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Cloud Data Storage

Dropbox Wants To Replace Your Hard Disk 445

Posted by samzenpus
from the we-got-this dept.
Barence writes "Dropbox has kicked off its first developer conference with the stated goal of replacing the hard disk. 'We are replacing the hard drive,' said Dropbox CEO Drew Houston. 'I don't mean that you're going to unscrew your MacBook and find a Dropbox inside, but the spiritual successor to the hard drive is what we're launching.' The new Dropbox Platform includes tools for developers that will allow them to use Dropbox to sync app data between devices. The company's new APIs will also make it easier for app developers to include plugins that save to Dropbox, or choose files stored in the service for use within apps."
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Dropbox Wants To Replace Your Hard Disk

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  • by mrmeval (662166) <<mrmeval> <at> <gmail.com>> on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @09:59PM (#44246145) Journal

    I do not play with the clowd clowns I own my own hardware and software. I do not walk in the valley of DRM. I do not beg to receive the fruits of my labors from datachangers. I shall not want.

    • by Geek Hillbilly (2975053) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @10:29PM (#44246355) Homepage
      Amen to that.I do not trust cloud storage at all.
    • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @10:46PM (#44246463)

      Do you like data in the cloud?
      I do not want it in the cloud,
      I would not like it since I'm proud.
      Would you like it here or there?
      I would not want it anywhere.
      I do not like the loss of data,
      Yes, you can call me a cloud-hater.

    • by Brett Buck (811747) on Thursday July 11, 2013 @12:07AM (#44246915)

      In a related development, Dropbox also announced their cloud storage plan for your personal valuables. They will install lockers along the side of the road, and you can (for a nominal fee) store your expensive jewelry, negotiable securities, collectible items, and personal photos there.

  • Uh huh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @10:01PM (#44246161)

    Dropbox Wants To Forward All Your Info To The NSA

    FTFY

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @10:02PM (#44246167)

    I don't trust you with my data.
    I don't trust your security.
    I don't trust your longevity.
    I don't trust that you at some point in the future won't hold my data hostage.
    I don't trust you to keep my data away from big brother.

    I also don't trust my ISP!

    FINALLY, I don't want to wait all day for a file to load.

    • Mod parent up! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Chas (5144) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @10:16PM (#44246283) Homepage Journal

      This post sums up my feelings about it as well.

      • by segin (883667) <segin2005@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @10:27PM (#44246347) Homepage
        The NSA can get into your local encrypted file stores anyways. Remote code execution exploits + encryption keys are in RAM. Unless you use Gentoo, then all the version mismatch incompatibility leads to security through significant downtime.
        • Re:Mod parent up! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by lightknight (213164) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @10:40PM (#44246425) Homepage

          So...you want to make it easy for them?

        • Re:Mod parent up! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by tftp (111690) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @10:53PM (#44246505) Homepage

          The complexity of sending a team of people to covertly copy the encrypted HDD and then install a keylogger to intercept your passphrase (or, even worse, your key or an exchange with a dedicated crypto device) is not comparable with just calling a CEO of Droppants and ordering him to deliver the data, on his storage, by the door of your office tomorrow.

          There is a well known xkcd [xkcd.com], of course, on that subject. However one can easily store a key on a remote server, and arrange for a cron job to delete that key if you failed to log in for a while. It would be a plausible explanation why the $5 wrench is not delivering the expected results. Not all the data that we store is precious and irrecoverable; most of it is just handy to have locally, but if need be you know where to get a copy. The simplest variation of this method is to get a couple friends in foreign countries, and give them parts of the key with instructions to not reveal them if you are in trouble. They cannot be forced to do anything, even if their identities are known (a big if.)

          Anyone who uses cloud services in the society of total surveillance is not valuing confidentiality of his data. In other words, they can only intercept data that they don't need to intercept.

          • Re:Mod parent up! (Score:4, Insightful)

            by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @11:12PM (#44246611)

            Anyone who uses cloud services in the society of total surveillance is not valuing confidentiality of his data

            I read 1984 when I was in high school. that was in the 70's.

