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  • Newport Aquarium

    Posted on March 28th, 2007 ben No comments

    Here are a few pictures from the trip we took yesterday to Newport with some Waterstone kids.

  • More on storage

    Posted on March 28th, 2007 ben No comments

    Here’s an interesting item on Techdirt about the arms race between Yahoo mail and Google mail (Gmail) over the maximum storage they allow. The price of storage has gone down so quickly that Yahoo decided they didn’t really need any storage limits at all.

    Update: Monkey Bites reminds us that 10 years ago, Yahoo’s storage limit was 4 MB. Today it is 1 GB, which is… hold on… like about 16,000 times more bigger. Yahoo’s limits will disappear on May 1, 2007.

    Also: Om Malik and others report that Yahoo has released the APIs for yahoo’s mail. This means something very much like free unlimited network storage for the home user, subject only to mundane practical concerns like home internet bandwidth. Wow.

  • Hard drives on the way…

    Posted on March 26th, 2007 ben No comments

    Cheryl and I have around a TB of storage right now. Sounds like vast tracts of land, right?

    Between the uncompressed video coming off of our Leica digicam (today’s dump of pics and vids from the camera was 0.7 GB) and the movies that appear to flood like a torrent of bits onto our computer… (how do I make it stop?) and, of course, the backups… we were running out of storage space.

    I recently ordered two external hard drives from, which should arrive tomorrow. They are (nominally) 500 GB drives. The cost, including shipping, minus rebate, for both drives totalling a TB, is $267. This puts us at $0.27/GB

    That might seem unbelievably low, but it’s just a point on a line. Historically, the $/b of mass storage goes down by an order of magnitude every four years or so. Today’s 2 GB 720i High Def movie costs you roughly $0.50 worth of bare (no enclosure) hard disk space. By the time we have a new president it will only cost around $0.15 to store that same file. Then, in four more years, a penny and a half worth of storage should hold that file… and so on, till my 16-year old son buys a 5 petabyte (10^15 bytes, equal to a million GB) hard drive for the 2023 equivalent of today’s $150 bucks.

    This web page has historical data on mass storage going back to 1980.

    Here is a graph from a 1998 article in the Journal of Evolution and Technology by Hans Moravec showing calculation speed on the y-axis and storage on the x-axis. It likes to be clicked to acquire more biggery.
    Check out that rocking monkey, but also note that the human is estimated to have on the order of a PB of “internal” storage, and in this illustration, on the order of a billion operations per second.

    Hans Moravec estimates in a 2004 article that to fully simulate brain behavior we will need a computer capable of 10 trillion ops. Our Dual G5 does 5 billion, so we’re off by three orders of magnitude, and a *2 too. But the new Mac Pros can do 3 GHz on each of four cores, or 12 GHz. If speeds keep doubling every year, we’ll pass 10 Tera-ops in 2017! Dude, I’ll only be like what, 39?

    (PLEASE CORRECT ME IF Hz =/= ops)

    Some funny conclusions come to mind here… one is that in twelve years I could buy my 2 TB of storage for $5. And then I could download the entire 1995 Library of Congress.

    A Library of Congress, by the way, is a unit of information equal to 18 million books, 2.5 million recordings, 12 million photographs, 4.5 million maps, and 54 million manuscripts, which are kind of like books. But get this; people are still making books and other storable information, so the LoC is not a stable unit of measurement. Imagine how hard that makes things for writers looking for an easy “wow” comparison?

  • Blair, Cheryl, Elliot

    Posted on March 23rd, 2007 ben No comments

    Here are a couple of cute recent pictures. The first is from a series of at least seven pictures I shot, and in each one Elliot is showing a totally different expression. I chose the happy one, naturally, but you should note that there were some others, too. The other picture is a size comparison.

  • Four-Photo Test of iPhoto Plugin

    Posted on March 19th, 2007 ben No comments

    Just to make the process of uploading pictures a bit easier, I hooked up this plugin for iPhoto. It’s not exactly obvious how to use it, or obvious how to find out how to use it either. But I think I have it down now. I’m using the demo, so I only get to upload four pics at a time or something. I’l see if it’s worth the $10 to me to be able to do more pics at once. But four sounds nice.

    So here are some nice pictures of Elliot, with appearances by Cheryl and Graham and I. He’s a sweet little guy, and fun to photograph, too. Hope you dig ’em.