Kagi 公佈了收費三個月後的進展

Kagi 公佈了收費三個月後的進展 (可以參考「Kagi 開始收費了」這篇):「Kagi status update: First three months」。

搜尋的部份 (Kagi 這個產品線),目前有 2600 個付費使用者,以 US$10/mo 的費用來算大概是 US$26K/mo 的收入:

Kagi search is currently serving ~2,600 paid customers. We have seen steady growth since the launch 3 months ago. Note, this is with zero marketing and fully relying on word of mouth. We prefer to keep things this way for now, as we are still developing the product towards our vision of a user-centric web search experience.

後面在講財務狀況也是類似的數字 (幾乎都是 Kagi 的付費收入):

Between Kagi and Orion, we are currently generating around $26,500 USD in monthly recurring revenue, which incidentally about exactly covers our current API and infrastructure costs.

這個收入差不多 cover 目前的 infrastructure 部份,但還有薪資與其他的 operating cost 大約在 US$100K/mo 這個數量級,看起來還有很大的距離:

Between Kagi and Orion, we are currently generating around $26,500 USD in monthly recurring revenue, which incidentally about exactly covers our current API and infrastructure costs.

That means that salaries and all other operating costs (order of magnitude of $100K USD/month) remain a challenge and are still paid out of the founders’ pocket (Kagi remains completely bootstrapped).

然後要大概是目前十倍的付費數量才會打平 (25K 個使用者):

We are planning to reach sustainability at around 25,000 users mark, by further improving the product, introducing new offerings and pricing changes. With the product metrics being as good as they are, we should be able to reach this as our visibility increases.

比較好一點的消息是 churn rate 很低:

Product stickiness is also very high, with churn being lower than 3%.

然後提到每個使用者大約 27 次查詢 (包括 free tier),有些 user 大約在 100 次,peak 是 400 次:

We are currently serving around 70,000 queries a day or around ~27 queries/day/user (this includes free users which are about 10% of total users). There is a lot of variance in use though, with some users regularly searching >100 times a day. Every time we see a search count go >400 times in day we are happy to be an important part of someone’s search experience.

我看了一下自己的用量,看起來偏高一些,但沒到他說的每天平均 100 次:

然後提到了推出新方案的計畫,包括 Teams Plan & Family Plan,而目前在跑的方案會被分類到 Individual Plans。

另外比較重要的是 Individual Plans 有漲價的計畫。新的方案預定分成三個層級,主要是增加了一個 Kagi Starter 的版本:

  • Kagi Unlimited - $19/mo or $180/year ($15/mo) or $288/biennial ($12/mo) - Original Kagi experience, with unlimited searches
  • Kagi Starter ($5/mo; 200 searches) - For casual users who make less than 200 searches per month
  • Free basic - 50 free searches that reset every month

漲不少,雖然有提到在漲價前既有的付費使用者將會維持原價:

If such change to Individual plans is to occur, we plan to grandfather-in all early adopters (meaning all current and future paid customers, up until this change) allowing them to keep their existing subscription price as long as they don’t cancel it.

繼續觀察看看...

白宮宣佈由政府資助的研究,都必須馬上公開

一樣是 Hacker News 上看到的:「Guidance to make federally funded research freely available without delay (whitehouse.gov)」,白宮的公告在「OSTP Issues Guidance to Make Federally Funded Research Freely Available Without Delay」這邊。

開頭有重點,不得限制以及收費。所以 paywall 是一定不行,另外要註冊才能看也算是一種限制,應該也會被這次的政策要求改善:

In a memorandum to federal departments and agencies, Dr. Alondra Nelson, the head of OSTP, delivered guidance for agencies to update their public access policies as soon as possible to make publications and research funded by taxpayers publicly accessible, without an embargo or cost.

時間表的部份,短期是 2023 年中更新 policy,並且在 2025 年年底前全部施行:

In the short-term, agencies will work with OSTP to update their public access and data sharing plans by mid-2023. OSTP expects all agencies to have updated public access policies fully implemented by the end of 2025.

這次的算政府方面的政策,至少這些論文會有地方可以公開下載。

找了一下之前寫下來跟 open access 有關的消息,從學校方面給壓力的也不少,不過我記錄下來的主要都是跟 Elsevier 的中止合約:

看起來不同角度都有一些推進...

Heroku 公佈了廢止免費方案的時間表

打開 Hacker News 看到的第一名,Heroku 公佈了廢止免費方案的時間表:「Removal of Heroku free product plans (heroku.com)」,文章在「Removal of Heroku Free Product Plans FAQ」。

沒在用的帳號會在 2022/10/26 開始刪,既有的帳號會在 2022/11/28 終止:

Focus on what's mission-critical: Removal of free dynos, hobby-dev Heroku Postgres and hobby-dev Heroku Data for Redis plans starting November 28, 2022 and inactive account deletion starting October 26, 2022.

