back to article Apple iCloud: Steve Jobs' own private internet

Just before the launch of its long-rumored GDrive – a service for storing all your desktop files on the web – Google killed the thing. "Files are so 1990. ... I don’t think we need files anymore," Google's Sundar Pichai told colleague Bradley Horowitz, according to the new book In the Plex. "You just want to get information into …

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  1. dssf

    There's a file SOMEdamned where...

    What if the clouds go "poof"? Data has to be store in 1s and 0s on media in case the RAM dies. Otherwise, all the data EVER being uploaded would constantly have to be circulated. Even though blood and oxygen and cells and food die and get replaced, data cannot be morphed or transmuted adversely if the user/owner will need to access and use it.

    Why in the hell would they want to destroy the local file system? Forcing Apple hardware/service users to give up the ability to save data locally means -- if allowed-- creating it on some external device, uploading it to an approved Apple device from an Apple-approved, and editing or storing it on the iCloud system/server.

    Just some quick thoughts

    1. Adam T

      Quantum Storage

      The data is stored in an infinite number of alternate universes for foolproof fall-back.

      Rodney McKay tried to talk them out of it, but the Apple boffins would hear nothing of it. Apparently it's "perfectly safe, and won't harm anyone in our world".

    2. Chris 3

      I think you have it wrong

      Having read all the announcements, it see,ms fairly clear to me that the primary location for all data remains on the end-user device. iCloud is not about storage (apart from backup). It is about syncing and message-passing.

  2. Robert E A Harvey

    Half a mind

    Half of my mind wants to welcome this cloudy storage idea, because I grew up in the days of dumb terminals and central mainframes and it all makes sense.

    But it doesn't.

    The other half of my mind says "Do you mind? that's my data. I'll be having the holding of that."

    The biggest missing part of this is the internet connection. If I want to listen to Beethoven's 9th, as recorded by Leonard Bernstein after the fall of the Berlin Wall, that's around 830MB. Sat at home on my hard disk, it costs me nothing to stream 830MB. The original CD cost me £6.

    Now, if I am fool enough to put it on the cloud, I will have to pay for 830MB of download every time I want to listen to it. That will be £1.08 on BT's broadband package, or £4.96 on 3's payg cellular data service. Every time I want to listen to it.

    This cloudy thing might be convenient for people who don't care about data privacy, but it makes no sense until the internet is completely free.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No streaming in iCloud.

      Apple's iTunes in the cloud doesn't do streaming, at least not yet.

      That part of iCloud just means you can download the same track you purchased to all your devices, then delete it and re-download again later on if you wish. The songs are always just a ready to donwload just few clicks away.

      This was something that was complicated in the past by the music label's T&Cs (they limited the number of re-downloads one could do). Even the Amazon MP3 shop still has this problem: only lets you download your purchase once.

      iTunes cloud also has a "song matching" component that matches existing tracks - by audio fingerprint - from any source to actual iTunes quality files (and metadata)

      But no bandwidth wasting streaming.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      This is exactly what they want!

      It is called pay to play. And there's even worse than that. Who, how and why is going to slap a license on my MP3 files with Eastern-European (ex-communist block) 1980 music ? Yes, they might not be legit and I'll gladly buy good quality CDs with that kind of music the day they will come out. But why pay every time for it ?

      Time to uninstall iTunes from my computer, SharePod is doing a fine job filling up my iPod with my own legally-owned music.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC 03:23

        You don't *need* to subscribe to the iTunes Music match service, it's optional.

    3. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD
      Thumb Up

      @Harvey.

      Jobs: All your data are belong to us!

      Telcos/ISPs: *Drool* *slobber*

      Fanboi: Happy Happy Joy Joy. Here's my money $$$$.

      Me: Stuff it. For great justice.

      I might reconsider something like this with high grade encryption if bandwidth were cheap, reliable and copious - and this was more convenient than actually holding the data in the palm of my hand.

  3. M Gale

    They can have my filesystems...

    ...when they prize them out of my cold, dead hands.

    1. Geoff Campbell
      Devil

      Careful....

      ....you don't want to be giving Jobs ideas like that.

      GJC

  4. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  5. Mike Echo

    Newsworthiness

    Here in Oz this story made the prime time television news services. Never mind that the cloud has been around for quite a while now.

    1. Goat Jam
      Mushroom

      "prime time television news services"

      aka. Corporate shills for sale to the highest bidder.

      Have you *seen* what passes for "News", especially on "A Current Affair"

      Monday: Coles are offering a great new "Fresh Fruit Gaurantee!": Queue 10 minute advertisement for Coles Supermarkets

      Tuesday: Woolies to introduce fantastic new "Freshness indicators" to their fruit and vegetable department: Queue 10 minute advertisement for Woolworths supermarkets.

