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Woz: Cloud computing trend is 'horrendous'

Beardy Apple wildman voices fears while treading the boards

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The risks of cloud computing will be "horrendous", Steve Wozniak said last night, in a statement that will set eyeballs rolling at Apple - the company he co-founded with Steve Jobs.

The bearded designer of the Apple II is prone to off-message statements, but the latest one takes a dig at an area Apple has just invested a lot of money in: the cloud. Apple's iCloud online backup storage product was launched a year ago and plays a prominent role in the company's iOS and Mac OS X operating systems.

Woz thinks data storage and processing in the cloud will lead to disaster: "I really worry about everything going to the cloud," he said, reported by AFP. "I think it's going to be horrendous. I think there are going to be a lot of horrible problems in the next five years."

Woz also worried about ownership in a world of floating cloud-based content:

With the cloud, you don't own anything. You already signed it away. I want to feel that I own things [...] A lot of people feel, 'Oh, everything is really on my computer,' but I say: the more we transfer everything onto the web, onto the cloud, the less we're going to have control over it.

Wozniak's choice of venue won't be warmly received at Apple either - he was sharing a stage with Mike Daisey at a performance of the monologuist's show The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs. The show caused a scandal after it was aired on radio show This American Life, because significant claims about conditions for workers in Apple's supply chain were disputed by the translator who was with Daisey during his trip to China.

Daisey took a reworked version of his show to Washington DC, with the bogus bits removed, according to the Washington Post.

Laugh though we may, today's story of an iCloud hack that wiped all of a user's devices proves the beardy engineer could well have a point. ®

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