The Cloud

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Posts 521
Russ White | Forum Activity | Posted: Mon, Nov 2 2009 4:01 PM

I see Logos is "in love with" the cloud. As an IT professional, I must tell you that "the cloud" is going to crush Logos, if Logos isn't careful. "The Cloud" is just another name for "the community at large." While I understand the strong desire to jump on the bandwagon of being a member of the community, take a lesson from someone who lives this life:

The Borg are only cool in the movies.

The cloud is a dangerous idea. I would seriously suggest spending some time reading folks are critical of "the cloud" before going farther down this road. For instance, how do you delete things once they are in "the cloud?" You can't. What about when you want a resource "the cloud" no longer wants you to have? No local copies. What about when you're in the middle of the desert, and have no Internet access? Or a persecuted Christian in China, and want resources, but don't want folks to know, precisely, where you are?

As Logos goes down this road, it is committing everyone who uses this software to a specific worldview--a worldview many people would argue is not Christian (including me).

Russ

Posts 502
Randall Hartman | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 2 2009 4:04 PM

Speaking of that, I seriously had a guy tell me that the white streaks in the sky from overhead jets were a gas designed by the government to control all of the people.  Uh, you don't happen to drive a white van do you?

Posts 1620
Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 2 2009 4:12 PM

There are serious privacy issues for cloud computing.  Anyone on the pipeline from my computer to Logos, and especially both ends are security risks.  However, Logos 4 DOES allow the user to use their resources without any internet connectivity at all.  Yes, it will not keep itself updated.  Yes, it will not keep reading plans synced between computers.  No Google Maps, Reading Lists, etc.

We beta testers did argue about this.  For better or worse, it advantages for many of us outweigh the disadvantages.  There are more than a few hints that Logos will allow us to use our resources via the web instead of just on our computer, but for now, we DO have local copies.  That is why L4 has such large initial downloads.  Logos has promised to mail resources on DVD's if necessary, and you CAN turn off the internet features.  If you cannot get a DVD to you, it will likely be hard to get either a computer or book in any format to you, so it is hardly Logos' fault.

The Gospel is not ... a "new law," on the contrary, ... a "new life." - William Julius Mann

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Posts 4508
Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 2 2009 4:14 PM

Russ,

Yes...they are committed.

Bob has given a lot of very good reasons why also...

Your points have been brought up several times during the beta cycle and there are ways to deal with them all. Possibly Bob might chime in or point you to his answers.

 

You can use Logos "off the grid" indefinitely if you'd like...There are certain things you won't get is all...syncing, Home page reloads, Sermon downloads...etc.

 

As for the cloud giving you things you don't want; you can "hide them"  and they go away and don't come back...so yes...you can delete them.

And as for downloading resources that the cloud "no longer wants you to have"? I'm not sure what you are talking about there...do you have a specific fear that Logos can address?

 

Question: if you were using V3 and you were hiding out in China undercover and didn't want anyone to know where you are...how would you get disks and remain anonymous?

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

Posts 2744
Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 2 2009 4:20 PM

RussWhite:
As Logos goes down this road, it is committing everyone who uses this software to a specific worldview--a worldview many people would argue is not Christian (including me).

Get a copy of DVD with the resources or download them and then shut down the Internet in the Setup. Stop syncing by the Command bar and you can use your Logos without any cloud.

Bohuslav

Posts 670
Frank Sauer | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 2 2009 4:21 PM

As one of the beta testers and someone who had an IT background I was and still am anti cloud. However it is a business decision that will allow Logos to save a good amount of resources on the Customer Service and Technical Support end of their model.

Still hoping that they have a change of heart there, but it does not seem to be anything in the near future.

Posts 521
Russ White | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 2 2009 4:31 PM

Um, no. But I'm seriously involved in Internet level security, and security in the cloud worries me a great deal more than it does most people. I know this might seem "weird," but if you sat in meetings with DHS and various classified military groups, and discussed "the cloud" as I have, you would experience a serious eye opening.

Russ

(wishing I could combine these answers, but I don't see how to on this forum?)

