"The Cloud" is the new internet


  • area_can

    I opened the YouTube app on my phone but didn't realise that I had lost my connection:

    Does anyone else find it weird that clouds have now replaced wifi icons and globes when it comes to iconography?

    I'm imagining a world 30 years from now, when clouds icons are to kids then what floppy disk icons are to kids now.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @bb36e said:

    Does anyone else find it weird that clouds have now replaced wifi icons and globes when it comes to iconography?

    To be fair, it's not as if all those videos are on your phone. I think in this case a broken cloud icon makes more sense than a wifi one. A circle-slash might have been better, though.



  • I'm fairly sure that whatever youtube (and google) does in this instance, it counts as cloud.



  • My recollection is that clouds have been used in network diagrams since the 90's, to represent the interconnections of the internet. I think more than anything, the upsurge in general use is due to marketdroids' enthusiasm for the latest and greatest market-speak.



  • @bb36e said:

    I'm imagining a world 30 years from now, when clouds icons are to kids then what floppy disk icons are to kids now.

    Wait, are you trying to say that the data is actually stored in clouds?

    Because I'm probably in the youngest generation that ever saved something to a floppy disk. But I've never thought of saving data inside a large floating pile of ice.



  • We used to distinguish stuff that was really saved from stuff that was just floating around where it could disappear at any moment. If you were the generation before me, "really saved" meant "printed out on fanfold paper and collected into binders"; for my own cohort, it had to do with what kind of media you used. Stuff that was just floating around wasn't quite "real" and was therefore inferior to something that was "written in stone".

    That was the expression.

    Now all that "permanent" hard-copy stuff is turning yellow, the ink is fading, and the paper is beginning to disintegrate, while the ephemeral floaty cloudy stuff exists as signals on various silicon chips.

    And silicon is a fancy name for...er...stone!



  • @bb36e said:

    I'm imagining a world 30 years from now, when clouds icons are to kids then what floppy disk icons are to kids now.

    Do you mean globe icons? Or are you thinking we'll stop using the term "the cloud" so that kids ask their parents why the cloud icon is used?



  • The internet may be a cloud for big conglomerates with distributed or abstracted storage.

    But it's still a web to me.


  • area_deu

    There is no cloud. It's just someone else's computer


  • :belt_onion:

    @FrostCat said:

    I think in this case a broken cloud icon makes more sense than a wifi one. A circle-slash might have been better, though.

    A rain cloud icon would have been more impressive.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @xaade said:

    a cloud for big conglomerates with distributed or abstracted storage.

    All it really means is that you have a service that looks up where the data really is and forwards it on to you “transparently”. When it works, it's great. When it doesn't…



  • More to the point, does this mean that, because their usual iconography has been co-opted but another set has become disused, weather forecasters will soon be putting wifi or 3.5″ disk icons on weather maps to denote cloudy conditions?



  • @dkf said:

    All it really means is that you have a service that looks up where the data really is and forwards it on to you “transparently”.

    Something like DNS and routing?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Gaska said:

    Something like DNS and routing?

    That's one way to do it. Another is like a smartass proxy. There's a few others too.



  • @dkf said:

    When it works, it's great. When it doesn't…

    That.

    My boss is one of the rare voices in the wilderness that preach that a network, any network, is to be treated as unreliable, and a wide area network the more so.

    Cue an excavator having a meeting with a glass fiber line, and an entire industrial quarter without Internet access. And thousands of employees unable to do their work.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @PWolff said:

    My boss is one of the rare voices in the wilderness that preach that a network, any network, is to be treated as unreliable, and a wide area network the more so.

    But once an organisation gets over a certain size, you've got to deal with that stuff anyway, and there are other problems if you go ultra-hard for insulating yourself from the unreliability of the network (such as needing administrators to always visit machines in person, which adds a lot of time).



  • There's a difference between refusing networks altogether and having fallbacks whereever possible.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    Yes, but once the organisation gets large enough, they still become critically dependent on telecommunications (i.e., the internet these days). The problems come when people think that this is true and that networking is not a critical part of their business (whether they own it or outsource it).



  • @dkf said:

    But once an organisation gets over a certain size, you've got to deal with that stuff anyway

    Yup. At the $100 billion company I used to work at, every branch office had at least two WAN providers. If necessary, they went to the extent of paying for at least one of them to run cables up the street in the other direction so a physical disruption was highly unlikely to cut out network access. Then they added a cellular backup on top of that.

    Sometimes it's cheaper to make the network massively redundant than it is to live in a world where you can't trust it. At all of our software design meetings, no one ever had to come up with a plan for how the software would work in the case of a network outage.

    BTW, we were a call center and we also had a box of about fifty pay-as-you-go cell phones in case of a phone outage.



  • @dkf said:

    That's one way to do it.

    No, you missed the point. I was actually telling you that "a service that looks up where the data really is and forwards it on to you “transparently”" has been a solved problem long before the word "cloud" was ever used in the context of distributed computing. So it can't be the defining feature of "the cloud" if it's previously been the foundation of "the web".


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Gaska said:

    So it can't be the defining feature of "the cloud" if it's previously been the foundation of "the web".

    Ah, but it can and it is. :stuck_out_tongue:

    Most of the stuff to do with Cloud is just plain old marketing BS and bandwagoning, and the few bits that are left are some business innovations in the area of short-term outsourcing. The core of it is not technical at all, though it builds on many technologies that pre-existed or that have been developed since.



  • And then that jackass launched all those EMP bombs....



  • @Gaska said:

    So it can't be the defining feature of "the cloud" if it's previously been the foundation of "the web".

    Yep.



  • @dkf said:

    Ah, but it can and it is. :stuck_out_tongue:

    To clarify: it cannot be the feature that differentiates "the cloud" from what we did before "the cloud".



  • @CoyneTheDup said:

    My recollection is that clouds have been used in network diagrams since the 90's, to represent the interconnections of the internet.

    Yup, I have a couple networking textbooks from around 2000 that use cloud shapes to represent arbitrary pieces of a network.



  • @Dragnslcr said:

    @CoyneTheDup said:
    My recollection is that clouds have been used in network diagrams since the 90's, to represent the interconnections of the internet.

    Yup, I have a couple networking textbooks from around 2000 that use cloud shapes to represent arbitrary pieces of a network.

    :fa_plus::cloud:





  • @Lorne_Kates said:

    I've looked at clouds from both sides now,
    From up and down, now here comes the ground

    Found a soft spot I take it?

    [spoiler]Ref. The Magic Goes Away, by Larry Niven. To get from one place on the world to another, Warlock and companions rode clouds hardened by magic--well, mostly hardened, at one point, one of them almost fell through, after encountering a soft spot.[/spoiler]



  • @CoyneTheDup said:

    Found a soft spot, I take it?

    Judging by the *SPLAT*, not very.


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