Articles about Cloud Computing

Tracking and tackling Ebola using mobile phone surveillance

Tracking and tackling Ebola using mobile phone surveillance

Mention web or mobile surveillance, and you're sure to raise a few hackles. But the current Ebola outbreak is showing that the data collected from handsets can be extremely useful. The idea of tackling a disease with 'big data' gathered from mobile phones might seem a little odd, but it's actually an incredibly valuable source of information. Telecom firms such as Orange have been working with data scientists, using anonymized data gathered from phones to track population movement in regions affected by Ebola.

The BBC points out that even in relatively poor countries in Africa, mobile phone ownership is still high. Experts have been able to use this data to determine the best places to set up treatment centers, and it's an idea that has been pounced upon by the CDC.

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Don't overlook the most important cloud storage feature: Security

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The craze in the world of cloud storage today seems to be rolling out lists of additional features that match the features of every competitor out there, and presenting them as new and improved. Every company strives to be appear as the best possible cloud option on the market by continually adding "new" features right alongside competitors, and in all of the competition it can be a simple mistake to overlook what these features actually mean.

Before you let these lists of newly-added features dazzle you into choosing one specific cloud storage option over another, do a little research into what these features actually do. You might be surprised to find that many aren’t precisely new ideas, and they don’t increase the most important cloud storage aspect of all: secure file storage.

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Public cloud security flaws: who’s viewing your files?

Cloud spy

Secure cloud storage is a challenge facing many professionals today, especially small and mid-sized businesses. It’s clear that the cloud is going to stick around for a long time, and so everyone is looking for a way to get on board with it while still protecting their professional data.

But, the unfortunate truth about public cloud storage is that you can’t control who handles your data or how it is protected. If you choose the wrong service, your company files are exposed to the dangers of hackers, data leaks, seizure, and nosy cloud employees. It’s difficult to know who is looking at your data, but if you know the risks and costs that come with different services and cloud functions, you can better protect your privacy.

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Dropbox passwords held to ransom after third-party leak

Cloud box

Hackers claim to have stolen the login details of almost seven million Dropbox users. Having released a teaser file on Pastebin with details of around 400 accounts they’re offering to release more in exchange for a Bitcoin ransom.

Like the Snapchat photo leak it seems that this information has come from insecure third-party services rather than from Dropbox itself.

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SAP and Birst team up to deliver cloud analytics for the enterprise

Enterprise data

Enterprise software specialist SAP has announced a partnership with business intelligence company Birst to deliver faster analytics on the SAP HANA cloud platform.

The tie up will allow organizations to use a single cloud platform which can deliver instant analytics giving managers the ability to more quickly turn insight into action. It brings together SAP's next-generation cloud platform and Birst's comprehensive two-tier data architecture to provide instant access to business data.

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New public cloud backup cuts the cost of protecting data

cloud computing backup

Backups have traditionally involved removable media, whether tape or disk, to allow copies of essential information to be held off site for safety.

The cloud has changed all that but companies still have concerns about security and retention of data, as well as expense. A new product released today by Druva is aimed at delivering a long-term storage solution with less complexity and lower cost.

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The internet is a massive waste of time

The internet is a massive waste of time

Over the last couple of decades the internet has revolutionized how we work, how we shop, how we communicate, and how we consume media. In most regards it has made life quicker and easier, but it has also brought challenges and side-effects. Technology may have made many tasks simpler, but it has also increased distractions and shepherded in more ways to procrastinate. You've probably noticed that while you can get many things done faster than ever, you spend a great deal of time doing nothing of worth.

In fact, rather than saving money, the widespread adoption of technology could be costing business dearly. Research shows that nearly two-thirds of employees spend work hours browsing sites unrelated to work -- a surprising 3 percent of them spending more than 10 hours a week actively avoiding work online. All of these wasted man hours add up, resulting in an average cost of almost $3,000 for employee each year.

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Cloud-based management allows parental control of multiple devices

Parental Control

As we saw last week, parental control products are a bit of a mixed bag and are only part of a protection strategy that includes effective education.

If you have several different devices in the family you may also end up using multiple products to protect them. That is unless you use the latest version of Remo Software's MORE which offers cloud-based management across multiple platforms.

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Facebook apologizes to LGBT community, 'backs down' on real name policy

Facebook apologizes to LGBT community, 'backs down' on real name policy

Facebook has issued an apology to "drag queens, drag kings", and the LGBT community for forcing users of the social network to reveal their real names or face having their pages suspended. The social network also bowed to pressure, saying that users will not necessarily have to use their real names in the future. Chris Cox, Facebook's Chief Product Officer, made a statement in an online post that admits the negative response to the policy "took us off guard". Why the sudden interest in real names? It seems that one person may have been to blame.

Facebook caused something of a storm of controversy recently when it forced many users to reveal their real names. Large groups of people were affected by this, but it was a number of drag artists who were most vocal in their complaints -- numerous petitions and campaigns, including #MyNameIs, started up. While it was drag queens who hit the headlines, Facebook's sudden enforcement of its long-standing real names policy also affected performers such as musicians -- fans and friends were confused when seemingly new people appeared in their friend list. Despite the backlash Facebook faced, the social network stuck to its guns, remaining adamant that the policy was here to stay, and dismissing complaints out of hand.

