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LiveDrive vs GDrive vs Personal Data Storage? 126

ozmanjusri asks: "At a blogger's breakfast prior to the opening of Tech.Ed in Sydney, Microsoft Australia technical specialist John Hodgson has confirmed that Microsoft will introduce its LiveDrive online storage system which can be mapped directly as a Vista drive. The service will offer 2GB of space free, with additional capacity available at a cost. Earlier this year, rumors surfaced regarding a similar scheme from Google, the GDrive. There are already hacks to do this with GMail, but Google's goal with GDrive appears to be infinite storage, accessible from anywhere. Meanwhile, the price of portable USB flash drives has been falling to the point where 2GB drives are cheap enough for every day storage purposes. Is this the start of a new era of (nearly) free online storage, thin clients and OS independent services? Will data storage which is tightly integrated to the OS be more attractive to the average user, or will we prefer to have our information stored on a physical media we can put in our pockets?"
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LiveDrive vs GDrive vs Personal Data Storage?

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  • Not for me (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Fred Nerk ( 128328 ) * on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:41PM (#15960165)
    It's not going to work for me for a number of reasons:

    1. I'm in Australia, and bandwidth is expensive in Australia. Cable ISPs offer plans like 10gb per month, and some DSL ISPs offer up to 60-70gb per month. Some are upstream + downstream added together. It's not much when you're considering storing your stuff on the net.

    2. I'm on cable, and the upstream bandwidth is terrible. 64k if I'm lucky. I really don't want to wait hours to store my files on somebody elses server.

    3. I'm sure plenty of people will make statements like "What about the privacy!? I don't want google looking at pictures of my kids!". I don't really care, but it's certainly an issue.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You could always move.
    • 1. I, an American, sympathize. When I move out of my parents' place and get my own Internet connection, I'm most definitely going for a plan that won't limit me on data transfered.

      2. It doesn't have to be for large files, small personal files can be backed up to such a service more easily than burning a CD or DVD. Plus, this is MICROSOFT.COM we're talking about here. I've never found a better server for download rates, at least. Upload rates will probably be good as well. Same with Google.

      3. That's

    • in Australia. Cable ISPs offer plans like 10gb per month

      Judging by this, you're with BigPond, who offer at least 128kbps upstream (not that that's great), or 17mbps/256kbps for $10 a month more. I have the 256k plan and I know several people nearby are on my segment (based on the number of wireless nets I can see, the knowledge that we are outside DSL range, and Optus didn't cable the street for reasons of "commercial viability"), yet I never see less than 24kilobytes/sec.

      Thankfully, though, I'm moving to

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by StikyPad ( 445176 )
        I never understood AU/UK's propensity to charge by the KB. Sure, they have to route their traffic through undersea cables [pacificislands.cc], but so do Hawaii [oceanic.com], the Philippines [mydestiny.net], Guam [mcvguam.com], etc, and unlimited usage is common in those places, as far as I can tell. Just seems like the AU ISPs are price gouging, particularly in light of the strength of the AUD as of late, meaning they're effectively paying less for their leases (assuming the cables are owned by foreign entities).
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Wolfbaine ( 116306 )

          True, they're price gouging, but only because US ISPs price gouge them [dcita.gov.au] (sorry, word document). From the document:

          International connectivity costs comprise the transmission link across the Pacific and the cost of access within the US. Under the internet charging arrangements, the non-US entity paid 100% of the transmission link costs to the US because the (peering or transit) agreements applied at the exchange point in the US. This seemed increasingly unfair as the balance of traffic shifted from 10:1 in fa

        • Re:Not for me (Score:4, Informative)

          by complete loony ( 663508 ) <Jeremy.Lakeman@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @06:48AM (#15961386)
          Those undersea cables required a huge investment, we are a looong way from the US. We have a low population density, it's a long way between our few population centres which aren't that large anyway. And we've had most of our internet traffic routed through a government owned and operated monopoly (Telstra) for ages. ISP's for the most part also have to pay by the GB for most of their traffic and certainly can't afford to give you an all you can eat service.
          • by mcmonkey ( 96054 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @03:22PM (#15965164) Homepage
            Those undersea cables required a huge investment, we are a looong way from the US.

