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Archive for the ‘Cloud Computing’ Category

The Power of Open Source

In Accessibility, Cloud Computing, Open Source on November 18, 2010 at 1:18 pm

I first started using Google Chrome maybe a year or two ago after Mozilla insisted to crash on me anytime I tried to download something. Before that I was using Internet Explorer, which I never went back too after I discovered tabbed browsing. As of now, Chrome is my browser of choice. The open source platform is remarkably faster than Safari, and has a cleaner interface than Internet Explorer.

“Chromium has helped to create one of the fastest & rapidly growing popular browsers “

Last week, a company called Rockmelt released a beta version of their new web browser, built entirely for avid Facebook and Twitter users. With social networking at an all time high and Facebook being the worlds most popular website, it was only a matter of time before the two were integrated into one. I myself do not plan on making the switch to a more socially oriented browser, mainly because I couldn’t stand seeing my friends update statuses follow me into all of the dark crevices on the internet. I do not care how many of you are watching Glee!

The main thing that separates Rockmelt from Chrome is the user interface.  The social networking features of Rockmelt are all right in front of you in a slick column based format that runs along both the right and left boundaries, allowing you to share, view your friends, use apps and search, all while browsing your favorite websites.  You’ll find your Facebook profile photo at the top left corner of the browser, allowing the user to update both their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

It’s important to note that Rockmelt has not been the first network browser to attempt integrating social media into its platform. Before, a browser known as Flock, also funded by Mark Andreessen, allowed users to access all of their social networking needs directly from Flock’s homepage. Originally running off the Mozilla open source, Flock has since made the switch to the Chromium engine.

I wonder if Google ever foresaw how successful its open source programming was going to be. I mean, who would have thought that the Google Android OS would reach out to as many hardware platforms and cell phone manufacturers as it did. The same thing can be said about the Chromium engine, which because of its open source code gave a company the idea to implement social networking onto the fastest web browser to date. In a world without open source, Google couldn’t have been able to afford the server space it needed for search engine. Reason being, Linux wouldn’t be a free program for Google to customize to power its servers. Open source coding gave us Google, who knows what we will get next.

 

http://technorati.com/blogging/article/browser-­‐review-­‐rockmelt-­‐vs-­‐flock/

http://ostatic.com/blog/an-­‐open-­‐source-­‐principle-­‐one-­‐good-­‐thing-­‐leads-­‐to-­‐another

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9196005/RockMelt_A_social_networkin g_spin_on_Google_Chrome

 

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Living in a Cloud

In Accessibility, Cloud Computing, Netflix on October 26, 2010 at 1:15 pm

I’ve been an avid Netflix user for about, lets say, two years now. I had originally been a blockbuster guy, but after the discovery and realization that I am a lazy procrastinator, I decided to make the switch as to avoid any further exercise.  At first use, I found Netflix to be a very easy company to work with. Signing up only took seconds and the intuitive website made renting movies a piece of cake. Even the customer service is great. Anyways, after almost a month of getting my movies through the mail, I received an email informing me that I can now stream movies directly off of my Xbox 360. Naturally, I was thrilled. Turned my Xbox on, downloaded the Netflix software, and that was it… I was hooked.

I couldn’t believe how seamless the software was. I almost felt like a God, flying through thousands of movies, all categorized by genre and by films that Netflix thinks I would enjoy. The best part, for me, was that I could sit in front of the TV with my laptop and instantly add movies to my Netflix que on my Xbox. It really doesn’t get much easier than this… or does it? Just a few weeks ago I was messing around with my new iPad when I stumbled upon something that caught my attention, a Netflix application. No way, I thought. Can I now watch Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus on my iPad? I soon found the answer to be yes.

Netflix has changed my life, seriously. Since I started using it I’ve rarely shopped for DVDs, which ends up saving me boatloads of money. This maybe a bad thing for the film industry, but hey, I’m not one to complain about accessibility.

Aside from the fact that I obviously love Netflix, it’s important to note the comparison that can be made between Netflix and all wi-fi enabled consumer electronics. We are on the verge of full integration and compatibility with all our cell phones, computers and anything on wi-fi. Apple has been a step ahead of the program with applications like Mobile Me, allowing apple users to connect all of their products together over any available wifi network. Having said that, I wonder how soon it will be until all of our electronics, regardless of brand name or type, are joined together under the same cloud.

Right now, Apple and Google are preparing to release Google and Apple TV. Though slightly different, the products generally do the same thing. They connect your television to the Internet along with synching the devices in your household to the television, thus, forming a cloud network.

Cloud computing does have it’s fair share of obstacles ahead of it, mainly stemming from net neutrality. Is it fair for ISPs to direct access to websites that will be more profitable for the company? David Linthicum, a writer for infoworld.com, worries that net neutrality will restrict cloud computing from its full potential.

“The concept of allowing specific networks, especially wireless networks, to restrict or prioritize some traffic is a huge threat to the success of cloud computing. If provider networks are allowed to control traffic, they could give priority to the larger cloud computing vendors who write them a big check for the privilege. At the same time, smaller cloud computing upstarts who can’t afford the fee will have access to their offerings slowed noticeably, or perhaps not even allowed on the network at all.”

Unfortunately, because of the way a corporation is structured, it’s only a matter of time before the ISP shareholders start hounding down upper management for passing up on opportunities that would make the company money. This leads me to believe that even though cloud computing is right around the corner, we may not experience the full effect as ISPs begin to question the purpose of net neutrality laws.