April, 2009

  • Steve Clayton

    Gapingvoid Galley Goes Live



    My buddy Hugh MacLeod mentioned to me last week he had a new project he was about to reveal and today it’s live.

    Hugh has finally opened a gallery of his prints - http://www.gapingvoidgallery.com/ – where you can now buy his work. I say finally as within a few months of meeting Hugh I was badgering him to do something like this so I’m really pleased he has. I’m fortunate enough to own a few Hugh originals in business card size and also some of the original Blue Monster prints we handed out.

    Should you still be hankering after a Blue Monster signed print, they’re up on the store right now and a relative snip at $195. My guess is there aren’t too many of these left so if you want one, I’d get in there quickly. They’re all hand signed my Hugh and look pretty good in a black frame like mine up there.

  • Steve Clayton

    Infoporn Galore



    I’m a total sucker for Infoporn having being brought up on a fine diet of it by Wired – who probably coined the term given their monthly section on it in the mag.

    This months UK edition of Wired has a great example of the genre that is actually very useful for my work. It looks at global Internet connectivity and I found a version of it thanks to @bobbiejohnson

    I also found a whole stash of cool Infoporn at vi.sualize.us which was akin to finding a pristine collection of old Wired magazines. There are some real classics in here



    The latest IA WebTrends Map 4 is a fine example of the genre too and check back soon for a real treat on that front.

    Got any other good ones to add?

  • Steve Clayton

    Wines Of Substance



    I finally got around to trying one of these beautifully labelled wines whilst in Seattle a few weeks back. Cabernet Franc went down very well…especially when supped from Riedel glasses.

    check out www.winesofsubstance.com and even if you don’t like the wine, the bottles look great when empty :)

  • Steve Clayton

    Top 10 Business Practices for Environmentally Sustainable Data Centers


    Global DeliveryOnline SecurityInfrastructure ServicesEnvironmental Focus

    Celebrating Earth Day, our GFS team published their Top 10 Business Practices for Environmentally Sustainable Data Centers – quite a mouthful that and though there is some cynicism around this topic, the paper they’ve published has some real nuggets in here around things like optimising the hardware used – not just tweaking the registry and stuff, but working with OEM’s to create hardware that removes waste such as unused memory slots. I guess when you’re deploying thousands of server this all adds up financially and creates a bigger surface area for errors. Maybe these data center server designs will start to show up on Dell.com and other places.

    With the enthusiasm for cloud computing these days, data centers are getting a lot of attention by association and rightly so. These things are HUGE information factories and use huge amounts of energy. Though Green issues have slipped off the agenda a little with the economic climate they’ll always be important so this is interesting stuff and as we come of the economic slump, Green will leap back to the forefront I’m sure.

    Microsoft Global Foundation Services team runs these huge data centers and have committed to share best practices back with customers, partners and the industry at large. Here’s the Top 10 list from that team


    1. Provide incentives that support your primary goals.
    2. Focus on effective resource utilization.
    3. Use virtualization to improve server utilization and increase operational efficiency.
    4. Drive quality up through compliance.
    5. Embrace change management.
    6. Invest in understanding your application workload and behaviour.
    7. Right-size your server platforms to meet your application requirements.
    8. Evaluate and test servers for performance, power, and total cost of ownership.
    9. Converge on as small a number of stock-keeping units (SKUs) as you can.
    10. Take advantage of competitive bids from multiple vendors to foster innovation and reduce costs.


    You can get the detail behind this from  on their new Global Foundation Services website. I have to confess I was surprised not to see more around human behaviour on the list but then I went and read the paper and #1 is very interesting as it’s all about driving data center manager behaviour on efficiency as much as (or more than) efficiency. Compensating your staff on getting to a PUE of 1.2 (vs current of 1.53) is a great way to drive the change. As mentioned in the paper, one data center manager drove power improvements of 22 percent within three years in one of Microsoft’s older facilities. I hope he got a big bonus :)

    Beyond this list there is a tonne of stuff we do in the design of our data centers to make them more green such as using recycled water and renewable energy sources and hopefully we’ll see our team share more and more of that on their new site. It’s long overdue for me.

  • Steve Clayton

    Setanta Goes Silverlight



    Hot on the heels of the IPL, another sporting channel goes with Silverlight with the news that Setanta launched its Setanta-i service.

    It gives you live and on demand channels, pay-per-view (PPV) events and a pretty large back catalogue. A pleasant surprise is there is some free content in there too – unusual for a premium broadband services that you get to pay before you play. Nice touch. 

    It’s available in to six regions - USA, UK, Republic of Ireland, Australia, Canada and International - though I’m not sure what international comprises but each has its own content rights as you’d expect. 

    I had a bit of a play today (though has to switch off when Sir Alex Ferguson came on) and great to see some of the features I saw at MIX09 such as very cool time-shifting facilities with record, live-pause and rewind.

    Nice work from @poleydee and the boys and great to see them using Silverlight.

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