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Google The Internet Technology

Google Docs To Host Any File Type 186

Posted by kdawson
from the not-the-g-drive dept.
ezabi writes "According to a post on the official Google blog, in the coming weeks Google Docs will offer to host all file types with a limit of 250 MB, which as they say is larger than the current limit for email attachments. This will have its consequences: paid file sharing will die, more shared pirated material, newer vulnerabilities and malware distribution channels..."
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Google Docs To Host Any File Type

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  • What? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FlyingBishop (1293238) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @05:45PM (#30743940)

    Is the summary a troll or just an attempt at sarcasm?

    There are plenty of free filesharing sites, and 250mb is pretty paltry by their standards, not to mention the fact that Google has pretty decent standards for who it lets have an account. Given the amount of information they have on everyone, it's the last site you want to know if you're doing something illegal.

    Unless I guess you count .gov domains.

    • The headline and summary has to attract eyeballs, more eyeballs, more posts, more activity more ads being viewed, more income.

      I believe Miranda Hart's christmas special had a parody on a BBC prog, "Can twitter kill you". Reporter going around with ever more suggestive overvoice "do you know that right now your child is dying from twitter in this school", Worried Mom: "This isn't my child's school".

      Simply stating that you can now store 250mb on your google account in a single file (wonder what the total li

    • Re:What? (Score:5, Informative)

      by PCM2 (4486) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @06:00PM (#30744154) Homepage

      250mb is pretty paltry by their standards

      It's not 250MB total storage space. It's 250MB maximum per file. It's probably true that most e-mail clients/servers do a poor job of handling 250MB attachments. In that sense, this is probably a good thing; we've all complained about the coworker who sends out a 15MB movie of their kids playing with the dog to a mailing list, but what option do most average users have? Even if they know what FTP is, they don't own any servers. If Google is going to handhold consumers through the process of storing big files in the Web instead of sending them as attachments, I say bravo.

      • by PCM2 (4486)

        Oh, and currently SkyDrive only supports files up to 50MB in size.

      • by potat0man (724766)
        we've all complained about the coworker who sends out a 15MB movie of their kids playing with the dog to a mailing list, but what option do most average users have?

        youtube [google.com]?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Is the summary a troll or just an attempt at sarcasm?

      It's an attempt to rationalize the situation, while interpreting the facts as the "ezabi" and/or the editors see them. Nothing so heinous as a troll, or overplayed as sarcasm.

      There are plenty of free filesharing sites

      All of which that I've seen have some limitations. Either you pay, or your bandwidth is capped, or you're limited to $files per $timeperiod, or $megabytes per $timeperiod, etc. As ezabi and/or the editors and I see it, it's unlikely Google is going to be quite as annoying or limited as they are with this regard. It's willing to sub

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        They fought China, Viacom, et al on the issues before giving in

        More accurately: they fought China, Viacom, et al on the issues up until the point it was going to cost them serious money before giving in.

        Oh, and bowing to censorship by China is in a totally different league from complying with legitimate copyright concerns.

    • by Snaller (147050)

      Yeah, so tell us about some? They all allow you to download very little, unless you pay for it - if you don't you can download once an hour something like that. Knowing google, there won't be such limits.

  • This changes things? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by L3370 (1421413)
    p2p users are targeted heavily by the anti piracy groups because p2p users are comprised largly by individuals with very shallow pockets.Google could potentially even the playing field here.

    ...Not to say that Google is doing it for this reason...or that piracy is justified. Just saying a company with this much influence could change the media industry's approach on combatting illegal activities.
    • by westlake (615356)

      p2p users are targeted heavily by the anti piracy groups because p2p users are comprised largly by individuals with very shallow pockets. Google could potentially even the playing field here.

      Avatar grossed $1 billion dollars in less than three weeks.

      Tell me again about the level playing field.

