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The Internet Operating Systems

Has the WebOS Finally Arrived? 227

Posted by timothy
from the alien-craft-constructed-entirely-of-buzzwords dept.
SphereOfInfluence writes "Dion Hinchcliffe over on ZDNet declared in a new post that the Web OS has finally arrived and that businesses and IT departments must adjust to the fact that everything's starting to move to the cloud. He cites John Hagel's so-called big business shifts of the 21st century and claims cloud computing, crowdsourcing, open APIs, Software-as-a-Service are the future of the workplace. He goes on to present a compelling visual model of the Web OS circa 2009 and examples to back up some of the statements."
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Has the WebOS Finally Arrived?

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  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @02:57PM (#29333315)

    Weren't we supposed to be all using thin clients right now in our flying cars, sucking the fat electrons straight from the coax at gigabit speeds by now? Now comes the latest proclaimation: We're going Carebears mode. Everyone into the clouds! Tenderheart's not going to be happy about this. I sense a big carebear stare coming for the Cloud-Mongers.

  • by oldhack (1037484)
    Some like 80% of posts here are gossipy bullshit nowadays. How am I supposed to get distracted enough so that I can get back to work?
  • by MosesJones (55544) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @03:04PM (#29333359) Homepage

    There is a phrase about IT

    "We don't understand the hardware, we don't understand the software... but we can SEE the flashing lights"

    This has led to a whole load of crap IT dedicated to neither hard-core hardware or to hard-core software, its the land of the PHB and its the land of the powerpoint. What surprises me about clouds however is that its often the hard-core folks who are scared of the cloud, they bitch about security and latency but really its because they fear it will make them less important.

    It doesn't.

    What clouds do is hugely commoditise infrastructure and (in the case of SaaS) those massive package implementations that customise to death a package that would have worked much better without all that consultancy "help".

    The people who should fear clouds are the ones who lived off customising packages that didn't need it and who revel in a world of powerpoints and meetings because what SaaS and clouds do is shift the buying of crap boring IT into the hands of the business and then leave the business with the real questions of how to deliver the stuff that actually matters... the hard-core software and genuinely high performing infrastructure.

    So don't think of clouds and SaaS as a threat... think of them as kicking the PHB and his expensive package customising consultants in the nuts.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 06, 2009 @03:18PM (#29333493)

      The "people who should fear clouds" are the people whose network connection is not 100% (and I don't mean 99.999999999999%) reliable.

      And let's not forget that all your data is now in the hands of somebody else, who is almost certainly subject to the USAPATRIOT Act.

      • by davidwr (791652) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @03:33PM (#29333643) Homepage Journal

        And let's not forget that all your data is now in the hands of somebody else, who is almost certainly subject to laws in their country that give the local government unfettered access to all your company jewels.

        There, fixed that for you.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jurily (900488)

        And also the tiny little fact that we already have fast and responsive user interfaces locally. I say kill this thing with fire.

      • Our entire business grinds to a halt if our electricity or internet connection goes down (happens about once per 18 months in the former, and maybe once per year for the latter, usually by about an hour or two). Literally, we go down the pub/play tiddly winks/whatever. About the only thing we can do is take customer calls - not that we can do much for them.

        Using remote hardware isn't going to make us *more* than 100% reliant on our Internet connection.

        The data issue is the deal-breaker for us, which is a sh

      • The people who should fear clouds are the poor IT guys that are going to be unloaded on by upset folks who can't access Google Docs, despite the fact that 99% the IT guys will have no capacity to do anything about it. As usual, we'll be stuck between retarded customers and inept network maintainers. We'll be told regularly be asshats how we're not going to be needed any more, we'll come to Slashdot where braindamaged marketing types who probably don't even know how to turn a computer will declare that it'

    • by Simon (S2) (600188) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @03:20PM (#29333519) Homepage

      The people who should fear clouds ...

      The people who should fear clouds are the people who want their data in their own hands, and don't trust third parties to handle it for then. It's that easy, and it's what will make SaaS fail.
      We write SaaS, and almost all our customers ask us where we store the data, and if it we don't guarantee them it is in the country they are from they back off. And we write software for small firms only. Bigger clients want the software and the data stored in their own datacenter. They will not trust the "cloud" for that (and I wouldn't either). Not in the near future at least.

      • by Youngbull (1569599) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @03:58PM (#29333851)

        The people who should fear clouds ...

