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Google lets slip talk of online storage

3:34 pm on Mar 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Google is preparing to offer online storage to Web users, creating a mirror image of data stored on consumer hard drives, according to company documents that were mistakenly released on the Web.

Google lets slip talk of online storage [news.com.com]

This is the previously rumored GDrive online storage service.

5:02 am on Mar 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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>> Why should only MS do that?

please tell me that you know the difference of having an operating system feature that indexes your files on your computer and sending them over to Google's servers?

5:15 am on Mar 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This service also wouldn't be applicable to terrorists or people who'd somehow have fear of the government.

This is an age-old argument about civil liberties: "those that don't have anything to hide won't mind being finger-printed and tracked and monitored...(especially if it makes them safer)"

But for people like me, i'd live with the risk of having the government search my drives (online and offline) for decent storage space.

Decent storage space? Some government agent puts 2 + 2 together to make 5, and as a result of your innocent data you end up under investigation and/or in jail. Why? Because you did't realise that for $100 you can get a 200Gb hard disk installed on your computer which will take care of most "average" users' storage requirements for the foreseeable future?

5:40 am on Mar 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Google has to solve a long term problem.

It's problem is that it knows it primary business (search) could go down the tubes very quickly, even faster than it became the #1 SE.

You can't run a business the size of G's knowing that you have no long-term security. You have to look for hooks that will capture people for many, many years.

AOL & Yahoo largely did it with email addresses, as they were quick to the market. Users are reluctant to jump ship from AOL or Yahoo if they can't easily switch email addresses.

Google needs products that generate "true" customer loyalty.

It has tried email with limited success, it is now trying free storage, I think this will have very limited success as storage is practically free if you buy a local solution.

I'm not convinced that the argument that people are worried about privacy is the major issue here. After all how many USA citizens file their taxes online?

I think the primary reasons I would have advised Google against this strategy are:

1. Local storage is cheap, it is easier to just buy it!

2. It will give us a lot of "bad-press"......just read the posts above!

3. We might run into all sorts of legal trouble if we screw up. Very little gain....potentially lots of pain!

9:39 am on Mar 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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please tell me that you know the difference of having an operating system feature that indexes your files on your computer and sending them over to Google's servers?

I know the difference, but this is not the point. The main point here is a question of privacy and trust. I prefer Google than Microsoft when it comes to privacy and related matters. Recent events proved that Google cares much more about privacy than Microsoft.
2:41 pm on Mar 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It has nothing to do with honesty. No one is forcing you to use GDrive, and yet the whine-factor is high.

Lets take a step back. ICQ and AIM were the odminant messengers, and then MS integrated MSN into XP and suddenly it is near the top. So the problem for Google and/or Yahoo is to make the OS as insignificant as possible. Justl ike they are battling it out on the frontpage (where MS seems to be kicking ass with their new live.com page), the idea here is if files can be sotred online and accessed anywyere, then the connection to the desktop is weakened. If that is weakened, then guess who suffers? It sure aint Google or Yahoo.

There are valid concerns (eg privacy, government access to the files), and its unfortunate that some members think that is not important. But the underlying point is no one is forcing you to use it. It isn't integrated into the OS, it isn't a feature that is required.

And with that in mind (user portability, privacy concerns), the initial comments are whiny/anti-Google.

6:34 pm on Mar 8, 2006 (gmt 0)

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In terms of security, people literally bet their livelihoods on big companies such as banks keeping their information secure. Why is this a worry when it comes to google? so long as there are safeguards and legislation in place to protect user's interests, I don't see this as a huge stumbling block.

An interesting implication of remote storage in general is the potential advantages it has for users who /want/ to share data. Corporations who want their employees' work accessible to all/some of their other employees; academic circles for whom the sharing and comparing of information in ever more efficient ways leads to faster and more wide-ranging advances, etc. of course, it's easy to share information now, but the point is that anything that makes it easier for those who want to do it is a good thing.

Also, it's a potential boon for increasing the portability of computational services, whether through the use of handheld devices or public workstations from which you can log in and have access to your data and programs.

ok, it's not for everyone, but for some areas and applications it might be very beneficial.

1:27 am on Mar 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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From a personal view, I wouldn't store massive amounts of anything remotely mostly because:

1) It assumes constant connectivity (My ISP seems to think otherwise).
2) It assumes network throughput as fast or faster than local throughput. (Small files aren't a problem, large images certainly will be.)
3) It assumes lossless remote storage (Loss Happens, even with Google.)

while it is interesting to consider using such a service for things like backups and secondary (non-critical) storage, I don't think that most folks will take kindly to pumping gigs through their DSL line.

This is most interesting to those folks that have fiber connections to their home, which seems like a pretty small population.

2:54 am on Mar 9, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Reading through this thread, some interesting points:

1. - Governments are already interested in what people are searching for, the next logical step would be finding out what's stored on GDrive.

2. - Remote storage is a catch 22. If you have something of value on your hard drive, then you want to store it somewhere else too. But by having it stored somewhere else, you are increasing your security risk.

Finally, for those of you that don't see it, let me spell it out. Google wants to do more than just organize information:

- They want to make Internet access universal and free. In their world, everyone's p.c. is connected to one big network called GNet.
- They want everyone to send their emails via GMail.
- They want everyone to store their information on GDrives.
- They want to scan all the books in the world.
- They want to sell things on Google Base.
- They want to be your window to the Internet.

Information is power and Google wants it all. Don't mistake this for evil, it's not. They are simply doing what any large corporation would do - grabbing larger slices of the pie.

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