Posts 1416
Wes Saad | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 2 2009 4:33 PM

Russ,

This was also discussed in the beta forums and some shared your concern, particularly when considering believers serving in dangerous locations. There are ways to avoid privacy issues

But I think the cloud concept implemented by Logos does not quite match your description. It is not a community thing, per se, in that it is not designed to enhance Logos community interaction, but it greatly simplifies the process of updating the software and resources as well as back up and synchronize notes. As a pastor who works from a church office and from my home computer I love the sync features.

I trust Logos with my data and even if I didn't I would not be too worried about them reading my study notes or looking at my highlights! Might learn 'em a thing or two.

As for worldview, I'm really not sure what worldview would be involved in this. What is "not Christian" about simplifying the process of updating, backing up, or synchronizing material? I am not sure where a moral value could even remotely be associated to these things. 

Posts 605
John Fugh, Jr. | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 2 2009 4:37 PM

Chris Roberts:
I trust Logos with my data and even if I didn't I would not be too worried about them reading my study notes or looking at my highlights! Might learn 'em a thing or two.

 

I have no reason not to truth Logos either.  But, Russ does raise a interesting point about the pipe that exists between the users and the servers at Logos.  Is it secure?  What type of encryption is used?  Who has access?  I am not a conspiracy theorist, but I worked many years as a Information Security Professional (CISSP, MCSE).

 

Yes, I trust logos, but what if logos (God forbid) is bought in the future by a not-so-reputable company?

 

John

Posts 2744
Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 2 2009 4:39 PM

RussWhite:

Um, no. But I'm seriously involved in Internet level security, and security in the cloud worries me a great deal more than it does most people. I know this might seem "weird," but if you sat in meetings with DHS and various classified military groups, and discussed "the cloud" as I have, you would experience a serious eye opening.

Russ

(wishing I could combine these answers, but I don't see how to on this forum?)

Russ, I lived longer part of my life in the communist regime. The secret police followed us all the time. We used to have a saying that "walls have ears". But what worse might happen to us. Somebody will steal my sermons? I have MP3s with all of them on the web. My notes? Yes, I might have some non-politically correct notes. We live in understanding that our cell phone calls are recorded (at least here in Europe). Computers can be hacked by 15 year old boys, yes, but that is how this world looks like. It is the other side of the moon, I would say. I can live with it.

Bohuslav

Posts 3810
spitzerpl | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 2 2009 4:41 PM

Well, I have a funny feeling the powers that be at Logos thought hard about "the cloud" before jumping in. I have a funny feeling their sitting on a handsome amount of hardware to make all these huge downloads and syncing possible. They are in and better or worse I think the song being sung is "no turning back....no turning back...."

Personally, I'm glad for the cloud. My information is in the cloud whether I like it or not. I certainly won't challenge your expertise in the area, but neither will I ignore Bob's record of thoughtful decision making as far as how Logos will utilize "the cloud."

Posts 8602
TCBlack | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 2 2009 4:44 PM

John Fugh, Jr.:
Yes, I trust logos, but what if logos (God forbid) is bought in the future by a not-so-reputable company?

No joke, we asked this in beta.  Bob's response was that Logos is a privately held corporation.  He was some 30-40 years from retirement and he has no plans on selling.

Truth Is Still Truth Even if You Don't Believe It

Check the Wiki

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Posts 3810
spitzerpl | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 2 2009 4:47 PM

Thomas Black:
He was some 30-40 years from retirement and he has no plans on selling.

I guess I should stop writing that proposal...

Posts 521
Russ White | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 2 2009 4:50 PM

For now. And that's what really bothers me. If Logos is really committed to this path, then there will be a point where you can't use Logos off the cloud. That, in fact, is the point of the cloud, in the end. It's not the current state of things, it's the trajectory this starts.

Yes, I know it saves support costs. What's the human cost of saving support costs, though? The journey might be sweet, but the destination might really not be where you want to be.

The problem with deleting things is you can "hide them," but you can't ever delete them. Ever. Again, that's the point of the cloud, that no information can ever be deleted. The cloud isn't commercially interesting if data can be deleted.

For resources that disappear, there is a recent case with Amazon and the Kindle. A specific book was released into the Kindle, and Amazon decided, for various reasons, that it "wasn't appropriate content." The book was removed without the knowledge or consent of the Kindle's users, and a refund for the purchase price placed in the user's account. This is all fine, as long as the folks determining what should and shouldn't be removed from in front of your eyes are trustworthy. But we're all human, aren't we? And we can all succumb to political and financial pressure. 21st century book burnings will simply require a button that's pressed, and the content disappears from everywhere except special "containers" within "the cloud" where it's allowed to exist, like a virus in a laboratory.

