Farm Press Blog

Deciphering cyber lingo can be quite a challenge


More and more, I receive e-mails about something called the cloud which apparently can store my information in another dimension.

From what I can gather, here it is impervious to both hackers and sledge hammers.

It’s hard for a person born in the 50s and 60s to decipher the cyber lingo being bandied about these days. For example, here’s a doozie I received via e-mail a few days ago from someone wanting to discuss his Web security service with me. If anyone understands it, please provide a translation.

“If you are like many of our customers, you’re wrapping up your pilot projects for leveraging Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and now you’re ready to migrate more mission critical applications to the public cloud.”

Gee, I thought I was trying to figure out why my cell phone keeps pocket-texting unintelligible messages to my in-laws.

The second paragraph gets right to the point.

“But what about data security and privacy?” he wrote. “No matter what your cloud service provider’s SLAs say, you are still ultimately responsible for your data, especially if it is regulated.”

Imagine that. Those SLA folks that kidnapped Patty Hearst are still operating. Then came the pitch.

“My company, (name withheld), makes highly affordable encryption and key management software that locks down your virtual machines, from the point they are created until you securely decommission them, giving you complete control over your applications and data, wherever you want to run them.”

I usually employ a sledgehammer to securely decommission my old computers (and have thought about doing the same to some new ones), but I’m not so sure now. Not when data can apparently vaporize into a cloud and rematerialize somewhere else.

Cell phones create their own brand of brain pain. We have access to more information and people than we could ever have dreamed possible thanks to a device that has the size, and in some places in Mississippi, the functionality, of a mouse trap.

For the most part, everybody has cell phones. May not have a cent to their name, but they have a cell phone. In fact, in some places in Africa, instead of cash or credit cards, people barter for goods with cell phones. Who would have thought?

Which brings us to the Bluetooth feature on a cell phone, which lets ordinary folk carry on conversations without actually holding a phone to their ear. While this is indeed impressive technology, it also makes it extremely difficult to tell the difference between a Bluetooth user and someone who is really and truly having a conversation with the voices in his head.

Thank goodness, most humans will still pop out of their cyber world to hold a door open, say thank you, or make eye contact. As for me, my cell phone mostly stays in my pocket, out of sight, out of mind, intermittently spreading gibberish to friends and family.

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