Why the Cloud Sucks

|Why I Hate Cloud Based Technologies|

How don’t they suck?

Give me one way that cloud based applications and tools are better than their downloadable and installed counterparts (i.e. Photoshop or Office – now vs then)?

They’re not.

They’re just tools with strings attached.

It’s like going to the store and buying a hammer; but you’re only allowed to use it for a year. After that you have to renew your right to use the hammer. That’s the difference between cloud based and native applications.

One might argue that some cloud based applications allow you to buy a license for life. That’s great. Now I just have to ensure that I always have an internet connection when I want to use my hammer.

– Obivious

Oblivious in Dubai: Part 13

Five days later…

I board in Halifax; connect in Toronto; and land after sunset in Dubai.

I work my way through the fantastical arrivals process at the Dubai International Airport. Deplane; head down the escalator; stand on conveyor belt after conveyor belt as old ladies pass by in electric golf carts chaperoned by portly airport employees. Fleeting eye-based interactions with those passing me on the parallel track heading in the opposite direction.

Ads… ads… so many ads.

Posters and billboards and signs, oh my. Miles of rubber track; broken into hundred meter sections; separated by ceramic tile-work. Step off of one belt – click, click, click, click, click – step on to the next. The wheels of my carry-on bag strike the grout between the tiles in an almost musical fashion. The soothing pattern I notice may only be soothing as a result of my exhaustion and jet-lag.

The beer included on the trans-Atlantic flight probably contributed to my acknowledgement of this beautiful, rhythmic pattern.

Ascend an escalator to customs; passport stamped; proceed to baggage.

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Waiting for our bags to hit the pick-up conveyor; I browse the duty-free liquor store. So much sauce; so much bank; so much confiscation if I tried to take it on base.

Not that I had any desire to; I wanted to take it back to Canada with me – but I was heading in the opposite direction.

Make a mental note to stop here on my next flight home.

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Grab my bags then work my way through the hoards of people leaving the airport. We funnel into an underground taxi-queue; shuffling past the booths of car-rental companies.

While standing in line, I see a dwarf who appears to be from India or Bangladesh. A few feet away are a young child of three or four and his father. The boy is sitting in the basket of the luggage cart while laughing hysterically and pointing at the vertically challenged man who did him no harm.

The father laughs along with the child; making no effort to stop the unwarranted abuse.

The lack of politically correct behavior disturbed me.

I get into my cab; hand the driver the business card from the hotel I was at only a week before; and we depart. He calls his dispatcher for directions.

We arrive and I greet the doorman. Abdul comes outside and raises both arms. “Abdul!” I yell.

Abdul smiles and waves me over as he approaches me. We shake hands; each asking how the other is; and he shows me to my room.

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Enter Oblivious in Dubai Part One or move on to Oblivious In Dubai Part Fourteen

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‘Dessert for the Mind’ by The Reverend

Let’s continue.

So hopefully I grabbed your attention with my last article, and you’re beginning to question how well you absorb the culture around you; whether you’re doing as good as you can. I’m not letting you off the hook yet! How many times have we listened to our parents drone on about how music these days sucks, that vinyl was better, blah blah blah….

These old fogies have a point, though many of them (if they’re not averse to accepting the world around them) have adopted this “iCulture”.

Let’s say you buy music (hurrah!!) directly from a certain iMerchant for your sonic device. Maybe you buy the whole album, maybe just the single(s). It’s already great that you’re employing this fine service to acquire music legally from their vast database of musical history. *high five*

Now, once you have this music downloaded, how are you interacting with it? More often than not, we buy into this so-called shuffle culture. We throw it on shuffle to exercise, drive, shop, clean. Is this really giving credit to the artist, is this really interaction?

Let’s come back to our parents. Why was music better for them? Why was vinyl better?

Interaction.

Which, of these two examples, seems to be more of a “Listening experience”?

  • Throwing on those sweet $300 Beats plugged into our iPhone to shuffle through some pirated mp3s of dubious quality (at least try and do better than 192k, people) as background noise to keep us from having to talk to the people around us.
  • Popping out a vinyl, placing the stylus, being forced to listen to one side after another, without skipping tracks (possible to do, but annoying). Absorbing the weeks of writing, recording and mastering work, done to provide the most honest capture of mood, dynamics and songwriting.

Now sure, I applied some much more intimate imagery to the vinyl experience. It might seem biased, but that’s literally what it’s like. Can you really employ the same descriptive language to listening to music on an ipod?

This is why our parents seem to be so marked by the music of their youth. Why do we, amidst all these technical advances, affordable technology, not have this experience? Why is it so easy for us to forget a single as soon as the next hit is released?

To me, it seems to be because we aren’t interacting with our music anymore.

All in all, what I’m trying to get at here is that sometimes; in this fast paced world of instant information, instant culture, right here, right now mentality; it’s nice to slow down sometimes and really take something in. Without having to climb a mountain, you can see a sunset over breathtaking landscape. Without training, you can travel to space. It’s all there for you, just take that step.

Go to a garage sale. Pick up a working turntable for 20 bucks. Flip through their album collection and pick up ones you know or have heard up. It’s gonna be cheap. And don’t worry about looking like a hipster. They’re gonna move on to cassette tapes soon enough.

Then go home, set it up. Grab a beer, pop a disc on. Look at that fantastic, super-sized artwork. Read those lyrics. Hunt for easter eggs. Slow your life down and LISTEN.

You’ll feel a lot better afterwards.

Here’s a fantastic short about the culture:

And a fantastic song from a fantastic (both musically and technically) album:

That delicious pop, hiss and crackle just add to the experience.

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