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All posts tagged "cloud"

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Keeping Your Digital Life in Sync

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 03:30 PM

"If you're wedded to one platform, it's a good bet you already have a tool that keeps your life synchronized and organized pretty well. For those of us who have to deal with multiple platforms, multiple computers and mobile devices with multiple operating systems, and work with people who use different ones than we do, there's Fruux, a free service that keeps your to-dos, calendars, and contacts in sync on almost any platform. Think of it like iCloud for the rest of us."

Way, way back, I was introduced to Outlook and Microsoft Exchange and loved it. The beauty I saw in it was the ability to have Outlook on multiple computers, and they would all synchronize with each other. Later, this would be expanded to include Windows Mobile and a web interface. It was wonderful to be able to have multiple devices all talking to each other (or in this case, a server) so that I had all my emails, contacts and tasks in one place. You could say that this was sort of like a hint at what cloud computing could offer.

Now, you'll find similar services through Google, Apple and Microsoft, but for a wider range of services and platforms but support across your iPhone, Transformer Prime, Linux Desktop and Windows laptop can prove a bit tricky. I have seen similar services in the past with a more business oriented flavour, but with Fruux out, it suggests that there still is a large enough market out there that we do not have to sit in a single camp for full syncing.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Google Drive to Offer 5GB Storage

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 02:00 PM ree-launching-next-week-for-mac-windows-android-and-ios/

"Sometimes we get lucky, and today is one of those days. I got a draft release from a partner of Google’s upcoming Google Drive service and it gives away a wealth of information about how Google plans to take on the incumbent Dropbox. The short story? 5 GB of storage, and it launches next week, likely on Tuesday at"

Cloud storage seems to be pretty hot these days. With long time storage providers like Dropbox and Box, it looks like Google is finally jumping into the fray. Is what they provide good? Time will tell. I think it will partly be a matter of how well integrated their offerings are and how it plays with other applications. I do wonder just what Google will do with the data you store though, as I suspect, much like most of their offerings, they will use it to data mine everything about you, but for 5GB of free storage, off the bat, instead of after referrals, it is tempting.

This does raise the question about cloud storage in general and where it is heading. It looks to become much more generic, and could pose a threat against more specialized storage providers such as imgur. If Google also better integrates its other services with it, it could also compete against companies like Evernote as well. The next few years will prove to be interesting to see who wins out.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Walmart And Partners Offering Cloud Access To Video

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Digital Home Talk" @ 06:00 PM

"Tomorrow at 1pm ET, Walmart along with UltraViolet partners Universal, Paramount, Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures and Fox will announce Walmart's UltraViolet offering. Studio execs I have spoken with say that consumers will be able to bring their DVDs into Walmart, which will then charge the consumer between $2-$4 per DVD to give the consumer access to that movie in the UltraViolet cloud locker system. DVDs will then be stamped at the store, so they can't be used by multiple people and I'm told pricing for converting the DVD to digital will vary based on either SD or HD quality."

UltraViolet is a digital rights authentication and cloud-based licensing system that allows consumers of digital home entertainment content to stream and download purchased content to multiple platforms and devices. One of its selling points is that it allows a consumer to store movie or TV titles in a free, online personal library. UltraViolet is deployed by the 70-plus members of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem consortium, which includes film studios, retailers, consumer electronics manufacturers, cable companies, ISPs, network hosting vendors, and other Internet systems and security vendors. Walmart's service offering is intended to help facilitate consumers using the cloud-based system.

Dan Rayburn over at the Streaming Media Blog has some very interesting analysis of the potential success of the UltraViolet system. In short, he doesn't think it will work. Among the issues he sees as prevailing are the fact that consumers have to pay twice for the same piece of content, it is not easy to use, it requires multiple accounts with multiple websites, there is very little device support, and you need an Internet connection to watch your cloud-based movie. His analysis is well-worth reading if you are thinking of using the Walmart or a similar service, or if you just need to get up to speed with some of the issues in this domain.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Backup Alternatives - Something For Everyone

Posted by Brad Wasson in "Digital Home Talk" @ 06:30 PM

"If you've considered backing up your entire DVD collection, or duplicating your hard-drives-full of RAW photos in case of electromagnetic terrorism, then you've looked at your backup options before. The thing is, there is no one single best way to backup tons of data. But there are several ways to protect yourself from data loss disaster. The experts at Q&A network Stack Exchange weigh in."