      The rest of the show is simple foot in the door harassment of dodgy builders, fad diet adverts, network co-promotions and a whole lot of (not entirely undeserved) local council bashing.

      Australia needs to be nuked from orbit. Yes, really.

  6. Cheese
    WTF?

    Demote!

    “We’re going to demote the PC and the Mac to just be a device – just like an iPad"

    Perhaps that will be the case with Macs; luckily Jobs doesn't get to control the general PC market. Thinclients have their place, but does he not realise that some people actually use their computers to .... well compute.

    Is this really a return the dumb terminal/mainframe paradigm ... but with a web2.0 gloss? I'm actually interested in peoples views here, as I'm sure that I'm missing something obvious. Cloud computing seems to be mainframe computing plus a lot of network latency effects.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      Wait until the barn doors will close and then

      watch for some good rip-off predatory pricing. Don't like Apple pricing, tough luck! you can't move your iLife to another cloud predator.

    2. M Gale

      Well.

      It's more a "Fat Client", in that the terminals can do a little more than just render teletype these days.

      However essentially yes, it does seem part of a big push to put the "personal" computer back behind the glass doors. No thankyou very fucking much. Scalable virtual computing does have its uses, but my personal computing is not one of those uses.

    3. poohbear
      Holmes

      Yup

      From 1995/1996. The terms and technology have morphed somewhat, as have the players, but the underlying principle remains the same. The article came out of an investigation into Win95.

      http://web.archive.org/web/20001003002647/http://users.lia.net/iandoug/computer/future.htm

      Been a long time coming, IBM was expecting it by 2005.

    4. Habeeb
      Megaphone

      Demoted? But in which context?

      you have to understand the context to when he said that Macs/PCs are being demoted. Unlike what a lot of commentators think, this icloud isn't there to replace your filesystem. Its not going to be the source for all your data. How can it be? They are only offering 5GB per account for misc data.

      No. What the icloud is, is that its a conduit to keep all your devices (iphone, ipod touch, ipad AND Mac/PCs) in sync. It does a lot that Google already does with its services and which may I add, works perfectly on iOS devices as well as Android devices. For now, its my calender and email that GOOG takes care off. Hate the way they handle my contacts so I sync my Address Book via iTunes/USB.

      With this iCloud, my address book, recent photos (upto the last 1000), calenders, my IWork files and any apps, music I purchase through iTunes is kept in sync across all my devices (upto 10 I believe).Through wifi/3G and this service is free.

      This does not keep my picture folder syncd. I have about 30 gigs of photos and about 28 gigs of music. To keep this syncd, I'll still need dropbox or sugarsync. iCloud will not help.

      What it can do for the pics is to have the last 1000 pics available on all the devices for instant gratification. But still useless if you ask me. As the new pics are not uploaded through 3G. So for example, I cant take a picture and ask the wife to show it to the in-laws using the AppleTV. I would have to be within WiFi. Which means either office (eh? whats in office I want to show my wife!!??) or home where I might as well connect through their fantastic AirPlay feature instead.

      Another negative point is the 1000 pics are limited to the "photo stream" album. So what happens when I move a picture to a folder say "kids". Is this reflected on all the devices? From the keynote/demo, it was not clear and I don't think it does so thats a big fail. I'm not going to move individual pics to appropriate albums on different devices. Thats where having dropbox/sugarsync helps.

      When it comes to music, they're offering a service called itunes Match for 24 bucks a year. What this does is scan your harddisk for all music (legit bought / ripped from CDs / piratebay(??)) and matches the songs with their online database. Once matched, its considered as in the cloud and is propagated to all your devices as high quality 256kb AAC files. Music in kept in sync depending on device capacity and for the price of 25 bucks a year. Any new music bought with iTunes is automatically added to all devices (including Macs/PCs) and upto 10 devices. Any songs that they can't match when first scanning, they will upload (probably convert and push to other devices). This matching service is extremely efficient and kudos to them. We've all heard how Google Music and Amazon has failed there by forcing actual uploads of all your music taking sometimes upto a week or more.

      The Match service for 25 bucks if it works as I understand, seems good value as in the slide, Jobs mentioned that it'll be the same 25$ for 20,000 songs (about 75-100 GB) also. Thats a lot of songs.... I have about 6,000 now and all the new music is shit so I don't expect that to grow very fast. If I compared this to dropbox/sugarsync, this 100 GB will cost me between 150-250$ a year. So their Match service is cheap.

