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December 19, 2011
Volume XXXVII, Issue 9


Phoenix Marketing International (PMI) is conducting new research to be presented during the CONTENT IN THE CLOUD Conference within CES at the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 11th. PMI is interviewing industry leaders about cloud-based media storage and delivery, as well as related cloud-computing solutions that are currently gaining momentum.

What opportunities do these trends create for respondents' businesses? How fast are companies really moving to the cloud (or not)? In order for cloud-based systems to thrive, what groundswell in consumer needs must be satisfied? What core drivers exist or need to be cultivated?

Emerging cloud-based entertainment also presents fundamental challenges to existing business models. How are companies integrating changes, and what are their biggest roadblocks in the near term?

Estimates also will be gathered on the amount of effort currently focused on cloud-based solutions in this space. What are the key issues associated with making on-demand, always-accessible, cloud-based entertainment delivery systems profitable?

Do respondents see cloud delivery and traditional ways of doing business coexisting indefinitely? Ultimately, what percentage of delivery will be cloud-based and how long will it take for the market to get there?

The DCIA was also thrilled last week to announce that Rackspace's Startup Liaison Officer, Robert Scoble, will moderate the closing panel of our conference. Robert is a different kind of Racker, who has already re-energized Rackspace with Building43, a place for people fanatical about the Internet.

Rackspace describes Building43 as "a place where thought leaders can talk about what is working and what is not, what is next and what is hype. Cloud computing is one of these hot topics. The world needs a place where it can be discussed. Where the concepts can gain clarity. And, its benefits will be on display. Not from the company's perspective but from Robert's, and the community he builds..."

If you still haven't registered for the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), please click here to sign-up.

Then look for the "Add to Cart" button as you browse the 2012 Conference Program to find the CONTENT IN THE CLOUD Conference at CES and other sessions or tracks you want to attend. When you're ready to check out, the system will tabulate the best purchase option based on your choices.

DCIA Backs Online Protection & Enforcement (OPEN) Act

The Distributed Computing Association (DCIA) today joins with a coalition of nine of the most highly regarded global Internet companies in backing the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade (OPEN) Act, a replacement for both PIPA and SOPA, potentially harmful and destructive measures that the US Congress should abandon without further delay.

The new and significantly improved legislative proposal was announced last week by Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA).

Industry proponents of the Wyden-Issa bill so far include AOL, eBay, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Mozilla, Twitter, Yahoo, and Zynga; and we encourage other companies to join in supporting this superior alternative.

We favor Senator Wyden and Congressman Issa's measure because, unlike PIPA and SOPA, it provides for the prosecution of unlawful behavior by foreign websites without inflicting collateral damage on legitimate, law-abiding US Internet companies, and because it addresses the issue of global jurisdiction in an appropriate and realistic manner.

PIPA and SOPA prompt domestic court orders forcing search engines to stop returning links to websites merely accused of being associated with copyright infringement by their users.

And these misguided proposals would allow the US government to obtain orders banning Internet service providers (ISPs) from putting through traffic to domain names of accused sites, which (although this could be easily circumvented by copyright infringers using numerical addresses) could cause a security breach that ultimately would be devastating to the net.

The OPEN Act does not instigate court orders requiring search engines to stop indexing sites or demanding that service providers stop putting through traffic to URLs.

The legislation empowers the International Trade Commission (ITC) to take action against foreign websites committing copyright infringement, a more suitable body for such an endeavor than the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

Report from CEO Marty Lafferty

Photo of CEO Marty LaffertyThe House Judiciary spent several hours Thursday and Friday on a "Full Committee Markup" of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a woefully misguided measure that ominously threatens to impair both the current operation and future development of the Internet.

To the chagrin of Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX), the untoward SOPA debate increasingly and at times in astonishing ways discredited the US House of Representatives.

DCINFO readers who had the opportunity to attend this bizarre proceeding, whether in-person or online, came away stunned at the depth of ignorance repeatedly displayed by participating lawmakers - that they themselves often acknowledged - regarding the most rudimentary aspects of the vital technology that would be negatively impacted were Congress to move ahead with this ill-conceived piece of legislation.

As the Washington Post opined, this was like watching a gaggle of rank amateurs guilelessly trying to perform open-heart surgery on an unwitting patient who would have run screaming from the operating room given the slightest opportunity.

