Scripting News for 1/31/2007

Makezine, PT and today’s bomb scare in Boston 

There was a bomb scare in Boston today, the details are still sketchy, but on CNN they just said that the devices they discovered were part of a promotion for the Cartoon Network. And apparently a howto was published on Makezine.

If you work at CNN, Phil Torrone has more info on how this happened. Send him an email, pt at oreilly dot com, he’s a friendly guy. 🙂

This must be a first 

Telegraph: “There has mostly been silence from the big names, including ‘superstar bloggers’ such as Dave Winer and Robert Scoble.”

The first time I’ve got a mention for saying nothing!? 🙂

There’s a simple reason for me having nothing to say about Vista — I don’t know anything about it. All attempts to be included in their public relations program have been met with silence.

What makes it better than XP? I hear they have some screens from people on Flickr. Beyond that, the browser, which already runs in XP, has mostly uninteresting RSS support.

$500 million of marketing can’t hide the fact that these days it’s hard to find anyone who cares about Windows.

Virtual hosting with S3 

Today I’m going to learn something about Amazon S3 that I’ve been planning on learning for a bit of time.

Virtual hosting is a feature that I asked for back in July of last year, and it turned out it had already been implemented.

It makes it possible to store static stuff up in Amazon space, instead of having to rent expensive server space, which I currently do. My server bills come to $1200 every month. I think I can get that down quite a bit, using Amazon, but first I have to figure out how this works.

1. I created a CNAME, pointing to When I access this address, I get the error response, which is good, it’s what I expected. Next, I’ll create a bucket with the name, and put some files in it. There’s still part of the puzzle I don’t understand, which is what is to stop anyone else from creating a bucket with that name. How does S3 decide among several buckets with that name? (Right now there are none, so when I create one, that won’t be a problem.)

2. I’ve created the bucket, and uploaded a bunch of files, including one called lincoln.jpg. I’m getting AccessDenied as the error code now, even though (I thought) I created the bucket with full read-write access.

3. I’ve got the bucket working, thanks for lots of great help in today’s comments. Came across a Firefox add-on that makes it easy to browse and edit your S3 structure. It’s almost an end-user thing (add a Godaddy account for domain mapping and you’re there). Net-net, I couldn’t use it to host because there’s no concept of a default file. Seems like such a small thing. However, I should be able to use it to offload a bunch of my static storage.

4:44PM: I’m moving over my first website to Amazon, an old static store, with early podcasts from the original crew, myself, Dawn & Drew and Adam Curry. We had big plans back then. I have a bunch of these sites, and as a result I should be able to retire one of my servers. Saving money, I hope. 🙂

The Flickr people are smart 

Thomas, I don’t want Flickr to do the dumb thing they’re proposing to do, but I figure when they actually do it, and I no longer can get into my account, that’s when I’ll raise a stink. I wonder if they really thought this through, by the way. I have a Flickr account that somehow I created accidentally that’s linked into my Yahoo account. How will we merge those two things? The old account is definitely the one I want to keep. In any case, the Flickr people are smart, and once they figure out how stupid this idea is, they won’t actually do it. Count on it.

BTW, not only are they smart, but they’re also nice! They won’t screw this one up. 🙂

Apple hides the app 

I wonder if anyone else has bought the $1.99 patch for Macs that enables 802.11n support. I just purchased it, and the order status page says “electronically delivered” but where was it electronically delivered? To me it feels like this is something I should have gotten through the software update mechanism, I’m not an accountant, but okay I paid the $1.99, now what? Any clues would be much appreciated.

Wes Felter offered a clue, there were no links in the email, but, on the Store website, the Your Account page has a section called Downloadable Software, and that’s where a link to the download could be found.

34 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Wes Felter on January 31, 2007 at 8:34 am

    Here’s a cut-and-paste from the Apple Store:

    How to install the AirPort Extreme 802.11n Enabler:

    1. Add the AirPort Extreme 802.11n Enabler to your shopping cart and complete your order.
    2. On the Order Confirmation page and email, you’ll receive instructions and a URL for downloading the Enabler software.
    3. Click the download link, then locate the disk image (.dmg) file on your computer and double-click it.
    4. Double-click the AirPort Extreme 802.11n Enabler file and follow the onscreen steps to update your Mac.

    BTW, Macintouch says to install any available AirPoirt updates through Software Update before installing this enabler.

    Now that you mention it, iTunes would be a good way to sell this software. What’s the difference between an M4P and a DMG? They’re just files.


  2. “Now that you mention it, iTunes would be a good way to sell this software. What’s the difference between an M4P and a DMG? They’re just files.”

    BRILLIANT! Pass that idea onto Apple…..


