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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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More in Tux Machines

Fork YOU! Sure, take the code. Then what?

There's an old adage in the open source world – if you don't like it, fork it. This advice, often given in a flippant manner, makes it seem like forking a piece of software is not a big deal. Indeed, forking a small project you find on GitHub is not a big deal. There's even a handy button to make it easy to fork it. Unlike many things in programming though, that interaction model, that simplicity of forking, does not scale. There is no button next to Debian that says Fork it! Thinking that all you need to do to make a project yours is to fork it is a fundamental misunderstanding of what large free/open source projects are – at their hearts, they are communities. One does not simply walk into Debian and fork it. One can, on the other hand, walk out of a project, bring all the other core developers along, and essentially leave the original an empty husk. This is what happened when LibreOffice forked away from the once-mighty OpenOffice; it's what happened when MariaDB split from MySQL; and it's what happened more recently when the core developers behind ownCloud left the company and forked the code to start their own project, Nextcloud. They also, thankfully, dropped the silly lowercase first letter thing. Nextcloud consists of the core developers who built ownCloud, but who were not, and, judging by the very public way this happened, had not been, in control of the direction of the product for some time. Read more

Proprietary and Microsoft Software

Pithos 1.2

  • New Version of Linux Pandora Client ‘Pithos’ Released
    A new release of open-source Linux Pandora client Pithos is now available for download.
  • Pithos 1.2 Improves The Open-Source/Linux Pandora Desktop Experience
    Chances are if you've ever dealt with Pandora music streaming from the Linux desktop you've encountered Pithos as the main open-source solution that works out quite well. Released today was Pithos 1.2 and it ships with numerous enhancements for this GPLv3-licensed Pandora desktop client. Pithos 1.2 adds a number of new keyboard shortcuts for the main window, initial support for translations, an explicit content filter option, reduced CPU usage with Ubuntu's default theme, redesigned dialogs and other UI elements, and more.

OPNsense 16.7

  • OPNsense 16.7 released
  • pfSense/m0n0wall-Forked OPNsense 16.7 Released
    The latest major release is out of OPNsense, a BSD open-source firewall OS project derived from pfSense and m0n0wall. OPNsense 16.7 brings NetFlow-based reporting and export, trafic shaping support, two-factor authentication, HTTPS and ICAP support in the proxy server, and UEFI boot and installation modes.