When we think about cryptographic keys, we tend to think about closely guarded secrets. Keys are the only thing that keeps the attacker away from your encrypted data. Some keys are usually treated with the appropriate level of respect. Security professionals in the payments industry, or those that have deployed a PKI, know all too well about the importance... 

Richard Moulds

Ready For My Closeup, Mr. DeMille: the Cloud and Stardom

Ready For My Closeup, Mr. DeMille: the Cloud and Stardom

The marriage of technology and celebrity has produced several happy unions throughout the history of popular culture. The most recent affair features a delightfully polygamous relationship between directors John “Titanic” Cameron and Martin “Mean Streets” Scorsese with the resurgence of 3-D film. After Cameron’s all-time hit of “Avatar,” the latter prestigious auteur answered with “Hugo,” a three-dimensional love letter of a film to cinema itself.

Both pop-out-of-the-screen projects have attracted Oscar buzz.

Buzzing around Tinseltown as of late is a new appreciation of cloud computing, and its potential contribution to the superstar crop.

Lesly Kahn & Company, a major Hollywood acting school, made web headlines for its switch to the cloud. After years of regular technological snafus, cloud computing has streamlined LK & C’s operation. Described as “1,000 times more efficient,” the school has vastly improved how well it communicates notes and analyses on its acting students and their work. A future Cate Blanchett groomed at LK & C could fulfill her promise that much sooner, thanks to the school’s empowered ability to track her growth and steer her in directions that will challenge her technique — all thanks to the cloud.

Actors aspiring to cinematic greatness ought to take a lesson from Michelle Williams, the popular Hollywood starlet whose current role as Marilyn Monroe is courting significant Academy Award attention. Monroe arguably stands as pop culture’s flagship icon; playing her would prove no easier than interpreting Elvis Presley, James Brown, or Cher.

An incredibly studious actress, Williams recognized the need for extensive preparation. One of her most important educational tools: YouTube, probably cloud computing’s greatest success so far. The more obscure videos likely provided Williams with examples of Marilyn at her most authentic.

Future actors should keep abreast of the latest cloud applications, if only to find the next website or program that can help them find truthful inspiration for their roles.

Actors, alongside the other major populations of the film industry, should also prick up their ears at the sound of a hugely important new development in cinema: the forthcoming movie deal between Apple and Hollywood studios.

Film execs have grimaced for years over the extent to which piracy has decimated their profits; instead of heading to cineplexes, folks can easily wait out a movie’s release in favor of bootlegging an internet copy a few months — or weeks — later.

Apple’s dominance, in particular, presents a supreme opportunity to bridle the Web’s free distribution of popular movie titles. For future Hollywood stars, this development could mean a shift away from just creating films and into larger positions of salesmanship.

Celebrity smiles can entice people into theaters, Hollywood would hope, better than a blank-faced computer screen. More beautiful, charismatic, or balls-to-the-wall loony performers may be favored in the future for this reason: there’s something about them that gets the public to pay attention, and pay for their movies.

By Jeff Norman

About 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.