I am sure all of our readers are the most conscientious backup creators around. But, I bet you know someone who could use a little advice as to which of the myriad of options available on the marketplace would work best for them. Fortunately, the folks at Lifehacker have put together a nice little piece on this subject matter. Amongst their advice is to avoid relying on one backup (technology and dataset). Particularly interesting is that some of the cloud-based options are pretty flexible and relatively cheap these days. Hit the Read link just to touch up your knowledge on this important issue, and then prepare to advise others on how you do it. Oh, if any of you use a cloud-based solution, I would be keen to hear your comments on how well it works.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Build Your Own Cloud Service

Posted by Lee Yuan Sheng in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 10:30 AM

"I don't know about you guys, but I'm sick and tired of hearing about the Cloud. When people talk about it they use future tense as if it isn't already here. The Cloud is going to be this big, giant wonderful thing that is going to change humanity forever. They make it sound like we are talking about something that will end starvation and human suffering. Well, I have news for you, The Cloud isn't really all that new and you don't have to wait for tomorrow to use it."

TweakTown takes a look at QNAP's MyCloudNAS service, which comes with some of their NAS boxes. This sounds like an awesome feature, but with ISPs starting to come down on heavy data users, not to mention most services having fairly poor upload speeds, the advantages may not be that great. What do you think?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Building Your Own Cloud

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 02:00 PM,281...,2390307,00.asp

"But what if you can’t wait? Or what if you haven’t subscribed to the Jobsian reality distortion field? Certainly, there must be ways to replicate the iCloud experience with existing services. It turns out there are—in spades. The challenge is in paring them down. Once you do that, you can get everything you get from iCloud—and more—for free if you’re willing to mix together a cocktail of services. Here’s your shopping list."

Now that Apple has announced its iCloud service, the whole cloud industry is going to get a huge shot in the arm from the added attention. If you are someone who is either impatient, or not privy to the Apple world, there are a wide range of cloud services that you can take advantage of, some which can even mostly replicate the exact same services that iCloud will bring. The biggest thing you should pay attention to, though, is how efficient each service is. I imagine that the draw of a lot of these services is that you will have access to your digital life from anywhere, and that means data. And at least for Canada, and large growing part of the world, that means that your data caps may come into play.

Tags: software, cloud

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Primadesk: One App to Rule All Your Clouds?

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 09:00 AM

"Many of us rely on several different online services, like Google Docs, file syncing services, photo sharing and image hosting sites, and even probably a mix of webmail and corporate email providers. If you'd like a unified view of all your cloud content and way to drag and drop files between them, check out webapp Primadesk."

There are some Web startups that make you think "Do we really need that think you're creating?", but this is not one of them. I've long wondered who would be the first to create a tool that would unify disparate Web-based storage and sharing systems. This looks like it might be the solution - a system that allows you to view and search all your cloud data, and better yet, move data between services. I'll be following this with intense interest!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

2015 The Tipping Point for Cloud Computing? Intel Thinks So

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Articles & Resources" @ 09:00 AM

"Intel, like many other industry heavyweights, believes we are navigating towards a cyber future that will be heavily dominated by Cloud-based computing. According to Intel exec Jason Waxman, the rapidly evolving Cloud is already serving consumers and businesses by hosting terabytes of games, videos, pictures, databases and e-mail accounts.