Finally, there is the issue of data leaks. This is another area where it might not seem like a big deal. I don't care if Logos knows what books I own. What if Logos goes out of business, and that information is transferred to another party? Or what if Logos is bought by a company without the same scruples we assume are in place now? In fact, another piece of "the cloud" is the idea of having multiple "fronts" that each appear to be small "niche" companies, but which are all owned by a small number of "back end" players, who gather the data up to build a complete "dossier" on each person's life.

So, yes, there are specific things Logos can address.

1. Don't ever remove a book I own. IE, if I own it, and it's on my hard drive, make it so it can never be removed, that it's always possible to have local books which can be run locally, and not touched, or even possibly seen, by "the cloud."

2. Explain what the deletion policy is once something has been "hidden." Is it really deleted? Or is it just on some backup someplace?

3. How much information is Logos drawing from my system? Google, for instance, rates your intelligence based on the way you type and what you search for, and then tailors their results to how intelligent they think you are. They save every possible search you make, and combine it with the contents of your email, the maps information they have, the maps information you search for, the videos you watch on YouTube, everything you post on Facebook, and everything they can get from your medical records (some of which they already have access to), to build a profile about you that you wouldn't believe. Where is the line drawn with Logos, specifically?

4. How much information can third party players gather from my use of Logos because it's on "the cloud?" Logos might have strict privacy policies, but just like the US Gov't gets the British to spy on US citizens (because it's illegal for the CIA, for instance, to do so), some companies do the same thing with their user data. For instance, you go to a web site and browse around. The web site owner says they never sell your information. What they don't tell you is that Google Analytics is running on the web site, as well, so Google is gathering your information, and sending it all over the place.

So, yes, I have concerns. Yes, I've seen all of this stuff done in the real world. Yes, I'm something of a security geek--I have very expensive door locks, I shred everything, I have strong firewalls, I have blinds on my windows, etc.--but I've learned what people can do on the backend, and it scares me.

I understand the drive. What worries me are the unintended consequences.

At least that's one engineer's perspective.

Russ

Posts 521
Russ White | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 2 2009 4:55 PM

Oh, and one other thing that would help: Logos should "fail open." If it can't reach "the cloud," it should always revert to a state of using a local license file and local files for all access. In other words, it should never fail in a state that causes the software to be unusable if "the cloud" fails, or can't be reached, or the end user needs to "override" the cloud.

Doors should fail closed. Routers and firewalls should fail open. Software that contains data I created, or rely on, should fail in a way that allows me more access than I might otherwise have, rather than less.

Just one more point to consider.

Russ

Posts 2744
Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 2 2009 5:05 PM

RussWhite:

Oh, and one other thing that would help: Logos should "fail open." If it can't reach "the cloud," it should always revert to a state of using a local license file and local files for all access. In other words, it should never fail in a state that causes the software to be unusable if "the cloud" fails, or can't be reached, or the end user needs to "override" the cloud.

Doors should fail closed. Routers and firewalls should fail open. Software that contains data I created, or rely on, should fail in a way that allows me more access than I might otherwise have, rather than less.

Just one more point to consider.

Russ

As far as I know it does that. I used Logos a few times without Internet and it was OK.

Bohuslav

Posts 2212
Damian McGrath | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 2 2009 5:19 PM

RussWhite:

Yes, I know it saves support costs. What's the human cost of saving support costs, though? The journey might be sweet, but the destination might really not be where you want to be.

There may be a reduction in the number of support staff answering queries about lost license keys. The money will be used to employ more people in other areas and ensures the ongoing financial stability of the company.

 

RussWhite:

The problem with deleting things is you can "hide them," but you can't ever delete them. Ever. Again, that's the point of the cloud, that no information can ever be deleted. The cloud isn't commercially interesting if data can be deleted.

The resource is deleted from your hard drive but, as with Logos 3.0, your license key still holds the information that you have purchased that resource.

