Good morning!

Welcome to issue number 60 of Last Week in AWS.

Between a terrifying Alexa mishap, the ACLU complaining about Rekognition, and me visiting Seattle, last week was a rough one for my friends at AWS.

Community Contributions

This one is nifty. Amazon, Google, and Microsoft all offer speech, image, and text services. The Cognitive API Integrator is a free service that lets you do an apples-to-apples comparison between these three providers. For example– Google is the only one that doesn’t classify a picture of my terrier as a cat. They’ll get it right someday– he’s pretty much a surly furball who ignores you until he wants to be fed.

Marcus Young posts about how he includes remote team members in the deployment fun via the magic of Hulk Smash. I can’t do this one justice; you’ve gotta read it. IoT, GIF creation, whacking a button with a robot hulk hand; it’s all there.

I thought that using AWS Secrets Manager was the worst idea for a database, but okay; a SQLite file stored in S3 has that one beat.

If there’s one universal constant that can be said about large-scale S3 deployments, it’s “you screwed it up.” You never get the keys distributed properly, your bucket strategy done sensibly, and the easiest thing in the world to do is make fun of you for it. Instead of mocking you, Citymapper posted how they moved many millions of keys using AWS Batch. Good on them for being kind.

Using Lambda to build a YouTube MP3 converter / downloader is exactly what I need to improve my already-horrifying collection of Space Jam mashups.

221 LA County and AgentRuns share this week’s S3 Bucket Negligence Award. At this point I don’t know what to say past “do better.”

The inaugural REdeploy conference (exploring the intersections of resilient technology, organizations, and people) is coming to San Francisco this August. Last Week in AWS is proud to be a media sponsor. More to come on that in coming weeks…

Friend of the newsletter Datadog is having their Dash conference in New York on July 11-12. If it works for your schedule, I strongly suggest attending; AWS is a platinum sponsor, and longtime readers know how finicky they are about putting their logo on any conference that doesn’t have the word “Amazon” in the title somewhere. Use the code “DASHLAST” to get 20% off of registration. 

Choice Cuts From the AWS Blog

Amazon Aurora Publishes General, Slow Query and Error Logs to Amazon CloudWatch – This is great for me, as all of my queries are generally slow and error out.

Amazon ECS Service Discovery Supports Bridge and Host Container Networking Modes – This one sailed past me, but a few container people I follow are positively wetting themselves over this one. You be the judge…

Amazon Macie Adds New Dashboard Making It Easier to Identify Publicly Accessible Amazon Simple Storage Service Objects – Macie gains incredibly useful capabilities, remains terrifyingly expensive at any kind of scale.

Amazon RDS Database Preview Environment is now available – Aurora now gives you a “preview environment” in which you can test changes. This beats my approach of goading other people to test them in their own production environments for me.

Amazon RDS for Oracle Supports New X1 and X1e Instance Types – Yup, you guessed it: Oracle now costs a hair under $45 an hour for the giant instances in us-east–1. Oh, and you must also bring your own Oracle license as well.

Application Load Balancer Announces Slow Start Support for its Load Balancing Algorithm – There’s really no way to answer this other than “what took you so long?” rimshot

AWS CloudFormation now Supports AWS Budgets as a Resource for CloudFormation Templates, Stacks, and StackSets – empty

AWS CodeBuild Adds Support for Windows Builds – If you’re writing Windows software, you can now build it using CodeBuild. I have no idea whether that’s big news or not; I haven’t touched Windows in anger for over a decade.

The AWS Organizations Console is Now Available in Eight New Languages – Unfortunately, six of these new languages are all variants of Javascript.

Getting started with the cloud (and keeping up!) | Dear DevOps Abby – “Dear DevOps Abby” picked one of my questions!

AWS GDPR Data Processing Addendum – Now Part of Service Terms | AWS Security Blog – GDPR has arrived, and with it six thousand emails in everyone’s inbox boasting about their new privacy policies.


Sagify makes it easier to work with SageMaker.

This one’s a bit out there; a set of tools to do analysis on a given AWS API keypair.

cwlog downloads CloudWatch logs without being painful to work with.

…and that’s what happened Last Week in AWS.

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