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Think i found the stupidest idea ever thought of.

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March 7, 2008 3:38:32 PM

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/google-apple-cloud-computer.htm

Wow this is probably the stupidest idea ever, it would take what 1 hour for me to load my crysis game? It would be practical for just internet users who play solitare at most. It is impossible for a gamer to use this, unless our internet reaches 100gb/s real soon.

What are your comments?

Wander if apple and google are stupid enough to even attempt it.
March 7, 2008 3:48:11 PM

Not even close to the most stupid idea ever thought of....
It's basically what the internet is now, i.e. lots of servers with files we want on.
the only difference being, the files the so called 'cloud' computer would have would be things we'd use more often and not want to download all the time.
March 7, 2008 3:56:06 PM

Theres so many problems with it, like loading times for intense games, if my internet is down i cant play single player on crysis or any game for that matter. Nothing but flaws and nothing good about it.
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March 7, 2008 3:59:40 PM

the most stupid thing i ever heard of was a voice activated tv remote control
March 7, 2008 4:00:35 PM

this would be great for mobile things though. imagine a laptop w/o a cddrive or hdd, or an iphone/any all in one being able to run as a normal computer. other then that, the idea would cause more problems then help.
March 7, 2008 4:09:29 PM

i think it would be used as more of an option than a completely new computing paradigm for everyone.
a b à CPUs
March 7, 2008 4:47:53 PM

I can see a corporation using this idea for laptops.
March 7, 2008 4:58:24 PM

This is the kind of idea someone who knows very little about the computing world would come up with... kind of like Peter Jackson and his new found video game interest... seriously the guy is an idiot and has no idea what he is talking about.
March 7, 2008 4:59:24 PM

Sounds like a great idea. It's called Skynet.
March 7, 2008 5:23:55 PM

Why do you make the assumption it's going to be used for everything right off the bat? Of course it doesn't make sense to run any kind of moderately taxing game on that!

Personally, as a home user, I don't really care much for cloud computing. I have enough hard drive space for all my applications, and I'd rather keep my documents on my computer. It's an issue of trust and control, personally. However, why would it not be useful for businesses or someone who uses multiple machines in many places?

Remember, businesses account for a larger share of the PC market all gamers combined... easily. (unless someone here happens to run a Fortune 500 business? In which case, I stand corrected.)

I don't mean to insult you or anyone else here, but please don't dismiss any ideas too quickly. You gotta take some risks if you want to get rich. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.

Apple and Google might be common targets to bash here, but they're not the only companies interested in cloud computing. Microsoft and Amazon, among many many others, are interested in this.
March 7, 2008 5:39:22 PM

it is a great idea for company pc, so IT will spend less time to take care everyone 's computer, no restore pc, no fail hard drive, personal pc will use less power and eaay to get replacement. The major upgrade and update can done by center server, and all the information will store on the network drive.
March 7, 2008 5:45:52 PM

chaosgs said:
http://computer.howstuffworks.com/google-apple-cloud-computer.htm

Wow this is probably the stupidest idea ever, it would take what 1 hour for me to load my crysis game? It would be practical for just internet users who play solitare at most. It is impossible for a gamer to use this, unless our internet reaches 100gb/s real soon.

What are your comments?

Wander if apple and google are stupid enough to even attempt it.


That's such an ignorant response. Do you even realize how many things are done entirely on the internet today that would have been thought impossible 10-15 years ago? The entire premise of your argument against this is that technology will never increase.
Quote:
It is impossible for a gamer to use this, unless our internet reaches 100gb/s real soon.

That statement is as laughable as "Who will ever need more than 640KB of memory?".
March 7, 2008 5:51:50 PM

Although this idea is more SCI FI than reality right now, it may be feasible in a decade or two. Of course, by then we will all be under water. :heink: 
March 7, 2008 6:02:23 PM

ahmshaegar said:

Remember, businesses account for a larger share of the PC market all gamers combined... easily. (unless someone here happens to run a Fortune 500 business? In which case, I stand corrected.)

