Thursday, March 31, 2011

EFF to Council of Europe: Ensure privacy, transparency, and freedom of expression in search engines

This week the Council of Europe's expert committee on new media (MC-NM) met in Strasbourg to examine the comments received on the draft recommendation and proposal for guidelines for search engines.

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"Operation in Our Sites" Moves Ahead

The numbers confirm the anecdotal evidence: Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is stepping up intellectual property–related enforcement, launching almost half as many cases in the past two months as it had in total in 2010. That's according to ICE's own statistics, summarized in a larger presentation recently delivered by DHS Assistant Deputy Director Erik Barnett to the U. S.

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Who Curates the Real-Time Web?

SXSW was the source of a flood of real-time information on the web. Information flowed from attendees using social media tools to share what was being discussed, their thoughts and their experiences. This information was amplified further by the information be re-shared (retweeted on Twitter) and by other opinions being expressed about all things SXSW.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

House Oversight Committee Investigates DHS FOIA Review Practices—EFF''s Requests Were Singled Out

Tomorrow the House Oversight Committee is holding a hearing titled, "Why Isn't the Department of Homeland Security Meeting the President's Standard on FOIA? " As we wrote last October, redacted DHS emails revealed the agency was targeting certain Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and certain FOIA requesters—such as activist groups, watchdog organizations, and journalists—for an extra layer of review by politically-appointed officials within and outside the agency.

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Reader Privacy Act Introduced to Upgrade Book Privacy for the Digital Era

Sacramento, CA - California Senator Leland Yee has introduced the Reader Privacy Act of 2011 (SB 602), with backing from the California Affiliates of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). The law would bring a much-needed upgrade to match Californians' reading habits. Under SB 602 the Government and other third parties would need a warrant or court order for access to sensitive reading records.

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Judge Stays Discovery in OpenMind v Does

As we've been reporting for some time, a series of lawsuits has been filed across the U. S. against thousands of individuals accused of having illegally uploaded and downloaded copyrighted works in violation of copyright law. One of the latest of those suits is a case called OpenMind Solutions v. Does 1 – 2925, a case in which EFF filed an amicus brief asking the judge to quash the subpoenas seeking the identities of the nearly 3,000 anonymous defendants.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

April 5: Call the White House to Demand PATRIOT Act Reform

Tell Obama: Keep Your Promises and Demand PATRIOT Act Reform! 202-456-1111 On April 5, 1792, President George Washington vetoed a bill the first time in U. S. history that the presidential veto was exercised. On the anniversary of this day, we're calling on Barack Obama to exercise his presidential powers to veto any PATRIOT Act renewal bill that does not include powerful reforms to safeguard civil liberties.

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Mobile Carrier Delays Harm Internet Security

By delaying or even blocking security updates for Mobile devices, mobile carriers put their users, their business, and the country's critical infrastructure at unnecessary risk. Mobile security problems plague the entire software stack — the baseband, the kernel, the Application frameworks, and the applications — and carriers continue to resist shipping regular and frequent updates. For a specific example, consider the compromise of a Comodo certificate authority.

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Mobile Carrier Security Delays Harm Internet Security

By delaying or even blocking security updates for Mobile devices, mobile carriers put their users, their business, and the country's critical infrastructure at unnecessary risk. Mobile security problems plague the entire software stack — the baseband, the kernel, the Application frameworks, and the applications — and carriers continue to resist shipping regular and frequent updates. For a specific example, consider the compromise of a Comodo certificate authority.

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What Location Tracking Looks Like

Your cell phone company knows everywhere you go, twenty-four hours a day, every day. How concrete is this fact for you? It's very concrete for Malte Spitz, a German politician and privacy advocate. He used German privacy law — which, like the law of many European countries, gives individuals a right to see what private companies know about them — to force his cell phone carrier to reveal what it knew about him. The result?

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Web 2.0 Talk: Punctuated Equilibrium, Celestial Navigation, and APIs

Web 2. 0 Expo started up today in San Francisco's Moscone West. This Wednesday, 3/30, I'll be speaking with top Netflix engineers Michael Hart and Daniel Jacobson (formerly NPR) on succeeding in the API economy with "Punctuated Equilibrium, Celestial Navigation, and APIs: Lessons from Netflix and NPR. " I hope you'll join us Wednesday at 9:00 am in room 2005.

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Fair Use For the Win in Righthaven Case

Last Friday, a judge in the Nevada federal district court patiently explained why fair use disposes of Righthaven's copyright claim arising from the republication of an entire news article by a nonprofit organization. The hearing was in one of the now-250 Righthaven copyright cases. A written order, which will help set a persuasive precedent for other copyright troll cases, will be issued later. The hearing was in Righthaven v. Center for Intercultural Organizing.

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Google Books Decision: "The Privacy Concerns are Real"

A federal district court in New York today issued a long-awaited ruling in the Google Books case, Authors Guild v. Google, rejecting the proposed settlement between the parties. EFF participated in the case as counsel to a collection of authors and publishers, including Michael Chabon, Jonathan Lethem and Cory Doctorow, who objected to the settlement based on concerns about reader privacy.

