The cloud and other things

By | July 27, 2011
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This Friday (July 28), the next InfoAve Premium focuses on the cloud – what it means to you, why it’s here to stay, and the advantages of cloud-computing.

We’re going to show you the best free, cloud-based applications, and tell you why computers in the near  future will be much different than the ones you’ve known.

We’re going to discuss Windows 8 (coming out next year) and why it may well be the last version of Windows.

We think you’ll find the next edition of  Cloudeight InfoAve Premium to be fascinating and useful.

If you’re not an InfoAve Premium subscriber, why not take advantage of our special InfoAve Premium Lifetime subscription offer.

You can get more information and a lifetime subscription for a very special price by visiting this page right now.

6 thoughts on “The cloud and other things

  1. Michael

    I don’t know why anyone gets enthralled with Cloud computingme. Why should I let someone else be responsible for storing my most private information? Have you all heard about the spate of hacking lately? Sooner or later someone will hack into people’s private files and a lot of people will be hurt by release of that information. The cloud is no more reliable in storing any information than my hard drive. Not only that everyone assumes, we all no what that means, we all have reliable and continuous internet connection. Hardly the case at all. I live out in the boonies and my electricity is frequently interrupted along with my internet connections. If it is on my computer I will always have it so why rely anything else. I continue to be astounded how people ooh and aw over this cloud system. I don’t think people are thinking it through. What happens when the Cloudee goes out of business? Shall I keep going? There are just too many things to go wrong with cloud computing.

    Reply
    1. Laura Boivin

      Michael, I share your thoughts about this cloud computing & have been thinking that maybe there is something that I don’t know or understand about it.

      I am very uncomfortable with the idea of leaving my information where others can access it. My own computer feels a lot safer to me.

      Still, I am anxious to read what Cloudeight has to say about all of this.

      Reply
    2. infoave Post author

      Just because we’re writing about cloud doesn’t mean we’re “enthralled” with it. Whether you like it or not, the cloud has made possible things like tablet computers and smart phones – without the cloud these devices would not be as useful as they are.

      You posted your comments on “the cloud”. This cite is based on a web application known as WordPress. Without Web application like WordPress and others, you’d not be able to interact with this site.

      You’re thinking the cloud is something new – that it’s being forced upon you, but in truth it’s been around as long as the Web. In fact, the cloud is the Web – it is the Internet, it’s not something new at all.

      The cloud, in the way that phase is used today, generally means Web applications, but even they are not new. When I first ventured onto the Web in 1997 Yahoo Mail and Hotmail existed. Those are cloud-based email applications. Even before those came along there were bulletin boards – Web-based applications – i.e. cloud-based applications.

      If you used Facebook, you’re using the cloud.

      Just because the cloud is being used for far more things doesn’t mean it’s new. It’s changing and growing but it’s not new.

      Tablet computers and smart phones can do a lot more because they take advantage of the cloud. An iPad with a 16GB drive isn’t going to handle what your laptop with a 500GB hard drive can handle, but with the cloud it can come close.

      In September, Google’s new Chrome Operating System will be introduced on laptops made by several big-name computer companies. These will be cloud-based laptops – the Chrome Operating System is just a framework for networking and interfacing with cloud-based applications like Google docs.

      Unless you’re enthralled with the Internet, you won’t be enthralled with the cloud – they are one and the same.

      Reply
  2. Maria

    TC, You may remember this piece, which I did indeed send off to all of my friends. I’ve always believed in your advice, & am now wondering why the article below & “The Cloud & Other Things” are completely at odds. The one below makes 100% more sense than this latest one. I agree with Michael’s opinions (7/27/11) above. Please tell us you were possessed by the Devil, or at least why your view of the cloud has done a 180…

    The Disturbing Tale of Windows Live Mail
    Windows All Versions

    You can help save your personal email program by sharing this page with a friend.

    This article is based on our experiences with Windows Live Mail. While it is based on fact and our own personal experiences with it, it is, in the final analysis, only our opinion. We want to make it crystal clear that these are our opinions, based on observation and fact. We’d like your opinion too. At the bottom of this article is a link to a page where you can write and publish an opinion or express your thoughts. We hope you will take time to do this.

