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Displaying recent entries tagged with "Cloud". Back to all recent entries

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January 8th, 2013

The Cloud

This xkcd comic appeared under a different title, but even if Instagram was the recent case that brought up discussions like that, you can say the same for almost any cloud service, including the likes of Facebook, proprietary app stores, Dropbox, and a ton of others:



Just look for example at this piece of the terms of yet another cloud service that I was asked to sign on recently:
Quote:
You retain full ownership to your Content, but you agree to grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, irrevocable, transferable, perpetual, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, edit, translate, make derivatives, display and distribute such Content in connection with providing the Service to you and other users in accordance with your settings on the Service. In connection with providing the Service, we may modify or adapt your Content in order to transmit, display or distribute it over computer networks and in various media and/or make changes to your Content as are necessary to conform and adapt that Content to any requirements or limitations of any networks, devices, services or media.

So, basically, the cloud service can do anything with any content put in there. Anything put on there cannot be a "secret" and must be seen as being public - and of course the content and any data derived from it (like behavior, etc.) can and will be sold to others - after all, the cloud provider needs to earn money with something.

A long-standing saying about the cloud is that "if you aren't paying for the product, you are the product being sold". Everyone creating a service wants to feed him/herself and make a living, at least, and the money for that needs to come from something. I'm not saying I'm against cloud services, they enable some cool stuff at times, but you always should be aware that you hand over control to the service provider. And I feel better with any service that's telling me how they're generating the money to enable a living for their employees. Those that don't are the ones that make me feel worried when "putting my stuff in their garage".

If you want to keep control over your content yourself, there's of course a number of open and distributed alternative services out there that you can look into, for example Diaspora*, Open Web Apps, Persona, OpenPhoto, ownCloud, and others. :)

By KaiRo, at 21:58 | Tags: Cloud, open networks | 3 comments | TrackBack: 0

August 15th, 2010

The Cloud And The Pocket

In recent months and years, I have heard an increasing number of people putting forward opinions that "in the future, nobody will have local data, everyone will have all his/her data in the cloud".
Now, I don't think this extreme will really be reached, I'd even go as far as to believe we'll have most or all of our data and probably a good part of our computing power in our pocket instead.

Right now, the primary argument for putting things into the cloud is that people want to use their data from different desktops, maybe their smartphone, possibly some tablet, and all those have web access, so the cloud can be accessed from all those machines, and the same way. Of course, that only works really well when you're on broadband. Still, this is nice to have, and who cares about the cloud provider reading your data for better ad placements and selling data to third parties anyhow. You are on Facebook as well, right? OK, so why should you care about your data being sold or analyzed for better ads in one more place? After all, it wins you a lot of comfort, and that's what counts.

Let's assume for a moment that those problems are all moot. And the problem that there are places where your phone or tablet doesn't get any or only a bad connection, intentionally or unintentionally, be in in some deep basement bar (like the one I'm going to frequently) or far out in the US country, in deep valleys or up on mountains, where it's too expensive to put transmitting stations for phone providers because of too few people or too many reflections and too little direct reach. Let's ignore all that for the moment. Let's also ignore that your cloud provider could just go bankrupt or stop its services for other reasons.

I still think a different model of data storage will feel better for most people once all parts of the concept are there - which will not be the case in 2010, probably more in 2015 or 2020.

Imagine your smartphone, lets say some neat package similar to the current iPhone or N900, basically a small screen which not much else, possibly a mini-keyboard if you like, will have as much computing power and more storage space than a current desktop (which, given what we've seen in the last 10 years, is not unrealistic). Imagine you could have tablet-like screen rolled up in your backpack and put up to a normal tablet screen within a few seconds, and you smartphone would just connect to that and act as the processing and data unit for it. Also, imagine that instead of a desktop, you would have just a large screen on your desktop, along with whatever input devices will be your choice (currently probably keyboard and mouse for most people, but who knows what we'll have then) - and your smartphone will seamlessly connect to that and act as data unit and possibly processor, perhaps in cooperation with some stronger processor unit integrated with the big screen or some other extension device on your desk. Even more, imagine that in cafes or on airports, there will be such computing stations you can seamlessly connect your smartphone, er mobile computer, to.

Now, having your data and processing power in your pocket, using the same software across all those machines, be it an OS, web browser, web app, local app, hybrid, or whatever, why again would you want to store all your data in the cloud?

Sure, there are still reasons, like sharing with others, where the cloud can be helpful, and you sure will want your mobile data to be synchronized with those parts of cloud data. The cloud surely has its good use cases, even in that possible future, but I don't think most people will want to have all their data and their private stuff all up there, esp. when they can and will have it in their pockets and just as ubiquitous instead.

And I doubt the connection to the cloud will ever in near decades satisfy the speed we'd want to edit our videos in the quality we really want to achieve. ;-)

Still, the pocket devices I imagine and all that infrastructure around it will need some time to come into existence (nothing of that sounds really impossible even today, though), so there will be some time where the cloud can continue to shoot ahead in the uses cases of oneself having access to the data everywhere - but I'm looking forward to the pocket taking its bold steps into a quite interesting future!

By KaiRo, at 23:26 | Tags: Cloud, future, Internet, mobile, storage | 2 comments | TrackBack: 0

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