            I wonder how they present the book and teach to it, at school, these days? or even, do they?

            is surveillance like time, in that it moves only in the forward direction? can we ever admit that we crossed a line and are going back to how things used to be, privacy-wise?

            • Re: Mod parent up! (Score:4, Informative)

              by NemoinSpace (1118137) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @11:41PM (#44246783) Homepage Journal
              damn right they teach 1984 now. It used to be a cautionary work of fiction. Now it's a users manual.
            • Re:Mod parent up! (Score:5, Insightful)

              by tftp (111690) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @11:52PM (#44246831) Homepage

              is surveillance like time, in that it moves only in the forward direction?

              Yes, because the more you have it the more you need it to keep your gains. This applies to all kinds of oppression, official or not. Militarization of the police is just one example. It would be pretty hard to find someone who came in as a bloody dictator but left as a democrat and humanist of Gandhi's caliber. The rule of thumb that violence begets violence [wikipedia.org] is a very good initial guess.

              can we ever admit that we crossed a line and are going back to how things used to be, privacy-wise?

              No, it is not possible because people who are in charge of the message don't want you to hear that message. But even if MSM weren't under such iron rule, people still get old and die, and nobody remembers Sheriff Andy Taylor anymore. The new generation only knows those LEOs that are contemporary, and everything else is dismissed as "old folks' stuff." Those LEOs shoot your dog and taser you, and the justice system will imprison you forever for "resisting arrest" if you do not bow quickly enough [youtube.com]. The older people get their blood pressure elevated, but nobody cares. Schools, with their "zero tolerance," are even more oppressive - they can dispense punishments for "crimes" that are not in the Penal Code; why to bother, they write their own laws, they are the masters of children's Universe! Can you imagine that an adult would be searched by her garden variety employer because someone said she has Aspirin in her underpants? This way the new generation had been conditioned for obedience. And you are asking why they don't question the reality? Hell, they are trying to survive in it. They are not asking for tar, feathers and a few sturdy rails just because they have never seen anything else. You can bet they won't see anything else either, unless it's even worse.

            • by Nyder (754090)

              Anyone who uses cloud services in the society of total surveillance is not valuing confidentiality of his data

              I read 1984 when I was in high school. that was in the 70's.

              I wonder how they present the book and teach to it, at school, these days? or even, do they?

              ...

              Yes, but they call it Current Events now.

        • Re:Mod parent up! (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Chas (5144) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @11:14PM (#44246615) Homepage Journal

          If the NSA wants into my local file stores, they have to come into my apartment and steal them.
          THEN decrypt them.

        • by gweihir (88907)

          The NSA can get into your local encrypted file stores anyways. Remote code execution exploits + encryption keys are in RAM. Unless you use Gentoo, then all the version mismatch incompatibility leads to security through significant downtime.

          No, they cannot. They would have you believe they can though. There are several reasons why they cannot. One is that they need to know you have local encrypted data in the first place. Then they need to attack you. If your attack surface is none at all (i.e. the network stack) or an OpenSSH port, it is highly unlikely that they could get in. Then there is economic feasibility. Any targeted attack costs money and needs to be customized. Then there is the problem that they could get detected and in the proces

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @10:35PM (#44246397)

        Wait a minute. I'm a manager, and I've been reading a lot of case studies and watching a lot of webcasts about The Cloud. Based on all of this glorious marketing literature, I, as a manager, have absolutely no reason to doubt the safety of any data put in The Cloud.

        The case studies all use words like "secure", "MD5", "RSS feeds" and "encryption" to describe the security of The Cloud. I don't know about you, but that sounds damn secure to me! Some Clouds even use SSL and HTTP. That's rock solid in my book.

        And don't forget that you have to use Web Services to access The Cloud. Nothing is more secure than SOA and Web Services, with the exception of perhaps SaaS. But I think that Cloud Services 2.0 will combine the tiers into an MVC-compliant stack that uses SaaS to increase the security and partitioning of the data.