There is a multitude of policy reasons why SOPA is bad, but the most glaring of these is that not only does this measure fail to provide a credible deterrent to online infringement, but it also creates the unprecedented threat of an oppressive regime of web censorship.

If passed, SOPA would allow content rights-holders to demand that Internet service providers (ISPs) block access to websites that content companies merely accuse of being associated with alleged copyright infringement by site visitors; and further, require credit-card companies, online advertising systems, etc. to cut-off the revenue streams that support the targeted websites, even if the charges ultimately prove to be unfounded.

And the bill, which was sponsored by record labels and other backward-looking Hollywood interests, is much worse than that. It potentially undermines the fundamental operation of the Internet by cavalierly destroying the integrity of DNS.

For this reason, it is strongly opposed by some of the most highly respected Internet companies in the world, including Google, Facebook, Twitter, as well as broadband network operators and the vast majority of other companies whose businesses rely on cloud computing and the web.

The DCIA earlier endorsed a letter to Congress from the engineers responsible for creating the Internet, who pointed out that even more disturbing than the bad policy implications of web censorship, this bill would jeopardize cyber-security, balkanize the Internet, create uncertainty throughout the technology sector, and stifle innovation.

We were frankly appalled that the House Judiciary Committee, which failed to hold a single hearing on SOPA, also chose totally to ignore the concerns of qualified experts.

Even many committee members themselves were dismayed by the very dubious process. "Why is there this rush to judgment?" asked Congressman Dan Lungren (R-CA). "I have rarely been part of a committee where we have not had technical experts to deal with major concerns."

"Haste makes waste," exclaimed Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA) at one point in frustration.

What is going on here? How can legislators turn a deaf ear to those who actually developed the enormously valuable technology and economic engine that would be so drastically affected and negatively impacted by their irresponsible actions?

Here's a clue from ZDNet's David Gewirtz:

"Two of the people responsible for writing the incredibly dangerous and un-American SOPA and PIPA bills, the key writer for the House version and the key writer for the Senate version, have just accepted high-paid positions for two of the lobbying organizations sponsoring these bills.

According to Politico, Deputy Chief of Staff to the House Judiciary Chairman Allison Halataei and Senate Judiciary Committee Senior Aide Lauren Pastarnack have accepted gigs with two of the lobbying firms that stand to gain the most from the passage of these regressive, First Amendment squelching, due process destroying, job killing bills.

Now that she helped write the bill and get it into consideration, Halataei is officially the National Music Publishers Association's (NMPA) Chief Liaison to Congress. Pastarnack meanwhile scored a juicy gig as the Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) Director of Government Relations."

Gewirtz goes on:

"Chris Dodd served as a US Senator from 1981 through 2011, a total of 30 years. Despite claiming repeatedly that he would never accept a lobbying position, the esteemed former Democrat Senator from Connecticut is now the Chairman and CEO of the MPAA.

So, now you know a little more about the sausage grinding that occurs as part of the legislative process. That does not excuse Halataei, Pastarnack, and Dodd for trading their responsibilities to the American public for nicer cars and bigger houses.

There are actually two outrages here. One is that they'd essentially sell out to two declared enemies of Internet freedoms.

But the second outrage is we don't really know if they actually sold influence. We don't know if, for example, the MPAA promised Pastarnack a high-paying job if she influenced the bill in just a certain way, while working for the United States Senate.

We just don't know if they did anything unethical. But we do know it looks mighty fishy. And that's just plain disappointing."

Content providers already have laws requiring that websites take-down copyright infringing material promptly upon notice. Why do they need additional and impossibly over-reaching powers to cut-off access to entire web domains?

And based on what? Merely the accusation that a site's visitor may have been involved in a possible instance of copyright infringement?

The Thursday afternoon installment of the SOPA debate was even more surreal and troubling than the morning session. And in the end, the vote on SOPA wasn't blocked by substantive or even procedural issues, but ironically enough, by a snarky post on Twitter.

If you missed this spectacle, CBS News recounts in detail the incredibly juvenile behavior of Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Congressman Steve King (R-IA), and how use of the "o word" was what ultimately derailed the highly embarrassing SOPA mark-up.

No vote was taken on the bill, but twenty amendments - ranging from one proposed by Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) that would have excluded non-profit research firms and academic institutions from having, at their own expense, to also blacklist accused websites to another that would more realistically have targeted static domain names rather than dynamic IP addresses - were all defeated in what became an absurd parody of legislative process.

