Welcome!

Release Management Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, David H Deans, Liz McMillan, Jnan Dash

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Agile Computing, Release Management

@CloudExpo: Article

Google Chrome: No More a Cloud Computing OS Than Any Other Browser

It's as much part of cloud computing as Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer are

Ben Balbo's Blog

It's been said that Chrome could be the Google operating system that was being talked about many moons ago. Chrome is the operating system that provides access to the applications that reside in the cloud. But it's still just a browser.

We’re going to hear a lot about cloud computing in the coming months because Google have just released their latest product, Chrome. According to yesterday morning’s Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio National show, cloud computing will pose a danger to your on-line privacy and security with people able to read your email, see what web sites you’ve visited and reconcile your on-line activities, banking details and buying habits.

That’s what I understood from the show. I’m not entirely sure how Chrome fits in to the equation, but I’ll get to that later.

So apparently cloud computing is a system that allows applications to run “in the cloud” where all data is accessible by Google. The presenters did single out Google but added that other cloud computing providers could also access any data in their part of the cloud.

Experts were also quoted as being concerned about the security of the data in cloud computing environments as, not only does the user need to trust the application developer and maintainer, but any other third party that the application hosting is reliant upon. Currently people only need to worry about the software producers as all data is stored on your local computer.

I think there’s a massive amount of confusion here, or perhaps I’m the one that’s confused.

Let’s examine my view of what cloud computing is: computing power that resides “in the cloud” and isn’t dependent on one piece of hardware. I’ll flesh that out a little.

Sample network diagramIn network diagrams "clouds" are used to represent networks external to the one pictured for the purposes of depicting "connections between internal and external devices, without indicating the specifics of the outside network” [wikipedia]. Generally this refers to the Internet.

In the beginning there were servers. Real, physical boxes that ran an operating system. They would be web servers, database servers, email servers, and so on. Some servers would provide more than one function, offering web, database and email hosting, for example. People had the choice between having their own dedicated (physical) server or hosting in a shared environment where multiple clients’ web sites were hosted on one physical box. The latter option was much cheaper but also provided less flexibility in terms of server configuration for the end client.

Then there were virtual private servers. Imagine a physical server that contains multiple virtual servers. Each virtual server has its own operating system, its own disk space and can run its own programs. This provided the functionality of a dedicated server at a fraction of the cost.

Now imagine having a virtual private server but you don’t know where it is. You don’t have a concept of it residing on a physical server - it’s simple out there “in the cloud” somewhere.

That is, in my view, cloud computing. Removing the “isn’t dependent on one piece of hardware” part of my definition would make any server fit the description of cloud computing.

So why are all these people concerned about cloud computing being such a threat to privacy? Cloud computing will allow web-based applications to scale more readily to demand, so perhaps more web-based applications will be hosted in a cloud computing environment. Perhaps it’s also because Google’s online applications (Docs, Calendar, Reader, etc.) are perceived to run in a cloud computing environment and that Google are the custodians of your data. Together with their Adsense technology, it’s assumed that Google know everything about you.

The dangers are, of course, already there. I use Google calendar for all my appointments, so they know whom I know, where I’ve met them and when all my friends’ birthdays are. My news reader of choice is Google Reader. I use Twitter to share my current actions, feeling, learnings, rants. Technorati and Google Blogs index my blog. I used to use Saasu for all my business accounting and billing. Running these applications in a cloud computing environment is not going to make these data any more reconcilable than they already are.

One example given of the privacy concerns was that people will now be able to read your email and see which web sites you’ve visited. Well, I can (but don’t) read all my clients’ emails - they’re stored on my server. My ISP can see every web page I’ve requested (and most of the time its contents) and probably passes that information to Hitwise. Google Analytics knows a fair amount of where I’ve been and what I like.

Caveat lector: I have not managed to determine what Google’s policies are on data stored on Google’s App Engine. If you know, please add a comment to this post.

In my view this is all hype about nothing. We’re no less secure than we were before. The goal posts have not moved, we’ve just been given a different playing field in which to kick our balls around.

And as for Google Chrome being part of this whole cloud computing thing, it’s a browser! It’s as much part of cloud computing as Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer are. Sure, it runs Javascript faster, is apparently less likely to crash completely and might be a superior browser when using online applications. It’s also been said that Chrome could be the Google Operating system that was being talked about many moons ago. Chrome is the operating system that provides access to the applications that reside in the cloud. But it’s still just a browser.

Given my near-paranoid tendencies when it comes to security and privacy, should I be worried?

More Stories By Ben Dechrai

Ben Dechrai is many things, including a technologist, teacher, presenter and hard-core privacy nut, but most of all, he is a passionate supporter of gigantic ideas, minds and goals. A strong advocate of community collaboration, networking and education, Ben has held a number of official positions within Australian Open Source community organisations, including Linux Users of Victoria, Open Source Developers' Club, Melbourne PHP Users Group and BarCampMelbourne.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...