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Media Bits & Bytes - Rush to Judgment edition

What Google knew; Limbaugh eats dirt; Networks take over everything; Hard world of cloud computing; Digitized underground; Robert Knight dies

Robert Knight,photo credit -

Google Knew About Heartbleed and didn't Tell the Government

By Brendan Sasso
April 14, 2014
National Journal

For some period of time, Google knew about a critical flaw in Internet security and didn't alert anyone in the government. Neel Mehta, a Google engineer, first discovered "Heartbleed" - a bug that undermines the widely used encryption technology OpenSSL - some time in March. A team at the Finnish security firm Codenomicon discovered the flaw around the same time. Google was able to patch most of its services - such as email, search, and YouTube - before the companies publicized the bug on April 7.

"Reports that NSA or any other part of the government were aware of the so-called Heartbleed vulnerability before April 2014 are wrong. The Federal government was not aware of the recently identified vulnerability in OpenSSL until it was made public in a private sector cybersecurity report," Caitlin Hayden, a White House spokeswoman, said in a statement.

Rush Limbaugh Is In Ruins - Bad News Coming From Every Direction - Including the Right

By Leslie Salzillo
April 18, 2014
Daily Kos

It's been a very bad week for talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, and a very rewarding week for the millions of Americans who have protested his extreme hate speech for decades. Two years ago, newer groups like BoycottRush/FlushRush/StopRush began a massive national boycott movement that is exposing Limbaugh and crushing his career.

The People's Platform Review - An 'Invaluable Primer' for Understanding the Networked World

By John Naughton
April 19, 2014
The Guardian (UK)

Astra Taylor's study of the internet reveals how our hopes for a brave new democratic world were undone by corporate greed.

For the first 20 years of the evolution of the internet, Cyberspace was the preserve of a privileged elite - the computer scientists, engineers and graduate students who collaboratively designed and had access to it. And the inhabitants of meatspace were, for the most part, blissfully unaware of its existence.

It hasn't worked out quite like that. The launch of the Mosaic browser in 1993 transformed the internet into a mainstream medium and brought the corporate world online, so from then on the die was cast.

What happened is that the two universes effectively merged, so we now live in a strange amalgam of meat- and cyberspace in which the elements of each run riot. A virtual space that once had no crime and no surveillance has become one with an abundance of each; and the "real" world has been destabilised by the astonishing power and properties of networks.

Searching the Planet to Find Power for the Cloud

By Steve Henn
April 21, 2014
All Tech Considered

You hear the term "the cloud" or "cloud computing," and you picture something puffy, white, clean and quiet. Cloud computing is anything but.

Even from a distance you can hear the hum of a modern data center. Last week, I visited one of the largest in Santa Clara, Calif., in the heart of Silicon Valley. It's called SC1, is owned by DuPont Fabros Technology and is about a quarter-mile long.

DuPont Fabros is one of a half-dozen cloud storage providers you've probably never heard of. But their business is to build out these enormous buildings that house and cool millions of computer servers. This company's customers include Microsoft and Facebook.

Creating the Most Extensive Digital Collection of Underground Papers Ever

By Ken Wachsberger
April 16, 2014
Ken Wachsberger's Blog

I am introducing what is to date the most extensive project ever to digitize underground, alternative, and literary publications from the fifties through the eighties and outline the economic model that is making this project possible at about one-fifth the cost to libraries that other digital publishers would charge, and with open access, not perpetual profits, as a result - an absolutely unique concept in the digitizing field.

If you are a librarian at any institution of higher learning who wants to enhance your collections of digital resources without busting your budget, this model was created with you in mind. And if you are a writer or antiwar activist from the period who wrote for or published one of these publications, especially one that is not already on board the project, we need to talk as well.

Robert Knight, WBAI-FM anchorman and host, dies at 64

By David Hinckley
April 20, 2014
New York Daily News

Knight  -  who had hosted `Five O'Clock Shadow,' `Earthwatch' and `Wake Up Call' for the station  -  had also been a contributor to `The Daily Show' and had won the prestigious George Polk Award for journalism. He died of complications of a long illness on Wednesday.