Cloud Computing Thoughts

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 12:04 PM

Frank Sauer:
Or either use internet function for things like study guides you create or not use them because Logos refuses to allow the end user the choice of what information is hovering in the cloud.

One can turn off the internet connection and still create, store, update, modify study guides - again just making sure that users reading this thread are not misled.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 12:10 PM

Russ White:
I've always thought it rather odd to put features into a piece of software and then ask users not to use those features,

Again for accuracy, the only features that you lose by running off-line is the automatic synchronization of multiple instances of your application, the internet URL links (home page, sermon sites and Perseus), and free backup services.

Edit: just like any other software that updates via the internet, you need to link to the internet occasionally to update software or download resources available only via download.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 12:16 PM

James Ng:
You can't say here's a cool feature, but I don't want you to use it to full effect. ie, Notes may be a good example.

Again for clarity, the only functions of Notes that you lose by working off-line are: (1) automatic synchronization with your additional installations of the product  (2) URL link functionality to web addresses and (3) a free data backup service.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 521
Russ White | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 12:28 PM

They never said don't use notes. They coded a notes feature into the software and said "this is how secure it is/isn't so don't store certain types of info there" How is that saying "don't use this feature?"

1. I've designed many networks, pieces of software, protocols, and other "stuff" over the years. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that people will use things to the extent possible, not the way you intended them to. In this case, I'm buying a piece of software to use it in the way the software is being advertised--and the advertisement says that I can use it to take notes about the Scriptures. Now what the EULA says is that you can take notes about the Scriptures, but you must not take certain types of notes about the Scriptures. For instance, you shouldn't use it for sermon preparation as long as there's a remote chance you might eventually want to publish a book of your sermons. If you put the notes for this sort of thing in Logos, the data is being handed over to someone else, and you've no clue what the back-end system is going to do with your data.

What does the EULA say about copyright for my notes?

2. You're assuming that you or I know what's "interesting." You say you "keep private stuff private." Now, tell me, what's your definition of "private?" As I've noted many times, most people have no clue about the power of meta-data, or what others can tell about what you're saying where. Since I know there are a lot of unintended consequences to releasing anything about me, I try to keep what's released to a minimum, or control it's scope and intent in strong ways.

So, do you think you understand all the uses of what you write, or say, or take notes on? If not, then how do you determine what's "private?" A lot of the problem here is you're mixing up what used to be called "private," what can really be known about you through information you would never consider "private." We used to have a program in the USAF called EEFIs, for instance, specifically because people just don't understand the power of combined snippets of information.

Is Amazon mining the data put up there through Logos? What does the EULA say about this?

3. A simple point you have apparently overlooked. If I must keep some notes in one piece of software, and other notes in another piece of software, then why use the notes feature at all? You make it sound like it's so simple to sort out what's "private" and what's not, and to keep these things in different files, copying links back and forth, and building cross references, etc. In other words, if I can't use the notes for all my notes, then I'm not using the feature the way it was intended.

Why all the complaining?

Because, unlike many others, I take the threat of a compromise of privacy seriously in many areas. Because, as an IT professional, I've seen what it can do to careers, to people's lives in general, and to entire companies.Many other thoughtful IT professionals have said the same thing, raised the same concerns, etc. For instance, I was just talking to a major customer of cisco's less than a week ago--not a financial organization, or anything like that. They deal with a lot of data you wouldn't consider "private." Well, they're in the process of "insourcing" some things they outsourced several years ago. Why? Partially because of a security breach. But it's not private data! Depends on how you define "private." Enough "public" data, and you might as well not even bother with "private" data any longer.

In the end, my default setting is "yellow alert." That means caution and thoughtful approaches. That means I don't say, "I don't care who knows what, except for these few pieces of my life," I say, "I don't want anyone to know anything about me if I've not specifically told them." I live in a different default world than you do, because I've seen, first hand, the damage not defaulting to protecting data can do to you.

So it comes down to this:

I have not seen one real reason why Logos won't provide the ability to store the data I put into the software wherever I would like to. You don't think it's a threat, fine, put it on the server. I do, fine, give me the option to store it locally. I've read all the threads on this, and the only reasons I've seen not to do this are:

1. "It will cost more to support." This is a red herring that has nothing to do with anything.

2. "Cloud is the future." And I have some great soon to be oceanfront property in Nevada I'd like to sell you, too. As an IT professional, I can tell you that cloud will enter the world as yet one more tool to solve a specific set of problems, not an end-all be-all to all problems.