      But if you have to have a dropbox to keep the pictures in sync, maybe this will not be so useful as is the case for me.

    5. Colin Millar
      Thumb Up

      &Cheese

      "Thin clients have their place" - Absolutely - and that place is in a skip

  7. adam 77
    Thumb Up

    into the cloud...

    Of course people need to move all of their data into the cloud so they can rent their own data from apple, google and others. Oh sure, the first 5GB is free, but who has only 5GB of data anymore?

    And when people cannot handle the latency or inconvenience apple will "invent" the local cloud "a cloud on your own computing iDevice". Google will soon copy them and fanbois will commense with the usual exchange of pleasantries.

  8. JEDIDIAH
    Linux

    Another USB?

    This sounds like something that might make sense someday but doesn't really make that much sense now that insufficient infastructure is present now. We still have a lot of people that have poor Internet connectivity and/or draconian data caps.

    Any solution that fixates on some remote server somewhere is fundementally out of step with current technological limitations. The cloud needs to be coralled in for now. Some day, it might work to have all of your eggs in Apple's basket on the other side of the world (or not). However, for now stuff needs to be close at hand because data's too big and network pipes are too small and expensive.

    The "cloud" needs to be an appliance that sits in your own home.

    1. Teddy the Bear
      Thumb Up

      Appliance that sits in your own home?

      One already does this - the Dane-Elec MyDitto. Accessible from anywhere with a net connection, relatively secure, and accessible from multiple devices. If it's access to data you're after, it works.

      Lacks the syncronisation of calendars/contacts/email though, which is a pity. Perhaps the MyDitto 2 will include software to do this...

  9. John Hawkins

    No support for legacy systems then?

    Illustrates a major risk with the Cloud concept quite nicely - when a company decides that a given Cloud service isn't hip enough any more (MobileMe in this case) and pulls the plug, punters using said service being phased out are shafted.

    In a data centres one can sometimes find decades old business critical systems doing quite nicely; in the Public Cloud, systems will need to be migrated whenever the Cloud owner decides it has had enough of the old platform.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Google works better

    With Google I can store "any amount of random files online" and have been - as backup. That includes an entire Unity3D project with lots of different binary files.

    I can also share them with selected people.

    Now that's useful.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Serious question, don't laugh. :-|

    So where do I stash my pr0n then ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      pr0n

      well there's bound to be a dedicated iBunny cloud sooner or later, or amazon have 32gb microSD's for a dollar and a half per gig

  12. Raphael

    data roaming

    I was over in Australia the other week (I live in NZ), and the data roaming was NZ$5/Mb (recently decreased from NZ$10/Mb). So as a result, my smart phone had data roaming turned off, and I wasn't paying the extortion rates that the hotel I was in charges for WiFi.

    This meant that the apps on my smartphone that rely on an internet connection were completely useless (like Navigation).

    And there-in lies the problem with the Cloud. Until we have dirt cheap (i.e. free/unlimited) wireless internet available globally, moving everything to the cloud simply isn't practical.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      Should've

      bought a Nokia.

      It suddenly becomes a lot more attractive if you're travelling a lot, thanks to Ovi maps being stored on the device.

  13. Gannon (J.) Dick
    Devil

    Study Jobs, it's an Education

    The Cloud is a rather classic swampland Real Estate swindle. Finding a tractor that works in a swamp is your 'only' problem.

    Steve,

    Could you tell me how this vision helps me to convince my Neanderthal Management to let me carry your access device ? Oh, my Neanderthal Management is right, they own me and everything I do, all the time I do it, which is always. FU, no, make that the square root of FU, because that is all you are worth to me when you tell me that I'm getting Bread & Circuses when in reality I have to sell Bread to buy Circuses. More and more The Heart of Apple-ness looks like a cheap sequel to Leopold's Belgian Congo.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    What Apple is really doing......

    Apple is moving to a yearly subscription service. You see this already with Apple dropping the price of Lion down to $29 bucks. I bet they will have at least one update a year for their users to purchase. If you don't upgrade then you will get an email stating all your data will be dumped in 6 months.

    Microsoft wishes it could get $29 bucks a year from Windows users. People are on Xp for how many years?, 10 years. 10 years * 29 = $290. And MS probably got $100 bucks for the retail copy of Xp and the OEM probably paid MS $50 at the most. The average end user got their copy of Xp from an OEM when they purchased their computer. $290.00 -$50 = $240 Apple has monetized over MS comparable product.

    Google strategy is to eliminate the filing system and get the user paying a flat fee for a suite of office productivity software. Which isn't the smarter plan.

    Apple get the best of both worlds, it gets the yearly subscription fee and still gets a cut of 30% from their app store for each program and/or media/print subscription sold. They can do this since they are keeping the local file system.

