I&IC workshop #1 at HEAD: literature

By Sunday, September 28, 2014 Tags: 0034, Ethnography, Research, Users Permalink 0

It seems that practices related to Cloud Computing are not so commonly investigated. Here’s a short list of papers about user research, sadly mostly focused on professional practices:

England, D., Randles, M., & Taleb-Bendiab, A. (2011). Designing interaction for the cloud. Proceeding CHI EA ’11 CHI ’11 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, pp. 2453-2456

Farnham, S.D., Turski, A., & Halai, S. (2012). Docs.com: Social file sharing in Facebook. In Proc. ICWSM 2012. Cambridge, MA: AAAI Press.

Marshall, C. & Tang, J.C. (2012). That syncing feeling: Early user experiences with the cloud, in Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) 2012, ACM, 11 June 2012.

Muller, M., Millen, D.R., & Feinberg, J. (2010). Patterns of usage in an enterprise file-sharing service: Publicizing, discovering, and telling the news. In Proceedings of CHI 2010. New York: ACM Press, pp. 763–766.

Rader, E. (2009). Yours, mine, and (not) ours: Social influences on group information repositories. In Proceedings of CHI 2009. New York: ACM Press, pp. 2095–2098.

Shami, N.S., Muller, M., & Millen, D. (2011). Browse and discover: Social file sharing in the enterprise. In Proc. CSCW 2011. New York: ACM Press, pp. 295–304.

Tang, J.C., Brubaker, J.C. & Marshall, C.C. (2013). What Do You See In The Cloud? Understanding the Cloud-Based User Experience through Practices, in Human-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2013, Springer, 2 September 2013.

Voida, A., Olson, J.S., & Olson, G.M. (2013). Turbulence in the clouds: Challenges of cloud-based information work. In Proceedings of the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2013). Paris, France, April 27–May 2. New York: ACM Press, pp. 2273-2282.

Open Compute Project



The Open Compute Project was initiated by Facebook. They decided to fully open the specifications of their data center in Prineville, all specs (from hardware to software, through cabinet and building design, etc.) In this way, Facebook pioneered the open source approach that many major players are now adopting.


This resource will undoubtedly serve our project when it will come to think about the infrastructure.




A software project worth mentioning even so we didn’t have the occasion to test it yet. It looks like it technically follows some points we would like to follow too during our project, even so it is probably to much in its “infancy” (alpha version 0.3.1 at this date) and unstable at this stage for us to use.

Reblog > Into the Cloud (with zombies)

By Wednesday, September 17, 2014 Tags: 0030, Data, Datacenter, Designers, Energy Permalink 0

Note: Published almost two years ago, this interesting post by Kazys Varnelis


Via varnelis.net

Today’s New York Times carries a front-page piece by James Glanz on the massive energy waste and pollution produced by data centers. The lovely cloud that we’ve all been seeing icons for lately, turns out is not made of data, but rather of smog.

The basics here aren’t very new. Already six years ago, we heard the apocryphal story of a Second Life avatar consuming as much energy as the average Brazilian. That data centers consume huge amounts of energy and contribute to pollution is well known.

On the other hand, Glanz does make a few critical observations. First, much of this energy use and pollution comes from our need to have data instantly accessible. Underscoring this, the article ends with the following quote:

“That’s what’s driving that massive growth — the end-user expectation of anything, anytime, anywhere,” said David Cappuccio, a managing vice president and chief of research at Gartner, the technology research firm. “We’re what’s causing the problem.”

Second, much of this data is rarely, if ever used, residing on unused, “zombie” servers. Back to our Second Life avatars, like many of my readers, I created a few avatars a half decade ago and haven’t been back since. Do these avatars continue consuming energy, making Second Life an Internet version of the Zombie Apocalypse?



So the ideology of automobliity—that freedom consists of the ability to go anywhere at anytime—is now reborn, in zombie form, on the Net. Of course it also exists in terms of global travel. I’ve previously mentioned the incongruity between individuals proudly declaring that they live in the city so they don’t drive yet bragging about how much they fly.

For the 5% or so that comprise world’s jet-setting, cloud-dwelling élite, gratification is as much the rule as it ever was for the much-condemned postwar suburbanites, only now it has to be instantaneous and has to demonstrate their ever-more total power. To mix my pop culture references, perhaps that is the lesson we can take away from Mad Men. As Don Draper moves from the suburb to the city, his life loses its trappings of familial responsibility, damaged and conflicted though they may have been, in favor of a designed lifestyle, unbridled sexuality, and his position at a creative workplace. Ever upwards with gratification, ever downwards with responsibility, ever upwards with existential risk.

Survival depends on us ditching this model once and for all.

Little mobile “datacenters” (cabinets)

Other projects that seem worth mentioning are these mini mobile, “all in one” modular units that look very infrastructural. The Mobile Data Center Solution by Avnet was launched in 2013, the C3 – S.P.E.A.R. by Eliptical Mobile Solution too (which seems to serve as the base for the Avnet one btw).