File sharing and cloud storage

Software week in review for June 27

Wear it, watch it, drive it, sweat it: That's what you'll be doing soon with Android and Chrome, according to news from the Google I/O conference. For the football fans, revisit our guide to watching the World Cup, and you can follow @ReplayLastGoal on Twitter to get video replay and an animated GIF of the latest goal. Read on for our I/O recap, and to get the latest reviews and features from our editors in your inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

Google input/output

A billion fandroids can't be wrong. This week at I/… Read more

Heartbleed: Two steps to protect your information

Heartbleed is a security flaw that's plaguing as much as two-thirds of the Internet, including many popular sites like Yahoo and GitHub. On sites affected by Heartbleed, user accounts are vulnerable -- your username, password, credit card number, and other private information may be exposed. Companies are scrambling to patch their sites.

But don't sit around waiting for a fix. Take these two defensive steps (and one more if you have an Android device):

1. Check whether your most-visited sites are vulnerable

CNET has already checked the top 100 sites to see if they have Heartbleed patches, so … Read more

PirateBrowser lets you sail past Internet censors

In the wake of the release of Firefox 23, the infamous torrent site The Pirate Bay, released its own Web browser, dubbed "PirateBrowser." The package browser is a bundling of a custom Portable Firefox Browser with the add-on FoxyProxy and Vidalia (a Tor Client).

All this work is being done with the goal of allowing the user to bypass the censor net of certain countries such as United Kingdom, Ireland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Finland, Denmark, Italy, Iran, and North Korea. The browser is portable so you can just put it on a thumb drive and take it with … Read more

BitTorrent Sync beta brings mobile support and versioning

BitTorrent's Sync decentralized file-synchronization tool has entered beta status, and offers a number of enhancements, including support for mobile devices as well as a new versioning feature called SyncArchive.

Following months of closed testing, on April 23, 2013, BitTorrent released a public alpha version of its Sync software, a cross-platform competing service to online storage and synchronization solutions such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and Apple's iCloud. Unlike its competitors, Sync approaches synchronization using the decentralized BitTorrent peer-to-peer (P2P) network, which avoids the need for hosted storage space as a transfer medium, and instead keeps paired folders directly synced … Read more

New Firefox 22 enables browser-based file-sharing

Today's stable release of Mozilla Firefox 22 (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android) includes a variety of back-end technical updates and relatively minor tweaks (to be honest, the word-wrapping of plain-text files is the most relevant to me).

The most notable news is Firefox's new default support for WebRTC (the RTC stands for real-time communication), a set of API components that allows developers to create browser-to-browser applications without plug-ins. WebRTC was developed by Google for Chrome and open-sourced back in 2011, so Google Chrome (Windows, Mac, Android) of course supports it as well.

In real terms, WebRTC enables features such … Read more

BitTorrent to monetize its file-distribution platform

Torrents are indisputably one of the fastest ways to distribute files, but they've been extremely hard to monetize -- until now.

BitTorrent has built a preliminary format called the BitTorrent Bundle, which will let content owners charge for some files within a torrent. The company has partnered with the music label Ultra to test out the Bundle Alpha by sharing a mix of behind-the-scenes music, videos, and a "digital tour booklet" from Kaskade, a star in the realm of electronic dance music. It's all part of the artist's 2012 "Freaks of Nature" tour … Read more

Hands on with BitTorrent Sync

Announced back in January and subsequently thrown into private alpha, BitTorrent Sync ( Windows, Mac, Linux) rolled out its first version, available to the general public today. Rather than using a central online repository for your synced files, BitTorrent Sync uses the BitTorrent file-sharing protocol to transfer files between your various devices, using your rules and custom settings.

The latest version, 1.0.116, adds a few new features like one-way and one-time syncing as well as the ability to exclude specific files or subdirectories from syncing.

After spending a few hours today syncing various files across different Windows and Mac … Read more

Google Drive goes down for many users

Google Drive was having some hiccups earlier today but apparently has since recovered.

The online file storage site had been inaccessible for a large number of users today. On its status page, Google initially said that it's "investigating reports of an issue with Google Drive" as of 7:17 a.m. PT and that it will "provide more information shortly."

A second update on the status page offered a bit more information:

We're aware of a problem with Google Drive affecting a significant subset of users. The affected users are unable to access Google … Read more

Dropbox 2.0 adds system-tray alerts and sharing features

We Dropbox users have gotten very accustomed to our boring yet reliable Dropbox desktop clients (download for Windows, Mac, Linux 32-bit, and Linux 64-bit) chugging along tirelessly, syncing files and folders between computers and devices with no muss or fuss, that it was with some trepidation yesterday that I updated to version 2.0, the brand-new release from the online-hosting service. The new update gives the system-tray-based app a slight cosmetic makeover--the utilitarian menu as been supplanted with a more modern UI that includes links to your Dropbox folder, the Dropbox Web site, three "recently changed" files, and … Read more

Apple could let you sell your iTunes content to other people

Want to sell that movie you bought on iTunes but never watch? You may be able to one day if a new Apple patent filing ever comes to life.

Published today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and filed last June, an Apple patent application named "Managing Access To Digital Content Items" conjures up a system for legally selling or loaning iTunes items to another person.

The method involves transferring digital access rights from the original owner to someone else. Once those rights are transferred, the new owner would gain access to the content while the … Read more