The Father of GNU Hates on ChromeOS, Cloud Computing

December 15, 2010 -

An article in The Guardian features the comments of Richard Stallman, founder of the Free Software Foundation, who has some ugly things to say about Google's new ChromeOS operating system. A few years ago, Stallman warned that making use of cloud-based computing was "worse than stupidity" because it put user data in the hands of those that operated the servers.

This week he is calling Google's ChromeOS a scheme to "push people into careless computing" by forcing them to save a minimum amount of data locally. He also says that he is deeply concerned because it takes private data and puts it out into the "cloud," which law enforcement agencies in the United States have easier access to:

"In the US, you even lose legal rights if you store your data in a company's machines instead of your own. The police need to present you with a search warrant to get your data from you; but if they are stored in a company's server, the police can get it without showing you anything. They may not even have to give the company a search warrant."

Chrome had a "soft launch" last week, which Eric Schmidt, Google's chief executive, got pretty excited about:

"For me, these announcements were among the most important of my working life – demonstrating the real power of computer science to transform people's lives. It's extraordinary how very complex platforms can produce beautifully simple solutions like Chrome and Chrome OS, which anyone can use from the get-go – as long as you get it right," he wrote. "As developers start playing with our beta Cr-48 Chrome OS computer, they'll see that while it's still early days it works unbelievably well. You can build everything that you used to mix and match with client software—taking full advantage of the capacity of the web."

Stallman remains unimpressed:

"I think that marketers like "cloud computing" because it is devoid of substantive meaning. The term's meaning is not substance, it's an attitude: 'Let any Tom, Dick and Harry hold your data, let any Tom, Dick and Harry do your computing for you (and control it).' Perhaps the term 'careless computing' would suit it better."

He also warns that freedoms may be at stake if people continue to move towards what he calls "careless computing":

"I suppose many people will continue moving towards careless computing, because there's a sucker born every minute. The US government may try to encourage people to place their data where the US government can seize it without showing them a search warrant, rather than in their own property. However, as long as enough of us continue keeping our data under our own control, we can still do so. And we had better do so, or the option may disappear."

Source: TechTree


Comments

Re: The Father of GNU Hates on ChromeOS, Cloud Computing

I find no faults in his logic.

This is one the reasons I am a proponent of the home server. Imagine your own server at home that your cell phones, tablets & laptops can securely access anywhere. No privacy or 3rd party legal issues since it would all be yours do with as you please.

Re: The Father of GNU Hates on ChromeOS, Cloud Computing

The only things I use from Google is gmail and the Chrome browser. I do not plan on using there Chrome Os because I like my own data on my own hard drive.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: The Father of GNU Hates on ChromeOS, Cloud Computing

Many folks view rms as a paranoid kook who is bitter that Linus Torvalds gets all the credit for the GNU project and angry about the compromises that have been made over accepting propritary components into free software (like .mp3 and flash).

But I completely agree with him in this case. I want nothing to do with cloud computing and storage.

Re: The Father of GNU Hates on ChromeOS, Cloud Computing

I had the "pleasure" of sitting at the same dinner table as Richard Stallman once a few years back.  I had no idea who I was sitting with at the time until he stood up and started talking.  But before he even got up to speak, I had determined that he had (and still has) a few screws loose.  He was unkepmt, wore a T-shirt, well-worn pants, sandals - in the dead of winter in the midwest U.S., had that awful beard and hippie hairdo, and ranted on about miscellaneous/useless topics.

His attitude, stature, and self-presentation says "senile Biblical prophet".  The GPL is his bible and anything that doesn't fit into his philosophy and his organization's control (i.e. anything not under the GNU GPL) is evil.  Take whatever Stallman says with a pound of salt.

That said, I don't use any Google tools other than search because Google doesn't offer tools to do what I do anyway AND I like control over my data.  Putting your data in a general-purpose cloud is risky but I could see a corporation/business getting use out of such a scheme as long as the business maintained the server farm - a return to the dumb terminal era.  There will probably be software to do localized "cloud" computing eventually and Google's tools and ChromeOS will merely be a side note in history.  But who knows?  Maybe ChromeOS will wipe out a huge chunk of market share of Windows, Mac, and...Linux.  Linux has worked hard for its, what, 10% desktop market share?  I'm more interested to know how ChromeOS affects video games.  This is GP after all...how does this article relate to video games?

- Left4Dead

Why are zombies always eating brains? I want to see zombies that eat toes for a living. Undead-related pun intended.

- Left4Dead Why are zombies always eating brains? I want to see zombies that eat toes for a living. Undead-related pun intended.

Re: The Father of GNU Hates on ChromeOS, Cloud Computing

Did he eat anything from his feet?


Re: The Father of GNU Hates on ChromeOS, Cloud Computing

In my opinion, ChromeOS is no substitute for Windows/Linux/OSX. I strongly doubt that ChromeOS will replace them. I obtained the VMWare image of it months back, tried it, thought it was interesting but haven't used it since. It's really meant for 'companion' systems, a Netbook perhaps; great if you just want to switch on the system and have a web browser up-and-running in a few seconds, but that's pretty much it.

Data storage is cheap now, you can get huge hard drives and memory cards for a small cost, the only problem is if you have numerous devices to synchronise, which duplicates your files. Having access to your documents anywhere there is an internet connection is useful (I should know, I made a piece of software that allows you to do just that) but, as I said before, not a substitute for local storage.

