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GmailFS - The Google File System 429

Posted by timothy
from the never-meant-to-be dept.
Scott Granneman writes "Looking to use that new Gmail account for something really innovative? How about combining it with a brand new filesystem for Linux? Then GmailFS might be the answer: 'GmailFS provides a mountable Linux filesystem which uses your Gmail account as its storage medium. ... GmailFS supports most file operations such as read, write, open, close, stat, symlink, link, unlink, truncate and rename.'"
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GmailFS - The Google File System

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  • by Sheetrock (152993) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @07:25AM (#10101622) Homepage Journal
    They've already made it plain they don't want third-party email account checkers; now you're going to subject them to transient file storage addons?

    They're supporters of Linux. Somehow, it doesn't seem like a very "on the spoke" maneuver to aggravate them.

    • What is the big deal?

      now, they can have more data to analyze.

      The only thing left is finding an unintrusive way to show google adds for the file system.

    • as stated yesterday, how do you conclude, that a change in login procedure while in beta is meant to exclude third party email checkers - and WHY?! with you pranoia you should apply for a job at intel ;)

      PAT
    • by LostCluster (625375) * on Sunday August 29, 2004 @08:37AM (#10101809)
      Black hat hacking is clearly causing white hat hackers to lose toys these days...

      Take the XM-PCR case as an example. XM clearly went out of their way to provide an easy-to-hack-with-a-computer model of their devices. However, they provided that model with the unspoken proviso that it must be used ethically.

      Along comes a programmer with script-kiddie level skills who makes an automatic MP3 maker program that uses that device. That alone would have been fine by XM. However, that programmer decides to try to make a quick buck out of his work by selling it for $20 a copy. Furthermore, once media attention discovers his program, he raises the price.

      That's the kind of thing that awakens the sleeping RIAA, and the RIAA orders XM to send the programmer a legal nastygram in order to show that he is approching the limits of an untested area of law. Of course, Slashdot groupthink blames XM for the letter and calls for a boycott.

      Please people... RTFM before you start hacking anything. Especially, follow what the device makers tell you not to do, and don't try to seek direct obvious profits from your hacking.

      We're seeing far to many cases of one black hat who comes up with the "forbiden hack" that causes a company that puts out a hack-friendly device to wish they never had and want to take the hacking tools they gave the world back. Can't we be nice to the suppliers of such devices so that such devices keep coming out?
      • by azaris (699901) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @10:17AM (#10102152) Journal

        We're seeing far to many cases of one black hat who comes up with the "forbiden hack" that causes a company that puts out a hack-friendly device to wish they never had and want to take the hacking tools they gave the world back. Can't we be nice to the suppliers of such devices so that such devices keep coming out?

        I wouldn't call a piece of software that permits legal fair use to be "black hat". It's also strange that normally corporations who stomp on hackers trying to leverage their devices or services for relatively moderate ends get lambasted on /. but when that corporation happens to be Apple or Google, a lot of slashdotters put on the white knight armor and ride to the resque of an entity that surely has enough lawyers to fend off for themselves.

        Realistically though, GmailFS is and always will be a quirk. They can of course break it any time they want but since 1 gigabyte in storage space costs, what, a handful of glass beads nowadays, do you really think enough people will bother with this to cause serious scalability problems for a search engine company that handles a hundred million hits per day?

        To sum it up: wake up, Gmail isn't going to be cancelled just because somebody made a cute hack to use it as a filesystem. You can still pretend to be part of a special in-crowd of Google lovers because you managed to beg an invite off of someone.

        • Unfortunately in the case of the XM application, "Fair use" goes out the window because you specifically waive the right when you agree to the ToS from XM which specifically disallows recording. Thus, it is a little "black hat" in that this guy broke his contract with XM and encouraged others to do so.

          The question of whether or not XM ought to be allowed to enforce such a restriction in their contract or whether such a restriction is legal or fair is a related, but completely different argument. You can sa
        • since 1 gigabyte in storage space costs, what, a handful of glass beads nowadays,

          The benefit of GmailFS wouldn't be the space itself, but the fact that it's transparently portable- that you can access it from any (Linux) PC on the internet.