I don't mean to insult you or anyone else here, but please don't dismiss any ideas too quickly. You gotta take some risks if you want to get rich. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.


I'm not a Fortune 500 business, but I run multiple computers and drop in here at Tom's while other programs are crunching numbers, doing research, or whatever. I also have a gaming computer for the relaxing time.

I see three potential probems with this "cloud computing". First is identity theft. Maybe no one here worries about it, and I know it happens as it is, but this would make it all that much easier. The more you put out on the net and in other people's hands, the more vulnerable you become.

Second is the potential loss of your data, games, etc. As an example, a friend of mine uses AOL. Recently, AOL updated its programing and lost all his contact information, e-mails, and a few other things. Its gone forever. What do you do if you have no hard drive, for back-ups if nothing else, but are trusting everything to another company and the other company looses everything? Of course, with the proposed "cloud computing" you don't have a CD/DVD drive so you can't even load anything either. So those pictures that you or some relative took on vacation or whatever can't be loaded onto the cloud drive.

A third problem, and I'm sure it covers at least some people in this forum, is that their surfing of porn would no longer be a semi-private thing. Everything done would be readily seen and known by anyone tapping into the cloud computer. You say you don't care? Ok, for those using pirated copies of games, such thing would be part of the past. How do you pirate something that is only available on the net, and thus can be obtained only by paying for it?

One further thing. If I decide that I don't want to be on the net for any reason, I can presently take my computer and do whatever I want with it, play games, run business apps, whatever, without any connection whatsoever. On a cloud computer, it would only be useful if it was connected to the net. Did a hurricane, tornado, fire, flood, or something else interupt the net connection? On my present computer, as long as I have electricity, it doesn't matter. On a cloud computer, forget it. No net, no computer.
March 7, 2008 6:28:26 PM

chaosgs said:
Theres so many problems with it, like loading times for intense games, if my internet is down i cant play single player on crysis or any game for that matter. Nothing but flaws and nothing good about it.


Bad news my friend. This is the future of the internet, computers, etc. I will bet that within the next 10 years you see most companies moving is this direction. Its predicted that this is what the console games will become. Instead of massively priced hardware to buy, you simply purchase keyboard, mouse/controller, basic cpu, and then the actual hardware is located on a server.
Watch for Microsoft and Apple to offer their OS and software as subscriptions instead of selling the software, you log onto a server and then use all the proigrams you need.
Now they just need to up the bandwidth and d/l speeds to make it happen.
March 7, 2008 6:44:32 PM

Quote:

I see three potential probems with this "cloud computing". First is identity theft. Maybe no one here worries about it, and I know it happens as it is, but this would make it all that much easier. The more you put out on the net and in other people's hands, the more vulnerable you become.

Second is the potential loss of your data, games, etc. As an example, a friend of mine uses AOL. Recently, AOL updated its programing and lost all his contact information, e-mails, and a few other things. Its gone forever. What do you do if you have no hard drive, for back-ups if nothing else, but are trusting everything to another company and the other company looses everything? Of course, with the proposed "cloud computing" you don't have a CD/DVD drive so you can't even load anything either. So those pictures that you or some relative took on vacation or whatever can't be loaded onto the cloud drive.

A third problem, and I'm sure it covers at least some people in this forum, is that their surfing of porn would no longer be a semi-private thing. Everything done would be readily seen and known by anyone tapping into the cloud computer. You say you don't care? Ok, for those using pirated copies of games, such thing would be part of the past. How do you pirate something that is only available on the net, and thus can be obtained only by paying for it?


Not that I'm saying we all will/should be using cloud computing in a year, but here are easy rebutals to all of you arguments:
Theft - We shop online, pay bills online, file taxes online etc, etc. All this stuff is already out there and is pretty secure. Yes security breaches do occur, but compared to how much financial info is out there it's pretty rare. Security is always an issue in any communications system and would have to be addressed but it's not going to be such major hurdle that it can't be cleared. I remember when broadband internet first came out and how people warned of the impending dangers of a always-on internet connection.