      Tell me again why Google wants to become Ground Zero for every fifty megaton bomb the rights holders choose to drop.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Perhaps those p2p users could simply purchase those movies that they wish to have. Or, even, get a Netflix account. But I suppose that 'Fighting the Man' has a better ring to it.
      • Wait... (Score:2, Funny)

        by symbolset (646467)
        They sell movies? When did that start? Next you'll be saying they say they sell music. The very idea is ridiculous. Who would pay for that?
      • Great way to miss the point.

        He was talking about why the industry chooses to target a particular group of infringers.

        You are talking about whether they are justified in infringing or not.

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      p2p users are targeted heavily by the anti piracy groups because p2p users are comprised largly by individuals with very shallow pockets

      That makes no sense, did you mean deep pockets?

  • About split (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ls671 (1122017) * on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @05:49PM (#30744006) Homepage

    > host all file types with a limit of 250 MB,

    Can we just use split to store larger files ?

    split -a 5 -b 250000000 bigfile

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by QuantumLeaper (607189)
      Zip, Rar or some of file compression program will split files will work also.
    • by Blakey Rat (99501)


      Someone explain to me why this is "insightful?" Please?

      • by ls671 (1122017) *

        > Someone explain to me why this is "insightful?" Please?

        I do not know for sure either, maybe because some linux users did not know about split... I mean typical users are used to have this included in the archiving program (winrar, etc...) instead of having to use yet another program...


        mentioning that you could split files with the program of your choice to circumvent the 250MB limit...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pydev (1683904)

      Yes. I doubt the file size limit is there because Google doesn't like big files, it's there because it's hard on the infrastructure to upload/download bigger files in one step.

  • When do we start getting to download Fansubs from google too?
  • by PCM2 (4486) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @05:52PM (#30744034) Homepage

    Microsoft is moving into the ad-supported online hosting biz with SkyDrive [live.com]. Looking at my SkyDrive right now, it tells me I have 24.99GB available space (I'm not really using it for anything). Among other uses, once Office 2010 ships, SkyDrive will be a portal to the Office 2010 Web Apps. If you upload Office documents to your SkyDrive, you will be able to click on them and view/edit them in your browser, without owning your own copy of Office.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      Heh, It would take 25 GB of free storage just to lure me back to Windows Live. Since I don't have enough time to look into it now, could you answer some basic questions for us such as:
      • Requirements. Besides having a Windows live account, is there other software needed(IN short, will it work with Linux)?
      • File upload limit. 1 TiB capacity is useless if the upload limit is only 5MiB per file.
      • Other gotchas...like, is it a trial service where you have to haggle with a foreign call center to opt-out before they
      • by PCM2 (4486) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @06:46PM (#30744682) Homepage

        As the AC below said, files can be up to 50MB each (for now... I see no reason why Microsoft wouldn't up it to compete with Google).

        It will work on Linux. It works fine with Firefox, and it even works on Chrome (even though Chrome is not officially supported). I think pretty much any standards-compliant browser should work (though I seem to remember I might have had a problem or two with Konqueror, even though Safari is one of the officially-supported browsers). IE users get a fancier upload tool via ActiveX, but that seems to be about it.

        At present, it's sort of a "trial" in the sense that everything is pretty much still in beta. But Microsoft's stated intent is for everything to be ad-supported. I think the idea is to get initial revenue from ad sales, then hook customers into Microsoft's commercial desktop software.

        On the downside, I didn't think the SkyDrive UI was all that impressive. Google Docs changes things up by presenting files as a chronological series based on what you've accessed most recently, kind of like an email inbox. SkyDrive tries to simulate the files-and-folders desktop paradigm, but it's really just for show. You don't have any of the flexibility of being able to drag and drop files, for example. It's a lot of clicking and waiting for page refreshes.

        The UI for the Office Web Apps really is very slick, though, and they also seem to work fine with any modern, standards-compliant browser. (And that means not with IE6 -- it's not supported.)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @05:53PM (#30744056)

    Before evil google did this evil thing, terrorists were forced to use rar to chunk their nefarious plans into sizes small enough for email attachments, or use horrible file sharing services like rapidshare which only makes them hate the west even more. Now their plans for global sharia will be made easier thanks to their malevolent brothers-in-arms over at google.