3. "Just don't put your private data in there." Again, define "private." Why shouldn't all my data be private until I tell someone it's not?

Now, let me turn the question around: Why do you find it so unbelievable that Logos should allow users to store data they have entered where they want to? You'd rather see other features first? Well, I tend to think of privacy as the "killer app." If I can't trust you on that front, why should I trust you anyplace else?

Why doesn't Logos allow me to control my own data without resorting to simply not using the software?

Russ

P.S. You make it sound like you'd never write anything private in the margins of a Bible. In reality, people write private things there all the time. It's just that they believe they have control over the information written there--and control is the issue here, because privacy always comes back to control. Logos says, "we'll be glad to provide a place for you to enter your data, but we won't allow you to control the data you enter." That's completely different than writing notes in the margin of a Bible. In other words, it's dangerous to say, "Just use it like you'd use the margins of your Bible." Because you have less control over the data in Logos than you do the data in the margins of your Bible.

Posts 521
Russ White | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 12:30 PM

Again for accuracy, the only features that you lose by running off-line is the automatic synchronization of multiple instances of your application, the internet URL links (home page, sermon sites and Perseus), and free backup services.

Sorry, but this is wrong. You also lose the automatic update of the software, downloading of new content, and probably other things. So, again--you can have privacy, you just can't buy any new content, nor get new updates pushed to you. In other words, you can't have privacy and use the software as intended.

All I ask is that the synchronization of data the user enters be untied from synchronizing the software. I really find it astounding that so many people here disagree with that idea, or think privacy is of so little use or import that they would argue against such a thing.

 

Russ

Posts 82
James Ng | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 12:38 PM

MJ. Smith:

James Ng:
You can't say here's a cool feature, but I don't want you to use it to full effect. ie, Notes may be a good example.

Again for clarity, the only functions of Notes that you lose by working off-line are: (1) automatic synchronization with your additional installations of the product  (2) URL link functionality to web addresses and (3) a free data backup service.

Again for clarity, you can't (1) get new books, (2) updated books/logos versions or (3) select what you want to send and/or pull.

ETA: Apologies, I didn't see Russ' 2nd response when I started the response. So I apologize for the dupe response.

 

Posts 3740
Floyd Johnson | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 12:57 PM

Robert Pavich:
Logos has said repeatedly that their "notes" feature is akin to "your scribbled notes in the margin of your bible" and nothing more. And as everyone can see, they've been forthright from the beginning about what level of security the notes get...

Where has Logos said this?  Some time ago, I suggested that this what notes should be - but I have never heard Logos say that was their goal.  Now MJ (in another thread) suggests this too is not the case, but that notes should be akin to sticky notes, not marginal notes.

On the other hand, I don't go handing out my "note taking" Bible to everyone.  I have several Bibles on my shelf that I feel very free in handing out, but I do not casually give out the Bible in which I take notes.

Blessings,
Floyd

Pastor-Patrick.blogspot.com

Posts 691
Frank Sauer | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 12:59 PM

MJ. Smith:

Frank Sauer:
Or either use internet function for things like study guides you create or not use them because Logos refuses to allow the end user the choice of what information is hovering in the cloud.

One can turn off the internet connection and still create, store, update, modify study guides - again just making sure that users reading this thread are not misled.

 I fully understand this... However for those that want to back the EULA as so explanatory, nowhere does it say in advance that you will be stuck paying for upgrade DVDs in the future just to keep your information secure. So the point is still Logos wants to sell the features, but not be straight forward from the jump that you can't use them and the program to its fullest and keep your information private. Personally the argument that you don't enter private data is utter stupidity in the sense of a business selling product. My point is not in regards to notes, sermons, handouts, etc... The most crucial part Prayer Lists... Why offer a feature that will obviously be private in nature and as stated earlier could if hacked cause severe pain, damages or embarrassment for persons on a prayer list. To argue don't put it on there nullifies the feature and again cause need for 3rd party application all for a silly desire to not allow the user the right to select what goes in the cloud and what does not...

 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 1:08 PM

Floyd Johnson:
Now MJ (in another thread) suggests this too is not the case, but that notes should be akin to sticky notes, not marginal notes.

