How Chrome OS Changes Everything

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36 Responses

  1. Yoel Israel says:

    Scary, Google is like the private industry’s big brother. I have a friend in my MBA that swear against Microsoft for their dominance and monopoly, so they are supporting Google. But they end up supporting what they initially turn against.

    How far does legislation go in protecting us from companies who watch out every move like Google? Or are there none, because unlike government we voluntarily hand over our info?

  2. mayasagi says:

    Hi Hilel,
    Great post (even though quite creepy).
    I remember sitting in an Internet marketing class in college where the lecturer showed us a movie about “Google taking over the world”. It was disturbing then and it is more disturbing now as some of the features predicted in that movie are becoming a reality.
    Call me paranoid but I am scard to use too many Google products…(although This can be very useful: http://alturl.com/pb36 )

  3. hilzfuld says:

    Yoel and Maya, thanks so much for the comments, appreciate your feedback and glad to see you share my concerns…

  4. Wesley says:

    I think the problem is well recognized…the question is, what do we do about it? Government regulation is an unlikely solution because we consumers are knowingly agreeing to exchange our privacy for cool new Google programs—the government doesn’t like to interfere with contracts (bad for business). And persuading consumers not to make that bargain seems far-fetched, especially since those Google products work so damn well!

    No, the data-gathering trend will continue, and it is inevitable that Google and other large companies will amass large amounts of information about their users that we’d prefer to keep private. Perhaps the most realistic step at this point is to educate consumers about the information being collected and try to get them at least to keep sensitive information out of the Cloud.

  5. Oren Todoros says:

    I’m glad you took the time to prepare a post on what the Google OS really implies. I have to admit that besides seeing the Google OS Brand being mentioned through every social circle I didn’t make time to really understand too much about it.

    One of the questions it sparks up for me is, are mainstream users ready to run everything off the web? We’ve already become accustomed to web based email but many are still hesitant about using web based office type products. I create a Google Doc when I want to share info with people but I’m still not ready to give up on Word or Excel. Let’s not even get into web based video editing services which I have yet to find one that does what it’s supposed to.

  6. hilzfuld says:

    Wesley and Oren, thanks for the comments, was a little worried that I would come off as nuts when writing this post. Now I see if I am nuts, I’m in good company :)

  7. Saady says:

    great post Hillel..
    i agree with every thing u said…

    i guess the scariest part is that Google’s services became a “primary need” for every one out there just like breathing and eating… and with the new “GPS turn by turn”, they even know were are we looking for places to hide, so it’s litteraly, no place to run and no place to hide.

  8. hilzfuld says:

    Indeed Saady, pretty freaky! Thanks for the comment :)

  9. rich97 says:

    It doesn’t really scare me, the main reasons being that:

    1) I have nothing to hide anyway.
    2) The information they collect is about “a person” not you.

    Google need this information, I remember seeing somewhere that Google make something like 95% of their money though advertising. The thing that worries me the most is not Google possesing this information, but governments forcing Google to hand them that information.

    I trust Google not to use this against me, however, I don’t trust the rest of the world…

  10. hilzfuld says:

    Thanks Rich, I hear you, but am not so quick to trust Google. Why do you think they wont use it against you? It does not have to be something huge, but even ads and spam emails can get really annoying…

  11. Johan says:

    I would say that most people expose themselves much more through things they write and/or upload to social networks, forums, blogs, etc, than they’ll ever do through Google.

    It’s interesting that people are increasingly paranoid about “big brother” (governments, corporations) when the biggest threat to your integrity comes from “little brother” (your schoolmate with a camera mobile and a youtube account).

  12. The healthcare debate is adistraction. People actually fear their freedom will be eroded by being given access to healthcare with government help. Might they be looking in the wrong place?

  13. victed says:

    @HilzFuld Shalom! I was thinking of the song.. I got a feeling, someone is watching me.. that someone is Google! lol

    Enjoyed your article.. good job!

    Rgds
    @victed

  14. Sam Cohen says:

    Yes Steve Balmer said in 1998 that Network Computers are Dead
    (Microsoft tried to kill them) Thin Client Model is best since the Internet has dominated computing. “The Network is the Computer” Larry Allison lost Money on this and SUN too but it is alive and Kicking, Nokia made a lot of Money with this Microsoft Free Technologies. So Google Chrome is here.

  15. León says:

    I agree with not having all yourself eggs in one basket, understand what info you share. As of today, i have never been forced to send out to the Internet any info i have not explicitly decided. And i read a lot of blogs with Google ads on them, but (i think) i have never received a spam Mail from Google.

  16. Chris says:

    The fact that alternatives exist is key…You don’t have to use Google’s products….ever!

    Now, if it was mandatory, or forced upon us, that would definitely be scary.

  17. rutherford says:

    for those worried about conspiracies – here is the data google has on you:

    https://www.google.com/dashboard

  18. Benji says:

    Hillel ~ Great post!!

    I am not the first to say it, but more and more people are going to move towards these products only because it makes life easier!

