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How to use Google Drive as a backup tool

Now that Google Drive storage is stupid-cheap (e.g., two bucks per month for 100GB), you might be wondering about its viability as a backup tool.

It's viable. Though you can't use it to clone an entire hard drive (not a good idea with any cloud-storage service), you can use it for the next best thing: preserving your important data.

All you need is Google's desktop sync utility, which, not unlike Dropbox, adds a special folder to your hard drive that acts as a two-way conduit. Any files or folders you put there will get synced to … Read more

Why Google's price cut made the consumer cloud biz a lot cloudier

If there was any question that the cloud storage business is a high stakes game, Google erased all doubt this week. The search giant shook up the consumer cloud world by drastically slashing its paid plans. Fifteen gigabytes of storage are still free, but 100GB are now $1.99 per month, down from $4.99. Even more impressive is the fact that you can get an entire terabyte of space for $9.99 a month, which used to be $49.99.

The move signals a clear, ruthless investment by Google. And when a giant like Google makes a push like … Read more

Cadillac ELR: More than a souped-up Volt? (CNET On Cars, Episode 37)

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In this episode:

Cadillac ELR explored and explained Keeping your dog safe in the car Top 5 apps for the driver

As always, email me your thoughts, suggestions, and comments.

Pay more for Amazon Prime, less for Office 365

CNET Update takes the sting out of it:

In this episode of Update:

- Pay $20 more for Amazon Prime starting on April 17. At $99, it still is a good deal, if you use the perks of free shipping, video streaming and Kindle book rentals. If you only care about the service to save on shipping, look back on how much you spent last year to see if Prime is worth it. Amazon says standard shipping for most items is around $4 to $5.

- Avoid the price-hike pain for one more year by gifting yourself Prime, and "… Read more

Synology flagship DSM 5.0 NAS operating system now live

Two months after the beta was announced, Synology's DiskStation Manager (DSM) 5.0 is now live.

Since its inception, DiskStation Manager has been by far the most advanced operating system for NAS server and helped Synology NAS sever to win many of CNET's Editors' Choice awards, such as the Synology DiskStation DS1513+.

The new upgrade brings in a totally revamped user experience. The interface has been overhauled with lots of improvement with a Control Panel that incorporates a new ease of use collectively found in other native operation system, such as Windows, Mac OS, and even iOS. It … Read more

Get a 250GB Samsung SSD for $139.99 shipped

Quick housekeeping note: CNET is in the midst of some site updates, which is why the comment system is currently offline and why you didn't receive a Cheapskate newsletter on Friday. (Here's the post in case you missed it.) Pardon the dust; I'm told things should be settling down shortly.

On to business. I'll never buy another laptop that has a traditional hard drive. Having experienced the joys of SSD, I simply can't go back to slower, noisier, hotter drives that consume more power and are subject to mechanical failure.

Yep, from now on, I'… Read more

California court: Drivers can use smartphone maps, for now

Texting or chatting on the phone while driving is illegal in California, but the law seems still to be catching up with technology when it comes to other aspects of smartphone use behind the wheel.

A court of appeals has reversed an earlier court decision that ruled map reading on a cell phone was taboo under the law, according to the Associated Press. The 5th District Court of Appeal said the law currently applies only to talking and texting on mobile devices and doesn't yet have legal language for app use.

The case came about in January 2012 after … Read more

Get 100GB of Microsoft OneDrive storage for free

I can't pass up an opportunity to make fun of Microsoft, so let's dive right in.

Bing Rewards: Microsoft's blatant way of bribing users to use Bing instead of Google.

OneDrive: Microsoft's admittedly decent cloud-storage service that used to be known as SkyDrive -- until a lawsuit forced Microsoft to change the name six years after it launched. (Face-palm.)

The standard OneDrive freebie account comes with 7GB of space, but for a limited time, you can get 100GB of OneDrive storage for one year when you "spend" 100 Bing Rewards points.

The idea, of … Read more

Google fighting to stop anti-Glass driving laws, says report

It's not been the finest period for Google Glass.

A product that came with an intelligent launch and inspired much fascination has, unfortunately for Google, allowed some people to also consider its consequences.

Who would want to be secretly filmed in bars or bordellos? Who would want to look like a borg not called Bjorn?

And who would want to allow people to drive while their Google Glass is constantly informing them of the latest about their BFF's night with an alleged Chippendale?

Very early on in the life of Glass, legislators in West Virginia mulled banning driving while Glassing. … Read more

WD ships new Purple hard drive for surveillance applications

Answering Seagate's latest surveillance hard drive (HDD) that was introduced yesterday, WD announced today the availability of the WD Purple HDD, the company's first 3.5-inch, high-capacity internal drive for surveillance applications.

The new WD Purple drive is very much a traditional desktop hard drive that supports the latest SATA3 (6Gbps) standard. However, designed specifically for video surveillance units, the drive can work 24/7 for always-on environments. Most other hard drives are designed to work about 8 hours per day.

WD says the Purple HDD comes equipped with AllFrame and Advanced Format Technology (AFT). The former is … Read more