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benmc

Evernote’s future is in the cloud

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I am excited about this. Perhaps this will give Evernote the infrastructure necessary to have the EN clients sync selected notebooks locally while also having web-connected only notebooks? I would sooooooooooo love to have some notebooks only accessible if I have an internet connection, and thus not saved locally on my machine (work notebooks at home, all notebooks on my Windows Bootcamp, etc.). I imagine situations like the "unlimited upload" kerfluffle will be things of the past with Google's servers behind Evernote.

And as someone who has paid for Google services, it cannot be repeated enough that free and paid Google services are drastically different. If you are using free Google services, your data and/or advertising is how they make money. But if you are paying them for services, you are their money source. They are two drastically different business models, and it's very important to remember this, especially when your default reaction to the word "Google" is to have a mild aneurysm. Google treats your information very differently because they are getting their money directly from you.

All Evernote is doing is renting space on their servers. This comes with the benefits their servers and their servers' technologies provide. They aren't being bought by Google, or integrating with their services (as part of this). They're just renting digital space.

Other companies using Google's Cloud Services, for perspective:

  • Evite
  • Feedly
  • Khan Academy
  • Pokemon Go (lol)
  • Rovio
  • Spotify
  • Stanford University’s Center of Genomics and Personalized Medicine
  • Sony Music
  • Ubisoft
  • Wix
  • Zulily
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Reading through the comments so far, there are a number of questions about our future use of Machine Learning technology. We wanted to take this opportunity to clarify and clearly state that we currently use in-house developed Machine Learning to deliver features such as:

Recipe classification

Auto tagging when using Web Clipper

The Context feature

Advanced image recognition

 

Over time we hope to utilize Google Cloud services to extend this list.

 

The details of how we use your data are further documented in our Privacy Policy - https://evernote.com/legal/privacy.php


Ben

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so just to be clear... Google will have access to my notes. Of course there are strict guidelines on who and how my data can be accessed. 

Some clarification please:

1) Can Google use or analyze the content of my notes for anything other than storage and maintenance of this storage?

2) Can Google use or analyze metadata resulting from my notes? To what extent?

3) Can Google use or analyze my tags, searches, or organization of my notes? To what extent?

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I'm a little confused by all the concerns. EN has just announced they're letting Google take over the backend stuff -- crazy-expensive things like load balancing and redundancy and scaling and such. Thank goodness, I say. This isn't the Google that does your searches, really -- this is Google backend, like Microsoft Cloud and Amazon WS and a bunch of others. They're just the truck drivers in this scenario, but the truck remains locked. And EN can concentrate on the cargo rather than truck maintenance. 

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4 hours ago, benmc said:

Over time we hope to utilize Google Cloud services to extend this list.

I think the real question is this: when Evernote utilizes Google Cloud services, does Google get any visibility into the content and/or results? An analogy: if I use incorporate a software library into my program to process data the vendor doesn't see my data or how I used the library. But if I ship my data off to a service that processes my data in the same way, then they most likely will see the data. As I'm not familiar with how Google services work, that's where my mental model breaks down.

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It's probably a good idea that we think about an example.

If someone decides to use the Google Cloud Vision API, it would allow them to analyze and classify images.

Details of this service are here https://cloud.google.com/vision/

Now in order to use this service they would need to pass to Google via an API a copy of their image and what they would get in return is classification details about that image.

So the obvious question now is 'What do Google do with the image you send them? Do they use it for other purposes?'

Now if you dig into the Terms of Service (https://cloud.google.com/terms/) you will find the following

'5.2 Use of Customer Data. Google will not access or use Customer Data, except as necessary to provide the Services to Customer.'

This means that Google has no right to use or access that image for any other purpose other than to provide to you the classification of that image via the API.

 

We hope this provides some clarity to the question.

Ben

 

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    16 minutes ago, benmc said:

    It's probably a good idea that we think about an example.

    If someone decides to use the Google Cloud Vision API, it would allow them to analyze and classify images.

    Details of this service are here https://cloud.google.com/vision/

    Now in order to use this service they would need to pass to Google via an API a copy of their image and what they would get in return is classification details about that image.

    So the obvious question now is 'What do Google do with the image you send them? Do they use it for other purposes?'

    Now if you dig into the Terms of Service (https://cloud.google.com/terms/) you will find the following

    '5.2 Use of Customer Data. Google will not access or use Customer Data, except as necessary to provide the Services to Customer.'

    This means that Google has no right to use or access that image for any other purpose other than to provide to you the classification of that image via the API.

     

    We hope this provides some clarity to the question.

    Ben

     

    Thanks that does clarify. Just one more point of clarification... Using your example.... I understand that Google cannot do anything with that image I uploaded. That's because it's my image. However, data generated about the image is not data I created... Google created it. So what does Google do with this metadata or as you call it "classification" data? Is there anywhere where it specifically says how they can or cannot use this metadata? 

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    4 hours ago, benmc said:

    It's probably a good idea that we think about an example.

    If someone decides to use the Google Cloud Vision API, it would allow them to analyze and classify images.

    Details of this service are here https://cloud.google.com/vision/

    Now in order to use this service they would need to pass to Google via an API a copy of their image and what they would get in return is classification details about that image.

    So the obvious question now is 'What do Google do with the image you send them? Do they use it for other purposes?'

    Now if you dig into the Terms of Service (https://cloud.google.com/terms/) you will find the following

    '5.2 Use of Customer Data. Google will not access or use Customer Data, except as necessary to provide the Services to Customer.'

    This means that Google has no right to use or access that image for any other purpose other than to provide to you the classification of that image via the API.

     

    We hope this provides some clarity to the question.

    Ben

     

    Thank you for the very clear explanation. Besides my relatively un-informed opinion, the conversation has generally stayed on track thanks to your quick, clear, and thoughtful answers. It avoids a lot of craziness and allows us to focus on specific "real" issues.

    My understanding is that Google can take information that passes through its hands and use information gleaned from it ("anonymized") to improve the performance of its tools. Doesn't it collect data on usage? That's my understanding. It's something like Siri, which does not collect your data to create a profile about you, but collects data about that data in order to improve it over time. As dudeman313 pointed out, this is an unclear point. And, it's the point where I am the most uncomfortable.

    Sure, if it was working as grahampcharles said, with Google just closing its eyes and passing stuff along, then no one would have any concerns, but any time our data passes through someone's hands unencrypted, it "can" be read (perhaps "must" be in order to make use of Google's services), and it "can" be copied ("anonymized," of course) or used in ways that we may not like. This might sound like tinfoil hat stuff, but companies through hacking or on purpose release this "anonymized" data on a fairly regular basis (Yahoo, Netflix, and other come to mind). There is a lot of it floating around. Smarter people than me then go through that and "de-anonymize" the data (an old problem Apple is trying to solve in a "new" way that looks a lot like the old one to me). This has been happening for years now. 

    My point here is this: until now I've accepted Evernote's internal data mining as an extremely unpleasant policy, but relatively benign, because it isn't (as far as I know) connected with anything else beyond attempts to improve the service. Presumably, Evernote used it for Evernote's algorithms (such as the creation of the handwriting recognition service that began years ago with users submitting their handwriting) and to gather information on usage. And, that was the end of it. However, Google is different. The very tools that Evernote is using at Google to improve Evernote were made possible through the gathering of data such as the stuff that exists in our accounts, and who knows where that "anonymized" data is going as Google uses it to further improve their tools. Google literally keeps this data forever ("anonymized") and there is no going back once you have run your stuff through its services. 

    It's cool what Google is doing. There is nothing evil or untrustworthy about it. Actually, they seem pretty up-front about it. But, I am unwilling to submit my Evernote data for such a purpose. I'll grudgingly give up my search data and my email data (trying to be careful with what I type or send, but I suspect Google knows more about me than I do), but I won't give it the stuff in my account. One of the reasons I have used Evernote for nearly a decade now has been to avoid giving Google or any other data mining company any access to this data. That's why I am so resistant to this new plan. 

    In fact, in contrast to grahampcharles, I see this as tearing the heart out of Evernote. Evernote was quite literally built on the premise that it controls the servers and effectively is a cloud service provider (Evernote may not have been "in" the cloud up until this point because it "owned" part of the cloud!).  I am kind of surprised more folks aren't up in arms about Evernote abandoning this part of their infrastructure. People are upset about a device limit and some higher prices, but not about giving their data over to another company (yes, I understand that I own my data as long as my name is on it, but "my" data isn't mine when it is "anonymized," is it)?

