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Google Apps Deciphered

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the read-all-about-it dept.

Google 91

Lorin Ricker writes "Computing in the Cloud — Free Apps — Outsource It! Yippee! Automation TCO nirvana at last! You can hear the non-technical managers and home-users unite in grateful song and dance! If we can just offload our office applications and data to the Cloud Known As Google, that apparently bottomless source of storage, search and now other useful capabilities, our office automation problems will be solved! Hooray! 'Well, just y'all hold up there a minit, lil' cowboy. Thar's a few thangs y'all oughta know 'bout afore ya go rushin' off...' If John Wayne didn't say exactly that, well, he should'a." Keep reading for the rest of Lorin's review.Scott Granneman's new book Google Apps Deciphered — Compute in the Cloud to Streamline Your Desktop is a very useful technical overview about deploying Google Apps. It promotes a contagiously positive "we're gonna be saved" view of Google's ambitious initiative to provide our user communities with the perfect environment to counterbalance the Microsoft-centric archipelago of computing workstations. Good on Google, and good for Mr. Granneman for providing this practical overview, a comprehensive how-to for deploying Google Apps in any workplace.

And yet, to dampen our somewhat overly enthusiastic spirits, along comes none other than RMS himself in the role of the cowboy philosopher, with words of warning regarding the collective wisdom of committing all our eggs to the Google/Cloud basket: "Hold on there, pilgrim." The present book review is not the place to engage in this particular debate (see Ben Rothke's illuminating review of Greg Conti's recent book, Googling Security) — suffice it to say that Google Apps Deciphered pays no attention whatsoever to the issues of data security, privacy, and ownership.

The business wisdom of committing proprietary information, trade secrets, sensitive data, competitive analysis, private reports, personal/identity and non-public customer data is not even acknowledged as Granneman launches enthusiastically, without reservation, into his topics. Readers seeking any guidance on the legal, statutory, ethical and practical issues regarding data security in the Cloud will come up empty-handed in Google Apps Deciphered — start with Conti's book instead. In fairness, however, the whole concept of Cloud data storage is in the formative stages of discussion and understanding by many of us; still, I find myself wishing that Granneman's book had at least given a nod to and perhaps delineated the issues at hand, rather than jumping uncritically into the presumed virtues of total Cloud commitment.

That said, it was my only real gripe about Google Apps Deciphered. Taking it at face value, this book is a sure-footed guide to deploying Google Apps at its current state of development and fitness for duty.

The author starts out with an Introductory chapter which lays out the benefits (but without the down-side) of Cloud computing, and extols the general virtues of Google Apps itself — that's the cheerleading part of the book. Where appropriate, several of the chapters are neatly tied off with a list of supporting references, nearly all of which are websites or online articles cited by title, author (where relevant and available), and full URL.

The meat of the book is a comprehensive how-to for Google Apps, in six parts of a few chapters each: Part I "Getting Started with Google Apps" covers the selection of the appropriate "edition" of Apps, and then goes on to discuss migration issues for existing user data (email, contacts and calendars), concluding with advice on managing Apps services.

Part II covers email — not from an individual 's "I've got a gmail account of my own" perspective, but from the corporate or organizational "let's convert from Exchange Server" ambition. Part III similarly covers Google Calendar.

Part IV addresses Google Docs, Google's answer to Microsoft's Office Suite. Part V is about Google Sites, while Part VI picks up various miscellanea, including Google Talk, the Start Page, Message Security and Recovery (no, not exactly about data security), and finally, Google Video.

Park VII consists of three Appendices, one addressing "Backing Up Google Apps" (sic! — but why? Doesn't adopting the Cloud forgive us of this responsibility?); the next covers "Dealing with Multiple Accounts" (apparently, the existence of certain pre-existing Google accounts can complicate a new deployment); and finally, an appendix which touts "Google Chrome: A Browser Built for Cloud Computing."

For the most part, each of the Parts is similarly constructed, with chapters covering "Setting Up...", "Things to Know About Using..." and "Integrating ... with Other Software and Services" for gmail, Calendar, Docs, Sites and the rest. And herein lies the strength of the book as a how-to deployment guide. Scott Granneman is a well-regarded author, educator and consultant to the free and open source software community, having previously written good books about Linux, Knoppix, Firefox and more. He brings this expertise and experience directly to bear on the practical problems of deployment and committing an organization's computing resources and users (or at least a part of them) to Google's Cloud resources.

These how-to chapters are comprehensive; they anticipate and resolve many of the practical problems one would encounter during deployment with directions and advice which is obviously hard-won, based on the real-world expertise of the author. He's clearly done the Apps deal himself, and writes from actual experience, not from the hypothetical.

