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Getting Rid of Cable

It’s official – my TV viewing habits have drastically changed over the past two years. Let me be clear though – I am not a big TV watcher, so this may be different for others. I now watch virtually all of my TV online through Hulu or ITunes. Because of this, my wife and I are getting rid of cable (we are actually downgrading just to the network channels). Hopefully people like me will help get the attention of the telecoms. If I only watch one or two shows, and I can either watch them free online or purchase them through ITunes – why do I need to pay $60-90 per month for cable. Simple answer: I don’t. If it were less expensive or if I could purchase the channels I want, I would reconsider.

Amazon EC2 Now with Great New Features

Amazon EC2 just received two very important updates: Elastic IP Addresses and Availability Zones.

Elastic IP Addresses are static IP addresses designed for dynamic cloud computing, and now make it easy to host web sites, web services and other online applications in Amazon EC2. Elastic IP addresses are associated with your AWS account, not with your instances, and can be programmatically mapped to any of your instances. This allows you to easily recover from instance and other failures while presenting your users with a static IP address.

This fixes the first major problem that people had with EC2, non-static IP addresses. I have not yet played with this new feature, but I expect to try and give it a demo this week.

Availability Zones give you the ability to easily and inexpensively operate a highly available internet application. Each Amazon EC2 Availability Zone is a distinct location that is engineered to be insulated from failures in other Availability Zones. Previously, only very large companies had the scale to be able to distribute an application across multiple locations, but now it is as easy as changing a parameter in an API call. You can choose to run your application across multiple Availability Zones to be prepared for unexpected events such as power failures or network connectivity issues, or you can place instances in the same Availability Zone to take advantage of free data transfer and the lowest latency communication.

This feature also will have the potential to help many of those high availability sites that use EC2. We recently learned that Amazon Web Services are not perfect (as the S3 system was down for most of a day), but this hopefully should help insulate EC2 customers from such a fate.

Elastic IP Addresses
Availability Zones

My New Article – Adobe AIR and Dreamweaver for JavaScript Developers

I just completed a new article, Adobe AIR and Dreamweaver for JavaScript developers on the Adobe AIR Developer Center. It gives a good look at developing AJAX AIR application with Dreamweaver CS3. This includes: debugging your applications, updating your applications, security in AIR, and configuring Dreamweaver for AIR.

Adobe AIR and Dreamweaver for JavaScript Developers

Don’t Miss Adobe Developer Week

Adobe Developer Week kicks off today. There are many great sessions covering topics from ColdFusion 8, Blaze DS, Flash Lite 3, and AIR. You won’t want to miss this chance at free online training sessions. For a complete listing of classes and their times, click below.

Adobe Developer Week

Aviary Invites and Screencast

I just completed a series of two articles at where I interviewed Avi Muchnick of the Aviary team. In the first article, I go over my interview, and in the second article, I actually walk you through Phoenix (Aviary’s raster image editor) and Peacock (Aviary’s pattern generator). The other cool thing: I have four invites to Aviary. If you want one – leave a comment on the second article. I will pick some names randomly from this list for those four invites.

Contacting Me

I recently removed the contact form that was on this site (I found out that many real requests were being caught as spam). I will write a new one myself in the future – so I can ensure that this doesn’t happen again. In the mean time, I have updated the contact page to include my email address (david [at] If you tried to contact me previously (and haven’t heard back from me), please shoot me an email. I try and respond to every email that I get. I am sorry if your message did not get through previously.

New Native Google Calendar and Outlook Sync

Google Calendar has now enabled both two way and one way sync with Microsoft Outlook. This is more than just reading your GCal feeds – it is an actual Windows application that enables the sync. I might have to revisit Outlook in the future if others have success with this.

AIR Tip 10 – Disabling AIR Auto-Update for Kiosks and Display Applications

AIR Tip 10: This tip will show you how to disable the AIR auto-update for an application where you do not want the AIR update popup to be displayed.