Friday
Aug092013

Issues Guiding the Cloud in 3 Years Time

David Linthicum writes a bit of 'future history of cloud', identifying three key issues that hold sway in three years.  I buy into two of them.  

I completely agree with his first point: Governance and management, particularly the governance and management of cloud-resident data, will be a driving force, and what cloud promises is the possibility of 'continuous compliance', for at least 80% of the compliance 'debt'.

I agree, for the most part with his third point: Tiered data will be a major focus, though we might think of data and data management to be more about tiered distribution and the optimal placement of authoritative reference data as close to the locus of processing as possible… or the cost-effective use of derivative (meta-data) at the optimal point of processing.  "Tiers" give way to latency zones and the costs (time and money) of reconstituting 'archived' data from object storage built on technologies like erasure encoding.  'It's data tiering, Jim. But not as we know it.'

Where I find it more difficult to agree is with his second point: "Security will be better and more baked in."  David notes in his first sentence that Security will continue to be a concern, despite significant strides. (Check.) Large cloud provides will provide their own features (check.), but third-party security providers will be the 'best' (check.)  Then he states: "Centralized trust" will be the new buzz phrase, and hopefully the standards will be in place to allow for interoperability."  Centralized trust as opposed to distributed and federated trust? Nope.  If I understand his point correctly -- and I'm not positive that I DO -- I would have to go with a different model of trust, individual user or organizational control of access and entitlements to data, and one that relies heavily on an ecosystem of trusted third parties ... identity brokers, security brokers and entitlement brokerages. 

 

What the cloud will look like in 3 years | Cloud Computing - InfoWorld:

If you could jump forward three years, I believe the changes would be more obvious. Here are the key issues a time traveler from today would notice that those who live through it might not see as clearly.
1. Governance and management will be major focuses
The use of the cloud creates the need to manage hundreds, perhaps thousands of services and APIs. …
2. Security will be better and more baked in
Security will continue to be a concern three years from now, even though there will be significant strides made to improve cloud security. Large cloud providers will provide security features right in their cloud, although in many cases third-party providers will offer the best solution, including those dealing with distributed and federated identity management. "Centralized trust" will be the new buzz phrase, and hopefully the standards will be in place to allow for interoperability.
3. Tiered data will be a major focus
In the tiered-data approach, some data will be on premise, such as those where performance or legal concerns require it be local. …

 

Thursday
Aug082013

Digital Spying for the Citizen: Available and Cheap

NYTimes article highlights the relative ease with which a citizen can monitor the digital activities of other citizens.  It's not that this is necessarily legal, and can easily cross the line into the (US) Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.  But, it does demonstrate how easily and inexspensively it can be accomplished.

A Cheap Spying Tool With a High Creepy Factor - NYTimes.com:

Brendan O’Connor is a security researcher. How easy would it be, he recently wondered, to monitor the movement of everyone on the street – not by a government intelligence agency, but by a private citizen with a few hundred dollars to spare?
Mr. O’Connor, 27, bought some plastic boxes and stuffed them with a $25, credit-card size Raspberry Pi Model A computer and a few over-the-counter sensors, including Wi-Fi adapters. He connected each of those boxes to a command and control system, and he built a data visualization system to monitor what the sensors picked up: all the wireless traffic emitted by every nearby wireless device, including smartphones. …

 

Thursday
Aug082013

Linux-based Emulator Runs OS X Applications

OK, this is difficult. Very difficult, and even more difficult to do well.

OS X apps run on Linux with Wine-like emulator for Mac software | Ars Technica:

Linux users who want to run Windows applications without switching operating systems have been able to do so for years with Wine, software that lets apps designed for Windows run on Unix-like systems.
There has been no robust equivalent allowing Mac applications to run on Linux, perhaps no surprise given that Windows is far and away the world's most widely used desktop operating system. A developer from Prague named Luboš Doležel is trying to change that with "Darling," an emulation layer for OS X.
Years of development are needed. Similar to Wine, "Having a list of applications known to be working is probably the best way to go," Doležel said.

 

Thursday
Aug082013

Beginnings of a Battle or a Skirmish in the Patent Wars

An insightful discussion of the impact on standard-essential patents, and the administration's veto of the exclusion order issued by the USITC.

Obama veto leaves patents under a cloud - FT.com:

Those have been the tech industry’s first reactions to last weekend’s rare presidential action in favour of Apple. An exclusion order issued by the US International Trade Commission looked set to bar imports from Asia of some older models of the iPhone and iPad, until Mr Obama stepped in and overruled it.
The case involved Samsung intellectual property that all smartphones rely on to communicate over wireless networks – making it, in the jargon of the industry, a standard-essential patent. Companies with patents such as this have a special responsibility and shouldn’t use them to block rivals, the Obama administration said. The message: owners of such patents just lost a vital bargaining chip.
Three things are likely to flow from this.
The first is that the value of patent portfolios with a heavy element of standard-essential IP in them will fall. The losers are companies like Qualcomm and, ironically, Google; Motorola, which it acquired to get into the patent game, also owns technology foundational to the wireless industry. Licensees may seek to scrap old agreements if they think they could now negotiate lower licensing fees.

The second result of the Obama veto is that the smartphone patent wars are likely to drag on longer than they otherwise would have – though there is also less danger that they will turn out to be disruptive for consumers.
The third outcome is harder to predict. It relates to the longer-term changes in behaviour in the tech industry that will result from resetting the rules around patent enforcement – in particular, what impact it will have on the emergence of new technology markets.

 

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