Roundup: IT Fun

I enjoy doing helpdesk stuff most of the time. Not all of the time, though.

 Amazon unveils Glacier, super cheap data archive service.

This isn’t your average cloud service, but rather a service focused on rarely-accessed data. It comes as cheap as a penny per Gigabyte per month. The idea is to bundle your files into one archive, then upload it for retrieval when needed. The archives are put into vaults, which are organized though the AWS interface or the Glacier API. Uploading the data is free, but depending on how much you retrieve from Glacier, you might pay as much as $.05 per GB downloaded. Seems like a really good way to keep important stuff off-site.

Instagram got boned by Facebook stock.

Well, sorta. Remember the $1 billion sale of Instagram to Facebook? Well, that wasn’t cash. There was $300 million cash and the rest was stock. Stock which has since dropped from $35 to $19, leaving them down about $368 million. I mean, they’re still filthy rich, and probably won’t pay diddly-dick in taxes, but it sucks to be suckered by Zuckerberg.

It costs HOW MUCH to send video over SMS?

In terms of theoretical silliness, this is up there a ways, but it could cost you $35 million to send an HD video over SMS, if you’re on AT&T and roaming. First: Why send HD video over SMS? Who knows, but the calculations of max size of an SMS message and an assumed 4.6GB video, it’d cost a ton of money to send via SMS. Not to mention it’d be faster to tie to to a pigeon.

Website allows you to telecommute with shelter pets.

That sounds fun, right? Sit at a computer and interact with poor, homeless cats at a shelter somewhere across the US. The kits, ranging from $345 (cats) to $395 (dogs), are sold out, so shelters will have to wait for them, but the premise is simple: A user logs in and gets two minutes to direct robots and electronic toys in a fashion that entertains the animals. Of course, you don’t get to play with pit bulls, just the friendly breeds (and probably puppies/kittens) but it still seems better than having them lounge about all day, right?

New Mars target: Drill, baby, drill!

No, NASA isn’t getting into the oil prospecting business, but they do want to drill into Mars. For science! The iSight inSight mission will involve a smaller lander sent out to figure out how Mars was formed. It will carry a French seismometer to measure seismic activity, a German drill that will bore 9 meters into the planet, a thermometer to check for thermal variations at different levels and it run on solar power. It’s expected to launch in 2016, so lets all be ready for the next bout of excitement about space!

MetroPCS slashes Unlimited Everything plan.

The fifth largest cellular provider in the US has announced that it is offering a special pricing on their Unlimited Talk, Text and Data plan. Previously, unlimited data was $70/mo and 2.5GB was $50 (both with unlimited talk/text) but the special price is $55 for the unlimited data version. While the speeds are lower (3-5 mb/s according to them) compared to AT&T or Verizon, they do offer LTE phones, even if they’re not the hottest phones on the market.

AT&T may be in hot water over FaceTime rules.

AT&T has stated that it will only allow members of the Mobile Share plans to use Facetime over WiFi for free, and that caused quite a bit of uproar. This is mainly due to the fact that they’re forcing users to upgrade their contract in order to use a third party service, which is complete and utter horse dookie. I guess we’ll see if this violates any laws once it’s brought up in court.

Yay! Hope for our future generation!

Not that I ever doubted you, youngsters. But a US teen has invented an advanced cancer test that is 168 times faster and 1/1000 of the price of the current pancreatic cancer standard. How did he do it? Well, between watching Glee and Kayaking, he used Google. He has cited search engines and their ability to parse thousands of research papers in his success, which landed him $75,000 at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, as well as a patent that’s currently pending. Johns Hopkins University has given him a temporary home to pursue further testing as well.

Green Day to partner with Roxio’s Angry Birds.

In an awkward “slow news day” style paragraph, I will explain that Green Day, who has taken quite the turn for non-traditional, has partnered with Angry Birds to create a customized version of the chicks vs pigs game that we have all succumbed to at some point. The Green Day episode has the pigs looking like members of the band, and has 10 new levels with a musical theme, as well as an unlockable song.

The mighty, yet humble, Pallet.

Honestly, this is a pretty interesting read. In today’s world of global shipping only one thing is constant: bribery the mighty pallet. From plastic and metal to the more common wooden planks, pallets hold almost everything we buy. Even if it’s put in a shipping container, chances are it’s palletized so that a fork-lift can quickly grab it and pull it out of their before you can say “Elemental Scientists can’t irradiate the chickens before check-in.” So give it a read.

Hopefully, this man won’t be in our WTF section after jumping from 23 miles up.

Felix Baumgartner will be leaping out of a helium balloon from 120,640 feet, reaching supersonic speeds and then slowing himself down enough to land on two feet (or at least not as a splatter). Crazy, man.

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