取而代之的是針對特定團體條件性的開放,分成三類:學生、非營利組織以及 open source 專案。但前兩個目前方案都還沒出來,要晚點才會公佈;後面的 open source 專案則是要寄信申請。

不過現在好像沒什麼人在用 Heroku 了,大多都是因為以前有在用的人就繼續用,如果要講 "sexy" 的產品 (玩新東西的感覺),Fly.io 應該是比較常見的方案?

Perl 的 Regular Expression 的強度:NP-complete

這篇稍微偏 CS 理論一些...

以前在學校學 Formal language 的時候會帶出 Grammer、Language、Automaton 三個項目,就像是維基百科上的條列:

裡面可以看到經典的 Regular expression 會被分到 RG/RL/FSM 這三塊。

前幾天看到 gugod 寫的「[Perl] 以正規表示式來定義文法規則」這篇,裡面試著用 Perlregular expression (perlre) 建構「遞歸下降解析器」 (Recursive descent parser)。

Recursive descent parser 可以當作是 CFG 的子集合,而 CFG 對應到的語言是 CFL,另外他對應到的自動機是 PDA

我們已經知道 perlre 因為支援一堆奇怪的東西 (像是 backreference 或是 recursive pattern),所以他能接受的 language 已經超過 RL,但我很好奇他能夠做到什麼程度。

用搜尋引擎翻了翻,查到對 PCRE 的分析 (這是一套與 Perl regular expression 語法相容的 library):「Which languages do Perl-compatible regular expressions recognize?」。

在裡面有人提到「The true power of regular expressions」這篇文章,裡面給了一個在 PTIME 演算法,將 3SAT 轉換到 PCRE 裡解,這證明了 PCRE 是 NP-hard;另外也很容易確認 PCRE 是 NP,所以就達成了 NP-complete 的條件了...

本來一直以為 PCRE 只是 CFG/CFL/PDA 而已,沒想到這麼強,NPC 表示大多數現有的演算法都可以轉成 PCRE 形式放進去跑... XD

Amazon RDS 的 Free Tier 方案包含了 db.t3.micro 與 db.t4g.micro

AWSdb.t3.microdb.t4g.micro 都放進 free tier 了:「Amazon RDS Free Tier now includes db.t3.micro, AWS Graviton2-based db.t4g.micro instances in all commercial regions」。

Customers new to AWS in the past 12 months and who were in regions where db.t2.micro was not available can now create free tier db.t3.micro or db.t4g.micro instances for the remainder of their first 12 months.

看說明是註冊的 12 個月內有這個方案可以用,可以拿來跑一些小東西...

其他非 Google 的 Email Hosting 服務

先前在「Cloudflare 的 Email Routing 功能可以讓一般人用 (包括免費帳號)」這邊有提到,因為 Google Workspace 要廢掉免費版本,所以 Cloudflare 推出了 E-mail forwarding 的方案讓大家用,所以一種簡單的解決方法就是註冊另外一個免費的 Gmail 帳號,然後用 Cloudflare 把信件 forward 到新的帳號裡。

但如果想要避開 Google 的服務的話,在 Hacker News 上的「Ask HN: Best hosted alternative to Google Workspace for email?」這邊就有討論不少可能的替代方案,主要是付費的為主。

討論裡常被提起的方案:

我自己是很愛 Fastmail,他的 webmail 界面速度很快 (即使 www.fastmail.com 需要連到美國的伺服氣上),而且鍵盤快速鍵與 Gmail 幾乎相同,所以學習成本很低,就把其中一個 domain 掛上去用,然後把一些服務的註冊 email 都往這邊掛。

而費用的部份,除了可以月繳外,年繳與三年繳都有另外再給 discount (30GB 版本是 US$5/mo、US$50/y 與 US$140/3y),第一次用一年後,後面就是刷三年了...

如果有在用 Office 的話,Microsoft 365 應該也是個選擇方案,不過我對 Outlook 的 folder-based 的設計邏輯用不慣...

然後是 iCloud+,看討論裡面提到穩定度似乎不太行,但也有人用的好好的,我自己是只有拿來同步 Apple 裝置用,沒有用到郵件服務的部份...

另外是自己有架設 Email service,話說這年頭自己搞 Email system 超麻煩的,對於沒搞過的人 SPFDKIM 加上 DMARC 絕對會搞死自己,乖乖丟雲端服務比較省事,我純粹是要保持多路暢通而已...

把 Blog 丟到 CloudFront 上

先前在「AWS 流量相關的 Free Tier 增加不少...」這邊有提到一般性的流量從 1GB/month per region 升到 100GB/month,另外 CloudFront 則是大幅增加,從 50GB/month (只有註冊完的前 12 個月) 提升到 1TB/month (不限制 12 個月),另外 CloudFront 到 EC2 中間的流量是不計費的。

剛剛花了點功夫把 blog 從 Cloudflare 搬到 CloudFront 上,另外先對預設的 /* 調整成 no cache,然後針對 /wp-content/* 另外加上 cache 處理,跑一陣子看看有沒有問題再說...

