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Google Close To Launching Cloud Storage 'Google Drive'

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the when-gdrive-isn't-good-enough-for-you dept.

Cloud 205

MrSeb writes with this selection from ExtremeTech: "Why doesn't Google offer a cloud storage service to rival Dropbox, Box.net, or Microsoft's SkyDrive? Google has the most internet-connected servers in the world, the largest combined storage of any web company, and already offers photo storage (Picasa), document storage (Docs), music storage (Music), but for some reason it has never offered a unified Google Drive. According to people familiar with the matter, however, our wait is almost over: Google's Hard Drive In The Sky is coming soon, possibly 'within weeks.' Feature-wise, it sounds like Google Drive will be comparable to Dropbox, with free basic storage (5GB?) and additional space for a yearly fee."

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205 comments

Reminds me of back on the farm (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38980591)

When I was little and I had no sense,
I took a whiz on the electric fence.
It hurt so bad,
It shocked my BALLS.
Then I took a crap in my overalls!

America, you are slowly taking a crap in your overalls because you whizzed on the electric fence of terrorism.

Re:Reminds me of back on the farm (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38980701)

When I was little and I had no sense,

I took a whiz on the electric fence.

It hurt so bad,

It shocked my BALLS.

Then I took a crap in my overalls!

America, you are slowly taking a crap in your overalls because you whizzed on the electric fence of terrorism.

WTF?

Re:Reminds me of back on the farm (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38980951)

I am Templeton Beckmarsh (aka Flampton Hoppings) and I approve of this message.

Yay! (3, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980593)

More ways for Google to know what you're doing. Will they be scanning your documents? Checking the artist names of the songs you have there and target ads related to them? What about <fill in your own scenario here>?

Re:Yay! (4, Insightful)

equex (747231) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980661)

just encrypt the files with AES256 before you upload.

Re:Yay! (4, Insightful)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980855)

Oh goodie! Maybe the government will think you're a terrorist then!

Re:Yay! (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980901)

Then just run your own private cloud on media temple or aws or rackspace and sshfs data through your own VPN. It'll cost a bit but it's way better than having to rely on idiotic 3rd party system applications/services to access your cloud data, plus you can set up your own file servers to hold automated backups

Re:Yay! (3, Funny)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980919)

Didn't we run a story last week about how the FBI considered VPN usage suspicious activity?

Re:Yay! (4, Funny)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981129)

Well, they might be right on the money actually.
All the banks and investment firms I know use VPNs!

Re:Yay! (1)

silverglade00 (1751552) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981419)

right on the money
All the banks and investment firms

I see what you did there!

Re:Yay! (1)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981261)

The government already thinks you are a terrorist. They will roll out the next "illegal" or "suspicious" activity when it suits them.

Re:Yay! (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981353)

They already do. Your point is?

Re:Yay! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981121)

Just make sure that you encrypt the whole thing anew and normalize file sizes every time you upload your data, or the access/modification patterns will reveal quite a lot about the kind of data and possibly even the content you're storing there. (See: "traffic analysis")

Re:Yay! (1)

Mike (1172) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981651)

Oh, how convenient that would be. :-/

Re:Yay! (4, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980683)

The masses have spoken. They don't care.

Re:Yay! (1)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980927)

why would they? It's not like they are capable of having alternatives.

Re:Yay! (1)

genghisjahn (1344927) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981077)

Is there a chance the security is broken?

Sorry mom! The mob has spoken!

Mono-Drive! Mono-Drive! Mono-Drive!

Re:Yay! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38980685)

I imagine storing a 5GB Truecrypt volume would result in ads for tinfoil hats :)?

Re:Yay! (1)

Pascal Sartoretti (454385) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980863)

I imagine storing a 5GB Truecrypt volume would result in ads for tinfoil hats :)?

Maybe :-)

But Google would probably cause each byte written to the volume to result in a 5GB upload, making it practically unusable...

Re:Yay! (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980921)

Use encfs instead. Each file is encrypted separately.

Re:Yay! (1)

fph il quozientatore (971015) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981161)

...then giving away the directory structure and size of each updated file? You know, you can tell a lot from those.

