September 8, 2012

SpiderOak University Pop Quiz Answers #3

by with 16 comments

First, we’d like to thank you for your participation. We had a great response to our final quiz. You all have graduated from SpiderOak University! You all should be proud.

You will not be notified when your account has been upgraded so just check your account to see your change. Many of you will receive 3 GBs if you got all the questions right, and the rest of you will receive 1 GB. That being said, let’s get to what you are really waiting for.

The Answers

How many different computers can you include folders from in a ShareRoom?

All of them.

What is a central repository?

A place where things may be put for safekeeping.

What is one thing that is really important when finding a cloud provider?

To ensure that my data is very private so no one can view what is being stored.

What platforms does SpiderOak support?

Linux, Windows, Mac

What discount do students / university staff / professors get?

None of the above. (50% off)

Which video does Ethan Oberman draw a bad version of a phone?

Features 101: 5 Characteristics That Make SpiderOak Different

True/False: SpiderOak is 100% secure.

False (SpiderOak is 100% private. Security can be very strong but not 100% secure)

How could you use SpiderOak to expand your lifespan?

Have your DNA sequenced store it and back it up securely with SpiderOak, and in your old age, use the record of your undamaged DNA to repair your cell.

  1. Why is "false" the correct answer to the question "True/False: SpiderOak is 100% secure."? If their is a bug in a specific version of the SpiderOak client or SpiderOak server this can be fixed and SpiderOak will be secure again. This means the SpiderOak design with its zero-knowledge privacy environment is secure but a concrete implementation might contain security bugs.

    Furthermore you write on your very own website: "SpiderOak provides an easy, SECURE, and consolidated free online backup, sync, sharing, access, and storage solution for Mac OS X, Windows, & Linux."

  2. Hello,

    Though we are very secure, very few (if any) can promise 100% secure. SpiderOak does not have a bug preventing it from being more secure. SpiderOak does, however, promise you a 100% Zero-Knowldge privacy policy.

  3. I also feel the "True/False: SpiderOak is 100% secure." was at least misleading. While I happen to know that nothing is 100% secure, I had to think of this from the perspective of how Spideroak was marketed as secure. Who, I thought, would basically market their service as "not 100% secure, but close enough?" Nobody. So I ended up overriding my default knowledge to give the answer that made the most sense in context. And I lost, because I couldn't be sure of the mindset of the person making the questions.

    I'll take my 1 GB and be happy to get anything for free (Spideroak is an awesome service after all), but I am at least mildly saddened that I got that question wrong. In the end I guess it is my fault after all.

  4. Hi,
    can you please argue about the DNA storage answer?
    Today, this looks like nothing more than science fiction, and nothing can let you know this will really be possible someday. Should I have something to store, by the way, that would rather be original cells.

    But the idea to store one most important documents, creations and transfer them after one's death to survive in other's memory seems a more realistic way to "survive", don't you think? :-)

  5. I agree with Random. I was left scratching my head at the "100% secure" question, but eventually decided that because encryption occurs client-side and storage on the server is zero-knowledge, maybe SpiderOak could argue that things on THEIR END were 100% secure, even if the client-side application itself might be vulnerable. I also couldn't imagine a company putting up that question if the answer would be unflattering- "We're not totally secure!"- so I chose "true".

  6. I also put "True" at that question, probably beause it lacked "as opposed to private" in the question. But then again, that was the main point of the previous blog post…

  7. I also feel that the "100% Secure" is misleading.. I specifically asked about it because it was unclear and got a reply (in the comments) which was even more misleading…
    (I initially thought it was helpful, but after seeing the "answer" I now understand how misleading it was..)

  8. BTW,
    While trying to figure out the answer to the "100% Secure" question, I came across this on you website:
    "This means that you alone have responsibility for remembering your password (…) allowing SpiderOak to create a true 'zero-knowledge environment' – keeping your data as safe and secure as it can possibly be."

    This, and the answer of Magnus in the comments:
    "When something is 99,999999 % secure, I consider it 100 %"
    made me believe that you mean "Secure as possible"….

  9. to Globs -
    The question was about expanding the lifespan and not the memories…
    It is not possible right now (and probably also in the near future), but the tone of the question made me realize this was the answer.

    This was definitely the more challenging quiz of the three :)

  10. This quiz was unfair. SpiderOak advertises 100% zero-knowledge, which in SpiderOak's eyes is 100% security, right?

    And the 55% discount was a typo?

    Well OK, 3GB not this time !

  11. Totally agree with post above. Storing your DNA doesn't make you revivable, and as far as I know there's no such thing as repairing your cells following a specific sequence (and even if there was, that's not enough information, there are also things like methylation that matter).
    It's still great to have free storage for quizzes, but this just shouldn't have the word "university" in the title. I don't know, maybe call it the SpiderOak summer games (that would fit pretty well with the Olympics we had before). Just not "university" or anything academical.

  12. I loved this promotion, but I agree with the consensus above. There seems to have been a fundamental disconnect between the videos and the questions. Simply put, if a question asks something like "100% secure," those words should have been in the video. "100% secure" or "while not 100% secure": not "100% private" or "mostly secure," as those minor distinctions leave room for interpretation. Unless you want future quizzes to be essay-style answers; then be vague and let us fill in the blanks!

    Regardless, again, I very much enjoyed the whole process. Free storage for learning more about the backbone of SpiderOak (which I find technically very intriguing) is a win win in my book. Just in the future, please keep in mind the technical nature of your audience and that we will overthink every word of a question if the answer isn't black and white!

    For the record, I got the security question wrong. My first thought was of course "nothing is 100% secure," but you weren't asking my opinion, so I was trying to answer as I expected you wanted me to. Between the Zero Knowledge system, comments like your "0.0000%" fault tolerance, or even your Twitter background ("100% Private"), this was really an argument of semantics. While you discussed privacy versus security, they rely upon each other. If a bug in SpiderOak means the encryption is trivial to bypass, that security flaw means the privacy disappears. Likewise, even if my data is secure and private, if your systems go down the data isn't available. I don't consider something "secure" if I can't get to it! In the end, again, just make sure the exact words in the videos/blogs become the exact words in the quizzes and these problems disappear.