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April 2014 Newsletter

Introduction

So...do you want the good news or the bad news?

Okay, bad news first. You're dead. Turns out that chicken from last week actually *was* expired. Don't worry, it happens all the time. No big deal.

The good news is...pretty good, actually. You made it to the "good" place!

I mean, look around you - blue skies and fluffy white clouds as far as the eye can see! Have you ever seen anything so beautiful? Man, I've been here for eons and I never get tired of the view.

No, your biggest worries from here on out will be dodging the occasional 747 or deciding what new flavor of ice cream you'll allow to materialize in front of you.

Off to the right you'll notice several balloon arches. No, friend, those are the unicorn pastures. I know they're gorgeous and majestic, but turn your attention further to the right for just a second. Do you see the arch with the "Cloud Services" sign and the DreamHost logo?

There's a reason for that.

I am contractually obligated to inform you that DreamHost is an official sponsor of the afterlife. What I am not required to say is that DreamObjects is a fantastic service - I use it myself to back up all of my personal data! I believe there truly is no better way to store your data up here in the clouds than with DreamObjects.

And don't forget about DreamCompute! DreamCompute's beta program has been extremely popular 'round these parts! Most of us don't even bother with laptops or tablets anymore. Thanks to the power of OpenStack, DreamCompute gives us the raw cloud computing power we need to maintain our busy, busy calendars.

That's pretty much all you need to know as far as orientation goes. We keep things pretty simple up here.

Oh! Always ask the unicorns for permission if you can ride them before you hop on. They're pretty nice about it generally, but sometimes they're not really into it.

-Brett
@DreamHostBrett

Simon Says... (Written by CEO Simon Anderson!)

Way back in 2004, one of the founders of DreamHost - Sage Weil - wrote the first line of code for an open source storage project called Ceph.

Today, the most successful open source software company in the world - Red Hat - agreed to acquire Inktank, the startup company we launched two years ago around Sage and the Ceph project to transform the future of storage. And they did.

Here's the story.

So what does this mean for the DreamHost customers and community? It means that we're on the right path together. The path of open approaches to working together - and building software - is the way. Whether that's Linux, WordPress, OpenStack or Ceph. Or any of the hundreds of other useful open source software apps that run on DreamHost. The open way is where we're unafraid to go. I hope you all come with us. It's a heck of a lot more fun.

Congratulations Inktank and the Ceph community, we salute you.

Best,
Simon
@DreamHostSimon

(Now back to Brett!)

NEW DreamObjects Price Drop!

DreamObjects is, of course, our truly powerful and uniquely affordable cloud storage service based on Ceph, the open-source file system incubated here in the DreamHost Labs! Did we mention it's API compatible with both Amazon S3 AND OpenStack Swift? Because it is.

DreamObjects

The best thing about DreamObjects is that we don't really care what you use it for - as long as you use it - because you can make it work for you it in so many different ways!

You can harness DreamObjects' limitless storage capacity to power a next-gen web app, affordably serve up thousands of downloads of your podcast, or even use it to backup all of your personal data! Go nuts!

I'm starting to lose track of just how many times we've dropped the price on DreamObjects, but we've got these elves in our datacenter that just keep giving us thumbs-ups whenever we float the idea so we're just gonna roll with it.

It'll now cost you a mere $0.025 (two and a half cents!) per GB per month to store data on DreamObjects, and $0.05/GB/month to transfer data out. Inbound transfers are, of course, always free.

You don't even need to be a web developer to start using DreamObjects! There's an entire ecosystem of easy to use desktop and web apps "in the wild" that'll let you store data with DreamObjects.

Say, for example, you're a big fan of Dropbox, but you're a little uppity about who they choose to appoint to their board of directors.

You might want to take a look at StrongSync! It's a roll-your-own desktop equivalent to Dropbox that stores your data not with Dropbox, but on DreamObjects!

StrongSync

Maybe you want a web-based, open-source file sharing system that works across devices? Check out ownCloud!

ownCloud

If you're looking for more great suggestions, we've made a list of DreamObjects-compatible apps on our wiki:

DreamHost Wiki: DreamObjects Compatible Apps

Cloud storage has never been more affordable.

Panel Improvements and MORE On The Way!

Have you logged into your account control panel lately?

DreamHost Control Panel

We've made a few subtle tweaks (and a few not-so-subtle!) to the panel's navigation to clean things up a bit. We've better-organized some content and have tried to generally make the panel feel a little less intimidating overall!

