NewTeeVee Live is Tomorrow!

It’s almost here! Our second-annual NewTeeVee Live conference is less than 24 hours away.
If you’re not one of the 500 people with a ticket to the show, you can still tune in to our live-stream here, our live red carpet interviews here, and our live-blogging right here on NewTeeVee.
Either way, make sure to show up bright and early, as the first sessions — Q&As with the head of ABC.com (walled garden home to excellent-quality premium video streams) and Michael Buckley (the web celeb with more zip than a cup of coffee!) — are not to be missed!

Syncplicity Makes Offline Syncing Possible

We get all giddy over here at GigaOM when it comes to storage and backup products, so it’s worth noting that today a service called Syncplicity launches in public beta. What’s nice about the service is it offers both storage and backup as well as automatic syncing across PCs. What makes it better than most is its ability to sync offline documents.

Right now, the bridging feature that syncs your offline work when you get online is only available for Google Docs/Word files and Facebook photos. However, Leonard Chung, co-founder of the service, says more offline syncing options will come soon. So will a Mac product. Because my PC is wonky at the moment (hey, it’s four years old,) I didn’t get a chance to try out the software, but if you guys do, please leave us a note in the comments section with your thoughts. Read More about Syncplicity Makes Offline Syncing Possible

Pushing Microsoft Into the Cloud

Right now Microsoft’s Windows Live efforts are the software giant’s answer to web applications and cloud computing. In fact, however, they’re less a cloud strategy than a layer of fog over the multibillion-dollar packaged software franchises that keeps Microsoft going.

But the Redmond-based behemoth isn’t dumb, and as its chief software architect, Ray Ozzie, said in his interview last week with Om, Microsoft is beginning to navigate the cloud. The release of a new version of FolderShare points to that. The Austin-based startup that built the product was acquired by Microsoft two and a half years ago, only to undergo more than four reorganizations within the first 18 months. In fact, the FolderShare product was going to be shelved — that is, until Microsoft realized that web applications were the place to be. So it’s taken until now to launch a new version.

If you read our review, you know my complaint about FolderShare is that it’s not really doing much in the cloud, which makes it difficult to use for online collaboration and backup. However, judging from the design elements and team members working on FolderShare and Microsoft’s online storage product, SkyDrive, I’m betting we’ll soon see another new launch, one that brings the two together. While I still plan on checking out some of the online storage programs mentioned in the comments (isn’t ElephantDrive simply a repackaged Amazon s3?), I’m also eager to see what Microsoft can do.

FolderShare vs. Dropbox

Earlier this week Om wrote about Dropbox, which he liked so much that we at GigaOM are trying it out for our file-sharing and backup needs. Also this week, FolderShare, another remote file access program, launched its first version since being acquired by Microsoft two-and-half years ago. So I decided to try them out, too.

After playing around with both, I’m torn. The essential differences between the two stem from the fact that Dropbox is all about sending your data to the cloud and accessing it there, whereas FolderShare links two computers that are already online. So for remote access of your files, FolderShare is the clear winner, while Dropbox takes the cake for backup and collaborative work.

Read More about FolderShare vs. Dropbox

Drop It Like It’s DropBox

Personal file storage, sharing and syncing is one of those categories of technology problems that, despite all efforts, no one ever seems to get right. But one service that comes pretty close is DropBox, which is available via a public beta today.

A Quick Look at FolderShare

FolderShare Like many people, I use more than one computer over the course of the day. Keeping my documents folder synced between machines is a high priority. FolderShare is a free program which allows you to sync folders over the internet. While FolderShare was bought by Microsoft over two years ago, they have kept Mac support. Installation is quite simple. You download a zip file and run through an installer. You have to do the same over at the other computer with which you plan to sync.

From there, you can define which folder or folders you want to sync. These folder pairs are called “libraries.” Each library has a 10,000 file limit and you can have up to ten libraries. FolderShare runs in your tray if you use Windows or places an icon in your menu bar on your Mac. I have used the program for my Mac running Leopard (and previously Tiger) with a Windows XP machine. Everything runs smoothly as long as firewalls are set up properly.

The web interface is rather sparse, but everything is laid out simply. The start page shows you your libraries and gives you the option of syncing your folders, accessing your fies and sharing with friends. You can invite other people to have access to your files and decide permissions for your invitees. The permissions options are Reader (can only download and open files, cannot alter files), Contributor (can add new files), Editor (can edit and delete files), Senior Editor (can invite other users to this library). The person you invite must then download the FolderShare software.

One of the more interesting features is access to your files through a browser. Files are not stored online for online access – FolderShare is a peer-to-peer system. This means that if you turn off your other machine or shut down the application, remote access to your files disappears. That being said, the files you can access online are not limited to those you chose to share. You can access your entire hard drive through the web interface and download whatever you would like. Running the application in the background did not seem to have any noticeable impact on the performance of any of my computers.

The main feature of FolderShare is syncing two folders over the internet and FolderShare does that very well. The fact that it can turn any computer into a file server accessible through a web browser is a very cool feature that effectively expands your local network over the internet. The best thing about FolderShare is that it is free. And yes, a Microsoft product is not bad (as long as they keep Mac support).