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How did we end up with a centralized Internet for the NSA to mine?

By Andy Oram
January 8, 2014

I’m sure it was a Wired editor, and not the author Steven Levy, who assigned the title “How the NSA Almost Killed the Internet” to yesterday’s fine article about the pressures on large social networking sites. Whoever chose the title, …

The Future of Monitoring Data is In the Cloud

By Fred van den Bosch
December 16, 2013

As applications move from on­premise to SaaS, the scale of deployments increases by orders of magnitude (to “web­scale”). At the same time, application development and operation become tightly integrated and continuous deployment brings the frequency of updates down from months …

Four short links: 11 April 2013

By Nat Torkington
April 11, 2013

A General Technique for Automating NES Games — software that learns how to play NES games and plays them automatically, using an aesthetically pleasing technique. With video, research paper, and code. rietveld — open source tool like Mondrian, Google’s code …

Tracking Salesforce’s push toward developers

By Timothy M. O'Brien
October 9, 2012

Have you ever seen Salesforce’s “no software” graphic? It’s the word “software” surrounded by a circle with a red line through it. Here’s a picture of the related (and dancing) “no software” mascot. Now, if you consider yourself a developer, …

Could closed core prove a more robust model than open core?

By Andy Oram
December 1, 2011

The closed core model requires businesses to determine where their unique value lies and to be generous in offering the public extra code that supports their infrastructure but does not drive revenue. This model may prove more robust and lasting than open core, which attracts companies occupying minor positions in their industries.

The Whole Cloud, Part II: Suitability for the Cloud

By George Reese
April 16, 2011

In my discussion of the Whole Cloud, I assumed as fact that a mature cloud computing infrastructure leverages all kinds of clouds. Given the amount of energy put into arguments on the subject, it's obviously not a given to most people. Today, I want to talk about how these different "pieces of cloud" can be integrated together from a decision-making perspective

The Whole Cloud

By George Reese
April 15, 2011

A few companies are currently well positioned to create a view of cloud computing that encompasses all aspects of cloud from IaaS to SaaS, public cloud and private cloud, internal and external. A mature cloud infrastructure, however, will be made up of all pieces of the cloud puzzle.

Four short links: 2 March 2011

By Nat Torkington
March 2, 2011

Unicode in Python, Completely Demystified -- a good introduction to Unicode in Python, which helped me with some code. (via Hacker News) A Ban on Brain-Boosting Drugs (Chronicle of Higher Education) -- Simply calling the use of study drugs "unfair" tells us nothing about why colleges should ban them. If such drugs really do improve academic performance among healthy...

Four short links: 5 January 2011

By Nat Torkington
January 5, 2011

Multi-tenant SaaS Checklist -- if you're used to building single-site web apps, this is a simple overview of the differences when building multi-tenanted web apps. Nominally about Java, ending with a plug for its author's product, but ignore all that and it's still useful. (via Abhishek Tiwari on Twitter) Angel Investing: My First Three Years (Paul Buchheit) -- interesting...

Reaching the pinnacle: truly open web services and clouds

By Andy Oram
December 22, 2010

The merger of free software with cloud and web services is a win-win. The transition will take a buy-in from cloud and SaaS providers, a change in the software development process, a stronger link between computational and data clouds, and new conventions to be learned by clients of the services. (Part 5 of a 5-part series.)

Why web services should be released as free software

By Andy Oram
December 20, 2010

Let's put together a pitch for cloud and web service providers. We have two hurdles to leap: one persuading them how they'll benefit by releasing the source code to their software, and one addressing their fear of releasing the source code.

Why clouds and web services will continue to take over computing

By Andy Oram
December 17, 2010

My long-term view convinces me we all will be in the cloud. The advantages are just too compelling. But what can we do to preserve freedom in the cloud? (Part 3 of a 5-part series.)

Defining clouds, web services, and other remote computing

By Andy Oram
December 15, 2010

Technology commentators are a bit trapped by the term "cloud," which has been kicked and slapped around enough to become truly shapeless. So in this section I'll offer a history of services that have led up to our cloud-obsessed era, hoping to help readers distinguish the impacts and trade-offs created by all the trends that lie in the "cloud."

Resolving the contradictions between web services, clouds, and open source

By Andy Oram
December 13, 2010

A "free software cloud" may seem to be an oxymoron. But I believe that free software and remote computing were made for each other; their future lies together and the sooner they converge, the faster they will evolve and gain adoption. (Part 1 of a 5-part series.)

Four short links: 17 August 2010

By Nat Torkington
August 17, 2010

Demo of Stemming Algorithms -- type in text and see what it looks like when stemmed with different algorithms provided by NLTK. (via zelandiya on Twitter) Crowdmap -- hosted Ushahidi. (via dvansickle on Twitter) Opinions vs Data -- talks about the usability of a new gmail UI element, but notable for this quote from Jakob Nielsen: In my two...