    WHAT IS IMPORTANT is to train the public what information they can post and what information they should keep to themselves. Unfortunately, many people like to post anything and everything they can, not realizing that some of the sensitive info can actually be used against them…

    All in all, sounds like a very cool product… and I can’t wait to try it… but I am no fool…. I will do my best to keep certain info to myself.

  19. Overloaded says:

    your only hope is numbers (lots of other users potentially more interesting/dangerous than you), keeping a low profile and hoping you dont catch the attention of the humans in the “big brother complex” that take action based on what the AI’s feed them.

    if you can feed the AI’s misleading info (i remember that wired article on “if your TiVO thinks you are gay”) even better ;-)

    thanks for the enjoyable and conspiranoic entry!

  20. Martin says:

    It’s sooo 20th century to be afraid of the “Big”. Be it big government, big boss or big brother. The danger of the 21st century is the autonomous acting single terrorist who got “inspired” and does not even belong to any structure.

    Our threat is the little brother next door, as somebody posted correctly. What’s needed in this century is again more of the “Big” — to protect us from the “Little”. It’s not bombs that threaten us but rather box cutters, noisy blog posts, crappy snap shots, random phone calls.

    My spam comes from a kid in China, not Google. Google and Apple protect me from spam and viruses better than any open source clique ever could. It’s the independent “free” open sourcers who pose the real problem with all their incompatibilities, bad taste and all too frequent updates.

    I want my life easy and I want guidance. Therefore I accept some loss of freedom and look to the 10 comandments. I take the other pill and enter the Matrix. So should I wear a head scarf to protect my privacy or wear sunglasses at night? It may be fashionable to discuss this style, like here, but in real life — no thank you, don’t need it.

    Hillel, your “fear” that you outline in your blog here is purely theoretical. People who seed fear are the ones I personally fear most. God bless you.

  21. Bapcha says:

    My take is that the “cloud” is in fact a step BACKWARDS – to the world of centralized [distributed in the case of the "cloud"] computing. Replace every instance of “cloud” with “mainframe” in all of the promotional material that I’ve been seeing in the past few years, and what you get is a platform of computing that is as old as computing itself!!!

  22. Perfect Points to Ponder.

    There is still a very big world out there on the other side of the fence though. Wonder if someday there will be fights between the virtual techie clickers and the dirt world stompers. Those who live in the “cloud” vs. those who work without the need for gadgets, devices and virtuality.

    So while there may seem to be someone watching most of the folks I know work hard creating / teaching / building and fixing. (yes, I can see my house on Google maps) The virtual world / phone / etc. are a minor part of their life.

    The worry I have is about which reality will the important decisions be made on? That which can be clicked and stored in a cloud and watched on a video? Or the stuff people do every day with tears, laughter, pain and sweat.

    Go clickers. Hooray for stompers. (I am rooting for both) :)

  23. K Mulvany says:

    All that you say is true, but…

    First of all, it’s up to the individual to choose to use any of those Google services. So if anybody is all that concerned about privacy, all they have to do is opt out of using a Google service. The fact that the alternatives generally cost money while Google’s are free is really not something that we can blame Google for, is it? After all, they are undeniably bringing a new choice to the ecosystem.

    Secondly, while it’s probably true that every move we make while using a Google service is recorded somewhere, it’s not like there’s a sentient being – a real Big Brother — hiding back in the server farm looking at our every move. That would require way too much (expensive) storage and compute power. All Google can cost-effectively do is search for keywords or other ad-triggering info amongst the vast sea of otherwise irrelevant data that we spew out while using Google services. So Google is only going to keep the metadata that matters to them — and personally I feel reasonably secure with Google’s commercial objectives. My concern would be if government steps in to require that they be provided access to our Google data too. Then it’s a different ball game.

  24. martinluff says:

    Of course if you want a bit more privacy then you can always choose to encrypt a lot of those communications that run on the Google cloud services. Wave, for example has encrypted communications at it’s core…

  25. Thanks,

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    Thanks a lot and greetings,

    Dave and Carol
    Seo and Travel Website in Europe, France

  26. Itamar B. says:

    Thanks for the great post Hillel. You are definitely not alone with your concerns… :)

    You are pointing out some interesting (/creepy) points, however, as I see it, it’s all good as long as you have an alternative… Not interested in exposing your private data? Don’t use cloud-based service.

    On the other hand and based on Google’s strategy (as I see it), soon enough we won’t have the option to choose, unless we will voluntarily decide to be left behind.

    My conclusion is that we should all find the balance, keep our private data close to our chests and always keep an open eye on what we do and where we go…

  27. Cristian L. says:

    Great article. Thanks.

    At the moment there shouldn’t be too many causes for concern, but imagine a situation in which Google goes bankrupt and they have the ability to sell this database of information about everyone on the black market. There isn’t one company that lives forever.

    About the Chrome OS, other than the great UI, which can easily be reproduced on a Linux machine , and the fact that it is open source , I don’t see it as a big hit. As some people mentioned above, it must be Google’s strategy to enforce cloud computing. I don’t see that working either. I can see why they would want to extend to this kind of system : there can’t be any piracy so the revenue must be much higher.

    Is it possible for Google to store every single file from all it’s users (more than 1 billion i guess) . I don’t think they can afford that much space . That must be exobytes.

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