        My main concern isn't with the security of The Cloud, but rather with getting my Indian team to learn all about it so we can deploy some first-generation The Cloud applications and Web Services to provide the ultimate platform upon which we can layer our business intelligence and reporting, because there are still a few verticals that we need to leverage before we can move to The Cloud 2.0.

    • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @10:38PM (#44246405)

      I agree with everything you said... But in this instance there's a more fundamental issue.

      I'm NOT going to pay DropBox hundreds of dollars a year just for the privilege of replacing my hard drive.

    • Yes you do. Well, maybe not *you*, but most people do. Let me present you the future of computing. One day, you won't own a computer. Period. You will walk up to any obsidian black glass table and activate a screen session from anywhere on it. Doesn't matter if it's in your friends house, the hotel, wall, kitchen table. Doesn't matter. From this screen session, you will put in your user credentials and process data via thin-client activity. Everything will be in the cloud.

      THE WORLD WILL BE A GIANT IPAD!!! T

      • by dgatwood (11270) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @11:25PM (#44246693) Journal

        Everybody has been saying this for years, but even though it has been theoretically possible for decades, it hasn't happened, and for good reason. Two good reasons, as a matter of fact: security and cost.

        Security: The reality is that such a computing world could never have any real security to speak of. If you do not have physical control of the device, you cannot know whether that web page it is showing is actually the login page for your email provider or a false front that logs into your email provider with your credentials, passes the data through to the screen, and waits for you to walk away so it can forward the contents of your inbox to Croatia. At a fundamental level, such systems cannot be secure for precisely the same reason that Internet cafes cannot be secure, for the precise reason that no software can ever truly make a virus-compromised computer secure (unless that software is in the form of boot media, and perhaps not even then), etc.

        Cost: It is much cheaper to give everyone a laptop than to put a tablet everywhere someone might want to use one, even within someone's own home. Explode that cost by orders of magnitude to cover cars and buses, walls of businesses, street corner walk signs.... You get the picture.

  • It's not like the illusion of privacy I had in pretending the NSA couldn't get to my HDD data had much basis in reality anyways. I figured it was mostly because I hadn't done anything that got anyone annoyed enough to actually care

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "I figured it was mostly because I hadn't done anything that got anyone annoyed enough to actually care"

      Yeh live the bland life, upset no-one, do nothing of note, don't have anything somebody could want, don't marry any woman someone else could covert. It's a solution to living in a surveillance state. Also make sure your family and friends and kids and loved ones to the same, pesky metadata linkage.

      DropBox was specifically mentioned in the PRISM document, so go out and specifically use it, putting only gre

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... and I approve this message.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @10:06PM (#44246201)

    You're based in the US. You know that we have crap for bandwidth, our ISPs fight over backbone peering, we get charged by the gigabyte, and finally government agencies love to peek at data that isn't in a person's physical possession.

  • by Okian Warrior (537106) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @10:06PM (#44246203) Homepage Journal

    Dropbox doesn't have encryption built-in, and this seems like a truly obvious feature. It's always been a mystery to me why they haven't implemented it. Their info page reads: "Dropbox employees are prohibited from viewing the content of files you store in your account".

    This has been especially curious since the last year or two, when everyone's been complaining about how your data isn't safe in the cloud. Even the launch of Mega hasn't prodded them to add security in order to stay competitive.

    Anyone know why they don't have an option to secure your data using encryption? Why we have to trust their employees not to peek at our stuff?

    (Yes, I know there are 3rd party apps that add this.)

    • by bloodhawk (813939)
      If they supported encryption how could they provide open access to government for your data?
    • by Nerdfest (867930)

      If you want proper security right now, use SpiderOak. More flexible than DropBox as well.

      • If you want proper security right now, use SpiderOak. More flexible than DropBox as well.

