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Guest Thinkers

Cloud Computing

The next evolution of the computer age is perhaps upon us. No longer will we be concerned with hard drive size or ram. It will just be about speed to access the net and home computers will be merely portals

Have you heard about the latest trending in computing and the ‘next big thing’ cloud computing? Whether or not you think you have, you have. If you have a social network type site (twitter, facebook, myspace, etc) you are involved.

Cloud Computing is storing information on the internet. Now that may be a little oversimplified, but not much.Google’s new operating system, Chrome, is said to be on the cutting edge of this type of computing. Suddenly it doesn’t matter about hard drive size at all. The entire world wide web (remember that?) is your hard drive. You are already doing it. Do you have pictures posted on Facebook? Do you have a video on youtube? No real need to keep those files on your computer, they are stored on the ‘net “forever”

The next thing is linking all of your accounts. Isn’t this grand? You update your blog and it automatically tweets on Twitter and updates Facebook and Myspace. Cool. And you have a Yahoo and/or a Google mail as your e-mail provider. All you need is access to the web and suddenly the world is your oyster. (If you like oysters, otherwise the world is your playground {handicap accessable})And if you do any e-commerce, your Paypal is linked into that. Which connects to maybe a credit card and also some real world bank account perhaps?

But wait. All these linked accounts mean that you have some sort of master account. One ring to rule them all, if you will allow. And should that ring get compromised, you are really in a world of hurt. This isn’t hypothetical.There was a story on CNN how someone hacked into a twitter account and then stumbled into a paypal and e-bay account and accessed funds perhaps? Maybe it was just a demonstration to let people know, it can happen to anyone. The people reported on where an executive at Twitter and his wife. Zoinks.

If they can get popped, the rest of us better also be very careful.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not pulling back into my shell and unplugging from the net, but this is just another reminder that there are unscrupulous people out there, and we always need to be thinking about what we are doing.

I am guilty myself of occasionally filling in forms with personal information and then halfway through go, whoa, what am I doing here? Am I sure this is legit?

The cloud computing is not going away. It is the wave of the future, I think.


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