    Microsoft is playing catch up and has pissed off all there developers by announcing HTML5 and JavaScript is the preferred platform for Windows 8. The reason they are doing this is as follows.

    Microsoft has reached market saturation. There is no reason to keep buying their OS and Office Suites any longer. They have reached a point that the previous versions are just as good as the newer ones. People only upgrade now to Windows 7 because their laptop/desktop has a catastrophic failure and they need a new system. They don't have any real growth opportunities and this is reflected in their flat earning from year to year.

    Microsoft is deeply tied to the enterprise market and cannot do what Apple did and just dump their server market. So they are stuck by abandoning their developers and chasing after Apple and Google. Apple will make tons of money.

    The only way this is will all work is if the end user is stupid enough to overpay for applications, hardware and give all their data and info to Apple. And damn Apple does have a really gullible and crazed fanboi following.

    I respect Apple for is marketing. I don't think their products are worth a 10th of what people pay for them. It is cheap to design for a closed system. You see this with game developers and game consoles. It is more costly to design for a system that can support as many hardware devices as MS supports.

    The question is are you going to let Apple control your pocket book and data? Are you going to give up your privacy? Allow them to sell your online identity to corporations and marketing agencies? Are you going to let a corporate controlled cloud hold your data hostage. Or are you going to be smart about it and start voting with you wallets. If you lets this happen, you only have yourself to blame.

    Paris because you never heard her not take responsibility for all her messes.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Problem in your cost calculations

      First, the OSX Lion upgrade $29.99 is for up to 5 computers. How many computers can you use a Windows license?

      Apple gives away their OS with their computers, so initial cost is free. So your OEM fee calculation is wrong, you should at least deduct one year.

      It's been 4 1/2 years since Microsoft launched Vista. People didn't take it up because it was rubbish. If Apple released a rubbish upgrade on the same scale people wouldn't buy it either. Many Apple users are still using the 3 1/2 year old OSX Leopard because it was the last that supported PowerPC machines.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Paris Hilton

        Really you belive this?

        Really? Your Serious? Really?

        "Apple gives away their OS with their computers, so initial cost is free."

        Equals

        "And damn Apple does have a really gullible and crazed fanboi following."

        Paris because she even thinks you are that stupid.

    2. Dimitri

      Consumers are stupid only up to a point

      ...because they're (thankfully) limted by their pockets.

      It is wrong to assume that " the end user is stupid enough to overpay for applications, hardware and give all their data and info to Apple" - end users get fooled sometimes, but never all of them and never forever.

      Ultimately what Apple sells will need to offer value for money to succeed. Right now some Apple products do (iPhones, iPads) and are runnaway successes, some don't (Macs) and are succesful as niche products only, if at all (ATV?), and their services' success is also in line with the value they offer.

      There's a reason dropbox is so succesful while mobileme is a middling niche product. The value it offers is just that limited.

      We have to wait and see what iCloud really looks like and does but I wouldn't assume that consumers will be bamboozled by shiny toys into something monumentally stupid.

  15. JMichael11
    Stop

    iCloud is for Syncing Devices NOT Storage

    It seems that many posters as well as the author have completely missed the primary function of iCloud. It is NOT storage!

    It is for syncing the data (files or otherwise) on all of your computing devices.

    You data STILL resides on your local device even when it is in the iCloud.

    When you create or change a file on one device, the iCloud service will automatically upload it to the iCloud and push it down to your other devices. In some cases you will have a choice of what to actually download/store on another device.

    For example, while all of your photos will be kept on your Mac using iPhoto, only those photos you choose will be stored on your iPhone and/or iPad.

    Don't take my word for it. View the keynote video of the Apple WWDC and it will be very clear.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Stage 1

      Clearly network resources are currently not sufficient to do away entirely with local storage at the moment but the plan is very much to turn Apple into the gatekeeper of your data by pretending there isn't a file system that you can access independently. Once this principle is established the devices you sell can become simply by reducing or removing local storage options. A Macbook without USB for instance using Thunderbolt to license only storage systems which sync with online storage.

      A mate of mine who has both an iphone and an ipad and loves them both finds the lack of a file system to be the biggest single problem and a good reason for not buying their eventual replacements from Apple.

      1. Dimitri

        Definitely right

        Applies to me too. I love my iPad 2 and IP4 but I'm looking forward to Windows 8 tablets with real file systems, integrated SMB etc. For the phone it could go either way, stick with Apple or switch to whatever looks nice with WP7 or Android.

        I don't think we're quite at the point where mobile/computing convergence is really a fact yet.

