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Old 02-11-2006, 12:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Google Desktop 3

Has anyone tried out the new "Search Across Computers" feature in <a href="http://desktop.google.com/">Google Desktop</a> yet? Is anyone refusing to try it?

I personally think it is safe and will be fine (as I wait for others to try it out first to let me know how it goes).

Last edited by captobvious; 02-11-2006 at 12:09 PM..
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Old 02-11-2006, 01:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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my dad uses it. seems to be legit. i just dont need to search that often. plus, i really dont need more systray icons!
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Old 02-11-2006, 02:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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it seems kinda usefull if your cluttered with documents, i think i'll stick to my usb drive... i am curious to see how the transfer of files between computers work with this... and if you need both machines on at once to search....
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Old 02-12-2006, 02:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Based on the description, you don't need both machines on at the same time. You do need to install Google Desktop on both machines though and only the files that are indexed after enabling "share across computers" will be available. The files are uploaded to a server linked to your Google account, so as long as the Google Desktop servers are running you will be able to access the files.

Quote:
In order to share your indexed files between your computers, we first copy this content to Google Desktop servers located at Google. This is necessary, for example, if one of your computers is turned off or otherwise offline when new or updated items are indexed on another of your machines. We store this data temporarily on Google Desktop servers and automatically delete older flies, and your data is never accessible by anyone doing a Google search. You can learn more by reading the Google Desktop privacy policy.

While your data is automatically deleted from our servers, you can use the Clear my Files from Google button to manually remove all your files from Google Desktop servers. Note that if these files havenít yet been copied to your other computers, clicking this button will prevent you from finding them when you search from your other computers. The files will, of course, still be searchable from their computer of origin.
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Old 02-12-2006, 08:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
In order to share your indexed files between your computers, we first copy this content to Google Desktop servers located at Google. This is necessary, for example, if one of your computers is turned off or otherwise offline when new or updated items are indexed on another of your machines. We store this data temporarily on Google Desktop servers and automatically delete older flies, and your data is never accessible by anyone doing a Google search. You can learn more by reading the Google Desktop privacy policy.

While your data is automatically deleted from our servers, you can use the Clear my Files from Google button to manually remove all your files from Google Desktop servers. Note that if these files havenít yet been copied to your other computers, clicking this button will prevent you from finding them when you search from your other computers. The files will, of course, still be searchable from their computer of origin.
Sorry, but that's just a little scary to me.
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Old 02-12-2006, 11:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeSty
Sorry, but that's just a little scary to me.
Agreed. Don't think I'll be using that...
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Old 02-12-2006, 12:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I enabled it to test a couple machines then rapidly turned it off. Cheap adrenaline rush. Like when testing a virus/worm. Use it full-time? That'd be like crashing an in-law's car, or stumbling with the anthrax vial. Too many implications.

I generally approve of Google toys but this one is a self-imposed ankle grab.
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Last edited by cyrnel; 02-12-2006 at 12:43 PM..
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Old 02-12-2006, 12:42 PM   #8 (permalink)
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umm... why don't they just lend out online storage space for people to work from instead? i now know why google's stock earnings arn't as high as they were suppost to be now....


i just don't see the practical use for this... other than for the people who have very little organizational skill...



i got my FTP folder and a USB stick, i know where my files are and who has access to them, every moment, and i don't have to reply on another service to use or find them...



... but i got to admit, technically, this service is pretty cool and has potential, just not for me
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Last edited by AquaFox; 02-12-2006 at 12:46 PM..
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Old 02-12-2006, 01:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I gotta say for searching on my own machine is a useful tool, but sharing it with others? that's just crazy talk.

For local machine - I use Copernic Desktop Search, which is better than the earlier google one I tried.
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Old 02-12-2006, 02:26 PM   #10 (permalink)
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is desktop search even that much quicker?? i never installed it because i didn't want to waste any extra system resources or space... i use standard search, but i've never had any problems with waiting for it or anything... i just aim the search at the propery directory, and search, and it's done in a matter of seconds
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Old 02-12-2006, 04:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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when you are looking for an email message (for example) by content, rather than file name or date, it is very useful. I *have* to keep all my work related email messages, so finding a specific one in the thousands I have on my machine would be a huge chore.

Yes, it is much quicker to find stuff though obviously has an overhead because of the indexing. With a pretty new machine with 2Gb ram, I'm really not struggling for system resources though.
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Old 02-13-2006, 04:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I think it's a very bad idea storing your files on Google's computers. I don't care if those files are encrypted or not. All it takes is one subpoena from the US "government" and the feds would be all up in Google's business. And yours.
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Old 02-14-2006, 12:28 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I really don't find anything wrong with it. If the data is so sensitive then it should be kept on a drive that is portable and not shared or indexed. But in general use it seems to me that this can be quite usefull.

