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Agile Computing Authors: Gregor Petri, Georgiana Comsa, Elizabeth White, Samuel Scott, Pat Romanski

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Sex Tape Leads Viewers to Believe Cloud Is Still a “Mystery”

​History has shown that most sex tapes that have been publicly released, whether both parties intended them for our viewing or not, are often far less sexy than the on-camera talent likely envisioned.

Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel’s Sex Tape, released in theatres last Friday, unfortunately keeps this tradition firmly intact.

Techies have been quick to call foul on the film’s doubtful premise of a sex tape being “accidentally” uploaded to the cloud and then inadvertently shared with more than a dozen friends and family members, but I, for one, didn’t find the premise that difficult to imagine in real life. My primary gripe is with the film’s stars assumption that “nobody understands the cloud…it’s a mystery,” the pitiful attempts get their now-public video private again, and the failed opportunity to educate audiences on what’s ultimately a very easy concept to grasp.

I’ll attempt to not give any real spoilers away—outside of the fact this movie really is as abysmal as everyone says.

As a card carrying member of the tech world, while I may be well-versed in the concept of cloud computing, I certainly don’t expect everyone to be, and Jay’s (Segel) panicked explanation to Annie (Diaz) that “nobody understands the cloud” shouldn’t result in eyerolls from anyone.  That being said, a quick Google search of the term “cloud computing” gives short, highly accurate, and completely graspable definition:

“The practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer.”

In other words, Jay and Annie, your sex tape is simply being stored not on Jay’s computer, but on a server somewhere else—just like your Facebook photo albums, your Pandora or Spotify playlists, Google Docs, and countless other files you’ve saved over time.

I may have audibly groaned and thrown my head back in bewilderment when Annie asked, “You can’t get it down from the cloud?” and Jay’s response wasn’t, oh, I don’t know, “Great idea, I should check Google” or, “Probably, let me look into the file sharing app I’ve been using for years to see how you do that” or, “Of course I should be able to, because, like everyone on the planet, I’ve deleted a file before.”

Jay and Annie deal with a vindictive, blackmailing teenager in the film who asks the same question many are asking, “why didn’t you just remote wipe it?” For those of you at home who find yourself in a similar predicament, there are step-by-step instructions online on how to do this for Android, Dropbox, PCs, iOS, and any other app or device you can imagine. 

Many critics of the film have correctly pointed out that uploading a file to the cloud has nothing to do with sharing the file with others to consume on their own devices. In today’s world, the upload and subsequent sharing of a three-hour long video would’ve required additional other actions than simply clicking “upload,” and would’ve then likely taken an eternity to complete—giving Jay plenty of time to stop the process.  

With file syncing/sharing apps growing in their functionality and popularity at a tremendous pace today, the possibility of Sex Tape’s dilemma may actually be easier to believe a little further down the road. Of course, as our favorite apps evolve, our understanding of how to use them should follow a similar climb, making Jay and Annie’s complete failure to search, and easily find, a solution on the Internet impossible to understand.

I’m well aware that cloud computing isn’t exactly the sexiest topic to cover on film, and that Sex Tape would’ve been about fifteen minutes long had the stars not been so moronic and blind as to how to rectify their situation, but I’m still left a little irked by the resulting impression the film will likely make on its viewers. 

Many of us have uploaded or shared information we wish we wouldn’t have, and even a single piece of good advice on how to get out of a jam would’ve been more than welcome. Jay and Annie still don’t understand the cloud at the film’s conclusion, and in promotional interviews for the film, Segel and Diaz claim to still know “very little” about it, and are even “terrified” of the concept. This is impossible.

The cloud may be unsexy, but giving the impression that we're completely incapable of understanding it is more offensive than what’s found in any sex tape—even one as bland and poorly staged as this one.

Assuming seeing this movie didn't scare you away from the cloud, check out why moving your development and test environments to the cloud is one of the most valuable and agile moves you can make!

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Author: Noel Wurst is the managing content editor at Skytap. Skytap provides SaaS-based dev/test environments to the enterprise. Skytap solution removes the inefficiencies and constraints that companies have within their software development lifecycle. As a result, customers release better software faster. In this blog, we publish engaging, thought provoking stories that revolve around agile enterprise applications and cloud-based development and testing.

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