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Click to see full-sizeMy "Google Drive" folder now contains 4.5Gb of my files, and I can access them from any computer: whether PC, Mac, Chromebook, tablet or smartphone. I can get 25Gb of Google Drive cloud storage for $2.50/month. My music albums and podcasts - over 10Gb - are on the PC and on Google Music. My 15 years of digital pictures - over 1 Gb - are on the PC and on Google Picasa. When I take photos with my smartphone, they're uploaded automatically to my Google Plus account where I can edit them or delete the ones I don't want, and share them with whoever I want. What about other cloud-drive services? I also store some old archives - about 1.5Gb - in my Dropbox folder on the PC and on my Dropbox cloud account, and have a subfolder there which my wife and I share with our children and grandchildren.

So when you let Google store your documents, music and photos, the question is: Who's Got Your Stuff? Who owns your files, if you entrust them for safe-keeping to a third party? Even though access to your files is encrypted, the files themselves are not. And if you read the "Terms of Service" you'll see that Google can and does search your files for keywords so they can serve up advertisements that might be more attuned to your interests. But perhaps the important thing is that with the advent of tablets and smartphones, the tendency might be to keep all of your files "in the Cloud" and not on any local hard drive at all. What happens then if Google were to go belly-up, or the Internet is severely disrupted? You've lost all "your" information.

If you owe the bank $100, that's your problem. If you owe the bank $100,000,000, that's the bank's problem. - JP Getty

Microsoft is now offering free trial versions of personal and business Office 2013 that is cloud-oriented, called "Office 365." It's tied together with SkyDrive and 60 minutes per month of Skype-to-phone calls, so you can keep your files on your PC in sync with up to four other devices including tablets and smartphones. But the basic assumption here is that your files reside on your computer(s), and are only backed up and kept in sync with your other devices via SkyDrive. When you sign up for the full version, you'll get 25Gb of SkyDrive storage space, and you'll be able to "lease" all Microsoft Office programs. What's the price? "To be announced." But in order to compete with Google, the personal version will have to be around $2/month.

Along with the question "Who's Got Your Stuff?" is the parallel question "Who am I?" If your identity consists of all the facts about you and all your memories and accomplishments, then the written record of those facts, memories and accomplishments ought to be in your personal control. But if you give up control of those pieces of information, are you also giving up control of your identity, your very person? Will your identity eventually be merged with one huge "mind" in the clouds that can the feed tailor-made ideas into your head, guiding your thoughts and actions into whatever direction that group-think mind decides? It's called "targeted marketing" and "targeted political spots" today, but what will it be like tomorrow, next year and in ten years when nearly everyone has given all their information to "the Cloud"?

Click on Online PC Support for our worldwide help   &   Offsite Backup Services for securing your files!

The Security Blurb:
In the rather lengthy article Stuxnet: Leaks or Lies?,Larry Constantine, an engineer who works on Siemens centrifuges like the ones at Iran's Natantz nuclear fuel enrichment facility, completely destroys the idea that the Stuxnet virus "leaked out over the Internet" when an thumb drive that was infected from the nuclear facility got plugged into someone's PC that was connected to the Internet. It's a good read!

The goal of our CN.Net-News is to share information that we think you'll find helpful as you wrestle with that little monster on your desk or at your side, your computer. And we aim to present this information from a Christian worldview. Thanks for your time!

Best regards,

"Dr. Bob the CompuNerd"

Robert D hoskEN
See the "nerd" in my name? (It helps if you're a little dyslexic!)
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