On wyodiver33's post.....
What could you possibly keep on your indexed search that could harm your freedom? As far as the US "government" is concerned, unless it is an illegal act going on what why would they care?
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Old 02-14-2006, 03:54 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moyaboy
What could you possibly keep on your indexed search that could harm your freedom? As far as the US "government" is concerned, unless it is an illegal act going on what why would they care?
Or, unless if you're against Bush. The government is already spying on protestors and anti-bush demonstrators along with the rest of us. In addition, the government is already trying to subpoena Google for information. Have a
look...
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Old 02-14-2006, 04:54 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I would have to agree, but just because you are using Google Desktop 3 with it's search capability, doesn't mean that there are other ways of determining the same information. Such as the Patriot Act. As much as there is no way of descerning wheter they have or haven't been spying on you, it doesn't seem to me that much harm will come from using an useful program like Google Desktop 3.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardknock
Or, unless if you're against Bush. The government is already spying on protestors and anti-bush demonstrators along with the rest of us. In addition, the government is already trying to subpoena Google for information. Have a
look...
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Old 02-14-2006, 05:07 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Security is an in-depth proposition. The most common and damaging mistake is to assume things won't happen for the sake of convenience. (Denial) I run into otherwise smart clients weekly who refuse to see purpose or benefit in the single steps required to lock things down because it interferes with a useful feature. Sometimes security means avoiding products entirely. Each user/entity must decide what's important and how to secure it, hopefully after qualified individuals consider the ramifications. Your data may not be important, nobody may ever break into Google's systems, authorities may never request or spread the information further, but it's generally unwise to assume these things, even if the data opened up is only your own. Consider customers, friends, relatives. Keep it simple. Would it cause you problems if your drive were stolen? Might you be liable for damages?

Assume the worst, work toward something better.
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Old 02-14-2006, 08:23 AM   #17 (permalink)
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But is that based on sensitive information or is the question of someone stealing your drive rhetorical? Because if someone steals your drive you have more to worry about than your data (for home users) such as real home security. We are talking about someone wanting to steal your data, if they really wanted to then they would. If it was that sensitive, then why is it so accessible for your indexing purposes. Google Desktop allows you to determine which drives and folders are indexed. The reason I mention any of this is based on home users worrying about Google Desktop, not corporate users.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyrnel
Security is an in-depth proposition. The most common and damaging mistake is to assume things won't happen for the sake of convenience. (Denial) I run into otherwise smart clients weekly who refuse to see purpose or benefit in the single steps required to lock things down because it interferes with a useful feature. Sometimes security means avoiding products entirely. Each user/entity must decide what's important and how to secure it, hopefully after qualified individuals consider the ramifications. Your data may not be important, nobody may ever break into Google's systems, authorities may never request or spread the information further, but it's generally unwise to assume these things, even if the data opened up is only your own. Consider customers, friends, relatives. Keep it simple. Would it cause you problems if your drive were stolen? Might you be liable for damages?

Assume the worst, work toward something better.
Assuming the worst is a great idea, however, being paranoid about it makes it a problem all around.

-How do you know if someone is hacking your system, because they would make a mistake and alert you that way, otherwise, we may never know.-
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Old 02-14-2006, 05:12 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Moyaboy, Sorry about the slow response. It's been a day. I was hoping others would jump in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moyaboy
But is that based on sensitive information or is the question of someone stealing your drive rhetorical? Because if someone steals your drive you have more to worry about than your data (for home users) such as real home security.
No, I was trying to get you to think of the consequences of data theft. What's on that drive? Who does it affect, and to what degree? What responsibility do you have to protect it? If none then go crazy.

Quote:
We are talking about someone wanting to steal your data, if they really wanted to then they would.
Certainly, the Amish Mafia can bonk you over the head and take your computer and all belongings. I'm suggesting that while locking your front door and windows you shouldn't leave the patio door open.

Quote:
If it was that sensitive, then why is it so accessible for your indexing purposes. Google Desktop allows you to determine which drives and folders are indexed.
You're right. I wish the default were less permissive. Remind you of the early days of file sharing? (Not P2P but MacOS/Windows/NFS/FTP...)