          Note that if "broadband" ISPs had slightly less-restrictive terms of service, then this advantage would be irrelevant too, because you could easily place your own hard drive available for remote mounting.
        • They can of course break it any time they want but since 1 gigabyte in storage space costs, what, a handful of glass beads nowadays, do you really think enough people will bother with this to cause serious scalability problems for a search engine company that handles a hundred million hits per day?


          Yeah, 1 gigabyte of storage costs a handful of glass beads.
          But do you really think it will stay 1 gigabyte of storage?
          It took this guy only 3 days to hack up this program in python. Give him another three days and he could make it register a dozen accounts and link them together transparently into one filesystem. In fact, it scales pretty easily to the point where I could have unlimited storage on Google's servers--and then it would be a problem for them, and they would have to break it.
      • by nolife (233813) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @10:38AM (#10102226) Homepage Journal
        We're seeing far to many cases of one black hat who comes up with the "forbiden hack" that causes a company that puts out a hack-friendly device to wish they never had and want to take the hacking tools they gave the world back.

        You give companies too much credit. If a company wanted something to really be hack friendly, there would be no complaints when it was hacked. They are not hack friendly if they complain about hacks. Your script kiddy comment is pretty lame. If the company made a product that someone with no skillz can hack it then the company got what they deserved. They choose to cut corners on security/development/testing or choose the wrong method to deliver the product to the users, either way it was a specific decision made by the company to maximize profits and they got burned. Any company can develop an encryption system in about 5 minutes and sell it for $50 a user. Imagine the profit that company can make until some script kiddy realizes it is only ROT15 and hacks it. It happens all the time with software and hardware. It is not always hacker friendly on purpose, it is cost cutting and/or a questionable business model. Remeber the CueCat?

        Wireless phone companies and makers (Cellular and cordless phones) started with and to some extent still use this exact business model. They were using analog signal totally unencrypted for anyone with a radio scanner to hear, cellular in the 860mhz region and cordless in the 49mhz and 900mhz region. These devices started to catch on and get a foothold. Suddenly the consumers started to wake up and realize anyone with a scanner or a UHF TV tuner could pick up these signals. Yes, on purpose, they chose to use something very unsecure, made no real attempt to make it known it was unsecure [1]. How did they fix it? Went to congress. Congress eventually gave them what they wanted and banned the cellular region from new scanner radios and made it illegal for people to knowingly listen to cellular and cordless freqs. The phone making companies knew all along these transmissions were open to anyone with a radio that picked up those bands, they chose to ignore it, not develop anything or use readily available technology at the time to encode or encrypt it because it would have cost them more money. They were not hacker friendly, just trying to make more money. To this day, analog cordless and wireless phone signals are still able to be picked up by anyone in plain form, although it illegal to do it (yeah, that is the only thing preventing it). Luckily for the most part, analog has been replaced on the cordless side with digital and digital spread spectrum and wireless has gone almost all digital with various methods of encryption and encoding. With that, it takes more then a consumer radio to eavesdrop now.

        Can't we be nice to the suppliers of such devices so that such devices keep coming out?
        The only reason companies make and sell products is to make money. If they think it will sell, they will produce it.

        [1] I have never seen an analog cordless phone that mentions that it is easy to eavesdrop on. Many claim 65000 codes, extra privacy or security features, prevention of unauthorized use etc.. but they are all refering to the code needed to get a dialtone from the base station, not to hear the actual conversation in progress. It appears to be on purspoe that these security descriptions are very vague.
        • by Noksagt (69097) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @12:43PM (#10102795) Homepage
          You give companies too much credit. If a company wanted something to really be hack friendly, there would be no complaints when it was hacked. They are not hack friendly if they complain about hacks. Your script kiddy comment is pretty lame. If the company made a product that someone with no skillz can hack it then the company got what they deserved.
          I disagree entirely. It is a Very Good thing to make an API that is both open and easy to use. It benefits the company who creates and releases it because their programmers could easily add new features & their product will be more popular because of features that others are able to add. Problems happen when people start writing functions in this grey area, often violating the license of the use of the original product or API. This isn't the original company's fault at all--they didn't disregard "security/development/testing," and instead opted for transparency. It is the fault of the "script kiddies"--rather than contributing positive enhancements back to the community (which they could write because of the great API), they choose to write things that may break the license or even the law. Hence the grandparent's comment to RTFM.