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Good and Bad in Google Book Search Settlement Decision

Yesterday's decision rejecting the proposed settlement in the Google Books case, Authors Guild v. Google, got a number of things right. For starters, as we wrote shortly after the decision was announced, we're glad that the court acknowledged the importance of the privacy concerns we helped to raise. With respect to the class action analysis, the court correctly concluded that the settlement did not take account of the interests of all of the class members, such as academic authors.

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Iranian hackers obtain fraudulent HTTPS certificates: How close to a Web security meltdown did we get?

On March 15th, an HTTPS/TLS Certificate Authority (CA) was tricked into issuing fraudulent certificates that posed a dire risk to Internet security. Based on currently available information, the incident got close to — but was not quite — an Internet-wide security meltdown. As this post will explain, these events show why we urgently need to start reinforcing the system that is currently used to authenticate and identify secure websites and email systems.

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ACLU and EFF Appeal Ruling In Case Challenging Government Attempt To Obtain Private Data in WikiLeaks Investigation

Alexandria, VA - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) today appealed a ruling that the Government can collect the private records of three Twitter users as part of its investigation related to WikiLeaks. The ruling further held that the users cannot learn which other Internet companies were ordered to turn over information about them to the government.

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It’s Time for the Recording Industry to Stop Blaming "Piracy" and Start Finding A New Way

As many — EFF included — have been saying for years, filesharing is not the reason that the recording industry has fallen on hard financial times. In fact, the recording industry's complaints that the sky is falling really only apply to the recording industry, and not musicians and the fans, who have seen increased music purchases, increased artist salaries, and the availability of more music than ever before. And now two new reports further debunk the recording industry's myth.

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Microsoft Shuts off HTTPS in Hotmail for Over a Dozen Countries

UPDATE (3/26/11): HTTPS is again available for those in the countries discussed below. Microsoft denies deliberately blocking access to HTTPS, blaming the problem on a bug: We are aware of an issue that impacted some Hotmail users trying to enable HTTPS. That issue has now been resolved.

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ICANN 42 in Dakar, Senegal

Three times each year ICANN hosts an international public meeting in a different geographic region of the world. The third meeting of 2011 is scheduled for Africa on October 24-28, and I am delighted to confirm that Dakar, Senegal, will be the site of ICANN's 42nd Public Meeting.

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Another New Study Shows That Filesharing Doesn’t Deter Artists From Making Music

Further proof that the recording industry's oft-repeated claims of the downfall of the entire music industry hold no water: a new report finding that filesharing has led directly to "reduced costs of bringing works to market and a growing role of independent labels. " In other words, in the past decade, we have seen more music from independent outlets and at lower prices – something that consumers and music fans should all be happy about.

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Where’s EFF? Why EFF Is Sometimes Quiet About Important Cases

When legal issues light up the Internet, people turn to EFF for answers.   Whether it's attacks on coders' rights, overreaching copyright claims online, or governments' efforts to censor or spy on people, we are often among the first to hear about troubling events online, and we're frequently the first place people turn to for legal help.   So why are there times when EFF is involved in an important case but is silent or gives only limited information about it?

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The Hurdles for Moving Big Data ‘Round the World

Underlying all the useful and inspiring applications, like Hadoop, that have emerged out of the Big Data ecosystem, is a fundamental assumption: The data that companies want will be able to be accessed when companies want and need it. That functionality requires the ability to transfer files at the speeds that people expect it, and is one of the constraints of the big data world, explained Michelle Munson, CEO and co-founder of Aspera.

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How Space-Time Makes Sense of Big Data

As the number of people connected to the web continues to grow, so too does the vast amount of information about those individuals. Putting this massive Data store to use improves predictions and improves the overall quality of data but can also increase computational speeds. What happens when you add Mobile devices and locations to the mix? That geospatial data attribute feeds Big Data analytics like a super-food and creates "space-time travel" data.

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Data Science: The 3 Elements of Big Data

Leading a Data science panel at GigaOM's Structure Big Data conference, Joyent Founder and Chief Scientist Jason Hoffman redefined the concept of big data. Speaking with bit. ly Chief Scientist Hilary Mason, Cloudscale Founder and CEO, Bill McColl, nPario President and CEO Bassel Ojjeh, he discussed what it means to be a practitioner dealing with big data and the unique systems needed to do that.

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One Man’s Data Dump Is Another Man’s Data Marketplace

Big Data sounds good in theory, but where's the money? A few providers are not just creating huge data dumps — collecting and structuring data from multiple sources — but actually creating marketplaces for others to find and use that data. Whether it's a big player like Microsoft and its Windows Azure DataMarket or a Startup like InfoChimps, there's a great opportunity to provide a way for enterprises to be able to access vast numbers of content stores.

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Reducing Data Latency Leads to Faster Decisions

Big Data is getting bigger, with some estimates suggesting that 90 percent of all data was created in the last two years alone. That staggering figure can lead to analysis paralysis for some organizations, but those that can sift through, analyze and take action on information faster than others will have a competitive advantage.

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Is Big Data Making Us Dumber?

As organizations strive to analyze more Data than ever and to do it faster than ever, the results they're getting might actually be worse than those in the pre-big-data and real-time world — at least temporarily. During a panel discussion of "master data wranglers," a major topic of conversation was the trade-off between analyzing lots of data fast and taking adequate time to drive real, meaningful results.

