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Google Cloud Data Storage Technology

Google Drive Goes Live 323

lemmen writes "As widely expected, Google Drive has launched officially today. Google Drive is free for the first 5GB, while you can get an upgrade to 25GB for $2.50 a month. They say the service is available for PCs, Macs, Android devices, and soon iOS devices. According to Mercury News, '... the success of Drive will ride largely on whether Google can differentiate its offering from already established fast-growing cloud storage startups that were in the market first, such as Dropbox and Box, as well as Microsoft's SkyDrive service and big consumer media competitors like Apple's iCloud and Amazon's Cloud Drive. ... Existing Google Docs files, the centerpiece of Google's existing cloud storage offering, will move to the Google Drive service once users download apps and install the new service."
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Google Drive Goes Live

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @01:42PM (#39784505)

    Access requires a proprietary client.

    Where are open, standard protocols which don't require unvetted Google software to be trusted with power over our computers?

  • by schitso ( 2541028 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @01:42PM (#39784525)
    You mean like the ones used by Dropbox, SugarSync, and Box?

    Oh wait...
  • by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <> on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @01:46PM (#39784591)

    Versions count against your storage, trash counts against your storage, Google Docs files do not, shared files do not.

    No right-click menu in the desktop client, so no grabbing public links etc.

    No ability to name the Google Drive folder, only choose its location (the same as dropbox, but a lot of people were hoping for "pick any folder anywhere").

    Speed is a bit faster.

    Storage prices a lot cheaper ($9.99/month for 200GB vs $9.99 for 50GB on Dropbox).

    There is offline access to Google Docs stuff, not tried that yet.

    The Windows client is very very very similar to an old Dropbox version - even down to "Selective Sync" within the Google Drive folder.

    Android and iOS apps - no Blackberry app yet.

    All in all, I haven't come to a conclusion yet - better in some aspects, worse in others. I think a lot of people were expecting a lot more from Google Drive than this offering.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @01:49PM (#39784625)

    Don't forget to encrypt all this before sending it to "the cloud"

  • by Picass0 ( 147474 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @01:52PM (#39784687) Homepage Journal

    Yes, I want to upload my financial information, work history, scans of legal documents, and anything else personal from my hard drive and have it spidered by Google. I'm sure they can be trusted. They've been so respectful so far of people's privacy.

  • by readandburn ( 825014 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @01:58PM (#39784781)
    Wouldn't you encrypt your files before uploading them? I would.
  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @01:58PM (#39784799) Homepage

    and also I believe them when they say no human will see my stuff

    I'm increasingly unsure of that. We know they scrape the contents of your emails to decide what ads to show you. We know they keep track of your browsing history as much as they can, and aggregate it across sites.

    I'm just not convinced they wouldn't be peeking inside.

    Then again, the only stuff I'm going to keep in the cloud is just temporary personal with no real need to have a whole lot of privacy. Anything work related, I simply won't put it into the cloud -- because for anything business confidential, I don't trust the cloud providers at all. And, more importantly, neither does my employer.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @02:15PM (#39785075) Journal
    The problem goes deeper than that: Unless you go with encryption-on-client(ideally handled by a dedicated security processor, so that the key is never available to the potentially untrustworthy uploader-agent), which is comparatively rare because it breaks handy features like 'access from the web' and deduplication, the cloud storage provider gets to paw through your files by design.

    Now, I do have to wonder why Google used a proprietary client(given their history of, for instance, OSSing their updater widget in order to calm people's fears about what it might be up to) when your data will be showing up on their servers in short order anyway, and file transfer over the internet isn't exactly an area of cutting-edge research.(Hi rysnc, how's it going?). One would think that an OSSed client would provide minimal competitive advantage to others, while helping to alleviate the 'our google overlords creep me out' response.

    More generally, though, there really isn't a 'clientless'(ie. client is installed by default) option at present. The browser-based upload widgets are hacky as hell and often flake out on larger files, the java/activeX ones are incrementally more reliable but far more demanding and dodgy. FTP is horribly insecure and crotchety, SFTP causes barely a ripple outside a few geek circles. WebDAV seems to have gone nowhere for something like two decades now, some sort of NFS/SMB over VPN is ugly and wouldn't play nicely with many setups... A FUSE based FS would be nice for team linux; but arguably counts as a 'client' and doesn't help the majority of the market much...

    I'd certainly trust an OSS client over a closed one; but it's hard to hold the need for a client of some kind against them at the moment.
  • by MobileTatsu-NJG ( 946591 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @02:39PM (#39785441)

    Ah, thanks for the negative mod, there. Fine, I'll go into more detail: Google didn't just make a client, they're providing the storage, connection, maintenance, etc. It's also for business purposes, not a charity. Of course they want control over the client. If you're going to demand otherwise, you might as well just hold up a sign saying "I want the word Insightful to appear next to my post!"

  • by Richard_at_work ( 517087 ) <> on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @02:50PM (#39785659)

    Microsoft would be sued from here to the moon and back if they included this sort of sync within Windows, bound to their servers.

    Oh, and also ripped to shit on here.

  • by Binestar ( 28861 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @04:04PM (#39786865) Homepage
    Convenient and encryption doesn't seem to go well together. The closest I have found for windows and these cloud devices is AxCrypt, which lets you encrypt and password protect each individual file you store.
  • by LateArthurDent ( 1403947 ) on Tuesday April 24, 2012 @04:32PM (#39787239)

    There is a cost to doing that: Google Drive's search features won't work for you...and although you can organize things in hierarchical directories, the search features are the way I find the stuff I want 99% of the time.

    I've been seeing both Windows and Mac moving in the direction of trying to abstract me from the location where files are saved in favor of searching for them. I've never understood that use model. I don't mind that other people would find their files that way, but I've never had to search for a file in my life. I just save them in logical places and they're always where I expect them to be. It's most certainly not what I want to do 99% of the time.

    It must be a result of working with a computer back when indexing every single file in your box would have been an insane waste of storage space, the indexing process would have taken an insane amount of time during which my computer would have been unusable because I'd only have a single core, and the search through the index would still be slow enough that it'd be faster to navigate to the file. In those days, we wore an onion in our belts, because that was the style at the time...

The best book on programming for the layman is "Alice in Wonderland"; but that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.