By Larry Seltzer  |  Posted 2004-10-18 Print this article Print

One last bit of criticism struck me differently than its author. Mike Langberg of the San Jose Mercury News thinks the AIM logging is a potential privacy problem because AIM sessions have always seemed so transient, and GDS makes them persistent. The same could be said for searches of e-mail and Web pages; you think theyre gone, but with GDS theyre not.

All I can say is "duh!" The whole point of GDS is to make these items findable. If they were still in the forefront of your memory, you wouldnt need GDS. One might as well criticize airplanes for making far-off lands too easy to reach.

I was concerned about the impact on system performance for a service that has to index files and Web pages periodically, but I havent noticed anything yet. Google claims that GDS builds indexes only at idle time, so it shouldnt affect system performance. Of course, lots of programs run only at idle time, and there are systems out there so busy that they have little or no idle time, so there are cases where it will affect performance.
But these should be increasingly rare over time since hardware continues to outstrip software in terms of performance (especially for a product that requires XP or Win2KSP3+). If your system is so overloaded that it has no idle time (check Task Manager), you should probably get yourself some more memory.

Is Google ready to browse? Click here to read more. I was rough on Google competitor Copernic before, but I should point out that I havent tested its products, and they may well be much better than GDS. Ive already pointed out that in many ways the Outlook searching is inferior to Lookouts. Its just a beta, of course, but consider that Google News has been in beta for a long, long time. We should take this version seriously.

GDS is most appropriate for home, single-user systems. My own environment is more of a business network and it works well here, but only when I run it as an administrator. As things currently stand, GDS has a big problem with business environments in that it must be installed as an administrator and will run only in the context of the user who installed it, and therefore it must be run as an administrator. No business should allow this. Home users shouldnt really do it either, but they often have to.

This user-restriction problem is GDSs biggest flaw. Long before Google spends time supporting Linux or OpenOffice formats, it needs to clear this problem up.

Security Center Editor Larry Seltzer has worked in and written about the computer industry since 1983. Check out eWEEK.coms Security Center for the latest security news, reviews and analysis. And for insights on security coverage around the Web, take a look at Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers Weblog.

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Larry Seltzer has been writing software for and English about computers ever since—,much to his own amazement—,he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1983.

He was one of the authors of NPL and NPL-R, fourth-generation languages for microcomputers by the now-defunct DeskTop Software Corporation. (Larry is sad to find absolutely no hits on any of these +products on Google.) His work at Desktop Software included programming the UCSD p-System, a virtual machine-based operating system with portable binaries that pre-dated Java by more than 10 years.

For several years, he wrote corporate software for Mathematica Policy Research (they're still in business!) and Chase Econometrics (not so lucky) before being forcibly thrown into the consulting market. He bummed around the Philadelphia consulting and contract-programming scenes for a year or two before taking a job at NSTL (National Software Testing Labs) developing product tests and managing contract testing for the computer industry, governments and publication.

In 1991 Larry moved to Massachusetts to become Technical Director of PC Week Labs (now eWeek Labs). He moved within Ziff Davis to New York in 1994 to run testing at Windows Sources. In 1995, he became Technical Director for Internet product testing at PC Magazine and stayed there till 1998.

Since then, he has been writing for numerous other publications, including Fortune Small Business, Windows 2000 Magazine (now Windows and .NET Magazine), ZDNet and Sam Whitmore's Media Survey.

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