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The Cloud is a Small World

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Last night, I began to wonder about my virtual neighbors here at OdeToCode.

You see, when you provision an Azure App Service, Azure will give your service a public IP address. The IP address will stay with the App Service into the future, as long as you don't delete the App Service.

The IP address is a virtual address shared by many App Services that run on the same "stamp" in a region (where a stamp is essentially a cluster of servers). If, for some reason, you don't want a public address or don't want to share an address, another approach is to setup an isolated App Service, but isolation is pricey. For most of us, using the shared, virtual, and public IP is fine, as we can use custom domains and SSL certificates, and everything just works as expected.

But, back to last night.

What if I could wander around my stamp like a character in a Gibson novel? Who would I see? Do I share an IP address with a celebrity website? Do I live in a criminalized neighborhood where bewildered netizens show up after being click-jacked? Do I have any neighbors who would lend me 2 eggs, and a cup of all-purpose flour if in a pinch?

First step, finding the IP address for OdeToCode.

λ nslookup odetocode.com
Server:  UnKnown
Address:  192.168.200.1

Non-authoritative answer:
Name:    odetocode.com
Address:  168.62.48.183

Taking this IP address to hostingcompass.com, I can see there are 84 known web sites hosted on the IP address (and this wouldn't include sites fronted by a proxy, like Cloudflare, or without a custom domain, I think).

What amazing is not just how many websites I recognized, but how many websites are run by people I personally know. For example:

http://rachelappel.com/

http://nickberardi.com/

http://andrewconnell.com/

https://www.alvinashcraft.com/

http://www.schwammysays.net/

The neighborhood also includes an inordinate number of bars and restaurants, as well as a photographer and investment advisor. Cheers!

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kvarley
17 hours ago
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A Decade of Silos Has Throttled Open Content Distribution

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kvarley
17 hours ago
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Google Memory Loss

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I think Google has stopped indexing the older parts of the Web. I think I can prove it. Google’s competition is doing better.

Evidence

This isn’t just a proof, it’s a rock-n-roll proof. Back in 2006, I published a review of Lou Reed’s Rock n Roll Animal album. Back in 2008, Brent Simmons published That New Sound, about The Clash’s London Calling. Here’s a challenge: Can you find either of these with Google? Even if you read them first and can carefully conjure up exact-match strings, and then use the “site:” prefix? I can’t.

Why?

Obviously, indexing the whole Web is crushingly expensive, and getting more so every day. Things like 10+-year-old music reviews that are never updated, no longer accept comments, are lightly if at all linked-to outside their own site, and rarely if ever visited… well, let’s face it, Google’s not going to be selling many ads next to search results that turn them up. So from a business point of view, it’s hard to make a case for Google indexing everything, no matter how old and how obscure.

My pain here is purely personal; I freely confess that I’d been using Google’s global infrastructure as my own personal search index for my own personal publications. But the pain is real; I frequently mine my own history to re-use, for example in constructing the current #SongOfTheDay series.

Competition

Bing can find it! DuckDuckGo can too! Both of them can find Brent’s London Calling piece, too.

What Google cares about

It cares about giving you great answers to the questions that matter to you right now. And I find that if I type in a question, even something complicated and obscure, Google often surprises me with a timely, accurate answer. They’ve never claimed to index every word on every page.

My mental model of the Web is as a permanent, long-lived store of humanity’s intellectual heritage. For this to be useful, it needs to be indexed, just like a library. Google apparently doesn’t share that view.

What I’m going to do

When I have a question I want answered, I’ll probably still go to Google. When I want to find a specific Web page and I think I know some of the words it contains, I won’t any more, I’ll pick Bing or DuckDuckGo.

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kvarley
1 day ago
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The Best Way to Vacation in 2018: Volunteering

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This year, pledge to take a trip that gives back to the community you’re visiting in a meaningful way. Whether it’s donating your time doing trail work or beach cleanups or saving endangered species, you’ll feel like your trip has a greater purpose. Plus, planning volunteer vacations can save you money—many come with discounted rates on lodging and food, insight from local guides, and a tax-deductible chance to explore the less-touristy side of whatever country you’re visiting.