            Does this have something to do with tubes?

          • Although I am a strong supporter of net neutrality in most instances, I do wonder if you guys wouldn't benefit from some type of tiered service in Australia.

            If I'm not mistaken, most of the justification for the pay-per-MB service there is because US backbone providers and ISPs charge their Australian counterparts for peering/interconnect privileges. They charge because there's much more traffic flowing from Australia (initiated by Australian customers, to outside servers) than there is in the other directi
    • Well, this would only exacerbate the bandwidth issues that make up your own objection, but enterprising providers could offer an encryption option for the privacy minded -- just stack OTFE or TrueCrypt drivers on top of whatever virtual filesystem drivers they use. That's about as secure as remote data on third party servers is gonna get. What's more, by encrypting the data without storing the keys, the provider reduces their legal exposure to subpoeanas, etc., since they have no means of knowing the conten
    • "I don't really care, but it's certainly an issue."

      Yeah, if you upload your stuff as plaintext.
    • I'm sure plenty of people will make statements like "What about the privacy!? I don't want google looking at pictures of my kids!". I don't really care, but it's certainly an issue.

      It's not just that someone else can rummage through your personal data, it's that they can forbid you access to your personal data if they were so inclined, or network problems could cause you to not be able to access it, or they could lose it. This is on top of things like the potential for blackmail, or plagarism if you sto

      • Before I forget again, the slightly less paranoid reasons to not trust corporations with your data are that they may want to start charging for you to access or update it, and that they may decide to never delete it, no matter how incriminating it might become. I'm sure I heard that Hotmail e-mails don't ever get deleted, even after you officially delete them, they just become flagged as hidden.
    • by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @05:08AM (#15961130)
      Forget pictures of the kids, its *those* pictures of the wife I'd not want Google to be looking at, not without paying the $9.99 a month like everyone else :)
      • by MonkeyPaw ( 8286 )
        Forget about a stranger looking at pictures of the wife and kid..

        it's the pictures of the girlfriend I don't want the wife and kid to see.
  • by Phantombrain ( 964010 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:43PM (#15960172) Journal
    If you have something in your pocket, nobody can get hte files from where their stored unless they get access to my disk, which I can personally prevent. I can't do anything about a hacking or a company releasing them to the public if they are on a server.
    • True, but if the files are encrypted in, for example, RSA 128-bit they can pass your files around all they want and never figure out the contents. Of course this is for sensitive data... there are tons of files on my computer I could upload that I wouldn't care if someone got their hands on.
      • by Phantombrain ( 964010 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:53PM (#15960218) Journal
        True, but if the files are encrypted in, for example, RSA 128-bit they can pass your files around all they want and never figure out the contents. Of course this is for sensitive data... there are tons of files on my computer I could upload that I wouldn't care if someone got their hands on.
        They can also never figure out the contents if they never get the files in the first place.
        • How about a software Raid-0 using LiveDrive/GDrive and your thumbdrive?

          You'd get 4GB of (slow) storage, but anyone with access to only the thumbdrive or online acct would see 2 GB of garbage.

          It'd be (2x) faster than just the online account.

          For redundancy you could mirror the LiveDrive/GDrive onto another account/server.
      • ... RSA 128-bit ...


        I assume you mean AES or something along those lines...RSA is generally used with keys of at least 1024 bits.
    • You also can't do anything about it if you put it in your pocket and plug it into an untrusted computer, at which point you have to decide who you trust more -- botnet authors or Google?
    • A painless, seamless, thoughtless data backup system? Easily configurable networked storage solution? The ideas aren't new, the messenger is. Businesses already entrust technology companies with their data. The issue of privacy doesn't exist for the majority of personal and small-business users. The Fortune 500 won't be left out, either. Microsoft and Google are sure to develop versions of their web applications for internal enterprise use, just as they did with their webmail platforms. I see the ado
    • I prefer to have both. Not every file I have is super secret personal, and I do often find myself in a position where it'd be handy to have a form of web-hosting somewhere ready to go. My Lightwave plugins and config files come to mind. I have a web-hosting provider so I haven't really looked into one of these services, but I still find them interesting. I hop computers a lot, though.
    • I was carrying my laptop, securid-token, ipod shuffle, phone, and coffee out to the porch this afternoon, and the iPod slipped out of my hand and landed in the coffee. I fished it out and rinsed it in water immediately, but so far it's still Not Happy; plugging it into my laptop gets a message about a USB device not working correctly.

