google notebook’s demise and the dangers of living in the cloud

Google NotebookI think the the cloud (aka the “internet”) offers some of the very best opportunities for data storage and sharing. In fact, I think it represents the future of technology, beyond traditional computing. Cablevision’s legally-challenged network DVR is a great example of this.

But there is tremendous risk in committing to the cloud, as the re-trenching Google has recently demonstrated its the withdrawal of support for its its Notebook service. Notebook was a brilliant tool for collecting information, organizing it, and sharing it with others. As with most Google services, it was 100% cloud-based, so all of the data you collected and shared was stored on the internet and accessible anywhere via a web browser.

That’s incredibly convenient, but therein lies the rub: any data that’s been collected into Google Notebook is now at risk of being lost irretrievably. Google isn’t cancelling the service outright, but if the Notebook environment breaks in a future update of web browser technology, that’ll be it, all users’ Notebook data will be gone forever. Continue reading