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HTC have warned users that HTCSense.com was undergoing some pretty big changes, and part of these changes is a major upgrade, which will put all precious services in shut down mode. This means all calendars, call histories, contacts, Footprints travel info, as well as messages, will all be wiped.
Users have until April 30th to do something about it - so we would recommend a very strong word here for anyone using HTCSense.com - back. up. now.
Those who want phone finding and cloud-based backup apps have been told to try third-party apps, as HTC don't have any time frame on when the HTCSense site would boast its new services. Why the sudden change and removal of a website they pushed as competition to Google's cloud services for Android, or Apple's MobileMe service?
Well, HTC are launching Sense 4.0-powered devices in the coming months, with the One X, One S and One V being released into the wild. These handsets have been considerably stripped back and polished, removing clutter and should improve the overall experience of these handsets. This speed increase and spring cleaning does come at a price though, HTCSense being dropped for a while.
A series of tests were conducted by storage vendor Nasuni. What they found is quite shocking. The results of the tests indicate that both rival cloud services, MS Azure and Rackspace, are slow to accept data. Whether this is a limitation of the network or a limitation of the hardware, we can not be sure.
Nasuni conducted five series of tests. The results are, again, quite shocking. Since all of these systems are cloud storage, you would expect similar performance, but you would be wrong. For example, moving 12TB from Amazon to Azure takes 40 hours, whereas moving the same data back took only four. 12TB from Rackspace to Amazon took five hours, yet Amazon to Rackspace took almost an entire week! Amazon "bucket" to Amazon "bucket" took only four hours.
Once again, it's not clear if this is just a limitation of the network, or if there is a massive difference in technology that is leading to these poor write speeds. Nasuni said the cloud providers were not "forthcoming about why their performance would vary so greatly." However, "Nasuni did not experience the same behavior with Amazon S3, and this measurement probably further indicates limitations in Azure's architecture or bandwidth, as other customers using the system appear to be affecting our results to a large degree."
Cloud-based storage company, Box, has just updated their Android app and have baked in a bunch of new features. In order to celebrate this new start, Box are giving away 50GB of free storage to any Android-based user who logs into their service in the next 30 days.
Box's new Android update introduces an overhauled user interface, new features, and includes compatibility for Google's latest OS, Ice Cream Sandwich. Box worked with Google to help redesign the UI with ICS in mind, and even users of previous Android-based OS's will benefit from. New features include the ability to comment on files, add teammates to individual folders, and batch uploads for uploading multiple files at once.
Box are also adding new support for languages, with French, Italian, German, and Spanish being added to the Android app. On top of the free 50GB of storage, Box are also giving away 20 Samsung Android-based tablets to a single company who can compellingly explain how it plans to use Box to improve its daily routines. Two runners-up in the contests will win a Samsung Galaxy Tab.
The new Box Android app is available right now in the Android Market, and will pop its head up shortly in the Amazon Appstore, Barnes & Noble Nook Store, LG World, and the Verizon Store.
It seems as though Google are inching closer to launching a cloud-based storage solution that should go head-to-head with other cloud-based solutions like Dropbox and Microsoft's SkyDrive. Wall Street have cited people "familiar with the matter" who say that the service would be simply known as 'Drive', and should be here within a few months.
It will reportedly include a free option that should suit most customers, but Google will also have a premium model which should feature more storage space. At the moment, there's no information on just how much space will be included in the free option, but considering Dropbox offer 2GB for free, with additional space given for referrals and promoting them on social networks, it should be similar.
Dropbox also charge just $9.99 for 50GB and $19.99 for 100GB. Google have the power to offer just as much, if not more, for less than Dropbox's offerings. Google are already offering 20GB of shared data for its Picasa, Gmail and Google Docs services for just $5 per year. Microsoft on the other hand, offer 25GB through SkyDrive for free. Google will most likely match, if not beat, SkyDrive's pricing.
Dropbox has been kind enough to offer 5GB of free space for its cloud-based storage service. Free users receive 2GB of space, and this 5GB additional space bumps it up to a nice 7GB.
