I just received a press release for a new Web-based services that allows people to store all of their music in the so-called cloud. Their pitch is that users can finally free themselves of cords and USB ports and all of the many hassles of digital music by keeping their songs and albums in their hosted service.
The other day there was also the announcement that Microsfot Windows 8 will enable people to use the operating system across platforms, meaning you can use Excel on your mobile device or Word on your iPad (I have one and it actually is kind of cool and helpful for a writer) as well as your laptop or desktop. I am not sure how you will share content (spreadsheets, documents, etc.) from your laptop to other devices, but I assume they have a Web-hosted service that allows you to store files "in the cloud."
So what is the cloud? Basically, a server connected to the Internet. The term cloud is simply good marketing.
What's the point? Well, it seems that as everything becomes more and more digitized and people want to use a range of devices that they need a way to be able to access stuff they create on all of them. The cloud allows people to store this stuff and access it via the Internet.
I have to say that I'm not so sure how much I like the idea of handing my content over to a service that more often than not I have to pay a monthly fee for. If I forget to pay or decide I don't want to pay anymore, will I be able to easily get my stuff back? What happens if their server goes down? What happens if someone decides they want to sue me or limit what I can write about? Will they honor a subpoena?
So there are a lot of questions as to whether the cloud makes sense, but there are a lot of businesses doing this and it is a growing thing with a real future to it. There are also a number of other services--Evernote and DropBox--that do much the same thing. Of course, paper and pencil will go wherever I go too.
Causes James Buchanan Supports
Expanding health care in the US, ending war as a viable tool of foreign policy, and issues related to social justice in general.