EDUCAUSE recently released a book entitled The Tower and The Cloud that addresses some of the promises and pitfalls presented by resources that exist 'in the cloud'.
Richard Katz, the book's editor and Educause VP, indicates that the book is “a celebration of what is possible and what is becoming possible,” but also “a cautionary tale.” further adding that “...we don’t know really what happens when you make your infrastructure interdependent with Amazon or you place your data in the care of Google”
They are clearly walking the walk with OER as the entire book is available as a PDF from their site.
There seems to be more and more movement towards this kind of openness which makes me hopeful there is a real shift going on in higher education.
It brings to mind several conference presentations that I attended a couple of years ago - where the faculty and graduate students presenting were celebrating the fact that they had collaborated(!) on the research they presented. That was a dramatic contrast to my experience as a graduate student (nearly 20 years ago now) where the dominant interaction was to "out-do your colleagues" in a competitive environment that didn't support collaboration.
The Commonwealth of Learning has recently published several other books online related to international and online education. You can read about them and download copies from http://www.col.org/
The patriot act, a topic raised in the "boundaries and barriers" thread is a big one. Another is related to the risks of losing content stored on private service sites. This blog post from Vicki Davis describes a dilemma that is quite common. Some of these services allow ways to keep copies of your content locally.
What to do? What criteria do we use to decide if a service is reliable?