Ben Finney | 2 Feb 03:43 2009
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Fuck the cloud, but use it anyway

Howdy all,

Thanks to Don Marti for the compare-and-contrast
<URL:http://zgp.org/~dmarti/www/beware-the-cloud/> between Rick Moen's
excellent WINOLJ screed and Jason Scott's more recent rant.

There are a number of online services that take efforts to *not* keep
data in a silo; e.g. feed readers that provide OPML documents of all
my subscriptions, or bookmark sites that allow one's whole set to be
downloaded in [some open format that I can't recall right now].

So, if I'm a clever smug bastard because I give preference to services
that do allow constant access to my data in open formats, what's a
sensible strategy for automatically backing all this online stuff up
against the event of any one of those services suddenly not providing
what I want?

I could ‘curl http://feeds.example.com/bignose/opml/’ (or whatever the
thing is I want to keep safe) on a daily basis; but then it occurs to
me that I might not *notice* that one of those services is serving up
garbage where my stuff used to be, until it's too late and my backup
is overwritten with a perfect copy of garbage.

That leads to “real” backup, of course, with all the administrative
burden: volume management, rolling archives, indexes, blah blah. I
know where to look for tools to do this for networked filesystems.

I don't know where to look for backup tools for online services, since
I'm a curmudgeon who only grudgingly got into this stuff so it's all a
bit new for me.
(Continue reading)

Vineet Kumar | 2 Feb 06:56 2009
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Re: Fuck the cloud, but use it anyway

* Ben Finney (ben <at> benfinney.id.au) [090201 21:50]:
> I could ‘curl http://feeds.example.com/bignose/opml/’ (or whatever the
> thing is I want to keep safe) on a daily basis; but then it occurs to

> That leads to “real” backup, of course, with all the administrative
> burden: volume management, rolling archives, indexes, blah blah. I
> know where to look for tools to do this for networked filesystems.

Combine those two, and it starts to look like one decent answer.

Just grab the stuff periodically to your local filesystem somewhere, and ensure
that your local filesystem (which includes the network stuff, along with the
scripts used to fetch said stuff) is backed up properly.

Vineet
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Teh Entar-Nick | 2 Feb 11:35 2009
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Re: Fuck the cloud, but use it anyway

Ben Finney:
> There are a number of online services that take efforts to *not* keep
> data in a silo; e.g. feed readers that provide OPML documents of all
> my subscriptions, or bookmark sites that allow one's whole set to be
> downloaded in [some open format that I can't recall right now].

Ignoring your question about backup tools and strategies for now,
there's a movement afoot to formally define what keeps a site from being
a dangerous walled garden:

	http://autonomo.us/2008/07/franklin-street-statement/ 

Brief summary of non-trivial points:
	* Use the AGPL (GPL version that gets around the ASP problem)
	* Rewrite Free versions of idiotic walled-garden services
		* write these in a distributed way (XMPP > AIM)
	* Users control all private data
	* Public data are under a Free license

A perfect storm: http://identi.ca/group/fuckthecloud

--

-- 
A: No.                                                 Nick Moffitt
Q: Should I put my reply above quoted text?           nick <at> zork.net
Ben Finney | 2 Feb 13:21 2009
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Re: Fuck the cloud, but use it anyway

Teh Entar-Nick <nick <at> teh.entar.net> writes:

> Ignoring your question about backup tools and strategies for now,

:-)

> there's a movement afoot to formally define what keeps a site from
> being a dangerous walled garden:
> 
> 	http://autonomo.us/2008/07/franklin-street-statement/ 

Seen it but lost it; thanks for the reminder. (Now all I need is for
Ma.gnolia.com to recover so I can save it again.)

> A perfect storm: http://identi.ca/group/fuckthecloud

Interesting. And which identi.ca user should I be thanking for this?

--

-- 
 \         “A child of five could understand this. Fetch me a child of |
  `\                                              five.” —Groucho Marx |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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Teh Entar-Nick | 2 Feb 13:28 2009
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Re: Fuck the cloud, but use it anyway

Ben Finney:
> > A perfect storm: http://identi.ca/group/fuckthecloud
> 
> Interesting. And which identi.ca user should I be thanking for this?

That would be a one mister Sean Q. Neakums.

--

-- 
"If, as they say, God spanked the town                        Nick Moffitt
for being over frisky,                                       nick <at> zork.net
why did He burn the churches down
and save Hotaling's whisky?" -- 1906 SF Earthquake rhyme
Don Marti | 2 Feb 21:19 2009

Re: Fuck the cloud, but use it anyway

begin Vineet Kumar quotation of Mon, Feb 02, 2009 at 12:56:36AM -0500:
> * Ben Finney (ben <at> benfinney.id.au) [090201 21:50]:
> > I could ‘curl http://feeds.example.com/bignose/opml/’ (or whatever the
> > thing is I want to keep safe) on a daily basis; but then it occurs to
> 
> > That leads to “real” backup, of course, with all the administrative
> > burden: volume management, rolling archives, indexes, blah blah. I
> > know where to look for tools to do this for networked filesystems.
> 
> Combine those two, and it starts to look like one decent answer.
> 
> Just grab the stuff periodically to your local filesystem somewhere, and ensure
> that your local filesystem (which includes the network stuff, along with the
> scripts used to fetch said stuff) is backed up properly.