We commend Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), whose understated observation, amidst an otherwise hyperbolic circus-like atmosphere, made basic sense. "We never tried to filter the telephone networks to block content, yet that is precisely what this legislation would do to the Internet."

We urge Congresswomen Lofgren to lead an exodus of Members of Congress away from SOPA, which deserves to be abandoned, and toward the OPEN Act, which should be supported as a viable option to this travesty. Share wisely, and take care.

Cloud Computing Will Spawn Storage Revolution in 2012 

Excerpted from CenterBeam Report 

With many predicting a breakout year for cloud computing across businesses in 2012, one company is predicting that the cloud will create a "storage revolution" in the new year. Symform released its top cloud and storage predictions and said, based on industry trends and insights from customers and others in the industry, the year will be all about storing, accessing, securing, and managing data. "Globally, the volume of data is growing at an accelerating, record pace. It is simply not possible for companies or service providers to continue managing and storing data with traditional local or offsite methodologies," said Matthew Schiltz, CEO of Symform.

"This massive data growth combined with the high cost and reliability issues surrounding traditional offsite storage will force a revolution in the industry, as companies push to get greater ROI from existing infrastructure and take a more strategic view of their data." An IDC study from earlier this year predicts that by 2020 data will grow by 50 times the amount it is now, and this surge will be driven by embedding systems.

Cloud computing will most likely play a large role in storing much of this data.

Dear Congress: It's No Longer OK to Not Know How the Internet Works

Excerpted from Mother Board Report by Joshua Kopstein

Since its introduction, SOPA and its Senate twin PIPA have been staunchly condemned by countless engineers, technologists, and lawyers intimately familiar with the inner functioning of the Internet.

Completely beside the fact that these bills as they currently stand would stifle free speech and potentially cripple legitimate businesses by giving corporations extra-judicial censorial powers, they have found an even more insidious threat: The method of DNS filtering proposed to block supposed infringing sites opens up enormous security holes that threaten the stability of the Internet itself.

The only problem: Key members of the House Judiciary Committee still don't understand how the Internet works, and worse yet, it's not clear whether they even want to. Please click here for this full report.

Global Consumer Internet Traffic to Surge

Excerpted from Times of India Report

Global consumer Internet traffic (GCIT) is expected to reach 60 exabytes per month by 2015 and the compound annual growth rate in GCIT for the period between 2010 and 2015 is expected to reach 34%, said AK Karunakar, postdoctoral researcher at Athlone Institute of Technology, Athlone, Co-Westmeath, Ireland.

"Year 2015 will witness 80 exabytes of wired and wireless GCIT per month,'' he said delivering a talk on "scalable video delivered over peer-to-peer (P2P) networks" at the International Conference on Advanced Computing, Networking and Security (ADCONS - 2011) organized by the department of Computer Science and Engineering of NITK at Surathkal, India on Friday.

Go, Go Physics! Huawei Tests Gigabit DSL

Excerpted from GigaOM Report by Stacey Higginbotham

Copper, it just won't die. Chinese equipment vendor Huawei has shown it can take copper DSL and push it to Gigabit speeds over short distances, the company said on Wednesday. OM wrote about efforts to do this all the way back in 2006, and we have covered several advances in DSL speeds since, from 100 Mbps to 300 Mbps to Wednesday's news.

Huawei's prototype gear uses time division duplexing to achieve a total upstream and downstream rate of a Gigabit over a single twisted pair. This means new cable won't be required to wire the home, reducing operator time and expense. Huawei says its Giga DSL gear only transmits those speeds for 100 meters, so it clearly envisions this being used for the last few feet, with fiber being laid to the curb or to the building. Here's what Huawei said in its release:

By using low-power spectral density in-signal transmission, Huawei's Giga DSL prototype reduces radiation interference and power consumption, and provides a total upstream and downstream rate of one Gb/s within 100 meters, and 500 Mb/s-plus within 200 meters - making it a cost-effective option for telecom operators building ultra-broadband access networks.

Huawei also recently announced the successful development of the world's first node level vectoring (NLV) prototype. Huawei's vectoring product provides 100 Mbps access over a single twisted pair in FTTC/FTTB, and has been tested and commercially trialed with many leading telecom operators. This, along with the company's latest prototype, Giga DSL, signifies that DSL technology still has great potential to meet the requirements of broadband users for ultra-high-speed access in the future.