    Microsoft will not be offering you a free personal email program with the next version of Windows. They’ll be trying to convince you that Windows Live Mail is the “next generation” of personal email programs. It is not. It’s a “cloud computing” application that exposes your private data, mail accounts, messages, and any personal information contained in them to much higher risks than if you stored such important information only on your own computer – such has been the case with Outlook Express and Windows Mail. Microsoft has what we call a “propaganda campaign” to make you believe that Windows Live Mail is the mail program of the future. It is not. The following then, is our opinion of Windows Live Mail and why you should be expressing your outrage at Microsoft for taking the personal email program out of Windows 7 – the next version of Windows.

    We’ve been known to get all cranked up about spyware, adware, and hijackers. We’ve been known to blow a gasket when it comes to companies bundling garbage – so instead of getting just the program you thought you were downloading you get a bunch of garbage you don’t want. FunWebProducts, a notorious adware/spyware/hijacker that bundles 18 or more programs after conning poor, unwary netizens into downloading its “SmileyCentral” hijacker/adware program – comes to mind.

    But never, ever, did we ever think that someday we would be writing about Microsoft in the same article as FunWebProducts, adware, spyware, and hijackers. So, today is a sad day. Microsoft, stooping to new lows, has its own bundle of garbage called “Windows Live Mail”. It’s adware for sure – if you use a Hotmail or MSN account it will insert ads into your outgoing mail surreptitiously – you don’t see it but your recipient will. It’s a home page hijacker – it will change your home page from whatever it is to MSN. It’s Cloud Computing application – meaning that all your messages, user accounts – even those personal accounts your ISP gives you, passwords, and other personal information, is hanging right up there in the cloud – an accident waiting to happen. If someone with a password cracking program harvests your emails addresses it’s a simple matter to crack your password and see every mail you’ve ever sent or every message you’ve saved including private confidential mail from your bank, savings institution, software companies who’ve sent you keys, private family messages and more.

    It’s one thing to have a Hotmail account and use if for certain things – but quite another to have ALL of your email addresses in one location on the Web. Your ISP accounts, your Hotmail account, your Gmail account, etc. When you put all of your eggs in one highly visible basket, you’re just asking for a basketful of trouble.

    And it’s bad enough that Microsoft even offers Windows Live Mail, but to think that in the next version of Windows – which is only nine months away, there will be no personal email program like Windows Mail”. You’ll have no choice but to use Windows Live Mail because Windows 7 will have no desktop-based, personal email program like Outlook Express or Windows Mail. All you’ll have is Windows Live Mail. Millions more of you will be forced to store all your private email account information, messages, and so forth on Microsoft’s servers – where it’s only a password cracker away from some criminal’s hands.

    Oh, you do have a choice. You can use Outlook – for which you’ll have to fork over $150 – or install Microsoft Office for about $400. Or you can use Thunderbird, which is far less capable than Outlook Express or Windows Mail. There’s a bevy of other free email programs too – but none of them are nearly as good as Outlook Express or Windows Mail. Besides, why should you have to go out and learn a new email program after all these years?

    Microsoft isn’t doing this for you. They’re doing it for Microsoft. More specifically they’re doing it to make more money. Yes, once again, Microsoft is going to stick it to its customers by not giving you what you want, but giving you what they want. No wonder Apple and Linux are starting to erode Microsoft’s stranglehold on the computer market. They’re taking away your personal email program and giving you a glorified Hotmail desktop – a browser that looks like an email program and where all your private messages and other personal information are stored in the “Cloud”.

