Streaming music, movies, books and video clips: Pandora, Hulu, Rdio, NetFlix, Kindle Store, Google Play, Itunes: Reflecting on how the digital clouds are rising up to rain down content through broadband internet connections. Far deeper than Email, the internet and the clouds that store and serve it are penetrating into every facet of your life whether you know it or not :) The world of data is interesting today, streaming and network access taking on physical media and local storage.
Trillions of gigabytes of data are generated every year by people: more than we can even store on our existing hardware systems. The internet/ web moving billions of gigabytes worth of information every hour of the day 24/7/365: computers (hand-held, full sized, and servers/ clouds) have become a major source of energy use in society. Trillions of kilowatt hours of power are used to serve up the information age at broadband speeds.
Load up some youtube content and you are accessing Google's cloud. Do you know about cloud computing, elastic/ dynamic storage and thin client streaming?
Roku, Apple TV, XBox, Playstation
A new generation of Post PC streaming solutions exist. Many modern flatscreens have wifi-built in, and apps that can run the most popular aforementioned streaming services.
Facebook is a cloud, so is twitter. We all interact with cloud computers all the time! When you are shopping at the grocery store and enter your customer discount information, you are accessing a cloud. When you go to your atm machine to deposite checks or withdraw cash, you are accessing a cloud. When you look up the weather or ask siri a question on your iThing you are accessing a cloud. When you look up driving directions on Google maps or perform any kind of internet search you are accessing a cloud.
Enter Chromebook's. Search Giant Google (a company that inspires me) has turned their incredibly popular browser (my personal favorite [Chrome]) into an android based web app store driven operating system that comes on three different laptops and one desktop that resembles the mini-mac. These computers more than any other are cloud connected thin clients that are designed to serve up a user experience directly from the cloud with minimalistic local storage. The google cloud stores your content, documents and digital assets. Log into some wifi, sign into with your gmail credentials, and you are ready for almost any computing task. Take a look at the Official Video about Chromebooks!
Official Google Chromebook Video
An interesting proposition I must say. I get a nerdy sense of something interesting watching that Chromebook video on youtube. That said, the price is a little high for something that only comes with a celeron or atom chip and runs on a 16GB ssd.... : but since it is fast and light, these limited resources allow the cloud to do the hardwork over a broadband connection. In essence these chrome-os devices are internet machines that have to have the internet for full function. This gives it many pros, the only real con is that it requires constant broadband to work. For most people in developed countries in or near dense urban areas that is probably just fine. Watch the video about Chrome OS and Chromebooks to get a sense for what they offer!
Power Hungry Clouds