          One explicit example is TiVo. They have allowed people to add larger hard drives, write software to post TiVo contents online, etc. They don't want people to distribute TiVoed content on the net or to steal TiVo subscription service. Both are very possible, but neither is widely exploited. If someone was to start selling software to do either, TiVo should get upset! Not because they didn't know of the possibility, but because they trusted their user base. And that is bad for all of us--the next API won't be transparent.
      • by lombre (789526) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @10:54AM (#10102289)
        This is not an abuse of Google. Google only offers 1 G which is only 1% of the typical hard drive today, or just a little more than a CD. Performance will be abismal.

        Except for offline backup (which you could already manually use GMail for) this is not very useful. Even for that it isn't really useful since Google could cancel you account if they don't like how you use it.

        This is really just expression of "I could do it".

        Even so, if they used the gimick of 1 G of email for marketing but expected nobody to use it, tough, they don't get to completely control how you use their product.

        As far as the XM-PCR, this is just the like a VCR for XM radio. How is this an abuse? The recording is analog, all the program does is allow a time shift. These are all things that anybody could do manually for a long time. Should we take away VCRs and Tivo just because broadcasters would prefer we had to watch TV under their rules?

        You already have the capacity but not the right to sell or distribute most of the content that XM transmits.

        They did not go "out of their way". They did it to sell more subscriptions.

        This program actually makes XM radio more marketable.

        When you create a product, you do not get to regulate every thing your customers do with it. Soon we will have Kellogs telling us that we cannot make our own rice krispie bars (i.e. we have to buy their Rice Krispie Treats) with the box of cereal we bought as this violates the "license".

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 29, 2004 @08:58AM (#10101862)
      It has to be about Google to be newsworthy, hasn't it? GMX, a German webmail provider, offers free 1GB mail accounts which are accessible by web, POP3 and WebDAV. You can also share your files with other GMX users. Transfer volume is limited to twice the storage amount per month.
    • by puck01 (207782) * on Sunday August 29, 2004 @09:40AM (#10102016)
      They've already made it plain they don't want third-party email account checkers

      Could someone please show me where Google made it clear they specifically don't want 3rd party email account checkers? Did they announce this and I've missed it? Certainly a slashdot story yesterday claimed Google doesn't want them. Except for the person who submited the story, I have not seen any other proof to back this claim up.

      First, I saw no other accounts of this happening to other people in any of the threads. I did read quite a few threads that said they had no such problem. GTray continues to work for me.

      Second, assume this does happen, maybe its not intended to specifically block 3rd party apps. Perhaps its a side effect of them checking too frequently. It is known that the word verification check comes up after entering the wrong password about 5 times. Are these people using the wrong password?

      Perhaps, Google doesn't like the way the 3rd party apps are interfacing with their system. Obviously, gmail's beta check has its own method to get email, it is likely more effcient than pulling down the html with each check. If this is the case, it may just be a matter of time before they give the specs on how they would prefer it done.

      Anyway, my point is just because a word verification scheme is popping up for some users doesn't mean it is an attack on 3rd party apps like slashdot seems to say it is. There are many other possiblitites. Ever since Google announced it was going public, it's almost like people expect google to start going bad.
      • by yuting (222615) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @12:08PM (#10102597)
        Google's Terms of Use:

        http://gmail.google.com/gmail/help/terms_of_use.ht ml [google.com]

        "You also agree that you will not use any robot, spider, other automated device, or manual process to monitor or copy any content from the Service"

        On GMail-User newsgroup there have been reports of Google temporarily disabling accounts who use software to check GMail. Having said that, Google's own mail checker checks mail every 2 minutes. And most people who use third-party software to access GMail don't seem to have problems. Google's reaction to the breach of their ToS seems to be as random as the way they give out GMail invites...
  • by Mr Europe (657225) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @07:25AM (#10101624)
    Ond now we'll put up a competing internet search service using GMail disk space !
  • Nice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Orgazmus (761208) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @07:26AM (#10101627)
    This is really nice, but as i see it, there are two options:
    1) He gets his ass sued to hell
    2) He gets a nice job at google ;)
  • Portable partition (Score:5, Interesting)

