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Atlantic.Net Launches $0.99/Month SSD-Based Servers To Challenge DigitalOcean

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The price of cloud hosting is quickly trending downward and the latest evidence for this comes from Atlantic.Net, a hosting service that’s been around since 1994. The company is launching a $0.99 per month VPS service today that comes with 256MB of RAM, 10GB of SSD storage, 1TB of outbound bandwidth and a choice of using Linux or FreeBSD as the operating system. Previously, the company was offering a similar service for about $4 a month.

Atlantic.Net says it is targeting this service at early-stage and bootstrapped startups that want develop on a dependable cheap server. With 256MB of RAM, the Atlantic.Net VPS should be able to run a basic development environment or company blog (though not much more), but the company is obviously also using this entry-level plan to create a bit of buzz and to get people to later upgrade to its larger plans.

DigitalOcean, which has dominated the mind share in the space lately, offers a $5/month plan with roughly double the capacity of Atlantic.Net’s new offering.

unnamed (7)All of Atlantic.Net’s plans feature per-second billing and the company tells me that it can spin up a new service in about 30 seconds and resizing a server to add more capacity should just take a few clicks. The company currently allows users to host their servers in Dallas, Toronto and Orlando, with new locations in Europe and Asia coming soon, too.

We want to invest in our customers to help them get going with their ideas while at the same time growing the cloud market ten times and making this a global phenomenon,” Marty Puranik, the founder and CEO of Atlantic.Net said in a statement today.

I asked the company how it thinks it’ll be able to make the economics work. “We think if we invest in our customers, when our customers are profitable or ready to put servers into production, they will invest in us by choosing plans that allow us to make a profit,” a spokesperson told me. “The goal of what we’re doing isn’t just to take market share, but to grow the market 10x. There has never been a time in history where technology costs came down and usage didn’t go up on products people want.”

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jepler
9 hours ago
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So far I've been cheap enough to run just one DO instance at $5/month, but there's a particular service (a moinmoin wiki) that I'd rather not have hosted on the same VM. Maybe I'll check out Atlantic.net for that.
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skorgu
10 hours ago
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That's cheap enough to be compelling for a bunch of tasks.
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1 public comment
glenn
6 hours ago
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Handy to be able to choose a Toronto data centre
Waterloo, Canada

Microsoft's Asimov System To Monitor Users' Machines In Real Time

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SmartAboutThings writes Microsoft will monitor users in the new Windows 9 Operating System in order to determine how the new OS is used, thus decide what tweaks and changes are need to be made. During Windows 8 testing, Microsoft said that they had data showing Start Menu usage had dropped, but it seems that the tools they were using at the time weren't as evolved as the new 'Asimov' monitor. The new system is codenamed 'Asimov' and will provide a near real-time view of what is happening on users' machines. Rest assured, the data is going to be obscured and aggregated, but intelligible enough to allow Microsoft to get detailed insights into user interactions with the OS. Mary Jo Foley says that the system was originally built by the Xbox Team and now is being used by the Windows team. Users who will download the technical preview of Windows 9, which is said to get unveiled today, will become 'power users' who will utilize the platform in unique scenarios. This will help Microsoft identify any odd bugs ahead of the final release.

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jepler
11 hours ago
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The machines will work together to construct a version of Windows in which no conflict is inevitable. http://www.bestlibraryspot.net/ScienceFiction/Asimov33/27222.html
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A simple C++11 concurrent workqueue

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For a little toy project of mine (a wikipedia XML dump word counter) I wrote a little C++11 helper class to distribute work to all available CPU cores. It took me many years to overcome my fear of threading: In the past, whenever I toyed with threaded code, I ended up having a lot of deadlocks, and generally being confused. It appears that I finally have understood enough of this crazyness to be able to come up with the small helper class below.

It makes use of C++11 threading primitives, lambda functions and move semantics. The idea is simple: You provide a function at construction time which defines how to process one item of work. To pass work to the queue, simply call the function operator of the object, repeatedly. When the destructor is called (once the object reachs the end of its scope), all remaining work is processed and all background threads are joined.

The number of threads defaults to the value of std::thread::hardware_concurrency(). This appears to work at least since GCC 4.9. Earlier tests have shown that std::thread::hardware_concurrency() always returned 1. I don't know when exactly GCC (or libstdc++, actually) started to support this, but at least since GCC 4.9, it is usable. Prerequisite on Linux is a mounted /proc.

The number of maximum items per thread in the queue defaults to 1. If the queue is full, calls to the function operator will block.

So the most basic usage example is probably something like:

int main() {
  typedef std::string item_type;
  distributor<item_type> process([](item_type &item) {
    // do work
  });

  while (/* input */) process(std::move(/* item */));

  return 0;
}

That is about as simple as it can get, IMHO.

The code can be found in the GitHub project mentioned above. However, since the class is relatively short, here it is.

