Thoughts on Cloud Based Storage

iCloudIt hit me while I was reading this discussion on redesigning the save button. In most applications right now the “save” button shows a floppy disk. When’s the last time you used a floppy disk to save anything? Exactly. The save button definitely needs some rethinking for today’s computing generation. This got me thinking on the awesome power in things like iCloud. Something I don’t think a ton of people have hit on yet.

With something like iCloud, I don’t have to worry about disk space locally. I can just save things to the cloud. If I get a new computer, my files are still instantly available to me because they’re saved somewhere other than the computer I created them on. This is immensely powerful. Yes, I know it has some disadvantages but stick with me on this.

Both Apple and Google are working to create a world where local storage is irrelevant. Apple has iCloud and Google is slowly moving things to Google Drive. The new Chromebook Pixel comes with 3 years of 1 terabyte of Google Drive storage for storing your data. And the Chromebooks all work on the basis of storing data in the cloud rather than on the local hard drive. Apple in recent updates have introduced a nice set of APIs for iCloud. Allowing developers to let their applications save to the cloud rather than the hard drive. Basically going a similar route as Google. We are heading into a world where disks are no longer the center of our day to day storage needs. It all goes to the cloud and it’s there regardless of the computer we’re on. Imagine when it gets to a point where all our daily storage is done in the cloud. Your computer boots into an operating system and and all your files are in the cloud, you only store what you need locally when you know you’re going to be offline for a while (like say, taking a flight).

Sure this has some downsides. One you’re going to have to choose who you want to be in charge of that storage and at the moment there’s very little hope that you can do some this in a cross platform way. In other words, there’s very little hope I’ll be able to access my iCloud files on a Windows machine. Things like Google Drive, Dropbox, and even Ubuntu One are trying but there’s little hope and using these backends as a completely connected file system. If systems gave you the option to choose your connected filesystem that would be great, but there would need to be a standard so that all these things worked in standard way. For the moment though, we’d have to pick a silo.

I imagine that someone is going to move their systems into this space within the next 3 to 5 years. If I had to put money on it, I’d bet on Google as they’re already most of the way there with their Chromebooks. However, Apple isn’t going to be far behind on this, iCloud isn’t perfect yet, but I imagine they will get the kinks out over the next few years and in five years it’s going to be what I’ve described above. Your hardware boots an OS and the file system is 90% cloud based.

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Posted in Commentary, Technology | 1 Comment

The Logic of Gun Control Advocates

I’ve heard this one a few times.

“We need federal gun control laws because gun control laws done by a state don’t matter because people can just go to another state to get guns.”

You hear this a lot when people point out that states Washington D.C. or cities like Chicago, IL have strict gun laws yet very high crime rates. The logic is that the strict gun laws don’t work because the surrounding areas have lax gun laws and that’s where people are getting the guns and it’s because of this that these places with strict gun control still have such high crime rates.

This logic is flawed. Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, Politics

Now Hosted at WordPress.com

After years on Site5, I decided that instead of paying money for servers I don’t really need, I would instead move my blog to WordPress.com and may they’re much smaller annual fee for having a domain name.

This is not in anyway a slight on Site5. Their service has been fantastic over the years. But all I really do is host a few blogs and I can do that for less money and without a lot of the overhead that comes with having your own servers. Seriously, if you need your own hosting solution, Site5 is a great resource and you should check them out.

I moved everything to WordPress.com for a couple of reasons, one was financial, the other is security. WordPress.com keeps their system updated with the latest version of WordPress and it doesn’t require any intervention from me for these things to happen.

Posted in Updates

"You don't need an 'Assault Weapon'"

Since the subject of gun control is back in the national spotlight, you see people from both sides arguing their case. People on the side of more gun control will routinely say something like “You don’t need an assault rifle.” Because they’re scared of the black gun that looks like a military weapon. I want to spend some time breaking down this argument.

First, An Education

Before we go too much further, I feel that you need to watch this video because it actually explains the difference between what an actual military assault rifle is versus is what is currently sold to the public that many on the side of gun control label as “assault rifle” (they’re two very different things).

Also, I need you to understand what the phrase “semi-automatic” means versus what the media wants you to think it means. A gun is considered to be “semi-automatic” when trigger has to be pulled for each round to be fired. In other words, the gun can only be fired as fast as you pull the trigger. Granted, you can pull the trigger very fast, but you do so at the cost of accuracy (unless you have lots of practice). A lot of handguns fall into the category of “semi-automatic”. What the media and gun control proponents want you to think when they say “semi-automatic” is “fully automatic” in that you pull and hold the trigger, the gun will fire until you release the trigger or it runs out of bullets. A semi-automatic weapon doesn’t work that way, it only fires a single round for each time the trigger is pulled. In fact most handguns sold today are semi-automatic.

Rifles sold to civilians are semi-automatic, the trigger has to be pulled for each round you want fired. Turning these guns into fully automatic weapons, while possible, is very illegal. It’s also illegal to sell the parts to do so to a civilian.

Continue reading

Posted in Commentary, Politics

2012 In Review

“All these little failures. My year in review” — Bill Mallonee “My Year in Review

A new year is about to begin, so it seems appropriate to reflect on the previous one. The 2012 year started with the family in Nebraska so my son could receive some specialized medical care. We had been there since early December 2011. It was a long month.

For 2012 I had set some goals. They included losing some weight, launching a couple of mobile apps, and reading more books from the “The List.”

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Posted in General

Fitbit-ing to a Healthier Lifestyle

I’m overweight. In stereotypical computer nerd fashion, I am pudgy. It’s okay, I said it so you can too. I’ve been overweight for a good while now. Everything I’ve tried to date to get healthier has fallen flat on it’s face. I either gave up after a short period or just didn’t care enough. Last month though I decided that something needed to change. I know I needed to be more active but I could never bring myself to actually be more active. Over the summer I tried to get into running, I actually stuck with it longer than I had anything else over the last 5 years, mostly due to the encouragement of a friend of mine who runs L3 Fitness. It only lasted three whole weeks. I’ve since felt quite guilty about not following through, but I knew that diving back into running routinely wasn’t going to stick. I knew I needed a lifestyle change.

Continue reading

Posted in General | 5 Comments