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Post image for The 10 Best (and Worst) “Cloud Computing Explained” Videos on YouTube

Cloud Computing has been around for many, many years now. Ok, at least 5 years using the name “cloud computing.” Ever since this new way of consuming compute, networking, storage and other infrastructure resources got off the ground, no pun intended…well, sort of…people and companies have tried to explain what exactly it is. From the barrage of written definitions “officially” sanctioned by various organizations across the globe, to the mainstream media and marketing monoliths defining the cloud as anything on the Internet, the descriptions and definitions have been flung around like rice at a wedding.

The important thing here is that cloud computing isn’t going away any time soon. It may be re-defined, re-purposed and re-packaged in a million different ways, but in the end, it remains a viable alternative to self-hosted or on-premises physical infrastructure. It can be dramatically cost-effective if architected and deployed properly and it can provide unparalleled performance and scalability to companies and businesses requiring flexible and dynamic infrastructures.

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Whether you are a business unit in a large enterprise or a mom & pop shop that is outgrowing a traditional single-server environment, the cloud is most likely a good fit. It can be a replacement to existing, aging infrastructure or an extension to a data center or colocated hosting environment. And there are countless use cases and models that the cloud can encompass. I’m not going to go into these here (but you might want to read through some of my earlier cloud computing posts to get some ideas).

The Best Cloud Computing Explained Videos

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I think that I understand Steve Jobs’ vision of a unified multimedia experience. Apple has been steadily forging ahead creating devices and operating systems that interconnect and work to create a rich, interactive environments. The Apple TV 2 is no different, making the big screen TV the convergence of many connected devices like computers running iTunes, the iPhone, the iPod Touch and the iPad. But obviously it goes beyond just networking devices together, it also provides a consolidations and focal point of media from various devices and sources. With the Apple TV as a centralized hub, you can stream media (music, videos and photos) not only from your personal devices within your home network, but Apple has also opened up a rich array of other media sources to choose from like movies, TV shows, podcasts, YouTube, and Netflix.

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But let’s quickly take a look at the Apple TV as a device and then go into what it can do for your household a bit later. For starters, I was incredibly impressed with how small the Apple TV actually is. But it makes sense that it is that small actually, because it doesn’t have a Hard Drive to store any of the media. The thing about the Apple TV 2 is that is it a media STREAMING device. You don’t buy and download content, you rent and/or stream it from another location. Therefore, all that is needed is 1) a way to connect to those other sources and 2) a way to play it somewhere. Item #1 is handled via either a WiFi connection or a hard wired Ethernet line. And then the other ports (apart from the power supply) are for the video and sound coming from the Apple TV (HDMI and Optical Out). There is also a micro-USB connection for doing hard-wired firmware updates (or…er…uhhh…jailbreaking).

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The device itself measures 0.9″ x 3.9″ x 3.9″ and weights 0.6 ounces. Let me say it again, this thing is SMALL which is one of the big plusses about it. You can stick it just about anywhere which is especially nice when using a WiFi connection (it supports 802.11 a/b/g/n). I decided to actually integrate it in with my audio system and am using a wired Ethernet connection (10/100 baseT) which means that my download and streaming speeds are pretty fast (remember that also depends on your Internet Service Provider and the plan that you have). Regardless, the Apple TV is small enough to place anywhere or easily can be integrated into a complete HiFi setup.

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Looks like we all survived Cyber-Monday. Here’s what got my attention this morning:

  • Microsoft looking into Windows ‘black screen of death’ problem
    “Microsoft says it’s looking into reports that its latest security updates are causing some Windows machines to stop working and display a mostly black screen with no desktop icons, taskbar, sidebar or other elements — seizing up and displaying just a “My Computer” Explorer window, if they’re lucky.” (source: TechFlash)

    • HTD : While patches are always important to install, sometimes they just “go wrong”. It’s impossible to test all of the combinations and permutations of computers hardware/software out there so it is not surprising that something like this happens. I always recommend installing security patches and most of the time, you are safe to do so. This looks like an exception.
  • Office 2010 confirmed for June 2010 release
    “Late last week, a beta tester pointed out that Microsoft was planning to release its Office 2010 suite in June 2010, according to Fudzilla. Previously Redmond had only been quoted as saying “the first half of 2010″ but more recently the company apparently posted the following message on one of the Office 2010 beta webpages: “The final version will be available to the public for purchase in June 2010.” We browsed various Microsoft Office webpages, and even did a search, but we couldn’t find the quote, so we contacted Microsoft directly.” (source: ArsTechnica)

    • HTD: I have been beta testing Office 2010 (press preview version) and associated online Office sites and I must say that this release is looking really solid. It will definitely give Google Docs a run for the money (provided you don’t mind running Silverlight all of the time for the full functionality. There are lots of flavors it will come in, including a free (Office Starter) version that will replace MS Works. Is it worth the upgrade, I’m not sure yet, but they definitely have streamlined the online purchasing process from what I have seen.
  • Google hopes to compete with iTunes, offer pay TV on YouTube
    “Google is reportedly looking to get into the pay-per-episode TV business with YouTube by offering streaming content for purchase via a service that would compete with iTunes downloads. According to Peter Kafka of MediaMemo, multiple sources have indicated that YouTube hopes to offer streaming TV episodes for a fee. The plan would be similar to what Apple already offers with iTunes: a $1.99 cost per episode. Both sides are said to currently be in early negotiations, but are “optimistic” that a deal can be reached.” (source: AppleInsider) [click to continue…]

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A few weeks ago, I offered to help our Human Resources department create a “Social Media Policy” for my company. While my company didn’t want to impose draconian restrictions on Social Media, HR felt that some rules did have to be created for the good of both the employer and employee.

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Our head of HR and I spent some time reviewing some other policies as well as discussing the types of things that we wanted to include and how we wanted to present it. We decided that it was important to have guidelines that were clear, yet we didn’t want them to simply say what employees couldn’t do. With a variety of examples in mind, I set out to write something that would be helpful, informative, and clear, yet different and educational in some way.

Shown below is the final version of the policy I came up with (with approval from HR). Note, the numbers in brackets are the actual character count as I’m considering publishing this on Twitter.

In the spirit of Social Media, specifically Twitter, each sentence or paragraph of these guidelines will be 140 characters or less. [132]

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These baby videos WILL make you laugh!

September 7, 2007

Just some Friday, YouTube humor to make you laugh…I hope. It’s a bit contagious. Enjoy! With the Wii, no less! Weird cuts on this one but still classic. This one “rips” me up! This one is a bit long…but it makes me hungry! Good thing this kid was strapped down! I had to put this […]

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Great MadTV piece – Fun with Apple, Steve Jobs and …

March 22, 2007

A friend showed me this YouTube video and I must say that it is one of the more clever MadTV pieces I have ever seen! Fun with Apple, Steve Jobs and I won’t give out the spoiler… Enjoy! [For some reason, the YouTube image might not appear above. The direct link is here.]

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