Share Whitboard App drops in the Store for your Global Collaborations

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Hey what have we here?! Here is a nice tool from the Store for sharing your thoughts and collaborate with friends any part of the World. It is a perfect tool for Students and Teams all around the world as you can share with up to 2000 computers. Here is the full feature of the app as described in the Store:

Description
Shared Whiteboard lets you project your whiteboard to computers near you or around the world.  Never needs ink, automatically saves, what more could you ask?  Collaborate now!

Features
Connect up to 2000 computers
Playback recorded whiteboards
QR-Code video linking
Supports small tablets up to 60-inch touchscreens
Share charm link to any social network
Touch and stylus aware
See name and picture of participants
Automatically saved to the cloud
Animated tutorials

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The app is at 2mb not that big for a graphic app, and with the introductory price of FREE, you can’t afford to let go. So go get it now in the Store via the link below.

Source: Windows Store

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ShareTo: Other Site–Your Web Services Interface in the Store

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Ok, here’s a handy tool, just arrived in the Store. ShareTo: Other Sites allow you to feed your current URL to series of Web Services online for processing. How about feeding to a Translation Service or a Readability Service. The possibility is endless. Here you have the excerpts from the Store:

Description
ShareTo: Other Device lets you open a URL in another URL. Examples for that are translation services where you can translate an entire web page by supplying it to Google Translate or Bing Translate. Similarly, sites like Readability.com let you format web pages for better reading on tablets.

Features
Simple integration with the Share Charm
Readability support (open and save)
Youtube Downloader support
Bing/Google translate support

Weird, the Dev decided to name themselves in Social Ebola, a nauseating name for such a useful tool. If you can handle their name without puking, you might as well get their other ShareTo Tools in the Store:

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I can understand Microsoft rejecting an app because of obnoxiousness, but are they allowed to reject a Dev too for an obnoxious name? Social Ebola? Infectious, yeah I know, but not something you want to be associated with. Download their app now via de link below. If you can swallow the name.

Source: Windows Store

Citrix ShareFile App–Another Productivity App from Citrix in the Store

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Citrix is really rocking the Windows Store these days. Yesterday I mentioned their GoToMeeting App, now just today, they’ve released another Productivity App to the Store: ShareFile. Well, as the name suggests, Citrix ShareFile is a file sharing and Sync App to allow pervasive syncing/sharing of your files either for business or private use. The only catch is that you have Citrix Account to use the App. So, those of you heavily invested in Citrix Universe will definitely want to get this. Here is Citrix’s credits from the Store:

Description
ShareFile by Citrix is a secure file sharing, file transfer, sync and storage solution enabling you to access and manage your content from anywhere on any device. With ShareFile, you can give the people you work with and your clients full or partial access to the files they need, so you can work collaboratively and securely. The ShareFile Windows 8 app gives you the freedom to conduct business wherever you may be.

Features
Browse your account
Download and view documents
Request and send files via email
Transfer big files
Add users to folders on your ShareFile account
Once you download a file, you can also view it when you are offline
For Enterprise accounts, users will be able to access their data using their corporate credentials, and IT administrators will be able to control and audit access

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So, there you go. What does this remind you of? Yes, Microsoft SkyDrive. Citirix is positioning this as SkyDrive competitor for private users. It basically does the same as SkyDrive only you need to live in Citrix planet. So, if this is your thing, please go right ahead and download via the source link below.

Source: Windows Store

Send To QR Code – Data Sharing between Mobile Devices

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Here is another tool to love in the Windows Store. Just send you text or URLs to QR Code, then scan it from another device. Convenient way to share data with other mobile devices.

Description
Share text and URLs with other devices via a QR code!
Simply select “Share” from the Charms bar and click on the “Share To QR” icon.
A QR Code will then be generated that you can scan with your smart phone or other device.

Features
Generate QR codes to open links on other machines
Activate directly from the charms bar

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Download via the Source

Source: Windows Store

Is Social Media Good or Bad for Society? We Look at the Details

No benefit comes without drawback; no decision comes without its own opportunity costs, and no good came arrive without its evil counterpart. Nothing in this world can be claimed to be perfectly good or perfectly evil, unless, of course, such thing is of divine matter. So it follows that it is better to ask a question that compares the net benefit and drawback rather than asking if something is good or evil. With this in mind, we can now discuss the net benefit and negative impact of the advent of social media to help us conclude whether or not it beneficial overall.