Re:Yay! (4, Insightful)

dkf (304284) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981631)

...then giving away the directory structure and size of each updated file? You know, you can tell a lot from those.

You have the power to customize the amount of information that you give out according to your paranoia level and the amount of convenience you desire. Bitching about something you have complete control over won't help.

Re:Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981427)

Or BoxCryptor [boxcryptor.com]

Re:Yay! (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981545)

Dropbox doesn't work that way. Writing to a Truecrypt storage container doesn't touch the timestamp of the file, so it actually doesn't seem to ever update past the initial creation of the volume.

For mine that I sync there I just setup a cron job to run a touch command on the container once per week. That forces it to upload to Dropbox at that point.

Re:Yay! (1, Redundant)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980749)

Google, Apple, Microsoft - they all are doing the same thing. Why get paranoid over one more than the others?

Re:Yay! (0)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980987)

Google, Apple, Microsoft - they all are doing the same thing. Why get paranoid over one more than the others?

Because only one of those three is actually capable of searching though large quantites of data and making money off it.

Re:Yay! (4, Insightful)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981135)

Seriously? You don't think Microsoft (creator of Bing) and Apple (creator if iWorldDomination) can search through and make money off your information. Oh how naive.

Re:Yay! (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981603)

Seriously? You don't think Microsoft (creator of Bing) and Apple (creator if iWorldDomination) can search through and make money off your information. Oh how naive.

Maybe they can but they have no talent at it. Search is core business to google.

Anyway Microsoft never created Bing, they brought it. And they only did that as a stick to beat google with.

Re:Yay! (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981701)

Searching the internet and searching files are two different worlds and I assure you that Microsoft and Apple both know how to search through files. If anything, Apple has far more control over everything some people use. I can't think of one company that has so completely come to dominate some people's lives.

Re:Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981745)

Oil companies dominate more peoples lives. (For the simple fact that some people don't use Apple).

Re:Yay! (5, Interesting)

Pascal Sartoretti (454385) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980833)

More ways for Google to know what you're doing. Will they be scanning your documents? Checking the artist names of the songs you have there and target ads related to them?

I don't understand why this has been flagged as "Flamebait", it is the central question for such a service : would Google analyze your documents to provide targeted advertisement, or would they treat your "GDrive" as a black box ?

The former would not be acceptable for many persons (including me), but the latter would provide no upside for Google....

Re:Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981131)

More ways for Google to know what you're doing.

Sounds like if Google didn't currently know what you're doing - seems to me that e-mail says way more than files I would upload to a cloud storage.

but the latter would provide no upside for Google....

Except, perhaps, tackling down the previously mentioned competitors. And, you know, then you can think about making profit.

I'm pretty much sure they'll take the first approach - ads for all! -, but the other could be a strategy, too.

Re:Yay! (5, Insightful)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981149)

I drives people to use Google more? The same could be said of Picasa or Docs. In Docs, in particular, Google does not appear to do anything with the contents of your documents (there's not even advertising on the Docs page), and that's a much easier situation for them than if they're providing storage.

...the latter would provide no upside for Google...

That would imply that a service like Dropbox, which doesn't do advertising at all, could not possibly make money off of offering cloud storage, yet they do.

Re:Yay! (3, Interesting)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981203)

would Google analyze your documents to provide targeted advertisement

There is another big question - would they analyze your documents to prevent copyright infringement? I predict that, within a few years, Dropbox and the other big U.S. based services are going to be rejecting storage of files that match known pirated movies, video games etc. This is obviously one danger of using a de-duplicating cloud drive service. You could try using client-side encryption, but I have read that Dropbox either prohibit client-side encryption in their terms or drop customers that use it extensively, as it breaks their file de-duplicating model and they therefore have to provide many times more disk space and bandwidth for these customers.

the latter would provide no upside for Google

Sure it would. In the battle for mindshare, if a customer uses Google Drive, then they are inside the Google services sphere. If there is a service that Google doesn't offer, then some customers are going to go elsewhere, and the next time that customer wants to embrace some new service, they will be a bit less likely to choose Google.

