Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 27th Mar 2006 19:30 UTC
Google Phil Sim, a professional with technology editor journalist background, has written three interesting blog posts recently, discussing the much-rumored Google OS (1, 2, 3). He speculates that all user's data will be stored online on Google's servers and so one's desktop and files can be retrieved exactly as left by any other PC station, anywhere in the world, by simply using his Gmail credentials. It's like having your OS on a usb key with you at all times, only, without the usb key...
Order by: Score:
v Interesting but....
by corrosive23 on Mon 27th Mar 2006 19:41 UTC
v RE: Interesting but....
by corrosive23 on Mon 27th Mar 2006 19:42 UTC in reply to "Interesting but...."
v RE: Interesting but....
by corrosive23 on Mon 27th Mar 2006 19:44 UTC in reply to "Interesting but...."
v RE: Interesting but....
by Tom K on Mon 27th Mar 2006 19:49 UTC in reply to "Interesting but...."
RE[2]: Interesting but....
by Tom K on Wed 29th Mar 2006 00:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Interesting but...."
Tom K Member since:
2005-07-06

Hahaha ... point proven.

Reply Score: 1

v Your point is stupid
by jakesdad on Mon 27th Mar 2006 19:50 UTC
an OS inside OS?
by Buck on Mon 27th Mar 2006 19:51 UTC
Buck
Member since:
2005-06-29

Surely that means opening a desktop in a web browser? Otherwise I fail to understand how it's better than, say, .mac, because it isn't about an operating system per se.

Reply Score: 1

RE: an OS inside OS?
by Eugenia on Mon 27th Mar 2006 19:54 UTC in reply to "an OS inside OS?"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

No, it is not a web OS, it is a real OS that all data are stored in the Google servers. The installed OS is an empty bare bones OS. According to Phil it is a modified Linux.

Edited 2006-03-27 19:54

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: an OS inside OS?
by hobgoblin on Mon 27th Mar 2006 22:27 UTC in reply to "RE: an OS inside OS?"
hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

pop in a package manager and im it at a repository, bare bones linux no more ;)

hell, you could even go gobolinux rootless and do all the installing inside your home dir ;)

Edited 2006-03-27 22:27

Reply Score: 1

Let's not discuss this
by DKR on Mon 27th Mar 2006 20:01 UTC
DKR
Member since:
2005-08-22

I thought we agreed several articles earlier that we would not be discussing the probability of this anymore.

There is simply not enough bandwidth to have a web OS.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Let's not discuss this
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 27th Mar 2006 20:03 UTC in reply to "Let's not discuss this"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

I thought we agreed several articles earlier

There is no we.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Let's not discuss this
by Eugenia on Mon 27th Mar 2006 20:07 UTC in reply to "Let's not discuss this"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

It's an "online OS", not a "web OS" (the first is a real OS that uses data stored online, the second one is based on DHTML).

As for bandwidth, you must think first what Google has plenty of: storage and bandwidth. Also, remember the recent "Free WiFi in the Bay Area" initiative from Google. And also, we should not forget that such an OS won't be ready tomorrow, but in a few years from now. Maybe a normal 802.11g connection is enough to do most things well with such an OS, I don't know.

And then, don't forget Ajax. You don't have to wait for applications to launch anymore, but you will wait for data to come through. And I can tell you, Google's Gmail is faster searching for me all my email than when I search on my "Archived Inbox" on my Outlook Express which has 70,000 emails in it. So while loading big pictures on an image viewer will be slower loading the same picture from a local drive, other kind of data and application loading will be faster. It's a trade off I guess, and depends on what people are used to think as "fast" or "slow". And besides, I don't think that this OS will ONLY be online, but it might allow for offline storage, so the problem gets balanced out.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Let's not discuss this
by JCooper on Mon 27th Mar 2006 20:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Let's not discuss this"
JCooper Member since:
2005-07-06

You don't have to wait for applications to launch anymore, but you will wait for data to come through

That, to me, is the key point of any online OS; data availability and access. For such an OS to be successful it would have to offer improvements over "normal" desktop usage.