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This Week in APIs - March 19-25

The top API and developer news from the week. Tasty tidbits on a new planned Color API, femotocell geekery, speech-to-text, a look at API uptimes across providers and more. What did we miss? Don't be shy. Tell us on Twitter.   http://twitter. com/apigee  The Femto Forum has published a set of API specs which will let developers create applications that can be integrated with femtocells. This will make it possible to take advantage of femtocells for things like geolocation-enabled apps.

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USA Today API Now Serving Reviews and Snapshots

USA Today is continuing its march towards opening up more of its data via its USA Today API. The newspaper company most recently made available articles, including blog posts, newspaper stories and wire feeds back to 2004. The latest set of APIs announced includes three reviews APIs and a snapshots API that give access to USA Today's movies, books and music reviews and its iconic statistical graphics.

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Building a Better Starbucks With Big Data

Data isn't the solution to business problems. Pulling data into applications and using it to make decisions and improve the user experience is the way to solve business problems said Jim Baum, the CEO of Netezza, an IBM company.

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What is REST

There have been a couple of things I've been linked to recently about how some APIs claim that they are RESTian, but aren't really - Gareth and Jens. To my mind, there's not a lot of clarity here. So.

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Build & Run a Web API for FREE

With the proliferation of free, cloud services it's possible to build and run interesting Mobile and web projects from end-to-end for free--including an awesome web API. Here are 10 steps to building and running a web API for free. 1. Prepare Get up to speed on APIs - from their economic and business model rationale to design best practices and principles to developer community practices.  2.

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Building Developer Communities and API Champions

Some of the most frequent questions we get are about how to build developer community and adoption around open APIs. Every month or two, we host an API meetup in San Francisco with our friends IP Commerce to talk about these and other API and platform topics. We post videos and content at www. apimeetup. com so everyone can see and share.

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Stone: Pitfalls Plentiful in an Open API

Twitter Co-founder Biz Stone said the company narrowed developers' access to its API after it found the apps being developed didn't enhance the service and too often confused consumers. By Kathy Haley Publishers planning to open their APIs to.

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54 New APIs: USA Today, Dynamic DNS and Creative Commons Music

This week we had 54 new APIs added to our API directory including a photo filter and effects service, online music distribution database, web-based helpdesk service, twitter long post service, ip camera platform, geolocation service, digital mail service and tickets search service. We looked in-depth at the Aviary Effects API, which we said could help you create your own Instagram. Below is more detail on each of these new APIs.

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Monday, March 21, 2011

In-District Meetings: an Offline Tool for Defending Your Online Rights

In the EFF Action Center, we provide you tools to defend online civil liberties. But if you really want to make a difference, one of the best things you can do is have an in-district meeting with your Congressional representative. In fact, Congress is on recess this week and again at the end of April.   That means now is the optimal time to contact your elected official for an in-district meeting to emphasize the importance of PATRIOT Act reforms.   What's an in-district meeting?

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An Introduction to the Federated Social Network

Lately, EFF's work to protect rights and liberties in the online world has focused rather heavily on social networking sites and their policies. The logic is borne out by the numbers — Facebook and Twitter combined claim hundreds of millions of worldwide users, so advocating for stronger privacy and less censorship from these kinds of websites will mean a better Internet for lots and lots of people.

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Create Your Own Instagram With New Aviary Effects API

Photo editing service Aviary has added a new HTTP-based API that allows developers to pass photos through filters, effects and even basic editing operations. Aviary "soft-launched" the new Aviary Effects API last week at SXSW, when we interviewed Aviary's Michael Galpert (video below). The new service could be used to create photo-sharing services like Instagram, CMS plugins to aid workflow or within social applications to create a standard look to all avatars.

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A Short History of API Authentication (and where it’s going): from HTTP basic to OAuth 2.0

Part 1: The Web In the beginning -- way back in the beginning -- the web was all about open access. Tim Berners-Lee and his colleagues focused on making information available, not on protecting it from unauthorized users. But as time went on, and as Al Gore took the initiative in liberating the government-run Internet backbone for commercial use (really), the Web became about "e-commerce,"  and e-commerce required security.

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Are RESTful Web Services really RESTful APIs?

The change I noticed is just that the terms used to be used interchangeably, and now "web service" has pretty much died out. When I say "web service" people know what I'm talking about, but I feel like I'm speaking out of a phrasebook,.

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16 New APIs: Rackspace, Rapleaf and Streaming Radio

This week we had 16 new APIs added to our API directory including a web-based helpdesk service, online recommendation engine, flight schedule service, text extraction tool, PDF conversion service and tickets search service. Below is more details on each of these new APIs. Diffbot Article API: The Diffbot Article API is used to to extract clean article text from article web pages. It's powerful when combined with the permalinks that are extracted by the above APIs.

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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Zappos to Provide Order History Via OAuth API

Customer service-focused Zappos intends to make public a feature of its Zappos API that allows customers to access order history. The feature is currently available in its official iPhone and iPad apps, though there is no timeline for when Zappos will make it available to its growing developer community.

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Real-Time Web or Right-Time Web?

Real-time and the real-time web continue to be a hot topic of conversation but is the term "real-time" getting used correctly? When we talk about real-time technology are we truly describing what the technology is delivering or is it being used and abused as just another marketing buzz word? Can we class any of the current technology solutions as truly real-time and can other solutions be defined in any other way?

