Cloudy Thinking and a Fine Mess

I have two topics in this post because I find both interesting, but don’t think I have enough to say about either to warrant two posts.

In the Guardian, Cory Doctorow expresses his skepticism about cloud computing. I’m not going to try to excerpt it, just recommend it as food for thought.

This other one, also from the Guardian, has no great significance except for the Ealing Council, London, UK, but it’s one of those odd stories that struck me as telling: The Guardian reports that a got loose at a city government site in London and wiped out records of uncollected parking and library fines.

The virus was on an employee’s USB stick. Description of the damage below the fold.

    The meltdown as the virus spread through Ealing council’s system, crippling internal communications including the phones, and making it impossible to process fines and payments for almost a week, is estimated to have cost the Tory-run authority more than £500,000 in lost revenue and system repairs. Beyond this, 1,838 parking tickets, unable to be processed, were cancelled at a total cost of £90,000, libraries lost £25,000 in fines and booking fees, council property rent went uncollected, and £14,000 was spent on clearing housing benefit claims.

It was about 10 months ago that the U. S. military recalled USB sticks because of similar concerns of just such problems.

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