        The people who should fear clouds are the people who want their data in their own hands, and don't trust third parties to handle it for then. It's that easy, and it's what will make SaaS fail. We write SaaS, and almost all our customers ask us where we store the data, and if it we don't guarantee them it is in the country they are from they back off. And we write software for small firms only. Bigger clients want the software and the data stored in their own datacenter. They will not trust the "cloud" for that (and I wouldn't either). Not in the near future at least.

        I agree, and to be quite honest I think that cloud computing for private people will make some fiz and then leave quietly, too many people are one of three categories: "dont get it", "don't want it" and "don't care too much to get it".

      • by thaig (415462)

        Company IT is often handled by an IT department that tries to offer a "service" to the rest of the company. Some of them are not all that good and a bigger provider could do it better. You can get more availability and storage and much faster searching out of a gmail address than out of a corporate email account.

        I think a business could give up on providing email and concentrate on doing other more specific things better. Since it's another department, with consultants and other people in it, I see no hu

      • The people who should fear clouds are the people who want their data in their own hands, and don't trust third parties to handle it for then. It's that easy, and it's what will make SaaS fail.

        I see sooo much bitching and whining here about "OMG Waat about the intarnetz goind down!" and "third party data security". I hear it all the way to the bank. Which, BTW, is an outsourced third party who manages information for me. (The bank, that is)

        Woops!

        See, money is information. It's abstract information about amas

      • "We write SaaS, and almost all our customers ask us where we store the data, and if it we don't guarantee them it is in the country they are from they back off."

        That's *today*. Those were the same people that asked where their electricity would come from once they wouldn't have their own power produced in place (still some companies still do) or those that asked, not so many years ago, about the data uplinks with third party countries (still some companies still do).

        The fact is the vast majority of company

      • by Eskarel (565631)

        The thing is that that's not a technical limitation, it's a business process/legal one.

        That is to say, it's an issue which technical people have no control over. This is the interesting thing about the cloud, in theory it's actually quite a good idea, and from a technical standpoint it pretty much works. There are issues, and those issues will probably stop cloud computing for a while yet, but they're the kind of issues which are entirely external. That means that, in reality, any one of us could walk into

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      This has led to a whole load of crap IT dedicated to neither hard-core hardware or to hard-core software...

      Ah, I'm pretty sure most IT work is a balance of the two. One does not function without the other.

      What surprises me about clouds however is that its often the hard-core folks who are scared of the cloud, they bitch about security and latency but really its because they fear it will make them less important.

      I think what they really fear is a loss of control. They're turning their business over to the mercy of the cloud provider, and should it go down, the entire business may go with it. Not only that, but cloud computing is still relatively new and immature as a technology. We can't truly understand all the performance and security implications yet, nor make intelligent choices about architecture, because there's

      • by vlm (69642) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @04:00PM (#29333863)

        They're turning their business over to the mercy of the cloud provider, and should it go down, the entire business may go with it.

        Don't forget massive asymmetry problems. At a past job I helped "support" outsourced email for small businesses. Basically, the same thing as gmail but more expensive, yet not expensive enough to drive them away to gmail, in retrospect a fairly pointless line of business.

        In one memorable unhappy situation, a customers email access from China, in a very email centric line of business, was worth "thousands of dollars per day of revenue" to them, and it was down, and they were very unhappy. They were worth "approx fifty cents per day of revenue" to us. Guess what happened due to that massive asymmetry? I think they eventually went out of business.

      • by benjamindees (441808) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @05:00PM (#29334251) Homepage

        Consultants don't give two shits about the "right" solution because the "right" solution is the most expensive one they can get a signature on. The lack of trust in their permanent employees has ironically led to them being bled dry by people who don't give a shit about the company... They're only there to install or maintain a thing now, in and out in a day.

        Personally, I spent years trying to be a consultant who implemented the "right" solutions, all the while telling everyone who would listen that I could do a better job and would be better off making half as much money as a permanent employee with budgetary control. It got me absolutely nowhere.

        Businesses don't want the "right" solutions. They don't want more stable and longer-lasting hardware and software if it comes with fewer bells and whistles. They don't want to pay for security. Their accountants won't cede an inch of control over purchasing decisions. And they fall for even the most obvious marketing bullshit. Most businesses will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to automate IT instead of letting IT save them hundreds of thousands of dollars by automating the rest of their business.

