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Cloud computing. Is it potentially dangerous?


At the risk of sounding somewhat Luddite, why did my alarm bells instantly start ringing when I first heard about The Cloud? Being of the generation who saw the very first home computers arrive, I'm naturally used to the hard solutions, where software resides on discs and later in USB sticks. I remember actually having to get my head around the concept of owning a hard drive. Now we're not just looking at a future where our files can be stored remotely - but soon, we'll be able to boot from a remote source - and have our software titles to hand on a shared resource. Is this set to depersonalise our computing experience in some way?


I'm interested in your opinions. Obviously it makes a lot of sense as computer technology develops - perhaps from an ecological POV, while certainly from a convenience one. But how do you feel about cloud computing - the idea that one submits ones private documents and affairs to the aether, to be looked after in communal data banks? Is it an old fashioned desire to want to know precious things are safely stored in your office closet? I have to ask myself if am just the technological equivalent of the fool who stores his life-savings inside his mattress? How far away do you think we are from computers being sold without hard drives; just dumb processing terminals intended for 'public use'? For some reason, this whole idea makes me nervous, even though it makes technological sense in some ways. Imagine if the operating system itself requires a subscription or fair use policy. Could cloud computing pose an increased risk of government snooping and personal debt? Will a time come when the concept of 'owning a personal computer' becomes an outmoded concept?


For the short term, do you think it is currently a safe option? I was looking at Dropbox this morning, wondering if I should take the plunge. Then it occurred to me, that if my computer is easy enough to exploit already, the implications for hackers and viruses could be immense?


Onto the wider issue. Being a pessimist sometimes, I also can't help but wonder if it makes the idea of an EMP bomb redundant, when an entire civilisation's data is almost like a sitting duck. We're relying increasingly on data as a commodity these days, which means a future that seems to hold even more reliance for every day tasks. Everything from storing holiday snaps to supermarket logistics and food supply. It seems data is almost as crucial to our society and well-being as electricity itself.


Being not a natural prophet of doom, my mind always looks for meaningful comparisons in places like water and electricity mains, for instance and ascertains that we have not yet all been killed off by a neighbouring tribe dropping a dead sheep in our water supply. However, I can almost envision future wars being fought using corrupt data instead of bullets.


My other thought is that at some point, this will be a paid service. Don't keep up the payments and you basically lose your computer?


Though presently, I'm concerned about my own, personal data. For instance, the audio computer I use in my recording studio never touches the internet. It is a closed system, with no outside interference of any kind. I control what files I share with other computers on my own premises. Just looking at how easy it is for a Windows computer to pick up a virus, even with security installed and running, makes me wonder if my data will be safe if I submit it to the 'cloud' at this point.


Your thoughts?

Edited by Abecedarian
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Yes, No, Maybe;


1) some physical device will always exist for you to carry files around on (it makes dollar)


2) cloud computing in the sense of your computer being as powerful as your internet connection would not mean you dont have an option for customisation, the whole OS will still reside somewhere on some server which would allow you to program, develop and customize your OS


3) security hardly changes, infact probably increases, hackers get into your system now using exploits from certain application you run or open on ports where they have free access, on a server the security would for the most part be more professional. I.E. if you dont know how to secure your own computer, your files would by default be more secure on a server with security features.


4) the government can watch you now so who cares, nothing to hide and all that....it has the possibility to corrode the darker side of the internet though


5) not everyone has, needs or wants internet access. If all you did was game(offline) or use it to watch hardcopy films you'd have no use for the internet. Obviously most people have a use for the internet; but you cant exclude people who dont and still use computers.


6) as far as im aware the chrome OS book thing works in exactly this way but i wouldnt define as being an OS of its own right...it has alot of functionality but doesnt offer gaming, advanced photo editing, music editing software and such i dont think.


overall i'd say its a good move for computing and will be tailored towards businesses and individuals who would like their files over different systems with id presume added security.

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The problem with the Cloud movement is the potential to charge for it.

If all your apps are on-line then you have to have internet to get there and the server or "owner" of the software that you use can charge you a limited license fee to use them. This is already happening in Japan and I see it happening here too. I will continue to keep everything I use on my computer's hardware and continue to use open source software. There is no substitute for the freedom of having it yourself. As for security, its not really an issue. The most secure sites in the world get hacked so if someone wants my computer they can get it - even with two firewalls and a router between me and the rest of the world. There just isn't much on my computer that means that much to anyone else.



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If there exist a real hotel that employs Cloud System .. then you can live in the hotel, you have an apartment,


but you don't actually have a fixed private space for you in the hotel


What actually happens is that hotel spaces are considered as a virtual resource, so based on your contract,


you may acquire a space as you're allowed to for given time, but in different place every time,


and your storage is brought to you every time from the shared storage facility




On the political system side, Cloud Systems are similar to Communism

Edited by khaled
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Cloud Pros?

imho, assuming security can be handeled at enough level, cloud might give opportunities that are hardly acheavable by having pure rich client custom stations:

- sharing of personal data is easier

- software maintaining is easy and application palette could be easier to reach

- independence of particular hardware technology provider (healthy hardware concurecy)



Cloud Cons?

- Server could be imho little bit less secure, but devoted soul hackers will always find a way, no matter is it local machine or a some space in cloud


Execution speed of interpreted apps could be raised up by having these apps compiled on demand in local cache, so that is ok, i guess.


Non technical cons might be decisions of market fighters to occasionally keep too much control over users, but that wouldn't last forever. Users will find a way to avoid suspicious solutions. They will not let themselves to be ignored, remember those hackers?

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  • 4 years later...

Cloud Cons: Anyone could have your data ATM and this happened almost 3 years ago.

It's just there's no one interested in exposing it. There is bulk of stolen data and resources(Silicon Valley :0 ) and there will be more in the future, but on the other hand, only a device out of any kind of network is secure. So I think the development and broader use of coud is inevitable, no matter the balance of pros and cons

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only a device out of any kind of network is secure.​



Not true I can imagine many devices which would be secure on a network. For instance you can prevent data recieved via the network from ever being able to make changes to your device.

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