OK -- First off: The cloud isn't anything new. It's just cheaper, and easier for anyone to get their hands on. More-so, companies and various individuals have made it easier to manage. Text documents, music, videos, whatever. It's literally no different than renting a fleet of servers and managing them with some fancy software, yourself.
Hopefully this video will help you understand the "cloud" to at least a "minimal."
So hopefully you get the idea of the cloud if you did not have an idea before.
Do you think the cloud is good for you? For all your files, etc? No. I hope you don't. The cloud is not meant for personal files. It should never be meant for personal files. There's exceptions to consider. Such as websites (this website is hosted on amazon's EC2 currently), random odd music files, etc for backup. But should your personal pictures be there?
If you wouldn't hang these files up in plain form in your back yard (on a clothes line), then I wouldn't considering doing the same for the cloud. This goes for all services. Twitter, Facebook, MySpace; virtually anything that can be considered personal from the time you post something personal.
On a side note: There's tons of people out there that make a living off of exposing their off-the-Internet life. There's nothing wrong with that. If you can have fun while doing it, and be safe, by all means.
Obviously there's some files that wouldn't make a difference public or private. Just think clearly before putting them out there in the open.
Even Facebook says it does not delete everything straight a-way after deactivating/deleting your account.
There, I'll be one of the ones to say it. The cloud in current form as far as "social websites," "file backup services," and anything else that leverages the cloud for direct and in-direct use is in-fact.. broke.
It's not the provider's fault either. It's more of some of the Internet Service Providers, and others that can't mind their own business (people that send other people pointless "DMCAs").
In an what I like to call "extended" cloud, services like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube will not make it through the cross-fire if Internet companies continue to dish out nasty blows to each other, and end-consumers. (however, then you see companies that like to push for non-equal Internet pipes (Verizon?))
Just to elaborate on the extended cloud definition: Any service that can be used anywhere, at anytime, that provides more than just text. Video watching, music listening, picture sharing. I define it as anything that does not typically store content on one's device. This does not include services such as Amazon Web Services, CloudFiles, and so on. Basically anything that provides in-direct hosting of one's files. If that makes any sense, at all.
From slapping low bandwidth caps on cell phones, all the way down to slapping "even" caps on houses. It doesn't look painful now, but the mobile land will not be as innovated as it could be if the low caps are kept. Hence my "I'm not really that bothered" about tablets opinion. Why would I invest in a device that cannot be exhausted to its limits?
Mobile land, as it is now, is not suit for services that are becoming the future. Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, etc will not hold up against these Internet caps, and in my opinion not a lot care either - Or are not aware of possible limitations.
Imagine not being able to watch a few movies, or listen to music (like I do anyway) as much as you normally would sitting at your computer?
The tablet is STILL not mobile .. yet
Some think the the tablet is not mobile, and I don't disagree. The tablets are just stripped OSs meant for particular uses, or a sub-set of uses. App Stores of many kinds: Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and; Companies that use Android (anyway) are able to plug their own Market for applications. There's just a lot holding the mobile sector of a tablet back.
Don't get me wrong, anyone can define the tablet as mobile for many reasons. It is mobile to an extent, but to me, no. It has a lot more to go through before I can accept it as a full-on mobile device. I will say that the PlayBook is an eye-catcher.
So far I've made a few points (I think I did) at why the cloud is broke.
Well anywho, if the "Internet" keeps on slipping on this path, or further, the "cloud" will turn to a big puddle of .... Who knows.
Hopefully companies (Internet Service Providers) will soon understand that cramping up their users is bad - More-so, cell phone companies that exhaust plans, then rip them out from people later on. Or ones that serve customers with "2-5GB" for data and/or try to stamp it with "Unlimited."
Image by Geicher Photography