    Obviously, I am the outlier here. That's cool. As grahampcharles suggested, this is going to have some clear benefits for Evernote (clear if you assume that there will indeed be cost savings and that this really is a more secure solution). And, I think Evernote could easily make the argument that all of this is "relatively" secure and promises a lot of opportunities for innovation (perhaps not the stuff I want to see, but new stuff nonetheless). And, this ought to be satisfactory for folks who are already using gmail, Google search, and keeping everything in GDrive. So, carry on! But, based on what I have seen, I still have my doubts about the wisdom of this move. The devil is in the details...

    If I'm wrong here, let me know. This is all well outside of my realm of expertise. If Evernote could say that it will use Google's services, but Google won't use any data related to that usage ("anonymized" or otherwise) in any other way, then I think that is a different story.

     

     

     

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    6 hours ago, benmc said:

    It's probably a good idea that we think about an example.

    If someone decides to use the Google Cloud Vision API, it would allow them to analyze and classify images.

    Details of this service are here https://cloud.google.com/vision/

    Now in order to use this service they would need to pass to Google via an API a copy of their image and what they would get in return is classification details about that image.

    So the obvious question now is 'What do Google do with the image you send them? Do they use it for other purposes?'

    Now if you dig into the Terms of Service (https://cloud.google.com/terms/) you will find the following

    '5.2 Use of Customer Data. Google will not access or use Customer Data, except as necessary to provide the Services to Customer.'

    This means that Google has no right to use or access that image for any other purpose other than to provide to you the classification of that image via the API.

     

    We hope this provides some clarity to the question.

    Ben

    Thanks, that clarifies it for me. So basically the mechanism that keeps Google's eyes off our stuff is contractually legal, as opposed to physical. That's good enough for me, but I can see where that might not be good enough for other people. Appreciate the example.

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    2 hours ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

    In fact, in contrast to grahampcharles, I see this as tearing the heart out of Evernote. Evernote was quite literally built on the premise that it controls the servers and effectively is a cloud service provider (Evernote may not have been "in" the cloud up until this point because it "owned" part of the cloud!).  I am kind of surprised more folks aren't up in arms about Evernote abandoning this part of their infrastructure.

    Just to cherry-pick: Evernote may have been built on that premise, but that one wasn't the reason that I chose to use it and continue to this day. For me it's far more about convenience and the fit of the Evernote tool for my needs. How they work that magic is mainly a black box in terms of my relationship with them, the Three Laws is good enough for me. I understand that others might have different concerns.

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    59 minutes ago, jefito said:

    Thanks, that clarifies it for me. So basically the mechanism that keeps Google's eyes off our stuff is contractually legal, as opposed to physical. That's good enough for me, but I can see where that might not be good enough for other people. Appreciate the example.

    Likewise, "contractually legal, as opposed to physical" works for me also.
    In fact, I've always accepted that when I put my data in the cloud
    For sensitive data, I add a level of security by using encryption

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    What about the Evernote's chinese version - Yinxiang Biji ?

    It seems google's service is baned in the mainland of China.

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    I guess it comes down to your tolerance for risk -- in this case, the risk that your data will be used / accessed in a way that you do not want.

    Call me the  "Adama" of the Evernote world, but it's an integrated computer network, and I will not have it aboard my battlestar! I want my information in silos where I put it, and I don't want it connected to doodads in the Internet of Things or floating around on Google's servers. I already give Google plenty of data. This is stuff that I don't want to give them, whatever their contractual obligations (a contract we can't see, so that isn't really an explanation, in my opinion). If they don't have it, they cannot do anything with it. Hence, my desire for zero-knowledge encryption. We don't have to rely on trust so much if it simply isn't accessible.

    But, Google screens its employees and promises to follow the rules, right? OK. Explain contracts and rules to the kids who got stalked by a Google employee who abused his access to customer data. Am I saying Google is evil or that this employee is representative? No. This is what happens when humans do something. There are going to be folks who do things they shouldn't in any organization. But the risk would be greatly mitigated if they didn't have so much data on hand to muck around with, and if we didn't dump it all in their everything bucket. Sure, it's encrypted, but they have the key, so that is a little like placing it under the doormat and saying the door is locked.

    Of course, Google assures us that they thoroughly screen all employees and third-party contractors. Maybe they have their own Rick Deckard on call to weed out the bad folks from the good ones, and maybe it works. I don't know, but bad things happen even when the employees are all doing their jobs (I am sure that a few politicians in the news could tell you their feelings about emails and security). Stuff gets hacked. Stuff gets out. And, you can avoid some of these problems by keeping your data away from folks whose business is built on mining data.

    I don't think anything I've said here is conspiracy theory nuttiness. Google will be collecting our data (as I understand it), it will be "anonymizing" it (to the best of its ability), and that data could get accessed without our consent or used in ways we may not like (if past precedent is any indication of future possibilities). Now, if you are already using Google stuff, and your threshold for security / privacy is not especially high, because you place far more importance on the magic that these two companies are going to make together, then this is a wonderful business decision. I don't think I have an absolute criticism of anything here at the moment -- it is a relative one based on my security / privacy threshold. If I want to stay with Evernote, I need to dial that down a bit. Or, it might be better to say that I have to re-evaluate my security / privacy "needs," because there is plenty of security and privacy to be gained here, if encrypted data at rest, for example works for you. And, that will be good enough for many users. 

    I'm just thinking out loud here. Actually, the decision has been made by Evernote already. It's up to us to decide if we want to accept it.

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    15 minutes ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

    Google will be collecting our data (as I understand it), it will be "anonymizing" it (to the best of its ability), and that data could get accessed without our consent or used in ways we may not like (if past precedent is any indication of future possibilities).

    When the migration is done, Google won't be collecting any data. It is just a cloud provider like Amazon EC2 or Microsoft Azure.

     

    And if Evernote uses Google Deep Learning API's like Tensor Flow, Google won't collect the data, it is an API that processes the data.

     

    https://cloud.google.com/products/machine-learning/

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    2 hours ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

    Call me the  "Adama" of the Evernote world, but it's an integrated computer network, and I will not have it aboard my battlestar!

    Hah, I wouldn't call you Adama, but that part of Galactica I found so implausible, it was hard for me to stop snorting whenever it came on. Other stuff was more interesting, for awhile (until the fat suit, anyways).

    But yes, it's about one's tolerance for risk. Getting clarification about the processes involve helps in evaluating that risk, and acting accordingly.

    I'm actually pretty thankful that this topic hasn't turned into a tin-foil hardhat area. :) 

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    3 hours ago, Oletros said:

    And if Evernote uses Google Deep Learning API's like Tensor Flow, Google won't collect the data, it is an API that processes the data.

    What do you think will be fed to that API? ... Data! That is run through Google's computers. That's the whole issue. And everyone should make his/her own opinion/judgement.

    "There is no cloud, just other people's computers."

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    1 hour ago, Robert (NL) said:

    Data! That is run through Google's computers. That's the whole issue.

    That is true.  And currently, data is run through Evernotes computers (indexing etc)
    We've been told this data is not used for any other purposes.
    We can trust Evernote on this, or we can encrypt our data; I do both

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    1 hour ago, Robert (NL) said:

    What do you think will be fed to that API? ... Data! That is run through Google's computers. That's the whole issue. And everyone should make his/her own opinion/judgement.

    "There is no cloud, just other people's computers."

    Just because one segment of Google mines data from search and from the contents of free accounts, doesn't mean they snoop through data that companies pay them to warehouse. Different divisions, different business models, different contracts and regulations.

    Think of it this way: just because batteries in Samsung's latest flagship phone are exploding left and right, doesn't mean the gantry cranes and cargo ships they also make are just as likely to sink or collapse. Different divisions, different business models, different contracts and regulations.

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    1 hour ago, Robert (NL) said:

    What do you think will be fed to that API? ... Data! That is run through Google's computers. That's the whole issue. And everyone should make his/her own opinion/judgement.

    "There is no cloud, just other people's computers."

    Processing data is not collecting data

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    1 hour ago, jefito said:

    Hah, I wouldn't call you Adama, but that part of Galactica I found so implausible, it was hard for me to stop snorting whenever it came on. Other stuff was more interesting, for awhile (until the fat suit, anyways).

    But yes, it's about one's tolerance for risk. Getting clarification about the processes involve helps in evaluating that risk, and acting accordingly.

    I'm actually pretty thankful that this topic hasn't turned into a tin-foil hardhat area. :) 

    i enjoyed it all the way until the end, and was ok with the anti-networking stance (hard to see it in a spaceship, but i can pretend that they figured out a way to make it work), though i was never convinced by things like the cylon plan or some of the stuff like head-angel baltar. the fat suit was fun :)

    4 hours ago, Oletros said:

    When the migration is done, Google won't be collecting any data. It is just a cloud provider like Amazon EC2 or Microsoft Azure.

