Like a kid, I'm on my back in the sweet summer grass, watching big puffy clouds move by in azure skies, looking for images in the formations.
There's always one that looks like God: big, muscular, imposing, until the wind currents re-shape it into Mickey Mouse. Or Minnie Mouse. It's hard to tell the gender only by the shape of the ears. A jet streaks overhead, leaving vapor trails in its wake like ukelele strings. Or linguini...hmm, that's making me hungry.
Just as I'm about to give up this game, I see a big round white cloud that is bang-on for the Apple logo. It just pushed its way in front a cloud that kinda resembled the T-Rex of Google, and it makes me wonder: can Apple sue a cloud for trademark infringement? Would the venue for the lawsuit be Heaven?
This cloud gets me thinking of everything I know about Apple's Cloud Service. And a lot that I don't know. And more stuff you and I will never really know for sure if we decide to sign up for it and pay the subscriber fee of $25 per year to store our "stuff" not in a cloud but in a bunch of wires and chips and processors in a big building somewhere in Cupertino, CA. I also think a lot about what the Cloud says about us as a culture, something I'm not sure I want to think about at all.
A cloud shaped like Donald Trump's hair combs over some treetops nearby.While the iCloud is promising to be a boon for the music business because everything in held in the iCloud will be paid for (if you upload something you ripped from a CD or downloaded from a p2p site, the content owners will be paid), everything hinges on Apple's influence and position in the industry and whether they can keep the iCloud relevant by constantly adding features to it to attract and hold users. All good.
But I wonder about allowing Apple to scan my computer. There's really no way of knowing what else the service scans, including your stored passwords, cookies, personal information, and photos you uploaded to FaceBook from your fraternity parties where you and your entire class mooned the sorority girls next door. No one would have known you were that stupid if you hadn't tagged yourself in the photo. Too late now. The world knows.
Whether or not you feel your privacy is worth protecting, it goes without saying that once on-line, companies know more about all of us than we know they do, but, truthfully, most of us are just not that interesting. They only like us for our information, things we unwittingly tell them that we wouldn't tell our BFF. Every Google search we do gives Google market research information about us that other companies pay Google good money to access. We give ourselves away so cheaply it ought to make us ashamed. But it doesn't.
Ohhh, there goes a cloud that looks just like a Direct Market Email! And a whole bunch of little trailing cumulus ones that are dead ringers for Spam. How did they find my house? Oh, that's right, I have my iPhone on.
I would probably use the Cloud myself if I could upload all of boxes covered with dust and cobwebs in my garage and never have to move them again. It would be worth $25 a year to me if I could upload my furniture, my real Books-You-Hold-In-Your-Hands, and all my other detritus into the Cloud the next time I move and simply download what I want in my new place. The Cloud would be really useful if I could "beam" myself up and download myself on a nice beach in Bali next winter. And if I could hack into someone else's Cloud for a dry martini and an adorable cabana boy, I'd pay double.
Carly Simon had them in her coffee. Joni looked at them up and down and sideways, and still didn't understand them. The Rolling Stones yelled at us to get off of theirs.
I can't help believing, as I watch them pass overhead, that when all the buzz dies down, Apple's Cloud may simply be just another passing vapor.