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Cloud computing is 'stupidity' says GNU guru Richard Stallman

GNU creator Richard Stallman is not on board with cloud computing, to say the least. He thinks it's a trap for the unwary and worse than using proprietary software. What do you think of his reasoning?

I just ran across an article in the Guardian (UK) in which GNU creator (and founder of the Free Software Foundation) Richard Stallman minces no words about the cloud computing phenomenon, calling it a "trap." TechRepublic bloggers have written skeptically about the concept, especially where it concerns privacy and security issues, and others have reported on particular cloud initiatives such as those of Google and Amazon.

Stallman's comments to the Guardian go beyond merely skeptical, however: "'It's stupidity. It's worse than stupidity: it's a marketing hype campaign.'"

The article also quotes the equally underwhelmed Oracle founder Larry Ellison:

"The interesting thing about cloud computing is that we've redefined cloud computing to include everything that we already do," he said. "The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women's fashion. Maybe I'm an idiot, but I have no idea what anyone is talking about. What is it? It's complete gibberish. It's insane. When is this idiocy going to stop?"

Maybe it's just the effect of the U.S. election season on me, but I find it so refreshing when people just say what they really think, in no uncertain terms. What a concept! Here is Stallman's advice for the computing public, which for anyone who is feeling a little mistrustful of the powers-that-be these days, is bracing:

"One reason you should not use web applications to do your computing is that you lose control," he said. "It's just as bad as using a proprietary program. Do your own computing on your own computer with your copy of a freedom-respecting program. If you use a proprietary program or somebody else's web server, you're defenceless. You're putty in the hands of whoever developed that software."

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Selena has been at TechRepublic since 2002. She is currently a Senior Editor with a background in technical writing, editing, and research. She edits Data Center, Linux and Open Source, Apple in the Enterprise, The Enterprise Cloud, Web Designer, and...

100 comments
jvdbw4lk3r
jvdbw4lk3r

very valid pointsraised by stallman... i think everybody should be cautious when looking into this.

mdiaz
mdiaz

so, I save documents online as email attachments, dwell in the lower rungs of tech, could care less about writing code, and... using web apps to do what I want is bad? How? Perhaps I'm missing something, but it seems that unless malware is being injected to my computer, the whole utility/cloud computing-is-a-danger argument is off base. Privacy has effectively been compromised by technology (to my strong dismay), but I don't see how online apps/utilities severely compromise my personal computing use. Shared computer use has lead to amazing feats. Why should we categorically spurn a new term and a possible breakthrough software technology? I have spoke!

Jacdeb6009
Jacdeb6009

What's missing is a solid dose of common sense. Hopefully someone like RMS can instill some into the whole industry. We should introduce a Nobel Prize for common sense :) Cloud computing, all seems a bit nebulous... something like vaporware, could disappear in the bright light of day... say no more

bblackmoor
bblackmoor

I agree with Stallman. I do not want my documents under Google's control, any more than I want them under Microsoft's or Apple's control. Giving them to Google is even worse than using Microsoft or Apple software, because I can (usually) find a way to convert a document and get away from Microsoft or Apple -- once Google has my documents, or my contact information, or my calendar, there is no getting it back.

LightVelocity
LightVelocity

While most of the arguments against this is understandable, I find that the issues pointed out are about storage and not about Computing If I can get the computing done any where, why should I be worried? Why is storing being connected to Computing? Is this really cloud storage then?

mexpolk
mexpolk

Richard Stallman is wrong this time. I think GNU has been sleeping for a loooong time. Today you just can't stand up and say: This is wrong, that is stupid, without providing good alternatives. I personally find very convenient to have my information distributed along the Web: Github, Gmail, GReader, Blogs, Digg, etc.