    by kaleco (801384) <greig.marshall2@ ... t e r n e t .com> on Sunday August 29, 2004 @07:28AM (#10101632)
    This could compliment a knoppix (or any liveCD) CD perfectly.
  • If it can be done... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by KitFox (712780) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @07:28AM (#10101633)
    Somebody will do it... Doesn't mean it SHOULD be done. But still, does it accomodate the recent change in the login proceedure [slashdot.org] and possible future changes well?
  • GoogleOS (Score:4, Funny)

    by ols22 (553332) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @07:29AM (#10101638)
    They're obviously setting themselves up to enter the OS/desktop market.
    • Re:GoogleOS (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ImaLamer (260199) <john.lamarNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday August 29, 2004 @10:39AM (#10102232) Homepage Journal
      Though it might seem funny it almost isn't.

      Think of your gmail account as your home folder or My Documents for the Windows users. That is just the start. Google has the ability to provide you with a drive that goes forever and search abilities to find anything in a snap.

      Netscape founder, Marc Andressen, once said "An OS is nothing but a bag of APIs we write to."

      Once you have a working kernel you can do anything. The fear that Microsoft had was that their kernel would be the only thing that mattered and their API's would become irrelevant after Netscape and portable plug-ins and Java apps took over.

      Look at version 4.0 [netscape.com]. It's features rivaled that of slow/homebrewed OS startups.
      * Navigator
      * Messenger
      * Composer
      * Netscape AOL Instant Messenger
      * Conference
      * Netcaster
      * Collabra
      * Calendar
      * AutoAdmin
      * IBM Host On-Demand ("Integrated, Java-based 3270 application for IBM host access")
      Microsoft started to see that the Internet was the new platform. It's true, I'm in my browser 99.9% of the time I'm on the PC. The OS doesn't matter.

      Microsoft isn't known for their superb kernel, it's the whole user-land. Now that most people hit the browser after boot/login the kernel is the only thing that does matter. That is why people dual-boot with linux. It's stable and they can do most things. Occasionally they need to do something special so they reboot. Windows has become a mere application that loads your games.

      Computer users don't usually care what type of file system it is or any of that mumbo-jumbo. They want to be able to work. If Google explodes into a Yahoo! type portal and provides portable (Java?) interfaces then they can become the "OS" of choice.

      Look at this from Wikipedia:

      Hardware <-> Kernel <-> Shell <-> Applications

      Those are the four parts of your system. If the shell is replaced by the browser then the Internet as a whole is the application. That is what scared Microsoft into killing Netscape. (if you want to put it that way)

  • Great! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Yeechang Lee (3429) <ylee@pobox.com> on Sunday August 29, 2004 @07:30AM (#10101645) Homepage
    Thanks to GmailFS, I can now look forward to seeing the following files when I log into my computer:
    -rw-rw-r-- 1 ylee ylee 2384 Aug 28 04:25 BUY V1AGRA N0W.pdf
    -rw------- 1 ylee ylee 3723 Aug 28 04:39 RE: Stupid weomn cheating.xls
    -rw------- 1 ylee ylee 2342 Aug 28 05:05 URGENT RESPONSE NEEDED.doc
    Thanks, GmailFS!
  • It won't eventuate (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Quick Reply (688867) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @07:32AM (#10101651) Journal
    Gmail can allow up to 1GB storage based on the fact that not all email accounts are going to get anywhere near the limit, if GmailFS becomes real, Gmail would become unsustainable (and where is the Ad revenue?) and in summery Google will get very angry and pull the plug in a mean way. On another note, I'm surprised that having direct access to the root folders of a gmail account (like it's a pop/imap account) is even possible.
    • Whatever interface-ripping this tool uses, it's clear that it is dependant on GMail having the interface that it has today still operational. Google could very easily "break" this program simply by adding some clutter to it's currently pristine user interface.

      This really is an action by one kid that could ruin the sandbox for everybody...
    • by Nerftoe (74385)
      ..if GmailFS becomes real, Gmail would become unsustainable..

