Google Drive


Thunar in Xfce

I'm commenting on this news story exactly one year after my post about Dropbox. Freaky!

The story

So Google will be taking on Dropbox with their own cloud storage service, titled Google Drive. I thought Google Drive was when they drive around capturing home WiFi locations and data. Heh.

Whereas Dropbox comes with 2GB of storage, Google Drive will come with 5. Not sure whether that's 5GB or 5GiB (Mac OS X and Fedora 16 with Gnome 3 have made me even more acutely aware of these differences), but we'll wait and see.

Please no more client software!

Icon from the Tango Desktop project

From what I'm reading on the intertubes, some are comparing this move to Google releasing Gmail, with similar predictions of success. It's a cute idea, but Gmail offered an order of magnitude more capacity than competing email services at the time; 5GB is hardly a similar leap. 5TB, now there would be something!

Mostly though, I've resisted using the likes of Dropbox because I can't stand installing extra software, and wasn't going to go through the rigamarole of installing a Linux binary compatibility layer and test it to run on FreeBSD. If Google Drive allowed remote access through established protocols, FUSE mounts and the like, I'd be on it faster than you could say "data mine".


Of course, as with all cloud storage services you'd want to observe some precautions. As I said about Dropbox on this day last year:

I don’t understand the increasingly negative attitudes people are having towards services like Dropbox. People who don’t encrypt their personal files before sending them off to a public, shared server clearly want their data to be read in the clear, so who cares?

Encrypting data before uploading would be an absolute must, any other use would obviously be reckless unless it was media you'd publish in public. Even then, you'd have to weigh up the utility you'd derive with Google knowing even more about your interests, and the legal ramifications of having your stuff hosted under United States jurisdiction, assuming that's where it ends up. Eh, just encrypt everything, play it safe!

I'll be following this story. If it turns out Google Drive is another of the company's now infamous me too! products that also requires client software just like Dropbox, nothing to see here, move on. If it doesn't require extra middleman software, is simple and has a web UI that's usable (unlike what they did to Google Reader, Gmail and the like), they might have a hit.

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Ruben Schade is a technical writer and infrastructure architect in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person. Hi!

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