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      Preserving our digital content is vital. But paying $38,000 for the privilege is not | John Naughton / TheGuardian · Saturday, 25 November - 16:00 · 1 minute

    Storing online data in perpetuity is not just about photos and texts but thoughts and ideas. Platforms such as WordPress are starting to act, but it must be at a realistic price

    Way back in 2004 the two founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, thought that it would be a cool idea to scan all the printed books in the world and make them available online. This was at the time when their company’s motto (apart from the guff about not being evil) was to “organise all the world’s information”. Given that the obvious places to look for large collections of books are university libraries, they decided to start there, so they set out to persuade university librarians to let them scan their holdings.

    One of the first institutions they approached was a very large American university: they went to visit its librarian and found him very supportive of their ambitious project. Accordingly, the deal was easily sealed. Afterwards, though, the boys noticed that their librarian friend seemed pensive, and so asked him what was wrong. “Nothing’s wrong,” he replied. “I’m just wondering how we can ensure that these scans will be available to readers in 400 years’ time when Google is no longer around. Because it won’t be.”

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      On peut maintenant installer Windows sur un iPhone ou un iPad / Numerama · Thursday, 16 November - 14:11

    Pour la première fois, Microsoft propose une application « Windows » officielle sur iOS, iPadOS et macOS. Elle permet d'accéder à une session Windows à distance, grâce au cloud computing. [Lire la suite]

    Abonnez-vous aux newsletters Numerama pour recevoir l’essentiel de l’actualité

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      Decoupling for Security / Schneier · Wednesday, 8 November - 03:06 · 2 minutes

    This is an excerpt from a longer paper. You can read the whole thing (complete with sidebars and illustrations) here .

    Our message is simple: it is possible to get the best of both worlds. We can and should get the benefits of the cloud while taking security back into our own hands. Here we outline a strategy for doing that.

    What Is Decoupling?

    In the last few years, a slew of ideas old and new have converged to reveal a path out of this morass, but they haven’t been widely recognized, combined, or used. These ideas, which we’ll refer to in the aggregate as “decoupling,” allow us to rethink both security and privacy.

    Here’s the gist. The less someone knows, the less they can put you and your data at risk. In security this is called Least Privilege. The decoupling principle applies that idea to cloud services by making sure systems know as little as possible while doing their jobs. It states that we gain security and privacy by separating private data that today is unnecessarily concentrated.

    To unpack that a bit, consider the three primary modes for working with our data as we use cloud services: data in motion, data at rest, and data in use. We should decouple them all.

    Our data is in motion as we exchange traffic with cloud services such as videoconferencing servers, remote file-storage systems, and other content-delivery networks. Our data at rest, while sometimes on individual devices, is usually stored or backed up in the cloud, governed by cloud provider services and policies. And many services use the cloud to do extensive processing on our data, sometimes without our consent or knowledge. Most services involve more than one of these modes.

    To ensure that cloud services do not learn more than they should, and that a breach of one does not pose a fundamental threat to our data, we need two types of decoupling. The first is organizational decoupling: dividing private information among organizations such that none knows the totality of what is going on. The second is functional decoupling: splitting information among layers of software. Identifiers used to authenticate users, for example, should be kept separate from identifiers used to connect their devices to the network.

    In designing decoupled systems, cloud providers should be considered potential threats, whether due to malice, negligence, or greed. To verify that decoupling has been done right, we can learn from how we think about encryption: you’ve encrypted properly if you’re comfortable sending your message with your adversary’s communications system. Similarly, you’ve decoupled properly if you’re comfortable using cloud services that have been split across a noncolluding group of adversaries.

    Read the full essay

    This essay was written with Barath Raghavan, and previously appeared in IEEE Spectrum .

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      AI sees multibillion-dollar investment boom / TheGuardian · Thursday, 26 October - 08:00

    While tech startups weather a dip in funding, generative AI reaps rewards at companies from Meta to Microsoft

    A handful of tech companies are jeopardising humanity’s future through unrestrained AI development and must stop their “race to the bottom”, according to the scientist behind an influential letter calling for a pause in building powerful systems.

    Max Tegmark, a professor of physics and AI researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said the world was “witnessing a race to the bottom that must be stopped”. Tegmark organised an open letter published in April, signed by thousands of tech industry figures including Elon Muck and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, that called for a six month hiatus in giant AI experiments.

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      Alphabet Has Strong Ad Sales but Cloud Business Disappoints / TheNewYorkTimes · Tuesday, 24 October - 22:02

    Google’s parent company reported that sales were up 11 percent from a year ago while profit jumped 42 percent to $19.7 billion.
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      Shadow PC Essential : le PC dans le cloud devient plus abordable / JournalDuGeek · Tuesday, 10 October - 15:00

    shadow-pc-essential-158x105.jpg Shadow PC Essential

    Avec sa nouvelle offre Shadow PC Essentiel, Shadow se tourne vers les utilisateurs à la recherche d'une solution axée sur la bureautique. Proposée à 9,99 euros par mois, elle devient la formule la plus accessible du marché.

    Shadow PC Essential : le PC dans le cloud devient plus abordable

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      UK cloud computing market faces formal inquiry amid Microsoft and Amazon concerns / TheGuardian · Thursday, 5 October - 06:42

    Media watchdog refers sector to competition regulator amid ‘particular concern’ over position of two market leaders

    The UK’s communications regulator has referred the cloud computing market to the competition watchdog for a formal investigation after a study raised concerns about industry leaders Amazon and Microsoft.

    Ofcom has asked the Competition and Markets Authority to launch an inquiry, saying it is “particularly concerned about the position of the market leaders Amazon and Microsoft”.

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      Amazon and Microsoft’s cloud computing dominance to be investigated by competition watchdog – business live / TheGuardian · Thursday, 5 October - 06:28

    Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as Ofcom asks the CMA to investigate Amazon and Microsoft’s dominance of cloud computing

    It’s around a year since Ofcom announced it would examine the world’s biggest tech companies’ dominance in areas such as cloud computing, messaging and smart devices.

    And today Fergal Farragher , the Ofcom director responsible for that market study, says it’s not clear that there is effective competition in the cloud computing world.

    “The cloud is the foundation of our digital economy and has transformed the way companies run and grow their businesses. From TV production and telecoms networks to AI innovations – all of these things rely on remote computer power that goes unseen.

    Some UK businesses have told us they’re concerned about it being too difficult to switch or mix and match cloud provider, and it’s not clear that competition is working well. So, we’re referring the market to the CMA for further scrutiny, to make sure business customers continue to benefit from cloud services.”

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