JungleDisk enforces DRM

Just got the answer from the helpdesk about the JungleDisk gateway from my last post:

“Jungle Disk utilizes a gateway to facilitate authentication and certain features within Jungle Disk.
Jungle Disk must validate your software license, thus, the software will need to communicate with our gateways to facilitate this request. Our use of the gateways are also employed for Sync Folders. Sync Folders require a central server to handle change notifications.
At this time, there is no way to bypass the gateway communication with version 3.0. If you wish to downgrade to version 2.62, which does not utilize our gateway system, you can do so by accessing the downloads here, http://support.jungledisk.com/entries/83791-version-2-62b-download-links.

So in fact the answer is very simple: JungleDisk has an online software license key validation, so no Internet connection or firewall blocking “jungledisk.com” means no working software. Less good-hearted people then me would call it simple an online DRM functionality. Now it’s clear why you can’t find much information about that gateway functionality.

That’s a good point for me to switch to Wuala.com.

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Amazon S3 and Wuala hard facts

Since 2 years I’m using Amazon S3 as cloud storage services and I’m quite happy with it. From time to time Wuala comes into my focus checking how stable the service becomes. Both differ in every technical aspect of their service but in the end they store files in the cloud.

This time I made a small test, to compare just the performance and technical aspects of the services. The simple test scenario was to copy a folder with 50 MB, containing 20 files over a DSL connection with 16MBit/s download and 1MBit/s upload bandwidth. The result was not a big surprise.

Upload 50MB:

Time (min:sec) Total (MB)
Amazon S3 7:24 52
Wuala 13:47 82

Download 50MB:

Time (min:sec) Total (MB)
Amazon S3 2:14 50,5
Wuala 2:27 54,1

The figures are simple to enough to see that Amazon S3 stores files in half the time compared to Wuala. Interestingly not because it has a higher performance (average transfer rate about 20% higher) but the total amount of data send over the net. Wuala uses P2P technology which stores encrypted file segments redundant on several clients (plus a central backup server) which results in more traffic. You can surely produce advanced performance tests, but they won’t get you something very different.

The price is compareable. For 10 GB you pay for both services per year about 15 GB though the comparison is distorted by the fact you get 2 GB free from Wuala per account and additional space for inviting friends or sharing your hard disk on one side and that you pay as you go with Amazon (wuala smallest offer is a 10GB package).

The reason why I’m still attracted by Wuala is the client. You have nothing like that for Amazon S3. Yes, JungleDisk is a good client software, but it

  • doesn’t work offline
  • needs a connection to the JungleDisk gateway to access Amazon S3 which makes me curious about security & privacy
  • nothing about sharing files with friends, notifications etc.
  • no security features like verify the integrity of my file

Wuala doesn’t have the write performance like Amazon S3 but you won’t mention the difference because the upload happens with both tools in the background. Wuala client provides:

  • perfect offline functionality
  • clear concept to ensure privacy (I trust it)
  • Swiss company with connection to university which has been bought last year by Lacie
  • collaboration features like group spaces, notification when someone added a file etc.
  • integrity check to your files
  • access to public cloud storage content published by other Wuala users

My personal conclusion is to give Wuala a try to exchange data with my family and friends.

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JungleDisk security concern

In case you are one of the rare people who are curious about the “gateway” service of JungleDisk and search the internet about that topic you will find no answer about. Just few tickets, that the gateway fails sometime and people can’t access their Amazon S3 account.

If you are behind a firewall which blocks the domain jungledisk.com you have bad luck. The JD helpdesk was wondering about the questions why I need a gateway to connect to Amazon S3. You must go through the gateway to make the security. That made me very curious, because Amazon S3 has a straight forward https REST interface. There is no need for other security proxies:

  • Why does JD need this gateway
  • Why is there no information about the functionality in doku, help files or somewhere in the net?
  • What data reports my JD Desktop to JD?

Just opend a ticket. Keep you informed.

http://jungledisk.zendesk.com/requests/29713

facebook account a human right?

just got startled by the question what happens with your facebook account, when for any reason facebook closes or refuse you access to your account. There are plenty of reasons why this may happens and not necessarily because you violated a law.

It’s easy to create with a fresh email a new account, but you loose your social relations, your reputation you build up over time and which may be worthy something. Web 2.0 is all about collaboration with people you agreed to follow or work with. Denying your access to your facebook or twitter account has in these days huge impact on your social live.

Because the nowadays services like facebook, twitter, xing, linkedin, google, google docs and others have an overhelming market share excluding you would leave you with no real alternative. Or do you know a competitor to facebook with that many people in?

That leaves the question for me whether you get some kind of right to your account when the market shares of these services continue to raise. Your opinion is welcome.

Breaking the monopoly of big business

The new Web 2.0 infrastructure lowers the entry barrier to start new businesses. Everyone can start broadcasting, selling or organizing people without a venture capital in the back or risk. You just need time, ideas and patience. Communities can easily organize themselves, even when spread over a continent.

That’s also true for the press and media industry. Spend time writing your blog or twitter messages and people will follow you. If you are good you can make money out of it. The last article of Pit Gottschalk stands in a line of articels in the last month which discuss the actual decline of commercial newspapers.

Like the breakdown of the music industry, which lost almost their monopoly to distribute in large scale music and decide who get famous, a lot of other big businesses will suffer the same. The press had also the monopoly to distribute information in large scale and decide what will be discussed by people. It was necessary because it was expensive and difficult to create and distribute content. The new Web 2.0 services lower this barrier significantly.

Also the press got comfortable with time. Make a survey about the headlines of commercial newspaper in the world. They are very similar. Why? A lot of newspaper changed from classical journalism to discovering existing news and articles which are provided by agencies, marketing departments, organizations or just blogs. The dangerous part is, that many people start to follow the opinion and filter criteria of certain people, e.g. Pit Gottschalk , Tim OReilly or phomek, and withdraw these “retweeting” newspapers. Continue reading

JSR 168 and JSPWiki

In case you are looking for a Wiki you can integrate into your Portal you will likely search for "JSR 168 Wiki" in Google & Co. This search reveals not much information whether there is a wiki portlet.

Just by luck I discovered that JSPWiki is already integrated as portlet in many Open Source Portal solution: JBoss, Liferay and Sun Glasfish. The status of the integration differs much. While the integration into Liferay is already very good, the integration into JBoss is still Beta2 and lacks attention of the JBoss community. Last friday, JBoss anounced that JBoss wiki will be from now actively maintained by Piergiorgio Lucidi and Luca Stancapiano.

I’m just wondering why there are so many Wiki products out there but no support for integration into a Java Portal which is already a common standard in an enterprise.