Cloud Computing Market Share

Cloud Computing is a $20 billion yearly business. In the latest poll, Amazon Web Services dominates the market with a 28% market share. Microsoft Azure is gaining share at 10%, and there’s the rest of the pack lagging behind. Not only that, cloud revenues are increasing yearly. In 2014, cloud computing has gained 48% over the year before.  ReadWrite’s article even mentions Digital Ocean as a favorite for web developers.

What is Snappy Ubuntu?

Canonical released Snappy Ubuntu a month ago. From Ubuntu Insights:

Today we’re announcing “snappy” Ubuntu Core, a new rendition of Ubuntu for the cloud with transactional updates. Ubuntu Core is a minimal server image with the same libraries as today’s Ubuntu, but applications are provided through a simpler mechanism. The snappy approach is faster, more reliable, and lets us provide stronger security guarantees for apps and users – that’s why we call them “snappy” applications.

Snappy apps and Ubuntu Core itself can be upgraded atomically and rolled back if needed – a bulletproof approach to systems management that is perfect for container deployments. It’s called “transactional” or “image-based” systems management, and we’re delighted to make it available on every Ubuntu certified cloud.

Shortly after, Canonical mentioned Snappy Ubuntu is now available on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Canonical is delighted to announce the availability of snappy Ubuntu Core on Amazon Web Services (AWS).  Snappy Ubuntu Core is a new ultra fast Ubuntu that is designed for extremely fast deployment on Amazon EC2.

Ubuntu Core is the new “snappy” rendition of the popular cloud OS, with a very lean and secure base image that features transactional updates for both system and applications. Snappy Ubuntu is perfect for container-oriented deployments using technologies like Docker.

Customers can try a beta version of snappy Ubuntu Core today on Amazon EC2 by launching an instance of Ubuntu Core. Here are the instructions.

I can’t wait to try this with Docker.

Amazon Can Now Deliver in One Hour

Amazon says that it can now deliver some packages within an hour. The new speedy service is available for $99 prime members in select cities starting with New York City. The service also adds $7.99 shipping fee per order. The service will be available from 6:00am to midnight seven days a week. Anyone needing a fast delivery can take advantage of this fast service. Most of this service will probably be delivered by bike messengers, and possibly by drones in the future. Read more.

Spin a AWS server from a disk image

I was able to successfully create an AMI (Amazon Mirror Image) of the Laravel server that I just created. I launched it and it worked perfectly. Creating an image from a running instance is quite easy. Just go the EC2 Dashboard. Select Instances and choose the Instance you want to clone. Go to Actions and select Create Image. It takes several minutes to create an image. Once the AMI is created, you can launch another instance using the AMI that you just created. It took close to 3-5 minutes before the server was able to serve Laravel page that was recently installed. In the future, if I want to launch a clean Laravel install, I can just launch an instance based on the AMI I just created.

Prime Membership to $100

Amazon’s prime membership just went up to $100. Personally, I don’t have a prime membership. I don’t really shop at Amazon that much. Maybe, about 10 times in a year. It’s a lot less now. I don’t shop that much enough to warrant spending that much money to save money. I’m not a movie watcher either, so I’m not really missing anything. I’m ok with Netflix $8 per month. Lately, I have been considering of not shopping at Amazon because it has gotten more expensive. Not only they apply sales taxes now, but the number of items that come with free shipping have gone down. I’ve bought items before from other online retailers because it was free shipping and they didn’t charge me sales tax. That’s Amazon loss.

Amazon Ads on Ubuntu

Canonical plans to integrate Amazon search results in the next release of Ubuntu 12.10. This is an unpopular move to most Linux users because most Linux users want an ad-free environment. I recently moved away from Ubuntu due to the fact that I have to deal with technical issues every time there is a new release. I have to constantly fight with issues that were previously resolved and now broken again with the latest release. The introduction of Unity just made things even worse. I hate Unity. That’s one good reason, I moved away from Ubuntu to Linux Mint and Mate, since Mate is based on Gnome 2. Now, with the introduction of Amazon search results, in Ubuntu 12.10, will result in more Ubuntu users moving away to other distros. Good luck, Canonical. I hope you think more about your user base, that what actually goes into your pocket books.