    2. Howard Hamaker
      Meh

      Apple loves people like you.

      If I was a large corporation I would love the iCloud. I would have my users stream all their personal data. Like music and pictures. There is nothing illegal or wrong with me creating a database on my system that would build a online profile about you.

      I can get a very good sense where you live from the location info I get from your ip address.

      I then figure out your age by the music you have on your devices.

      I can have face recognition software that scan your pictures and builds an internal data base of who you associate with. Friends, family and co-workers.

      I will know what apps you buy and software you run on your computers. Because you buy your software thru my services now.

      You can stop buying software and delete your music and photos but there is nothing that says I have to delete my very valuable data I have collected about you. I then can make lots and lots of money selling this info.

      No one gets how this whole cloud thing works. No you have it all figure out but you. You are so smart. So damn smart.

      1. Dimitri
        Thumb Up

        Nice one but...

        ...I think you just described the Google business model here than apple - I doubt apple gets this anywhere near enough the level you describe;-)

  16. Rattus Rattus
    Flame

    iThink...

    ...Jobs can get fucked if he thinks I'm giving control of my data over to anyone but me. iWill hold on to my local filesystems, TYVM.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Facepalm

    Hacking at RSA, Sony, etc... great timing

    "Files are so 1990. ... I don’t think we need files anymore"

    Yeah, same thing with cars: they are so 1960, I don't think we need cars anymore.

    "You just want to get information into the cloud. When people use our Google Docs, there are no more files. You just start editing in the cloud, and there’s never a file.”

    Phew, you got me scared for a minute: I thought something bad was gonna happen, but now it's clear that this guy is out of touch and has no effing idea whatsoever about what he's talking about. Is he an exec? If not, he should be promoted, he's got what it takes.

  18. Peter Gathercole Silver badge
    Mushroom

    This is all fine

    as long as the only data you keep is in a form understood by the cloud. I must admit that I have only Google Docs to go on (and I don't use that much), but it appears to me that if you want to keep some data that does not fit with the applications supported, you will struggle.

    Of course, as I have often said, I am not a typical user any more, and many people only use data of defined types 'music', 'pictures', 'video', 'documents (embracing email, letters, the odd spreadsheet)', but as long as there is no generic data container (think file), I will not be able to work totally in the cloud, and probably won't at all (damn, wrong already - I've just remembered that I'm using gmail a lot now).

    Computers are a generic tool to me. I may use one any time for a purpose I have not yet thought about. I'm regularly throwing gigabytes of data around my home network, and have not got sufficient bandwidth to do that over the 'net.

    All of this hype about the 'Cloud' is currently just a wet-dream of the people who want to tie-and-charge consumers (I won't say customers) into their money generating machines. It may change to an benevolent altruistic model, but I'm not holding my breath.

  19. Dante

    Your username and/or password are incorrect

    I think I'll stick with my NAS thankingyouverymuch. All my devices can connect to it, don't *have* to have an internet connection to access it (unless I'm not at home obv) and the most important thing; I control it and there's no data mining, profiling or whatever.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All you datum are belong to Jobs

    Admittedly I do own an iPod, because the hardware is fab. I've installed Rockbox on it though ;)

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fundamental Change

    Like a video on demand service compared to your own DVDs.

    You will no longer own your data, you will rent it.

    Other than in a collaborative environment I can see no compelling reason in storing my files in the cloud. Personal storage cheap and easily sync'd

    As usual I have to wonder "what's in it for them ?" Why do these companies want to hold and store my files. Generosity ? Or attempting to build up some dependency on my behalf. At that point I can be "monetised".

  22. Elmer Phud
    IT Angle

    Clouds become ISP's?

    O.K., so we have Apple, Microsoft, Google, Amazon etc. etc. all busy building cloudy systems, all busy punting for our data.

    Is this the next step -- as suggested in the article's title - with access to separate clouds being separate content providers. We sign up and only need access to the cloud, the cloud providers also run the DHCP side of it so no further need for the middle man.

    It's sort of 'back to the future' when, in days gone by, your ISP had options for storage of photo's, documents etc. etc.. Those bits were flogged off/ dropped or became specialised and then flogged off or bought into and then dropped as the business model changed/got rid of competitors.

    I still can't see what is so new and special -- apart from the companies needing to get returns on thier spending so wrap it all up as if it were a brand new product.

    The roads are the same, the cars still have four wheels and they still use petrol. There is now air-con, crumple-zones, bluetooth integratoin, ABS etc.etc but it's still a car. Driving hasn't changed much - other than promoting more bad habits - the roads get wider and by-passes are made and on a good day it's faster than it used to be.