As examples of these comprehensive deployment recipes, the chapter on gmail includes consideration of: folder structures and limitations; live cutover considerations; IMAP and POP; migration tools; issues special to Exchange Server; mbox and Maildir stores; techniques and tools for actually moving bulk messages (and having them land correctly); specific issues with Outlook, Hotmail, Thunderbird, Macs, web-based email, and more; and solving common problems. With this thoroughness, it's likely that most problems and issues of deployment are anticipated and covered — the rare thing that's not can probably be figured out by analogy with what Scott does address. And so on for the other Google Apps as well.

The author also comes clean about the various limits and restrictions imposed on Google Apps accounts and deployments, and delineates these according to the five Editions of Apps: Standard, Premiere, Team, Education, and Partner (free and paid modes). For example, Google Docs imposes strict limits on document file sizes, and "at most a limit of 5,000 documents and presentations and 5,000 images." (Really. Is this adequate for even the average office worker over the long-term? What about prolific Sally the tech-writer, or John "the tool" over in proposals? Are such limits practical for an enterprise?) There are more such things scattered throughout the book, as well as existing problems (such as the previously mentioned "multiple accounts" issue) which, honestly, only serve to bolster the common impression that many Google products are in a perpetual state of beta.

This book belongs in the hands of every technical staff who gets charged by their employer with the responsibility for a Google Apps deployment. If that's where your company is going, then Scott Granneman's book will no doubt save countless hours of experimentation, false starts and problem solving — it's a serious practical, technical leg up on what will be a non-trivial data and environment migration effort.

Given his target — the why/benefits of adopting the Google Apps/Cloud approach, and how to get it done — Google Apps Deciphered scores well for hitting its mark. I gave it slightly lower marks for its lack of coverage of the "should you even do this?" data security and privacy issues, and because it only hints at some of the pre-planning, project costing considerations that must be considered by any enterprise which is contemplating this commitment.

I opened this book thinking that I'd likely try or do some of the deployment exercises for myself — but I closed it with the conviction that, for me and my own SOHO business needs, Google Apps is not yet ready for my own prime time. Helping me come to that conclusion made the book very worthwhile; for others, your mileage will of course vary. I am convinced that, as awareness of the data security and privacy issues matures, and approaches to these evolve and improve, Cloud Computing will become ubiquitous to various degrees and needs — as if it's not already — and probably sooner than we suspect. In that event, Google Apps Deciphered and its future editions will be among the most useful of guides.

You can purchase Google Apps Deciphered -- Compute in the Cloud to Streamline Your Desktop from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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Summary (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27333403)

"Yippee! Automation TCO nirvana at last! Hooray! 'Well, just y'all hold up there a minit, lil' cowboy. Thar's a few thangs y'all oughta know 'bout afore ya go rushin' off...' If John Wayne didn't say exactly that, well, he should'a."

Shut the fuck up, Spongebob. Are you writing me a book review or trying to sell me a used car, asshole?

Re:Summary (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27333739)

SIGNED. Two paragraphs in and my eyes started bleeding. I'm going to go chop off Lorins hands now, does anybody care to join me?

Re:Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27335037)

seconded. Its not a review, its a soapbox.

Re:Summary (1)

Philip K Dickhead (906971) | more than 5 years ago | (#27336521)

Metaphors are hard, like rocks.

Re:Summary (1)

ta bu shi da yu (687699) | more than 5 years ago | (#27338177)

I know. My favourite is this one, from an English exam paper:

"Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36 p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph. "

Re:Summary (1)

davidphogan74 (623610) | more than 5 years ago | (#27338191)

Good simile.

Re:Summary (1)

Bou (630753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27335775)

Seconded, I've read Markov chained texts that made more sense to me.

clown-computing. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27333417)

it's fucking clown shoes.

Re:clown-computing. (1)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#27333855)

Starring Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Gates?

Re:clown-computing. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27333959)

Starring a black man, a white woman, a Chinese woman, and a Native American man. That way the viewers will say "Wow, what an artifically ethnically diverse cast!" If any white males are part of the team, they will have to be depicted as effete, nerdy, inadequate, incompetent, or insecure, lest we offend anyone. Lord knows we can't just have a TV show without including some element of social engineering and diversity sensitivity training.

What's really great is when there is a commercial with a man and a woman. The person who uses Brand X and gets bad results has to be the man. That way the woman can humor and patronize him in a self-congratulatory way as she experiences the good results of using the name brand. It would be so terrible and awful and sexist and discriminatory if those roles were ever reversed, so only a tiny percentage of commercials deviate from this pattern. Again, the sweet Lord knows we can't have some barker hawking products without an element of social engineering. It would be doubleplusbad!

Re:clown-computing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27334499)

I'm sorry, we're talking about fucking clown shoes over here. What the hell are you going on about? A clown-shoe fetishist is the rarest of all minorities; therefore they should be featured in all commercials.

Re:clown-computing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27334849)

I think a lot of the commercials with men and women are marketed toward women, who historically do the shopping. Thus, the woman, representing their target consumer, uses the "better" brand. Also, as the superior sex, men aren't swayed by marketing bullshit, so why pander to them?