      Other than that, though, a 4GB USB drive is under $100 these days, and if you can avoid the evils of caffeine consumption, it's possible to load a reasonable Linux system, y

      • Not that anybody cares, but after my iPod had a couple of days to dry out,
        it seems to be working fine again. Didn't even lose my music when
        iTunes wanted to update its OS.
  • I like Google for the most part. However, neither Google nor Microsoft seem to have a great deal of respect for people's privacy. Both seem intent on collecting as much personal data about you as possible to generate targetted ads.

    Do I trust them to host my files and not go through them?

    Again, with cheap HDDs and cheap USB drives, is this necessary?
    • Re:Privacy (Score:5, Informative)

      by Red Alastor ( 742410 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @11:16PM (#15960296)
      Do I trust them to host my files and not go through them?

      Absolutely. As long as your files are in a TrueCrypt volume.

      http://www.truecrypt.org/ [truecrypt.org]

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by QuantumFTL ( 197300 ) *
        Do I trust them to host my files and not go through them?

        Absolutely. As long as your files are in a TrueCrypt volume.


        Interestingly enough, there are many in which merely allowing outside third parties to be aware of the existance of your data may be as bad as them being able to read it. Case in point: if you are arrested by a government in places that permit it, they may compell you to give your encryption keys, and thus they can read whatever they want. Your best bet against that kind of intrusion
        • Re:Privacy (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @03:45AM (#15960941) Journal
          Case in point: if you are arrested by a government in places that permit it, they may compell you to give your encryption keys, and thus they can read whatever they want.

          TrueCrypt supports two levels of plausible deniability to combat this though, and it's something that set it apart from other utilities like this.

          TC can put a hidden "inner" volume inside your encrypted volume, that is simply mountable with a different password. But there's no way to prove that such a volume exist (TC volumes are indistinguishable from random data, and even file system and unused data is encrypted) and that you have more passwords than one for the "outer" regular encrypted volume.
          • TC can put a hidden "inner" volume inside your encrypted volume, that is simply mountable with a different password. But there's no way to prove that such a volume exist (TC volumes are indistinguishable from random data, and even file system and unused data is encrypted) and that you have more passwords than one for the "outer" regular encrypted volume.

            IMHO, the fact that TC can do this means that governments (or whoever) will be suspicious any time you surrender your password key to them. There are s
      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        How long would it take to crack a 6 character password using today's technology? A 10-character password? How about using the technology of 10 years from now? When you let someone else hold your data, unless you're carrying around a one-time pad (in which case just carry the data itself), your level of security goes down tremendously.
    • Both seem intent on collecting as much personal data about you as possible to generate targetted ads.

      That's how Google makes its money, hippy.
  • wow 2 gig.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by josepha48 ( 13953 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @10:50PM (#15960200) Journal
    .. um, I can get a USB pen drive with that much storage, is there some reason I'd need this storage space?

    Maybe I'm missing something here, but I don't see why anyone would really need to have that storage online at MS or Google. Email maybe, but not data.

    • In case your house burns down with your natty USB pen inside it? Most home users don't have offsite backups.
      • by tecmec ( 870283 )
        But is 2 gigs really enough for backups? My music colection is over 2 gigs, so is my photo collection. Compaired to many people I know that is a small music collection, and I just recently got a digicam (yeah, I know...) and I'm already way over the 2 gig mark.
        • Well, two gigs is the free storage amount - I guess it would boil down to how much of your data you're prepared to lose in order to save money. I could certainly pick out a lot less than two gigs worth that I really, really couldn't afford to lose (he speaks, knowing he's got no offsite backup of those files at present).

          Note that I wasn't necessarily saying it's a great backup solution, just that it does offer something that a 2GB flash drive doesn't.
      • If my house burns down, I think the last thing I am going to be worring about is my 2 gig backup. I'd be more concerned about food and money and clothes.
        • That's what insurance is for.

