The Hidden Agenda of Chromebook and Cloud Services

The world is positively buzzing with talk of the latest and greatest ‘Cloud Based’ offerings from the tech giants, but what is it they are really after? (Image:fir0002 GNU)  A lot of hype surrounds vaporous services such as Apple’s iCloud, Google’s Chromebook, Cloud Music and multitude of web-apps, the Amazon Cloud and even poor old Microsoft’s Office 365. We could be forgiven for thinking something innovative was afoot. But what’s new, really? The act of using a search engine was one of the first manifestations of cloud computing. Rather than every internet user needing 5 million Terabytes of data storage in their basement, we sensibly share the resources of servers in remote data centres. Without needing a name for it consumers have been enthusiastically embracing other ‘cloud computing’ concepts – and feeding the data collectors – since the early days of webmail in the 1990’s. Google was the first company to realise the full potential of storing and indexing our data when it successfully monetised the nominally ‘free’ function of search provision. Through Gmail, Google Analytics, the verging-on-compulsory nature of various Google accounts, YouTube accounts, blogging services, Google Apps and even News distribution, most web users can’t really live or do their jobs without feeding Google enormous amounts of invaluable data about themselves. The towering technological achievements of Google Earth, Streetview, book-scanning projects, self-driving cars – and who knows...

Read More