Monthly Archives: March 2012

Don’t trust the cloud

First I would like to be completely hypocritical by saying I am a fan of the cloud. I use it on a daily basis. From typing up documents through google docs to saving notes through the Evernote software and phone apps. In fact, many of the things I use daily exist in the cloud. I have a high dependency on the availability of the cloud especially when it comes to google. So why would I tell you not to trust the cloud. Well here’s my story:

As I said before I handle everything in the cloud. My phone contacts are synced with google contacts as well as my phone calendar. I also sync my notes with Evernote and I was an avid user of google groups. I loved the ability to add a dentist appointment on my laptop and instantly it would appear on my phone. I would also  add an e-mail to a phone contact and instantly I could pull up their email address in gmail. Even in school, I along with some of my classmates would be working on the same paper at the same time through google docs and you would instantly see what the other person was typing. I was really in love with the cloud!!! Well at least until I had a week of cloud fail.

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Without notifying anyone, google removed the pages and documents from google groups so I lost a ton of my papers and group pages that I had in my google groups accounts. This included meeting minutes for organizations I was a part of and even personal documents that I wanted to use later on. All of my documents I had stored in the cloud were gone just like that, and it did not end there either. Apparently google also decided to change the way they did account authentication with active exchange for mobile devices without notifying customers so out of no where I lost all of my contacts from my phone and all of my events from my calendar. Many of my apps were centered around my contacts so I was even having issues with my apps. I had no time to really research why this had happened so it took me a week to even get my phone back up and running in working order. I used to think that the cloud was the ultimate form of backup for data because the information would always be there. I was so very wrong.

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I say all of this to point out two things:
1. The cloud is not always reliable
– The cloud can be just as fragile as any form of media that you would use to store data whether it be a hard drive or a dvd-r.

2. The cloud is new technology and with all new technology it takes time to mature into a reliable platform.

I would encourage people to use the cloud but with discretion and  make sure you back everything up locally on occasion because there are no promises. Just the other day many of amazon’s cloud servers and Microsoft’s cloud servers failed and there were many disgruntled customers. Imagine if you were using their cloud platform to run a business like many of their customer’s probably did. You would have lost hours of potential revenue and possibly even current and potential customers.

Many companies today are looking toward the cloud as a viable option to do business.  Some companies are actually running entirely in the cloud.  I would not recommend that but I believe there are some excellent cloud options for companies such as Office 365 (Microsoft Office and Exchange server in the cloud), cloud ways for app deployment and project management and even Salesforce.com (Provides the ability to run many company functions if not all completely in the cloud).

So let me concluded by going back to my hypocritical stance encouraging you to pursue cloud technology, but urging you not to put all of your trust in the technology.  I will probably write a more in depth post regarding cloud technologies in the future including business use cases where the technology should be utilized and where it should be avoided, but I thought I would just start it off with my week of cloud fail and why we can never truly trust the cloud.

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Android programmers shifting toward web apps

Cnet Article

Mobile Development is the Future

Obviously we all know that mobile technology is booming and many users are getting away from the traditional PCs and laptops and are wanting more smaller devices such as smartphones, net books and tablets. Even net books are reaching extinction. So what does this mean for developers.

I believe this means that application development will have to be more adaptable to the different technologies. Eventually the tools at our disposal will evolve to a more universal framework that will work across all platforms. HTML5 is a prime example of this. If HTML5 is used properly it will make an application device agnostic so no re-coding will have to be done and the same application can run on iOs, android, windows 8 ARM and every browser with HTML5 support. One of the tools that is very useful today is the mono-project development IDE that allows developers to develop in iPhone, android and regular applications in C# against the .Net framework. If coded properly using a 3 tier design (Data Layer, Application Layer and Logic or Business Layer) the core functionality in your application can be carried across the different devices without any code change.

I also believe that the traditional operating system will eventually go away and Microsoft is proving this prediction with the complete re-transformation of the Windows 8 operating system. Windows has completely re-architected their operating system to be a tile based metro experience similar to the windows phone experience. This allows the operating system to be used not only for PCs and net books but with the potential to be used for tablets. There is also talk about a windows 8 ARM version (a tablet version of windows 8 that can run on the current tablet technology available).

Windows 8 ARM

I have also noticed that some of the new features in Visual Studio 11 beta is centered around the new Windows 8 operating system and mobile devices. If you notice from the screenshot below there is a Metro style Bing Maps SDK template available and one of the template categories is for Mobile Devices. Microsoft is usually behind the curve on innovation but the fact that they are taking such a drastic approach to the Windows 8 platform shows that such a platform will most likely be the wave of the future.

Screen Shot 2012-03-13 at 7.06.02 PM

Now for developers this may seem like you will have to re-learn everything when it comes to UI (User Interface) design, but I believe this approach will make it easier for developers to change platforms. I see a future where I can develop an application for Windows 8 and easily convert it to an iOS application or a Android OS application. I am not sure how long it will take before this happens but I already see tablets being used as primary devices in corporate america, speakers and preachers pulling out tablets to deliver a message and schools beginning to incorporate tablet technology into their curriculum.

Anonymous OS

Anonymous the notorious hacking group has now created their own OS.  Below is the article:

Anonymous OS article

HTML 5 Workshop

This is a very informative video on HTML5 that I found on youtube.  Thought to share it.

What happened to EP Productions

EP Productions still exist and we are still producing music, doing video production and consulting. We are just currently revamping the site to incorporate a blog experience where articles will be posted concerning music, technology, faith and life in general. The old features of the site with our music and the videos We have done will be coming back. We Just Need a little time to organize it. In the mean time. Enjoy the articles. Comment, Respond and Share.

Technology in the Church

Today’s church is using technology like never before to spread the gospel to the masses. The bible is more readily available in many versions and many languages free of charge to anyone who wishes to download it. Sermons are broadcasted and accessible to the entire world across the Internet. As a technocrat myself I love the advancements we have made in the church with regards to technology, but I ask have we gone too far?

In college I had a roommate who I would invite to church sometimes and sometimes he would come sometimes, but for the most part he would stay home and study and listen to worship songs and downloaded sermons to get his dose of church for that Sunday. He told me this helped sustain him through college.

We were having a discussion about where the church is heading and he told that he sees the church building going away and that many people will be doing what he is doing and having church by themselves in the privacy of their home or dorm room. Four years later I see remote or network churches appearing all over the world. You may be asking yourself what is a remote or a network church? Well, imagine going into a building and watching a preacher preach on a widescreen projector, praying amongst the fellow believers there and then going home. This is a network church. Now imagine sitting in your room and watching this same service at home. That would be a remote church. Now I am an avid fan of the use of technology in the church but technology cannot and must not replace the fellowship of the saints. Hebrews 10:25 states:

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:24, 25 NIV)

In this scripture we are encouraged to not stop meeting together and encouraging one another because this is what helps to keep us grounded and focused. I am an introverted person, but there is a completely different feeling when you are gathered together with a group of people of the same mind set. There is an anointing there that is not the same when you are watching a preacher on tv. So what do you think? Leave you comments below…