Monday, January 25, 2010

Free Cloud Storage on Amazon S3 till 31st Jan. 2010

Get one of the most trusted Cloud Storage infrastructure to backup the contents of your following online accounts:

  • Gmail
  • Twitter
  • Google Docs
  • Flickr
  • Facebook
  • Basecamp
  • Wordpress
  • Delicious
  • Photobucket
  • Blogger
  • FriendFeed

Sign-up for free at Backupify & backup your online data for free. Free account Giveaway ends January 31st. Backupify stores your data at Amazon Cloud. As per Backupify:

  • “We are backing your data up to S3 because we think it is the most robust solution on the market and has the smallest chance of failure.”
  • “Amazon S3 is amazingly secure because Amazon uses multiple layers of operational and physical security to ensure the integrity and safety of your data.”

Why Should You Backup Your Online Accounts?

We all knnow the importance of having a backup. A better explanation from Backupify is as follows:

“Your lifestream contains important data, but all those pictures, videos, documents, and blog posts are exposed to potential loss. Some web 2.0 services shut down without warning. Others are hacked. Sometimes data is lost from basic human error, or the intentional actions of a disgruntled employee.”

Use this opportunity to get your online accounts backup at Amazon Cloud for free.

Cloud Computing Articles at Pulse of Technology

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Best & Free Cloud Computing Applications

The Cloud Computing buzz is growing every day with a growing number of businesses and government establishments opting for cloud computing based services. On December 14, 2009, the City of Los Angeles (United States) switched to cloud computing. It equipped 34,000 city employees with Google Apps for eMail and collaboration in the cloud. The other U.S. cities already on Google Apps cloud are Washington D.C. and Orlando.

There is no dearth of Cloud Computing based services if you are ready to pay. But we all love free stuff on the Internet, and free stuff is often just as useful as the stuff you pay for. In fact, perhaps the best Internet innovation ever is absolutely free. If you guessed Google search, then you guessed correctly! I stumbled upon some excellent free software and services, though you can always debate on what makes them cloud based. Cloud Computing is still fuzzy and everyone has her or his own definition.

Update: Cloud Computing definition is no longer fuzzy. NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce) has come up with standard guidelines & is now widely accepted in the industry. I’ve simplified them briefly in the following post: 5 Essential Characteristics or Attributes of a Cloud Service

The Best Cloud Storage Service

Dropbox: In my opinion, this is the simplest and most efficient storage service in the cloud – think simplicity, think Dropbox. Apart from storage it offers synchronization, web sharing of files and client software for Windows, Mac, Linux and mobile devices (iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry).

With Dropbox installed at my office and home computers I no longer carry USB flash drive. As your files are auto-synchronized on every computer/device - no emailing and downloading of files to different computers/devices – i.e. no headache of getting messed up with multiple file versions. On a new computer (or device) you can always use web interface to access your files (photos, videos, docs etc).

Web sharing of folders/files to non Dropbox user is possible through Get link feature - instant preview (and download link) of shared file/folder through browser. It offers 2GB of Free space which can be increased up to 16GB through referral bonus. Paid accounts of 50 or 100GB are available. Dropbox for Teams offers 1TB or more of storage space. Wikipedia says: "In October 2011, Forbes published that Dropbox had 50 million users, of which 96% were using a free account”.

On a broadband connection, it should not take more than a couple of minutes to sign-up, install and get started.

Sign-up for Dropbox

It competes with Google Drive,, SkyDrive, Amazon Cloud Drive and many other similar services.

The Best Cloud Application to Manage your Money in the Cloud

Mint: A Cloud based personal finance tool to manage your money. Launched in September 2007, in just 2+ years of existence it has received 30+ prestigious web awards from the likes of CNN Money, Time, Business Week, PC Mag etc. Just create an account and access all your balances and transactions together on the web or on your iPhone. I think it’s a simple but innovative concept: All your money related accounts viz. bank accounts, credit card, loans, stock brokerage and other investments in one place.


I created an account but unfortunately none of my India based banks are supported by Mint. Interestingly, although the FAQ page at Mint explicitly mentions that currently it supports only US-based financial institutions, I found State Bank Of India (credit card account) supported at Mint (But I don’t have an account with State Bank of India). Barclays, ABN Amro and few Europe based banks are also supported but you must check at Mint for the specific details, because I did find ABN Amro but could not find my ABN Amro India Bank on their list.

If your Bank or Financial institution is not supported by Mint you can always make a request to add it.

Optional Info: Mint has following information to share about adding your bank: “Due to factors outside our control, including approval of the banks themselves, we cannot guarantee that your bank will be supported, but we will do our best. We add support for more banks and credit unions every week thanks to requests from customers like you”.

