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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Android Is Frozen, Wyoming's Head In The Clouds, and Net Neutrality

Google has been attempting to push its online suite of cloud computing products to businesses and governments for some time now and it appears that the company is starting to get some bites. Wyoming has officially announced full integration with Google Apps for Government for over 10,000 users. The migration was finally completed Wednesday and was celebrated by a ceremonial "ribbon cutting" only with a network cord rather than a ribbon. It is expected that this move will save over $1million a year and cause a rise in productivity. State governments and federal agencies are slowly moving into cloud based systems as the opportunity to save money and increase productivity becomes ever more lucrative in the current economic state. The city of Los Angeles has already signed up under Google's apps and a migration is underway in Colorado however the signup is voluntary at the moment. Google Apps for Government is a variation of their normal Gmail offering, including Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) certification and coming bundled with 25GB of storage per user and access to Google Docs, Calendar, and Google Sites which is a website creation software. The suite of apps is also expected to cut transportation costs as users can now make use of text and video chat via Gtalk.

Net neutrality gained a small victory today in the Netherlands as the Dutch Parliament passed a law which will keep mobile carriers from charging extra for VOIP services such as Skype. The bill must still be passed in the Senate however its passage is expected to be a formality. Net neutrality is the idea that all internet based traffic from the text on a webpage to the video that streams on Youtube should be treated with equal priority from ISP's and that internet providers should not be allowed to block, throttle speeds, or charge extra for certain types of content. The debate has been ongoing across the world whether it be in Europe or the US as companies attempt to keep users from clogging up bandwith with data intense services such as movies or games. As it stands, the Netherlands are only the second country in the world to endorse Net Neutrality as national law only next to Chile who approved a neutrality bill in 2010 and finished implementation in May of 2011.

Hackers continue on in the news once again today with recent announcements coming out from security experts claiming that there is no cyber war and that while it appears that attacks are increasing, that is simply not the case. Experts have claimed that hackers have given the illusion of a cyber epidemic by posting their triumphs across the web on social network sites such as Twitter or Facebook. Hack attacks have been happening for quite some time, only in the past the hacker tended to be reserved and quiet about their attacks. Now all that is changing with groups such as LulzSec openly bragging about attacking government groups such as the CIA. Posting their missions allows us to see for once just how many attacks are happening whereas before it was a silent mystery. The bright side to all this chest pounding is that due to the light being shown on these defensive holes, the breaches can be secured for the future rather than remaining vulnerable to infiltration. Posting all of this information also gives a greater opportunity that hackers may give away key information that can be used to locate them and prosecute them for illegal activity.

Until recently the iPhone was only available on one carrier in the US, AT&T. During that time, Android phones had been available on every major carrier and there were multiple phones to be sold for each. As is only logical, Android was outselling the iPhone due to the greater availability, however now that the iPhone is available on Verizon a new study shows that Android sales may be equalizing. When all Android sales are combined, they still outnumber the sales of iPhones however the report has shown that Apples product is top selling in the stores where it is available. With the upcoming release of the iPhone5 it is rumored that Apple will be able to start taking back the market share which it has so consistently lost. With Android phones constantly being released sporting better hardware and software it is hard to say what will happen however Apple has held up rather well so far and now that the company is bringing features that Android has had for quite some time which made the platform so attractive it is possible that Apple could hit it big in the coming times.

What is your take on Net Neutrality? Leave your comments in the area below and be sure to share some love with the follow button over to the right.

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