Syncing in a Torrent

I’m ditching Dropbox… Cancelling my Google Drive subscription… I’m syncing with torrents, now…

When I bought my first laptop it seemed a little daring to be buying a machine with no floppy disk drive (this was twelve years ago…) But it had a CD burner, so I’d be alright… Then USB drives became the defacto way to shift files around.

Now it’s Dropbox, and the many similar services that let you throw your files up into the cloud and access them from any of your devices, or any web browser…

But… there have always been a couple of niggles… safety and security. Can you trust the service you use not to let your files leak into the wild… and can you be sure that your files will be there tomorrow? Continue reading

Oxygen as an enterprise alternative to Dropbox

My son has been VERY actively trying to persuade me to look into using Oxygen Cloud as an adjunct to Dropbox. Today he sent me this link which is worth taking a moment to read. There’s also a video to watch that explains/describes the model of file-sharing.

From this you can see that the main difference between Dropbox and Oxygen is the encryption which immediately addresses the recent “scares” about Dropbox releasing information to the US government upon request (of course you can still operate your own private encryption on Dropbox files if you want – but that’s a bit of a hastle).

So, Pete has allowed me to be one of his team members and so “family files” will be shared in the cloud using Oxygen. For any small team of five or less, why not use the free trial Oxygen service. If it meets your requirements, consider paying for secure storage in the cloud.

Brief review of things discussed at the December meet

The last meet generated a lot of interesting chat and ideas. Here’s a flavour of the kind of topics that were bounced around:

Kelly Page (@drkellypage , see: spent some time telling us about the wiki based learning activities she’s been doing with students to promote collaborative working. This naturally dovetailed with a topic that is of interest to Mike Johnson (@agentjohnson –  see: He’s in the early stages of investigating ways of automating peer generated feedback in online collaborative tasks. It’s early days, but there’s something very appealing about this approach – take a look at his CEQ related post.

There was also a fair bit of chit chat about ‘digital literacy’ and what it means for different people (for starters read ‘Thriving in the 21st century: Learning literacies for the digital age’). Do staff and students in different subject areas and disciplines understand it in the same way? In what way is different or the same as ‘Information Literacy’ or ‘Media Literacy’? (see: New media and literacies: Amateurs vs. professionals) – and most importantly, how can we go about improving the embedding of such knowledge and skills in courses and curricular across the University. I for one, would really enjoy revisiting this topic, in particular with regard to the Employability agenda being pushed by WAG.

Sara Nicholas (@sarahnicholas) described the work she’s been doing with fellow librarian Susan Smith on the design and development of a forthcoming workshop entitled ‘The Connected Researcher’, which is all about enabling researchers to engage through social media and technologies to establish better networking and collaboration. Some of the more intriguing things discussed were the notions of ‘digital identity’ and ‘digital footprint’ and the how and why a researcher might want to take greater control over these.

There was the usual exchange of what’s new on the iPhone and iPad . For me personally, Dropbox‘s traction continues to grow with clever interfacing to applications across all platforms. A good example of this is Trunk Notes. A fairly simple and straightforward personal wiki that automatically stores its content in plain text on Dropbox. Very useful because allows adding and editing content regardless of where I am. I’m deciding whether to move all my notes into this wiki. I’ve been a long time fan of concept mapping and I’m desperate to see a good tool developed for the iPad. IThere are signs of steps being made towards that with applications like Popplet. I can’t say it’s won me over yet, but I need to give it some more time and test out it’s export/import capability with more thoroughbred tools like Cmap.

The next ThoughtGrazing Social Media Cafe is scheduled for 1-4pm Wednesday 12th January in the usual place – the lounge of the Posgraduate Centre above the Students Union on Plas-y-Parc. All welcome, join us for a coffee and chat about anything to do with social and technology and media.