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Dropbox Wants To Replace Your Hard Disk

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the we-got-this dept.

Cloud 445

Barence writes "Dropbox has kicked off its first developer conference with the stated goal of replacing the hard disk. 'We are replacing the hard drive,' said Dropbox CEO Drew Houston. 'I don't mean that you're going to unscrew your MacBook and find a Dropbox inside, but the spiritual successor to the hard drive is what we're launching.' The new Dropbox Platform includes tools for developers that will allow them to use Dropbox to sync app data between devices. The company's new APIs will also make it easier for app developers to include plugins that save to Dropbox, or choose files stored in the service for use within apps."

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Farts in their general direction. (4, Funny)

mrmeval (662166) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246145)

I do not play with the clowd clowns I own my own hardware and software. I do not walk in the valley of DRM. I do not beg to receive the fruits of my labors from datachangers. I shall not want.

Re:Farts in their general direction. (1)

faffod (905810) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246183)

How is this DRM? If I write a note pad app that syncs with drop box across all of your devices, the synced data is still a text file. It just makes it convenient for you to switch from one machine to the next without having to worry about "did I sync all the files that I might need".

Re:Farts in their general direction. (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246315)

It's not DRM. He's listing a bunch of things that seem harmless, but in turn can hurt you a lot.

Hosting all your data on a remote server, owned by someone who is getting compensation from someone other than you, is not a plan for happiness.

Re:Farts in their general direction. (5, Insightful)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246633)

No, but it's a good plan for convenience and possibly backups as long as you aren't stashing your bank records and private info unencrypted in the cloud without a second thought.

Not all things 'cloud' are bad.

Re:Farts in their general direction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246629)

You're doing it wrong. The node pad app shouldn't care about where or how the data is stored. The OS or a different program should handle that including any synchronization. There's already software that syncs your files across multiple computers. They need a little polish and a lot of marketing. There's little reason to trap yourself into a server provide when you can do it yourself with the support of every app developer for whichever online storage system is the latest fad.

It amazes me on how people think we're living, or going to be living in the near future, in a world with 100% connectivity and 100% uptime of everything.

Re:Farts in their general direction. (0)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246221)

Yes, we know; I'm sure you also don't even own a TV [theonion.com] .

Re:Farts in their general direction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246245)

Well, he's on topic, at least.

Besides, paying for cable is absolutely idiotic in most cases.

Re:Farts in their general direction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246303)

It sounds like Dropbox are spruiking for more VC funding by cobbling together more buzzwords.

Anyone with half a clue will steer clear of any cloud file storage.

Re:Farts in their general direction. (5, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246321)

Anyone with half a clue will steer clear of any cloud file storage.

So you're saying this will be really popular?

Re:Farts in their general direction. (4, Informative)

camperdave (969942) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246465)

It sounds like Dropbox are spruiking for more VC funding by cobbling together more buzzwords.

Anyone with half a clue will steer clear of any cloud file storage.

spruik: (transitive, Australia) To promote a thing or idea to another person.

Re:Farts in their general direction. (5, Insightful)

Geek Hillbilly (2975053) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246355)

Amen to that.I do not trust cloud storage at all.

Re:Farts in their general direction. (4, Funny)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246463)

Do you like data in the cloud?
I do not want it in the cloud,
I would not like it since I'm proud.
Would you like it here or there?
I would not want it anywhere.
I do not like the loss of data,
Yes, you can call me a cloud-hater.

Yay! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246147)

Now network failures can cripple more of my devices. So long productivity!

Re:Yay! (1, Informative)

faffod (905810) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246199)

From the linked article

Datastores work offline, too With datastores, your app works great even without an Internet connection. When a user goes offline, your app can continue to work with all its data locally. The next time the user is online, Dropbox will take care of syncing things up.

Re:Yay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246227)

So what is your title at DropBox, specifically?

Re:Yay! (2)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246273)

Mr. HeReadTheFuckingArticle

Re:Yay! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246301)

Riiiight. The defensiveness over any criticism of DropBox is pretty transparent that he's either an employee or a paid shill.

