Articles about Cloud Computing

EarlyClaim reserves usernames so you don’t end up with a crappy handle

EarlyClaim reserves usernames so you don’t end up with a crappy handle

You never know when the next Twitter is going to crop up. When a new service like Pinterest, Vine, or Skype appears, if you're not quick off the mark there's a high chance you'll miss out on your preferred username. You want MarkWilsonWords? Sorry, that went ages ago… you'll have to settle for MarkWilsonWord09868. Getting stuck with a crappy username sucks, but it's very hard to monitor all of the new services that pop up so you can bag your ideal name as early as possible. This is something that EarlyClaim can help with.

It's a free service that seeks out new startups and reserves a username on your behalf -- you just say what handle you'd like, and EarlyClaim does the hard work for you. For businesses, it is important to have a brand identity that is the same across different social networks (who is going to take notice of Coca Cola 1897 on Facebook?) but it's also something that is valuable to individuals. How many times have you signed up for a site only to find that you're unable to secure the username of your choice and had to opt for something far inferior? Every time you use that service there is a constant reminder that you weren't fast enough at signing up.

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Managed services boost efficiency and cut costs

Business laptop graph

Using managed services used to mean outsourcing complex IT projects to expensive consultants. Now though thanks to technologies like the cloud they're enabling businesses to focus on their core business while increasing their efficiency, reducing costs and taking advantage of new technologies.

Infrastructure as a service specialist GoGrid has compiled some industry findings that demonstrate the market opportunities and benefits companies can gain by using managed services.

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Platform9 launches self-service private cloud

cloud-storage

Today's IT managers are under pressure to deliver the sort of agility that's offered by the public cloud but with the security and cost benefits of using existing infrastructure.

California-based startup Platform9 has today unveiled an answer to this problem with its SaaS platform that transforms an organization's existing servers into an AWS-like agile, self-service private cloud within minutes. It significantly reduces the operational complexity for IT and offers a single point of management for Docker, KVM and VMware vSphere.

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IBM patent lets enterprises choose the location of their cloud data

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IBM has developed a technique that should help enterprise firms manage where their cloud data is stored.

The technology could help businesses to comply with regional legislation regarding cloud content.

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Customization is the name of the game in cloud computing

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With Gartner predicting that half of all enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by 2017, it's obvious that cloud technology is permeating all levels of organizations. What this also means is that nothing is black and white with cloud computing. Enterprises are deploying different forms of cloud solutions in ways that best support their business needs and organizational infrastructure.

There is no silver bullet that will give companies the best possible outcomes with cloud computing – each organization needs to determine what data and departments will best benefit from cloud solutions, and positively impact the bottom line. The trend I see growing the fastest in the cloud computing space is that of customization, as enterprises build out cloud infrastructures and solutions that work best for them.

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Google makes it easier to unsubscribe from email lists

Google makes it easier to unsubscribe from email lists

Gmail is undergoing another change, but this time it's a fairly minor tweak -- and one that is likely to be broadly welcomed. Unsubscribing from mailing lists is about to become simpler. Rather than having to hunt through the small print at the end of an email, or scouring the text for a hidden link, you'll soon find the unsubscribe option right at the top of emails. Announced via the official Gmail Google+ page, Google describes the change as "a win for everyone".

The new feature is not something that mailing list creators need to opt into, or indeed do anything about at all. Providing an email features an unsubscribe link somewhere in its text, Gmail will automatically add it to the top of a message next to the From field. Google explains that "when a sender includes an 'Unsubscribe' link in a Promotions, Social or Forums message, Gmail will surface it to the top", so it's not clear if the feature will work with every single mailing list.

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MediaFire launches new cloud storage app for iOS and lowers prices

Tablet cloud sync

Consumer cloud storage specialist MediaFire has announced a major update to its native iOS app, bringing a number of new features to the popular storage platform and heralding a new pricing model.

Available on the iTunes store from today the new free app includes automatic photo and video syncing, enhanced video and music streaming performance, new mobile sharing options, and a brand new high resolution user interface.

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Continuity Software allows ServiceNow users to guard against outages

Cloud storage

Although it's increasingly popular to move data and systems to the cloud, the risk of suffering a system outage of some kind is still very real and it can make monitoring the IT infrastructure more difficult.

IT risk management company Continuity Software has a solution for users of the ServiceNow cloud portfolio who will now be able to use Continuity's AvailabilityGuard to verify their systems.