Re:Yay! (5, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981365)

You could try using client-side encryption, but I have read that Dropbox either prohibit client-side encryption in their terms or drop customers that use it extensively, as it breaks their file de-duplicating model and they therefore have to provide many times more disk space and bandwidth for these customers.

Nope, nothing in Dropboxes T&C's to limit you from using client-side encryption, and no instances reported of users being dropped from the service for anything other than blatant copyright infringement or illegal activities (virus or spam dissemination from the public folder for example).

I use TrueCrypt extensively with my Dropbox, have done for several years now - its a 40GB container which gets regularly altered as I do a lot of stuff inside of it. It has never earned me any contact from the Dropbox team, and indeed the team do recommend using such tools on the forums from time to time.

Your concerns with Dropbox are very wide of the mark, currently.

Re:Yay! (1)

fezzzz (1774514) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981243)

I do not click on any "purchase" button in google to see how much an item costs, as I'm sure they have all my banking and address details stored and might just reply "this item will be shipped to this address at this price"

Re:Yay! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981267)

Google don't analyze SHIT.
It is an algorithm for crying out loud.
I seriously wish people would understand this very simple concept already.
The same retarded paranoia happened with Gmail ads too.

Get you and your tinfoil hat away from the Internet, in fact, away from society. If you think Google are big, evil and scary, you don't know the half of it.

Re:Yay! (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981727)

Google don't analyze SHIT.
It is an algorithm for crying out loud.

Google write algorithms to search though other people's data as a means to target adverts at them. To do that they have to keep the kind of records that most people would not be comfortable with. As they work under the laws of the countries they operate in they have to hand everything over to who-knows how many government agencies when instructed.

Google are harvesting a whole load of data that has no legitimate use other that to piss people off with adverts.

Re:Yay! (4, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981019)

Personally, I'm happy paying for monthly hosting services that allow me to just have proper WebDav, SSH, or FTP access to storage space. This type of technology is much more accessible. You can do the same thing with rsync and ssh as you can do with DropBox. Plus a system that relies on standard transfer protocols makes it much easier to switch providers whenever a better deal comes along. My hosting provider gives me 50 GB of storage to do with as I please. That's separate from the space I'm allowed to use for my website.

Re:Yay! (1)

fleeped (1945926) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981139)

Good for me if they know about the trivial stuff. Example: Do I store a list of recipes in text format so I won't lose them? Well let them scan those and send ads about nearby groceries. Everybody benefits.
Obviously, if you have sensitive data, encrypt them. But a super-convenient shared drive, occasionally being scanned to send me unobtrusive targeted ads resulting in it being free, sounds one more nice thing to have which makes my life easier :)

encrypted files (2, Interesting)

SETY (46845) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980657)

We need a "just works" encryption system for this, so google doesn't know what is stored.

Mozilla weave (4, Interesting)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981137)

Mozilla weave (sync) is the only example I can think of, of this "cloud shit" done right.
https://wiki.mozilla.org/Labs/Weave/Developer/Crypto [mozilla.org] ... crypto done right, and yet "it just works".

Re:encrypted files (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981593)

No, we don't. Google makes money off of scanning documents for content. Anything that too easily breaks that business model will cause them to either abandon such services or seek alternate means of funding.

I'm happy to go with a more complicated solution for keeping my stuff secret if it means that the idiots who can't figure it out are subsidizing the service.

Re:encrypted files (2)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981665)

What exactly about existing encryption tools doesn't "just work"? Do you want a big encrypt button that magically does it all without any intervention?

Google Drive (5, Funny)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980663)

I thought Google Drive would be reserved for the self driving cars! ;)

Is it safe? Is it secret? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38980703)

Can I get an account on an alternate TLD with a guaranty that my data won't be on an American server to protect it from American imperialism?

Never mind then.

Re:Is it safe? Is it secret? (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980867)

If they won't offer this for business customers actually willing to pay for it, it seems highly unlikely they'll offer it in a free service.

Re:Is it safe? Is it secret? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38980997)

As an American I find your attitudes offensive. We have done nothing but make the world a better place. Contrary to what you europeans think we're good summaritans not warmongers.