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Why XML won’t die: XML vs. JSON for your API

Last week I wrote that if you're API doesn't support JSON and JSONP - you're doing it wrong.   I don't think that's terribly controversial. But is JSON (and JSONP) perfect for everything you need to support with your API?  Is XML dead? JSON is especially good at representing programming-language objects.

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Have You Got a Question for Bill Clinton?

Former President Bill Clinton's talk with the ICANN community, coming up this Wednesday, will include a limited amount of time for questions from the audience. Questions will be moderated, and must be submitted in advance. Due to the time restrictions, not all questions received will be answered. Rod Beckstrom, ICANN President and CEO, will join President Clinton on stage after the speech. Rod will ask the questions on behalf of the community.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How Amazon Is Following Apple’s Lead to Rule Cloud Computing

Their story arcs aren't exactly the same, but the strategies employed by Apple and Amazon Web Services to reach their respective pinnacles (not that either is there yet) seem very similar, with result being that users are willing to pay a premium and accept a certain degree of lock-in as consequences of choosing either company. But why, when the core technologies in their respective spaces are all but commodities at this point?

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Tracking Protection Lists: A privacy enhancing technology that complements Do Not Track

Yesterday, Microsoft released version 9 of Internet Explorer, which includes two significant new privacy features: Tracking Protection Lists (TPLs) and a Do Not Track (DNT) header that allows users to request that websites not track them. We've written about the virtues of the Do Not Track header previously.

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EFF Lets the Sunshine In

This week marks the seventh annual Sunshine Week, a national initiative to promote dialogue about the importance of open Government and freedom of information. As our little way to celebrate, EFF has recently posted nearly nine thousand pages of government documents to our site. For the majority of these documents, many of which were previously classified, this is the first time these files have been added to the public domain.

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EFF Lets the Sun Shine In

This week marks the seventh annual Sunshine Week, a national initiative to promote dialogue about the importance of open Government and freedom of information. As our little way to celebrate, EFF has recently posted nearly nine thousand pages of government documents to our site. For the majority of these documents, many of which were previously classified, this is the first time these files have been added to the public domain.

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Apigee To-Go: Build, Skin, and Embed Your Own API Console, Free

Last year we set out to reinvent how developers approach and explore APIs. The result was the Apigee API Console, which lets developers view the full surface area of an API, authenticate in seconds, easily view API requests and responses, dig into errors and share their results. We've made API consoles for Twitter, Facebook, Salesforce and more available on Apigee.

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Not serving JSON AND JSONP? Then you’re doing it wrong!

If you've used an API recently, you've probably seen that the popular APIs out there support JSON. JavaScript Object Notation is a standard defined a while back by Douglas Crockford from Yahoo. It uses a subset of the JavaScript syntax to simply and effectively describe an object. In the last few years, JSON has taken its place alongside XML as the de facto way to describe API data. Today's leading APIs support JSON in addition to XML, and an increasing number support only JSON.

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Apigee API Console: Control the APIs You See, Manage the Credentials You Use, and a Better Memory

An API page where you can choose which APIs appear in your Console, making it easier to work with just the APIs that are important to you. (Screenshot, attached)  The ability to save and manage your credentials with API providers, so that you can quickly flip between accounts to test things like sending and receiving direct messages with the Twitter API.

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Going to SXSW? Join Us for the Hottest Developer Party - GET Down

We're throwing a big developer bash at SXSW with SendGrid, Twilio and SimpleGeo. It's on Sunday, March 13th at the PureVolume House, just a block away from the Austin convention center. And it's the only club in town open past 2:00 am. RSVP at http://getdownparty. com/ - featuring a live performance by innerpartysystem and a DJ set by moneypenny.   We'll have a few members of our team on the ground for SXSWi.

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EFF Urges Judge to Reject Dangerous New Copyright Troll Strategy

San Francisco - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has asked an Illinois judge to quash subpoenas issued in a "reverse class action" lawsuit accusing thousands of people of illegally downloading pornography, and urged the court to dismiss the case. In a friend of the court brief filed Tuesday, EFF argued that the plaintiff's "class action" strategy is an improper attempt to sidestep the rights of the defendants.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

API of the Week: Context.IO

Context. IO is an API for e-mail, giving developers the ability to use e-mail as a platform. Context. IO aims to replace complex sequences of IMAP requests with simple API calls. The first 100 readers to sign-up using the code RWW100 will be admitted to the private beta. The API will be opened to more developers next month. Sponsor It was created by DokDok (one of our enterprise startups to watch in 2011), which used the same API to build its attachment management app.

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Spend an Evening with the EFF Activism Team Discussing Privacy and Government Surveillance

On the evening on March 24, 2011, EFF staff activists will discuss the state of Government surveillance and privacy in the United States at "Government Surveillance in a Digital World," an event hosted by San Francisco Intersection for the Arts, with a live video stream by BAMM. tv. One of the many topics to be discussed is the PATRIOT Act.

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Data integration services combine storage and analysis tools

There has been a lot of movement on the Data front in recent months, with a strong focus on integrations between data warehousing and analytics tools. In that spirit, yesterday IBM announced its Netezza data warehouse partnership with Revolution R Enterprise, bringing the R statistics language and predictive analytics to the Big Data warehouse table. Microsoft and HP have jumped in as well.

