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coogan's avatar

Cloud computing, are you ready to give up your local computer?

Asked by coogan (687points) March 14th, 2010

The cloud is the future, but will you be comfortable enough to give up your standalone computer? Microsoft, Google, as well as others are touting this new wave of the future. All of your information online, available anywhere. But what of privacy concerns? Security? Are you opposed to an annual fee for tiered storage options? Microsoft is going to offer annual rates for cloud software packages. This grants users the ability to use the latest software that is patched auto-magically (yes, I know). This subscription based service also cuts back on piracy. Do you support the cloud fully, local only, or do you think you’ll operate with a mix of both? I don’t think I could give up my local machine, could you?

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15 Answers

phoebusg's avatar

I think we’ll always have a mixture of both, with a possibility of every device being part of the cloud. Similar to seti and folding at home.

Both are useful, but either alone is too restrictive.

Though, with the further evolution of the light computer (we’re already on fiber, and working on light-based routers) – we could have transport fast enough to support a terminal-only input/output device. Instead of a unit in itself. I think this will eventually be possible. Giving anyone access to the computational power of the cloud, and access to all the information between.

I don’t have any concern about security, knowledge should be open – and so should we.

Nullo's avatar

I happen to like my standalone computer. If need be, I’ll have one computer for the cloud and an old-school PC.
I think that putting everything online is a very bad idea, Microsoft and Google!

Bugabear's avatar

I already am in the cloud. But I do go to a lot of places where I cant access the internet so it’s nice to see support for offline browsing.

Buttonstc's avatar

There’s always the chance of a one time only disastrous failure in their system wiping out everything.

I would use it as a backup for the convenience of being able to access it from my phone if need be, ( similar to how I use Evernote now ) but it’s going to be on my machine and an external hard drive.

Captain_Fantasy's avatar

I think Cloud is more of a server thing. You’d still need a terminal to access it.

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t trust the companies that own the cloud.

anartist's avatar

The global network. The “thin client” gets thinner!
I just got a Gateway all-in-one on eBay—not much there but a screen some ram and a heavy weight to keep it stable. It’s all in the peripherals.

Right now cloud space is free or cheap. With many web-hosting reseller accounts, storage space is unlimited. Stick it up there and back it up down here,

Act like the iWorld is a social media system or your boss’s business network or a tapped telephone—nothing there that you wouldn’t want on the front page of the NY Times [and always wear clean underwear].

Until it’s time for implants complete with shock controls, there will still be hardware on your desk.

Truly private information may have to be passed using spycraft techniques.

anartist's avatar

Jeruba, nobody “owns” the cloud.

FlutherAlot's avatar

Full on cloud computing is IMPOSSIBLE for the at-home end user.

We do too many data intensive things and I\O on our PCs. Communicating with an offsite cloud would be too cumbersome. Take an online game for example. With it running on the cloud, every single I\O operation would have to be sent first to the cloud, then to the server. The cloud would then render each frame so that it can be sent to the end user to be re-rendered on his screen. (think playing a game over remote desktop)

Another example would be trying to read very large files CONSTANTLY (as many programs do). The file would have to be constantly be streamed over a slow internet connection vs a local bus (to the disk).

Cloud computing has it’s advantages though. Web servers are one of them. Centralized file repositories are another. Also very intensive computations could be preformed more cheaply, as preformance would be rented on the cloud on the fly.

Assuming everyone did run on the cloud for everything, that would mean centralization. Full on centralization is EVIL. History has many lessons to give on what happens when one party gets too much power. Do we really want to live in a world where computing time for everything is leased rather than owned?

What happens when the internet goes down? Personal hardware will ALWAYS exist

anartist's avatar

The internet goes DOWN, Flutheralot??? ARPA [Advanced Research Projects Agency] designed ARPANET [original internet] with redundancy in mind so that it would survive a nuclear holocaust!

FlutherAlot's avatar


I’m sorry, I misled everyone. I meant personal connection. The internet itself is robust, but there is still one hole in my wall that leads to my house. If they are doing maintainance, or I refuse to pay my bill one day, I am cut off from the internet…....... but atleast I still have my hard drive!!!

With cloud computing comes dependency. Some dependency is good (specialization), but full on cloud computing would blow hard, for the reason I have just posted. I am FORCED to pay monthly fees (ISP + whatever I pay to access the cloud OR deal with advertisments) in order to access what used to be localized data??

faye's avatar

Shades of Big Brother. Did no one pay attention to Twilight Zone?

anartist's avatar

I am certainly not pushing for cloud computing exclusively. But why are you sitting at your machine at all? Are you creating something to be shared or just amusing yourself?

anartist's avatar

Flutheralot, how do you do that thing with the @ sign —doesn’t work like flickr

J0E's avatar

Like some others have already said, this is not a hardware issue. You will still use computers. The difference is you will be able to access your files on other computers and even tablets/cell phones. This is a good thing.

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