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HP's Upline cloud storage offering, introduced on April 7th, has crashed - badly.

On April 17th HP wrote to subscribers, saying: "On Thursday, April 17th, HP suspended operation of the HP Upline Service. We fully anticipate that suspension of the Upline Service will be temporary and short in duration, and will notify you when the Upline Service is operational again."

Although the service was announced as being for the USA only, the service's filters did allow non-US customers to subscribe. They now face having their service terminated: "If you are not a resident of the United States, we regretfully must inform you that the initial launch of the HP Upline Service was intended for United States residents only. Unfortunately, our filtering tools did not adequately screen for subscribers residing outside of the United States."

Pretty poor software all round, it seems.

An HP spokesperson has said the Upline should be online soon, possibly this week. The suspension had been imposed so that HP could solve a technical problem. A refund was offered to US customers and their Upline data stores should be intact.

Various blogging sites, for example, Pegritz.com, mention that the Upline client software is unreliable.

The Upline website is still online and it states: "Data disasters don’t have to devastate." Hmm. If you try to buy Upline service your browser returns a page not found error.

It appears obvious that the service has not been stress tested in use.

Pegritz' site has a claimed extract from Upline's terms and conditions which states: "Any material, information or other communication (”Communications”) you transmit or post to this Site will be considered non-confidential and non-proprietary. HP will have no obligations with respect to the Communications. HP and its designees will be free to copy, disclose, distribute, incorporate and otherwise use the Communications and all data, images, sounds, text, and other things embodied therein for any and all commercial or non-commercial purposes."

In other words HP can distribute any information stored on Upline in any way it sees fit.

This cannot be right. Elsewhere on its web site HP states: "HP and its subsidiaries respect your privacy." The two statements just do not go together.

EMC's Mozy people must be laughing like a drain.

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