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Fancy An Online Desktop?

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Software

Online desktop (some call it online operating system, or WebOS) literally means putting the whole operating system online and allow users to have their own desktop where they can access anywhere in the World with an Internet connection.

Just like your desktop in your PC, there will be a standard suite of software such as the email client, office suite, IM, contact available in your online desktop. The idea behind it is to promote mobility and enable users to share and access their files easily. If you are always on the move and hate the feeling of lugging your laptop around, then syncing your local desktop with an online desktop might be a good idea for you.

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Would you trust your data to an "Online Desktop Provider"?

If there was sufficient bandwidth to have usable apps (in terms of speed), and the apps were good enough, sure, it might be appealing to have a desktop available from any place an Internet connection and a suitable web browser was available. But it'd make me uncomfortable (to the point of not buying in) to have my personal data stored on someone else's server. (Yeah, I know, there's already email; Google records; etc. that are stored remotely.)

It could be the case where you've done something illegal, or simply embarrassing - for example, what if you're going through a divorce, and your wife's attorney subpoenas your "online desktop provider" for letters you've written and pictures you've exchanged with your girlfriend?

But to me, it's just a simple matter of wanting to keep my personal data private. Remember "privacy"? It's practically non-existent these days. Where do you draw the line?

(Along the same lines, see A farewell to the era of anonymous drinking, by Jem Matzan, where he discusses the policy some restaurants have of recording the barcode data from your driver's license before serving you alcohol, if you look underage, without your consent. And without your knowledge of what they do with the data.)

re: Would you trust your data to an "Online Desktop Provider"?

There's no such thing as privacy anymore. From "Kroger cards" passing on what we eat to google storing what we search and read (and email), to the NSA storing every phone call, and with debit and credit cards recording every purchase, privacy is an antiquated concept. Heck, our medical records are soon to be open to just about anyone, if they ain't already. Not to mention the "On-star" and GPS in vehicles recording our every move. Some countries have cameras recording pedestrians on their city streets.

There'll soon be sensors in the john to record the content and frequency of our bowel movements! Big Grin

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