After more than four years since the post with which this blog tried to highlight the dark side of that hollow and meaningless thing hidden behind the “cloud computing” moniker, I think it’s now time to go back on the topic with an annotated list of the most recent and remarkable horrors fallen down from the sky of Internet servers. The “mainframe 3.0″ class services promise a lot, keep very little and don’t give any guarantee on anything. Or to say it with the Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, selling one’s own rights of ownership on software, data and products is the first stone of the road that leads to digital hell.
More than a week after the 1st of April, the day when the Internet stood still because according to the press the Conficker/Downup/Downadup/Kido worm could have destroyed the net, the infrastructures, civilized mankind and the entire planet things are going more or less as usual: Internet remains a dangerous place but it hasn’t exploded like a supernova, and bits are flowing quickly from a part to another one of the planet. The true novelty is that the botnet built up by one of the most complex malware ever finally shows what its true purpose is.
It was August 27 of 2007 (my birthday) when columnist John C. Dvorak warned against the dangers of things such as “cloud computing”, “software as service”, “Web 3.0″ and the many abbreviations that in these years are trying to catch the attention of the public and sell as new what is the most old fashioned computing architecture ever existed.
Next December 9 will mark the 40th year since, for the first time in computer history, public saw a mouse at work. Four decades later, in the Memorial Auditorium of that same Stanford University where one of the most important inventions of the then-germinal information society was born, the academy and the industry will celebrate the “mother of all demos“, the start of a new era for the interaction between man and machine.
Slowly but steady new indiscretions come out on Diablo III, the new chapter of the epic saga from Blizzard announced in grand style the past 28th of June. The game, has revealed the lead designer Jay Wilson, will bring to its natural conclusion the storyline that has already acted as background for the first two episodes, will reuse an unspecified number of old characters and will be only a phase of a series destined to bring out other videogames in the future.
It’s the same old story: when a technology can offer one more dimension to entertainment, information and fruition of assorted services to citizens this suddenly becomes the arch-enemy of the status quo, an element potentially capable of destabilizing a cultural tradition, or perhaps a simple habit, which was lasting for years, decades or centuries.
Gone by the mass hysteria of the launch period of new version of the Mozilla browser, the world record of the 8 millions of downloads in a single day (8,002,530, to be accurate) and the growing number of the above said downloads that stands still to camp as a trophy on the Spread Firefox homepage, I think it would be perhaps useful to calm down and reason on why maybe it’s the case, for who makes use of the web not only because it’s “cool” and chic, to wait and ponder before enthusiastically embracing the third main release of the red panda browser.