          Insurance companies don't cover loss of data, though. They'll replace that 500GB hard drive full of all your photos/videos/purchased-music with ... a blank 500GB hard drive. It's just like having a photo album: to you, it might be priceless, to the insurance adjuster, it's just a $15 Pioneer photo album from WalMart.

          Hopefully someone would have the immediate necessities of life taken care of before they'd start to worry about data backups, but that doesn't mean that there's not
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by smart_ass ( 322852 )
      What about an easy, convient way for the masses to share files.
      Lots of people don't have access to or don't know how to upload something to an FTP site. This will resolve that issue for when someone wants to give you a file >10MB (which causes email headaches)
  • I use the power of an FTP server on my network and that works well enough for me. :) Screw uploading my crap somewhere else, I can just download it from myself if I need it. Then again, 95% of computer users probably have no idea what I'm even talking about right now.
    • I do -- old tech. Please, let FTP die a well-deserved death!
      • Yes. FTP is old and ugly. SCP or some other secure system is much better. But then the Original Parent probably doesn't know what I'm talking about ;-)
        • by chill ( 34294 )
          Just a little FYI:

          SFTP over SSH requires an ACK per block sent, greatly slowing it down. FTP is 5-10x faster in transferring files, and that has nothing to do with crypto overhead. SCP's method is great if you're on a noisy 2400 baud dial-up connection, but a total waste if you're using a modern, noise-free connection.

          SCP was designed for individual file transfers, not bulk transfers. It can be hacked to do multi-file transfers, etc. but it really is a kludge.

          FTP thru SSL/TLS is an excellent -- and much
  • About 8-10 years ago I would have killed for a big online storage area I could get at from anywhere on any computer. Of course the bandwidth just wasn't there. (I would argue that it still isn't there for something like this to be as useful as a lot of people imagine it to be.) But times have changed. Laptops started to weigh less and have more power. Now, myself and most of my friends simply carry their machine around with them. As an individual, I no longer have a need for an always-accessable onlin
    • As an individual, there are still reasons I like services like this: Backup, and things like email and IM. I can set up my own SMTP and Jabber servers, but if they're actually on my laptop, they're worthless -- it's not always on, and it changes IP addresses quite frequently. So I VPN home for those. It's also nice to be able to share things between machines -- laptop and desktop, for instance. My calendar is stored on a WebDav server, also accessed over a VPN to home.

      Backup is still the big one. I ke
    • There used to be several companies like X Drive that did free online storage. The major problem for me was uptime. You couldn't rely on the data being available at anytime. I actually did lose all uploaded data one time. As far as Microsoft and Google mail are concerned, I've had fewer downtimes with Google than Microsoft for the same period of time.
      I would think that uptime shouldn't be a major problem, but use for warez could really affect this. As far as always carrying data with you, there's problems wi
  • Another company already has a computer related product called "LiveDrive". It's a bank of front-panel audio receptacles for Creative sound cards, all in one 5.25" drive bay [creative.com].

  • It depends... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bender0x7D1 ( 536254 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @11:00PM (#15960235)
    The choice of storage for an individual depends on the nature of the data, the amount of data, the available bandwidth, the availability of a connection at all, what they are most comfortable with and what their idea of convenience is.

    For example, you might not trust Microsoft or Google with your data even if it is encrypted. If you are in a competing business, you wouldn't want to store your business data on their servers. Alternatively, you may not trust them to provide you with the level of availability you desire. It doesn't help you if you can't access your data when you want it.

    If you have a few hundred GB of data, you aren't going to want online storage. To access your data is going to take too much time. Even with decent bandwidth, anything more than a couple GB is going to give some serious delay. If you want to access the data at your grandparent's house and they use dial-up, online isn't an option.

    Finally, if I am not comfortable with the online option, or I'm not comfortable with keeping my data in a single physical location, I'm not going to choose those options. Personally, I like having it on physical media that I can carry around. I like the bandwidth I get from a USB device and I don't have to worry about getting an online volume properly mounted.

    On a side note, I don't trust the idea of "free" or even "cheap" online storage. The money for the hardware, bandwidth and administration have to come from somewhere. If I'm not paying for it directly, where is the money coming from? Either the company is getting some benefit from it - such as Google analyzing it for keywords to target advertising, or they are selling some sort of information about my data, or they are making it up in indirect costs (add $25 to the price of Vista). I would rather pay the direct costs so I know how much it is costing me; but that may be personal preference.
    • Re:It depends... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by swillden ( 191260 ) * <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @12:06AM (#15960423) Homepage Journal

      If you have a few hundred GB of data, you aren't going to want online storage.