You may worry that you have to give Mint the login data for all your accounts. As per Mint:

Mint provides bank–level data security and industry–leading identity protection. Its security and privacy have been validated by VeriSign and TRUSTe. We never know your identity. You register anonymously using any valid email address, and then add the log–in information for the online bank, credit union, credit card and investment accounts you want to consolidate in Mint.”

No wonder over 1 million customers have put their faith in Mint.

Free *Cloud based Desktop

*Optional Info: Expert opinions differ as what exactly is a Cloud Desktop / VirtualOS / WebTop / Remote Desktop / Online Desktop / WEB-OS / OOS (Online Operating System) / Virtual Desktop / DDE (Distributed Desktop Environment). I think for the sake of simplicity, all these jargons can be treated as representing almost the same thing, though with a subtle difference.

iCloud CloudMe: I love this application for its slick design. Its punch line: Your friends, files & digital life on any computer, Access, upload and share your files from anywhere, even your phone, truly represents what it does. Online storage, Photos, Music, Movies, Application development, Calendar, Mail, Media Player, Word Processors etc. It has both free and premium signup. It also offers a platform for web developers (Platform as a service, PaaS). The free account provides 3GB of iCloud CloudMe drive storage. Check out the following screen shot, which I created after signing into my free account. Here you can view the wallpaper, desktop icons, Programs (like All Programs of any Windows OS), the user name (and his photograph), Start Menu, Taskbar etc.

Update [June 13, 2011]: iCloud has recently (June 2011) rebranded its services as CloudMe. iCloud domain name was purchased by Apple and now forms the core of Apple’s cloud based music service. As per a Gigaom report the price paid to buy the domain name was $4.5million…The price of Appl’e obsession with the letter i


Cloudo: A free computer that lives on the Internet, right in your web browser. This means that you can access your documents, photos, music, movies and all other files no matter where you are, from any computer or mobile phone. Cloudo is a hosted service, there is no hardware or software to setup and maintain, and the DDE is fully accessible from any internet connected device. Other advantages of utilizing hosted software include centralizing data backup, updates, and security at the data center as well as the benefits of lower cost which can be associated with the administration of a single global instance of software versus many local instances. Here, I have created the following screen shot after opening the Word program. You can also see the attractive media player(right hand bottom), desktop icons, wallpaper etc.


eyeOS: It describes itself as the Open Source Cloud’s Web Desktop. I found it similar to the iCloud & Cloudo described above. It has a very attractive design, but as this is just an introduction, I am not providing any distinct comparison between these services. You should go and explore: Create an Account at eyeOS to get started with this free Cloud Desktop.


The Best Free Cloud based Antivirus

Panda Cloud Antivirus:

The first free Antivirus from the cloud. It has received many decent reviews. PC Magazine stamped its renowned Editor’s Choice on Panda CloudAV for Best Free AV.

  • No need to worry about regular updates.
  • Occupies very little system resources.
  • Uses collective intelligence servers for fast detection
  • Simple interface.

Also protects your PC while offline (not connected to internet) as it uses a local cache of signatures from Collective Intelligence. But please note that the local cache does not maintain a signature of virus/malware which it deems dead or not in circulation.

Best *Free Platform as a Service (PaaS)

Google App Engine: Released (Beta) in April 2008, it’s a platform for developing and hosting web applications in Google-managed data centers. It virtualizes applications across multiple servers and data centers. Currently, the supported programming languages are Python and Java (and by extension, other JVM languages).

*Google App Engine is free up to a certain level of used resources. Fees are charged for additional storage, bandwidth, or CPU cycles required by the application. When I signed up in my free account, it’s showing I can build and deploy up to 10 applications. Not so sure about it as it says it will reset quotas every 24 hours; I will share about it later.

Following is an excerpt from Google App Engine’s website:

  • Google App Engine enables developers to build web applications on the same scalable systems that power our own applications
  • No assembly required. Google App Engine exposes a fully-integrated development environment.
  • It's easy to scale. Google App Engine makes it easy to design scalable applications that grow from one to millions of users without infrastructure headaches.
  • It's free to get started. Every Google App Engine application will have enough CPU, bandwidth, and storage to serve around 5 million monthly page views for free. You can purchase additional resources at competitive prices when you need them and you'll pay only for what you use.

To Sign up for Google App Engine:

  • You can sign up using your existing Gmail account.
  • You must provide your mobile number as Google will Verify Your Account by SMS.
  • You’ll be asked to enter the Google App Engine Code which you receive in your mobile. You’ll only need to verify your account once.
  • After SMS verification you’ll enter Application Identifier and Application Title (Choose any relevant name)
  • You can also sign in to Google App Engine with your Google Apps account, use the following URL:<YOURDOMAIN.COM>/ Free Edition: It’s a leading cloud platform (PaaS: Platform as a Service) for business applications and websites, an offering from the SaaS (Software as a Service) leader But you can build and run only your first application for free. Yet something is better than nothing. Just Sign up and explore.