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EFF Seeks Cooperating FOIA Reviewers

Are you an EFF member or supporter interested in helping out on EFF's Freedom of Information Act cases and connecting with EFF's FOIA attorneys? Are you looking for ways to volunteer with EFF but perhaps don't live near our offices? EFF is setting up an email list to connect you to the important work we do to ensure Government accountability.

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Monday, March 14, 2011

A Privacy Emergency: Consumer Rights at Risk in Next Generation 911

The federal Government is working on revamping America's 911 service, with a project called Next Generation 911. The goal is to create a framework that will allow consumers to contact critically important emergency services through multiple means — including text message, photos, and email — in order to improve responsiveness and accessibility. This is a wonderful opportunity that could help keep Americans safer.

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SXSW Accelerator Chock Full of APIs

Today thirty two startups will take the stage at SXSW Accelerator to battle to be named the best. Last year's overall winner became the largest mashup acquisition ever when it was gobbled up by Apple a month later. Who will be the winner this year? Chances look good that it will have an API. Below are the finalists that are in our directory.

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunshine Week: Do Open Government Laws Still Matter in the Era of WikiLeaks?

March 14-18, 2011 is "Sunshine Week"—a week to focus on the importance of open Government and how we can ensure accountability for our leaders at the federal, state and local levels. In the year since Sunshine Week 2010, the world of open government has been rocked by the WikiLeaks leaks. Early last April, WikiLeaks released a video of a 2007 US Army air attack in Baghdad that left 12 dead, including two employees of the news agency Reuters.

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October 2012 ICANN Meeting to be Held in Toronto, Canada

ICANN is pleased to announce that the 14-19 October 2012 ICANN Public Meeting will be held in Toronto, Canada. We would like to express our warm thanks to the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), which has graciously agreed to act as our host, and has extended the support of their team. The Meeting will be held at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel.

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Saturday, March 12, 2011

P2P API Discovered in Latest Builds of Chromium

Something called the P2P API can be turned on through the about:flags menu in the latest builds of Chromium, the open source browser that serves as the basis for Google Chrome. The discovery was made by Daniel Cawrey at thechromesource. The description of the option reads: "Enables P2P Pepper API and P2P JavaScript API. The API is under development, and doesn't work yet. " Sponsor For those not familiar, the Pepper Plugin API (PPAPI) is Google's API for its Native Client (NaCl) plugin.

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27 APIs Used in 7 Days: Adobe, Facebook, Amazon and Yelp

This past week 19 new mashups were added to our mashup directory and 27 different APIs were used to build them. Some of the newer or less frequently seen APIs include Adobe Social, awe. sm, ChannelAdvisor, Facebook Ads, Gigya, Groupon, Nozbe, Plancast, Rovi Cloud Services and voo2do. The most often used APIs this week are geocoder, Google Maps and Loxcel. And the most commonly used types of APIs were Social (6 APIs, 8 mashups), Shopping (3 APIs, 3 mashups) and Video (3 APIs, 3 mashups).

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Court Rules Against Privacy in Battle Over Twitter Records

Alexandria, VA - A federal magistrate judge in Virginia ruled today that the Government can collect the private records of three Twitter users as part of its investigation related to WikiLeaks, and that those users and the public can be prevented from seeing some of the documents that the government submitted to the court to justify obtaining their records.

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Have You Benefited from Public Access to PubMed?

April 7, 2011 marks the third anniversary of a groundbreaking policy that has dramatically improved access to a trove of medical and scientific knowledge. Whenever the National Institutes of Health (NIH) allocates taxpayer money for scientific research, the much-heralded NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the fruits of that research are made freely available to the same taxpayers that funded it.

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Via SXSW: Infochimps Shows off New Site, 1000''s of New API Calls

Last night, the folks over at Infochimps, an online data Marketplace - or the "Amazon of data," as they like to call it - were celebrating the launch of their new website and the thousands of new API calls it contains. These API calls are like plug-and-play bits of code developers can insert into their applications, so they can focus on other things like the overall design, the user interface and the features.

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Cash for Ideas in Hoover’s First-Ever Developer Contest

Hoover's, one of the largest providers of company, people and industry research has just announced a developer Contest. The contest invites developers to use the Hoover's API to come up with ideas for great apps. Then, developers will actually create those applications, consuming the Hoover's database. The Ideas and Apps contest aims for developers to tap into the largest database of business information available. The contest is split into two rounds.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

W3C tackles HTML5 confusion with, um, more confusion

The Worldwide Web Consortium has unveiled its HTML5 logo. And much like Apple, Google, and Microsoft before it, the organization that oversees HTML5 has confused it with all sorts of other web standards.

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12 Fun & Clever Examples of HTML5

Last week, the future of the web got a logo.  Just another reminder that, love it or hate it, HTML5 is here to stay and it IS the new standard.  We've done some cool round-ups on here before that give several great examples of new sites made with HTML5.  Instead of a repeat performance I thought I'd hunt down a few examples that are a bit out there on the edges, showing off some of the cool new things you can do with HTML5.

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Can Flash and HTML5 get along?

