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Ramblings on the Personal Cloud November 18, 2012

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Cloud Computing, Trends.
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Changing of the terms – Life in the cloud will redefine many things as we go forward. One technical term that will change is PC. We all know that PC initially was defined as personal computer. That is the accepted 1.0 definition. For the 2.0 version, it stands for personal cloud. This is the third and final post of the technology trends I am watching this year.  Previous posts covered big data and cloud computing.

The modern internet provides many cloud (or, web hosted) services that are easily  personalized to satisfy our our needs. One example is Google Docs. Storing documents in the cloud makes them accessible from multiple devices. Another cloud-based service is Dropbox. These and the multiple others like them store information in the cloud as opposed to a local or hard drive or internal network folder. Cloud services make it very easy to share information – send the URL. An added benefit is sharing the URL does not clog up your email in-box with lots of attachements. Many reliable cloud services are free and the subscription fee-based services provide additional capability.

I like life in the cloud and have had my personal cloud for some time now. The convenience of accessing a file from multiple devices is a wonderful thing. Sharing data with family and colleagues is easy and quick – simply provide the URL.

I submit that the personal cloud has a major impact for owners of tablets and smartphones. Where a home or work computer can store information locally on a hard drive, tablets and smartphones have limited storage space. Using the cloud for storage makes this a non-issue.

How is your personal cloud? Do you use these services without thinking about it? Will it change where you store/share information?

Ruminations on processing in the cloud October 14, 2012

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Cloud Computing.
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Among the technology trends this year, I am focused on three in particular. I have previously covered big data. In an upcoming post, I wil look at the personal cloud. This post talks about mobile devices and the BYOD phenomenon. The term stands for “Bring Your Own Device”. At work, we increasingly use our smart phones to access applications, email and stay in sync. The big assumption here of course is that your IT department can support this. Any time, any place – tracking your calendar updates for meetings, checking email, updating wikis all can be performed easily via your smart phone. For road warriors, using your existing smart phone is now routine. Office workers are realizing the advantages of being able to access data outside the office as well.

This infographic shows a few ways how this trend is being used. There are real advantages with BYOD – here are a few.
A reduction in the hardware cost is one. Having the employees upgrade to the latest smarthphone, tablet, laptop, etc. eliminates a lot of cost for the organization. The devices are omni-present; the data is constantly available. You are engaged and in touch more often.

Policy changes are part of this phenomena. IT will typically require secure network access. Once you connect to the internal network, you are on your own. Remember your credentials and keep them secure.

After that, enjoy and keep your device charger handy and let the cloud process for you.

Ramblings on 2012 trends December 13, 2011

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Trends.
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Among the many trends expected for 2012, I think video consumption will see the biggest change. I base this in part from my own biased observations, anecdotes with my friends and from the video highlights of Mashable’s  recent media summit in November.  The link includes a video where each of these topics are discussed. Here is a summary of the 2012 prognostications as described by Mashable’s own Pete Cashmore.

  1. The interface evolution from CUI to GUI will continue to evolve with Touch. Apple devices started this awhile ago with gestures and magic mouse. Now, Smartphones, tablets and even some basic phones include touch screens. Expect to see new screens and new devices use touch technology.
  2. More choices for Aggregation services. Managing the data stream coming at you from news, weather, sports – whatever the topic of interest, expect to see more apps. Examples include flipboard, pulse and livestand.
  3. Life after the iPad – advances in ereaders and other tablet competitors will drive the market. Expect to deals on these devices along with feature, function improvements and price point changes.
  4. Social gestures – do you share everything? Do you want to? Privacy issues will push what is our commonly accepted practice to share & manage information.
  5. TV Everywhere (my pick for biggest impact). Video consumption from any device will continue. On demand – what we want, when we want and where we want it. Cable companies will continue to explore ways to grab and maintain market share by enabling devices beyond the TV (iPad, smartphone).
  6. The 2nd Screen experience – interactive TV let viewers engage with the shows they are watching. Think polls, audience feedback in real time, viewers multi-tasking, enriching the video experience via Social Media apps.
  7. Speaking of which – more TV & Movie marketing apps. This could lead to a new distribution channel for trailers and teasers.
  8. Social Music – more apps like Rdo, Mog and Spotify. These apps and others will integrate the social gestures mentioned above.

Best of the rest includes advances with HTML5, flexible displays, iTV (that video impact again) and several option in push-based media. Among them location based news and media using near field communications (NFC).

Looks like 2012 will be an interesting year. Video consumption will not only impact cable companies but also content producers. TV shows will fragment into smaller digestible chunks on any device capable of streaming video. Cable companies will need to be able to provide bandwidth on demand. I also hope that we consumers will push for flat-fee services, not usage based.

Flexible display may be a way off for the main consumer but might be one of the hot products at CES this year. Remember, you heard it hear first.


What trends are you going to watch?

WSJ Review of Windows Phone 7 October 21, 2010

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Trends.
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Microsoft is back in the game with the release of Windows Phone 7 according to Walt Mossberg from the Wall Street Journal. But, there are some flaws and this release is not enough to be competitive. Watch the video via the embed below or the short link.

Briefly, Walt’s overview covers the unique interface along with highlights of pros and cons.

Pros include :

  1. Unique Interface  with tiles of apps, functions and hubs along with links to long documents
  2. Mobile MS-Office interface provide access to some formats (not all)
  3. Xbox Live Hub access is great for gamers

Cons include :

  1. Cannot multi-task
  2. Does not include a ‘Copy & Paste’ capability
  3. No Visual Voice Mail
  4. Does not include Video Calling

Bottom line – MS is back in the game with this release but not quite on the same level as competition in the super smart phone category.

As he mentions, Walt’s complete review is on the AllThingsDigital site.

Video embedd