With GMail, Google Suggest and Google News they are offering an awful lot of information condensed into their perception of what you need right now; kind of like Nat F et al's Dashboard. An Online OS from Google would be able to offer the benefit of local applications (executed locally = faster), but with an online backup of your data (log into any Google OS and have the same "desktop" a la roaming profiles), and the benefits of searching against a data farm rather than a 7200rpm disk (executed remotely = faster).

Google may be using Ubuntu (see the Goobuntu discussion from before) as a base due to its pretty good hardware detection at every boot, and its basis on Debian (the free-est of linux cultures). Apart from support for Hardware, and decent apps to get people started, the rest can be web based, or at least use AJAX/DHTML and other effects to offer a client via the browser. Remember Google are also developing GTalk support in Gaim - a thick client - and also have interests in Firefox.

I personally see the future of such a project, assuming it is real, as exciting. It's more than Web 2.0, offering a very simple solution to a really complicated concept - an online, always accessible "workspace".

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Let's not discuss this
by paul.michael.bauer on Mon 27th Mar 2006 20:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Let's not discuss this"
paul.michael.bauer Member since:
2005-07-06

...don't forget Ajax. You don't have to wait for applications to launch anymore

Nope. Whether your app is a binary or bunches of JavaScripts in a browser, the app still needs to load and initialize.

In fact, the initializing of a comparable AJAX app (word processor) takes ages more time to load and resources to run than a native app.

I'm beginning to hate AJAX just because everyone is treating it like the solution to world hunger.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Let's not discuss this
by Tuishimi on Tue 28th Mar 2006 16:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Let's not discuss this"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Reminds me of DECs XTerminals. They were simple computers that only ran X Windows and you ran all the applications from servers. Slow. And you are right, took apps a lot longer to load.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Let's not discuss this
by Cymro on Mon 27th Mar 2006 20:22 UTC in reply to "Let's not discuss this"
Cymro Member since:
2005-07-07

A web desktop has been done though. I remember signing up to one. You'd log in and get a Windows-style desktop with various apps, including an email client and office programs. It was very neat and all done in CSS, JavaScript and so on with it's own API for writing apps. It may have been webdesktop.com but I can't find a trace of it now..

Edited 2006-03-27 20:23

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Let's not discuss this
by JCooper on Mon 27th Mar 2006 20:25 UTC in reply to "RE: Let's not discuss this"
JCooper Member since:
2005-07-06

A web desktop has been done though [..] it was very neat and all done in CSS, JavaScript and so on with it's own API for writing apps

I think the Google concept would (emphasis on would - this is all speculation) be less "web based" and more "web orientated" - think thick clients for the heavy stuff, AJAX/JS/DHTML stuff running thin clients for the lighter stuff, with all data for your user profile stored (and fully searchable - Google's answer to spotlight, WinFS, Beagle etc) on Google servers.

Edited 2006-03-27 20:27

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Let's not discuss this
by penlec2 on Mon 27th Mar 2006 21:36 UTC in reply to "RE: Let's not discuss this"
penlec2 Member since:
2006-03-14
RE[3]: Let's not discuss this
by Eugenia on Mon 27th Mar 2006 21:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Let's not discuss this"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

That's just VNC via a browser plugin or java. There is nothing revolutionary about this and in fact it has many downsides.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Let's not discuss this - Bandwith
by penlec2 on Mon 27th Mar 2006 21:29 UTC in reply to "Let's not discuss this"
penlec2 Member since:
2006-03-14

"There is simply not enough bandwidth to have a web OS"

ZDNet.nl reported today that Essent Kabelcom, a Dutch cable internet provider, will start an experiment with 100MBps symetrical (!) internet in 20.000 households after their pilot with 10MBps in 10.000 households using a technology what they call Ethernet to the Home EttH. See: http://www.zdnet.nl/techzone.cfm?id=54988&mxp=105

And there is also NoMachine showing that even on lower bandwiths a remote desktop can be delivered.

It looks like bandwith will not be the problem.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Let's not discuss this - Bandwith
by Soulbender on Tue 28th Mar 2006 06:42 UTC in reply to "Let's not discuss this"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"There is simply not enough bandwidth to have a web OS."

There's always enough bandwidth for baseless speculation and hype.

Reply Score: 1

DKR Member since:
2005-08-22

Yes, however the capability to think free thoughts and express opinions is infinite.