      I have a few hundred GB of data, and I want online storage. Why? Backups. For actual use, I'll have all my data stored locally, but what if my machine dies/house burns down, etc.? I'd love to have an online service I can use to store backups. If I lose my local copy for some reason, I won't care if it takes a while to restore it, I'll just be glad I *can* restore it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by cfulmer ( 3166 )
        I concur. But, most people are limited by low upstream bandwidth. For example, my computer has about 400GB on it. At an upspeed rate of 512 kb/s, this will take 72 days to transmit, excluding network overhead, errors and so on.

        In the mid 1990's, Newt Gingrich worried about people having an "Information Superhighway" in, but a footpath out. Thanks to today's asymmetric providers, this prediction has come true.

        In fact, a switch to higher upstream bandwidth now has a new opponent: the content industry -- l
        • But, most people are limited by low upstream bandwidth. For example, my computer has about 400GB on it. At an upspeed rate of 512 kb/s, this will take 72 days to transmit, excluding network overhead, errors and so on.

          Mine is even lower than that, but I don't care if it takes six months to upload it. I'm setting up something so I can back up to a machine at my brother's house, and I plan to use rsync with the bandwidth limit set to 20KBps and let it take several months to upload.

          As long as new data gro

          • I plan to use rsync with the bandwidth limit set to 20KBps and let it take several months to upload.

            Maybe this is a stupid question, but why don't you just copy it locally and *then* take/ship/whatever the machine to your brother's house. That way it won't take months to upload the initial data, and the incremental changes should move much more quickly over the internet.

            Incidentially, what you're doing is exactly what I did also. But I got my work place to pay for the hardware because I'm doing a
            • why don't you just copy it locally and *then* take/ship/whatever the machine to your brother's house.

              I could. I may. For the moment it's more convenient just to copy it over the net.

            • by cfulmer ( 3166 )
              Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of computer tapes hurtling down the highway.
    • by 4of12 ( 97621 )

      If you have a few hundred GB of data, you aren't going to want online storage. To access your data is going to take too much time.

      Presumably you wouldn't be shuttling hundreds of GB through a local application on a browser-like interface.

      Years ago I dealt with large datasets from supercomputers that we wanted to visualize. We were very careful about insuring the big I/O traffic tasks happened where B/W was good (on the same machine that had the big disks, for example).

      It does bring up an additional consi

  • "Google's goal with GDrive appears to be infinite storage"

    Where can I get a USB disk with unlimited storage? I use some web space for long term files I could need to access when I don't have the space, or when I forget my fob.
  • I know this is a little OT but does anyone know of a decent OSS package/project to use to provide this type of service to others? It seems that something like this would be useful for goups of people (non-geeks so cvs may be over their heads) colaborating on projects etc over the net.
    • by ximenes ( 10 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @11:10PM (#15960276)
      The best thing I have found that exists in a ready-to-be-used state (as opposed to the countless hordes of maybe-someday projects) is vtfileman. Its available at http://vtfileman.sf.net/ [sf.net] and there are at least two instances of it running at universities (http://filebox.vt.edu/ is the original and http://filer.case.edu/ [case.edu] is the one that I run). I have some implementation notes on installing Filer at http://filer.case.edu/wiki/filer/notes [case.edu]

      It does have a lot of other requirements though, such as an LDAP server for accounts, Apache to serve the HTTP and WebDAV pages, Apache Tomcat for the JSP interface and proftpd if you want FTP access. However, it is pretty sweet once its running.