dcolbert
dcolbert

I've been saying this for years about simple "thin-client" solutions that move the processing and storage back to big-iron in the data center, and so far, this has held true. But after being introduced to Google Docs with Chrome, I can see how they've prettied this tramp up to the point where it might not make a difference anymore to the average consumer. Convenience trumps control, for most people - look no further than the current popularity of Win32 and Office to anything that the Gnu crowd can seem to produce for confirmation of this. And Google Docs promises oodles of convenience in an increasingly wirelessly connected world. Gnu-dweebs seem to be incapable of realizing that the average home user isn't going to set up a free NAS solution with SFTP, SSH and other secure remote access solutions with a DDNS hosted domain name in order to make their files and digital content world accessible. And POPULAR consumer digital content is GOING to remain closed - which means that the best possibility of having LEGAL content "world accessible" to a licensee is through some proprietary, closed system that runs on top of other proprietary, closed systems. There is a lesson of history here, though. How did Microsoft defeat Netscape in the browser wars? By introducing a market model that Netscape could not compete with - FREE. How does Google plan on destroying Microsoft in the Office Productivity market? In my opinion, by introducing a highly stable and compatible product that is FREE, and offers some serious, legitimate advantages (in having wide access to your personal documents). If they deleiver well on this, it could be what Open Office always hoped to be. And like IE, Google Apps will remain free because there is a BIGGER war that Google wants to win. None of this means that I do not agree with the basic thesis of the article. I think most people innately prefer to have control over their own apps, their own documents, on their own, physical hardware. I think that this, along with a few physical realities regarding equipment, is the reason the most prophesized Thin-Client revolution has never really arrived. But this is different. UMPCs like the EeePC are virtually thin clients, but thin clients that hit a sweet spot. They're a natural fit for subscription, cloud based applications. Eventually, there will be a logical convergence with smart devices like PDAs and Smart phones. I see a day when we're wearing a brick about the size of a pager that is the functional counterpart of today's tower PC sitting under the desk. This device will interface wirelessly with any number of devices. A projector, an LCD, a keyboard, a printer, a pair of cinematic glasses, a headset, your garage door, your television and the Internet. And it may eventually have ample processor, memory and storage to rival a desktop machine. But it is only logical that the majority of content will be stored off of this device. From so many perspectives, cloud computing is stupid and hands over control to parties that cannot be trusted with that responsibility. But from a perspective of convenience and consumer marketing, I think it is almost inevitable. From the corporate perspective, I think one of the huge obstacles IT departments face is document collaboration and sharing with external (and even internal) business partners. The costs, risks and efforts associated with this one aspect are hugely disproportionate with other aspects of IT. This is why .pst files, and e-discovery compliance, and other Exchange issues create so much industry buzz. Business people are using e-mail as a file transfer protocal. Things that are created IN the cloud are easier to share and distribute, securely and inexpensively, than things that are created outside the cloud and moved there. I don't think thin-client will ever have a significant impact in the corporate workspace, and I don't think cloud-computing will completely REPLACE the traditional PC approach to business productivity, but I think that a certain amount of cloud computing is inevitably going to become part of daily business in IT - stupid or not.

jkameleon
jkameleon

First off, Stallman is not entirely correct. He should say "It's stupidity. It's worse than stupidity: it's THE USUAL marketing hype campaign." Remember MTS, COM+, stuff like that? I couldn't agree more with Larry Ellison about IT industry being more fashion driven than women's fashion. Now... yea, about cloud computing. The idea is indeed insane to anybody at least a little bit computer savvy. To the vast majority of people, however, computer is just a necessary evil. They use them because they have to, and they don't want to know about them anyting more than absolutely necessary. For such people, cloud computing is far better option. Data of sentimental value, photos and such, are far safer on professionaly maintained Photobucket or Google server than grandson maintained grandma's PC. Backups, when they are made, if they are made, are usually kept on CD's. True, NSA, FBI, HS etc routinely sift through your private data and mail stored at Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft, etc. On your trojan infested home PC, however, organized crime is also added to the abovementioned lot. Countires other than USA have their own versions of CIA and NSA as well. "One reason you should not use web applications to do your computing is that you lose control.", Stallman argues. Ha! Business has nothing to lose here, because it never got control over its computing in the first place. No matter how you turn it, business always has to relinquish control over its IT to someone else. That someone else can be: - its familiar disgruntled, alienated, overworked, disengaged, disloyal in-house IT bunch - someone or something that can be sued As long as could computing falls in the later category, it has a clear advantage.