Loss of Data - Hard drives crash every day and very few home users have any sort of redundancy. In a cloud system redundancy would be dirt cheap and everybody would have it. There would still be a risk of some data loss, but in reality it would be much less than if data is stored on a single drive in a home system. AOL is the absolute worse example of any type of computing system. Google on the other hand is much better. Gmail is a great (albiet small) example of how such a system could work.

Privacy - Maybe some people still have an illusion of privacy, because that's about all you would be losing going to a cloud system. Your ISP can actively spy on you right now and there's nothing you can do about it- congress just guaranteed that. And are you advocating piracy? What about viruses and spyware? They too would pretty much be eliminated. Are you for are against that?
March 7, 2008 6:59:33 PM

I doubt it will happen soon... maybe in a decade, maybe in two. Not a lot of people wants to store their personal data online, where they don't have complete control of it.

Aside from that fact, a lot of programs are simply too demanding to be run on internet. The supercomputer used to host these programs must be at least exponentially more powerful than the most powerful supercomputer in the world. Sure, you can easily host online games, but what about single player, like others pointed out? Since everyone is playing at a different speed, are the files downloaded to your computer, or do the supercomputer have to run these games separately on each core?

My last point is, how is Google and Apple going to get paid for this? A modern supercomputer easily cost more than several hundred million dollars, let alone the maintenance of the computer, the electricity bill, and others. How are they going to recuperate the cost? What about storage? Assuming each person would need 1TB of space to store all of their photos, videos, games, etc, how big do the supercomputer harddrive needs to be in order to store these files? We're talking about more than several million of TBs here.

in short, no, I don't think this "cloud" computer idea is going to succeed in the short run. Computer hardwares are becoming cheaper and cheaper, and with their performance grow exponentially, I don't think cloud computing will take away household computing. What I see is a consolidation of website servers to a supercomputer. However, to actually run these programs online, and store the data, cloud computing simply cannot match the flexibility of household and mobile computing.
March 7, 2008 7:05:28 PM

purplerat said:
And are you advocating piracy? What about viruses and spyware? They too would pretty much be eliminated. Are you for are against that?


I don't mean to advocate piracy, only to bring the subject to awareness. And to be clear, I'm fully against piracy and have never been guilty of it. If I can't afford something, I do without it. As for viruses and spyware, while as individuals we wouldn't worry about it directly, the central system would still have vulnerabilities, and because it would be a centralized system, they could do more overall damage.

As I said at the beginning of my post, these were "potential problems", things to think about. Will solutions occur? Most like some will, but at the same time other problems are sure to crop up and need to be dealt with. I know hard drives crash from time to time. I've had it happen a couple times to me, which is why I practice backing up all essential data, and not just to one source, but to three sources at minimum. I learned that lesson well about 15 years ago when I had just completed writing a book and I lost it due to a virus that invaded the hard drive. I was able to reconstruct it, but it literally took months of work.

You list good rebuttals, things to consider, and I know there are many sides to everything. For myself, I still like the idea of having at least some nominal control of the situtation. There is no perfect solution by far, but I enjoy having options.
March 7, 2008 7:13:07 PM

I can see it now....

"Ooooo I been waiting to play this new kick butt game... [clicks install button] We're sorry, the game that you are trying to install, requires more data storage then what you have. Would you like to charge your account for more data space to install it? [mumbling going on... what! F##$@ of all th.. B$] PC continues message - Don't forget at the end of this month, our servers will be down for maintenance again for 3 hours. We are sorry that this may cause [click sound - powers off pc]"
March 7, 2008 7:23:04 PM

I wouldn't buy a computer without a hard-drive. I like to have a backup of everything I do. I mean what if the internet was down and I needed to look at porn really bad? What then? :) 
March 7, 2008 7:30:42 PM

Just curious, but why does everybody seem to automatically assume that cloud computing = the end of stand alone computers? Isn't it more reasonable to assume that both could easily coexist? Even if you were using a cloud system why couldn't you connect an external hdd to backup your porn?
March 7, 2008 7:50:02 PM

<-- does his captain kirk impression.

