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This is grossly inadequate enforcement of our laws which affects all of us that are trying to demand higher wages. If someone from India can be hired to work for $1/hr, where's the incentive to pay an American minimum wage? The penalty for this ought to be based on the revenue of the company, and it should be steep enough to hurt them enough to be a real deterrence.
The speeds I experience are much, much slower than the speed tests show I'm capable of.
You answered your own question...if you're looking for a more accurate test that shows the speed you're likely to experience through the course of your normal browsing, then why not just use your normal browsing as the test? There is really no other accurate option since the Internet by its very nature is decentralized so even if you found a non-prioritized speed test server, those results would be meaningless for any other hosts because your traffic would likely flow a completely unrelated path to reach them. The ISP speedtest sites are usually located within the ISP's own network so they're a good measure of throughput from you to the edge of the ISP's network, which is all they really care (or can care) about. Just use a different ISP's speed test site if you want results from outside your ISP's network.
the storage is extra
You're paying for storage either way but in AWS you don't have to try to figure out the max storage you'll need. Figure you design a system with a 3-5 year lifetime, so you need to know how much storage you'll need over that period. I don't know about you, but that's pretty hard for me to do. Plus, what happens when you do a major software upgrade and you want to retain full offline backups of everything for a couple weeks, effectively doubling of tripling your storage footprint during that time? The flexibility to get as much storage as you need and only pay for it while you use it is hugely useful.
the networking you pay for data per MB or GB in and out
You rarely if ever pay for data transfer into AWS., but for transfer out you'd have the same costs if you self hosted anyway. They wouldn't be per MB, they'd be flat rate, but you're getting a lot more for your dollar at AWS. Let's say you average 10 Mbps 24x7. That's about 2.96 TB of data transfer a month which costs $346 at AWS. A symetrical 10Mbps business connection for your office is probably going to cost you more than that. In addition to that, you're also getting much better redundancy and scalability at AWS and you don't have to pay for the network equipment (switches, routers, etc).
you pay for backups
You pay for backups if you self host too.
you pay for DR in different availability zones
You might. You can create an application in an autoscaling group and tell it to span multiple AZs but only deploy one instance to the group. If that instance in AZ 1 crashes the system will automatically launch it in another AZ and you're only ever paying for 1 instance. You can also create a DR instance in another AZ and just leave it powered off until you need it, in which case you're only paying for the EBS storage, no compute costs.
you have to pay more in your office internet access to get the faster access to access your data
That's true. Many apps these days are just web apps which are not super bandwidth intensive. A lot of times if you have big data it's not as easy to make a financial case for going to the cloud. You can use direct connect to get 1Gbps or 10Gbps access directly to your data in AWS but it is fairly expensive. If you've got terabytes of data though, you probably can make up the cost in other areas.
But you're spot on when you say lots of customers aren't setting up proper redundancy. AWS has made it very clear from the beginning that for proper redundancy you want resources in multiple AZs. I still don't fully trust a multi-AZ setup because although I wouldn't expect Virginia to get many hurricanes, if they did it could impact multiple AZs. I'd really like to see AWS improve support for multi-region deployments. It's an area they haven't historically been very good at. A year or so ago they finally introduced the ability to copy EBS snapshots between regions. I was one of the customers that was pounding on their door to get them to do that so they let me in on the beta testing for it.
It's a shame too because it's really pretty easy to architect for HA in AWS if you're building something there, it's not as easy if you're transplanting something though.
Even if you are talking about purely servers, AWS makes it very easy and inexpensive to accomplish a level of redundancy that would've been much more expensive in a legacy environment.
But it sounds like you're talking about two different things. If you're talking about someone saying "cloud" and having no idea what that means, then I can see your point, but it's not fair to use that logic in the same context when discussing cloud computing being used in the proper context.
"cloud computing" is nothing but a rather thinly veiled mix of software
I'd disagree with that pretty strongly. It can be that, but if you're using it for what it was really designed for then it's much more than that. Let's say you're a startup and you have no idea how your product is going to catch on. In the old world you'd have to buy or lease server capacity for what you anticipate your demand will be. In the cloud world, you just pay for enough to keep the system running at current demand levels, build your solution to scale horizontally, spend half a day configuring scaling policies then sit back and watch the solution take care of growing itself to meet demand.
Anyone with variations in demand can save money with the cloud. It no longer makes sense to pay to buy compute capacity to meet your maximum demand level if parts of that capacity will sit idle much of the time.
Not to say that AWS isn't more expensive in some respects, just highlighting the fact that other things are included in their pricing and the flexibility they provide.
The biggest problem I have with Ctrl-S is if I open an existing script with the intent of modifying it and forget to rename it before hitting Ctrl-S. That sucks.
Personally, I'd like to see more carriers start doing things this way just from an end user experience perspective. T-Mobile has absolutely horrid coverage at both my home and office but at both places I have good Internet service so I can still use the phone normally.
This worked fine until someone came up with a better model because people want high end devices, but if you look at the number of people that can afford to spend $200 on a phone vs those that could afford to spend $600 I think you'd agree that without some sort of subsidy or financing for these high end devices that Apple's stock price would not have done nearly as well as it did after the iPhone was released.
T-Mobile says they did away with contracts, but that's not what they did at all. They just disassociated the subsidy of the phone from the wireless service, so on AT&T or Verizon you buy a phone for $200 then you pay $100/mo for two years, total cost $2600. On T-Mobile you finance the phone and pay $25/mo toward the phone and $50/mo for wireless service, total cost $1800, savings of $400 a year over the AT&T / Verizon model. This works because T-Mobile will subsidize your ETF to get you to switch over from AT&T or Verizon, so they're racking up subscribers like crazy.
What will be interesting is to see how the game plays out. There will eventually be a tipping point where AT&T and Verizon realize they can't continue hemorrhaging customers so they'll step up and play ball cost-wise. The whole notion of competition in a free market increasing customer choice and driving down price really is a great thing.
Personally, I'm surprised someone hasn't stepped up to take the T-Mobile idea to the next logical level. Why hasn't a financial institution stepped up to be in the market for financing phones, so the cost of the device is totally separate from the cost of your wireless service? To make the requisite car analogy, you don't go to a car dealer and sign a contract with them to finance your vehicle. Well, you can, at a buy here pay here type of place, but in general for new car sales the financing of the car is totally separate from the entity that sells it to you.
Why aren't cell phones handled this way? There's plenty of money to be made for someone to finance phones. The whole idea of phones being locked to a certain carrier needs to go away as well. You have Verizon iPhones and AT&T iPhones and if you have one for one network, it won't work on the other network, even if it's unlocked. That's silly. Verizon phones can speak GSM (otherwise they wouldn't work outside the USA), so why isn't there a single version that will work with any carrier?
Unfortunately, this is probably one of those things that was overbuilt for no good reason. I don't imagine many servers would have to put up with the level of abuse that would've been necessary to hurt those things.
Second, even if the above isn't true for you, there are plenty of very small breweries/brewpubs out there that definitely aren't doing anything like this. There are two in my town that brew something on the order of 50-100 barrels/year. They don't sell their waste products, they brew with quality ingredients and they have to pay rent, salaries, etc and they still manage to serve excellent beer for $5-6/glass (that's retail, consume on premise pricing) which I think is totally reasonable. If the little guy can do it then the big guys certainly can too.
Maybe it's a good thing though, perhaps it'll turn a few more people on to homebrewing which is really simple and very cost effective assuming you drink a good amount of beer.