The FBI is investigating 11 attacks on Internet Fiber backbone in the San Francisco Bay Area this past year. The cutting of the fiber cables resulted in the disruption of Internet access to local businesses, as well as residential areas. Is this an act of vandalism or something more sinister? The attacks reveals the vulnerability of the Internet infrastructure. How do you exactly protect hundreds of miles of fiber optic cables? You can’t put up thousands of security cameras as a deterrent. That would be impractical. In this particular incident, the attackers were able to get to an underground vault. Why aren’t these vaults secure? Why aren’t there any surveillance cameras?
There are several free cloud services available out there. Dropbox, Google Drive, Ubuntu One, JustCloud, ZipCloud, to name just a few. They’re all great. They all have one thing in common, they store and share files and documents on the cloud.
If there’s one thing that bothers people about cloud services, it’s privacy. People worry about placing sensitive data on the cloud. How about running your own cloud? Well, get your own cloud with OwnCloud. OwnCloud is an open-source cloud software solution that you can install yourself.
You can install it on your own desktop, your server at home, your VPS server on the Internet, or anywhere there is a PC or computer. You decide where you want it. The best thing about ownCloud, no one has access to your sensitive data. Just you.
I’ve been running ownCloud for about a month now. It’s great. I am able to upload and share any files that I want, from pictures, videos and documents. I can access these files from any computer, from any location around the world. There is no need for me to carry a USB stick anymore. All I need to do, is access my browser and access my files online.
In addition, OwnCloud allows me to play music and movies online. It organizes my pictures into galleries. It has a calendar, contacts, and a host of other applications that can be installed with just one click of a button. So, get your own cloud with OwnCloud.
The number of users accessing the Internet will double by 2016. The driving force behind the numbers are the emerging markets. Most of these new users will access the web via mobile phones.
Currently, there are 3 billion Internet users, according to Google. There are 200 million new Internet users every year. About 80% of the new users access the web via mobile phones.
What this means is, there are plenty of opportunities for mobile developers. Remember the good old days when blocks of ice were sold by the thousands by ice manufacturers. They made a handsome profit back then.
But, the arrival of the refrigerator forever changed the landscape. Companies simply folded and moved on to something more profitable. It will be the same story for many technologists today.
The shift is on. Mobile development will be on the rise. There will be a huge demand for mobile developers. It’s time for many of us to change gears.
I ordered the Obi110 from Amazon last week. Today, it finally came. For those not familiar with the Obi110, it’s an analog terminal adapter (ATA), from Obihai Technology. It allows you to use old analog phones to make free phone calls to anyone via the Internet using Google Voice.
With the Obi110, I can use Google Voice or any SIP service or provider such as Callcentric, Sipgate, Vitelity or Voip.ms to make phone calls anywhere. Any old analog telephone will work. There is no need for a computer or a softphone.
The Obi110 is a standalone device that’s connected to your home network. When you make a call, your call will be routed via your network and out to the internet. Pairing the Obi110 with Google Voice is ideal, since Google Voice allows you to make free phone calls to any landline or mobile phone in the United States or Canada.
When I received the device about an hour ago, all I had to do was register the device at Obihai’s website. I added Google Voice in the configuration. The setup was relatively easy. The Obi110 costs about $50.00. It’s one time fee. There are no monthly fees, no taxes, no surcharges.
Google Voice is currently free, until Google changes its mind. If you’re not convinced about Obi110, check out the great reviews of this product at Amazon. In addition, here’s a couple of great Youtube videos for your viewing pleasure.
This is a great review of the Obi110 device. It contains all the info you need to familiarize yourself with the device. The reviewer doesn’t really start talking about the Obi110 until about 4:15. You can probably skip the first 4 minutes.
How to Setup the Obi110
The Setup of the Obi110 was super easy. It’s intuitive. I didn’t even read the instructions. Less than 5 minutes later, I was making phone calls.
I will probably cancel my Vonage and MagicJack subscriptions. Vonage is great, but not at $30 a month. I also have the old MagicJack model which I will not renew. The older MagicJack I have still needs a computer, plus it’s about $40 a year.
With Google Voice and the Obi110 ATA, my monthly phone service cost me nothing. The price is right, it’s zero, zilch, nada, as long as Google keeps their end of the bargain.
The real challenge is trying to port my Vonage number to Google Voice. It’s going to be a lengthy process to port my number. I have to port the Vonage number first to a wireless carrier, then port it again to Google Voice. I can’t port directly from Vonage to Google. Google charges $20 to port a wireless number.
I wish data caps would melt faster than polar caps. But this is wishful think on my part. In fact, data caps will soon be imposed by many network providers around the world.
Starting May 2, my Internet provider, AT&T will cap my broadband service to a mere 150GB. Someone pinch me and wake me up from this bad dream.
If I go over the limit for the first time, I will get a disciplinary message. Gestapo spanks. I’m shaking in my boots.
If I go over my cap the second time, I will get an ultimatum. Scary. Get my act together. It’s now or never.
The third time. Bam! I will be charge an extra $10 for the next 50GB. And the charges pile up to ad infinitum.
AT&T is not alone in joining the Internet axis of evil.
Comcast is already imposing 250GB limit.
In Canada, Bell Canada and Rogers Communications have limits.
The same in the UK. British Telecom and Virgin Media are entrenched.
So, what to do. Move to another country?
Somebody save this penguin.
I was reading this article in PC World called “Bank of America Buying Naughty Domain Names.” Apparently, the bank has been buying domains to protect its executives and directors from people who register offending domain names.
From PC World:
The bank has been feverishly registering domains that include the names of its directors and executives combined with “sucks” or “blows,” according to Domain Name Wire. Hundreds of domain names were registered by the bank on December 17 alone, Domain Name Wire said.
Among the names registered by the bank to protect its CEO Brian Moynihan, for example, were BrianMoynihanBlows.com, BrianMoynihanSucks.com, BrianTMoynihanBlows.com, and BrianTMoynihanSucks.com. In addition to the .com domains for those names, .net and .org versions were also registered (though .info seems to have escaped the bank’s notice).
But, this just shows you, that money can’t buy everything.
Despite its domain buying spree, there is one domain that it can’t buy, and it’s probably the most important naughty domain of all: bankofamericasucks.com.
For web designers, choosing a color scheme for a website can be a daunting task. Choosing the right colors for a website sometimes can be the difference. One of my favorite website to get some color inspiration is Color Schemer Online.
Color Schemer Online provides a palette of colors that will complement your base color. It will lay out a color grid of 16 colors in a 4 x4 grid. The online tool can also lighten or darken your base color, a feature which I find extremely useful.
There is PC and Mac version of this tool and its called ColorSchemer Studio 2, which give you ways to find matching colors from a color wheel, or from thousands of color schemes available online. The software costs about $49, a steal in my opinion.
The software also comes with a Photo Schemer where you can drop an existing photo and create your own color scheme based on that photo image. Finally, there’s a QuickPreview which allows you to test the colors you’ve selected on predetermined layouts.
In this layout, I am using a blog layout with a left-handed sidebar. I’m using a color scheme that was previously generated from the previous color wheel.
I use the online tool primarily, but the software is a great. Definitely worth a try.