Why the cloud may well be another hype and bubble

I think that cloud services and their usefulness are totally overestimated and to a greater extend a complete hype. The argument goes:

  • cloud services are taking the control over your data. You loose not only ownership but also the control over access to it. At the end, only full encrypted data or insignificant data can be put into the cloud. If you are running an enterprise outside the US the situation is even more dramatic given the aspects of extraterritoriality, potential industrial espionage and non respect of national legislation of user privacy data.
  • Cloud service have shown during the years to be heavily unreliably. Recall the hundreds of thousands of lost mail in hotmail, the errors committed by providers in restoring mails or data and what happens if the providers backup system fails or is even fulfilled only on the paper. It is enough to google to get goosebumps.
  • Cloud services are bound to the existence of the provider. In the worst case scenario, the provider economically fails, gets unavailable. The data is lost. An economical disaster that may threaten the very existence of the industry hit by the event. And if you answer now that this is not credible: it has been in the news today in Europe that the Austrian ISP called “mywave” vanished because apparently in bankruptcy. This is not all, the server are inaccessible and it remains unclear if the data of the clients is even recoverable. “That cannot happen to big industries – too big to fail1!”. Is it? Recall a bank called Lehman Brothers? The where given as infallible as well.

For all these reasons for me the cloud is a hype. Like the prognostics that the PC is dead, that all will be tablet now and all will be smart phone now. For sure if you have an industry, you motto shall be “all will be redundant now, all important things will be redundant, encrypted, where possible offline.

What is your opinion on this. I would be interested to hear it.

An interesting topic.

I partly agree, except that I think you are too harsh.

Personally, I have not signed up for any cloud service, and for the reasons that you give - mainly, I don’t trust it at present. But I am probably using some cloud services anyway. For example, I installed the “Kindle for PC” software in Windows on a dual boot system, and I think Kindle depends on cloud services.

Something to keep in mind, is that there are many very non-techical users of computers. And cloud services may have more for them than for those of us a bit more in touch with the technology.

In the old days, everything was done in central computers, with remote terminals just connecting to the central system. To some extent, the cloud is recreating that sort of environment, though at a far higher level and with a more distributed “central system.” One advantage of the old central model, is that it could be managed by technically knowledgable people. When we abandoned the old central model, and moved to the PC world, we put not-technical people in charge of systems that were well beyond their competence to manage. And the result was malware, phishing, identity theft and many other kinds of problem. There’s a possibility that a move to cloud computing can alleviate some of those problems.

Am Mon, 19 Dec 2011 16:56:03 +0000 schrieb stakanov:

> I think that cloud services and their usefulness are totally
> overestimated and to a greater extend a complete hype. The argument
> goes:
>
>
> - cloud services are taking the control over your data. You loose
> not only ownership but also the control over access to it. At the
> end, only full encrypted data or insignificant data can be put
> into the cloud. If you are running an enterprise outside the US
> the situation is even more dramatic given the aspects of
> extraterritoriality, potential industrial espionage and non
> respect of national legislation of user privacy data.

Well, i think we need to differentiate between private and enterprise. A
lot of small firms could benefit from a cloud since they don’t need to
invest in servers, it personal etc…
Bigger firms have their own stuff and may still outsource.
A lot of data ist already in the cloud. Especially with devices like
Kindle or any other device that relays on a cloud since the content ist
not saved on that device.

> - Cloud service have shown during the years to be heavily
> unreliably. Recall the hundreds of thousands of lost mail in
> hotmail, the errors committed by providers in restoring mails or
> data and what happens if the providers backup system fails or is
> even fulfilled only on the paper. It is enough to google to get
> goosebumps.

There was an article on Ars that said, that the two top performers where
Amazon and MS’s Azura. But with Amazon leading and having virtually no
failure to speak off.
The cloud works for me so far with Netflix. I don’t have any problems for
the most part. But if the internet is disrubted then you have nothing.

> - Cloud services are bound to the existence of the provider. In
> the worst case scenario, the provider economically fails, gets
> unavailable. The data is lost. An economical disaster that may
> threaten the very existence of the industry hit by the event. And
> if you answer now that this is not credible: it has been in the
> news today in Europe that the Austrian ISP called “mywave”
> vanished because apparently in bankruptcy. This is not all, the
> server are inaccessible and it remains unclear if the data of the
> clients is even recoverable. “That cannot happen to big industries
> – too big to fail1!”. Is it? Recall a bank called Lehman Brothers?
> The where given as infallible as well.

Well, everything can fail. But it is unlikely that a service like Amazon
will fail.
As far as Lehman, that was a test case. After that every bank is holy and
worth saving. So you will not see any bank fail anymore. Signed by J.P.M.

>
> For all these reasons for me the cloud is a hype. Like the prognostics
> that the PC is dead, that all will be tablet now and all will be smart
> phone now. For sure if you have an industry, you motto shall be “all
> will be redundant now, all important things will be redundant,
> encrypted, where possible offline.
>
>
> What is your opinion on this. I would be interested to hear it.

