1. Cloud computing and storing your data on “the cloud”.

    In this case the cloud is a physical swarm of bugs. They ask you for your password and …. you just give it to them?

    He has reason to be leery.

  2. Liked it better in an old Pogo continuity: Seminole Sam was trying to sell Albert Alligator a bunch of trained gnats who’d form dialogue balloons over Albert’s head, saving Albert the wear and tear of thinking and speaking. To Albert’s annoyance they begin by forming a dialogue balloon agreeing to Sam’s price. Later, for no particular reason, they flummox Albert further by forming headlines for an imaginary World Series, eventually won by The Gnats.

  3. Tech-speak “the cloud” is intentionally vague about just where (and sometimes what) something is. This is because part of the point of cloud storage is that you don’t have to care.

    It’s like when your money is in “the bank”. You don’t walk into the bank and ask to see where they are storing you money, specifically… the point is that the bank will return it to you on demand, and not specifically only at the branch where you made the deposit, either. You rely on the bank to be able to grant access to your money throughout their network of locations, and to provide services related, such as maintaining deposit insurance.

    When you commit data to cloud storage, you don’t have to care exactly how the cloud storage provider will actually store it, you just trust that they’ll make it available to you on demand, and also provide related services, such as backup.

  4. “It’s like when your money is in “the bank”. You don’t walk into the bank and ask to see where they are storing you[r] money, specifically…”

    My father believed this and would NOT be convinced it wasn’t the same money he brought in, having been stored ‘in the back’ in maybe a drawer or box with his name on it. I finally got to the point of thinking, ‘Whatever’.

  5. @Andrea: Tony Hancock believed the same thing in an old British radio comedy installment of his HANCOCK’S HALF HOUR, only in his case it involved the specific pint of blood he had just (with great reluctance) donated to a blood drive. And as it happens, he then suffered some minor injury and in fact did get (supposedly) his very own blood right back.

    In looking it up, I see it was actually a TV episode first, though I’ve only heard it as the radio remake:


  6. I was always waiting for my dad to bring in ‘marked’ bills and, later, see if he got the same ones back. Little more difficult to mark blood, I should think.

  7. @ MinorAnnoyance – I’ve never seen the “Gnats” story arc in Pogo, but I remember another one in which Albert had laryngitis, and another character (I think it was a hornet) took over duty in Albert’s speech bubble. His first words were “Bring me a seegar!“, but when Albert applauded, Pogo interpreted as agreement, and delivered the cigar not to Albert, but to the hornet. Ooops.

  8. P.S. @ Andréa – Back then it would be difficult to conclusively prove whose blood it was, although a combination of tests would be more than likely to prove if it were not a match. These days, DNA testing comes very close to a definite proof, but you still have to have a tissue sample from the prospective candidate for comparison.

  9. As a technologist, I see this as a non-technologist thinking “cloud” is funny, so this is just “something about cloud, heh heh heh”. Beavis and Butthead in tech.

  10. In the Hancock show, he had a very rare blood type (so rare it doesn’t actually exist, in fact), so when he needed a pint of blood, the one he had just donated was the only one of his type on stock at the blood bank. Thus the explanation for how the blood bank knew which was which. As for Hancock’s own assumption, presumably he just felt that each pint was filed under donor’s name and alphabetized, or somesuch.

    Thw Wikipedia entry has more:
    In the show, the doctor tells Hancock his blood group from the initial pinprick test. In fact, first-time donors are not told their blood group on the day, as this information cannot be deduced from the pinprick test; the blood group only becomes known when the blood is tested in the laboratory several days after the donation.

    Hancock’s blood group is given as ‘AB negative, rhesus positive’. There is no such group. The word ‘positive’ or ‘negative’ that immediately follows the blood group letter is itself the rhesus factor.

    Hancock implies that he would not have been able to have a transfusion if he had not donated himself, as his is the only AB negative blood available. In fact patients of group AB negative can receive any rhesus negative blood regardless of its group.

  11. The Gnats story line was in Beau Pogo which I believe were dailies from 1959. Seminole Sam was selling them to Beauregard (Beauregard had hypnotized himself to believe he was a butterfly and Seminole Sam was trying to sell him a bird song and…

    The “Bring Me a Cigar” was… I’ll find it… Give me time to look.

  12. @Andréa

    “My father believed this and would NOT be convinced it wasn’t the same money he brought in, having been stored ‘in the back’ in maybe a drawer or box with his name on it.”

    I distinctly remember having this same idea. I got my mother to hold my allowance for me. Later, I asked for $10 or something back, and said she didn’t have a tenner in her wallet. I said, “No, not your money, the money you were holding for me.” I just couldn’t understand that she was not holding my specific bills, but just remembering the promise to give me the money back later.

    In my defense, I was 5. That’s one of my first string memories, how frustrated I was that she just didn’t understand me. (Yes, irony.)

  13. Data in the cloud is not the same as money in the bank, because money is fungible. Nobody but Andréa’s father expects to get back the same money he put in.
    But everyone expects to get back from the cloud the same data they put in. I wouldn’t be happy if I got someone else’s data instead of my own.

  14. @ woozy – No need to look, I know that the sequence is in one of the books that I have, but I don’t remember which one.

  15. “Nobody but Andréa’s father expects to get back the same money he put in.”

    Not any more – I inherited and spent it all.

  16. “Data in the cloud is not the same as money in the bank”

    I made a more limited claim than that. You don’t have to care how the bank stores money as long as you believe that the bank can return your money to you at your convenience. You don’t have to care about how your cloud storage provider stores your data, as long as you believe that they can return you data at your convenience. In this way, data in the cloud IS like money in the bank.

  17. You don’t have to care how the bank stores money or even IF it stores money adequately as long as the bank can compensate you by giving you the right amount of money, even if they have to borrow it from the Federal Reserve, which has been known to bail out banks. If the cloud loses your data, it’s gone. There’s no Federal Reserve for data.
    Data in the cloud is unlike money in the bank because money is fungible and data is not.

  18. Mark, if you’re going to insist on missing the point, you’re going to continue to miss the point.

  19. Shrug – My sisters and I have always been told my mom’s blood was B negative. When she had us her brother had to stand by in case she needed blood as it is so rare (per the story). When she was pregnant with my sisters (after me) she had to be treated in advance in case I had been RH positive.

    Flash forward to about 5 years ago. My mother is in the hospital for only time she has been in one other than when she had us. Her iron is very low and they are going to give her blood. They test her blood and cross match the blood (I finally found out what this means when at that time). They are ready to give her the blood. My middle sister and I are in the room and one nurse reads the info on the blood to the other. It is B positive. My sister and I look at each other. I decided as the elder I was the one to talk. “Umm, mom is B negative. We know this is as – and tell the story above.” They check the paperwork again and say that she is B positive. My sister whose husband has been ill on and off since high school and knows all this better asks if they cross matched it and they check again and it was. They give mom the blood and all goes fine. We ask her about this figuring we are both remembering the story wrong – no, she insists she is B negative – but she is not.

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