Re:Yay! (1)

EvanED (569694) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246549)

He made two freaking posts in this story! I've gone a lot more crazy than that on stories where half the comments are asinine statements not grounded in reality, with conflict of interest in any of the topics being discussed. Since when is wanting to correct misunderstandings or misconceptions so defensive as to warrant calling someone a shill?

Re:Yay! (1)

EvanED (569694) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246561)

with no conflict of interest in any of the topics being discussed

Fixed. Was changing around wording and didn't correct the positive/negative sense.

Re:Yay! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246259)

From the linked article

Datastores work offline, too

With datastores, your app works great even without an Internet connection. When a user goes offline, your app can continue to work with all its data locally. The next time the user is online, Dropbox will take care of syncing things up.

So, let me get this straight... If you already have a local copy of your work... then you can work on it when the connection goes down. Hmmm.... What magical device is storing all of that data if you don't have a hard drive...

Is everything in your dropbox folder supposed to be kept in ram on your device???

Syncing has some merit.... Replacing the local storage is idiotic. Any company that would propose anything so stupid CAN'T be seen as a credible player!

Sounds like they need to be drop-kicked.

Re:Yay! (1)

hedwards (940851) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246573)

Precisely. And at this point, you don't even need somebody to provide that service for you as BittorrentSync can do that for you.

I'll chalk this up to more evidence that we're in another tech bubble.

Re:Yay! (1)

Beardydog (716221) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246659)

I'm glad someone else plugged BTSync. It's rocking my world. I wish they'd hurry up on the API, but I'm thrilled to not need Dropbox.

Re:Yay! (3, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246275)

Now network failures can cripple more of my devices. So long productivity!

Let alone the massive lag of loading or storing anything of size.

Uh huh (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246161)

Dropbox Wants To Forward All Your Info To The NSA

FTFY

Enough with the cloud crap already!! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246167)

I don't trust you with my data.
I don't trust your security.
I don't trust your longevity.
I don't trust that you at some point in the future won't hold my data hostage.
I don't trust you to keep my data away from big brother.

I also don't trust my ISP!

FINALLY, I don't want to wait all day for a file to load.

Mod parent up! (3, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246283)

This post sums up my feelings about it as well.

Re:Mod parent up! (3, Funny)

segin (883667) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246347)

The NSA can get into your local encrypted file stores anyways. Remote code execution exploits + encryption keys are in RAM. Unless you use Gentoo, then all the version mismatch incompatibility leads to security through significant downtime.

Re:Mod parent up! (3, Insightful)

lightknight (213164) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246425)

So...you want to make it easy for them?

Re:Mod parent up! (1)

amiga3D (567632) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246503)

If you're doing something that sensitive it'd be best if you used a non networked computer and transfer files to and from it via sneakernet. Then all you have to figure out is what to do when they bust the door down.

Re:Mod parent up! (3, Insightful)

tftp (111690) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246505)

The complexity of sending a team of people to covertly copy the encrypted HDD and then install a keylogger to intercept your passphrase (or, even worse, your key or an exchange with a dedicated crypto device) is not comparable with just calling a CEO of Droppants and ordering him to deliver the data, on his storage, by the door of your office tomorrow.

There is a well known xkcd [xkcd.com] , of course, on that subject. However one can easily store a key on a remote server, and arrange for a cron job to delete that key if you failed to log in for a while. It would be a plausible explanation why the $5 wrench is not delivering the expected results. Not all the data that we store is precious and irrecoverable; most of it is just handy to have locally, but if need be you know where to get a copy. The simplest variation of this method is to get a couple friends in foreign countries, and give them parts of the key with instructions to not reveal them if you are in trouble. They cannot be forced to do anything, even if their identities are known (a big if.)

Anyone who uses cloud services in the society of total surveillance is not valuing confidentiality of his data. In other words, they can only intercept data that they don't need to intercept.

Re:Mod parent up! (3, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246611)

Anyone who uses cloud services in the society of total surveillance is not valuing confidentiality of his data

I read 1984 when I was in high school. that was in the 70's.

I wonder how they present the book and teach to it, at school, these days? or even, do they?

is surveillance like time, in that it moves only in the forward direction? can we ever admit that we crossed a line and are going back to how things used to be, privacy-wise?