I don’t think you can call it really a hype. A company like Amazon is
already fusing the internet with their servers. So there is already
something there.
A hype would be somthing really virtual, like non existent but just the
hope of something.

Just my thought.

There is another point i like to make and that is green.

Devices like Amazon’s Kindle or Fire require not as good hardware like an iPad. The need to get every new cycle new hardware is not as high i think. The cloud can be a good thing, but you trade for convenience.

If you are believer that the data’s you own are holy and you should be truly in control, then the cloud is not an option. But today we share so much information already that it is not possible to guarantee real anonymity.
But there is also a downside. Lets say you have some unofficial data (your latest rip from a movie perhaps) would store that in the cloud? I am not sure what is controlled and what not.
Is there any verification of pieces of data?
Who is enforcing it?
Will you data be shared?
So i am not certain myself.

But back to my original point. I think the cloud can be a benefit if it leads to a lesser consume oriented buying habit. If you can run the app longer on your machine you don’t need to buy a newer one.
For that reason i think Apple products are so very consumeristic like in the old home computer days.

When I sometimes say that governments should not be corrupt and should work for the good of nations i am called “a romantic”. This makes me smile very often. There a tons of “scientists” and high grade economists that are talking about markets to be “free”, about self control of the industry and of some invisible hand and competitions. Oh, yes and that consumers are rational. Very funny. Now THIS is really romantic.
This is why I would dismiss your argument of “green”. Cloud services will give way to a higher consumer behavior then any other product ever. The reason? Once established the temptation is simply too big. You change the format of the ebooks justifying it with “security concerns”, new features “the market demands”, IP problems…and hooops, all your hardware out there gets magically obsolete. Of course you can still use it but who has the control ,and this is not you any more but who is controlling the cloud, will deliver new services and good performance only who is not using “obsolete hardware”. And what is obsolete is defined with the “end of life approach” with a J&B and some friends in an afternoon session in the presence of a few analysts.

Then unfortunately the cloud is also requiring enormous energy. Servers have to be cooled 24/24 and they are therefore not greener then private devices. Even worse, if they are not running on full load they are actually burning money. So saying that a cloud service is green is actually doing “green washing”, a very beloved sport of the industry. At least this is my point of view.

Cloud services leave also good and total control of who is reading what. Maybe even in real time. No anonymity, no persistence of information (remember how Amazon did “just delete” a book of the property of their client, without asking? Great).

Ring ring. Somebody at the door. Who are you? “Oh, I am from Amazon, just one moment”. Guy walks in leaving you baffled at the door, walking into the living room, takes a book you did buy a month ago from the bookshelf (you were still reading it) and walks into the garden. Pours two gallons of gasoline on it and burns it. “Thank you” he says, there was a problem with some copyright we didn’t pay. We will refund you…maybe". What would you do in this case? I do not think you would let it happen. But with cloud services you simply have no choice. It happens.

What may be a good cloud development could be a decentralized, network based service in the hand of users. I recall Eben Moglen at the FOSSDEM this year in Bruxelles where he spoke about the “Freedom Box”](Eben Moglen Is Reshaping Internet With a Freedom Box - The New York Times). Maybe technically difficult but at the end maybe very well necessary.

Am Wed, 21 Dec 2011 15:16:02 +0000 schrieb stakanov:

> JoergJaeger;2420767 Wrote:
>>
>> But back to my original point. I think the cloud can be a benefit if it
>> leads to a lesser consume oriented buying habit. If you can run the app
>> longer on your machine you don’t need to buy a newer one.
>> For that reason i think Apple products are so very consumeristic like
>> in the old home computer days.
>
> When I sometimes say that governments should not be corrupt and should
> work for the good of nations i am called “a romantic”. This makes me
> smile very often. There a tons of “scientists” and high grade economists
> that are talking about markets to be “free”, about self control of the
> industry and of some invisible hand and competitions. Oh, yes and that
> consumers are rational. Very funny. Now THIS is really romantic.
> This is why I would dismiss your argument of “green”. Cloud services
> will give way to a higher consumer behavior then any other product ever.
> The reason? Once established the temptation is simply too big. You
> change the format of the ebooks justifying it with “security concerns”,
> new features “the market demands”, IP problems…and hooops, all your
> hardware out there gets magically obsolete. Of course you can still use
> it but who has the control ,and this is not you any more but who is
> controlling the cloud, will deliver new services and good performance
> only who is not using “obsolete hardware”. And what is obsolete is
> defined with the “end of life approach” with a J&B and some friends in
> an afternoon session in the presence of a few analysts.

That is indeed a problem. I am not sure if there is another way around
this.
There are some simple facts one has to deal with.
You have 2 markets at the moment (for consumers).

  1. device centric: This applies to products like the iPod where the
    hardware is what thrives the consumption of media. This is very light in
    cloud use and most of the calculation is done on the device.
  2. cloud centric: This applies to Fire. Here you have a device that is
    somewhat dumped down and like with the browser that comes with the
    device, the calculation are shared between the cloud and the device.

