Ideas intended for one area often prove useful in another. Modular data centres were originally conceived for remote areas, where they could deal with local problems. However, modular approaches turned out to be a little cheaper and faster to install than traditional platforms.

Think of a modular design as having several parts (the modules) with a great number of interconnections within them, but far fewer connections between them. A module can be set up to look after the local processing requirements, and communicate with other modules as needed. Really, any computer connected to the net is modular; a self-contained processor connected to a series of other processors.

A MarketsandMarkets report stated that more traditional centres lack in capacity planning and scalability, and incur higher construction costs. Whereas modular approaches have the obvious advantages of flexibility and updatability. Individual modules can be replaced as needed and allocated according to the requirements of a specific situation; and they can easily be added to. The same firm also report advantages in the ability to allocate time and manage costs when building a data centre. Once built, there are advantages in power savings, cooling efficiencies and optimizing IT equipment density.

The Global Modular data centre market is expected to increase by almost 20 billion dollars, from its current 6.5 billion, over the next 5 years. Development of modular centres is likely to focus on greener energy requirements and the ability to completely install an operation system with the matter of a few weeks. They look to be about 20% cheaper than more traditional data centres.

Source: http://cloudtimes.org/2014/07/23/modular-data-center-reduces-the-cost-of-ownership-for-data-center-by-one-fifth/

As companies inevitably embrace cloud they increasingly choose a private cloud system. Security is probably the main issue, which is a factor for every company, but compatibility is also a concern. You can’t customise public cloud, either with security or anything else. With private cloud you don’t have to own the infrastructure, but you get the advanced and increasingly essential benefits of cloud with the security and compliance that you prefer.

Private cloud adoption has grown faster that public. Where public cloud has grown 20% per year the private cloud is expected to grow between 40 to 50% for the next few years. The trend appears more pronounced with larger companies, partly because they can afford their own system, partly because of the sensitive nature of their transactions, partly because they require a large, integrated cloud system for their company.

Individual consumers and smaller businesses that choose a public cloud use Google or Amazon services to store data and run apps in a shared space. This frees the company from managing the information systems as they can rely on the service providers to do it for them.

Larger companies using a private cloud have more control over the quality and protection of the information and services they use, which is sometime essential as certain industries may require certain protocols and regulations to be observed. But this comes at the expense of providing IT workers capable of maintaining the private clouds, or of hiring an appropriate provider.

Google and the Right to be Forgotten

In May 2014 a European Union court of justice ruled that individuals can request out-dated or irrelevant information about their past be removed when other people are searching the net.

There are some cross lines about this landmark decision. It’s not about history being re-written or whitewashed; information is not actually being removed from the internet. Instead, under the guidelines set out by the ruling, Information seen as detrimental to an individual will simply not appear in search results. The information will still be online, just not easy to find unless you are dedicated and know what to look for.

Lawyers are still trying to figure out the ramifications of all this, but it appears anybody who doesn’t like an old story about themselves can simply have it removed. There might be complicating issues for public figures: do politicians have the right to remove incriminating issues from their past? Or at least hide them? There must be some debate here about a public right to know. We often Google new employees to see if they have a clean reputation. Then again, I pity someone who has a public accusation listed high on their search engine list, only to have the exonerating comments lost on a latter page.

Problem is, I’m not sure the search engine is the culpable party here. They just report what’s already on the net, and everybody knows the net is full of good, bad, ugly, fictions, misinterpretations, conjectures, advertising and several things that are just plain untrue. The search engine lists what there, but with the odd approach of giving priority to what is already popular, or at least SEO popular. Maybe there is something intrinsically unfair in that. The Controversial and sensational gets ahead, not the accurate or most useful information.

