About Yahoo Pipes

Check out . This new service from Yahoo lets build applications from RSS feeds and using a graphical development environment in your browser. For example, a simple application might grab the Google News RSS feed and merge it with a more specialized news feed, sorting the entries and rejecting duplicates.

More complicated pipes might take news feeds and add search results and pictures from different sources. Of course, the result is a feed, which in turn can be put through more pipes.

Pretty cool!

A Web Server -er, no a Web Browser -er, no… a Server

This is kind of odd… a plug in for FireFox that turns it into a Web Server. You can use it to share files (although is better). But the server supports server side Java script, which means you can write pretty interesting applications with it and run them with FireFox (maybe even PortableFireFox!).


Need 1000 Computers? Ten Cents Each!

Amazon has a beta running of their Elastic Compute Cloud available now at http://aws.amazon.com. Essentially, you can create virtual Linux machines that Amazon hosts and then run them for a paltry 10 cents an hour. The computer is essentially a 1.7GHz machine with good connectivity and resources. You also pay a very low price for bandwidth to the outside world and storage (20 cents for a Gigabyte of bandwidth, for example).

What can you do with this? Well, the obvious answer is to run a Web server. Running it 24 hours a day costs about $80/month — less than a dedicated server from most hosting companies. And if you need more servers to handle a spike in the load, you can create more very easily (for another 10 cents/hour).

Traffic inside the cloud is free, so you could have one machine as a load balancer, for example, along with 3 Web servers and a single database back end. These 5 virtual computers would cost you 50 cents an hour!

The beta is limited to 20 machines per user, but Amazon claims you’ll be able to create thousands of instances if you like. Maybe I should dust off the cobwebs of an old idea I’ve had for parallel programming. I just need to find a good problem to apply it to.