I suggested this image in lieu of the images that Bob P. has provided. The image is for the purposes of convincing Logos that their design for notes should consider longer notes and primitive tables & graphics as essential elements. It has no direct relationship to the question of cloud computing and security. Indirectly the size of graphic image files could be an element of design consideration. Let's not conflate the 2 independent threads.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 691
Frank Sauer | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 1:11 PM

Ok so let's look at it this way, what defines "documents"? We want to throw the EULA as so simple, easy and covering the issue... Define "Documents" - no where does it define what that details... It does not once mention Prayer Lists which are a separate feature, unless Logos considers them defined under documents....

If personal prayer requests got hacked, one can point to the fact that Prayer Lists is not mentioned and cause a lot of nonsense for Logos. This is open to a lot of questioning and potential mess... Why not be prepared and not responsive? What happens if I decide I'm done with Logos and want my information out of the cloud? How do I get it out of the cloud or can I? This is not addressed in the EULA, so their is a lot to question and a lot that needs more than a generic answer.

Unfortunately this is one huge area that has us debating whether or not to suggest the purchase to our Bible College Students, there was never a question with L3, because there was user control of information and what was being installed and what was not...

Hopefully Logos gets on the ball with it and doesn't get caught off guard by legislation....

And as for your don't complain - suggest change... You were around through the whole Beta process when this was heavily debated, complained about and many suggestions were made to make the user comfortable with what was being synced, was in the cloud and what was being downloaded and installed... All rejected by Logos under the banner of cost savings on Tech Support....

Richard DeRuiter:

Andy Bell:
If they do provide this info in these ways, then I am mistaken and happily withdraw some of the things I have said - I must have missed it. But if it's buried in the Licence agreement or is only on the Blogs/Forum/Wiki etc then i don't think they are saying it loud enough...

Those concerned with privacy and confidentiality should always, always carefully read EULA's. Take responsibility folks. I'm not a huge privacy advocate, but I have refused software because of what an EULA said.The EULA is the primary means by which a company is bound to any legal responsibility. Not reading an EULA, is like not reading the warning label on a bottle of medicine (as a volunteer firefighter, I've seen the effects of that sending people to the emergency room.).

Logos' EULA is quite short and easy to read in comparison to most, and the section on confidential information is a heading, in large, blue, bold type. Even a cursory glance through the EULA would draw your attention to it. The fact of online data storage, is also discussed openly (no legalese, nor small print).

I found the EULA online in less than a minute by searching for it within Logos' web site.

EDIT: for some reason the forum software reduced the font size.

Oh, and here's the URL for the EULA:

http://www.logos.com/ArticleViewer/2090

For your convenience, I'll quote the relevant parts here:

First the warning to read the "warning label:"

Please note:  This is the contract that all users of Logos Bible Software must agree to in order to use the software.

CAREFULLY READ THE FOLLOWING LICENSE AGREEMENT. BY CLICKING ON THE "I ACCEPT THE TERMS OF THE LICENSE AGREEMENT" BUTTON AND CLICKING THE NEXT BUTTON, YOU ARE CONSENTING TO BE BOUND BY AND ARE BECOMING A PARTY TO THIS AGREEMENT. THIS PRODUCT REQUIRES USER REGISTRATION AND WILL CEASE TO FUNCTION IF USER REGISTRATION IS NOT CONFIRMED. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO ALL OF THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, CLICK THE "CANCEL" BUTTON, AND, IF APPLICABLE, RETURN THIS PRODUCT TO THE PLACE OF PURCHASE FOR A FULL REFUND.

 

 

Next the section on on line data storage (this is the entire section):

ONLINE BACKUP

 

Data you enter into the Software, including notes, settings, preferences, and documents, will be automatically backed up to Logos.com over the Internet, and downloaded to other instances of the Software logged in using your email and password. This automatic synchronization helps you access your content on multiple computers and may be used to let you use your own data online. Logos will not share your data without your permission, but may examine it programmatically for anonymous statistical purposes or in order to provide technical support.

DO NOT STORE HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION IN THE SOFTWARE. The Software is designed for consumer reference and study purposes, and while we will take all precautions to protect your data, we cannot ensure the level of security you would expect from online banking or other highly secure services.

You are responsible to keep the password associated with your Logos.com login private. It is the primary means of security for data synchronized through the Software.

