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They've been advertising 'Cloud Technology' for electronical things. What is it?


I've heard bits and pieces that it is where the software to run a program is not on your computer, but on some other device.


Do you pay a subscription or rental fee? or is it free?

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Thats a really big question Tommy...


The term cloud can mean a LOT of things but basically the most common use of the term these days is for the hosting of applications/data online rather than locally.


This is something that was tried before in the 90's but is coming on strong now. The bandwidth is now here to do such things.


Its big in the corporate world now, but i don't think it will have too much impact on Consumers for a bit still. Not enough trust.


There are some consumer type "Cloud" services now though....Dropbox, GoogleDocs etc...


And how you pay for it....totally different depending on what you are doing....MS is offering a "rented" version of Office called Office 365 right now that is basically a subscription fee based service...

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I have a MobileMe account through apple which allows me "cloud space" to store documents, pictures, information, etc. Its pretty cool, but as Shred said, "cloud" is a very broad term right now.


So your answer is... "yes" [flapper]


Interesting. So is it like SnapFish? Where you store your documents and the requisite software to access it on someone else's server?

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Cloud is as shred described it a vague tech term. It basically means that data you save or input to a drive online is accessible wherever you've got internet access. The information is out there floating around like a cloud.


It's a benefit because it allows you as a professional to access documents and photos and other data remotely without having to carry lots of flash memory drives or big externals. It's also used for lots of personal stuff like photos music and movies and the likes.


It's typical that they keep it so vague though so that anyone can try to get in on using the "cloud".


Although I could be completely wrong, it's happened before.

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Interesting. So is it like SnapFish? Where you store your documents and the requisite software to access it on someone else's server?


Never used SnapFish, but its like a 20gb hard drive in space that you can pull up on any computer, like an invisible flash drive


All you have to do is log on to their website, no hardware required [biggrin]

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One reason for the "personal computer" concept was to give people control over their own applications and data. That went from the late 8-bit "revolution" into the PC/Mac/cheap Unix world starting about 30 years ago.


The idea was freedom from a large mainframe that was corporately owned and managed.


Now there are, as mentioned, variations on the theme, but essentially the idea is to sell you cheap terminals that they won't call terminals, then software and storage in a "cloud" that's really a mainframe.


Frankly my personal opinion is that it's a result of developers, content owners and software manufacturers wanting more control over copyright/patent "property." Imagine, for example, that even when you record yourself singing your own songs that you may have to prove ownership before it goes into the "cloud" where it may or may not be something you own or something ASCAP or BMI owns.


You'd have to use a lease service for the software and storage for your own materials. In short, functionally you lose control of your own material.


It's like buying an on-line data backup service on an annual contract. They're not responsible for losses incurred, so if they lose it, or if it's hacked, it's your tough luck. But if you don't keep paying, it goes away anyway and good luck figuring out how to maintain a personal backup that could be "read" by any software you'd have access to.


It's to me kinda like the old AT&T that owned every telephone in America. You leased your phone and you had only their phone lines to make calls on.


I find the whole concept somewhat repugnant, myself, if not positively Orwellian.


But totalitarian governments, right, left, theocratic or otherwise totalitarian, I'm sure, would love the idea.


That's not "politics," by the way.


Anybody wanna pay me on a five-year lease to store all but one of your guitars with a contract that holds me harmless if the guitars disappear or are damaged or...???



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So, by this definition, 'A site where you are able to access business or personal data from anywhere you have an internet connection without that data being on your hand or lap held device,' these are Clouds:


SnapFish (for the benefit of Fred, you upload pics to it, then order prints which are mailed to you)




Gibson Website as a repository for indispensable information relative to guit tars, Gibson and otherwise and anything else we can get past the moderators on The Lounge forum.






It's a current marketing buzz word like SUV, which used instead of a more accurate word like Truck-that's-too-pretty-and-impractical-to-use-as-a-truck, but it flies a bit under the CAFE radar of fuel economy requirements. Or Cross-Over vehicle, instead of Station Wagon, so the dealers don't have to utter that >shudder< ugly (in their dweeby minds only) word; Station Wagon.


Am I right?

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Online computing has gone full-circle. First, there was the mainframe/server and "dumb" terminals. The advent of PCs provided the opportunity to distribute the processing and relieve some of the mainframe's load. Now with high-speed internet, and high-speed/high-capacity servers, it's easier and cheaper to maintain single versions of applications on the server versus the gazillions of copies residing on PCs. It's called "thin client", and PCs once again are little more than "dumb" terminals.

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I think that having reservations about the implications of going to an entirely "cloud" computing paradigm is definitely not a matter of being a "Luddite," but rather wanting to keep a greater degree of personal control of one's personal materials.


I'm not kidding about the potential of what could happen with reference to copyright issues. Who, for example, "owns" photos on Facebook? Basically it's Facebook, not the person who took the photo and uploaded it. What are license/service agreements on other various sites ranging from the one to elsewhere.


Ditto Yahoo and Gmail as well as other "providers."


I'm willing to accept certain restrictions, even as I recognize that the U.S. Mail for centuries has had rules mostly protecting the mailer but that also allowed courts to allow certain information to be available to various law enforcement or national security agencies.