        I'll check into that, but honestly: it would seem that MEGA has a stronger use case and better provenance - they have more incentive to get it right.

        • by Zynder (2773551)
          Yeah but isn't Mega the new work of the former Megaupload owner, KimDotCom? He's already been hit by the man once & he has advocated that leakers can use his site all they want to stick it to tha man. That is a big old target for getting shutdown twice. Mega is too high profile at this time, IMHO. I'd look elsewhere.
      • by HJED (1304957)
        AeroFS is also pretty good, and its P2P unlike SpiderOak which stores all your data on their cloud. Pretty fast now as well.
    • by asmkm22 (1902712)

      Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if they don't offer it because they know 80% of the population would probably lock themselves out of their own data at some point. And of course complain when they find out that dropbox doesn't have backdoor access or something.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by dbIII (701233)
      I'd say they didn't have it because of the deduplication of files that caused so much hilarity early in the life of dropbox. There was a hack that people used to download popular files, such as movie rips, directly from dropbox. So long as somebody on dropbox had that file, and you had the name plus file hash (eg. from a search of torrents), you could fool the thing into thinking that file was one of yours and it would let you download it directly.
      Then there's the time people could log in with a username
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @10:06PM (#44246205)

    1. Privacy (from several categories of snoopers: government, businesses, hackers)
    2. Latency
    3. Cost, billing hassles
    4. Availability (freedom from outages that seem to contradict the HA guarantees these providers spout out)
    5. What if they fuck up and lose your data

    • You can add to it:

      6) No real use case (for now). All the real use cases I can think of are already solved (people want music synced to their device, images imported to their computer, and maybe tabs shared between browsers). There's not a huge overlap between "things I want on my computer" and "things I want on my phone."

      Although it might be good for pirated movies.
    • Even if I didn't care about the privacy issues, can they offer me anywhere near the performance of my SSD? Of course not. It's latency is expressed in microseconds, my network in 2-3 digits of milliseconds. Its bandwidth is near enough 500MB/sec, my network caps out at about 4MB/sec (30mbit).

      I fail to see why the hell I'd want to store my data on such an inferior setup.

      Now backups to a remote site, sure that is something that can make sense. However that isn't what they are talking about. That is more like

  • Wrong direction. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Silentknyght (1042778) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @10:17PM (#44246293)

    No, dropbox is going in the wrong direction. The direction is going to be smaller, faster, portable HDDs. Thumbdrives are already common at 64gb, and SSDs at 256gb. People already carry around a lot of data on their phones and, more to the point, they already carry around a device as large as a phone. Current gen SSDs are about that big. It won't be much to get people to either carry around a second, similarly sized device, or for the technology to just adapt to allow your phone to store terabytes.

    Those are already happening; when finally mature, why would you use the cloud? With increasing proliferation of per-byte charges for data, and with the ENORMOUS gulf in access speeds between SATA and the most common internet plans--a gulf that's unlikely to shrink for years, perhaps decades, as both technologies make their own, separate, speed advancements--people aren't going to spend more money for slower access to their own data that they don't even control.

    • by tftp (111690)

      Those are already happening; when finally mature, why would you use the cloud?

      I'd say, even old MFM and RLL HDDs [redhill.net.au] were mature enough for the needs of the day. I had no need for cloud then, and I have no need for cloud now. We need abstract data exchange between parties, but that's not "cloud." The term covers "paid data exchange between separate instances of you." I guess there are cases when it makes sense, but I am not involved with any of those, and my data is kept away from the Internet except what I

  • That I can host my own server for. Let them keep the special sauce of balancing the data out on there end. Getting rather tied of closed cloud systems we need one api to rule them all :)

  • by sdinfoserv (1793266) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @10:19PM (#44246307) Homepage
    As someone who has been responsible for medium sized infrastructures – © 500 desktops - , as well as enterprise wide security, I will say I explicitly deny dropbox for all users. It’s a huge security hole. Without the ability to control, monitor, secure and most importantly log, it will never make it in the corporate environment.
  • by Mistakill (965922) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @10:20PM (#44246317)
    Not a chance, not here in NZ... i have a 200GB cap... not even close to enough for what i want to do if i used dropbox... [Currently @ 7TB of HDD space, 5TB of which is used] (Strike One)

    Also, with the TSA crap.... no again (Strike Two)

    I dont have to pay to store data on my HDD's... (Strike Three)
  • by sstamps (39313) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @10:25PM (#44246337) Homepage

    "Replace your hard drive" my ass.

