Do you ever have moments while you’re waiting for an ATM, and meanwhile you check your finances online with your mobile phone — feeling amazed at just how connected you are? I even feel aghast, to tell the truth, at how such moments seem to hang by the breakable thread of my mobile network access.
In theory, no interruptions need to intrude between moments when you are on a desktop computer or laptop and moments when you are out and about, freed from that bulkier tech. But, what about when they do intrude?
The ATM is just one example of how the basic experience of the Cloud has emerged in our lives, and it is not even the most descriptive situation. Checking online accounts from a mobile device is really just a fraction of the power of a new basic expectation (let alone what the cash machine is doing).
When we want to access anything that we use and manipulate from a ‘computer’ on other sizes of devices, which travel with us and may be wearable, in those moments we could be living in the clouds, so to speak. This technology is relatively naïve as yet, let’s not forget. Detractors still have some good reasons to balk at people who may be already overly dependent on the Cloud.
Deeper and Deeper Cloud Cover
The meteorological metaphor that has become so popular is fitting (despite Larry Ellison’s famous dislike for this term, which his company Oracle nevertheless seems to have helped along and he himself unintentionally spread?) — since clouds in the sky are quite fickle.
Online storage and access to information or tools is becoming part of the weather of modern life. The stability and predictability (forming our new and on-going expectations) of Cloud facilities may matter more to urbanites all over the world, for instance, than the actual activity of the air in the sky.
Dread of Cloudy Weather
It’s reasonable to think that the public’s biggest fear could be breaks in the services available in their lovely Clouds, even if this fear is not the most justifiable concern. We are still at the point where there is danger in simply not being able to access things exactly when we would want to do.
You see, something like Cloud security in fact may be the more actual liability of this technology, and yet the mass perception could involve experiences much more personal.
Security and safety from outside hackers, or even inside jobs if internal data is too loosely managed, is technical. Not getting confirmation of a bank transfer when you’re standing outside the ATM, in the cold, at night, alone, is personal.
Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on Our Heads
It may be useful to differentiate between enterprise level Cloud services that the public may never experience at all unless employed by a powerful corporation and dealing with high level creative and data, and, personal facilities that small business people, moms and pops or even kids are likely to use. Apple’s Cloud services would be a prime example of the latter.
Even though millions of dollars may not be on the line, nor invaluable corporate intel, when you and me check our bank balances using the mobile Web browser, or, an app from PayPal, perhaps our bank, there is enough at stake.
If a person’s entire dossier of critical personal information such as calendars, correspondence, Facebook access and activity, photo sharing — and on and on — were intercepted while using the Cloud, and if this breakdown was experienced by enough people, obviously the public’s trust in this technology is not going to expand.
And yet, society appears so ready to reap the benefits of relying upon the mobile Web (and, of course, mobile access, which includes adequate bandwidth) that a cloud-washing of numerous consumer services has occurred, as Ellison complains.
And yet, today it is common for somebody to wager their own cash playing mobile casino games like slots and Poker with PayPal on the ride home, as well as to simply check one’s available balance.
Perhaps we have arrived at the tipping point, when the performance of Cloud services may not be as flawless as the driving theory of this medium would seem to require, but anyway their usefulness is worth the risk? Let’s be very careful at this point; maybe we should be more critical cloud-lovers.