AMD are striking while the iron is hot with GPU news today, first we just heard about the dual-GPU Radeon HD 7990, and now we're hearing that AMD are entering the cloud gaming business.
They'll be entering this business with a new range of graphics cards, the Radeon Sky series. These cards will come in three flavors, the Radeon Sky 900, Radeon Sky 700 and Radeon Sky 500. They'll come with varying amounts of stream processors, RAM, and memory bandwidth. These new GPUs are designed to power servers for cloud gaming.
The Radeon Sky 900 will feature two Radeon GPUs, providing it with 3584 stream processors, and 3GB of GDDR5 RAM for each GPU. Its siblings, the Radeon Sky 700 and Radeon Sky 500 will feature 1792 and 1280 stream processors, respectively, as well as 6GB of GDDR5 and 4GB of GDDR5, respectively.
RapidShare will likely upset some of its customers with its latest move. As of March 20, the unlimited storage option will disappear, even for those who have pre-paid for unlimited storage for longer periods. In exchange, RapidShare is expanding its options provided to free users.
Current customers will now be able to pick from a 250GB plan for 10 euros per month and a 500GB plan for 20 euros per month. Unfortunately for some, RapidShare's Terms of Service allow them to change the contents of RapidPro services at anytime. RapidShare had the following to say:
If you're a RapidShare unlimited user with lots of data on the service, you might want to make sure you have it all backed up before you have to start paying. One user with 5 terabytes on RapidShare was offered a custom plan by the company. They wanted to charge 700 euros per month.
Microsoft is launching a campaign to get more students using its Office 365 University cloud service by offering up to six months of service plus 20GB of SkyDrive storage for free.
In addition to the six months free, Microsoft has priced a full four year subscription to Office 365 University at just $80 to any student who has an email address ending in .edu. To further sweeten the deal, students can re-up one time for an additional $80, making an eight year subscription to the service cost a mere $160.
Both offers are designed to get more students using the service, but we are betting that the freebie offer is designed to introduce more students to the SkyDrive service, which is more touchscreen friendly. The campaign was kicked off with a new ad featuring the cast of NBC's Parks and Recreation, which can be seen above.
Kim Dotcom announces that Mega now accepts Bitcoin, will expand into email, chat, voice, video and mobile soon
Mega man himself Kim Dotcom has announced that Mega now has Bitcoin support, and has also unleashed some future nuggets that Mega will support in the near future. Dotcom reiterated his company's position to privacy, while also saying that his cloud storage is uniquely positioned in New Zealand to keep users' data more safe.
Dotcom also stated that Mega will eventually expand itself into email, chat, voice, video and mobile services "in the coming years". For details on Bitcoin-enabled Mega goodness, you can check out bitvoucher.co, where there's no less than six different ways to buy mega services with Bitcoin. Three monthly options are given, as well as three yearly options - all options cannot be refunded or exchanged. The options include:
- Mega Pro I: 500GB of data storage and 1TB of bandwidth for 0.5184 Bitcoin per month or 5.1888 Bitcoin per year.
- Mega Pro II: 2TB of data storage and 4TB bandwidth for 1.0373 Bitcoin per month or 10.3781 Bitcoin per year.
- Mega Pro III: 4TB of data storage and 8TB bandwidth per month for 1.5563 Bitcoin per month or 15.5674 Bitcoin per year.
Dropbox has become fairly ubiquitous with cloud storage and syncing for consumers. Most people don't know that Dropbox is trying to work its way into the enterprise market with services such as Dropbox for Teams. Dropbox for Teams is aimed at the business market and allows multiple users to connect to a single Dropbox.
Dropbox has introduced more admin features today that should help boost Dropbox's use in the professional world. New additions to the admin features include the ability for managers to keep track of all signed-in users, control permissions for what they are allowed to do, see how much space they're using, and see what kind of devices users have connected.
Dropbox would like to take away some of the market from its competitor Box. Box's service was designed with the enterprise at the forefront so Dropbox has a good distance to make up to catch Box.
