Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

The Web, the Desktop, and the Google between

Chrome OS is Google's proof-of-concept for a future where everything - both data and the programs and services that manipulate them - will live on the wide web. I don’t personally find it a very appealing path either, and the things I’ll be talking about below will probably explain why.

Innovation on the browser has been relatively slow despite there being multiple parties working on it, and the browser today isn’t exactly a fundamentally different creature from the first Netscape browsers that we used – we just got more tabs and better ways of remembering and revisiting favourite sites. The thing that has really been changing and enhancing our web experience is changes in the wide web itself – the evolution from static web pages to having guestbooks and then the appearance of forums and blogs and wikis and now powerful social networks. However, the influence of web-bound technologies will always be rate-limited by hardware – network bandwidth, speed, reliability – as well as Internet availability, which is still atrocious in some countries, and doesn’t look like it’s improving in too much of a hurry. In other words, it’ll probably take a looong time before we have the infrastructural power needed to support a truly ubiquitous computing platform that exclusively relies on web technologies. In yet other words, even if Google wants to diminish the desktop and ‘replace’ it with the browser, it’s not gonna happen soon. So the desktop is gonna be sticking around – what does it do in the meantime? Sit around and wait, maintaining an awkward relationship with the browser?

I think the desktop can do better.




More in Tux Machines

Security: Updates, 2017 Linux Security Summit, Software Updates for Embedded Linux and More

  • Security updates for Tuesday
  • The 2017 Linux Security Summit
    The past Thursday and Friday was the 2017 Linux Security Summit, and once again I think it was a great success. A round of thanks to James Morris for leading the effort, the program committee for selecting a solid set of talks (we saw a big increase in submissions this year), the presenters, the attendees, the Linux Foundation, and our sponsor - thank you all! Unfortunately we don't have recordings of the talks, but I've included my notes on each of the presentations below. I've also included links to the slides, but not all of the slides were available at the time of writing; check the LSS 2017 slide archive for updates.
  • Key Considerations for Software Updates for Embedded Linux and IoT
    The Mirai botnet attack that enslaved poorly secured connected embedded devices is yet another tangible example of the importance of security before bringing your embedded devices online. A new strain of Mirai has caused network outages to about a million Deutsche Telekom customers due to poorly secured routers. Many of these embedded devices run a variant of embedded Linux; typically, the distribution size is around 16MB today. Unfortunately, the Linux kernel, although very widely used, is far from immune to critical security vulnerabilities as well. In fact, in a presentation at Linux Security Summit 2016, Kees Cook highlighted two examples of critical security vulnerabilities in the Linux kernel: one being present in kernel versions from 2.6.1 all the way to 3.15, the other from 3.4 to 3.14. He also showed that a myriad of high severity vulnerabilities are continuously being found and addressed—more than 30 in his data set.
  • APNIC-sponsored proposal could vastly improve DNS resilience against DDoS

today's howtos

What's New In Linux Lite 3.6

Linux Lite 3.6 is a good distribution, you just have to put your hands in the engine, but the assistance offered by Linux Lite helps us to set the system as well as possible. The XFCE desktop installed by default adds ease-of-use to this distribution, and the dashboard and main menu layout help the user from another operating system quickly find its brands Read more

AMD Threadripper 1950X on Linux