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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:
According to a piece from BGR, they've heard from a man called François 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.