Re:Is it safe? Is it secret? (1)

P-niiice (1703362) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981197)

As a good summaritan do you walk up to people and provide them a quick, easy-to-understand recap of whatever problem they're having and then....walk away.......?

Re:Is it safe? Is it secret? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981489)

Spoken like a true eurofag

Re:Is it safe? Is it secret? (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981539)

And knowing is half the battle!

Re:Is it safe? Is it secret? (1, Interesting)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981023)

Given that this will inevitably be hooked into G+, which will never, ever be rid of its requirements for real names and summary deletions for refusal, 'safe' is the last word I would use to describe this in the context of anyone with a desire or need for privacy.

Re:Is it safe? Is it secret? (2)

Troed (102527) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981055)

You're looking for http://wuala.com/ [wuala.com]

It's also a "cloud drive", but client-side encrypted (bye bye Dropbox) as well as hosted in Europe.

New World Order will not include the USA (5, Insightful)

Tokolosh (1256448) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980713)

Who will trust their files to a .com located in the USA?

Re:New World Order will not include the USA (0)

Stormthirst (66538) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980761)

TrueCrypt FTW

Re:New World Order will not include the USA (0)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980851)

Well truecrypt will work. But I think something tied to a .es domain will be safer.

Re:New World Order will not include the USA (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38980903)

TrueCrypt FTW

Who will trust their files to a .org located in the Czech Republic?

http://www.privacylover.com/encryption/analysis-is-there-a-backdoor-in-truecrypt-is-truecrypt-a-cia-honeypot/ [privacylover.com]

Re:New World Order will not include the USA (0)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981741)

Interesting article! I've never used TrueCrypt, but with all the comments about it on /. I was considering checking it out. After reading this analysis I probably won't. Seems to simply have too many questions regarding its origins and reliability for a tin-foil-hatter like me.

Re:New World Order will not include the USA (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38980771)

Q:

Who will trust their files to a .com located in the USA?

A:
Everyone.

Unfortunately.

Re:New World Order will not include the USA (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980881)

Three of my websites are .com. I am located in the USA. Should I not trust my files to myself?

Re:New World Order will not include the USA (4, Interesting)

1s44c (552956) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981073)

Three of my websites are .com. I am located in the USA. Should I not trust my files to myself?

No. Not when your government can take your domain name at will, compel you to hand over all files, compel you to unencrypt everything that's encrypted even if you don't know the key, and place restrictions on where you can send your own data.

Re:New World Order will not include the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981087)

No.

Re:New World Order will not include the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38980969)

Dropbox is .com and based in the US and people trust them. Oh you are talking about slashdot neckbeards... carry on.

Re:New World Order will not include the USA (1)

fleeped (1945926) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981041)

Anyone without really sensitive data.
Tinfoil hat wearers excluded.

Centrally managed for Google Apps users? (5, Interesting)

bluec (1427065) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980751)

I wonder if this will also finally allow google apps for business domains to have centrally managed storage? Or will this still be tied to individual user accounts like the current storage facilities? The current scenario of tying storage to individual user accounts is a major oversight by google IMO.

Wow,...? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38980767)

Ooooh 5 Gigs!
Microsoft for all of the bashing it takes gives 25 GB for free. It can be mounted like a network drive, etc.

Cloud (2)

l_bratch (865693) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980783)

But what if it rains?

Re:Cloud (5, Funny)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980909)

Free files for everyone!

Let's just call it what it really is... (5, Funny)

saltire sable (1197695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980841)

If docs, pictures and music are covered, might as well call it Google Porn Drive.

Re:Let's just call it what it really is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981355)

Right, pornographic music! It reminds me of the story of a woman complaining about a porter in s station because he was "whistling a rude tune".

Only 5gb? (5, Interesting)

Inda (580031) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980885)

They'd have to offer me more than 5gb for free if they want me to give up my Dropbox.

What with the recent Dropbox mobile app give-away, linking my account to Twitter, posting a spam tweet, deleting spam tweet, completing their 'training', getting a couple of friends to join... I have 8gb for free.