#include <algorithm>
#include <condition_variable>
#include <mutex>
#include <queue>
#include <stdexcept>
#include <thread>
#include <vector>

template <typename Type, typename Queue = std::queue<Type>>
class distributor: Queue, std::mutex, std::condition_variable {
  typename Queue::size_type capacity;
  bool done = false;
  std::vector<std::thread> threads;

public:
  template<typename Function>
  distributor( Function function
             , unsigned int concurrency = std::thread::hardware_concurrency()
             , typename Queue::size_type max_items_per_thread = 1
             )
  : capacity{concurrency * max_items_per_thread}
  {
    if (not concurrency)
      throw std::invalid_argument("Concurrency must be positive and non-zero");
    if (max_items_per_thread)
      std::invalid_argument("Max items per thread must be positive and non-zero");

    for (unsigned int count {0}; count < concurrency; count += 1)
      threads.emplace_back(static_cast<void (distributor::*)(Function)>
                           (&distributor::consume), this, function);
  }

  distributor(distributor &&) = default;
  distributor(distributor const &) = delete;
  distributor& operator=(distributor const &) = delete;

  ~distributor() {
    {
      std::lock_guard<std::mutex> guard(*this);
      done = true;
    }
    notify_all();
    std::for_each(threads.begin(), threads.end(),
                  std::mem_fun_ref(&std::thread::join));
  }

  void operator()(Type &&value) {
    std::unique_lock<std::mutex> lock(*this);
    while (Queue::size() == capacity) wait(lock);
    Queue::push(std::forward<Type>(value));
    notify_one();
  }

private:
  template <typename Function>
  void consume(Function process) {
    std::unique_lock<std::mutex> lock(*this);
    while (true) {
      if (not Queue::empty()) {
        Type item { std::move(Queue::front()) };
        Queue::pop();
        lock.unlock();
        notify_one();
        process(item);
        lock.lock();
      } else if (done) {
        break;
      } else {
        wait(lock);
      }
    }
  }
};

If you have any comments regarding the implementation, please drop me a mail.

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A Full Circle Rainbow over Australia

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A Full Circle Rainbow over Australia
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jepler
12 hours ago
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looks totally fake doesn't it
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wreichard
2 hours ago
Sort of like a Brockenspectre.
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The Quest for Pie 2: Martha Stewart’s Rum Cream Pie

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So, this pie. It’s another custard pie, only stirred custard instead of baked.

20140927_181724

Yes, I know, Martha called for a home-made pie crust, baked blind. I made pie crust from scratch once. I have the scars to prove it. Frankly, as far as I’m concerned the entire purpose of civilization is the easy availability of pre-made pie crusts, including graham cracker crusts for pies such as these.

I replaced the rum with Republic of Tea’s Milk Ooolong. Not even the slightest trace of its flavor remains in the pie, nor in the whipped cream that tops it.

The recipe made just a bit more custard than could fit in the crust, so I put some in a bowl in the fridge to try by itself. It turned out to be so sweet that it deformed the universe around it, and Sugar Creatures incomprehensible to the human mind broke through the breach it created in the fabric of reality. Please send mechas and Idris Elba. If I make this again, I will halve the sugar. No, I will probably quarter it. Though, truth be told the whipped cream is much less sweet, and an actual slice of pie wasn’t quite so excruciatingly sweet as the custard on its own.

Actually, if I make this again, I will likely make some pretty radical changes to it, some of which might be radical enough to risk actual Pie Failure (or, more accurately, Custard Failure). I am brave.

This might be really, really awesome with the rum the recipe calls for. As long as you don’t mind the Sugar Creatures. Incidentally, depending on how picky your tastebuds are and how much or little effort you like to put into cooking, well, “stirred custard” of this consistency is what us Americans call “pudding.” Yes. That’s what I’m saying. Store bought graham cracker crust, a box of vanilla flavored Jello Pudding, a can of squirty whipped cream and a bottle of rum. Or better, stir that tablespoon of rum into some Cool Whip. Now we’re talking!

The post The Quest for Pie 2: Martha Stewart’s Rum Cream Pie appeared first on Ann Leckie.

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jepler
1 day ago
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"as far as I’m concerned the entire purpose of civilization is the easy availability of pre-made pie crusts"
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Thinking about disease

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Ebola and the Construction of Fear by Karen Sternheimer (Everyday Sociology)
"Sociologist Barry Glassner, author of The Culture of Fear: Why Americans are Afraid of the Wrong Things, explains how misguided panics are not just benign opportunities to prevent something horrible, but can divert attention and public funds away from more likely threats. He notes:
Panic-driven public spending generates over the long term a pathology akin to one found in drug addicts. The money and attention we fritter away on our compulsions, the less we have available for our real needs, which consequently grow larger (p. xvii).
"Fear of a 'new' threat (Ebola has been documented since 1976; it was even the subject of the 1995 film Outbreak, in which the virus becomes airborne) can heighten attention and news coverage. It can also distract us from more immediate threats to our health.

"What virus is likely to kill at least 3,000 Americans this year? The flu."
Why Ebola won't become a pandemicThe Economist

No, Ebola is not coming to the U.S. (5 min 15 sec) – NPR's On the Media – Host Bob Garfield interviewing Dr Daniel Bausch.

News You Can Use: Trusted Resources on Ebola, by Sheila Snow-Croft, Public Health Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Southeastern/Atlantic Region. Snippet: "Good information can be your best defense."

Previously: Non-ebola care, Ebola reaches Nigeria's largest city
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jepler
1 day ago
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"Panic-driven public spending generates over the long term a pathology akin to one found in drug addicts. The money and attention we fritter away on our compulsions, the less we have available for our real needs, which consequently grow larger (p. xvii)."
Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm
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