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Cloud services – Google Reader will be gone July 1, 2013 …. now what ?

I’m not a big fan of most Google services, but I do use iGoogle and Google Reader intensively. Both services are ending this year  unfortunately though.

Fortunately in most cases there are alternatives. In a previous blog post I’ve written about some iGoogle alternatives. There are also Google Reader alternatives of course, and some (like Feedly) have even made it easy to migrate. Still it’s never a bad idea to export your RSS feeds manually just in case. If you want to export your starred items, there are some external methods to do this as well.

Another annoying aspect is that you might have bought applications to access these services (better) which might not support the new service you are migrating to. Even though all of this is not that big a deal for personal use, it’s still inconvenient.

In my case I use the great Windows 8 app Nextgen Reader that has no Feedly support yet. Fortunately, it is expected that support will be added before Google Reader goes down. Feedly also plans to create Windows 8 and Windows 8 phone apps.

So even though cloud services are great because they’re available from almost any device as long as you have internet access, you have to keep in mind that you depend heavily on the companies providing the services. So before you start using a cloud service always take into consideration how easy it is to backup, export and migrate your data (data portability). If you don’t you run the risk of losing data and having to spend time to recreate it.

 
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Posted by on June 11, 2013 in Cloud, Google, ICT, Public Cloud

 

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Security – Java releases update for major Java vulnerability

Last sunday I warned about a major vulnerability in Java.

It wasn’t expected that Java would come have an update available this quickly, but it is good that they did. So be sure to update to Java 7 Update 11 : http://java.com

 

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Security – Major Java vulnerability, don’t become a victim

[EDIT 14-01-2013]

Oracle release Java 7 Update 11 to fix this security issue. Be sure to update: http://java.com/

[EDIT]

Normally when I read about security vulnerabilities, I don’t really get a sense of urgency.

With the current Java vulnerability however, I do feel like people have to act quick because there are so many respected companies and even countries actively taking action:

Apparently this vulnerability is actively being exploited already and Oracle hasn’t released a Java fix yet. You might want to consider a combination of the options below:

Personally I like the way FireFox is handling the issue because it blocks by default, but allows users to easily override this behavior for specific sites. Also I’m getting quite fed up with all these Java security vulnerabilities lately 😦

I’d like to know what you’ll be doing. Have you or are you going to disable Java ? Which methods will you use ? Why ?

 

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Google’s data centers: an inside look

If you want to have a look Google’s data centers, read this article. It includes a short video, but also links to another article and to google streetview that allows you to navigate through the datacenter.

It looks great and they even included some fun stuff as well 🙂 So when you either have never seen a data center before, or you’re just curious about Google’s data center, be sure to take a look.

 
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Posted by on November 6, 2012 in Data center, ICT

 

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Windows 8 tablet considerations including Windows RT and Windows 8 comparison

[Update 14-12-2013]

It’s been more than a year since my initial post, so here are some updates from my point of view:

  • Tablets and ultrabooks are coming closer together due to all the available form factors. Tablet, clam shell, slider, convertible, dockable / detachable, etc. This provides more choice, but makes it also harder for people to choose the device that is most appropriate for them.
  • Cheaper Windows 8.1 based tablets (based on the new Intel Atom processors) have become available that make it a more viable alternative to Android and iOS based tablets.
  • Windows tablets based on AMD processors seemed interesting to me last year because of their added graphical power, but they didn’t seem to get any traction up until now.
  • High end Windows based tablets (Intel Core i5/i7 based) are still relatively expensive.
  • Many companies that previously produced Windows RT tablets, stopped making them (Asus, Samsung, HP, Lenovo, HTC. The only companies that are still producting Windows RT tablets are Microsoft, Nokia (largely backed by Microsoft) and Dell.
  • Rumours are floating around that Microsoft will be reducing the number of Windows versions and in my opinion it would make sense to get rid of Windows RT.
  • The new and improved Intel Atom (quad core processors) are making ARM based Windows RT devices even less interesting because they provide better performance and use less energy than the previous versions while allowing people to run x86 programs.
  • Windows tablets have become available in smaller sizes (8 inch) and Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 have updated to better work with this.
  • Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1 have been released and many minor adjustments made it more tablet optimized.
  • Most major apps have been released as a “Metro”/Modern app for Windows 8 / Windows RT, but it’s still lagging behind Google’s Play Store and the Apple App Store.
  • The graphical performance included in processors is increasing, reducing the need for seperate GPUs for generic use and bringing more options for apps.
  • Google Android based tablets are still going strong and provide a lot of bang for buck. Also the Android OS is still getting many useful updates. Security and OS version sprawl is still an issue though, especially in the enterprise. Also there’s a big gap in user experience because there are still very cheap tablets with lots of disadvantages, while the normal and high end models are very good in general.
  • The Apple iPad (hardware) and operating system (iOS) received updates and they’re still doing very well what they’ve always done while providing great stability and improving battery time and performance. To me however it’s more of the same without much added value over previous versions. I’m curious to see if, how and when Apple will make their devices more popular for people that want to be able to do more. Maybe some kind power tablet running OS X with touch and iOS options ?

If you have something to add or if you think something that’s incorrect, please leave a comment.

[Update 14-12-2013]

Since I’m seriously considering buying a Windows based tablet, I’ve been very closely following all developments. Even though a lot of information has become available, it’s often spread across many different websites and articles and is often incomplete in my opinion. Since the Microsoft Surface RT tablet is available for pre-order and will be sold when Windows 8 will be available on the 26th of October I decided to write this article.And even though a lot of people have complained about this on various sites, most sites don’t have one article that covers all the things to look out for. In this post I try to do just that. One of the most useful resources I’ve used are the articles from Paul Thurrott on his website supersite for windows.

Also it’s not just consumers that are having trouble understanding / explaining the differences between Windows RT and Windows 8 tablets though, Microsoft employees are also still being trained to properly handle questions.

In this post it’s important to realize that Microsoft Surface RT is not the same as Windows RT, Microsoft Surface RT is a tablet from Microsoft (hardware) that runs Windows RT (software). Microsoft Surface Pro is another tablet from Microsoft (hardware) that runs Windows 8 (software).

Read the rest of this entry »

 

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