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Cloud Computing & IT Culture


5 Easy Ways Hunters Can Use the Cloud

Saving files to cloud servers is quickly becoming the most popular way to store all of the important files and data from a computer, tablet or phone. The main benefits to using cloud computing technology is that users can easily access  all of their files from anywhere you have an internet connection, the ease of sending the files by a click of a mouse or swipe of a touchscreen and the fact that there is virtually an unlimited amount of space to store the files. Hunters are now getting in on the cloud action to make their lives a bit easier and keep all of the information for a successful hunt in one central location that can be accessed in an instant.

Many hunters enjoy snapping photos with their smartphones or digital cameras during hunting trips — along with their survival knife and a solid wilderness survival tool. It’s very common for them to want to show off a large kill to their fellow hunting buddies and to keep a catalog for licensing purposes. Eventually the photos will need to be removed from those devices in order to make room for new ones and a hunter would have to spend lots of time transferring them to a computer or deleting them. The solution to this time consuming task is for hunters to use cloud computing technology to store their photos for future viewing.

Many hunters like to keep digital copies of maps, GPS coordinates, planned hunting routes and prime hunting spots to make organizing future hunting trips easier. The issue here is that most of these files are saved to computers that aren’t exactly portable and easy to use in the middle of the woods. Cloud computing technology makes accessing, viewing and altering these important files easy once they are imported onto a cloud server.

There are many phone apps available to hunters to assist them with everything from animal calls to repelling bugs and they prove to be a very valuable resource when on a trip into the woods. This is another perfect time for a hunter to use a cloud server to send a copy of the app and data for retrieval in the future. There may come a time when the device that is used to access these apps becomes damaged or lost causing the hunter to lose the app and any data that may be saved within it. Having a copy pre-saved eliminates the needs to repurchase and re-download the apps.

Many hunters are incredibly meticulous about what they bring out on hunting trips and like to double check their list of supplies. A great way for hunters to be able to view a copy of this list at any time is to add it a cloud server. It is efficient than carrying around a paper list that can get lost and the hunter can easily add to it at any time, save it and move on.

One of the more important files that a hunter can import onto a cloud server will be any important survival and first aid information. Having these files safely and conveniently stored in the cloud will make accessing them easier and gives the hunter less to carry around. Having instant access to an alterable copy of each of these files will also make it easy for the hunter to add new important information.

5 Awesome Ways Smart Watches Can Use the Cloud

Cloud computing technology is really amazing and super convenient. You can easily send all of your important files and information into a cloud server by using different web servers such as iCloud, Google + and Dropbox. All of your files are then safely stored on a server and are viewable at any time with the click of a button. One new and innovative way to use cloud computing technology is through the newly developed smart watches. Smart watches work hand in hand with smart phones and allows the user to have everything they need right from their phones right on their wrists. It’s all really cool and crazy to think of how far we have come since the days of sun dials and pocket watches.

Smart watches (whatever the brand) allow the user to access and control the music files that are on their phones with a few taps or swipes on the watch face. It is also possible to send or retrieve these music files from a smart watch as well. It is a really convenient way to make sure your music files are safe just in case something happens to the main device used to store them.

Users are able to view and send emails through smart watches just like on a computer, tablet or phone. There may be a time when there is important information in an email that will need to be saved and this can easily be done through the smart watch by sending it right into the cloud server. The email will be there whenever it is needed and the chance of it getting deleted from your inbox is gone.

As if controlling your music and accessing emails through a smart watch (even if it’s just a $200 watch) wasn’t amazing enough, it is also possible to make and receive phone calls. Yep, that’s right – you can talk to someone through a watch a la James Bond style. This feature also allows the user to access the contact information of anyone that is stored within the phone attached to the watch. The ability to access this information from a smart watch is amazing and makes it easy to send any contact information into the cloud server. It is a nice way to back up all of the important contacts just in case something happens to the phone attached to the watch.

The majority of smartphone users have downloaded apps to make many everyday tasks easier and all of these apps are easily accessed from smart watches as well. Many apps contain important data that is often stored within the app itself and if it somehow gets deleted the data goes with it. This issue is fixed by being able to send that data and back up the apps into a cloud server through a smart watch. New data can be created on the watches as well and be added to the existing file in the cloud at any point.

We now know that smart watches can put nearly anything that a user has on a phone into a cloud server with ease. Another really helpful and convenient ability of a smart watch is that it can be alerted when something new is put into the users cloud profile. This will help keep users up to date on important information in real time. It gives the user the chance to immediately see what the file is and they can decide if it needs to be addressed by using another device.

