- Of the devil
- Too difficult to understand
- For young folks
I've been reading about this Cloud computing for a few months. Yes I said months. I'm not a tech person, I'm an accountant who likes to write about stuff. That said I became interested in the mystical cloud because of the ongoing failures of the technology I was using and data loss as result of technology failure and theft.
Tech Failure – Work
I use two Oracle applications plus MS Office at work. One of those applications crashes or gets "hung up" in some weird loop where: Java scripts don't run correctly (whatever those are) Java forms don't load correctly (whatever those are), the server connection is "lost". Of course these failures always happen when I'm on a proverbial roll. Of course these failures only occur with what I'm trying to do and… Of course my tech support, God Bless them have worked my problem every which way to Sunday. When the failures occur now I rarely report them because it appears (in my logic) it is the way in which I use this particular app. I don't open and close things, I leave them all open and switch between tasks (and refuse to do it any other way). Opening and closing is slow, cumbersome and ineffective considering my workload. It's faster for me to shut it down, bring it back up and keep it moving until the next crash. That said there are some things that I do know. There are some peak times when there are multiple users doing multiple processes that serve to tax the application and the server it runs on. There are some other logistical, fiscal, procedural and resources issues that preclude my organization from getting full power from these apps. Frustration runs high, at the same time, users (including myself) are demanding more capabilities for which we just don't have the capacity to make happen.
Tech Failure – Home
I have a Toshiba Satellite with Vista. I hate it, it's weird, buggy and always gives me that spinning wheel when it's trying to do something. I've been using a PC since Windows 2.0 I think. Anyone would say I should know better by now, get a clue and get a Mac. I just might after this latest debacle. My Vista wouldn't load Tuesday night. I got stuck in the continuous restart mode. I Googled the problem. Tried some of the fixes and they didn't work. I took that puppy to the shop. The latest is that there was some update that resulted in registry errors (what does that mean???) Fortunately my hard drive is in good shape and there was no raging virus on it. My geeks at the shop said I could get Windows 7 for $200.00 I said, just reload Vista let me pay you and give it back. I did a full back up after reading a blog post by @LeReg on Twitter. Glad I did. I didn't do much between Friday and Tuesday but do fear that I have lost some photos and music and my exercise log in Excel. Frankly I'm tired of losing my data.
The Theft Problem
It's been well noted on my other blogs that I had a major burglary in my life. Years and years of photos, writing, music were gone in one fell swoop. I would back up to zip drives and CDs every now and then and later to flash drives. But the majority of my data was held on two computers which are now gone gone gone. I did receive a lovely Western Digital Passport (learned my lesson) as a birthday gift and I do use it but my backups usually occur about every two weeks. I know it's important but gosh I just don't dig doing it, AT ALL. The technology failures, user failures (me), theft and data loss have all but forced me to…
What I figured out is that it's not really all that mystical and makes a whole lot of sense. The biggest thing for me is that it takes the burden of hardware and software support off organizations IS groups and shifts it to the cloud host, who has the software, the hardware and the support to handle it all. They have to have back ups of the backups to stay in business, it is THEIR business. It all takes he burden off the finance/accounting teams who have to find money and beat the clock on expiring licenses, hardware failures. It also takes the burden off of HR professionals who have to look for people to come in house and take care of everything that goes wrong. Is it really this simple? I don't know from a technical perspective but as a user, this is an absolute no-brainer. Yeah I'm sure there are security concerns and proprietary concerns in the sense that organizations may not be comfortable with letting go of their processes but those (in my opinion of course) are not deal breakers. The question really is how best to move your organization forward and improve your processes, I think moving to the Cloud should be a definite consideration, especially if the current means of getting things done is proving ineffective.
On a personal level. As long as I've been using Gmail I've been using the Cloud. All of it is web based. I have a gang of storage that I don't think I'll ever use. I also use Google Docs and am writing this in Evernote. My dream is that all of my electronic content be housed in the Cloud and that every application I'd ever want to use is in the Cloud. I don't want to worry about backups or requiring massive capacity on my machine. I want to know that what I'm doing right now will STAY regardless of the circumstances of the machine it was created on.. I want to be relieved of the requirement for massive storage on whatever machine I use or having to purchase some peripheral storage device. I don't want to buy or get for free any application that requires loading onto my machine, outside of the Browser and operating system.
Yeah my head is in the Cloud alright, I see the Cloud as a means of living the digital simple life. Is that too much to ask?
Cloud graphic from lonewolflibrarian.wordpress.com
But thanks to Twitter I can get real-time results on them and flip to see performers I like. But, seriously I don't watch award shows. I went started boycotting them in 1989. I've watched two all the way through since then, the Source Awards the year Suge Knight dissed Puffy (yeah he was Puffy back then) and last years BET Awards in hopes of a Michael Jackson tribute, which was awful and to see Maxwell after his long hiatus (he was last). In fact I probably haven't been really excited about music award shows since MJ's Thriller days and Prince's Purple Rain days. What I found is that the people that I like never won and the shows were always too long and showed categories that I had absolutely NO interest in. As for 1989, two egregious things happened that turned me off FOR GOOD!