Its just that.... people.... are afraid to change. :oops: 

The point to that idea "cloud computing" to me is to make thing perhaps easier for those who just want to use a PC, without really having to mess with it, installation wise.... kinda like buying a Dell or Mac.

But then on the other hand, I also think its more based on more control on the service side. I think you will be in more of a limited in what you want to do. And if you want to do more then what the service provides, it will cost you. Almost like the BS with cell phone to charge you 99 cents to put a stupid picture on your phone.

Your going to always have some people that wanna break into stuff, because that is how they are. And eventually they'll find a way, and break the system for the whole community. As far as virus or malware, that really depends on the user I think. I don't know how many times I told my dad not to install crap on his PC, but he still does it. So its safe to assume other people will do that in the "Cloud Computing" using up space for useless crap, or porn, or silly picture of a phenom chip blowing up, or Core 2 Duo frying like an egg (this is voltage... this is your C2D on high voltage.. any questions?)

Again for me, I've always built my system, know my system, and take pretty decent care of my stuff, of course in my opinion. I wouldn't really see the "Cloud Computing" something worth wild for myself. I've yet to really have to deal with virus's on my system or malware.
March 7, 2008 8:02:17 PM

I don't really see the advantage. You're replacing a cheap hard drive with a faster network connection. That's like tossing away L2 cache for faster RAM. Probable loss of performance loading stuff.

If they mentioned backend (datacenter) processing, then I would see a point especially with low power portable devices, because backend processing doesn't necessarily need high bandwidth.

Today's HDs come as small as notebook cards. HD density about triples every two years. Broadband isn't speeding up that quickly. Moreover, HD bandwidth is so much cheaper than internet bandwidth.
March 7, 2008 8:07:54 PM

purplerat said:
Just curious, but why does everybody seem to automatically assume that cloud computing = the end of stand alone computers? Isn't it more reasonable to assume that both could easily coexist? Even if you were using a cloud system why couldn't you connect an external hdd to backup your porn?


This is mainly because that is specifecly mentioned in the article. To quote, "On your desk, you would have a very low cost computer with just a processor, a keyboard, and a monitor. There would be no hard drive or CD/DVD drive". If that was all that was there, it might be impossible to hook up an external hard drive. Don't know, just speculation, as is much of the article. For that matter, even having a video card is left out. No more wars between Nvidia and ATI and their fans.
March 7, 2008 8:10:51 PM

IBM is pushing for a centralized internet too. More or less because they have the scalable hardware to do it quite easily. Corporations and even us little people would have a single data and processing center to run and store our businesses/datacenters. Its all a service to be sold, and Google has room to do the same thing as long as someone else buys into it to make it profitable.

Places like Go Daddy would be the private competition.

http://domino.research.ibm.com/comm/research_projects.n...$FILE/Kittyhawk%20OSR%2008.pdf
imagine that on folding@home!
March 7, 2008 8:24:18 PM

This sounds like computer communism to me. No hard drive = no personal files. All the files are collectively shared from some central server? So no computer privacy? Who controls this server?

I wouldn't call it the stupidest idea ever (dumbest to be grammatically correct), but rather the most dangerous idea ever. Way too much control. Think of all the censorship issues if everything is controlled by one source.....
March 7, 2008 11:23:53 PM

cell phones dont have hard drives, but have a minor amount of space on them to store photos, music, etc. give it a bigger screen and call it an internet terminal or kiosk. the personal computer will still exist in all respects for storage, media, gaming, etc. If the internet was all in one place, policing it would be easy - and that is the only reason i dont like the idea. when the internet is actively filtered, and piracy is controlled that would be a very bad day for me, and im sure many of you.

