The real cloud

Think about a movie that you're downloading via BitTorrent*. Better yet, visualize it using this amazing BitTorrent visualization. Where is the movie stored? Well, on the hard drive of the person who started the torrent. Except they might have left the swarm by now. So instead, on the hard drives of a couple dozen other users. Except none of the ones you're talking to may actually have a full copy of the movie, just the pieces of it you happen to need. Instead, stop looking at the nodes. They come and go, none of them are vital. Instead, look at the center of the simulation: the mass of bits flying from one node to the next. That's where the movie is. This is the cloud: the real cloud, not the marketing term. The movie isn't on a device, it's on the network, perpetually in transit, stored in the very wires and routers that compose it. And as long as enough nodes exist to bounce it around, it will stay there. Already, there are some torrents that have stayed alive for over seven years, almost from the...
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