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Fear and Loathing of Chrome OS?

© November 2009 Anthony Lawrence

Yesterday I wrote a post about Chrome OS . My purpose today is to discuss some comments which interested me - these were fairly nasty, and I got the impression that there was a very deep dislike at work. I'm not sure whether it was toward Google, Linux, cloud computing or maybe all of that!

I can certainly understand some people feeling threatened by that sort of thing and I can also appreciate that there is a definite loss of control when moving away from our traditional "fat" operating systems.

I myself have mixed feelings about this. I don't really trust "the cloud" and don't like having my data "out there". On the other hand, there are real advantages and I can definitely see myself using something in this line.

Do you see yourself using Chrome OS, an Apple Tablet or a similar device? Not necessarily as your only computer, but perhaps something always with you?

For example, I could see this replacing my cell phone in many situations. Not always, of course, but sometimes doing Skype is better than a phone.

If the machines are cheap, rugged and have long battery life, I can see that I'd rather have that with me than my "real" computer, and although I do have reservations about the Cloud, I can't deny that there are real advantages to that model.

Certainly Chrome OS shouldn't be anything Linux users fear - it is Linux, and although they mount the fs RO, you can change that instantly with a "-o remount,rw" (at least for now).

To my mind, Microsoft has the most to fear (and saying that is probably what caused one nasty comment).

So, I guess two issues here: one is the use of such OSes/devices at at all and the other is whether this is good for Linux. I'd say yes - even if potential users don't initially realize that they are using Linux!

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-> Fear and Loathing of Chrome OS?


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Thu Nov 26 10:22:15 2009: 7628   NickBarron

I did read the previous article and was bemused by the abuse and substantial lack of facts. Though these two things tend to go hand in hand I feel. More so by report on his browser...

I personally do not trust Google, this has been weighing on my mind a lot recently with the reports I have seen regarding Google's data sharing with certain governments etc including its willingness to show personal data that it should be protecting. Because of this I am not using any of their products if I can avoid it. So why I will try Chrome OS to gain some knowledge and insight about it. I will not be using it as an OS period.

Google are looking very dangerous at the moment and I have to say I am a little worried about what they are up to.

Thu Nov 26 14:27:35 2009: 7631   TonyLawrence

Yeah, sooner or later Google will have to either be broken up or hobbled to avoid it having too much power. If they are smart, they'll hobble themselves and divest things before they get taken away.

Fri Nov 27 03:43:45 2009: 7660   drag


If you give your information to a company or government they will use it and they will sell it.

Google, your mortgage company, your DMV, your bank, your telephone company, your ISP, your grocery store. Keeping track of individuals, their assets, their habits are all big big business nowadays. Collecting, collating, sorting, selling. Profit to be had by all levels of businesses.

Its not a matter of people doing demographics. Dealing with larger groups of people rather then sorting a individual's data just makes economic sense. However if somebody figures out a profitable business model of tracking your specific movements and habits then that information is saved for them to work through.

I used to work with a company that created lists of people and sold them for the purposes of (mostly) junk mail. There were other people that used it, but it was mostly for mass mail marketing. We had brokers and independent salesmen that maintained their own front companies with websites and tools we provided, but larger customers would deal with us directly.

Since they were mostly involved in mail marketting the most valuable source of information would be your mortgage companies. They would give us information for their own marketing campaigns, we'd save it and sort it and use it. But there are lots of other sources.

We would then take that information and work with the US Post Office to confirm the accuracy of it. We would have to go through every name on the books with the PO's records to confirm the accuracy every month. About 3 terrabytes worth of names in a mostly flat-file type database.

We'd collect information sold to us through licensing applications with your states. Stuff like driver license information, fishing licensing information, etc etc.

So a example that was given to me was that we had to find the x number of people that lived in a set number of counties that were male, hunters, and made between 25 to 45 thousand dollars. This was for a hunting magazine. That is about the finest grain information we kept track of.

Of course all of this is now rather old fashioned compared to the sort and quality of information maintained about you by other, much larger, companies. We were only about 200-300 person company. Going out of style in the face of internet-based competition.

Fri Nov 27 11:13:40 2009: 7662   TonyLawrence

Folks, I apologize. We're under attack by some jackasses from Linux Haters Blog.

All comments are moderated from this point forward. Sorry to have to do that, but it only takes a couple of jerks to spoil things for everyone else.

Fri Nov 27 15:13:14 2009: 7665   TonyLawrence

If you are a frequent commenter, you should be automatically approved. New commenters will be moderated.

Fri Nov 27 15:32:00 2009: 7666   drag

Trolls is as trolls does.

It would be best to just quietly delete their stuff and make it as other users are unaware of them as much as possible. All he is trying to do is use you to generate attention for their own blog.