I don’t mean a stuffy nose, even though I have that going on right now, I’m talking about network congestion. As customer of Always Troublesome Technology and a former Blackberry user I would get this “Congestion!” message and the call would fail. Well after many Blackberry failures (I believe part of my problems were the actual phone) I let it go and picked up the cheapest iPhone I could get after much cajoling from a pretty Nia Long looking lady at the Airwaves Totally Trashed store (but I digress). The iPhone is a smarter phone than the current crop of Blackberry devices and Android fans say the phones that run that OS are even smarter, which brought me to this article
and that little message I used to get about congestion. I haven’t seen the congestion message on the iPhone, it just hangs up or backs out of whatever application I’m in. I’m not in agreement with the article though. 2010 is NOT the Year of Congestion as far as I’m concerned we’re entering the 3rd year of it as it was three years ago that the first iPhone came out. That’s not to blame the iPhone but it’s introduction in my opinion made companies like RIM (Blackberry) and HTC and Motorola et all ramp up their game to make phones do more stuff. The service provider marketing departments did all that they could do get a smartphone into all of our technology hungry little hands. Now most of us are wired ALL the TIME, which means the networks are busy all the time, which means the technology supporting it all needs to be updated/expanded/tweaked all the time or at least that’s what you would think.
Now Absolutely Tumultuous Telephone is “working "quickly and aggressively" on network enhancements” according to Mark Siegel, spokesman of the above mentioned company. There’s going to be upgrades to towers and their 3G network, there will be special focus on upgrades to areas that have high traffic like SF and NYC, so on and so forth but before the article even get’s to this discussion there’s a little piece of arrogance that sent me right into orbit. Here it goes:
'Playing around the clock'
"What’s driving usage on the network and driving these high usage situations are things like video, or audio that keeps playing around the clock," said Ralph de la Vega, president of AT&T Mobility.
"And so we’ve got to get to those customers and have them recognize that they need to change their pattern, or there will be other things that they are going to have to do to reduce their usage.”
Whether those "other things" include higher rates for whatever data usage is deemed excessive is not known.
So we’ve all now bought into the idea that our phones are for work and for play, no longer just a communication device. We shell out $100-150 a month for the pleasure of using the network as we see fit and now and it’s a problem that we, the customers have to recognize? We have to change OUR behavior?
The provider got what they asked for: zillions of users, spending zillions of dollars, translating into fat pockets for their execs. Yet Service Provider, you didn’t want to be held accountable for taking those zillions of dollars and investing it into what you created. That’s not the customer’s problem, that’s your problem. The idea, thought, or whiff of a scent of an upcharge for high network usage is appalling and arrogant and is a complete disservice to all of us who keep your wallets fat. Fix your network, make it so fast and seamless that your customers can brag on how good they got it, how much work they get done, how clear their calls are and how clear their videos. Fix it to the point that the next time and average jane user like me can write something complimentary about you.
actually arrived on a day when I was not feeling well. Having been knocked out
by pain relievers the UPS delivered me from my near comatose state and
delivered Shibuya. Here’s my track by
Way – The vocal is light and breezy, mixed with the instrumentation and I can’t
really tell what all was used, it makes for an overall breezy track. Based on the lyrics and again the music you
feel like no matter what’s going on in the city, you still love losing your way
Station – this has a very metropolitan sound and puts me in the mind of Weather
Report brand fusion. The tune conveys a hustle and bustle, an energy that makes
you want to go do something.
Really a continuation of the previous tune. I didn’t pay attention to the track
listing so thought it was the same song that had changed up a bit. The
transition is flawless.
the Ueno Park – The rain sound is a nice back drop. This isn’t a dreary rain
song, but more of a comforting kick back rain sound. Again I’m hearing fusion.
what hear on this one is fusion meets Jack Your Body era house.
Night – This is a party song. I love the
vocal, the house style beat and keys. You can see the party going on and it’s
the part of the party where everybody is feeling it, dancing and enjoying the
Under the Neon Moon – this is the on the
way out the party transition.
– This is a perfect wind down song, it has a jazz flavor but not smooth jazz,
not fusion either. This is the sit down
and kick your shoes off exhale song.
Shrine – this sounds like a shift. There’s a sound in that sounds either like a
bell or breaking glass I’m not sure. There is a mystery to this cut and I want
to know what it is.
Dancing – I don’t know anything about Asian musical tradition, but I feel like
some of it might be conveyed here. This
also sounds theatrical when those string sounding keys come in.
Garden – this conveys rejuvenation, like the sun is coming up and everything is
waking up to meet it.