 

RussWhite:

For resources that disappear, there is a recent case with Amazon and the Kindle. A specific book was released into the Kindle, and Amazon decided, for various reasons, that it "wasn't appropriate content." The book was removed without the knowledge or consent of the Kindle's users, and a refund for the purchase price placed in the user's account. This is all fine, as long as the folks determining what should and shouldn't be removed from in front of your eyes are trustworthy. But we're all human, aren't we? And we can all succumb to political and financial pressure. 21st century book burnings will simply require a button that's pressed, and the content disappears from everywhere except special "containers" within "the cloud" where it's allowed to exist, like a virus in a laboratory.

Amazon sold a book that they did not have permission to sell. That's illegal. The purchasers did not have a right to that book on their Kindles. A very particular circumstance.

 

RussWhite:

Finally, there is the issue of data leaks. This is another area where it might not seem like a big deal. I don't care if Logos knows what books I own. What if Logos goes out of business, and that information is transferred to another party? Or what if Logos is bought by a company without the same scruples we assume are in place now? In fact, another piece of "the cloud" is the idea of having multiple "fronts" that each appear to be small "niche" companies, but which are all owned by a small number of "back end" players, who gather the data up to build a complete "dossier" on each person's life.

All possible with or without "the cloud."

 

RussWhite:

1. Don't ever remove a book I own. IE, if I own it, and it's on my hard drive, make it so it can never be removed, that it's always possible to have local books which can be run locally, and not touched, or even possibly seen, by "the cloud."

There's no threat of this. Plus, turn off your internet connection and they'll never know you are there.

 

RussWhite:

2. Explain what the deletion policy is once something has been "hidden." Is it really deleted? Or is it just on some backup someplace?

See above.

 

RussWhite:

3. How much information is Logos drawing from my system? Google, for instance, rates your intelligence based on the way you type and what you search for, and then tailors their results to how intelligent they think you are. They save every possible search you make, and combine it with the contents of your email, the maps information they have, the maps information you search for, the videos you watch on YouTube, everything you post on Facebook, and everything they can get from your medical records (some of which they already have access to), to build a profile about you that you wouldn't believe. Where is the line drawn with Logos, specifically?

They have been able to draw, with our permission, a great amount of detail under Logos 3.0. It is the same with 4.0. Go to Program Settings and chose to either send data anonymously or not to send data at all.

 

RussWhite:

4. How much information can third party players gather from my use of Logos because it's on "the cloud?" Logos might have strict privacy policies, but just like the US Gov't gets the British to spy on US citizens (because it's illegal for the CIA, for instance, to do so), some companies do the same thing with their user data. For instance, you go to a web site and browse around. The web site owner says they never sell your information. What they don't tell you is that Google Analytics is running on the web site, as well, so Google is gathering your information, and sending it all over the place.

Not sure about a privacy policy. There should be one and it should be readily accessible. This is a good question.

 

 

 

 

Posts 2212
Damian McGrath | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 2 2009 5:20 PM

Re Privacy Policy and Data Collection see...

http://www.logos.com/about/privacy

 

Not sure why they collect cookies....

Posts 2778
J.R. Miller | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 2 2009 5:37 PM

RussWhite:
As Logos goes down this road, it is committing everyone who uses this software to a specific worldview--a worldview many people would argue is not Christian (including me).
Seriously, the use of the internet is not "Christian"?  But doing IT for a living is?  Are you for real?  I see why you are in IT and not a theologian.  Give me a break.  Next you will be telling us that "The Cloud" is really the 666 mark of the beast.  Devil

My Books in Logos & FREE Training

Posts 605
John Fugh, Jr. | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Nov 2 2009 5:44 PM

I think we should not be to hasty with Russ.  I have been on the forum for a while and there are some real concerns that people have with the Cloud computing.  I know the L4 is not quite there, but Russ does point out that the trajectory that it throws us is quite clear.  I have worked in the IT field and worked in Information Security for a Credit Card company for many years.  For those who are ignorant about the threats that are out there seem to be blissfully living in another realm.  It is not safe.  I don't care if I only have notes or sermons on my computer - my information should be secure and what I purchase should not be dependent on the Internet.  I KNOW...this is not L4 - but, Russ makes a good point that it sure looks like this is the trajectory.

 

John

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