BTW Aplawrence is a Unix Fanboi. He prefers to use OS X over Linux on the desktop and developed his business through years of supporting small businesses using SCO's Unix variants. Linux is just the best system going forward for the server and it has decent possibility for desktop with larger corporations starting to take a active role in developing for the desktop; like Intel with Moblin or Google with Chrome.

It is not very complicated.

Fri Nov 27 15:55:24 2009: 7667   TonyLawrence

Definitely. I think one of the offenders is a principal at LHB.

They won't be able to post anymore.

Fri Nov 27 16:38:08 2009: 7668   TonyLawrence

The really stupid part is that I've read some of his stuff and it's not all rabid rants - after all, there ARE warts on the Penguin. If he wanted to post a decent article here complaining about Linux rationally, I'd publish it.

That WOULD generate traffic for his blog (and from the little research I've done in Alexa etc., he's not very popular - far less so than this site, anyway).

But no, he wants to be a jackass. So be it.

Sat Nov 28 05:43:15 2009: 7672   Sledge

There are way to use cloud computing without giving away control. eyeos ( (link) ) runs on your server and being free can be extended as needs arise.
I hesitate to advocate cloud computing (in the Google-as-a-PC sense) because of their initial and, I think, underlying, purpose - to collect and share all knowledge/information. There is still some stuff I don't want shared.

Sun Nov 29 00:01:24 2009: 7677   manny


those guys are not trolls, they're complete pathetic douchebags

their stupid tactics barely worked long long ago.
you ignore them, they go away. in fact they dont even get traffic anymore.

anyway, back to chrome os
i will try it and i would love for it to be on every computer with windows as the second OS

it has the major potential to become the great trojan horse of OSs and get people hooked on it over windows (90% of the time).

in fact i will be using it along ubuntu, mostly on the go on an USB drive

that and dedicated chromeOS tablets/MIDs is the way to go.

Sun Nov 29 16:09:26 2009: 7687   anonymous

... that nobody has. The video Google released about how terrible it is that Windows takes a whopping "45 seconds" to startup ("I could make a sandwich in 45 seconds!") is testament to this.

Who gives a*\***? For real, this is one of FIRST THINGS the video states about why ChromeOS is so great -- that it boots up quickly?

Apps. End of story. This is why Microsoft (and, slowly, Mac OS X) dominates. And always will.

Linux is for servers.

Sun Nov 29 16:40:48 2009: 7690   BigDumbDInosaur

Show a report stating that "more and more companies are switching to Open Office" and responses from the masses will be less likely to suggest your mother has, in fact, a cock.

It's heart-warming to know that the Internet monkeys have developed an extensive vocabulary and really know how to relate one situation (use of Open Office) to another (one's mother's...er...physical characteristics).

As I opined before, you (Tony) should discontinue anonymous posting. Yes, it's inconvenient for the individual who has something to add to the "conversation." However, I fear that the Internet monkey population is rapidly increasing and more of these "I hate ***" (where *** is your least favorite operting system, application, brand of toilet tissue, etc.) rants are going to become the norm.

My curmudgeonly opinion is that this sort of churlish behavior will steadily increase due to what I refer to as the Kanye West syndrome. Yesterday's permissiveness advocated by New Age parental thinking has result in today's rude and truculent behavior. What Tony is seeing here with these ill-mannered rants is nothing more than the cyberspace equivalent of a young punk cutting in line in front of an old lady. I'm sure it will only escalate unless something is done to force these cretins to reveal themselves when they attempt to spew their BS. If it were a case of butting into line and it was in front of me, you could rest well knowing I'd do something about (as I have several times in the past -- it's fascinating how contrite these little a**holes get when someone who is as big and ugly as a Chicago Bears linebacker gets in their faces over bad behavior).

Sun Nov 29 17:03:57 2009: 7692   TonyLawrence

As I opined before, you (Tony) should discontinue anonymous posting.

Well, all such posts are moderated now. They've already tried to post more junk here - it won't be allowed through. Anonymous comments ARE allowed - just not abusive nonsense.

Sun Nov 29 17:11:24 2009: 7693   TonyLawrence

Apps. End of story. This is why Microsoft (and, slowly, Mac OS X) dominates

There's much more to Chrome than being able to boot quickly. The "apps" are in the cloud - they don't need to be on the machine.

But - I do agree that if Apple's supposed "iTablet" (whatever it will be called) will run iPhone apps AND is inexpensive enough, that could negate Chrome.

Nonetheless, the prognosis is far more complicated than "End of story." and "Linux is for servers."

Wed Dec 23 17:44:08 2009: 7810   TonyLawrence


Speaking of cloud storage - I just got an email from a company offering 100GB of cloud storage for $40 a year. Amazon S3 starts at $15 a month for the same amount, though they are flexible and you can use less if that's all you need. Amazon also charges for reading or writing to the storage, so there's a sweet spot in there somewhere where this could be a good deal - but I bet it really wouldn't worjk out that way.

This company is probably just using S3 anyway :-)


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