Google Drive

Talks are rife that Google will announce its long-awaited Google Drive this week. According to unconfirmed reports that came out in several blogs and technology news websites in the past weeks, Google Drive will offer users five gigabytes of free storage space.

Several tech sites also published screengrabs of a possible Mac application and the download page for the Windows application for the service.

And as with any online drive or cloud storage service worth its space, Google Drive will offer synchronization across devices and folders.
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Back up your mobile phone data online

Most people today rely on cell phones for the storage of contacts and appointments. This reliance on a single device can be risky and devastating when your phone gets lost or stolen.

To prevent a disaster such as losing important contact details, you need to regularly back up your phone data. Most phones today come with PC suites that allow you to easily manage and back up these data. If you’re using a SonyEricsson phone, use Float’s Mobile Agent, it’s the best PC software for your unit.

The problem with using PC software to back up your data is that you need to regularly connect your phone to your PC in order to get an up-to-date version of your data. I don’t have problems with this as my phone is always connected to my PC when I’m in the office because I exclusively use Float’s Mobile Agent to manage it.

But for those who don’t regularly do this, there’s an easier backup option: use the free zyb.com service. Zyb.com allows you to store your address book and calendar online and then synchronize the data between your account and your phone (or phones since you can use multiple handsets with one account.) (See screenshots below.)

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Get a second desktop and access it anywhere

I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of an online desktop, a workspace that is accessible on any computer with an Internet connection. Last year, I tried to set one up for myself using a variety of free services: from free online file storage to online notes and to-do lists. I ended up with a collection of various free services and scripts, gathered in an online start page, that I continue to use today.

The problem with this is that I have to log into multiple accounts to use various components of my setup. I tried Goowy hoping to get a more desktop-like online interface but it didn’t have online storage then (it now integrates your Box.net account, which is really a great feature) and it was so slow. After more than a month, I wasn’t using Goowy as extensively as when I started with the service.

I also tried the EyeOS.info service, a showcase of the open source EyeOS program. Again, it’s a great service and an even better script (it’s on my try to install list). The service also doesn’t have an online storage, which is understandable because EyeOS.info was started to showcase the open source project.

And then I saw Desktoptwo via a link in del.icio.us.

Desktoptwo is by far the closest thing to a desktop among the services I’ve tried. (Click on screenshots to view larger images)

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Denial of service attack delays Zooomr 2.0 launch

Flickr competitor Zooomr was set to launch version 2.0 of its service last week and it created such a loud buzz with its free pro account offer for bloggers. That launch has been delayed by a denial of service attack.

Zooomr said in its blog that the attack has been dealt with and they’re just fine-tuning the system to make sure such an attack will not happen again. Zooomr also says that when the new version finally launches, users will “see a huge speed increase along with the new design and new features.”

You might say it is still premature to describe Zooomr as a Flickr “competitor” because of the disparity in their user base but I really like what Zooomr is offering, especially with its free accounts. Both sites offer unlimited storage but Flickr restricts the display of your photos to the last 200 images. Zooomr also offers a bigger upload quota for free accounts at 50MB monthly, more than double Flickr’s 20MB quota for free accounts.

Zooomr offers free pro accounts for bloggers

Flickr competitor Zooomr is offering a free professional account for bloggers. All you have to do is open an account with their site, upload a photo to your account, use it in your blog post and then notify them.

Zooomr is an interesting Flickr alternative. I’ve just registered for it and after going through its features, it looks to me to be a better photo host for bloggers. Its free beta account gives you unlimited storage and a 50MB monthly uploading limit. Flickr, on the other hand, limits its free accounts to 20MB of monthly uploads and its photo streams to 200 images. ubuntu

Zooomr also resizes photos and gives you the links to the different image sizes. Zooomr’s pro account, which gives you a 2GB monthly upload limit, is $5 cheaper than Flickr’s at $20. TechCrunch describes Zooomr as “Flickr on steroids” in a blog article last March.

If you want to get a free pro account, here’s the instruction from the Zooomr blog:

“All we ask is that you host at least one of your images from Zooomr at your blog. This is easy. Sign up for an account. Upload an image. And then simply cut and paste the html code with the magnifying glass above your image and you’re all set. Once you’ve blogged one of your images paste the url into the comment section of this post and we’ll upgrade you to Pro.”

FEAC2006: technical notes

Since last year, I have been actively moving files that I need to access anywhere online, in an experiment to “make the network my computer.” This served me well during the recent Free Expression in Asian Cyberspace conference in Manila.

The greatest benefit is that the files I needed for things I was working on was accessible whichever computer I was using. I host all my files with Box.net, the best online drive I’ve tried so far. Streamload is a close second and I use it for backup.

I used one of the newsroom’s laptops in the conference and it was a plain vanilla installation. In a few steps, however, I turned it’s Firefox into the browser that I use at home and at the office. When I used one of the laptops set up by the organizers at the conference hall, I was also able to turn it into my familiar Firefox installation (after they installed Firefox): with the same bookmarks and bookmarks toolbar. I did this using Foxmarks, a Firefox bookmarks synchronizer. Foxmarks synchronizes all your bookmarks into a central server, so you essentially have the same set of bookmarks and bookmarks toolbar for each browser that uses your account.

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Box.net online storage upgraded

Guys, thanks for signing up to Box.net through the affiliate button in this blog. My Box.net (affiliate link) free account has been upgraded to the premium package. If you havent heard of Box.net, its a service that offers users an online storage space for photos, documents and other files.

Box.net is a great online storage service with a simple and well-designed interface (photo after the jump), which isnt as cluttered as other similar services.

Its great to have an online storage space to host backups of important files that you really need to access in case your USB drive conks out or the CD is scratched. My online storage space has saved me in at least two instances: once when I left behind the CD containing my presentation and another when a laptop being used for a presentation couldnt read the disc I burned.
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