Google on Tuesday announced its long rumored cloud storage service, Google Drive, to augment the ever growing cloud computing adoption.  Cloud computing as means of increasing capacity without investing in new infrastructure has become the 'Holy Grail' of modern enterprises, but given the substantial fear of data security and up-time services had posed stumbling blocks on the overall adoption.

Google Drive comes as a direct integration to Google Docs, allowing easy file sharing amongst users. Now, you can work with others in real time on spreadsheet, documents, and presentation. Google's long absence in the 'office collaboration tool' space championed by Microsoft has finally been covered by the new service. The sharing functionality has been brought over direct from Docs, and also integrated to its social network, Google+ with an option of public sharing.

The public file sharing feature also available on SkyDrive (Microsoft's Cloud Storage service), but lacking in Dropbox, seems most appealing. These alternative cloud services, however, invariably falls-short on the security offered on Google Drive.

Google Drive also recognizes text in scanned documents using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology, search by keyword and filter by file type. The image recognition allows you to drag and drop photos into Drive, and later search for the photo. Regardless to platform, blind users can access Drive with a screen reader.

Google Drive as an open platform affords developers the opportunity to contribute to the overall service.

The service comes with free 5GB space for users, whilst users have the option to upgrade to 25GB at $2.49/month, 100GB at $4.99/month, or 1TB at $49.99/month. Google promises an eventual integration of the service to Gmail, allowing users to attach items of media direct from their email to Drive.  

Can Google Drive Turn The Game?

Google debuted Fusion Tables in mid 2009 as a research tool to explore and visualize large data set. Data Visualization in concept, implies displaying important data in a graphical format for actionable group research  purposes or individual usage.

The art of data visualization is becoming somewhat popular nowadays, with the term Infographics (Information Graphics) as a case-in-point. But, how average internet users can utilize this latest trend in information storage and retrieval systems remains the overriding interest.

Infographics present complex information in a clear and concise format, such as maps, signs and graphs. And these information presentation mode is increasingly becoming the standard for modern Media, as it's commonly used to show weather reports, general maps, and graphs for statistical data. 

Google is also pushing to popularize the information system, as is evidence in its just concluded Technology and Journalism Conference, where it announced more enhancements to the Data Visualization search tool.

The new features include a checklist from which users can select subsets of the different data and see how their combination in a map or chart will be. Also included are tabs that can be used to compare the different results to see which is best. Fusion Tables also presents new format for displaying data, with a network graph for displaying relationships in a social network.

The Fusion Tables API affords developers the chance to test-run the search tool, with the capability that can return data in JSON (an acronym for JavaScript Object Notation), making it easier to manipulate with JavaScript, allowing tables, maps, and graphs to be modified using RESTful programing.

Fusion Tables: Data Visualization

MySQL is the database technology employed by Twitter in rendering its users data, which comprises: timeline, users tweets and interest graph. Twitter Engineering blog announced on Monday that the micro-blogging platform has now open-sourced its MySQL works on GitHub under the BSD license.

Albeit, MySQL is an open-source software, clients have the ability to tweak and change it. Twitter's numerous tweaks to the database technology is now open for the MySQL community to contribute to improve the overall service.

Jeremy Cole and Davi Arnaut, Twitters Developers, in the blog post stressed the points that the company 'believes in sharing knowledge and that open source facilitate innovations'.

And furthermore, mentioned sharing its work with upstream and downstream MySQL vendors, with a goal to improving the community.

Twitter plans to disclose more information on the MySQL project at the Percona Live MySQL Conference and Expo on April 12th, in Santa Clara, California.

Twitter MySQL Goes Open-Source

Mac OS X users have got something to worry about. Earlier in the week, a Russian Internet Security Company, Dr. Web announced some findings about a new Trojan BackDoor.Flashback, which is fast spreading on PCs running Mac OS X, contrary to claims by some experts that the OS is currently not under any security threats.

Flashback botnets, have already gulped about 300,000 machines in the U.S and Canada alone. And the spread statistics is alarming considering the mode of transmission via traffic distribution systems.

The BackDoor.Flashback Trojan has been confirmed by Kaspersky Lab, with the latest variant termed, Trojan-Dowloader.OSX.Flashfake.ab.

The confirmation report indicates that, "Flashfake is distributed through infected websites as Java Applet that disguises as an update for Adobe Flash Player, with the main component being a Trojan-Downloader that continuously connects to its command-and-control servers, while its awaits new components for execution".

Although, Apple's Mac had been the target of major malwares as a result of its growing popularity, this current attack is perhaps the largest so far.

Apple, however, has declined to comment on the latest findings, but hinted that a patch will follow in the upcoming version of the OS due this summer.

Also, the company revealed a future plan to tackle such security threats by a feature it called Gatekeeper, billed to be introduced in the next version. The tool will among other things ensure that developers register with Apple, and users have the option to keep their computers from installing software that has not been duly registered.

Flashback Botnet: Mac OS X Targeted

Microsoft Windows 7 marked a revolutionary point in the company's incursion into the mobile web cum Smartphones and Tablet markets. The iconic touch-screen technology introduced in the ace OS is what is still driving the wider adoption of the Windows mobile platform.

Now, Windows 7 success has even shifted to embracing the company's browser, Internet Explorer. According to a March Analytics report on browser performances by NetMarketShare, IE9 recorded a marginal increase in market share against Firefox and Chrome Browsers contrary to its declining trend.

Microsoft's IE9 market share for the month went from 52.84% up to 53.83%, which translated to a gain of 0.99% share.

The analytics report in terms of desktop usage, posted Google Chrome on 18.57% from 18.90% share, while Mozilla Firefox went from 20.92% down to 20.55% share.

The worldwide metrics gain for Microsoft, albeit, considering its heavily-pushed promotions, points to the Windows 7 successes. And perhaps, given the already spread hype on the next version of the OS, Windows 8, may carry-on in the coming months.

However, the intensity of upgrades and innovations across Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome browsers may present a more credible challenge. Microsoft indeed, has got a whole lot to prove in other to win back users trust, mostly on security considerations.

Browser Wars: IE9 Gains On Windows 7