Living in the Clouds

Recently, I uploaded some important documents to the cloud. It was very liberating -- sending these important works to that file cabinet in the sky otherwise known as a server. There's a real sense of tranquility knowing that my stuff is safely tucked away. Unless, of course, Apple's servers go kaput one day. If you're a techie like me, you know there's a real push these days for "cloud computing". Internet computing. Email, websites, social networking, games, chatting, even software -- it's all being accessed through the cloud. Google loves it so much that they're even developing an operating system that's based solely in the cloud. Web apps for software and online file storage for important documents. They way they see it, most people spend 95% of their time on the 'net anyway, so why not take everything there? Why not? Two reasons: the Great Server Meltdown of 2017 and privacy. Google's recent woes illustrate these two points. A few months ago, their severs went down and a helluva lot of people lost a lot of personal data. Eventually, Google got everything restored, but still, the damage was done. And more recently, they endured the whole Google Buzz (a social-networking tool) fiasco. Turns out Google was keeping people's private information on their servers. Oh, the outrage! But Those in Mountain View were quick to remind the revolters that their EULA (End User License Agreement) clearly states that whatever's on Google's servers is their property. Convenient, huh? But fear not. There is a bright side to the cloud computing phenomenon. Instant access to one's data through a web browser. Easier retrieval of  said data. Less data on hard drives that are inevitably bound to crash. And, of course, no longer having to worry about installing software via disc. Companies like Apple and Microsoft have already started to embrace the cloud with MobileMe and Office Online, respectively. I, for one, have been a MobileMe subscriber for about 6 months now and love it. I get push email, contacts, and calendar. Messages and contacts updated on the cloud are automatically synced back to my iPhone. I keep photos there. And my iDisk is replete with a few precious artifacts. In my opinion, it's $99 (a year) well-spent. I just hope and pray Apple's servers live in good health.