 

Finally the entire section on Confidentiality (as if the above weren't enough):

 

CONFIDENTIALITY

 

The Software contains trade secrets and proprietary know-how that belong to us and it is being made available to you in strict confidence. ANY USE OR DISCLOSURE OF THE SOFTWARE, OR OF ITS ALGORITHMS, PROTOCOLS OR INTERFACES, OTHER THAN IN STRICT ACCORDANCE WITH THIS LICENSE AGREEMENT, MAY BE ACTIONABLE AS A VIOLATION OF OUR TRADE SECRET RIGHTS.

 

This looks pretty easy to understand to me. If you don't like it, don't just complain, suggest change.

 

 


 

 

 

Posts 691
Frank Sauer | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 1:13 PM

Robert, the problem I had with the banking comparison was not the EULA, but your mention of putting banking information in an email, which is not in the EULA... As for the rest see my response to the EULA....

 

Also what is V4 syncing? Does anyone even know? The EULA doesn't address in entirety, so is Logos in violation if I find out that system information or other use is being synced? Not that I believe Logos would do that, but it is an industry action that is highly common, yet it is not addressed in the EULA...

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 1:26 PM

This is starting to sound like a rehash of other threads on the same topic (e.g., http://community.logos.com/forums/t/15836.aspx).

Yes, this is a topic worthy of discussion, and is legitimate on these forums. But it doesn't look like the discussion is going anywhere, though it does seem to be heating up.

While I admit that I'm not disturbed by Logos' programming choice in this regard (I'm a pastor living in a parsonage: AKA a "glass house" so I'm used to being watched Wink), I wouldn't be opposed to having an option to keep certain data from not syncing. I probably wouldn't use it, but there are many functions of Logos I don't use. That doesn't mean I'd be opposed to others having this option.

How about simply making that a suggestion on the suggestion forums (as well as on uservoice)? A polite, well reasoned suggestion usually go farther than complaints, and it doesn't look like we're convincing each other about our perspectives on what the issues even are anyway.

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

Posts 521
Russ White | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 1:41 PM

How about simply making that a suggestion on the suggestion forums (as well as on uservoice)? A polite, well reasoned suggestion usually go farther than complaints, and it doesn't look like we're convincing each other about our perspectives on what the issues even are anyway.

The suggestion has been made on uservoice... I would like to see that suggestion get more votes.

At the same time, Bob has already indicated he won't entertain the suggestion no matter how many votes it receives. So, at the moment, I'm committed to posting articles from the IT press (which I read all the time) in this area to these forums, until enough people see the problems, and get Logos to listen. Part of the problem here is that Logos is going to start losing sales over this--I'm having a hard time pushing a demo out to my Seminary, partially because of this issue--and others have indicated they have a hard time recommending Logos 4 to their students and friends. I have a lot of money invested in this software and resources--I don't want to see it all go down the drain because Logos wouldn't take a simple suggestion (allowing users to control the synchronization of user entered data to the servers) seriously.

:-)

Russ

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 2:17 PM

Russ White:

The suggestion has been made on uservoice... I would like to see that suggestion get more votes.

At the same time, Bob has already indicated he won't entertain the suggestion no matter how many votes it receives.

I suggested also posting this in the suggestions forum here.

Also as I read Bob's response, at best this is lower priority than other things. He did not give an unequivocal "No" to the idea.

Here's the entire quote:

"You can turn off Internet Use in the program settings, and get updates by ordering DVD's on occasion. We'll continue to listen to feedback on this, though it's lower on our priority list than missing features."

He says, he's listening, he does not say that "he won't entertain the suggestion no matter how many votes it gets."

Russ White:
Part of the problem here is that Logos is going to start losing sales over this

Maybe, but so far Logos sales of version 4 were way above expectations, and continue to be. So, for now, at least, this fear can be put to rest.

But that doesn't mean that the suggestion is not a good one, nor that Logos shouldn't consider it.

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

Posts 232
AndyTheGreek | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 2:24 PM

Wow. I go out for the evening and all these posts! Not bad for a 'silly' threadWink

I will admit to rarely reading EULA and even the manuals (help file or printed) when it comes to using most software. If, however, I am using software that I feel might damage my computer (defrag, partition, encryption, system tweaks) I tend to be more careful. It's a bit like the difference between buying a radio and buying a powertool. You expect the radio to work as expected and, within reason, be harmless. A powertool, on the other hand, needs a lot more care.

