Category Archives: Google

The Self-Driving Car Company

Alexsis Madrigal offers an inside look at what Google is doing with Maps and all those Streetview photos they’ve amassed. It’s jaw-dropping in its scope and audacity — and in its implications for the future:

“…as my friend and sci-fi novelist Robin Sloan put it to me, “I maintain that this is Google’s core asset. In 50 years, Google will be the self-driving car company (powered by this deep map of the world) and, oh, P.S. they still have a search engine somewhere.”

Read the article.


Google’s Dremel is the Holy Grail of Big Data: Really Big, Really Fast, Really Simple

First Google created, and wrote papers on, Hadoop and MapReduce, which got reverse-engineered into the current state of the art for Big Data.

But Google has moved on to Dremel, and the rest of the world is slow in catching up.

With BigQuery Google offers a simple-to-user service that doesn’t sacrifice Big Data scale OR speed.

As  Armando Fox, a professor of computer science at the University of California, Berkeley who specializes in these sorts of data-center-sized software platforms. put it in a Wired article:

“This is unprecedented. Hadoop is the centerpiece of the “Big Data” movement, a widespread effort to build tools that can analyze extremely large amounts of information. But with today’s Big Data tools, there’s often a drawback. You can’t quite analyze the data with the speed and precision you expect from traditional data analysis or “business intelligence” tools. But with Dremel, Fox says, you can.

“They managed to combine large-scale analytics with the ability to really drill down into the data, and they’ve done it in a way that I wouldn’t have thought was possible,” he says. “The size of the data and the speed with which you can comfortably explore the data is really impressive. People have done Big Data systems before, but before Dremel, no one had really done a system that was that big and that fast.

“Usually, you have to do one or the other. The more you do one, the more you have to give up on the other. But with Dremel, they did both.”


Google Fiber Has Far-reaching Implications

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...

Reading this post on Google’s low-cost, super-fast fiber-to-the-home initiative (makes me sort of wish I lived in Kansas City) brought to mind all the other Google products and initiatives that might be empowered by it. Go read it, then come back here and consider:

Chrome OS: it takes a long time to make a new operating system and it looks trivial today, but with widely available gigabit internet at the household and small business level it begins to look like a realistic “the network is the computer” future.

Mobile OS: Google already has that covered with Android.

Add Google Drive: Ubiquitous very high speed connectivity at a low price makes Drive viable for more than backup, sharing and synch. Actually synch becomes easier if the only copy is on a server.

Add Google Compute Engine: A thin-client netbook running Chrome OS, or Android on tablets and handsets, become more appealing if you  can quickly access network-based computing resources for high-performance computing tasks like video transcoding.

Add Google Voice: consider all those hypothetical hotspots. Combine with Android and Voice. Can a Google competitor to cell phone providers be far behind, one that leverages the coming Google network? All it would take is a couple extra capabilities in the fiber/WiFi box that seems inevitable. And don’t forget they now own Motorola, a top-notch mobile phone company.

YouTube/Google TV: Already dipping its toe into original programming, and fast fiber means TV will change dramatically.

Living In the cloud would become a real option for everyday consumers. What about effects on professionals and small businesses?

And what about those other seemingly sci-fi projects, self driving cars and Glass? Hey, if the car drives itself my brain then has the bandwidth for augmented reality. How might they benefit from the ability to hop from fiber-connected WiFi hotspot to hotspot?

All this based on a good search engine algorithm, and then ads next to search results? Who’d a thunk it?


Google Compute Engine and Cloud Video Transcoding — How Does it Compare?

Zencoder performed some initial comparison tests of Google Compute Engine versus Amazon EC2 for transfering and transcoding video.

“On EC2, we use Cluster Compute instances, which are fast dual-CPU machines in two sizes: 4XL and 8XL. We compared these with the fastest GCE instance type, which is currently a single-CPU 8-core server.”

Here’s one of their resulting charts:

Read the full post for details.