Ah, the cloud. You can't go for ten minutes nowadays without hearing the word. This article discusses one of the potential pitfalls of the cloud that will need to be addressed going forward: where the data actually resides, how vulnerable the data is to legal prying, and how much confidence the consumer has it the system. One thing's for sure: with an increasing number of consumers storing more and more of their information online instead of a local hard drive, these questions will need to be resolved.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Google Takes Printing to the Cloud

Posted by Craig Horlacher in "Android News" @ 09:00 AM

"Let’s say you need to print an important email attachment on your way to work so that it’s waiting for you when you walk in the door. With Gmail for mobile and Google Cloud Print — a service that allows printing from any app on any device, OS or browser without the need to install drivers — you can."

Google Cloud Print lets you print from Gmail in any current web browser, desktop or mobile. You need a Windows PC connected to the printer your want to print to right now but they're going to add support for Mac and Linux machines as well. Just go into Gmail from a browser and you will see a "Print" option in it's drop down menu near the top right. Besides just printing your messages it supports the printing of some attachments like .doc and .pdf files. Give it a try! Does this solve a specific printing need for you?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Making Use Of The Cloud: Lifehackers Top 10 Clever Uses

Posted by Andy Dixon in "Digital Home Talk" @ 06:00 AM

"The "cloud" is where we've been sharing our lives and storing our files for awhile now, but with so many cloud services there's much more you can do that may not have crossed your mind. Here are our top ten ideas."

The cloud has become a big buzzword over the last year or so. You may or may not understand what it means but you probably do use it in some form or other if you use applications such as Dropbox. Lifehacker has a list of 10 uses of the cloud you might find useful, some of which you might already be doing.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dropbox Hits the Big 1 Dot 0

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Software" @ 04:00 PM

"We're super excited to announce the new hotness that we've been cooking up for the past few months: Dropbox 1.0! In addition to hundreds (yep, hundreds) of bug fixes, vastly reduced resource usage (think of it as the Prius model of Dropbox), Dropbox 1.0 ("Rainbow Shell") also offers support for extended attributes, selective sync, and a shiny new installation wizard. Those are just the CliffsNotes though - here's the true story behind Dropbox 1.0..."

If you need to keep files in sync, Dropbox is a great tool to do it - they've reached the big 1.0 milestone, and added a few new features. The most important of which is likely selective sync; if you're synching 30 GB worth of files between your PCs and you have a netbook with 32 GB of storage, you might want to trim that down a bit - now you can.

Don't have a Dropbox account yet? Sign up for free using this link and you'll get a bonus 250 MB of storage (and so will I).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wuala: Online Backup and File Sharing

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Software" @ 05:30 PM

"Wuala is definitely one of the most under-reported start-ups, and there's no good reason for that. It takes the best features out of both Dropbox and Mozy to create a must-have online file storage service for anyone with a computer. Developed by Dominik Grolimund and Luzius Meisser, the technology behind Wuala is truly amazing. By using a ‘grid' algorithm, Wuala can take advantage of unused disk space across its network of users in addition to data-centre storage."

Wuala presents an interesting option for online backup, storage, and file sharing, and the reviewer for certainly is impressed with the service, which is available for Windows (XP, Vista & 7), Mac (OS X 10.4 or higher), and Linux systems. As with many online backup services, users are allocated a small amount of "Free" storage space (1 GB for Wuala), and have the option to purchase additional storage if needed. Wuala, however, adds two additional - and optional - ways to gain storage, as indicated in the above screen shot: 1) you can "trade" space on your computer, which will then be used by the Wuala Cloud to store other user's files, and 2) you can be awarded space by inviting others to join the service. Be certain to read both the linked review, as well as Wuala's own website, for additional features - some of which are apparently reserved for "Pro Users" (those that Buy and/or Trade for additional storage).

Saturday, June 19, 2010

HP's ePrint Delivers Content Directly to Your Printer

Posted by Reid Kistler in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 11:00 AM

"HP ePrint lets you print from virtually anywhere. One of the ways that ePrint works is to assign an email address to your printer. To print, simply send an email containing your document to your printer's address. You can print images, Microsoft Word, Excel* and PowerPoint documents, PDFs, and photos. Note: .... Documents printed with ePrint may appear different from the original. Style, formatting, and text flow may differ slightly from the original document. For documents that need to be printed with a higher quality (such as legal documents), we recommend that you print from the software application on your computer, where you will have more control over what your printout looks like."