Ok, that last part was a joke.

what? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27333453)

I dislike Google Apps as much as the next non-buzzword-compliant greyheard, but, Lorin Ricker, you just can't fucking write. For one thing, if you're going to write a quirky lead-in to an article, you have to be good at it, otherwise you sound like a blathering idiot. And you, my friend, aren't very good at it.

Please, take some freshman writing classes at your local community college. You appear to have some good points, but you just don't know how to say it.

Re:what? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27333605)

Hez in ur intarweb, killing ur english.

Re:what? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27333665)

I actually tried to make sense of the review. Rather than being about the book, it's actually about why he doesn't like Google Apps and why he's annoyed that a book on Google Apps doesn't spend its time agreeing with him.

Again, he's right. But it's like reading Dwakins fanboys defend evolution - they may be right, but they're such bad debaters and orators that they make Fred Phelps sound like Aristotle.

Re:what? (2, Funny)

doom (14564) | more than 5 years ago | (#27336295)

I actually tried to make sense of the review. Rather than being about the book, it's actually about why he doesn't like Google Apps and why he's annoyed that a book on Google Apps doesn't spend its time agreeing with him.

Here, let me help you out by suggesting you read the third paragraph:

That said, it was my only real gripe about Google Apps Deciphered. Taking it at face value, this book is a sure-footed guide to deploying Google Apps at its current state of development and fitness for duty.

I guess it's a cause for celebration when a slash kid makes it through the first two paragraphs, but still. ("Insightful", huh?)

Re:what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27336563)

I guess it's a cause for celebration when a slash kid makes it through the first two paragraphs, but still.

Did you actually read beyond the third paragraph? The OP's summary of the whole review seems pretty much spot on. He mentions here and there what you'd get from reading the table of contents, but there's no critical component beyond criticism of Google Apps itself. Hell, even the quote you paste, containing "at its current state of development and fitness for duty", is an obvious jibe at the platform.

But, dammit, I'll give it to you. The word "sure-footed" is actually referring to the book itself. In that babbling mess of nonsense, he's actually used one albeit ill-fitting adjective to comment on the book. Perhaps the fanfic reject actually has some hope beyond being a target of molly-coddling by Special Olympics cheerleaders such as yourself. Every Lenny has his George.

Re:what? (1)

doom (14564) | more than 5 years ago | (#27337501)

Did you actually read beyond the third paragraph?

Yeah. And just for you Anonymous, I read it again. There's a hell of a lot of description of what the book covers, and praise for getting what it gets right right. (I was, however, numbering paragraphs from 0. You guys got that, right?)

The OP's summary of the whole review seems pretty much spot on.

And that is a completely ridiculous thing to say.

He mentions here and there what you'd get from reading the table of contents, but there's no critical component beyond criticism of Google Apps itself.

Okay, allow me to give you some help also: "These how-to chapters are comprehensive; they anticipate and resolve many of the practical problems one would encounter during deployment with directions and advice which is obviously hard-won, based on the real-world expertise of the author. He's clearly done the Apps deal himself, and writes from actual experience, not from the hypothetical."

Hell, even the quote you paste, containing "at its current state of development and fitness for duty", is an obvious jibe at the platform.

Oh my, how dare the reviewer have an opinion different from yours!

But, dammit, I'll give it to you. The word "sure-footed" is actually referring to the book itself.

You're giving it to me all right.

In that babbling mess of nonsense, he's actually used one albeit ill-fitting adjective to comment on the book. Perhaps the fanfic reject actually has some hope beyond being a target of molly-coddling by Special Olympics cheerleaders such as yourself.

Is that an Obama joke?

Every Lenny has his George.

And every slashdot book review has a chorus of internet retards padding out the comments. Every single review, you get the usual blather from people who'd rather write than read any thing, let alone read a book.

Re:what? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27339961)

(I was, however, numbering paragraphs from 0. You guys got that, right?)

This is literary criticism, not computer science. Please try to use the conventions of the discipline, which is to number paragraphs starting from unity. Do you go into a business meeting where words like "continuous", "differentiate" and "integrate" are used and go apoplectic when they aren't being used according as the definitions you learnt in AP/freshman calculus? Do you snort that not even Mandelbrot and Lebesgue would contemplate the usage you are brought down from your ivory tower to be forced to witness? Do your colleagues facepalm but reluctantly accept that the quirky geek is at least functional performing a sufficient subset of robotic duties that he's worth keeping on?

Please also try not to "you guys" like you're some sort of higher being floating above the proles, their hands outstretched to you while you distribute nuggets of wisdom. I've been reading Slashdot since before it even had an account registration system, and I've never felt the need to register a username because I find the ideas and their expressions important but the egos irrelevant. Such transparently self-centred rhetoric as yours usually disappears by the late teenage years.

