Indiegogo Backed PUP Scan: One Click Smart Scanning, Storing and Sharing

The PUP Scan is definitely, not your mother’s scanner. In fact, this smart, sleek, portable gadget would look quite at home in a Mission Impossible movie or in Elon Musk’s car. But don’t let its miniature size and handsome features deceive you: the PUP Scan is definitely beauty, brains, and brawn. Renaud Pelissier and company exceeded their Indiegogo campaign back in 2016 by 364% and for may good reasons. The PUP Scan is perfect for business and personal use – especially in this photo savvy age of Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. This is the one-click gadget for people on the go who can’t be hindered by wires or distance.

If you were doing business outside the comfort of your office and need to take snaps of documents, contracts, drawings, books, maps, receipts, or plans, it is truly awkward to take shots using your smartphone. Not only are the results unprofessional (skewed, badly lit, distorted, blurred), you would also need to take the photos in parts if the original document is large. Putting them together like a puzzle using some third party software is a waste of time, especially for those, who are techno-challenged. Your smartphone also couldn’t self-adjust to the figure or paper’s diameters – leaving you with a lot of distracting background space. Why does that matter? If there is marked color-contrast between the document and background, you end up with poorly exposed images.

You can say goodbye to all that now with the PUP Scan. It’s the only hand-held scanner that is fast and takes high-quality scans that are true to the color of the original. In fact, low-light situations are not an issue. The scanner adjusts to the size of the document being scanned (autocrop sizes A3-A8) so images are clean and sharp. It is connected so scans can be sent to the cloud conveniently, securely, and in real time. It even scans from OCR to Word! Perfect for scanning, storing, printing and sharing documents without the hassle of plugging into an outlet or messing with many cables.

The power of the click is yours with the PUP Scan – this automatic, standalone wonder (no need to connect to your smartphone or PC) runs on a long-lasting battery that could last up to 8 hours. With an offline memory of 2,000 pages, resolution of 13.2 MP and up to 1200 DPI,  the capability to scan multiple pages to PDF or Word, Mozaic feature perfect for large sizes like posters and send in color or B & W, the PUP Scan is poised to be one of the most functional gadgets for the modern home or office.

It is projected to sell at $389 but you can pre-order for $299 (free shipping worldwide) with estimated delivery by June 2018.

Currently, even while in the prototype stage, over 50 units have been claimed by delighted clients and you can be the next one.


What You Need to Know About the Cloud: Centralized Data versus Distributed Data

Data is one of the key ways that companies can compete in today’s world. And if you want to get ahead in the digital age, you need to understand your storage options and how they affect your business. Here is the difference between two key concepts called centralized data and distributed data:

Centralized Storage

When it comes to centralized storage, everything is in the same place as the name implies. Your data is in one center. The problem is that if this center goes down for any reason, you are out of luck. If a key employee decides not to show up, or there is a power outage, you are in trouble either way. If you have a storage facility in one city and a customer all across the country, it could be slow to serve this up. If you want to speed up your service, you might find yourself paying a lot for a new storage facility if you don’t already have distribution across that stretch. So be sure to take into account the additional risks and costs of keeping all of your data in one place. IT Still Works argues that centralized data storagetypically employs higher-quality components and redundancy, which makes it significantly more reliable than local storage. Centralized database storage facilitates virtualization and provides comprehensive data access, if desired, from anywhere in the world.

Distributed Storage

This provides a number of benefits to companies. First of all, when your storage is distributed it means that you don’t have to worry about one center going out. You have natural backups all around the country or the world. You have many copies of the same data, so you are safe in the event that a disaster happens. Furthermore, when your data is everywhere, it is faster to serve it up to customers and to your team. This decentralized data strategy lets you keep your data at the ready no matter what area your customers are in. Another advantage of this data approach is that the cost is much lower. When you want to scale out, you can simply get more servers up. You don’t have to add to the same center. Instead, you can leverage services that provide distributed data. And then you can reinvest the profits you gain into your business to dominate your market. In summary, Storj explains that distributed storage is “Faster because multiple machines are serving you your file simultaneously, cheaper because you are renting people’s spare hard-drive space instead of paying for a purpose-built data center, and more secure because your file is both encrypted and shredded.”

How you use your data is crucial to the long term success of your business. Without great data security and availability, you are putting yourself at risk. So make sure you understand the risks and benefits associated with the data storage strategies above and select the best one for you.

