Issues Around Public Cloud Data Portability

Data integration is going to be a huge impediment to the success of cloud computing. Worse, it’s something that’s not yet on the radar screens of many of those beginning to leverage public clouds. There is no killer technology that solves this problem, and it’s not really about portability standards.

Meet Proust, a social network that digs deeper

Even in these days of social networking over-sharing, some of the most important details of our lives remain in completely unwritten form. Proust, a startup that bills itself as a private place for families and friends to share memories, is trying to change exactly that.

Will the Government Push Open Clouds Over the Goal Line?

TechAmerica’s Commission on the Leadership Opportunity in U.S. Deployment of the Cloud (CLOUD2) officially kicked off its three-month mission today to advise the Obama administration on cloud computing best practices, and pushing cloud interoperability is high on the commission’s list of goals.

Today in Cloud

Amazon have done it again. Another small step forward. Another incremental improvement to their offer. Another small reason not to use them crossed off the list. Today, the company announced that their Amazon Web Services product is operating out of a data center in Tokyo. Alongside existing data centers in Singapore, Dublin, California and Virginia, they’re doing an increasingly good job of getting servers close to customers… at least in the Northern Hemisphere. Where’s next? Rio? Sydney? Auckland? Or stick with the top of the globe and go to Bangalore? Or somewhere European, to help Dublin’s “EU West” moniker make sense? Multiple data centers aren’t just about physical proximity and a reduction in network latency, of course. Certain jurisdictions (here in the EU, for one) get very upset at the suggestion of transferring data beyond borders. How interested is Amazon in continuing to cater for the data sovereignty use case?

Google’s New Feature: “Trap My Contacts Now”

As part of its ongoing battle with Facebook over data portability as it applies to users’ contact information, Google has added a new warning message when you try to export your contacts to the social network: a message entitled “Trap my contacts now.”

Facebook Avoids Google’s Data Stick — For Now

Last week, Google changed the way it allows third-party services to pull the info from your address book automatically, in what was a clear shot at Facebook’s closed approach to such data. Now the giant social network seems to have found a way around the blockage.

New Facebook Groups Encourage Private Interactions

Facebook launched a new approach to understanding groups of friends today. CEO Mark Zuckerberg called groups “a fundamental building block” and “the biggest problem in social networking,” and said Facebook has determined the best solution is a social one: to enable users to tag each other.

AOL Adds Support for Yahoo! Mail

Y’know, I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone with an AOL Mail email address…plenty of AIM users, but no one with AOL Mail – at least no one who will admit it…
Regardless, there must be a good number of such users, to encourage AOL to develop a plugin that enables their users to collect mail from Yahoo!’s email service, a plugin which launched late last week.
Inline with AOL’s recent strategy at the AOL.com home page to embrace and integrate third party content and services within their own properties, Yahoo’s messaging behemoth is now available – albeit as message previews only – within the AOL Mail interface. Users can then click through to their corresponding message at the Yahoo! service.
It’s all kinda, um, underwhelming and the kind of feature that should have been there all along; an indictment of the ‘data prison’ strategies employed by web’s largest properties.
Read More about AOL Adds Support for Yahoo! Mail

56.com Back in the Land of the Living

56.com, the Chinese video site that has been unavailable for more than a month, came back online sometime early this morning. The site appears to be in its normal state, despite rumors that it was going to shift strategies and become a widget provider. The company gave Pacific Epoch no comment on the downtime, though of course people in the know have said all along that it was due to the Chinese government having a problem with some of 56.com’s content.

Featured on the 56.com home page today is Noah Kalina’s Everyday — I doubt it’s authorized, but it goes to show the power of video to transcend geographic boundaries and such. I don’t see embed code, though.

But 56.com still doesn’t have a broadcasting license from the government, something rival Youku said it received yesterday. We believe the other Chinese video-sharing powerhouse, Tudou, has yet to receive a license as well.

And the unprecedented downtime will surely affect 56.com’s ability to attract users going forward. When you go away for a month with no comment, people forget to keep checking back.

The company has raised at least $26 million in funding from Hikari Private Equity, Susquehanna International Group China, Adobe Systems, the CID Group, Sequoia Capital and Steamboat Ventures.