Just A Thought About A Cloud Internet

Cloud computing comes to NERSC

Cloud computing comes to NERSC (Photo credit: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

On Monday, I flipped through Flipboard and couldn’t understand why halfway through Flipboard threw a tantrum.  The tantrum went on a long time, and so I had to refrain from using Flipboard until late in the night, adhering to eastern standard time.  Today, the New York Times’ “Amazon Cloud Service Goes Down and Takes Popular Sites With It” piece confirmed Flipboard’s Monday tantrum.  Of course, not only Flipboard but other huge, gigantic kind of services that use Amazon for cloud services had also experienced the Monday case.  Monday, Amazon acknowledged that cloud servers experienced degraded performance and problems with the Northern Virginia data center(according to the New York Times).

I’m making a big deal of this incident is to point out that cloud services (as in singular) isn’t invulnerable to outage.  In fact, I believe (but not knowing for sure) that cloud services might have a tendency to breakdown even more since the complication of keeping everything tidying within a cloud is not that simple.  Of course, when a cloud is doing everything right, it can be way more resilient than non-cloud services.

Amazon is one of the biggest cloud players in the market.  Whenever Amazon has cloud problems, it shows that cloud services can be just as vulnerable as non-cloud services.  I think cloud services (as in singular) is more resilient in many ways (e.g., data redundancy, scalable computing, etc…), but whenever it sneezes million of services will catch a cold too.  This prompts me to ask a question, how much bigger a cloud needs to be so that a common cold won’t be powerful enough to infect a cloud?

I imagine, a company Y which provides cloud services to have a backchannel which connects to a cloud infrastructure of company X, and when company Y experiences a cloud cold, company X’s cloud infrastructure would kick in to cure the cold for the cloud of company Y.  The billing will reflect the rescue operation, therefore there is an incentive to setup this sort of backup cloud infrastructure between these gigantic cloud companies.  Imagine this scenario would be interconnected as large as if there is a separate Internet, but this Internet is responsible for cloud services only.

Of course, just like the Internet, if a company isn’t too careful in applying security protections and so forth, a cloud Internet can be just as infectious as the regular Internet.  A cold in a cloud Internet has the ability to infect way many more services than a regular cloud.  If this is the case, why would I think a cloud Internet is better?  Resiliency is the answer if a service does care about not ever going down for a cloud outage.  I think the cloud Internet would definitely be large enough to absorb most cloud outages and allow time for the cloud outages to be fixed and reenergized.  Then again, I might not know what I’m talking about since I’ve never actually operated and engineered a cloud.  (Almost forget to bring this up, perhaps encryption would be the panacea for data security since cloud backchannels might get rather even more murkier in term of who is in charge of whose data.)

Source:  http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/22/amazon-cloud-service-goes-down-and-takes-some-popular-web-sites-with-it/?partner=rss&emc=rss


Google Glasses To Enhance Users’ Normal Sight With Computational Information

The image of Seattle being refracted through m...

The image of Seattle being refracted through myopic glasses (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Google envisions Google glasses which enhances users’ normal sight with computational information.  For an example, when you look up and at the sky, the Google glasses might tell you the weather information.  When you need to use a Google map, just speak out loud and the Google glasses will understand your natural language and pull up a Google map with complete direction.  Turn by turn direction?  Not a problem!  Furthermore, Google glasses can even snap a picture and allow you to either do a voice chat or video chat with friends.  How about email?  Not a problem!  So basically, you can do a lot by just wearing a Google glasses, and the only requirements you ever need are your own voice and the intelligence which understands the information that Google glasses digitally draws onto your normal sight.  The video right after the break will demonstrate Google glasses concept.  I don’t think this is yet a product, but it might be if Google dares to push this concept ahead.

Personally, I think Google glasses will be so distracting that I might get a headache from using it.  Perhaps, if Google does it right, then Google glasses — if become the real product — might not be so bad.  Nonetheless, just thinking about Google glasses and how the information might interfere my normal sight is rather giving me a headache already.  Perhaps, if you can switch between normal sight and enhance sight mode, then it won’t be too bad all the time.  In fact, if you can switch between normal sight and enhance sight, Google glasses might become a super useful eyewear.  Additionally, I think Google glasses can also be very useful for teleconference type of meeting (i.e., more than two or three people meeting up virtually through the use of Google glasses)!

Oh, I can already here you say, can this be the next iPhone?  I don’t see why not if in the near future people rather wear Google glasses than carrying around an iPhone.  Then of course, Google glasses has to allow people dial the phone numbers through voice.  Perhaps, with Google glasses, people might call each other up and see each other too if both users have their Google glasses on at the same time.  Intriguing?  How about the idea of playing games and using all types of apps with Google glasses?  For this to work, Google might have to incorporate Kinect technology or similar technology into Google glasses.  One thing which I’ve a hard time imagining is the large amount of sophisticated technology that will get cram into something as small as a Google glasses.  Can Google do it?  Obviously, we don’t know, but at least we can bet that Google has the cash and the brains to boldly go about figuring this one out!

