In these first few generations of personal computing, we've operated with the "money in the mattress" model of data storage. Information assets are managed personally and locally—on your machine, disks or external drives. If the computer crashes, the drive breaks, it's as though the mattress has burned. You're pretty much up the creek. Today, though, we're transitioning to a more abstracted system of remote data banking, and Google and its competitors are the new banks.