A Box of Clouds

  • This post was originally scheduled for May, but fell off the schedule. A lot has changed in the cloud, as it is known to do. {Insert your own aside as to how you feel about Google+ now that it’s opening and Google’s plans to rebrand Blogger. Does any of it matter?}

If anything’s magical, it’s the cloud.

.MacImage via Wikipedia

In Start Trek, you simply asked the computer to answer a question and it would compute the answer.

In Star Wars, you’d enter coordinates for you jump to light speed and the Navi computer would get you there.

We’re getting there. Google borrowed the name “Wave” from Joss Wedon’s Firefly universe. The Wave was a lot like the internet and broadcast networks rolled up together.  {Now, the wave is still waning, but working it’s way into Google Docs… very nicely done.}

Our Google + Hulu + Cable television + Wikipedia, etc. is all content, but what about online storage? There you have your YouTube for videos, Flickr for photos {Picasa/Google Photos}, but how do you put your other files in the cloud?

Macintosh people like Apple’s MobileMe or (me.com) and I suppose Windows people like the Microsoft version of that. But there are other very cool online storage and backup tools, but don’t confuse the two.

The online back up tools scan your files and quietly in the background back them all up for you. There are a ton of competing services that I’m currently investigating. Which ones do you use?

Millennium Falcon approaches Bespin Cloud CityImage by futursimple via Flickr
Is everything going to ‘the cloud’?
Will we live in the clouds?

The online or cloud storage services are like extra hard drive space that you can access from any internet connection. You can access the files from your desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone.

I really like the free-ish DropBox.com service. We’ve been using if for several months now and it’s very handy for a small company and coworkers sharing files between mismatched computers. {If you don’t have an account, clicking the link and signing up will expand my storage capacity.  I will be magically granted a few more megabitxels of storage.}

Amazon is bursting with innovations in cloud storage and hosting features for the ubertechy, but they’re starting to play with us regular people again now too. When you purchase music from Amazon.com, you now have the ability to store in your CloudPlayer.

Explore that and tell me that it’s not cool. Not only are they cool, but a lot are free and they have some really worth-while albums for only $5.00

They allow you to upload your music library to stream from anywhere… at work, from the laptop that you don’t want to copy all the music to, from your parent’s house when you’re visiting on vacation.

Apple is also doing their version of this with iCloud. But that’s a whole other post.

You may be spending a lot of time online. Does that mean that you are already in the cloud? Is your head in the clouds along with your files, videos and music? Will they charge us extra to store our heads there? Would that be a flat rate or recurring fee?

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X – as consensus and defining your destination #atozchallenge

Capital Letter X on Glass (Silver Spring, MD)Image by takomabibelot via Flickr

The X is not just two lines crossing in the middle
or two angles touching at the point.

Imagine four beaks, lines or ideas that meet at the same point in space,
in agreement.

The shape of the letter is the idea. The Intersection is the agreement of location or concept. Yes, X marks the spot.

Imagine four people coming to a consensus on one point in conversation. If you work in an office and see this often, I’m a little jealous. “This project has many flaws. How do we solve the problems our users face every day?” There are too many possible solutions. No one meeting point or consensus, but an endless mess of points like a storage room full of tribbles. (There they are, Alex!)

A conversation at the dinner table rarely focuses on one single point in space, but if the four of us sit around the table like we occasionally do, we all meet in one spot in time and space.

If we can’t agree on the idea or topic, that’s okay. It’s more interesting and diplomatic.

Falling into hyperspaceImage by stuant63 via Flickr

Where are we going with this? Lines and points.

It’s a little lesson in charting. Plotting your goal or destination.

If you find yourself in a fictional space ship, you may enter a destination into your Navigation Computer. The system establishes a route to avoid galactic obstacles like planets, other ships and asteroids. When you hit ‘go’ in Star Wars, all the pinpoint stars streak past you like lines as you are whisked away to your desired point in space. Not an X, but a burst of points around you, like they are ideas getting out of your way.

This clip illustrates a complicated mode of travel reimagined and investigates the ability to apply it to our real lives. Lines and points.

Hopefully, the destination is still at the same address and no giant space stations have blown up your vacation destination. I bet your travel insurance doesn’t cover Imperial entanglements. Mars in 90 days? Sabbatical anyone?

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Reachin gout… (reaching out)

FLV file Icon from Adobe SystemsImage via Wikipedia

We have two new films to look out for that our pals at Blastr tell us about, but they posted Flash video clips that I cannot view on my PADD*. So I leisurely flip over to my other pal’s little website, http://trailers.apple.com/ to see what the fuss it about.

First is a response to reaching out to help others locally. Case 39, a new horror thriller vehicle for Renee Zellweger. She portrays a social worker who gets involved too personally with a child and all heck literally breaks loose. We even have a stretchy “Nightmare on Elm Street” door in the trailer. It’s a very good trailer… we’ll have to keep an eye on this one. There are already lots of  folks talking about it. The film has quite a history.

Our second film is Skyline. Remember last century when we brazenly sent out a gold record that basically invited all the space aliens to come and eat us? You know, it came complete with the 70’s version of a Google Map link right to our front door. Skyline promises to show us another possible repercussions of NASA’s Voyager mission. Think giant ships with tractor beams for people. (Yikes, you know what a tractor beam is, right?)

Here’s what happens when you’re caught in a tractor beam with Han Solo. {Wow, I’m actually stating that like it’s real. Loving me, right now!}

It’s fun to watch a film and get a little scared. That’s what it’s all about. Just don’t take it too seriously, the social workers and astronomers in real life are doing great work. We love you! Please keep helping those kids. Please keep searching for signs of actual intelligent life in the universe.

 *What’s a PADD?  The folks at TrekToday.com explain really well. It’s my iPad, for those of you who are done with all of these extra links.

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