The thing of it all is - the point is to stir up the thought that outsourcing to an 'internet' datacenter would decrease costs just like any other outsourcing project. It won't happen on the whole, but it opens the doors for company consolidation. If all banks got together in a central server location (like Washington Mutual's backup in underground Boulder Colorado) it could decrease the cost of tracking worldwide transactions as everyone would share the power and storage bills.

Insurance databases that have information on everyone on the planet and their accidents, credit ratings, all those petabytes of data exist in a single system. There is already a centralized database running that show for all major companies to access. (state farm, AIG, progressive, geico, farmers insurance, and more all share a single database).
March 7, 2008 11:44:44 PM

If Apple, Sun and Google are in on it together, it IS a good idea. Neither of them (ok sometimes apple) do stupid.
March 7, 2008 11:45:11 PM

Oh, no, no, Sailer... I'm not an advocate of cloud computing. I'm aware of the privacy concerns, and I'm also aware of the ability to bring your data with you without relying on the internet. I probably didn't make it clear enough, but I did say that, as a home user, I don't really care much for cloud computing. But you know, I am able to entertain the thought of cloud computing, and I do see some strengths.

Yes, there are issues of trust -- once the data is out of your control, it's out of your control. Perhaps the data can be encrypted client-side before the upload to a server controlled by someone other than yourself, but hey... you gotta weigh the costs and benefits. If someone else gets their hands on your data and breaks the encryption... ouch. But having an offsite backup is a plus.

But I'm glad you're not as unaware as the OP.

purplerat said:
Just curious, but why does everybody seem to automatically assume that cloud computing = the end of stand alone computers? Isn't it more reasonable to assume that both could easily coexist? Even if you were using a cloud system why couldn't you connect an external hdd to backup your porn?


Oh, I think they'll coexist. Cloud computing won't take off to the point (anytime soon) where most home users will only buy a thin client or some dumb terminal. I expect it to be some kind of slow evolution, though who knows what the things will look like in the long run. In the short run, I think the ball's already rolling. Some applications might be traditional (they are installed and run locally) while others have some kind of small footprint on your computer with the majority of the functionality dependent on the internet. Other applications might be completely online.

Although the OP approached this topic in a very... provoking manner, the issue of slow internet is valid. It's going to be hard to have large or complex applications with our current infrastructure. Some countries may be able to go further faster depending on their circumstances. Obviously, the States have some way to go.

jonisginger said:
If Apple, Sun and Google are in on it together, it IS a good idea. Neither of them (ok sometimes apple) do stupid.


Heh. Hindsight's 20/20, and in hindsight, all three have done stupid things. Sun's been a bit slow to adapt to the changing market. They've been bleeding for a while now. Whether or not Google has misstepped yet (on the same scale as Apple or Sun -- they've definitely made mistakes here and there regarding things such as privacy) is a different story... you could say that overall, they've done a magnificent job of building a(n overvalued?) company even though they offer few tangible products.

As for Apple... I don't think those guys are too popular here. I won't say anything else since I'd have to fear for my life if I should somehow misspeak. :kaola: 


But anyway, if cloud computing does take off to the point where we buy only thin clients... that would be mildly ironic, especially if a good amount of the processing is done server-side. We'd be going back to the mainframe era? But I really can't see this happening. This is looking long-term now: I'm guessing the business model will either give away the hardware or charge a nominal fee, then they'll want some kind of recurring fee for the service? I'm anticipating them to go software as a service, or something. But with companies like Dell selling complete systems for sub-$400 with no monthly or yearly fees, would the average person see any benefit with a thin client? Forget all the issues with privacy and no longer controlling your data. Will the average person see any value?

Perhaps even in the long-term, cloud computing will be limited to coexisting with our current PCs, since PCs are pretty much a commodity for the target market. Maybe they can push this for developing countries and find success there?

Sorry for the already awfully long post, but I thought up of a few more concerns.

Landline telephones are very reliable, because there are relatively strict regulations on that. Internet service is far less regulated. What happens during downtimes? You can't use your computer?

