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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

OSS Leftovers

SUSE Leftovers

  • openSUSE Tumbleweed – Review of the Week 2016/48
    After releasing daily snapshots without interruption for 17 days, Tumbleweed did slow down a bit during the last week. As already mentioned in my last review, 1124 had been canceled due to an issue with sddm installing strange branding configurations. And later on, we ‘broke’ our own staging setup and needed to bootstrap a few of them, making the throughput much lower than you were used to. So, we ended up with 3 snapshots since my last review: 1125, 1128 and 1129.
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    November is over, Santa Claus elves start to stress and the YaST team brings you one of the last reports of 2016. Let’s see what’s new in YaSTland.

OSS: AI and Machine Learning

Ubuntu and Derivatives

  • Canonical Sues Cloud Provider, Mint Beta, Devuan Tour
    Ubuntu parent-company, Canonical, today posted that they've been in a dispute with "a European cloud provider" over their use of their own homespun version of Ubuntu on their cloud servers. Their implementation disables even the most basic of security features and Canonical is worried something bad could happen and it'd reflect badly back on them. The post read, "The home-grown images of this provider disable fundamental security mechanisms and modify the system in ways that are unsupportable. They are likely to behave unpredictably on update in weirdly creative and mysterious ways." They said they've spent months trying to get the unnamed provider to use the standard Ubuntu as delivered to other commercial operations to no avail. Canonical feels they have no choice but to "take legal steps to remove these images." They're sure Red Hat and Microsoft wouldn't be treated like this.
  • Taking a stand against unofficial Ubuntu images
    Ubuntu is amazing on the cloud because we work with cloud providers to ensure crisp, consistent and secure images which you can auto-update safely. On every major cloud—AWS, Azure, Google, Rackspace, SoftLayer and many more—you can be confident that ‘Ubuntu’ is Ubuntu, with the same commitment to quality that you can expect when you install it yourself, and we can guarantee that to you because we require that clouds offer only certified Ubuntu images.
  • Canonical Takes Stand Against Unofficial Ubuntu Images, Reportedly Risky & Insecure
    Mark Shuttleworth has written a new blog post where he's outlining a dispute Canonical is having with a European cloud provider over a breach of contract and "publishing insecure, broken images of Ubuntu" for its cloud customers. With these Ubuntu Cloud unofficial images reportedly being buggy, users are complaining to Canonical/Ubuntu, assuming it's an upstream issue. Having enough of that, they are now preparing for legal steps to remove the unofficial Ubuntu images from the particular cloud provider.
  • Linux Mint 18.1 “Serena” MATE – BETA Release
  • Linux Mint 18.1 “Serena” Cinnamon – BETA Release