Yes, once in the cloud you are begging that the services never dies,
because if it does you may not have the rights to the content. This
happened already in many cases without cloud. Think of Microsoft or
infamously of Amazon ‘1984’ which is an irony, isn’t.

I don’t want to argue in favor to the cloud, but i think it is just one
way it will go.
Consumers chose convenience over control. It happened already so many
times and to be honest, i beg most people don’t even think about
ownership of something they store and buy. Its just expected.

There are many concerns.

Right now there is a fight here over content rights > SOPA.http://
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stop_Online_Piracy_Act
This shows everyone clearly where the train is heading. But i just know
that most people are not even following that fight because they simply
have other things on their minds.
I think i heard today that MS spend about 500 Mills on it.

As you recall i am using right now Google Mail and its a choice of having
the convenience to receive the mail anywhere i want anytime i want. But
this entails also that Google theoretically can snoop in my emails and
use the information in any manner.

If i were more concerned with my email, i would store it on my harddrive.
But at the same time, i am not sure what my original provider does. How
does he handle the mail thats flows through the fiber.

To me, there is no clear line, its more a shade of gray that i am seeing.

As far as Pad’s go, i don’t even have one. I am very hesitant to buy any
ebook so far. Why? Because i end up printing it out anyway. You know, i
am the printer guy and i just love reading something on paper.

The green aspect i was referring to was if we use this scenario, in where
the device is kind of dumb and does not need to be repurchased every year
like it is right now. Not that anyone needs to buy a new device right now
every year, but ones a new product like iPad hits the street there are
many people standing in line for it.
So, if you don’t need to buy it that often that would save resources and
can help to use less production output and everything after that chain.
Yes, servers run a lot and they do need power. Googles park uses as much
as a city i heard.
But if computers or electronic devices use lesser energy to begin with,
that will save more. Just think of the millions (or even more) devices
that flow around, that end up in the landfill or worst, end up in some
other country in a dump.

I am not saying that i am right here, but there is an argument to be made.

The OP is seeing cloud as storage, as I did at first. As a linux user I’m not really used to buy software anymore, so it keeps slipping my mind.

However I believe that a huge cloud niche in corporate enterprise will be SaaS, software as a service. When internet connection become sufficiently reliable and fast, there will be a real demand for software on a per-use base for non-sensitive jobs - and these service providers can enter into confidentiality agreements with their users.

Things like MSOffice, Autocad, etc., for the casual use will be considerably cheaper than buying and ugrading these apps on a per-seat basis.

And that’s not considering ultra-mobiles and such, with low memory/storage/new OSes to install apps but good browsers.

Just my 2¢

And concerning cloud storage x data confidentiality, take a look at spideroak. It differ from dropbox and the like in that all data is encrypted before being uploaded, and they can’t decrypt it even if they want or are ordered to by some shady government organization.

The downside is obviously that if you loose your password, your data is gone forever.

Anyway, I’ve been using it for months now and it have worked flawlessly syncing my work files between home and office desktops and laptops. I don’t even cary my pendrives with me anymore.

I really like it, so much so that I’m considering making an annual subscription even if I don’t really need hundreds of GB (the free 2GB is ok for now), just to show my support.

Emphasis added.

Well, you hope the data is gone forever. There is actually no guarantee whatsoever that SpiderOak may not have a back-door or may give access through a preprogrammed interface (especially for US governmental agencies). It is closed source software. So anything is possible. Interestingly this is a drawback that it shares with other closed source programs like Skype and Dropbox.

At the end it IMO boils down to the fact that currently the cloud is unsafe. For private data that has no importance it may be O,K. but then why wouldn’t you use an usb-key. If it is important data you run into reliability and especially confidentiality aspects, client side encryption is void if you do not have control over the client running. Right? Just having the key means nothing. Even worse, would you run an ftp like client having access on potentially all your system, while having no idea about what it is able to do?

Even if you use cloud services for number crunching, you would not argue that it is a good thing. E.g. use CAD/CAM on-line. Why should you, if you fear your original design or the content of your technology might be copied on the fly and given away. I can assure you that this scenario, given past experience of European Industries, is close to certainty.

Of course. However it’s way better than dropbox, that make no pretenses on protecting your data from prying eyes.

It’s totally secure, granted, until you lose it (and I lost or had a couple stolen from me). Spideroak is ATM much safer and secure, thank you, without me having to worry about encrypting stuff, losing hardware or remembering to backup stuff. In fact, it’s so much better that I can’t see myself going back to carrying pendrives/usb storage around again.

Always was, always will. 100% certainty only in death or taxes (and I’m not so sure about death :)).

Note the “non-sensitive” qualification in my post (perhaps I should have emphasized it too). There are many users in non-sensitive activities that don’t justify the cost of a MS Office or Autocad package. And some level of protection/confidentiality can be reached, as is currently the case with online banking.