        I have had people with literally zero IT knowledge tell me that they want to do everything by themselves, and then ask me how to do it. If you were a consultant, what would your response to this be?

        • by HiThere (15173)

          Charge them for it.

          Wanting to do everything for yourself is reasonable if you're willing to learn. But if they expect you to teach them, your time is worth something. Charge them what you think your time is worth. If you don't want to do it, charge a bit more.

    • by SerpentMage (13390) <ChristianHGross@nospaM.yahoo.ca> on Sunday September 06, 2009 @03:39PM (#29333691)

      In 1953 when IBM introduced the first computer, who made it work? Ah yes a team of programmers who customized...

      When UNIX was first introduced who made things work for your business? Customizations...

      When...

      Want to see the future? Look at IBM... They have been around over a hundred years, while all of the other companies have disappeared. Look at the latest balance sheets of IBM, cash rich cow! IBM is a "serious playa". And what do they make their money off? Services and customization.

      My point is that IBM is a company that adapts to the times. They build what the client wants. And the clients wants customizations. Sure IBM is on the cloud computing bandwagon, no reason for them to not be. After all more customization money for them. After all, who would not want a "private cloud", which is sort of contradictory, no?

      The real money will be in the ones who know how to customize the cloud... Oh wait IBM, yes?

      • by cetialphav (246516) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @05:38PM (#29334521)

        After all, who would not want a "private cloud", which is sort of contradictory, no?

        A "private cloud" makes no sense at all in a 50-100 person company. But when a company has tens of thousands of employees all over the world in dozens of different markets (e.g. Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Cisco), they make a lot of sense. Departments often need temporary computing services, but have no choice but to buy a server to handle it. The server then goes to waste when the temporary job was done. When a company is large, it is difficult to coordinate the use of computational resources and this leads to inefficiencies.

        I worked for a company that would create installers for the software for dozens of different languages. Each one of these installers would need to be tested at release time (about every 6 months). There was a dedicated machine that had all the relevant software to do this testing. This machine would get used for a week or two every six months which is a complete waste. A cloud environment would allow the server to exist as an image and then you would instantiate the image on whatever free machine happened to be in the cloud.

        Looking back on my career, there are many times when I would have loved to be able to go to an internal web page, request a machine, upload a preconfigured virtualized image and had a departmental server up and running with no bureaucratic headaches. If I decided I was done with the server, I could just release it and the hardware would no longer be wasted and I would know that I could restore it at any time with a few clicks because the image would still be around.

    • by macraig (621737) <mark...a...craig@@@gmail...com> on Sunday September 06, 2009 @04:21PM (#29333999)

      Do I need to repeat the rest of the explanation? We've been having this tug-of-war over software subscriptions for almost 15 years now. Call it "the cloud" or any of the other rebranding attempts from the past, but it's all had the same goal: making you pay more for the software you use.

      What we should fear is no longer having any control at all over the software we use AND having to pay every month/day/hour/minute for the privilege of being able to use it.

      BTW, did anyone who modded parent up happen to notice the URL and content of his shared homepage? He's hardly an impartial observer in this matter: he has a specific vested interest in promoting this "SaaS". SaaS very much a threat... to anyone not producing or selling it. The people promoting it aim to tip the economic balance even farther in their favor. Sure, supposedly we all have that goal in common, but some people are greedier than others. It's large corporations that will benefit from "SaaS", not the little guy.

    • What clouds do is hugely commoditise infrastructure and (in the case of SaaS) those massive package implementations that customise to death a package that would have worked much better without all that consultancy "help".

      I'm not so sure that is a good thing. What the PHBs and their Powerpoints have been very "good" at is exactly that: commoditise infrastructure and deliver software as a service. Only problem is: they have delivered crap. Partly because they sought to avoid customisation of packages, or

  • slow news day? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 06, 2009 @03:05PM (#29333367)
    what ever happened to articles about tech that actually existed instead of what might happen in the next 3-4 years?
  • Head out. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by captnbmoore (911895) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @03:05PM (#29333369)
    Someone needs to get their head out there ass before putting it in the clouds.
  • Backend mining (Score:5, Interesting)

    by NoYob (1630681) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @03:08PM (#29333399)
    When I read these Cloud Computing articles, I have these thoughts of writing a program that mines the data of all those companies that put their financials and other documents up there. Then use that data for: insider trading, marketing things to them, competitive advantages, and a bunch of thing that can be gained with confidential and insider information.

