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Google has stepped into the cloud storage arena with its new evolution of Google Docs. The service, named Google Drive, comes with 5GB of free space and payment options for up to 16TB of storage in its cloud. The client software offers central storage for documents, pictures, and files to be synced and accessed on desktops, smart phones and tablets. Most people are aware of DropBox, a very similar service. There is a lot of conjecture over what this will mean for other services similar that have started to become more well known.

This push is a big support to their long awaited Chrome OS. The mainly web browser based operating system is designed to work with tablets and netbooks with little local storage. Chrome OS would be greatly improved by remote storage with the ability to sync documents between, for example, a desktop and tablet.

For more information about google drive, contact SpireTech today!  Read more...

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Security researchers are trying to get the word out to mac users that the cat is out of the bag: Mac users need to be concerned with viruses as much as anyone else. April saw the largest saturation of mac virus activity ever witnessed, infecting an estimated 600,000 machines within a few days of its initial detection. Apple has attempted to roll out updates and educate users to try and halt its spread but, as of this writing, the exploit is still vulnerable to infection by a new variant. The number of new infections has gone down but researchers say they can’t be entirely sure their detection methods can accurately measure it. Companies like Symantec and Kaspersky are actively working on combating the storm.

It’s a common fallacy that macs can’t get infected with viruses. More accurately, macs get infected with viruses that are left fallow because they are designed to affect windows machines; this doesn’t stop infected macs from spreading infection, via infected files, to windows machines.  Read more...

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Windows on an iPad? Ask us how.

We thought we’d revisit last month’s article about the new iPad (aka the iPad 3) and give our impressions after nearly 30 days of ownership.  Is it worth the $500 (at least) to upgrade?  How did the upgrade experience go?  What about that battery life and heat?

Coming from an iPad 1, the new iPad is much faster.  That speed was my primary motivating factor to part with $500 hard-earned dollars for the basic wifi model.  As a fairly heavy iPad user, I had grown weary of type-ahead delays where the keyboard doesn’t respond to keystrokes for several seconds.  I wanted web pages to respond faster and typing to be delay free.  I wanted youtube videos to load without stopping every 15 seconds.  And, I wanted to be able to read my electronic magazine subscriptions and books without having to zoom the text so much.  Read more...

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Spire Technologies’ offices got a spruce up over the last few weeks with new carpet, floor tiles, and a paint. After a lot of deliberation over color, and a stretch of chaos during the transition, Spire’s offices are looking brand spanking new (nothing in the datacenter was touched).

Over the span of a decade, wear and tear on a building will start to show. It only seemed fitting, as we update our equipment and services, that our office space was due an improvement. If you haven’t been in our offices in a while (or at all) we encourage you to stop in and say “Hi”.  While you are here, be sure to check out the retro bathroom art!  Read more...

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We continue to grow. Spire Technologies now has hosting partnerships with two of the largest forces in the virtualization industry. Both VMware and Citrix have been innovators and leaders in the expanding market of virtualized computing and cloud based services; such as desktops, storage, and applications. This will allow us to offer our clients best-in-class services in for virtual servers and remote offices.  XenServer (Citrix) and ESX (VMware) combine to equal 80% of all virtual environments in use in the world today. SpireTech will soon host solutions from both of these developers, providing affordable monthly licensing of hosted, enterprise-grade cloud and virtual solutions for our customers.


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iPadApple has released it’s newest iteration of iPad tablet and remains dominant in the tablet market. The original iPad’s release was a revolution in modern personal computing and the new iPad lives up to it’s origins. The new iPad includes some nice upgrades to the processor, screen technology and resolution, and the camera on the back. These come at the cost of additional width and weight when compared to the iPad 2.

The new feature that we are most excited to see is the new display. Dubbed a Retina Display, it boasts a high definition 2048 x 1536 resolution with 264 PPI; pixels small enough to barely be distinguishable by the eye. That blows most desktop monitors out of the water, let alone rival tablets. Desktop monitors can do 2560×1600, but you’d be hard pressed to find better than 150 PPI. Even the iPad 2 was limited to 1024×768 at 132 PPI.  Read more...

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Apple Store in Sydney, Australia

Apple has submitted a proposal for the largest Apple Store front in the world, spanning a whole city block in Pioneer Place, formerly Saks Fifth Avenue, between 4th and 5th on Yamhill St., in downtown Portland. The new storefront would entail a 165 foot wide wall of glass, topping the current record holder (a “mere” 120 feet) in Sydney, Australia by 45 feet. The proposed plans were submitted for formal approval in February and the Design Commission responded with some questions and suggestions during a hearing in mid-March. The overall design is very impressive. The main area includes a 17.5 foot high ceiling covering 9000 sq ft of public space. The project covers a total of 23,532 square feet

This project is a follow up to a proposal for a different location that Apple submitted to the city of Portland in 2007. The largest request by the design commission was the inclusion of an ecoroof that would require some large design alterations as the current design could not withstand the stresses added by the needed substrate for vegetation to grow.  Read more...

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Google was caught with their hand in the cookie jar, raising a lot of ruckus concerning privacy on the internet. Google claims it sidestepped privacy settings in an attempt to make its “+1” Google+ system work across different browsers. The part where it gets hairy is that the cookies it saved to mark the click could also be seen by their ad agency, DoubleClick, which they can use to track what pages you go to. The research paper that detailed the methods and code behind this practice also found dozens other companies doing the same thing.

There have been a lot of claims and blame going around. Curious about what it all means? We’ll try and break it down for you. Cookies were meant as a way for websites to save a bit of info on a user’s computer to store user preferences and login session data when you log into a site. It can also use this info to see what pages on their site you’re going to.  Read more...

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Microsoft has released a taste of its new operating system, Windows 8, to the general public. After an earlier preview only available to the developer community, and a new logo face lift, the consumer preview is available for download. A lot of additions are available with this new version. One feature getting a lot of buzz is built-in cloud storage with Microsoft’s Skydrive to be able to access pictures and documents from anywhere. The ability to make some files public or private will appeal to home and office users, alike.

The star of the show is the new “Metro” interface that Microsoft has a lot riding on. Metro, an interface more akin to the style of Windows Mobile and is more suited for tablets, is the keystone for the success of Windows 8. Microsoft is adding it’s own Windows Store to the new OS to compete with iTunes and Google’s mobile app storefronts, and will be the only method of adding new application icons to the interface.  Read more...

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Coffee & Power is expanding its northwest presence at the Urban Grind Coffeehouse in downtown Portland. Already with locations in San Francisco and Santa Monica, the bay-area based company is expanding to it’s third location to tap the skills of Portland’s freelance community. With micro-sales for things ranging from tutoring, advice to logo design – it’s best left for C&P to describe exactly what they do:

Coffee & Power is an online marketplace where people can buy and sell small jobs, enabling a new breed of mobile workers to connect in a way that’s fast, low-friction, and fun. Coffee & Power’s innovative marketplace includes its own payment system, live communications and public chat, a game-like rating and review system, and a several real-world facilities where users can meet and work together.

This idea sounds like it will work really well in the uniquely independent atmosphere of the Portland creative and technical communities.  Read more...

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