In an effort to move into the 21st century, the city of Chicago has signed a deal with Microsoft to bring the company's Office 365 cloud services to city employees. Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the news today, and the city will move 30,000 employees to Microsoft's Office 365 for cloud-based email and other productivity apps.
Amazon has publicly apologized for the outage that stopped Netflix users from spending Christmas Eve slumped in front of How It's Made re-runs while slurping egg nog, blaming human error for the server downtime. According to Amazon, a developer inadvertently deleted part of the "ELB state data" which handles load balancing - which servers deliver content to each user across different locations - and it took several hours of testing and troubleshooting to figure out what had gone wrong.
In an effort to boost its Creative Cloud service, Adobe has acquired Behance, an online service where creative professionals can showcase their portfolios. With the acquisition, Adobe is looking to expand its web-based offerings with more community-focused features that users can take advantage of.
Online storage company Dropbox has acquired Snapjoy, a photo sharing and organizing tool, in a deal which will see the streamlined image aggregation system better woven into the cloud. Snapjoy pulls in photos from digital cameras, archives on your PC or Mac, smartphones and tablets, filtering apps like Instagram and Camera+, and social networks, with easy public and private sharing options.
Volvo and Ericsson want to get your next car talking to the cloud, with a deal that will see future Volvos navigating through the Connected Vehicle Cloud as they do the mean streets. The system - which will stretch to all of the countries Volvo sells in - will support app downloads to the dashboard and two-way interaction with vendors and other services, in addition to safety features such as Volvo has explored in self-driving vehicles and road-trains.
Dropbox just released a huge update for its iOS app, and it comes with a complete redesign of the user interface, as well as the addition of a new Photos tab that comes with a timeline view of all your automatically uploaded photos and videos. They've also streamlined the way that you can upload files to your Dropbox from your iOS devices.
Today, Amazon has announced that their Cloud Player app is now available on 2012 Samsung Smart TV models, as well as Roku media players. The new app gives Cloud Player users access to their entire music library on these new devices, and they join a long list of products that the Cloud Player app is already compatible with, including the Kindle Fire, Sonos music players, Android devices, and iOS devices.
Adobe updated some of its Creative Suite 6 products earlier, but they're at it yet again, introducing a few updates to their new Creative Cloud subscription service. The service adds a new feature call Teams, as well as a number of other features exclusive to subscribers, including Smart Object support for the Blur Gallery and Liquify tools.
This week a Kickstarter project has been initiated by the name of Transporter, a device that its creators are saying is both an online yet off-cloud storage solution for personal use. If you're a family member who wants to share massive amounts of photo and video content but you don't want to hassle with the less-than-secure solutions out there at the moment, you're one of the many, many different types of people who may very well benefit from the simplicity of the Transporter. This project is being worked on by several folks responsible for "designing and manufacturing products from Drobo, Handspring, Sling Media, Snap Appliance, and TiVo."
A couple weeks ago, Facebook began rolling out a new feature on iOS called Photo Sync for a select number of users. It essentially is a service that automatically uploads photos that you take on your phone to a private web album. From there, you can select what photos you want to share with friends and family quickly and easily. Facebook is announcing that the feature will be rolling out to everyone.