Nice analogy but like all analogies, it's too simplistic and flawed. You left out one important and critical part: the hypothetical passenger in your example is tied to a specific plane/airline. If you don't like your pilot or plane type, you cannot move to a different airline or request a different plane or a different pilot since you're chained to the specific plane.
Due to Google App Engine's API lock-in, you're stuck with them as a provider... quite possibly forever due to heavy BigTable dependency.
Even though I'm a huge fan of cloud computing, I'd rather use a strategy that uses platforms/planes that are built from reusable parts and allow you to switch your plane/airline provider as you please. Don't like Delta? Just go to AA counter and you don't have to change your luggage, clothing etc.
Until there's a second, GAE-compatible, ISV provider that offers full compatibility with GAE, I'd avoid GAE like a plague.
It's a metaphor, not a description or some sort of iron law of physics. If I was on Google App Engine right now and there was a competitor that I could switch too, then I damn well could be up, especially if I took the opportunity to keep both options actively available for myself. No matter how hard "switching planes in midair" might be, it's just a metaphor.
all understanding of the real world is simplistic and flawed. Even your analogy because there is no good cloud as service provided that offers anything as good as big table for distributed storage plus map reduce.
As if they're not using the same techniques... The 'outrage' is probably just a façade. You can bet that they took notes and will be using some of the same strategies when they get back and start having meetings.
speaking as a clemson alumni, the outrage is either for show, or because someone outed secrets in public.
none of the things that clemson did are secrets or new. the only thing that could be considered to possibly be unethical, imo, would be the class size shifting. but, again, this isn't new. my high school actually did this as well, in order to improve its appearance from outside metrics. and it isn't a secret. students received somewhat regular updates on what the president was doing/implementing, and i distinctly remember this being mentioned. maybe not worded the same way, but the concept was communicated.
#1 will never work well for the simple fact that when people know that they are being asked to pick something without actually going through the mental process of evaluating options and picking a goal, they will not pick in a way that correlates with a larger population that doesn't know it's being tested.
The best way to test something is to try it on people that actually want something and voluntarily are picking something and going towards a goal... and don't know they're being tested. The proof is in the pudding: if the copy works better than a control, it should produce a sale/signup/whatever.
Asking a bunch of people who are working for pennies if they want to buy some product that they have no clue about and are not in the market for, based on a copy they don't even understand well, is a waste of money and would even do you some damage since your customers might be more sophisticated.
Now, if you positioned it for simple, general websites, it might work better. But then again, those sites are not high paying customers.
About 3 months ago, I needed >50Gb of data uploaded to AWS and I asked a friend of mine who works at Amazon for help. He asked around and told me to mail the external storage to Amazon with keys/bucket info and a special code. I UPSed the stuff and within 2 days of arrival, I received an email with a notification that the transfer was done. Later on, I got the storage back. Everything worked as advertised!
I guess there's so much demand for this sneakernet that they made an official service. I wonder how many other people asked for transfer help before today's announcement...
I don't think it's fair to say UML itself failed. We did get to a point where to see a project modeled in UML gives you a strong desire to turn and run (and this is usually the correct thing to do), but it's more to do with abuse and stupid users who don't even make the difference between modeling the behavior and modeling the implementation.