In this issue we seek to advance the exploration and understanding of how the themes of value and currency intersect peer production. This objective presented a double challenge for the contributors and for us as editors. Indeed, the scholarly articles included in this issue have attempted to provide analytical and theoretically grounded investigations of a world that is, on the one hand, often developing more quickly than the academic publication process can account for in a timely way, and on the other hand, mostly shaped by expert-practitioners. At the same time, these contributions seek to engage not only with scholars of related issues within the academic community, but also with practitioners themselves — who, on their end, have demonstrated a strong interest in this dialogue, as the invited comments section shows.
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The architecture of a networked system is its underlying technical structure — its logical and structural layout. In my last article for the Internet Policy Review Musiani, a , I have built upon the work of several authors in science and technology studies, economics, law and computer science e. Star, ; van Schewick, ; Elkin-Koren, ; Agre, to discuss the idea of network architecture as internet governance.
I have suggested that, by changing the design of the networks subtending internet-based services and the global internet itself, the politics of the network of networks are affected — the balance of rights between users and providers, the capacity of online communities to engage in open and direct interaction, the fair competition between actors of the internet market. More specifically, the paper sheds light on how changes in the architectural design of networked services affect the circulation, storage and privacy of data, as well as the rights and responsibilities exerted by different actors on them.
This article does not mean to be a compendium of the implications of the decentralisation option in building a cloud platform, which entails a number of technical complications as well as advantages, including how to ensure the reliability and redundancy of data, and the soundness of the encryption mechanism. However, the privacy-related design choices described here are some of the many possible ways to illustrate the extent to which changes in network architecture are, indeed, changes to network governance. According to this model, the service provider is in charge of both the physical infrastructure and the software.
Thus, the service provider hosts applications and data at once — in a location, and according to modalities, unknown or at best ambiguous to the user Mowbray, This choice entails a number of peculiar features. The content is then divided into fragments, duplicated to ensure redundancy, and spread out to the network.
The user can specify the extent to which local resources are used in the settings of the Drizzle client software. The amount of resources the user is allowed to use in Drizzle depends on the amount of local resources the user is contributing to Drizzle. The interdependent and egalitarian model subtending the platform will allow its users to barter their local disk space with an equivalent space in the decentralised cloud, thereby improving the quality of this storage space, which will become permanently available and accessible.
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By shaping their decentralised storage service, the developers of Drizzle carry on a double experimentation: with the frontier between centralisation and decentralisation, and with sharing modalities that blend peer-to-peer, social networking and the cloud. Indeed, social media, Facebook and Twitter in particular, were at that moment entering the daily life of millions of internet users in an increasingly pervasive way.
In , Facebook had been in existence for three years.
In parallel to their spectacular growth, social networks raise vibrant discussions and controversies, both within the expert community and among the general public. The ways in which social networking service providers leverage personal information and user data remains controversial, since they sometimes mean allowing external applications to access them, while on other occasions they pursue direct commercial purposes Boyd, The rise of the so-called cloud does nothing to mitigate the impression of risk for informed users, as applications and data are increasingly hosted in locations and ways unknown or at best ambiguous.
User exposure on social networking sites and on cloud-based services positions privacy, more than ever, at the foreground of discussions.
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As in the development of Drizzle, a conception of privacy and confidentiality of personal data, which is conceived of and enforced via technical means — called privacy by design Cavoukian, ; Schaar, , is at work. This conceptualisation of privacy is defined by means of the constraints and the opportunities linked to the treatment and the location of data, according to the different moments and the variety of operations taking place within the system.
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Please, do not forget your password and use, if needed, your password hint. The operations, for the most part automatically managed, that are linked to the protection of personal data are thus hosted on the terminals of users. However, this reconfiguration in the balance of rights comes with a trade-off. As the password stays with the user and is not sent to the servers controlled by the firm, the latter cannot retrieve the password if needed. Thus, users do not only see their privacy reinforced, but at the same time and for the same reasons, the responsibility for their actions is augmented — while the service provider renounces to some of its control on the content that circulates thanks to the service it manages.
However, it is also necessary to define the articulation between the availability of resources and the different operations to which these resources will be destined to within the system. The articulation of these two aspects has important implications for the confidentiality of data circulating in the system both personal information and content stored by users.
This data includes their IP addresses, disposability and the amount of resources they are contributing e. However, none of this data contains information from your private or shared files. Thus, the correct functioning of the allocation system indeed implies the gathering of several pieces of information concerning the material, computational and memory resources pooled by each participating computer.
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The pooling of the storage equipment i. However, it should be pointed out that an important part of the decentralisation choice made by the Drizzle team has involved assessing its possible downsides: reliability and redundancy of data, slow downloading performances, soundness of the encryption mechanism, and — no less important — the perception of these issues by users. All of these are complex issues and most of them could not be accounted for here — it has been done in a much more detailed manner elsewhere Musiani, , by analysing, with tools derived from the field of science and technology studies STS , a number of socio-technical controversies related to the development of the platform.
However, the privacy-related dynamics provided here are a few of the several possible ways to flesh out the extent to which changes in network architecture are, indeed, changes in network governance. Agre, P.