     

    And if Evernote uses Google Deep Learning API's like Tensor Flow, Google won't collect the data, it is an API that processes the data.

     

    https://cloud.google.com/products/machine-learning/

     

    thanks. i think we've established that the migration will give google employees access to our data, similar to how evernote employees have access, so there is that. it might not seem like a big deal to some people, and it probably isn't, but it is a huge change from the past, in which physical access was extremely restricted, and we could probably count on only a handful of employees ever having remote access to our stuff. the same situation, of course, exists in aws or azure. aws, i believe, can be hipaa / ferpa compliant (evernote is not), so that says a lot about its ability to protect data. google is hipaa compliant with some services (does this include the stuff evernote is using?), so that is nice as well. 

    but, it is where we hand over data for processing that i feel like i lose my grasp on what is happening. for example, paying customers of google's services (education) fed google their data, and google monetized that data (i am sure that was in accordance with some contract we never saw as well). they did the same with their government customers. i don't know if they still are. it wasn't illegal or "evil," but as a student and later a faculty member caught up in that data collection, i wasn't too happy about what was happening. so, i am a little wary of trading my security / privacy for convenience or fun new stuff.

    if the data just passes through google's hands, the api does its magic, and no data is collected (anonymous or data about our data), then that would be a nice thing to clarify here. 

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    5 hours ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

    Adama" of the Evernote world, but it's an integrated computer network, and I will not have it aboard my battlestar!

    Love the analogy. Of course you'd need an evil Cylon force.  Oh, right 

    This move could be the end of civilization as we know it.  I fear for humanity

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    4 minutes ago, DTLow said:

    Love the analogy. Of course you'd need an evil Cylon force.  Oh, right 

    This move is the end of civilization as we know it.  I fear for humanity

    or, at least the loss of our jobs and our selves (sometimes these two are inseperable) in a post-privacy world of unlimited capital and data accumulation in silicon valley. i probably ought to welcome my big data masters before they take over and compose messages to one another here on our behalf.

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    On 9/16/2016 at 0:10 AM, benmc said:

    It's probably a good idea that we think about an example.

    If someone decides to use the Google Cloud Vision API, it would allow them to analyze and classify images.

    Details of this service are here https://cloud.google.com/vision/

    Now in order to use this service they would need to pass to Google via an API a copy of their image and what they would get in return is classification details about that image.

    So the obvious question now is 'What do Google do with the image you send them? Do they use it for other purposes?'

    Now if you dig into the Terms of Service (https://cloud.google.com/terms/) you will find the following

    '5.2 Use of Customer Data. Google will not access or use Customer Data, except as necessary to provide the Services to Customer.'

    This means that Google has no right to use or access that image for any other purpose other than to provide to you the classification of that image via the API.

     

    We hope this provides some clarity to the question.

    Ben

     

    Ben,

    When is the official date that the data migration data will begin?

    I want to make sure I have everything removed from the Evernote servers before the start.

    In the event you decide to let folks opt-out, I assume it will be announced via the Evernote Blog?

    Please advise.

    Thanks, Cherice

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    1 hour ago, Cherice B said:

    When is the official date that the data migration data will begin?

    In our FAQ you can find more answers to questions such as this one. 

    Quote

    On October 10, 2016, we will start moving all this data to virtual servers hosted on the Google Cloud Platform. This data syncing process is expected to take 6-8 weeks to complete.

    We encourage you to visit the FAQ yourself to learn more https://help.evernote.com/hc/en-us/articles/226885427

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    @benmc   Can you advise if there will be a change to the links we use for our notes, that is both the pubic and internal links.     My notes are very cross-linked, and I've shared some notes and notebooks.

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    @benmc Thanks for answering our questions about this switch. Just one more point of clarification... Using your example.... I understand that Google cannot do anything with an image I uploaded. That's because it's my image. However, data generated about the image is not data I created... Google created it. So what does Google do with this metadata or as you call it "classification" data? Is there anywhere where it specifically says how they can or cannot use this metadata? 

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    so, Google will NOT use any of data for any of its own business goals, major or minor? To what extent is Google benefiting from this deal? I mean, Google must be getting something, right? Otherwise why would it agree to allow its servers to be used by Evernote. Is Evernote paying Google, or is it the other way. There's so much that needs to be explained.

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    1 hour ago, egalite said:

    so, Google will NOT use any of data for any of its own business goals, major or minor? To what extent is Google benefiting from this deal? I mean, Google must be getting something, right? Otherwise why would it agree to allow its servers to be used by Evernote. Is Evernote paying Google, or is it the other way. There's so much that needs to be explained.

    Do you not know about Google's Cloud Platform service - of course they charge their clients.  What do you need explained?

    The way I see it, The money Evernote is currently spending on their own servers will be going to Google instead. 

    As to "use any of data for any of its own business goals, major or minor", all I've got is the assurances from Evernote.  It's been good enough up to this point - I've had no reason to be concerned

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    38 minutes ago, egalite said:

    so, Google will NOT use any of data for any of its own business goals, major or minor? To what extent is Google benefiting from this deal? I mean, Google must be getting something, right? Otherwise why would it agree to allow its servers to be used by Evernote. Is Evernote paying Google, or is it the other way. There's so much that needs to be explained.

    I assume Evernote is paying money to use their servers and to access their technologies. I imagine they got a pretty good deal, as the CEO has Google connections, and Google is a relative newcomer in this space. I think the arrangement on the surface is pretty standard: a company puts together the infrastructure (a pretty massive undertaking), it gets certifications (acknowledging its ability to maintain security), and it sells space to companies. Then, the cool stuff happens, because companies can make use of Machine Learning (ML) supplied by Google to analyze and manipulate the data. For example, an ML system can draw on the knowledge it has gathered about images to take a look at your image, dissect it into its component parts (sum, moon, house, etc.), tell you exactly where it was taken (another photo of Notre Dame in August!), or lump it together with similar photos in your library to create a kind of photo album (Apple showed off its version of this technology the other day). I assume the OCR of images, PDFs, and handwriting will improve as well. If they were so inclined, they could probably also figure out how to sort your data into the most relevant tag / folder groupings as well, so you don't have to do any more thinking on your own. Cool stuff (if you don't like thinking).

    My question is, where does the ML get the data it needs to do these amazing things? Sure, it already has gathered a bunch and used that to build the existing tech. But, it will have to continue "learning" by gobbling up images (and so forth) to create better results -- is the data from our images (after being passed through Google's API for this cool stuff) going to be used for this purpose? Technically, the data about our data is not "ours," at least according to Google, because it is "anonymized," but it isn't exactly Google's either, is it? Hmmm...

    Now, if Evernote says that it will store its stuff in Google's servers, and make use of Google's services, but no data whatsoever (usage statistics, data about our data, etc.) will be used by Google for any other reason (to improve ML or anything else), then that is a pretty strong claim about the security and privacy of our data. In effect, Google will be closing its eyes when handling our data (at least, legally it would be compelled to do so, but conspiracy-minded folks might not trust it -- that's another issue). I am unclear on this point. In fact, everything I wrote above might be wildly off base, and it would be nice to see a correction if I am completely confused about this. So far, all I hear is that Google won't use data in a way that they didn't agree to in the contract, but we cannot see the contract, so this is kind of vague, isn't it?

    Why do I care? Well, this is my data that I created and it is something I am unwilling to share with others willy nilly. It's my "secondary brain." I don't email it. I don't post it online. I keep it for my own uses (research and personal). It isn't confidential (that stuff I don't put on the cloud unencrypted anyhow), but it is private, and I'm not interested in giving it to Google (in any form -- metadata or otherwise). I suspect Google does glean something from my data on their servers, and if I take this stance then Evernote will have to say the service isn't for me (or, at least not for the use I have envisioned). I am guessing that I will simply have to abandon the idea of using Evernote as my secondary brain (other people's external brains might be less private), and shift to something a bit different (there are many, many other potential uses for Evernote). 

    I don't think we need to go into conspiracy theories here. At this point, I think it is just unclear exactly what is happening with our data even in a best-case / non-conspiracy situation. We can put on our tin-foil hats later :)

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    2 hours ago, egalite said:

    so, Google will NOT use any of data for any of its own business goals, major or minor? To what extent is Google benefiting from this deal? I mean, Google must be getting something, right? Otherwise why would it agree to allow its servers to be used by Evernote. Is Evernote paying Google, or is it the other way. There's so much that needs to be explained.

    Evernote pays Google for the use of the cloud platform.