My opinions are not baseless, because everyone has opinions. If there were no such things as opinions, perhaps you would have your way.

Unfortunately for you, this is not the case. Bandwidth is something that is finite.

My advice to you: Sit back, take a deep breath and a sip of coffee and calm down. It's just a simple post on the Internet that won't mean anything in the next 5 minutes.

Reply Score: 1

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Uh dude, I was relating to the original article. You said there is not enough bandwidth, I say there's always enough bandwidth for pointless articles such as the one we are talking about. It was ment as irony.

Reply Score: 1

Better Increase Service Quality
by gary1979 on Mon 27th Mar 2006 20:03 UTC
gary1979
Member since:
2006-01-31

Okay, I must admit that I have not yet read the blog posts, but I will get on it as soon as I finish the post.

I think Google has a lot of work to do regarding the feasibility of a project such as this. The following post from Ian Murdock's website shows one of many problems. http://ianmurdock.com/?p=313#comments News.com also has run stories about people not being able to access their Gmail account for up to two days. Right now, I currently have some very important information on Gmail, and I can't get my personal computer connected to the net (living in rural France), and rely on those at the schools in which I work/live for internet access.

The following quote is taken from the Gmail Terms of Service, "Google may at any time and for any reason terminate the Services, terminate this Agreement, or suspend or terminate your account." Here is the service agreement: http://mail.google.com/mail/help/intl/en/terms_of_use.html

I think that Google has some wrinkles to iron out before something like this could be successful. And now to read the articles...

Edited 2006-03-27 20:19

Reply Score: 2

Don't need Google for this
by KenJackson on Mon 27th Mar 2006 20:08 UTC
KenJackson
Member since:
2005-07-18

...there are bandwidth and storage limitations that currently are preventing them from achieving the nirvana of a total online experience.

If Comcast didn't limit my upload speed, I could simply run TightVNC on a computer at home and achieve the same thing, but under my own control. http://tightvnc.org/

Reply Score: 1

RE: Don't need Google for this
by Eugenia on Mon 27th Mar 2006 20:12 UTC in reply to "Don't need Google for this"
Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

Which is why Google's paradigm is better, because when, let's say, you download a big video file from the web, it's Google that will download this for you, and NOT you. And if this same video is on Google's cache, a downloading of a 500 MB video on your G:Drive, will be INSTANTANEOUS.

As I said above, Google's paradigm as described by Phil has its ups and downs, but I think it can work for 90% of the things people want to do with their computers. For the rest 10%, there will always be Windows, Mac or a more traditional Linux.

Edited 2006-03-27 20:15

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Don't need Google for this
by KenJackson on Mon 27th Mar 2006 20:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Don't need Google for this"
KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

Ah, but there is the under my own control clause. Isn't everyone a little afraid that big brother is watching? Or that someone evil will buy Google and sell all my private information to the high bidder? If I secure my TightVNC server with OpenSSH or OpenVPN, I can have reasonable security against prying eyes.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Don't need Google for this
by mbreese on Mon 27th Mar 2006 20:30 UTC in reply to "RE: Don't need Google for this"
mbreese Member since:
2006-01-16

Video is a silly argument. You still have to get the pixels pushed over the network to you somehow...

The only thing that having Google download the video would do is change which is the weakest link inthe network. So, instead of getting that 500MB video from a remote server, you are getting it from Google. This means that your connection to Google is now the weakest network link (the only point actually).

This may speed up your video download a bit, but it wouldn't be instantaneous, and you'd completely lose the decentralized aspects of the internet. Thus creating a single point of convergence (obviously it would be geographically distributed, but still consolidated). When everyone is running their GoogleOS, and if it works as you'd suggest, can you imagine the network congestion on Google's side? Everyone would be attempting to receive more data from Google and less from everywhere else, which is not a good thing.

The problem is, the screen and speakers are still on your desk, not Google's.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Don't need Google for this
by Duffman on Mon 27th Mar 2006 20:53 UTC in reply to "RE: Don't need Google for this"
Duffman Member since:
2005-11-23

"And if this same video is on Google's cache, a downloading of a 500 MB video on your G:Drive, will be INSTANTANEOUS"

Yes, and watching the video will be in STREAMING. So instead of downloading ONE TIME 500 MB on your hardrive, you will use 500 MB EACH TIME you want to see this video.

