Discovering CloudMagic, Jolicloud, and the world of meta cloud services…

Just when I think I’ve got a handle on the available sorts of tools out there in the tech world, now there are these cloud services that run on top of existing cloud services and present to their users a sort of meta cloud desktop.

Trying to grok where that fits into the big picture. They provide universal search features, for example. Do we need universal search features? I kind of don’t feel like I do. But then I think that as time goes on it would be nice to stop thinking of the various services where my data is stored but instead to just think about my data as a destination in itself, no matter where it is stored, exactly. These meta clouds could help us to make that leap.

I found CloudMagic via a post on Facebook from Evernote yesterday. There was a comment in the thread pointing me to Jolicloud. Before yesterday I had not heard of either of these. I don’t know if there are others like this out there.

Of course, this is all competitive with Google’s universal search which works across any Google service. I do use and like that.

I have experimented a bit in the past with a universal sync service called CloudHq which will sync data between all sorts of cloud services. I like it for some things but there isn’t yet anything there that I feel I need enough to become a regular user. I also used to use a product called Xoopit which was not so much a universal search tool but it provided a better search of your own Gmail than Google itself provided. But they got bought by Yahoo and now Yahoo has some of those nice features instead of Gmail.

An Alternative to Storing Data Using Optics and Magnetics

How about DNA?

Just read this fascinating article describing research into storing digital data inside actual strands of DNA. Not inside a person’s DNA, of course – but by creating in a lab actual strands of real DNA encoding with information such as, say… your PowerPoint presentation for the sales meeting.

The Economist | Storing information in DNA: Test-tube data via @theeconomist

The advantages:

  • Unlike optical or magnetic storage which degrades over time fairly quickly, DNA information (e.g., the woolly mammoth captured in amber) can last for millions of years in the right conditions.
  • Also unlike our various implementations of optical and magnetic storage (e.g., the 5.25-inch floppy or the laser disc video) which are eventually unreadable simply because the device we need to do the reading is no longer available, DNA encoding can be understood and read by anyone today or tomorrow who has an interest in biology. In other words, it’s hard to imagine a future human community which does not know how to read DNA.
  • Once perfected, this type of technology could theoretically store all of today’s world’s existing data inside the back of one truck. 🙂

The disadvantages:

  • It currently costs about $12,000 per megabyte to store the data.
  • It currently takes something like a week to read back that data.

So… we’ve got a long way to go.