BlackBerry announces new cloud-based app/user management system for iOS

Don’t count BlackBerry out just yet. In spite of their buyout addition to their buyout offer from Fairfax Capital for $4.7 billion late last month, the telecommunications company today announced plans at the Gartner Symposium in Orlando, Florida, to launch a new cloud-based system for managing users and applications across BlackBerry, Android, and iOS.

The cloud service ambitiously plans to address the ‘bring your own device’ movement while addressing privacy and tech support at ‘less than a cup of coffee a month,’ according to BlackBerry.

Simple and fast deployment. No server hardware or software to install, just register and go.

Administrators can easily manage and secure smartphones and tablets. The simple Web-based admin console will provide easy activation and deployment of BlackBerry, iOS and Android™ smartphones, app management, security policy configuration and compliance monitoring.

Administrators can secure, deploy and manage apps. Administrators will be able to build a catalog of public apps from the App StoreSM, Google Play and the BlackBerry World storefront, and then view app distribution and usage for all users and devices.

End-users can manage their own devices through the self-service console. End-users will be able to easily perform common management tasks such as setting up or changing device passwords and remote wipe and lock without relying on an administrator, giving them independence and saving on helpdesk calls.

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Amazon releases Cloud Drive desktop app for Mac and Windows

Amazon just launched its Cloud Drive app for Mac and Windows.

The Amazon Cloud service unveiled last year, but now users can play with the desktop app counterpart, rather than their browser, to manage files in the cloud. Folders and files can transfer in the background, but the service does not support syncing or a native desktop browsing client like Google Drive, Dropbox, SkyDrive, and SugarSync.

Cloud Drive offers all customers 5GB of free online storage with unlimited access from any computer. Additional storage plans start at 20GB and extend to 1,000 GB. Unlimited music space is currently available with any paid Cloud Drive storage plan for the duration of an existing plan term. Click here to start installing the free Mac app now.

The install is easy, as seen in the gallery below. There are a few ways to get a file or folder into Amazon’s Cloud once the app is installed: Just drag and drop to the new Cloud icon (looks similar to iCloud) in the Menu bar, or right-click/control-click on files and folders to see a new menu item that allows uploading.

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Adobe demos content-aware move in Photoshop CS6

Software-maker Adobe posted an interesting video on its Photoshop channel through YouTube. The clip showcases content-aware move, which is one of the new features in the upcoming Photoshop CS6 update. Similar to content-aware fill in Photoshop CS5 that replaces the missing pixels behind removed image elements, the new feature lets you define a region and move it around with the background replacing automatically. What’s best is that one only needs to draw a rough boundary around the wanted object and the software will figure out the rest to —in most cases— define a pixel-perfect selection. Moreover, ite lets you stretch and extend objects intelligently without suffering any of the nasty artifacts. More sneak peek videos are after the break. Oh, and 9to5Toys offers some sales promotions on Adobe products.

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Economic Times: Apple likely to release iCloud service in June, announce at WWDC


The Ecconomic Times expands on the recent chatter about the iTunes Cloud (iCloud?)service we’ve been hearing about.  The news site confirms that Apple has locked up deals with 3/4 of the top labels (Universal is widely reported to be the holdout) and is set to reveal the new service at next month’s WWDC.

The Cupertino, California-based gadget-maker is expected to launch a new Web-hosted music service next month, according to multiple reports, after negotiating deals with at least three of the four major record labels.

WWDC isn’t traditionally a venue for iTunes related news but we’ll give Apple a pass…

Microsoft Azure is to Cloud Computing…

…what Port25 is to Open Source.

Is it me, or is ‘Azure’ the worst name you possibly could think of for a Cloud Computing initiative? The word Azure reminds people of a cloudless sky, a clear day. A world without clouds.

If you look up Azure in a dictionary, you get ‘cloudless’ over and over again. If you look up ’cloudless’ in a Thesaurus, you get Azure as the #1 synonym. Perhaps this is reverse engineering the Microsoft thought process.

It reeks of Phillip Morris’ nicotine addiction programs or oil companies’ alternative fuel advertising. Blatantly disingenuous.

So, what message is Microsoft, the traditional software company, trying to convey with this naming strategy? I think the answer is as clear as day.