“It’s really hard for the government to censor things when they don’t understand the made-up words or meaning behind the imagery,” said Kevin Lee, COO of China Youthology, in conversation at the DLD conference in Munich on Monday. “The people there aren’t even relying on text anymore It’s audio, visual, photos. All the young people are creating their own languages.”Mike Isaac, AllThingsD via Bruce Schneier

Combined with an earlier article written by Schneier, speak to an unsurprising and systematic lack of understanding of technology by the government, and I think this scales well to any person in a position of leadership who doesn't really care about the issues at hand. Cybersecurity initiatives are a great way for representatives to gerrymander benefits for their constituents, but I'm not convinced that many of them actually understand what they're talking about.

My dad, a professor of engineering at SJSU, does care about the topics he teaches, and I'm often the target of his questions. Some time ago, he asked me to formalise a definition for The Cloud. First, my father is a more advanced troll than I ever realised.Second, exploring this was a journey though people's misunderstandings of technology—as you'd expect from formalising any buzzword.

The cloud used to be the server side of a client-server relationship, with an emphasis on server clusters and massive scalability. As the term caught on and became a buzzword, and as many of my friends and I were working at VMware at the time—a company that was in a unique place to provide private cloud solutions—we quickly started using The Cloud as an expletive when something was broken or someone was making buzzword gumbo. Thus I can now define The Cloud as:

  1. The component in a product or service which, when broken, cannot be fixed by even the most competent end user.
  2. Magical marketing fairy dust.