It's 'free' which means it comes with some restrictions such as users must download and install the 'experimental' Dropbox client. Users must utilize Dropbox's new automatic photo import feature to upload photos. This feature is the reason behind the promotion, where Dropbox want to iron out the bugs in this new venture.
Once you've completed your first photo import, Dropbox will give you an additional 500MB of space. For every 500MB of photos you upload afterwards, Dropbox will give you an additional 500MB of storage, until it reaches the 5GB additional storage mark. The 5GB of space is permanent, even when the beta ends.
EMC unit Isilon Systems have had a decent order from Apple, 12 petabytes worth of data storage to be used for the iTunes cloud. This large order might be made for the construction of Apple's huge data center in Maiden, North Carolina. The new building is expected to be the hub for a new version of iTunes which relies on storing media in the cloud, which is set to replace the old method of the data being stored on customers HDDs.
The main focus of the cloud will be for storing video content, rather than music which is why so much storage is required. Rumors have been flying around for quite some time that Apple would be following in the footsteps of Google and Amazon with the content they purchased being accessed from a centralized server. This would go hand in hand with that and Apple would have its own digital locker for cloud-based storage of media and content.
Brandon LeBlanc over at The Windows Blog has posted up details on Microsoft's Windows Intune; an advancement on their cloud strategy that makes for a more condensed and cost effective method for small to medium sized businesses in maintaining an on-premise desktop management infrastructure.
Windows InTune is a prayer answered for many businesses and gives new IT capabilities with lower upfront investment and resources required. This new online offering for PC management and security simplifies how businesses manage and secure their PCs using Windows cloud services and Windows 7, making it easier for IT staff to manage and secure PCs from virtually anywhere.
The full article via the source link below gives a complete overview of what the cloud service is capable of and there's also a streaming video available there to see it in action.
Microsoft is today making the public beta of Windows InTune available to 1,000 customers and IT partners in the US, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. If you think you or your company will make good use of it, you can sign up for the beta here; sign-ups will cease on May 16th.
Ghost has finally moved out of the Alpha stage and into Beta. The cloud based virtual desktop is free to use and features a few nice tools for productivity and for fun.
We took a quick look at G.ho.st and found it useable but unfortunately a little slow for our tastes. The OS looks like a linux distro and has a "Go" button and the usual desktop icons. You can upload documents and files to your Virtual G.ho.st drive.
This allows you to work on them from any Web Connected computer. It was opening uploaded files that we found to have the biggest issue. The default system has Zoho for document editing. It tool over 5 seconds to open and display a short rtf (rich text font) document and was unable to display a pdf we used.
Images were not a big problem but the larger the image file, the slower it loaded.
We did not play with the mail or IM client yet but imagine the issues inherent with relying in your internet speed could potentially limit the usefulness of this new Cloud OS.
G.ho.st stands for Global Hosted Operating System, it was founded in 2006 and is made up of a team of Palestinians and Israelis. This team has had to do much of their work through phone and video conversations as travel between the two states is very controlled. Still the team has proven that Palestinians and Israelis can work together to accomplish something global.
Give it a try here.
Steam will launch a new cloud service that will allow gamers to save their game settings online.
This new service called Steam Cloud (very inventive) will be able to store keyboard and mouse related settings as well as paint tag settings. This is a great feature if you are in the habit of playing your Steam games from different systems. The saved setting will be automatically applied as soon as a user launches a game through their Steam account and any changes made will be saved to the Steam servers.
Steam will make this available to all game companies using Steam for distribution free of charge and will go live with the upcoming demo of Left 4 Dead.
Read more here.
The Steam Cloud will "just work," meaning any user changes to their game options will propagate to the Cloud by default. Upon logging into Steam from another PC, these settings will be brought down from the Cloud and automatically leveraged by the game. Any configuration changes on this second machine are then synced to the Cloud for future sessions.
Steam Cloud will be available to all publishers and developers using Steam, free of charge, and Valve will add Cloud support to its back catalog of Steam games. Cloud services are compatible with games purchased via Steam, at retail, and other digital outlets.