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Technically Speaking: Stories of the Week – March 18

Each week we scour the internet to find the best stories on technology, digital living and news of note. This week features Facebook planning a whole new look, cloud and it’s potential impact on Healthcare, and a law that would prevent texting while walking. All that and more in this edition of Mozy’s Technically Speaking.

Nevada isn’t Tripping: New Law Would Prohibit Texting While Walking

Potential New Texting Laws in Nevada

While many states are still fighting to get people to stop texting while driving, Nevada would like to put a new law on the books that would force people to keep their hands free while walking as well. Edwin Kee of Ubergizmo reports that Las Vegas Councilman Harvey Mumford has proposed a law that would prohibit pedestrians from texting while walking on state roads, intersections, and neighborhoods. The reasoning behind the law, according to the article, would be so people don’t bumb into other walkers, walk into manholes, or cross highways without paying attention. If the law is indeed put into place, the first two offenses would result in warnings, while the third offense would cost someone a $250 fine.

How Cloud May Change the Face of Healthcare

Cloud computing is known to improve aspects of many industries, and the latest one being talked about is healthcare and patient care in particular. While cloud has been approached with care thus far in the industry, according to Jake Gardner of Wired, it could eventually be one of the technologies to help lower healthcare spending and associated costs. The Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) is changing the processes that organizations use for Healthcare–look for cloud to take on a more prominent role moving forward.

Startup Rents Out Children’s Books in Netflix-like Service

Sproutkin

The new company Sproutkin has taken Netflix’s idea of delivering entertainment right to your doorstep, but they’ve put their own twist on it. The founder, a lawyer with two children, came up with the idea out of necessity because she was reading to her kids every night and getting low on material, according to TechCrunch. Sproutkin is currently available for parents of children ages 3 to 6, and users are allowed to get up to 10 books at a time.

Sophisticated Software for Retail Stores Tracks Customer Movements

As retailers try to track which products in their stores are attracting the most customers, many of them are turning to state-of-the-art technology from San Francisco startup Prism Skylabs. Sumi Das of CNET reports that the software takes security camera footage and uses it to track customer movements and create “heatmaps.” The images show the retailers where the shoppers went throughout the store, and which items they came into contact with. Retailers use the technology to determine product placement and floor layout.

Facebook to Get Major Facelift

Big changes are in store for the popular social media site Facebook, as the company has announced plans for a complete makeover of it’s homepage, according to The New York Times. Users of the site will start seeing much bigger photos, links, photos and advertisements. The company’s co-founder and chief executive is quoted as saying he wants Facebook to be “the best personalized newspaper in the world.” Facebook is hoping the changes encourage users to stay on the site longer and help bring in more advertising dollars. No official launch date has been set, but the end of March has been mentioned as a possibility.

Backing Up Celebrities

Roll out the red carpet… Mozy is star struck! With both the Grammys and the Oscars taking place during the month of February, we’ve got celebrities on the mind. We’re big fans of the entertainers and artists whose work we celebrate and honor at these two events, and (while we’re on that topic) we still can’t believe that Saving Private Ryan didn’t win Best Picture in 1999.

As their songs and movies pile up, the space needed to store the works of these artists digitally is only increasing. So take a look… which of this year’s Academy Awards nominees would take up the most hard drive space? Which Grammy winner needs the most USB drives to store all of their albums?

 

 

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Mozy Winter Photo Contest

Mozy Winter Picture ContestPhotos: you take them, Mozy backs them up! Here is your chance to show off your photography skills by highlighting some of the pictures you’ve taken this winter. Find your favorite shot and upload it in the comment section below by March 1, 2013. Images must be less than 1 MB in size and will be approved before they are posted, so if you don’t see your comment right away check back later. We’ll select our favorite and the winner will receive a $200 Amazon gift card. Two runner ups will receive $50 gift cards.

Judging will be based on:

  • How “wintery” the picture makes us feel
  • Originality
  • The “Awe” factor – As in “awe cute” and or “in awe” of the scene.

The photos must be your own work. By submitting them to our contest, you agree to let Mozy post them on our website. Of course, we’ll give credit where credit is due.

This contest is open to Mozy and non-Mozy customers alike. If you’re not a Mozy customer, you may want to consider our free Mozy account and the accompanying Stash and mobile app.

Best of luck to all and we look forward to seeing your amazing work!

