Sam Harrelson



Sam Harrelson

Pondering the Cloud



I’ve long been an explorer and proponent of “the cloud.”

However, I’ve recently begin to not only rethink that dedication and allegiance to remote server data storage for all of my email, docs, calendars, pics, spreadsheets, notes and feed reading (all through Google btw), but to also pull back and start relying on desktop applications like Mail.app and NetNewsWire and iCal on my Mac.

I’m even missing working on Ubuntu full time these days. If you’ve been following me here on CPN over the past few years, you know that I was a devoted user of Ubuntu as my sole operating system. I got away from that when I bought this MacBook Pro last November, but I’ve recently been playing with the new release of Ubuntu called Hardy Heron and I must say that it’s incredible and makes me ponder switching back to my open source ways.

I have always been a rebellious spirit, so when I read things like this, my inclination to rage against the machine kicks in again…

BBC NEWS | Technology | Storm warning for cloud computing: “The issue was recently highlighted by reports that the Canadian government has a policy of not allowing public sector IT projects to use US-based hosting services because of concerns over data protection.

Under the US Patriot Act the FBI and other agencies can demand to see content stored on any computer, even if it being hosted on behalf of another sovereign state.

If your data hosting company gets a National Security Letter then not only do they have to hand over the information, they are forbidden from telling you or anyone else – apart from their lawyer – about it.

The Canadians are rather concerned about this, and rightly so. According to the US-based Electronic Frontier Foundation, a civil liberties group that helped the Internet Archive successfully challenge an NSL, more than 200,000 were issued between 2003 and 2006, and the chances are that Google, Microsoft and Amazon were on the recipient list. “

So, who knows… I may be making the Big Switch back to Ubuntu even though I do love the adaptability and applications that this Mac affords. It’s a splendid machine… but it feels soul-less. When I was on Ubuntu, I was constantly enjoying the benefits and the challenges… the surprise compatibilities and the frustrating inconsistencies.

There’s something to be said about freedom in software and freedom from oppressive governments that circumvent constitutions in the name of protecting that freedom.



Posted: 05.27.2008

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