This type of breakthrough could help cost-conscious operators such as AT&T gradually extend their fiber networks closer to the edge without doing an utter rip and replace, as Verizon did with its FiOS expansion. It also means copper will still be with us for a while. Huawei access products are now providing service to more than a third of the world's broadband users.

OECD Calls on Members to Defend Internet Freedoms

Excerpted from NY Times Report by Eric Pfanner

As a rising tide of digital dissent raises alarms in many capitals around the world, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on Tuesday called on member countries to "promote and protect the global free flow of information" online.

The OECD, a group of 34 developed countries, urged policy makers to support investment in digital networks and to take a light touch on regulation, saying this was essential for promoting economic growth via the Internet.

"It's really a milestone in terms of making a statement about openness," said Karen Kornbluh, the US ambassador to the OECD. "You can't really get the innovation you need in terms of creating jobs unless we work together to protect the openness of the Internet."

The approval of the recommendations by the OECD council builds on a communique issued at a meeting in June, when the broad outlines of the policy were drawn up. The guidelines are not binding, but are intended to work through the power of persuasion. Also, the Internet recommendations will from now on be included among the criteria for assessing candidates for membership in the OECD, which is based in Paris.

While the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street and other movements have shown the potential of the Internet for organizing political protest, there has also been a backlash, with a number of governments stepping up their efforts to crack down on free speech in the digital sphere.

China, which has long blocked access to websites deemed to be "undesirable," said recently that it would step-up monitoring of social media, messaging services, and other forums in an effort to crack down on the publishing of "harmful information." India has asked Internet companies and social media sites to pre-screen user contributions to remove disparaging, inflammatory, or defamatory content, according to Internet company executives.

In Russia there were reports of a crackdown on web-borne dissent before and after parliamentary elections this month. Russia was one of a number of countries that blocked the adoption of a US-backed declaration of online freedoms this month at a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Russian officials, along with those of some developing countries, have made no secret of their desire to regulate the Internet at an international level, under the auspices of the International Telecommunications Union, a United Nations agency. The OECD document, by contrast, endorses the existing, dispersed model of Internet governance, under which governments, business organizations, and groups representing Internet users all have a say.

The move by the OECD on Tuesday "validates, defends and promotes an Internet model that is not government led, but led by the technical community and the private sector," said Markus Kummer, Vice President for Public Policy at the Internet Society, whose members include technology companies and educational institutions. "I think it is timely to remember some basic cornerstones, when there is increased pressure on governments to get involved in a more hands-on way."

Some OECD members' policies have also come under scrutiny, especially measures aimed at cracking down on unauthorized sharing of digital music and other media. Campaigners for an open Internet have criticized the French approach to fighting online infringement, which includes the threat of disconnecting persistent violators' Internet connections.

In the United States, meanwhile, Internet companies like Google are campaigning against Congressional proposals that could require them to block links to websites accused of facilitating infringement.

The music and movie industries say tougher action is needed to stop piracy. But opponents of the measures say they could be used to stifle legitimate political speech, not just copyright theft.

Among other things, the OECD recommendation urges policy makers to "limit Internet intermediary liability" - that is, to shield Internet companies from responsibility for the content that they carry. Under existing US laws, Internet companies have a so-called safe harbor if they take-down copyright violations when they are informed of them.

"Congress is proposing solutions that are inconsistent with the OECD principles," said Leslie Harris, President of the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) in Washington, DC.

President Barack Obama has not taken a position on the bills, but members of his administration have been outspoken in their defense of free speech on the Internet.

"The right to express one's views, practice one's faith, peacefully assemble with others to pursue political or social change - these are all rights to which all human beings are entitled, whether they choose to exercise them in a city square or an Internet chat room," the US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, said last week at an Internet conference in the Netherlands.

"And just as we have worked together since the last century to secure these rights in the material world, we must work together in this century to secure them in cyberspace."

Strong Sales Expected in Cloud Computing

Excerpted from CNBC Report by Lauren Coleman

As we begin to look ahead toward 2012, one of the biggest opportunities in technology is the business of cloud computing. In fact, respected technology research firm Gartner just released its top 11 predictions for 2012, which included not only a strong forecast of increased revenue for the cloud industry but also indicated that the game will change significantly in just a few months.

