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February 09, 2012


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Derek Black

I use dropbox and agree as to its virtues, particularly for academics. But I wonder if there is such a huge upside in the convenience, that most, including myself, underplay or are willing to tolerate the privacy and security concerns arise. Do you think there are legitimate privacy and security concerns or that I am holding onto a bit of paranoia by not jumping all in? I can see all data completely transitioning to internet based clouds within the next couple of years and I fear that we might be at the complete mercy of distant servers. While the chances of server or internet failure are low, I would think they could be catostrophic when they occur.

Daniel S. Goldberg

Dropbox is great, but it's overpriced, IMO. Combination of Google Docs + SyncDocs (nifty little piece of software) will get you exactly the same kind of functionality (maybe better if you like and use Google Docs as an office suite, which I do) for a grand total of $15/year for 20 GB of space, $20/year for 50 GB/space. is practically giving away 50 GB to anyone, and gives you the added functionality of sending anyone a private link to individual files which you can email (thereby obviating the need to share permissions), as well as streaming music files if you want to move your collection there.

Skydrive by Microsoft is also giving away 25 GB to anyone with a Windows Live account.

Finally, if you're considering moving the whole shebang into the cloud, as I did, you might also look at Mendeley for a great way to organize your digital reading library. The desktop version is free; their cloud storage is way overpriced, but if you have a local folder on your desktop, you can just link a "Library" folder locally to Mendeley and have your entire collection of papers at your fingers.

I disdain technolust, but share your enthusiasm for the ease and simplicity of these kinds of programs.

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