Social Media and Its Impact

Social media is a relatively new phenomenon that has, in many ways, changed the world. Social media is a service that allows groups of people to interact remotely through text, photo, audio, and video communications. Most social media, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+ are large publishing services that are on the internet (though private, intranet based, social media can also exist). This technology, a technology only a few years old, has proven to cause one of the greatest changes in the world in a short period of time. It made remote, long distance, communication as easy as face-to-face communication. It allowed people to easily share things of interests, like photos, with selected friends or the entire world instantly, regardless of place and time. Furthermore, it helped shape awareness, spread ideas, instantly broadcasted news, and cause revolutions. Essentially, social media drastically changed the way we communicate. And now, we begin to question the positive and negative impacts on our personal and professional life, self-development, and on the world as a whole that revolve around such change.

Eliminating Distance and Time in Communication

Any revolution can be traced back to an individual. The individual feel the need or want for a change. Social media brings upon this need or want to the individual. It all starts with the advantages that social media brings by helping us overcome the limitations we have with how we communicate. It solves both the issue of time and distance. With social media, we no longer need to wait for another person to be free before communicating. We can leave a quick message or note and the other person can get back to it in his/her own time. This is not the case with telephones and definitely not for face-to-face talk. Of course, letters solve the problem of matching free time to converse, but it brings upon the problem of distance. Long distance means letters are infrequent, costly, and are slow. Social media solves the issue of both time and distance. It brings the ability for one to instantly share an idea, media, or an object of interest to another person or a mass group of people.

Being able to interact, communicate, and share in mass is another great advantages brought forth by social media. Until recently, the number of people we could communicate with was very limited. The innovation in telecommunication was a huge step forward, but it, too was limited. Telephones were used for person-to-person communication and televisions, while designed with mass communication in mind, allowed only for one way communication with little interaction. Social media finally bridges this gap, covering great limitations humanity suffered in communication. However, this mass communication isn’t only fulfilling personal interactions, but professional ones as well.

Social Media fro Business and Marketting

Business love social media like twitter, and with good reason. Social media has become a way to business to announce press releases, share things, and easily interact directly with their customers. The ability for customers to easily comment their feedback, criticisms, loyalty has become a great asset for business. Many business are now using Twitter for customer support, which allows for quick assistance for customers with small wait times. In the professional world, social media has become a lifesaving tool in project collaboration and teamwork. Social media has greatly increased our communication capability and the number of ways to communicate. This, however, leads to the problem that is one of the greatest criticisms of social media.

How Many Fruits to Compare?

When we have only mangos and apples to choose from, in a perfect world, half of the people will choose mangoes. However, if we now have apples, oranges, mangos, and cake, in a perfect world only one quarter of the people will choose mangoes. The number gets smaller the more options we include. As such, when humanity had only bodily gestures and voice for communication, almost 100 percent of the people used face-to-face communication. With the invention of writing, the options increased, and no longer did 100 percent of the popular used one method of communication all the time. Today, the options for communication are many, from television, to video chat, to text messages, to photo sharing, to podcasts, and the list goes on. With more ways to communicate, people are spending less and less time to communicate with one particular method.

This causes for some problems to arise. I believe one of the biggest criticisms to social media is the significantly reduced amount of dedicated face-to-face communication. This can be a problem, as this form of communication is important for our life and career. It also plays an important part of developing relationships and bonding with people that matter. A common complaint of social media I hear is “I can’t believe he had to check his twitter app every two minutes while we were at our date last night!” The fact that people seem to put less priority in face-to-face communication brings about some concerns of how this might affect humanity in the long run.

Other concerns include privacy and identity theft. However, this is, I believe, a less of a concern.  I say this because many very useful and essential tools can be dangerous. Cars are death machines! Accidents can and have killed people. Knife, while handy, is not a child’s toy. Social media is also a tool, and as with other tools, it comes with a risk. But like any risk, it can be minimized by being careful. One should take the responsibility to find out what privacy they have, if any. Also, a general rule of thumb when sharing online is “nothing is private”. If we keep this, simple, thought in mind, we don’t have to worry much about our posts being public.

