Here's something else the cloud is faster at doing: cracking passwords:
For US$34, a new cloud-based hacking service can crack a WPA (Wi-Fi Protected Access) network password in just 20 minutes, its creator says.In this case, the service tests if your WiFi password is secure. Heh. More by PC World's Robert McMillan at New Cloud-based Service Steals Wi-Fi Passwords.
Just came across another use for the cloud. Dragon Diction for the iPhone works like this:
When you record your message, it is quickly transmitted to Nuance servers where a speech recognition algorithm is run against your data. The resulting text is returned to your iPhone very quickly.
My informal benchmarks showed that it took about a second for text to be processed on a Wi-Fi network, and less than 5 seconds over 3G. You'll need a data connection for the app to work...More info here.