"These how-to chapters are comprehensive; they anticipate and resolve many of the practical problems one would encounter during deployment with directions and advice which is obviously hard-won, based on the real-world expertise of the author. He's clearly done the Apps deal himself, and writes from actual experience, not from the hypothetical."

Right, let's break that down, shall we? Let's actually analyse what you just pasted, without the sarcasm I used for "sure-footed" which you evidently interpreted as genuine praise.

(1) "These how-to chapters are comprehensive" - ok, introductory summary, expecting evidence...

(2) "they anticipate and resolve many of the practical problems one would encounter during deployment" - ok, excellent, here's our first sub-hypothesis. How does he do this, Lorin?

(3) "with directions and advice" - oh my shit, this is getting better. What sort of directions and advice, Lorin? That's not actually answered until the next paragraph, which we shall analyse later to see whether it actually backs up his claim. But let's continue reading this paragraph.

(4) "is obviously hard-won, based on the real-world expertise of the author" - "hard-won" is subsumed by "based on the real-world expertise", hence redundant. But we have a second sub-hypothesis that he writes based on his experience rather than, err, copying from a manual or what he's heard in a bar, I guess. So at least we know it's not one of those awful marketing releases. I'm not sure why I have to wait until half way through the review to find out that it's written by someone who actually has used what he's writing about(!), but I guess Lorin needed to get all his invective out of the way.

(5) "He's clearly done the Apps deal himself," You just said that.

(6) "and writes from actual experience," You just said that.

(7) "not from the hypothetical." Thanks for clarifying what you just said.

Now all the positive of (1) to (4) are irrelevant without some reasonable evidence to follow. So let's look at the next paragraph.

(8) "As examples of these comprehensive deployment recipes, the chapter on gmail includes consideration of:" Oh - so - that - is - what - your - examples - are - of: at least he realises that his prose is so disjointed that he has to explain to the reader what he is doing. This sort of language reminds me of prep school writing exercises, where you'd have to carefully and explicitly delimit your essays to practice organisation which would later become implicit.

(9) "folder structures and limitations; live cutover considerations; IMAP and POP; migration tools; issues special to Exchange Server; mbox and Maildir stores; techniques and tools for actually moving bulk messages (and having them land correctly); specific issues with Outlook, Hotmail, Thunderbird, Macs, web-based email, and more;" The lights blow, the stage collapses, and the curtain falls. The performance is over. Whether he's picked out random buzzwords by flicking through the pages or just copy-pasted the table of contents, this sentence reveals the true extent of Lorin's effort in discussing the book. Please, Lorin, give us some morsel of organised detail... some demonstration of how the author has tackled some problem.

Nope. Lorin seems so happy/shocked that the author has actually used the product he's writing about, yet apparently Lorin's showing little evidence of having read the book that he's writing about.

(10) "and solving common problems." Solving problems, you say? And common ones, too? Please, tell us more. Oh, no more. Just going to tell us that common problems are solved, then. I have a book. It reveals the secret of eternal life.

(11) " With this thoroughness, it's likely that most problems and issues of deployment are anticipated and covered" I don't know, Lorin, I really don't know! For one, you haven't given me anything but a light sprinkling of evidence that any issues are properly covered. For another, you're not giving me your experience, so I can't establish from what background you're claiming that it's "likely that most problems and issues" are covered. But "likely" is such a weasel word, anyway. It's your job as reviewer to give me more than that.

(12) "the rare thing that's not can probably be figured out by analogy with what Scott does address." Oh, bloody hell. With its thoroughness, it's likely that Firefox can be used to establish the XHTML 4 specification. The rare thing that's not covered can probably be figured out by analogy with what Firefox does address. By analogy? By fucking analogy? A comprehensive how-to isn't the place for guidance by analogy. Of course, this whole sentence is just one big weasel worded cop-out: "the book is complete, except where it's not complete, and then the reader can fill in the blanks".

Thank you, Lorin, thank you for making me uncertain whether I'm entertained by this opportunity to rip your review to shreds or have just wasted 20 minutes of my time.

To conclude, my point stands - aggressively, and nipping playfully at your heels.

Oh my, how dare the reviewer have an opinion different from yours!

The reviewer could insert his opinion on the Holocaust every second paragraph if he wanted - the problem would not be that his opinion might be different from mine, but that it's not relevant in a book review. If you read a book review on the mechanism of evolution, would you expect it to be littered with a creationist tirade? If you read a book review on a theological study, would you expect it to be beaten bloody with the message that "LOL GOD DOESN'T EXIST ANYWAY"? Clearly you would, but then clearly you are outside your field of competence, so get back to your kitchen!