I like to say that the one and only cause of death is birth; that is, those of who aren’t born will never die. That is not to say that life is not sweet, quite the contrary actually. The presence of a negative impact or effect doesn’t make a tool negative or evil if the good it brings far outweighs the bad. Social media is a great example of this. On the contrary, alcohol, although has some health benefits, is bad for heath. Social media is not alcohol; it is as sweet as cake, and that, my friend, is definitely not a lie!

Facebook is Finally Rolling Out Timeline to Everyone! [UPDATE: Roll Out Has Commenced!]

According to the facebook’s official blog, facebook will finally start rolling out its new, hot, feature called Timeline, to everyone. Facebook said that they started enabling timeline for everyone in New Zeland yesterday, December 7, and will roll it out globally in the “near future”.

Facebook, in their blog, also mentions that “over a million people have signed up for the developer beta to access Timeline.” Now, that’s a good sign that it is going to be a good update. I, personally, love this feature, and, perhaps, you will/do too!

If you haven’t seen or heard about the new timeline, go here to see a preview. It will demo almost everything you will need to know about timeline.

[UPDATE:] Facebook has now rolled out the timeline view to everyone. If you still haven’t gotten it for one reason or another, Mashable has guide to help you out. Click here for it.

Will We Use Cloud Storage To Host Our Primary Data In The Future?

Storage In The Cloud

We are in a world that was beyond imaginable just a few decades ago. By providing access to global information, to people all aroundCloud-Storage the world, and to a vast number of multimedia, the internet has gained grounds to becoming an integral part of our life. But consuming content isn’t what the internet is all about.

The internet has proven to be a valuable means for us to store our own data. This is often referred to as storing data in the cloud. The cloud is basically a fancy name for the internet. As CNN puts it, “the cloud is just a fancy term for all the computers — other than your own — that are connected to the internet.

Companies like Amazon and Google maintain huge networks of computers that are stored, row after row, in secret warehouses all over the world. These machines hold data that computer users don’t want to store on their own hard drives. Think about all the photos you have on Facebook; any documents you’ve stored with a service like Dropbox or Mozy; or all of your Web-based e-mail. Those files are stored somewhere out in the cloud instead of on a personal laptop.” (Sutter)

As the internet becomes more prevalent in our lives, and as portability becomes more important, storing our data in the cloud becomes more convenient and reliable. As such, in a future not too far from now, our primary means of storage will be in the cloud.

Mobile Convenience

flash_driveBefore looking at why our primary storage method will favor the cloud, it is important to take a look at where we stand, at the time of this writing, in regards to how we store data. In the 1990’s, people didn’t see the need to carry gigabytes of data in their pockets; but now, this is a common reality. We have reached a point where we want to have access to our data from anywhere, not just in a static desktop machine at our office desk.

Andrew Kantor, technology writer of USA Today, notes, “being able to carry a ton of information in a two-ounce package is…a necessity. We’re not only a more mobile society, but we’re also an almost entirely information-driven one. Data are everything — names, addresses, documents, images, music, video — and we feel the need to take it with us.”

“Being able to carry a ton of information in a two-ounce package is…a necessity.” 

So it is not surprising that having access to our personal and professional data is important, and that’s why many are carrying portable storage devices like USB flash drive and smartphones storing documents, music, and movies. However, storing data in these portable devices have its downfalls as well.

The biggest headache is the scattering of data. People storing data in multiple devices, portable or not, fall in the situation of having some data in one device and some other data in another device. Sometimes, it is difficult to remember where a particular data is stored. What’s worse is that data are not easily synced across devices. For example, one may have a Word document on two devices; however, if he/she updates the document in one device, that document isn’t updated in the other device.

Another problem with portable devices is that it has to be carried around. If one, for example, forgets to bring his/her USB flash drive containing essential data to work, that person does not have access to that data. Storing data in the cloud solves these issues, making it a much more convenient experience.

Cloud Storage You Can Access

It is, therefore, no wonder that cloud storage has gained such popularity. Companies like Dropbox are making storing data in the dropboxcloud as seamless and convenient as possible. PC Magazine author Edward Mendelson explains what the primary purpose of Dropbox. “Dropbox stores synchronized files in the cloud so they’re available at any machine on which you’ve installed Dropbox. You can also reach your files through a Web interface from any Internet-connected system.”

