Re: I Call Bullshit
"I don't know where to start on this.." - I do. What he said (points at article author).
"Your Macbook HD with its 2-3 warranty is more reliable than multiple server farms spread across continents? Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me." - it doesn't matter dick if the server farms have quintuple redundancy and zero-fail processor platforms and [insert buzzwords here]... if the service is down, it is down, and there's nothing you can do to get at your data.
Both of the big players have had downtime this year. The author's Mac hasn't. And, for what it is worth, my little ol' three year old eeePC 901 hasn't let me down either. I have a stack of Japanese horror films pulled from YouTube to watch over Christmas, and I intend to.
But... wait... this isn't the sole issue here. If my eeePC died, or the guy's Mac died; chances are we'll have backups, copies of core important stuff on SD cards, Bluray, and tape, or whatever. The downtime than will be in getting a new system set up. In my case, I walk into the room beside me and purloin the computer I got my mother as a short-term measure. On the other hand, if you entrusted your precious data to the cloud, then what's your rescue plan? You own offline backups? Do you have any? If so, why are you even bothering with the cloud?
"Techies will steal your music? You understand what you're talking about is not the same thing as a Best Buy employee ripping off your iTunes content right?" - I'm not sure if a techie would be interested in the greatest hits of Abba, but I bet if something rare turned up, copies would be floating around before too long. The temptation is there, the traceability is weak, it's only a matter of time...
Having said that, I think the point of the article was in turning your collections and preferences into money. You know, like Facebook is "monetizing" (I hate that word!) all the blather going on between people. Or how Instagram tried (and failed) to sneak a change into their Ts&Cs allowing them to make money off of user uploads. What's to say a cloud service wouldn't - when it feels it needs cash - try their own modifications of contract. Your choice? Take your gigabytes elsewhere, if you can find somewhere suitable.
"That explaining you lost your job because you were definitely caught stealing client data is not a great way to open a job interview" - assuming of course the issue isn't buried. The admin who does will probably lose his job but it will happen amically, for what service wants to be slagged off in the media for allowing this sort of thing to happen?
"And I guess you chose your residence wisely, because a year with no super storms causing power outtages for weeks on end" - what, are you in a third-world country or something? Even following hurricanes, the power has been back up within a few days... in those unfortunate times when it goes down at all (we rode out last Christmas' hurricane that felled the pine in front of the house without anything more than a few brownouts).
"But are you 100% certain you can rely on your local substation next year or the year after that?" - don't see why not. But nobody can be 100% sure of anything. Apparently you stand a better chance of being hit by a meteorite than winning the EuroMillions. Funny, people regularly win the lottery, but you'd think all these people getting struck down by space junk might, you know, make the news. Knowing my luck, tomorrows draw will be won by somebody else (not me) and instead the gloopy Birds' Custard between my ears will be splatted by a rock from a galaxy far far away.
The local substation, however, will continue unaffected.
"Delete your data? What fantasy land do you come from? [...snip...] Cloud server administrators cannot and absolutely will not deliberately delete your files." - yeah, actually, they could deliberately/accidentally delete it. Accounting says "get rid of user ID 128489348" only one of those eights was a 3. Bang, your stuff has gone. It could be restored from a backup, but that takes time and effort and you'd first need to argue with the droids that your stuff got wiped while they all look for plausible deniability. Didn't somebody's Flickr account get nuked and it wasn't until a public media roasting that they actually dug out the backups? [yes: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/02/04/flickr_lesson_for_cloud_customers/ ] Well, makes one wonder what would have happened if this hasn't gone public/viral. Would they have just said "oh well, (y)our bad"?
"and then just as quickly restore them again because, like I just mentioned, they have more than one server. Spread out across fucking continents." - bollocks, bollocks, and even huger hairier testicles... Do you really think all these servers across fucking continents are all storing multiple copies of your data? Oh, yeah, if you pay tens of thousands a month for the service then I'm sure that is true. To use a lower end (or free) service to store a collection of LPs, the most you can hope for is a RAID array at your specific server and backups that you pray are kept off-site. There are no multiple copies on servers on other fucking continents because those servers are full of other people's shit.
"No hackers want one of two things." ... somehow you've grabbed entirely the wrong end of the stick. We're talking about security and reliability. I know that the Chihiro Onisuka collection on my computer and phone is mine. To get to it, to alter or delete it, will be either my cluelessness (but I have multiple copies), hardware failure (ditto), or physical intrusion/theft (and, to be honest, I doubt a Japanese singer is going to appeal to the typical thief).
As soon as my data goes into "the cloud", I can no longer say for certain that I know exactly where it is or what copies may exist. If there is a file that is dubious in amongst the collection, be it a ripped movie or a copy of something like the terrorists handbook, I cannot even say for certain what legal jurisdiction this would fall under. If I have some "how to make a bomb" file because in bad taste I thought it was amusingly bad and I upload it to a server and that server is located in the US, could this be enough to get me extradited as a suspect terrorist? Can you guarantee to me that such a thing would be impossible? At least when files are kept local to me, I only need to concern myself with the laws of my own country, not the caprices of... you say there are data centres around the world. Do you know where? Do you know how their jurisdictions operate?
Another thing to consider. I don't know if it is true or not (never looked) but apparently Amazon MP3 downloads are tagged with an ID embedded into the audio itself. This ID refers back to your user account. This is their nod to letting out unprotected music. A sort of "be responsible". I'm okay with that. Now let's say you upload some songs to MegaMegaCloud and there is a leak (bad admin, security flaw, hack, the reasons don't matter). Your MP3 turns up on SmokinHotMP3Rips.com and, hey, guess what, this ID points to YOU. It is YOU people will come to. After all, YOU are the one who took the music given to you for your private use and uploaded it god-only-knows-where. You can point your finger at whoever you want, but the scary child-laptop-stealing goons will be pointing their fingers at YOU.
I see, I really see the attraction of digital music. Both of my phones and my computer are loaded up with the things I like. I can listen to them all, or by theme (via playlist), I can listen in sequential order or "random". And if I'm besotted with a song (<cough>Yuki Kajiura</cough>), I can listen to it lots of times over and over without wearing out tape or stylus or running batteries flat in an hour like with portable CD players. I can pause, rewind, set loop points, all the sort of fluff you'd expect in a modern audio player. Heck, I can even apparently stick album images into MP3s though I've not quite figured out how.
What I don't see is the overriding attraction of The Cloud. All it seems to me is to be way out if you're too cheap or lacking in competence to set up and manage your own private data system. Hell, mine is a reject 1GHz box running XP. It acts as a NAS with Windows shares and VNC server. Drop the files onto the harddisc, and burn off a DVD or two. Copies on line if I need 'em, plus backups. Depending on your data needs, it can be so simple as to be funny. For the author's LPs, it'll require something a little more complicated. But, you know, you start small, you scale, and you keep control. Both of the data, and how it is accessed. You cannot 100% guarantee (home incursion, fire, flood, EMP weapon) but then you could say the same for the data centre...