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Author Topic: The "Cloud" Goes Up in Smoke  (Read 5943 times)
Renegade
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« on: March 31, 2011, 09:24:28 AM »

Yet another casualty, or casualties as the case may be:

http://www.amateurphotogr...ics_lost_news_306605.html

Quote
Photographers nationwide have expressed outrage after thousands of their images vanished from image-sharing website fotopic.net without warning.

Fotopic.net users have not been able to access their pictures for several weeks, sparking fears that the company behind the site has hit financial difficulties and ceased trading.

At first it seemed the problem may be technical - because the site has gone down before - but, as the weeks pass, concerns grow for the future of the site.
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zridling
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« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2011, 10:28:29 AM »

This story will become increasingly familiar as the new internet boomlets burst. First and last, it's about making money, not about providing service. The quaint idea of working capital is never given a thought.
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app103
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« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2011, 10:34:37 AM »

This story will become increasingly familiar as the new internet boomlets burst. First and last, it's about making money, not about providing service. The quaint idea of working capital is never given a thought.

And this is why I can't embrace storage in the cloud. It's not reliable.
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wraith808
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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2011, 11:32:48 AM »

This story will become increasingly familiar as the new internet boomlets burst. First and last, it's about making money, not about providing service. The quaint idea of working capital is never given a thought.

And this is why I can't embrace storage in the cloud. It's not reliable.

It's just like everything else though in regards to reliability; you get what you pay for.  I have storage in the cloud on Amazon's servers and my own, and I pay for the storage, so I demand a higher level of service and reliability, and I get it.  What I'm more wary of is quote-unquote free services.
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cthorpe
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« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2011, 11:09:08 PM »

I store my pics on SmugMug.  I pay for it, but I am not concerned that it will all disappear without warning.



Edit:  Looks like many of the users quoted in the news story were paying customers of fotopic.  Scary.



C
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2011, 11:20:39 PM »

Anything I have online I have local copies.  The thing with some of these "businesses" is the CEO is satisfied as long as he can stay one step ahead of the IRS and the bill collectors, can keep his nice ride on the road, "talk business" on his mobile and write off some dinners and other entertainment expenses.

I knew a guy who ran a dry wall company.  When I met him he was on the third instance of it.  He started the second dry wall company to pay back the IRS for misusing withholding tax from the first dry wall company, and on with the third.  He was a friendly upbeat guy.  Sometimes I wonder what number dry wall company he's on now, if he's still avoiding prison.


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« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2011, 07:04:15 AM »

The thing with some of these "businesses" is the CEO is satisfied as long as he can stay one step ahead of the IRS and the bill collectors, can keep his nice ride on the road, "talk business" on his mobile and write off some dinners and other entertainment expenses.

+1 The name of the game is make money, not friends ... And the instant any "Cash Cow" stops producing, it gets shot in the head and tossed in the trash.

We went threw it with a web (site) hosting company. Had been with them for years; service was fine. Then they got bought-up by another bigger company that was assimilating small hosts with good reputations into a push to become the biggest "free" host on the web (e.g. They wanted to ride on the backs of the dead to the top).

Our hosting company (like many out there these days), was simply playing Lady-In-Waiting to star in a Pump-N-Dump scam. Which is where a company springs out of the gate to spike in "value" and then gets sold off for top dollar. Usually to sink a year or so later.

It was all completely hush-hush. Nothing was ever said to anyone. Only reason I found out is I got pissed at tech support and decided to go up their ass with a flashlight. Which is when I found out about the mass Exodus of the staff (80% walked on the same day), and found that the server farm was now oddly on the wrong side of the continent.

Hundreds (possibly thousands) of seemingly unrelated people screaming about loosing their entire sites. Were actually directly related to this silent gathering of hosting companies that were being uprooted to the new mother-ship's server farm. Which I personally verified by tracking the ownership of the (newly registered) IP net blocks that these completely unrelated (competitive) companies now shared in common.
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cranioscopical
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« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2011, 07:59:53 AM »

He started the second dry wall company to pay back the IRS for misusing withholding tax from the first dry wall company, and on with the third.  He was a friendly upbeat guy.  Sometimes I wonder what number dry wall company he's on now, if he's still avoiding prison.

I guess he felt he'd gyp some...
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Chris
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« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2011, 08:11:11 AM »

Then they got bought-up by another bigger company

And there's the big problem! At that point probably all commitments will fly out of the window and pre-existing business ethics become irrelevant.
The big losers are MSB's without the time or financial resources to seek reasonable recompense, even supposing the perpetrator were susceptible to law.
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Chris
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« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2011, 08:19:55 AM »

...and even with horror stories like that, there's still people who are against government regulation of what companies can and cannot do undecided
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« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2011, 08:57:51 AM »

...and even with horror stories like that, there's still people who are against government regulation of what companies can and cannot do undecided

Yeah! Because you can switch from a company you don't like to one you do. That's not so easy with governments. huh
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« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2011, 10:31:23 AM »

I guess he felt he'd gyp some...
Grin
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« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2011, 01:00:23 PM »

Then they got bought-up by another bigger company

And there's the big problem! At that point probably all commitments will fly out of the window and pre-existing business ethics become irrelevant.
The big losers are MSB's without the time or financial resources to seek reasonable recompense, even supposing the perpetrator were susceptible to law.

I think this is only the tip of the iceberg for the hassles we're opening ourselves up for with our willy-nilly and unregulated approach to putting things up on the web.  ohmy
« Last Edit: April 01, 2011, 01:02:09 PM by 40hz » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2011, 06:31:35 PM »

He started the second dry wall company to pay back the IRS for misusing withholding tax from the first dry wall company, and on with the third.  He was a friendly upbeat guy.  Sometimes I wonder what number dry wall company he's on now, if he's still avoiding prison.

