Google does allow its users to store data in the cloud. Some people are still not so confident of storing data on the cloud for reasons of control, privacy and mainly offline access.
But I am sure that even Google would be stumped by these observations made by Vishwa Bandhu Gupta, a former additional commissioner on income-tax in this video, who claims cloud computing will be affected when it rains.
I am not sure if the person is serious, but he looks quite convincing.
If you use a couple of cloud services, you’ll know the pain of managing files across them. I have some important files stored on my Dropbox account but I even have some documents on Google Docs, now here Otixo comes into the play and helps me in managing those files.
To keep it simple, Otixo is like Windows explorer for your files on the cloud!
Manage all your files on the cloud from a single dashboard.
Otixo currently supports 6 cloud services including Google Docs, Box.net, Dropbox, WebTV, MobileMe and FTP.
You can copy files from one cloud service to another, search for files on all cloud services at a time.
Ability to download and upload files, additionally, you can also rename, cut, paste and delete the files.
Otixo on Desktop
If you don’t spend much of your time on browsing, then you might be interested in this. On Windows XP and Windows 7 you can map the network drive and thus manage the files directly from the desktop.
Here’s how you can do it on Windows XP –
Click Start, open My network places.
Double-click on Add network place.
Proceed by clicking next and enter the network address as https://dav.otixo.com..
Then enter your username and password to login and name your drive and you’re done.
For Windows 7 Users – Otixo has a tutorial on how to map the network drive on Windows 7.
The Big Question
The war between cloud services is getting hotter day by day, and now even Apple introduced its so called iCloud. The question is, will these cloud services allow Otixo to grow? Let’s take example of Dropbox, as it’s one of the cloud service supported by Otixo, it is indirectly supporting other cloud services (Box, Google Docs etc)!
Cloud services are getting popular day by day, after all it’s the best way to backup, share and sync files. No doubt, Dropbox is a great way to backup and store your files on the cloud, but have you ever thought of an alternative? May be you haven’t, but Wuala is a good alternative when compared to Dropbox.
After the Last Pass security has compromised, many people came to know about the danger of storing files on the cloud and I suppose this can happen with even Dropbox! But I bet this won’t happen with Wuala. Files stored on Wuala are not available through its website, so chances of getting your files compromised are almost nil!
There are only two ways to access your files stored on Wuala, one is through the desktop app, second one is through the java app available on its website.
Free Cloud Storage
Wuala by default offers just 1GB of cloud storage, that might sound pretty less as Dropbox offers 2GB of free storage at the beginning (although they are some tasks that are to finished).
Like Dropbox you can always refer Wuala to your friends and gain free space up to 3GB. For people interested in paying for storage for premium needs, I found that Wuala plans are actually cheaper than Dropbox.
Uploading and Downloading Speed
Can’t comment on uploading speed, but Downloading speed is much better than Dropbox, reason is each file you upload to Wuala server has five similar copies of it, so Wuala downloads the file from five locations simultaneously and thus better speed (same technique is used by download managers). 😉
This awesome feature is completely missing in Dropbox. If you and a group of friends are working on a document (provided, all have Wuala installed on their machine) then with Wuala’s Collaboration feature you can edit the file and thus appear the same in your friend’s computer (just like Google Docs). You can notify your friends of the changes you made through the comments.
With Dropbox, the file cannot be worked on by two people at the same time but can be accessed by a group.
When you download a file or a folder in Wuala, it stores Download cache in its folder and this increases with time and thus can consume most of your disk space. Unlike Dropbox, in which cache folder is hidden, in Wuala you clear Download cache from the settings window.
Wuala in Action
Like Dropbox, Wuala supports many devices including Android, iOS, Windows, Linux and Mac.
I have migrated from Dropbox to Wuala, will you? Drop in your opinions!
Last week, I wrote about Apple’s new service called iCloud. It was a cloud storage service which Apple users can used to synchronize all their gadgets. But Apple has run into a small bump with the name iCloud. There is another company and it goes by the name “iCloud Communications” and was created in 2005.
iCloud Communications is now suing Apple for using their company’s trademark by naming their cloud service “iCloud”.
iCloud Communications is a VOIP Service for businesses and based in the US.
Who is to blame?
Well it seems, iCloud possibly rode the bandwagon to make their product sound fashionable. There are many companies around with the letter ‘’i” in front of them.
But, unless Apple has trademarked the letter “i” itself (which I find very unlikely :-P), they cannot use another company’s brand name for their own.
Also, this is a bit disappointing from Apple, considering I have read stories on how zealously they go about protecting their brand name and copyrights. So what should apply to a very large company, should also apply to a relatively unknown and small company. Right? Only time will tell. 😉
Do let me know your views on iCloud using Apple through your comments.
Apple has yesterday, announced at the Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) the new cloud storage service called iCloud. This iCloud service has been anticipated and expected for a while now.
With iPod, iPhones and more recently iPads, there may be more than one Apple device which people might use everyday. This raises the need for having a cloud service that syncs across all devices.
The iCloud service is free with iOS 5. This means if your Apple device runs on iOS 5, then it will have iCloud.
The service plans to give storage space of up to 5GB.
The interesting part of iTunes Match with iCloud, will be that it will match all the music files you have ripped and make iTunes files which are supposed to be better available for you to use. All this will cost $24.99.
This basically means that with iCloud, you can legalize your pirated music content, if you have some of it on your Apple device.
This part could get interesting when copyright holders might ask Apple, how they plan to share this revenue with them that they collect with iTunes Match.
