Earlier this week Google announced that it was increasing Drive storage to 15GB and today we are finding out why. At today's Google I/O keynote the company showed off several new and exciting features on how its Google+ social network handles image storage, manipulation and sharing.
In the past, if you uploaded full size images, you had just 5GB of storage, but now with 15GB you can upload all of your images to Google+. Google pointed out that it is the only social network that allows true full resolution image uploads and included a graphic showing the relative resolution of various social networks.
Google also unveiled a sort of intelligent image sorting process that is aimed at reducing the time it takes for a photographer or individual to sort through large image albums. Google can now take your entire vacation photo album and automatically highlight the best. Say there is 600 photos total, it will filter out duplicates, analyze for bad exposure and automatically identify major landmarks. Then it will look for people, and for photos of people smiling.
Microsoft has updated its cloud storage offering with new features. SkyDrive now has a photo timeline that functions much like Faceboook's Timeline function in that pictures are organized by time. This makes it much easier to find that picture you know you took last month.
SkyDrive now allows quick locating of pictures. Users can quickly navigate to a specific month and see all the pictures that were taken during that time period. SkyDrive will also allow users to view all photos in a filmstrip presentation. The filmstrip can also be turned into a slideshow for public display.
Microsoft also notes that performance feedback was taken into consideration. Over the past few months, Microsoft has reworked the server code and SkyDrive desktop app. The result, according to Microsoft, is pictures that upload 2-3x faster than before. Not bad!
Amazon has updated their Cloud Drive service to support file syncing, a step that is desperately needed for the service to become a viable alternative to SkyDrive and Dropbox. Cloud Drive originally launched in May of last year without file syncing capabilities, meaning that files had to be manually placed in the Cloud Drive and updated after editing.
Today's update brings with it the ability for files and folders to sync across all of your linked Cloud Drive devices. Amazon is still offering 5GB of free storage for users, so now may be as good as time as any to switch. You can learn more and download Cloud Drive from Amazon's website.
GDC 2013 - NVIDIA had their Grid technology skipping along at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, where our man on the ground Trace Hagan got to check out some cloud-based gaming.
The cloud wasn't far away for the demo, with a huge server array just a foot away from the LG Smart TV the game was being played on. As you can see from the above video, cloud-based gaming is in NVIDIA's future. There's no details on resolution or detail levels just yet, but as Trace says in the video, that'll come down to the variables with consumers' Internet connections and compression methods used by NVIDIA.
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.