Is the Cloud Stupid?

I don’t consider ours a business campaigning to make cloud computing anything at all: cloud computing is, after all, just one among many technology subjects that we cover. But count me among those less than intelligent by Stallman’s reckoning individuals that considers cloud computing inevitable. And actually, if one conflates - as Stallman appears to - SaaS applications like Google’s Gmail with cloud computing, I’ll go further and argue that’s it’s not inevitable, it’s done. Already.

Even communities, after all, that are staunch advocates of free software, are avid users of Gmail: just look at any project’s email list that you might care to. Given that, is it any surprise that your average user is less concerned about the threats Stallman perceives than wasting time running things they don’t have to? Or couldn’t? The history of this industry demonstrates quite adequately to me that users effectively don’t care much for the freedoms that Stallman and others nobly fight on their behalf for. We can argue about whether that’s good or bad, but I can’t see how you’d build the case that they do. Windows and Office have many virtues, but providing software freedom isn’t one of them - and yet they sell. And sell. And sell.

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Stallman vs. the cloud computing tidal wave Stallman’s recent statements regarding his dislike of “cloud computing” didn’t surprise me in the least, given what I understand about his software preferences. In fact, I think this is less about Stallman’s worry about the security implications of cloud computing, and more about his desire for a software ecosystems that adheres to the principles embodied in the GPL. Stallman simply cannot accept a world where proprietary and open source code live alongside each other in harmony. In that respect, he is a free software purist.

I’ve known a few “hard core” vegetarians in my life, and one thing I have noticed about them is that they rarely go to restaurants, preferring instead to stay at home and cook their own food under conditions they can control. Cloud computing, by its very nature, assumes that you are passing the handling and processing of your personal information over to a third party. They might be as principled from a software freedom standpoint as Stallman might like, but few - if anyone - can match the bar set by Stallman.

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re: new words

srlinuxx wrote:
he is a free software purist.

So that's the "nice" word for NUTJOB now eh?

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