    I think I'm a frustrated crook or security consultant.

    • I think I'm a frustrated crook or security consultant.

      Or a potential new hire at Goldman Sachs.

    • Well, if you're good, you will also get *them* busted for the same insider trading, that you'll make money off. Kinda like a honeypot. ;)

      I wouldn't wonder, if there are a plan and at least a big company behind all this "articles" and if the point is to get us used to it. Kinda like people here got used to calling file sharers "pirates" because they bought into the **AA world.

    • Re:Backend mining (Score:4, Informative)

      by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @04:06PM (#29333911) Homepage Journal

      If you encrypt it, data mining isnt a concern.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cetialphav (246516)

        If you encrypt it, data mining isnt a concern.

        I'm not sure about that. Cloud computing often means running some operating system image on someone else's hardware. If the application on that image is dealing with sensitive data, it must decrypt it at some point. Once that happens, it is vulnerable to being data mined by the cloud provider.

        If you only use the cloud as storage, then encryption does protect you, but most cloud descriptions involve more than just that.

        Security issues go beyond just encryption, though. How can you trust that the operatin

        • by dkf (304284)

          Cloud computing often means running some operating system image on someone else's hardware. If the application on that image is dealing with sensitive data, it must decrypt it at some point. Once that happens, it is vulnerable to being data mined by the cloud provider.

          It's not vulnerable if it isn't actually decrypted (some apps just shuffle the sensitive data around, they don't look inside it). Of course, this does mean that the encryption would have to be done on a per-field basis, but that's definitely practical (real deployed SaaS providers do just that).

          And you're assuming the cloud provider wants to see the data. They don't: they make more money from not looking, and value their reputations. (In fact, they might even not understand what is valuable about the data i

        • by Eskarel (565631)

          The basic problem with this is that it presumes that your data is profitable to your cloud provider. It's not.

          For it to be so, they'd have to be able to make more money from stealing your information than they could ever make from the cloud computing game(and for that matter everything else they do), and whatever legal penalties they'd have to pay for doing it. Given that most of the serious players in this market are multi-billion dollar companies, that would have to be a hell of a lot of money, and if you

          • It isn't so much about what your data is worth to the cloud provider as it is a question of how much trust you have in your provider. Will they provide protection to prevent curious employees from snooping on your data? Will they resist a government request for your data? In many cases, a breach of the cloud security would be more damaging to the customer than to the provider.

            So even if you completely trust the intentions of the cloud provider, there are still risks. We see examples everyday of business

      • by ignavus (213578)

        If you encrypt it, data mining isnt a concern.

        So what you are saying is:

        "If you encrypt it, they will come."

        That doesn't solve all the problems of network latency (ah, you don't live in Australia where the cable to the US is a bottleneck?) or outright network failure (happens to me at home - and even at work - more than .001% of the time: forget five nines).

        Latency and network flakiness - the Internet doesn't yet match LAN quality where I am. Neither do services in the cloud. Yet.

      • by shird (566377)

        Encryption isn't an option if you want the data to be searchable or remotely processed. (think searching your gmail messages).

        The remote processing is a lot of the reason for using these services in the first place. Sometimes it may not even seem like remote processing (e.g rendering a graph in a spreadsheet into a jpg) but it is actually happening remotely for performance reasons.

    • by vlm (69642)

      Then use that data for: insider trading, marketing things to them, competitive advantages, and a bunch of thing that can be gained with confidential and insider information.

      Don't forget intentionally uploading fake information, hoping it will be leaked.

      Did you know our future acquisition target is going bankrupt and their shares can't be worth $1 each? And our lab tests show our main competitors primary profit generating product causes cancer in cute fuzzy bunnies?

      Its entertaining enough between cutthroat "commodity" competitors. Imagine the fun "market leaders" could have at their copycats loss by uploading the "iLoo" plumbing installation diagram.

    • Or you can hire people to interview and get jobs at different companies have them go to their local systems on their first day/week and get such data and bring it back for data analysis later, then quit after a couple of week because they "didn't think the job was a good fit for them." SaaS and Cloud computing isn't really that scary. And post like your make it seem that the Evil that could come from it. Will outweigh the good that it currently offers. A lot of the complaints about SaaS are the same o

  • by xigxag (167441) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @03:11PM (#29333423)

    Assimilating all of that Web 3.0 content led me to strategically develop a fully horizontal organizational orientation. I immediately shifted paradigms and commenced "cloud computing" for about 15 minutes, dynamically visualizing an innovative brave new world.

