Weekly Digital News Roundup: Mar 12 – Mar 16
Google launches cheap storage service for data you don’t often use
- According to Mashable, today, Google launched a new storage platform for cold data, known as infrequently used and accessed information. Cold data is often kept for legal or regulatory reasons, so the service is clearly designed with businesses in mind. The new platform, called Google Cloud Storage Nearline, costs just $0.01 per GB at rest each month.
- Other services like this already exist.Amazon Glacier, for example, has comparable pricing. A huge advantage for Google’s Nearline, however, is that it promises it will take mere seconds to access your cold data. With Amazon Glacier, it can take “several hours” to retrieve information.
- Nearline hopes to blur the line between online and offline storage, hence the “near” part of its name. Cold data is often stored offline to save money. Keeping data immediately available in an online format can be expensive and strenuous, so Nearline offers a potentially game-changing option for businesses with customers who want quick access to stored information without paying the premium price of online storage.
Facebook Announces a Payments Feature for Its Messenger App
- According to New York Times, Facebook, the social networking company,announced Tuesday that American users of its Messenger app would be able to link their debit cards to the service and use it to message money to one another just as easily as they send a snapshot or text.
- Given Facebook’s huge size and reach, the introduction of its payments feature — which has been highly anticipated by Wall Street — is likely to cause tremors in the nascent market for instantly sending money to individuals, known as peer-to-peer payments.
- Venmo, a mobile payments app owned by eBay’s PayPal unit, is perhaps the most direct competitor to Facebook’s new offering. Popular with young users, it is not just a payment system, but a social network that allows users to post public or private messages about what the money is for.
Yahoo lets users ditch traditional passwords, sends one ‘on demand’
- According to LA Times, Yahoo announced Sunday that U.S. users can opt to have the company text them a one-time password every time they log on. A non-Yahoo email address can serve as a backup when a phone’s not around.
- Some computer security experts are perplexed by Yahoo’s “on-demand password” because someone who has their phone stolen could have their Yahoo account quickly taken over. They argue that it’d be better if users turn on a different feature offered by Yahoo that requires them to remember a password they’ve chosen and also a enter a second one that’s texted to them.
- But so few people can remember passwords or bother to change them regularly that Yahoo says the new routine is still a step forward. Either on-demand passwords or the two-password feature can be turned on from the security tab on the Yahoo account information page.