Category Archives: cloud

The End Is near for Dropbox Public Folders



Popular cloud-storage and file-sharing service Dropbox announced earlier this year that it’d be ending its Public Folder option. These special folders allow Dropbox users to link directly to a file, without having to use a special URL generated by creating a sharable Dropbox link. The advantage of storing files in a Dropbox Public Folder is that users could easily link to those files thru third-party apps and services. But it’s likely that this function was misused by Dropbox users in ways that the service never really intended.

In a recent e-mail blast, Dropbox reminded its users that the Public Folder option will be terminated on September 1st:

This is a reminder that your Public folder links will become inactive on September 1. On that date, your Public folder will become a standard Dropbox folder, and your files will remain safe in your account. If you want to share those files again, you’ll need to use shared links instead.

The Public folder was the first sharing method we introduced, and since then, we’ve built more sophisticated ways for you to share securely and work together with your team. In addition to shared links, we have a number of sharing options designed to make collaboration easier and give you more control.

In the e-mail, Dropbox acknowledged that this change will be inconvenient for some users. Dropbox has created a support page to help users switch from sharing via the Public Folder to the standard method of sharing files thru Dropbox.


Dropbox Pro Becomes Dropbox Plus



Cloud storage and file sharing service Dropbox has become an integral tool for the freelance work I do. The service makes it incredibly easy to share large media files with clients. After using Dropbox since its early days, I finally upgraded to a Dropbox Pro account last year, as my needs began to outpace what the basic, free version had to offer.

I received an e-mail yesterday from Dropbox stating that the Pro service I’ve been using is being renamed Dropbox Plus:

The name of your current plan, Dropbox Pro, is changing to Dropbox Plus.

Don’t worry—the name is the only change we’re making. You’ll still get the same 1 TB of space and advanced features—like stress-free sharing and remote device wipe—at the same price.

For more info, read the Dropbox Plus overview in our Help Center.

More from the Dropbox Help Center:

Many Dropbox Pro users first used Dropbox Basic, our free plan. In the past, we’ve had users express confusion about the Pro plan name when upgrading. For example, some people assumed it was only intended for use at work.

While there are some great additional features on Dropbox Pro, for many users the 1 TB of storage space is the most important feature, and the main reason they choose to upgrade.

We simply updated the name to “Dropbox Plus” to better reflect that this plan offers more storage than Dropbox Basic, plus helpful sharing features.

Dropbox has pointed out multiple times in these communications that this is a change in name only. Dropbox Plus users will continue to have access to all of the same features we’ve enjoyed under Dropbox Pro.

For the most part, this name change appears to be for clarity and marketing purposes only.


Lima Turns USB Storage Into Cloud Storage



Lima iconPeople store their data on their home computers, laptops, smartphones and external drives. It isn’t always simple to get the data from one device for another, especially if the device or drive isn’t in front of you. Lima has a solution that will let you turn any USB storage into cloud storage.

Daniel spoke with Penelope from Lima at CES 2016. Lima is a small device that lets you turn any USB hard drive into a personal cloud. It is simple to use. Plug your external drive in on one side and your internet router on the other side of Lima. Install the Lima app on your computers, smartphones, and tablets. In about five minutes, you will have your own personal cloud from the storage you have at home. You can access your cloud from anywhere in the world that has access to the internet.

Lima is a plug-and-play device. It supports all external hard drives, and USB 2.0 and 3.0. Lima does not require any subscription fees. Lima is available now for $99 and can be purchased through the Lima website. It comes in several different colors.

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StoAmigo Gives You A Cloud at CES



StoAmigo LogoRegular patrons of Kickstarter and Indiegogo will know that personal cloud devices regularly pop up for crowdfunding. Having said that, there’s no need to take a chance and wait several months as StoAmigo have created a complete ecosystem that unifies network cloud, personal cloud and device storage. Don Baine finds out more from Richard Stiles, VP StoAmigo.

