Google yesterday announced what appears to be its response to Office 365, Google Cloud Connect. It's designed to integrate Microsoft Office on the desktop with Google Docs in the cloud, giving users a chance to more easily migrate, over time, completely to Google solutions. (Google Cloud Connect is the rebranded and updated version of DocVerse, which Google purchased earlier this year.)
With Cloud Connect, people can continue to use the familiar Office interface, while reaping many of the benefits of web-based collaboration that Google Docs users already enjoy.
Users of Office 2003, 2007 and 2010 can sync their Office documents to the Google cloud, without ever leaving Office. Once synced, documents are backed-up, given a unique URL, and can be accessed from anywhere (including mobile devices) at any time through Google Docs. And because the files are stored in the cloud, people always have access to the current version.
Unfortunately, the beta program is currently full, but Google has a form if you want to be notified when more slots are available.
The excellent Roku box gets an NHL Hockey subscription.
Netflix has, as expected, announced a streaming-only subscription offering for $7.99 a month. If you live in the US, Netflix has become the one and only no-brainer streaming service and it's gotten dramatically better over time. And let's face it, DVDs are so 1990s.
Microsoft has banned the use of swastikas on player-made logos in Call of Duty: Black Ops, and any gamer who creates such a logo will be banned from Xbox LIVE. Which is interesting because this is actually one of the things I'd noticed in Black Ops multiplayer--a surprising number of players who for some reason felt compelled to manually create (and yes, it's a fairly creative and involved process) a swastika as their logo--and wondered about. I found it somewhat offensive, and you may find that somewhat ironic given that it's a shooter and we're online blowing everyone to bits, at least virtually. But it's not ironic, and the swastika is a symbol of hate, and the only silly thing about this whole episode is that Xbox LIVE's Stephen Toulouse actually has to defend this move.
Give me a break.
Fortunately, Toulouse is clear-headed, logical, and--sorry--freaking classic. I just love this guy. We need more of this, everywhere in the tech industry.
It’s not political correctness, it’s fundamental respect. If you think the swastika symbol should be re-evaluated by societies all over the Earth, I think that’s great. Your Xbox LIVE profile or in game logo, which doesn’t have the context to explain your goal, is probably not the right place to do that. And by the way, that doesn't just go for the Swastika, it applies to many other symbols as well that my team does indeed take action on when we see it.
If you see offensive symbols in Call of Duty, Black Ops, report them using the in game option and they will be taken care of. If you want to argue that swastikas are actually AWESOME, go to another forum. On Xbox LIVE they are not allowed.
Good for you. And nice to see logic winning the day for a change.
Bad news: Microsoft is removing Drive Extender from Windows Home Server "Vail" and Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials. More soon.
Update: Microsoft has posted info on its Home Server and SBS blogs.