Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The future is cloudy

A lot of tech news this morning.  Microsoft is buying Skype for 8.5 billion gil.  (That might have cool repercussions for the Xbox.)  And Google is offering a new cloud-based music service, movie rentals for Droid, and a home help service where you can control your dishwasher with your Droid phone. 

The AP story I read said to think of the music service as "the Internet service Pandora, but based on your own music collection."  I love Pandora, so this caught my attention, but I had two thoughts.  What is cloud computing? And where the heck is my cassette version of Rush's Chronicles?

After reading and watching some videos, I came to the conclusion that cloud computing is about storage.  Rather than storing all your movies, games, music, pics, etc. on your computer's hard drive, you can rent storage from a company who will keep and protect your stuff, and in turn, you can access it from anywhere there's an Internet connection.  Good for businesses, and maybe for individuals, too.

Just like when you go to a storage unit rental place, you don't have to buy the whole business.  You just rent as many units as you need.  And you don't need to work at the rental place, since they have their own people at the front desk and on security.  You don't even need to know how the business works, as long as you can show up at any time and retrieve your junk.

My second thought was how will Google handle your music storage? The AP article indicated users could upload 20,000 songs.  Wow.  Lotta upload.  Is it necessary for everyone in the world to upload their version of "Tom Sawyer"? It seems a billion versions of the same four minute, 33 second song would take a long time to upload, plus the storage space. 

What if there was only one copy for each "Tom Sawyer" made? So a copy from the original album, plus one from each concert that's available.  These would take up a lot less space, and perhaps upload could be simplified to some sort of authenticated number, rather than the whole song.  The tricky part might be when a million people try to listen to it at the same time, but hey, millions of people watch the same movies or TV shows or Pay-per-view sports at the same time.  I think it's possible.

But cloudy the future is.

(The pic is from  If you want to freak yourself out, there's an Intel video here called Intel Cloud 2015 Vision that reminded me of Skynet from the Terminator movies.  Also, bonus points if you can name what album "Tom Sawyer" first appeared on without looking it up.  Let's see some answers on the Comments.)


  1. Storing your stuff in the cloud is nice in that you don't have to worry about backing up your won stuff.

    The downside is, if the "cloud" on which your data is floating gets hacked, well, your data may be at risk. Think of the latest Sony Playstation Network hacking and what all has transpired from that.

    The huge upside for a small business in this area is that even should a hurricane pass through and leave your business without power for a week, all of your business data is available to you. You could drive to Jacksonville, sit in a Starbucks (free WiFi!), and take care of business, all while enjoying a nice Cinnamon Dolce Crème Frappuccino® Blended Beverage.

    Oh, and Moving Pictures!

  2. Patrick has officially won a Chimpwithpencil prize pack for correctly identifying the album containing 'Tom Sawyer.'

    The prize pack includes a troop of 17 live chimpanzees, including 9 adults and 8 younguns. These chimps will be flown (at my expense) from the famed Gombe Preserve in Africa directly to Patrick's house, where we will leave them inside with the three cans of Silly String, a Bic lighter and a case of Red Bull.