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Can Cloud Computing transform IT?

Nice overview and a bit of the history on Cloud Computing:

Increasingly, big firms are launching into "the cloud" to sell services, while small firms plug in, waving goodbye to the server hidden in the closet.

"The future is about having a platform in the cloud," Microsoft Chief Steve Ballmer said of the trend in a July e-mail to employees. The company has invested heavily in new products that will be announced in upcoming months.

About four years ago, Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc. began hatching a way to sell access to its complex computer systems. The company had already built up a robust infrastructure to support the world's largest online retail operation -- so why not let other businesses tap in?

Amazon launched its Web Services in 2006, and more than 400,000 developers have signed on to pay for services such as storage space, database access and computing power.

"Over the next decade you are going to see an incredible transformation, in my opinion," Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos told shareholders earlier this year. "It doesn't really make sense for most companies to have their own data centers, just as it doesn't make sense for most companies to produce their own electric power."

Examples of businesses that rely on Amazon are Twitter and even The New York Times, which uses Amazon to partly host its "TimesMachine," the newspaper's archives, including full-page image scans of papers going back to the 1800s.

Amazon's price for Web services starts in the pennies -- to use its Elastic Compute Cloud, for instance, Amazon charges 10 cents per hour per server.

"We routinely send people monthly bills for 17 cents," Bezos said. "If you store a gigabyte of data for a month, we'll send you a bill for 15 cents."



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Whale Fall
-----------------

Dress me up in my new threads
clasp my greasy palms
grease my hair
I'm ready for the fall


Watch at all the decadence
watching the avalanche
I'm slipping down
losing my buoyancy


What's become of us
where have we come
this far, this close
close to the doors


I hear them, sublimal chants
I'm on the run
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I am the king!


I'm the slave
to my own undoings
I'm the jester in my courtyard
We jest as we run


We're strolling on that thin rope
we grope as we rope
we're true heros
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we're the scavengers
we're the friends
we're the lovers
we're the unbred


Soon awaiting the fall
we're lurking on us
we're osedaxing us
we're soon going to be done
we'll soon be arrested




*osedax(bone devourer, newly discovered marine genus) feeds on a fallen(sunken) whale carcass(which is also called a whale fall). Read more here