But when a piece I write, or a bit of music I've written, or a photo I've taken, becomes functionally open to the world... I begin to wonder. I think we're in a new era when it comes to everything from copyright to how open all of our materials might be to the whole world _whether we know it or not_ on our emails or our "personal accounting" package.


This forum? Hey, we know it's a public service that almost anyone might access. But the email to our Moms about our health issues or girlfriends or younger brothers - or our boss or the guy we're trying to impress to offer us that new job? Or last year's federal tax forms, our banking account...


I'm also a backup fiend. But when all the backups are on somebody else's computer on Mars or in Cairo or Beijing... I have to wonder.


I also have to wonder what will happen when all our text, financial, tax, medical, photo, audio and other information is stored in a proprietary format we cannot access without paying homage and cash to Bill Gates or Steve Jobs or the government or Cisco or...



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Good point Milo.


As I understand it this is the SnapFish scenario.


You upload pictures you took on your camera of your kids. You can order pictures from them. Then, let's say after uploading, you just erase your camera. THEN, you find out you want to get that file back so you can edit it, crop it or forward it to someone else. NOT GONNA HAPPEN. The files on SnapFish's servers belong to SnapFish, or so they claim. If you want prints, you MUST order from them. SnapFish is a decent enough service, but make sure you save YOUR file on YOUR hard drive or other media at home, if you want to retain control of it.


Another thing came up this winter in the TOmmyK household. We were in the process of searching for refinancing for our home. One bank wanted TWO years of tax forms. The Luddite in me slipped up in 2009 when we did our 2008 taxes. We got the H&R Block 'free' tax preparation disc. We used the electronic application to generate our 1040A form for sending in our taxes to Uncle Sam. Guess what? We forgot to print a copy for ourselves. I can find the file which has our tax form on it on our hard drive. But do you think we can find the disk to extract it from the HD? No. A 2009 disk won't do it. Each year's form has a different extension and you must have the correct disk to open the file. [scared]


Never fear, though, H&R Block's website has the proper application to open the 2008 tax file on my HD, $79.99! [cursing]

Yup, they're a pretty good student of human behavior.


WE called the bank to tell them it would be a while before we could get our 2008 form, explaining the circumstances. His response? "You too, eh?" He told us you can go to the IRS website to order up a transcript of your historical tax form. We did that, they said it would take 2-3 weeks. That was back in late December and we haven't seen it yet. But it's all good, We got a better rate at another bank, who didn't need that many tax forms. And, I don't have to send my mortgage payment to Timbuktu, Africa. I get to send it to the bank what wrote the mortgage. Imagine that. [love] Seems that when you deal with a locally owned bank, they know and trust the locals and like to keep the banking local.


LendingTree? Pfeh! Don't get me started. [sneaky]

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For what it's worth, I figure that it'll be far, far worse within the next decade. That's one reason I picked up some extra external drives - although that assumes even USB will still function in a decade.


But it's as if people don't care, and keep giving away rights to their own material without even realizing what's happening.


The Microsoft current format that's unreadable without specific sorts of software is an example of their direction. I think JPG lives only because it's so ubiquitous. ASCII text is hard to get rid of too. But... gee, if it's in a cloud... what does a cloud look like? Fog.



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You guys are focusing on the consumer side of things...which makes sense if you don't own a business.


Just so you guys know...with business applications etc, the company who owns and uploads the data retains ownership and they pay the hosting company a fee. Its all contractual and lawyers look over everything.


And its not just DATA they are hosting..."cloud" or hosted services include all the hardware (Servers, networking equipment etc) and staff (IT guys, network design and architecture etc.) which makes newer technology far more accessible to small and medium businesses.


Think most small business owners have the knowledge to run their own network with servers? Or can afford to buy all the hardware and software to run it? Or pay an IT guy $80K+ a year to manage it?


So you're right, in terms of consumer "cloud" services...there's not a lot out there. I don't consider Snapfish or things like that to be cloud services...Its simply a web based service that involves no true contract (Except the "if you agree with our T's and C's, click here). Ask to redline their contract and its no dice.


This all the "public" cloud but the "Private" cloud has been in progress for years...its call Virtualization. I won't get into the details cuz it will display just how geeky I am but most IT advanced companies these days offer their applications via the network rather than on the employees desktop.


It just gets trickier when you have a 3rd party involved...

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I know where you're coming from but...


I guess I don't like the idea of something of a return to the lack of options we had with functionally a single telephone company. I don't like the idea of proprietary file formats that come in and out of style and result in loss of data for history if nothing else. (I'm a history nut, obviously.)


The bottom line to me is that when one loses control over one's own data, it's like living a life where one owns nothing in one's home, from dishes to family photos, then moves for one reason or another and has nothing but the smile on their face to carry elsewhere.


A business that may be bought and sold is one thing, but I've seen even there how "history" can be lost instantly with a single IT decision that may make economic sense.


The way copyright law is currently being played with, from the BMI/ASCAP games to Itunes and such, photographs, etc., has me concerned. Yes, NOW it's more a consumer issue. But how much of a consumer issue when that extends to business of all sizes as is inevitable as civil law changes with courtroom precedent?



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