There Is No Cloud

in Deep Dives2 months ago

I'm sure you've heard this saying before: "There is no cloud. It's just someone else's computer." I don't know exactly when or where it appeared originally, I only know it's been more than a decade ago. Now I understand also that it was an early precursor to the slogan "You'll own nothing. And you'll be happy."


source: YouTube

I work at a large Internet Service Provider in The Netherlands, and have been employed there since 2006. For the last decade we've been offering Interactive TV as well, making our subscriptions a complete package with Internet, Telephone, Mobile Phone and IP TV as well. As you know, with IP TV the end-user can make recordings of their favorite programs to watch them at a time that suits them. Just like in the good old VHS video-tape days, I thought at first. That was a mistake though; IP TV is a cloud-based streaming service, which means that "your" recordings aren't stored on your local set-top box, but on "the cloud." And that comes with a lot of restrictions...

These restrictions are there because now we've entered the ugly world of "licensing" and "copyrights." You see, the ISP doesn't determine what end-users can and can not record; that's determined by the TV stations, and they in turn sign deals with lots the creators of programs and publishers of films and series. And because it's a cloud-based service, end-users have no control whatsoever over "their" recorded material. I remember making a lot of noise a decade ago, about some of the restrictions. One of them is that ALL recordings are stored for a maximum of one year. After one year "your" recording will be erased. This made me furious, because people are sometimes invited to participate in a TV Quiz program, you know, like Jeopardy or something like that, and maybe they want to record their own appearance, their own "15 minutes of fame." And maybe they want to save that recording, store it on a DVD to show their children or grandchildren; well, too bad, that's not possible anymore...

You can of course phone the TV station and BUY a DVD with the program. Maybe. If you're lucky. But this was the first time I got to really consider the implications of cloud-based services and subscription models as opposed to owning your own stuff. I hate to say it, but it's been a downhill roller-coaster ride since then. Things got worse and worse, and culminated in that infamous World Economic Forum video called "8 predictions for the world in 2030," which opened with the slogan "You'll own nothing. And you'll be happy." If you're a gamer, you've been in this dystopia for a while now. You buy a game, take it home from the store or download it via Steam, only to notice that you need to be permanently connected to the internet to play it. And you need the internet connection to activate the software. You haven't bought a game. You've paid for a license which gives you permission to play their game.

The Great Reset: “You’ll own nothing and you’ll be happy.” (World Economic Forum)

I've stopped using Adobe Creative Suit ever since it became a subscription based service and now use Gimp, which is free and open source. Say you're a creative professional, and you're enduring some hard times, so much so that you temporarily can't afford the subscription fees. But you need to use the software to access your portfolio and edit your files to be able to get the income-stream going again... See the problem here? Adobe already was a multi-billion company but, like with everything else in this capitalist-ruled world, it wasn't enough...

All capitalists want to become landlords. They hate it that when you buy their products, they lose control over their products. They hate it. What's more; a product can only be sold once. They hate that too. They want every product to become a steady stream of income, so they won't sell them anymore; they'll just give you permission to use them, they'll license them out with a EULA full of restrictions and a fee to be paid in order to extend the license, a subscription fee. Closely related to all this is the discussion around right to repair; Apple is the go to example of a manufacturer that makes it nigh impossible for end-users to repair or have their phones and tablets repaired. This is another indication of the evolution towards you not really owning "your" stuff.

Now let me take a moment to say that there's nothing wrong in principle with this idea of not owning anything. Really, there isn't. I don't need to own a music CD, as long as I'm able to play the songs I want to hear when I want to hear them. I don't need to own a house, as long as I have a place to live and my privacy is respected. I don't need to own a power drill, which I only use twice in a lifetime whenever I move to a new place, as long as I have access to the use of a power drill when I need one. Ownership isn't necessary to be happy; access is. That part the WEF got right. But, like with everything else on the planet, as soon as you throw capitalism into the mix, the recipe fails. The problem is that only ownership provides that access, and as long as that problem isn't eradicated, only ownership will make us happy.

Streaming services make our lives better, there's no doubt. It's the constant exploitation that sours the milk of live. All the technology in mobile phones was financed by the government. The internet was financed by the government. By your tax dollars. They should be free to use, then no one would complain about not having a right to repair, and no company would lock access to that game-show you starred in behind some licensing scheme. I'll leave you with this video from an old school PC repair man who warns us about the direction PC's are going in; they will soon not be your property anymore, even when you've paid for them. Watch it, as it has some very useful and alarming information about the Windows operating system and how it monopolizes the PC industry.

Windows 11 Must Be Stopped - A Veteran PC Repair Shop Owner's Dire Warning - Jody Bruchon

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Libertarians used to call this process "rent seeking." The ruling class wants a world where their power and position is secured while the world at large must pay heavy rents to exist.

Rent seeking is a great term and you will find people who are seeking rents in a variety of places. Here on HIVE we have a ruling class that seeks rent with the creation of a 20% interest on HIVE.

The interest is guaranteed by HIVE. The people who know the equations behind HIVE know this and the price of HIVE has been falling faster than bitcoin.

I really wish people would balk against negative ideas like this.


If the hardware, has to have Windows, it's an easy change to enforce crypto confiscation through the platforms where you have your keys on.

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