Enjoy the freebies. Do share if you know about other free cloud based applications.

Cloud Computing Articles at Techno-Pulse

Friday, January 8, 2010

Translate Simplified Chinese Blog/Website to English

Simplified Chinese is the written text (of Chinese) that is used in mainland China and among people of Chinese origin  in Singapore nowadays. This written form mainly evolved and was adopted after the end of civil war and the establishment of today's P.R. China in 1949, so you may also call it as a relatively “modern form” of Chinese text. The reason and purpose for the Chinese government to develop this simplified writing system is believed to be “simplifying the writing method, easing the effort in writing, and encouraging more people to become literate.”

--- Source

Simplified Chinese to other languages Google translate

It’s a free tool from Google. It can be used for translation between 50 major languages of the world. The auto-installation/code provided here will translate any blog/website in Simplified Chinese to the following 13 languages:

  1. English
  2. Arabic
  3. Chinese (Traditional)
  4. Filipino
  5. French
  6. German
  7. Hindi
  8. Indonesian
  9. Japanese
  10. Malay
  11. Spanish
  12. Thai
  13. Vietnamese

Look and Feel of the Translator

It’s a drop-down box, powered by Google. Looks and function similar to the Google Translate drop-down box widget used at the top right side bar of this blog. You can contact me for any query or can visit the Google Translate URL provided at the end of this post.

The translation may not be perfect for complex sentences but it works well with simple sentences. Check the following:


Google Translate translated this Simplified Chinese sentence to English & vice-versa as:

Shanghai is China's largest city.

How to auto-install Google Translator to your Blogger blog

  • It takes 2 clicks and 10 seconds to install this free automatic translator tool.
  • Click on the [+Add to Blogger] image (after Serial # 5 of this description) .
  • It’ll prompt you to log into your blogger account, if you are not already logged in. After logging in you’ll find the following blogger interface: 


  1. Select any of your blog from the dropdown list (if you’ve multiple blogs)
  2. You can add or edit the Title of the widget / gadget.
  3. Click the ADD WIDGET button as shown encircled in screen shot above.
  4. Now check the widget added in your Layout > Page Elements > somewhere at the top at side column.
  5. View your blog and translate it to the language of your choice.
Now you can click the following [+Add to Blogger] and proceed for auto-installation of Chinese to English & other major languages Google Translate to your Blogger blog.

Add Chinese to English & other language translator to Wordpress Blogs / Websites

Simply copy & paste the following code in your webpage somewhere after <body> and before </body> tag.

<div id="google_translate_element"></div><script> function googleTranslateElementInit() {  new google.translate.TranslateElement({     pageLanguage: 'zh-CN',     includedLanguages: 'ar,zh-TW,en,tl,fr,de,hi,id,ja,ms,es,th,vi'   }, 'google_translate_element'); } </script><script src=""></script>

How to remove Google Translator from Blogger

Remove it in the same way as you remove any other widget. Go to Layout > Page Elements > Click Widget’s Edit > Click Remove. Your blog/website is ready to be translated from Simplified Chinese to other major global languages. Enjoy free online automatic translation, Powered by Google! Contact me for any query


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Google PageRank, Traffic, SERP: My Observations

On the New Year eve of 2010, there was was a New Year gift from Google to Pulse of Technology. It has achieved a PageRank of 2 (from PR 0) in a span of 3 months. Surprisingly one of the articles, Top 10 Cloud Computing Service Providers 2009, has achieved a PageRank of 4! I am still wondering how to share this article’s PageRank to my Home Page i.e. Pulse of Technology. Please share your tips.

My traffic experience and observations after Google PageRank update on 31st December 2009:

  • I’ve noticed a sharp rise in the SERP of the article with PageRank 4 (mainly Google search). For many keyword combinations, now it appears at # 1 or # 2. For others it appears at the first page in Google search. Its bringing a significantly higher number of visitors from United States. Unusually today while writing this post the number of visitors from United States to my blog (as per Google Analytics stats) is more than the visitors from India. I noticed a similar trend in last 2 days.
  • The overall traffic has increased from approx 60 visitors a day to approx 90 visitors a day, from January 4th onwards. I’ve to increase the number of posts. Still lagging at a total of 18 posts in 3 months!
  • It may be a coincidence but I found few of my articles listed in 1st page of Bing and Yahoo in last 2 or 3 days. Earlier they were indexed but were buried somewhere on 4th or 5th page.
  • Most of the posts in my blog are having a PageRank 1. A few older posts are not ranked yet.

What are your observations after last Google PageRank update of 31st December 2009? Share your views & experiences.