Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Get Off of My Cloud: Found Makes Personal Files Searchable on the Desktop

We users give our personal data and files to cloud services like Dropbox and Google Docs so they can reliably store them and help us access them from anywhere.

But maybe some of us want the inverse, too: Found is a new Mac desktop application that pulls down users’ cloud files to store them locally. The point is to be able to search all your personal files, no matter the service or folder they live in.

For now, Found only connects to Dropbox, Google Docs and Gmail, and local files on a single machine. When a computer with Found installed is online, the app is constantly retrieving and backing up the latest emails and docs. As compared to alternatives like Greplin, Found doesn’t index users’ files on its own servers.

Though Found is an unfashionable desktop app, it’s been built to be conveniently accessed either via an icon in the Mac’s top bar or by tapping the “control” button twice. Unlike Apple’s built-in Spotlight search, Found displays nice full text and big image previews.

Obviously, the big play for Found would be if it worked on every device, connected between a user’s multiple devices, and connected to every cloud service. All those are daunting tasks — just consider trying to back up all your files to your tiny phone storage. There’s a reason people use the cloud.

San Francisco-based Found was started by two former Microsoft corporate strategy guys who have a team of five people total and $1 million in seed funding from NEA and Rembrandt Ventures. They plan to make Found available to the public in May, but said people who sign up now should get early access.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work