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

What is currently called "cloud computing" is the remote hosting and access of applications and data storage. The hosts can be either single sites, or multiple sites. Software as a Service (SaaS) is a form of cloud computing. In cloud computing, the user does not own the application software, but merely uses it for that session, and may pay a fee to do so. More importantly, the user does not own their data. Now I'm going to be blasted for that statement, but it's true. If you require the use of someone else's software to access your data, or the permission of someone else to access your data, then it's really not your data. It's like money in the bank. You don't have direct ownership of that money. The bank does. It controls when you can access it, how much you can take out, and it's possible for the bank to lose it all without any action on your part. Control Equals Ownership. If a single point of failure exists in the hands of someone other than yourself, then they own you.

Eoghan
Eoghan

"Everything old is new again"... Once upon a time you connected via your terminal to a computer system, and the computer application of your choice, at a company known as a service bureau. Where the service bureau was, how it worked and how you connected, was all unknown to you, it was just a big cloud of connections. Some folks think that using your fancy new terminal that includes a mouse and a pretty display to connect to a computer in a cloud (PaaS) and use software in the cloud (Saas) with your data protected by the cloud security (SSaas) is pretty futuristic stuff. Didn't we just spend the last forty years eliminating service bureaus?

stephen
stephen

You can use "Cloud Computing" or SaaS (Software as a Service) in additional to what your already offering your customers. How about an ajax version of office (doesn't offer all the advanced features of office) but you can use it in addition to office installed physically on machines so that your users can access documents on the fly in any location and don't have to have a word processor to edit documents because they are using a web app. Of course its not a total solution or alternative but it has advantages when your mobile. That goes with a lot of web apps (Cloud Computing). I think its stupid to completely rule out Cloud Computing or SaaS and you will definitely be limiting yourself to future opportunities to offer better and additional services to your customer base. Web apps are only going to get better and you don't want to find yourself left behind. SaaS has been a blessing for a lot of mobile users and it just makes things easier in different situations.

leigh
leigh

even if my data isn't! Yes and no to this I think. I have just spent 3 years writing a browser based interface to a database for my organisation. It is the operating system for them. Yes they open windows and use outlook to check their email but pretty much everything else is in the database and online. Yes it is faster in the office on the blue cable, yes we do still go in, most of the time. But we also access it from the middle of India as well. We work from home when the children are sick, or we have dental/doctors appointments or when visitors arrive unexpectedly. We have that choice. If we call this 'cloud computing' are we fashionable? If not are we sensible? Your call... But I do tend to notice all those other cars with one occupant in the nearest city. Yes I am usually alone at the time, but that is because I am there on training trips. But probably about half of them could operate just as well from a cubicle right there in their own home...on a good link. Weigh up the petrol, the cost of the second car, the capital expenditure of new public transport, the price of that office on the umpteenth floor, and the cost of the slacks/dresses under the desk....against giving them a decent link and a remote cubicle at home. This without the ever increasing amount of real estate vanishing under concrete and tar, and the global warming/vanishing fossil fuel arguments. I may only do my 'across the wire' system-admin from 30km away, part of the time, but I have also rebooted the server from thousands of kilometres away as well. I might have my head in the clouds but my feet are very firmly on the Earth. Perhaps you should consider it...

cory.schultze
cory.schultze

It IS stupidity - why would any IT-savvy person willingly form their personal documents online, to be saved who knows where (Delhi?) for who knows who to hack into it at any time? Let's say you store your bank statements at an online location - there is a chance now that your bank details are available to cybercriminals. Well done. At least when you store it on your PC or laptop, it's out of reach when you turn it off or disconnect. Also, what about the companies who rely on customers buying their software? They lose thier custom because the cloud doesn't charge for the service (as advertisements pay for it all) - hundreds of really good software companies fall to the hand of functionless freebies. The only + to cloud computing is collaboration; as you can share it with anyone. I feel these cloud companies pray on the unwary to attract a larger base for their sponsors, generating a greater revenue for themselves, with inadequate concern for peoples' security. I bet you anything a word processor or the like on a cloud server detects keywords to highlight sponsored links - how annoying would it be to have a comment pop-up with every other word you type in?