Re:Mod parent up! (3, Interesting)

Chas (5144) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246615)

If the NSA wants into my local file stores, they have to come into my apartment and steal them.
THEN decrypt them.

Security is NOT an issue with The Cloud. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246397)

Wait a minute. I'm a manager, and I've been reading a lot of case studies and watching a lot of webcasts about The Cloud. Based on all of this glorious marketing literature, I, as a manager, have absolutely no reason to doubt the safety of any data put in The Cloud.

The case studies all use words like "secure", "MD5", "RSS feeds" and "encryption" to describe the security of The Cloud. I don't know about you, but that sounds damn secure to me! Some Clouds even use SSL and HTTP. That's rock solid in my book.

And don't forget that you have to use Web Services to access The Cloud. Nothing is more secure than SOA and Web Services, with the exception of perhaps SaaS. But I think that Cloud Services 2.0 will combine the tiers into an MVC-compliant stack that uses SaaS to increase the security and partitioning of the data.

My main concern isn't with the security of The Cloud, but rather with getting my Indian team to learn all about it so we can deploy some first-generation The Cloud applications and Web Services to provide the ultimate platform upon which we can layer our business intelligence and reporting, because there are still a few verticals that we need to leverage before we can move to The Cloud 2.0.

Re:Enough with the cloud crap already!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246313)

I don't trust you with my data.
I don't trust your security.
I don't trust your longevity.
I don't trust that you at some point in the future won't hold my data hostage.
I don't trust you to keep my data away from big brother.

I also don't trust my ISP!

FINALLY, I don't want to wait all day for a file to load.

I forgot... I don't want you to mine my data so that you can sell the information to advertisers.

Re:Enough with the cloud crap already!! (4, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246405)

I agree with everything you said... But in this instance there's a more fundamental issue.

I'm NOT going to pay DropBox hundreds of dollars a year just for the privilege of replacing my hard drive.

Re:Enough with the cloud crap already!! (1)

camperdave (969942) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246483)

... especially when hundreds of dollars a year will more than pay for a new hard drive or two each year, each of which has more than enough capacity to store my data.

Re:Enough with the cloud crap already!! (1)

Seumas (6865) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246507)

I don't trust that my own backups won't fail due to various issues. I also don't trust that if big brother wants to see my particular data, they can't get to it even if it is on my local hard drive.

However, Dropbox better take a long hard look at their prices before they try to sell suckers on the "we replace your hard drive" bullshit.

Re:Enough with the cloud crap already!! (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246553)

Yes you do. Well, maybe not *you*, but most people do. Let me present you the future of computing. One day, you won't own a computer. Period. You will walk up to any obsidian black glass table and activate a screen session from anywhere on it. Doesn't matter if it's in your friends house, the hotel, wall, kitchen table. Doesn't matter. From this screen session, you will put in your user credentials and process data via thin-client activity. Everything will be in the cloud.

THE WORLD WILL BE A GIANT IPAD!!! There, I said it!

Marketing departments and hipsters around the world erupt in applause lasting -hours-! Paramedics are on scene to assist with dehydration due to all the tears of joy draining people of precious water. "It's the second coming of Christ" they all say. One person was reported to have said "I was once an atheist, now I found God everywhere." He even tweets back and posts on my Facebook *crying more from joy*. Quick! someone get her some water!

That's the future alright. Yup.

Re:Enough with the cloud crap already!! (1)

YukariHirai (2674609) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246591)

That's basically my take on it. As it is, I don't even trust Dropbox enough to sync a single folder; there's no way in hell I'm going to put all of my not inconsiderable amount of data in their possession.

What I would like is a machine that I have exclusive control of (and for preference exclusive access to) that I can keep off-site to backup/sync certain data to. That is to a certain extent doable now, but too costly to be practical for me.

Why not? (1)

waddgodd (34934) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246169)

It's not like the illusion of privacy I had in pretending the NSA couldn't get to my HDD data had much basis in reality anyways. I figured it was mostly because I hadn't done anything that got anyone annoyed enough to actually care

PRISM leak: Dropbox soon (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246333)

"I figured it was mostly because I hadn't done anything that got anyone annoyed enough to actually care"

Yeh live the bland life, upset no-one, do nothing of note, don't have anything somebody could want, don't marry any woman someone else could covert. It's a solution to living in a surveillance state. Also make sure your family and friends and kids and loved ones to the same, pesky metadata linkage.