    And now, if you'll excuse me, I feel a rapid fluctuation in my supply chain.

  • by davidwr (791652) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @03:14PM (#29333449) Homepage Journal

    Beware the perils of outsourcing.

    If you are using a 3rd party to host corporate data, make sure:

    * it meets all legal and regulatory requirements you must meet, guarenteed
    * it has performance and uptime you need, guaranteed
    * it is responsible for break-ins that are beyond your reasonable control, even if they are beyond its reasonable control. If you can't get a guarantee, pick another vendor or buy an insurance policy to cover you from lawsuits if customer data is compromised
    * you can keep backup copies of corporate data in a meaningful format, in case the vendor goes belly up. "In a meaningful format" typically means a published format, but it could be a proprietary format which is shared by many vendors. Open format is many times better than proprietary.

    Depending on your needs and size, it may literally be cheaper to pay an outside vendor to "clone" their infrastructure at your shop and train your IT dept. how to use it, so you can keep everything under your control. If, for example, regulatory rules prevent you from shipping your data to Google, you could hire them to build a mini Google server farm inside your firewall and have it index your data and offer "yourbrandhere-Google-powered" web-based "office" applications.

    Another option is to use in-house or, if you prefer, outsourced virtual servers which you control access to.

    Finally, there's the default option of "keep doing it they way you are doing it now." That option should never be off the table until a better option presents itself.

  • by PingXao (153057) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @03:16PM (#29333465)

    I have been working for over 20 years with various people who proclaim the dawn of the Era Of The Diskless Workstation is upon us. Cloud computing seems to be another instance of this class. I predict it's going to NOT be the "next big thing". The next big bubble of bullshit is more like it.

    • "Diskless workstation" typically is either a "lots-o-ram/no disk/bootstraps over LAN" system or a "glass tty" or "smart glass tty" system. The difference being on a smart system significant local computation related to the application at hand occurs beyond just i/o.

      The interface to the cloud, the web browser, is a "smart glass tty" system. However, it typically lives side-by-side with other things like local applications, local or at least non-cloud printers and other i/o devices, and other "smart glass t

      • by dbcad7 (771464)
        The problem is, that when an application goes down.. it goes down for all.. In the old scenario, if my machine dies, or an application gets corrupted somehow., my neighbor still is functional.. In the new scenario, if the latest update of the application has some bug that is crashing.. everyone is equally screwed in using it.. It's a choice between fixing individuals problems, or global panic.
        • by Unoti (731964)
          Although that's true, everything you mentioned as a downside to centralization has a corresponding upside. For example, if the latest update of the app has a bug that's crashing, everybody is screwed. On the other hand, it's easy to update everybody with the right code, because of that same centralization. This issue of lots of people depending on a centralized resource is pretty well-traveled territory. We do it already with lots of things from SQL to DNS. And the "global panic" you speak of is the fl
    • by ardor (673957)

      Well, I hardly use the cd-rom drive these days. The flash drive gets used more often, but still, most of the time, its just the hard disk & the net.

    • by tgatliff (311583)

      As long as you can build servers for around $300 and colo them very cheaply, there will never be much traction on cloud computing... Also, no level of people talking about "the support costs" is going to change the fact that a good secured OS (Headless Linux boxes especially) require nearly no level of support.

    • I think you've nailed it. I have yet to run into a single person who could answer the question "What is the definition of the cloud?" without me being able to unravel their answer with the phrase "Yes, but we've been doing that since the internet started." It's just a fancy buzzword for people with nothing of substance to say.
      • by dkf (304284)

        I think you've nailed it. I have yet to run into a single person who could answer the question "What is the definition of the cloud?" without me being able to unravel their answer with the phrase "Yes, but we've been doing that since the internet started." It's just a fancy buzzword for people with nothing of substance to say.

