Naked Celebrity Pictures & Other Hot 2014 Cloud Stories

2014 in the Cloud

This report looks at six major cloud news stories from 2014:

  • Introduction
  • IBM Cloud Focus & New Datacenters
  • Microsoft Court Battle over Ireland
  • Code Spaces & Autotask Failures
  • IBM & SAP Partnership
  • Microsoft & Bitcasa Switch Unlimited Gears
  • Naked Celebrity Pictures: 4chan Becomes TMZ
  • Conclusion


As technologists and business analysts expected, many more businesses migrated to cloud systems last year. Within the field, top computing companies such as Microsoft and IBM were able to strip away some of the almost monopolistic market share of AWS.

Let’s look at several of the top stories that emerged, with initial ideas from James Bourne of Cloud Tech News.

IBM Cloud Focus & New Datacenters

IBM has long been a dominant vendor for legacy systems. Last year, though, the company wisely shifted directions and dedicated $2.2 billion to building its cloud.

The multibillion dollar investment came in two different announcements. As Re/code reports, the company followed up a $1.2 billion plan to build 27 new cloud datacenters (January) with a $1 billion commitment to beef up software integration within SoftLayer (February). It may seem naïve for a legacy company to come in and challenge Amazon with a rebranding that’s a little late in the game, but $2.2 billion is not chump change.

Other major tech companies came out to chip away at AWS, casting nets for disenchanted customers. SAP, for instance, commented at various times that it was intent on becoming the go-to option for cloud services.

Microsoft Court Battle over Ireland

A New York state court decided that Microsoft would have to give the federal government data contained within emails that are stored in a Dublin-based data center. Bourne’s reporting of the incident becomes a little sloppy when he says it “raised alarm bells for any company that employs a US cloud provider – their data could be searched and taken at any given moment.”

Why is this sloppy? Microsoft is NOT handing over the data. They are refusing. They are actually refusing because they have to, in a sense: they are caught between the “demands” of two different governments, that of the United States and the European Union.

In December, The Register noted that Microsoft has collected supportive statements from 23 computing professional organizations and nonprofits, 35 leading computer science professors, and 28 US-based technology companies – including Amazon, Cisco, Verizon, Apple, and AT&T.

Code Spaces & Autotask Failures

Code Spaces was destroyed by hackers. The company specialized in Git hosting and provided cloud Apache subversion (the latter of which – a.k.a. SVN – is an open source, free revision control app).

Code Spaces is a big-name example of something that occurs for many small companies: inability to conduct business and bankruptcy following a hack (with 60% of small businesses shutting down within half a year).

The intrusion, which occurred in June, began with a DDoS attack. The attackers then broke into the firm’s AWS control panel and attempted to extort an undisclosed amount of money in exchange for retreating. Code Spaces was unable to recover.

SaaS CRM company Autotask had its own debacle two weeks afterward, when its system failed following an unexpected spike in traffic.

IBM & SAP Partnership

Based on a track record of partnership on various projects for four decades, SAP will now use IBM as the infrastructure for its enterprise cloud.

Microsoft & Bitcasa Switch Unlimited Gears

Microsoft started offering unlimited cloud storage to Office 365 users in June. Meanwhile, Bitcasa stopped giving unlimited storage to its customers. Bourne thinks that the more conservative strategy by Bitcasa is probably the right direction: “Cloud storage and enterprise file and sync is a hot market, and differentiation may be key.”

Naked Celebrity Pictures: 4chan Becomes TMZ

Several celebrity women – including Kate Upton, McKayla Maroney, and Jennifer Lawrence – were violated by a hack of their iCloud images in August that revealed private nude photos. (For more such undercover news, you can tune into GossipBae and similar sites).

Mashable reports that a few of the women will be seeking legal damages for the hack, although the hackers remain anonymous. Lawrence and Maroney have both begun contacting porn sites that shared the illicit images demanding they be pulled offline, says TMZ.

In late August, Reddit removed a subgroup from its site entitled “The Fappening” that had become a central point to access the images.

Unfortunately for the victims, though, it may be pointless to try to keep the images off the Internet altogether. For one thing, there is nothing that more greatly enrages a male Web user than seeing any depletion in the amount of materials immediately available for self-stimulation. Plus, websites do not have to remove pictures, whether a court rules that it must take the pictures down or not.


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By Kent Roberts