Around the IT Industry 5/13-5/17

by Modis on May 17, 2013

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Google Unites Drive, Gmail, and Photo Storage, Totaling 15GB of Space for Users

Google Drive already offered its users 5GB of space in a style similar to that of Dropbox. Gmail has had its own 10GB of storage for a long period of time, and it wasn’t long until these were combined–giving Google users a total of 15GB of storage for their Google+, Gmail, and Google Drive accounts combined. If you do not use your Gmail to store much, you can devote the bulk of the 15GB of space that you have to Drive. This makes Google Drive a very competitive cloud storage option given that its services are free of charge.  Another bonus of Google Drive is that its service is relatively cost effective to upgrade. Google Drive users can opt to expand their storage capacity to 100 GB for only $4.99 per month. Dropbox’s 100GB plan is double the price at $9.99 per month. Google’s merging of its storage options allow its users more flexibility with how they store the things that matter most to them, regardless of whether that is corporate email or just family photos. What is your preferred cloud storage method? Let us know in the comments below.

Blackberry Announces BBM for iPhone and Android Launching Summer 2013

Though Blackberry’s plans to offer its popular BBM messaging service to other platforms was no secret, the question of just when this might occur remained a mystery. Wonder no more, for Blackberry has announced that the release of its BBM service will be available on iPhone and Android this Summer. BBM is a cultural phenomenon in Southeast Asia and Oceania, where the messaging service has quite the cult following devoted to it. Blackberry has also confirmed that its Channels service will also be available cross-platform with its launch of BBM on iPhone and Android devices. Time will tell if BBM sweeps the US as it has in other countries, and its launch this summer may mark the triumphant return of the Blackberry messaging service to the market, giving its competitors something to watch out for.

Google Launches Google Play Music All Access

Google launched a new on-demand streaming service today. Google Play Music All Access is the company’s answer to Spotify. For the price of $9.99 a month, its users get access to millions of songs, charts, and albums that you can stream on-demand. Users that sign up for the service before June 13, 2013 will get Google Play Music All Access for only $7.99 a month. Everything from your Google Music library is accessible in Google Music All Access, and everything else that Google has available by a particular artist is available at the tap of a button. Google claims to have streamlined the on-demand listening experience for its users, guiding them through queuing music, creating playlists, and more. If you simply want to hear music play, Google Music All Access says that its design will let you queue a tune faster than Spotify. Time will tell if All Access takes off, and with Spotify’s 24 million active customer head start, it has a long way to go.

FBI Seizes Money from top Bitcoin Exchange

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has seized funds from Dwolla.com’s mobile payment option known as Mutum Sigillum’s aka Mt. Gox. This account was frozen and all transactions halted pending a review by the FBI. The Department of Homeland Security and the District Court of Maryland issued the seizure warrant May. There is not yet a clear reason as to why Mt. Gox was frozen from making transactions over Dwolla, and the currency service has complied with all directives issued by the government thus far, transferring the balance in Mt. Gox’s account to the FBI. Mt. Gox has stated that it has yet to receive a copy of the seizure warrant, and will provide its users further information as it is available. For now, the currency exchange service remains up and running.

ABC Wants You to Keep Your Cable Subscription, Halts Services to Those Who Cut the Cords

Television network ABC will be adding on demand streaming service to its iPhone and Android apps, however these will only work if you have an active cable subscription. The company is even going so far as to withhold its most recent episodes of its most popular television shows, such as Once Upon a Time. The service will be uninterrupted for those who opt to pay for access to ABC.com or Hulu–however free users of these services can assume that their wait to see new episodes of their favorite show could be tedious. Fox is currently the only networks which withholds new episodes; however, ABC’s jumping on board is a slight to those who wish to cut their expenses by relying on services such as Hulu for their television fix. Younger generations are less apt to stick with a cable plan, with streaming being their preferred media delivery option of choice. Whether Hulu, Netflix, or Amazon–the days of tethering to a cable company contract are languishing on the vine. Time will tell whether ABC’s drastic move to curtail cord cutting succeeds or results in a massive loss of viewership for the network giant.

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