2 votes by devtrix 8 days ago — 2 votes, 5 comments
deavmi 2 votes 8 days ago

I agree with this a lot.

I think that FSF thing is for non techy people. I hate that missconception that the cloud is some magical place in Narnia or where ever.

The word "cloud" seems to have shifted over the years. In my recollection, it went from remote hosting in general, to remote massive storage, back to remote hosting, and then to a type(s) of hosting. FSF et al need to write an article about this, the types of clouds, especially if they think we should not use the word "cloud" for some reason.

dis.k 1 vote 6 days ago

FSF et al need to write an article about this, the types of clouds, especially if they think we should not use the word "cloud" for some reason.

“Cloud Computing”

The term “cloud computing” (or just “cloud”, in the context of computing) is a marketing buzzword with no coherent meaning. It is used for a range of different activities whose only common characteristic is that they use the Internet for something beyond transmitting files. Thus, the term spreads confusion. If you base your thinking on it, your thinking will be confused (or, could we say, “cloudy”?).

When thinking about or responding to a statement someone else has made using this term, the first step is to clarify the topic. What scenario is the statement about? What is a good, clear term for that scenario? Once the topic is clearly formulated, coherent thought about it becomes possible.

One of the many meanings of “cloud computing” is storing your data in online services. In most scenarios, that is foolish because it exposes you to surveillance.

Another meaning (which overlaps that but is not the same thing) is Service as a Software Substitute, which denies you control over your computing. You should never use SaaSS.

Another meaning is renting a remote physical server, or virtual server. These practices are ok under certain circumstances.

Another meaning is accessing your own server from your own mobile device. That raises no particular ethical issues.

The NIST definition of "cloud computing" mentions three scenarios that raise different ethical issues: Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Infrastructure as a Service. However, that definition does not match the common use of “cloud computing”, since it does not include storing data in online services. Software as a Service as defined by NIST overlaps considerably with Service as a Software Substitute, which mistreats the user, but the two concepts are not equivalent.

These different computing practices don't even belong in the same discussion. The best way to avoid the confusion the term “cloud computing” spreads is not to use the term “cloud” in connection with computing. Talk about the scenario you mean, and call it by a specific term.

Curiously, Larry Ellison, a proprietary software developer, also noted the vacuity of the term “cloud computing.” He decided to use the term anyway because, as a proprietary software developer, he isn't motivated by the same ideals as we are.

Another meaning is renting a remote physical server, or virtual server. These practices are ok under certain circumstances.
Another meaning is accessing your own server from your own mobile device. That raises no particular ethical issues.

Ah, and I stand corrected. GNU et al have already written about it and they've addressed the case this article points out and some of the "cloudiness".