FedEx vs. the Internet

If you wanted to transfer hundreds of gigabytes of data across the country, you have a couple different options to consider.

You could upload the information to a file sharing service and then access and download the files on the recipient’s computer.

Or, you could take the physical storage containing the information (hard drives, USB thumb drives, SD cards, etc.) and use a package delivery service similar to FedEx to send the files, and then access them at the destination.

Wait for data to upload, or ship?

Which of these is faster?

The blog “What If” recently took a calculated look at this question, using shipping giant FedEx to stand in for the physical shipping service.

Cisco estimates that total internet traffic currently averages 167 terabits per second. FedEx has a fleet of 654 aircraft with a lift capacity of 26.5 million pounds daily. A solid-state laptop drive weighs about 78 grams and can hold up to a terabyte.
That means FedEx is capable of transferring 150 exabytes of data per day, or 14 petabits per second—almost a hundred times the current throughput of the internet.

In fact, based on current Internet traffic growth estimates (29% annually), it will continue to be faster to ship your data until the year 2040. However, because the amount of data hard drives are capable of holding will increase as well, that estimate may not be accurate.

According to “What If“:

The only way to actually reach the FedEx point is if transfer rates grow much faster than storage rates. In an intuitive sense, this seems unlikely, since storage and transfer are fundamentally linked—all that data is coming from somewhere and going somewhere—but there’s no way to predict usage patterns for sure.

So for the foreseeable future, it’s faster to send your physical data to another location rather than trying to transfer it via the internet.

How can you take advantage of this with your business data? Do you have a server with hundreds of gigabytes or even a terabyte or two of information that you want to back up online? Of course you could back it up “over the wire”, taking weeks or even months to get your information stored online. (We could say talk about LAN bandwidth competition, IT pain caused by monitoring network traffic and kicking off backups at night for prolonged periods of time, but you can see where we’re going with this.)

Mozy Data Shuttle

But what if you want to expedite the process? Enter the Mozy Data Shuttle. After you order a Data Shuttle device from Mozy, we’ll overnight it to you (some areas in the EU are priority mail which means it will arrive within 3-5 days typically), and you do the initial backup to the shuttle device. (Incremental backups can occur following the initial backup to the Data Shuttle, even before the shuttle arrives to Mozy.) Put it back in the box and ship it to our data center and you’ve skipped the initial upload over the wire (saving your IT staff time and unclogging your network so your team can actually work) Fast. Simple. Secure.

By using this method, you can take advantage of the speed of a shipping company as well as the convenience, security, and experience of MozyPro Online Backup.

When Earth Attacks – Protecting Your Data From Natural Disasters

When a natural disaster strikes, protecting your digital information can often be the last thing on your mind. Worrying about your own personal safety and that of your family and friends, as well as protecting or saving your possessions can take all of the time and energy you have available. Since your focus should (rightfully) be on helping those around you, important business information can be lost if not backed up.

Because natural disasters can be unexpected and surprising, protecting your business data is of critical importance. Data is near impossible to replace, and without it, many businesses can be completely wiped out by an act of God.

Online backup service providers like Mozy can protect your data by storing a copy of it in a data center. This infographic illustrates the disruptions that can occur when the status quo is changed, and tells the story of three different businesses that were able to rise up and recover from disasters quickly with the help of cloud backup.

 

A History of Natural Disasters

 

MozyPro Online Backup for Business

 

Super Bowl Blackouts and Online Backup

 If you were one of the millions of people who tuned into the Super Bowl last night, you saw a great football game, 55 commercials, Beyoncé’s half time show and, most unexpectedly, a 34 minute delay due to a loss of power at the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisana.

The Superdome had been selected as the site for the 2013 Super Bowl (Super Bowl XLVII) in 2009. Preparations for this game have been in the works for years. The Superdome is also the regular season home to the NFL’s New Orleans’ Saints, and is no stranger to hosting impressive sporting events, having play host to boxing matches, basketball games, soccer games, gymnastics meets and countless other gatherings.

Super Bowl XLVII

The power outage (currently being blamed on an ‘abnormality’ in the Superdome power system) became one of the main talking points of this version of the Super Bowl a hotly contested 34-31 win for the Baltimore Ravens over the San Francisco 49ers.

Even with all of the preparation that went into hosting the biggest football game of the year, something went wrong. This is a good reminder that something can go wrong at any time, and usually when you least expect it. The only way to prepare for something like this is to make sure that the things are the most important or irreplaceable are protected.