My point is, if you wait for 100% certainty, 100% security, 100% confidentiality, 100% anonymity in the internet, then you’d better lay down…

Am Thu, 22 Dec 2011 20:46:02 +0000 schrieb brunomcl:

>
> My point is, if you wait for 100% certainty, 100% security, 100%
> confidentiality, 100% anonymity in the internet, then you’d better lay
> down…

The more you think about it. A nearly 100% anonymity is not possible. It
is even misleading since the idea of anonymity is derived from an old
thinking of how someone was able to protect himself.
Today everything is, at least in the western world, done over the
internet.
More and more people shop, pay bills, submit taxes over the internet. I
do it too.
There is one way to limit sniffing in that you use a secure hypertransfer
but this still does not guarantee any exposure.

There is another thougth of it. What happens to your datas once you died?
For the dead person it doesn’t make any difference, but how about the
relatives, your loved one.

In a sense humans became immortal with all the good and the bad.

and

My point is, if you wait for 100% certainty, 100% security, 100% confidentiality, 100% anonymity in the internet, then you’d better lay down…

This quote may well be misleading and interpreted the other way round. if you say from the very beginning that the privacy cannot be safe, then the problem is that you did not even try to save a 10 %. Security on-line requires at the end little steps every day. I does require also to be conscious about what people do not want you to think about it, because of the business. This may well be OT because not returning on the cloud issue, but: even the “personas” of firefox are very bad for privacy. The fact that they “check for updates” every startup, does identify perfectly the IP of the machine. Even using TOR or other anonimizer. Oh, of course, you have nothing to hide. People think this up to the moment when they find out that their “normality” does not fit in some “cluster” of normality screening of some entity. And then it is generally late. However, I do think that programs that fake to provide security by encryption may be more misleading then the ones like dropbox that are “overtly” unsave. If you read then the TORs of dropbox and find out that they claim the “own” all data you deposit in automatic, then you know why cloud services are not a good idea.
I claim that if you wait for somebody to come up for 100% certainty, 100% confidentiality and 100% anonimity …you are done. Because these are values and surprise, democratic values, right of the personality and constitutional rights are just an illusion if you do not claim them every day and if you do not reflect about consequences of consumer behavior. There will always the “consumer” that installs the security patch from “microsoft” send by email. Intelligence is of course gaussian distributed.
But for saving what is resting from our privacy, safety and freedom we may well have “to move our own backside” if we want to have it done.

As for the never forgetting net, this is even to a certain extend a lesser problem than the “loss of global knowledge” due to lack of open standards of software encoding and formats as it was pointed out by UNESCO. Don’t belief it? Try to open today a Lotus Word Pro document, heavily formatted. Maybe less easy then one does think. And in 10 years this document will even be lost, no matter if the support it is on is still valuable. Because nobody has a copy left to open the encoding.
So maybe even the “open Internet” will soon fail (recall the attempts to filter with all kinds of motivations, religious, political and moral as well as technical (net-neutrality) it is time to think to save something of very much core competencies of our life, that is privacy, confidentiality and ownership of our data and identities.

Still, i claim cloud is a hype. Even more because it is promoted as “the killer app” for the industry. And we told already why this is all but straightforward. And even the “small home user” may face a severe problem. Why not “prioritizing traffic” of who pays, and slow down the rest? The industry drools for the end of net neutrality. That of course requires deep package inspection. A* “feature” *that will certainly come and certainly will be then called “without alternative”. As usual. All this speaks against the cloud. BTW where the tendency goes if the industry is left to chose:
Carrier IQ](TechRadar | Dein Technik-Kaufberater) . And note: we know about it because of one technically prepared user, that scanned his device. After his discovery he was heavily menaced legally, told to shut up and to withdraw his findings. What if he would have given in? Happy Cloud.

Am Fri, 23 Dec 2011 00:06:03 +0000 schrieb stakanov:

> joergjaeger;2421525 Wrote:
>> Am Thu, 22 Dec 2011 20:46:02 +0000 schrieb brunomcl:
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> There is another thougth of it. What happens to your datas once you
>> died?
>> For the dead person it doesn’t make any difference, but how about the
>> relatives, your loved one.
>>
>> In a sense humans became immortal with all the good and the bad.
> and
>> My point is, if you wait for 100% certainty, 100% security, 100%
>> confidentiality, 100% anonymity in the internet, then you’d better lay
>> down…
> This quote may well be misleading and interpreted the other way round.
> if you say from the very beginning that the privacy cannot be safe, then
> the problem is that you did not even try to save a 10 %. Security
> on-line requires at the end little steps every day. I does require also
> to be conscious about what people do not want you to think about it,
> because of the business. This may well be OT because not returning on
> the cloud issue, but: even the “personas” of firefox are very bad for
> privacy. The fact that they “check for updates” every startup, does
> identify perfectly the IP of the machine. Even using TOR or other
> anonimizer. Oh, of course, you have nothing to hide. People think this

