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Post image for Using Cloud Computing to Test, Develop and Innovate

Are you using cloud computing yet? If so, that’s great. If not, what is holding you back? Do you know enough about it? Do its capabilities confuse you? Have you not found a good use for it? I would guess that you are using cloud computing without even knowing it.

As I work in the cloud industry, I get to see the trends as they happen and what innovative ways people are using the cloud to drive business success. Honestly, I think that developers and companies are only just starting to tap the vast potential of cloud computing. While many of the early cloud adopters of (gasp) 3 years ago most likely now have fully vetted out business plans, products and services that hinge on the elastic scalability of cloud infrastructure, for example, we now are seeing the next round of innovators who are living and breathing the tech industry revitalization via the successes of their peers and colleagues.

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And the business possibilities are only growing because of the successes of others. Think about social media, social sharing and community services that appeared a few years ago (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and the like). Also think about longer established product and service delivery sites like Amazon or Netflix. Those have communities tied to them as well. As these services grow, their data store of user preferences, likes, purchases, and interactions grows as well, exponentially, in fact. In order to accommodate this huge influx of social and personal data as well as to build recommendation engines and inter-networking with social data, new technologies are coming to light (think Big Data, for example).

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Post image for Hang In There Sony…And Thanks for Your Continued Innovation

It happens to the best of us. We plan for the worst, do all of our due diligence, prepare for the unexpected, test and re-test and cross our fingers a lot. But inevitably, there is always something that we didn’t think of. I could be talking about the recent Amazon Web Services outage or the napping by the Air Traffic Controllers, unfortunately, this time, it is regarding Sony’s PlayStation Network (PSN) security breach. Over the past few days, PSN has been down (bringing out complaints from my kids who are just DYING to get more community levels for Little Big Planet 2) and the world seems to be up in arms. I hear my little voices at home complaining, but Sony is hearing lots and lots of big voices yelling and screaming now. I explained to my children what was going on, and they understood. I love their innocence and compassion for Sony as they simply feel sad that their gaming experience has been “grounded” for a bit. PSN users at large are a different challenge.

The avalanche of complaints and disgruntled commentary spewing out from concerned PlayStation Network users is upon us. I’ve read quite a lot of random rants on Facebook and am not surprised by any of them. This is the typical groundswell that surrounds anything negative that occurs. Rarely do we hear positive statements come from those same people. It’s much easier to complain and bitch about something than it is to say something positive.

The funny thing is, it takes fewer muscles to smile than it does to frown.

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I wish people could try to smile a bit prior to putting pen to paper or fingers to keyboards. Perhaps we would then have more positivity flowing through the interwebs.

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Happy Cyber-Monday all! Be sure to get your shopping done ahead of time. There are definitely deals to be found out there! Here are a few Tech News tidbits that I came across:

  • The New TweetDeck Goes List Crazy And Adds Maps To GeoTweets

    “Streamreaders just keep getting better and better. A new version of TweetDeck is rolling out today with some major improvements, including support for Lists, Retweets, maps for geo-tagged messages, and LinkedIn streams. TweetDeck has already been downloaded more than 10 million times, and its active user base is in the low millions so this is a significant update.” (Source: TechCrunch)

    HTD: For me it has always been a toss up between Seesmic Desktop & TweetDeck, but as of late, I have favored Tweetdeck simply because it is extremely well designed and has a variety of services that it works with. Now with lists, new/old RT methods, LinkedIn integration (as well as multiple Twitter accts and Facebook – I don’t use MySpace), Lists and geotagging, TweetDeck has really risen to the surface as the best AIR-based Twitter (and other Social Networking) clients out there in my opinion.

  • The CrunchPad disappears in a puff of vapor

    “Michael Arrington’s CrunchPad has never had a particularly firm basis in reality, and although we’d been promised that the inexpensive browser-based tablet would be launching soon, the sky’s come crashing down: Mike says Fusion Garage, the company he hired to build the CrunchPad, has reneged on their deal, and that he’s about to file ‘multiple lawsuits.'” (Source: Engadget)

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More fresh Technology News for you on this day before Thanksgiving (and my wife’s 40th birthday). The Tech News just doesn’t rest, does it! Here are things that are hot right now:

  • WARNING: New Twitter DM Spam Attack – “Uh oh. It looks as if Twitter is being plagued by another DM spam attack. We’ve received a few ourselves, and plenty of Twitter users are taking to the medium to express that they too have received inordinate amounts of spam messages via direct messages.” (source: Mashable) HTD: One of these days, either Twitter will lock things down or Twitter users will get wise to how to know not to click on certain links. Just stay away from Direct Messages from people you don’t know about. This one says “hi, did you do this quiz thingy” and is followed by a URL. Don’t click through. If you think you have been hacked, be sure to change your password.
  • Facebook Will Form 2 Classes of Stock – “Facebook is taking a rudimentary step down the path to becoming a public company. The company said on Tuesday that it was creating a dual-class stock structure for itself, and converting all of its current shares into so-called Class B shares, which will have 10 votes each on matters of corporate governance.” (source: New York Times) HTD: So this is yesterday’s news, and with Social Media, it’s really old by now. But still this is an important step not only for Facebook, but also for other Tech and Social Media companies. Twitter could be next potentially. I think the Tech sector is starting a good recovery (this time the slump wasn’t our fault) and I think 2010 will be a good year for Tech stocks!
  • Kindle 2.3 software update available, generation 1 owners need not apply – “We gadget nerds have to endure unspeakable atrocities in order to slake that early adoption jones: first-run gear shipped DOA, buggy pre-release software, and months of waiting after a product leaks only to be greeted by a jacked-up price premium at launch.” (source: Engadget) HTD: I have played with the Kindle 1, Kindle 2 and Sony eBook reader and am on the reviewer waitlist for the B&N Nook. eBook readers will be skyrocketing in popularity next year but it will be a splintered market as Amazon gets some competition. Openness will be key, and this is part of the reason why the 2.3 update includes the ability to have native PDF support. But they have a ways to go before it is much more open like other readers on the market.
  • HDTVs for the Holidays: No Bad Time to Buy – “Steep price declines over the past year plus the usual Black Friday madness make this a good time to buy–but even if you wait, you’re apt to find great deals throughout the holiday season.” (source: PCWorld) HTD: I’m simply amazed at the low price and high quality of displays now. About 6 years ago, I got a 61″ Samsung DLP (no HDMI, only DVI input) and for what I paid for it, I could get quite a LCD HDTV for almost every room in the house. The Sammy is still going strong but I have also been testing a Sony BRAVIA. The tech difference between the two is amazing (especially with Internet connectivity on the Sony). Some new regulations are coming for California regarding energy consumption so expect changes in various state-regulated markets next year too.

As tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the US, my tech updates might be a bit sporadic at best. But I will do my best to get any news out that I think is important.
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eBooks, Digital Readers and the Future of Printed Writing

October 19, 2009

I am honestly not sure that all books should be electronic. I’m a gadget guy but some part of me feels that if we make everything digital that one day someone will accidentally kick out the plug and EVERYTHING will be gone. I do see the convenience and the immediacy that an eBook provides. It’s […]

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