    Microsoft’s decision making of late leaves us scratching our heads. Windows 7 isn’t going to be a brand new version of Windows as promised. It’s going to be one giant Windows Vista service pack for which you’re going to pay $100 or more. Windows 7 isn’t about making Windows better, it’s about making money. It reminds us of Windows ME which Microsoft threw together to quell uneasy stockholders. Microsoft made XP too good. Now they can’t top it. So, instead of concentrating on making a whole new version of Windows with more features customers want – like faster boot-ups and shutdowns, better performance using less resources, they’ve decided to make Windows more like Mac – i.e. make it prettier. Windows 7 is a glorified Windows Vista. It’s not the brand new operating system that it was supposed to be. It’s all about the money with Microsoft and Windows Live Mail is another example of highly-educated people making really dumb decisions. Does General Motors ring any bells?

    Let’s talk about installing Windows Live Mail. It’s a bundle. I don’t care if they give you the option NOT to install the programs they bundle with it, all the programs are checked by default and many people will simply click “OK” and install the other programs – instead of the program they “wanted” to download – Windows Live Mail. It’s software bundling – just as much as it’s software bundling when some “freeware” program tries to get you to install Yahoo Toolbar with it. You may have the option to select or deselect but Microsoft is not stupid -they know that a majority of people will leave all the boxes checked (which they are by default) and install everything in the bundle- and you can bet your bottom dollar that they want you install all of these programs.

    * Windows Live Mail
    * Messenger
    * Mail
    * Writer
    * Photo Gallery
    * Movie Maker beta
    * Family Safety
    * Toolbar
    * Microsoft Silverlight
    * And even more stuff – depending on what you have already installed.

    To add another breach of trust, Microsoft wants to hijack your preferred search provider and your home page. These boxes are both checked by default. Anyone installing Windows Live Mail and not paying attention and just clicking “OK” will find they have a new search provider and a new home page the next time they open their browser. If Microsoft was doing this the fair way, those boxes would be unchecked by default and you’d have to check them if YOU wanted to switch search providers – and home pages. Microsoft seems to be unwilling to admit that a ten year-old start up beat their britches off in the search provider game. Here’s a hint for Microsoft: If you want to win the search provider game, make your search engine better than Google’s and make your main search page simple like Google’s instead of that bloated, ad-filled, ostentatious, eye-sore you have. People go to search page to search page to search not to be bombarded with ads and dazzled with page design. Here, take a look, http://msn.com/ compared to http://google.com/ .

    It’s not bad enough that Microsoft makes a game of hide-and-seek out of installing Windows Live Mail, but the preposterous idea of replacing the popular Outlook Express/Windows Mail with Windows Live Mail, just blows us away. Who makes these kinds of bone-headed decisions? Microsoft apparently doesn’t care what you want or what you like, they’ll spend zillions of dollars convincing you something less secure, with less features, is somehow better. “Everything in one place” they like say. Indeed. Everything in one place – a really dandy idea. Now, if we lived in a perfect world where there were no criminals or where everyone used secure twenty-eight-character, nearly-impossible-to-crack passwords, it might a good thing. A huge target for hackers and password stealers, Windows Live Mail is a virtual ocean of private, personal, and sensitive information all sitting there in one place waiting to be snatched up by miscreants with highly sophisticated password crackers – or sophisticated computer nerds who would like nothing better that breach Microsoft’s Live servers. I guess the good thing about it is, someday we’ll be able to write an article featuring our four favorite words: “We told you so!” Government servers and other sensitive servers are hacked all the time – but not even these servers have the quality of content hackers and password thieves drool over. They crack your Live Mail password, they have access to all your email, all its content, all your passwords, and more. If your bank sent you a Lost Password request in email, then they have that. They’ll have whatever you have in your Outlook Express or Windows Mail folders right now.

    Air-headed, money-driven decisions such as Microsoft’s decision to remove your personal email client from Windows and replacing it with a Web-based, “cloud computing” mail program that is disguised as a personal email program- where every bit of your personal data is stored both in the “Cloud” and on your computer makes not one bit of sense – unless you’re Microsoft, of course. The only reason for this decision is to provide an additional source of revenue – a source that wasn’t being tapped before – and that source is your personal, private email. It’s wrong and this decision will end up costing Microsoft a lot of credibility and a lot of lost customers.

