When we think about cryptographic keys, we tend to think about closely guarded secrets. Keys are the only thing that keeps the attacker away from your encrypted data. Some keys are usually treated with the appropriate level of respect. Security professionals in the payments industry, or those that have deployed a PKI, know all too well about the importance... 

Richard Moulds

Cloud Apps Of The Week: FitDay

Cloud Apps of the Week

From getting fit to finding your phone, this week’s apps are sure to prove of great use to cloud lovers throughout 2012. Take a look.

Critical to dropping pounds and keeping them off is maintaining a detailed account of every single calorie. Cloud application FitDay makes such meticulous nutrition a breeze. It lets users log a record of their caloric intake no matter the time or their location. Its ease of use is primarily derived from its cloud, where FitDay manages a database of foods and their breakdowns — calories, protein content, types of fiber, et cetera. FitDay also doubles as a diary, an ideal journal for users to vent about having to skip that bear claw for yet another day.

The app’s features do not stop there: it graphs exercise routines and goal completions to boot. 6 million users have already flocked to FitDay for free; a souped-up version of the app is available for $4/month.

Microsoft Office is a classic word processing program that several applications might one day render obsolete. At the front of the line of such apps stands Zoho Office Suite, whose free cost has already netted five million online users. It trumps the standard offering of Microsoft Office in that, as we expect from the cloud, one user or multiple users can work on a single document regardless of the time or location. Critics have hailed Zoho’s interface as superior to Microsoft’s as well, being neater and less cluttered. Zoho has now recently mushroomed into a whole host of subsidiary applications, like Zoho Books (for accounting), Zoho People (for H.R.), Zoho Show (presentations), and Zoho Wiki.

Wish your cell phone (smart, dumb, all scales of “phone-telligence”) could turn into an app itself? Yup, there’s an app for that. Hit European sensation PhoneDeck is helping users to employ their phones as measurements of their social activity and the depth of their participation in various circles of friends, family, business associates, and acquaintances. Without any complicated “unlocking” of an Android phone — the app will soon become available for the iFamily and Blackberry crowds — PhoneDeck lets users maintain data on their calling contacts, summon whole conversation histories at a glance, and instantly update their roster of contacts through Facebook or LinkedIn.

Lose your phone a lot? PhoneDeck yet again comes to the rescue, with a feature that lets you find your device with a click of a button.

By Jeff Norman

About Jeff Norman

Jeff Norman is a freelance writer currently based in New York City. He's moved into writing about cloud computing from substantial work in culture and the arts. He earned his undergraduate degree in English at Stanford and has studied at Oxford and Cambridge.