Whether it’s a house fire or a a flooding river, we’ll all likely experience our own “power outages” – make the right choice and make sure that your data is safe and protected, backed up online.

Image Credit: 2013 Super Bowl XLVII / RMTip21 / CC BY 2.0

50 Things We Don’t Do Anymore Due to Technology

A study conducted by Mozy last year found that technology is replacing many of the tasks that have been mainstays in our lives for years. When you consider the telecom industry, for example, when was the last time you looked something up in a phone book? Or used a phone book? Sure, they have 50 listings for party clowns for your 8-year-old’s birthday party, but isn’t it just faster to search online? Have you or your children ever called to hear “At the sound of the tone, the time will be 4:13 PM”? Technology is making life easier, faster, more accurate, and more personal. Take a stroll down memory lane with us and review 50 of the things we don’t do (or maybe have never done) thanks to technology.

50 Things We Don't Do Anymore Due to Technology

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Mozy Blog Recap – 2012

2012 was a big year for the Mozy blog. Changes to the back end were made allowing for more reliability and flexibility.

The blog also had a facelift (the old look had been around for 3 years and while it had served well, it was time for a chance), and we also hit milestones for visits and pageviews.

We also added a new commenting system, Disqus to allow for easier commenting and replies.

The Mozy Blog

We’ve compiled the top 10 posts from last year below. For the 3rd year in a row, our Petabyte infographic was the top piece of content, accounting for almost 25% of our page views. Stay tuned for a refresh coming soon!

The Top 10 Most Popular Posts on the Mozy Blog in 2012:
  1. How Much is a Petabyte? (infographic)
  2. Mozy Enhances Stash with Major Update To Web Access
  3. Mustaches – Who Made them Famous and Who Followed (infographic)
  4. All in the Family – Who Stores What? (Infographic)
  5. Mozy Stash Video Contest Winners
  6. Physical Storage vs. Digital Storage (Infographic)
  7. Stash – A New Era for Online Backup
  8. Backing Up Hundreds of Gigabytes With Mozy
  9. How to Use Cloud Backup to Customize Your Android Phone
  10. Cloud Roundup and Links of Interest – May 31

Take a look and let us know what you think – we hope you enjoy them!

Mozy Named One of Utah’s Best Companies to Work For – 2012

Yesterday Mozy was honored as one of the 25 best companies to work for in the state of Utah. While our headquarters is in Seattle, Mozy maintains a large office in Pleasant Grove, Utah, and also has offices in Boston, Massachusetts, Cork, Ireland, and Shanghai, China. Here are the highlights!

Mozy’s Best Companies to Work For Video

Mozy’s Acceptance Speech:


Utah Business Magazine’s synopsis:

The work environment is enhanced by the office space, up-to-date computer equipment, a fully stocked break room, great parking, paid time off for full-time employees, and contests for quality, knowledge and satisfaction.

Mozy employees love the company’s laid-back work environment that is created by a casual dress policy, free snacks and drinks, a ping-pong table, foosball and an Xbox. The fun is extended to activities like the company’s Mozy Olympics, barbeques, movie showings and inter-department competitions. Once a year, employees are encouraged to attend an annual hike up Mt. Timpanogos.

“I’ve never worked at a company that cared more about the future of its employees than Mozy. Not only are my college classes reimbursed, but my manager assigns projects to me that complement my field of study and give me excellent experience for the future,” says an employee.

This is the fourth year in a row Mozy has been honored with this award. Mozy also won the award in 2009, 2010, and 2011.

Mozy offers amazing benefits and is always on the lookout for awesome people. Learn more about Mozy’s current job openings.

All in the Family – Who Stores What?

Ah, the holidays. That special time of year when we return home to our ancestral stomping grounds and spend a few special days in the company of those closest to us, and all of their devices. From cell phones to game consoles and everything in between, these tiny gadgets have cemented their place in our daily lives. You can’t attend a family party without someone taking pictures on their cell phone or playing some Bing Crosby on their iPod. There will be quite a few kids (and adults, too) falling asleep with visions of tablets and PlayStation 3s dancing in their heads.

More and more of our lives are taking place in the cloud, so the need for devices to access that information has increased as well. This year, as you gather with your family, take some time to be grateful for all that they do for you, and the devices that let them do it.

 

 

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