Gartner forecasts that new, low-cost cloud services will actually overtake up to 15 percent of the current top outsourcing players during the coming year.

And while much of that will be targeted to commercial services for the cloud, savvy businesses are looking ahead to the consumer potential for cloud usage. In fact, agile innovators such as QVIVO are beginning to appear in the marketplace and are poised to shake up the cloud industry.

Entering the market initially as a popular media content management center several months ago, QVIVO rattled the industry by announcing a major expansion this week: its popular media centers apps are now in sync with the newly developed QVIVO Cloud - with an unlimited offering to users. Via this system a potential consumer's entire personal media collection of film, music, and television favorites can be accessed by the owner to share and stream among all devices with the QVIVO app installed.

Liam McCallum,QVIVO Founder and Executive Producer explains, "With its ease-of-use and stunning full-screen interface QVIVO has always excelled at streaming your media collection around the home; but with our mobile apps releasing this holiday season, it's time to unveil the QVIVO Cloud featuring unlimited Cloud storage. Uploads are lightening fast, and all the heavy lifting of converting files to right formats is done automatically for users in the QVIVO Cloud."

This technology company not only automatically imports users media files but organizes them into slick libraries complete with cover art, trailers and even subtitles - ready to play and stream around the home or on the go via the QVIVO Cloud.

Jon Niermann, QVIVO Co-Founder, adds, "What's really exciting about QVIVO is how it keeps the whole family's media library in sync without the need to push huge files to each device. I can pause a movie on my PC and automatically resume it on my Mac." But the real news about this Cloud is that it is the first of its type to be platform agnostic: the first to work across

Android and iPhone platforms, unlike iCloud. And unlike both Google Music and iCloud, QVIVO boasts that it can identify, upload, and stream any video file in the marketplace. It is also available to global users, unlike Google Music.

"With its recent focus on the cloud, QVIVO seems to have struck a chord with users who want their person media collections available anytime, anywhere." McCallum adds, "With over 100k users quickly signing up, we're thrilled with the interest so far."

It seems cloud based media lockers are gaining traction with consumers all over the world, and with no other major cloud based locker services offering video it seems QVIVO could garner a healthy early market share. Indeed, Don Goldberg a partner at BlueText, a marketing and communications company specializing in the cloud industry explains, "I would say that consumers have no idea what the cloud means for them.

For example, consumers don't associate Gmail and similar e-mail services with cloud computing. From that perspective, smaller and more nimble companies will come up with better ideas for consumer-friendly services--including photo access, music services, even password and privacy solutions leaving the larger companies in the dust." And potentially scooping up a good bit of the estimated $16.7 billion dollar cloud computing revenue forecast, as per The 451 Group.

QVIVO's disruptive business models seems to be compelling but only time will tell. McCallum explains, "Two, five or even fifty gigabyte plans seem fine for music and documents but when you start adding video into the mix your customers will quickly grow tired of managing their storage limits. We thought we'd change the game with no storage limits." To help them enter the market, a mix of Asia Pacific based angel investors have raised $1M in seed capital. QVIVO is currently undergoing it's first Series A round of funding to accelerate its growth.

But it surely won't be a cake walk for any business planning for success in this industry. According to Drexel University's Ashley Podhradsky, Assistant Professor of Computing and Security Technology, data demonstrates that there are several areas of security concerns that consumers have regarding cloud computing. He says, "Consumers are concerned with both physical and logical access security with their data. First, consumers want to be certain that the physical location of their data is secure. Consumers want to be assured that cloud providers are employing and testing their security architecture plans and policies. They are equally concerned about data loss and data leakage, nefarious use of cloud computing resources, and data privacy laws and regulations. Given this, it is my belief that consumers may need more time to build up confidence on cloud use for personal data."

Perhaps, but if the early interest in QVIVO and other cloud service providers are any indications; the public may not only meet but exceed the strong business forecasts for this hot, new arena for years to come.

Megaupload Sues Universal for Sham Take-Down Notices

Excerpted from Online Media Daily Report by Wendy Davis

Universal Music Group made a bogus copyright infringement claim in order to suppress a clip touting Megaupload, the file-hosting site alleges in a lawsuit against the record label.

