Cloud Computing and QR Codes (again)

Alphabet encoded in QR Code

Image via Wikipedia

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I am happy to announce that I have a brand spankin’ new computer. I’ve loaded it with Microsoft Security Essentials, Malware Bytes, Open Office 3.3, Internet Explorer 9, and Firefox’s latest browser with the Web of Trust (WOT) add-on. Plus my Magic Jack. I am all set for a faster, more up-to-date browsing experience. But, I have not moved my bookmarks from my old laptop. That means I am browsing like a first-time computer user—everything is fresh and new.

Cloud Computing. You probably have seen the commercial where a woman says, “to the cloud,” making it sound like only newer computers have the capacity to use cloud computing. Not so. If you use Web-based email, as I do (Yahoo), then you are accessing the “cloud.” I have many photographs stored on Flickr.com, another example of being “in the cloud.” Not to mention my two blogs on WordPress.com. Using online services saves people from bogging down their own machines with additional data or software. But there is a caveat: cloud computing messes with your rights, and can compromise your privacy. But we all marked that little checkbox—probably without a thorough reading—that gives the cloud servers permission to do stuff with our data at our own risk. For more information about privacy issues, you can go to http://epic.org/privacy/cloudcomputing.

QR Codes (again). Several months ago, at the prompting of Tom Montgomery, I wrote about the promise—or–doom of Quick Response codes. They are those black and white squares you are beginning to see more often on various products. They are similar to a bar code, but unlike the more familiar bar codes, the QR codes can contain considerably larger amounts of data. Their uses are only limited to the imagination. Currently, they are being used on business cards and in catalogs by marketers with eyes on the younger, smartphone market. And this month, a company known as Skanz will start selling I.D. wristbands to the digitally tuned in generation..

Don’t have a pen and paper? No problem. Just scan my QR code and get my name, address, phone, resume, link to my Facebook page perhaps, and whatever other information I choose to have included on that ubiquitous little square. And I know you are thinking what I’m thinking: here comes Big Brother. Yes, I can envision our personal QR code tattoos—forget wrist bracelets– being scanned as we walk through security at the airport—no need for a driver’s license or other I.d. The mark of the beast? Mark my words—you will be hearing lots more about QR codes soon, pro and con. The young will scoff and accept QR codes as the wave of the future. The older generation, those who were sure that barcodes were the sign of the fall of civilization, can now worry about this new digital threat. I have an unwanted tattoo on my side put there in 1952 by misguided officials. Holocaust survivors have their horrifying, unwanted tattoos. We will be among those worrying about the misuse of QR codes.

 

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~ by IndianaDunesPoet on July 5, 2011.

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