    Hmm, someone convince me it's not much different than before, someone, please!

    (I need the 'Badger' Icon)

  23. piran
    WTF?

    Cloudy GBs... we use wired TBs (own here on the real world).

    Around 8TBs on a wired Gigabit private intranet and that's slow enough for (unencrypted) data use and backup - server to workstations. Spread this (now needing encryption) to the cloud, consider ISP bandwidth charges, data throughput rate, outages, unexpected losses, external non-negotiable unhandled legacy issues, commercial service black/greymail (let's be honest here), cross-service compliance (let's be honest here), the we're-very-sorry-but-all-your-non-filing-system-files-are-missing-hope-that's-not-too-inconvenient scenarios... Well, that's a no-brainer - hook me up right now (*NOT*).

  24. Paranoid
    FAIL

    Hey, you, get off of my cloud.

    Looking forward to storing my multi-track music recordings in the cloud. Especially with my rural broadband. Anyway, I've got a PPC Mac and an iphone 3G so I'm not allowed on Steve's special cloud. It's time to start using that GMail account and sign up to dropbox for me.

  25. Alpha Tony

    Hmmmm...

    So what happens when Apple want to stop supporting an older product?

    If Microsoft want to stop supporting (say) Windows XP then - sure - you can't get updates for it but you can still keep using it locally just as you always did; access all your existing files, still use word 97 for your word processing, install the games you bought etc.

    You use this service and when Mr Jobs decides that your shiny bit of plastic is getting a bit old then 'sorry - your mac/ipod/ipad is no longer supported. To connect to the cloud (and access all your data) you need to buy a new one'. Ker-ching.

  26. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    WTF?

    I'm still not convinced.

    This 'cloud' thing is doing my head in.

    I've said before: my data, my device, and get your sticky fingers off it - but that's doable provided you've got good encryption on your files (i.e. better than the NSA have - seems unlikely, but you never know...)

    And I can see that there's no reason to call whatever you store on the cloud a 'file' - but if you call it a 'picture' or a 'sound' or a 'movie' it's surely just another name for it? It will need some kind of unique identifier, whether it's a file name or a hash or whatever - even if it's just an entry in a database, there's an implicit file system there.

    It's becoming clear that the 'cloud' is not going to be an extension of a local file system in the way that say a USB hard disk is, but I'm unconvinced by 'storage as a service' for joe public. With the thick end of a terabyte of local private data and an upload speed through my ISP of about 100kB/s... well, it'd be a while before my data found its way up there.

    I'm failing to see many advantages it may have over a couple of removable hard drives... ah, but what do I know? I'm such a fossil I still program in C.

  27. Nabil Shabka

    It's beginning to AOLian

    Sounds like everyone is turning to the AOLian Big Brother method. Lock everyone completely into one ecosystem. May they all go the route of AOL.......

  28. Mike123456
    Coffee/keyboard

    Just checked...

    ~ 90 Gig in my Users folder, excluding music.

    I know i need to do some filing, and pruning of my stuff, but the pertinent point here is it's MY stuff on MY 1Tb hard drive.

    No Tiger for me then, PC ahoy!

    1. Levente Szileszky

      RE: Just checked..

      1. For music try Google Music (beta), its 20k song limit regardless of size is really generous and you can still buy more space.

      2. You can copy any file up to 1GB size into your Google account via Docs, for free. When you run out of space you can get more for cheap - your 80-100GB should be around $20-30 per year.

      3. It's Lion aka OS X 10.7 (Tiger was OS X 10.4, the first *actually* usable, mostly bug-free OS X.)

  29. David Haworth

    paranoid much?

    for crying out loud people, these commends all sound like the ravings of paranoid lunatics.

    As far as i can see, apple aren't trying to get rid of local storage, they're not trying to be gatekeepers of your data, they're not trying to insist that all your data is always downloaded and rented back to you, they're not shafting anyone etcetc. I don't know for sure, but I don't really think that steve is a member of SPECTRE either.

    Apple make products for people to buy. if they don't make what people want, they people don't buy them (look at mobileme as an example). They seem to have a rough "master plan" of what they think will work for people and how they'll get there, and often (but nto always) they're right. this can e seen by the obscene amounts of cash they are making. they're not forcing it out of people's hands you know. people are willingly paying money for goods they think are worth the price.

    From what I can see, this icloud stuff is a way to try and get multiple devices (iphone, ipod, ipad, mac, pc) in sync for certain types of data without keep having to plug stuff into each other. lets face it, this is part of the utopian future dream many seem to have, and it tends to fit in with apple's general ethos of trying to make things "just work as you think they ought to".

