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Google Businesses The Internet Data Storage

Google Unofficially Announces GDrive By Leaked Code 342

An anonymous reader writes "Google has unofficially announced the GDrive by source code. In an in-direct way, Google has publicly advertised the new, much-anticipated online storage drive called the GDrive. If you take a look at the source code of some javascript within the Google Pack, you will clearly see the GDrive referenced. The code categorizes the GDrive as an 'Online file backup and storage' device. It also provides the following descriptions; 'GDrive provides reliable storage for all of your files, including photos, music and documents' and 'GDrive allows you to access your files from anywhere, anytime, and from any device — be it from your desktop, web browser or cellular phone.'"
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Google Unofficially Announces GDrive By Leaked Code

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 30, 2009 @09:37PM (#26674001)

    Finally, somewhere to back up all of my important porn!

  • Security (Score:5, Informative)

    by nz17 ( 601809 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @09:40PM (#26674027) Homepage

    I know that Google is all about introducing new (usually useful) services which tie into its already existing sites and services, and for that I applaud it. However I hope that it takes privacy, security, and encryption into account for this new online storage service. It's one thing to do a search with Google's engine - trusting Google with personal files is another issue entirely.

    Also, here's hoping for a rich desktop client instead of just a Web interface.

    • Let's hope it's implemented as FUSE, for portability...

      If it's actually exposed as a local filesystem, then it should be trivial to encrypt the files using something like encfs [arg0.net].

    • by Minupla ( 62455 )

      As with any other time, if you want something encrypted do it yourself with an opensource product. If you trust someone else with your encryption, you can expect they won't care as much for your privacy as you would.

      Google can feel free to mine my pseudo random porn :)


  • Obvious (Score:4, Insightful)

    by bhsx ( 458600 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @09:41PM (#26674033)
    Seriously, who didn't see this coming at least four years ago? I'm glad it's finally closer to "official" but really, not a surprise in the slightest.
    • Re:Obvious (Score:4, Interesting)

      by dmomo ( 256005 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @09:53PM (#26674135)

      If by "closer to official" you mean "closer to Beta" which for Google means "yeah, it's official, we just cannot claim it's 100% without flaw"

      See also: GMail... still in BETA!

  • Not as surprise (Score:5, Informative)

    by inKubus ( 199753 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @09:45PM (#26674059) Homepage Journal

    Duplicity [nongnu.org], a clever backup tool, has let you use Gmail [nongnu.org] boxes for a storage engine for a while now. I'm sure they are just taking the next logical step. Of course, you can assume that they will probably index your files in some way, even if it isn't made public.

    • I've used GmailFS [jones.name] on my ubuntu system, and GMail Drive [viksoe.dk] on my Windows system, but at the end of the day, a 32GB thumb drive kicks the shit out of either, and I dare say the same will apply to GDrive. Nice idea, but bandwidth is still an issue for a lot of people, and storing files on the internet is only going to help me reach my monthly quota faster.

      I can see this becoming a popular filesharing tool; I can see myself and some online friends sharing a google account for the sake of making a free high-speed

  • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @09:46PM (#26674067)

    I know this is not officially released by Google but I would rather have Google get Gmail out of beta. My school would like to move to Gmail but the "beta" label is a show stopper on this front. What do you think?

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @10:05PM (#26674203) Journal
      If you pay for Gmail ("Google Apps for business") it isn't beta, and it has an SLA and whatnot. Gmail's interpretation of "beta" seems roughly the same as all the other free webmail services' interpretation of their default release states, so it isn't as though Google is really behind in that area. If "beta" is just a scary word, ignore it. If you are waiting to get enterprise SLAs for no money, forget it.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        My water-damaged discarded 333MHz file server has a better uptime than Google SLA provides.

        They only offer at most 95% per month, MINUS pre-scheduled downtimes, and non-scheduled downtimes that are "exempt". Honestly, 90% uptime per month real. The key is that these numbers are not real, because of the possible exemptions and everything, so a real SLA is unknown.

        • by Chyeld ( 713439 )

          K'. And how does that negate GP's point?

        • by rriven ( 737681 ) <slashdot@rriven.com> on Friday January 30, 2009 @11:24PM (#26674611) Homepage

          They only offer at most 95% per month, MINUS pre-scheduled downtimes, and non-scheduled downtimes that are "exempt". Honestly, 90% uptime per month real. The key is that these numbers are not real, because of the possible exemptions and everything, so a real SLA is unknown.

          You could not be more wrong:

          Enterprise-class service â" Google Apps includes a 99.9% uptime SLA.* Phone support is available for critical issues.

          *The 99.9% uptime SLA for Google Apps is offered to organizations using Google Apps Premier Edition, as described in the Google Apps Premier Edition Terms of Service

          http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/business/messaging.html [google.com]

          Sure it is only 3 nines but that is way better than the 90% you said

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            You clearly didn't follow the asterisk in the page that you quoted to the actual SLA.

            http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/terms/sla.html [google.com]

            This is not a normal SLA. "Downtime" is measured as a function of error rate for ALL users, not just you. If one customer is out of service, it's not downtime.

            Downtime is also measured in blocks of ten minutes. If you are without email for 9 minutes 30 seconds, then your inbox loads, then it goes down for a further 9 minutes, there was no downtime.

            With terms like that, Goo

        • by evanbd ( 210358 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @11:36PM (#26674685)
          Would you be willing to offer a contract to someone else with reliability better than Google is, using your water-damaged ancient hardware? The SLA isn't about what they think they are likely to deliver, but what they think they can *guarantee*. There is some safety margin in there.
  • You would save your work on:

    * 8" floppy drives
    * Removable Winchesters
    * Good old spinning rust
    * SSD, like my MBA
    * GDrive: slow, but cosmic
    * Cowboy Neal's Sneakers

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 30, 2009 @09:46PM (#26674071)


    that word is im-possible.

    hold on, i have to tie my shoe-lace, be-cause i keep tripping over all the hy-phens.