     

    1 hour ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

    My question is, where does the ML get the data it needs to do these amazing things? Sure, it already has gathered a bunch and used that to build the existing tech. But, it will have to continue "learning" by gobbling up images (and so forth) to create better results -- is the data from our images (after being passed through Google's API for this cool stuff) going to be used for this purpose? Technically, the data about our data is not "ours," at least according to Google, because it is "anonymized," but it isn't exactly Google's either, is it? Hmmm...

    I don't think we need to go into conspiracy theories here. At this point, I think it is just unclear exactly what is happening with our data even in a best-case / non-conspiracy situation. We can put on our tin-foil hats later :)

    What is happening with the data is very clear and it has been explained and it is in the Google Cloud TOS.

    Google doesn't use, store or own any data from Evernote. And they don't have any anonymized data from the API's for deep learning.

     

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    16 hours ago, DTLow said:

    @benmc   Can you advise if there will be a change to the links we use for our notes, that is both the pubic and internal links.     My notes are very cross-linked, and I've shared some notes and notebooks.

    There will be no changes to your notes links etc that you use for private and public sharing.

    Ben

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    4 hours ago, Oletros said:

    Evernote pays Google for the use of the cloud platform.

     

    What is happening with the data is very clear and it has been explained and it is in the Google Cloud TOS.

    Google doesn't use, store or own any data from Evernote. And they don't have any anonymized data from the API's for deep learning.

     

    I didn't find it that clear (see above), perhaps because I lack the technical background to comprehend how this works, or simply don't have the intellectual capacity to grasp it, but thank you.

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    3 hours ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

    I didn't find it that clear (see above), perhaps because I lack the technical background to comprehend how this works, or simply don't have the intellectual capacity to grasp it, but thank you.

    I'm in the same boat. It's all well over my old head. But this I believe:

    1. Google is a company I do not trust. As well as that, if you want to see what a mess they make of their products - just look at Google +. It's even worse than Facebook to figure out. (altho to be fair, they've done a nice job of Google Photos)

    2. I trusted Evernote, especially after shelling out even more money to support them, to provide a solid and trustworthy home for all our precious stuff. Those who follow some of the cloud photo storage apps will know of some spectacular failures. I don't think Evernote will be a failure as such, but I fear they will be swallowed up by Google.

    In the light of this, I feel badly let down. I'm looking at Apple Notes as an alternative, it will mean making some sacrifices, but at least its free.

    I am NOT paying for a service that depends of Google spyware.

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    5 hours ago, tassiecelt said:

    2. I trusted Evernote

    I continue to trust Evernote

    This trust is not affected by Evernote adjusting their back end processing / data storage and outsourcing to a well known, trusted, successful service provider.

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    4 hours ago, tassiecelt said:

    Google is a company I do not trust. As well as that, if you want to see what a mess they make of their products - just look at Google +. It's even worse than Facebook to figure out. (altho to be fair, they've done a nice job of Google Photos)

    Uh, GMail is actually a good email client, at least it's good enough for me. It just works, day in, day out. It's relatively simple, but you can do some useful things (like auto labelling) with it, too. But the point here is that the application makers at Google are not the same folks who make the data services, plus it's an entirely different business model. Judging the one based on the other is not particularly meaningful.

    4 hours ago, tassiecelt said:

    I am NOT paying for a service that depends of Google spyware.

    I think you're mistaken about the Google data services being spyware, but it's your data, so it's your decision. Good luck.

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    I just want to be clear about exactly what is happening, or what is supposed to happen, and I don't think Google is "spying" on anyone. Their business model for gmail and searches is pretty clear -- they give you a tool that helps you while also allowing them to collect your data,p. you use that product, if you want. use something else if you don't. But, they are pretty up front about it. You are the product. Spyware wouldn't be so open about it.

    In this case, the principles and agents are a little less clear, and I am not exactly sure about who is doing what. At this point, I think I'll just change the way I use Evernote so that I keep any data out of it that I wouldn't want kicking around in its servers. That'll put my mind at ease, and Evernote makes it easy to export.

    Apple Notes? Well, I guess it's free if you don't count the expensive Apple device you bought. Apple doesn't appear to be mining our data, and you have one-touch, extremely convenient encryption of notes, so there are some nice benefits. I use it as well for some things, but the lack of easy export options makes it pretty unappealing in the long-run. And, be very careful with things like sync conflicts.

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    4 hours ago, tassiecelt said:

     

    I am NOT paying for a service that depends of Google spyware.

    Which spyware?

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    I've decided to get around this by doing the following:

    Exported all 8,000+ notes that resided in my Reference folder to my desktop and imported it as an Offline notebook (which preserved all my tags).  

    Changed FileThis to sync all financial invoices to my Mac rather than Evernote

    I will continue to use the webclipper for Reading Later and as an article repository and keep only stuff in Evernote that has no personal data

    This will also allow me to downgrade my plan from Premium to Plus (and I may even go freemium)

    It's a shame it had to come to this after 8 years.  All the promises of google staying out of our data is swell, but I'd rather err on the side of caution.  Because when there's fallout from this whole deal and promises are broken, I'll be glad I made the tougher less convenient choice now.

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    10 minutes ago, Cherice B said:

    Exported all 8,000+ notes that resided in my Reference folder to my desktop and imported it as an Offline notebook (which preserved all my tags).

    I think you meant "Local Notebook"

    Make sure you backup your data; local notebooks no longer have a backup on the Evernote servers.

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    13 minutes ago, Cherice B said:

     Because when there's fallout from this whole deal and promises are broken, I'll be glad I made the tougher less convenient choice now.

    Do you have any argument to believe that Google will break their legal duties with their customers?

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    47 minutes ago, DTLow said:

    I think you meant "Local Notebook"

    Make sure you backup your data; local notebooks no longer have a backup on the Evernote servers.

    Yes, exactly what I meant :)   Understood on the backups.  Time Machine has never let me down. 

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    1 minute ago, Cherice B said:

    Are you aware that the search you gave applies also to Evernote right now?

    So no, you don't have any rational argument, thanks for clearing it. 

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    2 minutes ago, Oletros said:

    So no, you don't have any rational argument, thanks for clearing it. 

    Rational or not, many people have a general distrust of Google and don't view this new association with them as a positive move by Evernote. 

    We liked it better back in the day when Dave and his hand picked minions were the only ones with the key(s) to the server room/floor/building(s) :).

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    On 9/15/2016 at 2:45 AM, GrumpyMonkey said:

    i think it is worth making a distinction here between an "evil" entity and one that is not managed the way you would like, because i don't see anything "evil" happening over there, and i think google takes its security very seriously. in fact, i'd say they ought to be commended for how forward thinking they have been, and how quick they have been to institute better and better security. before evernote had two-step verification, google had its authenticator, for example. and, it was this technology that made ever note's transition to a two-factor system so smooth (as i understand it from the outside looking in). google has been pushing the envelope, evernote has been making use of its technology for a while, and we have all benefitted. 

    but, google also has policies that i don't like, and i am not especially interested in supporting their vision of the future (at least, to the degree that i understand it). as much as i appreciate apple's recent strengthening of security (in various aspects), i am also not a fan of their data mining proposals (now they say they can do the anonymizing of data collection better than anyone else -- but, it is a data mining project, even if you use the 1984-esque "differential privacy" name). so, i don't agree with their policies, and i don't like the idea of handing over even more of my data for them to mine, but neither of them seem evil -- just unappealing. i had hoped to see evernote be an alternative to the visions they've put out there, but that potential future looks like it is gone now (if it was ever a serious possibility anyhow). 

     

    personally, i don't think the servers were stopping evernote from fixing the bullets in the editor :) or, one of the reasons why they can't seem to get more feature parity (it doesn't help that they have removed existing features from different platforms rather than adding them). but, that is all speculation about what is going on in the back rooms, and how things are / aren't getting done. they say they can do more, so i will take them at their word, but their "more" and "better" so far is not what i want to see. what we have here is a fundamental shift away from being an independent "service" or data platform, to an "app" that leases space on someone's server, not all that different from what thousands of other apps do. it might well result in improvements. at the very least, it seems that evernote has a plan, and that says something for the long-term prospects. 

    yes, the trust issue is there now, and it will be there in the future, but it wouldn't be if evernote adopted a zero-knowledge encryption policy (they have explicitly rejected it in this thread). then, except in some pretty extreme and relatively unlikely scenarios, no one would have unauthorized access to your data. i believe some of the current capabilities would remain. i know of at least one competitor that supports workflows with zero-knowledge encryption and still has search indexes along with artificial intelligence features superior to what evernote has in some respects -- but other ones that rely on collecting a lot of data and using it to improve the product (the potential for voice comes to mind) will be difficult or impossible to achieve without access to our data. that's data mining, in my book. it's something that evernote has done before in-house (i've never been happy about that and i suspect that is one reason we never got much progress on encryption), but i don't think i want to see two companies (or more) mucking around with my data (aggregated, anonymized, or whatever). 

    true. if you use google's search engine, exchange emails with friends who have google accounts, pull up something on google maps, or do any number of everyday activities, you're already quite well-represented inside google's servers already. i'm not trying to make a mountain out of a molehill here, but i was putting stuff in evernote that i wouldn't have emailed or let out into the internet in other contexts. it's nothing terribly sensitive (i avoid putting anything like that unencrypted onto the cloud  http://www.christopher-mayo.com/?p=1605). but, it is stuff i didn't plan to give to any google entity (no matter how much google apparently separates out its cloud service and says the two will never mix). i'm still mulling over what this means for me.

