[clug] Declining attendance?

steve jenkin sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au
Sun Oct 14 19:59:00 MDT 2012

Andrew Janke wrote on 15/10/12 11:29 AM:
>> I am frustrated daily by the capture of my personal data in very
>> useful cloud computing services where it is hard to access, migrate, and
>> may cost ridiculous sums for "premium" services, etc. Furthermore, my data
>> is now vulnerable to the changing whims of the service provider
> +1  (says yet another poster with a gmail address).
> So quick! go write me an "opencloud" style thing that has a credible
> alternative to gmail+google drive+google calendar that I can run from
> home or from my own machine at home (let's call it a "fog", it's a
> cloud in genesis) or on a machine somewhere out there that I pay
> for...
> what if I say please?
> with sugar on top?
> a

To wade in...

I use gmail because it'll work anywhere, but I don't trust it.

Like Scott says in a later post, GOOG is a company bound by Profits not

Google mine large datasets for Fun and Profit.
This is what they are good at, better than anyone else.

Your gmail account is just more grist to their mill. You have to take it
as read that they index and deeply analyse all your messages that touch

Scott encrypts all his gmail messages to deny them that ability on his
private, personal communication.

Why not "just the ones that should be kept secret?"
Because then they can tell *which* messages would be interesting to
crack... If everything is encrypted, you don't give away
sorting/precedence information.

Until I heard Robert Morris Snr talk about his time at the NSA, I was a
bit naive... In the 1990's (how many generations of CPU ago was *that*?)
it cost the NSA around $10MM per decrypt.

For these guys that do code-breaking on an Industrial Scale, backed by
near-infinite resources and some of the best brains on the planet, they
view the problem differently: where to spend our money to get the best

Look again at that list: what's different about GOOG?
We don't *know* they do or don't do code-breaking.

They could and we wouldn't know. Probably not ever.
Those 1M+ servers that GOOG run: only a small fraction (5%?) are used
for production searching. Not sure about Gmail and their other Apps.
Which begs the question: What problems do GOOG burn Megawatts on with
the largest single collection of servers known to exist. [Secret
Squirrel stuff will be classified for a long time yet.]

We also don't know what information that some US Agency might demand of
them under their anti-terrorism laws, which I presume are like ours and
say "not only cannot you tell anyone we've talked to you, if you do,
we'll throw you in jail".

Here's a simple metric:
 If you don't physically control the media you store information on, you
have to regard it as "public".

 If you don't have the source code of the Apps using your data, Why do
you think you'll be able to access it still tomorrow?

I use these cloud services because they are convenient, but I don't
trust them very far...
They are not Charities and they are in Foreign Lands, beyond my reach.

==> I think Bob's stance of avoiding them is very principled.

Steve Jenkin, Info Tech, Systems and Design Specialist.
0412 786 915 (+61 412 786 915)
PO Box 48, Kippax ACT 2615, AUSTRALIA

sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au http://members.tip.net.au/~sjenkin

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