Just an update to this post!  I think Google glasses might take the argument of privacy to the whole new level.  How come?  If Google or anyone else has the access to how Google glasses stores information, that’s if Google glasses does stores what it sees, then there will be very little privacy one might has when using Google glasses.  Perhaps, people who are interacting with you when you’re wearing Google glasses can get very uncomfortable since they might think that anyone who has access to your Google glasses (besides you of course) can actually spying on them as they are interacting with you either face to face or through the pipe of the Internet.  This reminds us that hackers might love this kind of technology, because if without proper security, hackers can totally have a really close up and intimate kind of access to a Google glasses wearer and the people that interact with the Google glasses wearer.  What do you think?

Google’s Newest Project Yet, Solving The X! If I’m Not Mistaken, This X Might Be Anything And You Might Be A Part Of The Equation!

English: Google Logo officially released on Ma...

Image via Wikipedia

I’m not sure how Solve for X forum would be able to encourage and arrange the average folks who just happen to have brilliant ideas to come together and discuss the stuffs of fantasies that might just fly in real world, but as Steve Jobs’ Apple commercial “Think Different” has been promoting that the crazy ones might be just the kind of people that would positively change the world.  Solve for X is a project which Google has been working on.  Just now Google has released Solve for X’s website and videos.  The website is at wesolveforx.com.  The video right after the break introduces you to Google’s Solve for X project.

Perhaps, Google’s Solve for X might only reach out to the people who may have brilliant ideas to come together and promote what might change the world.  For an example, the X might be something down to earth as finding clean water for the poorest nations to something up in space as in starting a space voyage for humankind.  You never know!  Nonetheless, I don’t know for sure how different Solve for X might be if one compares it against TED.

I hope Solve for X would allow the average folks as your next door neighbor (or even yourself) to participate in the project somehow.  You never know someone out there, perhaps your next door neighbor or even yourself might just happen to have crazy idea that might change the world in a very big way!  Nonetheless, it seems Solve for X does include average folks in its equation somewhat as it allows you to post your own Solve for X talks using Google Plus.  In truth, I haven’t tried to do such a thing, therefore I don’t even know how one would be able to use Google Plus to start a Solve for X talk!  Do you?

Source:  http://tech.slashdot.org/story/12/02/06/2237259/google-solve-for-x-website-goes-live?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign

The Vibrance Of The Internet Would Wither Away Starting With SOPA Passes As Law; The Day The Internet Ceases To Exist Is When More Countries Begin To Form Their Own National Intranets

Turkey internet ban protest 2011

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve a feeling that when SOPA becomes law, it encourages not only the United States but many other countries to eventually form each own national Intranet.  Consequently, the Internet that we know so well at this point in time will cease to exist.  Say what?

Wait, let me backtrack a bit to clarify something so you can see where I’m going with this.  So, how come SOPA will encourage the United States and other countries to form each own national Intranet?  SOPA is a bill which disrespects the vibrance of the Internet.  It encourages the breaking up of the Internet since it implies the United States would easily overlook mistakes on shutting down websites of the world by doing it fast and effective at the DNS level.  Nonetheless, we know that even though United Sates can shut down websites of the world through DNS under SOPA, the websites that are being targeted by SOPA can still easily adopt DNS servers outside of the United States and effectively avoid SOPA effect altogether.  Instead of solving problems of piracy, SOPA encourages nations of the world to form their own SOPA.  By forming their own SOPA, each nation of the world will be able to disrupt foreign websites that are doing business within their nation.  As SOPA leads the way to disrespect the vibrance of the Internet, I think more rules and regulations might follow and lead to a point where each nation of the world will have their own national Intranet.

The day the Internet ceases to exist is when more countries begin to form their own national Intranets.  When the Internet ceases to exist, each nation with their own Intranet can be more effective in regulating, tracking, filtering, firewall-ing, and managing the networks within a nation.  What Intranet does is to prevent people from being able to surf for information, knowledge, educational materials, shopping online, and communicating with others from foreign countries other than the nation itself.  E-commerce of today would cease to be the same.  Intranet would only encourage the exchanges of businesses and consumers within a nation only (i.e., preventing the exchanges of businesses and consumers outside the Intranet), because it will not be effective in firewall-ing people if it cannot prevent people from surfing for whatever that are beyond the scope of the Intranet.  I think it’s critical for SOPA to be stopped at all cost, or else the vibrance of the Internet would wither away starting with SOPA passes as law.

What worse is that only the innocent computer users might be affected by a national Intranet.  Technological savvy users might be able to use alternative technology or hack the national Intranet so they can circumvent the restrictions of a national Intranet.  This might prove the point that an Intranet is anti-business, anti-consumer, anti-innovation, and anti-knowledge-exchange (i.e., educational materials to be limitedly shared only within a nation, consequently preventing the people of the world to exchange educational materials with each other.)  I do feel the openness of the Internet must be protected at all cost, or else the vibrance of the Internet would cease to exist and might be too hard to be revived by then!