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Cloud Computing Posts - Page 4

Dropbox introduces more admin features for enterprise users

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.

 

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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.

Windows Live Mesh closes down Wednesday, better hurry up and switch

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.

 

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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.

Mega sees more invalid DMCA take-down notices, this time Warner Bros. is the culprit

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.

 

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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.

Microsoft's SkyDrive now hosting over 1 billion documents, following successful Office 2013 launch

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.

 

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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!

Dropbox launches file previews for photos and documents

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.

 

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"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 is pushing cloud subscriptions with today's Office 2013 launch

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.

 

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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 working on BitTorrent Sync, will create your own personal cloud

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.

 

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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.

Microsoft takes to the cloud in order to save on GPS chips' battery consumption

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?

 

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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.

Continue reading 'Microsoft takes to the cloud in order to save on GPS chips' battery consumption' (full post)

Apple's iCloud services experience service disruption

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.

 

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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.

Google cuts Cloud Storage prices by another 10% after Amazon cuts its pricing

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.

 

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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.

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