Logos4 is Bible Study/Research Software. To me, it fell into the 'harmless' category in much the same way as my software dictionary and encyclopedia. I may be being naive, but I would expect software that is intending to copy anything I type onto someone else's computer system to, in a way that cannot be ignored, tell me upfront. An EULA doesn't meet this criteria for me, unless they have a way to force you to read it before accepting it, which they don't.

I agree that prayer lists are more likely to contain sensitive or personal content than notes - my notes (whether on computer or scribbled in the margin) tend to be technical details. But my prayer lists would not be like that.

Anyhow, I think I have made my feelings on this clear enough. I would like the ability to retain internet use for program & resource update notifications without that meaning that data syncing is also given the green light. A separate option to turn data syncing on/off should be provided. That's all. Silly? I don't think so.

Posts 11433
DMB | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 2:36 PM
Well, I certainly wish the best for Logos and their sales. More sales means more resources they can afford to code. But at the church fixup meeting today, everyone thought it was a little funny how a Bible software company won't let you keep your notes and prayer lists private. I still think it's a bit strange, since Logos does have an option not to monitor your Logos use ... but they'll take those notes and prayers. Gotta have them. Must be a good reason, right?

"God will save his fallen angels and their broken wings He'll mend."

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 2:53 PM

DeniseBarnhart:
I still think it's a bit strange, since Logos does have an option not to monitor your Logos use ... but they'll take those notes and prayers. Gotta have them. Must be a good reason, right?

?

Yes, the reason is user convenience. I write my notes on my desktop, in the office, and they're available to me in my laptop when I'm traveling, or on a smartphone (if I'd ever want to use one). I'm glad to have this functionality. (Just be wise about how you use it.)

As I said above, in place of a complaint, why not make a suggestion in the suggestion forum? (Not that I'm complaining about your complaint Wink)

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 3:37 PM

Russ White:
The suggestion has been made on uservoice... I would like to see that suggestion get more votes.

I am all for having a "privacy" option added to Logos 4.
I am all for expressing one's views in uservoice.
I am all for Logos' self determination as to wether or not to add such a feature.
I am even for posting further persuasive points in the forums.

Just don't go whiney rebel on everybody if, in the end, you still don't get what you ask for. I am anxiously awaiting PBB capability coming to Logos 4. I doubt we will ever get it the way we had it in Version 3. But I won't do a sit-in strike for it. (And I do know how ugly strikes can get.)

I think most of the arguments have been made. It is a good idea to keep bumping the thread to the top for new readers to see. But let's not bury it with redundancy.

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

Posts 521
Russ White | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 3:49 PM

Also as I read Bob's response, at best this is lower priority than other things. He did not give an unequivocal "No" to the idea.

In the uservoice forum, no. But at other times and places, he has put out long threads saying, in essence, that he won't consider it.

Maybe, but so far Logos sales of version 4 were way above expectations, and continue to be.

Perhaps. But I can name at least two professors who tell their students to steer away from using Logos, partially because of the privacy issues involved here. A lot of the problem is that people just don't know it exists. In the end, my effectiveness (and desire) at selling Logos into the seminary I attend, and the church I attend, is going to depend on whether or not this problem is fixed. I consistently warn people away from Facebook, and try to help them understand the privacy concerns there. I consistently warn people about always using Google search. I would hate to add Logos to the list of things I don't recommend because user privacy isn't protected, and user data not respected.

Russ

Posts 521
Russ White | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 1 2010 3:56 PM

Just don't go whiney rebel on everybody if, in the end, you still don't get what you ask for. I am anxiously awaiting PBB capability coming to Logos 4.

Let me ask you something: If someone discovers a car they own is tracking where they drive, and there is no way to turn the tracking off, is it "whiny rebel" to sell the car, or simply recommend people not to buy the same car? Or is it simply telling people the truth about products you already own?

I understand the desire for the PBB capability. I would like to see such capability myself. But privacy is the first job Logos should tackle, not the second. Especially since this is such a simple request. They obviously have a list of files that should be synchronized someplace. Making an option to not synchronize those files would probably be on the order of 20 or 30 lines of code. A personal book builder would be on the order of thousands of lines of code. If I had access to the source, I could probably build the feature I'm asking for in a half a day--it would take longer to figure out where to put the option in the UI than it would to modify the list of files to synchronize (assuming Logos is in C--I don't speak C++).

1. It's simple to code.

2. It's important.

I don't see the downside here.

Russ

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