DropBox was specifically mentioned in the PRISM document, so go out and specifically use it, putting only grey photos of cats on it.

Because this country isn't worth fighting for.

Re:Why not? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246619)

It's not like the illusion of privacy I had in pretending the NSA couldn't get to my HDD data had much basis in reality anyways.

At the very least, they'll need to support the cost of getting the HDD: if not for the warrant, get to my home to take it.
While for a single such seizure operation may not be much (in the context of their budget), at least they'll need to think twice if they want to do it for millions. Or even for thousands if those thousands are not living on US soil.

I work for the NSA.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246173)

... and I approve this message.

not a chance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246175)

not a chance in hell, why not just sync a folder in the oval office also
captcha=observe

no (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246185)

However much you might encrypt the hell out of my data, I think not. My customized open source OS uses middle-aged gigantic butt porn for all interface elements, and this must remain private.

I work for the NSA.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246187)

.... and I approve this message.

Dropbox, who are you kidding? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246201)

You're based in the US. You know that we have crap for bandwidth, our ISPs fight over backbone peering, we get charged by the gigabyte, and finally government agencies love to peek at data that isn't in a person's physical possession.

Still missing encryption (4, Informative)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246203)

Dropbox doesn't have encryption built-in, and this seems like a truly obvious feature. It's always been a mystery to me why they haven't implemented it. Their info page reads: "Dropbox employees are prohibited from viewing the content of files you store in your account".

This has been especially curious since the last year or two, when everyone's been complaining about how your data isn't safe in the cloud. Even the launch of Mega hasn't prodded them to add security in order to stay competitive.

Anyone know why they don't have an option to secure your data using encryption? Why we have to trust their employees not to peek at our stuff?

(Yes, I know there are 3rd party apps that add this.)

Re:Still missing encryption (1)

bloodhawk (813939) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246229)

If they supported encryption how could they provide open access to government for your data?

Re:Still missing encryption (2, Insightful)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246255)

That's easy. For your convenience they will store the decryption key for you.

Re:Still missing encryption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246271)

> Anyone know why they don't have an option to secure your data using encryption?

because the market doesnt want it

Re:Still missing encryption (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246331)

If you want proper security right now, use SpiderOak. More flexible than DropBox as well.

Re:Still missing encryption (1)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246373)

If you want proper security right now, use SpiderOak. More flexible than DropBox as well.

I'll check into that, but honestly: it would seem that MEGA has a stronger use case and better provenance - they have more incentive to get it right.

Re:Still missing encryption (2)

HJED (1304957) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246459)

AeroFS is also pretty good, and its P2P unlike SpiderOak which stores all your data on their cloud. Pretty fast now as well.

Re:Still missing encryption (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246383)

It can not be secure if they provide the encryption. If you want security you have to encrypt your files yourself before they are uploaded.

Re:Still missing encryption (2)

asmkm22 (1902712) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246657)

Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if they don't offer it because they know 80% of the population would probably lock themselves out of their own data at some point. And of course complain when they find out that dropbox doesn't have backdoor access or something.

Off the top of my head (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246205)

1. Privacy (from several categories of snoopers: government, businesses, hackers)
2. Latency
3. Cost, billing hassles
4. Availability (freedom from outages that seem to contradict the HA guarantees these providers spout out)
5. What if they fuck up and lose your data

Re:Off the top of my head (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246329)

You can add to it:

6) No real use case (for now). All the real use cases I can think of are already solved (people want music synced to their device, images imported to their computer, and maybe tabs shared between browsers). There's not a huge overlap between "things I want on my computer" and "things I want on my phone."

Although it might be good for pirated movies.

Ya pretty much (2)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246401)

Even if I didn't care about the privacy issues, can they offer me anywhere near the performance of my SSD? Of course not. It's latency is expressed in microseconds, my network in 2-3 digits of milliseconds. Its bandwidth is near enough 500MB/sec, my network caps out at about 4MB/sec (30mbit).

I fail to see why the hell I'd want to store my data on such an inferior setup.