The clip, "Mega Song," features a host of celebrities like Sean Combs, Kim Kardashian, Chris Brown, and Will.i.a. endorsing Megaupload - one of the cyberlocker companies that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has said is responsible for online copyright infringement.

The Mega Song appeared on YouTube on Friday, where it quickly garnered more than 285,900 views, according to the court papers.

Several hours later, however, the clip was removed and replaced with a notice stating that it was taken down due to a copyright infringement allegation.

Megaupload disputes the copyright infringement allegations and argues in court papers that the take-down notices were "shams," aimed at suppressing the endorsements.

"UMG has chosen to sabotage Megaupload's promotional campaign, effectively censoring our ability to convey our message with our own original content, including that a significant number of today's top recording artists actively support our services," Kim Dotcom, Chief Innovation Officer of Megaupload, says in papers filed with the federal court in San Jose, CA.

Ira Rothken, Megaupload's attorney, adds: "They're just trying to chill speech they don't like."

Universal said in a statement that the dispute is about the "unauthorized use" of a performance. "This is an on-going dispute that surfaced several weeks ago with respect to the unauthorized use of a performance from one of our artists. We heard from a number of our other artists (and their representatives) who told us they've never consented to being portrayed in this video," the company stated.

So far, Universal hasn't clarified whether its complaint centered on copyright infringement or unauthorized use of a celebrity's name and likeness. But if the basis of Universal's complaint was a violation of artists' "right of publicity" - that is, their right to control the commercial use of their image - a take-down notice asserting copyright infringement would be improper, says Santa Clara University law professor Eric Goldman.

For its part, Megaupload says that it didn't violate copyright or the celebrities' right of publicity. Dotcom says in court papers that everyone appearing in the clip signed a release. Megaupload is seeking a declaratory judgment that it doesn't infringe copyright, an injunction banning Universal from asserting copyright infringement claims regarding the clip, and monetary damages.

The Imminent Rise of Social Cloud Computing

Excerpted from MIT Technology Review

Cloud computing is the distribution of services like information storage and processing as if they were utilities, rather like electricity sold over a power grid. The idea is that people use and pay for only as much as they need.

But one problem with this model is trust. How can users be sure that all the nodes in the cloud can be trusted, that there aren't some nodes that are malicious? Such nodes might disrupt information processing tasks by refusing to co-operate or by sending back false data, for instance.

Today, Abedelaziz Mohaisen and pals at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN suggest a fix. They say one solution is to distribute tasks only to people you trust, as defined by your social network.

Their idea is to ask members of a social network to make their computers available for processing tasks when the computers are not otherwise being used, rather in the manner of distributed computing programs such as SETI@Home. Then whenever a user outsources a task, the burden is passed to their friends; in other words, to nodes directly connected to them on their social network.

In essence, Mohaisen and company are saying that if you share your photos, videos, and life events with other people on a social network, you will also trust them to store and process information for you, too. That seems reasonable.

But how would such a system work? These guys have also modeled the way such a distributed computing system would schedule, distribute, and complete tasks in several real-world networks.

One interesting result is that social networks seem to be well matched to the task in hand. These networks ensure that tasks are distributed in way that most of them can be completed relatively quickly, provided that fewer than 30 per cent of users are outsourcing at any one time.

Whether that will turn out to be the case in a real network, we'll have to wait and see.

If this idea takes off, it won't be the first time that social networks have been used as a backbone for other tasks. Examples include information sharing, anonymous communications, and so-called Sybil defenses in which malicious users can be spotted on the basis that they are likely to have few friends.

So it seems reasonable to imagine that a distributed computing service could piggyback on an existing social network too and that a company like Facebook might consider such a business model with interest.

Cloud Computing Comes to the Videogame World 

Excerpted from CenterBeam Report 

A new videogame application by OnLive will bring cloud computing into the tablet and smart-phone gaming world. "Tablets and smart-phones, the fastest-growing consumer product categories in history, are now capable of running the hottest, highest-end games," according to OnLive Founder and CEO Steve Perlman, who added that through the app, tablet and smart-phone users can play console favorites such as "LA Noir" and "Assassin's Creed."

"Gaming and mobile devices will never be the same." So far, 25 games have been adopted for the app, the company said. There are also many other games that will be available to play that are non-console games. The games will not require long downloads or discs to install, even if the device a person owns isn't top notch. After seeing a demonstration, The NY Times said it seemed the games worked better with the specially made controller, but the cloud computing gaming app still was less expensive than buying a gaming system. The news source said support from the gaming world will make or break this app.

