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.
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-
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