Ralph.Stoos
Ralph.Stoos

Cloud Computing might work for some folks. If you are assembling and sending out something that has no intrinsic value, is not a risk from a security perspective, and you don't care who sees it. If that is the case, you should run for political office. Then, the problem is that someone that is capturing this data could somehow screw it up. That process could get you in trouble. =Do you want to be caused trouble for something you did not write or publish? I don't want to be caused trouble for something I DID write! The Browser is the next OS. Let's hope not. Why? Because don't you get enough junk thrown at you when you have to surf the net? Imagine what you will get when you have to do word processing through a browser. Here goes. You are typing along and type the word "vacation" in your document. Immediately, there are pop-ups and sidebars slapping ads for Florida, the Bahamas, and elsewhere all around the screen. Next, since Florida was mentioned, you get status bar ticklers about hurricane status and condos. This is not only possilbe but probable. Don't get me started on the lengths to which companies will go to get ads in front of your face. I expect that soon there will be ads on the bottom of soda cans that you can see when you drink the suger water. They will probably say something like "Still Thirsty? Have another". Think I am wrong? Go to your local theatre and see the ads on the popcorn bags from jean companies, etc. Those are my two issues with Cloud computing. Security and digital pimping of products. Good Grief, save us from ourselves. Doctor Digital

jaakkoh
jaakkoh

Errr. Let's not be black and white here! Remember to factor in two things: this is all still in a rapid development phase & (e.g.) synchronizing of content. The way I see it is that "cloud computing" (I rather call it online apps/services or SAAS are simply an _addition_ to our other "layers" or technology, software, etc that helps us users to do things in different ways. Don't forget the basic rules: (i) If you don't have (at least) duplicate backup copies of data, consider it gone, (ii) Anything that you put online will leak to someone some day. Take it from there. Looking ahead (and today): I _may_ use some services now that don't offer syncing (because it's all beta, really). But even as of now e.g. Delicious (for bookmarks) & ThinkFree (for Office docs) offer full syncing of your data. And e.g. from Smugmug (for photos) you can download your metadata (with additional software). But we must remind the developers / service providers that this is what we want. So, the discussion is for good - but let's not be frenzy. Nor stupid.

MikeAinOz
MikeAinOz

I'd have to say that Larry Ellison's comments struck more of a chord with me than Richard's. We are a fashion obsessed industry, bigger better, faster. Cloud computing, what can I say, the sky is the limit!

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

There are probably many uses for the concept. I do agree isn't the panacea many are try to convince us it is, for many of the same reasons RS gives. I also agree it's being oversold like a presidential candidate.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

incarnation of the same idea. Even if it was secure (it isn't) Even if it was robust (it isn't) What possible advantage is there to the business that has your data, your meaningful infrastructure and your business processes in their control, to do anything but hold it to ransom. After all you will be completely out of options, aside from starting again..... I don't care what the benefits of somebody holding my nuts are, I feel much more comfortable doing it myself. I know I'm going to be kind to them.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Whatever it was, it was on his mind almost three years ago. Check the article date.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

I was working in the cloud in 1976. It was a small cloud, not many people could see it, and it looked like it had been drawn by a child. But there I was writing code, compiling and running it. On a mainframe over a telephone line with a teletype.I could even download my stuff to paper tape !