      Joe sixpack and Stacy no-brain are not going to be using GmailFS. If all gmail users on slashdot were to implement GmailFS, it would still be a small drop in the bucket of their total user base. Even if Google is aware of this use of their Gmail services, they may overlook it because:

      It may not be worth their time/money to block

      They want to remain "holy" in the geek community

    • by dirk (87083) <dirk@one.net> on Sunday August 29, 2004 @09:15AM (#10101925) Homepage
      I find it interesting how many people are against this hack. IT seems it is Google's own fault for not finding a better revenue model. This seems exactly the same as an Xbox Linux hack. Sure, MS loses money on every XBox, but that's their fault for selling them at a lose. The same thing goes for ad stripping from web sites and apps like AIM. The vast majority of /.ers are for these hacks because they are innovative, useful and cool. Yet when this one comes up that uses Google in the same way, there seems to be a decent number of people against it. It seems if it is okay to cost MS and AOL money by hacking their stuff, hacking Google is just as allowable.
      • I think the difference lies in what could happen when the target company reacts. I don't think people would mourn is MS and AOL were to go bankrupt, or even simply stop producing a particular product.

        Whereas people are afraid something bad will happen to Google (and whoever takes their place would be worse), and they don't want GMail to be pulled or crippled.
      • IT seems it is Google's own fault for not finding a better revenue model.

        And you, Sir, are a damn fool. Can you suggest a better business model for Google? Any donkey can say "It's their fault for not finding a better revenue model".
  • Interesting (Score:5, Interesting)

    by linuxci (3530) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @07:33AM (#10101654)
    Of course this is interesting, and shows the talents and ideas that can occur in the world of free/open software.

    But Google is a business and they do need to make money and this would be a surefire way for them to lose money (a load of their storage used up, no way to show their adverts, etc) so if anyone seriously used this I can imagine their account disabled.

    What I want is google officially creating (or officially blessing the ones that already exist) a gmail notifier app for Mozilla. Technically, using the 3rd party ones that the Mozilla community develop are against their terms of service. They already do an official notifier but it's Windows only - a Mozilla based one would be cross platform.
  • by eSims (723865) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @07:41AM (#10101666) Homepage
    Doesn't mean you should.

    An old adage that applies quite well even to the Internet age.

    Gmail generates ad revenue, but abusing the account in this way both deprives Google of ad revenue as well and costs them network traffic and will likely increase their disk usage.

    This is like that cool neighboor of yours that says you can borrow his tools and then you go over take everything you can find as well as set up a sign in your front lawn for others to join "the fun".

    Goolgle won't leave this intact long and I don't blame them a bit.

    • If it can be done, someone will do it, regardless if it should be done or not. If Google doesn't want this sort of thing done with GMail, then there is obviously a security hole in GMail. Google should work at fixing the interface to GMail so it can't be used in this way. Any other method - EULAs, legal threats, etc - won't cut it. People will still use the tools, even if they're illegal or in violation of a EULA.
    • And I can assume that if Microsoft had 1GB Hotmail accounts that you and other Slashdotters would discourage the use of an equivalent piece of software...?
  • Innovation (Score:4, Interesting)

    by digitaltraveller (167469) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @07:41AM (#10101667) Homepage
    This is great. If google's smart (and they are) they will encourage this and work out a way of benefitting from it.

    Question for the kernel hackers: What is the status of FUSE or LUFS? Is there plans on standardising on one of these API's?

    The status quo of not having a standardised userspace filesystem interface in the kernel is creating problems. (eg. the incompatible VFS/IOSLAVE hacks that should never have happened)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 29, 2004 @07:44AM (#10101672)
    Now this is hacking. An off the wall idea and dare I say it, something uniqu, turned inot reality.

    Kids, look at this as an example of what sideways thinking can do. I love it - more because the true spirit of hacking is proven alive, rather than what it does.

    Although, that's pretty cool too.
  • by LoadWB (592248) * on Sunday August 29, 2004 @07:44AM (#10101673) Journal
    I am pretty sure this is the type of outside use that Google is against. Even so, it may be a useful technology to incorporate INTO Google, as a future Google service, or even to be provided by other services.

    Imagine if Google was to provide some sort of remote filesystem storage for ANY OS, perhaps accessible via FTP or other protocol-over-HTTP. A searchable public filestore: not just what people keep in their websites, but the files that they keep... Intentionally made public, of course. The "technology" to do this exists in some forms already.

    Yeesh, but then the various corporate execs would have fits because people were storing their favorite MP3s, DVD rips, TV shows, or whatever in their Google Public Share.