CaptureToCloud Launches Social Workspace Service for Professionals, SMBs

CaptureToCloud is announcing the launch of its new Social Workspace that, for the first time, allows users to capture any type of digital content to share or collaborate with anyone on any device in the cloud. CaptureToCloud was developed for professionals and SMB’s to deliver a unique Social Workspace and is tightly integrated with Google Apps. CaptureToCloud offers both a free and premium service and is available in the Google Apps Marketplace, Google Chrome Web Store, Google Play and at www.capturetocloud.com.

“Digital content is evolving rapidly, packing more information and coming in many different forms; yet the tools to capture, organize and share content have not progressed at the same pace,” said Ramon Nunez, CEO, CaptureToCloud. “Successful organizations and individuals rely on timely and relevant information and need a practical and efficient method to capture any digital content in their normal workflow, retain its original form and structure, and include it in private social conversations.”

CaptureToCloud changes how people work with content and moves beyond the traditional file-centric mentality. There is no longer a need to convert content from its original format into a file or to keep important but different types of content in different places. With the click of a button, users can capture Internet content or drag and drop items from Google Drive or files from Dropbox into their Social Workspace. Users can then organize content into topical or thematic collections and share them with anyone via email, Facebook, Twitter or CaptureToCloud while retaining control of their content. Users can engage others in private conversations that include people from inside and outside the firewall and integrate relevant content to work smarter and transform information sharing and decision-making.

“We deployed CaptureToCloud across our organization to make our team more productive,” said Oscar Garcia, CEO of the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce. “CaptureToCloud makes it easy to capture virtually any type of content in our normal workflow and work collaboratively with anyone in or outside our organization. The integration with Google Apps is a huge plus and being a cloud app makes it easy to install and manage.”

CaptureToCloud is also mobile and is the first app to capture mobile web pages. Mobile users not only have access to their content libraries, but can send, share and comment from their mobile devices while on the go.

“CaptureToCloud has fundamentally changed how our team works with digital content when collaborating with others,” said Jim Weldon, managing director of ePopDev. “Having all the relevant content for a project in one place and integrated with Google’s real-time document collaboration suite is genius.”

For more information visit www.capturetocloud.com.


CaptureToCloud Launches Social Workspace Service for Professionals, SMBs

CaptureToCloud is announcing the launch of its new Social Workspace that, for the first time, allows users to capture any type of digital content to share or collaborate with anyone on any device in the cloud. CaptureToCloud was developed for professionals and SMB’s to deliver a unique Social Workspace and is tightly integrated with Google Apps. CaptureToCloud offers both a free and premium service and is available in the Google Apps Marketplace, Google Chrome Web Store, Google Play and at www.capturetocloud.com.

“Digital content is evolving rapidly, packing more information and coming in many different forms; yet the tools to capture, organize and share content have not progressed at the same pace,” said Ramon Nunez, CEO, CaptureToCloud. “Successful organizations and individuals rely on timely and relevant information and need a practical and efficient method to capture any digital content in their normal workflow, retain its original form and structure, and include it in private social conversations.”

CaptureToCloud changes how people work with content and moves beyond the traditional file-centric mentality. There is no longer a need to convert content from its original format into a file or to keep important but different types of content in different places. With the click of a button, users can capture Internet content or drag and drop items from Google Drive or files from Dropbox into their Social Workspace. Users can then organize content into topical or thematic collections and share them with anyone via email, Facebook, Twitter or CaptureToCloud while retaining control of their content. Users can engage others in private conversations that include people from inside and outside the firewall and integrate relevant content to work smarter and transform information sharing and decision-making.

“We deployed CaptureToCloud across our organization to make our team more productive,” said Oscar Garcia, CEO of the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce. “CaptureToCloud makes it easy to capture virtually any type of content in our normal workflow and work collaboratively with anyone in or outside our organization. The integration with Google Apps is a huge plus and being a cloud app makes it easy to install and manage.”

CaptureToCloud is also mobile and is the first app to capture mobile web pages. Mobile users not only have access to their content libraries, but can send, share and comment from their mobile devices while on the go.

“CaptureToCloud has fundamentally changed how our team works with digital content when collaborating with others,” said Jim Weldon, managing director of ePopDev. “Having all the relevant content for a project in one place and integrated with Google’s real-time document collaboration suite is genius.”