Also, we have Comcast and other ISPs complaining about certain people overusing bandwidth. Now, if we all suddenly switched to thin clients... I don't think anyone has the infrastructure to handle that.

Finally, since some people brought up the issue of gaming and cloud computing, I don't think all the processing can be done server-side. First off, for every gamer who wants high quality, the company who owns the actual hardware will have to own the latest CPU and graphics cards. That's quite expensive, so the gamers might as well buy or build their own machine. I don't see games running on servers across the world, with only the video, audio, and keyboard/mouse input being sent back and forth. Most people here want to game in what, 1920x1080 or something higher? And most people here want HOW many frames per second? 60, at least? They want it in millions of colors, too, right? And obviously it has to be lossless, or else people would complain about image quality. Forget T3, forget gigabit ethernet... you need several tens of gigabytes per second. Latency will have to be VERY short. I don't see gaming going cloud computing within the next several decades, and I don't think I'll look back and be embarrassed about making this prediction, because it seems technically and economically infeasible, even if we fast-forward several decades.
March 8, 2008 3:18:14 AM

rockbyter said:
cell phones dont have hard drives, but have a minor amount of space on them to store photos, music, etc.


Mine has a 4 GB hd, and newer models have 8GB.
March 8, 2008 3:29:33 AM

This idea is not really all that new, more like as old as consoles for mainframes. Expanding the idea to the internet, IMO, is not alltogether a good idea for many of the reasons that Sailor and others have posted, and even for intranet usage thin client / diskless workstations have issues of reliability.

But from a security point of view no HD, a locked down ethernet port and no other ports would be ideal. (Of course, from a security point of view a server that is off, locked in a vault that is watched over by an armed guard is also considered pretty secure...)
March 8, 2008 3:46:22 AM

sailer said:
This is mainly because that is specifecly mentioned in the article. To quote, "On your desk, you would have a very low cost computer with just a processor, a keyboard, and a monitor. There would be no hard drive or CD/DVD drive".


Mmm, yes, let's go back 20 years in computing to the days when all the work was done on a server and you sat at a dumb terminal (or a diskless workstation).

The reason we don't do that anymore is because it totally sucked ass, but people continue trying to convince us that it's actually a really good idea. I'd guess that since it's nearly a generation since we abandoned that model they may finally convince people who never had to live with it before.

Now, that's not to say that it's always a bad idea; I'd quite like a cheap wireless terminal that could display the output of programs running on my desktop system from anywhere in the house. But that's a long way from wanting to replace the desktop system with a terminal to software running thousands of miles away on someone else's system.
March 8, 2008 5:20:13 AM

The big bad?
If all Intel is selling is single core durons, how long before the next gen core2X2 comes out, and how much will it cost?
March 8, 2008 2:32:35 PM

Quote:
I don't see games running on servers across the world, with only the video, audio, and keyboard/mouse input being sent back and forth.

Neither do I, for any serious paced games. I don't see how they can replace the low latency of several meters of connections from keyboard/mouse to screen with the high latency of several hundred kilometers of network cables.

However, the class of games called MMOGs broaches this subject, and while most current MMOGs are modeled on client-side graphics/server-side processing, there is at least one where the server (crudely) processes graphics and then compresses it across the Internet. Technology seems in its infancy with regards to server graphics - those are obviously CPUs emulating GPU work - and real time compression - very CPU heavy for respectable quality.

The form of computing described by the OP, however, seems silly to impose on everyone. Hard drives are cheap, high-bandwidth, and low-latency; and they're growing rapidly in density. But I could definitely see some uses for cloud computing especially for budget and environmentally constrained areas. Hard drives don't like high temperatures/shock/water; flash drives aren't cheap and I'm not sure how fast they'll grow. Obviously, the more limited the market, the more difficult to spread out the design costs for a new computing model.
March 8, 2008 3:22:27 PM

The problem with this is that at the end of the day there is more overhead with the cloud than a regular desktop. It would be kind of cool to use a cell phone as the vessel for your cloud desktop though, then business users could junk their laptop.
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