    If it was not so abusive to FTP servers, I have thought more than once that an FTP search would be pretty cool. Let us say that you are looking for a specific filename that someone has in their anonymous FTP account. Punch it into Google, and blammo!

    Anyway, it will be interesting to see what developes from this over the course of the next few years.

    • Like good old Archie? Although I doubt that system is running any longer.

      Besides that a lot of "less legal sites" have FTP search. Typically of sites found in IRC channels.
  • This could be useful (Score:5, Interesting)

    by base3 (539820) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @07:44AM (#10101675)
    with some nice integrated encryption (saving a manual gpg step) for backup of small, important files.
  • by acceleriter (231439) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @07:47AM (#10101677)
    . . . but I have a feelng that fsck would take a long time were Gmail to die during a write :).
  • Booting (Score:5, Funny)

    by arose (644256) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @07:47AM (#10101679)
    Can I boot my computer from my GMail account now?
  • by Hal XP (807364)
    The geek factor aside, I can't see the point of the exercise. I can see the value of PCs which can boot from a network-mounted disk image. Look ma, no hard disk! This clearly can't be done with gmailfs. You need another filesystem (containing, say, your web browser) to access gmailfs. And that makes it no different from having a backup of your ~home or your precious porn collection stored on removable media like a CDR or a USB thumb drive.

    And I can already do that by emailing to myself the zip file of my d

  • by Anonymous Coward
    1. 10% of gmail users use linux.
    2.Most linux users use firefox or mozilla
    3.Many users use adblock extension on mozilla(i doubt this)
    4.google ads dont reach users anyways(who clicks anyway)
    5.Most ppl wont use GmailFs.(I have 80GB hd...why another slow 1 GB)
    6.GmailFS is used by 0.1% of gmail users
    7.Google doesnt care
    8.Profit.................oops
    DO no evil google , u will get geek support
  • Hmm Weird.. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Piranhaa (672441) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @07:51AM (#10101687)
    Well it's nothing big really, but I noticed something with the screenshot of the Gmail account and teminal shell. Now, when you're logged into GMail, your space shows up as 1000MB, not 1 *true* gigabyte. However, in the terminal for the Google Filesystem, it shows up as 1024000 MB (1 *true* Gigabyte). Thought that I'd just point this out, as I said, nothing really that big but I noticed it...
    • Re:Hmm Weird.. (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Actually "Gigabyte" means 1,000,000,000 bytes. This is because "giga-" is a metric prefix meaning 1,000,000,000.

      1,073,741,824 bytes would be properly described as a "Gibibyte", as per the International Electrotechnical Commission's (IEC's) International Standard. This was adopted in 1998.

      http://www.t1shopper.com/tools/calculate/ [t1shopper.com]
    • Re:Hmm Weird.. (Score:2, Informative)

      by mewphobia (630153)
      If you had ever filled up your gmail account completely (was I the only geek who had to try) you'll see that it can actually hold 102% or 1024MB.

      It just says 1000MB at the bottom of the screen :P

      Good of you for noticing.
    • Actually, 1 true standards-compliant Gigabyte is 1000 Megabyte. It's just that the computer industry ignored the standards. And somehow, it seems that so many Open Source weenies who clamor for adherence to accepted standards are keen on ignoring accepted, open standards they don't like.

      To reiterate, the whole mess is the fault of the computer scientists etc who broke the adherence to standardized definitions of what Mega, Giga etc signify.
  • by Daniel Ellard (799842) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @07:56AM (#10101703)
    This is a cute hack, but practical? No.

    If you want google to paw through all your files and risk having your account yanked for violating the user agreement, feel free to use it... (heck, maybe google won't yank your account in return for the opportunity to index your files...)

    Mail-based file systems are nothing new [geocities.com], nor are http-based file systems [usenix.org] (or WebDAV, for that matter).

