In the Cloud We Trust?

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					                                                                                                                                                                      InformationToday            13
                                                                                                                                                                        www.infotoday.com   March 2009




                                                                                                unsubscribed, leaving behind a collection        Twitter, which brings
       Focus on Publishing                                                                      of startups that never grew up.                  me to the point of the
                                                                                                   As a result, many startup companies           Web 2.0 effect.

In the Cloud We Trust?                                                                          appear to be hoping (and maybe hoped
                                                                                                from the beginning) that Microsoft or
                                                                                                Google will buy them and send them to
                                                                                                                                                    Previously, there
                                                                                                                                                 was at least an effort
                                                                                                                                                 to create web-based
by ROBIN PEEK   |                                to-text notes with their mobile devices. I     the promised land, where economic rules          software that people
                                                 signed up for an account and even input-       don’t seem to apply the same way they do         actually wanted to



W
             eb 2.0, webware, and cloud com-     ted the number into my cell phone. Then        in the rest of the world. But Washington         use, at least in theory.
             puting have all offered poten-      I waited for a reason to leave a note, which   state hasn’t been immune to these rav-           Part of the magic of         Robin Peek
             tial users the ultimate entice-     never came, and Jott soon receded from         ages, and even Google has concluded that         Google was that it
ment: free service. This has led to a com-       my memory like so many other cloud-            many of its webware applications will            brought many web-based applications to-
mon mantra among new adopters:“I didn’t          based applications.                            never leave beta form and must go to the         gether in one place and assured users that
know that I needed or even wanted this               But with the world economic downturn       garbage bin.                                     no matter what was to come, those appli-
service, but it’s free, so I must try it.”       came the end of the Golden Age of the                                                           cations would be there for them.
   And even when the initial enthusiasm          Cloud, and dark storms began to loom,                                                              That turned out to be wrong as eco-
of having a new gee-whiz toy to play with        demonstrating the fragile underpinnings
                                                                                                The Bean Counters Cometh                         nomic realities hit Google too. New CFO
wears off, these accounts are easy to hold       of this rather mythical digital place. Soon        The first time we had a dot-com bust,        Patrick Pichette has been credited by
on to because of the price or lack thereof       many cloud services began sending a bar-       it was caused, in hindsight, by greed and        many for bringing a new discipline to
(unless, of course, the insidious emails and     rage of emails begging, cajoling, and even     foolishness. Pets.com’s famous sock puppet       the company that includes laying off re-
pop-ups begging you to upgrade finally           offering users $5 Starbucks gift certifi-      would cheerily chirp the motto, “Because         cruiters and reducing cafeteria services
break through the annoyance barrier).            cates to ensure another chance. Eventually,    pets can’t drive,” failing to note, however,     among other things.
   Now I will admit that when a new tech-        more emails were sent, this time stating       that pets also can’t type. Although now, in         The first Google service on the chop-
nological gadget comes along, my curios-         that advertising revenues were no longer       its current iteration, the site (powered by      ping block was Google Video, which some-
ity usually gets the best of me. Case in         enough, and users would be charged to          Petsmart.com) does let pets set up their         how held on even after the acquisition of
point: Jott Networks, Inc.’s Jott service,       use the services they weren’t using in the     own blogs and write in the first person. I’ve
which lets users send themselves voice-          first place. Many users said so long and       also been informed that pets can now use                             (continued on page 14)



       Internet Waves                                                                                  Legal Issues

So You Think You   Copyright Office to
Know the Internet? Consider DMCA Exemptions                                                     by GEORGE H. PIKE   |                            troversial provision
by SHIRLEY DUGLIN KENNEDY    |                   8.   The Dancing Baby was also known                                                            that prohibits the cir-



                                                                                                D
                                                      as what?                                            igital Rights Management (DRM)         cumvention of DRM



I
        hate to generalize, folks, but the                                                                systems are a fact of life for copy-   systems by those who
                                                 9.   What does AYBABTU stand for?
        more of these questions you can an-                                                               righted digital content. DVDs and      use copyrighted con-
        swer, the less of a life you probably    10. True or false: “Smilies” were              Blu-ray Discs, licensed and CD-ROM data-         tent. The penalty for
have (and you might be pretty old too).              invented in 1982 by Scott                  bases, downloaded/streamed music and             a violation of this
                        Of course, I’m the           E. Fahlman, a professor at                 video, and even some audio CDs all have          section can be up to
                        one who came up              Carnegie Mellon University.                DRM systems in place to prevent unau-            $500,000 and 5 years
                        with this collection.                                                   thorized access to the content. DRM sys-         in prison. Critics of         George H. Pike
                                                 11. What other animal makes
                        So what does that                                                       tems are so common that Apple recently           this provision see it
                                                     an appearance in “Badger
                        say about me?                                                           made a big splash by announcing that             as a way of creating even more difficulty for
                                                     Badger Badger”?
                            Don’t answer that.                                                  music downloaded through its iTunes              and intimidation of those who want to ex-
                        Instead, test your       12. What company created the                   store would soon be sold without any             ercise their fair use and other access rights.
                        internet IQ by tak-          Subservient Chicken?                       DRM restrictions.                                    However, the DMCA permits the U.S.
                        ing a stab at an-
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: Web 2.0, Webware, and cloud computing have all offered potential users the ultimate enticement: free service. But with the world economic downturn came the end of the Golden Age of the Cloud, and dark storms began to loom, demonstrating the fragile underpinnings of this rather mythical digital place. Many startup companies appear to be hoping that Microsoft or Google will buy them and send them to the promised land, where economic rules don't seem to apply the same way they do in the rest of the world. But Washington state hasn't been immune to these ravages, and even Google has concluded that many of its Webware applications will never leave beta form and must go to the garbage bin.
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