The end result is something that's a bit easier to use, and certainly much easier on the eyes.

You may have also noticed other smaller changes here and there that we've pushed through in previous months. This is all part of our master plan to slowly but surely bring our control panel kicking and screaming into the world of modern user experience excellence.

Speeeaking of pretty things, you may notice a bit MORE than a panel re-org happening over the next month or so. We'll be testing virtual paint chips on dreamhost.com, throwing up some new wallpaper, and we *might* even monkey with our gracefully-aging, yet still quite distinguished, company logo.

Whether you see an old familiar friend or a new guy with the same name in their place in the weeks to come, BE NOT AFRAID. It's still us, your old pals.

New Charity: Center for Democracy & Technology

November through April we solicited donations for the Committee To Protect Journalists. CPJ promotes press freedom worldwide and defends the right of journalists to report the news without fear of reprisal by ensuring the free flow of news and commentary by taking action wherever journalists are attacked, imprisoned, killed, kidnapped, threatened, censored, or harassed.

Committee to Protect Journalists

13 of you freedom-loving Internet users threw your fists in the air and submitted donations totalling $368.85 which we then DOUBLED and submitted on your behalf for a total donation of $737.70!

Our next donation target is the Center for Democracy & Technology!

Center for Democracy & Technology

"CDT is a champion of global online civil liberties and human rights, driving policy outcomes that keep the Internet open, innovative, and free. Working to preserve the user-controlled nature of the Internet and champion freedom of expression, CDT supports laws, corporate policies, and technology tools that protect the privacy of Internet users, and they advocate for stronger legal controls on government surveillance."

If you see anything wrong with CDT's mission - anything at all - you're probably doing business with the wrong hosting company.

Now and for the next several months we'll be accepting your donations for the CDT through the "Give to Charity" section of your account control panel:

DreamHost Control Panel: Give to Charity

We will of course match whatever donations you make, so please be generous! The Internet has remained largely unmolested over its still- brief lifetime, and that's due in no small part to the work done by groups like the Center for Democracy & Technology.

Anything that we can do to support the cause, well, we're gonna do it.

DreamHost WTF: Data Center Info

What's That Feature? It's Data Center Info!

When you upload your data to us, whatever it may be, do you ever wonder where we put it? Don't say the cloud. Never say the cloud.

We've got a few datacenters in America and we work hard to spread our services and our customer data across them very methodically!

Did you know that you can find out which of our datacenters houses YOUR data in SECONDS just by visiting your account control panel?

It's true!

DreamHost Control Panel: Data Centers

I just learned that my blog lives on a VPS in Ashburn, Virginia, and my DreamObjects data lives in Irvine, California!

Simple! Easy to understand!

All I had to do was click a link and read words!

This location and hostname data, combined with our ongoing system status reports at...

DreamHost Status

...should give you peace of mind in the event of a natural disaster or any planned (or unplanned) maintenance!

Now you know!

DHSOTMs

The DreamHost Site Of The Month is a coveted title reserved for a select few DreamHost customers who are among the most talented and probably most attractive content creators on the Internet today.

As voted by YOU, the winners from MARCH are as follows...

The winner in the OVERALL, CONTENT, and ORIGINALITY categories is:
A Map of Ice and Fire
"An interactive map of the world from the A Song Ice and Fire series of novels and HBO's Game of Thrones"

http://amapoficeandfire.com/

If I should find myself lost somewhere between K'Dath and Queenscrown this site will be invaluable when I pull it up on my 4G LTE smartphone.

The winner in the STRUCTURE and DESIGN categories is:
Tim Hultz - Designer
"Tackled a thorn bush. High-fived a cloud. Spied on China. Bit Rudolph. Destroyed a house(on purpose). Baked a three tier cake. And that was just a weekend. During the week I am a UX Designer and Art Director."

http://www.timhultz.com/

As a user I have to say, my experience on timhultz.com felt expertly crafted and lovingly art-directed.

Remember, you can always visit the "DreamHost Site Of The Month" section of your account control panel at any time to submit your own site(s), vote on candidates, and view all winners past and present.

DreamHost Web Panel: DHSOTM

Nice work errrrrbody!

 

See ya next month!
Brett D!
@DreamHostBrett

P.S. - If an eternity of bliss just isn't for you, consider unsubscribing:

https://panel.dreamhost.com/id/?tab=contact