If Google could match that 8gb and provide typical Google upload and download speeds, I would swap. Dropbox is too slow at time.

As for privacy: what the fucking hell are you lot storing of free sites like this? Just stick MP3s, AVIs, MKVs, and MP4s on there. If you must store documents, encrypt.

And that almost sounds like preaching to the choir. Something no one on here should be doing.

Re:Only 5gb? (1)

bkaul01 (619795) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980949)

And without doing any of that spamming, I have 25 GB for free on SkyDrive...

Re:Only 5gb? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981345)

and are there any apps with dropbox integration? there are lots of apps out there that have dropbox built in so you can automatically save data there without manually moving files. same with iCloud

Re:Only 5gb? (4, Interesting)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980963)

SkyDrive is 25 gigs without having to do any of the hoop-jumping you did to get extra Dropbox space. I still use Dropbox because, ironically, I think it hooks into the Windows UI much better than SkyDrive. Google likes to make a splash in this sort of thing, usually offering more space in order to tempt users of the existing services they're mimicking. My prediction is 50-100 gigs of space from Google.

Re:Only 5gb? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981655)

I still use Dropbox because, ironically, I think it hooks into the Windows UI much better than SkyDrive.

Huh? I still use Dropbox because I need it to work in Linux, but I feel you're doing something wrong if Dropbox interface appears better for you in Windows. Are you interfacing using Windows Live Mesh? It works the same way as dropbox, you just tell it which folder to sync, and it does.

Re:Only 5gb? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38980973)

I'd rather pay for a service than jump through some stupid hoops. If something is of value to me, I don't have a problem paying a fair price for it.

Re:Only 5gb? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981083)

I've used Dropbox since day one, and I've been a huge advocate for them over the years, but if Google offer better features for a similar cost, I'd certainly look into it.

Dropbox has essentially stagnated over the past two years, with few relevant features being offered for either the desktop or mobile clients, and the most recent feature (after nearly a year of nothing) has been something that no one was asking for and makes little sense for the desktop client.

They've also made other mistakes over the past two years which has gradually made me ambivalent to them - currently I use the service because the alternatives are worse in various ways, but switching isn't out of the question (and I have a paid 100GB account).

Re:Only 5gb? (1)

chrb (1083577) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981239)

The 5GB number is just a guess from the article based on Google's existing Apps storage offers. Likewise, the idea that they will offer 20GB for $5/year is just a guess:

Google already offers additional storage space for Docs, Gmail, and Picasa at very competitive prices, starting at $5 per year for 20GB, or $20 per year for 80GB. In comparison, Dropbox is $9.99 per month for 50GB, SugarSync is $4.99 per month for 30GB, and Box.net is $9.99 per month for just 25GB. In short, Google is 10 times cheaper than the competition. There’s no confirmation that Google Drive will use the same pricing structure, but in all likelihood it will.

Re:Only 5gb? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981413)

You don't need to give it up, at all.
I don't understand this mentality at all. Use ALL of them.
It's like the whole "social network jumping", "oh hey facebooks better, gonna delete my bebo / myspace / whatever now, cya" nonsense.
USE ALL OF THEM, there is no point not to. It takes all of a few minutes to check both or more sites.

Backup some stuff important to you across all of them (but not top-secret ultra private, unless you encrypt the high hell out of it), less chance of losing anything.
This is why I laugh at people who stick to one site like Megaupload then lose EVERYTHING. Morons. Especially considering there is at least 3 multi-upload tools that I know of personally, likely more. Absolutely no reason not to use them.

Redundant? (4, Insightful)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980931)

For pics and videos you have Google+/Picasa web albums and with G+ it's near unlimited space for normal size things. For documents there's Google Docs, as mentioned. What else do you need? Are they going to unify this into a single space or create a Carbonite type backup system? It seems like they already have a "Google Drive", it's just slightly broken up into separate services that enhance the features of the content.

I welcome it, just wonder about usage. I have a SkyDrive acct with 25GB free that I hardly use. Perhaps this is more oriented towards their Google Apps business accounts.

