Steve Jobs of Apple recently announced Apple is going “cloud”, essentially declaring the end of the age of the personal computer becoming the central hub of people’s digital lives (NY Times, Jun 6 2011).
Essentially, Apple is proposing the replacement of a hard drive in a computer with storing and syncing things online so you have access to all of your stuff on any device in any place at any time. The iCloud service starts with photos, music, files and software.
Sounds really great until you stop and think about a few things.
In an age where computer networks and databases of information are hacked more often and easily each day, who’s bright idea is it that “centralizing” information to such a huge extent like iCloud is such a great idea? Talk about more incentive to break into information fortresses than ever before! And since when has Apple been such a great and secure guardian of information?
In an age where so much data mining is being done to invade your privacy with all the digital data you give up for unknown use, from what you surf to your plastic spending on and off-line, among other activities, is having all that information stored out of your reach a good idea? What are people going to be doing with all that information and who will be able to access it, permitted or not?
I mean, talk about Big Brother! Anyone feeling like Apple is about to make a 1984 commercial of themselves now? How ironic, eh?
In an age where there is more radiation present than ever from communications in the air, how much more bandwidth is it going to take to constantly transmit “everything” through the air waves rather than having a lot of it processed through your regular devices? The wireless networks are buckling at the traffic load as it is right now. Who going to building all the new transmitters to stream all this extra bandwidth load?
And what happens when the transmission network goes down? Or you’re in a place without access? Would you still be able to work or do whatever else you wanted to? You may not have access to some things now in some situations, but you might have prepared for it like taking an external hard drive with your computer. If you go into “having everything everywhere all the time” mentality, I guarantee you’ll be caught sooner than later and a lot more often than now. Just be a little organized and prepared, people.
You have to pay for bandwidth use by volume. If you’re going to have stream all this, is anybody smelling a money making ploy here?
And what happens if Apple goes under? Don’t bet it can’t. What happens to all that information then?
Apple is also straying away from everything it’s not great at, like stand alone computers. Rather, it is gambling on what it is with its iPhone and iPad and touting it as the future. They’re still proprietary and limited because of it. We’ve seen this movie before and we know how it ends. The sequel may be looking better in the middle, like the same movie with better special effects 20 years later, but it’s going to end the same way, I’m afraid.
Steve Jobs probably needs a new medical diagnosis, as well, cause I don’t think insanity is among his currently listed health problems.
Really, can someone convince me this iCloud idea is a good thing?
If you don’t have the time, maybe just vote.