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Ownership is transferred to the service provider in the EULA when you start storing your personal files remotely. Google is very clear that anything you store in their database becomes available to them for any Google chosen use or analysis. - as a company, Google will be obliged to derive whatever profits from analysis or all out sale of that data if other income sources stop flowing. Data can also be ordered for surrender by law enforcement or government. That's a good thing if they are getting only the data related to criminal investigations but not so great if it's a blanket order for a large block of data which may contain a criminal's files among all the innocent people that are now having there data "reviewed". - your access too your data relies on all the network steps between you and it being on and functioning. If you can't get to a connected machine, or the network is having an outage, or the storage provider is having hardware problems or the storage provider decides to stop providing that service; you loose your data. - The security of your data becomes the responsibility of faceless disinterested third party. You are personally invested in keeping your data secure but a third party is required to consider business decisions before the security of the data. I haven't yet seen a storage hosting provider which has an encrypted "locker" for each customer that can only be accessed by that customer. it's usually a large database with your data being one flavour in the open among the greater mix. Is that data integrity and security maintained at every step of the connection between you and the webapp? As an individual, you can make the choice too knowingly accept that your handing ownership of your data over to a third party. You may also choose to sign your car pink slip over to a management agency that will allow you to drive it while they retain ownership and maintenance schedules for you. If the browser hosted webapps are good enough for your needs and you don't mind your personal data stored remotely for any "staffer" to peruse then at least your making an informed decision. As a company, handing your data blindly over to a third party company is not something to consider quickly. For a company, it makes sense to consider "The Cloud" as an internal system. Your apps are centralized though webapps are rarely above horrid compared to locally installed apps. All the data belongs to the company already so centralized network storage and VPN connections make a lot of sense there also. It's the opening up of company data and company critical applications too an untrustable third party is more of the issue (they may be great but they are always untrusted). There are some very real security implications to consider. For a company, I'd consider those implecations along with locally installable solutions. For myself, I can provide access to my data locally and when on the move without handing ownership and security management over to a third party. Between USB stored portable applications, saved data, ssh and Unison; I've redundant locations along with always having my data and selection of win32 apps with me. One of my personal complaints is "The Cloud" term in general. Like "Web 2.0", it's more of a marketing buzword than descriptive of any actual thing. Web 2.0 is just a buzword for "html with blinky lights" and is no different than "pre-2.0" except that there are more blinky lights than before. The Cloud is just a buzword to get people excited about centralized computing all over again though it's still the exact same server/thinclient setup that mainframes have used since the dawn of time. There is no "The Cloud" it's just reconsidering if the older centralized computing model again provides benefits over the less older distributed computing model (desktop installed apps). What information does your Google Calendar provide? What does your tasks, facebook, myspace, email history, word documents, spreadsheets and everything else you can hand over say about you and what other possible ways can it be analyzed and used? Anything you put online, can and will eventually be used for an unintended purpose. It may not even be a malicious purpose but anything you post will eventually be used in a way you hadn't expected. Once it's on a "The Cloud" then you have to accept that it's being pawed through by anyone.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I think it should be "bubble computing".. foamy bubbles are friendly and inviting. It shows lots of systems working together so you don't realy know where your data and apps are stored. Bubbles have never been a negative in relation to internet.. ;) (hehe.. wish I'd thought of that bit sooner)

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

Most of this issues were about not being in control of the store.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

You've willfully and happily given up freedom and personal privacy. I did see something else in his complaints too. Most of these new centralized computing through thin/dumb clients (called by whatever buzword) are run on top of LAMP stacks. If it was only about GNU taking over the world, why would he be speaking against a popular use of GPL'd software? That seems to add a bit more credability. As was previously pointed out, your currently using the alternative to "The Cloud" and most find it a tad more superior otherwise we'd still all be renting time on the local mainframe.

santeewelding
santeewelding

Have you happened upon the paradigm that all seek?

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

is supposed to be an alternative to what we have now. ie maintain control over our own applications and data, as opposed to giving them away in return for not having to maintain, hardware and infrastructure... You can use Gmail if you wish, you can set up your own server. If the cloud idea became the norm, then the latter choice would become unusable. Given the norm would be for service providers to aggregate (no choice for provider) or balkanise (have to choose more than one to get coverage). Your judgement is a little short sighted in my opinion. Cloud isn't a question of can, but should.

ollie
ollie

If you are a big company/corporation with tons of sensitive corporate data, then cloud computing is probably NOT the most sensible solution for everything. BUT, if you are a two or three man company with no dedicated IT department, it is finacial and business STUPIDITY to rely on doing all your own IT and having your own servers, and wasting precious business time and resources fighting with Microsoft windows installations and funny driver bugs/dlls etc. when you can rent a solution that works in ANY browser. It is infinately sensible then to utilise the cloud computing resources and put into perspective the security concerns. So yes - it ultimately means less jobs for the expensive IT fraternity which is why it would seem the predominantly techy readership here are so anti cloud computing since it is a threat, but real "users" see so many advantages (off-site backup, not reliant on a single machine, online support and training, ease of use, cost). Cloud computing empowers the user, yes there are risks that need to be quantified, but for small enterprises, the costs and risks associated with running local software usually outweight the risks of SENSIBLE outsourcing via cloud/software as a service computing.

