2012

I started studying Innovation.
I went to a lot of concerts: Feist, Lisa Hannigan, Dillon, Damien Rice, Regina Spektor, Bon Iver, Waves Festival, Muse, Efterklang and Two Gallants.
I visited Istanbul, Berlin, Liechtenstein, Madrid and Lisbon.
I saw a lot of great movies and TV shows and listened to awesome music.
I moved to a new flat with the best possible roommates.
I had amazing times with my friends and especially with Daniela (who is the greatest girl in the world).

2012 was a great year for me. Thanks to everyone who had a part in it.

Recently I scraped a database of 24000 videogames to determine percentages of genre and platform releases since 1975 →

Popularity of Game Genres and Platforms since 1975

I think it is no surprise that with the increasing popularity of games on mobile phones Puzzle games become more popular.

Hacking the Hue →

Brandon Evans has developed a tool to control Philips Hue lights with Siri.

Uuni – a small, fast & affordable wood-fired pizza oven →

Kristian Tapaninaho:

About a year ago I wanted to get a wood-fired pizza oven but couldn’t find a suitable one; they’re all expensive and heavy. We were renting a house with a small garden at the time and knowing that we’d one day move meant I’d have to leave the oven behind.

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one with this problem.

I find it interesting how often such obvious products are ignored by traditional companies.

Let’s talk about my backup strategy

I am someone you would probably call a geek. Nearly everything I have created in my life is digital: computer programs, websites, designs, articles, scientific papers and photographs. All bits and bytes. Nevertheless I only started thinking about a backup strategy quite recently.

When Mac OS X introduced Time Machine in 2007 I first started to create backups on an external hard drive on a regular basis. Before that I would only occasionally backup some important folders. Having Time Machine is a great improvement, compared to having no backup at all. But there are many cases of data loss that would also mean loosing my backup. A fire, a flood (less likely since I live on the fourth floor) or a thief could destroy or steal my digital legacy.

My backup strategy improved unintentionally with the rise of cloud services. Most of my documents are now stored in my Dropbox folder, which does not only upload them to a server, but also creates a version history. This lets me retrieve older versions of a file. My emails reside on Gmail and I can barely remember the times when I had to delete emails from the server anymore. Google gives me enough space to be able to access years of personal and professional communication from every internet-enabled device.

All code I write is on Github or my own Git server. Even if my apartment should burn down, I could get up the next morning, buy a new computer and resume working. Since some months I even store some important configuration files in a public Github repository. I use iTunes Match to be able to retrieve my music from Apples servers any time I want to. Music I buy from Amazon or other online music stores is stored in my Dropbox folder.

However, there are files which are only stored on my own hardware in my apartment. Many gigabytes of photographs sit on my hard drive without any good backup. This makes me nervous. I tried multiple times to find a good solution for this problem. Backblaze seemed like a great solution, but uploading files was too slow to get over 100 GB of images into the cloud. Another service I tried is Bitcasa. I managed to get all my files up there, but downloading them takes ages and the service is too new to trust them with my backups.

Amazon S3 seems like a perfect solution for my problem. It’s fast and I trust Amazon to be around for some more years. However, it would cost me currently approximately $15 per month to store my 155 GB backup on S3. This is too expensive for me. Gladly Amazon introduced a new service this summer called Glacier. It is targeted for archiving large amounts of data for a very long time. Storing 155 GB on Glacier costs only $1.5 per month. Downloading these files is more expensive, but since I hope that I never have to, I am absolutely ok with paying $20 to fetch all my data.

Glacier is like all Amazon Web Services not a consumer product and therefore Amazon does not offer an interface to create and upload backups. But there is Arq from Haystack Software. Arq offers a great interface to backup for data to either S3 or Glacier. Arq costs $29 and if you don’t already have a backup in the cloud (or no backup at all) you should consider investing a little bit of money and time to setup a good backup strategy. Just in case.

Introducing Squarespace Note →

Anthony Casalena:

We all have hundreds of fleeting thoughts throughout the day, and the ability to capture and coalesce those ideas is critical to many of our workflows. Yet there’s no easy way to snapshot thoughts as we have them – and that’s why we created Squarespace Note.

Squarespace Note is a blank text field and a keyboard. You enter your thoughts and swipe and the text is sent to a service like Evernote or Dropbox (and Squarespace, of course). Great app and its free in the App Store.

You can watch the video from Squarespace blog post and here is a screenshot:

Squarespace Note

Price of 1 gigabyte over time →

Daniel Parker:

Price of 1 gigabyte of storage over time:
1981 $300,000
1987 $50,000
1990 $10,000
1994 $1,000
1997 $100
2000 $10
2004 $1
2012 $0.10

Without these price drops technology would not improve that much. In 2000 the storage of an iPad Mini would have costed $160. That’s half of what an iPad costs.

Facebook helps some local businesses provide free Wi-Fi in exchange for check-ins →

Brittany Darwell:

Facebook is testing a new service that allows local businesses to offer customers free Wi-Fi after checking in on the social network, the company tells us.

I don’t see a lot of checkins on Facebook and this seems like a clever idea to get users to start using this feature.

The beginnings of my career as photographer

Last weekend I found a photo album at my parents home that contained photos I took with my first camera at the age of 6 or 7.

Sometimes I would also borrow my grandfathers Polaroid camera to photograph my toys.

I believe that there most be a lot more pictures from that era and I hope that I can find them the next time I visit my parents.

In the meantime you can also check out my profile on 500px and my photoblog 42reasons.

Coming Soon: Evernote 5 for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch →

I’m looking forward to it.