Don’t be shocked now, but this hardcore Slackware Linux user does still have an MS Windows operating system (Win 7) installed on a partition on my main system and one on my office laptop.
I know some of you are highly disappointed to hear this, but fret not. The only reason I have Win 7 on my main system is for gaming. I don’t use it for anything else. Slackware is most definitely my daily production OS, but the PC games I play perform much better in Windows. It’s just easier for me to play them that way than in any kind of virtual environment. Also, I do need to stay up-to-date on MS Windows in order to be tech support for my family and friends whom I haven’t converted to GNU/Linux yet.
Anyway, tonight I was bored, so I consolidated my Microsoft login credentials and signed up for their One Drive (formerly Sky Drive). It was fast, simple, painless, etc., as is most Windows point n’ click world these days. One Drive is basically MS’s Dropbox; works pretty much the same way, too. However, you get more space (7 Gig) with your initial One Drive account than with Dropbox (2 Gig).
I like the way MS has tied in all their services and connected them to the unified login. I do have one complaint, though. They’re trying to improve security with two-step verification and all that, but they still do not allow passwords greater than 16 characters. What’s up with that MS?
The Office Online service is pretty neato, too. You just go there and start using Word or Excel or whatever. It’s all saved to your spiffy new One Drive account. Ah… computering in the clouds. Ain’t it all grand? Till it gets hacked or crashes. This stuff is all pretty cool, but I probably won’t ever use it for anything of any importance. I don’t trust cloud computing. I want my important data on my own SECURED GNU/Linux systems, not swingin’ out there in the breeze on someone’s cloud servers.
My faithful readership may remember that I’m not a fan of cloud computing at all.
I feel that it’s just another way to restrict Internet usage, suck up your data, track your habits, and make $$$ for the greedy mega-corps currently circling around one another in the Internet seas seeking fresh meat (you) to gorge upon.
In light of the recent TERMINATION of operation of MegaUpload by Agent Smith and his colleagues, one has to wonder what happens to all the legitimate data that was stored on those servers? Are you one of the unlucky ones who is quite possibly having your private data scoured by the IT department gnomes at BIG BROTHER Central? Disturbing thought, huh?
There have always been two major concerns about cloud services in general, and cloud storage (Dropbox, Megaupload, SkyDrive, iCloud, and so on). The first is privacy: When you upload data to a third party, there’s always the risk that they can look at the contents of your files. Some cloud providers securely encrypt data, but many don’t. The second issue is data security and integrity: Does the third party keep a tight ship against hackers? What happens if a hard drive fails? What protections have the cloud provider put in place to mitigate against natural disasters, bankruptcy, or being shut down by the Feds?
Yes. What happens to your data? Who gets to look at it? The “folly of cloud storage”; it is, indeed.
Rebecca Lipman at The Motley Fool writes:
Government access to cloud computing files
Many note that the timing coincided too conveniently with SOPA online protests. And although SOPA has not passed, the death of Megaupload, which is seen as a kind of victim to the government’s fight against piracy, brings some interesting, if not disturbing, aspects of cloud computing to life.
Get wise, folks. Stop volunteering your personal data to these giant data-sucking companies like Google and Facebook. Keep your personal data where in belongs… in your personal possession; meaning on your own damned system. Drives and drive space are so BIG and cheap these days, you could have your very own server farm in the back room of your house to store all your stuff. You don’t need to be uploading it to Suckle or Slurpbox so they can sift it and then target you with advertisements.
Anywho… that’s just how I feel about this. Y’all have fun now.
Popular file-sharing website Megaupload shut down – Yahoo Finance
Feds Shut Down Megaupload: Warning Sign for the Cloud Storage Model? – The Motley Fool
This woman tells it like it is. Bravo, Carla!
The problem with all this cloud nonsense is it’s exactly that–nonsense. Hosted services are nothing new. What would be new and radical and transformative are attractive products reasonably-priced, and good customer service.
Hear! Hear! As most of my loyal readers know, I’m not fan of the cloud. It’s a large cistern of feces (for you less ejoomacated folks – a crock of shit). It’s just another way for some mega corp to bleed you of your hard earned $ by teasing you with wonderful cloud services. Yeah… right.
Carla speaks about cloud security:
Not only that, but is there anyone who can claim bragging rights to good security, and protecting customer’s data from intrusions? Anyone?
HAHA! Yeah… sure. It’s secure. Just trust us with all yer data. We’ll take care of it fer ya’. Yup! Remember Yuri?
Read the rest of Carla Schroder’s rant. It’s a good one.
Head In the Clouds?
More twaddle from the crotchety old geek, who needs to get with the program here. Or does he?
OK, here’s the scenario… Mr. Honor N. Integrity decides that he’s going to offer a service to folks. He prints up some flyers, places a few ads here and there, and rents a big safe that he has delivered to his new office in the strip mall on Mercantile St. You can’t miss him. He’s right in between Joanie’s Retro Punk Dress Shop and Bubba’s Jailhouse Tattoos.
So, what service is Mr. Integrity offering? Well, lemme tell ya’ about it. For a nominal fee, Mr. Integrity is going to take possession of your wallet or purse, your personal papers, your childrens’ personal papers, your partially finished draft of that really cool detective novel you’re writing, grandma’s will, and weird uncle bob’s tinfoil hat designs. He’s going to catalog them and store them in that big safe for safekeeping. You can have access to it any time, as long as the electronic lock on the safe isn’t being updated or oiled. Cool, huh? Yeah… right.
This, folks, is pretty much what the newest craze in the techie world is all about. It’s called cloud computing. What happens when you’re computing in the cloud? You’re sitting at home in front of what has basically devolved into a dumb terminal. All your applications, games, personal data, pictures, illegally ripped MP3s, copies of weird uncle bob’s tinfoil hat designs, etc. are stored on a server owned by Megaputer, Inc.*, a wholly owned subsidiary of ShadowSystems, LLC*, located in Bangladesh.
You’ve paid your yearly subscription fee for this service. You’ve read the TOS and EULAs. You have spoken with support tech “Steve” in New Delhi, India about the Super-Dooper Ver. 5.2 security system they have installed on their servers. You’re comfortable with all this. Good for you, you dummy. I bet you’re the same type who believes everything the doctor tells you without even the slightest need to question him.
Here you go… you sit if front of your system with the intention of banging out a couple chapters of that detective novel tonight. You’re at a really good part with lots of shooting and stuff. You fire up your dumb terminal and navigate using your Megaputer browser to your login screen so you can access YOUR STUFF. Oopsy! Page Not Found. Whaddya’ gonna’ do now, hmm? Call Steve in New Delhi, huh? OK. Steve tells you that the server is down for maintenance, but the real fact of the matter is that a 13 year old cracker named Yuri Titov has won a 1000 ruble bet with his buddy Vasily by breaking the Super-Dooper Ver 5.2 security system. COOL, huh? By the way, Yuri stole all your illegal MP3s and uncle Bob’s tinfoil hat designs. Hope you had those patented.
Sorry folks, computing in the clouds just ain’t for this old geek. I want MY STUFF on MY SYSTEM. Y’all are free to make your own choices.
Until next time… remember, doctors fork up too.
*These are fictitious companies created 100% within the warped mind of the author. Any resemblance to real companies like Google, IBM, or Microsoft is purely in YOUR own head.
Linux on the cloud: IBM, Novell, and Redhat – ComputerWorld
Cloud Computing – Infoworld