  3. Dave, You need to do your downloads page at the Apple Store site.

    On a different note, I am flabbergasted at the lack of response on the blogosphere to flickrs announcement that all flickr users have to migrate to a Yahoo! account, or leave and lose your photos.
    800 resposes on the forum and rising.

    I have also just released a free PHP5 script to aid downloading all your photos and data (comments, tags, geo, etc.. )


  4. I was pissed off with the Yahoo thing. I fixed it a while back by e-mailing them and telling them which Flickr account I want linked up with which Yahoo account. They were very helpful, and Yahoo seemed to have learnt from this bad decision by not forcing users in to the Yahoo system.


  5. I’m glad you mentioned S3 – I was thinking about them as possible place for me to hook my flickr export script to – in order to backup all my photos and data


  6. Posted by Jeremy on January 31, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    Can someone explain the outcry about the Flickr/Yahoo login merger? This was announced in August 2005. What is lost by associating your Flickr account with a Yahoo account? It’s a minor hassle, sure, but it’s been in the offing for a long time.

    Dave, I’m sure if you email Flickr support they can sort out your problem.


  7. I don’t get why Apple is charging to download a patch to use hardware you already own. Then again, Apple’s piss-poor hardware is just about to cost my insurance company about £800 in repairs…


  8. Personally, i’m peeved about the Yahoo/flickr ting due to the fact that I am a paying customer of flickr. And I *just* renewed it too. Yahoo! is free, right?

    I also don’t like the way Yahoo! slap sooo many ads over everything – everywhere. I used to like Y!groups, until that had features removed and even more ads displayed.

    Sure flickr was acquired in 2005, but I still felt like a flickr CUSTOMER. As of March, I won’t.

    flickr USERS and CUSTOMERS created a great community feel to the system – Yahoo! do not have that ‘mojo’ – sure they do some great things – great APIs etc. They also do some crappy things – 360 blogs etc. – and I dont remeber te last time I used their search engine, when once upon a timw I used it all the time.

    They have been doing a good job at turning people off, not on.

    People LOVE flickr – a place full of extremely passionate users/CUSTOMERS – I dont think such a proportion of Yahoo users feel that way.

    I expect all upcoming users will have to merge soon too.


  9. from
    you can see that they way they prevent too many buckets (since they cant have the same name) is to allow you to only have 100…

    Objects are stored in buckets. The bucket provides a unique namespace for management of objects contained in the bucket. Each bucket you create is owned by you for purposes of billing, and you will be charged storage fees for all objects stored in the bucket and bandwidth fees for all data read from and written to the bucket. There is no limit to the number of objects that one bucket can hold. Since the namespace for bucket names is global, each developer is limited to owning 100 buckets at a time.

    Also from the key description you probably need to specify your bucket in your url? but I’m only guessing.


  10. I see. Now I see other problems. A limit of 100 buckets is a pretty limiting limit. I have no idea how many top level domains I have, but it’s got to be more than 100.


  11. I still haven’t been able to get lincoln.jpg to show up in a browser. I don’t know what “yourbucketname” would be here.


  12. Dave,

    It does indeed seem anyone could have created a bucket called ‘’, but they didn’t so you are set. Of course no one else could have CNAMED it so they could only have accessed it through the amazon url/bucketname.

    Anyway, the bucket name is unique to the service. No one else can now create a bucket with that name. Second paragraph here:

    Also, from the docs,

    To make an object publicly readable, simply include the HTTP header “x-amz-acl: public-read” with your PUT request to store the object.

    An object is private by default.

    Hope that helps.


  13. I was writing while those other posts went up.

    should work fine. Just overwrite it with thesame command and the “public red” header mentioned above.


  14. Have a look at S3 Organizer if you want to nicely browse your buckets.

    Re limiting bucket names: you might have to do something like a single bucket for all of your domains, then have a ‘directory’ off that bucket that is unique to your domains.

    Then point the CNAME for all the domains to the same bucket, but with the unique directory prefix for each domain.

    PS. Try to get an EC2 account… so much fun.


  15. Thanks Matt. It appears I’ve got a bug in the S3 glue. Until now I had never created a publicly readable bucket. I’ll keep posting as I make progress.


  16. Alex, that works if you’re creating new sites, but I want to move some existing sites onto S3. Unless I can exactly replicate the structure over there, I’m going to have an app somewhere doing the redirection.

    About EC2, that’s somewhere in my future, not sure when… Probably pretty soon. Sooner if we had a Linux version of the OPML Editor serverside.


  17. Alex, S3 Organizer is awesome!

    I was able to edit the ACL for the bucket and now lincoln.jpg is clickable.


  18. Now, the next thing to figure out is how to make it display index.html by default.

    Without that it’s a non-starter for quite a few websites.


