To cloud or not to cloud...

Any Apple fan worth their salt knows that Apple’s bringing the Cloud to the plebs, but what does it mean for writers like me?

Pros, cons and musings below the cut.

Pro: Convenience. A document or WIP [that’s Work In Progress for the unenlightened] can be accessed anywhere by any device, so long as you know the password.

Con: The potentiality for Fic Griefers. People who hack into your cloud just to mess with your work and cause - well - grief.

Musing: Considering the number of times I have burned out computers [my death toll stands at two Mac Minis and a laptop, as well as three PCs] I’d take the convenience of being able to write anything anywhere over the inconvenience of having to change my password every week or less.

Pro: 5G free storage for your stuff not purchased via iTunes.

Con: Extra $torage co$t$. If you happen to be a digital packrat, that can end up whacking you a good one in the wallet.

Musing: If I had to choose - or could choose - what went into the cloud, I’d use my 5G for pure WIPs. Especially considering that my story ideas tend to fission without control…

Corollary query: Can other people view the stuff in your cloud? Can they leave comments? This was not covered in the keynote address.

Pro: People who know where/how to look can see your work. Good for gathering a fan network or making like-minded friends.

Con: People who know where/how to look can see your work. Bad for getting jobs, or getting your independent works published when your cloud is brimming with fanfic or worse - smutty fanfic.

Musing: This will have to wait until I see how the cloud and sharing actually works. I may be assuming too much.

Pro: You can instantly transfer all your data to a new computer. I admit, when they showed us how easy it was to cross-pollenate data between devices, I fist-pumped with glee. Then I realised…

Con: So can anyone else. All you need is a phishing scam to gain the right password and you can help yourself to someone else’s life. A scary mixture of cyberstalkingand identity theft.

Musing: I just know that someone, somewhere, is thinking up ways to screw this system and/or the people using it. I also know that Apple do their due diligence to make their stuff secure. Alas, they’re also making stuff so popular that the nefarious are now aiming their virtual cannons at Apple’s cyber-ramparts. It’s going to be Interesting Times ahead, for sure.

Pro: I can potentially edit anything any time the muse takes me to do so.

Con: This will elevate my natural antisocial tendencies to strange new levels.

Musing: Come on. Think about it. We have an entire generation that can’t spend ten minutes without some electric device attached to their person. I already take my G1 iPad everywhere I go in case inspiration strikes. Now they’re giving me free movie editors and the chance to make anything anywhere. I already get ideas for fids [that’s a portmanteau of “fan” and “vid”, short for “video”] like dogs get fleas. I used to scribble in little notebooks and say, “Hang on, I’m finishing a thought,” to the real world. Now I type and do the same thing. I would be completely horrible at socialising if I could also make fids while I was at it.

That, and everyone shoulder-surfing would want to play with it, too. And I don’t often share well.

Corollary con: The RIAA would be on every fid-maker’s behind soooooo damn fast it would not be funny. Despite the fact that piracy actually improves sales. But that’s another blog and will be shared another time.

Pro: This whole thing may unleash a virtual renaissance of creativity and sharing.

Con: 90% of everything is crap.

Musing: Of course, ‘crap’ is relative. You may adore and seek out every last amusing pet video ever cobbled together. You may be a Brony. You might want to track down a digitally remastered set of Original Series Star Trek without the ugly, unamusing CGI whacked in to make it seem “modern”, “relevant” or whatever the crap Paramount thinks fucking with the original did for them [seriously, anyone who knows where to obtain this, let me know. I *LOVED* the original effects in Hokey-Vision…] Whatever. I can guarantee that whatever search you run and however you run it; you, personally, will be only interested in about ten percent. The rest is crap.

That said, I am personally prepared for endless repetitions of the “X number of idiots and iPhones” genre to flood the intertubes. For every budding genius with a Vision, there are nine 'tards who can burp their ABC’s

Pro: Tons and tons of uncopyrighted material being shared indiscriminately.

Con: Tons and tons of uncopyrighted material being shared indiscriminately.

Musing: Sooner or later, some media genius is going to realise there’s a wellspring of exploitable footage out there and do something profitable with it. Then the fecal matter will impact with the rotating air distribution unit.

All of that said, I just know I’m going to put everything I write on the iCloud. And hope to high heaven it doesn’t bite me on the bum at a later date.