The Snail in the Cloud

Little PO BoxesI’ve used this photo before, because I find the Post Office boxes rather lovely, in a vintage sort of way. Little did I suspect at the time that the photo might become relevant to cloud computing.

But (as I read at GigaOM), Amazon Web Services is now going postal, since snail mail is sometimes faster than the internet. “Werner Vogels, Amazon’s CTO, explains… that it would take up to 13 days to sling a terabyte of data across a 10 Mbps network… So Amazon is offering customers the chance to store their data on an external device, ship it via post, and Amazon will load it.”

Photographs in Public Buildings

Little PO BoxesWhen you go in to Roslindale Post Office, you see a wall consisting mainly of Post Office™ Boxes. Since they are rather lovely old boxes, I’ve been wanting for a while to photograph them.

Now, I am of a anxious nature, and eager to avoid a one-way trip to Guantánamo Bay, and Uncle Sam,who of course owns US post offices, is of a suspicious nature these days. So I asked the very pleasant person who served me if I might be allowed to photograph the boxes.

She told me that permission was required to take photos in Post Offices. I asked who I needed permission from, she told me that it was the manager, went to ask said manager, and returned a minute later to say that permission had been granted.

After snapping the PO boxes, I went to the nearby and recently-renovated Roslindale Community Center. As an aside about community/public access, shouldn’t a community center have a web site? There are a few details on various pages, but I was unable to find a site that told me about services, hours, etc.

I went in, asked if I could take some photos, was told that I could and asked why I wanted to. I took one of the front desk (and no, I’m not sure why the word of the day was venal). I also took one outside, although I didn’t feel I had to ask permission to do that. (I actually took more than that, but only posted those two to Flickr. And no, the map image isn’t here by mistake in place of either of them; it’s from

Rozzie LibraryOn a roll, and having some books to return, it was on to the library. There, I was told that I was not allowed to take pictures inside the library without permission from HQ. I was given a phone number there. I didn’t call the number. Instead, I looked up the photography policy on the BPL web site: We are happy to have you take photographs of our buildings for your enjoyment but… (follow the link to see the restrictions; they seem rather reasonable to me). Anyway, I contented myself with taking a photo of the outside of the library.

It has since occurred to me that I should go to the USPS site to seek the Post Office’s official photography policy, but I find it hard to find simple information (such as the postage to airmail a birthday card to one’s mother in the UK) at that site. But that’s another post…

Battered Box

As I suspected, I’ve started to actually use the video feature of the digital camera since Flickr started allowing short video clips, as well as photos. Here’s a fascinating clip of me approaching a box that recently arrived rather worse for wear. It was shipped by Electronica Direct via the US Postal Service.

Did the contents survive the journey? What were they anyway? All will be revealed right here at this blog in a day or two.