The EU, the cloud, our money and Big Pharma – I want out
The EU is a lumbering undemocratic beast – and I want out. But is it fair to say that it never does anything of value? Well, consider the cloud. The EU currently has three research projects:
- Reservoir; examining how a European cloud computing infrastructure could be built
- Optimis; developing software components that would help SMEs to deploy, run, monitor and manage applications in the cloud
- Contrail; (and I quote) “The Contrail research project is looking into new methods to help any company to be a cloud provider when its computing infrastructure is not used at its maximum capacity, and a cloud customer in periods of peak activity. The projects look at how unused resources can be pooled and made available for other uses.”
I really like this last one: it makes such perfect economic sense. Buy it when you need it; sell it when you’ve got it; maximise use; minimise waste; and reduce costs for everyone.
But why can’t we apply this sensible principle to other areas? Why, for example, are we still building energy-inefficient new houses? Why aren’t all new houses built with windmills and solar panels? In peak energy usage, those houses could top-up from the national grid; in times of surplus they could sell back to the grid. Buy it when you need it; sell it when you’ve got it; maximise use; minimise waste; and reduce costs for everyone.
But, of course, we know why. Vested interests. Big business. The vested interests of the big energy companies. That’s why.
But at least the EU is being altruistic in its cloud research projects. Really? Contrail (and I quote again) is “looking at how cloud computing could help cut costs and increase the impact of drugs research.”
Nobody asked me if I want to fund free research for Big Pharma. So, like I said at the beginning: I want out. I fail to see why my money should be used to finance free research so that the pharmaceutical companies can make more money by increasing their profits at the expense of the world’s health.