Essentially, Dropbox does what a portable storage device does. It gives the user access to his/her files from any computer using simply a web interface. However, unlike the portable devices, users do not have to carry anything around when using Dropbox.

Another plus for Dropbox is that it syncs the same data to the devices that the user specifies, as long as the devices have an internet connection. Thus, one can have his/her data stored on his/her personal devices as well as having that data available through the internet. And when that person makes changes to a document in one device, that document is updated across all his/her devices. This clearly resolves the syncing problem that portable devices created.

Mendelson also mentions that Dropbox takes the extra step to preserve earlier versions of the users’ data. This means the users does not have to do this manually, as he/she might have had to do if relying solely on portable storage devices. This makes it really easy for someone to undo errors, and all the processing for preserving these earlier versions happens in the background, in the cloud.

Dropbox also lets users sync the same data on their mobile phones, as stated on their own website (“Can I access”). Dropbox is not the only service around. Other competitors, like Microsoft Skydrive, and Box.net offer similar services to the users. Services like these offer gigabytes of storage absolutely free for the users, with paid options for additional storage space.

Benefits & Convenience

With all the benefits of online storage, it is not hard to see where the world is heading. People are storing more of their data in the cloud, and companies are investing more on companies offering cloud storage (Kopytoff). According to The New York Times, 60 percent of adults with internet access have at least two devices that can connect to the internet.

60 percent of adults with internet access have at least two devices that can connect to the internet.

 

As such, services offering cloud storage is seeing a boom in the number of users. For example, Dropbox has 25 million users uploading 300 million files a day! Box.net has six million users while another service, called Mozy now has three million (Kopytoff). This increase in the number of users is not coincidence as online storage has clear benefits over just using portable storage devices. It is only logical to assume that these numbers will go higher in the near future.

Privacy In The Cloud?

With all these benefits, where does cloud storage stand when it comes to privacy? While sites can get hacked and data can be stolen, this is nothing new. One can more likely loss his/her flash drive, say, by accidentally dropping it on the street. Another possibility is that an unprotected PC may be hacked and the data stored on that PC can be stolen. Stolen data is a possible risk when storing data anywhere, not just the cloud.

A possible way to secure data is to encrypt it. According to dictionary.com, encrypting data means “to cipher or encode” it. Encrypted data is essentially scrambled data that cannot be unscrambled without a password, which the owner of the data creates. Thus, only those with the correct password can access it. So, encrypted data stored in the cloud, or a personal device is very unlikely to get hacked because those who steal that data can’t read it.

Cloud storage is very popular for it convenience. It can be accessed from anywhere and from any device. It also stays synced, so the user does not have to worry about what version of their document they are using.

Finally, as internet connectivity improves and more people have access to the cloud, it only makes sense to store one’s primary data in the cloud for easy and efficient access. In the ever-changing world of technology, cloud storage might very well be an integral part of our lives in the near future.

 

References

“Can I access Dropbox on my mobile device?” Dropbox. Dropbox, 8 Apr. 2011. Web. 17 Oct. 2011. <http://www.dropbox.com/‌help/‌32>.

Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com, LLC, 2011. Web. 17 Oct. 2011. <http://dictionary.reference.com/‌browse/‌encryption>.

Kantor, Andrew. “Finding places to carry all your digital stuff.” Editorial. USA Today. USA Today, 3 Dec. 2004. Web. 17 Oct. 2011. <http://www.usatoday.com/‌tech/‌columnist/‌andrewkantor/‌2004-12-03-kantor_x.htm>.

Kopytoff, Verne G. “Data Grows, and So Do Storage Sites.” Editorial. The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 5 June 2011. Web. 17 Oct. 2011. <http://www.nytimes.com/‌2011/‌06/‌06/‌technology/‌internet/‌06dropbox.html>.

Mendelson, Edward. “Dropbox.” Editorial. PCMagazine. PCMag.com, 25 Mar. 2009. Web. 17 Oct. 2011. <http://www.pcmag.com/‌article2/‌0,2817,2343852,00.asp#fbid=n6rgw_SyYMO>.

Sutter, John D. “Why cloud storage is the future of music.” Editorial. CNNTech. Cable News Network, 30 Mar. 2011. Web. 17 Oct. 2011. <http://www.cnn.com/‌2011/‌TECH/‌web/‌03/‌30/‌cloud.music/‌index.html>.