Tuesday, April 26, 2016

My Web Browser's Terms of Service

This post was co-authored with Jefferson Bailey. NB - neither of us is a lawyer. Follow us below the fold to find out why this disclaimer is necessary.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

How few copies?

A question that always gets asked about digital preservation is "how many copies do I need to be safe?" The obvious questions in response are "how safe do you need to be?" - it isn't possible to be completely safe - and "how much can you afford to spend being safe?" - costs tend to rise rapidly with each additional 9 of reliability.

User rblandau at MIT-Informatics has a high-level simulation of distributed preservation that looks like an interesting way of exploring these questions. Below the fold, my commentary.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Architecture of Emulation on the Web

In the program my talk at the IIPC's 2016 General Assembly in Reykjavík was entitled Emulation & Virtualization as Preservation Strategies. But after a meeting to review my report called by the Mellon Foundation I changed the title to The Architecture of Emulation on the Web. Below the fold, an edited text of the talk with an explanation for the change, and links to the sources.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Brewster Kahle's "Distributed Web" proposal

Back in August last year Brewster Kahle posted Locking the Web Open: A Call for a Distributed Web. It consisted of an analysis of the problems of the current Web, a set of requirements for a future Web that wouldn't have those problems, and a list of pieces of current technology that he suggested could be assembled into a working if simplified implementation of those requirements layered on top of the current Web. I meant to blog about it at the time, but I was busy finishing my report on emulation.

Last November, Brewster gave the EE380 lecture on this topic (video from YouTube or Stanford), reminding me that I needed to write about it. I still didn't find time to write a post. On 8th June, Brewster, Vint Cerf and Cory Doctorow are to keynote a Decentralized Web Summit. I encourage you to attend. Unfortunately, I won't be able to, and this has finally forced me to write up my take on this proposal. Follow me below the fold for a brief discussion; I hope to write a more detailed post soon.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Curious Case of the Outsourced CA

I took part in the Digital Preservation of Federal Information Summit, a pre-meeting of the CNI Spring Membership Meeting. Preservation of government information is a topic that the LOCKSS Program has been concerned with for a long time; my first post on the topic was nine years ago. In the second part of the discussion I had to retract a proposal I made in the first part that had seemed obvious. The reasons why the obvious was in fact wrong are interesting. The explanation is below the fold.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Amazon Tax

Ben Thompson at Stratechery has an insightful post entitled The Amazon Tax on the 10th anniversary of the rollout of Amazon S3:
Until then Amazon Web Services had primarily been about providing developers with a way to tap into the Amazon retail store; S3, though, had nothing at all to do with retail,2 at least not directly.
Below the fold, some comments.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Following Up On The Emulation Report

A meeting was held at the Mellon Foundation to follow up on my report Emulation and Virtualization as Preservation Strategies. I was asked to provide a brief introduction to get discussion going. The discussions were confidential, but below the fold is an edited text of my introduction with links to the sources.