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The Great Disk Drive in the Sky: How Web giants store big—and we mean big—data
The impact of these distributed file systems extends far beyond the walls of the hyper-scale data centers they were built for— they have a direct impact on how those who use public cloud services such as Amazon's EC2, Google's AppEngine, and Microsoft's Azure develop and deploy applications. And companies, universities, and government agencies looking for a way to rapidly store and provide access to huge volumes of data are increasingly turning to a whole new class of data storage systems inspired by the systems built by cloud giants. So it's worth understanding the history of their development, and the engineering compromises that were made in the process.
The SOPA-PIPA Saga - Freedom of Speech vs. Net Neutrality
Allen Yu: "While I cheer on the defeat of SOPA-PIPA (copyright is really broken; many also consider SOPA-PIPA to be truly evil), I also have no false hopes that my interests on the Net can be best guaranteed by the likes of Google or Wikipedia or Facebook. For now, I am celebrating RELIEF not FREEDOM ."
The History, and Future, of Web Protest
This week, many of the web's most popular sites shuttered their doors in protest of SOPA and PIPA, the pair of bills that had been winding their way through congress with the stated intent of fighting piracy and the unfortunate side effect of fundamentally threatening the web. After this concerted outburst of activism from the web community (which even extended to a first-of-its-kind offline protest by the New York Tech Meetup community), the sponsors of the bills have withdrawn their support, many undecided or former supporters of the bills changed their positions and in all, people who love the web are claiming a victory. Hooray! And it's still not too late to express your displeasure to your elected officials if you'd like to make sure they know how you feel.
But. There are a number of unanswered questions about this victory, and some important questions about what it means going forward, not just for web freedom, but for the technology community as a driver of public policy and legislation. We should start, as always with a brief look back.
This week's episode looks at the aftermath of the SOPA battle and the take-down of MegaUpload while looking at some consequences thereupon for the knowledge ecology. A draft resolution for any upcoming ALA meeting is also presented.
Direct download link: MP3
LISTen: An LISNews.org Program -- Episode #183 by The Air Staff of Erie Looking Productions is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
Multiple outlets are reporting that the Stop Online Piracy Act and the Protect IP Act proposals are currently tabled.
British tech publication The Register notes that this does not mean the bills are dead.
The Editor-in-Chief of Mashable, Lance Ulanoff, tweeted asking what ideas people had about copyright protection, intellectual property, and piracy.
Todd Wasserman of Mashable calls SOPA dead instead of tabled.
A statement issued by the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid notes his belief that the issues raised over the Protect IP Act can be resolved.
CNET blogger Don Reisinger notes that the bills are hardly dead and that while a battle was lost a war continues.
Nate Anderson at Ars Technica reports that Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, a major opponent of the Protect IP Act, claiming that Internet policy should not be made on the fly.
Jon Stewart: SOPA Will Drive Us To Libraries "Like A Common Masturbator"
The Daily Show featured not one but two segments on SOPA last night, and with Wikipedia "dark," Jon Stewart had a dickens of a time figuring out just what the hell SOPA means. (What was he supposed to do to learn things, "go to the library like a common masturbator?") And so Stew-Beef reluctantly turned to the "notoriously unreliable news" for answers, discovering, to his horror, that this law could send violators to jail for up to five years for merely streaming copyrighted material.
Any reference librarians get questions that resulted from Wikipedia being down? If so what type of questions did you get? Where you able to answer the questions with your collection?
I have heard from one librarian that they received calls from home school kids that were working on projects and needed a different resource because Wikipedia was down.
Peter Murray writes: "The project that I was seeking feedback on over the fall is seeing the light of day. http://foss4lib.org/ is now open for use by the community. For the Code4Lib audience, this mostly means you can create an account, log in, and create content nodes for specific packages, releases, and events. Seehttp://foss4lib.org/content/adding-information-foss4lib for links on how to get started.
For people or organizations that provide support for open source software in libraries -- implementation consulting, hosting, custom code development, training, etc. -- we especially want to encourage you to sign up and post your availability on the site. One of the overarching goals is to promote an ecosystem of open source support providers for packages that are specific to libraries. So we want to make this registry a better place to go to find those support options over a scattershot Google search. Please note that there is one bit of functionality in the registry that is not done right now. Some software packages have well developed lists of providers and institutions that use the software, and we're not trying to reproduce those in the registry. There is a capability coming that will allow URLs to these community lists to override the provider/using-institution functionality of the registry. More on that soon.
Speaking of additional functionality, I am very interested in hearing ideas about how the registry can advance the goal of supporting open source software in libraries. If you have any, feel free to discuss them here or send me a direct e-mail. A press release about FOSS4LIB will be going out in the next couple of hours, and it will include information about one-hour introductory sessions at Midwinter and webinars later in January and February.
Here's the instructions: -- Read More
Is The Web Really Just Links Or Is It Evolving?
A web of links can be limiting when looking at applications. When looking at reading a news story, links make sense, but reading articles is only part of the web. By looking at the data available, we are starting to create a more interactive and informative web. Sarah Perez at TechCrunch thinks this could be moving towards a web of apps, but that post is more focused on mobile apps. As I said previously, mobile apps tend to be limiting in their own ways.
Amidst SOPA, PIPA Blackouts, Issa Introduces Rival OPEN Act
midst today's Web blackouts, Rep. Darrell Issa formally introduced his SOPA/PIPA alternative, dubbed the OPEN Act.
The bill would call on the International Trade Commission (ITC) to handle overseas "rogue" Web sites rather than the Justice Department.
The bill, H.R. 3782, would allow the ITC to cut off funding from sites found to be trafficking in counterfeit goods, from purses and prescription drugs to DVDs and MP3s.