    Seriously, who writes this shite?

  • by Bieeanda (961632) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @10:32PM (#44246377)
    It sounds to me like Dropbox is hitting a subscriber wall, and they're desperate for anything that will make them look attractive to the money people again.

    Personally, I'm never dealing with these dumbfucks again. This is the company that turned passwords off for every goddamn client and 'box' in their hands for several hours before the blunder was caught. I'm not going to trust them with my goddamn grocery lists.

  • by MisterP (156738) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @10:32PM (#44246379)

    I find it somewhat disappointing that despite the connectivity options we have today, we still so far from being able to access our own data in a secure and consistent manner that's easy for everyone. It's even more disappointing to see a company like Dropbox solving only the "consistent" and "easy" parts of it. I say it's disappointing because I have problems with the encryption scheme [1] and non-decentralized way they're currently doing things.

    As it's been pointed out [2] and essentially beaten to death recently, these things may not matter a whole lot to most people now, I think you have be pretty optimistic to think they won't matter in the future.

    [1] https://www.dropbox.com/help/28/en [dropbox.com]
    [2] https://medium.com/surveillance-state/b804de3b5b [medium.com]

  • that's why more and more manufactures are moving to SSD, so the HD can't be removed.

  • Just bribed or hypnotized by the NSA?
  • This is basically Dropbox parroting Google's Chromebook. I use a Chromebook at times, and it's remarkably good for 90% of what I do. Doesn't seem to run automake, however.
  • by readingaccount (2909349) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @10:47PM (#44246467)

    Paul Thurrott, the world's premier Microsoft fanboy, has been running a few articles about his concept of "zero data" - that is, keeping ALL computer data where feasible in the Cloud as opposed to your local HDD. He does so willingly because he has in his mind too much clutter, and would rather let some corporation take control over it instead of trimming what he has down to something more reasonable:

    http://winsupersite.com/cloud/zero-data-hardest-part-saying-goodbye [winsupersite.com]
    http://winsupersite.com/cloud/zero-data-reducing-storage-clutter [winsupersite.com]

    It's one thing to give away so much of your personal data to a company - it's anther thing to then perform destruction over your local copies so everything you've ever done is totally out of your control. To me, the idea of giving away that level of control over MY data to a company is totally horrifying, but apparently I'm too stubborn and old-fashioned by saying so. Oh well.

  • by Zalbik (308903) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @11:33PM (#44246737)

    With apologies to Theodore Geisel:

    I do not want your new dropbox
    I will not try with FireFox
    I will not have it in my house
    I will not click it with my mouse
    I do not want it on the train
    I cannot use it on the plane
    My data is not here or there
    My data could be anywhere!
    My data is my own and so
    I do not want this, CEO.

  • by gman003 (1693318) on Wednesday July 10, 2013 @11:43PM (#44246789)

    Hard drives are currently the greatest bottleneck in 95% of systems. Why do you think "get an SSD" is the new "add more RAM"?

    A good hard drive will have average latency around the 5ms range, and throughput around 200MiB/s (in actual usage, not benchmarks). Cheaper ones will be closer to 10-15ms latency and 100MiB/s throughput.

    I just tried pinging dropbox.com - 98ms latency, round-trip. And my bandwidth peaks around 400KiB/s, orders of magnitude below even a slow hard drive. And that's for download! Upload, you're looking at maybe 100KiB/s. I've gotten faster transfers over USB (and not that fancy new USB 3.0).

