CloudOn Adds Android, Google Drive Support for Its Virtual Office Service

CloudOn logo
CloudOn, my favorite of three web services I recently reviewed that let you run cloud-hosted versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, and Powerpoint on an iPad, now supports Android tablets as well.

CloudOn also announced integration with Google Drive, meaning you can save documents to accounts on Google's new cloud storage service (the service already supports Dropbox and Box accounts).

CloudOn, along with competitors such as OnLive Desktop and Nivio, let you create and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on an iPad by running the actual apps on remote servers and streaming only the user interface (subtly tweaked to address the needs of touchscreen users) to the device. Because you're working in the actual application, these services don't suffer from formatting and other compatibility issues that often arise with apps that support Office formats.

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Logitech Introduces Indoor Security Camera with Night Vision

Logitech's Alert cameras can be viewed from any Internet-connected PC or smartphone.
Logitech is expanding its lineup of Alert high-definition security cameras with an indoor model equipped with night-vision capabilities. The company already offers an outdoor model equipped with this feature.

The Alert line utilizes the HomePlug AV networking standard, so that power and data run over common electrical cables. But if the user needs to install the cameras in a location without a nearby AC outlet, Logitech also offers SKUs that use Power over Ethernet (PoE). With these models, all the user needs to do is run CAT5 cable to each camera and install an inline power injector at the router. Logitech’s announcement didn’t mention a PoE configuration for the new indoor night-vision model, but we’ve asked them about it and will update this story when we get the information.

Unlike the typical IP (Internet Protocol) security camera, Logitech’s Alert line delivers high-resolution video (720p, where most other security cameras top out at 480p). Video streams from multiple cameras can be viewed simultaneously on a local networked PC running Logitech’s Alert Commander software. Each camera is equipped with a 16-zone motion detector that can trigger the camera to record a video clip when objects move in front of them. The camera can then send an email or text-message alert to the owner with the video clip attached. Recordings are stored on the cameras themselves on a 2GB MicroSD card (capacity sufficient for a week’s worth of recordings, according to Logitech), so that the local PC doesn’t need to be running all the time (clips are automatically downloaded to the host PC when it is running). Dropbox subscribers can elect to copy the recordings to their storage in the cloud.

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Evernote Acquires Penultimate: Two Great Notetaking Apps Come Together

The popular note-taking service Evernote has announced today that it has acquired popular iPad note- taking app Penultimate. Penultimate will remain a separate app, but will gain many features including closer sync integration with Evernote and search capabilities. The creator of Penultimate, Ben Zotto will be joining the Evernote team.

These two note-taking apps have very complimentary features. Penultimate is one of the best handwriting apps for the iPad, offering smooth inking and great palm rejection. Evernote has expanded from a desktop application for taking, storing, and searching notes, onto most major mobile platforms, giving you searchable access to all of your notes nearly everywhere.

Penultimate already has the ability to sync notes to Evernote, which brings a host of features -- Evernote runs Optical Character Recognition (OCR) on your handwritten notes in the background, making them searchable. However, each note must be uploaded individually, and changes cannot be made to the note uploaded to Evernote, only the original in Penultimate.

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New V8 Tech Gives Chrome an Extra Shot of Speed

Google's Chrome browser already enjoys something of a reputation for speed, and the most recent stable version to debut--Chrome 18--extended that further by improving graphics performance on both new and older hardware.

Now, however, it looks like upcoming versions of the software could be even speedier thanks to new technology in its V8 JavaScript engine.

“As of current dev and beta channel releases, V8 uses a new algorithm based on counters to decide which functions to optimize,” wrote Google software engineer Jakob Kummerow in a blog post on Tuesday. “This greatly increases performance for small JavaScript programs.”

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3 Reasons to Check out Adobe's Creative Cloud Subscription for Your Business

3 Reasons to Check out Adobe's Creative Cloud Subscription for Your Business
If you’ve ever wanted to utilize Adobe’s Master Collection of creative tools in your business, but blanched at the suite’s $2,600 price tag, take a look at Adobe Creative Cloud. This new subscription service delivers full access to the company’s Creative Suite 6 on a monthly or annual basis for a fraction of that price.

Subscribers will also gain two HTML 5 applications--Muse and Edge--that aren’t available any other way. And you needn’t worry about being tied to your Internet connection while you’re using them: You can download and install any application in Adobe’s CS6 Master Collection of design, Web, video, and digital imaging tools and use it offline as long as you remain subscribed.

Significantly Lower Cost of Entry

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Alternatives to Google Maps for Webmasters and App Developers

A street view in Google Maps (click to zoom).
When Google announced last year that its popular Google Maps service would no longer be provided free of charge to websites that consistently served more than 25,000 requests per day, website and service developers began looking for alternatives. We've put together a list of services that can help your business save money and improve your online map whether you exceed the Google Maps API limit or not.

If you want to develop a mobile application or a website that incorporates maps or directions in a big way, you'll probably want to start fresh with an alternative to Google Maps, especially if you aim to produce an ambitious application or expect lots of visitors to your website. If you're running a small business and your use of the Google Maps API extends just to showcasing directions to retail locations, you shouldn't need to worry about switching, as you are unlikely to reach the 25,000-visits-per-day limit, unless you want to implement your own features in your maps or make them look a certain way.

Google is allowing for occasional increased use by charging only businesses that hit the 25,000 daily requests limit for 90 days consecutively. So Google won’t penalize you if a newspaper runs a story about your business and you see a corresponding spike in map requests for a week.

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Firefox 13 Beta Gets a Speed Boost with SPDY by Default

Mozilla on Thursday launched the beta version of Firefox 13, the successor to its newly launched Firefox 12 browser that promises to be most notable for enabling the SPDY alternative to HTTP by default.

Designed as a successor to the HTTP protocol, SPDY not only reduces the amount of time it takes for websites to load, but it also encrypts all communication with SSL so as to make browsing more secure.

SPDY has actually been included Mozilla's free and open source browser since Firefox 11, but this is the first time it's been enabled by default.

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