But is iCloud really worth all the hype…
I am afraid, that it is not really anything revolutionary and mostly disappointing. Cloud storage, means storing something online and forgetting about it until you need it. I have stored files with Dropbox, and do not check those folders for months, until I decide to back up or store some critical files and photos on it.
iCloud, will only store the files for 30 days, until which you users can download the files and sync their devices. So technically all the files are stored in the device itself and uses cloud only to sync them across different devices.
So maybe iCloud should have actually been called iSync. 😉
What are you views on iCloud? Do drop in your comments.
Apple and Google might be rivals in the mobile market with iPhone and Android respectively. But now this rivalry is moving online. The battle is over”Cloud Music” the online music store.
Apple has completed the work for an online cloud music storage service and is all set to launch it ahead of Google. Though both of them has been beaten by the Amazon with it service called ” Amazon Cloud Drive“.
What will Apples Cloud Music storage service do?
Apple plan will allow its iTunes users to store their music tracks on the server and access them anywhere through the internet.
Google was expected to launch the service for the Android last Christmas but they did not. Amazon had launched the service early of the April 2011, without considering the new licenses which may got to legal process.
Now three of most valuable companies are in a long term war over the cloud music storage.
There are still some interesting questions left, like how will these company tackles the licensing process?
Apple will have an edge of Google and Amazon as it has many iTunes user which we didn’t think of migrating to other services. Also it has a millions of iPod users who would want to use this service.
Google has to keep their Android user happy with the music store and they will mainly focus on the Android only. As far as Amazon is concern it will be difficult to them to survive from the Apple and Google even though they had launched the services earlier.
Important dates over Cloud music:
Dec 2009 Apple bought the “Lala” a cloud based company.
May 2010 Apple shut down “Lala” .
May 2010 Simplify Media, bought by Google closed down.
Mar 2011 Amazon launches Cloud drive.
April 2011 Google acquires PushLife.
So who do you think will dominate cloud music service? Do drop in your comments.
We all are fans of cloud computing, because of its simplicity in accessing data anywhere in the world. People were singing praises to the cloud all over until suddenly one morning Gmail deleted emails for about 150,000 accounts. This was because of a bug but people panicked when all their email could not be retrieved.
The problem has been explained by Gmail it is blog, along with also commenting on it further.
Gmail explains that they do have data stored at multiple locations but the bug ended up infecting systems at multiple places. This led to the various Gmail accounts being affected.
Why did the bug affect Gmail users?
Gmail released a storage update which had an unexpected bug. This bug led to emails being deleted for over 150,000 accounts. I guess over the next week, some heads will roll in the Gmail team for this bug.
Gmail has all the data backed up to physical tape which is not online and hence does not get affected with bugs. This has allowed Gmail to restore all the accounts except that it is taking them well over 40 hours now. 😐
Will Cloud computing be affected?
The answer for the short-term is yes. Especially as this has happened with Google, the champion of storing things on cloud. The new Chrome OS with all your files being stored on the cloud does not sound appealing if a bug over the weekend can wipeout your data and you cannot access the data for over 40 hours!
In the long-term, I do hope Google learns from these mishaps and improves cloud computing technology.
What are your views on this issue? Has your confidence in storing files on the cloud been shaken? Do drop in your comments.
A lot of people might be asking where is Google going with its Chrome OS roll-out. Will it be of any use? Or will it end up as just another novel yet misguided experiment from Google. The idea behind Chrome OS is to have everything stored on the Cloud. Until people might have wondered how will an operating system be more or less a browser? Most importantly what about the other tasks that people do from their computers – playing games, taking print-outs.
Google has introduced Cloud Print which will now allow us to publish our documents from the cloud. It is already available with the latest Chrome beta version
How to enable Cloud Print?
You need a Windows PC and Chrome installed on it. On Chrome browser just click on the wrench icon at the top and look up “Options”.
On the “Under the Hood” tab look up right at the end and you will see a button called “Google Cloud Print”.
Click on it and it will ask you to sign-in with your Google credentials.
You should see the Success message like in the image below. If you computer is connected to Printer, go ahead and test it out.
Why Cloud Print can potentially rock?
Cloud Print is still in beta phase but what it wants to achieve is eliminating the need for driver to use a printer. Drivers are the main obstacle any cloud based OS like Chrome OS will have to overcome to become a viable product.
Cloud Print which can be used to take print outs from any Cloud Print enabled app, computer or smart phone.
The Bad News
Cloud Print is a great idea but at the moment as it is being tested, it needs a computer and printer attached to it. It still does support Linux and Mac. This is like classic Google, which often puts out a not so complete service and start innovating and refine the features during beta. It really works when Google is focused and a fine example of this is Gmail. But sometimes Google tends to lose its focus on new innovations and we get disasters like Google Wave.
All things said and done, I still feel Google trying to cut the need for drivers for hardware devices is a rocking idea. What are your views on it? Do drop in your comments.
Google has recently become aggressive. Only recently at their Google IO developers conference it mocked Apple’s obsession with control over its products. Now Google Apps is pitching itself aggressively to companies large and small and trying to convince them to switch over to Google Apps to handle their business needs.
Google has also launched a online calculator which is a fancy way of showing a presentation to you explaining why you need to move over to Google Apps which uses cloud computing.
Google Apps is used by many companies large and small along with many educational institutions.
A key advantage is the familiar Gmail interface and many of its features like Google Docs and Calendar. Also since the data is saved online security updates do not need to be downloaded and installed thus saving valuable time.