gypkap
gypkap

Cloud computing is exactly like a service bureau. You send your application and data off to a mysterious "cloud" (well, a server farm, really), and eventually you get your computed results. And maybe your application and data aren't compromised, if you're lucky. Answer: build your own "cloud" if you really need one, though it should be one that's under your IT department's control.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

weren't around then, In fact their fathers were probably a suspicious wet spot on grandad's bed.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

On what basis do you make that prediction? While they stay wedded to Http, you can kiss that idea goodbye. More complex, more fragile, less secure, take that as a given. These guys are not talking about a word processing facility being available, they are talking about your business being available. Once they have it and you've got rid of your ability to do it yourself, who are you gonna call? Of course we can do that my dear Stephen, that will be $1000 a month extra....

1bn0
1bn0

in your own private bathroom.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

would be in the cloud as well. In fact if you to the extreme, it could be in many places , copies , distributed nodes. Theoretically it could move about by itself and people would have to go out with nets and stuff to catch it. :p WEB interface is one thing, the idea of the could is a several orders of magnitude different.

Dumphrey
Dumphrey

premis is indeed sound and viable for certain organizations. The problem is in the hype, as if cloud computing will solve all IT worries in the world, end world hunger, provide lasting peace, and be very cheep, if not free. Stallman was most likely refering to the fact that this is not new technology, its not progress, its the same old same old in a new package. Its the same model that was rejected for the robust workstation. Cloud-like computing is a good idea for internal web apps, databases etc, but how secure and usable do they become when they are no longer under your supervision and control?

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

"You are typing along and type the word "vacation" in your document. Immediately, there are pop-ups and sidebars slapping ads for Florida, the Bahamas, and elsewhere all around the screen." Somewhere, a marketing professional just had an obscene and emberassing public moment in reaction to reading that.

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

the cloud. If I did I'd explain the downsides and evolution would spring into action. I've talked with a shed load of people who want to supply cloud computing.......

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

star "insert topology here" :D So now we are going to drop ourselves down to just 'cloud' level?

Jaqui
Jaqui

I don't think gg would hurt them ]:)

kehill50
kehill50

Cool...!!! I think Mr. Diaz may be in a "cumulous nimbus" or "rolling lenticular" cloud. Hey, don't they use those in Dragon Ball-Z...??? :-)

mporcellana
mporcellana

Put 'em in what perspective? That your cloud provider can have a peek at your confidential data whenever the mood strikes them? I don't think so! Chew on this for a second...assume for a minute that your "small enterprise" is a landscaping service with a few trucks, with a loyal customer base. Let's further assume that their provider is also a local business. We all know that all humans are prone to different degrees of temptation; let's say the the provider falls under the slightly unsavory type. What will prevent a competing landscaper from bribing the provider to sell him the other guy's customer data, which includes pricing, etc. Now, landscaper #2 can go out and solicit business from #1's customers, knowing in advance what price points he can quote to beat landscaper #1. In turn, customers switch to #2, and #1 can't remain in business, and packs up his tent, laying off a couple of dozen employees, putting further strain upon our already fragile economy, in terms of no disposable income, mortgage foreclosure, etc. All because YOU say the landscaper should trust his data to a cloud provider. And, if you think this won't happen, I would strongly urge that you remove your rose-colored glasses and pull your head out of the sand. Simple human nature and avarice (the love of money) says otherwise. I think it's far safer and more economical for the SMB to contract with a local tech support provider to manage the SMB's in-house equipment and in-house data. Furthermore, in all of these cloud computing discussions, NONE of the cloud proponents have addressed such issues as downtime within or beyond their control, nor have they touched upon SLAs or other reasonable guarantees. Until the SaaS and cloud boys provide substantive responses and guarantees regarding both service availability AND data security, I'll pass on it, and strongly recommend the same to anyone even remotely considering using it.

