Eyeing the Cloud
The New York Review of Books had an interesting piece about Apple’s newly announced iCloud service, which I’m still mildly skeptical about – or trying to be, because at the end of the day, it’s coming from Apple and the glorious palm of Steve Jobs, and I, like many other iUsers, am stricken with fascinated interest. [Full disclosure: I own a Macbook and an iPhone 4.]
While I have used cloud services for most of my life (granted, before I really knew what “cloud computing” even was), the idea of sending all of my data to online servers terrifies me. Despite my extended experience with cloudwork, I now bite my lip whenever I look at my 500 GB LaCie external hard drive. Should I consider such a leap?
As Halpern notes, storage in The Cloud is not a novel idea – after all, Gmail, Netflix, and other services have been around for quite a while. But I wonder if my comfort with these services stems from the fact that they merely fill a particular niche: e-mail, movies, documents. Never macro-tiered storage, so to speak. The possibility of sending all of my data, my work, my life – delivering it into the hands of X company, whether it be Apple or Google or anyone, leaves me rather disconcerted.
So why does cloud reading sound like a better deal for me? Not as an alternative, just another option. 24Symbols looks like a neat bet, but again: solely another niche.
Am I safer because I have separate nooks for my digital life? I certainly feel safer, but the more I think about it, I wonder if I’m being counterintuitive. It’s more difficult to track my digital media circles when they’re in separate places. Putting all my eggs in a single basket does make sense – for Google, it makes sense – but my skepticism for something so fluid and seamless bothers me. Even if the masterminds behind the tech are Google, Apple; geniuses.
The psychology of attachment to the digital as well as an individual’s “digital identity” definitely comes into play here. So perplexing, and in constant flux.