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A Quick Look at Today's Amazon Outage

Craig Labovitz writes to report: At 18:40 UTC Amazon Web Services suffered performance issues for their North Virginia datacenter. The performance issues impacted services such as EC2, S3, SES, RDS, and Mechanical Turk among others. more»

NSA Builds Its Biggest Data Farm Amidst Controversy

As privacy advocates and security experts debate the validity of the National Security Agency's massive data gathering operations, the agency is putting the finishing touches on its biggest data farm yet. The gargantuan $1.2 billion complex at a National Guard base 26 miles south of Salt Lake City features 1.5 million square feet of top secret space. more»

Bloomberg on Netflix as World's Biggest User of Cloud Computing

Netflix is arguable one of the world's biggest users of cloud computing, renting all its computing power from Amazon Web Services, the cloud division of Amazon.com, which runs its own video-streaming service that competes with Netflix. Ashlee Vance from Bloomberg reports. more»

Hurricane Sandy Causes Major Impact on Internet Infrastructure in New York City and Beyond

The super storm has caused major power and Internet outages in a region that is home to more than 60 million people. Unsurprisingly, the impacts on Internet connectivity have been severe, reports Renesys. more»

Google Launches Storage Service, "Drive"

Google today launched a long-rumored "Drive" service to allow users store photos, videos, and other digital files in its massive data centers. Available immediately, first five gigabytes of storage per account of Google Drive is free and additional storage will be sold for prices starting at $2.49 per month for 25 gigabytes. more»

White House Launches Big Data Research and Development Initiative

The Obama Administration has announced today a "Big Data Research and Development Initiative." The initiative, has committed to more than $200 million in new funding spearheaded by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and National Science Foundation (NSF), along with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Defense (DoD), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Department of Energy (DoE) Office of Science, and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), seeks to "advance state-of-the-art core technologies needed to collect, store, preserve, manage, analyze, and share huge quantities of data; harness these technologies to accelerate the pace of discovery in science and engineering, strengthen our national security, and transform teaching and learning; and expand the workforce needed to develop and use Big Data technologies." more»

SEC Filing Reveals Facebook Network Equipment Valued Over $1B at Close of 2011

"Facebook reported in its SEC filing that it owns 'network equipment' valued at $1.016 billion at the close of 2011," reports Rich Miller of Data Center Knowledge. "The number reflects the expense of rapidly building a massive Internet infrastructure, including Facebook's shift from buying vendor gear and leasing data centers to building its own servers, racks and custom data centers." more»

White House Issues Cloud Computing Policy Standards

U.S. Office of Management and Budget released a memo today establishing a program to reduce "duplicative efforts, inconsistencies and cost inefficiencies when assessing and authorizing cloud systems." The initiative called, Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), is aimed to develop a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services through standardized security requirements and controls. more»

Cloud Computing Traffic Expected to Grow 12-Fold by 2015

Global cloud computing traffic is expected to grow 12-fold from 130 exabytes to reach a total of 1.6 zettabytes annually by 2015 -- a 66% compound annual growth rate -- according to Cisco's Global Cloud Index. 1.6 zettabytes is approximately equivalent to 22 trillion hours of streaming music; 5 trillion hours of business Web conferencing with a webcam; 1.6 trillion hours of online high-definition (HD) video streaming. more»

EU Does a 180 on Search Engine Data Retention

A directive known as "Written Declaration 29," adopted last week by the European Parliament, calls for legislation that would require search engines to make a record of all search queries, as reported today by Startpage and Ixquick, anonymous search engine providers. "Framed as a measure to crack down on paedophiles, the controversial Declaration calls on the EU to require that search engines store all search traffic for up to two years for possible analysis by authorities." more»

Digital River Sues Eric Porat of Brooklyn, New York over Data Breach

Neil Schwartzman writes: A massive data theft from the e-commerce company Digital River Inc. has led investigators to hackers in India and a 20-year-old in New York who allegedly tried to sell the information to a Colorado marketing firm for half a million dollars. more»

YouTube Serving Over 2 Billion Views a Day in 5th Year of Operation

YouTube is celebrating it's 5th year in operation and now reports serving over 2 billion views a day. "I think we will see it on more devices and see it used more for live streaming. There are real opportunities for it to become a traditional content distributor like the cable channels. YouTube streams make up around 40% of all online video watched in the US, so there is massive scale there and lot of opportunity," says Ryan Lawler of video site NewTeeVee.com more»

German High Court Says No to Retaining Telecom, Email Data for Tracking Criminal Networks

The highest court in Germany has ruled against telephone and email data retention used to track criminal networks. Melissa Eddy of the Global and Mail reports: "A law ordering data on calls made from mobile or landline telephones and e-mail exchanges be retained for six months for possible use by criminal authorities violated Germans' constitutional right to private correspondence, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled. In its ruling, the court said the law failed to sufficiently balance the need for personal privacy against that for providing security."
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How IT and Internet Saved Lives in Haiti


St├ęphane Bruno writes: "In the first few hours that followed the earthquake, mobile service was completely disrupted. It was almost impossible to place a call, due to the combination of the damages on the cellular networks and the spike in phone calls. However, on some networks, SMS service was still available. People stuck under rubbles started texting to their friends and family (in Haiti and abroad) to tell them they were still alive and needed help. Those friends and family, not knowing what to do, started posting these SOS messages on their social networks, mainly on Facebook." more»

Vint Cerf Stresses the Need for Inter-Cloud Standards

Vint Cerf in a recent talk has compared the current cloud situation to the lack of communication and familiarity that existed among computer networks in 1973. "At some point, it makes sense for somebody to say, 'I want to move my data from cloud A to cloud B,'" but the different clouds do not know each other, he said. "We don't have any inter-cloud standards," Cerf said. They might even want to have multiple clouds interact with each other in order to take advantage of the computing power offered through such combinations, he said. more»