Be On the Look Out for These 5 IT-Inspired Technologies for Runners

Everything we do these days revolves around the convenience of technology in one way or another. This is now even the case for runners. Runners are now able to incorporate technology into their running and training by using a variety of different technologies from phone apps to watches. There really is something for every type or runner and it is easy to see how any of the available options would be training a bit easier and more phone.

There are ton of phone apps available for runners that are easily downloaded from the Android and iOS app stores. These phone apps will help runners set up a training plan, keep track of their progress, enter caloric output and allow them to time their daily runs. Some of the most popular apps among runners are RunKeeper Pro, Nike + and Strava.

Every runner needs a good pair of socks, right? How about a pair of smart socks instead of just a plain pair of Hanes ankle socks? It is mind blowing to me that technology has come this far, but I can see how smart socks are actually a really awesome technology for runners. The cutting edge athletic or crossfit shoe designers (tennis shoes, too), Sensoria and Vivobarefoot have teamed up to create the Sensoria Smart Sock. The Smart Sock is able to track a runner’s cadence, foot landing and the way they distribute their weight when walking or running. All of this information is gathered via an electronic anklet that snaps to the cuff of the sock. Blue tooth technology is then used to send the data that is obtained by the socks to the user’s phone and is populated into the downloadable mobile app.

Runners are now able to stay connected and motivated by using social networking sites that are designed just for runners. These sites allow runners to log their progress, set goals, receive training tips and communicate with other runners that are both local and in other areas. There are many social networking sites for virtually every type of runner and a bit of research will help to determine which site is best.

Cloud application technology isn’t just for businesses or to back up important files on home computers anymore. This new and awesome technology is perfect for runners. Runners can use cloud application technology to store the data that is collected in running apps that they may be using, playlists of music for different training days, updates to their calendar about marathon dates and any other important information that pertains to their running. Cloud application technology will allow them to view this information in other formats (especially if most data is from a mobile device) and keep it all organized.

A running watch is another great bit of technology for runners and is rapidly gaining popularity. Run friendly watches are able to use GPS technology, track the runner’s progress, measure their time and monitor heart rate. These watches collect all of the data during a running session that is easily viewed in an instant by the runner in real time. Having this data on display for runners is a great motivator and encourages them to keep pushing themselves further. a

5 Awesome New Car Technologies

We are living in an age where our entire lives revolve around technology. Technology is no longer limited to the home or work place. Vehicles are now determinedly trying to keep up with the pace by creating new and innovative technology that is changing the face of the vehicle industry. The new technologies that are being placed into most new vehicles are not only being designed with the intent to make the driver’s life easier, but to save lives as well.

Pedestrian Detection: Volvo has created new technology that is installed in most of their 2014 7 passenger vehicles (as well as in their 9 passenger vehicles) that takes the act of notifying a driver of an object a bit further. The feature will now be able to inform a driver if the object detected is a pedestrian, cyclist or inanimate object. This new technology will increase awareness of a driver’s surroundings thus decreasing collisions and injuries. Hopefully this feature will be installed in all vehicles soon since accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists are entirely too common.

Lane Departure Warning (LDW): The lane departure warning system is the most popular new technology being installed in most new vehicles as of 2014. This system is designed to alert the driver when they cross over into another lane without signaling. The main goal with this technology is to keep driver’s aware of their surroundings and limit accidents due to improper lane changes.

Semi-Autonomous Driving: The new Mercedes Benz E Class has recently included ground breaking new technology into each vehicle. This Intelligent Drive system is able to control the vehicle at low speeds and keep up with heavy traffic even if the car is on curvy road. This system is also able to automatically correct the vehicle’s steering if the driver happens to cross lanes unintentionally. Most amazingly the semi-autonomous driving feature is even capable of physically stopping the car if need be. This technology has been successful in preventing many accidents and saving many lives.

Traffic Sign Recognition: This is a popular new technology in Europe and it is slowly starting to gain some speed here in the United States. Front facing cameras are installed in the vehicles and programed with traffic sign recognition technology. The front facing cameras snap a picture of all road signs passed by and replicates the sign on the dashboard for the driver. This is extremely helpful for drivers that may have vision issues or during poor visibility due to less than ideal weather condition. It will likely decrease the amount of accidents that occur as well as the amount of speeding tickets given out.

Hydrophobic Windows: Kia has recently come out with new hydrophobic windows in the newest version of the Cadenza. One would normally think there wasn’t much special or technologically advanced about windows, but that is not the case here. The hydrophobic windows are specially treated on the outside to repel and shed water just like a duck. This is another handy feature that will help increase visibility during inclement weather thus reducing accidents.