    There is absolutely no benefit to anyone other than Microsoft by eliminating the personal, private, desktop mail application from Windows 7. It’s all about money and Microsoft will continue to decline while others, like Google, who find out what people want and then provides it, will continue to eat away at Microsoft, until all that’s left of Microsoft is what they used to be.

    If you agree that this decision by Microsoft to leave your personal email program out of the next version of Windows is wrong and that it again points out why Microsoft continues to lose sales to innovators like Apple, please express your opinion by leaving a comment at the bottom of this page. Maybe there is someone who cares about you more than money at Microsoft who will listen. Maybe if enough of you voice your opinion, we can get them to listen. Otherwise, in a few months the era of the personal email client from Microsoft is over and an era of breaches and security nightmares will begin. The only ones who will be hurt by this ill-advised decision will be everyone who uses Windows Live Mail, who installs Windows 7 or who buys a computer with Windows 7 pre-installed on it. And eventually that will be all of us.

    You can help save your personal email program by sharing this page with a friend.

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      The article you cite was was posted in 2009…over 2 1/2 years ago. Anyone who doesn’t re-evaluate their positions and reconsider their opinions aren’t really going to be people you can trust to give you accurate information, right? The world has changed in 2 or 3 years, but the Internet and the devices connecting to it are change far more rapidly. The first iPad didn’t come along until over a year after we wrote that article – who knew that tablet PCs would become so popular. Tablet PCs would be useless with out the cloud.

      Smart Phones were around but they weren’t in use by the majority of cell phone users. Now they are everywhere – and they very dependent on the cloud.

      Even Windows Live Mail has made substantial changes in the last 2 years – including allowing you to decide which accounts you want in the cloud and which you want to store only locally – a feature that was missing in the version we were testing and we subsequently wrote about.

      We still don’t like Windows Live Mail – or the Windows Live Bundle. But the reasons we don’t like it are less about the Cloud, than about Microsoft trying to ram inferior products down peoples’ throats by bundling one product that people may want with a bunch of others they don’t want. But the “cloud factor” isn’t the factor that causes us to rant against Windows Live Mail and the bundle it installs with.

      We once recommended WOT too – and you can dig out article where we were singing its praises. But as we saw the direction they were taking their program in – we realized it was not something that any one should use. We don’t need a toolbar telling us what political, religious or social positions are acceptable, and that is just what WOT does.

      We’ve also re-evaluated and changed our position on other things too – IncrediMail for example. At one time we could not recommend it, but now we recommend it with the caveat that we only recommend the paid version – and not the free version.

      We are constantly reevaluating the programs and services we recommend. You should be very careful about listening to people who refuse to change their minds regardless of the changes that are taking place.

      Finally, we’re not recommending or jumping up and down with joy about the cloud. The cloud exists and it will continue to grow because it offers so many advantages over the old way of doing things. That’s not to say there aren’t dangers and disadvantages to it, but the advantages and conveniences it offers outweigh the bad.

      You could say automobiles are dangerous because they kill and maim people. You could say they’re bad because they pollute the atmosphere and are using up whatever petroleum we have left in the ground and under the sea and ice. But the advantages and the conveniences that cars bring to us are greater than the disadvantages. There may come a day when using a computer with everything stored on a huge local hard drive might seem as antiquated as a horse and buggy.

      We might not like a lot of things about the cloud, but that is neither here nor there. The cloud exists and it’s growing faster than we ever imagined.

      If we don’t keep up with things and we don’t re-evaluate our positions on things based on fresh information and observation then we’d be doing you and everyone else a disservice. We hope we never become that stubborn or that self-assured that we think we can never be wrong.

      We’ll change our minds on other things as time goes by – nothing is as sure as change. We can only give you the best we can give you based on the information we have at the time. Things change and we change too. And that’s a good thing.

      The day we stop changing our minds after re-evaluation and thought, is the day you should call us out on it.

      Reply
  3. Ron Borg

    TC, you are, as usual, brilliant in your presentations and wise in your conclusions. I would be lost without the guidance from you and EB. Keep up the good work!

    Reply

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