I can not argue against that. It is true that you can be secure to the
point
that allows you to control your data.
To me the question is this. Can you hide your identity or can you not. If
i
surf to my bank, my bank know already what ip i am using. So there is no
hiding
there.
I am not sure if you can tunnel and hide that way your true identity, but
on a website like a bank you want to be known.
Browser know probably already a lot about you. Sometimes you don’t want to
know what they know. It may be scary.
There is an example that shows that your patterns you leave in the
internet
catch up with you.
Say you shop for something and you browse through the inventory of a
website.
This item and some suggestions will follow you to other websites.
There is of course the possibility that you use a addon like noscript, but
then you end up with a broken webpage.
Google is like a spiderweb that goes through (almost) every website. This
one
has it too.
My point is that no matter what you do, someone will know from where you
came
and to where you go.

> up to the moment when they find out that their “normality” does not fit
> in some “cluster” of normality screening of some entity. And then it is
> generally late. However, I do think that programs that fake to provide
> security by encryption may be more misleading then the ones like dropbox
> that are “overtly” unsave. If you read then the TORs of dropbox and find
> out that they claim the “own” all data you deposit in automatic, then
> you know why cloud services are not a good idea.
> I claim that if you wait for somebody to come up for 100% certainty,
> 100% confidentiality and 100% anonimity …you are done. Because these
> are values and surprise, democratic values, right of the personality and
> constitutional rights are just an illusion if you do not -claim- them
> every day and if you do not reflect about consequences of consumer
> behavior. There will always the “consumer” that installs the security
> patch from “microsoft” send by email. Intelligence is of course gaussian
> distributed.
> But for saving what is resting from our privacy, safety and freedom we
> may well have “to move our own backside” if we want to have it done.
>

Honestly, i don’t think it will ever happen (the 100%).
How many people installed for example an urgent update for iTunes that
came via email.
There was just a recently an interview on FreshAir where some cases got
on to the surface that other governments use spy software to get into
peoples
computers.
It is actually disgusting and i think its morally very questionable.

One can make his life on the internet safe and secure to a limited
extend.
But no one can be 100% safe and secure. Thats just a fact. And yes, it is
peoples responsibility to be safe and cautious. Of course not everyone
follows
that and so you end up with the whole internet in danger.

> As for the never forgetting net, this is even to a certain extend a
> lesser problem than the “loss of global knowledge” due to lack of open
> standards of software encoding and formats as it was pointed out by
> UNESCO. Don’t belief it? Try to open today a Lotus Word Pro document,
> heavily formatted. Maybe less easy then one does think. And in 10 years
> this document will even be lost, no matter if the support it is on is
> still valuable. Because nobody has a copy left to open the encoding.
> So maybe even the “open Internet” will soon fail (recall the attempts to
> filter with all kinds of motivations, religious, political and moral as
> well as technical (net-neutrality) it is time to think to save something
> of very much core competencies of our life, that is privacy,
> confidentiality and ownership of our data and identities.

That i can sign. The truth is that all mediums one has will expire at one
point.
My assumption is that is wanted by the industry. Someone needs to buy new
stuff.
I am sure that from a technical point of view, a open and transferable
medium
can be made.
But self-interest is in its way so there will be no ‘open’ standard.
I do not know Lotus, but i am pretty sure it is with all software that is
not open.
Why is MS getting away with word documents that are not open? Any entity
is a
victim of that scheme.
Yesterday i bought DVD’s, today Blue-Ray, tomorrow i am not sure. Are
there any
devices that still read Smartdisks? How about tapes that i used 15 years
ago.
Eventually, everything will be replaced.
Now the cloud can compensate that in a certain way.
Lets say a library scans every book in, or buys the books in eformat. On
what medium
it is stored is not relevant really.
The user will download it to his device and use it. You may have a
software problem
perhaps. I don’t think we will be using Adobe Reader in 40 years from
now. Or maybe we do
Not sure.

>
> Still, i claim cloud is a hype. Even more because it is promoted as “the
> killer app” for the industry. And we told already why this is all but
> straightforward. And even the “small home user” may face a severe
> problem. Why not “prioritizing traffic” of who pays, and slow down the
> rest? The industry drools for the end of net neutrality. That of course
> requires deep package inspection. A- “feature” -that will certainly come
> and certainly will be then called “without alternative”. As usual. All
> this speaks against the cloud. BTW where the tendency goes if the
> industry is left to chose:
> ‘Carrier_IQ’ (http://tinyurl.com/6s3e8pk) . And note: we know about it
> because of one technically prepared user, that scanned his device. After
> his discovery he was heavily menaced legally, told to shut up and to
> withdraw his findings. What if he would have given in? Happy Cloud.

Yes and no.
The consumer (supposedly) makes decisions with the wallet or so they say.
And apparently he/she spoke in demanding to pay for specialist apps, the
same
books in eformat etc…
The consumer did not demand and open system. So it is evident that the
consumer
is incompetent since he/she can not express what they want.
Or is there any other way?
What i hear today is ‘there is an app for that’ and not, can i run that
also there?

