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Why online resources are not free and ChromeOS will fail

Nowadays there seems to be a big push for the use of online resources to replace offline functionality. New operating systems like ChromesOS or Jolicloud are mostly web based, and more and more audio and video services are moving from downloads to streaming. On the surface it looks like this is a big win for freedom as you are much less dependent on your operating system or proprietary applications, all is in the browser. There is a big caveat however: this makes you overly dependent on your internet connection, and in a world that is more and more mobile this is a recipe for disaster.

An internet connection is expensive

The problem with many online services and applications is that they do not take into account the price of the connection. If you have to pay for an ADSL connection at home, then a 3G connection for your smartphone, then a Wimax connection (or another 3G connection, or a Boingo account) for your netbook or iPad you are looking at a frightening bill at the end of the month, even if these services are available. It is likely that many people will only afford an ADSL connection and end up "stuck at home" if they rely on online services for their application and entertainment. Streaming a video clip from YouTube may seem cheaper than purchasing the song, but it is probably not the case once the connection bill is factored in.

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Software: Liberation of Code, GNU Parallel, Devhelp

  • When should you open source your software?
    It’s 20 years this this since the term ‘Open Source’ was coined. In that time the movement for free and open software has gone from a niche to a common method of distribution and a normal way of operating for businesses. Major technology shifts are now driven by open source technologies: Big Data (Hadoop, Spark), AI (TensorFlow, Caffe), and Containers (Docker, Kubernetes) are all open projects. Massive companies including Google, Facebook, and even Lyft regularly release Open Source tools for the world to use. Microsoft – whose former CEO once described Linux as a cancer – now embraces the concept.
  • GNU Parallel 20180422 ('Tiangong-1') released
    Quote of the month: Today I discovered GNU Parallel, and I don’t know what to do with all this spare time. --Ryan Booker
  • Devhelp news
    For more context, I started to contribute to Devhelp in 2015 to fix some annoying bugs (it’s an application that I use almost every day). Then I got hooked, I contributed more, became a co-maintainer last year, etc. Devhelp is a nice little project, I would like it to be better known and used more outside of GNOME development, for example for the Linux kernel now that they have a good API documentation infrastructure (it’s just a matter of generating *.devhelp2 index files alongside the HTML pages).

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