The End of the Bryant Park Project
Meeting Phil Proctor


by Craig Reynolds

Cloud: while only geeks call it cloud computing, more and more normal people use the technology if not the jargon. Its the idea that your data is held out there on the net rather than on your local computer. Gmail or any webmail portal to email held on a server is a classic example of cloud computing. At a small cost in privacy and control, storing your data in the clouds means that it is generally safer and more reliable since it is held on redundant servers that are well maintained and frequently backed up. Also for free you get the benefit of being able to access your information from anywhere from any computer. Unless you never leave your house that can be extremely useful. Cloud computing requires you trust the companies whose services you use. Gmail users would be in a world of hurt if Google changed its slogan to "do lots of evil". Another downside of cloud computing is how cut off you can be when the network goes down. This week we had an outage at the office so I decided to work on some technical writing. Immediately I was stuck because I had to look something up in my bibliographic database, which is on CiteULike, a web 2.0 style collaborative utility based on cloud computing. That experience gave me pause when I imagined the same thing happening on the battlefield: Pentagon's IT unit seeks to adopt cloud computing. Another approach is to store data in many places (servers, laptops, phones) while keeping them in sync by propagating changes over the net: Getting in Sync to Pierce the Cloud.

Post-iPhone posts: I'm not usually an early adopter, so I managed to resist the temptation to get an iPhone when they first came out. But less than a week after the 3G launched I was waiting in a short line at the Palo Alto Apple store to get mine. Two "upon reflection" items: On a Small Screen, Just the Salient Stuff and Did Apple Really 'Sell' 1 Million iPhones To End Users? Nope.

Technobits: S.F. officials locked out of computer network --- Why it matters what Chad Hurley watches (...YouTube has always said that big media corporations have split personalities when it comes to YouTube. Their marketing departments might beg YouTube to promote their shows or movies one day and the next day the same company's lawyers might demand YouTube pull them down...) --- Developer fixes 33-year-old Unix bug (this mentions two very old bugs, and recall the DNS bug last week) --- Technologies behind Google ranking --- Research bots leverage open-source for child-like intelligence --- Infectious cancer forces Tasmanian Devil lifecycle evolution --- Running for Office: It's Like A Flamewar with a Forum Troll, but with an Eventual Winner.