Re: The Father of GNU Hates on ChromeOS, Cloud Computing

sounds to me like this guy has a lot to hide from the cops

岩「if Phyllis Schlafly wants to undo Women's Rights, she should lead by example and get back in the kitchen」

岩「…I can see why Hasselbeck's worried about fake guns killing fake people. afterall, she's a fake journalist on a fake news channel」

Re: The Father of GNU Hates on ChromeOS, Cloud Computing

Ah, the old "the innocent have nothing to hide" saw.  From, as usual, a guy who doesn't post under his real name.

Re: The Father of GNU Hates on ChromeOS, Cloud Computing

This is exactly why I don't like ChromeOS, or any other cloud computing for 'regular people.'  It isn't even a legal issue for me.  If someone hacks Google, which has happened a few times, you wouldn't want them to have access to your whole system, would you?

Then there's also the problems of hardware and software compatibility that nobody has been able to overcome.  If you're compatible with everything, you have a slow and giant code - e.g. MS - and if you're streamlined, you're either somewhat difficult to use - e.g. Unix/Linux - or not compatible with anything - e.g. Apple.

At least it'll make computers cheaper.

---

With the first link, the chain is forged.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: The Father of GNU Hates on ChromeOS, Cloud Computing

MS isn't compatible with everything, it's just the platform most people use; there's a difference.  A Windows executable isn't going to run on a Mac any more than the other way around.  I think the analogy you're looking for -- something that's cross-platform compatible but slow and unwieldy -- is Java.

The notions of Linux's difficulty and Apple's incompatibility are, in many ways, 1990's throwbacks.  Yes, I know we're all gamers here and Apple and Linux are at major disadvantages in that arena, but for the average user who just uses the Web, E-Mail, and Office, a Mac isn't going to provide any serious compatibility issues, and Ubuntu is probably usable enough.  And both those platforms are more versatile than ChromeOS.

(Incidentally, contrasting ChromeOS with Linux isn't strictly accurate, as Chrome IS Linux-based.)

 
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Andrew EisenAnd exacerbating everything is the fact that all the cries of ethics violations have been obnoxious and easily proven false.09/18/2014 - 8:59pm
Andrew EisenProblem is, I would imagine, the sheer number of people who are using journalistic integrity as a cover for their harassing actions or only bringing it up on the false pretense of journalistic integrity.09/18/2014 - 8:47pm
Andrew EisenHaving said that, I can certainly see how one would be frustrated if they truly just wanted to talk about journalistic integrity and someone said they were one of the people harassing Sarkeesian, Quinn and others.09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
KronoThat's been the common refrain, that talk of journalism ethics is just an excuse to harass people.09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
KronoLines like "like a partial compromise with the howling trolls who’ve latched onto ‘ethics’ as the latest flag in their onslaught against evolution and inclusion." are taring everyone questioning the ethics as a harasser.09/18/2014 - 8:43pm
Andrew EisenKrono - Except, none of the articles were talking about gamers complaining about journalist ethics, let alone called them white male misogynists. They were talking about the gamers who were harassing others.09/18/2014 - 8:36pm
Kronomakes plenty of sense. It's rather hard to dismiss someone as a white guy running a sock puppet when they've posted proof they're a woman, or black, or another minority.09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronothat any critics of journalists were white guys that hated women, and could be dismissed as such. It seems to have helped some. It's kind of difficult to maintain the white guy narrative in the face of a bunch of women and non-white guys. So the tag09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronothat, someone vented on a #gamergate 4chan thread about being dismissed like that. The suggestion they got in return was to organize their own hashtag in response, with #NotYourShield being suggested. Thus the tag came into use to combat the undercurrent09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronomuch more general problem. And while several of the articles were fairly tame, they spured a bunch of people to dismiss any critics of the journalism involved as misogynistic men. Usually with insults aimed at the geek stereotype. After about a week of09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - Not sure what that has to do with anything but yeah, the gender percentages differ depending on how the study defines what a gamer is.09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
KronoThe rhetoric pushed by the spearheading articles that the "gamers" complaining about journalist ethics were just angry white male misogynists, insulted a lot of people that were previously fairly neutral. It made it go from a Kotaku problem, to a09/18/2014 - 8:31pm
Krono@Andrew I'm not surprised overlap exists. I expect much of it is a rush to jump on the bandwagon, either by reporting on the original articles, or rushing out their own. The point is that was a major flashpoint, much bigger than the reddit mass deletion.09/18/2014 - 8:31pm
Sleaker@AE - well the gamer trend was described with stats on Factual Femenist. Only 1 in 7 males plays games 20+ hrs going into college vs 1 in 40 females. So gaming is definitely still male dominated despite fake stats trying to say otherwise.09/18/2014 - 8:30pm
Craig R.Do conspiracies ever make sense? The fact that people are now having to defend themselves against nutjob websites like Breitbart.com shows how far down into the rabbit hole we've all been forcibly dragged.09/18/2014 - 7:05pm
Michael ChandraBut when the mountain obviously exists...09/18/2014 - 5:49pm
Michael ChandraMind you, if someone makes a mountain out of a molehill with a secret agenda as motive, it'd be fine.09/18/2014 - 5:48pm
Andrew EisenOkay, so I guess I'm not making sense of #notyourshield because it doesn't make any sense.09/18/2014 - 5:28pm
Andrew EisenI'd really only count three as being "death of gamer" articles and only one as arguably going a bit far with "gamers are young white dudes" stuff.09/18/2014 - 5:17pm
Andrew EisenMost are really just a look at the crap that happened the previous day when Sarkeesian's new video came out and almost all are exceedingly clear that they're talking about the specific gamers who are being obnoxious.09/18/2014 - 5:17pm
 

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