StoAmigo brings together storage into an “access anywhere” cloud from multiple sources and key to the ecosystem is StoAmigo’s TackApp which joins local device storage from PC, Mac or Android smartphone into the cloud. Accessing the StoAmigo cloud from the smartphone client app, Don is impressed by the speed and responsiveness of the system. Video and music can be streamed instantly, and as expected, all the data is encrypted.

All the software is free to download so there’s no risk in trying it out. For those wanting a dedicated storage device, StoAmigo’s CloudLocker provides an initial 278GB of NAS storage which can be expanded by adding additional USB storage. It’s priced at US$349 but there’s currently $150 off if you’re quick.

Don Baine is the Gadget Professor and he holds classes at TheGadgetProfessor.com.

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Red Hat Linux meets Microsoft Azure



MicrosoftIn business it’s a tough decision between Windows and Linux — we’re not talking end-user, Microsoft’s operating system has that mostly nailed. We’re talking back-end — the power behind everything else. And, at an increasing rate, that means Linux and the cloud.

Today Microsoft is introducing Red Hat Linux on its Azure platform. The company’s vice president of cloud and enterprise, Scott Guthrie, made the official announcement.

“The cloud is changing the world, offering enterprises, independent software vendors (ISVs) and developers alike endless scale, speed and agility in a cost-effective way. I’ve been talking with customers about “why cloud” for years. Recently there has been a shift in these conversations, as the benefits have become undeniable”.

Red Hat solutions will be available soon and it will bring enterprise Red Hat solutions along with JBoss Middleware plaftorm.

Microsoft also promises integrated enterprise grade support that is calls “deeper and richer than any other public cloud offering”. This will also offer .NET integration for development of applications, as well as workload management.

Guthrie describes this as “flexibility and choice have united Microsoft and Red Hat to meet customers where they are on their cloud journey”.


Businessfriend is Where Professionals Collaborate at CES



BusinessFriend logoLove ’em or hate ’em, social networks are here to stay. Over the years, many companies have entered this market. Networks like Facebook want to connect everyone, while networks like LinkedIn are aimed at business users. A new network called Businessfriend hopes to bridge the gap between the personal and professional social network.

Scott met with Glenn from Businessfriend. Glenn explained that Businessfriend is a “one-stop shop” for social networking and collaboration tools. Businessfriend users can do standard social-network stuff like follow the feeds of friends, colleagues and brands. But Businessfriend users can also access tools like instant messaging, video chat, audio chat and cloud-based document collaboration. Best of all, Businessfriend is one app that can be accessed via desktop computers or iOS and Android mobile apps, allowing users to connect no matter what platform they’re on.

Interview by Scott of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the TechPodcast Network.

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Ericsson Plans to Make the Cloud More Secure



Ericsson logoIt wasn’t that long ago that businesses, and individual people, starting using the cloud. There are those who love the convenience of it, and others who don’t really have a good understanding of how it works. The biggest concern involves security.

Nick spoke with Vance from Ericsson about the company’s plans to make a safer, more secure, cloud. Ericsson is looking towards the future and noting that in 2020 there will be 50 billion devices being connected. The company believes that a lot of that will exist over an industrialized cloud platform.

That platform needs to be highly programmable, highly accessible, highly governable, and controllable. Most of all, it absolutely has to be secure. Ericsson is putting a fundamental paradigm shift into how we think about security in the cloud. Today, the concept people use can be summarized as “build a bigger wall” around your data. If you create an app, for example, you have to spend time working on the security of it.

That is still important, but in addition, Ericsson wants the structure of the cloud itself to provide security. Ericsson is currently at the start of their journey towards that goal. They want to be able to validate for you the authenticity of the data you put into the cloud and to mathematically validate that it has not been breached. Or, if a breach occurs, they will go through a series of events to determine where the data was comprised, how it was compromised, and when the event occurred. All of this should bring peace of mind to people who use the cloud.

Interview by Nick DiMeo of F5 Live: Refreshing Technology for the TechPodcast Network.

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