For more information visit www.capturetocloud.com.


News Round-Up 5/19/12: Google’s Cloud, Future of Data Centers, Cloud IPOs, Cloud Security Myths Busted and More

 

There have been some exciting announcements and fascinating news articles recently regarding cloud services and service providers. Every week we will round up the most interesting topics from around the globe and consolidate them into a weekly summary.

 

Hitch a Ride Through Google’s Cloud

Your Gmail box lives somewhere in the jumble of servers, cables, and hard drives known as the “cloud” but it often migrates in search of the ideal location. Find out what happens when you hit send. 

 

The Future of Data Centers: Is 100% Cloud Possible?

Guest blogger Robert Offley explains how the market is shifting today, what barriers remain for total cloud adoption, and if an evolution to 100% cloud is likely to occur.

 

Big Data is Worth Nothing Without Big Science

As with gold or oil, data has no intrinsic value, writes Webtrends CEO Alex Yoder. Big science, which bridges the gap between knowledge and insight, is where the real value is.

 

The Hottest IPO You’ve Never Heard Of

With an expected valuation of close to $100 billion, it’s understandable that no one can stop talking about Facebook’s initial public offering this week.  But while Facebook basks in the social media spotlight, companies tackling tough business problems are exciting investors, if not consumers. Workday, for example, is expected to be among the largest IPOs this year in the business software market.

 

Five Busted Myths of Cloud Security

“Cloud” is one of the most over used and least understood words in technology these days, so it’s little surprise that there’s so much confusion about its security. This article busts 5 myths about cloud security.

 

Also in the news:

 

 

Cloud Competition: Microsoft Cuts Prices, Adds Platform

Guest Post by Sharon Shapiro of Cloud Sherpas

Although it only entered the cloud computing market in July 2011, Microsoft has already made a name for itself with Office 365, its hybrid cloud solution available to businesses.  But despite its initial climb, Microsoft has yet to catch up to Google when it comes to cloud computing.

Google has worked as a cloud service provider, with its fully-based cloud solution Google Apps, since 2006.  Google offers customers four different cloud computing platforms (business, education, government, and non-profit) and a 99.9% uptime guarantee, including service and updates, that it regularly exceeds.  In contrast, Office 365 is currently available only for businesses and has had issues meeting its promised 99.9% uptime, which does not include service and updates.  Google Apps pricing is also much lower than Office 365 pricing, with the highest priced Google Apps platform (business) operating at $50/user/year and the lowest Office 365 plan operating at $72/user/year.  But a lot of that is about to change as Microsoft has announced news that it hopes will bridge the gap.

First, Microsoft recently announced that it will be cutting the price of Office 365 by up to 20 percent.  Microsoft says this is because it now costs less to run the hybrid cloud platform than it did when Microsoft first introduced Office 365 last July.

Second, Microsoft says it will soon add a new plan – Office 365 for Education – which will widen the customer base.  The release of Office 365 is clearly an attempt to compete with the success of Google Apps’ free education platform.

Although lowering its prices and adding a plan for educational institutions are steps toward competing with Google Apps, Microsoft still has a big gap to close.  Google Apps will still boast more platforms (government and non-profit, in addition to the free version that many people use in their personal lives) and five more years of experience in the cloud.  With this greater experience, comes enhanced cloud service, as Google Apps is a fully cloud-based solution that offers its users complete universal access and proven reliability.  In contrast, it is important to remember that Office 365 is still a hybrid cloud solution that requires on premises servers and that, when it comes to document creating capabilities, works best in conjunction with Microsoft Office installed on a desktop.  Both of these necessities limit the mobile access that Office 365 users can enjoy.   Additionally, Office 365 has already been plagued with a number of outages that have resulted in significant amounts of downtime for users across the world.

These key differences between Office 365 and Google Apps may be part of the reason why the governments of major cities, like Pittsburgh and Los Angeles, trust Google Apps for their communication needs.

While Microsoft’s price cut and addition of an education plan will definitely improve the Office 365 cloud suite, these changes will certainly not put Microsoft and Google on an even playing field, as Google still boasts more authority, reliability, and a wider range of services.