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Archive for the ‘Preservation Cloud’ Category

Facebook has recently announced that they will start expiring access tokens after 60 days. These tokens are used for Cloud Preservation to crawl Facebook feeds that require user authorization. To ensure proper crawling of your Facebook feeds you will need to reauthorize Cloud Preservation every 60 days.

This can be done by going to the feed’s settings and selecting to either enter your Facebook credentials or emailing the user who originally authorized the feed.

After saving the changes you will either be directed to sign into Facebook or an email will be sent to the email address you entered.

As a feed owner you will be notified 5 days before tokens are scheduled to expire, and again the day they expire, if you have not already reauthorized.

While this is may be seen as a nuisance, we understand that Facebook is taking this step to improve user security and we will do our best ensure the process is as smooth as possible.

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Last night we rolled out some improvements to help users switch between different accounts and product instances in Trial Cloud, Discovery Cloud, and Cloud Preservation. With more and more customers taking advantage of all of the Nextpoint applications, as well as the introduction of the Nextpoint’s WIRE technology, we know that the list of Nextpoint product instances that a user may have could get unruly.

So, to help keep that organized, we’ve updated the change instance drop down (screenshot below) to only include your product instances for the current account. For those of you that have access to more than one account, we’ve provided a link right next to the account name that allows you to switch accounts. And finally, for account administrators, we’ve moved the account administration link into this switch instance drop down (it was previously in the drop down that shows when you click on your user name in the right-hand corner.)

Switch repositories

Switch repositories (click to enlarge)

We’re hoping these changes help keep you organized as the number of your Nextpoint product instances grows.

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The account dashboard is your tool for keeping up to date on how much data you’re storing in your Trial Cloud, Discovery Cloud and Preservation Cloud repositories.  Each product dashboard provides an overview of the data used by each of your repositories as well as a product-wide gigabyte sum.

The numbers shown for each repository are the averages of all the records for the time period you are viewing. We run our storage calculations twice daily – once in the morning and once in the evening. You can view a repository’s daily usage by clicking on the repository name. The daily usage records shown are the maximum of the two storage numbers for that day in gigabytes.

The Cloud Preservation dashboard includes feed counts as well as storage numbers and presents these in the same fashion.

A note on document deletion: We wait a full day after a document has been deleted to fully purge it from the system. This gives us the ability to restore the document quickly if it was incorrectly deleted. This may cause some lag in the reduction of gigabytes used per day, but have no fear the reduction will be recorded.

Managing storage can be a daunting task and we strive to be transparent about the amount of data you are storing in any of our products.

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Today Cloudpreservation.com is happy to announce archival functionality for the social photography site Flickr.com.  Flickr account holders are now able to automatically backup their Flickr photos and videos with Cloudpreservation.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Flickr Profile

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Flickr Profile

Cloudpreservation offers two different options for archiving accounts: authenticated and public feeds.  Authenticated feeds archive all of a user’s photos, vidoes, profile information, contacts, comments, favorites and photosets.  When archiving a public feed, Cloudpreservation has access to only the profile information, contacts, favorites, photos and videos that is publicly available.  All of the public user’s photosets will be archived, but private photos within the photosets will not.  Public Flickr feeds do not include a user’s comments.

Example Archived Flickr Photoset

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration Archived Flickr Photoset: Recalled Products

When archiving Flickr photos, Cloudpreservation stores the highest resolution version of the file available as well as the metadata associated with it.  Exif data, tags, timestamp and licensing information are all archived and are easily searchable.

Example Flickr Photo with Data

Example Flickr Photo with Data

Cloudpreservation also stores social data from the Flickr website like comments and favorites.  This allows the documentation of social interaction with the added context of an image or video.

Example Archived Flickr Comments

Example Archived Flickr Comments

Currently, over 5 billion photos are stored at Flickr. It’s used by many companies and government agencies to store and promote their digital media.  We’re glad to be able to provide Flickr users with a way to archive their accounts and fulfill legal and compliance obligations.

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Knowing who has viewed and changed a record is something we’ve long stored in a format unfriendly to human eyes, intended to be available for chain-of-custody auditing.  While we’ll continue to keep our machine-friendly copy as gospel, we’ve built in some new functionality to provide a much friendlier front end for everyday use.

You can now find a what has changed and who has changed it on any given record via the “Views & Edits” tab in Discovery Cloud and Trial Cloud.  Cloud Preservation will offer similar functionality via it’s “Views” tab.

screenshot from Trial Cloud

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Twitter recently announced they will be changing the default permissions third-party applications — like CloudPreservation — receive when a user authenticates them. Starting on June 14th, applications will have to explicitly request access to a user’s Direct Messages, a permission that had been granted automatically up to this point.

In the end, this is a good thing in that it gives users better insight and control into exactly what a third-party application will be able to see and do with their account, and giving users control over their data through transparency is never a bad thing. It does, however, mean that everyone who has already granted CloudPreservation permission to preserve their Twitter feeds will have to reauthorize us so that we can continue to track and store their Direct Messages.

No problem. Within the next few days, if you’re one of our current CloudPreservation customers with an active Twitter account, you’ll receive an email from us asking you to click a link to reauthorize CloudPreservation. You’ll actually be performing the same process as when you authorized us the first time. Just click the link in the email, log in to Twitter, choose “Authorize App,” and voila — we’ll be able to preserve your Direct Messages for well into the future.

For more information on Twitter’s changes, see their blog post and discussion list announcement.

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As most of you know, Nextpoint is a proponent of cloud computing and a customer of Amazon Web Services (AWS).  We’ve been thrilled with our relationship with Amazon in large part because of the unprecedented uptime experienced to date.So with the very public outage that AWS underwent yesterday, it’s important for us to share how this outage impacted Nextpoint products and why.  Transparency builds trust and it’s at the core of our values.All Nextpoint products including Cloud Preservation, Discovery Cloud, and Trial Cloud experienced 100% uptime yesterday.  There was no point in time where data was unavailable to users.  That’s correct. Our service remained accessible to all users for data that was already in these products.Unfortunately, we did experience marginally delayed processing times for imports and exports.  We take these delays very seriously and know the importance and potential impact to our customers.  And we worked hard yesterday to communicate as quickly as we could with customers who reported delays.

How were we able to avoid downtime during the AWS outage? By preparing for it. Cloud Computing is an essential tool in our architecture.  It allows for increased scalability in an unprecedented fashion.  But cloud computing is just one of many components of Nextpoint’s product architecture.  An important component, but far from the only component.  We utilize a hybrid architecture that includes cloud computing and traditional co-located servers to minimize service interruptions.

This means a bigger research and development investment but that’s our commitment to our customers. We apologize for any service disruption you experienced, and as always, if you have any questions or concerns please let us know.

Thanks for using Nextpoint!

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