Tricky indeed.

Hi,

cloud services are taking control over your data.

I agree with the above statement.

cloud services have shown during the years to be heavily unreliable.

I agree with this as well, but this will become more reliable as cloud computing matures.

Cloud services are bound to the existence of the provider.

Not completely true. For now, yes they are. But in the future, this might change. Cloud services could become like a utitlity. I will elaborate my full response below.

Cloud computing is NOT just about storage of data or services, which your post implies. It also includes the concept of ‘utility’ computing - basically ‘metered’ computing. That is analagous to the common utilities that modern societies accept as being ‘essential’. Cloud computing is part of that concept. It envisions a world where an ‘internet’ port will be accessible just like an electrical socket is now. As Dr. Kaku (a physicist) put it, ‘your files will travel with you’. This is already happening, more or less. Emails can be accessed from anywhere (think smartphones). With Google Docs and Office 360, word documents, speadsheets etc. can also be accessed almost anywhere. The general populace WANTS this capability. Cloud computing is the next step which formally recognizes this and tries to implement it in a more ‘logical’ manner.

So when you say that this is just another ‘hype’, I disagree. There is something real going on here. It is not that this is being ‘pushed’; more like it is being recognized as to what it really is.

As far as the ‘control over your data’ is concerned, I agree. But I don’t think the paradigm of ‘personal computing’ will ever go away, no matter how much industry leaders try to push for it. Many people will NEVER store all their data in a cloud. It is like saying that since a person can buy/rent a storage locker, he will put ALL his ‘stuff’ there. That will never happen, but cloud computing is not restricted to just that. As has been pointed out earlier in this thread, smaller companies and organizations can and should use this paradigm as it will be more economical for them.

There are other points that I would like to put in here but the post is too long already :slight_smile:

BTW, a great point:

Try to open today a Lotus Word Pro document, heavily formatted. Maybe less easy then one does think. And in 10 years this document will even be lost, no matter if the support it is on is still valuable. Because nobody has a copy left to open the encoding.

Jake Clawson

@jakeclawson:

There are other points that I would like to put in here but the post is too long already

No way, I enjoyed your post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

I see a good argument there: what is cloud is not clear. So maybe I should not write “cloud a hype” but “cloud is just a buzzword” by now and is bare of any clearcut definition. It is the all and nothing, the “quakers best snake oil” of the moment.

You are right that currently (and forgive me, I am quite attached to the present :slight_smile: ) there is still no credible infrastructure. But safety and ownership are two uttermost important fundamentals that will accompany this paradigm change (provided it will take place). A more decentralized and opensource openresources cloud may be desirable and also (given the technical change) feasible. No facebook but a swarm intelligence cloud social network, not in the hand and under control of a central unit. Still about the contribution of Moglen, that was another very important and interesting point he raised and that was quite controversal with the public that day. Such a structure would bring an authentication problem (also the “classical provider centered approach” will). Who is who? Who is the “man in the middle” of my network. Should i trust, how can I guarantee the authenticity of a user while preserving his right of privacy or of anonymity.

There are (as I see it) quite funny and void claims that privacy is dead. Then, IMO, if this is true, freedom of speech is dead. This because bloggers changed the world (or at least gave it dynamic) because they were able to post without risk of being caught by their respective government (where government is to be seen as any, even hypothetical, government of the world). Whistle blowers have, (even if sometimes in the gray land between freedom of speech and confidentiality laws) changed the perception of transparency. But this transparency would not have been possible in a cloud based IT, repression would have taken place. At least I firmly belief that the outcome of lack of anonymity would/will be this.
That said, i do not claim cloud services “IF” they address these issues may not offer new things. But tendencies of society(like the Internet) have one thing in common: they where never planned by the industry and they where never foreseen. not even partially.

@stakanov

So maybe I should not write “cloud a hype” but “cloud is just a buzzword” by now and is bare of any clearcut definition. It is the all and nothing, the “quakers best snake oil” of the moment.

You are partially right. In a marketing sense it truly is “quakers best snake oil”. But in actual real-world terms, in what is happenning now, or beginning to take shape quite distinctly as a new paradigm is Cloud computing. Data is being stored in servers across the globe - by various organizations for different purposes - both for convenience (such as paying your bills) and for connecting people with one another (social media). In this sense, data and by extension computing (such as using ‘social apps’), people are using ‘Cloud computing’ right now.

