Cloud Computing

  1. What is Cloud Computing?
    • Cloud computing is where users store their documents, programs and data on the Internet rather than on their own computers.  As long as the user has access to an Internet connection, they can create, edit and share ICT files from almost any location.  Because the data and programs are stored remotely, on the Internet, the user will save space on their computer’s storage drives.
  2. Name some uses of Cloud Computing
    • Streaming music:-
      • Music is stored remotely on an Internet server and accessed via a website.
      • Users can log onto the website and then listen to the music using ‘Internet Streaming’.
      • The music file is not downloaded onto the users computer.
      • Streaming music is a little bit like listening to the radio where you listen to the music but do not actually own a copy.  The only difference is that, with streaming, you get to pick which songs you want to listen to.  Popular music streaming websites include Spotify, Jango, Pandora.
    • Google Docs
      • Google docs offers users the ability to use free software such as  spreadsheets, word processors, presentation builders and drawing programs.  This software is stored on the Internet (in the Cloud) so users don’t have to install it in their computers.  Any documents created within Google Docs are also stored remotely in the cloud.  This means that the documents can be accessed from any location as long as the user has Internet connection.
  3. What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Cloud Computing?
    • Advantages
      • Lower Costs:- Many programs in the cloud are free to use.
      • Increased accessibility:-  Programs and documents are accessible no matter where you are as long as you have an Internet connection.
      • Time saving:-  No need to spend time installing software onto your computer as you access it directly from the cloud.
      • Increased storage space:-  Programs and documents are stored in the cloud so this frees up storage space on your computer.
      • Backups:-  Documents in the cloud are automatically backed up for you so you don’t have to remember to do it yourself.
      • Sharing of data:-  Documents can be shared very easily which is useful for group work.
    • Disadvantages
      • Security risks:-  Data stored online is always vulnerable to hackers and viruses.
      • Decreased accessibility:-  If you do have have access to the Internet (your connection is down), then you cannot access your documents and programs.
      • Quality of software:-  Cloud programs (especially the free ones) don’t usually have all of the features of a full version of the software.
        • For example:  Cloud’s version of a word processor may not allow you to edit a document as well as Microsoft Word does.
      • Potential increased costs:-  Some cloud providers only allow you to use their programs after you have paid a subscription.
  4. What are E-books and Online newspapers (Electronic books and newspapers)?
    • E-books and online newspapers are digital versions of traditional printed publications.  E-books and newspapers are readable on a variety of electronic devices such as:
      • Desktop PCs
      • Laptops
      • IPADs
      • Mobile Phones
      • Amazon Kindles
    • Amazon Kindles are specifically designed to allow users the ability to read E-books.  These types of devices are known as ‘e-book readers‘ or ‘e-readers‘.  E-books have already been created to replace many of old printed books.  E-books and newspapers are usually downloaded from the Internet onto the computer or e-reader.  Electronic books and newspapers tend to be cheaper to buy than their printed counterparts.
  5. What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of E-books and Online newspapers?
    • Advantages
      • Storage benefits:-  Thousands of digital books can be stored on one computing device or e-book reader.  The same number of printed paper books would require a very large room in which to store them.
      • Paperless:-  Digital books do not need to be printed onto paper.  This is much more environmentally friendly.
      • Instant access to your book or newspaper:-  E-books/newspapers can be downloaded from the Internet almost instantly.  If you want access to a printed book, you need to travel to the store to buy it or order online and then wait a few days for delivery.
      • Cheaper to buy:-  E-books/newspapers generally cost less than printed publications.
    • Disadvantages
    • Health and Safety:-  Computer screens (and some e-book readers) can reflect light which causes glare.  This can cause headaches and eye strain.  Printed pages do not have this problem.
    • Piracy:-  E-books are digital and so are very easy to copy and share.
    • Usability:-  E-books are hard to search through to find specific pages. The pages of printed books can be flipped through quickly to find the page you want.
    • High initial cost:-  Before you can read a digital e-book or newspaper you need either a computer or an e-book reader.  These are not cheap.

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