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The Hidden Price Of Free Applications Wed 26 May 10

Access to our personal data is the price we pay for ''free'' services on the Internet.

Privacy issues, the Internet and social media in particular have been getting a lot of attention lately. Facebook has become the poster child for privacy concerns about the data we divulge online.

The villain in all of this isn't the technology, since technology isn't inherently good or evil. The issue is how technology is used. That is driven by the business model of the Internet and social media.

Google, Yahoo, Facebook and others of their type provide so-called "free" services. These companies are funded through advertising. Twitter has been the most notable holdout on monetizing its services, but that won't last forever.

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Driving E-mail To The Cloud Wed 12 May 10

With the right applications, e-mail in the cloud could be a productivity boon.

Autoroute à emails There has been a lot of discussion about companies moving their email systems from in-house operations to a cloud application--in other words, to a hosted platform on a remote server or data center. Much of the talk centers around two topics: cost and functionality.

The cost question explores whether or not going to the cloud saves companies enough money (or any at all) to make it worthwhile. Arguably, large IT shops may be able to provide email services less expensively than using the cloud. For smaller operations, the savings aren't always enough to entice people to take the plunge.

Much of the functionality question deals with whether or not the cloud's calendar/scheduling functionality--as characterized by Google apps--is good enough to replace the in-house Outlook/Exchange standard. As the incumbent, Outlook seems to have the edge. Google hasn't been able to make an overwhelming case yet.

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Creative Commons License 
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