    I hope those evil doers over at live workspace don't read this news because sharepoint is an even eviler tool for pirates and malware authors and satan himself.

  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @06:01PM (#30744160)

    As in "bugs or missing features that are existing now for years without being addressed."

    The biggest shortcoming I see is a lack of proper versioning. Docs will save every stupid edit you make every few seconds creating hundreds and hundreds of divergent versions. Utterly useless for tracking changes in drafts over time. The solution is fairly simple. You get a button up at the top that tells you which draft you're in. Click on it and you can spawn a new draft. So you start with your rough draft. When that's complete, you say "new draft" and here's your second draft. You can invite people to comment on a draft by draft basis. If you'd like, you could saw "I'm spawning off Joe's draft since he's going to make edits." If he's not going to edit, just comment, then you can let him have a go at the second draft. Then you can move on to your third draft, fourth, etc.

    At this point in time the only solution is to manually create a new file called second draft, third draft, keep them all in the project folder and then manually compare changes. Kind of defeats the aweseomeness of docs here. Of the features I use in Word, this is the only place where Word has docs beat. Of course, nobody I know can use the comments and revisioning tools worth a damn so I'm not really getting proper mileage out of them. *sigh*

  • by Rix (54095)

    Except 1/8th the size?

    • Ubuntu One is 2GB total. This service is 1/8 of the size per file . Presumably, you will be able to have more than 8 files uploaded.

  • by adosch (1397357) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @06:07PM (#30744232)
    Knowing Google, I'm sure they have actually thought about the repercussions of allowing all types of documents to be hosted/uploaded, or paving the way for mal/spy/shitware and alike or piracy. As much as everyone is going to look at the negatives, I"m sure Google has developed some sort of scalable trolling application to look for patterns or heuristics for that type of thing. After all, is Google not the king of the hill when it comes to data mining, pilfering, trends, habits, popularity of all of us already?
  • Does this include executables? New Malware channels INDEED. I know a whole lot of people who wouldn't know what an extension is, besides pushing back a deadline.

  • I can see this being a very useful tool in the future. We currently use an internally developed tool to allow our users to upload and share large files. Unfortunately, as with anything, we've run into a few external user issues with them running an older version of Flash or their virus scanner interfering with the file download. Of course, the external user likes to blame us in these cases. What the Google brand can do for us is provide us a standard. It's a brand that people trust, and one that we can

  • Guess that's Google's answer to things like Microsoft's Skydrive.

    Wonder if it will be blocked from work too.. :(

  • applications (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bcrowell (177657) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @06:35PM (#30744556) Homepage
    TFA says:

    More importantly, instead of carrying a USB drive, you can now use Google Docs as a more convenient option for accessing your files on different computers.

    I know very few people who use USB keychain drives for this kind of thing. I teach physics lab courses, and when students need to bring home a spreadsheets or something, they just email it to themselves. I don't think the size limit is the main reason they don't use flash drives. One reason is that they don't know in advance that they're going to need one. The other is that email is less of a hassle.

    If you're getting up into the amounts of data that can't go in an email attachment, then you probably need a full-fledged file synchronization utility like unison [upenn.edu] anyway. Unison is smart about recognizing data that haven't changed, and it also takes away the hassle and confusion that people experience with trying to keep straight all the different versions of files they have when they try to use a keychain drive for this. If you don't have a decent tool like this, then mirroring large amounts of data is likely to be slow, labor-intensive, and error-prone. TFA says:

    In addition to uploading any file into Google Docs, our Google Apps Premier Edition customers will be able to seamlessly upload many files at once and sync them with their desktop in real time using third party applications.

    Presumably the "Premier Edition" part means you'll have to pay. So for the majority of applications where you have this much data, Google will give you convenience or zero cost, but not both.

    One exception I can think of is that this could be a nice, convenient way to make off-site backups of a certain amount of personal data (that novel you've been writing, ...) in case of fire or earthquake.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kalriath (849904)

      In addition to uploading any file into Google Docs, our Google Apps Premier Edition customers will be able to seamlessly upload many files at once and sync them with their desktop in real time using third party applications.

