cloud Archive

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Xbox Live Cloud Storage

So I’m 4 months late on this news tidbit, but holy crap, why is this not touted more? Cloud storage for game saves and anywhere login with my LIVE profile is something I would pay good money for and apparently Microsoft is bringing it to us gratis. (Playstation Plus can go finger itself.)

Anyone who’s ever played on LIVE at a friend’s house can attest to the onerous process of signing in under your profile to earn those previous ‘cheevos or accessing your unlocked songs in Rock Band.

I personally just keep my profile on a USB drive attached to my own Xbox 360 so I can just grab it and go if I’m headed over to a buddy’s house. Heaven help me if i get pushed into a pool or if I manage to lose a tiny thumb drive, though. That’d be weeks of my life gone.

“We are making it easier for you to sign into your Xbox LIVE account from any console at any time to access your game saves and full profile, including items such as Microsoft Points to make purchases, Achievements and friends,” explained Marc Whitten, VP of Xbox Live. “Cloud storage will allow you to enjoy the same great Xbox LIVE gaming experience even when you’re not in your own living room by giving you the option to store your ‘game saves’ securely in the Xbox LIVE cloud instead of on a portable memory unit or your console’s hard drive.”

E3 2011: Xbox Live Gets Cloud Storage – IndustryGamers.

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Online Storage for Game Saves Coming to PlayStation Plus

The new online storage feature allows gamers to store up to 150MB of game save data and a maximum of 1000 data files per PSN account. Users also have the ability to back-up “copy-prohibited save data,” and all previously saved data may be restored once per 24 hour period. When the new feature launches, most PS3 titles will be compatible with online storage for game saves, and moving forward, all new titles will have the capability to offer the storage option.

Lately, I’ve been playing a lot of games on friends’ consoles. Naturally, I want to keep my game saves and earn trophies/achievements, so I’ve been lugging around a USB stick with game saves. It’s a big pain the ass to copy files back and forth every time I do this. When I saw the headline that Sony was moving game saves to the cloud, I almost peed myself with anticipation

Bringing game saves to the cloud is an amazing feature and I’m surprised Sony beat Microsoft to the punch on it, given all of Microsoft’s ”To the Cloud!” commercials. Nevertheless, I imagine it’s only a matter of time before both all consoles offer up this feature. (Well, maybe not Nintendo given their lack of interest in creating a decent online experience for their users.)

That being said, it still sucks that the only way you can get this feature on the PlayStation Network is by being a PlayStation Plus subscriber. Even with the feature, that service is still massively overpriced at $49.99 for what amounts to 1 week early access to demos and access to 1 hour trial games of old full-version titles.

Also, what’s with the limitations on the “online storage feature,” Sony? 150MB? Every free webmail account gives at least 2GB of space. Most game saves are tiny, usually under 1MB. Why not just advertise a boatload of space, knowing that it would be insanely difficult for most people to use it all? Plus, the caveat that the saved data may only be restored once every 24 hours really gives off the impression that Sony is unnecessarily stingy with its bandwidth. What’s the point of the cloud if you can only access it once every day?

The final wrinkle is that “most” PS3 titles will be compatible with online storage at launch. “Most?” Sooo are you going to tell us which games don’t work with this feature, Sony? It would be some poop on a magical moment if I ponied up $50 a year to be able to access my game saves “anywhere” only to find out that my favorite games don’t work with it.

Sony gets points for being the first major console manufacturer to take game saving to the cloud. Unfortunately, they also get a few demerits for being stingy on execution and tying it to their overpriced PlayStation Plus service. Either give us a boatload more space and unlimited access to our game saves, or don’t charge for it.

Read More: Online Storage for Game Saves Coming to PlayStation Plus – PlayStation Blog.

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Pottycast #10 – Digital Music With Gregg Ogorzelec

The Pottycast is back! This week I’m joined by A&R Producer and digital music industry veteran, Gregg Ogorzelec. We talk about how online tools have changed the landscape of the music industry over the last decade and look ahead to a “cloudy” future.

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AT&T’s New Data Plans Actually A Change For The Better?

So the big news today in the tech world is that AT&T Wireless will be drastically changing their smartphone data plan options on June 7th.

It boils down to the following for smartphone users:

  • No more $30 “unlimited”(actually 5gb) data plan (if you have one now you can still be on it, even if you buy the new iPhone, but you won’t be able to get it back if you change plans)
  • Choice 1: “DataPlus” $15 a month for 200mb of data (Overages: $15 for each additional 200mb)
  • Choice 2: “DataPro” $25 a month for 2gb of data (Overages: $10 for each additional 1gb)
  • If you want to tether your data, you’ll have to choose the DataPro plan and pay an additional $20. (Shitty, but unsurprising)

Naturally, the first thing that went through my mind when i saw this was, “ZOMG WTF!! FUCK YOU AT&T YOU ARE THE WORST!”

Then, once I was done nerd raging, I thought, “Hmm, how much data do I actually use each month?”

Here’s my last 6 months of usage (You can find your graph by logging into your AT&T wireless page and clicking “Past Data Usage”):

I’ve gone over the hypothetical 200mb plan only twice, and didn’t even come close to a 2gb limit. I can’t remember what I did in November, but I do know that in May I had been streaming more live baseball games using the MLB At Bat app. Using the iPhone for Twitter, Foursquare, and looking random shit up while you are out does not use up a ton of bandwidth. It’s pretty clear streaming media is going to be the deciding factor for a lot of people. Since I’m paying $30 a month for data currently, I could be saving either $15 or $5, depending on how much I want to limit myself to.

That’s the good news. The concerning news is how this will affect rumored features in the new iPhone, such as video calls and a cloud-based iTunes. According to Wired, 200mb is roughly 7 hours of streaming audio. Thats like 2 baseball games, or a few commutes. Live, 2-way video streaming just sounds like it would eat up bandwidth like Brian ate poop in last month’s Family Guy episode. While I don’t see myself using video chat regularly, I’d like the option to, without feeling like I’m wasting precious allocated bits.

Maybe it was just wishful thinking to assume I could save $15 a month on my phone bill. It’s looking pretty tough to get by on only 200mb if you’re looking to stream any sort content. Ideally, Pandora, Spotify, iTunes, or whatever music cloud service ends up winning will over a robust caching feature so I can just preload all of my music at home before heading out into the wild.

Another silver lining in all of this is that AT&T will let you figure out which plan you want without much dicking:

The carrier’s going to be very flexible about changing between the DataPlus and DataPro plans — if you’re on DataPlus, for example, and you discover that you’re blowing past your allotment, you can choose either to start DataPro the following billing cycle, pro-rate it, or apply the higher plan retroactively to the beginning of your current billing cycle.

I look at this whole thing as hey, at least I’ll probably be saving $5 a month at the very least.

Read a more detailed breakdown on Engadget.