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Trevor Stone's Journal
Those who can, do. The rest hyperlink.
Upload Any File to the Cloud 
12th-Jan-2010 10:34 am
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Google just announced that you can upload any file and store it in Google Docs. For anyone who's asked "What do you do at Google?" this project is the answer.

Among other things, this service will let me
  • back up all the papers I wrote and projects I did in school (in case I drop my hard drive again)
  • upload a file at home if I need to print it at work or at Kinkos
  • share a folder of images with my brother and mom while we work on a website design
  • make a Creative Commons GIMP file, share it with the world, and upload some improvements people make
  • stick a DMG with a hard-to-find old program so I can install it whenever I get a new computer
  • upload a bunch of photos from a private event and share them with the folks who attended
… all without wasting people's email quota by attaching large files. (Note: This feature will be available to your user some time between an hour and a half ago and next week or so.)

When you put it like that, "I work on the documents list for Google Docs" sounds pretty exciting. I'm part of this new "It's all in the cloud" world!
17th-Jan-2010 03:54 pm (UTC) - So how does Google make money
And who keeps the copyright?
17th-Jan-2010 05:36 pm (UTC) - Re: So how does Google make money
Google makes most of its money by running ads on search (and some other websites). They also make money from enterprise sales -- companies pay to use GMail, Google Docs, Calendar, Groups, and other apps rather than, say, Outlook and MS Office. There's also some money that comes straight from consumers; you can buy extra storage space for 25 cents per GB per year, you can pay for a premium version of Google Earth or SketchUp, etc.

Since ads is very profitable, there's a lot of freedom in Google to do things that don't have obvious direct revenue potential up front. For instance, last month they announced free public DNS servers. Unlike some other public DNS systems, Google's doesn't direct users to advertising pages if the domain exists. Rather, the revenue model is "If the Internet is faster and better, people will use it more, and when people use the Internet more, they tend to do more Google searches and click on more ads." So working on Google Docs, we've got direct revenue from businesses and schools, but we provide the same product (minus the support and SLA) to the world at large because it makes the Internet better for users.

As for copyright, the user who creates the content owns the copyright. If you use Notepad to create a text file and upload it to your ISP's web server, neither Microsoft nor your ISP would claim they own it, and neither does Google in the analogous situation. On the other side, Facebook recently got a lot of flak for claiming copyright on all user generated content on their site, and I think they backed off somewhat.
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