As the HTML5 standard evolves, and the technology becomes more capable, it's natural to start examining the overlap between Flash and the new capabilities of HTML5. One person with a strong opinion on this subject is Duane Nickull, Adobe's senior technical evangelist. He'll be talking about the new world of HTML5, AJAX and Flash at Web 2. 0 Expo, and he gave us a sneak peak at his thoughts on the subject.

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Windows Media Player HTML5 Extension For Chrome

The announcement that Google would remove native H. 264 playback support caused quite an uproar on the Internet (see Google Ditches H. 264 Support In Google Chrome). Google Chrome up to this point was the only web browser that supported H. 264, Theora and WebM8 videos which was bound to change with the announcement. Two browser camps have been formed.

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Julia meets HTML5

Fractals are always fun but Google has a web page where fractals combine with HTML5 to give a fully interactive viewer that uses nothing but JavaScript and as many cores as you care to offer it. Canvas plus web workers are looking powerful. The shape of things to come.

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The Newsonomics of apps and HTML5

Editor's Note: Each week, Ken Doctor — author of Newsonomics and longtime watcher of the business side of digital news — writes about the economics of news for the Lab. Apps are all the rage, with The Daily's taking center-stage this week. With tabletmania sweeping the country, you can almost hear the howls of publishers across the country, as they implore their IT chiefs: "Get me an app, pronto!

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Canvas From Scratch: Introducing Canvas

This is the first article in a series that will bring you up to speed with HTML5 canvas, the plugin-less drawing functionality built into modern browsers. In this introductory article, I'll show you how to access the canvas element, draw shapes, change colours, and erase things. It's a whistle-stop tour of the basics of this amazing new Web technology. Prefer a Video Tutorial? Change the resolution to 720 for a clearer picture.

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Google Web Toolkit adds HTML5 canvas backing

Google and JetBrains are offering on Monday technology upgrades in the HTML5 and PHP Application development spaces respectively with Google upgrading GWT (Google Web Toolkit) and JetBrains adding to its PHP IDE.

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HTML5 Canvas Sample – Building a maze

There are a lot of features that HTML5 bring. What makes canvas popular? Canvas provides a screen area onto which you could draw 2D shapes and images. The set of APIs are simple. But the strength of the canvas comes from how you could manipulate it using JavaScript.

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A Programmer''s Guide to Canvas

The HTML5 canvas object introduces bitmap graphics to JavaScript, something that has been missing for far too long. For a programmer's viewpoint of how it all works read on.

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SQL SERVER: 3 Methods to Handle NULL for String Concatenation

If any of parameter/value used in string concatenation is found NULL, whole result becomes NULL. Here are three methods used to overcome this problem.

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Big Data: Millionfold Mashups and the Shape of Data

Philip (flip) Kromer (infochimps. com) talking about origins of Big Data, generating big data, and some ideas on using big data. Very interesting talk.

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No More Data Silos

Right now, our social networks are all essentially Data silos. We post tweets to Twitter, status updates to Facebook, bookmarks to Delicious and images to Flickr. We don't own that data, nor do we have easy access to it all in one central location. Aside from backups, if one of those services were to disappear, it would take any data we had posted there with it. Thankfully, there are potential solutions being actively developed.

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Mining the Tar Sands of Big Data

The tar sands of Alberta, Canada contain the largest reserves of oil on the planet. However, they remain largely untouched, and for one reason: economics. It costs as much as $40 to extract a barrel of oil from tar sand, and until recently, petroleum companies could not profitably mine these reserves. In a similar vein, much of the world's most valuable information is trapped in digital sand, siloed in servers scattered around the globe.

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Useful Data Points

I've been thinking about the recently published information about salaries of PPS employees, and about why it struck me as pretty worthless from all perspectives: Data journalism, informing the public, exposing something that was kept in the dark, helping forward the public good, etc. So, in the interest of turning lemons into lemonade, here are some ways that dataset could be contextualized and extended to allow us to see something useful, instead of just putting a spreadsheet online.

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NoSQL at Netflix

This is Yury Izrailevsky, Director of Cloud and Systems Infrastructure here at Netflix. As Netflix moved into the cloud, we needed to find the appropriate mechanisms to persist and query Data within our highly distributed infrastructure. Our goal is to build fast, fault tolerant systems at Internet scale. We realized that in order to achieve this goal, we needed to move beyond the constraints of the traditional relational model.

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The Growth of Linked Data

The concept of Linked Data has largely been the domain of academics and geeks. But this is a new time and space for the Web and the possible uses of Linked Data are becoming more widely recognized. To illustrate the concept of Linked Data, Richard Cyganiak and Anja Jentzsch created the Linked Data Diagram of the Cloud. This image is widely used but it shows how much data has been added to the Internet in the past few years.

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Powered by CouchApp: MapChat

Nice little CouchApp: MapChat: Why CouchApp/CouchDB? I guess the answer in this case is: development simplicity, as there's no need for additional web server or other things like that. Just CouchDB and a bunch of JavaScript.

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Securing MongoDB

So, MongoDB presented us with two problems: When sharding it, we can't even use the basic security that it supports. The basic security that it offers is not reasonable for allowing external servers to connect to MongoDB. Let's just review: you have this sharding setup: on top of that add some Nginx switch from using a binary protocol to HTTP Doesn't sound easy or out of the box anymore.

