Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Transparent censorship

Google has decided to fight censorship with transparency:
...it's no surprise that Google, like other technology and telecommunications companies, regularly receives demands from government agencies to remove content from our services. Of course many of these requests are entirely legitimate, such as requests for the removal of child pornography. We also regularly receive requests from law enforcement agencies to hand over private user data. Again, the vast majority of these requests are valid and the information needed is for legitimate criminal investigations. However, data about these activities historically has not been broadly available. We believe that greater transparency will lead to less censorship.
To this end they have launched a Government Requests tool:
We are today launching a new Government Requests tool to give people information about the requests for user data or content removal we receive from government agencies around the world. For this launch, we are using data from July-December, 2009, and we plan to update the data in 6-month increments. Read this post to learn more about our principles surrounding free expression and controversial content on the web.

Takeaway: If you are forced to do something bad, tell everyone about it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A basic introduction to the Cloud

I've been getting requests recently to give a high-level overview of "The Cloud". What it means, why people are excited, and what they should care. I decided to put together a basic introduction of the Cloud (embeded below). Feel free to use parts of this in your own presentations, and I'd love to hear feedback on this: