We Need Google Fiber Sort Of Broadband Service Providers In Town To Boost Business Opportunities And Customer Experiences

Backup Backup Backup - And Test Restores

Backup Backup Backup – And Test Restores (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today, broadband upload speed is nowhere near the speed that is desirable for people to backup their digital contents to third party backup service providers or I should say doing backups to the cloud.  I’m using Crashplan backup service provider, and it seems that it took me ages to backup my Windows 8 PC — containing 500 GB worth of data — to Crashplan’s cloud with AT&T U-verse 3 Megabit per second upload speed.  On the sort-of opposite spectrum of doing backups to the cloud is doing backups to a local network’s backup device or devices, and it turns out Crashplan software is doing so much better, like way better, when it backups the 500 GB worth of Windows 8 PC data to a NAS (network attached storage) and external hard drives.  Basically, at the moment, I see that Crashplan shows that it’s 97.2% done with a backup for Windows 8 PC to a NAS, 54.1% done with a backup for Windows 8 PC to an external hard drive, and 10.2% done with a backup for Windows 8 PC to Crashplan’s cloud.  So, I think you get the gist why doing backups to the cloud is super tedious and slow.  It really does take ages.

If one day Google Fiber ever comes to my town, I will definitely see doing backups to the cloud as a positive thing.  For now though, 3 Megabit per second upload speed is definitely too slow for me to do a backup from a local network to the cloud for 500 Gigabyte worths of data.  Imagine people who have like Terabytes worth of data, I wonder how would they feel if they have to do backups to the cloud.  With faster broadband such as Google Fiber, I believe the cloud with become even more popular.  If the cloud is not too expensive for people to store Terabytes worth of data and Google Fiber type of service is readily available, I don’t see how people would not find this combination a super delicious one.  Yummy bandwidth and data redundancy if we care not about the possibility of data leak from a possibility of weak computer security in the cloud.  Of course, don’t forget to encrypt whatever data when such data are to be stored in the cloud, yo?

I’m just talking about doing backups of data only, but obviously any faster broadband which is in the league with Google Fiber offers more than just the upload essential, because Google Fiber type of download speed (i.e., Gigabit per second bandwidth) can also bring more opportunities to people and businesses alike.  Just imagine the possibility of having Google Fiber type of broadband connection… more households may be able to enjoy playing games, streaming movies, listening to music, surfing the web, watching Internet TV, video chatting over the Internet, shopping online with enhance experience (e.g., interactive media shopping experience which allows people to use video chat and 3D interactive contents), and a lot more at the same time.

With such amazing possibilities — that I had mentioned — float to the surface of the pool when faster broadband gets deploy, we can definitely see modern businesses that rely on the Internet for revenues will see faster broadband a positive thing and a must thing to have.  For the people who are the consumers of all Internet and digital things, they  might be even more addicted to the Internet since they can do more all at once.  Imagine the fantastic feeling of a big size family when Google Fiber sort of broadband service provider is coming to town, the family will definitely not have to take turns to consume all Internet and digital things.

Wintermute Voice Assistant That Works Across Platforms And Follows You Everywhere?

Nuance stand at GSMA Barcelona 2008

Nuance stand at GSMA Barcelona 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Phys.org’s “Wintermute voice assistant makes intro at CES” article reported Nuance, a tech company from Massachusetts, is working on a software which allows people to use voice to control devices that aren’t necessary using the same operating system.  This means that when this software of theirs, codename Wintermute, gets to the market, the users will be able to use voice to control all devices with ease.  Furthermore, Phys.org reported that this voice assistant software will also work in such a wonderful way that the users will be able to rely on their voices to for an example, abstractedly reveal the intention from one device and yet to be able to have another device does a follow up on the same intention.

Confuse?  Let say, you use this voice assistant software to check out some information about a movie you want to watch in theater on a tablet.  All of the sudden, you switch to PC and ask for the same voice assistant to buy a movie ticket for you without telling it about the movie you want to buy a ticket for and which theater you would like to go to.  If this voice assistant software is going to be really good, it definitely knows what movie you have had intensively searched for from the search engine on a tablet and automatically looking for ticket information of this particular movie in the closest theater near you on a PC.  When it got all the necessary preparations down, it would then ask you to approve the purchase of the movie ticket through voice, and you can simply reply back with a simple yes or no or a not so simple answer which this voice assistant software would then offer you more choices to decide.  Obviously, if you decide that you want to cancel the whole shebang, you can simply tell it like it is such as “Let cancel the whole thing,” and the voice assistant would just record your decision for further analyzing to further its own smartness while it goes ahead and cancel the whole movie ticket buying thing.

In truth, I’m not sure will Nuance’s voice assistant will be capable of the things I mentioned, but it does sound like Nuance’s voice assistant might be able to do some of the things I mentioned, because Phys.org reported that Nuance’s voice assistant prototype was able to pull up a football game on TV when a user had merely browsed for the football game score on the smartphone.  So, I think Nuance’s voice assistant might be able to understand the users abstractedly somewhat.  Nonetheless, abstract thinking isn’t something computers can easily tackle, therefore I’m not too sure about Nuance’s voice assistant performance.  Just take a look at Siri and other voice assistants from other smartphone platforms, all in all these software/apps perform rather poorly.  These voice assistant software/apps often misunderstand the users’ voice commands and intentions.  If Nuance’s voice assistant can be smarter than the rest, I definitely love to see it in action!

Phys.org reported Nuance is going to rely on the power of the cloud networking to service its voice assistant software.  Through the cloud servers, Nuance’s voice assistant software will be able to synch the information from one device to another, because Nuance’s voice assistant software needs to be able to analyze what the users have done from one device to another.  Furthermore, I think that in order for the users to be able to use Nuance’s voice assistant across devices and platforms, the users might have to install Nuance’s voice assistant software on all devices and platforms that they’re going to use.  This might not be a convenient thing to do, because the users might have to update, upgrade, or remove Nuance’s voice assistants from all devices too.

I think Nuance’s voice assistant software is a cool idea, but I wonder how Nuance will deal with privacy.  It’s a very powerful thing for a software to know the intents of the users.  Furthermore, if a hacker can hack into Nuance’s voice assistant software, will this hacker has the control of all devices that Nuance’s voice assistant software serves?  Imagine the things a hacker can do with all devices at once.  Turning them into zombies and so on…  Anyhow, the privacy and security issues are two sticky issues that cloud services often have to contend with.  So, in this sense these two hot issues are not only Nuance’s voice assistant software’s problems, but these problems are all cloud services’ problems.

I’m not sure if Nuance can deliver this sort of all device interaction for its upcoming voice assistant software, but it sure does sound promising from what I’d read on Nuance’s Wintermute project on Phys.org.  Until then, I guess I be wishing for Nuance to release their work really soon.  Until then, let us all use the current single platform voice assistant software such as Siri or whatever we have on our devices.

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Driverless Car Are Coming Soon, But How Soon? What About Humanless Everything Else?

English: Google driverless car operating on a ...

English: Google driverless car operating on a testing path (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Humans will one day render as useless walking bones, because machines will take over all the chores and whatever else that humans don’t feel like doing.  We can already take a peek at the future by seeing car manufacturers going the route of driverless car.  The video right after the break talks about how Toyota, Audi, and other well known car brands are working and researching on driverless cars.  So far, their prototypes seem to drive themselves alright.  So, I guess they got the driverless down, but how safe will their driverless vehicles be?  This is why I think we might not see this type of cars at least for few years on.  Nonetheless, I hope they can work out the safety issues for these driverless cars soon, because I’m itching to read, blog, eat, snore, and scratch my itchy back whenever I’m on the road outing.

A year back or two, I don’t remember the time exactly, South Korea had employed few robots to be school teacher and a prison somewhere (I forgot where) had employed robots to be prison guards.  Perhaps, more of these machines will even do more stuffs for us humans soon.  Imagine, army of robots/machines go to a piece of land, build bunch of more specialized machines on spot, and from the ground up these machines together build a building or house that can, in time, expand, contract, remodel, and whatever else that the owner of this futuristic house wants to do.  Let just hope, more machines/robots don’t mean more bad things.  Exciting about the future?

Camtasia Studio 8.0.3 Refuses To Launch On Windows 8, What Am I Supposed To Do?

Update:  OK, so I was a bit too harsh on TechSmith.  After talking a lot more to them, a tech support guy at TechSmith was able to point out why Camtasia 8.0.3 would not launch on Windows 8.  It turned out that the upgrade for Windows 7 to Windows 8 would definitely prevent Camtasia 8.0.3 to work correctly, because to have it worked one need to install Windows 8 from scratch.  That meant I had to reformat the computer, re-installed Windows 8 as if it was brand new, and then Camtasia 8.0.3 would work correctly when installed onto Windows 8.  I was able to confirm this as I had done exactly what they told me, which was to re-install Windows 8 from scratch.  You guys can read the rest of my blog post, but only part of the old paragraphs are still meaningful now, because this paragraph right here is the solution to my complaint in the title.  I’m smiling at the moment, please share the joy with me! 

For the life of me I can’t get Camtasia Studio 8.0.3 to launch on Windows 8 Pro, and so it is very frustrating.  Google isn’t helping much since not that many people have yet to complain about this particular problem for Camtasia Studio 8.0.3.  On Microsoft’s Windows Compatibility Center for Windows 8, it seems that Camtasia Studio 8 and not 8.0.3 is compatible to Windows 8.  Nonetheless, I remembered that I couldn’t launch Camtasia Studio 8 on Windows 8 too, and that was why I had upgraded Camtasia 8 to Camtasia 8.0.3.  Unfortunately, even with Camtasia 8.0.3, the problem isn’t going away.  Luckily, I found a forum post “Solution for the Compatibility issue with Camtasia Studio 8 and Windows 8 Enterprise -N, Professional, RTM,etc.” on Techsmith.com, the maker of Camtasia Studio software, which confirmed my problem with Camtasia Studio 8.0.3 on Windows 8.  So, the forum participant complained that Camtasia Studio version 8 in general would not work on Windows 8 since Windows 8 isn’t including a particular file system which has to do with Windows Media Player.  Unfortunately, either Techsmith would either release an upgrade to Camtasia Studio 8 to fix this problem or Microsoft would have to hurry up and send me the code so I can download Windows Media Center (for free) in order for Camtasia Studio 8 to work.

Of course I don’t want to spend extra $10 to buy Windows Media Center pack, because Microsoft promises to give Windows Media Center pack for free to whoever had purchased Windows 8 Pro, and this offer stands till January 31, 2013.  I guess the very first point I’m trying to make within this blog post is that it’s a pain in the you know what right after you upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 8.  Some software work just fine after the upgrade, and some just plain don’t even though they’re supposed to as some of these might be listed as compatible to Windows 8.  A perfect example is Camtasia Studio 8.  Notice how I’m not complaining about the upgrade process of Windows 8, because it was rather a smooth operation when I upgraded Windows 7 to Windows 8.  I got to keep all the files, apps, and settings after the upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8.  It’s just how I described, it’s a pain when some software should have worked but not.  Another example would be VirtualBox 4.2.4 as it could not find a bridge connection for a virtual machine, but this was a simple fix as all I had to do was to re-install VirtualBox and its extension.  Now, I’m on full alert for any other software that might not work but was transplanted smoothly from Windows 7 to Windows 8.

The funny thing is that I feel very disappointed at how Techsmith had handled my tech support call.  How was it?  On the second call to Techsmith technical support department, the technical support agent was like “I’m sorry, there nothing I can do for you.”  I was like, “Has anyone else experienced this?”  He was like, “No, no one is experiencing this, just you!”  I was like, “OK, is there any other hint you can give me so I can go about solving this problem with Camtasia Studio 8?”  He was like, “I’m afraid not, but you can send us an email which describes your problem!”  And I wondered, what good would it do if I send them an email to complain about my problem with their software when they don’t want to spend any time at all on the phone to try to help me out with the problem in the first place.  Nonetheless, I had sent them an email anyway.  I think the email won’t get reply for a long time to come.

I felt abandoned, because Camtasia Studio 8 isn’t a cheap product at all.  It costs around $300 buck or so when I bought it.  Instead of relying on Techsmith’s technical support to solve the problem, I hungrily scoured the web for a solution, and found the forum thread which I had mentioned previously.  I think, my second point that I want to make in this blog post is that technical support needs to be better for professional grade software.  Otherwise, please make your software cheaper!

By the way, the solution within the forum thread which I had mentioned might not even be a solution, because I haven’t yet tested the solution out for myself.  How come?  I just don’t want to spend $10 more on the problem if I can get it for free.  Am I being cheap?  Nope, I just want to make some sense out of this whole frustration that I have with Camtasia Studio 8.  What if I spend extra $10 and find out that I still won’t be able to launch Camtasia Studio 8?  At that point, I might get even more frustrated, and so I rather be patient and wait for Microsoft to send me the Windows Media Center pack code.  Microsoft, please hurry up!  Thanks…

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What About Ubuntu 12.04 Dash Home’s Search Videos Feature?

Tux, the Linux penguin

Tux, the Linux penguin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I use Ubuntu 12.04 from time to time, but I often forget that Ubuntu 12.04 does have a really cool feature known as Search Videos.  Search Videos feature actually resides within Ubuntu Dash Home.  Recently, I often toy around with this particular feature, and I think it’s a really cool feature for Ubuntu.  Cool enough that I had made a video to ramble on about it.

In my opinion, Google as a current leader in web search business has a lot to worry about Ubuntu Dash Home’s Search Videos feature, because this particular feature on Ubuntu can actually be a model for other operating systems to implement unique search implementations.  When more operating systems begin to implement unique search implementations, Google web search dominance might not be so dominant if people begin to see that unique search implementations can actually yield better unique search results right on the desktop.  For an example, within Ubuntu Dash Home, when Linux users use Search Videos feature, they don’t really have to be bothered by irrelevant search results of other implementation types such as article search implementation type.  To put this in another way, we can say that Linux users won’t have to worry about clicking on links that will lead them to anything else (e.g., articles, websites, etc…) but just video/movie web links when they’re using unique search implementations on a desktop.

In addition to yielding results of web links, Ubuntu Dash Home’s Search Videos feature implements the implementation of allowing Linux users to search for videos and movies that reside locally (i.e., videos and movies that can be found within the computer itself).  Web search engines such as Google cannot do the same in this regard.  With that being said, major search companies such as Google can totally roll out desktop app that allows computer users to use unique search implementations.

At the moment, it seems there is a drawback of using Ubuntu 12.04 Dash Home’s Search Videos feature.  The drawback I’m talking about is how you can’t actually add your own video sources.  This limits the amount of videos that can be presented within the Search Videos feature’s result at any one time.  Nonetheless, I guess this limitation can also be a good thing, because reckless Linux users won’t be able to add malicious video sources to their desktop.  It will be a nightmare for desktop security and computer security in general if malicious video sources spread viruses and malware.  So, I guess in the end, it’s still about the choosing of security over usability or vice versa.  Anyhow, if you’re curious about Ubuntu Dash Home’s Search Videos implementation, why not check out the video that I had made about Ubuntu Dash Home’s Search Videos feature right after the break.  Enjoy!!!

Waze Is Going To Be Absorbed By Facebook?

facebook

facebook (Photo credit: sitmonkeysupreme)

If you have an iPhone and I say Waze, you probably know which app that I speak of.  I’ve been using Waze for some time already, and it is probably the only free navigation app that I prefer most on iPhone.  Waze has many great navigation features and one of them is very controversial.  It would be Waze allows users to notify each other of police presence in specific areas.  So, Waze is a really great free navigation app for iPhone, and the rumor has that it will be bought out by Facebook.  I don’t usually like to write an article based on a rumor, but I have to go on ahead and write about this since Facebook is involved, rumor or not.

We know Facebook has already had a ton of information on its users.  Only cave dwellers won’t know Facebook and Facebook won’t know cave dwellers.  No offense, but it’s just a figure of speech to magnify Facebook presence on the Internet social scene.  Sure, Facebook’s stock does poorly in the market and probably will continue to do so for some time to come unless Facebook can figure out how to build a business model that actually does speak some confidence into investors.  As now Facebook stock is at $19.31, way below its IPO price of near $40.  In reality, Facebook stock and Facebook are two different concerns altogether.  Facebook itself, not the stock, is a giant machine that hold lot and lot of personal data.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Obviously, just like any other web services, Facebook might have lot of fake accounts and spam data to be dealt with.  Nonetheless, we cannot disregard the position that Facebook is in.  Unlike Google and somewhat similar to Google, Facebook has a way of knowing people’s secrets.  The truth is just like how people ask the search engine secrets that even their closest friends and family members won’t necessary know about, some people out of so many people on Facebook do save secrets that would boggle your mind.  When I speak of some people on Facebook, some are real people, and some are just machines that pretend to be real people known as bots.  Nonetheless, Facebook is a giant machine that harbors around 900 million active accounts.  Some of 900 million active accounts do speak tremendous volume.  To put it plainly, Facebook is an elephant that carries tons of ants on its body.  OK, I lie, this isn’t plain at all.

Since Facebook is like a databank machine, with smart algorithms, that holds valuable, personal data of so many active Internet users, the rumor of Waze acquisition by Facebook might be rather unsettling for some people.  Perhaps, some people might just have enough of Facebook being so pervasive in their personal lives, because Facebook will not only know about their secrets but will also know about their bad sense of direction.  Hint, Waze is a navigation app after all.  And this paragraph is meant to be sarcastic.  Anyhow, it’s just so interesting to me to hear a rumor that Facebook wants to acquire Waze.  I think Waze has a lot potential as a navigation app, but I fear Waze won’t be Waze if Facebook acquires it.  Then again, perhaps my fear is just all smoke and mirror, because Facebook might just add a lot of social features to Waze and leave Waze to be Waze.

In conclusion, the moral of story is there isn’t one.  What on earth I’m writing about…  Anyhow, I think Waze is awesome and Facebook too.  Nonetheless, if you use Waze the wrong way while driving, you will get no where that you need to be.  If you use Facebook the wrong way, your secrets will be unveiled to the world.  The combination of the two is making my head hurt.  Anyway, so far this is only a rumor, and we might know more in the days ahead.

Source:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericsavitz/2012/08/28/facebook-to-buy-waze/