    1. google has gone to great lengths (certifications and so forth) to ensure that it is seen as carefully handing the data in a responsible, secure way that doesn't get mixed in with other stuff. i think we just have to trust them (and evernote) on this one. there is zero-knowledge encryption (as i mentioned above) but neither company is willing to use that. 

    2. maybe. maybe not. it's hard to know. but, at this point, what is the difference between google keep and evernote? the interface, i guess, because they might be housed next door to one another on the same servers. i think evernote risks losing a significant way to distinguish themselves from others, something that really could have been done to great effect if they had taken the lead on security (kind of like apple, but more like spideroak) and staked out space as the most reliable, ubiquitous, and secure personal information manager out there. now? i don't know. i guess that is for them to know and us to find out.

    at any rate, it is a done deal. now, it's up to us to figure out if we want to continue turning the pages to see what happens next, or put the book down and start another one. maybe the next chapter is when things get really exciting :) 

     

    I speculated that Evernote may end up in Google's caring hands weeks ago in that monstrous thread that just refused to die.

    There's far more difference between Keep and Evernote than just the interface. Support for attachments is the biggest one, for me at least. Can't have a serious information  manager without attachment support. There's also a number of interface quirks.

    Google has that tendency of unraveling a product with great fanfare, then letting it linger in shadows for years without development. It took years for Keep to get simple tags / labels, and there's still no such basic feature as integration with Google Drive. You can't search for a Keep note from Drive, and you can't search for a Drive document from Keep. That's in Google ecosystem that's supposed to be all about finding stuff.

    So Google snatching EN seems pretty logical - they get an established service with a large user base, and EN gets to survive. Of course Google is all about having access to your data... so some adjustments would have to be made. But this does seem like a very logical way out for EN.

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    I am hopeful of finding an alternative.

    Right now I can't see one, I'm trying Apple Notes and MS Onenote, neither seem to great at present, but there are always alternatives to any bad situation. For nearly 20 years I felt 'locked in' to the giant Accounting software, MYOB. I was sick of their $800 upgrades that changed very little. Then along came billcue.com.au, a fantastic alternate app for managing my business accounts, cheaper and better. I just mention this as an example. One thing we have in this wonderful world of cyberspace is choice! Evernote would do well to remember that.

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    1 hour ago, Wanderling said:

    I speculated that Evernote may end up in Google's caring hands weeks ago in that monstrous thread that just refused to die.

    [...]

    So Google snatching EN seems pretty logical - they get an established service with a large user base, and EN gets to survive. Of course Google is all about having access to your data... so some adjustments would have to be made. But this does seem like a very logical way out for EN.

    Google didn't buy Evernote, guys. Goodness gracious. Evernote is simply buying server space from them. Instead of being their own landlord, Evernote is now paying Google rent. Everything in Evernote's house is still theirs - Google has no rights to it nor can they randomly access it. They are literally just buying internet space from them.

    This isn't an acquisition. This isn't Google's free services platform partnering with Evernote. Evernote is PAYING GOOGLE to house their information. Google is getting PAID. Google's free product business model does. not. apply. Your anonymized information is not their profit source in this case. Evernote's money is.

     

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    49 minutes ago, chirmer said:

    Google didn't buy Evernote, guys. Goodness gracious. Evernote is simply buying server space from them. Instead of being their own landlord, Evernote is now paying Google rent. Everything in Evernote's house is still theirs - Google has no rights to it nor can they randomly access it. They are literally just buying internet space from them.

    This isn't an acquisition. This isn't Google's free services platform partnering with Evernote. Evernote is PAYING GOOGLE to house their information. Google is getting PAID. Google's free product business model does. not. apply. Your anonymized information is not their profit source in this case. Evernote's money is.

     

    i wouldn't suggest evernote has been bought by google any more than i have been bought by the company that hosts my website on its servers.

    but, however irrational it might be to feel uncomfortable about having my data moved into the hands of a pioneer in global surveillance capitalism, available to be accessed by a number of its employees (past cases of an employee who abused this access and google handing over data to the government have been documented -- evernote has also handed over data), and run through another company's apis / machine learning software, hearing that it is all going to be ok just hasn't convinced me to abandon these reservations.

    i've decided to remove most of my data from my account for now. i want my external brain to be stored somewhere besides google (i've figured out a nice solution for my needs that also gives me zero-knowledge encryption). as always, evernote lived up to its promise and delivered an easy exit strategy. other people might feel fine having their brains in there. my risk threshold is simply set very low.

    however, i'll still make use of evernote every day and i'll still be a premium member for the forseeable future. there are other uses for the app/service besides holding my brain. i hope this move by evernote works out as well as they hope, and that my "irrational" fears are unfounded.

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    39 minutes ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

    i wouldn't suggest evernote has been bought by google any more than i have been bought by the company that hosts my website on its servers.

    but, however irrational it might be to feel uncomfortable about having my data moved into the hands of a pioneer in global surveillance capitalism, available to be accessed by a number of its employees (past cases of an employee who abused this access and google handing over data to the government have been documented -- evernote has also handed over data), and run through another company's apis / machine learning software, hearing that it is all going to be ok just hasn't convinced me to abandon these reservations.

    i've decided to remove most of my data from my account for now. i want my external brain to be stored somewhere besides google (i've figured out a nice solution for my needs that also gives me zero-knowledge encryption). as always, evernote lived up to its promise and delivered an easy exit strategy. other people might feel fine having their brains in there. my risk threshold is simply set very low.

    however, i'll still make use of evernote every day and i'll still be a premium member for the forseeable future. there are other uses for the app/service besides holding my brain. i hope this move by evernote works out as well as they hope, and that my "irrational" fears are unfounded.

    I wasn't really replying to you, GrumpyMonkey - I understand your concerns. Yours are founded with a knowledge and understanding of what's actually happening in this transition. But still many are commenting as if the "Free services in exchange for your anonymized data" Google bought or acquired Evernote. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of the situation, and decisions should not be made based on this. Google is a giant entity that has many parts that don't have anything to do with each other. Because one part of Google randomly learns what newsletters you've subscribed to in Gmail and uses that information for advertising purposes does not logically mean they, as a company, will do the same to their paying customers of a completely different service. 

    People can be as paranoid as they want - that's their right. But decisions should be made on the actual information and situation, not hearsay or a misunderstanding on how Google and TOses work. It's one thing to not want your sensitive information even in the position for a company employee to use it to their gain, and another to remove everything from Evernote because they think it will be integrated with Gmail - you know? 

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    I'm from Germany. Can you tell me the location of the Google Cloud servers for German Evernote users?

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    30 minutes ago, chirmer said:

    I wasn't really replying to you, GrumpyMonkey - I understand your concerns. Yours are founded with a knowledge and understanding of what's actually happening in this transition. But still many are commenting as if the "Free services in exchange for your anonymized data" Google bought or acquired Evernote. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of the situation, and decisions should not be made based on this. Google is a giant entity that has many parts that don't have anything to do with each other. Because one part of Google randomly learns what newsletters you've subscribed to in Gmail and uses that information for advertising purposes does not logically mean they, as a company, will do the same to their paying customers of a completely different service. 

    People can be as paranoid as they want - that's their right. But decisions should be made on the actual information and situation, not hearsay or a misunderstanding on how Google and TOses work. It's one thing to not want your sensitive information even in the position for a company employee to use it to their gain, and another to remove everything from Evernote because they think it will be integrated with Gmail - you know? 

    good points.

    yeah. although i jokingly referred to myself as the commander adama of the discussion (no networked computers on my battleship!), that's only partly said in jest. i'm fine with letting out some of my data for google and others to play with, but i actually don't want a lot of my stuff integrated, i'm not interested in taking advantage of apportunities, sharing it with others on work chat (i have colleagues, but no "team" to annoy like this), or running my data along the bleeding edge of tech gimmicks to see what happens (the voice stuff google is selling doesn't interest me yet).

    i've got a chunk of data (maybe 8gb in total) that is my external brain. i prefer to keep that as accessible as possible on my devices, while also as unconnected to other entities as possible -- it's a little bit difficult, but evernote's anti-social media / pro secondary brain stance in the early days fit me especially well. it was all about me augmenting my brain to enrich my life, but then it became a "workspace"... still, evernote seemed to at least be that independent alternative, but not anymore. now, i'll keep kt to myself, even if quite of it was already outside of evernote (i lobotomized my brain a few years ago and cut it out of evernote because of security / privacy concerns -- this first went into local notebooks, and then migrated out into another personal information manager).