Kindle Fire HD 8.9 4G

I was just drooling over Amazon’s latest Kindle Fire 8.9 HD. The 32GB version sells for $499, while the 64GB version is a hundred dollars more at $599. With the Kindle Fire HD, you get a 9 inch screen with a resolution of 1920×1200 HD display. It’s built-in polarizing filter, and anti-glare technology, giving you rich color, and deep contrast, from any viewing angle.

See Video.

In terms of sound, the Kindle Fire HD comes equipped with Dolby audio and dual stereo speakers for crisp, booming distortion-free sound. It’s powered by a high performance 1.5Ghz dual-core processor with Imagination PowerVR 3D graphics core, for fast and fluid performance. At least that’s what Amazon claims. The wireless connectivity features a dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi for 40% faster downloads and streaming.

With the Kindle Fire HD, you have access to over 22 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, books, audiobooks, and popular apps and games such as Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, HBO GO, Pandora, and Angry Birds Space. It also has an integrated support for Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo and more, as well as Exchange calendar, contacts, and email. Skype video calls with the front-facing HD camera are free. You also get a free unlimited cloud storage for all your Amazon content.

If you can’t find a Wi-Fi hotspot. You can connect anytime using the Ultra-fast 4G LTE service. It’s limited to 250 MB a month for 12 months with a one-time payment of $49.99 – no monthly payments. That’s one year of service for $50 dollars. Also included is 20 GB of additional Cloud Drive storage for your photos and more, plus a $10 Amazon Appstore promotional credit. You can save hundreds of dollars in the first year compared to what you would pay for other tablets.

If $499 is a little too rich for you, there’s a Wi-Fi only version of the Kindle Fire HD for $299.

Or go with a 7 inch Kindle HD for just $199.

If you’re really in the market for a tablet, I suggest you wait for a couple of days. Apple is going to be introducing the iPad mini on September 12. Maybe. That’s the rumor. We won’t really know until that day what Apple has under it’s sleeve.

Amazon Pushing For Internet Sales Tax

One of the biggest advantages of shopping online is avoiding sales tax. If you buy a product from a company that does not have a brick and mortar store in the state that you live in, you don’t have to pay sales taxes. That’s the advantage at the moment. It’s a considerable savings that can amount to as high as 10 percent of the purchase in some locations.

Recently, Amazon has been backing a bill that will allow states to collect taxes from online retailers. Amazon is perplexedly behind it, since from their point of view, the taxes doesn’t really affect them that much. The sales taxes collected will be shouldered by you and me, the online shoppers. So, why would Amazon risk this by shooting itself in the foot? Wouldn’t shoppers look for alternative ways to shop somewhere else other than Amazon?

Proponents of the legislation argue that this bill will level the playing field between brick and mortar and online companies. Point taken. On the other end, opponents are arguing, that online retailers will not really benefit from collecting out of state taxes. In addition, who wants to deal with 9000 tax codes across the United States. The bill does have an exemption to online sellers with less than $500,000 in remote sales. That’s the key. More about this later.

How will each individual state enforce taxes? Will they force online shoppers to state their online purchases on their returns? Does that work? Will people be honest enough to state their online purchases on their returns? Will states force online retailers, such as Amazon, to provide them tax information every year? It sounds like a much more complicated mess than it looks.

As I mentioned earlier, there are online stores that are exempted. Stores that have less than $500,000 in remote sales. The key will be finding smaller online stores that wouldn’t charge you sales taxes for your online purchases. Maybe, this would encourage would-be entrepreneurs to build smaller online stores.

Potentially, this could level the playing field to a field that politicians are already trying to level.

Kindle Cloud Reader on Ubuntu

Amazon has Kindle eBooks for both Windows and the Mac OS. With Kindle eBooks, users are able to access purchased books for the Kindle to be read from a Windows or Mac OS computer without a need for a Kindle device.

What about Linux users? Don’t fret. Although there is no Kindle eBooks application for Linux, users can still go directly to the Kindle Cloud Reader to access their books. Just hop to, and login with your Amazon Kindle credentials.

You can now access and read your books directly from any of the popular browsers. It’s that simple. Kindle Cloud Reader even gives you the option to download the file to your computer for offline reading.

Kindle Cloud Reader works in any platform, not just Linux. It works in Windows, Mac and just about any flavor of Linux. Kindle Cloud Reader really is an incredible tool because you have access to your Kindle books anywhere.