"A virtual CPU is whatever Amazon wants to offer in an instance series."
No. The vCPU (Virtual CPU) aspect of an AWS EC2 Instance is the county of virtual cores that are exposed to an OS. In desktop computers, a quad core Intel CPU will appear to have four courses when looked at from inside the OS (my go-to way to count them in Linux is to run top and press 1). A quad core hyperthreaded Intel CPU will appear to have 8 cores. The vCPU metric simply tells you what the OS will show you, and tells you how many processor threads can run concurrently.
"If you deal with server sizing and instance price comparison, then the measure -- previously expressed as an EC2 Compute Unit or ECU -- is kaput."
Yes, ECU (Elastic Compute Unit) metrics are still used behind the scenes, but Amazon does publish them. Even for new Instances. Check out these URL's:
Of course, this isn't very parsable by human eyes. So someone started an open source project to display this data, and its available at http://www.ec2instances.info/
So yeah, TFA is wrong.
"An agreement is yet to be signed." is in the OP's link and that gives us an idea that in the future there MAY be an agreement.
That article is from June 23, 2011. A final agreement called the Momorandum of Understanding (PDF) was written on July 6, 2011. It's an agreement between MPAA, RIAA, AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Cablevision, and Time Warner Cable. I don't know if it was actually signed on the lines, and I haven't heard of anyone leaving or entering the agreement.
Possibly. To add to your anecdote, a couple months ago my old Yahoo! account got cracked, and I figured it was because I had left a weak password on there (fairly susceptible to a dictionary attack with some variance). So I changed to a stronger password and enabled two factor authentication. Then last week my coworker also got cracked, and she reported that she had a weak password.
Maybe someone got a copy of a Yahoo! hashed password and user name table that they can work against with a computer cluster, or maybe Yahoo! is allowing tons of fast authentication attempts against single user names on their servers.
I ran a quick strings and grep on all the files, hoping to get some juicy comments from source code, but I didn't get much:
..., and it could possibly bring down subscription rates for high speed internet,
Yeah, I don't see that statement as being true. Large web companies will only provide their on-site servers to large ISPs. The large ISPs have no reason to or history of reducing their subscription rates. If the servers were provided to smaller ISPs (such as GWI), then they could lower their rates and become more competitive. Maybe if the servers were provided to tier 2 peering networks, they could pass on the savings to small ISPs? I don't know enough about tiers or peering to know if that's a possibility.
Help fight continental drift.