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    1 hour ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

    (i've figured out a nice solution for my needs that also gives me zero-knowledge encryption)

    Would you be willing to share your solution?

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    55 minutes ago, akrde said:

    I'm from Germany. Can you tell me the location of the Google Cloud servers for German Evernote users?

    According to the FAQ linked in the initial post, somewhere in the US.

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    On 9/13/2016 at 2:20 PM, Kabenaut said:

    They invest a lot and would loose all by violating their contractual obligations. Even the combined data of the EN-community is not worth it for Google to risk the trust of their business clientele.

    What would they lose? They're too big to fail.

    Most people who have worked with Google products and experienced Google 'support' firsthand know well how little Big G cares about its customers or their opinions of it or anything else.

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    31 minutes ago, mkraft77 said:

    What would they lose? They're too big to fail.

    Most people who have worked with Google products and experienced Google 'support' firsthand know well how little Big G cares about its customers or their opinions of it or anything else.

    Are you talking about the Google Cloud Platform, or the other services from Google?

    If they violate the contract terms for the Cloud Platform, the open themselves to lawsuits, risk losing current and future customers.  Possibly, they'd have to shut down the Cloud Platform service.

    I haven't done much work with the Cloud Platform, but the opinions I heard were that customer support was good and customers were cared for. This is a recommended service.  A reference is http://venturebeat.com/2014/04/17/why-feedly-has-stuck-around-on-googles-public-cloud/

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    3 minutes ago, mkraft77 said:

    What would they lose? They're too big to fail.

    Most people who have worked with Google products and experienced Google 'support' firsthand know well how little Big G cares about its customers or their opinions of it or anything else.

    Oh, yes, Google doesn't care losing their customer when they are trying to compete with Amazon and Microsoft in the cloud space.

     

    Most people? Do you have any stat or are you just making it up?

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    3 hours ago, akrde said:

    I'm from Germany. Can you tell me the location of the Google Cloud servers for German Evernote users?

    It is a pity, but they will stay in the US

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    I'm not familiar with Google Cloud and wasn't referring to it specifically, but to Google's apparent worldview, as evidenced by longstanding consistent behavior when it comes to support -- which is to provide as little as possible. I base that on my own extensive experience with primarily Chrome, Drive, Docs, and (much less extensively) several other such services, as well as on a great many posts by others re: same.

    One thing Google has done with peremptory vigor is orphan products at will, or transform them in ways that better suit Google than its users. I see no reason it would not do the same with Cloud, but perhaps it will support that service differently since it's likely to be key to many other future ventures. 

    One could also raise other issues, such as its increasing politically correct censorship of YouTube videos.

    Google just leaves a bad taste on many levels and I stick by what I said about its view of its user base.  As I see it, leaving them high and dry isn't likely to be a concern.

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    4 hours ago, akrde said:

    I'm from Germany. Can you tell me the location of the Google Cloud servers for German Evernote users?

     

    1 hour ago, Oletros said:

    It is a pity, but they will stay in the US

    Correct, the primary Evernote datacenter will be on the West Coast of the US and secondary in the Central region of the US.

    Being hosted in the cloud does give us greater flexability and ease to offer services out of other global locations in the future but no concrete plans at this time.

    Ben

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    42 minutes ago, mkraft77 said:

    I'm not familiar with Google Cloud and wasn't referring to it specifically, but to Google's apparent worldview, as evidenced by longstanding consistent behavior when it comes to support -- which is to provide as little as possible. I base that on my own extensive experience with primarily Chrome, Drive, Docs, and (much less extensively) several other such services, as well as on a great many posts by others re: same.

    One thing Google has done with peremptory vigor is orphan products at will, or transform them in ways that better suit Google than its users. I see no reason it would not do the same with Cloud, 

    In regards to those other free services, have you heard the expression      You aren't the customer; You're the product

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    18 hours ago, DTLow said:

    In regards to those other free services, have you heard the expression      You aren't the customer; You're the product

    I'll just venture an educated guess that were you a Brit you'd have voted Remain. 

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    9 hours ago, chang74 said:

    Is that means international account user could not work in China any more? if yes when? 

    Hi.  Good question - not sure how this would affect Yinxiang Biji accounts - @benmc can you help on this?  What happens if someone works in both US and China?

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    7 hours ago, mkraft77 said:

    I'll just venture an educated guess that were you a Brit you'd have voted Remain. 

    Because penguins, right?

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    10 hours ago, chang74 said:

    Is that means international account user could not work in China any more? if yes when? 

    I'm not seeing the impact to international accounts working in China - there's no change to the Evernote Server locations (country)

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    Hello Evernote team. 

    I have read the announcement and FAQ and am not pleased. 

    I don't want to repeat too much what so many others have tried to bring across here so far: many users, myself included don't trust Google. Sure you and your forum Gurus can argue as much as you like, but so far I haven't seen a single improvement that would be significant enough to rule out the general feeling of discomfort about your business partners. 

    Furthermore, I was a paying customer exactly because I saw value in a company trying to build their own solutions, not one that outsources them to others. I believe that if you want to make a great impact you should control the underlying technology directly, and that includes your servers and server services. 

    I am thoroughly disappointed to see you go the path of least resistance, the path of outsourcing and will start to look for alternative workflows and a replacement solution for Evernote. 

    Bye, from a long time paying customer. 

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    8 hours ago, mkraft77 said:

    I'll just venture an educated guess that were you a Brit you'd have voted Remain. 

     

    1 hour ago, jefito said:

    Because penguins, right?

    I like the Britx comment, and am confused about penguins.

    Yes, I probably would have voted to remain, and I would also have made the necessary preparations for an exit.

    Likewise, from day 1, I have an exit strategy in case things go south with Evernote.
    (Basically, I made sure it was easy to export my data)

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    1 hour ago, DTLow said:

    I like the Britx comment, and am confused about penguins.

    Seemed like a non sequitur to me... *shrug*

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    1 hour ago, EWN said:

    Gurus can argue as much as you like, but so far I haven't seen a single improvement that would be significant enough to rule out the general feeling of discomfort about your business partners. 

    Um, not all of the Gurus (i.e., non-Evernote employees with a certain number of forum posts) are for the Google data server move, you know...

    1 hour ago, EWN said:

    Furthermore, I was a paying customer exactly because I saw value in a company trying to build their own solutions, not one that outsources them to others. I believe that if you want to make a great impact you should control the underlying technology directly, and that includes your servers and server services. 

    I see value in a company that's trying to focus on what they're good at, maybe saving some money while they're at it, and possibly improving their offerings by incorporating Google services. There's no intrinsic honor in building on something that someone else can do better/cheaper/whatever. But that's just me -- it's your data, so your decision as to what's best for you. No arguments here.

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    Hi all

    Access to the Evernote service (hosted in the US) from China requires that you pass through the Great Firewall of China (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Firewall) which is managed and controlled by the Chinesse government and is something which we have no control or influcence over. 

    The best advice is never to assume you can access ANY internet service located outside of China when you are inside China.

    Sorry this is not a more definitive answer but it's just something we have no control over.

    Ben

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    To add to the China questions. There is No change to Yinxiang Biji accounts.

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    23 hours ago, DTLow said:

    In regards to those other free services, have you heard the expression      You aren't the customer; You're the product

    No, no, not the product: the raw material.

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    Oh this is just delightful. Google? Why not eliminate the middleman and send our private data direct to the NSA and FBI? And as for "secure," that applies to everyone except Google, the NSA, and the FBI. Yes, I know I have a Google email account, but I've never considered email private. There are other, and almost certainly better, alternatives. Speaking of which, it's time to look for an alternative to Evernote. Used to be a sweet app, but now you are trying to compete with Microsoft Office, the interface is about as efficient as a government bureaucracy, and you are raising prices.

    • Like 5

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    The bottom line is this--Google can make all the promises in the world about their contractual obligations to our privacy, but actions speak louder than words. The close connections between Google and our current administration in the White House remind me of another guarantee that was made--"if you like your Doctor, you can keep your Doctor...your insurance rates will decrease."  So now we are hearing "your data is your data" because Google promised it. I don't trust them to keep their promises anymore than I do the ones who made all of the healthcare promises! A very bad decision by Evernote to trust the untrustworthy!