Or, more seriously, take some freshman writing classes yourself. Or re-take them. In fact, do whatever enables you to understand why Lorin is not communicating effectively and do whatever stops you from denying this even in the light of dozens of posters indicating that they have trouble understanding him. I spend all day reading mathematics and history, and it's often far more quirky and esoteric than Lorin's effort, yet I still have less trouble reading it than I had trying to get a substantial, coherent and relevant argument out of Lorin's review. I think it would be an insult to him not to tell him that while, yes, he's not a lost cause, he really needs to improve his technique.

Is that an Obama joke?

Would you like it to be?

And every slashdot book review has a chorus of internet retards padding out the comments.

It must feel so great to know that you're fully qualified to identify "internet retards". Are you the type that also likes to e-diagnose with your Wikipedia knowledge of psychology? Do you pass legal judgment by extrapolation from the self-aggrandising ramblings of NewYorkCountryLawyer? But then you sound super smart, my friend. Perhaps you have treadmilled through the 4+ years of university education required to have a comprehensive grounding in retardation and other learning/developmental disorders. It's great that you have been able to offer this pro bono diagnosis.

Every single review, you get the usual blather from people who'd rather write than read any thing, let alone read a book.

Let me try to decipher your argument here. Those who have read this review and have expressed their judgment that it's nonsense are guilty of preferring to write than read? You're just being silly.

The irony (omg that is so not "irony"!) in all of this is that Lorin is the best example of a figure who clearly likes to write more than he likes to read. Indeed, it's unlikely that he even read what he wrote before posting it. In honour of him, I'm going to hit Submit without reading my post - ooh, how exciting :-).

Have a nice day!

Moderators! (1)

doom (14564) | more than 5 years ago | (#27363457)

Moderators: mark this "funny".

Hard work like this deserves to be rewarded.

Re:what? (4, Funny)

Quothz (683368) | more than 5 years ago | (#27333847)

Please, take some freshman writing classes at your local community college. You appear to have some good points, but you just don't know how to say it.

I'm going to have nightmares about being attacked by thousands of hyphens, each talking like a John Wayne impersonator on methamphetamines.

Re:what? (3, Funny)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 5 years ago | (#27335223)

I'm going to have nightmares about being attacked by thousands of hyphens, each talking like a John Wayne impersonator on methamphetamines.

Shouldn't that nightmare be about thousands of em-dashes rather than hyphens? There aren't any hyphens in the review, except those in the last paragraph (which, incidentally, should be either em-dashes set closed or en-dashes set open, not pairs of hyphens.)

Also, anyone who sets em-dashes open, as is done in most of the review, shouldn't be allowed to use them at all.

Re:what? (1)

Quothz (683368) | more than 5 years ago | (#27336525)

Shouldn't that nightmare be about thousands of em-dashes rather than hyphens?

Hey, nightmares don't have to make sense.

Okay, okay, I stand corrected.

Mod parent troll (0)

texwtf (558874) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334273)

| "you just can't fucking write." as AC-

how about a little decorum? Normal person (though that may not apply here) + anonymity + audience = exactly what again?

Re:Mod parent troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27334667)

I wish to propose the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory Fuckwad Theory, which asserts that for every valid argument made on the Internet, there'll be some Nazi who uses a cliched quote, "rule" or comic strip to try to tear down that argument.

Cue the obvious...

Re:Mod parent troll (2, Funny)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334669)

Actually he was spot on, which is why he wasn't modded troll. You should be modded troll for trying to defend an attack on our brains by way of his mutilation of the English Language. Or maybe I should just say, "He can't fucking write and you are fucking wrong."

Re:Mod parent troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27335681)

> "He can't fucking write and you are fucking wrong."

I knew country music would come into this at some point.

Re:Mod parent troll (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27337991)

how about a little decorum?

You must be new here. How much did you pay for that slashdot ID?

LR speaketh with silverlight tongue (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#27335333)

No! No! You are missing the point! LR writes like the next Billy S. [wikipedia.org] , but alas he useth Google Apps !

Would that he had wooed beneath the Silverlight. Tis' Google that belies his trade. The thesaurus, grammar checker, and their link decayed doth kill his fire as the earthen blade!

Re:what? (1)

kklein (900361) | more than 5 years ago | (#27337645)

Amen.

If one of my writing students handed me this mess, I'd hand it right back. I don't waste my time reading garbage like this.

Incredible. (0)

Archon-X (264195) | more than 5 years ago | (#27333519)

I've not seen a more disjointed collection of words for a long time.
You're not quick, clever, witty, or even remotely talented at writing.

If you don't have the knack, stick to the facts.

Re:Incredible. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27333549)

I've not seen a more disjointed collection of words for a long time.

Counting in nanoseconds, are we? This is slashdot.

Re:Incredible. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27364835)

"But for an android, that is an eternity..."

Re:Incredible. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27333741)

I agree.

I've seen better AI bots.

At least they have psedo-humor.

Re:Incredible. (5, Funny)

geobeck (924637) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334213)

I've seen better AI bots.

That's interesting. Tell me more.