Another relatively new field (although it is still probably the oldest of most of the cloud technology industries) is cloud storage. And cloud storage is a comparatively flexible market compared to some of the other major cloud markets.

For example, cloud infrastructure (or Iaas) businesses are almost exclusively B2B operations, and they usually work on very big scales, since profits are a lot more difficult to come by on smaller scales.

Cloud storage, on the other hand, can service a lot more different customers. They are not limited by their own margins, since the hardware and personnel requirements are much lower than something like an IaaS setup.

So, while an IaaS company typically only has the bandwidth to service businesses (what individual would really need an IaaS anyway?), a cloud storage company can service businesses and individual consumers. And there are plenty of great examples of this. The first and most obvious is DropBox. They’ve been around pretty much as long as the cloud, and they’ve done extraordinarily well.

Now, big companies, like Microsoft, are hopping on the cloud storage bandwagon, hoping to get a piece of the ever-growing pie.

And, just because there are companies out there servicing individuals, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t companies out there going after the big fish, too.

For example, Acronis, headed by CEO Serguei Beloussov caters specifically to large corporates who have very complex data storage needs. Acronis’ flagship data system is a backup and recovery system, helping its clients protect themselves by malicious attacks and system failures. With lots and lots of redundancies in place, more than anything, Acronis offers big companies who handle sensitive information piece of mind.

The point is that this market is super broad, and there is a lot of room for both little fish and big fish.

The Rapidly Growing Field of IaaS Providers

Of all the cloud-related businesses, cloud infrastructure services are by far the fastest growing segment, and this is especially true for B2B technologies. Most of the time, these services are referred to as IaaS, or Infrastructure-as-a-Service.

What’s that mean? Basically, it means that businesses can buy an entire network – including network, storage and computing resources – all housed on the cloud. In other words, big companies who have access to all the physical hardware needed to create that stuff, sell it through the cloud.

This is super important, because it makes it much easier for mid-range, medium-level startups to enter the market. Why? Because it eliminates a major logistical obstacle: establishing, running and administrating a private company network. With these services, you just pay and it’s done. Plus, what you pay these services is usually substantially less than what you would pay setting up a network of your own. This allows companies to totally ignore the logistical problems that come with network administration, which saves lots of money and countless man hours.

In the end, this usually means that energy and money is spent where it really counts: sales, business development and product development. For most companies, that means more money coming in the door faster.

And this is a much bigger market than most people think. In fact, in 2013 the market as a whole was valuated at a whopping $9 billion. That’s massive! Leading the way is Amazon Web Services (AWS), which has established itself as the leader in the market mostly because of its massive in-house computing power.

However, while AWS has captured the majority of the market share by snagging big clients, there’s still room in the market for boutique companies willing to go after smaller fish. So if you’re looking to get into this field, don’t quit yet! There’s plenty of room for the little guy, and the market will continue to grow for the next decade.

Benefits of IT Expos

If you’re here, you, along with all of us, have one thing in common. We do IT for a living! And, like most other professions, we need a place to do a little networking. And what’s the best way to do that? An expo! I love expos of all kinds, so it only made sense that we’d put one on for other folks in our profession. Here’s why we do it:

  • Powerful networking opportunities. This is kind of what I mentioned before. Expos are one of the best ways to meet other people in our industry. We get to chat about the stuff we love, of course, but even more importantly, we get to create connections and friendships that could lead to business opportunities in the future. I can’t tell you how many contracts I’ve gotten this way. People want to work with people they trust, and this is a great way to do it.
  • Hearing the best experts talk. This is kind of like networking, too, only better. At all of our expos, you’ll get to hear some of the foremost experts in the field talk about ground breaking technology in cloud computing. This is a great way to stay on top of what’s going on – and, more importantly, think about new ways you can develop your existing business.
  • It’s fun! This is why I go! I just think it’s super fun. There aren’t many places I can really chat about what I love with people who are equally passionate. So, for me, it’s a real treat when I get to meet up with all you IT pros and discuss what’s going on in our industry.
  • You get to see amazing new technologies. Cloud computing is in its infancy, which means it’s also a very exciting field. We’re just beginning to figure out what’s possible with this kind of technology. Many different companies have established themselves as leaders in B2C products, but B2B cloud products are still breaking lots of ground. And where ground is being broken, there is money to be made. Seeing some of these new technologies can inspire tangential ideas – or perhaps just other technologies that expand on (or compete with) their counterparts.

So there you have it! That’s kind of a very brief overview of why we started this thing in the first place. We sincerely hope you’ll join us for the next one. Please check your local listings!

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