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How safe is the Cloud? Why it pays to protect yourself first

Cloud computing has grown almost exponentially in recent years. But with it have grown concerns about the safety and security of using this new method of computing.

k once described the Cloud as leading to ‘horrible problems’ and although he has recently revealed that he has revised his opinion and is actually a fan, he still gives companies stern warnings about going ‘all in’ just yet.

As you might expect, Mr Wozniak is probably right. While there are some pretty serious security concerns with , as long as you protect yourself and your business before getting involved, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy its benefits in safety.

First off, you need to before getting involved. For example, will the data stored remain within the EU, US or UK? Or will it be stored elsewhere? Who in the supplier organisation will have access to your data? What certification standard does the supplier adhere to?

Remember that most security breaches occur in-house, with 36% due to negligence of employees and contractors. Only 29% of breaches relate to criminal of malicious factors.

One major advantage of the Cloud is that if someone wanted to steal specific data, they would have to break into a secure data centre – something that is far from easy.

Over the wire attacks are relatively easy to defend against, with most taking the form of denial of service attacks (dDOS).

Strong passwords are also an essential tool, with a ten character password having about 948,000,000,000,000,000 possible combinations that could take years to crack. This is opposed to an eight character password which could take just a few hours.

Before using cloud services, you should also ensure you are protected by a software escrow service.

This will protect any external software licences you are using, holding the source code in a secure, third party environment in the event of complications.

Escrow providers such as the offer added protection and peace of mind for small businesses thinking about using the Cloud or with other general software security issues.

Remembering Steve Jobs and the Mac

The best gadget gifts for Christmas 2012

If you're choosing a last minute Christmas gift for your gadget enthusiast (or a present for yourself) then you could well be weighing up the options. Whatever kind of gadget they're into from consoles to tablets here's the rundown of our favorite gadget gifts of the year, but you better get your order in quickly!

There are tons of tablets on the market, but how do you choose the right one for you? This year it's all about the mini tablet. Our favorite of the moment is the iPad Mini. It gives you access to all the apps available on iTunes for a fraction of the price of a full size iPad. It has the same feel previous incarnation, with the same smooth interface. What's more it's more practical as its smaller, but still big enough to run apps, watch videos and listen to music. It's definitely on our list!

When it comes to smartphones there's just too much choice available at the minute. After a lot of road testing we've finally picked the Nexus 4 as one of our favorites. The new smartphone from Google packs a serious punch with all the features you'd expect from a top of the range smartphone and more. Even better it comes with all Google's apps preloaded, so it's ready to go when you are! Add to that the amazing photo sphere camera (capable of taking 360° panoramic shots) and you're on to a winner! Especially when you consider that it also offers wireless charging. The Nexus 4 is an insight into the future of smartphones.

If the person you're shopping for is into gaming (or even is they're not) the new Wii U console would be a sure fire hit this Christmas. The innovative tab game-pad is an entirely new way to play and adds a whole new dimension to the gaming experience. Coupled with HD graphics we think the Nintendo Wii U is the console to have this festive season! Plus you can get it in either the standard edition, or premium that offers 32gb of memory.

So, those are our top tips for gadget gifts this Christmas. Whichever one you choose it's sure to be their favorite Christmas gift. Now you just need to figure out which you're buying for them, and which you want yourself. For even more gadget gift ideas have a browse at .

They Still Haven't Built a Better Mousetrap, But Logitech Has Built a Better Mouse

Predicting PCs and the Internet . . .

. . . in 1974.

CES kicks off

Gadgets for the holidays

The holiday season is here, and today is Cyber Monday so it's time to go searching for deals. There are a ton of gadget gift guides out there, and has a . The is one of the featured products.

There are a ton of gadget gift guides out there, so do your research and you'll find some great stuff. You can start with the ones from and .

Saving Money on Inkjet Cartridges

Samsung announces the $1,000 luxury Galaxy tablet

I spent a solid 18 or so of my last 72 hours traveling and I was shocked to see how many tablets are out there. I knew that were likely doing well, but in every airport it seemed there was always one in my field of vision. Tablets, for the most part, are fairly affordable devices, but Samsung wants to offer something for the people with deeper pockets.

At the Millionaire Fair (a concept so deplorable I could puke), Samsung announced that it would offer a Luxury Edition of its Galaxy tablet that would run roughly $1,000. Now, a grand isn't all that bad for a piece of tech, but it is still a tablet, and it's still running Android, which doesn't charge for licensure. I suppose if you have piles of money to swim in, a $1,000 tablet doesn't seem so bad. The Luxury Edition will be limited, available only until the end of January.

The device is .

Bullz-Eye's Holiday Gift Guide is out

Eric Schmidt: No Chrome OS netbooks for the holidays

According to Google's CEO, Chrome OS won't be ready to go in notebooks until after the holiday. It's a bummer, really, because the OS release could produce a glut of development from app makers looking to make web versions of their current software.

The OS was originally supposed launch well before the holidays, then it was pushed back to late November, now it's looking like we won't see it until next year, outside of beta anyway. Google says it will have more to share later in the year. Guess what, guys. It is later in the year. It's very late in the year in fact, so just tell us it won't be ready until next year. That's all we need to know.

Several manufacturers have held a "no comment" status on launching Chrome netbooks. That can't be a good thing. I figured there would be some excitement about a slim new OS that won't have the crazy licensing fees of Microsoft products. Really makes me wonder why the OS has caught a delay. Is Google having trouble partnering with manufacturers? Did they back out after agreeing to support the platform a year ago?

Forget desktops, how about wall...tops

Browser update rate is surprisingly high

It's no secret that internet technology advances much faster than most people can keep up. If you asked your average internet user, you can bet they would have no idea what HTML5 is, why it's important, or what it means for the mobile web. Hell, they might not know what mobile web means.

That's why this . Look how many people are running the current versions of their browsers. Even though Chrome is a notoriously geeky browser, the 90 percent current version stat is impressive. I'm not willing to give credit to the users for most of this. I think we can all admit that the numbers would be much lower if users were totally responsible for the updates. Developers, on the other hand, have done a great job of encouraging updates or even background updating.

For some people, that's a problem, but as technology gets more advanced, it becomes increasingly unlikely that the general population will understand it. Until we hit some sort of soft wall, where the next great leap will be like that of the silicon chip, we won't likely see a general population of users who actually understand what the machine they're using does. Why do you think your parents call you all the time about pop-ups? It's because they click things without thinking and don't understand that the "Whack the Fly!" game is actually an advertisement or a wormbait.

New Macbook Air heralds the death of the disc

Will optical drives soon die?

I read t the other day about the eventual demise of the optical drive. It rung home, not because I haven't used my optical drive, but because I just used it this past weekend.

I had traveled back to Ohio for a friend's wedding reception but ended up staying for more than two weeks as my girlfriend lost her grandmother. In the part of Ohio that she's from there isn't much to be had in the way of reliable internet. That meant no and no access to video I have stored on my network drive. I had DvDs. It was awful.

Seriously, though, using an optical drive can be kinda brutal. It's hot, loud, and drains your battery much faster than spinning a hard drive does. It can't be too long before we'll see widespread adoption of driveless laptops like the Macbook Air. There is still something about that specific machine that makes me a little nervous, but I treat my current laptop with such care I don't think a change would be too scary.

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