Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Blog of the Week: Five Thirty Eight

Anyone been following the US elections? As a serial drama, it's been fascinating and I wouldn't be surprised if a few weeks after the inauguration, someone options a film of the whole thing.

So, if you're interested, here's Five Thirty Eight - a blog which compiles multiple poll findings from the States and tracks each of the candidate's popularity. The site gets it's name from the number of electors in the electoral college. It's frequently updated and should make interesting reading over the next couple of weeks.

At the time of writing, Democrats should have a lot to be happy about but of course there's only one poll that really counts - and that one's taking place on November 4th.

(I should prob'ly stop calling this feature "blog of the week" if I can't actually keep the blog up-to-date. Perhaps, I'll just refer to it as Recommended Blog in future...)

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

A view of the clouds

Another article, again from The Guardian, in which Richard Stallman - the founder of GNU - warns readers that "cloud computing" is a trap.

Cloud computing is where users decide to store their mail or files (such as images, documents, spreadsheets, slideshows, etc) online instead on their hard drive or on a memory stick that belongs to them.

I guess cloud computing and its downsides as they are argued in the article are the flip-side to Web 2.0.

If I'm being honest (and I do try) I haven't come across this phrase before - it sounds like another fashionable buzz-term to me. But even though I've not heard the saying, I've thought about this kind of thing. If we define Web 2.0 as online sites that allow the users to generate its content, thus creating new open spaces for users to congregate, share and store information then inevitably, with the increase in Web 2.0 use we're going to see more users moving their content online - and therefore off their own machines.

I suppose there's a certain naïveté about total Web 2.0 advocates in that while these spaces are public-domain, they're not publically-owned.

However, Stallman says: "If you use a proprietary program or somebody else's web server, you're defenceless." Perhaps, the following question will suggest a little naïveté on my part but where are we going to store and share this stuff if we can't afford our own web server?