Soooooo cool .. wait no, it just suckes.

"Google's paradigm as described by Phil has its ups and downs"

There is no "ups" with an OS without privacy ...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Don't need Google for this
by Soulbender on Tue 28th Mar 2006 06:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Don't need Google for this"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"And if this same video is on Google's cache, a downloading of a 500 MB video on your G:Drive, will be INSTANTANEOUS."

That's because you're not downloading anything to your "g: drive". In order to actaully WATCH or DO anything with the video the same 500Mb still need to be moved to your local machine, wether it be by streaming or download. There's no real difference, all you have accomplished is changing the bottleneck from being between you and the video file provider to you and Google. Wether this is better or not depends on where you are, your ISP, the internet between you and Google etc etc. Nothing has actually been gained.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Don't need Google for this
by axilmar on Tue 28th Mar 2006 11:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Don't need Google for this"
axilmar Member since:
2006-03-20

But in order to watch the video, it will be downloaded anyway to your local system...so there is no actual advantage. Actually, it would be worse than the current situation, because currently solutions like Torrent allow a distributed video download. Unless Google can scale like Torrent, there is really no advantage to this.

Reply Score: 1

Privacy and other things of minor importance
by Kris on Mon 27th Mar 2006 20:23 UTC
Kris
Member since:
2005-07-24

While gmail may be good from a technical point of view I cannot use it because of the accociated Terms of Service.

I can only imagine what they would be like for a Google-OS. Thus I'm quite puzzled why the "geneal geek audience"* seems to unite under Google's banner.

* As you might have guessed, the use of the word general implies that this is of course a generalization.

Reply Score: 2

Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

Of course I agree with you and the previous commentator about privacy issues, but here's the thing: transport yourself back when the first bank and life insurance company was created. I am sure people didn't wanna led their money to these companies either. But with time, the good outweighed the bad and today these are formidable business and most people are not afraid anymore of them.

I guess the real question is: do you have something to hide from Google or FBI?

Edited 2006-03-27 20:40

Reply Score: 5

Kris Member since:
2005-07-24

Since you edited in the real question:
Yes I have plenty to hide. Private Information wich I'm not very interested in sharing with any company. And let's just say I have a certain gut feeling that Google isn't all that bad at data mining and selling customer data.


Is it because I'm paranoid ? Probably.
Is it because I belive in certain basic rights ? Certainly.

"If you have nothing to hide that shouldn't be a problem" was a phrase often used by the GESTAPO btw. Just because I have nothing to hide doesn't mean I don't care.

Reply Score: 5

Eugenia Member since:
2005-06-28

Again, I agree with you. But I also see the world moving towards a democratic-showroom with a totalitarian background. I think that this is inevitable (citing over-population and other social and economic factors) and so such OSes, programs, RFID chips inside us etc etc, are all going to happen. And there is not much we can do to stop it I think because it will all have a "democratic face", but in reality it won't be.

You can always set a house up in the mountains, get space to plant vegatables and for sheep and goats. (Oh, wait, I do have such a house ;)

I think you can tell that I am a pessimistic person. ;)

Reply Score: 5

monodeldiablo Member since:
2005-07-06

Or you could... ya know... vote.

In a democracy, nothing's an inevitability without popular consent.

Reply Score: 1

Shannara Member since:
2005-07-06

Thats has to be joke as voting powers have been basically removed from the USA citizens ... just like OSNews ...

Reply Score: 1

Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

Another ridiculous statement. Our voting structure hasn't changed in over 200 years. What's unfortunate is the PEOPLE of our fine country do not strive to create contenders, ie. new parties that have a snowballs chance to actually contend and relieve us of this stifling 2 party system. People TALK about how they have a hard time choosing between Dems and Pubs because they both are terrible and corrupt (or whatever) but then they go and vote for one or the other.

Try another party for a change, vote libertarian or independent. You don't like the incumbant? Band together and VOTE him/her out. Sheesh.

And why SHOULD OS News be a democracy?

