Buzzword Roundup – January 2012

Covered in this post: SOPA, Timeline, and the cloud

SOPA – the “Stop Online Piracy Act” being debated in Congress generated a huge backlash from web content providers, techies, and many people who care about the web.  Intended as a way for content owners to protect copyrights from pirates of movies, e-books, etc., it was widely seen as an overreach – giving big companies the ability to shut down websites without due process.  My understanding is that websites “accused” of violating copyright laws (by the copyright owner) would be erased from the web, using DNS providers (turn off your domain, and your site is gone!).  GoDaddy was fingered as a supporter of the bill, and domaineers moved over 30,000 domains to other providers in protest.  GoDaddy quickly changed their position on the bill.  Congress tabled the bill for now and went on vacation, but the debate will rage into 2012.

Timeline – The new feature rolled out by Facebook over the last month, described as a digital scrapbook – of your life.  I’m not sure exactly how it works, but I predict it will confuse and anger many users, and increase the “creepy” factor of social media.

The Cloud – term used for a hosted application platform for your files and applications.  It’s sort of like a “network hard drive” accessible from anywhere.  “Cloud computing” is also being touted for websites as well.  The idea is that computing power and space is melded together (rather than physical servers) to allow for scalability and redundancy.  However, the pricing on some of these platforms is based on the computing cycles you use, and some have had significant outages.  These platforms may come of age in 2012 though, so keep an eye on it.

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