  • Sure, it's got 1GB of storage, but so do a whole slew of other services now. Why not hammer Hotmail or Yahoo's servers and leave Google's alone? :)
  • Backups (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tpwch (748980) * <slashdot@tpwch.com> on Sunday August 29, 2004 @07:58AM (#10101707) Homepage
    I'm going to try to use this thing for backups of my config files. Its the perfect solution for that, can be automated in cron to do daily backups for example (unlike most web-based storage things)
  • Pah.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 29, 2004 @08:01AM (#10101713)
    gmx.de offers one Gigabyte of storage for your mail and files. You can access it with konqueror via webdavs://mediacenter.gmx.de/ and you have your encrypted connection to your remote files. An all for free! For a few bucks you get a whole 10 GB of storage. Wohoo!
  • by killbill! (154539) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @08:04AM (#10101719) Homepage
    GMX [gmx.net] has been offering 1 GB of storage for email and files for free for some time now.
    Expand this to 5 GB for 3 EUR / month or 10 GB for 5 EUR / month.

    You can also share your uploaded files with other GMX members, and mount your GMX account as a network drive using a WebDAV client (they provide a pre-configured Windows client but you may use another one) .

    By the way, their e-mail features totally 0wn any other e-mail service: automated e-mail retrieval from all your other POP-enabled mailboxes, custom filters for automatic redirection, SMS/MMS alerts, up to 15 aliases...

    I knew all that time spent learning German at school would come in handy some day! ;p
    • Awesome! Now I am glad I took German in HS too.
    • Do you know of any traffic limits once you start sharing those 10 GB of data with a lot of "good friends"?
    • Wow. This is a really neat service! I'm guessing it's somewhat like a free iDisk (although iDisk is only 100mb, and comes as part of .Mac which costs $99/year)

      Anyone know of a service like this for people who speak English (or some other language for that matter)?

      Person who speaks 3 languages - trilingual
      Person who speaks 2 languages - bilingual
      Person who speaks 1 language - American

    • In the registration form you can only choose Germany, Austria or Switzerland; is it possible to sign up if you live anywhere else? Without lying, that is?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The author of the notifier story (who didn't bother to actually link to any real software or provide any evidence) claims that gmail requires "catchas" for login now. Well, I can login to gmail just fine without a captcha. Gmail only seems to show catchas when something appears to be "attacking" their login system.

    Big systems need ways to limit abuse, otherwise a single user with a broken perl (or python) script will take down the entire service.

    Gmailfs works by sending an email EVERY TIME a file is upd

  • by maverick215 (713433) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @09:08AM (#10101889)
    If I had 2 accts can I have RAID-0 for faster access? :)
    • by Anonymous Coward
      That would be
      RAFEA-0
      Redundant
      Array of
      Free
      Email
      Accounts
  • This is NOT FAIR (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pan T. Hose (707794) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @10:53AM (#10102287) Homepage Journal
    As much as I am usually against frivolous lawsuits, this time I hope Google will sue and win. Why? Because this so called "file system" is a classical example of parasite which can only hurt Google giving absolutely nothing in exchange whatsoever. And for what? So its "developers" could have their project posted on Slashdot frontpage? So they could say "look, mom, how 'leet' I am"? I ask you, people, what if one day someone writes a "file system" stealing storage from Slashdot, saving its files in the form of gigabyte first posts filled with goat.se links and literally tons of uuencoded pornography? This is exactly the same, only much worse, because Google has much less intrusive advertisements and no corporate agenda. From every greedy US corporation, Google is unquestionably the closest to being absolutely perfect. And how do we say "thank you"? By stealing their property? By advertising this pathetic thief "file system" on the front page of the most popular website on the north hemisphere? I just wanted to protest and clearly state that I am strongly against it. I hope someone will start a paypal fund to help Google in court. We cannot tolerate such a behaviour. Please keep in mind that Google is not another Microsoft or Caldera. Google is trying to do what is best for us. They deserve our gratefulness and, what is even more important, respect. The existence of script kiddies shamefully exploiting Google's superior services for their own miserable advantage is a precedence not only insulting to our intelligence but a one actually harmful for us in the long run, because that could possibly mean the end of fantastic projects from Google, when they eventually stop to think and inevitably say: "Hey, why give them so much if they just want to steal from us? Maybe that popup pornography ads and paid search results placement weren't such a bad idea, after all?" I know I certainly would.
  • loopback crypto (Score:4, Informative)

    by hey (83763) on Sunday August 29, 2004 @11:44AM (#10102491) Journal
    If you want crypt you can use a loopback crypt
    on your GmailFS parition.

    http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/Loopback-Encrypted-Fil es ystem-HOWTO.html#toc3

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