eylusion
eylusion

It does provoke warm and fuzzy thoughts in my gut in the absolute of best circumstances. For many of you IT and network support guys out there who have to take the occasional tech support call on the side you know what I'm talking about with your 4,000 sms servers sent out updates for and it broke . And you literally have a quadrillion applications that are broken all for different reasons, and nothing is standard. The idea in maybe the internal corporate network some type of encrypted SAAS offering would have it's uses. But for everyone else, it's all fluff, sometimes I actually just enjoying being unplugged from the interweb just to get some work done. Problems then may arise for say our outside techs working on cell towers or telco pedestals whose only connection to the world is a GSM enabled cell phone, who must first connect to a provider, then vpn into the local network which adds overhead and network hop distance increases, all to go to a website to use an application with lots of fuzzy colors and animations just to input a simple order for what have you, it could take forever. Like I said in very strictest of circumstances, it would be great. I can already picture thousands of computer migrations I won't have to pre-load a custom set of applications for a particular user, when all would need to be done is have the base image installed, and they already have all of their applications at their fingertips all they have to do is open a browser, encryption withstanding, don't get me wrong that would be flipping awesome, it'd cut my workload down by 50%. So i'm sure maybe someday it could have it's advantages in the right scenarios, but for the masses just stick to your emails and your stupid youtubes, because when it comes to business and people's secure data don't waste your time. If this conversation had gone the way of ohh the Department of Defense is considering Cloud Computing, this topic would be a frenzy. So yes, I have wholeheartedly agree'd with everyone elses comments, it's a ridiculous idea, but god in a hypothetical perfect world, it could do away with so many of my migraines... Ohh and on a side note, could I still win 2 free ipods in this cloud network, because that's a huge selling point for me.

MikeAinOz
MikeAinOz

Hey w2ktechman, whatever you are on is good! We need to rise above the humdrum of the cloud and embrace the stars. Lets prepare for the next big thing!

MikeAinOz
MikeAinOz

Hey w2ktechman, whatever you are on is good! We need to rise above the humdrum of the cloud and embrace the stars. Lets prepare for the next big thing!

Tony Hopkinson
Tony Hopkinson

the young lady might want to go near 'em. However I'll take your word for it, as it's another reason to hold on to 'em. Not that us blokes need more reasons for that behaviour.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

With that sudden clenching twitch and maybe the quick bow as the head goes with the sneaze.. even if accidental.. sneazes happen of course.. some people pay good money for that

seanferd
seanferd

Oh, that's good. Disc harrow of the gods. Ancient astronaut farmers.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

There was an issue a while back. Passport data on government servers has some strong controls on it but last year there was a report that government staff had been browsing celebrities out of the database. It's not just the small town folk, even big town and .Gov systems have staff poking through the data during the lunch break.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

If a terminal breaks, swap the hardware and tell the user to log back in. :D I do agree that there are some applications where centralized software and storage through distributed terminals makes a lot of sense. My concerns are with the marketing fluffers that keep putting a warm hand on my bag of nuts while they whisper sweet price points in my ear. And, the use of someone else's "free" centralized software and storage services over the WAN commonly known as Internet is complete madness. When a business model demonstrates that the absolute profit driver is the integrety and security of customer's data on company servers leaving complete ownership of the data with the customer; I'll be more interested in listening to the hype. Until then, the discussion is; how long will it be before your need to show profits to your shareholders forces you to start auctioning data and analysis research to third parties? As long as the ultimate responsability is too the shareholder dividens, the customer is only a disposable resource. And MS is hocking there own Cloud offering pretty hard these days too. If you make a deal with the Devil, he always wins. Now, any chance I can get a little more nutt coddling before I have to catch my train? :D

Ambercroft
Ambercroft

we should be able to reach out to the ether. Then we can have ethernet. :)

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

I love it. Do I get royalties for the naming of it??? :^0 Edit: If so, I'll split it with both of you :D

seanferd
seanferd

Call it Star Computing (repackaging... check) and now get everyone hyped up about it. Next, we associate all sorts of non-related technologies with the Star Computing meme (RFC Zero). Work on getting people confused, anxious, and feeling like they're possibly missing out on something. Depending on the breaks, maybe create FUD puppets in fora with weak positions that allow them to be roundly criticized by the Star Computing religious fanatics. Start focusing on Gen Z now.