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If you add an OS to Chrome, it's an OS (theregister.co.uk)
57 points by sjh on July 9, 2009 | hide | past | web | favorite | 26 comments

> a pre-adolescent in-the-brain-out-the-mouth reporting style.

Pot. Kettle. Black.

His writing style plays for cheap laughs by insulting people, but that can only go so far. After a while, don't people grow up and get tired of that kind of thing? "Mike Arrington is a doody-head! Hah hah! Poop!"

Were one to look at his actual point, one might also go back 30 years and wonder if those silly upstarts at Microsoft with their "pee sees" have a chance against serious mainframes, with the millions of lines of code already written for them.

Were one to look at his actual point, one might also go back 30 years and wonder if those silly upstarts at Microsoft with their "pee sees" have a chance against serious mainframes, with the millions of lines of code already written for them.

That comparison would only make sense if mainframes and PCs cost essentially the same, used the same hardware platform, and the mainframe could run all the software as the PC (but not the other way around).

It's not an exact comparison. What I'm pointing out is that disruptive innovations are often like this:

> In terms of functionality, web apps have been a regression from their desktop counterparts.

They're not better - at least not initially. They're good enough.

Will web apps follow that path and displace desktop apps? Maybe, maybe not, but it's not as ridiculous a concept as the rant makes it out to be.

His point is not only that web apps are inferior. His point is that web apps are not good enough. Case in point:

TechCrunch goes on to report: "Don’t worry about those desktop apps you think you need. Office? Meh. You’ve got Zoho and Google Apps. You won’t miss Office."

Ah, yes. Corporate IT workers everywhere have to port decades of esoteric business logic codified into Excel macros to Google Spreadsheets, but the real problem is, what are they going to do after lunch? Have you ever tried to use Google Docs for any serious task? In the words of a true hacker, it's like trying to build a bookcase out of mashed potatoes. The Microsoft Office institution will not easily be overthrown by a bunch of jokers writing JavaScript.

Web apps may be disruptive, but that doesn't make them more useful or more likely to take off.

Maybe he's right, maybe he's not, but calling people who think differently a bunch of morons isn't what makes his case.

It doesn't seem like a lot of people have connected the parts together yet.

Google Gears, Native Client and Chrome are all parts to making the web MORE than what it already is. Think about it. At the moment we are constrained to HTML, CSS and JavaScript. With the technologies being put together by Google you can easily have downloadable native applications that run through Chrome.

I'm doubting that Google is just going to make another net kiosk distribution. Making an operating system for themselves is how they are going to really get their web technology out in the open.

So basically what you are saying is that google plan to "embrace and extend" the web?

While this may be a step which is required to bring the web as a platform forwards, I'm not sure I like the sound of that either.

Sounds fine to me. They aren't locking you into anything. All their technologies are open and free, it's just that no other companies can offer Google's quality and breadth.

That's not really true. Google's range of products is tiny compared to Microsoft's, and while Microsoft's quality is variable (partly due to their wide range) it's not the case that they're universally bad.

Microsoft rely on their closed source, Google rely on physically owning the servers their services rely on. Will you be able to run your own set of Google services on your own kit, or on a third-party VM host and retain the full functionality of Chrome OS? I doubt that somehow.

If it's anything like Android, it will be open enough (well, completely open, actually) that you can hack it to make it do what you want. You could hack it to work with Yahoo or Microsoft, or DedaSys, for that matter.

Well, OK, I have an old Mac SE/30 at home. It's a fine machine for basic word processing etc. I'm running Word 5.1 on it, how old is that? Yet despite it being closed source, Microsoft, utterly unsupported, yadda yadda, it works fine. In 20 years, will I be able to have my own completely independent Google Docs running on a Unix that doesn't exist yet, in a datacentre operated by a company that doesn't exist yet, and have all my old docs still there?

Basically, I don't think this has been very thought through.

I enjoyed this article a lot. It's nice to see that there are others avoiding the Google koolaid.