Amazon Glacier seeks to dominate cloud backup

There has been no shortage of cloud storage services in the market recently. Ever since the popularity of Dropbox, nearly everyone wants a piece of the pie. Nearly everything is moving to the cloud, and a lot of companies are starting to get their own cloud storage solutions, or invest on 3rd party solutions.

Amazon seeks to join this battle for supremacy in the cloud storage space by introducing Glacier, another cloud storage solution that Amazon has come up with for heavy, long term data storage needs like backups. According to the announcement, the Amazon Glacier is optimized for data archiving and backup. These are files you like to keep somewhere, but you don’t expect to access them regularly.

While these services are welcome for consumers, Amazon tends to hint how these services would be a huge boon for corporations looking to keep their company’s data in a reliable cloud storage system.

It is marketed as an “extremely low” cloud storage solution, probably where the extremely low temperature ‘Glacier’ name came from. Amazon argues that while ‘tape’ backup storage solutions may come cheaper upfront, it is more expensive in the long run, compared to Amazon’s Glacier, which is a cloud and disk storage solution that will start at only $0.01 per gigabyte, per month.

The service is a Pay as you go solution, where you don’t have to spend more than what you need and when you need it. There would of course be charges for retrieval of information and transfers, but Amazon promises that 5% of their data retrievals will be free each month.

This cloud storage service is not like other cloud storage systems that are focused on keeping the data so you can access it anytime, anywhere with data coverage.  For that purpose, you can check out Amazon’s Simple Storage Service, or S3, which is slightly more expensive at around $0.125 and $0.055 per gigabyte per month, depending on the amount of data you store. Glacier is meant to be a storage locker for information you want to keep, but you don’t expect to retrieve frequently. It is expected that people will use S3 and Glacier hand in hand for their cloud storage purposes.

Amazon is slowly growing as a company built on the cloud. It may not be long when Amazon will share the same status as Google as an online giant in web based services.

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iTunes Movies hits international cloud!

For a long time, many services offered by iTunes have only been accessible to selected countries. Most of these services began only at US. Even for Google’s services, it would seem that the US is the basic testing ground for services, before they hit the world. Only recently were movies and books added to worldwide access. Slowly but surely, services that were previously only for the US, are now available to the rest of the world.

One of the most recent additions to the worldwide access is the iTunes Movies in the cloud. This allows Apple users to finally be able to stream their movies using the Cloud on any device, provided they have the same Apple ID logged in. This allows the user to purchase a movie in iTunes, and not worry that they have to sync the device or keep the movie in memory.

The best part is that these movies synced from your iTunes purchases are not counted in your Cloud data limit, so you won’t have to worry about running out of space for your important files, music and other personal videos. The service allows you to download the videos to your device as well, in case streaming is not possible for you at the time.

The countries that have received the new iTunes Movies in the Cloud feature are the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, some parts of Latin America, as well as key areas in the Asia Pacific region, where the market is growing for Apple products. It would seem that among the notable countries included in the list, the Scandinavian countries of Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway were not fortunate enough to be added to the list.

It’s great that the world is finally receiving many services that they only usually read or hear from news in the US.

What will be the first movie that you will stream from the cloud?

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Siri, are you spying on me?

IBM, a well-known technological firm as reported recently their action towards banning Siri for use in their business network. Reports and statements show what many of us may have neglected to notice: using Siri sends what we say to Apple’s Cloud servers and records it for future use.

This may not be a problem for a few questions about the weather or a few recipe searches, but it certainly becomes a worry in the corporate world, where Siri can be used to make emails and text messages pertaining to company secrets or advances. IBM’s fear of corporate espionage has been the greatest bane in their recent “bring your own device” campaign. As such, every ‘new’ device that the employee brings in for work is encrypted and set up so that it can be remotely wiped if necessary. They also block access to Cloud services such as Siri and Dropbox.

This recent incident has made many people more aware of a certain issue. Are the Cloud services, like Siri, spying on you? In the most paranoid way possible, the answer is definitely yes. Although, this would not be the first time this has been done. Contrary to people’s beliefs, many of our electronic devices, mainly computing devices that connect to the net, all have some sort of data gathering clause in their license agreement. Consumer data has always been a very vital source of inspiration for product development of many companies. They have long since saved data on the “Cloud” and viewed them to further understand if their services are helping people, and if there are any clues to what more they can do to recapture the same audience in a different product.

Recent technology has further improved on that though. Now it is no longer simply about a crash log, or a satisfaction form, or system usage logs that are sent to our precious suppliers. Their cloud services now include adding your indirect thoughts in their list of data sources. We send them our questions, our interests, our messages, our emails, our files. Whatever we use the cloud services for, it gets stored in some way. So again, the answer to the question “Siri, are you spying on me?” is a definite yes, as Siri is a cloud service, and like any of cloud services, the data is most certainly stored in a server somewhere.