Open source sweeping software firms, bolstering SaaS (interview with Black Duck)

Open source sweeping software firms, bolstering SaaS (interview with Black Duck)
By Andy Oram
April 28, 2010

Free and open source software is profiting from its own maturity, the economic recession, and the comfort level of developers for using the software, and nowhere is open source more important than in Software as a Service.

Report from HIMMS Health IT conference: building or bypassing infrastructure

By Andy Oram
March 5, 2010

lectronic record systems need all kinds of underlying support. Your patient doesn't want to hear, "You need an antibiotic right away, but we'll order it tomorrow when our IT guy comes in to reboot the system." Your accounts manager would be almost as upset if you told her that billing will be delayed for the same reason.

Cloud Services for Every SMB

By George Reese
January 13, 2010

In the cloud computing era, just about every small/medium-sized business task has a cloud-based solution. There's simply no longer any need to own a server, and purchasing desktop software should be the exception and not the rule.

Results from Wolfram Alpha: All the Questions We Ever Wanted to Ask About Software as a Service

Results from Wolfram Alpha: All the Questions We Ever Wanted to Ask About Software  as a Service
By Andy Oram
May 6, 2009

Software as a Service, known in earlier decades as Application Service Providers, upends the relationship between computer users and software. I'm seriously tempted to say that Wolfram Alpha takes the SaaS model to its extreme. So Wolfram Alpha's chances at scaling the heights of fame should force us to stop for a moment and run our own calculations concerning the value to us of data integrity, reliability, privacy, and innovation.

Cloud Computing - an Excerpt from Cloud Application Architectures

Cloud Computing - an Excerpt from Cloud Application Architectures
By Kathryn Barrett
April 9, 2009

The hallmark of any buzzword is its ability to convey the appearance of meaning without conveying actual meaning. To many people, the term cloud computing has the feel of a buzzword. In this excerpt from Cloud Application Architectures, author George Reese explains just what the cloud is—in terms anyone can understand—and why it has value to your organization. Read on to learn more about cloud computing.

Java for Google AppEngine, finally!

Java for Google AppEngine, finally!
By Hari K. Gottipati
April 8, 2009

At last after one year, Google announced the availability of the Java for AppEngine platform. When the AppEngine announced last year, the very first issue filed was - a request for Java. Since then lots of Java developers want to see their favorite language supported by the AppEngine. Finally it arrived and let's take a look at the features/limitations.

Southern California Linux Expo: freedom in a service economy, and more

Southern California Linux Expo: freedom in a service economy, and more
By Andy Oram
February 22, 2009

This evening's SCALE blog covers Bradley Kuhn's keynote on Software as a Service, Jono Bacon on security, Red Hat's counsel on patents, and much more (with ample indulgence for my own opinions).

Free software meets corporate needs, including Software as a Service

By Andy Oram
January 22, 2009

The computer field has evolved to the point where we see even more value from free and open source software. As for Software as a Service (SaaS), it has proven a great boost to free software--and vice versa. But I suspect the main driver that will elevate free software to world domination is an economic consideration I haven't seen anyone discuss.

SOA Still Alive and Well--Sell it to the Business

By David A. Chappell
January 8, 2009

In case you need to catch up, Anne Thomas Manes of Burton Group declared that "SOA met its demise on January 1, 2009, when it was wiped out by the catastrophic impact of the economic recession!".

Java in the Cloud

Java in the Cloud
By Hari K. Gottipati
December 20, 2008

Every one is talking about building apps in cloud or moving the apps to cloud. There are plenty of jobs on job boards looking for the people with the skills: "familiarity with cloud" or "expertise in cloud". The latest buzzword is "Cloud Computing". What is Cloud? Why all of sudden Cloud is a buzz? What are my options to move Java app to the Cloud? What are the features and limitations of the Cloud? How IaaS and PaaS will fit in the Cloud? Read 'Java in the Cloud' for details ......

MAX Award Finalist NASDAQ Market Replay (v 2)

By Adam Flater
November 11, 2008

MAX 2008 is upon us. Last year I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to contribute to the MAX Award winning application eBay Desktop while working at EffectiveUI. This year I had the privilege to work with NASDAQ's team on NASDAQ Market Replay version 2 as a Universal Mind consultant. Please take a minute to check out Market Replay and remember to vote for early and often for Market Replay people's choice award category.

Service Monitoring Dashboards are mandatory for production services!

By Jesse Robbins
June 18, 2008

Google App Engine went down earlier today. GAE is still a developer preview release, and currently lacks a public monitoring dashboard. Unfortunately this means that many people either found out from their app and/or admin consoles being unavailable or from Mike Arrington's post on TechCrunch. Google has a strong Web Operations culture, and there are numerous internal monitoring tools in...


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