The WebPal Wire

Get our latest updates as we bring you new insight on how cloud computing is already changing in its infancy. Security, content and business process are just a few categories within of wide range of topics covered in our blog

Archive for February, 2012

WikiLeaks shares new controversial documents


One of the world’s most infamous document sharing sites, WikiLeaks, released confidential emails yesterday that were obtained from an influential security think tank – Strategic Forecasting (Stafor), an Austin, Texas-based firm provides security analysis to the U.S. Army, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said the emails dating back from July 2004 to December 2011 “reveal the inner workings” of the company, including their “web of informers, pay-off structure, payment laundering techniques and psychological methods.”

“Here we have a private intelligence firm, relying on informants from the U.S. government, foreign intelligence agencies with questionable reputations, and journalists,” Assange told Reuters. “What is of grave concern is that the targets of this scrutiny are, among others, activist organizations fighting for a just cause.”

The existence and value of WikiLeaks is certainly a contentious issue. When they released thousands of documents pertaining to the Iraq war in 2010, many people were quick to call Assange and his organization muckrakers and, even worse, enemies of the United States government. But as document sharing gains prominence, it is inevitable that such organizations will exist. Document sharing and information sharing can be a democratizing force, and there is no telling all the ways it will begin to be used in the future.

WebPal is preparing to release the newest version of the Cloud Content Server, version 2.2, and ease of document sharing is definitely an important feature. Recent documents, shared files and folders, and attached WebPal Drives are listed for easy access on the home screen. Online document viewing allows full-content reading at full resolution without a download. For more information, check out this blog post and stay tuned in the coming days for more updates.

WebPal Cloud Content Server v2.2 Sneak Preview

26-02-2012 Markus

We are excited about releasing the next version of the Cloud Content Server, version 2.2, due within a few days. While we have incorporated some feedback from our clients, this release is mainly targeting stability, performance, and user interface tweaks.

Below a sneak preview of the user interface.

In this release, recent documents, shared files and folders, and attached WebPal Drives are listed for easy access on the home screen. WebDAV connectivity has been improved for Mac OS and Windows 7. Online document viewing allows full-content reading at full resolution without a download.

Last not least, the groundwork has been laid for full integration of work flow plugins, document widgets and web application management. More to come soon… as usual, follow us on @webpaldotnet to stay tuned or contact us for a demo.

The WebPal Team

Sneak Preview Screenshot

BPM tips and advice


 Business process management (or BPM) is on everyone’s minds when it come to improving organizational efficiency and processes. It was one of the main themes of Social Media Week 2012, which took place February 13-17.

“Helping companies uncover ways to reduce time to value in this space and integrate social analytics into existing business processes has not been focused on enough, and this event was the perfect platform to highlight it,” said Rod Smith, IBM VP of emerging technologies.

As more companies have started looking at how to bring BPM into their culture, Gartner research director, John Dixon, wants business leaders to consider certain factors before deploying BPM initiatives, “such as organizational change, measurement systems, communications, business analysis, improvement methodologies and vendor selection.”

BPM is not about technology. Because it fundamentally changes how people work, BPM is about change.”

Another thing to keep in mind, maintain records of achievements as you begin to deploy these initiatives and figure out how success will be measured. That way you are prepared to communicate a return on investment as it starts to improve your company.

Whether you are deploying a custom or third party web application that requires a storage server, or you need to convert and track versions of documents, WebPal makes BPM a priority. Leading organizations in multiple verticals are counting on their WebPal Server to handle complex online business processes through their web portals.

Tablet and Apps key to mobility success


Tablet’s are all the rage these days, not only because they are fun and convenient, but it’s the best way to experience what the app industry has to offer. In a previous post, we had mentioned that BlackBerry’s lack of variety in their apps is what may be causing RIM to lose some of its smartphone market share, pointing out that WebPal doesn’t connect with as many BlackBerry apps as it does with the Android and iPhone apps.

Today, RIM released its BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.0 software upgrade, and one of the main new features of the software is that it can run android apps. Other improvements include the ability to type onto the device using the keyboard of a BlackBerry smartphone; an improved calendar that expands and appears bolder as more events are added; and it pulls LinkedIn information for your contacts.

These new changes may give RIM the mobility edge it has been looking for, and may help with the desperately lagging sales of the current PlayBook. Unfortunately for RIM, the announcement of the iPad 3 is expected (or hoped for) in March, and RBC Capital Markets analyst Mike Abramsky believes this is just one obstacle for RIM to overcome.

“The PlayBook brand is significantly impaired,” Abramsky said. “RIM will have to do something in addition to PlayBook OS 2.0 to stir up consumer demand. Additionally, the iPad 3 is expected to be announced early March and may overshadow any positive news flow RIM gets.”



Cloud and the Enterprise: What about security?


Cloud security was a topic in the news this week after a July 2011 report commissioned by the RCMP criminal intelligence branch was published by the Financial Post.