        Well, base level clouds are "colo plus virtualization" really. There are higher-level clouds too, where it's not the base system that's being resold, but rather types of application based on top. There's not a huge difference at the technical level from what went before, that's true, but at the level of administration and payment there's lots of differences, and that makes quite a lot of difference in practice. (It's non-linear, just like there's not much difference between the internet and things that were

    • Thank you. I remember the era of the diskless workstation. Of course, we called them "dumb terminals" back then. There was a lot to recommend them if you were responsible for managing the system. If you were an end-user, not so much. Naturally, the people who proclaim a renaissance of the old mainframe timesharing system -- under whatever name they're calling it this week -- are people responsible for managing systems. The people selling systems love it too, mainly because it combines the benefits of artifi

    • The problem with diskless workstations is, that nobody ever asks "why". I mean I can only see advantages in having a local disk, and only disadvantages in not having one. But this does not seem to disturb any of those that think they want it. (I wonder if they actually want it, or just bought into some alchemist's reality.)

  • by elnyka (803306) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @03:17PM (#29333481) Homepage
    That article was an example of techno-buzzword mental masturbation.
  • by tgatliff (311583) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @03:19PM (#29333515)

    I am sick and tired of pie in the sky thinkers who think they know more than their actual abilities clearly indicate.

    No technology is an "end all be all", and that includes web technologies as well. Each have its own unique strengths and weaknesses. Also, any time I see words like "crowdsourcing", I want to vomit simply because they continue to try to minimize the process of solving ideas and building real products. Personally I think that in the next 50 years, the time right now will be remembered as when business managers were able to walk the earth freely assuming that they know everything. In time, however, their companies failed because they contribute very little to the overall process of creating a business or product. MS learned this very painful lesson first hand with Vista (aka No amount of business marketing/technique solved poor development), and hopefully they have corrected their issues with Windows 7.

    In short.... Real people have to build these "Real" technologies, and we understand that each technology is not perfect. Meaning, the "Web OS" will never a reality unless people are willing to compromise on functionality simply because fat clients will almost always trump any web app simply due to sheer amount of resources and options available to it.

    • by raddan (519638) * on Sunday September 06, 2009 @04:06PM (#29333913)
      I think "crowdsourcing" is so popular because we have a business culture that wants stuff NOW without having to think about how to actually get it. In some limited cases (e.g., wikipedia) where there is lots of expertise out there but artificial barriers in place to prevent the spread of that knowledge (e.g., publishers), this model works well because there is a "network effect" with something like Wikipedia. But as you say, it's not a universally-applicable thing, and regardless, someone, somewhere has to do the work.

      As far as I can tell, the MBAs are being fed this crap in school. We (as in people I work with, but not me) recently hired (and fired) one of these people, and she literally spoke in pure buzztalk. Attempts to get her to clarify what she meant resulted in more buzzwords and circular logic. She even plagiarized a technical explanation of mine (verbatim) on her blog once, and when we called her out on it (by asking her to clarify what she... er, I said), it was more crap. Good riddance.

      The diagram makes me want to hurl. It's like a buzzword flower or something.
  • Can we now stop the web economy bullshit generator and go back to news for actual nerds instead of pointy-haired "IT deciders"?

    (Apropos, I did start a WebOS (warning: never finished alpha version) back in 2003/2004 [radiantempire.com], so if there ever would have been a time for it, we (or at least me) would have long passed it. ;)

  • the wildly successful Network Computer.

    • by zullnero (833754)
      The network computer was a first stab at conceptualizing all this cloud/web whatever today. None of it was even remotely feasible as a result of what we all had to work with in the mid-90's. Everyone knew this was the direction things were going, but the amount of complexity in the whole concept took decades to really refine. So no, you don't get a witty /. retort. And as someone who uses a webOS [wikipedia.org] today, it works pretty good for me on my phone.
  • beyond the hype? (Score:2, Informative)

    by rackeer (1607869)
    Larry Ellison, September 2008: [youtube.com] "The interesting thing about cloud computing: it is either going to be or already is the most computing architecture in the world, because we redefine cloud computing to include everything that we currently do. It has already achieved dominance in the industry. I can't think of anything that isn't cloud - with all these announcements."
  • by joocemann (1273720) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @04:10PM (#29333931)

    ... the Internet is not available at high enough speeds for cloud computing to reflect anything close to using software on my home computer.

    That doesn't mean I can't wait for it if its something that we're all moving to anyway; I'm just trying to bring up the obvious fact that there is lag in web apps and for some of us it might be a bit harder or longer process than others.

    I'm ready to pay the $6/household that the major ISPs said it would cost to double bandwidth. I'm ready to pay it several times over. Is anybody listening?