      If thats too complicated, you may be better off just making WebDAV shares individually for different groups. Personally I like that with vtfileman, people can set up their own accounts with little to know interaction with the system administrator.
    • by mogrify ( 828588 )
      Keep it simple... set up an FTP or DAV server over SSL. Your users can choose from any client or platform they want. They can even mount the "drive" with FUSE.
      • by ximenes ( 10 )
        Similarly, on Windows there is NetDrive and Mac OS X supports mounting WebDAV shares in the Finder. NetDrive in particular seems much better than the built-in Windows Web Folders support, although it still isn't superb. NetDrive 4.1 build 873 is the newest that I've been able to find; it seems to be an earlier version of what is now WebDrive, which isn't free.
        • by mogrify ( 828588 )
          Hm, thanks for that. I actually have an FTP directory mounted on a Linux box with FUSE, then shared with Samba to my Windows machine. This seems slightly more elegant :)
  • by strredwolf ( 532 ) on Tuesday August 22, 2006 @11:03PM (#15960252) Homepage Journal
    Wait, multiple companies tossing out storage like it's nothing, and the base price is a broadband connection?!?

    Yet flash drives are comming down in price?

    I mean, why would you need to waste bandwidth (which as noted can be expensive in some civilized nations) to pull in and work on files, when you can plug in a USB thumb drive with all your files in, or that spare 20 gig 2.5" drive, or a portable 3.5" drive, and work off of that? There are already distros out there that will boot off of USB drives. Why bother getting online when you don't need to be? What if you can't get online (no Wifi hotspot in the Nevada desert, and you forgot your EVDO card, plus Iridium is too expensive)?

    Forget the Internet. Let's build up the Sneakernet.
    • by Agripa ( 139780 )
      Is it out of the question that after some future date it may not be feasable to travel while carrying portable storage do to increasingly strict national reactions to terrorism? This could not only be because of the percieved threat of smuggling a weapon but also because law enforcement could take the opportunity to duplicate and inspect user data as happened recently in a US border incident.
    • Forget the Internet. Let's build up the Sneakernet.
      I don't want to have to carry unnecessary hardware around. A USB thumbdrive, maybe. A portable 3.5" drive, definitely not. Ideally I'd want this sort of thing integrated into something I already carry around: my phone.
    • I mean, why would you need to waste bandwidth to pull in and work on files, when you can plug in a USB thumb drive with all your files in, or that spare 20 gig 2.5" drive, or a portable 3.5" drive

      "The dog ate my homework." Seriously. You need a backup plan to protect your data from simple stupidity, ordinary household accidents, and disasters like Katrina. Media-rated fire safes are expensive.

  • I can see the benefit of having online storage. I could put an ass load of movies and mp3s on it and potentially have it streaming to a digital media device if it had sufficient bandwidth. I can't think of any devices like this that I own off the top of my head, but who knows what MS are planning for their "iPod Killer" or whatever it is now.
  • .Mac's [apple.com] been around for a few years and harks back to the OS 9 or earlier days. I think "on the desktop" BBS/Internet based storage solutions for personal computers predate that.
    • It does sound very similar to the .Mac iDisk - apart from the fact it's free, whereas .Mac's f&^*ing expensive (with half the storage). Perhaps this will finally prod Apple into making this service more reasonable?
      • gdisk is not free. You will be paying for it in many ways. Ads, personal info sharing, and lock in to other google services. Likewise with live drive which will probably require a subscription fee.
  • Start using it as your cache whenever you look at porn.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Ive been using mozy.com for several months and seems to work pretty well. the first 2GB are free and you can rent more or get free increments if you get your frinds to sign up. you can also encrypt your data. then again it may turn into xdrive.com that started out free and then went totally commercial.

    I like services like this since it give me another option for backups. if something were to happen to my residence..say a hurrican or earthquake then my drives would be lost. at least i have an off-site sourc
  • by GCP ( 122438 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @12:11AM (#15960441)
    My ideal setup would be one in which my local device is just a write-thru cache for my network storage. The "network computer" notion of fetching your applications on a JIT basis is attractive enough that it will one day succeed, but I'm talking about my personal data, not apps.

    Back up should be a server responsibility, not a client responsibility. The client should be responsible for passing data/documents through to the *real* storage location ASAP (ideally, as the data is entered into the client). This wouldn't be considered backup any more than saving from RAM to a disk file now is considered backup. Saving to the server should just be "saving". And pros keep the server backed up, of course.

    Since before long all of us will have multiple networked clients capable of serious work (our old laptop, our new laptop, our phone, etc.) and we'll want to be able to move transparently from device to device and keep working, and not lose data when we lose hardware, having our "one place" for data be a server somewhere, with the clients functioning as local caches, seems the natural way to go.

