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Stallman Warns of ChromeOS

George R [PersonRank 10]

Wednesday, December 15, 2010
13 years ago7,035 views

It is being reported at the that Richard Stallman is wary of ChromeOS and cloud based apps. You may be giving up control and both physical and legal rights to your data.

"Stallman only sees one aspect of ChromeOS to applaud: its GNU/Linux heritage. 'In essence, Chrome OS is the GNU/Linux operating system. However, it is delivered without the usual applications, and rigged up to impede and discourage installing applications,' he told the Guardian. 'I'd say the problem is in the nature of the job ChromeOS is designed to do. Namely, encourage you to keep your data elsewhere, and do your computing elsewhere, instead of doing it in your own computer.'"

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

The question is to know what is better for users. Stallman thinks it's a question of privacy. It is not. Most of people don't have secret documents on their computer, they just have documents that they want to keep whatever happen.

The Internet has been a great idea 20 years ago because it did not relied on one server, but on multiple servers and computers. It was great because if the main server crash, all data is lost. On the contrary, if your personnal computer dies, it's not a big problem for other users.

Nowadays, there are more chances for that your hard drive dies than all Google's servers die. All data are replicated, so this is great for people. So people will like it.

Roger Browne [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

> there are more chances for that your hard drive dies than all
> Google's servers die

That's true of course, but your own data is not present on "all" of Google's servers. As far as I know Google makes no public reference to their backup strategy.

I recall once many years ago Google made a comment something along the lines of "Your Gmail account is replicated two-and-a-half times" but I never really knew what that meant in practice.

George R [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

Loss of data privacy is just one of several aspects.

You lose control of your data. Your account could be cancelled, locked, or hijacked. The data could be deleted or become inaccessable. My impression is that Google does not have a very good reputation in dealing with such situations. Many corporations and web sites seem to be careless with securing personal and account information. I think that there was a recent exploit involving Google accounts. The Guardian article also indicates that storing your data in the cloud may compromise your legal rights to it.

You lose control of your software. Stallman has been a major proponent of free and open source software. The GPL was intended to protect this. Google is distributing linux, but replacing the open source applications with their cloud based apps. For the most part you are not free to modify those apps any way you wish. Google often makes changes to their apps and services that many consider undesireable. You are not free to use the old version.

TOMHTML [PersonRank 10]

13 years ago #

> Your account could be cancelled, locked, or hijacked.
Your computer could be stolen, frooze or hijacked too.

I understand all your points of view. But please, keep in mind the marketing target for ChromeOS / Cr-48 is people who don't even know what an OS is. I bet your mom doesn't care about legal rights, number of replications or software licences, as long as she can check her e-mails and go on the Internet.

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