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Cloud Computing Hits Snag in Europe

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In the world of ideas, cloud computing has the potential to revolutionize the way people work.

By bundling the processing power of thousands of computer servers, a company, for example, could allow two employees from different countries who speak different languages to communicate directly by phone, using voice recognition software to process what is being said and translation programs to interpret it into another language.

The result, ideally, would be a seamless conversation, without struggle and without the limitations of speaking a foreign language.

"We’re not quite there yet, but it’s coming," Eric E. Schmidt, the chief executive of Google, a promoter of the technology, said at a gathering of cellphone industry executives after evoking the image at a convention in Barcelona in February.

Such cloud-based breakthroughs face a formidable obstacle in Europe, however: strict privacy laws that place rigid limits on the movement of information beyond the borders of the 27-country European Union.

From The New York Times
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