  • Saturated (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fireteller2 ( 712795 ) * on Friday January 30, 2009 @09:47PM (#26674083) Homepage

    This market place is already saturated with companies like box.net, dropbox, mozy, amazon s3, xdrive, pocketque and many others. What is interesting about GDrive, other then it'll search through my data to mine advertising opportunities?

    Better be a massive amount of free online storage. What is the online storage to privacy exchange rate anyway?

    • by Rakishi ( 759894 )

      Not to mention that some of those are set up so they can't access your data themselves, period. Unless it's encrypted and the encryption key never leaves my computer I wouldn't trust any such service.

    • Re:Saturated (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Enderandrew ( 866215 ) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .werdnaredne.> on Friday January 30, 2009 @10:28PM (#26674317) Homepage Journal

      From what I've read, you'll be able to map it like another drive on your computer, just drag and drop files. Unlike a slow web interface with other products, you can very quickly access your files. There will be tons of storage, and it will be completely free with no nags to upgrade to a premium service.

      Otherwise, exactly like this should have been handled by everyone else from day 1.

  • Show of hands... how many slashdotters use Google for multiple services?

    Next question; why do you trust them so much? What makes them so radically different from Microsoft or Apple?

    Once they become the Borgle, do you really think they'll do no evil with the vast amount of data you are giving them? Remember, this means not just your actual data, but also all the implications they can draw from your data habits.

    • by pieterh ( 196118 )

      About 10 years

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Enderandrew ( 866215 )

      Google isn't a new company. They've been around a while and have a positive track record. They're fairly transparent. Microsoft and Apple have had fairly negative track records for ages.

      Please explain to me your assumption that Google will change against all reason their company strategy to emulate their competitors that they constantly try to differentiate themselves from?

  • by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @10:05PM (#26674201)

    Only debug code.

    I'd guess the code must be commented out since the service in question doesn't exist. So if this code were to try to connect to it, it would hang. Right?

    So it's non-executing code. Which means that maybe it's a leftover from some meeting where they thought they would offer this service but changed their minds since then.

    How many times have you been fooled by reading outdated comments?

    Believe it when it launches. Inferring Google's direction from reading code comments is clever, but perhaps a bit too clever.

    • Several people have been reporting on GDrive rumors, fairly specific ones, for months.

      It just so happens that Google code also references a product whose name and description match those rumors.

      The title of this article says the announcement is "Unofficial" not "Officially Confirmed".

      That seems like a fair assessment to me.

  • gdrive.com (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dmomo ( 256005 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @10:16PM (#26674267)

    Taken right now by a web design firm. Curious how long they stay there for.

  • Hmm (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lunartik ( 94926 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @10:23PM (#26674291) Homepage Journal

    Well that sucks for Google [gdrive.com].

  • by flogger ( 524072 ) <non@nonegiven> on Friday January 30, 2009 @10:29PM (#26674327) Journal
    I've been using the GMail Drive Shell Extansion [viksoe.dk] for quite a while now. Google must have liked it as well.
    • Have you used it recently? That hasn't worked for me in months. I assume some change to GMail broke it a while ago and it hasn't been fixed.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by flogger ( 524072 )
        Recently? Sure have. I use it twice a day at least. Used it just now. Every couple of months, google changes something. Just check http://www.viksoe.dk/code/gmail.htm [viksoe.dk] and an update is usually there the next day. I have a drive mapped to it on work machines. Nice stuff.
  • GDrive! A hard-disk governments and corporate businesses can finally google on!

  • Ads and Encryption (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Adrian Lopez ( 2615 ) on Friday January 30, 2009 @10:40PM (#26674407) Homepage

    How will they make money with this service? Will they charge a subscription fee or will it be supported via ads like most of their services? If it's going to be ad-supported, that probably means encrypted files will not be permitted [Ever try to send a fully encrypted RAR file through GMail? You can't.], which doesn't sit too well with me.

  • by Eil ( 82413 ) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:12AM (#26675123) Homepage Journal

    Given Google's "all your data are belong to us" attitude, I'd rather stick to my own self-engineered remote storage solution.

  • Pricing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by CopaceticOpus ( 965603 ) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @05:54AM (#26675909)

    Here's hoping that GDrive can address the biggest problem with online backup services today: price. For backing up large amounts of data (10s or 100s of GB), it is vastly cheaper to buy 2-3 additional hard drives and make your own backups than it is to use any online service.

    For example, to back up 1 TB of data, buy two external TB drives from Newegg, copy your files to the drives, and store one offsite. Total cost: $200.

    To backup to Amazon's S3 service, transfer all the data once, and store it for a year. $100 for the transfer plus (12 months * $150/month) for storage = $1900 for the year.

    I'm sure there are good reasons for the cost discrepancy. I know the $200 cost doesn't include time, electricity, or the possible need to replace drives. But still, I think there has to be a way that clever engineers can bring the costs down for online storage. The fact that most of the data on a backup system doesn't need to be loaded at the same time should open up possibilities for cost savings. I'd be willing to accept a little delay in accessing my backups if it would allow for a much cheaper service.

  • Privacy Concerns? (Score:3, Informative)

    by malevolentjelly ( 1057140 ) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @01:02PM (#26677951) Journal

    If you want a couple gigabytes of online storage for free that's got a multi-platform client for regular syncing, you can already have it:

    https://spideroak.com/ [spideroak.com]

    At least these guys encrypt your data instead of processing and farming it for marketing data and advertising cues. Ugh. What part of our lives aren't we going to hand over to google?

If you want to put yourself on the map, publish your own map.