Author Archive

Cloud computing

September 22, 2009

The thing about cloud computing that worries me a little is the security of the actual files. While I think that for the personal use it is fine, but for the larger businesses most of the internal files will probably have to be kept on personal server. the actual program that the world sees should be fine, but things like medical records and the such should not be put in the cloud simply because of the unknown.

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“The Big Switch” reaction

September 12, 2009

While I was doing research on the article “The Big Switch”, a couple of things came to mind. First, is the pessimistic view on the middle class really valid? In the context of Mr. Carr’s statements, I would have to say no. This belief simply comes out of the article written by Anne Zelenka titled “The Big Switch Is a Good Thing.” For myself, she perfectly refutes his pessimism when she states,

 Carr asserts that computerization is “extending the replacement of workers by machines from the blue-collar to the white-collar world, but it shows no sign of creating broad new categories of employment.” But don’t “network systems and data communications” and “computer software engineers, applications” represent broad new categories of employment? Granted, a laid-off print media journalist is unlikely to be able to take on such a job, but that doesn’t mean the jobs don’t exist.

In every generation, there is a new advent in technology that threatens the fabric of a section of the workforce. In the end, the ones who do lose their jobs are the ones who cannot keep up with the new technology and therefore are expendable employees. This is fact of life in not only our generation, but in every modern generation. To use Carr’s electricity analogy, to anyone who could not adapt to work Edison’s new electric generator, and only knew how to build the old inefficient machines were bound to fail.

The second main problem I have, is with Carr’s statement on the access to online media. Carr states,

Second is mass culture. As the power and the reach of the Internet expands, it’s turning into our universal medium – the way we get information and news and entertainment. And because we can “personalize” this medium to an extent that wasn’t possible with, say, newspapers or radio or TV, we’re getting the power to wrap ourselves in our own custom-designed culture, our own tailor-made media cocoon. Now, some argue that this trend is all to the good, that it will give us more choices, more ability to get precisely what we desire. And there’s certainly some truth to that view. But there are other, darker sides to this phenomenon. For all the flaws of the mass media, it helped give diverse people a common sense of identity; it served as a glue for society. That glue is being dissolved, and a lot of the mainstays of our culture, such as the kind of hard journalism that was traditionally done by newspapers, are facing severe economic threats. As I argue in the book, we may end up losing more than we gain.

I would argue on the point of the recent Iranian protests; without access to these internet sites, we would never find out what was really Happening on the streets. This new access to online media gives an unfiltered view on what is really happening in the streets at any moment.  Zelenka again writes,

This same effect is why some web optimists see the opportunities brought by the social, participatory web as mainly a good thing. It used to be that if you wanted to have your writing published, you’d need to have a job with a newspaper or magazine. Now anyone can publish their writing on blogs. It used to be if you wanted to have thousands of people watch your films, you’d have to get lucky in Hollywood. Now you can upload your video to YouTube. It used to be if you wanted to become a radio talkshow host, you had to convince a radio station to give you airtime. Now you can record your own podcast.

This is unlike anything we have ever seen, and the “World Wide Computer” has only brought those opportunities to the masses. What the person reading this blog is receiving is a point of view that would have otherwise not been heard to the masses. In this example, I the writer has become the opinion writer only before seen in the hard copy newspaper.

In the end, the “World Wide Computer” is bringing us new innovations we have only just begun to see. Even with the data and information being held on remote servers; for the private user this allows access to a new world. For old business, a new way for them to reach the masses, and a way for new startups to become big without the hassel of purchasing servers. The IT gurus jobs would still be safe because someone still has to run google’s servers, and big business would want their private document saved on their own servers.

Everyone should welcome the new computer age with welcoming arms, for this age is upon us.

Travis Blackburn