    You may be saying that "users don't need that much speed for most stuff - give them an SSD for OS+Apps, and everything else goes in THE CLOUD".

    Perhaps you're right. Perhaps many users could be satisfied with such an arrangement. But until Flash is nearly as cheap per gigabyte as spinning rust, there will remain plenty of tasks that need more capacity than a (reasonably-priced) SSD can provide, but more speed than a cloud solution can physically provide.

    The latency is the biggest killer. For sequential access, a high-end hard drive can keep up with common SSDs - from the slowest HDD to the fastest SSD is perhaps an order of magnitude, probably less. But the latency is the killer - it's easily two orders of magnitude between discs and flash, and even more on the high end. You can easily feel that - I stuffed an SSD into a half-decade-old workstation, and it went from sluggish and unresponsive to smooth and lightning-fast (and that with a slow SSD and 3gbps SATA). My laptop boots in seconds, and is the snappiest computer I've ever used.

    Cloud storage, just by physics, are another order of magnitude below local hard drives, just because of speed-of-light. As I mentioned, I get 100ms ping times to dropbox. And that's just for pings - if they actually have to pull my data up, you're adding the same latency as disk (because seriously, are they going to use Flash?). I don't even want to think about how slow that's going to feel.

    A blog I once read provided a useful metaphor. Imagine a read from RAM takes one day (this was high-latency/high-bandwidth GDDR5; DDR3 latencies would be around 3 hours or so). Depending on your processor, you'd be executing instructions in the scale of minutes. Accessing a hard drive takes around fifty years. Reading from the cloud would take nearly six centuries.

    *That* is how slow the cloud is. And that's why I use it, at most, for backups, or for running cloud servers - NOT as a replacement for local storage.

  • by aussersterne (212916) on Thursday July 11, 2013 @12:18AM (#44246979) Homepage

    Slashdot is a technology crowd in a "post-technology" world (in that "technology" is increasingly no more than another word for "household appliance"). People here are all about RAID, hot swap, offline backups, rsync, blah, blah, blah. Give me a break. This is precisely why tablets are so successful—they are zero administration devices for the average person that doesn't want to root/configure in the first place.

    The average person absolutely STRUGGLES to:

    (1) Back up their data
    (2) Access it anywhere
    (3) Simply copy a file
    (4) Share any non-Facebook file format with their friends

    Dropbox does all of these things in a point/click way.

    People here are talking SANs and SSDs. Seriously? Momma don't do dat. And her hard drive ("computer") has "crashed" more than once by now, 20-30 years after the dawn of the computing age, and she lost her prized photos and recipes. And Slashdotters dutifully told her to "back her data up, then." Which she didn't do because (a) she doesn't know how, no matter how many times you explain it or tell her to go get a Costco USB drive, and (b) she doesn't want to spend time on or think about that even once, much less once a week.

    Services like Dropbox are going to own the data storage market.

    People above seem to be predicting that hard drives of some new sort are the wave of the future—everything old is new again. I'll boldly predict the opposite: Dropbox is right. In five years, the average person will own zero large hard drives. Their devices (tablets, netbooks) will have enough local storage to boot an OS. Everything else will be in the SaaS (software as a service, storage as a service) space.

    Mark it down and come after me if it doesn't happen.

  • by istartedi (132515) on Thursday July 11, 2013 @12:21AM (#44246993) Journal

    I think it's been ten years or more since I've said it; but everything you need to know about why "the cloud" sucks can be summed up in one line:

    "I can't use my word processor. The network is down".

    I think I may have started saying this to people back when Sun (remember them?) had a slogan about "the network is the computer". Sheesh... whenever somebody is trying to tell you that one thing is another, a big red warning light and a siren ought to go off. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm tired. I've been freedoming over a hot stove all day.

  • by beaverdownunder (1822050) on Thursday July 11, 2013 @01:32AM (#44247297)

    Once people realised the value of knowing not necessarily what people were doing, but when / where / how they were doing it, and that you can begin to predict their behaviour by comparing that information with that of known models, the world well-and-truly went to Hell.

