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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    It's not ready for prime-time computing




    WOODY'S WINDOWS

    It's not ready for prime-time computing


    By Woody Leonhard

    If this were a Jeopardy clue, the answer would be: What is cloud computing? No matter how you define it, this much-ballyhooed technology/service still has many problems — several of which were painfully in evidence this week.


    If you're considering moving some or all of your operations to the Cloud, be acutely aware of the ongoing, manifest difficulties.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/woodys-windows/its-not-ready-for-prime-time-computing/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    Last edited by Tracey Capen; 2011-05-12 at 17:24.

  2. #2
    Lounger LilBambi's Avatar
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    Yes...don't want to bet the farm on the Cloud for sure. I no longer even use DropBox for most things, sneaker net via USB will work just fine.

    BTW: Does anyone else hate U3, particularly if you use various OSes.
    Fran Parker, AKA Bambi, Linux User #183283, Ubuntu User #11114, CNI Radio
    BambisMusings, Tumblr, Twitter, Malware Complaints - Stand Up and be Counted!
    I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which grant[s] a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.
    --James Madison, 1794

  3. #3
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    Some may consider me a computer luddite, but with 20+ years in the IT industry and counting, it never ceases to amaze me how some people latch onto the latest buzzword like it's some type of technological savior. "Cloud" computing? Wow, who could have ever imagined it? Even though we've been able to store information on a server far, far away from where you work for many years now. As far as I can determine, the "cloud" is just a fancy way of saying you're storing your information on a remote server that you are paying someone else to maintain, and hope to God that they are honest, technically savvy enough to keep your information secure, and can keep your information available to you whenever you want it.

    There's not a snowball's chance in hell I would ever entrust sensitive information to a cloud. I trust my own ability to lock down access to my PC, to encrypt my sensitive data, to back up what needs to be backed up. I realize not everyone is up to those tasks, but to trust that the "cloud" will do all of that for you is to bury one's head in the sand, and totally disregard the reality that we read about on almost a daily basis.

  4. #4
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    At least Acronis is up front with their ability to look at the backup data you store on their servers. If they suspect you of having child pornography or get a subpoena for any purpose, they can decrypt your data. Obviously, if they can, so could someone who hacked the Acronis site.

    This is in the license agreement. There is some ambiguous language that implies they could also decrypt your local backup set. I've asked Acronis for an explanation, but they have not responded at all.

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    2 days after Google I/O ended, it's worthwhile mentioning that cloud computing does not necessarily equal Chromebook computing or Google apps. I routinely use my Chromebook to log into my company's web-based infrastructure and perform all of my managerial tasks. Like many technologically-aware companies, everything from finance to problem management to project planning is web-based, but all of our data is resident in servers behind our corporate firewall and is replicated in corporate data centers across the country.

  6. #6
    3 Star Lounger Woody's Avatar
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    And right on schedule, it appears as if Microsoft's BPOS service (the precursor to Office 365) turned belly-up for at least part of this past week. Exchange Server died, many people didn't get their email.
    Woody

    For Dummies book author, Senior Contributing Editor for InfoWorld, and long-suffering Windows victim. Check out the latest at AskWoody.com.

  7. #7
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    Woody, the worst ever cloud problem was in AOL, about 4 or 5 years ago, they closed down "My Space" overnight and had never hinted at it. Millions of users lost every thing. I was on it and luckily had doubles here. One lady was screaming and swearing at them, her husband was an X-15 pilot and all their photos of his performances were gonzoed. Be aware of the "Cloud", it sometimes rains on your picnic. ;-)

  8. #8
    Silver Lounger
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    Woody, while I have your attention (?), here is a small comment, at the end of your site page, there is the : "Click here to see the full message". Why not put it at the start ? It is obviously deactivated for the freeloaders.

  9. #9
    2 Star Lounger
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    I use PassPack to store my passwords. It is a web-only mechanism, thus, when I saw LastPass had troubles I was concerned. PassPack posted a thoughtful blog about online security matters at http://blog.passpack.com/2011/05/passpack-is-not-lastpass-we-have-a-big-friend/

    A few weeks ago LastPass had a serious breach of data. I don’t like to talk about the competitors, but this unlucky event generated a lot of articles, concern and fear. It also caused an increase in emails from Passpack users who are seriously concerned about their security and want to understand if what has happened to LastPass can happen also to Passpack.
    I think not, but I can’t be sure because since I don’t know the architectural details of LastPass, and I don’t know what happened to their data. I can say however, that compared with what I understood from their post, we use a few different approaches. For example, it seems that they had all the services on the same network. We have always had totally separate sandboxes for the different Passpack properties. This eliminates the risk that a bug in the blogging or support ticket systems could open up the core application to attack.
    ...
    The reaction of the press to their announcement was less impressive. I was surprised by the superficiality knee-jerk reactions from some blogs, including the prestigious LifeHacker. Instead of investigating to understand if there could have been ways for an online password manager to have avoided such an incident, they simply assumed there was not and suggested users go back to offline tools.
    This is not a solution. It is a step back of at least five years and doesn’t help people that need something that only the cloud can offer – collaboration and access. Every day we all connect to Facebook, Twitter, PayPal and many other services. If we refuse to persevere and solve important issues in the cloud, than we might as well you turn off our computers now. Problems need solutions, not avoidance. Maybe the current solutions are not ideal, but if we stop the progress we will never have a definitive solution.

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