Here's a place to look for ideas:
  http://www.kernel.org/pub/software/scm/git/docs/git-svn.html

Subversion is all centralized and 2.0 and stuff.
But point your handy git-svn at it, and you can
work git-style, on your Franklin Street-friendly
user-controlled copy of everything.

The first concept that I'm trying to get my head
around is the useful overlap between the concept
of an online discussion forum and the concept of
a peer production project.  With some plants, you
eat the leaves and compost the roots.  With other
plants, you eat the roots and compost the leaves.
Both projects and fora have "roots" (archives) and
(Continue reading)

Shlomi Fish | 10 Feb 18:17 2009
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Oppose a Proposed Patent-Encumbered IETF Standard

See:

http://www.computerworlduk.com/community/blogs/index.cfm?blogid=14&entryid=1845

http://www.fsf.org/news/reoppose-tls-authz-standard

for a call-for-action for opposing a proposed IETF Standard that is patent 
encumbered. 
The email and the confirmation email should be sent today.

Regards,

	Shlomi Fish
--

-- 
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Shlomi Fish       http://www.shlomifish.org/
What does "Zionism" mean? - http://xrl.us/bjn8u

<mauke>    I'm not interested in what you're doing; what are you trying to 
           achieve?
<PerlJam>  mauke: I'm trying to achieve world peace and this regex is
           the last thing standing in my way! ;)
Eugen Leitl | 17 Feb 16:07 2009

Re: [Beowulf] Please help to setup Beowulf

----- Forwarded message from "Robert G. Brown" <rgb <at> phy.duke.edu> -----

From: "Robert G. Brown" <rgb <at> phy.duke.edu>
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2009 09:34:24 -0500 (EST)
To: Mike Davis <jmdavis1 <at> vcu.edu>
Cc: Nifty Tom Mitchell <niftyompi <at> niftyegg.com>, beowulf <at> beowulf.org,
	Indrajit Deb <biky2004indra <at> gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [Beowulf] Please help to setup Beowulf
User-Agent: Alpine 2.00 (LFD 1167 2008-08-23)

On Tue, 17 Feb 2009, Mike Davis wrote:

>Geoff Jacobs wrote:
>>
>>Why do you say this? Debian (5.0, what I checked just now) includes all
>>the basic Beowulf elements and even tosses in GROMACS pre-compiled for
>>OpenMPI. If it's what his people are used to there's no reason to switch.
>>
>I don't know about RGB, but I would argue that you let your applications 
>lead

rgb has given up distro wars for lent, sorry.  His bot thinks that
Debian is peachy, while running on Fedora, and feeling warm and fuzzy
towards Centos.  It thinks SuSE is Sexy, Mandriva is Magic, and even
manages to have great respect for those that just start from sources and
build the whole damn thing, automagically or not.

rgb is very, very slightly less enamored of "on-top-of" cluster linuces,
not because they aren't marvelous works of collective beauty but because
for many purposes the larger distros have engulfed them and simply
(Continue reading)

Don Marti | 27 Feb 01:04 2009

FAT is the new GIF?

Danger!  MSFT patents!  Larry Augustin writes,
"FAT32 is not an open and unencumbered technology."

http://lmaugustin.typepad.com/lma/2009/02/linux-microsoft-and-patents-its-time-to-get-the-fat-out.html

So is it time to start treating FAT support like MP3
today or GIFs back in the day -- something that can't
be included with a Free distribution, to be "burned"
and replaced with a Free alternative?  (some of the
flash-oriented filesystems might be a good choice for
the kind of thing people tend to use FAT for these
days: http://lwn.net/Articles/276025/ )

Or is FAT more like JPEG -- something that's subject
to bogus patent claims, but usable?

--

-- 
Don Marti                                 +1 510-332-1587 mobile
http://zgp.org/~dmarti/
dmarti <at> zgp.org
See you at OpenSource World: August 11-13, 2009 in San Francisco
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Jonathan Corbet | 27 Feb 01:12 2009
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Re: FAT is the new GIF?

On Thu, 26 Feb 2009 16:04:12 -0800
Don Marti <dmarti <at> zgp.org> wrote:

> Or is FAT more like JPEG -- something that's subject
> to bogus patent claims, but usable?

The problem with FAT, I think, is that PubPat already tried to kill the
patent and failed.  So it kind of has to be looked at as a hardened
patent, I think.  Recent rulings may make it subject to attack again,
but this one will be harder than the "we patented the idea of mounting
a computer in a car dashboard" one.

I was talking with some folks at LCA who were saying that the community
has put too much emphasis on frontal attacks and not enough on
workarounds.  Evidently most patents can be worked around with enough
care; the claims tend to be very specific.  It may time to see if
there's a way to work around the FAT patent to the point that, even if
we can't do everything, we can still enable people to plug in their
cameras and music players.

jon

Gmane