    • Like 2

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    13 minutes ago, scaeva said:

    Oh this is just delightful. Google? Why not eliminate the middleman and send our private data direct to the NSA and FBI? And as for "secure," that applies to everyone except Google, the NSA, and the FBI. Yes, I know I have a Google email account, but I've never considered email private. There are other, and almost certainly better, alternatives. Speaking of which, it's time to look for an alternative to Evernote. Used to be a sweet app, but now you are trying to compete with Microsoft Office, the interface is about as efficient as a government bureaucracy, and you are raising prices.

    And this post is the best example of uninformed FUD.

    • Like 1

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    On September 13, 2016 at 11:54 AM, Krunoslav said:

    Thanks. It does clarify but does not make me happy as a paying users I have to be honest. Clearly this is something that benefits the Evernote and Google but I still don't see strong benefit to myself or any other end user. Perhaps that is something you and Google can work on and we can see some real improvements on our side. I'm not thrilled with the speed of innovation or feature implementations on the user side. I'm sure you can understand my point of view. 

    From my perspective the benefit is that Evernote *theoretically* can focus on their primary business and spend less time maintaining servers.  However, in practicality, it might not really help anyone except Evernote's shareholders as they become more efficient.  Shrug, no harm to me either way, and I see potential benefit if they truly focus on making their products better as a result.  

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    Been a Premium User for a couple of years. I don't like this at all. I will likely migrate off of Evernote to something else soon. 

    It's pretty clear that running anything through Google puts it at risk. Even if I am wrong about this, and they won't because its in the "data section", my paraphrasing, Evernote is still doing business with a company that is clearly Evil. I'm not foolish enough to use Gmail but lots of people are, and they take advantage of that relationship in an unhealthy and immoral way. These are clearly the bad guys. Even if their tendrils haven't reached the pure data customers it doesn't mean they won't. The kind of behavior they have exhibited should not be rewarded. 

     

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    1 minute ago, lenny_in_CA said:

    Been a Premium User for a couple of years. I don't like this at all. I will likely migrate off of Evernote to something else soon. 

    It's pretty clear that running anything through Google puts it at risk. Even if I am wrong about this, and they won't because its in the "data section", my paraphrasing, Evernote is still doing business with a company that is clearly Evil. I'm not foolish enough to use Gmail but lots of people are, and they take advantage of that relationship in an unhealthy and immoral way. These are clearly the bad guys. Even if their tendrils haven't reached the pure data customers it doesn't mean they won't. The kind of behavior they have exhibited should not be rewarded. 

     

    And this post is not only FUD but it is insulting all the people that uses GMail.

     

    Do you people really believe the things you say or do you also believe that the Moon landing is an hoax and the universe was create 8 thousand years ago?

     

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    Good move, Evernote; focus on your core business rather than server maintenance and security.  Anyone can gripe about the cloud, but it's not going away; it's just in its infancy.  Use it wisely, and make sure you fulfill your promises to your customers about data privacy and protection.  Onwards...

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    Wow, so many people in here speaking from fearful ignorance. Here's some facts to counter your "Google is spying on us!" FUD:

    https://cloud.google.com/terms/data-processing-terms

    Relevant bullet points:

    • Google Cloud Platform (as well as their business Google Apps for Work product) meets SOC 2/SOC 3 as well as ISO 27001 privacy standards.
    • This is an entirely separate set of requirements compared to their free consumer Gmail/search/etc products
    • These standards allow Google Cloud/Apps to be approved for federal government FISMA requirements, HIPAA certifications, and other high privacy requirements.

    No one at Google is spying on what you're doing on Evernote. Period. To state otherwise is speaking purely from ignorance in the most objective sense of the term. In other words, loosen up your tin foil hats a bit. Maybe also educate yourselves on what you're talking about in order to not look foolish in the process.

     

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    10 minutes ago, Lance_G said:

    Is there any plan to offer a Dropbox type service to house files?

    Yup - I think it's called "Google Drive" :)

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    Will we read soon that Google bought out Evernote? If we had access to private financial accounts would we find that some Evernote officers and key folks have or will have deeper pockets because of this change? Just wondering.

    I love and appreciate many Google apps and services. Who doesnt? The world is probably a better place educationally and practically for Google's presence. But they seem to be as whim-led as strategically led. They start great services and drop them as soon as we followers adopt and their financial suggest it isnt profitable or some leader gets in another whim. 

    Yes indeedy, Google's stock in trade is data which they mine brilliantly. As a sceptical old person who lived through Hitler's heyday - I avoid using Google storag services simply because they do mine some data now, because they appear whim led and because (the more history I live, the more) I distrust big business. 

    Realistically, what is to keep Google from changing their mind as to keeping my information private in future?  What is to keep them from dropping Evernote as an app or as a client?  When/if Google buys out the Evernote we've come to count on - all agreements and promises made today could change drastically. 

    This crusty old cynic will be looking for an alternative to Evernote, or keeping notes locally. Evernote is a good app but never more than 85%% thrilled me anyway, even after going Premium. I just find it never met all the hype it gets. I use it mainly from iOS devices so have wondered if that may be the contributing reason. The OCR for me has been very spotty and many clippings never get transfered at all. The title do but the selected content does not. 

    Thats my two cents for what its worth. Thanks for letting me say my piece. 

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    8 minutes ago, lenny_in_CA said:

    I'm not foolish enough to use Gmail but lots of people are, and they take advantage of that relationship in an unhealthy and immoral way.

    I feel so .......dirty

    I use Gmail, Search, Maps for free with the understanding that my data can be mined.
    I also use paid services with the understanding that my data is private.

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    3 minutes ago, Oletros said:

    Do you people really believe the things you say or do you also believe that the Moon landing is an hoax and the universe was create 8 thousand years ago?

     

    I do actually believe the things I say. I am not a conspiracy theorist, just an informed person. I am in the computer field and am aware of the basic trends, and all the things that actually did happen, that Mr. Snowden pointed us to. In fact, it now seems that he was quite mild in his assessments regarding Att and their cooperation with the NSA, etc. I don't think the Moon landing was a hoax but I do believe people are foolish to use Gmail, it just seems silly to me. I'm not trying to insult anyone.

    Years ago my brother was picked up and beaten to a pulp by the police because he was driving a car similar to the one that had been used in a crime. I am not a criminal, have nothing I am ashamed of having done - so i presumably have nothing to hide. You want to know what percentage of people open death row have been proven innocent? It's quite high, about 40%. It's easy for there to be a case of mistaken identity. If someone, or some district attorney, wants to build a case against you, more information is going to help them... Of course, if I was Muslim, or even had Muslim friends (wait, I do, damn) I might be more at risk.

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    3 minutes ago, lenny_in_CA said:

    I do actually believe the things I say. I am not a conspiracy theorist, just an informed person. I am in the computer field and am aware of the basic trends,

    I am also an informed person in the computer field. I ALSO specialize in cloud platforms especially when it comes to security and privacy. As an informed person in the computer field who actually studies stuff like this, and not relying on ignorant FUD with no basis in facts outside of tin foil hat-ery, I can confidently state that you are objectively and factually incorrect in your concerns. As I posted above:

    ----------------------------------

    https://cloud.google.com/terms/data-processing-terms

    Relevant bullet points:

    • Google Cloud Platform (as well as their business Google Apps for Work product) meets SOC 2/SOC 3 as well as ISO 27001 privacy standards.
    • This is an entirely separate set of requirements compared to their free consumer Gmail/search/etc products
    • These standards allow Google Cloud/Apps to be approved for federal government FISMA requirements, HIPAA certifications, and other high privacy requirements.

    No one at Google is spying on what you're doing on Evernote. Period. To state otherwise is speaking purely from ignorance in the most objective sense of the term. In other words, loosen up your tin foil hats a bit. Maybe also educate yourselves on what you're talking about in order to not look foolish in the process.

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    8 minutes ago, lenny_in_CA said:

     I am not a conspiracy theorist, just an informed person. I am in the computer field and am aware of the basic trends, and all the things that actually did happen, that Mr. Snowden pointed us to. In fact, it now seems that he was quite mild in his assessments regarding Att and their cooperation with the NSA, etc

    And this quote actually shows that you're not informed.

     

    The other part about brothers, muslims, etc is so weird that I'm still shocked.