I sense from your post that you seem to be concerned more about privacy which is a very valid point. From this point of view I see the development of Cloud computing as a general trend towards less privacy. It is undesirable in many respects, yes. The Internet, with its anonymity, is one of the most remarkable inventions of humankind, which has helped science (in ALL fields - from Astronomy to Zoology - increase in leaps and bounds) and helped every person that can get on the information highway to have accessible information (Wikipedia) and not go through journals and textbooks to find information on the simplest of items. But if looked on from another perspective such as normal human activity (for example purchasing something in a real world store - walking down the street, selecting an item on the shelf and paying with it with cash), the Internet presents the next logical step. Humans now desire to make things easier for themselves, i.e. they WANT to purchase things online for THEMSELVES (meaning Anonymity is NOT preferred here). Same thing goes with social media, i.e. Facebook - people want to display THEMSELVES and share information about themselves on purpose (again, meaning Anonymity is NOT preferred here).

But you are very right in the following regard:

A more decentralized and opensource openresources cloud may be desirable and also (given the technical change) feasible. No facebook but a swarm intelligence cloud social network, not in the hand and under control of a central unit.

The Open Source movement has always been a sort of delightful anomaly. I love openSUSE (with 12.1 being the best yet - except for GNOME which is horrible imho - I moved to XFCE). There is definitely a need for the Open Source movement to present an Open Source alternative to proprietary Cloud structures. With Open Source idealogy, Internet would not have existed (HTTP, Apache, etc.).

As you linked to in your previous post,

What may be a good cloud development could be a decentralized, network based service in the hand of users. I recall Eben Moglen at the FOSSDEM this year in Bruxelles where he spoke about the “Freedom Box”. Maybe technically difficult but at the end maybe very well necessary.

Thanks for the Freedom Box link. It is very informative - especially about Diaspora and other distributed social networking paradigms.

Jake Clawson

EDIT:

With Open Source idealogy

I meant “Without Open Source idealogy…”

Jake Clawson

Am Wed, 28 Dec 2011 09:36:02 +0000 schrieb jakeclawson:
>
> As far as the ‘control over your data’ is concerned, I agree. But I
> don’t think the paradigm of ‘personal computing’ will ever go away, no
> matter how much industry leaders try to push for it. Many people will
> NEVER store all their data in a cloud. It is like saying that since a
> person can buy/rent a storage locker, he will put ALL his ‘stuff’ there.
> That will never happen, but cloud computing is not restricted to just
> that. As has been pointed out earlier in this thread, smaller companies
> and organizations can and should use this paradigm as it will be more
> economical for them.

I don’t want to be a spoiler, but how can we know how people will use a
computer or whatever they will be using in lets say 50 years.
The computer we know is not that old and is available for regular people
to buy since the late 70s.

If i see the progression in computing in general, i think it is possible
that at one point there will be no desktop.
I think actually even that privacy may be a thing of the past. Since
websites are being hacked on a daily base your data maybe exposed
already. So the only way to stay private and secure is to be offline.

@joergjaeger

I don’t want to be a spoiler, but how can we know how people will use a
computer or whatever they will be using in lets say 50 years.
The computer we know is not that old and is available for regular people
to buy since the late 70s.

If i see the progression in computing in general, i think it is possible
that at one point there will be no desktop.
I think actually even that privacy may be a thing of the past. Since
websites are being hacked on a daily base your data maybe exposed
already. So the only way to stay private and secure is to be offline.

There are two points that have been addressed above. I will answer them
separately:

(1) How computer will be used by people in 50 yrs?
You are correct in saying that we don’t really know. But it can be reasonably be assumed
that data will be generated. And that data will be stored elsewhere. There are many reasons
why people will want to backup/store their data close to them i.e. in the form of personal
computing. The first that comes to my mind are natural disasters. If you have hurricanes,
earthquakes etc. in the places where there are servers located, all your data will be gone.
If this happens more than once, and people lose data that is important to them (birthday pics for example)
then they will not want them to happen again. Again, I go back to the analogy of storage lockers. Just
because a person can rent a storage locker why would he put ALL his stuff there? Yes it might be convenient virtually
but when “outages” happen with data that is critical and dear to that person, he won’t ever trust the ‘cloud’ again, at least not completely. A real world analogy would be electricity. Many people nowadays have electric generators especially where there are hurricanes. Electricity, one of the cornerstones of the modern world, still needs a ‘backup’. This issue can be resolved when humans have total control of their environment and this will happen but in the very far future (this needs another discussion thread of its own). In 50 yrs? not a chance, not even in the next 100yrs, barring any miracles, which would be extremely surprising.

(2) Privacy -
Privacy has always existed and will always exist, only its form will be different. When the telephone was invented, it could be argued that people lost ‘some’ privacy as now another person could call them up just to see if the other person was at home (of course the person being called may not pick up the phone etc. but you get my point). Boundaries need to be determined in any new technological development.

It can be also be argued that privacy could actually INCREASE. In a truly decentralized world a person would contact another person on as needed basis. And that too only to the extent desired. For example, if a person wanted to ONLY email him, he could do that, without letting the other person know his location, his other particulars such as his color of his eyes, height etc because he would not allow the other person to see him. A good illustration of this point would be if a person could order all his groceries online securely. He would not need to go out of his house to meet any other living soul. Of course, this presumes decentralized and secure access. This would be a scenario where privacy would have increased FAR beyond what is now - the fact that strangers can see a person shopping for items presently.