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Aigrain, P. Akrich, M. Boyd, D. Callon, M. Agir dans un monde incertain. Cavoukian, A. Identity in the Information Society, 3 2. Dodier, N. Les Hommes et les Machines. Elkin-Koren, N. Guerrini, Y. Kopstein, J. Le Fessant, F. Moglen, E. Mowbray, M. Musiani, F. Paris : Presses des Mines. Schaar, P. Schollmeier, R. Star, S. Taylor, I. Second and Expanded Edition. London: Springer-Verlag. Internet Architecture and Innovation.
Vinck, D. Everyday Engineering. An Ethnography of Design and Innovation. The names of the developers are pseudonyms, as well. Bonne lecture:. Their peer-to-peer architecture holds the potential for greatly improved privacy and security on the Internet. But existing apart from commonly used protocols and standards can also preclude any possibility of widespread adoption.
Though Snowden has raised the profile of privacy technology, it will be up to engineers and their allies to make that technology viable for the masses. Follow Me:. It constitutes the logical and structural layout of a system, including transmission equipment, communication protocols, infrastructure, and connectivity between its components or nodes. This article introduces the idea of network architecture as internet governance 1 , and more specifically, it outlines the dialectic between centralised and distributed architectures, institutions and practices, and how they mutually affect each other.
Technical architectures, as argued by several authors discussed in this article, may be understood as alternative ways of influencing economic systems, sets of rules, communities of practice — indeed, as the very fabric of user behaviour and interaction. The status of every internet user as consumer, sharer, producer and possibly manager of digital content is informed by, and shapes in return, the technical structure and organisation of the services she has access to.
It is in this sense that network architecture is internet governance: by changing the design of the networks subtending internet-based services, and the global internet itself, the politics of the network of networks are affected — the balance of rights between users and providers, the capacity of online communities to engage in open and direct interaction, the fair competition between actors of the internet market. The ways in which architecture is politics, protocols are law, code shapes rights e. This section, while not pretending to be exhaustive, discusses some key approaches to the question.
Interested in the relationship between architectures and the organisation of society, Terje Rasmussen has argued that there is a structural match between the development of the technical model of the internet such as packet switching and distributed routing and the transformation of the societies in which it operates. In this account, the technical infrastructure of the Internet suggests that ours is a distributed society, based on the ability to handle risk, rather than on central control.
IT law scholar Barbara van Schewick seeks to examine how changes, notably design choices, in internet architecture affect the economic environment for innovation, and evaluates the impact of these changes from the perspective of public policy , p. After many years of research on innovation processes, we understand how these are affected by changes in laws, norms, and prices; yet, we lack a similar understanding of how architecture and innovation impact each other, perhaps for the intrinsic appeal of architectures as purely technical systems ibid.
Traditionally, she concludes, policy makers have used the law to bring about desired economic effects. Architecture de facto constitutes an alternative way of influencing economic systems, and as such, it is becoming another tool that actors can use to further their interests ibid. Among the scholars that have since been inspired by this line of inquiry, Niva Elkin-Koren is especially relevant. In her work e. The interrelationship between law and technology often focuses on one single aspect, the challenges that emerging technologies pose to the existing legal regime, thereby creating a need for further legal reform; however, the author argues, juridical measures involving technology both as a target of regulation and as a means of enforcement should take into account that the law does not merely respond to new technologies, but also shapes them and may affect their design Elkin-Koren, While internet users have become, at least potentially, not only consumers but also distributors, sharers and producers of digital content, the network of networks is structured in such a way that large quantities of data are centralised and compressed within large data centers and server farms.
At the same time, such data is most suited to a rapid re-diffusion and re-sharing in multiple locations of a network that has now reached an unprecedented level of globalisation. The current organisation of internet-based services and the structure of the network that enables their delivery — with its mandatory passage points, places of storage and trade, required intersections — raises many questions, in terms of the optimised utilisation of resources, the fluidity, rapidity and effectiveness of electronic exchanges, the security of exchanges, the stability of the network.
From the viewpoint of informational data, personal data and exchanged content, this implies that sharing, regrouping and stocking those data in the most popular, and widespread internet services of today means promoting a model in which traffic is re-directed towards an ensemble of machines, placed under the exclusive and direct control of the service provider. The ways in which data circulates, is stored and written in these machines is often uncertain; moreover, the rights that the service provider acquires on such data are often excessive with respect to those maintained by the end user — in such a way that is often opaque for users themselves 2.
It modifies the ways in which the control on informational data, and the responsibility of their protection, are spread out to the users, the service providers and the developers who have created the service. With G. Sire LPT. Rajsbaum and A. Clue: Cycle-based Laboratory of Urban Evolutions.
Clue focuses on building a distributed and citizen-based system to capture bicycle moving patterns and atmospheric pollution. With J-F. Syscob , bio-inspired complex systems. Co-leader with G. Syscob is leverages cross-disciplinary approaches for building intelligent swarms of drones. Distributed Algorithms WP leader. LAAS leader. Mobile project leader. Server-side and access control leader. During the master project the student will apply his technical and scientific knowledge to real problems and implements its qualities of imagination, curiosity and scientific rigor. In the SMA, the Master project lasts 17 weeks.
For projects in the Fall semester, the deadline is Friday July 26th, , while in the Spring it is Wednesday December 19th, The Graduation Day will take place on Saturday 5th October, Other professors prefer that the students contact them directly. Choose your topic and contact the professor in charge in order to specify the goals.
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