Just a friendly reminder, Windows Live Mesh will be shutting down on Wednesday. Current users will be left in the dark, so you should start changing over to a new service. Of course, Microsoft would like you to switch over to SkyDrive, but there are other options out there if you aren't keen on going with Microsoft.
Not all of LiveMesh's features are available through SkyDrive. For instance, remote control isn't one of the features offered. To do this, you'll need to find another service, at least until Microsoft adds it to SkyDrive. If you're using LiveMesh and are being forced to switch, let us know what other tools you've found to fill in the feature gaps.
The hits keep coming for Kim Dotcom's brain child, Mega. Fortunately most of them never make contact with the file locker giant. Warner Bros. was caught red-handed sending phony DMCA take-down request to Google over files said to be hosted on Mega.
There are two problems with the notices, though. First, Google does not index links to files hosted on Mega, and second, the URL's that were listed, were invalid in the first place. The request listed over 900 links to illegal digital copies of its movie Gangster, Squad, with 16 of them pointing to Mega.
Warner Bros. uses an automated tool that searches indexes looking for pirated titles; the problem is that the software has switched around some of the URL information. Since its launch, Mega has seen more than its fair share of false DMCA claims, which it has for the most part dodged without consequence.
This morning Microsoft announced that its SkyDrive cloud storage service is now hosting over one billion documents thanks to a very successful Office 2013 launch. The success is credited to users being easily able to upload and download their files from within the new Office software.
SkyDrive is the latest brainchild of Microsoft, and is billed as a cloud storage system for consumer, business and enterprise. Office 2013 is now able to save user documents to both the user's HDD as well as SkyDrive simultaneously, mitigating the need for frequent document backups. In a release Microsoft said:
Last week Office 365 Home Premium launched and we've seen a lot of enthusiasm over the seamless integration of SkyDrive for saving and sharing your docs. Recently we reached a big milestone; our customers are now storing over a billion Office documents on SkyDrive!
Cloud storage provider, Dropbox, has updated their service to offer quick Documents Previews of photos and documents. The service is interested in moving away from looking at these specific file types as just files and would rather have a visual emphasis on the actual content stored inside the files.
"This is part of a shift we're seeing that is sort of under way at Dropbox," said Chris Beckmann, product manager for products at Dropbox.
Rolling out over the next few months at Dropbox.com, users will be able to click on many common file types and see a preview of what the file contains. Supported file types will include RTF, PDF, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and, eventually, Excel. Images will have their own way of being displayed.
Photos are laid out on a grid of thumbnails and will be listed chronologically, rather than by file name. A view similar to the one launching on the web is already available through the Android app, and the new view will eventually make its way to the desktop client and iOS client, as well as an updated Android app.
Microsoft has finally launched its long anticipated Office 2013 product. Today the OS and productivity app giant officially launched its Office 2013 and Office 365 products to the consumer market.
In its ever present, yet slow march towards having everything in the "cloud", Microsoft has built a new subscription model around the latest Office products. Starting today consumers will be able to purchase a subscription to Office 2013 through its new Office 365 service.
For $99 a year, subscribers will get access for up to five office installs on Mac or PC's which includes access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and Access. As an incentive Microsoft is also bundling 20GB of additional SkyDrive space and 60 minutes of Skype calling per month with each subscription. A monthly plan of $9.99 is also available.
Non-subscription packages of Office Home and Student and Office Professional are also available for $139.99 and $399.99 respectively. Finally, Microsoft has ditched using physical media to get Office onto consumers PC and is relying on users downloading the software from the cloud. Even "retail box" versions will only include download instructions.
BitTorrent has announced a new piece of software that is currently in the pre-Alpha stage. Called BitTorrent Sync, this piece of software will allow users to create their own personal cloud and sync files across multiple systems in a manner similar to Dropbox, all without the central repository.
As part of the announcement of this new software, BitTorrent is taking applications to test out the pre-Alpha software and help them work out the bugs. If you want to apply for this, you can check it out at the BitTorrent Labs and fill out the form available here.