Now backups to a remote site, sure that is something that can make sense. However that isn't what they are talking about. That is more like what Acronis does. They seem to think I'd want them as straight out storage.

Hell no. Until the performance issues are resolved, it is all 100% moot. Then and only then am I even interested in examining the other issues, which would rule it out anyhow.

Bandwidth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246217)

My Internet connection enjoys a 1 megabit per second upload speed. My SATA connection in my PC is 3 gigabits per second, which is quite a bit faster than the hard drives that are attached to it. Dropbox replace my hard drive? I don't think so. If I wanted to pay more money to my ISP, I could get 2 megabits per second upload speed. And... that's it. I can't get anything faster where I live. We've got a long ways to go before Dropbox can replace my local hard drive. Now, if I lived in Kansas city, that would be different.

Re:Bandwidth? (1)

segin (883667) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246359)

Delta encoding, LZMA2, need I say more? (Not that I am saying Dropbox currently uses these techniques, but still, their data store API seems to suggest that at least deltas and not full revisions are transferred)

Re:Bandwidth? (2)

madbrain (11432) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246415)

Delta encoding and compression really doesn't help much in many cases.
My iTunes collection in Apple Lossless for example takes over 300GB. Yes, it's all paid for music I ripped from my own CDs.
That would take eons to upload at the current broadband speeds currently available from most carriers.

I am also sure as hell not going to do my video editing, code compiles, etc on a remove drive, either. Even photo editing is painful. It still takes far too long to upload RAW files. I get 50 MB/s from my UHS-1 card to the hard drive with a USB 3.0 card reader. That's 400 Mbit/s. 4 times as much as the peak download speed available from my cable provider. And I don't know how many times the upload speed.

...the spiritual successor? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246231)

Oooh, does this mean they're doing a kickstarter?

Microsoft also (1)

badatnicknames (2023688) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246243)

Wants to do the same thing with SkyDrive. I wonder who has the advantage?

NO WAY (2)

p51d007 (656414) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246249)

am I giving up MY data to "the cloud". They can tout all the free storage they want. They can encrypt it using 394029465 bit encryption all they want. You know how drug dealers got people hooked on some drugs? FREE samples, or greatly reduced prices. Then, when they are hooked, you jack up the price, because they are now a hostage to the drug. Same thing with "free" file storage, or even pay for file storage. Eventually, they will either start charging, or, will raise the price. What are you going to do? You will have to pay up. Well, you can download your data? LOL....say you have a few hundred gigs of files stored. I'm sure your ISP would love to have you download a few gigs of files, charging you an overage. My data, I'll keep it thank you very much.

Re:NO WAY (1)

segin (883667) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246369)

So get a landline ISP. Not everything has to be done over CDMA2000 1xRTT at 153kbit/s.

Wrong direction. (5, Insightful)

Silentknyght (1042778) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246293)

No, dropbox is going in the wrong direction. The direction is going to be smaller, faster, portable HDDs. Thumbdrives are already common at 64gb, and SSDs at 256gb. People already carry around a lot of data on their phones and, more to the point, they already carry around a device as large as a phone. Current gen SSDs are about that big. It won't be much to get people to either carry around a second, similarly sized device, or for the technology to just adapt to allow your phone to store terabytes.

Those are already happening; when finally mature, why would you use the cloud? With increasing proliferation of per-byte charges for data, and with the ENORMOUS gulf in access speeds between SATA and the most common internet plans--a gulf that's unlikely to shrink for years, perhaps decades, as both technologies make their own, separate, speed advancements--people aren't going to spend more money for slower access to their own data that they don't even control.

Re:Wrong direction. (2)

tftp (111690) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246587)

Those are already happening; when finally mature, why would you use the cloud?

I'd say, even old MFM and RLL HDDs [redhill.net.au] were mature enough for the needs of the day. I had no need for cloud then, and I have no need for cloud now. We need abstract data exchange between parties, but that's not "cloud." The term covers "paid data exchange between separate instances of you." I guess there are cases when it makes sense, but I am not involved with any of those, and my data is kept away from the Internet except what I choose to publish.