    Whoever gets the usability right ought to have a huge hit on their hands. Will it be Microsoft, with their control over such a high percentage of "serious" client OSes? It would make sense to build this in as a transparent feature of every PC/device OS from MS, increasing the attractiveness of MS OSes on devices if that's what you use on your PC. Or will it be Google, with their openness to all clients, regardless of vendor?

    Or will they miss the local cache idea altogether and just create an offsite network drive?

  • About time (Score:5, Funny)

    by greg1104 ( 461138 ) <gsmith@gregsmith.com> on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @01:54AM (#15960681) Homepage
    I'm glad Microsoft is finally introducing a product in this space, because they're the company I look to for reliable and secure software.
    • I'm glad Microsoft is finally introducing a product in this space, because they're the company I look to for reliable and secure software

      MIcosoft is the company consumers will look to for a nicely integrated, on-stop, solution.

      Bundle a generous amount of off-line storage into the Windows Live! security package. Sell it for $50 a year with a three-seat license for home use. Profit.

  • filefront.com has free unlimited file storage, i've used it for a long time and like it very much. but GDrive sounds hawt cause shell integration :)
  • Will data storage which is tightly integrated to the OS be more attractive to the average user, or will we prefer to have our information stored on a physical media we can put in our pockets?"
    Or stored online. All three -> backups
  • I use a cheap hosting provider (servage.net) that gives more than a TB transfer each month, and 75000MB+ disk space (increases every day with about a MB, start with 80000MB with customer codes like gimme5). Advantage: enough storage to back up all my important files (maybe it's still not enough for your pron collection) reasonable connection speed, no commercial adds stuff or propriety upload proggy or bogus web interface just plain old FTP or FTPS (that can be mounted as a drive in Mac OS X if you prefer).
  • I'm surprised no one mentioned the iDisk so far in this thread (as far as my search could tell).

    I'm happy to see Microsoft providing competition in this area. I am a subscriber of Apple ".mac" with iDisk, providing 1 gig of online storage. I must say, I'm rather disapointed to the service, it just doesn't make sense when compared to the price tag. I'm pseudo locked-in by the .mac email address that all my relatives use. (They need a dramatic improvement of the dot-mac services and features to make it worthe
  • Of course there are only so many names you can construct using a given language, but given that Palm has been marketing a LiveDrive [palm.com] for some time now that name sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen.
  • K-OS Switch? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy ( 3352 ) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @07:14AM (#15961477) Homepage Journal
    What about the K-OS "Switch" [k-ossystems.com]? A friend of mine is trying to decide whether to invest in this company, and I'm kind of trying to warn him away from it ("Patented 1024-bit encryption!", and the fact that they're building a proprietary service on top of GPL software which seems a bit unstable as a business plan). My friend knows the guy who started this, and that guy claims his little computer was the original plan for Google's GDrive, but that they only offered him $500 million and that wasn't enough.

    Now that I see this in writing, I have a few hundred extra alarm bells going off. Still, is something like that even remotely feasible?

  • What would it take to Boot an OS from a remote drive?

    think Virtual Machine.

    Also, why not use all 3, in a RAID-style configuration?

    If you lose access to any one, the other two would let you rebuild important data. While at the same time no single one has access to your data.

    (the three being Google, Live, and a USB device; with parity data rotated very frequently, and the file being encrypted, so even the 2/3 data + 1/3 parity they have would be useless.)
  • by queenb**ch ( 446380 ) on Wednesday August 23, 2006 @09:59PM (#15967269) Homepage Journal
    It all boils down to this...

    Would you rather trust..the borg collective or Google? Data is important...you don't want to just hand it over to anyone...

    Left with the choice between the guys who bring you blue screens or the flawlessly functioning GMAIL...

    Well, I guess you know where I'll be leaving my data.

    2 cents,

    QueenB
  • LiveDrive online storage system which can be mapped directly as a Vista drive.

    Uh huh. I'm sure there won't be any security issues here...


  • X-Drive failed as a business model. It allowed you to create virtual (X:) drive in Win '95 ten years ago.

    I know, I know... "It'll be different this time."

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