Sending a print job via the internet is not new technology, but HP's ePrint service raises the ante by simplifying the process, and by signing on content providers such as CNET, USA Today, and Google Maps in hopes of increasing the desirability and usage of the service. Indeed, while HP mentions the ability to store documents in "the cloud" for later printing, most of the emphasis appears to be on the "Print Apps" which provide "Instant access to relevant, printable web content from your printer screen," and appear to be primarily home or family based in their appeal. To utilize the service you need a HP printer with ePrint capability, and you must create an account, which will assign a random e-mail address to your printer. A typical Print App will then allow you to print content such as a Google map, a daily news summary, or perhaps a page of coupons. If the service catches on, HP would realize an increase in printer sales, and - perhaps more significantly - an increase in profitable printer ink sales. However, given the popularity of smartphones, netbooks, and tablets (Apple or otherwise), I would question how many people are clamoring to have more printed pages as opposed to having content sent to (or natively available on) their portable device of choice. Does HP's ePrint service seem significant enough that you would be willing to base your next printer purchase upon it?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Forget Web 2.0, behold Cloud 2!

Posted by Hooch Tan in "Digital Home News" @ 10:00 AM

"The future of our industry now looks totally different than the past. It looks like a sheet of paper, and it’s called the iPad. It’s not about typing or clicking; it’s about touching. It’s not about text, or even animation, it’s about video. It’s not about a local disk, or even a desktop, it’s about the cloud. It’s not about pulling information; it’s about push."

Predictions about the future, or near future are always fun. Marc Benioff's analysis about where the future of the Internet is heading has some interesting points, and as CEO of, a company that has survived a lot of changes, including the original dot com bust. To put things in a nutshell, it seems that he is talking about the shift of the Internet from a tool of work, to a tool of consumption. Sure, we all have had fun with the Internet over the years, from the Hampster Dance to Keyboard Cat but social websites like Facebook and platforms like the iPad have created a new opportunity that is much more consumer focused. I liken it to the difference in how we recorded shows. Way back, when we just got electricity, programming VCRs meant using a cryptic menu system where we used sacred remote controls to say when and which channel we wanted to record. No, it no longer feels like programming, but just saying, I want to record all the new episodes of this show, and the magic box does the rest. Oddly, while touch is touted as a large part of this, I wonder if there is room for gestures and voice to play a part. Touch is certainly natural, but the next logical step if with motions and talking to your devices.

Tags: internet, cloud

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sharpcast Launches SugarSync 1.5, Shared Folders Added

Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home News" @ 11:00 AM

"Today, I'm very happy to unveil SugarSync 1.5, now with the much-anticipated Shared Folders feature designed to enable super easy sharing and collaboration with friends, family and colleagues. You've been asking for it, and we heard you loud and clear. In the past, you had the ability to send files of any size and also to share folders containing photos as Web Albums. However, you wanted to work collaboratively with team members on projects or and share entire folders. Now, you can."

I've always thought that SugarSync was a cool concept, but two things have stopped me from using it: first, the price is too high. I'm paying less than $5/month to Mozy [Affiliate] to back up just under 200 GB of data. Mozy doesn't have any remote data access or any of the other cool things that SugarSync does, so I'd be willing to pay more for that. Maybe $10/month...but not $25/month. If SugarSync wants to compete with the online backup services, they'll need to be more competitive.

Secondly, I wouldn't need all that storage if SugarSync allowed me to specify what I stored on their servers. If it functioned like Live Sync, allowing me to keep folders in sync, but putting some of that data up in the cloud (say, photos), that's something I'd be willing to pay for. I'd still keep my Mozy account for backup, but I'd be interested in a $5/month account from SugarSync to give me what Mozy does not.

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