Skype is storing your file transfers in their cloud now – where and how long?

Skype logo

With the recent changes of Skype moving to a cloud based architecture some of you may be seeing a link when sending file transfers. These transfers used to be peer to peer. Skype has not issued any statement or documentation where or how long these file transfers are stored.

Skype File Transfer URL link

As part of Skype’s move to a cloud-based architecture, pictures sent via chat are now uploaded to the cloud. All of our Skype clients are currently moving to this new cloud-based architecture, and once we complete the rollout, your pictures will show (as normal) inside the conversation. For the moment, to view the picture that your contact sent, all you have to do is click the link and log in.

As Skype declares above, they are storing your files in their cloud and then presenting them to you inline or as a link. I am curious about the architecture behind this and the availability of the images long term. Can the images be found using simple URL replacement? Are they protected with some form of attribute so only those that were in the chat get get access? Or can anyone with the link that can authenticate into Skype get the file or image?

This shift prompted us to move from a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) architecture for calls and messaging to a cloud-based system. It’s the biggest architecture change in the history of Skype, and we’re constantly making improvements so that, no matter where you are or what device you’re using, everything “just works.”

Skype states as the world moves forward they need the cloud to continue instead of peer to peer. While that makes sense for some of the data I cannot see it for the file names and transfers without an option on the user side.  One of the benefits was no server in the middle when sending those files. With the new architecture you will both not have to be online at the same time to send the file, but I imagine this will also affect the maximum transfer size as well. I do not see Skype wanting to store large files.

So questions Skype needs to answer are:

  • Who has long term access?
  • How long are they storing our files?
  • Will there be a new maximum transfer size?
  • If I pass out the link can anyone get to the file that can log in?

What other concerns or questions would you have with the new changes Skype is implementing?

Checky helps you stop checking your phone so much – Virtual Gratification Syndrome

checky screenshot

How many times a day do you check your phone or tablet? Checky can help by telling you the number of times and where you do it using the location services built into your device.  The idea of the free application is to inform you where and how often you keep checking for that Virtual Gratification Syndrome (VGS).  Think about your own habits and when you unlock that screen.

  • In the car?  Of course
  • In the elevator? Yes
  • At lunch? Always
  • At dinner? If the other person does
  • In bed? Oh yeah
  • Randomly because you have to? VGS

The Checky app does point you to the other app they make for meditation, which isn’t free. But using the simple display you get a feel for how you trend during the week.  Checky does not know how long you were on the device, just that you checked it.  I can see this being linked to things like Facebook or IFTT to set alerts and show who can check the least amount of times.  Or help you curn that VGS habit by slowing you down some.  Maybe even setting specific times or places you check your devices.

I am going to see how my trends are and update this later.  Don’t forget how VGS can affect you each day. Read all the VGS articles here on TheSocialNetworker.

Q-Spot by SpotUse – supposed quick and easy meeting planner

q-spot by SpotUse logo

Q-Spot by Spotuse is a mobile application that is supposed to help easing the creation of quick, in-person meetings with your contacts. After setting it up and the limited help files I am not sure it was any use at all yet.  It is available on iOS and Android and you must install the application to establish an account. It has a web interface after you confirm your setup.

The first thing after installation that Q-Spot asks for is an email address and password to establish your account.  A verification email is then sent and Q-Spot is active once verified.  I quickly and easily added my name and profile picture. That was all of the preferences right now for your profile.

Q-Spot asks to access your contacts (and I think uploads them looking at how the web interface works) to send invitations. If you only have a cell phone number then this is not the app for you. That would have been much more useful if it sent texts too with a link. You could then reach far more people.  I was able to add native contacts to Q-Spot which was nice. Once again it only allowed an email address.  The interface itself does make it quick to set up the event.

It asks a category for the event such as drink, lunch, call and a large list. It then lets you select when (now, later, and even dates) and where.  The default is now at the usual place which was quite cool. I found it easy to set somewhere else and even have it say to be decided later.

Unfortunately it fell apart for me from there for anything but right now kind of meetings. I could have easily used a real calendar (like Google) if I had their email address. I simple create the meeting and invite them. You had the ability to syn to your calendar in preferences, which would mean your local device calendar. Which would then sync (supposedly) to your web calendar.

One thing I did not like was the lack of any help information via the web.  It was basically a blank page with a feedback button.  Some how-to stuff for new users and basix Q&A would be beneficial.  I know it is a new beta launch, but I am sure they had questions as they built it.

One last point is the name they chose for the app.  Q-Spot is a very popular spotlight that is used for things like clubs and DJ’s. So finding them via the web is tough unless you know the name SpotUse, who make the app.  Something they may want to consider.

Download the app from either the iOS or Android store and visit the website to hopefully learn more. Oh and they have a Twitter account

Streem launches to offer unlimited cloud storage for one flat rate

Streem logo

Streem is launching Streem Drive to offer unlimited cloud storage and streaming for one flat monthly rate. Should offerings Dropbox, Box, Copy and others be worried? Maybe they should since Streem will also offer 20GB of free space to everyone to get you hooked.

Streem is taking a new approach with unlimited storage by utilizing deduplication of cloud files and using proprietary technology to stream movies and audio to your devices. They hope they can compensate and estimate the large need for space many of us have. They also must hope we have many of the same files apparently.

Files are opened natively on the device, requiring no special software, configuration, or any change in the consumer’s behavior. Large videos are instantly streamed using proprietary adaptive bitrate streaming technology, giving consumers the best possible quality without any lag, no matter the device or bandwidth.

Sharing a link to files and making public folders is all part of the package and what is expected from any cloud storage provider.  Folders, security and all the regular things seem to be in place. Performance from other reviewers seems good but time will tell when they start to load up users.

The change is the way they went to a flat tier for pricing.  Streem is offering a free month for referrals. Dropbox gives you 500MB for each person you invite with a maximum limit of 16GB. Sites like Copy give you 5GB for each referral with no limit. Since Streem gives you unlimited space you could ride for aree for a long time with enough constant paying referrals.  All the cloud storage services are in a race to convince users to upload everything they own to the cloud for anywhere access and some for of guaranteed availability.

Streem will be $20/month for unlimited space.  Dropbox gives 100GB for only $9.99/month on top of their small free space.  Copy offers 250GB for $10/month on top of their free and referral space.  Box jumps in with 1000GB for $15/month but has many restrictions on their free plans.

You can try out Streem for free right here.

You can get Dropbox right here

You can get Copy.com space right here