      Presumably the "Premier Edition" part means you'll have to pay. So for the majority of applications where you have this much data, Google will give you convenience or zero cost, but not both.

      Premier Edition is $50 USD per user per year.

  • Pricing info (Score:5, Informative)

    by FleaPlus (6935) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @06:44PM (#30744670) Journal

    It doesn't seem that anyone else commenting on the article has noticed this yet, but if you click through to the Google Docs blog it has the pricing info:

    http://googledocs.blogspot.com/2010/01/upload-and-store-your-files-in-cloud.html [blogspot.com]

    Instead of emailing files to yourself, which is particularly difficult with large files, you can upload to Google Docs any file up to 250 MB. You'll have 1 GB of free storage for files you don't convert into one of the Google Docs formats (i.e. Google documents, spreadsheets, and presentations), and if you need more space, you can buy additional storage for $0.25 per GB per year. This makes it easy to backup more of your key files online, from large graphics and raw photos to unedited home videos taken on your smartphone. You might even be able to replace the USB drive you reserved for those files that are too big to send over email.

    Combined with shared folders, you can store, organize, and collaborate on files more easily using Google Docs. For example, if you are in a club or PTA working on large graphic files for posters or a newsletter, you can upload them to a shared folder for collaborators to view, download, and print.

    Again, after the 1gb limit, that $0.25 per gb-yr. By comparison, Amazon S3 is $0.15*12=$1.80 per gb-yr [amazon.com], almost an order of magnitude more expensive.

    • Not bad. I wonder what the rates for bandwidth will be, though. If we're talking about file sharing, that would probably be the greatest cost. But if anybody's getting a good deal on bandwidth, it's Google.
    • Hopefully this will embarrass online storage services such as S3 into offering more reasonable prices. I've always through they were overpriced, and this seems to confirm it.

      • I store my most valuable 20-gb or so online in S3 via JungleDisk (a software client that provides a WebDAV local front-end to S3 and a web-hosted WebDAV and http access)

        For the peace of mind, about 4 dollars a month (including upload/download charges) isnt bad. I find it worthwhile especially as my Nokia phone can directly access Jungledisk's online webdav server

        I won't drop Jungledisk, but I'll use this too. Multiple redundancy can never be a bad thing except possibly in a marriage.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      And you're not even taking into account the bandwidth costs associated with Amazon S3. Google Docs has no bandwidth cost (yet).

      Amazon S3 is an amazing service, but it's quite expensive on a $/GB-YEAR ratio, especially once transfer costs are added in. $0.25/GB-YEAR is quite reasonable.

  • Torrent plz? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jameskojiro (705701) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @06:53PM (#30744756) Journal

    will now become "Gdoc plz?"

  • FUSE (Score:5, Interesting)

    by johnkzin (917611) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @07:04PM (#30744856)

    How long before we see a FUSE plugin that lets you treat this like an NFS server?
    (or did I miss it, and one already exists?)

  • It would be nice if they started building editors for various file formats, so through google docs we could collaboratively do some video editing, programming, photo editing, etc

  • by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@@@slashdot...org> on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @09:26PM (#30746218)

    I put it on MY server, so that I own it.

    I still don’t get why anyone would be so crazy to host anything important on a company’s server. Especially one that is known as the ultimate data kraken.

  • 250MB-- large enough for a game patch, too small for a TV show. Seems right.

    Wait, can I send .exe files through gmail now?

    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      250MB-- large enough for a game patch, too small for a TV show. Seems right.

      On a website I regular:

      The Big Bang Theory - 3x12 - The Psychic Vortex (MHD) - 175 MB

  • by AaronLawrence (600990) * on Wednesday January 13, 2010 @03:01AM (#30748056)

    Why are browsers so horribly unfriendly for uploads?

    Perhaps Google could put some money into fixing Firefox:
    https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=249338 [mozilla.org]
    or improving it
    https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=243468 [mozilla.org]

    Does Chrome have a decent upload UI? I can't recall ...

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