There is one more interesting factor. Data exchange on your LAN is inherently parallel. Alice, Bob and Charlie can send terabytes of data on their personal LANs, and they don't interfere. Alice can even run ten parallel networks at her business if she wants to (some do, for various reasons.) However data exchange with a certain cloud provider has to share the same bottleneck(s) somewhere, especially if done over the wireless link. The capacity of wireless channels is limited by physics; you can jump up and down all you want, but you have to go for wider channels if you want more data... and then you are hit with shorter range of communication. At 60 GHz you are limited by just a few meters. It's amazingly wasteful to do that to a shared, finite (but, fortunately, instantly renewable) resource.

Re:Wrong direction. (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246601)

Synchronization.

The big thing with stuff like Dropbox/Google Drive is that you can take a photo with your fun, have it automatically upload itself to the cloud, and then all your other devices automatically synchronise with it. Doing that with a physical drive requires extra effort. Seamlessness is what Dropbox offers.

Pretty much the only thing I keep on dropbox is an encrypted Keepass file - but it means that whether I add a password to it at work, on my mobile, or at home, I have access to it at any of those places in the future.

Re:Wrong direction. (3, Funny)

0123456 (636235) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246641)

The big thing with stuff like Dropbox/Google Drive is that you can take a photo with your fun, have it automatically upload itself to the cloud, and then all your other devices automatically synchronise with it. Doing that with a physical drive requires extra effort. Seamlessness is what Dropbox offers.

Plus, if you lose it or accidentally delete it, you can just ask the NSA for a copy.

Wake me when it's an open standard (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246305)

That I can host my own server for. Let them keep the special sauce of balancing the data out on there end. Getting rather tied of closed cloud systems we need one api to rule them all :)

Re:Wake me when it's an open standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246435)

Ah, what if there was something to remotely synchronize, like a secure shell or something. That would be revolutionary!

Re:Wake me when it's an open standard (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246589)

Doing sync well requires more than an encrypted shell.

An insecure HOLE straight to the desktop (4, Insightful)

sdinfoserv (1793266) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246307)

As someone who has been responsible for medium sized infrastructures – © 500 desktops - , as well as enterprise wide security, I will say I explicitly deny dropbox for all users. It’s a huge security hole. Without the ability to control, monitor, secure and most importantly log, it will never make it in the corporate environment.

Data caps? (2)

Mistakill (965922) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246317)

Not a chance, not here in NZ... i have a 200GB cap... not even close to enough for what i want to do if i used dropbox... [Currently @ 7TB of HDD space, 5TB of which is used] (Strike One)

Also, with the TSA crap.... no again (Strike Two)

I dont have to pay to store data on my HDD's... (Strike Three)

FreeFileSync+SFTP+NetDrive=No need for DropBox (3, Insightful)

sstamps (39313) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246337)

"Replace your hard drive" my ass.

Seriously, who writes this shite?

Re:FreeFileSync+SFTP+NetDrive=No need for DropBox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246429)

"but the spiritualsuccessor to the hard drive is what we're launching"

That's about as sincere as I expect from those muppets. How spiritless do you have to be to even remotely think of using that word with a computer?
It's like saying Facebook was a revolution, when in fact it was a bunch of pushers also. The Social Network movie is also a big lie.

HAY'ell no! (0)

Miamicanes (730264) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246343)

It'll be a cold, snowy July 4th in downtown Miami before I outsource my storage to "the cloud". Remember, any online-hosted service can vanish tomorrow without a warning or trace. Maybe someone will hack their system and use it to steganographically weave kiddie porn into the data of 47 million customers, leading the FBI to storm in and forcibly shut everything down, innocent customers and collateral damage be damned. Maybe terrorists will take out all the longhaul fiber leading into your town for a few days, leaving you SOL and fighting with 4 million others to suck a few bytes at a time through a few T1 lines and microwave links. Or maybe they'll just decide it's no longer making enough money and shut down, like plenty of services (*cough* Visto *cough*) did ~10 years ago.

Never, ever, EVER trust the fate of your data entirely to someone else.

OK, maybe we can use Dropbox for easy sync'ing of phones and tablets, since Microsoft has progressively fucked up and crippled Windows networking beyond all recognition ever since Windows 2000.