Sony, Universal, Fox Caught Pirating Competitors' Content Online 

Excerpted from Tom's Guide Report

The torrent download tracking website YouHaveDownloaded has revealed that Sony Pictures and other Hollywood studios are acquiring copyright infringing entertainment content.

TorrentFreak has discovered that online pirates reside within the likes of Sony Pictures Entertainment, Fox Entertainment, and NBC Universal despite their extreme legal efforts to stamp out copyright infringement on the Internet. TorrentFreak stumbled across this revelation after pumping a special torrent detection website, the Russian-based YouHaveDownloaded, full of Hollywood's IP addresses.

According to the tracker website, Culver City, CA based Sony Pictures Entertainment has downloaded the new "Conan the Barbarian" movie, "Lonely Boy" by the Black Eyed Peas, and a handful of other pirated files. TorrentFreak points out that YouHaveDownloaded only tracks a small percentage of public BitTorrent downloads, so there's a good chance Sony employees are leeching even more unauthorized content from the Internet.

The Russian tracking site also reveals that NBC Universal employees residing in Fort Lauderdale, FL have downloaded a DVD rip of "Cowboys and Aliens," the entire first season of "Game of Thrones," some trance music and much, much more. Valley Village, CA-based Fox Entertainment shows one downloaded file: "Super 8."

Music royalty collecting agency Buma/Stemra reportedly downloaded an episode of "Entourage" and a copy of "Battlefield 3."

Buma/Stemra later claimed that its IP address was "spoofed." Sure it was.

Cloud Computing: Technology's Next Big Thing

Excerpted from Long Island Business News Report by Pedram Tabibi

Recently, I attended the Long Island Software and Technology Network's Tech Melt 2011 at the Grand Ballroom at the Garden City Hotel entitled Lost in the Clouds - Why Cloud Computing. Event sponsors included CA Technologies, Chase Commercial Banking, Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein & Breitstone, Microsoft, Motorola, Stony Brook University and Verizon, among other sponsors.

The distinguished panel spoke on the subject of cloud computing, what it is, where it is headed, and its implications. The panel consisted of an impressive array of individuals with decades of IT experiences at top companies, including Microsoft, HP, Gardner Consulting, and CA. Each speaker had a solid understanding of cloud computing and gave unique insight of what cloud computing really is and what it means for businesses going forward.

As someone with a high level of interest in technology, and as an attorney who works on matters involving technology, software and e-commerce, as well as matters pertaining to Internet law and social media, I am intrigued by cloud computing.

The problem is that the term "cloud computing" is being used so often nowadays that it is hard to understand exactly what it is and what its implications are. One could easily look at the Wikipedia entry on cloud computing, which defines cloud computing as "the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources are provided to devices as a utility over a network," but this basic definition does not get to the essence and impact of cloud computing.

The panel at the Tech Melt conference was able to provide some excellent insight on cloud computing and really spell out what is means for business - especially small businesses - and what it means for the economy going forward. As with other LISTnet conferences, which are always well attended, I attended to the Meltzer Lippe booth and had the opportunity to interact with some excellent business leaders.

After opening remarks by LISTnet President Peter Goldsmith, the panel began its discussion on cloud computing. First, there was discussion how cloud computing is a constantly changing technology. It was reiterated by pretty much the entire panel that cloud computing is the next big step in technology. According to one panelist, cloud computing can level the playing field for smaller companies.

The challenge of businesses, especially small businesses these days, is to run a business without actually owning anything. Cloud computing helps make this possible, in the process cutting out a lot of expenses and unnecessary expenditure of time and energy in the process. The real impact in cloud computing is that a startup company can now have all the quality services of a big company by "leveraging the cloud." Cloud computing is as much about people and the way business is done as anything else, and is about putting incredible services in the hands of audiences that never thought about such services before.

It was emphasized throughout the panel's discussion that the impact of cloud computing for small businesses should be especially big. Small businesses will now have access to services like never before and can really get ahead and utilize the same quality services as any large company. This represents a big paradigm shift and all businesses are wise to embrace it now as cloud computing continues to grow and expand.

