Hey, congrats on the new digital camera you snagged cheap on Black Friday (or Cyber Monday, or Fairly Ordinary Saturday). Now you just need a high-capacity memory card to store all your snapshots. How does a free one sound? Well, okay, the A-Data 2GB Secure Digital card will cost you $19 up front, but you'll get it back in 6-8 weeks. Yep, it's one of those free-after-rebate deals. Of course, even if you're one of those lazy types who never remembers to submit the forms until the day after the cutoff, $19 is still a pretty good … Read more
Requirement 3.4 in the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard mandates that financial service and retail companies, "render Primary Account Number (PAN), at minimum, unreadable anywhere it is stored." While the PCI standard provides a number of ways to do this, most large companies equate the term "unreadable" with encryption.
So here is the rub. PAN data is stored in a bunch of places but everyone stores it in databases. I'm talking about massive databases here--think hundreds of gigabytes to terabytes of data in many cases. Now when your database gets this big, you … Read more
Box.net is one of my favorite online storage services, not only because of its various widgets, which are as pretty as they are functional, but also for its design and UI, which shares a lot in common with the file browser built into your computer's operating system. This morning Box.net is launching the first phase of what I think is an exciting new platform called OpenBox. It's a new system for integrating third-party sites and services to Box.net. If you're familiar with Omnidrive's WebFS initiative, OpenBox is slightly similar, attempting to give consumers not only a central storage drive for their files from different Web services, but also create a platform that others can integrate their systems to make things intuitive, and less of a hassle for the end user.
This morning they're launching with 10 services, with plans to make their integration solution available early next month. The big draw to OpenBox is that you're going to be able to open up files in any pertinent third-party Web service that can interact with the file, along with being able to access and save files to your Box.net Web storage from these "away" sites. Up until now, this has been implemented most notably with Zoho, who has its own API for tying into other services (including Box.net). The idea behind OpenBox is that any service will be able to integrate Box.net storage using the full platform launch which goes live December 5.
In many ways OpenBox feels a lot like Facebook apps platform, in that you can add and remove respective applications whenever you feel like it. When a service has been added, you'll see it as an option in a file's contextual menu to open or edit if it's one of the supported file formats. It's also similar to what happens once you've installed a program on your computer. Supported file formats, in part, is what service owners will be able to specify when they sign up to be included in OpenBox. The only problem I can foresee with this is when you've got so many third-party services added that the contextual menus get crowded, a problem that Box.net is going to have to deal with when there are 10 or more services trying to open up your MS Word documents.
The 10 "soft launch" partners launching with Openbox are Zazzle, Picnik, eFax, Scribd, ThinkFree, Zoho, Twitter, Myxer, EchoSign, and Autodesk Freewheel. Here are three I think are particularly useful:Echosign, the digital signature service we took a look at back in September is providing secure digital signature services for any supported document that resides on your Box.net account. You can do the whole thing without leaving your files, which is pretty handy. Autodesk Freewheel works with any CAD file to let you see a quick live preview right from your files. I saw this one in action, and it's especially cool as you're able to actually look at blueprints and zoom in and out without having to load up a desktop application or leave the file browser. While I think architects and interior designers are probably happy using their own systems, it's pretty neat to have this technology built into a file browser that will run on any Web-connected computer, regardless of if you have CAD software on it or not. Picnik's integration lets you open or edit a photo using Picnik's interface, as well as save the edited version back to your Box.net account, again without having to leave the file browser. You're not getting a stripped down version of Picnik either, it's the whole app.
Imagine putting all 2,000 of your favorite MP3 songs into a memory card no larger than your fingernail. A few years ago that would have been a tall order, particularly since the CompactFlash media was the only one with storage capacities above 4GB. But today, with the launch of SanDisk's 8GB microSDHC and M2 (aka Memory Stick Micro) cards, it's no longer an impossible task.
Widely considered as two of the world's smallest flash memory formats available today, microSD and M2 cards are most commonly used in handheld devices such as mobile and smartphones. The availability … Read more
IBM is looking to pack more stuff in its Storage and Data Services unit, announcing Wednesday plans to acquire NovusCG.
Under the deal, NovusCG will be integrated into Big Blue's Storage and Data Services unit, in a move to provide customers with enhanced access to business information and stronger compliance with regulatory requirements. NovusCG's technology is designed to analyze and assess data, as customers seek to increase their storage amid a rapid rise in their digital information.
In the old days, you'd buy a RAID adapter card to let your computer attach to multiple hard drives that provided data capacity and protection. Nowadays, with flash memory, the storage fits right on the card.
Addonics Technologies announced a $50 PCI card Tuesday that's got four CompactFlash card slots. The cards can be configured as four individual drives, a single large volume, or set up with RAID (redundant array of inexpensive disks) 0, 1 or 10 to stripe data across multiple cards or mirror data from one onto another.
Note that there's no support for RAID … Read more
TiVo is finally delivering some long-promised features to its two high-def models. In the coming weeks, the company will roll out software updates to the TiVo Series3 and TiVo HD that will add support for expandable storage, Multi-Room Viewing, TiVo To Go, and progressive downloading of Amazon Unbox and TiVoCast videos. Full details on each, after the jump: … Read more
Thumbplay, a sales hub for mobile ringtones, videos, and games, will announce tomorrow at the CTIA conference in San Francisco, California, that it has also become a free database for user-generated content.
Account-holders can upload and store media from either their cell phone or computer to their Thumbplay "locker." From there, they can send images and clips to friends via SMS or e-mail. Users can also download content from fellow Thumplay members for free, and grab code to affix the image on any personal Web page that accepts HTML embedding. Oddly, there doesn't seem to be a … Read more
Wuala is a new company with a compelling story for Web users: If you want to share files--music, videos, anything--with your friends and family, it will let you do it for free, with no file-size or bandwidth limits.
The catch: You get 1GB of storage for free. Beyond that, you get access to free storage in proportion to the amount of storage from your own hard drive that you share with the Wuala community.
Wuala uses a "mesh" of hard drives from all its users. Everything you share gets sliced into 500 or so pieces and the distributed in tiny bits, and redundancy, to thousands of other users. When you, or someone you're sharing the file with, wants to load or play a file, it's pulled in from users, BitTorrent-like.
It's not easy to build a reliable storage network based on end-user PCs, which tend to be online only sporadically, and with poor upstream bandwidth. Wuala rewards its users that stay online: The amount of storage users have access to is equal to the amount of storage from their own drives that they've set aside for the Wuala network, multiplied by the average percentage of time that their machine is online. In other words, if you're sharing 20GB of your hard disk, and your PC is on 50 percent of the time, you'll be able to use 10GB of space on the Wuala network. PCs that are network-connected less than 20 percent of the time cannot share their space at all.
All files you put up on the network are replicated extensively, so you'll always be able to get the data that you've uploaded. CEO Dominik Grolimund assured me. We had a nice talk about the mechanics of his network's security, redundancy, and reliability that I won't replay here, other than to say that if Wuala doesn't work as reliably as traditional centralized storage, it's going to be a very short-lived start-up.
It looks as if TiVo is finally beginning to roll out some long-promised software upgrades to its high-def DVRs, the TiVo HD and TiVo Series3. Hot on the heels of last week's 9.1 software upgrade (which enabled support for Rhapsody's subscription music service), some users are already getting an upgrade to version 9.2. In addition to improving the Amazon Unbox viewing experience, the latest upgrade is said to add support for connecting external eSATA hard drives, thus expanding the number of recordable hours of TV--a feature promised when those DVRs were first released. TiVo's remaining … Read more