Happy New Year

Happy 2009 everyone! I plan to keep this weblog updated more frequently this year, mentioning anything interesting I’m doing, especially with technology and photography.

I switched from using the Panosaurus panoramaic tripod head to a Nodal Ninja 3, and am having good results. I’m sure the Panosaurus is perfectly adequate, but I couldn’t for the life of me assemble it!

Some technologies that I have been experimenting with recently include Amazon Cloud Services, including the Cloudfront, S3 storage, and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. I have also made use of the Amazon Mechanical Turk, and have plenty of ideas for how it could be used. The Mechanical Turk allows you to request tasks to be done by a huge human workforce of around 100,000. As an example, you could ask for 1000 voicemails to be transcribed, the workforce would transcribe them, and the result could be returned. All these services that Amazon offer are opening up many horizons.

One such horizon that perhaps shouldn’t be opened, is the fact that with just a credit card, a nefarious programmer could spawn hundreds or thousands of high-powered virtual servers, and launch Internet attacks, break encryptions etc. I hope Amazon have a strategy in place for such events so they can be avoided. Such an attack could be on something like the weakness found in MD5 SSL certificates which may be exploited using a large amount of computing power.