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iPhone 6: an honest review

iPhone 6

I preordered Apple's new smartphone on September 12, and it wasn't easy. Few months back, I went "Microsoft All-In" for the summer, purchasing the Nokia Lumia Icon on contract from Verizon. So I didn't qualify for the discounted, upgrade price. But when there's a will, there's a way -- and a generous family member helps make something special happen.

My iPhone 6 review begins with such disclaimer. Like iPad Air, I paid for the device. Apple didn't send me a review unit, but I did ask, and I am not on the preferred list of writers who get early access to "iDevices" and who presumably are more likely to rave. Such qualification is necessary, because iPhone 6 is an exceptionally satisfying handset, and I don't want to be mislabeled fanboy for stating such. That's a brash conclusion coming from someone abandoning a competing smartphone with better specs and satisfying user experience.

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WordPress and other CMSs are 'inherently insecure'

WordPress and other CMSs are 'inherently insecure'

A large proportion of websites are not standalone sites in their own right, but creations based on CMSs such as Drupal, WordPress, and Joomla. This is particularly true for personal blogs, but using a CMS as the basis for a site has been increasingly popular among larger companies. CMSs are used because they allow for articles to be posted easily, make it simple for multiple people to contribute to a site, and allow for different users to be assigned different access rights. They can also be extended through the use of plugins, but these self-same extensions are also a security disaster waiting to happen.

Security experts High-Tech Bridge frequently discover vulnerabilities in extensions and plugins for popular CMSs. It is standard procedure to notify the developer before going public three weeks after the discovery -- this provides an opportunity for the problems to be fixed without alerting others who might exploit it. High-Tech Bridge CEO, Ilia Kolochenko, says that CMS security issues are nothing new:

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There is no escape -- with Atlas, Facebook ads follow you between devices

There is no escape -- with Atlas, Facebook ads can now follow you between devices

How much do you hate ads? How much do ads piss you off? Well prepare to turn into an even bigger ball of hate-filled pissed-off-ness when you hear about Facebook's latest ventures in advertising. Few people would argue against the suggestion that Facebook has all but given up any pretence of being a social network and has become little more than a huge cog in a massive advertising machine. Claims have been made that ads are being made more relevant to users, but the truth of the matter is that users are being made more relevant to advertisers. And Facebook now has a whole new way to follow you around the web to make sure you are delivered even more better-targeted ads.

Facebook has been criticized for forcing users to reveal their real names -- information which is as valuable to advertisers as it is anything to do with security -- and there have long been concerns about privacy settings on the site. Users of Facebook may complain that their newsfeeds are cluttered with news and posts at the wrong time, but one of the biggest issues people have with the site is with ad delivery. Last week we learned that Facebook was on the verge of revealing something "more powerful than what Google can currently do" in terms of user tracking. Facebook has now launched Atlas, an ad platform that can track users as they move from desktop to mobile devices -- and it's sure to raise plenty of privacy hackles.

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The Fappening part 3: Hundreds of nude celebrity photos leak once again

secrets shock surprise man woman

For an increasing number of celebrities who have seen their nude photos being leaked online, The Fappening will always be a never-ending nightmare, which will come back to haunt them for a long time to come. Once it's online, it stays there, ready for the world to see. Meanwhile, for others it will serve as a source of frequent enjoyment, in no small part thanks to Apple. Its iCloud service appears to be the source of the leaks for most files, and this includes the latest batch, called The Fappening part 3, which just surfaced.

Reddit and 4chan have served as the gateways to the new leaked photos, with download links showing up this past weekend. It's a recurring theme, as the two community forums have been involved in propagating hundreds of such images since The Fappening hit in early-September. Threads on the topic have been banned and new policies have been implemented, but, despite these efforts, it is all for naught apparently.

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Migrating from Windows Server 2003: 12 best practices straight from the trenches

group young business it network server room solving help support

Most of us have hopefully managed to get off the sinking ship that was Windows XP. As much of a recent memory as that has become, a new end of life is rearing its head, and it's approaching fervently for those who haven't started planning for it. Microsoft's Windows Server 2003, a solid server operating system that's now about eleven and a half years old, is heading for complete extinction in just under 300 days. Microsoft has a fashionable countdown timer already ticking.

Seeing as we just finished our second server migration in a single week (a personal record so far), sharing some of the finer aspects of how we are streamlining these transitions seems like a timely fit. This braindump of sorts is a collection of best practices that we are routinely following for our own customers, and they seem to be serving us well so far.

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Private cloud deployments lead to better quality of enterprise IT

Private secure cloud

According to an IDG survey commissioned by information management specialist CommVault, private cloud adoption can lead to better IT services, greater agility and reduced risk for businesses.

In order to help companies make the most of these advantages CommVault is introducing a Private Cloud Services Design product that means customers can build a service-centric approach for data management supporting the private cloud in approximately six weeks.

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