    Edited by Oletros
    Typos

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    ok. we've got brexit, obama, obamacare, muslims, and evil in here now.

    the first three are political and the fourth one is religious. these are off-limits as per the forum rules (and generally best avoided anyhow as very, very problematic analogies). the last one is philosophical, and probably a difficult one to really discuss here, since it hinges on ones definitions of good and evil, assuming you even believe such absolutes exist. but, it's technically ok for this forum!

    i wouldn't lump poor ben (the evernote employee) in with this forum's "gurus," especially when the title is automatically generated by the forum software when you reach a certain number of posts, and has no other significance beyond that. but also because at least one of the guru minions (me) is strongly opposed to evernote's plan. i think i even went so far in one of the posts to say that if evernote abandon's its physical existence with the servers it will be tearing the heart out of the company. that hardly sounds like someone who is on board with the idea.

    but, what do i know? and, more importantly, does it matter? after all, evernote isn't seeking our advice, and they are unlikely to change course because we have misgivings about a company. the best we can do here is register our disappointment (or glee), urge evernote to ensure that none of our data (or data about our data) is given over to google through the use of google's services (or, urge them to hand it all over and churn out the magic of "big other"), and make any preparations we need to based on our own use cases. 

    finally, this is a community of your fellow evernote users, and whatever you might think of their ideas or reasoning, it'd be nice if we could all treat one another with respect, particularly if you are hoping to persuade them to change their minds. 

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    4 minutes ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

    ok. we've got brexit, obama, obamacare, muslims, and evil in here now.

    the first three are political and the fourth one is religious. these are off-limits as per the forum rules (and generally best avoided anyhow as very, very problematic analogies). the last one is philosophical, and probably a difficult one to really discuss here, since it hinges on ones definitions of good and evil, assuming you even believe such absolutes exist. but, it's technically ok for this forum!

    i wouldn't lump poor ben (the evernote employee) in with this forum's "gurus," especially when the title is automatically generated by the forum software when you reach a certain number of posts, and has no other significance beyond that. but also because at least one of the guru minions (me) is strongly opposed to evernote's plan. i think i even went so far in one of the posts to say that if evernote abandon's its physical existence with the servers it will be tearing the heart out of the company. that hardly sounds like someone who is on board with the idea.

    but, what do i know? and, more importantly, does it matter? after all, evernote isn't seeking our advice, and they are unlikely to change course because we have misgivings about a company. the best we can do here is register our disappointment (or glee), urge evernote to ensure that none of our data (or data about our data) is given over to google through the use of google's services (or, urge them to hand it all over and churn out the magic of "big other"), and make any preparations we need to based on our own use cases. 

    finally, this is a community of your fellow evernote users, and whatever you might think of their ideas or reasoning, it'd be nice if we could all treat one another with respect, particularly if you are hoping to persuade them to change their minds. 

    hear hear

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    6 minutes ago, GrumpyMonkey said:

    finally, this is a community of your fellow evernote users, and whatever you might think of their ideas or reasoning, it'd be nice if we could all treat one another with respect, particularly if you are hoping to persuade them to change their minds. 

    I mean no disrespect to anyone here. 

    I'm sorry, but I don't like Google. I don't use Google Drive, Google Apps, their search engine or Gmail. I can't imagine using Gmail, sending out an ad in every email to people, or getting everything I've said mined for whatever ulterior purpose. I remember seeing Blade Runner when it first came out and I was struck that there was a tv everywhere and ads were all over. We have apparently made it to (at least part of) this future. Do people really want to send emails out with ads on them? Apparently they do. It's not for me.

    I don't like this move. There are apparently a lot of others who don't like it either, I did read the previous 7 pages of this thread before posting.

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    @grumpy-monkey Thanks for bringing a bit of order to the discussion :). The whole purpose of this thread is to be open and transparent about the decisions we have made and why. At the end of the day it's your data (Evernote users) and for what we believe are great reasons we are moving that onto a public cloud platform designed, run and maintained by Google.

    We want to focus more of our efforts on being an extension of your mind i.e. Our whole purpose for existing and less on running and maintaining data-centers which today has become a 'solved problem' that is well served by the public cloud providers.

    We want to spend more time working out how to reduce the maintenance window each week or improving latency for remote users rather than discussing the newest Hard Drive just released.

    Rich and I are happy to answer any question we can but ask we are respectful of other forum users.

    Thanks

    Ben

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    7 minutes ago, lenny_in_CA said:

    I mean no disrespect to anyone here. 

    I'm sorry, but I don't like Google. I don't use Google Drive, Google Apps, their search engine or Gmail. I can't imagine using Gmail, sending out an ad in every email to people, or getting everything I've said mined for whatever ulterior purpose. I remember seeing Blade Runner when it first came out and I was struck that there was a tv everywhere and ads were all over. We have apparently made it to (at least part of) this future. Do people really want to send emails out with ads on them? Apparently they do. It's not for me.

    I don't like this move. There are apparently a lot of others who don't like it either, I did read the previous 7 pages of this thread before posting.

    Our relationship with the Google Cloud platform will not result in your data being mined etc for advertising purposes etc.

    We still stand 100% behind your three laws of Data Protction (https://blog.evernote.com/blog/2014/06/03/evernotes-three-laws-data-protection-update/)

     

    Ben

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    So. An ex Google X man, joins Evernote as CEO. Than we see Google Drive integration and than we see If every time before during or after acquisitions and mergers I heard "business as usual" from the PR department. If they gave me a penny each they I heard that I would be a rich man today.

    Google Drive seems to be far from ideal solution. Another point of contact just means more things can go wrong. Besides I'm pretty sure it was part of the back room deal. Google sneaks in the back door with its cloud to temp more new users from a fresh market, and Evernote gets a life jacket from Google because poor planing and management have left the with big cost of maintaining their cloud and not great biz model that would pay for it.

    I would hope there are some true benefits to end users like increase in upload speeds and capacity for everyone directly from evernote. Don't forget few months ago they increase the prices for everyone and for some quite a bit and limited the free users but offered little or nothing in return.

    I think they are not providing enough value for what they are charging unless you are heavily invested in their platform. For new users or those not invested too much competition from Microsoft for example offers more in many areas. I hope Evernote get get their stuff together and start innovating again. Right now they are playing slow catchup game.

    Current new Evernote CEO Is Former Google X Executive Chris O'Neill. Hahaha! I swear this writs it self... Evernote in their blog wrote and I quote:

    "After an intensive period of research and investigation involving several cloud providers, we have selected Google Cloud Platform to provide our data infrastructure moving forward."

    Hahaha. You have to admit, its sooooo suspicious. Ex Google or Google X Executive Chris O'Neill and current Evernote CEO somehow of all the options they "intensively researched" decided to go with Google option that somehow benefits Google and even Evernote but not really the end users who again were not even involved in the decision making process. And according to Evernote themselves both Google and Evernote will now how access to all our information. I personally don't have much to hide but I don't think I had that in mind when I agreed to give Evernote my info.

    All this sounds a bit to much like "Good all boy" network. I would not be surprised if this is ground work for Google take over and in few years Evernote will be GoogleNote. Something just smells bad. What do you guys think.

    Evernote has been ***** around for years now. Ignoring user request, pursuing some phantom ideas that never worked pushed by the last CEO and now they found that with no innovation and far from stellar customer service their business model is not enough to support the growing demand and they can't live of the old glory forever. So first thing they do is new CEO. He than makes a decision to raise prices for paying customers, cut the features for free users forcing them to pay or leave and provides zero benefits in return. Users gets pissed but so what there are 200 mill of them he says.

    Than they try to integrate Google Drive into evernote on desktop and web. Probably a deal made with Google so that google can tap into new market with its Google Drive and others services, and in return they get a sweet deal on Google cloud. Current Evernote CEO is former Google guy so God knows what deals they made behind closed doors. And no one off course ever asked us the users about any of this. Evernote is struggling and Google just throw them life jacket. I'm sure they will want something in return.

    So it would be no surprise whatsoever that in few years we just read Evernote blog update: We are so proud to announce that we are now part of Google. The acquisition has been done and we want to celebrate this proud moment with you our loyal users. Its been a long road with some ups and downs but finally we have a new home. We will continue to make our products great and share this journey with you." End sarcasm.

    it just smells bad. Mainly because Google could really use this market and who is Evernote CEO now and how he runs the company, I would really not be surprised at all if this is ground work for future acquisition by Google. Microstot bough Sunrise and Wunderlist and few others, Apple is mostly falling behind or not competing in this space so its up to Google to buy in the rest. Google note taking app is not serious enough but I'm sure Google would like to add Evernote. Makes perfect sense. They already have the inside man. What the expression: Follow the money.

    Will see in few years I guess.

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    7 minutes ago, David 1224 said:

    Is there any thought about making Evernote HIPAA compliant? I know that Google's servers can be configured in that way.

    Not currently, being on the Google Cloud platform will help us if we chose to go in that direction in the future.

    Ben

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