    However I'm sure you won't be forced to use it if you don't want to, for one, enterprise users won't use it. but it's an option, and for most people, I imagine it's a damn good and useful option. taking a picture on an iphone and having it appear "auto-magically" in iphoto without plugging my iphone in? that's brilliant. hell, I want that for my nikon! (there's about 2 months of pics on there now, un-downloaded).

    syncing contacts and calendars is all good stuff. using the icloud stuff to save and distribute app documents is good too, esp as it is extendable to other apps. should be very useful. means you could edit your wedding spreadsheet on your laptop at home, and then on your ipad an hour later at the hotel after the meeting with the manager. no messing about tcopying files across or manually keeping things in sync. this is good stuff.

    the flipside is that you're trusting apple with data. that said, does apple have a history of data mining? I don't recall if ti does. I'd be mroe concerned with data being within the grasp of the american government. Will they provide any encryption? they've not given us enough info to know yet but honestly, for most people, I don't think they'll care either way. the usefulness will outweigh any perceived deficiency.

    As for people being shafted, where? mobileme users? hardly. they've been given a free extension for a year, and that year as notice of termination of service. that's hardly being shafted. all the data they may have there is in standard formats that can be retreived and sent elsewhere and I'm sure that someone at an applestore will help you move your data if you ask them.

    in the future could they upgrade icloud for a new OS and then prevent lion users connecting? of course they could, but I've not seen anything yet to imply that they would, or that if they did, they wouldn't give enough time for users to get their data off first.

    come on guys, I know some people don't like apple gear, but there's no need to get quite so paranoid about it all.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Devil

      No one is paranoid and it is a "utopian future dream"

      I am a small business owner. Please respond to my comments and leave your full name, phone #, address,SSN, place of employment, date of birth, pictures of all your children and family members.

      And I promises as a company I will not do anything with your data. Just agree to my EULA.

      Oh and in this "Golden Age of Utopia" there are no hackers going after you personal info and data either. No, not at all. So feel free to post the above data and anything else. Please.

      EULA: I have no responsibility for any personal info and data you give me. Oh and by law a corporation has to do everything in it power to make money for it's shareholders.

  30. Michael 5

    Very inaccurate writeup

    You obviously either were not paying attention to the technical aspects, or you just are not technical enough to understand the differences.... but iCloud is not a conventional cloud service. Devices have their own local copies. iCloud from the app stand point is about propigation but with a mild failsafe mechanism. iCloud is NOT a cloud service on order to Google Docs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Stop

      Be careful

      before posting such clear and fact based ideas here. You'll just get downvoted or have your comment removed by a moderator.

      El Reg has no space for such fact-backed statements.

  31. Levente Szileszky
    Facepalm

    Sometimes I wonder: will Apple ever come up with something on its own...?

    Granted, I didn't expect to much anyway - another predictable 'meeetoo' by Apple, following Google, Amazon etc. The whole history of their online services reads like a classic copycat operations, aimed at clueless Apple users: before subscription-based, overpriced MobileMe there was subscription-based, overpriced .Mac and even if we consider free iTools their earliest (beta) predecessor - I don't - that wasn't different either: non-supported webmail, hosting etc which were already available on the market. But hey, once you are locked into this platform you gotta buy the same 'brand', right?

    But seriously: iCloud...?

    I cannot think of a worse name... It's fitting though: no creative thinking, tacky, cheesy - classic Steve "Freedom from Porn" Jobs aka Apple.

    1. Adam T

      Re: will Apple ever come up with something of its own...?

      What, you mean like the iPhone, the iPad, the iMac, stylus-free touchpads, simple, affordable development and distribution for developers on a mass-market platform (not Linux, I mean a platform that makes money).

      Everybody copies from everybody. If there are no original ideas, then the originality has to be in how you use the ideas, and that's innovation.

      iCloud isn't like the other cloud offerings. Yeah of course it looks like they're copying, because some things are just bleeding obvious... if they didn't include the obvious, everyone would complain (like cut & paste).

      I don't like the naming much either, but it's just a name. What it does is what counts. Is it going to be any good? We won't know till we try it. Bit like iPhone... dissed to hell before it was released, and look - it's turned the mobile world upside down.

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        @Adam T

        I think that all of the examples you quoted show Apple refined other peoples ideas.

        The iPhone, slick though it is, is just a smart phone, and people like Compaq/HP and Palm were selling smart phones with touch screens long before Apple.

        The iPad is a touch screen tablet. Many of these before the iPad, but again the iPad is very well executed.

        iMac - Pretty for it's time, but in no way was it the first system-in-a-box with a keyboard and mouse. I could point out several CP/M systems from the early '80s with similar form-factors, and the classic Macintosh pre-dated the iMac.