Reply Score: 2

vitae Member since:
2006-02-20

Pessimistic? And you're in America during the reign of GW? I don't know. New Zealand or someplace like that might have been the place to go. Me personally, I'm thinking of a small island in the South Pacific...

Reply Score: 2

Duffman Member since:
2005-11-23

"do you have something to hide from Google or FBI? "

I am afraid because this kind of questions are usually said by fascists ...

Reply Score: 5

diskinetic Member since:
2005-12-09

People who routinely see fascists hiding behind every bush either think themselves immensely important or fall prey to the insipid dual-thinking that somehow they can be perfectly free and have organized society simultaneously. Perhaps you're safely hidden in an invincible bunker on an unreachable and unbreachable, self-sufficient island, I dunno. But barring that, you are only held free from enslavement to someone else by the civil agreement by parties other than yourself that you should be allowed to be so. Case in point: An armed man takes a suburban housewife hostage and forces her to cook, clean and generally keep house for him. Her friends discover her plight. Do they send in another helpless, unarmed person to save her? No, they send cops. Big, burly, well-armed cops who fascistically believe that that armed man isn't as "free" as he thinks he is, and that housewife should be "more free" than she currently happens to be.
Do I want a police officer to arrest me for wearing a denim jacket? No. Do I want there to be no police anywhere, ever? No. Must I then exist on a continuum between these two extremes? Probably. Don't trust Google or the FBI? Maybe you shouldn't. Never used Google (or something similar) or benefitted from FBI activity (or something similar)? I'm not so sure. Regardless, if GoogleOS is insecure for certain transactions, as I am sure any system ultimately must be, then there will be other routes available. I'd be more worried that it just won't work from a mechanical standpoint.

Reply Score: 3

Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

That is a ridiculous statement. FUD-head. Some people stand on their own principles and some people hold principles that they demand and deserve privacy in their personal matters.

I am not so 100% inclined to be that way so I don't really mind so much, but some people are. Eugenia's question [I am guessing] was not meant to be a jab but a general question to all maybe better rephrased as "if you have sensitive data, personal data that you do not EVER want to be revealed, then steer away from such things, otherwise use them"... in other words, she was saying "ask yourself the question........"

Reply Score: 1

greenhat Member since:
2005-07-06

'do you have something to hide from Google or FBI?'

Yes. But if you were to answer no to that question, then the question becomes 'do you have something on google now that you might want to hide from google or the fbi in the future?' Almost everyone can answer yes to that. If it isn't illegal now, it probably will be in the future.

Reply Score: 2

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Banking is not a good comparison because what we're talking about is not storing a number representing your balance and changes to that number but a whole load of personal and private information stored in ONE central database under the control of a commercial entity.

"I guess the real question is: do you have something to hide from Google or FBI?"

That's not the point.

Reply Score: 1

More likely...
by Shaman on Mon 27th Mar 2006 20:59 UTC
Shaman
Member since:
2005-11-15

...that the Google OS will not store files on their server except for a fee (think transparent backup) but the configurations for the environment will be stored there. Sort of a persistent environment profile for your OS, just sit down to any Google OS system, type in your credentials (userid/password) and bingo, your apps and preferences just work as expected, and maybe you can get at an "online storage" facility as well to get commonly used files and documents in progress.

Sounds good to me, although obviously Google and the Internet are hardly unfallable.

Reply Score: 1

speculations
by cg0def on Mon 27th Mar 2006 21:09 UTC
cg0def
Member since:
2006-02-12

speculate is the key word in this whole ordeal

Ok if Google refuses that they are working on an OS why would anyone believe otherwise? After all Google is a service provider and their earnings come almost entirely from advertisement. An OS would do nothing for their business model.

Reply Score: 1

What about...
by Arakon on Mon 27th Mar 2006 22:23 UTC
Arakon
Member since:
2005-07-06

A local OS that is built from the ground up on a local webserver? like having apache as the server with all the apps being ajax/java whatever done locally. All installed as minor scripts. With all the secure connection types available to a webserver it should be trivial to set up trusted sites for repositories of scripts to install.

The desktop would be a complete web application and being local it should be just as snappy on recent hardware. If there is a repository that saves your settings online somewhere (a config.ini ) that you can run from any machine and it will load and run the appropriate scripts with your settings.