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Google email scanning technology catches pedophile sharing abuse photos

Google email scanning technology catches paedophile sharing abuse photos

The scanning of personal emails is almost universally regarded as a terrible thing. Just like the activities of the NSA, when email providers start rifling through private information, it has a tendency to upset people. The justification for governmental mass surveillance has always been that it helps to combat crime -- and of course we never have to wait for long before the words "terrorists", "extremists", and "attack" are used. Google has just demonstrated how email scanning can be used to catch criminals. In this case, Google's image recognition software was used to identify images of child abuse sent via email by a Texan man.

A 41 year old man was arrested after the system detected suspicious material. The police were alerted and requested the user's details from Google after child protection services were automatically notified of the findings. The convicted sex offender's account triggered an alert after automatic, pro-active scans detected illegal pictures and Google then reported it to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Google is understandably tight-lipped about how its technology works, but as the Telegraph points out, we do already know a little about the methods used.

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Intronis automates Bare Metal Restore for faster recovery

Disk backup recovery

Backup specialist Intronis has announced that it’s integrating Bare Metal Restore into its ECHOplatform for small and medium businesses, which offers a flat-fee unlimited cloud and local storage pricing model.

The BMR functionality offers complete physical-to-physical (P2P) bare metal recovery and physical-to-virtual (P2V) BMR recovery options for greater flexibility and performance. Available at no extra charge to Intronis channel partners it allows recovery back to the original system or to a replacement machine.

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Turn a Raspberry Pi into your own personal cloud

Pi cloud

Tonido lets you transform a PC (spare, or otherwise) into a web server so you can securely access your files from anywhere, share content with friends, and stream music over the internet. You can expand the software’s functionality by installing plug-ins and there are free apps available for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone.

The company has also just introduced Tonido Personal Cloud Server for Raspberry Pi, so you can now turn your credit card sized device into a personal cloud, and remotely access all the files held on any storage connected to it.

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Must it always be Windows?

office workers

Many companies use Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) environments to enable their employees to work with mobile devices or from a home office. With VDI, employees remotely access hosted solutions and work securely on corporate servers. What sounds like the perfect answer unfortunately turns out to be, in reality, an aggravating, eye-opening experience for the users.

The reason for this is that these hosted apps usually run more slowly than local apps and require a steady, high-performance online connection, which is not always available in home offices. Thus, the work in a home office often goes slowly and is not accepted by the users. They would much rather work with their local applications on their desktop, especially since Microsoft Office applications are available on almost every computer.

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Jitterbit connects SAP to the cloud

Enterprise cloud

SAP is the world's most popular ERP (enterprise resource planning) system, but a recent survey by HCL Technologies shows that integration with their existing solutions was the biggest obstacle to 45 percent of SAP users when implementing cloud technologies.

Integration company Jitterbit has announced a new SAP Connector that lets businesses integrate their existing processes with SAP whether they're on-site or in the cloud. Certified by SAP and running on Jitterbit's Harmony cloud platform it offers faster integration and is compatible with SAP's latest HANA in memory appliance.

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I cut cable's cord again and mean it this time

TV cat Netflix

Overnight, AT&T U-verse went dark in the Wilcox household. We're cord cutters once more. A year ago, we let the service go for about two weeks but returned after Cox Internet failed to deliver constant connection. When going back to AT&T for just the Net, the company made an offer I couldn't refuse: Hundreds of channels, HD, DVR, and Internet for $99 a month. Cost would be $69 without the television service.

But with Game of Thrones and Walking Dead behind, and the 12-month contract expired (yesterday), streaming is once again high on the thrifty list. I made several phone calls looking for an AT&T deal that would keep us customers, but no offer matched Cox, which guarantees pricing for a year without locking me into any commitment. We set up service about 10 days ago, hoping the Internet would stop yo-yoing around.

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Microsoft's Q4 FY2014 earnings by the numbers

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Microsoft has released its earnings results for the fourth fiscal quarter of the year (that is Q2 CY2014), posting revenue of $23.38 billion, gross margin of 15.79 billion and operating income of $6.48 billion. As a result, earnings per share (EPS) came in at $0.55 (below analyst expectations of $0.60).

Revenue, gross margin and operating income are higher than a year before, when they reached 19.89 billion, 14.29 billion and 6.07 billion, respectively. However, EPS is lower, dropping from $0.59. "We are galvanized around our core as a productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world, and we are driving growth with disciplined decisions, bold innovation, and focused execution", says Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. "I'm proud that our aggressive move to the cloud is paying off -- our commercial cloud revenue doubled again this year to a $4.4 billion annual run rate".

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