First, a complaint (but not about you, dear reader). About a month ago, I made the decision to divide my web clipping world between two pieces of software. For the past three or four years, I had been a Zotero man; it is free, open source, reliable, and ran on Firefox which had been my go to browser for years. Recently, however, I had begun to run Chrome far more regularly. It seemed faster, less crashy, and prettier. Zotero does not yet work (outside of an alpha standalone version) with Chrome, so I switched to Evernote for my day to day web clipping and continued to use Zotero for research purposes. In fact, I liked Evernote enough to begin to build it into my daily work ecosystem and rely on it to save important clips from the web; I even paid for a year of premium service. Then the Evernote plug-in for Chrome stopped working and left me stranded. And now I am super annoyed. (And this doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the Amazon Cloud Crash yesterday, see below).
So a massive crash of Amazon’s Cloud (AWS) caused a moment of anarchy on the web as it supports so many popular web services. I felt it when Hootsuite was down for most of the day. Here are a couple of interesting links explaining what happened and making clear how interconnected our world really is.
The other big and interesting tech news this week was the iPhone controversy. It seems that some folks discovered the file in your iPhone that stores locational information (not GPS data, it would seem, but locational data based on the nearest cellphone towers. So we’re not dealing with pinpoint accuracy here, but a only general location). They figured out how to hack into it and extract that data and create maps of their own recent activities. This raises privacy concerns, of course, and the more creepy issue of Apple’s plans for collecting this data. Here’s a nice consideration of it.
I had a fun graduate historiography seminar yesterday which focused on public history and the history of place and landscapes. Unfortunately, I probably talked too much, but that’s an unfortunate side effect of my excitement over the topic. One of the things that we talked a bit about was abandonment porn. I mentioned this recent SBS feature on the abandoned cities in China. I mentioned a few other instances of abandonment in my class. Here’s the blog post with links to both the striking Canadian National Film board interactive video about the vanished town of Pine Point and the beautiful trailer for the film about the Grand Hotel Biera in Mozambique.
I know that the genre of the prank phone call is more or less played out, but this is pretty funny.
Chris Gayle century in the IPL. Whatever, Windies.
What I’m reading: A. M. Theocharaki, “The Ancient Circuit Wall of Athens: Its Changing Course and the Phases of Construction,” Hesperia 80 (2011), 71-156.
What I’m listening to: Bass Drum of Death, GB City.