The online storage of information would get hairy for anything massive but most office workers are just working on docs that are relatively small. You could have a company webserver with a secure connection set to hold all your work related stuff, or your own personal if you prefer. Larger files should probably only be worked on locally though.

Reply Score: 1

Speculate on
by moleskine on Mon 27th Mar 2006 22:47 UTC
moleskine
Member since:
2005-11-05

It's hard to see the merits of this any time soon, if ever, outside of special environments (corporate, dumb terminals, etc.) What would Joe and Jill get out of this when they can get MS Vista preloaded on their new PC? They would take a massive hit on the variety of software they could use - no games for junior, for a start - and they would hardly ever need to sit down at some Google OS terminal somewhere else.

It is possible to see this offered as an add-on service to things like subscriptions to a Google streaming video/film club, Ebay/listings rival, online dating site or whatever all of which are more natural Google territory one would think given their advertising-driven business.

To add to the complications, Google have vehemently denied that they are developing an OS or that they want to get into MS Office apps, but who knows.

Reply Score: 1

This Sure Sounds Familiar
by ed wood on Mon 27th Mar 2006 23:13 UTC
ed wood
Member since:
2006-02-14

The concept ("one's desktop and files can be retrieved exactly as left by any other PC station, anywhere in the world") sounds so much like Plan 9 it might be interesting to see where the lead developer of that project is working now. . . .

Reply Score: 1

Slowly buy surely
by Yamin on Mon 27th Mar 2006 23:36 UTC
Yamin
Member since:
2006-01-10

It might happen slowly but surely. I used to use local email clients (thunderbird... now i just use the online ones like gmail or hotmail). I can access it from anywhere, and I somehow trust gmail or microsoft to backup my data much more than myself. I'm a bit concerned about security. Privacy, not so much. Anything private, I either don't upload or encrypt the file first.

But something like a real google filesystem would be a good idea. It would mirror your local directory just as people synch usb drives with their harddrive. Personally I'm tired of emailing myself countless files. From there, they could easily have some simple editors/players. They might not be as 'good' as your desktop ones, but they will do 90% of the time.

I'm just waiting for it ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Slowly buy surely
by Tuishimi on Tue 28th Mar 2006 17:09 UTC in reply to "Slowly buy surely"
Tuishimi Member since:
2005-07-06

I use Yahoo and gmail... I actually use Yahoo as a sort of repository for important, but non-personal items that I want to keep as a sort of backup in case I loose my hard drive[s]. But online mail is sooooooo slow even with high speed internet. I prefer the crisp responsiveness of a local app.

I don't see my usage changing in the near future, but it is also very useful to be able to send/receive email from anyone's computer, wherever you can find one, or a PDA or whatever.

Reply Score: 1

National Security
by snowflake on Mon 27th Mar 2006 23:42 UTC
snowflake
Member since:
2005-07-20

Given the current political climate, any one who stores their data online could be asking for trouble. If a large amount of user data ends up at a central organization, like google, it will be too tempting for a government not to ask for it for reasons of 'National Security'. I'll stick to my harddrive in my spare bedroom for now, at least the likely hood of the government asking me for my harddrive is small.

Reply Score: 4

Google OS...
by amaze_9 on Tue 28th Mar 2006 00:22 UTC
amaze_9
Member since:
2005-11-12

What an interesting concept!

Very interesting, actually...

Reply Score: 1

Leaving the truthness in all this aside...
by gonzalo on Tue 28th Mar 2006 05:41 UTC
gonzalo
Member since:
2005-07-06

It's like having your OS on a usb key with you at all times, only, without the usb key...

Someone might prefer saying this another way:
It's like having your OS and data in a USB key with you at all times, only... you don't have it. They do.


Google may be geeky superheroes, ultracool nice guys, not evil at all, but, well, I prefer actually having my data with me. It doesn't seem such a heavy load, you know.

s/truthness/truthfulness (can't edit the title)

Edited 2006-03-28 05:42

Reply Score: 2

d-tritus Member since:
2006-03-28

Exactly. "It's like having your OS on a USB key, only without the inherent advantages and security of having your OS on a USB key", more like it.

