Paul wonders if it would be possible to build a hard drive that could hold all the information available in the world. Leo says that currently, we have hard drives large enough to hold all the information in the Library of Congress. But we really don't know how much information we really have in the world. We do know that by 2025, there will be 163 ZetaBytes (a trillion gigabytes). We're creating data at a rate of 16 trillion GB a year. The largest hard drive out there is 8,000 GB. So probably not. But that's what we have the cloud and the internet for.
Greg wants to know if he can use a Chromebook to record and edit audio recordings. Leo says that newer ChromeBooks support the use of Android apps from the Play Store and that would give you access to audio recording apps. There's also multiple cloud-based audio editors where you save in the cloud and edit through the Chrome browser. Here's good list here. Soundcloud. Twisted Wave.
Keeping backups of photos taken with your smartphone is very important, in the event that your phone gets lost, stolen, or broken. It's also a good way to free up space on your device after you've taken a lot of pictures. There are a number of cloud photo backup options, including Apple's iCloud, Flickr, OneDrive, and Google Photos.
Diana bought a new Apple iPhone 5. The Apple store employee merged her contacts, but every contact in her phone was from iCloud and not her personal contacts. Leo says that's probably true. He assumed that Diana's phone was backed up, and it wasn't. Going forward, Diana should continue to backup to iCloud so if she loses her phone, she'll still have her contacts. She should just clean it up first. Then back up her contacts to the Cloud and have it continue to backup regularly.
Richard is looking to get a personal cloud device. He's wondering if he can store virtually anything in his computer in it. Leo says he could, but he wouldn't. There are a lot of options including one from Western Digital, PogoPlug, and File Transporter. The idea of having a personal cloud solution like this is that Richard would own the drive that all the data is stored on.
Syncing files between multiple computers in different locations has been a difficult task. Syncing software will often end up creating duplicates of files because it can't determine which file should take precedence over the others. It also might not delete files in other locations if you delete them in one place, and therefore it isn't "true sync." This is why the concept of the "cloud" took over, and it has solved many of these file dilemmas.
After the recent iCloud security breach that released private celebrity photos, you may be wondering what you can do to protect your data in the cloud. Apple has released a statement saying that it was not a failure of iCloud or Find My iPhone that resulted in these photos getting out -- it was a deliberate and targeted attack. That being said, here are a few ways you can keep your data more secure online:
Use Strong Passwords
Joe uses Google Play on iOS and has an issue with uploading his music. Leo says like iTunes Match, it uploads all the music it doesn't have to his cloud account via Google. But Joe can't upload any more than 1300 songs. Leo says that if they're copy protected, the songs won't copy. So if he has songs with DRM, Google Play will ignore them.
Jordan has a 6 TB RAID array that stores all his video footage for his company. He's having a difficult time keeping track of all the video that has to be distributed online, though. PadreSJ in the chatroom says that there's a program called Digital Fountain that does real time data transport. That's an enterprise solution. There's also BrightCove Video Cloud.
Argwin needs some long term archiving of his files. He's concerned that in 5-10 years, the medium that he stores his data on will be obsolete making that data unreadable. Zip drives are a perfect example. They still work, but they've become so outdated that they can't even connect to a computer anymore. Leo says that at the end of the day, hard copies of data will always work. The cloud is his friend here. It's relatively new though, and some services may not exist in 10 years. That's why Leo advises a shotgun approach.