Re:Redundant? (2)

fleeped (1945926) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981025)

In the same way you have separate applications to access images, docs, etc, you could have another google service to access a filesystem.
Now if Google Drive has extra access to your Picasa/Docs/Pages stuff and have them properly integrated, now that would be cool!
Given the usual quality of new google services though, it will probably be messy.

Re:Redundant? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981425)

The problem is, none of those Google services currently syncs files between systems - I have things locally which will never be part of the Google services provided, and yet Dropbox allows me to sync them between systems practically seamlessly. Thats the hole in the services provided by Google, and thats what any new Google Drive service will fill - syncing of files.

And if you look at Dropbox, there is a huge demand for such a service - especially if it has Google Docs integration (a often requested feature for Dropbox) etc.

But I've been using GoogleFS for Three Years Now.. (5, Interesting)

eno2001 (527078) | more than 2 years ago | (#38980967)

GoogleFS on top of FUSE in Linux has allowed mounting the space that you store Google docs in for quite some time. This whole time I kept wondering, "why isn't anyone writing a GUI for this for Windows and Mac users" so they're not left out in the cold. (Not entirely true with Mac users as FUSE works there too)

Re:But I've been using GoogleFS for Three Years No (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981109)

I imagine it's because that writing a file system driver is extremely complicated in Windows. Last time I looked there wasn't even a good solution for reading EXT2 formatted drives (though one may exist now). I'm not sure if there are technological limitations in Windows for writing file system drivers, but it seems that their must be, simply by the lack of any. The solutions i've seen for reading and writing to other formats seem to all be utilities that read the raw data, and don't allow you to actually just mount the drive as you would with FAT32 and NTFS.

Re:But I've been using GoogleFS for Three Years No (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981455)

Try Ext2Fsd - http://www.ext2fsd.com/ - I've been using it to read/write my ext3 volumes in Windows for years. It works just fine in 64-bit Windows 7, too. (Though it doesn't have journaling support, so it effectively writes both ext2 and ext3 volumes as ext2. But this doesn't corrupt the drive.) Since I dual-boot to Linux most of the time, the FS gets checked every couple of weeks just in case. I've never had a problem with it.

Re:But I've been using GoogleFS for Three Years No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981201)

Cyberduck, http://cyberduck.ch/, is a stellar FTP client that allows you to mount Google Docs, oh and its open source

Re:But I've been using GoogleFS for Three Years No (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981487)

Then mount EncFS on top of that and you have encryption, too. Windows has even more to do to catch up.

Yes, but will it last? (4, Insightful)

dachshund (300733) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981125)

Google has a habit of killing services it doesn't believe in. That's (moderately) ok for a service like Wave, or even Google Health. It's not so good for a cloud storage service, where long-term availability is very much a requirement.

Re:Yes, but will it last? (3, Insightful)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981469)

Less risk of Google killing it and more risk of the government closing it.

I'm done with Google.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981153)

...the only thing i still use is search and I'm slowly moving away from that.

No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981171)

Unless there is some decent, native, client-side encryption/decryption scheme, I'm not going to touch this. Google can promise to "do no evil" all they want, but I'm not giving them an opportunity to index and analyze my personal documents for whatever reason. That said, I would LOVE to find a good, free/cheap cloud hosting service with client-side encryption that has a good interface. SpiderOak is the best I've seen so far, but their Android app is absolutely useless.

Re:No thanks. (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981433)

You must not be a Linux user, then.

Re:No thanks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981649)

The PC end of things isn't a problem. I meant to say "a good mobile interface." I want to be able to easily access my cloud storage from my Android tablet, but so far, I haven't found a service that offers both client-side encryption AND a usable Android app. I'm sure Google will have the latter, but unless they also have the encryption, I'm going to pass on this.

Re:No thanks. (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981711)

All that would need is FUSE in Android ... unless you are an iPhone fan (then plead your case with the powers that be at Apple). EncFS uses FUSE.

Fabulous (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38981219)

Something I will never ever ever use.