Jake Clawson

Am Wed, 28 Dec 2011 22:36:02 +0000 schrieb jakeclawson:

> @joergjaeger
>
>> I don’t want to be a spoiler, but how can we know how people will use a
>> computer or whatever they will be using in lets say 50 years.
>> The computer we know is not that old and is available for regular
>> people to buy since the late 70s.
>>
>> If i see the progression in computing in general, i think it is
>> possible that at one point there will be no desktop.
>> I think actually even that privacy may be a thing of the past. Since
>> websites are being hacked on a daily base your data maybe exposed
>> already. So the only way to stay private and secure is to be offline.
>
>
> There are two points that have been addressed above. I will answer them
>
> separately:
>
> (1) How computer will be used by people in 50 yrs?
> You are correct in saying that we don’t really know. But it can be
> reasonably be assumed that data will be generated. And that data will be
> stored elsewhere. There are many reasons why people will want to
> backup/store their data close to them i.e. in the form of personal
> computing. The first that comes to my mind are natural disasters. If you
> have hurricanes,
> earthquakes etc. in the places where there are servers located, all your
> data will be gone.
> If this happens more than once, and people lose data that is important
> to them (birthday pics for example)
> then they will not want them to happen again. Again, I go back to the
> analogy of storage lockers. Just because a person can rent a storage
> locker why would he put ALL his stuff there? Yes it might be convenient
> virtually but when “outages” happen with data that is critical and dear
> to that person, he won’t ever trust the ‘cloud’ again, at least not
> completely. A real world analogy would be electricity. Many people
> nowadays have electric generators especially where there are hurricanes.
> Electricity, one of the cornerstones of the modern world, still needs a
> ‘backup’. This issue can be resolved when humans have total control of
> their environment and this will happen but in the very far future (this
> needs another discussion thread of its own). In 50 yrs? not a chance,
> not even in the next 100yrs, barring any miracles, which would be
> extremely surprising.

Well, yes and no.
Think of people that live in, lets say, a dangerous area. Along comes a
tornado and shreds everything to pieces. Your locale files will be most
likely gone. Of course there is a minimal chance you do can retrieve them.
The idea that data is more safe, and perhaps more secure within your own
harddrive is a faults assumption.
I believe that no data is truly safe and secure. You only can come close
to make it more safe or more secure but never truly.
I will buy that people tend to think that if they store there data best
if close to their desk. But if you struck by an event of nature origin
there is little what somebody can do. You think its remote to think about
that? I live in Los Angeles, even though there is no quake yet that is
ripping through town, one day it will (the big one).
I think the cloud could be well come in handy.
Also, before i will forget that point, as a private person you do need to
backup your backup from time to time. Mediums to expire at one point and
no form of medium is absolute, meaning it may be obsolete at one point. I
myself never came into this situation, since i store very little of value
on a computer. My picture are mostly printed for example. But if they
gone, they gone.
I do not know how the future will look like in regards of storage, but
the way i see it, more and more applications, information and data will
be in the cloud. There is just no way around.
And so far, we are only talking about the 1 and 2. world. Most people
don’t even own a computer on the planet.

I also want to make clear, that i am not saying that anybody should not
store the data locally. It is a personal choice. For my data it is just
not worth it. Anything that needs to saved fits on a CD and its possibly
not even filled.

>
> (2) Privacy -
> Privacy has always existed and will always exist, only its form will be
> different. When the telephone was invented, it could be argued that
> people lost ‘some’ privacy as now another person could call them up just
> to see if the other person was at home (of course the person being
> called may not pick up the phone etc. but you get my point). Boundaries
> need to be determined in any new technological development.
>
> It can be also be argued that privacy could actually INCREASE. In a
> truly decentralized world a person would contact another person on as
> needed basis. And that too only to the extent desired. For example, if a

Well, if people like to un-human touch of the internet, thats fine. I
abandoned the ‘social-media’ train for awhile now.
I do have some email contacts that i do care about, but my experience is
that online communication is a very different world.
If i want to talk to someone, i want to be know for the one i am and not
some phony name.
I started off, perhaps the rest of here too, at a time where names like
Gonzo or Beeblebrox were cool. No one knew who you were and no one cared.
Because no one cared about anything deep really.
Its like you go into a bar and want to talk to somebody but say, i am not
telling you my name, my name is Gonzo.

> person wanted to ONLY email him, he could do that, without letting the
> other person know his location, his other particulars such as his color
> of his eyes, height etc because he would not allow the other person to
> see him. A good illustration of this point would be if a person could
> order all his groceries online securely. He would not need to go out of
> his house to meet any other living soul. Of course, this presumes
> decentralized and secure access. This would be a scenario where privacy
> would have increased FAR beyond what is now - the fact that strangers
> can see a person shopping for items presently.

This is a horrible future in my opinion. I know its just an example, but
i hope i am death at that point.
With no human interaction we become machines in a sense.