Reply Score: 2

But it's not a new os...
by iphitus on Tue 28th Mar 2006 08:13 UTC
iphitus
Member since:
2006-03-27

1) If google make a big web portal where you can save files, send email, search, write documents etc.

That aint an OS. An OS is the software that a system depends on for the system to be usable and for other software to run, by dealing with things such as hardware drivers and filesystems.

2) If google release their own 'OS' using Linux
That aint a new OS. that's Linux. It's a new front on an old friend. If they customise the Linux kernel extensively, or enough to consider it a solid variant, then they risk driver incompatibility, and thus people wont use it.

3) Google write an OS from scratch
It wont have the driver support and would take years to mature to a usable level on a majority of hardware. This isnt something that could be effectively tested in house either.

With either of the latter two, they would never be adopted, as a majority of the third party software out there may not/won't run. Google cannot replace everything.

Google aren't creating an Operating System.

iphitus

Reply Score: 3

M$?
by yorch on Tue 28th Mar 2006 13:15 UTC
yorch
Member since:
2006-01-28

I stopped reading after "[...] comparing what MS has become to the old [...]"

If you want to sound serious try to look serious first.

Reply Score: 1

Bandwith...
by werfu on Tue 28th Mar 2006 15:39 UTC
werfu
Member since:
2005-09-15

Actualy if I remember well, Google has been buying optical fiber connexion all over the world since several years and they have been pushing for free wireless access hard too, so bandwith isn't a problem with Google. They would pass optical fiber to each home in the US if they could do money with it (which I think it's not realy far away from now).

I personnaly don't think that the world is ready for a complete online OS (remember Jonny Mnemonic? ;) but the idea of having a Linux distribution with the /home being mounted over NFS or some kind of DFS to Google servers isn't that sicked. The only thing is they won't get the market penetration for it now. So, they need a way someone can use this "OS" even on Windows or Mac, so this is obviously not a Linux thingy. I guess it'll be much more of an XUL app, having a GUI system rendering SVG on the fly. You know streaming vectors is much more lighter on the bandwith than binary data. It can also be compressed a lot more.

Nop, I can realy say that this will not be a linux thingy, else they would have simply bought a Linux distro or they would have gave money to Ubuntu.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Bandwith...
by Soulbender on Wed 29th Mar 2006 03:18 UTC in reply to "Bandwith..."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"Google has been buying optical fiber connexion all over the world since several years and they have been pushing for free wireless access hard too"
Only if by "all over the world" you mean "North America".

"They would pass optical fiber to each home in the US if they could do money with it"
Because having a single company controlling all access is an awesome idea.

"You know streaming vectors is much more lighter on the bandwith than binary data"
No, it is exactly the same.

"It can also be compressed a lot more. "
When you compress it it becomes binary data...

Reply Score: 1

interesting
by spikeb on Tue 28th Mar 2006 16:02 UTC
spikeb
Member since:
2006-01-18

sounds like something google would do, and sounds like a privacy nightmare - like everything else google does.

Reply Score: 1

Thin Client revisited
by afilloon on Tue 28th Mar 2006 17:37 UTC
afilloon
Member since:
2006-03-28

In the 90s I worked with a group that sold the SunRay thin client stations. I remember we talked about this sort of availability over the Internet, but the then tiny pipes wouldn't support it.
As some of you may remember the SunRay worked in a closed network with either a username and password or, better yet, a smart card. I remember how impressed I was when I visited Sun HQ and seeing how this access impacted the corporate culture.
Imagine being able to walk into a colleagues office and during a discussion, pulling his smart card out of the station and inserting yours and bringing up your desktop exactly as you left it, down to the edit. This really does change how we work.
The problem with implementing this, at this early stage, is of course security. The Internet isn't quite as safe as a closed network and we don't all have smart cards that create instant VPN tunnels. But I'm an optimist and believe we will get there.

Reply Score: 1

No Centralization
by alucinor on Tue 28th Mar 2006 17:56 UTC
alucinor
Member since:
2006-01-06

It seems all these new web services coming from Microsoft, Google, and the web 2.0 companies require centralization of usersí data. This goes against one of the most basic tenets of web architecture is decentralization. What we really need is to move forward, not backward, and give usersí more control and ownership of their data. This means universal formats becoming standard, such as RDF, so that if I want to store pictures on Flickr, I can easily port them over to some other system without having to re-upload and type in all my metadata again.