April 1st (2)

slasho81 (455509) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981241)

Wouldn't it be cool if Google Drive launched on April 1st with an announcement of 1000GB of free online storage? Google can pull this off.
Google got so much respect (and many users) for taking it to the next level with GMail and not just doing another me-too with its email service.

Risky move with the way things are. (1)

slack_justyb (862874) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981389)

I'll have to admit that Google sometimes seems to have good ideas but they lack that final step to make them great services. Case in point the different ways one can upload information to Google's current services but the lack of some "unified" cloud storage. However, I don't blame them one bit with as acrimonious as copyright holding groups have become with online storage.

I'm sure that the total features, like sharing for example, will be lacking to say the best. There again, I would have to question anyone who solely believes it to be a simple oversight on Google's part. The Megaupload shutdown is still pretty fresh in people's mind and a lot of legitimate users loss a lot of data due to "collateral damage." Trust is not easily won back by the general consumer and the United States government has burned a lot of people as far as online storage goes. That's not to say that people won't come back, just that a lot of people are going to be looking at what happens when three to seven percent of the user base starts using the service for illegal means and causes everyone to loose data?

A lot of people say that we should encrypt our files in the cloud, but let's face it. Not every user is going to be doing this. It has been shown that it won't matter if your files are encrypted or not. If other people are using the site for illegal purposes, your stuff, encrypted or not, is gone with no recourse. That's going to put a lot of pressure on Google to do something about it. Who knows what rules will be in place on a Google cloud drive, if they happen to open one. However, if Google does, the rules are definitely going to include language that is there as a direct result of the Megaupload shutdown.

The sad thing about it all, is that no matter what protections put into place, copyright holders are so venomous that they will punch holes in anyone's case. At some point these groups are going to find loopholes in Google's ToS and system protections. It will be on these faults they will seek to hang Google out to dry. Because, that's what they do, they tear down any new model that poses a threat to their model. It's economic Darwinism and it prevents new and innovative ideas from ever coming to market. That's what several online companies are bitching about and they cannot seem to get politicians or the general public to understand that, without resorting to large grandiose schemes that run the risk of numbing people to the issue. Eventually the public is going to have the mindset of, "Oh, look Wikipedia is protesting something else today...yawn."

There is a severe lack of laws that define the rights entitled to users of the Internet. It was akin to the Wild, Wild West in the early days, but the continued lack of laws have allowed bullies and outlaws to form, with companies that just want to get shit done caught in the middle. We literally have people who come in and extort others just like bandits come to the small town and take all the food! On the opposite side you have those who give them the middle finger and do whatever they can do simply because it is illegal. The best part is that as this goes on, the legislative branch just tosses the issue to the courts to decide (sans any kind of guidance from said former branch.) If this was happening in real life and not on the Internet, there would not be a dry up of ideas in the movie and book industry! They could just do documentaries and biographies and the shit would be better than anything Michael Bay could come up with.

So yeah, just gently scratching the surface and there comes a butt load of reason's for Google to not do a cloud drive, or to cripple it beyond belief. Reasonable laws are needed for the Internet and that's not going to come from politicians or companies, that can only come from the users of the Internet that use this resource everyday in their lives. There again, that's the group of people that's going to be the hardest to convince something is needed and to have them see the point through to the end. The biggest problem about people rising up, is that eventually (if no one shakes the boat for a while) everyone looses interest in the idea, until the next shake up. Google's got a lot of entities that stand to see them fail. In addition to the way companies in the tech sector love to burn bridges on a hourly basis, when the fire under Google's ass gets turned up by copyright holders, Google's going to come up short on allies.

And that is my two cents on the matter.

encryption (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981411)

And given Google's privacy policies, encryption is clearly well justified.

Google Cloud Connect - GDrive - Chromebooks (1)

Tim12s (209786) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981475)

This is more about unifying Google Documents, Google Cloud Connect, Microsoft Office and Chromebooks.

If this product makes no money, it will still free people from their desktops and introduce the opportunity to be truly cloud based.

Legal reasons (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38981547)

but for some reason it has never offered a unified Google Drive

Google doesn't want to suffer the fate of Megaupload.

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