select the “More Commands” Menu
Instead of “Popular Commands” Select the “Macros”

Select the new macro created named “Project1.EditHTML”
Select the EditHTML Macro
Click The “Add” Button, Customize the new button

3) Do the HTML editing!

Notepad will pop with the HTML source of the message
Do your editing
Close when done or if no changes performed

Credits to Udi!

Cheatsheet, Good To Know, Internet , ,