At least they have pseudo-humor.

Why do you say they have pseudo-humor?

Ha. Ha.

Re:Incredible. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27334539)

I've seen better AI bots.

Yeah, I'd pick the Alice bot over this Lorin Ricker bot any day.

Re:Incredible. (2, Insightful)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 5 years ago | (#27333743)

He thinks it sounds informal and conversational, but really he just didn't want to read his typing back to himself before hitting the submit button. Or proofread, or even start with an outline and think about what he was trying to convey.

Typewriter syndrome; communication by words, when sentences are required.

Mod Parent -1, redundant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27333785)

The AC beat you [slashdot.org] to it. No reason to pile on.

Mod this redundant too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27334169)

The AC beat you [slashdot.org] to it. No reason to pile on.

Mod this redundant too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27334599)

The AC beat you [slashdot.org] to it. No reason to pile on.

Re:Incredible. (1)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 5 years ago | (#27333997)

Amen. I was afraid the entire book was written in cowboy language. Now I don't want to read it regardless. The publisher should sue submitter for defamation!

nice hit piece (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27333669)

Grind your axe with Google Apps elsewhere, I came for a book review not an expose.

I'm from texas... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27333679)

and even my brain hurts from reading this post...please never do that again. ever.

p0wn'd (1)

al0ha (1262684) | more than 5 years ago | (#27333763)

By Google Apps. Why would you use the cloud when there is little or no security (at least the security practices which keep each instance separated is unknown) and you don't own what you've put into the Google cloud; Google does.

Re:p0wn'd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27333851)

The simple reason I won't move to the cloud (yet or anytime soon): I've used google apps and it is slow, unreliable, and buggy. What I get locally works much more reliably, and I would need about 3 years of good, stable reliability before I'd consider.

Re:p0wn'd (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27334027)

I've had zero problems with it using the free version. Then again I'm really the only user of it. I use the free version to give myself multiple email addresses for different purposes. I'll use the google docs as a scratch sheet.

Re:p0wn'd (0)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334041)

The simple reason I won't move to the cloud (yet or anytime soon):

Cloud computing doesn't have involve Google or Amazon. There's nothing stopping you from building your own private cloud. Nothing at all.

I gotta be honest... (5, Funny)

SOOPRcow (1279010) | more than 5 years ago | (#27333807)

I was so distraught after reading that summary that my co-workers had to put me in a mental rehab facility. They now have me posting here to tell you this so I can overcome my fears and once again enter society as a normal person.

Re:I gotta be honest... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27333883)

They now have me posting here to tell you this so I can overcome my fears and once again enter society as a normal person.

Heh, good luck with that.

Re:I gotta be honest... (3, Funny)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#27333929)

mental rehab facility

... also known as a cubicle.

Re:I gotta be honest... (4, Informative)

TimeTraveler1884 (832874) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334175)

You have to admit, there is something satisfying in reading a Slashdot summary, going "What the fuck was that?", then to read the comments and find you are not alone in your reaction.

Re:I gotta be honest... (1)

quickOnTheUptake (1450889) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334709)

I decided halfway through to just read the comments to get the salient points.
Unfortunately, with everyone bitching, I still don't know what they were.

Re:I gotta be honest... (1)

Bozdune (68800) | more than 5 years ago | (#27335345)

I made the same decision, gave up on the comments for the same reason, was about to make exactly your point.. and then I encountered your comment. Very strange sensation.

Re:I gotta be honest... (1)

EveLibertine (847955) | more than 5 years ago | (#27337037)

Incidentally, the bitching and the lack of salient points are the all the salient points. So mission accomplished I guess.

Re:I gotta be honest... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27335623)

I thought exactly the same! Worst piece of writing on Slashdot.

Re:I gotta be honest... (1)

oliderid (710055) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340465)

It is also the only place where you can get flamed down/tortured to death before being dismembered and cut into little pieces because your summary wasn't really funny :-). (well after the 3rd paragraph it is getting interesting IMHO).

Re:I gotta be honest... (1)

nextekcarl (1402899) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334659)

...They now have me posting here to tell you this so I can overcome my fears and once again enter society as a normal person.

First off, I've yet to actually meet a "normal person." Second, if I did I'm sure they would be in need of "-1, overrated" moderation. What would be so good about being normal? I'm certain they would be ill-equipped to handle reality. After all, it is full of people like us!

He can't even do as he says. (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#27333979)

The present book review is not the place to engage in this particular debate (see Ben Rothke's illuminating review of Greg Conti's recent book, Googling Security) -- suffice it to say that Google Apps Deciphered pays no attention whatsoever to the issues of data security, privacy, and ownership.

Really, then why are you doing it?