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Redis diskstore and B-trees

Redis VM is not the future of Redis for dealing with larger than memory Data sets.

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Data startups: we want you

The O'Reilly Strata Conference on making Data work is almost upon us. There's one final opportunity to be a part of this epoch-defining event: the Startup Showcase. We're seeking startups that want to pitch the attendees — a broad selection of leaders from the business and investment community, as well as elite developers and savvy data-heads.

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The rise of the Cloud Data Aggregators

As storing Data in the cloud becomes increasingly more normal users will increasingly find themselves in the position of needing to access different types of data regularly.  To this end we are starting to see a new breed of applications and services which themselves provide a service that interacts with data stored on the cloud. The challenge is  that services that sell their products or service based on data access are in the position of having to choose which data services to support.

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Membase: Pros and Cons

German Eichberger's notes after a Membase talk: Membase doesn't have many of the fancy features other No-SQL Databases offer. They don't have a query language nor some map-reduce and even no automatic failover.

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Visualization deconstructed: Mapping Facebook's friendships

In the first post in Radar's new "visualization deconstructed" series, I talked about how Data visualization originated from cartography (which some now just call "mapping"). Cartography initially focused on mapping physical spaces, but at the end of the 20th century we created and discovered new spaces that were made possible by the Internet.

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node.js CouchDB == Crazy Delicious

Mikeal Rogers (@mikeal) talking on why node. js and CouchDB are a good fit for each other: Now, there's already LivelyCouch which tries to build an Application server by combining node. js and CouchDB. And there's also CouchApp which allows you to build apps directly in CouchDB. Original title and link: node.

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Baseball Batting Average, Using Riak Map/Reduce

A few days ago, I announced a tool that I assembled last weekend, called luwak_mr. That tool extends Riak's map/reduce functionality to "Luwak" files. But what does that mean? What can it do? Luwak is a tree-based block-storage library for Riak. Basically, you feed Luwak a large binary, and it splits the binary into chunks, and creates a tree representing how those chunks fit together.

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Why Netflix Picked Amazon SimpleDB, Hadoop/HBase, and Cassandra

Why Netflix Picked Amazon SimpleDB, Hadoop/HBase, and Cassandra: Yury Izrailevsky[1]: The reason why we use multiple NoSQL solutions is because each one is best suited for a specific set of use cases. For example, HBase is naturally integrated with the Hadoop platform, whereas Cassandra is best for cross-regional deployments and scaling with no single points of failure.

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Big data thwarts fraud

A new O'Reilly/PayPal report on web-native payment platforms, "ePayments: Emerging Platforms, Embracing Mobile and Confronting Identity," is now available for download. Among the topics covered in the report are the rise of payment platforms, the mobilization of money, and the advent of contactless payment in mobile commerce. This excerpt looks at the role Big Data is beginning to play in fraud detection for these services, and the new opportunities that development brings.

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Nodester

Open Source Node.

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Highly Recommended Book: REST In Practice

A couple of months ago, i knew very little about REST and Restful services. Since it was increasingly getting more attention in the developer community, i wanted to find out what it was about. Luckily for me, O'Reilly had recently released REST In Practice and when it was listed as an O'Reilly Deal Of The Day, i bought it without thinking twice.

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How the New Amazon Web Services Bulk E-Mailing Offering Compares on Price with the Competition

Amazon Web Services announced today the launch of Amazon Simple Email Service (SES), a bulk e-mail delivery service. The e-mail marketing service gives customers the ability to send mass e-mail campaigns without having to worry about messages being caught in spam filters. According to the company's announcement "Amazon SES provides a built-in feedback loop, which includes notifications of bounce backs, failed and successful delivery attempts, and spam complaints.

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Christopher Brown on the Cloud Transformation

Christopher Brown knows about big infrastructure and scalability. Brown was Architect, and Lead Developer for Amazon. com's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and then served as Director of Engineering at Microsoft for the Edge Computing Network within Global Foundation Services. Brown is now VP of Engineering for Opscode, which helps infrastructure companies develop fully automated servers. In this video from the O'Reilly Web 2.

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In 2011, Cloud Computing Will Enable ‘IT as Business’

2010 has been dubbed the "Year of the Cloud" — and from an adoption perspective, this assertion holds true. But when it comes to realizing the benefits of Cloud Computing and truly running "IT as a business," things are just beginning to heat up. With rapid, disruptive shifts in consumer technology, more pressure is on enterprise IT to deliver technology as a service. I look to 2011 as the year that enterprise IT takes a big leap forward to meet the growing demands of customers.

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PaaS Is The Future Of Cloud Services: CloudBees Is Ready To Go

CloudBees, the Java PaaS provider founded in 2010, today went live with the PaaS offering targeted at enterprise Java developers. Unlike few other PaaS providers, CloudBees doesn't restrict developers on their platform. Moreover, unlike VMForce, CloudBees platform can be used by both Java EE and Spring Developers. Their platform service has an IDE component and a runtime component.

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Cloud Computing Wish List for 2011

John Savageau, January 3, 2011 This blog was reposted from "John Savageau's Technology Innovation Topics" website. 2010 was a great year for Cloud Computing.   The hype phase of cloud computing is closing in on maturity, as the message has finally hit awareness of nearly all in the Cxx tier.   And for good reason.   The diffusion of IT-everything into nearly every aspect of our lives needs a lot of compute, storage, and network horsepower.

