It's cloudy; and so the future's bright

[nik's note: Alongside speech techology I have a strong interest in cloud computing - particular its disruptive force in the industry and how it is changing the landscape. I've been a cloud user since we began to think of the concept, having used amazon's infrastructure to build my own webstores and the like. It's something we now must take very seriously in the speech industry, as it lowers barriers to entry and as several players are showing, networked speech engines allow modest devices to perform like high-end desktops. Here's a little something I picked up from the powered-by-cloud blog]

Five reasons the cloud is for real.

The technology behind cloud computing is not brand new. If that is so, why the hype about cloud computing?

Look at the five reasons Alistair Croll of Gigaom cites.

Power and cooling are expensive. It costs far more to run computers than it does to buy them.To save on power, we’re building data centers near dams; for cooling, we’re considering using decommissioned ships. This is about economics and engineering.
Demand is global. Storage itself may be cheap, but data processing at scale is hard to do. With millions of consumers using a service, putting data next to computing is the only way to satisfy them.
Computing is ubiquitous. Keeping applications and content on a desktop isn’t just old-fashioned — it’s inconvenient.
Applications are built from massive, smart parts. Clouds give developers building blocks they couldn’t build themselves, from storage to authentication to friend feeds to CRM interfaces, letting coders stand on the shoulders of giants.
Clouds let us experiment. By removing the cost of staging an environment, a cloud lets a company try new things faster. Billing on demand the cloud means anyone can experiment.

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