What. The. Shit. Pilgrim. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27334241)

Holy shit. Seriously? Was this review an exercise in throwing as much random shit onto slashdot as poorly as you can? Awesome work. F.

blurb (1)

mr100percent (57156) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334255)

That was an extremely poorly written blurb. I had to come to the page to voice my hate before I realized it was some sort of review, which I don't plan to read since the blurb was such a turn-off

Speaking of Google Apps... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27334277)

I'll take the opportunity to shamelessly plug Google Apps Improved Login (GAIL) [google.com] . GAIL allows administrators of Educational and Premier Edition Google Apps domains the ability to have a custom login page (instead of Google's generic one) and the ability for admins to login as users in order to troubleshoot problems.

Ugh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27334343)

This is the shittest book review I've ever had the displeasure of reading. Kill yourself.

Saying one thing - yet doing another. (4, Interesting)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334365)

And yet, to dampen our somewhat overly enthusiastic spirits, along comes none other than RMS himself in the role of the cowboy philosopher, with words of warning regarding the collective wisdom of committing all our eggs to the Google/Cloud basket: "Hold on there, pilgrim." The present book review is not the place to engage in this particular debate

Except - that's exactly what you do throughout your entire 'review'. Instead of actually review the book, you use continually use the contents of the books as springboard for expressing your point of view in that debate. Disingenuous at best. Dishonest at worst.

And I have a bridge to sell you.... (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334455)

Anyone who's dumb enough to put their retirement money in stocks or thinks "the cloud" is a safe, secure, consistently available place to put their data gets exactly what they deserve. Really guys. A little paranoia is *healthy,* OK?

Someone write a readable summary for this summary! (1)

fadir (522518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334459)

I still don't know what he was going to tell. I stopped reading after the 3rd sentence or so because it was just unbearable and hurt my eyes.

Someone write a readable summary for this comment! (1)

Improv (2467) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334513)

I still don't know what he was trying to say. I stopped reading after the second sentence or two because it was just unbearable and hurt my eyes.

FYC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27334477)

Fuck your cloud

Any comments on the book? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27334491)

Ok, so I see about 30 comments here, but they're all just complaints about the reviwer's style - does nobody have anything to say about the actual subject of the review? Slashdot commentary is becoming just about worthless...

Re:Any comments on the book? (1)

mokus000 (1491841) | more than 5 years ago | (#27335957)

You mean there was a review in that pile of words?

Paraphrase RMS you say? (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334573)

...along comes none other than RMS himself in the role of the cowboy philosopher, with words of warning regarding the collective wisdom of committing all our eggs to the Google/Cloud basket: "Hold on there, pilgrim."

I cannot, under any circumstances, imagine RMS saying: "Hold on there, pilgrim." You, Lorin Ricker, shall be visited this evening by the ghosts of beards past, present and future...

Re:Paraphrase RMS you say? (1)

wmbetts (1306001) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334925)

Before it happened I couldn't imagine him dancing to a rap song at MIT.

Re:Paraphrase RMS you say? (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 5 years ago | (#27335103)

Before it happened I couldn't imagine him dancing to a rap song at MIT.

Thank you *so* much for that. Now, how am I suppose to sleep tonight? Time to call on an old friend: Oh Absolut [absolut.com] , how I've missed you...

IBM, Microsoft, Google (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 5 years ago | (#27334803)

Google Apps and "the Cloud" (sounds like a seventies pop group) is where Google becomes the new Microsoft.

The Great Unwashed will flock to move over to Google Apps and before they know it, they'll be locked in. They'll be beholden to Google.

You mark my words...

Re:IBM, Microsoft, Google (2, Informative)

CyDharttha (939997) | more than 5 years ago | (#27337405)

Google Apps and "the Cloud" (sounds like a seventies pop group) is where Google becomes the new Microsoft.

The Great Unwashed will flock to move over to Google Apps and before they know it, they'll be locked in. They'll be beholden to Google.

You mark my words...

Isn't it good that Google Docs saves documents to your desktop as ODF by default, can export PDF easily, and can read/export iCal format? Using open formats ensures that we can move to another platform if necessary.

Re:IBM, Microsoft, Google (2, Informative)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 5 years ago | (#27338043)

Exactly. Not only do they allow you to export, they almost always write a publicly available api with hooks in a number of different languages which let you automate the process.

Re:IBM, Microsoft, Google (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 5 years ago | (#27347135)

Microsoft used to be pretty "open" at the start too.

Stop being paranoid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27334889)

People seriously need to drop this paranoia about the cloud. These same people transported back in time would have said the moving picture was the work of the devil and the automobile was too. Get with it, and observe Google's immaculate track record for protecting the privacy of its users, and put away the tinfoil hats.

Ick. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27334945)

I couldn't possibly read this without losing my lunch. I only clicked through to see the tumultuously negative reaction I knew it would provoke.

This sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27335289)

After my eyes stopped bleeding, I deleted SlashDot from my links toolbar, then i gave myself a mental enema (half a pint of vodka). Then another one. But the lead-in still wouldn't delete itself from my cache, so i felt compelled to come back here and comment.