It ties to the old debate about the right to know versus free speech, and if it all seems too familiar and recent it’s because Wiki Leaks was only recently on all our minds. Of course the debate predates that by several generations. But several generations ago it was far more confined to individual countries. Of course as the internet is not confined to a single country the problem becomes more messy. It is a European court making this decision. Do American companies answer to this? The internet is freely accessed across the international borders, so some USA company has to employ staff to block some search engine results for Europeans who don’t want some (possibly false or misleading) information connected to them.
If this was a library it would have to employ more staff to hide the relevant books. Not throw them out, mind you; just not show them on the catalogue. In some cases I can understand that a book might be so discredited or objectionable that we might dispose of it entirely (think Holocaust denial), but there’s a lot of grey area here.

Maybe we could clear this up to some extent by focusing search engines on the information most relevant to the search. Individuals won’t be defined by one overemphasised aspect of their past, unless it was their actual defining moment.

s.

Google Glass

GOOGLE GLASS

After only being offered by special invitation Google Glass became officially available to the public on May the 15th this year. Costs are expected to be lower than the previous $1500.oo price tag.

Google glass is a head-mounted display that is worn like a regular pair of glasses. This in itself is nothing new. Like other technology circa 1995 the Google Glass displays information to one eye of the user using refracted/reflected spilt polarised light; but the Google Glass is significantly smaller and lighter than previous implementations, and has far more user applications.

Third party applications exist for maps, social media, phone calls and news, as well as video and photo creation on Google Glass. But more recent apps include facial recognition software, photo manipulation and translation applications. In keeping with the more advance technology these are controlled by using the touch control on the side of the glasses, or voice command. The voice command works by sensing the user’s speech through conduction of sound through the users cranial bones, thus making the command sound near inaudible to onlookers. Tilting the head also allows a user to control the device.

Privacy issues surface with these functions. It is very easy to record a private conversation, and even provide a translation. It is also quite possible to use the facial recognition apps to identify strangers and access information to use against them; though facial recognition apps are currently expensive and only used by the police.

Debates over safety of the glass are inevitable. People immediately question whether they are safe for driving. Defenders of the Google Glass point out that they are specifically designed not to obscure vision, and actually provide the user with additional information about their surroundings. The Glass aims to free up the users for human tasks by looking after the more mundane and automatable ones for them.
The legality of the Google Glass is questionable in countries like Russia where spy gadgets are against the law. There are also questions about security if they are stolen; devices can contain personal information. Individual locking systems are under development, preventing use by strangers, but at worst a Google Glass can always be remotely reset.

On the downside the glasses are reported to cause headaches, possibly for the same reason that video glasses cause problems: our brains have trouble with situations where our head moves and our field of visions does not. Perhaps this will disappear as users get use to the devices.

Since technology is upgrading, we are slowly starting to use internet services to store our information and data. In 2014, there is no need for us to purchase hardware to store our files. Over the years we have used a variety of different storage devices which ranges from floppy disks, CDs/DVDs, USBs and external HDDs. But over time, something better comes out and is more convenient. As of now, I believe that cloud storage is where we are at now.

Many people use cloud storage instead of the external storage devices. They are often cheaper and can be accessed on a computer with an internet connection. There are currently a large amount of cloud storage file sharing programs available, below are a few which are great and should be given a try. Cloud storage allows multiple users to access files from different locations, it is more convenient and is incredibly easy to use. These cloud storage devices can be accessed through a program or through the service providers website. The storage device also syncs/updates frequently, it occurs whenever a file has been updated, edited or removed from the cloud storage. The positive thing about these cloud devices is that you can access your files on different devices such as tablets and phones and they are often free to use.

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Google Drive:

Google Drive offers an introductory 15GB of space for your Gmail, Google+ Photos and personal files. If you feel that the 15GB is not enough then you can upgrade to 100GB+ for approximately $1.99 USD a month.

If you have a business in which you want to store your information on, you can get plans larger than the 100GB plan. These plans are overall quite cheap and very useful.

