Twitter instant search site Twitstant has solved the frustrating problem of short urls (ie, where is this link taking me?) When you hover over any short url on Twitstant, a lightbox appears with both the expanded URL and a screen shot preview of the site. Simple but innovative.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is migrating to the cloud in a 78-month deal with CSC valued at $230 MIL. There is a 6 month initial period, followed by 6 one year options. The one year options is typical of government contracts. CSC had previously announced partnerships with Google and Amazon to provide cloud-based services to clients. A larger number of cloud deals is already replacing yesterday's mega-deals.
The US Government is requiring a Cloud First approach to IT as part of the 2012 budget process. Jeffrey Zients, chief performance officer at the Office of Management and Budget, discusses "a new strategy to fundamentally change how the federal government purchases and uses IT". Cost is a motivating factor in the decision, but cloud computing does not always result in cost savings. Many cloud computing projects, in fact, have been a money sink.
Amazon has added a new Cluster GPU instance to its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) platform, which provides scalable computing capacity in the cloud.

The GPU Quadruple Extra Large Instance has a pair of Nvidia Tesla M2050 Fermi GPUs, each of which has 448 cores and 3 GB of RAM. You can use up to 8 GPUs in a cluster (need to ask Amazon if you want more).

This computing power does not come cheap: $2.10/hour or .75/hour if you pay an upfront fee of $5k/year.

Security remains one of the top issues facing companies using or providing cloud computing. Here's one use you might not have thought of: using cloud computing resources to speed password hacking. TechWorld writes about this very subject. The article does not cover legal issues surrounding. If a site is hacked using computer resources from AWS, for example, would AWS have any legal exposure? Attorneys, please weigh in!