Slashdot, please don't let this 'person' write another story here - ever, ever, EVER. This is not a joke. I am not a literary critic (by profession) yet this qualifies as the worst EVER lead-in to a story. Please delete the author.

I couldn't even bring myself to read the story. Maybe s/he had a point -- I suppose I'll never know.

Time for another mental enema -- maybe then i'll pass out and the horror will pass.

Google Apps Source Code (1)

m85476585 (884822) | more than 5 years ago | (#27335325)

Speaking of deciphering Google Apps, has anyone looked at their Javascript source code? The Google Docs JS file is 300kb with almost no white space. It might be interesting to deobfuscate it. So far using find-and-replace, I inserted line breaks after every semicolon and curly bracket. At the top there are a bunch of two-letter functions that look like C #define statements, for example:

function na(a,b){ return a.filter=b }

There are also a bunch of similarly named variables with common objects, like

var o="appendChild"

It shouldn't be too difficult to replace every instance of these variables and functions with what they actually do in the rest of the code, but find-and-replace won't work.

In addition to obfuscation, all this stuff reduces the code size, kind of like compression where you have a table of commonly repeated stuff. Analyzing the frequency of use of each of these functions might reveal whether they obfuscated the code only to save space or also to prevent reverse-engineering. For example, if there is a function like this that is used just once, it wouldn't make sense to make it into a function to save space, and they must be trying to prevent reverse-engineering.

Of course, there is no way to see their server-side scripts.

Re:Google Apps Source Code (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#27335637)

Just sounds like Yahoo's YUI Compressor [yahoo.com] . It compresses the javascript to make it smaller by doing everything you just said. I use it on all my sites to save a few kb.

Re:Google Apps Source Code (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27335783)

That's because they write in one language, run it through GWT and it outputs JavaScript which gets downloaded and run in the browser's interpreter. JavaScript is the new p-Code.

Re:Google Apps Source Code (1)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 5 years ago | (#27340911)

>> JavaScript is the new p-Code.

May $DEITY help us.

        -dZ.

Why? (1)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 5 years ago | (#27335501)

Why should I read further. After reading that first paragraph, Lorin Ricker looks like an idiot.

It will never be safe (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 5 years ago | (#27335797)

IMHO cloud computing is impossible to secure. At best it is ALMOST safe. If you own the cloud, and the cloud is in a jar, and the jar is in a safe, and the safe is in a concrete room, and the room is in a lead building, and the lead building has a mote... If they are smart, Google will leave "beta" in its description forever.

Re:It will never be safe (1)

jc42 (318812) | more than 5 years ago | (#27336059)

IMHO cloud computing is impossible to secure.

To be more specific, the Google Cloud is impossible to secure against google.

There are a number of precedents that encourage careful people to worry about this. Google may not (for now) be as evil as Microsoft or IBM, but you'd be a fool to trust the data about your company or organization to google's hands. And everything in their Cloud is accessible to them.

Re:It will never be safe (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 5 years ago | (#27337199)

To be more specific, the Google Cloud is impossible to secure against google.

Bloody oath, you put your finger on it. All we have is a mission statement to protect us.

Re:It will never be safe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27346389)

Who does the mission statement refer to? You or them?

Re:It will never be safe (1)

cheros (223479) | more than 5 years ago | (#27339063)

I think you make a mistake here. It's NOT impossible to secure, for all you know Google could have done a good job, you don't know either way.

What you CAN say is that it is impossible to TRUST Google. You have no solid contracts, the company gets up to all sorts of shenanigans with your data (which, btw, you agreed to, read the T&Cs you accepted) and ownership and use of the information you store with them is very much in doubt.

I don't create a business dependency on companies I don't trust, even if I have a legal grip on them.

Absolutely filthy language (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27337087)

'Well, just y'all hold up there a minit, lil' cowboy. Thar's a few thangs y'all oughta know 'bout afore ya go rushin' off...' If John Wayne didn't say exactly that, well, he should'a."

What kind of filthy language is this? The person who wrote this is simply an idiot if he is thinking that he is creating humour. Post such things on /trash and not /.

Check out GWEBS - makers of encryption for google (1)

fotoflo (1018618) | more than 5 years ago | (#27338835)

Hey all, First off, a disclaimer, i work for Global Web Security Systems (gWebs).

Our software grabs outgoing and incoming data at the transport layer as you use google products and tosses it through GnuPG.

Our MailCloak product encrypts gmail, (Yahoo, and MSN, etc) in firefox and IE.

DocCloak, in private beta, will do the same thing for Google Docs, and Zoho office.

SaaSCloak, again in private beta, works with google sites, and we are adding several other cloud services.

Check this stuff out at http://www.getmailcloak.com/ [getmailcloak.com] to install MailCloak

and http://www.gwebs.com/ [gwebs.com] to learn more about the company.
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