Below are the Google Drive storage plans:

Storage
100 GB
1 TB
10 TB
20 TB
30 TB
Monthly Rate
$1.99
$9.99
$99.99
$199.99
$299.99

On top of this, Google offers more storage for certain devices. The following devices are able to get additional storage on the Google Drive:

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Dropbox:

Right now, I am using the Dropbox as my primary storage device. This was my first ever cloud storage program I have ever used, the reason for this was that there was a promotion where I could gain additional storage by signing up with my university email account. The reason I use Dropbox is because I send links of files in my drop box to other people who do not have access to my dropbox, the only thing I have to do is set that file to public.

Compared to Google Drive, Dropbox offers less storage space. Dropbox offers a 2GB+ of storage space compared to Google Drive’s 15GB. Dropbox however offers unlimited storage for $15 USD a month with a minimum of 5 users, which results to $75 USD a month for unlimited storage space. Below is an image of their current plans and the services they offer.

2014-05-07 12-09-39_Dropbox - Pricing - Dropbox for Business

Dropbox can also be accessed from computers, laptops and other devices such as:

  • Android
  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • BlackBerry
  • Kindle Fire

Dropbox also allows you to gain more space in your cloud through referrals. You can get up to 500MB per person you refer, however the max you can get from this is 16GB in total.

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OneDrive/SkyDrive:

Another cloud storage alternative is OneDrive/SkyDrive, this storage service is provided by Microsoft. Unlike the other cloud storage services, this one is available on Android, Apple, Windows and Xbox devices.

With this storage service you can save all your Microsoft Office Suite files to your OneDrive cloud, you can then send these files through an email or link. You can then edit the permissions of the link, the file may be read only or edit. You can change the permissions whenever you like, so they are not permanently public.

One benefit with OneDrive is that it offers 7GB initially but you can upgrade the amount of space you can use.

Similar to the other cloud services, there are student promotions which give students an addition 3GB which results in 10GB altogether.

If you are thinking of updgrading you storage service, below are the cost for their service. It must be noted that if you do upgrade you will still get your introductory 7GB + the storage plan you purchased (27GB, 57GB, 107GB, 207GB).

Storage
Office 365 + 20GB
50GB
100GB
200GB
Monthly Rate
$12 AUD
$5.99 AUD
$8.99 AUD
#13.99 AUD

The Office 365 allows five members to use Microsoft’s Suite which include programs such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint and 4 more. With this plan you get services such as 60 Skype minutes per month which allows you to call landlines and mobiles in 60 + countries as well as tech support.

But if you do consider buying the yearly rates, you save a larger amount of money. Their services would then cost:

Storage
Office 365 + 20GB
50GB
100GB
200GB
Yearly Rate
$119 AUD
$25 AUD
$50 AUD
$100 AUD

0

MediaFire

Out of all the current storage services listed, MediaFire has one of the best paid services out of the three. Their free service is currently the second best out of all the services listed. They give their users a 10GB storage space which can be accessed from the web, on Windows and Mac desktops as well as Apple (Compatible with devices running iOS 7 and up) and Android phones (Compatible with devices running Android 2.2 and up). Their services are also available on the Apple and Android tablets, they just need to be either running iOS7 and up or Android 2.2 and up.

Their services are at 50% off for your initial purchase, this applies yearly. So you can get two years worth of hosting for the price of one. Their plans are shown below:

2014-05-08 13-06-16_Free File Sharing and Storage made Simple

Compared to the other services, they provide 1 TB of space for approximately $2.50 USD a month.

Summary:

There are currently a large amount of storage services available for you however I could not go through them all. A few more cloud storage services you could check out include:

Out of these, Tencent is probably the best one. Tencent provides 10 TB of free storage but one downside of this is that there is only a Chinese version available. The cloud service aims to create an English version sometime this year for their international users. You might as well just ignore everything and get Tencent.

I do not know how to read Chinese but I am willing to learn the basics for 10TB of free storage, there’s no way I will utilise it correctly but who would turn down 10TB of free storage.

Thanks for reading!