I DO want to see local apps accessible via the browser though. That has a lot of potential to be cool.

edit: local apps as in hosted locally, whether on the same computer or on the home network somewhere. Basically, where your data is your data and no one else's :)

Why on earth would you want your applications running locally to show in the browser, that's just another layer in between slowing things down and offering no extra level of service ?

'Applications' running on your local machine that are web centric can be reached via the localhost url, everything else knows how to talk to the display engine already (and at a much higher clip than a browser would be able to offer).

Because I want people to be used to accessing their own stuff (media in particular) via their browser for when home media servers inevitably become a big deal and people use a youtube-like (or HTML 5 Video tag)-like interface to access their stuff.

There are absolutely limitations to using the browser as an interface to apps, but you gain in that "Remote Desktop" becomes trivial to implement and that you can have one expensive server and a bunch of thin-clients all over your house.

It's just the way I think it's headed, and I think that's pretty cool.

Ted Dziuba is known for hating on just about everything.

I think I'll avoid the Ted Dziuba koolaid.

Proof that you can lead a horse to water, but you can't punch him in the dick without being brought up on assault and battery charges.

This phrase, alone, makes me wanna buy a Real News Paper subscribtion. I never read such profanity reading the Washington Post.

Why perform inexpensive literary contortions, and dive face first into pie just to make me laugh, Ted Dziuba?

This had me laughing:

The canonical example of failure in tech journalism is TechCrunch, a blog that once declared Google's MapReduce to be a system that "reduced the links found on the web into a map that search algorithms could run over." Yes, this will do nicely.

While you could say that The register obviously would have an "agenda" to discredit other competing sites, I honestly find The register, despite the snarky style, much more informative and useful than TechCrunch.

TC have been publishing good articles, mediocre articles and quite bad articles. But calling them failure is laughable, I think it's a result of envy combined with fear. TC is their serious competitor, and they know it. If for nothing else, they are usually able to break stories sooner than others. IMHO, Register should better find a ways to improve themselves, their work is not that impressive either.

It's not The Register that has an obsession with TechCrunch, but this particular writer.

Dziuba doesn't have an obsession with TechCrunch, but with snark in general. Once upon a time he wrote balanced articles criticizing things he didn't like. Then he realized that the more negative he was, the more hits he received, and like many weak-minded tech writers before him, he sold out for the sake of a minor celebrity status.

I dont think he was calling techcrunch a failure of a website, but as a failure of "blogging as journalism". They regularly print speculative, inaccurate articles, rife with spelling errors. Additionally, they try to explain technical concepts that they do not understand (like the map-reduce description above), and their attitude when someone points out the errors is usually along the lines of "whatever".

Passing techcrunch off as "journalism" is what is laughable. Its just gossip and insider PR-hype.

Dziuba's a clever writer to be sure, but to me, part of being a 'professional' journalist is that you refrain from the ad hominem. Hurling clever insults is easy there are a million writers who can do it but to create a piece of informative, interesting, relevant content, not so much. Calling out Michael Arrington like that...was kind of unprofessional. But I do like Dziuba's writing and also of course Verity Stob.

I was agreeing up with him to this point.

"Keep whackin' away on that Pareto Principle and let us all know how it turns out. In the meantime, I'm going to go play a few rounds of Counterstrike on my Windows-based PC"

That's one way to kill your own argument about technical knowledge superiority. Counterstrike? seriously? Windows can be forgiven... but counterstrike?

How does a preference in games (or, more likely, choosing a game absolutely everyone would know about for a sarcastic remark) in any way relate to technical knowledge?

Look, I agree it was a sarcastic remark - but if you're going to take any sort of high ground (which is why I used the technical superiority comment, even though it was probably a poor choice of words) to sum up your argument, at least use something that doesn't have connotations of overzealous teens whose primary goal in life is to tell each other to F off.

It demeans his argument from a scathing piece (which I mostly agree with) to a blatant rant...

I take it you have not seen this Halo commercial then :)


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