I guess he felt he'd gyp some...

Heh heh.  No way was I board with that pun. smiley

Funny thing is, everyone liked the guy. I would guess his workers felt that if they left in a clump it would drive down their wages when they tried to sign on with someone else. Plus he was making payroll.  Apparently the paychecks didn't bounce.
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Renegade
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« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2011, 06:36:28 PM »

I have a paid Flickr account. I doubt they'll go under unless Yahoo goes under.
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40hz
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« Reply #15 on: April 02, 2011, 02:31:39 PM »

unless Yahoo goes under.

FWIW, that's not completely beyond conjecture. Right now Yahoo is hoping Ms. Bartz will get them back on track. tellme
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Renegade
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« Reply #16 on: April 02, 2011, 10:07:15 PM »

unless Yahoo goes under.

FWIW, that's not completely beyond conjecture. Right now Yahoo is hoping Ms. Bartz will get them back on track. tellme

Bah! They should just sell out to Microsoft now! They're already so tight that they might as well!

(And considering immanent threats from Google and Apple, it would be good for them to pool resources.)
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« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2011, 01:00:21 AM »

Same thing happened to me with Club Photo a few years back. I was a "Gold Club Member" (whatever the hell that means!) and had been paying for the service for about three years when they suddenly disappeared. And Club Photo was about the longest-tenured online photo site at the time. No warning at all. Fortunately I'm a backup nut so I didn't really lose anything, but it was still a surprise.

Jim
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« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2011, 08:22:33 AM »

Digital might be just bits but it is always to be considered transitory

Just as you would expect a hard drive to perhaps die after 3 to 5 years, just as you would expect formats to become invalid, you should not use any online service as your only place to have your data. Similarly you should not invest too much into tagging, promoting, organising things online unless this has short term value or can be added back into your local data.

The main problem here of course is that it is not about the files, it is about the professional business presence for photographers - their storefront. Probably this sold copies, had modes for private wedding galleries etc. which are all gone and will mean a short term loss of business.

In that case the cloud convenience of a SaaS solution means one is at risk of one creditor pulling the plug. Backup, exports and static archives are all useful ways to get some prevention. I would also say that a SaaS solution based on an open source product has an advantage here, because you could have backups and exports running on a copy fast.

But all the prevention in the world - contracts that specify source code release on bankrupcy, data and template copies etc. - cant help if the company doesnt do the right thing, if they just pack up and vanish.. but that is NOT just a cloud problem, it can happen with a normal hosting company
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40hz
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« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2011, 12:02:28 PM »

But all the prevention in the world - contracts that specify source code release on bankrupcy, data and template copies etc. - cant help if the company doesnt do the right thing, if they just pack up and vanish.. but that is NOT just a cloud problem, it can happen with a normal hosting company

Same goes for brick & mortar businesses. I've seen some of those unexpectedly "go missing" too.  tellme



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« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2011, 07:56:42 AM »

If it's digital, and important to you, it pays to keep multiple copies in different locations/baskets.. (local, remote/cloud, bank vault, relatives home, etc.) DO NOT STORE ALL YOUR DATA ON "THE CLOUD" without copies of it elsewhere. And then the prob of syncing comes up.. just F the syncing BS and make sure you have copies.. no need to sync and keep up2date every day.. every 2 months is far better.  Thmbsup Better to be SAFE than SORRY. Dui ba.

Subject should have read "Cloud goes down in tears" or rain or something  Grin
« Last Edit: April 07, 2011, 08:33:18 AM by mitzevo » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: April 07, 2011, 08:06:34 AM »

I dont think the problem here was the data lost, i am sure these photographers kept DVD backups - but this was their storefront as well. They probably had weddings waiting to review the images, and contracts attached...

It is easy to say "dont keep your data only in the cloud" (or online) but the problem there is "dont keep your business model only in the cloud" and alas for many business models it is by definition going to be only in the cloud.

And that will always be a problem with ecommerce on any hosted solution. Hosting your own is a little safer, but a lot more work. Having 2 is probably a reasonable option, or having one based on open source where you have the backups/dumps and could get someone else to set up an alternate option fast...
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Renegade
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« Reply #22 on: April 07, 2011, 08:35:19 AM »

I've been thinking about this some, and have been pondering starting a photo hosting service with Rackspace's cloud. It would be paid only though as I wouldn't want to bother with the nightmares of free hosting. My first and top priority would be reliability, and Rackspace is basically a synonym there.

Anyways, still very far off, and still just pondering the idea. Probably unrealistic... I suppose I'm just thinking out loud...
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wraith808
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« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2011, 12:18:31 PM »

I've been thinking about this some, and have been pondering starting a photo hosting service with Rackspace's cloud. It would be paid only though as I wouldn't want to bother with the nightmares of free hosting. My first and top priority would be reliability, and Rackspace is basically a synonym there.

Anyways, still very far off, and still just pondering the idea. Probably unrealistic... I suppose I'm just thinking out loud...

A friend of mine started something like this.  He used his own servers at the time, and it was pretty full featured.  Using RackSpace or S3 would really make it take off though; it would eliminate a lot of his frustrations with his own server.  It's an idea... (also thinking aloud)
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« Reply #24 on: April 08, 2011, 06:39:06 PM »

A proof of concept of never relying on the cloud for work you cannot afford to loose. Always have an internal backup plan.

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