~18 years ago, I had 10baseT coax strung across my house, and my housemates & I had a nice, working Windows NT domain-based network that ran flawlessly. Now, I can't get my goddamn desktop running Win 7 Pro to reliably share files with my Laptop running Vista, neither computer can connect reliably to Samba (one can't connect at all, one keeps forgetting how to connect to it and unmaps the drive), and I haven't been masochistic enough to even TRY connecting my Android phone or tablets to either computer over NetBIOS.

Assuming Microsoft hasn't taken away the ability to install thirdparty protocols and network services under Windows (including Home Edition), native Samba for Win32/Win64 would totally *rock*.

Three words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246363)

Third party doctrine

When all you have is a hammer... (2)

Bieeanda (961632) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246377)

It sounds to me like Dropbox is hitting a subscriber wall, and they're desperate for anything that will make them look attractive to the money people again.

Personally, I'm never dealing with these dumbfucks again. This is the company that turned passwords off for every goddamn client and 'box' in their hands for several hours before the blunder was caught. I'm not going to trust them with my goddamn grocery lists.

Pessimism (2)

MisterP (156738) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246379)

I find it somewhat disappointing that despite the connectivity options we have today, we still so far from being able to access our own data in a secure and consistent manner that's easy for everyone. It's even more disappointing to see a company like Dropbox solving only the "consistent" and "easy" parts of it. I say it's disappointing because I have problems with the encryption scheme [1] and non-decentralized way they're currently doing things.

As it's been pointed out [2] and essentially beaten to death recently, these things may not matter a whole lot to most people now, I think you have be pretty optimistic to think they won't matter in the future.

[1] https://www.dropbox.com/help/28/en [dropbox.com]
[2] https://medium.com/surveillance-state/b804de3b5b [medium.com]

reason (1)

pbjones (315127) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246381)

that's why more and more manufactures are moving to SSD, so the HD can't be removed.

Disc? I think not. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246411)

About all I use dropbox and co for is as a virtual USB device for transferring files easily between machines.

They should be targeting a goal of replacing the USB stick not the hard disc drive.

Why replace the file system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246423)

At first I thought they were making a hard-disk free version of dropbox. Maybe via Overlay-FS + RAM-FS? Then you could run drop-box in ram (why? I have no idea), but instead it looks like they want to replace the file system with a proprietary API that only is supported by their servers.

Yes: they want to kill the file system.

With all the great work on file system implementations, why exactly would anyone want to replace the file system concept with a proprietary API? Sure, if their API was just 9P, and they just exposed their cloud as big file system, that would be fine (its just a networked file system), but its not. Its some random proprietary crap. I absolutely will not support this. I'm pissed enough that mobile OSs hide the file system from me, I don't need more "apps" doing that crap in even less standard ways.

Maybe? (1)

no-body (127863) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246441)

Just bribed or hypnotized by the NSA?

Copying Google (1)

bromoseltzer (23292) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246461)

This is basically Dropbox parroting Google's Chromebook. I use a Chromebook at times, and it's remarkably good for 90% of what I do. Doesn't seem to run automake, however.

Some people fall for it though (4, Interesting)

readingaccount (2909349) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246467)

Paul Thurrott, the world's premier Microsoft fanboy, has been running a few articles about his concept of "zero data" - that is, keeping ALL computer data where feasible in the Cloud as opposed to your local HDD. He does so willingly because he has in his mind too much clutter, and would rather let some corporation take control over it instead of trimming what he has down to something more reasonable:

http://winsupersite.com/cloud/zero-data-hardest-part-saying-goodbye [winsupersite.com]
http://winsupersite.com/cloud/zero-data-reducing-storage-clutter [winsupersite.com]

It's one thing to give away so much of your personal data to a company - it's anther thing to then perform destruction over your local copies so everything you've ever done is totally out of your control. To me, the idea of giving away that level of control over MY data to a company is totally horrifying, but apparently I'm too stubborn and old-fashioned by saying so. Oh well.

Re:Some people fall for it though (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246607)

Haha, I bet he thinks it's better to give it to a corporation than the big evil government.

Because, you know, GALT SAYS GUBMINT BAD! Corporations are our friends. They want to serve us. We have always been at war with Oceania. I mean, we have.....what's that, boss? *CARRIER LOST*

ownCloud (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246475)

Why would I use Dropbox when I can roll my own with ownCloud? It works pretty much the same, has Ethernet speeds, as much hard disk space as I want to throw at it and I control the security.

