While there's still not a short code service to send in Pownce updates from your mobile phone, yesterday the service quietly rolled out a new mobile interface (m.Pownce.com) to let members both post and browse Pownce updates, including files. While I couldn't manage to get any sort of attachment to load, the interface itself is a big step up from having to load the entire page--especially on BlackBerry and Windows Mobile devices; however, iPhone users are getting the best end of the deal as the site seems designed specifically for fingers and the large, portrait screen.… Read more
The Gdrive, the mythical, hypothetical Google-provided and free Web-based storage drive, took a giant step toward reality earlier this week. As most of America waddled out of its tryptophan-induced haze on Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the myth could become real within a few months.
However, you don't have to wait that long to get free storage from Google. Thanks to Gspace and Gmail Drive, you can start using your five-gigabyte-plus of Gmail storage as a virtual drive right now. This second, even.
Google's much-rumored online storage service should be available in a few months, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal late on Monday that cites unnamed sources.
The service would allow people to store any kind of data on Google servers and access it from any computer with an Internet connection. An unspecified amount of storage would be offered for free with additional amounts available for a fee, the report said.
Google spokespeople did not return calls seeking comment on the report. A spokeswoman for the search company reached by the newspaper declined to comment on any specific … Read more
If a holiday season free of wrapping paper and ribbons is on your wish list, there are many options for giving presents without touching anything but a computer and credit card. Services that can be ordered and received online also can be more eco-friendly than physical presents. Of course, you could always funnel funds directly into someone's PayPal account, but where's the fun (for you) in that?
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.
Update: I added a lot more detail about Red Hat's ambitions and other moves.
Red Hat on Wednesday announced a significant departure from its current business plan, saying its flagship Linux product will be available on Amazon.com's Elastic Computing Cloud online service.
Previously, the Raleigh, N.C.-based company only sold its Red Hat Enterprise Linux product in the form of a support contract costing between $349 and $2,499 per year. But in a beta program beginning in the fourth quarter, the software will be available on Amazon's EC2 infrastructure, Red Hat said.
The move … Read more
It takes a second to realize that what you see on Dashwire.com's cool gray interface is content from your mobile phone. That's probably because you're not used to reading it so easily.
There on Dashwire's spacious Internet dashboard are your photos and videos, contacts, bookmarks, and SMS and call history laid out in movable AJAX tiles. There are ringtones you can click on the Web to play on your phone, and text messages you can reply to with your keyboard, and which are tagged with your identifying phone number so your friends know who sent … 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.
Gmail users running short on storage are getting a reprieve starting today. The company has announced they'll be increasing the speed in which they've been adding storage to their popular e-mail service, along with bumps to Google Apps users. You might have seen the storage counter that's been running on the Gmail's start page, which is nearing the 3 GB mark bit by bit--and now, it's doing it just a little bit faster. Meanwhile, Google Apps users are getting a slightly better end of the deal. Standard and Educational users are getting a size match … Read more