Thursday, March 31, 2022

Dangerous Complacency

The topic of web archiving has been absent from this blog for a while, but recently Sawood Alam alerted me to Cliff Lynch's post from January entitled The Dangerous Complacency of “Web Archiving” Rhetoric. Lynch's thesis is that using the term "web archiving" obscures the fact that we can only collect and preserve a fraction of "the Web". The topic is one I've written about many times, at least since my Spring 2009 CNUI Plenary, so below the fold I return to it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Vitalik Buterin vs. Reality

Time's cover story by Andrew R. Chow, The Man Behind Ethereum Is Worried About Crypto's Future, is supplemented by his I Spent 80 Minutes Inside Vitalik Buterin's Brain. Here's What I Learned. What I learned from these two pieces of hagiography was that Buterin is having a lot of difficulty dealing with the failure of Ethereum to live up to the goals he had for it. Below the fold I provide specifics.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Storage Update: Part 2

This is part 2 of my latest update on storage technology. Part 1, covering developments in DNA as a storage medium is here. This part was sparked by a paper at Usenix's File And Storage Technologies conference from Bianca Schroeder's group at U. Toronto and NetApp on the performanmce of SSDs at scale. It followed on from their 2020 FAST "Best Paper" that I discussed in Enterprise SSD Reliability, and it prompted me to review the literature of this area. The result is below the fold.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Storage Update: Part 1

It is past time for an update on storage technology. There is so much to write that I need to break it into multiple parts. Below the fold, I start with two papers reporting developments that could increase the performance of DNA data storage significantly.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Shadow Banking 2.0

Prof. Hilary Allen of American University Washington College of Law has a very important 27-page essay entitled DeFi: Shadow Banking 2.0?. In it, she details a whole other set of externalities that, being beyond my limited understanding of banking and finance, I didn't discuss in my EE380 Talk. Prof. Allen summarizes her work:
TL;DR: DeFi is neither decentralized, nor very good finance, so regulators should have no qualms about clamping down on it to protect the stability of our financial system and broader economy.
Her arguments are supported by a less detailed, slightly earlier paper, DeFi risks and the decentralisation illusion by Sirio Aramonte, Wenqian Huang and Andreas Schrimpf of the Bank for International Settlements. Below the fold I comment on both of them.