Jeff Bezos blasted into space today with three other people. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has an opinion about it. Even Variety magazine did. (That’s worth a read BTW). So fwiw, here’s 1o things I thought about it:
It’s good to see more interest in space in general. NASA and other space agencies do plenty in terms of space exploration, but often it is overlooked by people. Suddenly — for better or worse — people are talking about space again.
It’s good to see money being spent on space travel. NASA has suffered for years with cutbacks. Decades. Here’s to more money being effectively used in space.
These flights of Branson and Bezos are small steps in terms of space travel. They are miles behind SpaceX even, never mind NASA or other space agencies. As we like to say in business: it’s a good start (implying there is a long way to go).
Small steps can lead to big steps if they continue to pursue this and pour money into it. That’s a big if. Like any space exploration, it is hard to continue to make people interested in it after it starts to seem repetitive. They might find it much harder to get space tourists to pay a small fortune their 10th or 15th flight. Never mind after the first person dies (and someone will).
Even if everything goes well, it could still fail in the longer run. The Concorde failed and it was much simpler technology than this stuff. Not everything that is the best and fastest gets to succeed.
I can’t see the ROI on space travel. Musk and SpaceX can get away with it because they have a client with the money to spend on it (i.e. NASA). Not sure if Bezos can wrestle some of that business away. Then again, perhaps there’s a global market for these services.
I think there would have been a much more positive reaction if it wasn’t Bezos or Branson leading these endeavours. Give Musk credit: he lets the real astronauts do the work. Plus none of these men are inspiring to most people. They aren’t John Glenn or Neil Armstrong: they are billionaires. Bezos was at least smart enough to Wally Funk with him: that was a good distraction from the other members on his team.
It will remain to be seen if they can catch up to Musk, or if they are even interested. Musk can act the fool, but he seems driven to push private space exploration to the limits. I can see Branson dropping out soon once some other thing comes along. Bezos is a bit of a mystery to me.
People are criticizing them for spending money on space rather than here on earth, but Bill Gates spends his fortune on such things and he is criticized mightly for it. It’s a no win in terms of spending your money. They all should pay more taxes. (Although a lot of tax money in the US goes into the military budget. That’s a different but related issue.)
Here’s to more inspiring people going to space soon, and to more inspiring space travel. Let’s hope this leads to that.
Posted onOctober 19, 2020|Comments Off on One way to backup your files is to the cloud
I haven’t tried this yet, but I am seriously considering it. I already use AWS for other things, so it might be time to see if I can archive old files that I rarely use but don’t want to delete. I don’t feel like getting more hardware, and I don’t have much confidence in Apple’s iCloud. So this might be the solution: How to Use Amazon Glacier as a Dirt Cheap Backup Solution.
Most people I’ve read say: “LOL. No! Are you crazy?” I agree, with one exception. I would strongly discourage people for getting one for their primary residence. But if they had a second property (a cottage or a business), then I would encourage it. I might also encourage it for people living in a big property. Any time where the risk of privacy intrusion is secondary to the risk from break ins or other property damage is the time I would encourage it.
It’s interesting technology. I predict stories about privacy problems in the next year, though I could be wrong. Amazon could have done a great job of dealing with privacy concerns. We will see.
Comments Off on The one use I can see from the new internal drone from Amazon
From a practical point of view, I think I will stick with my Fitbit wearables and my Fitbit Aria scale. The scale especially: why would one want to go through the trouble of taking photos of themselves to determine their body fat when they can just step on a scale?
I’ve seen many instances where a sudden outrage occurs because some ecommerce site like Amazon or some T shirt store ends up selling some product which an outrageous message on it. People will howl: how could they choose to do something so stupid? This article gives a good explanation of just how such stupidity occurs: How Amazon Ended Up With Auschwitz Christmas Ornaments for Sale | WIRED
In a nutshell, things are automated to the point that many of these platforms take on products with little if no review. The cost of review would be much much higher than the occasional cost of having to deal with these exceptions. Given that, expect more and more of this to occur until some legislation comes into play.
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Posted onApril 29, 2019|Comments Off on Some thoughts on bad communication by Chase and other large organizations
Lots of people on twitter giving Chase heat for this tweet today:
Part of me understands that. I mean, how could a company that received such a big bailout have the nerve to tweet that? But the other part of me knows that big organizations work in silos and compartments. There is likely no-one at a high level at Chase scrutinizes low level communications like tweets. You know how Amazon sometimes sells T shirts with offensive messages? Same problem.
