Omnidrive to Launch in a Few Hours

Omnidrive LogoJust noticed that the Australian Company Omnidrive is about to move out of private beta and go live. The service has attracted a lot of attention over the last couple of months and being an Aussie myself I am proud to give it a mention here.

Omnidrive is an on-line storage solution that offers a free 1Gig account with more storage available for a fee. 10Gig will cost you 40 bucks a year, not bad. Larger storage is available on application for what is described as a reasonable price. The latest on the company blog says:

“… give us a bit more time and we should have the sign up link there for you in a few hours, we will keep you posted on the blog here.”

Nothing so far, but the word is that at 0001hrs PST the site will go live.

The service offers a web interface as you would expect and also a client that will be available as a drive on your system. Correct, right along side “My Computer” (cool eh.). This sounds exciting. Seamless integration with your operating system. There is a client for Mac as well. The uploading and downloading of files works in the background and you can control the bandwidth so that your system resources are free to do what you need to do effectively.

All your data that is stored on Omnidrive is encrypted and safe. However, there is the ability to share your stored content in the space of two clicks of the mouse with anyone you choose.

There has been a lot of buzz recently about on-line storage solutions with the launch of services such as MediaFire, box.net, and Badongo. Omnidrive is the latest in a series of products that offer a similar service. There are a few things that set Omnidrive apart. However, this space looks like one that is going to be very hot over the next twelve months as the best of them float to the top. Expect to see some very competitive pricing and expanding services and feature sets. Competition is what will make the best of these services attractive and effective solutions. Watch this space.

Michael Arrington of TechCrunch describes the service as:

“a product that I and millions of others really need… as good or better than anything else I’ve seen out of silicon valley recently. It has been in development for 12 months.”

High praise and I look forward to giving the service a spin myself. Perhaps you are looking for a superior online storage solution and might want to try it, looks like you could do a lot worse than Omnidrive. Plus the logo is cool.

Storage Mash-Up

Australian Dictionary for Firefox 2

Yesterday I summarized my impressions of Firefox 2. In that summary I was said that one of my favourite features of the new version was the real time spell checking. I also said that I hoped that in time we would see custom dictionaries come online for users. Who was I kidding, this is the open source community and I should have remembered just how innovative it is.

So I was browsing the newest Firefox extensions (I should say “add-ons” but I can’t stand it) and I noticed that in the last couple of days that some different dictionaries were coming online. Such as the “Icelandic dictionary for Firefox 2.0 spell checker” and that got me thinking… Hell, if Iceland have a custom dictionary then us Aussies should have one! Yup; sure enough the English (Australian) Dictionary by Cameron is available now. Just a note though, you have to right click within an editing field and select the dictionary that you want Firefox to use as it stays as the default otherwise.

In addition to my thoughts yesterday //engtech had a take on the fox as well. It is good to see what others think of the new version. I have also removed the close tab X from the individual tabs thanks to the post. Now I have no close tab buttons at all which is great. Why I did this is because tonight on this post when I clicked the tab that this post was in I almost closed it, that would have been bad. Plus I did not like the way they looked in my theme at all, Yuk.

The other thing is that I had no idea that WordPress had an “Advanced Post Editor”! Thanks //engtech for the tip. If you are a WordPress.com user, you can make these tools visible in the WYSIWYG post editor by pressing Alt-Shift-V. The tool bar has some nice features that might come in useful in the future.

Advanced Editing Tool bar for WordPress

Where are the Australian Investors?

Last week it was announced that PodShow has secured 15 million in funding. So what I want to know is where are all the Australian investors?

Sure PodShow is a large podcasting network who report themselves to have over 1000 shows. They have been there since the start (as close to) and they have indicated that they plan to move into the U.K. That is big in anyone’s book. They will not talk about what sort of revenue they are generating from their 1000 shows, but I would think that it was not as much as you might think. At the moment there is not a lot of money in independent podcasting. Networks of podcasters certainly makes a difference and a few big names help. But input is disproportionate to output. Not to mention the opportunity cost of your time that it takes to put together a show. That is not counting the hours spent marketing, blogging and monitoring comments and staying in touch with listeners. Maintaining that level of commitment from your hosts on a network is difficult. But I digress.

With all this bloody cash being thrown around I don’t see any Australian investors or big companies seeing the potential of podcasting. I am not saying that they should invest 15 million but a couple of million would not be wasted. Podcasting and on-demand media is the future of entertainment, news, gaining and keeping the attention of listeners, viewers and watchers. I want to know where all the forward thinking and revolutionaries in the broadcasting and communication industry are.

There are some great Australian businesses out there that need your investment and we are yet to see a substantial commitment to new media and the future of broadcasting in the world within Australia. I don’t want to see Australia become a late adopter and be left behind and the inevitable laughing stock of the world. The support of Australian companies means that they stay here and a part of our culture. At present they regret that they are here because business and investors appear to be backward and slow to adopt. This is partly due to the backward Internet connectivity we have in Australia and the strangle-hold grip companies like Telstra have on the minds of the Australian public.

Having said that I admire the likes of Exploit Prevention Labs that have been quick to show confidence in the medium through practical support of podcasts based in Australia. These are baby steps and with companies like PodShow taking 15 million dollar steps and making it fairly clear they are wanting to be more than distributors of podcasts; we had better get going, fast. I fear that we are going to loose the future and have it dictated to us by one or two; but isn’t that how it always is?

Disclaimer: Exploit Prevention Labs are a sponsor of The Global Geek Podcast of which I am a co-host.

Update: A perfect example of the state of affairs from Cameron Reilly