Sunday, December 7, 2008

Avery K Tingle

The Cloud

As someone who lives on the outskirts of the technology sphere, I don't understand the big deal about working in the cloud. In fact, I think it's dangerous that things are moving towards this trend, something I liken to a "skynet" mentality.

For those who may not be aware, the term 'working in the cloud' loosely leaving the desktop behind and placing the majority, if not all, of the workload on the internet--the 'cloud'.

This hails from getting into the internet around the mid-nineties when "this page cannot be displayed" still dominated roughly a quarter of everyone's surfing experience. Granted, things must be doing better; I can't remember the last time I saw a broken page or 404 error that wasn't quickly rectified. We're living in a better internet era than what we had ten years ago, but it's still prone to errors. That's right, yahoo, I'm looking at you.

Here's what scares me.
Imagine someone under the descending blade of a deadline goes to retrieve their 2MB file from Google Docs for some last minute editing--and the 404 error comes up.
Sometimes it only takes a refresh to straighten things out--but that's not the case here. Eventually the user is redirected to a smarmy page that explains its all Google's fault, not yours and of course they're working to fix the problem as soon as possible.

This might not seem so frightening to some of the more financial secure of you out there. If you use a system like this to pay even some of your bills, it can be horrifying.

Then again, maybe I'm just a control freak.
Either way, if my programs are going to fail, I'd rather they failed because of something I did, rather than something completely outside of my control. This is why I like my documents and my important data on my hard drive, or my external hard drive, or in my possession at all times.

I think the cloud mentality is too dangerous because it essentially places control of important information in other error-prone human being who may be miles smarter than the rest of us, but they make mistakes just like the rest of us, too.

Something to keep in mind the next time you think Google Docs is a blessing, since they don't charge you...;)

Avery K Tingle

About Avery K Tingle

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