People believe big organizations are homogenous and aware of every aspect of the people who work there and what they are doing. This belief is wrong. Some orgs may be that way, but the majority are not.
Something to think about the next time this occurs.
Comments Off on Some thoughts on bad communication by Chase and other large organizations
According to the New York Times, the Frightful Five are Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Alphabet, Google’s parent company. What makes them frightening?
(The Frightful Five) have experienced astounding growth over the last few years, making them the world’s five most valuable public companies. Because they own the technology that will dominate much of life for the foreseeable future, they are also gaining vast social and political power over much of the world beyond tech.
These companies are getting alot more scrutiny lately. Any organization as wealthy and powerful as they are warrant it. Especially so because we aren’t even certain what impact they have on our societies. I hope the Times and other newspapers continue to give them focus and question their power. And I hope more writers like Scott Galloway examine what these companies do in books like the one he has just written. Most importantly, I hope you continue to seek out information on these companies and question how you interact with them, either directly or indirectly as a member of society.
Book sellers have become more competitive. In Canada, Indigo’s prices seem to be much lower and they sell books using low prices stamped prominently on the cover.
He doesn’t say it, but the author hints that Apple should step in and make their own Kindle. I certainly would like to see Apple step up and make their own Kindle. The device and the user experience would be great, I am certain. It would blow the Kindle out of the water and likely make me switch over to becoming a bigger ebook reader.
Amazon employees are not entrepreneurs. There is nothing in the NYTimes.com article that gives any inkling that they are. If anything, they have all the downside of being an entrepreneurs with little if any of the upside. If someone can point out an article showing how Amazon consistently rewards employees as if they are true entrepreneurs, I’d love to read it.
There’s nothing wrong with being an entrepreneur. In fact, for some people, being an entrepreneur is the best type of work there is. Everything about it appeals to them, and working for a large corporation would kill them.
The Amazon employees are not entrepreneurs. If you want to be an entrepreneur, be one. Don’t try to be one working at a large corporation. That is antithetical to what being an entrepreneur is.
Comments Off on This may just be the stupidest defense of Amazon’s workplace practices
Posted onFebruary 25, 2015|Comments Off on If you are cleaning up an environment by deleting resources in Amazon’s EC2, here is a checklist to get you started
I just cleaned up an environment I had set up in Amazon years ago for a client. (The client wanted to use Amazon, so we did.) In doing so, I wanted to make sure I didn’t leave anything behind which would cause me to continue getting billed even though I was no longer actively using EC2. I believe that the following checklist was useful in insuring this.
My EC2 cleanup checkist:
Delete my Elastic IPs
Terminated instances – running and non-running (I did this before deleting volumes, since it deleted alot of them for me)
Delete remaining volumes
Delete my security groups ( 1 will be left – the default one)
Delete snapshots (you need to deregister your AMIs before you do this)
Check your account balance
In a few days, check your account balance to see if there are any charges you haven’t accounted for
After following this checklist, my EC2 environment was cleaned up. Depending on how you are using EC2, you may have more things to delete. Checking your account balance will help there: if you left things behind, they may incur charges. An increase in your account balance will help flush them out.
One thing to consider: you may delete something, but it doesn’t show in admin console. If that is the case, logout and then in. I did that when I was having trouble deregistering my AMIs. I logged out and then in and when I checked them, they were now deregistered.
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Posted onSeptember 8, 2014|Comments Off on A fashionable option for men who don’t want to wear leather shoes (or Tom’s shoes)
If you are a man (or someone who like to wear shoes traditionally associated with men) who doesn’t want to wear shoes from leather, don’t want to wear Converse or Toms shoes but do want to wear dress shoes, you have what I think is a good alternative: Delli Aldo shoes. I came across them via Cool Tools (a newsletter and a section of Kevin Kelly’s website) and I think they are great for a number of reasons:
they are very stylish
they come in a wide range of styles
they are low cost
they are vegan
Beware: they run large (e.g. if you wear 8, consider getting the size 7 or 6.5) and they stink the first few days you get them (then apparently they do not).
For more information, check out the link to Cool Tools or go right to Amazon and pick up a pair.
Comments Off on A fashionable option for men who don’t want to wear leather shoes (or Tom’s shoes)
Over at The Motley Fool, there is this article, The Big Losers in the Cloud Pricing Wars, that talks about recent price drops for services at Amazon and Google and how these price drops will affect the cloud computing business. (The Cloud Pricing Wars is very dramatic – I am not sure it is an all out battle at this point: we need more time to see if that becomes the case)
Anyone interested in cloud computing should check it out.