Sunday, June 3, 2012

Enough About the $^^$$*!#@ Cloud Already!

Every time I read a news magazine, turn on the radio, or read tech magazines, I keep hearing about "The Cloud," and all the wonderful things it is supposed to do for me.  It's apparently bigger than Windows 95, which we all remember involved promotion by the cast of "Friends."  No doubt that hip, good looking 90's people were heavy Windows 95 users.

The idea behind it is that large corporations with excess server space want to sell you some of the storage space to make money.  Amazon, for example, has huge amounts of storage space and wants to rent out more.  Google, Microsoft, and others are looking to join the bandwagon.  With the cost of storage dropping each year, this makes plenty of sense for them.  But "The Cloud" is like soybean oil.  What used to be the garbage they threw away, corporations decided to turn into liquid gold--with a little marketing.

Here's the problem--I don't need the fucking cloud.  I don't want corporate America holding my precious data.  As a lawyer, my client files are precious and need to remain secure--that means me controlling them with encryption.  I don't need some Third World hacker breaking into Apple's Cloud and stealing my data, thank you very much.  Life is hard enough.  I don't need security concerns as well.  If NASA can be hacked 6 times in one year, I have no faith in Apple or Microsoft to do better, especially Microsoft, considering how terrible Vista was.

It may not seem like it, but Facebook won't last forever.  And if I count on it to store my precious photos, I may end up with nothing.  I can buy a 3 TB drive that will hold hundreds of thousands of photos, hours and hours of video, and thousands of photos for $140 and the price is decreasing every year.  By the time I fill that extra hard drive up, I will be able to get a 6 TB drive for the same price.

Not to mention upload time--cable broadband Internet is great, but the upload times are not.  Time Warner throttles upload speeds so people don't run a server from their homes.  This means my large video files would take days to upload to the Cloud.  No thanks, I don't have that kind of time.

Part of this Cloud nonsense is designed to sell us more expensive gadgets at higher cost.  So instead of just putting a huge hard drive into an iPad or laptop computer, Apple or Amazon can sell you a cheaper device with less storage capacity under the guise of the item being a Cloud capable device.  It's like the self-checkout line at the grocery store--they are passing the cost of checking you out to you and trying to make that a selling point.  In reality, you are paying the same or more to get less.

Even if the Cloud were a great idea--which I don't believe it is--I refuse to succumb to the hype.  Give me my hard drive or give me death!  Or, even better, I will use the Cloud when you pry my hard drive from my cold, dead fingers!

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