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distristor Authors: Pat Romanski, PR.com Newswire, Cloud Best Practices Network, Tom Leyden

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Opinion

The Week That Rocked the Cloud

From Big Shows to Big, er, Boners, This is the Week That Was

The first full week of June 2012 should go down as that specific point in time when Cloud Computing achieved escape velocity. No longer a prisoner of geekly earthdom, it is now in full orbit, in full view of all who proclaim to be human, never to return to the province of Public v Private, REST v SOAP, SOA & AJAX, Linux v The World, and the C++/Java/Ruby/LAMP/3Ps/Spring/Django/Rails/etc cloister.

The latter bit remains, by far, the most important aspect of Cloud Computing, of course. Without developers, architects, administrators, code monkeys, netizens - and yes, hackers - there is no Internet, no Web, no Cloud. There is no future.

So the 8th International Cloud Expo being held this week in New York counts as the most important aspect of the story, the foundation on which all else is built. Yes, I'm associated with that event, but I'm also a self-employed entrepreneur. Not on the company payroll, although looking forward to sharing thoughts and libations with the gang again somewhere soon.

The 10,000 or so souls gathered at the Javits Center this week are covering every conceivable aspect of Cloud Computing, whether during the Bootcamp, on the formal conference program, in the technology hall, or in myriad after-hours discussions.

A Crock of Certitude
I saw one tweet that said the atmosphere seemed more practical than wild-eyed this time out (even as the overall energy level continues to rise). Even so, Cloud Computing has now infiltrated the zeitgeist, for better or worse.

The great example would be the Anthony Weiner scandal - as stark as it gets when educating us to the perils of Tweeting. It's actually the perils of privacy.

We have now come full circle: from "on the Internet, no one knows you're a dog" to "on the Web, everyone knows if you're a dog." Soon to be ex-Cong. Weiner also learned what programmers have known since the days of punchcards being spat out at them - syntax is crucial.

I've been on a rampage to get politicians and their shills to pay more attention to Cloud Computing and less attention to attacking each other. I'm trying to boil the ocean, but maybe Anthony's predicament will focus some minds on the perils of technology, thereby leading to trying to understand it better.

It doesn't matter to me if Barack Obama shows socialist tendencies or if Sarah Palin garbles her remedial history lessons. Don't care if either, or both, major political parties are, like, you know, cynical and hypocritical.

What matters is if US citizens and their leaders don't collectively figure out how to inject new productivity into the economy, we're..all..doomed. Bring on the Rapture.

Does This Mean War?
Meanwhile, two major cyberwar stories have blossomed into full bloom during this late spring week. The first, funny to some, involves the @LulzSec folks and their tormenting of PBS and especially Sony. Anyone who's spent considerable time in Japan knows the unfortunate cultural tendency of management there to deny problems while not understanding them.

This has been revealed yet again, tragically, with the official response to the Fukushima disaster. It has also been revealed after Sony's assurances that rigorous steps were taken after the first @LulzSec sailing in March were put to the lie when we learned that a million user names and passwords were unencrypted and subject to a BlackHat 101 hack.

The second, funny to no one, involves a previous theft of RSA SecurID tokens and the apparent leveraging of knowledge gained to attempt to breach Lockheed. I have a close friend there who has often regaled me with stories of how locked down and paranoid Lockheed tries to be - to the point of running innumerable fake phishing and other hacking scams on employees to ensure they maintain vigilance. I haven't spoken to him about the latest news; just too sensitive.

But just as Cong. Weiner was clearly a prime suspect in his Twitter "prank" all along, it would seem there are very few prime suspects in the Lockheed case. It will be exceedingly difficult to pry credible information out of anyone close to the case. All I can say is "ni hao ma?" Acceptance of the supposition that the US conducts similar, continual cyber-espionage is cold comfort to anyone concerned about the Lockheed story.

The Shows Must Go On
Away from the frenzy of Cloud Expo, my oh my look at all the other events going on this week. Although the big boys listed bleow are not independent (as is Cloud Expo), and often seem more like affirmations than discussions, they still provide considerable druck to the Cloud Computing liftoff:

  • Apple WWDC, San Francisco. Fanboys lined up for blocks to listen to Brother Jobs offer his latest pronouncement. I can't tell yet if the "iCloud" (which you know literally means, "internet/Internet") is a real Cloud or will be a real success. I do know Steve has given enormous new credibility to the word Cloud.

  • HP Discover, Las Vegas. Company CEO Leo Apotheker delivered a powerful, classy speech according to noted analyst Dana Gardner, who summed up what he heard about HP's vision as enabling seamless, secure, context-aware connected experiences for its users and customers." HP brought out heavyweights Intel, SAP, and Microsoft to offer support. Paul McCartney, who is allegedly building a Cloud-based repository with HP stuff, gave a private concert. My guess is the line to get into this was shorter than the line to get into see Steve. And they loved that sweater.

  • IBM Innovate, Orlando. Blue continues to proffer its vision of Smart Cloud continuum (across SaaS/IaaS/PaaS); in this case, through its big Rational Software show.

  • Dell Storage Forum, Orlando. Yes, there's not one, but two big, separate shows going on within Disneyworld this week. While Dell's President of Services was outlining the company's vision at Cloud Expo, Dell CEO Michael Dell is expected to continue to talk about leveraging the company's investments in storage as a key to its Cloud Computing strategy.

  • Seattle Android Developers Meetup, Seattle. Not a mega-event at all, but interesting to see Tim Bray speaking there and a passionate group of folks in Microsoft's back yard working to win their share of the hyper-expanding Mobile Cloud.

There's more during this week that was, eg, Microsoft has been letting us look at Windows 8 - the Windows version that doesn't have Windows. Has the company finally been able to sever itself from the past (something it needs to do dearly)? It may seem rational to be dismissive of Nokia's bedwetting performance in "partnering" with Redmond on the future of smartphones; but can't count 'em out just yet.

We're only in Round 2 of an old-fashioned, 15-round fight. So far, it's a great round - one to remember for the ages.

Twitter: @strukhoff

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.