  19. To get around the 100 bucket limit, use a 2nd credit card/Email address to create another S3 account. Or, get an EC2 account and use it as the front end to S3 for some or all of your domains (traffic between S3 and EC2 is free), an EC2 instance would cost you approx $80 per month + traffic costs (same cost structure as S3).



  20. On the index.html issue, you’re out of luck, see thread on S3 forum… goes on and on, no satisfactory solution (lots of DNS tricks but that’s it). The bottom line is S3 is a good back-end store but not really suitable to front-end a website, even combined with EC2 there are problems e.g. if an EC2 instance fails, when it’s brought back up it will have a new IP address.



  21. re: index.html

    I can’t see how it can happen with just S3.

    I might not be creative enough, but I can’t see a way, at the moment.


  22. For me the 802.11n download link was on the Apple Store’s order confirmation page.

    The thing is… server performance tests don’t show any difference between 802.11g and n. This is on a new Core2Duo MacBookPro connecting to a garden-variety Linksys WRT300-N router. According to KisMac there’s slightly better signal strength, but no 10x bandwidth boost.

    It’s possible that to get the boost, you need the Apple Airport Extreme. So far, it doesn’t look like it’s made much of a difference.


  23. I suggest keeping your website on a dedicated server and moving your images and other large items into s3. That way the majority of your disk space and traffic bits will be on s3. Your dedicated server will then be serving only html which tends to be small. BTW, every item in s3 has a unique url even without the virtual hosting. You could just link your img tags to the default url – you won’t need to make new buckets for each site.


  24. Posted by bobby on January 31, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    Boston Hoax: It appears that five “hoax devices” found at several Boston locations today, were part of a marketing campaign by a Turner Broadcasting company, which says there are similar devices in New York.


  25. Posted by Steve on January 31, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    “500 million of marketing can’t hide the fact that these days it’s hard to find anyone who cares about Windows.” Dave

    I agree Dave, and even less care about OSX, but there are those of us who still are intrested regardless.


  26. Dave, you’ve talked about some of the flaws in TechMeme. Here is another way to fix them, but I’m not sure is aligned with your goals…


  27. hi dave,

    could i take the old DSC’s on your

    site off your hands, so you’ll have more space ?

    i have an archive website at

    for that purpose

    i tried to go directly to

    but that doesn’t allow direct access.

    best regards,
    tom schuring


  28. Not sure why you can’t access the MP3s, I’ll look at it in the morning. I’d rather you didn’t archive them, they will be publicly accessible (as they were earlier today). Dave


  29. “$500 million of marketing can’t hide the fact that these days it’s hard to find anyone who cares about Windows.”

    Sorry Dave, love ya, but gotta call you on this one. Who cares about any OS really? We are kind stuck with what we get right? It sucks, but it seams that is the way it goes, to say that it’s hard to find anyone who cares about Windows is (imho) unfair. No doubt, in a few years, the vast majority of the world will be using Vista and doing just fine on a day to day basis. Will it be a perfect OS? Of course not, but OSX is hardly flawless right? Windows based computers allow users more flexibility when it comes to hardware, period. I’m no MS fanboy, but they frankly play pretty well with others when it comes to 3rd party hardware.

    Nobody cares about Windows? Who has to care, we all know the world will be running Vista soon enough, and that’s just the way it is. Why? Many reasons, but the 90%+ of us users aren’t stupid for using their products. Maybe you’re miffed, I think you have reasons to be miffed, but seriously, nobody cares about Windows? I guess you could say nobody cares about Global Warming either, maybe because we know its unstoppable and will, in many ways, define our future by how we react and deal with its’ challenges.

    A few last things;

    1: Please don’t quit blogging, you are still my fav read.
    2: Please consider setting up your river or news sites again, dearly miss them.
    3: Stop teasing us with blog headlines that say “Morning Coffee Notes”! I get so excited to hear a podcast and then…..

    Have fun man~



  30. Fame brings you to people’s lips even when you don’t react, Dave. The story was the fact that you weren’t expressing an opinion, along with almost everyone else.

    I gather Robert Scoble released a long video about it, but that was well after we’d written and published the piece.


  31. Heard in e-mail from an OPML Editor user who couldn’t get to the distribution file. I pointed him to the latest file. Short exchange: not sure if he just couldn’t find it or couldn’t grab it. But when I was pasting in the address, I realized the .zip is/was on static2.


  32. Amy, sorry for that, I found the problem (I think) and am re-uploading. It takes a couple of hours.

    I’m also thinking of moving into S3 space, maybe even letting you guys host your own content. 🙂


  33. Okay, it seems I’ve figured out how to change the permissions.

    [audio src="" /]

    Hi everybody!

    Hi Dr Nick!


  34. This looks like one way to address the default document situation.


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