Build a High-Altitude Home

Bolivia

Give a Day Global partners with nonprofit organizations around the world to help you donate a day of community service on your next international trip in areas like community health, wildlife conservation, and environmental initiatives. Have a stellar vacation planned in Thailand or South Africa? There’s probably a way to spend one day giving back. In Bolivia, spend six hours helping build a house for a local family outside La Paz, where you’ll lay bricks, dig a foundation, or paint walls for those in need. Free.

Help a Glacier

Alaska

This 11-day Alaskan trip with REI Adventures and Conservation Volunteers International Program starts with a service project in Juneau. There, you’ll help with vegetation management and erosion control near the Mendenhall Glacier. Next, you’ll head out via ferry through the deepest fjord in North America before arriving in Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, where you’ll help restore the historic 33-mile Chilkoot Trail. The trip includes lodging at bed and breakfasts, all meals, and bike rentals, just in case you want to take a spin after your trail work is done. There’s ample time to explore the local area. You can also enjoy a ride on the scenic White Pass and Yukon Route Railway. From $2,995.

Repair Fire and Flood Damage

California

The massive wildfires that ravaged the California coastline made headlines around the world. Now you can do your part to help restore these afflicted areas. The American Hiking Society leads volunteer trips all over the country, including an upcoming weeklong trip to Santa Barbara, scheduled for April 2018, where you’ll restore trails damaged by recent wildfires and flooding in Los Padres National Forest. You’ll hike up to six miles a day and camp in tents at night. From $300.

Become a Citizen Scientist

Australia

You don’t have to be a climate scientist to join researchers on this Earthwatch Institute trip to Australia’s secluded St. Bees Island, off the Queensland coast and within the Great Barrier Reef. On this nine-day trip, you’ll study how rising temperatures and frequent droughts affect the local ecosystem by conducting surveys of native plant and animal species as you hike along the coast. The trip includes three meals a day and accommodations at a field station on neighboring Keswick Island. From $2,975.

Restore Scenic Trails

North Carolina

Led by the Sierra Club and the U.S. Forest Service, this is a weeklong trip to North Carolina’s Nantahala National Forest to develop, maintain, and restore local trails. In the past, crews have rebuilt a 2.5-mile section of the Appalachian Trail and constructed a wheelchair-accessible fishing path. You’ll stay at a historic lodge surrounded by old-growth trees, where you’ll be treated to breakfast, dinner, and one day off from trail work to head out on your own. From $1,035.

Save Endangered Turtles

Costa Rica

Spend two weeks working with local biologists on a turtle-saving mission with the Bamboo Project on the beaches of Costa Rica. You’ll start the trip with a walking tour of the city of San Jose, then move to a remote spot on either the Caribbean or Pacific coast, where you’ll patrol the beaches for endangered turtles, move nests to hatcheries, count eggs, and do community outreach to educate locals on the plight of the leatherback and olive ridley sea turtles, all while staying with a local host family. $1,350.

Remove Invasive Plant Species

Maui

Spend a half-day volunteering with the Pacific Whale Foundation and you’ll get a ride to the top of Haleakala, a 10,023-foot-high dormant volcano and the highest point on Maui. In Haleakala National Park, you’ll work with Park Service staff and a trained naturalist to remove invasive plants, then be set free to hike and explore on your own. Volunteer days are scheduled twice a month and include a picnic lunch. Free.

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kvarley
4 days ago
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Understanding the blockchain

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I found this while investigating how I could possibly use blockchain in a new online order system I’m in the middle of writing. Thus far it has been the very best written overview I’ve seen. It is dated 2015. It is from O’Rilley. Satisfying.

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6 days ago
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The Lost Art of C Structure Packing

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6 days ago
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