Files will be transferred using the BitTorrent protocol, which should allow transfer speeds to increase when the file resides on more than one system. File transfers will utilize 256-bit AES encryption. Mac, Windows, Linux, and NAS servers will all be supported with native apps.
Leaving the GPS function on your smartphone enabled can rip apart through battery life pretty quickly, but with their Facebook check-in, Foursquare check-in and various other GPS-powered apps, what else can we do?
Well, Microsoft researchers have worked out a way to get phones' GPS chips to use significantly less power just by outsourcing some of their functions to the cloud. Researchers with the software giant have worked out a way to use the GPS chips to collect just the most important data from the satellites, while relying on "public, online databases" to collect other key data, "such as satellite trajectories and Earth elevation values, to calculate the device's past locations".
This sounds like an incredibly efficient way of doing things, with Microsoft Research principal researcher Jie Lui telling Technology Review that low-powered GPS chips could lead to more "continuous location-sensing applications" that could give consumers more detailed and accurate information than many of today's GPS-capable apps.
Apple's iCloud services experienced a service disruption today starting at about 2:30PST. Apple updated its service status page, which provides more granular data now than it used to, with the details. Apple says that some users were affected across nearly all of iCloud's services, though iMessage seems to have stayed functional.
The outage lasted until 3:49PST, and Apple has yet to update it with any more information, such as the number or percentage of users affected by the outage. If you experienced the outage, let us know! This outage continues to prove that Apple needs to work on its internet offerings, as it is quickly getting left behind in terms of up-time.
Hold on, everyone, we've got a price war developing. Everyone will likely remember that Google dropped its pricing for Cloud Storage by 20 percent earlier this week ahead of Amazon's big convention-thing. Well, now that Amazon has announced it's cutting its S3 prices, Google is further dropping prices by 10 percent.
This brings the total Google price drop to 30 percent, which is quite the decrease in pricing. The chart seen above contains the old price and the new price. Google had the following to say about the price drop:
We are committed to delivering the best value in the marketplace to businesses and developers looking to operate in the cloud. That's why today we are reducing the price of Google Cloud Storage by an additional 10%, resulting in a total price reduction of over 30%.
It will be interesting to see where this price war leads. Either the two companies will realize that both are losing out by dropping prices, or we could end up seeing some really low cloud pricing until one company says "enough" and stops dropping prices.
Google's cloud computing services have seen a price drop ahead of Amazon's first big event that takes place this week in Las Vegas. The new prices are roughly 20 percent lower and Google has gone ahead and offered a new service to compliment the price drop. The new feature is like Amazon's Glacier service in that it provides large amounts of storage for cheaper prices. These cheaper prices come at the cost of slower access.
Google's new Durable Reduced Availability Storage is an ideal option for data archiving and backup. If you have data that you're required to keep and don't need to access it very often, if at all, this new cloud storage option by Google could be just the thing for you. The archiving pricing, as seen in the chart above, is $.015 to $0.02 cheaper than the new pricing for the standard cloud storage offering by Google.
Google has also introduced a new feature called Object Versioning, which does exactly what it sounds like it does. It allows users of Google's cloud storage to keep a list of updates so that files can be reverted to earlier states or be resurrected after an accidental deletion. This is an experimental feature, which means that updates to it make not be backwards-compatible and that the feature may be removed in its entirety.
Most of our readers will know about the service Dropbox, which provides 2GB of free cloud storage, with ways to earn more and options to pay for more. The service was started roughly five years ago after the creator forgot his USB stick at home. Since then, Dropbox has grown by leaps and bounds and has had to fight off competition from larger tech companies, such as Microsoft and Google.
Today, the Dropbox blog announced that they have 100 million users, "100 million [different] reasons" for needing cloud storage, but a general place to join together. The blog post goes on to share some stories of people who use the service and how they use it to advance whatever worthy cause they are championing.
For instance, Coach Stringfellow:
Among these is Coach Stringfellow in Utah. High school football's a big deal - while there are the lights, crowds, and cheerleaders, less visible are the sweat and tears needed to build a great team. Coach Stringfellow and his players use Dropbox to study game films and scouting reports on their own terms. And because Dropbox keeps everyone connected, the Bountiful Braves have the edge they need to play stronger and smarter.