Train – on the first pass this sounded like a Monday morning time to go get it
as I listened a few more times it sounds more like it is about focus on any day
of the week.
in another life – the vocals make sense on this and I like how they are layered
near the end.
– like the “horn” sounds. The title
conveys, departure from the city as well as departure from this musical experience.
– I will say that Nicolay is dead wrong for this one. Dead wrong because it’s a
teaser. I was feeling it, it was swinging, and the vocalist was swinging. This
should have been a full length track.
instrumental versions of Lose Your Way, Saturday Night and Wake Up In Another
read any press on this I knew it was coming out and the only expectation that I
had was if this was a Nicolay project that it would be good and it is. What makes it good is that: 1)There are no
songs to skip through on this CD. It’s
tightly produced, the songs are not opus length but are a length that is
enjoyable (with the exception of Shibuya Epilogue, which was too short), and
the number of tracks is right. 2)The CD tells a story. For me it tells a story that is in a certain
locale but could be in any metropolitan area. The story is told in two parts
and the two parts work together to make a whole. 3)I believe that the sound is
cross cultural, cross genre and cross generational. It could be listened to in the home, car or iPod
of anyone and finally 4)the vocalist Carlitta Durand. What I hear is that she is
comfortable singing in more than a few musical genres. We got a taste of what
she can do on Shibuya, let’s hope we get more.
If you have
any rotation right now, I recommend Shibuya: City Lights, Vol. 2 for heavy
I don’t know if there was journalistic hype about the
project, but I know I was hyped about the release of Kamaal The Abstract. Q-Tip is a musician not just an MC, not just a
lyricist, not just a producer. We all
get to hear his musicality on this set.
Here’s my track by track opinion.
1)Feelin – this cut is heavy on the guitar and keys with
about a one minute rap vocal. The remaining vocals are all sung by Q-Tip and
female background vocalists with a solid musical arrangement. The sound is hip-hop in the beginning but
becomes more groove as it goes on.
2)Do You Dig You – all vocals on this cut are sung and at
about three minutes in the song becomes all about the music particularly the
flute by Gary Thomas. Upbeat with the synth bass making the cut hip-hop in
sound but the remaining instrumentation has more of a fusion sound.
3)A Million Times – all vocals are sung and there are only
two phrases “We’re gonna do it again and again.” “I thought I told you a
million times.” The song is really about the guitar, the keyboards, the groove.
4)Blue Girl – all vocals are sung, with a brief verse and
repeats of the chorus. The feature on this cut is the piano.
5)Barely in Love – Q-Tip and the female vocalist singing
about a girl and being barely in love. The cut has more of a rock vibe. This
one is made for live performance. (Did
see the Jimmy Fallon performance but unable to pull it)
6)Heels – this song immediately put me in mind of early 90’s
Red Hot Chili Peppers. Q-Tip performs a rap vocal about high heels and the
sexiness of said heels on a girl in different settings. The refrain, “put your
heels on girl, put them heels on lady.” Love the energy of this one.
7)Abstractionisms – Q-tip delivers “abstractionisms” on a
brief rap vocal but the cut is really all about THE alto saxophonist Kenny
8)Caring – a sweet short song that features more of the
female vocalists than Tip.
9)Even If It Is So – My favorite track on the CD is about a
girl doing what she has to do to get educated and make things better for
herself and her daughter. Really nice groove on this one.
10)Make it Work – This is the only cut in which Q-Tip
delivers a full-on rap vocal that is longer than a minute or two. This is most hip-hop of all the cuts on the
CD and could have easily fit on the last ATCQ CD.
My first spin through Kamaal the Abstract was cool. I wasn’t
hot, hot for it I believe because I’ve spent the last year listening to The
Renaissance which had a much bigger sound.
Kamaal the Abstract for lack of a
better term is “tighter”. The tracks are more intimate, more out of a jazz
tradition and more about Q-Tips musicianship and the musicianship of the
artists featured on this project. If the
listener is looking for a hip-hop record I would say, it is hip-hop but not
like anything we hear right now. He’s
not Jeezy, Weezy, Ye nor Hov and this CD is void of all things autotune,
thankfully. The shelving of the project was mind boggling to me but in the end the
timing turned out to be fortuitous. There is a major vacuum in hip-hop. Outside
of the hot boys mentioned above (of which Jay is the only one I listen to)
there is a dire lack of creativity, artistry and musicianship. As such hip-hop
fans of “a certain age” like me and fans who just don’t like all that’s being
played on traditional radio right now are left wanting. That said, Kamaal the Abstract is welcome
relief, one that will stay in the rotation.
Good music is good music, that’s what Q-tip is delivering on this one.
Two bad days in a row. My usual tools to get over the hump were either unavailable or undesirable. I turned to my sustenance. This is the end of WTF.