In a ruling yesterday, the New York Court of Appeals dismissed several counts of possession of child pornography charged to college professor James D. Kent, after a computer he brought to university IT for anti-virus service was found to contain child pornography in its browser cache.
For those specific counts--he's still going to jail on other, related charges--Kent was found to have not committed an "affirmative act" such as downloading, saving, or printing the image files in order to "possess" them; rather, they were passively saved by his browser in its hidden cache.
This may sound like a minute technicality, but it's in fact a revealing comment on the way we consume today's web. It all comes down to one very new problem: the concept of what we "possess" online is based on the increasingly outdated concept of the digital "file." What happens to the law in a streaming, cloud-connected world? A world where there are no more "files"?
Google has been rumored to be working on a cloud storage service for about as long as we've known what cloud storage is, and today the company finally unveiled it: Google Drive. It has a couple of nice features that competitors like Dropbox, MobileMe, SkyDrive and all the others don't, but the main selling point seems to be the same selling point as most other new Google services: hell, you're already using Google. Why not add this? So we're curious: will you?
Researchers at IBM's Almaden, California research lab are building what will be the world's largest data array--a monstrous repository of 200,000 individual hard drives all interlaced. All together, it has a storage capacity of 120 petabytes, or 120 million gigabytes.