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2011’s Top Turkeys: This Year’s Blunders With Less Good Sense, More Gobble

2011’s Top Turkeys: This Year’s Blunders With Less Good Sense, More Gobble

As you candy your yams and stuff your stomach with stuffing, here are some thoughts on cloud computing news this year we weren’t entirely thankful for.

Apple

Major software company Apple essentially helped to pave the way for the ABCs of cloud computing. Yet if everybody plays the fool sometimes, Apple’s failure to “green” up their portion of the cloud is downright silly. GreenPeace’sHow Dirty Is Your Data?” evaluated the data headquarters of the world’s top 10 companies this April, and revealed Apple’s environmental shortcomings. It relies more energy produced from coal burning than any other such organization — a whopping 54.5 percent of its power. Yet Apple remains ignorant to this alarmingly bad publicity. Plans continue for its $1-billion iData plant in North Carolina, the fuel for which will consist more than 60% of coal. Normally we’d condemn the company with a lump of coal for Christmas, but in this case…

Gmail

Arguably, GMail has done more to galvanize the cloud community than any other product. As one of the most ubiquitous web offerings, even retirees in Boca Raton are not immune to its expansive reach. Nevertheless, some circles have chastised the program for boasting a few too many frills. IT in Context reminded us of GMail’s ornate faults: its speed leaves something to be desired, and the cascading e-mail feature annoys more than it pleases. Granted, GMail did recently launch a new and improved interface, just in time for the holiday season. We’d still liken the program’s engineers to Henry Ford. Both have created incredibly useful tools for society. But Lamborghini-level craftsmanship will take some time to reach.

The Cloud’s Security

How easily could we instigate a conversation on the cloud security polemic? We could direct you to the Los Angeles Times, who recently blasted SaaS and the like on the issue. Search for the topic online, and presto: more than 59 million results arrive, ready for you to peruse. This article’s scope prevents us from wading through it all. Yet suffice it to say that the cloud still demands a significant overhaul in terms of its protection for consumers and businesses. InfoSecurity points out that nearly one quarter of companies fear that the cloud doesn’t deserve their trust. Some counsel to keep you safe amid the cloud this holiday? Always back up your files. Heighten your own data center’s security to supermax levels. And perform a recon job on the exact location of your data in the wild blue yonder.

By Jeff Norman

Jeff Norman

Jeff Norman is a freelance writer currently based in New York City. He's moved into writing about cloud computing from substantial work in culture and the arts. He earned his undergraduate degree in English at Stanford and has studied at Oxford and Cambridge.

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