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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

blogs.zdnet.com: 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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today's leftovers

  • Red Hat - Another Quarter And A Totally New Set Of Investor Perceptions
  • BIG open-source love Microsoft and Google? You still won't catch AWS [Ed: Microsoft does not love FOSS (or loved by it); it actively attacks FOSS.]
    Open source wasn’t supposed to matter in the cloud. After the Free Software Foundation’s failed attempt to rein in network-delivered software services, some wrung their hands and waited for the open source apocalypse. Instead of imploding, however, open source adoption has exploded, with ever more permissive licenses rising to largely eliminate the need to contribute anything back.
  • Open Source Data:The Last Frontier of the Fintech Revolution
    In the early days of computing, programmers and software developers shared their creations learned from each other and therefore advanced computing and software engineering to new heights.
  • The cheap arm project: An affordable, open-source robotics project
    What do you get when you put together wood and rope? Well according to Plymouth University’s Professor Guido Bugmann: a low-cost, open source, 2 meter tall robot! All buildable for under £2000. The Cheap Arm Project (CHAP) began as an MSc project aimed at developing an affordable mobile robot arm system that could be used by wheelchair users to access daily objects at inaccessible heights or weights (the extreme case being 2 litre bottle).
  • European Interoperability Framework: Commission presents new guidance for digital public services
    The announcement will be made today, at the Digital Day in Rome, together with other initiatives that aim to promote cooperation between EU Member States to better prepare society to reap the full potential of the digital transformation. Many EU Member States are digitising their public administrations to save time, reduce costs, increase transparency, and improve the quality of services that they offer to citizens and businesses. Doing this in a coordinated way ensures that the public sector is not only digital but also interoperable. The EU framework published today will help Member States to follow a common approach when making their public services available online, also across countries and policy areas. This will contribute to reducing bureaucracy for people and businesses, for example, when requesting certificates, enrolling to services, or handing in tax declarations.
  • Carbon Black warns of over reliance on 'nascent' machine learning security

    Security professionals cited high false positive rates and the ease with which machine learning-based technologies can be bypassed – at present – as the most serious barriers to adoption.

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