目前比較明顯的改善就是 latency,從 HiNet 連到免費版的 Cloudflare 會導去美國,用 CloudFront 的話就會是台灣了:

另外一方面,這樣國際頻寬的部份就會走進 AWS 的骨幹,比起透過 HiNet 自己連到美國的 PoP 上,理論上應該是會快一些...

AWS 流量相關的 Free Tier 增加不少...

Jeff Barr 出來公告增加 AWS 流量相關的 free tier:「AWS Free Tier Data Transfer Expansion – 100 GB From Regions and 1 TB From Amazon CloudFront Per Month」。

一般性的 data transfer 從 1GB/month/region 變成 100GB/mo,現在是 21 regions 所以不會有反例,另外大多數的人或是團隊也就固定用一兩個 region,這個 free tier 大概可以省個 $10 到 $20 左右?

Data Transfer from AWS Regions to the Internet is now free for up to 100 GB of data per month (up from 1 GB per region). This includes Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, Elastic Load Balancing, and so forth. The expansion does not apply to the AWS GovCloud or AWS China Regions.

另外是 CloudFront 的部份,本來只有前 12 個月有 free tier,現在是開放到所有帳號都有,另外從 50GB/month 升到 1TB/month,這個部份的 free tier 就不少了,大概是 $100 到 $200?

Data Transfer from Amazon CloudFront is now free for up to 1 TB of data per month (up from 50 GB), and is no longer limited to the first 12 months after signup. We are also raising the number of free HTTP and HTTPS requests from 2,000,000 to 10,000,000, and removing the 12 month limit on the 2,000,000 free CloudFront Function invocations per month. The expansion does not apply to data transfer from CloudFront PoPs in China.

今年十二月才生效,要注意一下不要現在就用爽爽:

This change is effective December 1, 2021 and takes effect with no effort on your part.

這樣好像可以考慮把 blog 與 wiki 都放上去玩玩看,目前這兩個服務都是用 Cloudflare 的 free tier,HiNet 用戶基本上都是連去 Cloudflare 的美西 PoP,偶而離峰時間會用亞洲的點,但都不會是台灣的 PoP...

不過記得之前 WordPress + CloudFront 有些狀況,再研究看看要怎麼弄好了...

Wasabi 與 Storj DCS

WasabiStorj 是在看到「Will Cloudflare R2 Win Customers from Amazon S3?」這篇文章時翻到了三個 Cloud Storage Provider,文章本身我倒是沒什麼吸收...。

第一個是 BackblazeB2,這個產品平常的曝光度就還算夠。

另外是 Wasabi 的部份,其中一個賣點是免費的頻寬,但其實限制意外的多。首先是各地區的價錢:

我找了一下到底是什麼地區,目前只有看到「Wasabi Technologies Inc Status」這邊有編號 (US-East-1、US-East-2、US-Central-1、US-West-1、EU-Central-1、AP-Northeast-1),但也沒找到地區... US 的都在美國沒問題,AP-Northeast-1 應該是日本,但 EU-Central-1 是哪裡就找不到了。

另外是 pay-as-you-go 的方案最小是 1TB,如果是歐美區的話是 US$5.99:

For customers using the Wasabi pay-as-you-go pricing model, Wasabi has a minimum monthly charge associated with 1 TB of active storage. If you store less than 1 TB of active storage in your account, you will still be charged for 1 TB of storage based on the pricing associated with the storage region you are using.

然後也有 90 天的最短計價時間:

Wasabi has a minimum storage duration policy that means if stored objects are deleted before they have been stored with Wasabi for a certain number of days (90 days when using the Wasabi pay-go pricing model), a Timed Deleted Storage charge equal to the storage charge for the remaining days will apply.

另外 Wasabi's free egress policy 這邊也可以看出來他們的設計就是拿來當 storage 用,然後前面需要擋 CDN 之類的服務。

最後一個是 Storj 的 DCS,US$4/TB/month 的空間費用,與 US$7/TB 的流量費用感覺還算便宜?他的做法是把檔案拆成 80 份,然後取 29 份就可以算回來:

How many Nodes are files stored on?

80. We split each file into 80 different encrypted pieces, and each piece is stored on a different Node.

When you retrieve an object, only 29 of its 80 pieces are needed to reconstitute that object. With no central point of failure, your data is always quickly available, all over the world.

這部份是則是透過 Reed-Solomon error correction 實做:

Automate file repair and know that Reed-Solomon erasure coding enables the highest levels of durability for all files uploaded to Storj DCS.

好一陣子沒看到 Reed-Solomon 了,沒想到在這邊看到... 先不管技術的部份,看起來 Storj DCS 的價錢可以玩看看。