What do we do? Stop using these services? The answer lies within each and every user. If you are comfortable with the data you share, or merely feel like the convenience posted by these services are well worth the data they get, then go right ahead. For those that say no, remember that these have been happening for a while now, one way or another. There may not be a way out of this anymore without going back to the caves.

What Can the Cloud Do For You?

By Ian Rowan for Style + Tech For Men

Chances are part of your head is already in the clouds: Are you on Facebook? Have you tried out Google Docs? Do you watch movies on Netflix? Then, you’ve used a cloud-based service; you just didn’t realize it. What used to be a passive visit to a static website has become an interactive immersion of remote computing showing up seamlessly in your browser.

The Data Cloud
Simply put, “the cloud” refers to data that exists remotely from your computer, but is constantly available wirelessly to all of your devices. The advantage: All of your emails, photos, presentations, books and music are constantly synced across all your devices and instantaneously available to you anywhere in the world.

iCloud vs. Amazon vs. Google
During the recent launch of Apple’s iCloud service, Steve Jobs described the thinking behind it in this way: “About 10 years ago, we had one of our most important insights. We thought the PC would be the hub for your digital life where you put your photos, videos and music. But it’s broken down in the last few years. So we’re going to demote the PC and the Mac to just be a device. We’re going to move your hub, the center of your digital life, into the cloud.” What he meant was that all of your data, from documents and photos to movies and everything in between will be synced to their data servers and then constantly updated on all your devices.

Apple’s free iCloud service comes with 5 GB, and that doesn’t include your purchased apps, iTunes music or iBooks. Only your ripped music, documents and photos will take up space in the cloud. Apple is able to offer this service by scanning your library and populating your songs in the cloud without uploading them, since they already own them.

Competing for some time now has been Amazon’s Cloud Drive ; they now offer up to 5 GB of free storage with pricing plans starting at $20 per year for 20 GB of space and unlimited music storage. Google jumped into the game with their still-in-beta Music service, which is also free, but allows users to store up to 20,000 songs online. Some other cloud storage options to look into for free and easy data backup are LaCie’s Wuala (with redundant backup) and the free Dropbox service.

Cloud Productivity
One of the prime examples of the user-friendliness of the cloud has been the advent of online document creation, storage and sharing. Google Docs has been a major player since 2007 — this piece was written solely with it — offering cloud-based word processing, presentation creation, Excel document manipulation and data storage so colleagues can create and edit and share relevant data in real time over vast distances.

Since the ease of sharing documents with collaborators is such a boon to workflow management, Microsoft has finally unveiled their version. Dubbed Microsoft Office 365, the service was just released this June and will challenge Google Docs through seamless integration with the original Microsoft Office. Offering the productivity suite of Microsoft Office in the cloud, the service comes with a fee: It starts at $6 per user, per month, for small businesses.

For those who like the idea of complete cloud-based computing, there is the release of two new laptops called Chromebooks. Google’s Chrome Web browser was developed simultaneously as an operating system, similar to OSX or Windows. Here, the browser is actually the operating system. The recently released Acer Chromebook AC700 3G and Samsung Chromebook Series 5 Titan are basically Web-only laptops. They both start up in fewer than 10 seconds, come in either Wi-Fi or 3G versions, are ultra-thin and -light with extensive battery lives (the Samsung version lasts 8.5 hours) and are priced between $349 and $499, depending on 3G capability.

Cloud Risks
Remember that the data is actually stored somewhere out there; it’s not being taken care of by angels with harps. Cloud servers in remote locations are storing and accessing your data for you and sending it to your browser over the Internet. There are two risks associated with this: physical loss of the data and interception of the data. Look at what happened to Gmail service when their email accounts suddenly vanished back in February 2011. Although Google was able to restore many user files, some were lost in the ether forever. The second potential risk involves a hacker accessing your files due to lax security encryption. The popular Dropbox service had a security flaw that could potentially leave your data open to a relatively simple hack. If your data needs to be secure, be sure to check that the most advanced encryption methods are being employed by your cloud service. Otherwise, to be safe, only store your innocuous data online.

Ian Rowan is a freelance writer
who’s worked and written for
Men’s Journal, The Village Voice, and Vice Magazine. When he’s not
traveling or writing his premature personal memoir, he specializes in technology
trends, social media, web 2.0 and gadgets.