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Cloud Computing Posts - Page 6

Dropbox admits user accounts were hijacked, adds new security

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.

 

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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:

Continue reading 'Dropbox admits user accounts were hijacked, adds new security' (full post)

RumorTT: Google to give away 100GB of cloud storage to Chromebook buyers

According to a piece from BGR, they've heard from a man called Fran├žois Beaufort who discovered a piece of code in the Chromium source that states "Get 100 GB free with Google Drive". This means that people who buy a Chromebook, could be in for 100GB of free Drive storage.

 

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Considering that Google charges $4.99 per month for the 100GB option, this would be a huge incentive for Chromebooks. This move would save Chromebook owners roughly $60 a year on cloud storage costs. But, it looks as though this deal is only for the newly-released Chromebook and Chromebox, from Samsung.

 

Meaning that first adopters of the first-gen Chromebooks won't get in on this deal. Google should really extend it to previous Chromebook owners, too.

Dropbox doubles the space for Pro accounts, doesn't cost them a thing

Dropbox have just amplified their cloud storage and syncing offerings thanks to the increasing competition from Google, Microsoft, Amazon and others. Starting from today, Dropbox Pro subscribers will receive twice the storage space on their accounts, at no additional cost.

 

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This means that those who were previously paying $9.99 per month, or $99 per year for 50GB of storage, will now receive 102GB of storage (100GB plus 2GB of free space that all users receive). Those who are paying $19.99 per month, or $199 per year will now receive 202GB instead of 100GB.

 

Dropbox are also offering any Pro members a 3-month 100GB trial to share with friends.

Google X Lab teaches computers to identify faces, oh, and cats, too

We're seeing the beginnings of Skynet, with Intel working on launching technology that mimics the human brain and "learns" of its user, but the Google X Lab has built a one-billion-connection "neural network" that can identify... cats... on YouTube. Yes, cats.

 

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The project did have an aim, where it looked to simulate object recognition by humans, and was able to more than double the accuracy of item identification from a list of 20,000. Using 16,000 cores in 1000 connected machines (is that all?), the system was able to identify objects, all without human supervision.

 

The technology represents a big departure from current vision-learning methods. The system was fed 10 million images from YouTube thumbnails, at the low resolution of 200x200. After 72 hours of learning, the system was capable of recognizing not only the human face and body, but also cats, a subject seen frequently on video clips.

 

The improved 15.8-percent accuracy rate is said to be a jump of over 70-percent from the previous state-of-the-art system.

Dropbox says goodbye to public folders, directs users to quick-link feature

Dropbox today issues a couple of updates the the mobile and Web version of its software. Dropbox has found itself in competition with the newly released Google Drive and has still been adding customers. These latest changes are to help keep it competitive with the competition.

 

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The biggest update is to the Web version. Dropbox has confirmed that they will no longer be supporting public folders. Dropbox posted on their forums about the change:

 

We wanted to let our developers know about an upcoming change to the Public folder for all user accounts. In April, we launched the ability to share any file or folder in your Dropbox with a simple link. This new sharing mechanism is a more generalized, scalable way to support many of the same use cases as the Public folder. After July 31, we will no longer create Public folders in any new Dropbox accounts. If your app depends on the Public folders, we recommend switching to the /shares API call. Public folders in existing accounts, however, will continue to function as before.

 

So, once August rolls around, users will no longer be able to create public folders to share files. Current public folders, however, will be unaffected by the change and will continue to be supported and work as they currently do. Other users who want to share files will have to use the new quick-link feature.

Continue reading 'Dropbox says goodbye to public folders, directs users to quick-link feature' (full post)

Microsoft's SkyDrive gets updated, now includes Windows 8 sync, other improvements

Microsoft have updated their cloud storage solution, SkyDrive, for both Windows and Mac. The new build is version 16.4.4111.0525 and adds improved Windows 8 integration, noting specifically photos, as well as the usual improvements, and bug fixes.

 

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SkyDrive does have a big change in the form of its Windows 8 photo manager integration, so when a user logs in with their Microsoft account (Windows Live), the Windows 8 Photo app will work with photos from the associated SkyDrive account. Another fancy thing is that this feature will work with the just-released Windows 8 Release Preview.