Cloud computing means different things to different people. As a consumer, I am using a service from a cloud that someone else is running and paying for this service based on my consumption. Meanwhile, as a provider, a cloud provides efficient, cost effective IT services to clients, and makes the provider a broker of services. The importance of cloud computing to businesses is that it is about accessing and providing services instantly and cost-effectively, whereas years ago, the same would have required high startup costs and lengthy periods of time. Cloud computing solves this issues for businesses due to its low barrier of entry and elasticity.

There was also a good discussion about the security implication of cloud computing and how it must be considered. When putting a service such as software in a cloud, so to speak, a company must test the software for security before putting it in an environment they cannot control. Further, questions remain about where files and data in a cloud end up years down the line. This is a major concern, for example, where proprietary and confidential business information is involved. These questions are likely to increase as cloud computing is used more and more.

According to Microsoft, cloud computing is the biggest shift in technology since the Internet. Some key marks of cloud computing include 1) consumerization - meaning people want individualized services and want them instantly; and 2) the economics of technology - there is more pressure to become competitive, lower costs, and deliver services quickly.

According to Microsoft, the cloud is a service, a utility of sorts. The elasticity of a cloud is what makes economic sense. Cloud computing is a style of computing where scalable, elastic IT services are provided.

The panel also touched upon the economics of cloud computing and the serious impact it will have on businesses and the economy. According to the panel: By 2015, there will be an estimated over $170 billion in revenue in cloud computing, up from $80 billion in 2011. By 2020, cloud computing will eliminate 20 percent of the IT workforce. This was an interesting but sobering statistic, and one that people in the IT field should especially take notice of. With the rise of cloud computing, IT spending as a percentage of operating expenses for businesses recently dropped from 6 percent to 4 percent, meaning businesses are being asked to do more with less now. 83 percent of firms believe they will be doing more than half of their IT services in the cloud by 2020.

The panel added that the most obvious first step when approaching a cloud provider is to ask what service levels the cloud provider can guarantee and demand some measure of service level agreements (SLAs).

All in all, I found the conference to be fascinating and insightful. I learned a great deal about cloud computing that I had not known before. Further, there was an excellent discussion about how cloud computing will impact the way services are provided by businesses and the way businesses - especially small businesses - can now level the playing field with larger and more well-funded companies.

Cloud computing will also have a big impact on the economy and the workforce in the next decade. The IT industry should undoubtedly keep an eye on this impact. I look forward to learning more about cloud computing and encourage everyone to become more well informed and familiar with it. This way, individuals and businesses may take advantage of the service now and well into the future, and not become lost in the clouds.

Coming Events of Interest

2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) - January 10th-13th in Las Vegas, NV. With more than four decades of success, the International CES reaches across global markets, connects the industry and enables CE innovations to grow and thrive. This is the world's largest consumer technology tradeshow. 

CONTENT IN THE CLOUD at CES - January 11th in Las Vegas, NV. Gain a deeper understanding of the impact of cloud-delivered content on specific segments and industries, including consumers, telecom, media, and CE manufacturers.

State of the Net Conference - January 17th-18th in Washington, DC. Unparalleled opportunities to network and engage on key policy issues at the largest information technology (IT) policy conference in the US and the only tech policy conference routinely recognized for its balanced blend of academics, consumer groups, industry, and government. 

Cloud Connect - February 13th-16th in Santa Clara, CA. The premier technology event for cloud computing, features the latest technologies, platforms, strategies, and innovations within cloud computing.

Cloud Computing Imperative 2012 - March 12th in Dubai, UAE. Strategies to implement IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, and XaaS. Plan the shift of IT responsibilities, get fresh perspective on managing project budgets, build a strong ROI for cloud computing, understand the shift from managed services to the cloud, master the cloud infrastructure and see cloud security from a hacker's perspective.

2012 NAB Show - April 14th-19th in Las Vegas, NV. From Broadcasting to Broader-casting, the NAB Show has evolved over the last eight decades to continually lead this ever-changing industry. From creation to consumption, the NAB Show has proudly served as the incubator for excellence in helping to breathe life into content everywhere. 

CLOUD COMPUTING CONFERENCE at NAB - April 16th in Las Vegas, NV. Don't miss this full-day conference focusing on the impact of cloud computing solutions on all aspects of production, storage, and delivery of television programming and video.

Copyright 2008 Distributed Computing Industry Association
This page last updated December 24, 2011
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