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Opinion

I Hope Cloud Computing Drives the Mobile Web, Quickly

Soon Enough We'll Be Thinking in Exabytes and Zettabytes

Semi-attached thoughts on a hot Sunday in Manila:

There's a faded old picture of the pianist Arthur Rubinstein standing on an apartment balcony, joined by the Spanish composer Manual de Falla and a woman I don't recognize. I presume it was taken in Madrid around 1916-17.

The picture reminds me of an age when artists such as Rubinstein and de Falla were taken seriously by the educated classes throughout the Western world. This age lasted through the late 1970s, when Rubinstein could be found on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and The Dick Cavett Show by day.

So I have been trying to figure out how to launch into a diatribe that decries the paucity of culture in today's society. I had my Chopin, T.S. Eliot, and Picasso all lined up and ready to go.

Then I realized that anyone who contributed to Twitter's #binladenporntitles over the week-end, as I did, should not be in the business of lecturing people about culture.

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I also remembered that the Age of Rubinstein et al was also the age of The Great War, WWII, Nazis, and other horrors. It was also an age of suppressed abuse and perversion in the US.

I've never seen sicker "humor" than some of the stuff that made the rounds of my town and school when I was growing up in the rural Midwest. We may be simultaneously politically correct and wingnutty today, but at least this stuff is out on the open. I doubt my children saw the disturbing, underground racist poison I saw as a kid.

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Meanwhile, these days YouTube has made more great performances available to all of us than the largest record and video collections. It's there for the taking, even if we won't see Rubinstein's successors on Leno or Oprah anytime soon.

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As the Web and the Cloud Computing that serves it are becoming increasingly mobile, we're already routinely measuring things in terabytes and petabytes. We'll up the ante to petabytes, zettabytes, and beyond soon enough, and wonder how we put up with primitive desktop and laptop systems for so long.

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Television can be viewed as one of the great failures ever, even though I love to watch baseball and the African savannah on HD. Television news remains an embarrassment, and remains a far greater threat to journalism (if not newspapers) than the Web.

The Internet has a far smaller percentage of redeeming content (see #binladen note above) than even TV, but has tens of millions of sites instead of mere hundreds of channels. Plus, the Internet merely creates an addiction, it doesn't mesmerize.

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I hope Cloud Computing facilitates a fast Mobile Web growth that exceeds all expectations. Unlike with TV, people communicate with one another on the Web; we can hope that some day, finally, it will bring a measure of civilization to our savage species.

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.