        Stylus free touchpads. Goodness. How long have Synaptics been around?

        Development and distribution. I know of several websites that will allow purchase and delivery of applications direct to a device, even to smart phones. I'm not too sure about a development environment, I don't know whether this is actually integrated into iTunes, because I do not write such apps.

        BTW, you missed out iPod, or maybe you realised that that was not the first in it's field either.

        Apple are great at industrial and ergonomic design. No doubt about that. But innovative?

        Now, for innovative, try thinking Nintendo with the Gameboy and Wii. It is possible to be first in the field.

        1. Adam T

          @Peter Gathercole

          iPod, yeah I left that out just to avoid an extra confrontation :)

          You're right, all these things are derivatives of previous ideas - hell, they're all derivative of computers, form factors and business practices even - but everybody's at it, why else do we see everybody suing each other over patent infringement claims? Google, Oracle, Microsoft, Et Cetera...none of these people are our friends - they're hungry animals: we're food.

          Gameboy and Wii were cool moments in gaming history. Nintendo always had a gift for looking at things from different angles and taking risks, but where are those products in the grand scheme of things? Nintendo has a huge problem interfacing with developers...there's no secret to why most games on Nintendo systems are 1st party. Innovation without long-term success is worthless, unless you count the fact that we wouldn't have Move and Kinect if they hadn't lit a match under Sony/MS's beds. And they're doing great now.

          This is an industry of commercial innovation - it's reading what people want and feeding it to them with a straw. Man I hate those milkshakes you get from McDonalds that you can't suck up the shake because it's so solid...but I love them, they're so damned tasty. Mmm sugar.

          Maybe Apple's made of sugar. Same shit, but with extra sugar on top, and they just add a little extra every 12 months like clockwork. Not everybody's fooled, but you can't help thinking it tastes good. And it looks good too, because they care about appearances. And it comes in nicer packaging, because they learned that people like things that are well presented, and don't need wiki to understand. You see where I'm going? Innovation isn't just about new, it's also about just doing it a little bit different.

          Now I want a milkshake. :/

          1. alwarming
            Paris Hilton

            Innovation debate

            I would tend to agree with Adam-T here.. Innovation is more of an application of an idea than coming up with a truly innovative idea. For example in the consumer electronics division, wii might have been a pioneer and an innovator... but was it a purely original idea ? NO. Accelerometers have been in use for years in electronic devices... but Nintendo was innovative enough to see it's value in electronic games.

            Paris, coz she copied he idea of a tape leak but was innovative in sprouting a career out of it...

      2. Levente Szileszky
        FAIL

        RE: Adam T aka the classic clueless Apple fanbase...

        .... who thinks all the things they didn't have a clue about before Apple showed them shouldn't have existed at all. RIIIIIGHT.

        "What, you mean like the iPhone, the iPad, the iMac, stylus-free touchpads, simple, affordable development and distribution for developers on a mass-market platform (not Linux, I mean a platform that makes money)."

        Case in point... no, I mean exactly UNLIKE these well-known copycats made by Apple.

        Thanks for confirming my old belief about the inherent clueless nature of any true Apple-zealot, though. :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      DId you miss

      the part where this service has nothing to do with what Google or Amazon do?

      1. Levente Szileszky

        RE: DId you miss

        ...you mean beyond providing EXACTLY the same services like Amazon's MP3, VOD or Google's Picasa, Docs, Gmail, Music or all the 50+ *other* Google products and services Apple have yet to fully copy in the future?

        You Kool-Aid drinkers are funny, I give you that - I imagine your Puritan-In-Chief pulls out a white paper and says "this paper is black" and you will immediately start parroting it's black.

        I know, I know, there's no spoon...

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    Article has it wrong, posters have it wrong.

    Get yourself a dev account and read the iCloud Storage APIs (yes, Storage).

    It's not what you think. And it's not just about syncing - in fact it doesn't sync anything, it pushes data. Yeah semantics, but there is a difference if you look for it.

    And it's not limited to iOS or OS X. Did you miss the part about Pictures folder in Windows?

  33. vincent himpe

    the problem with clouds

    is that they tend to bring rain ....

    What if someone hacks this cloud and gets a hold of my personal files ? i do not want leaky clouds ...

  34. Henk Poley

    Not private internet

    This Steve Jobs *private storage and backup* idea:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LEXae1j6EY#t=13m10s

  35. Graham Lockley

    Oh how we laughed...

    >Apple gives away their OS with their computers, so initial cost is free.

    That made me chuckle.... you were being ironic right ?

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