 

Other notable changes include an increase from the 150,000 files limit to a maximum of 10 million, improved reliability for both syncing and stability, and quicker folder updates. If you have SkyDrive already installed, the update should be pushed to you automatically, the app just needs to be running. If you don't have SkyDrive yet, you can grab it here.

GeForce Grid, lets you stream games on a Kepler-based GPU

The cloud, isn't it wonderful? NVIDIA have unveiled some of Kepler's cloud-based benefits during the GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, California today. NVIDIA has said that Fermi-based game servers, such as those run by Gaikai, only have one GPU per server, or 28 GPUs per rack. One GPU is dedicated to a game stream and consumes 150W of power.

 

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NVIDIA's cloud solution, GeForce Grid, powered by Kepler GPUs allows four GPUs per server, or 84 per rack at 75W each. This results in huge power savings for server operators, and this should also be passed down to consumers, and gamers. NVIDIA has mentioned that it's possible for a streaming service to offer bundles of games for around $10 per month. To compare, OnLive offers roughly 200-plus titles, but not new releases, for $9.99 per month.

 

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GeForce Grid isn't just more economical, it also reduces server-side latency by up to 30ms. With lag being a huge concern with existing server-based gaming services, GeForce Grid could really step up and be something quite amazing. NVIDIA puts this improvement of latency to its fast and concurrent game capture APIs, strategic geographic server placement, and better input lag on Smart TV Ethernet ports.

Amazon releases desktop app for its Cloud Drive

Not wanting to be left out or bested by Google, Amazon today has released a desktop app for its Cloud Drive. Cloud Drive is a consumer grade storage service that is aimed to compete with Google Drive, Dropbox, and the rest. The new application is available for Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Mac OS 10.6 or 10.7.

 

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The new application allows drag-and-drop functionality, just as if you were copying from one hard drive to another. Cloud Drive launched last year and feature 5GB of free storage with up to an optional 1000GB more for $20-100. The desktop app should make Cloud Drive a bit easier to use and bring it into line with the offerings of Google and Dropbox.

Google Drive debuts after much speculation, details finally known

We've been anticipating the launch of Google Drive for a couple of weeks now, with the occasional rumor drifting about regarding when it was going to launch, pricing, etc. Well, today it has finally launched and the details are now fully known and available for me to report to you, just in case you hadn't seen it.

 

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Google drive is now available at drive.google.com and you can visit there now to "get started with 5GB free." This brings me to the features presented by Google Drive. You get 5GB free which is comparable to Apple's iCloud and better than Dropbox's 2GB. Microsoft offers 7GB, or 25GB if you signed up before Monday.

 

Of course, Google offers additional storage for a cost and surprisingly, at least to me, it seems more expensive than the competitors. For 20GB annually, Google charges you $29.88. iCloud costs $40 and SkyDrive costs only $10. Dropbox doesn't offer 20GB annually. For 100GB, Google charges $59.88 annually. SkyDrive costs $50 and Dropbox, $199. iCloud doesn't offer 100GB annually.

 

I would encourage you to check out the different services and their offerings because they all have different pros and cons. Also, if you combine the free services from the different providers, you can easily get 14GB for free if you don't mind splitting your files among different providers. It's not like e-mail--as long as you can access the files you need on the devices you need, what's the harm in getting more for free?

As Google Drive approaches, its competition updates their services

As we all await the Google Drive announcement from Google, its competitors are getting ready to stand their ground and keep their customers. They are planning to do this by adding some new notable features. Dropbox and Microsoft' SkyDrive are the two competitors we are seeing update their services.

 

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Dropbox has been great for storage and syncing, but they haven't been very share-friendly. Dropbox has now introduced link sharing which will allow you to share files via a link and open pictures up in your browser. "This means that people who follow your link can see pictures, look at presentations, and watch home videos without having to download and open them separately," Dropbox explains.

 

Microsoft's SkyDrive has also received some polishing and updates in anticipation of Google Drive. A whole bunch of new apps will be getting better desktop syncing and improved remote access. Interestingly enough, with these updates, SkyDrive users are getting less free storage: 25GB has been reduced to just 7GB.

Continue reading 'As Google Drive approaches, its competition updates their services' (full post)

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