Google's AI is getting smarter, hopefully won't take over the world or friend request SkyNet on Facebook
Google have been playing with artificial intelligence (AI) for quite a while now, with previous reports and stories of it being able to detect cats in YouTube videos. But now the team is months ahead in their project, where they've been experimenting with different methods and giving it more power.
Google's learning software is all based on simulating groups of connected brain cells, that all communicate and influence each other - which is normally refered to a 'neural network'. When this network is connected to data, the relationships between differing neurons can change. Once this change begins, the network develops new abilities - where it is able to react in different ways to the incoming data, and its new ability is having learnt something.
Learning something for a neural network is the exciting part of it all - and various companies have been playing with this technology for quite a while with the Terminator and Matrix series' famous for making these networks more well-known. Where Google are changing things up is that the Mountain View-based company's engineers have found different ways to put more number-crunching power behind them, creating neural networks that can learn, all without human assistance.
Over the weekend, it seems Apple was feeling a little generous - they extended their additional storage offer until September 30, 2013. Originally, this offer was made to customers making the transition from MobileMe to iCloud.
At the time, they'd offer the normal 5GB that comes with iCloud to ease this move, and it was set to expire on September 30, 2012. But, Apple have been sending out e-mails to their customers informing them that this would be extended until September 30, 2013.
Nothing is required to take advantage of this, so if you were still wondering whether you should make the move or not, you now have another twelve months to scratch that noggin' of yours. Thanks Lee for sending this in!
Google Wallet, since its launch, has been held back by numerous limitations, the biggest was its lack of support for most major credit and debit cards. But, the Mountain View-based company, Google, have just opened up Google Wallet's heart to the cloud.
Google Wallet now supports any credit or debit card, and allows you to take them from one Google-based device, to the next. Early versions of Wallet used the phones secure storage to protect your card details, but now these details sit in the cloud allowing you to sync your preferred payment method across more than one device, as well as keeping track of both your in-store, and online purchase's through Google's web Wallet.
Worried about security? Google have your back, as they allow you to disable individual devices. So if you were to lose your Nexus for example, and you were scared someone might use the device to buy something, you can just jump online and disable that single device. Once you've acquired a new device, your details can slide over onto the new device, all with a few taps of your finger.
Cloud-printing gets another notch on its belt, you can now print documents direct from Google Drive at FedEx Office stores
Not that I print much anymore, apart from travel documentation and the like, but it's very cool to see FedEx Office locations supporting cloud-printing. Google Drive, as well as Box, Dropbox and Google Docs are able to be used to print from the cloud at FedEx.
Google mentioned the new feature on the Drive team's Google+ page, where they directed readers to the FedEx website for more information. FedEx lists the new service in their Print & Go service, but no tutorial seems to be in place, yet. Google Drive offers 5GB of free storage, and while Drive is looked at being more focused on corporate customers, rather than individuals, a service like this is a great step toward a cloud-based future.
Google Drive has slowly been getting new features, as it should, but this feature might just set it apart from the rest. Considering Android is an absolutely mammoth mobile OS, the more Google bake cloud-based features into brick-and-mortar stores, as well as their smart devices, the better.
A few weeks ago, there were reports of Dropbox users started to receive spam on the e-mails tied to Dropbox. The major problem with this was that some of these user's e-mails were only tied to their Dropbox account which meant that the spam or address leak was coming from Dropbox itself as there would be no other way for the e-mail to be released.
Dropbox enlisted the help of "an outside team of experts" to aid their own security team and law enforcement. Dropbox's VP of Engineering, Aditya Agarwal, said in a blog post that a number of usernames and passwords were stolen from third party websites. These combos were then used to sign into "a small number of Dropbox accounts."
One of those stolen password combos belonged to an employee. The employee's Dropbox contained a project file which had a list of e-mails. The company believes "this improper access is what led to the spam." Dropbox is taking several steps to prevent something like this from happening in the future. These are laid out below: