My head is in the clouds

January 2014

Two new words have recently been added to the Oxford English Dictionary. These are “selfie” and “twerking”. A selfie is where individuals takes pictures of themselves in a mirror, usually pouting, and posts it on Facetube, Twitbook or Instagranny. Twerking is where Miley Cyrus gets naked and wiggles her bottom in a way that can only be described as unpleasant, or epileptic.

Young Ms. Cyrus has been in the news a lot lately as a result of her insistence on getting naked and looking more like a malnourished albino boy. She is clearly going through the same process Britney Spears went through a few years ago; ditching the squeaky-clean Disney Princess image and trying to show the world that she has a vigazzle (another word that will shortly be entering the OED). Whilst it’s inevitable these child stars will grow up, develop, go through image changes and rehab, and ultimately die of a drug overdose, sometimes change can be good.

My life is changing. I’m about to become a dad, I’m having to change my priorities and cut back on certain things. I’ve recently changed the way I work to fit in with an ever changing world that is becoming more and more internet and mobile dependent. And dependent on social media and Google.

It’s no secret that I’m a Google advocate. I’ve always loved the simplicity of their stuff. I’ve always loved how their stuff works. I’ve always loved how good their stuff is. I’ve always loved the fact that most of it is free. I even watched The Internship the other day and thought it was a good film.

Like most people, I use Google exclusively to search for things on the internet. Youtube is always my first port of call for watching videos and Google Maps is always where I’ll go to get directions. Being in the web industry, I use Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, AdSense and Blogger but I’ve recently starting migrating a lot of other areas of my business to Google. This is partly because I’m fed up with Microsoft and the obscene cost, colossal unreliability and general stupidity of its products and services, but mostly because, being in the web industry, most of my day is spent in the cloud.

Now, this doesn’t mean I spend all my time daydreaming. I only spend a third of my time doing that. What it means is I am almost exclusively working online, so it makes perfect sense to have all my stuff online too. The problem with the way I used to work is that all my stuff was on my computer in the office. If I ever needed to work from home, I couldn’t access that stuff unless I transferred everything I needed onto a memory stick, which is a pain in the backside. The beauty of using Google is that everything is online.

I am now using Gmail to power my work emails, I’ve ditched Microsoft Word and Excel for Google Docs, I’m storing all my documents and files on Google Drive and I’m using Google Calendars to manage my diary. This means that it doesn’t matter where I am in the world, I can access all my data at any time simply by logging on to my Google account. I even set up Google Cloud Print the other day which means I can assign printers to my Google account and print from anywhere in the world to the printer I set up. It’s bloody brilliant.

Sure Microsoft are jumping on the bandwagon now and there are sites like Dropbox, Amazon Cloud and iCloud that provide online storage, but Google have got it just right. Their products are simple, easy to use and, best of all, free!

The cloud is the way forward. As well as the accessibility benefits, it mostly removes the need for external backups because that is controlled by the cloud service. It removes the need to save copies of files and transfer things from one machine to another on memory sticks. It allows easy sharing of files, making collaboration much easier.

Of course there are always going to be members of the anti-change committee piping up and saying it’s dangerous, not secure, and you’ll catch anal herpes from it but, quite frankly, these people are idiots. I’ll explain why:

Storing data online is no less secure than storing it on your computer or a memory stick. Sure, if someone knows your username and password they could get into your cloud device and steal your information but unless you are having your fingernails pulled out in an interrogation chamber there shouldn’t be a reason for anyone else to have your password. In any case, there is more chance of someone breaking into your house and stealing your computer or memory stick. I have a Google Chromebook and if someone steals that, my data is perfectly safe because there is no data stored on the hard drive - it’s all in the cloud. They couldn’t even view downloaded files because the data has been encrypted by some of the best minds in the world.

Some people will claim Google will use everything stored in the cloud to spy on them, steal their identity and kill their family, but anyone who truly believes Google is part of a Zionist conspiracy to rule the world is a moron. In any case, who’s to say Microsoft couldn’t do it to your old fashioned desktop computer? Think about it: How does Microsoft know when your computer is in need of Windows Updates? Whenever you connect to the internet, your computer communicates with a server at Microsoft. I’m sure it is very possible for Microsoft to look into the bowels of your hard drive if they wanted, which of course they wouldn’t.

It really is an exciting time. The way the internet is continuing to evolve is fascinating for a geek like me. People should embrace change and live in the cloud. Change is good, unless you’re Miley Cyrus in which case you are just a complete mental case.