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Is the end near?

October 11, 2008

With all the doom and gloom over the recent financial meltdown where bankers and stock speculators are making it difficult for the rest of us while getting a free ride from the government (it’s best you not get me started), you might think that this event alone would be a sign of the apocalypse.


Here’s the real sign that the end is near: Richard Stallman and Larry Ellison agree on something, namely the fact that the nebulously phrased “cloud computing” is a farce.

Late last month, the Guardian published an interview with Stallman saying, in effect that cloud computing “is a trap” and that Web-based programs like Google’s Gmail will force people to buy into locked, proprietary systems that will cost more and more over time.

I can see that, and Stallman outlines his case in textbook Stallman throughout the article.

However, later on in the same article, Oracle’s chief oracle Larry Ellison — reading from the article — “criticised the rash of cloud computing announcements as ‘fashion-driven’ and ‘complete gibberish’.”

Ellison continues: “The interesting thing about cloud computing is that we’ve redefined cloud computing to include everything that we already do,” he said. “The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women’s fashion. Maybe I’m an idiot, but I have no idea what anyone is talking about. What is it? It’s complete gibberish. It’s insane. When is this idiocy going to stop?”

Good question, Larry. And since now RMS and Ellison are in agreement, do you think it’s time to head for the hills?

[FSF Associate Member](Fedora ambassador Larry Cafiero runs HeliOS Solutions West in Felton, California, and is an associate member of the Free Software Foundation.)

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  1. October 11, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    Man, this is an interesting article. I’ve never thought of it from this point of view. RMS was in town exactly a week ago and he had a long chat about all the movement but he didn’t mention something similar.

    The way you put it and is very delightful. RMS and Larry Ellison agreeing on something ?? Yes, definitively is time to head for the hills.


  2. Amenditman
    October 11, 2008 at 7:25 pm

    Actually, heading for the hills is exactly the solution to the problem.

    No internet connection up there! 🙂

    Cloud computing problem solved.


  3. October 13, 2008 at 4:43 am

    No, I really think that Ellison just doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Oracle isn’t the database of choice for cloud computing – MySQL is. Ellison thinks it’s lunacy because he doesn’t control it, nor does he see how it could be profitable. Let’s keep it a secret, and he can ride his little plane into the sunset while MySQL clenches the database market.

    As for RMS, he sees valid security/privacy concerns. Even if you provided the source for your Web 2.0 application, you’re still in control of user data. I think the privacy concerns here (ie. Facebook selling all your intimate secrets) are more of a concern than the cost considerations.

  1. October 13, 2008 at 3:07 pm
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