    Seriously, Dropbox doesn't care _what_ data you store on their servers, what they care about is your usage behaviour, data that can then be added to the ever-expanding mountain of statistics used to further refine those already surprisingly accurate profiles increasingly used by savvy advertisers, governments et al. to define you even better than you could likely define yourself.

    "Congratulations! We've identified you as person-type 1845194. You're sure to be interested in this product we'll love to sell you, this new television series you're certain to enjoy, this commentary you're sure to agree with. Soon, you'll think the world was made especially for you, since the world we'll continue to show you is tailored to appeal directly to your specific person-type. Enjoy!

    "Also, since your person-type is ten times more statistically likely to lie on your tax-return, we're going to suggest the tax department audit you every single year... sorry about that. We all need to pay our fair share. Your person-type also has an increased tendency to..."

    Remember, it's not so much what you say, but how you say it...

  • Top 8 Reasons Dropbox Won't Be Replacing My Hard-Drive Anytime Soon

    1) Speed - Obviously a hard-drive will continue to be necessary to serve apps (not to mention the OS) for the forseeable future, but even when it comes to my data I'd rather have it accessible locally rather than wait for it to torturously download from the Internet.

    2) Access - Dropbox requires an additional complication to an already complicated system with the addition of a necessary Internet uplink. If the Internet is down - beware the backhoe! - then my data is not accessible. Data stored locally is also subject to failure but it's one less component to worry about. Also, I can usually prepare for local disasters - backup the data, multiple workstations, etc - but what happens if Dropbox.com itself is down? I have no remedy.

    3) Privacy - Increasingly, corporations and governments are tossing aside all moral and legal restrictions in their greedy attempts to data-mine the entire world. Whether it is my personal medical history or my "Little Rascals" fanfiction (just kidding!), I only want people I specifically allow to have access to that data. I have little faith that Dropbox will honor my request.

    4) Security - Yes, the average user's local machine is often riddled with viruses, trojans and other spyware. But increasingly we are seeing that large corporations suffer the same problems and inadvertently letting user information out into the wild due to poor security practices. And given how large a target Dropbox would make itself, I'd rather stay under the radar than trust them with my data.

    5) Compatibility - You know what programs work with my hard-drive? All of them! You have to go back nearly thirty years before you start running across programs that didn't expect a hard-drive. You think that all these developers are going to update their programs to take advantage of this new Dropbox development? And I don't care how hard Dropbox works at integrating their service with the OS, there will always be programs - usually that one absolutely necessary to your work - that won't be compatible with the Cloud.

    6) Longevity - I have data from 1991 on my hard-drive. Okay, it's not the same hard-drive I used back in '91, but it's followed me through every upgrade over the past two decades and I expect it will continue to do so over the next twenty. Will Dropbox still be available in twenty years? I have my doubts. And then how will I access my data?

    7) Cost - For most users, the cost of a hard-drive is essentially $0.00; it is included in the cost of the computer. I doubt that if Dropbox were suddenly to replace the HDD, the cost of computers would significantly change. On the other hand, I have little doubt that - were it to become as essential to computing as they hope - that the price for Dropbox's services would significantly increase.

    8) Control - Oh no! Due to a changing political climate, the "Little Rascals" are now banned from the United States; no distribution of any "Little Rascals" material is allowed within its borders. With my data stored locally, this sudden shift would not affect me because my "Little Rascals" fan-fiction (just kidding, really!) is outside the control of corporation or government. But if it were on Dropbox, it would be available to scrutiny and deletion.

    So, yeah, I think I'll stay with the hard-drive for a while longer Dropbox. Your mediocre advantages in no way counter the numerous disadvantages. Maybe I'll use your service (or any of the hundreds of other similar services) to supplement local storage but it won't be replacing it anytime soon.

"A mind is a terrible thing to have leaking out your ears." -- The League of Sadistic Telepaths

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