[Beowulf] how Google warps your brain

Stuart Barkley stuartb at 4gh.net
Fri Oct 29 08:29:59 PDT 2010

On Mon, 25 Oct 2010 at 11:26 -0000, Hearns, John wrote:

> > might well last to the end of civilization.  Replicate them a few
> > million times, PERPETUATE them from generation to generation by
> > renewing the copies, and backing them up, and recopying them in
> > formats where they are still useful.
> The cloud backup providers will be keeping copies of data on
> geographically spread sites.
> However, we should at this stage be asking what are the mechanisms
> for cloud storage companies for
> *) living wills - what happens when the company goes bust
> *) what are the strategies for migrating the data onto new storage
> formats

Continuing way off topic, but a pet peeve of mine.

*) What are their processes for returning this information to the
owners (the public in many cases)?

I'm very annoyed that at lot of the "cloud" companies have taken
public domain information and hidden it behind unusual access methods.
Google bought the dejanews archives and then hid them behind a
proprietary access method.

Things like mailing list and usenet archives may exist at various
cloud sites (google groups, mail-archive.com and even local archives),
but the information isn't easily available in bulk form.  I prefer to
import standard mailbox format archives of these things and use my own
search processes on the information.

For example, for this list the archives at beowulf.org have a pretty
horrible search engine.  The individual monthly archives are available
in (almost) mailbox format.  I need to slightly unmunge some things to
bring the archives into my email so I can do my preferred archive
browsing and searching.  This is marginally acceptable.

However, at google groups or mail-archive which have some degree of
"its in the cloud" claim, there is no apparent usable way to get bulk
information out of their archives.  You need to use their sucky search
index.  You also have no way to locally preserve the long history of
your favorite mailing list of usenet group.

Oh, and the new sourceforge mailing list archives are next to useless.

Stuart Barkley
I've never been lost; I was once bewildered for three days, but never lost!
                                        --  Daniel Boone

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