Quote:
The reason I mention any of this is based on home users worrying about Google Desktop, not corporate users.
Certainly, Google indexing is an infosec officer's nightmare. Home users should think about it to the degree their home systems contain company or important personal information. It requires consideration. A corporate analyst that isn't thinking about this isn't doing their job.

Casual home users tend to trust the big guy, maybe more than they realize. In this case the potential loss is whatever is being shared. That's an unusually large increase in vulnerability, industry-wide, which makes it deserve the concern it's getting. Any weakness will eventually be exploited and given Google's mindshare it could cause a huge exposure.

Quote:
Assuming the worst is a great idea, however, being paranoid about it makes it a problem all around.
Information security requires appropriate paranoia on an even level. Consider all points of vulnerability and apply appropriate security while maintaining usability. Appropriate means people need to do their job but not give away the store. The even level means you don't blow the budget on telepathic deadbolts while installing a unsecured wireless access point.

Quote:
How do you know if someone is hacking your system, because they would make a mistake and alert you that way, otherwise, we may never know.-
Small installations usually run blind. While there are many tools for server & net admins to watch for these intrusions, home/so users usually run their Norton et al and try not to look more vulnerable than the next guy. Back to part one, don't assume a new hole in the wall won't be a target just because a big company watches the door. Recall that most breaches are inside jobs. A scary part of google indexing/sharing is that it's out of our control. We're outsourcing security to an unknown entity. There's likely safety in the anonymity of scale, but that's obscurity and a no-no by itself.

I'm not against new goodies. I love toys. Some just keep me up later than others. Much of the job is striking a balance between new features and old while protecting assets.

Everybody hates the security guys.
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There are a vast number of people who are uninformed and heavily propagandized, but fundamentally decent. The propaganda that inundates them is effective when unchallenged, but much of it goes only skin deep. If they can be brought to raise questions and apply their decent instincts and basic intelligence, many people quickly escape the confines of the doctrinal system and are willing to do something to help others who are really suffering and oppressed." -Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media, p. 195
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Old 02-14-2006, 05:27 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I didn't want you to misunderstand. I agree with everything you have said ,cyrnel, but I was refering most of my comments to the use of the software for home users. But what you have said about security is absolutely correct.
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Old 02-14-2006, 07:54 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Aye. Pardon the pedantry. I expected to abandon ship for the evening so got a little verbose.
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There are a vast number of people who are uninformed and heavily propagandized, but fundamentally decent. The propaganda that inundates them is effective when unchallenged, but much of it goes only skin deep. If they can be brought to raise questions and apply their decent instincts and basic intelligence, many people quickly escape the confines of the doctrinal system and are willing to do something to help others who are really suffering and oppressed." -Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media, p. 195
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Old 02-14-2006, 08:30 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Hi all, I have no problem with Google Desktop 3, I just will never use the Box to Box feature. I don't need it or trust it. If others want to use it, great, have a blast. I really like Google tools a lot.
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Old 02-14-2006, 10:25 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Does anyone else think that we may be in a transition period of how we store/access our information and people are just really afraid of change? The recent trends seem to indicate that we are moving toward greater accessibility. For example, instead of just storing photos on your own machine, you can upload them to one of the various photo sites that allows you share them with others and access them from any computer as long as you have internet access. In my opinion, Google Desktop just takes this a step further by allowing you to store and access a wider variety of documents. Of course this greater flexibility does come at certain costs. It is more dangerous because you could potentially share more private information than a silly photo (although photos can be very private as well).

I personally feel that people have been overreacting to the potential dangers of enabling the sharing feature. It's not like you are forced to enable it. Each user also has complete control to limit what is shared and what isn't. The only danger is if the Google servers get hacked, but you face that danger with your email too.

I think the benefits outweigh the dangers in this situation. As our technology continues improves, I think more of the things that we are used to having on our own computer will be stored on servers and accessed through the internet. Imagine being able to run all of the applications you buy without having to install them on your computer. If you have multiple computers, you also wouldn't have to worry about installing the programs on each one because you would just need internet access. By this time we should also be able to do all kinds of fancy stuff on our cell phones/PDAs/whatever else they come up with by then with wireless internet access of course.

My opinions are based on using these features for personal use though. I understand that businesses have to be looked at differently. The public reaction to this new feature in Google Desktop has just kind of caught me off guard. I would have expected more people to think that is cool instead of responding with fear. It kind of reminds me of the early days of MP3s. Some people thought they were just a fad and would go away, but they went on to completely revolutionize the way we handle/listen to our music. I guess only time will tell what becomes of this new technology. I'm interested to hear what other people think...
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