Post by email@example.com
I'm not so sure the server code being proprietary is much of an issue
since they aren't distributing that to others.
It concerns me in the areas of a BI (Business Intelligence) layer
running on top, meaning what data are they able to mine from my data by
running software designed to mine data from my data?
I don't trust Google or Microsoft or Amazon to host my unencrypted cloud
data. Why would I trust Ubuntu? How are they any different?
In all honesty, seeing their source code in this case wouldn't make me
trust them any more than not seeing their source code because there's no
guarantee that's the ONLY code they're running on THEIR servers. Any
additional BI layer on top is dangerous and is reason enough for me to
never host data there, unless it's totally encrypted and inaccessible to
them (or me) without a very, very lengthy key.
Hosting cloud services for anybody outside of a condition where the
hosting service/company literally has no possible way to access the data
(because they have never seen, nor maintain, nor do anything with the
encryption keys in use) is a threat. People, at least, need to be aware
of what they're signing up for.
And it's this very condition that totally and completely scares me about
Microsoft's Windows Azure operating system. And nobody seems to pick up
on or care about this reality. But it goes like this:
I/My company/my employees, spend however many dollars developing
software to handle my customer's business needs. I write the code, debug
the apps, produce the reports, design user interfaces, coordinate
communication, setup services, etc., and then I put everything I've
developed on a machine hosted by Microsoft, running my software, to
house all my customer's data as well (to be stored by Microsoft, on
their hard drives, inside their networks)...
...and nobody sees a problem with this!? You do realize Microsoft now
owns my software (and likely my source code, but if not most if not all
of it can be re-engineered because it's running on a Microsoft-owned set
of compilers running on a Microsoft-owned virtual machine) AND data...?
This means Microsoft can not only see how my program is constructed and
how I've possibly developed some new way of doing business, but they now
also have all of my customer's data as well. What companies are they
doing business with? What are they engaging in? What's being bought /
sold? In real-time. How can this information be used?
In 2009, Microsoft referred to Windows Azure as THE operating system for
the next 50 years. Which Microsoft operating system have you seen be
any kind of OS that's lasted more than a few years? Things are
constantly evolving. And now Azure is to be this product for 50 years?
The only reason such a thing is possible is because there's a different
reason (than simply selling operating systems and related services) at
work driving them in some direction. And it is this:
Nothing will ever be forgotten any longer. No packet of data will ever
be lost. The age of forgetting anything is over. As such, Microsoft
can, from an invisible location well behind the outward boundaries
presented to Azure users as a service and data, one which is in no way
disruptive to the services paying customers expect to see from Azure,
repeatedly scan everything, analyze everything, run queries and data
mining algorithms on everything, on my application, my customer data,
again and again until they get it right and find something useful.
If it can't be understood this week, it might be next week. It can be
analyzed again. And when those new algorithms are discovered and they
can go back in and examine what they couldn't understand before, they
obtain new data providing additional information to be used for only one
purpose: to categorize, flag or identifying me, my customers, my
abilities, my interests, my friends, my affiliations, to put a label on
me in some way.
Why would I want that? Especially when it can be done from a tireless
machine that generates numbers continually on everybody everywhere.
And, right, wrong or indifferent in their set of conclusions, how is it
a good thing?
It's scary. It's not just about me in this case, about me losing source
code, but now it's affecting not only the company's I work for, but
affords the ability to examine things across business boundaries in ways
that simply aren't possible unless you house all of the program code,
and data, on a set of servers centrally accessible by Azure.
And I don't trust to be different Amazon, Ubuntu, or any other entity
not offering completely hands-off services (where they literally cannot
access and don't know the encryption/decryption keys, but simply store
the encrypted data I send them, for me to retrieve it on demand).
Not having free software is the most dangerous thing to humanity ever.
It affords opportunities like Azure to exist, even Ubuntu to exist. And
people will not take the time required to step back and philosophically
analyze the ramifications of some of the choices they make, but instead
will (to them) simply be grabbing a tool to use, and the entities in
place to wield their power (power of hardware and software in these
"tool" areas) will do so without having proper motives in mind. They
will do so to garner information, gather data, connect the dots, not to
provide a service.
People need to wake up to what's happening.
I don't believe it can be stopped because this very scenario is
described in the Bible regarding the end times and one-world financial
system, the mark of the beast where nobody on Earth can buy or sell
anything unless they receive the mark. So it's inevitable, it has been
foretold, such a system IS coming, and it's going to be everywhere, in
everybody's home, in everybody's car, on everybody's person, at
everybody's cubicle / workspace. It cannot be stopped.
But for those who will be saved from this evil, they need to know about it.
Post by firstname.lastname@example.org
What matters is it complies with a free standard for compatibility and
therefore supportable by others should they be so inclined to develop
there own compatible services. It's not your hardware. It's
Canonicals. It would be like us publishing the code to our web site.
While it may be of little value to others it's only where that code is
exists. This isn't to say though that relying on a service for which
you can't move away from isn't bad. It is. I wouldn't use Canonical's
services as a user unless I could move away form it should I ever need
to. That they don't release the code here though doesn't seem unusual
or in violation of the four freedoms since the users aren't running
that code. And while we are running free software
(ThinkPenguin.com)there aren't any obligations for us to release any
changes we make to it unless we distribute it. We aren't. We are the
end user not our customers.
That is the free software position as far as I understand it.
The "Landscape" software for the enterprise always seemed like a bad
move to me. At the time that move did make me think "why are you going
to distance yourself from your customers"? As much as we are focused
on less technical users we aren't going to go out of our way to
distance ourselves from the people pushing our product.
I urge everybody to watch these videos by Eben Moglen. They will/may
open your eyes to what's going on here with non-free software and
re:publica 2012 - Why freedom of thought requires free media, and why
free media requires free technology:
Innovation Under Austerity:
Also this shorter interview by yasssu taken in Berlin:
Rick C. Hodgin