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Joyent Introduces Next Generation Cloud Operating System

SmartDataCenter 6 Equips Service Providers and Enterprises to Launch and Manage their Own Clouds San Francisco, CA — January 19, 2011 — Joyent, the leading global provider of Cloud Computing solutions and technologies, today announced SmartDataCenter 6, the newest version of its Cloud Operating System, an integrated suite of software and services designed for Service Providers and Enterprises to launch and operate public, private and hybrid clouds.

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Verizon To Continue Rapid Cloud Ramp -- Cloud Computing -- InformationWeek

Verizon Business rapidly expanded its cloud capabilities last year, and plans to do the same in 2011.

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How To Use Amazon EC2 as Your Desktop - RestBackupâ„¢ Blog

Amazon's Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2) is a service allowing you to rent servers in Amazon datacenters by the hour. Using EC2 for your desktop makes sense if you need a powerful machine with a great Internet connection, colocated with your production servers.

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Cloud computing, the Patriot Act and you - Opinion - Ottawa Business Journal

Why firms should think twice before storing sensitive Data down south Canadian companies are being done a great disservice by the lack of available public Cloud Computing providers operating in Canada.

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SaaS and cloud spending set to reach £8.13 billion by 2014, study says - Managed Hosting News from Hostway

Spending on managed hosting and Cloud Computing is expected to reach $13 billion (£8. 13 billion) by 2014 as more firms look for long-term cost benefits, according to a new report.

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Java on Amazon Cloud: Introducing AWS Elastic Beanstalk

AWS Elastic Beanstalk will make it even easier for you to create, deploy, and operate web applications at any scale. You simply upload your code and we'll take care of the REST. We'll create and configure all of the AWS resources (Amazon EC2 instances, an Elastic Load Balancer, and an Auto Scaling Group) needed to run your application. Your application will be up and running on AWS within minutes.

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PaaS shouldn’t be built in Silos

Unlike many of the existing Platforms, in this second-generation phase, its not going to be enough to package and bundle different individual middleware services and products (Web Containers, Messaging, Data, Monitoring, Automation and Control, Provisioning) and brand them under the same name to make them look as one. (Fusion? Fabric? A rose is a rose by any other name - and in this case, it's not a rose.

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OpenERP offers Cloud Option To Their Customers

Tweet OpenERP, the Open Source ERP and business applications provider since 2005, today announced the new version of their offering giving customers choice between on-premise and SaaS options. The new version OpenERP v6, a major upgrade from the previous version that makes implementation and use of a comprehensive set of business applications (CRM, Purchase Management, Manufacturing, Warehouse Management, Project Management, Accounting, Human Resources) much easier and affordable.

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IaaS eats PaaS’ lunch, and long live both

IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) and PaaS (Platform as a Service) are often described as competing paradigms for the future of the cloud. A commonly heard view is "PaaS is the future of cloud services and IaaS will slowly go into the background". Here is a contrary view. First lets name some vendors: Microsoft's Azure is seen as a. NET PaaS, and Google's App Engine is seen as a Python&Java PaaS; while Amazon's AWS and Rackspace's Cloud are seen as IaaS plays.

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Cloud printing on the go

Cross posted on the the Gmail Blog and the Google Mobile Blog Back in April 2010 we announced Google Cloud Print, a service in beta that allows Printing from any App on any device, OS or browser without the need to install any software. Just last month we opened Google Cloud Print to users in the Chrome notebook pilot program.

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Introducing the Amazon Simple Email Service

Like most technical endeavors, sending email is a lot harder than it looks! The simple solutions that are entirely adequate when you have to send a couple of dozen daily emails simply don't work when you need to send out hundreds, thousands, or even millions of emails over the same time period. To pick just one issue, let's talk about something that the email pros call deliverability.

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Cloud Control Will Be an IT Priority in 2011

By Jeff Kaplan, "internet evolution",  January 12, 2011 "One of the subtle yet significant trends that I think we'll see in 2011 will be a more orderly adoption of Cloud Computing solutions in the new year.

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Building a halfway house to the cloud

Several private clouds are now coming to market based on the Vblock technology developed by VCE, a joint venture forged by Cisco, EMC and VMWare. Last week I groaned inwardly as I saw not one, but two announcements plop into my inbox. First came Sungard's "fully managed cloud offering", and then a couple of days later CSC got in touch to brief me about the launch of CSC BizCloud, "the industryâs first on-premise private cloud billed as a service.

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Cloud Computing Standards – Not This Year

By John Considine I started out writing a blog about the state of Cloud Computing to review how things have evolved in the cloud space over the last year (2010 was a good year for cloud computing) but I got sidetracked thinking about how clouds are converging, or in reality, not converging. It's clear that end users of cloud computing would like to see true interoperability.

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What the Heck is the Cloud Anyway!?

The word "cloud" has become a bit of a buzzword in the IT industry. Well, let me rephrase that, it has become a HUGE and overused buzzword not just within various tech sectors, it has also infiltrated the lives of us all. A year or two ago, if you mentioned "cloud" or even "cloud computing" to the average passerby, they might have looked back at you with a cloudy look on their face (sorry).

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