Better than a network OS would be to equip client operating systems with software agents that could act as your personal system admin. If you want access to your data from anywhere, you access it from your server, not some central Google or Microsoft server. We need to enable Joe Sixpack to be his own admin with little effort.

Centralization always creates fragility on the Web.

Reply Score: 1

RE: No Centralization
by afilloon on Tue 28th Mar 2006 18:28 UTC in reply to "No Centralization"
afilloon Member since:
2006-03-28

"This goes against one of the most basic tenets of web architecture is decentralization."

The internet is based on decentralization of routing and infrastructure, not data.

"Better than a network OS would be to equip client operating systems with software agents that could act as your personal system admin. If you want access to your data from anywhere, you access it from your server, not some central Google or Microsoft server..."

Huh? This is still located on a centralized server. Are you advocating everyone own their own server and manage their own data? Just how would that work?

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: No Centralization
by alucinor on Tue 28th Mar 2006 19:08 UTC in reply to "RE: No Centralization"
alucinor Member since:
2006-01-06

I was talking about the Web, not the Internet. And one of the architectural principles is in fact decentralization of data. Perhaps this idea wasn't emphasized in the WWW as we know it today, but it's central to the Semantic Web, as it is core to RDF that anyone can say anything about anything, meaning that Semantic Web agents have to know how to deal with potentially contradictory information.

I think in the future, personal data should be kept decentralized, and the only centralization should be something similar to DNS, so that if anyone needs to access my information that I choose (or my government forces me to) publish, then they can do it at Person://us.washington.seattle.smith.john or something similar, and get it in a vendor-agnostic format. This way, it takes advantage of the centralization afforded by DNS, but the actual location of the data could be on any server, including my own personal one, or just some space I'm renting from my ISP, whatever. I just don't want to see my data, which I rightfully own, under the ownership of an external entity.

To see how centralization is fragile, just research the attempts by the British NHS to centralize hospital data into the national Spine! Centralization is a weakness to the Web.

Hopefully a company or just a group of smart engineers will come along who will do for the server side and ownership of data what the PC movement did for the client side and ownership of programs (and I'm talking about the "golden age" of the PC movement, not the DRM crap being discussed today). As our culture becomes more wired, our data is going to become more valuable to us, and consumers will buy a software product that empowers them to easily store and manage their own information. I can't give you details on how such an automated administrator would work; it would probably be some kind of expert-rules-based system. But the potential for it is there. The pedulum of the software business is swinging back towards the network with SOA, but that doesn't mean we couldn't see swing back the other direction again with shrink-wrapped products one day.

Edited 2006-03-28 19:24

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: No Centralization
by afilloon on Tue 28th Mar 2006 22:41 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No Centralization"
afilloon Member since:
2006-03-28

As far as I know the changes to RDF, in regard to W3C Semantics, was first formally recommended in 2004 and the first working drafts were just published this month. This is hardly the core web yet. I donít agree that ďÖone of the architectural principles is in fact decentralization of data.Ē The core architecture of the Web protocols (which in fact is all the web is comprised of) is the linking and presentation of data and nothing more. Everything else is heaped on top.
What you are espousing is philosophy, and there is nothing wrong with that; just donít represent technical architecture as a philosophical foundation.
One of the inherent problems with decentralization of data is maintaining that data and accessibility. Your argument that we should each be responsible for our own personal data is an interesting though experiment, but where do you draw the line between your personal data and the data about you that companies need to keep doing business with you? How do you control the aggregation of that data? On a more mundane note, what happens when the data on rented server space is lost to a crash and the ISP doesnítí have a good backup? Are you going to be responsible to maintain and restore that data? Do you seriously believe that every citizen out there will?Iím skeptical of egalitarian, utopian plans to give everyone control over all of their personal data. Itís not that I believe that ďbig brotherĒ should control it, I just havenít seen a plausible plan to provide a workable solution to the general populace that would protect that data, both from a physical and from a privacy standpoint.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this.

Reply Score: 1