  • Hmm, mainframe computers and dumb terminals... Something is wrong with that idea. I just cannot put my finger on it though...
  • by DynaSoar (714234) on Sunday September 06, 2009 @04:48PM (#29334197) Journal

    Subject is quote from "I Think We're All Bozos On This Bus" by Firesign Theatre. Apropo, no?

    "businesses and IT departments must adjust to the fact that everything's starting to move to the cloud"

    When a pundit* makes a claim that comes true, they collect on the only currency involved -- publicity -- by reminding you at every chance. When they're wrong, which is usually, they simply wait until so few remember that if anyone does bring it up, they can easily explain things away with a line of BS (what they call Believable Statements) that they've developed since realizing they were wrong.

    * Pun' dit (n): from

    (1) "pun", a statement with a double meaning; those agile enough with language to earn the name pundit can manipulate the double meaning to be polar opposites, such as "is" and "is not". (A recent inquiry into the activities of one such person resulted in their tacit admission in belonging to this class of person, when they asked of the investigators, "Define 'is'.") Through the application of this inclusive exclusion, such a person can claim to have meant what they meant when they said it, and if necessary to have meant the opposite. A truly superior practitioner can not only apply this, but also make it appear as though it were the listener's fault for the confusion.

    and from:

    (2) dit, from Morse Code "dit" and "dah", known as "dot" and "dash" to non-Morse speakers. This is the equivalent to a single trinary "trit" of information in that it can take either active state (dit or dah), or not be there at all (a wait state). Applied to Boolean, it is the basis of the IF...THEN...MAYBE statement, the 'fuzzy logic' extension of IF...THEN...ELSE. By itself (ie. with no associated data or wait state) the single trit "dit" means nothing at all.

    Thus, "pundit" is one who can take a piece of information, useless by itself, and by association with another statement, imply a meaning to it with which they may then later prove that they meant X or that they meant NOT X. For instance, a person at a tech-oriented new organization can make a statement like "everything's moving to the cloud", and when everything doesn't, claim that by "everything" they meant also "everything else", and by "is" they meant "isn't", yielding "everything is moving to the cloud, except everything that isn't moving to the cloud." If it seems that the phrase "some things" would be more appropriate, you are not a pundit. They use "everything" because it can be used as "everything is", "everything isn't" or "everything is except everything that isn't", and changed according to the need of the pundit to appear to be right at the cost of looking like an idiot, or even worse, a politician.

    See also "pendantic"; similar to "pedantic" (holding forth at length with the appearance, even if not in actual fact, of being an authority), but taken from "pendulous" for 'swinging back and forth freely, usually something that is very low hanging', and "antic" a comical behavior.

  • ...and that businesses and IT departments must adjust to the fact that everything's starting to move to the cloud.

    I don't know about anyone else, but it chaps my butt when someone tells me I have to adjust to tech trend of the moment. I'll adjust when I'm good and ready. And I'll be ready when it makes business sense. Like service architecture, before that it was web services, go back far enough the hot buzz was client-server. I don't use what's trendy, I use what works.

    Like moving email to "the c

  • And "The Cloud" must adjust to the fact that businesses and IT departments require reliability, not several-hour down-time, unavailability, and security issues which only affect a "subset of users."

  • Would Palm give up on that name?

  • I agree, all us IT guys have to adjust to a buggy, slow, intermittently unavailable, insecure set of services where our clients and staff get to upload their documents to mysterious servers with the vague promise that somehow this is oh so much better.

  • Microsoft would love to rent Windows and Office to you. Remember Microsoft's original "DOT-NET" campaign a few years ago? Everybody would run a thick dumb client (don't ask me to explain), but all the apps would be on MS servers. And if your cheque bounced or your credit card was maxed out, you lost your access (and Word and Excel; sorry I couldn't resist). Over the years MS would make a lot more money from renting than from a one-shot sale.

    Even before switched to linux, I was MS' marketing nightmare.

  • ... and nothing came of it. Exhibit A [google.com]

    If this impresses you now, I suggest you delete all your stock bookmarks and go back to school.

    And the fact that this guy is using the term WebOS which has been coined most recently by Palm* tells me he is either careless with his terms, doesn't care, or thinks he coined the phrase first**... all which put him in the LOSE column.

    *It is official if they wikipedia it first.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WebOS [wikipedia.org]

    ** Hyperoffice acquired WebOS.com back in 2000/2001
    http://en.wikipe [wikipedia.org]

The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination -- but the combination is locked up in the safe. -- Peter DeVries

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