HDD Replacement? (1)

techsoldaten (309296) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246491)

I don't replace HDs with services that provide the government with access to my files. I eliminate those services like the bugs they are.

That's a stupid idea, for many reasons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246511)

Privacy, security, PATRIOT, NSA, cheap reliable consumer disk, rent, internet requirement, latency, throughput, trusting your life's work to a 5 year old company staffed by 25 year olds with a CEO named Drew, the fact that 99% of the use cases for Dropbox are 99% will be solved when email attachment size limits move into the 21st century

NSA is way ahead of Dropbox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246521)

Won't the NSA already do this for us?

Oh Boy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#44246533)

Exciting new ways to share my data with the government!

You got to be kidding (1)

hebertrich (472331) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246541)

Putting my data on networks accessible to the NSA and other spying agencies ? Letting anyone have my data is out of the question ! How could anyone want someone else to keep his most precious data never knowing if they will loose it , have the company share all it's most private contents with fuc**** spies ?
You got to be freaking kidding me . Did these guys missed the past 6 weeks with the Snowden story ?
No way, That one's a dead rooster laying in the road . Not to be mean , but ill drive my car over it to make sure he's dead and stopped suffering .
And probably back up to make really sure ..

Make your own Dropbox (2)

GoJays (1793832) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246559)

I purchased a Synology NAS and it creates my own "cloud storage" that I own...It cost me $400, plus $150 for a 3TB drive, I have another bay in the NAS which I will in turn into a 6TB RAID when the time comes (don't need that much space yet). I am not sure on dropbox's plans... but in the long run my solution is much cheaper for price per GB. AND..... I don't have to worry about somebody else owning my data, or my information being sold to 3rd parties or my data being lost due a company no longer existing. I can access my data anywhere... on my phone, any computer, and it is stored at MY HOUSE. It even backs up my machines to an external hard disk once a week, (no such thing as too much redundancy at the cost per GB of HD's these days) I can also stream my movies/audio to any of my devices, does dropbox offer that?

hilarious (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246583)

Dear dropbox:
I am not that stupid

you'll lose your data (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246605)

when *someone else* causes a cloud server's gear in a datacenter(s) to be indiscriminately confiscated by the government. already happened more than once.

Replace my hard disk? (1)

Hartree (191324) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246613)

How nice of you. I'll take a large capacity SSD. In the local machine not in the cloud, thank you.

History will repeat itself (1)

codepigeon (1202896) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246651)

I thought we learned from MegaUpload that you don't completely rely on an online storage service.

Requirements: no cloud storage (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | about a year and a half ago | (#44246663)

That's fine, Dropbox, but I do have some non-technical requirements:

  • Storage may not be remote. Period. I have legal and business requirements that prohibit placing the data anywhere that I don't have complete control over access to it at all times. If it's on someone else's servers, I can't guarantee that.
  • Storage must not be remotely accessible over the network. I don't want J. Random Blackhat poking at my storage server trying to break in. All security breaks, but if the attackers can't reach it through the network then they can't attack it. See above for legal and business requirements about access.
  • I must be able to make backups which are under my control. See above for legal and business requirements for access. Backups contain the data, so they fall under those requirements. Those backups also need to be available to me at any time, not dependent on someone else's systems, and they need to be portable to alternative systems so I'm not locked into a single vendor.

As I see it, the first and second make syncing data between devices impossible. Whether it's push or pull, one end of the connection must always be unreachable by the other. And the access requirements pretty well rule out using anything in the cloud, even to transfer data. The only way it would work is using public-key encryption so what was stored in the cloud was an encrypted opaque blob, and that poses a lot of technical problems trying to efficiently modify and access only portions of that encrypted blob.

I suppose something like Dropbox would work for published content where I intend it to be accessed by the general public, but 90% of my stuff falls into the heading of "do not want to or am not allowed to make this stuff publicly accessible".

NB: that's also why, while I'll cheerfully use GMail for nonsensitive personal e-mail, anything business-related or sensitive goes through my own mail server where I know who can get access to it.

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