The report stipulated that cloud computing makes combating business crime that much more difficult, as “the idea of storing information in jurisdictions where privacy laws are lax and where governments have the authority to monitor and collect data without court order or permission, is cause for alarm as trade secrets, and personal and sensitive information, may be at risk,” the report said.

Hasan Cavusoglu, associate business professor at the University of British Columbia and Internet crime experts, acknowledges that there are undesirable providers out there, but “by and large, the cloud providers provide much better security to your data because ensuring security and privacy is their core function, and without it they will not exist.”

One of biggest concerns for enterprises looking to use cloud-based software to manage their documents is the security of the services they are paying for. The WebPal team understands the tenuous trust relationship most organizations have with putting their content on a cloud server, so we make the the software flexible enough to suit your needs. Your WebPal server can be fully isolated, while still enjoying scalability, uptime and connectivity. Click here to ask about WebPal Enterprise to learn more about what WebPal can do for your organization.

File sharing is caring


Today is Valentine’s Day, a day of sharing between loved ones; A perfect occasion to recognize how important file-sharing is to the freedom of the internet. It’s not only SOPA and PIPA that we have to worry about now, it’s about the future of file-sharing servers in the wake of the arrest of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom. The U.S. Federal Government seems to be on a rampage to bring copyright infringer’s to justice, which is already instilling fear in other established file-sharing sites, including Amazon, Dropbox, and Rapidshare.

FileSonic has already bowed to pressure after the following message appeared on their homepage:

It reads “All sharing functionality on Filesonic is now disabled. Our service can only be used to upload and retrieve files that you have uploaded personally.”

Mike Masnick, editor of the Techdirt blog, expressed concern about legitimate services (“who do things like de-duplification, or have legitimate backup services”) going under as a result of pressure from the law.

“If you’re running Amazon S3 or Dropbox, do you now suddenly change how you do business, just to avoid the possibility of being accused of racketeering and criminal copyright infringement? That’s worrisome.”

One file-share service that claims they will never be taken offline has recently emerged from the woodwork. Tribler was developed by researchers at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands as a way to share files without centralized servers.

“With Tribler, we have achieved zero-seconds downtime over the past six years, all because we don’t rely on shaky foundations such as DNS, web servers or search portraits,” says Tribler leader Dr. Pouwelse.

WebPal knows that file-sharing is all about content, collaboration and control. It easily enables users to share documents with other WebPal users or through email, tracks updates through an activity log and allows admins to control access to all documents.

The Internet and file-sharing go hand-in-hand. The law and the entertainment industry may have no choice but to take a leaf out of the Care Bear book and accept that sharing is caring.

The joys of web archives


  Business has been run on paper for about as long as fax machines and letterheads have been in existence; Office Depot has built their business model on this fact. But as software like WebPal has emerged that allows enterprises to store and browse large archives of documents, more and more managers are looking at the possibility of paperless office operations.

AIIM, a global community of information professionals, released a new industry watch research paper titled “The Paper Free Office – Dream or Reality.” It found that “paper is beginning to disappear, with 35 per cent of respondents confirming less paper consumption and photocopying.”

As with all changes to technology within an organization, the toughest challenge is changing a system that has been in place for years. This isn’t stopping the National Archives in the United States though; Oliver Morley, the chief executive of the National Archives, says despite a 16 per cent cut in funding, services will be better than ever.

“I believe strongly that one of the signs of a good organization is how well it takes care of its records – whether it can use them and learn from them,” says Morley.

The WebPal Team is interested in participating in the discussion of what various industries are doing to expand their technological capabilities. That’s why we will be at the 2012 Technology Conference for Insurance Canada, where people will gather to discuss social business, mobile, analytics, and modern technology. Be sure to be there on March 5.

Megaupload and public cloud content servers


Web content servers are currently at a crossroads in their evolution, as evidenced by the recent controversy surrounding the U.S. government seizing all user content from Megaupload. WebPal has distinguished itself as a powerful cloud content management solution for enterprises and organizations to organize, share and track their content. All of its features are built in a secure cloud server. However, free and public cloud servers like Megaupload are under threat as the U.S. federal government cracks down on online copyright infringement.

The file sharing site has been offline since January 19, after the U.S. government executed search warrants on Cogent Communications and Carpathia Hosting, two companies that provided Megaupload with file hosting services. This left users in a panic, as it meant that they may not be able to get their content back. The government announced that they would begin deleting content as early as February 2.

While most people can’t argue that the government has a right to delete copyrighted content, many people user Megaupload for legitimate file sharing. Critics like Azita Arvani, principal of the Arvani Group, say the government should extend the data deletion time beyond February 2 to allow “legit users to grab their files.”

“The demise of Megaupload and resultant confusion as to the stored user files demonstrates the evanescence of digital data due to mislaid trust,” says Raymond Van Dyke, a Washington, D.C.-based technology and IP attorney.

“There are many legitimate data storage sites out here… just because something is free doesn’t mean that it is the best. Caveat emptor.”

This is a time when web content hosting will experience profound change, especially as laws like PIPA and SOPA are emerging. Check out this infographic created by cloud hosting company PEER 1 to see how web hosting has evolved in the past two decades.