Tweet of the Day: 'The Problem With Cloud Apps ...'

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We're all moving to "cloud apps," whether we know it or not. These services, like Gmail or Google Docs, are integral to the ways that we do business. We develop routines for working with them that are as finely honed as a tennis swing.

And then they go and change the racket.

Gmail, for example, recently changed where the "Compose" button was. I didn't mind, but the first few times I went to write an email, I felt like a gawky teenager tripping over my own feet.

Our own James Fallows pointed out a few months ago that cloud apps may be a source of problems that we don't fully recognize yet. Sure, cloud app developers can make things better with no effort from the user, but they can also make things worse without you knowing.

You log in to your application and bang: something has changed. Dylan Tweney, the editor of Wired's Gadget Lab blog, captured the pith of the situation with this tweet:

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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