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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 17, 2009 / 25 Tamuz 5769

Of Chrome and an operating system's polish

By Mark Kellner



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The July 8 announcement by Google that it will launch a computer operating system, dubbed Google Chrome OS, for developers to work with this year and for the rest of us "in the second half of 2010," sent shock waves through much of the computer world.


"Speed, simplicity and security are the key aspects of Google Chrome OS," wrote Google's Sundar Pichai, VP Product Management and Linus Upson, Engineering Director, in a blog posting at the corporate Web site. "We're designing the OS to be fast and lightweight, to start up and get you onto the web [sic] in a few seconds. The user interface is minimal to stay out of your way, and most of the user experience takes place on the web," they added.


Microsoft Corp.'s share price gained a few pennies on the day of the announcement, but was down 18 cents the following day. Over the same two-day period, Google gained $13.69 per share. (Microsoft had no official statement on the move and declined, through an outside PR firm, to speak on-the-record for this article.)


But share price isn't the only way to measure the impact, of course. Google has announced, via a blog posting, that computer and technology firms Acer, Adobe, ASUS, Freescale Semiconductor, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments, and Toshiba have all agreed to work with Google " to design and build devices that deliver an extraordinary end user experience."


Of the nine firms listed, nearly half are not computer makers: Adobe publishes software, Freescale and TI are in the semiconductor business, and Qualcomm has expertise in cellular telephony. Acer, ASUS, HP, Lenovo and Toshiba all make "netbooks," the mini-notebooks popular with a wide swath of users, and a free-of-charge operating system would surely have an appeal to them. No license fee means a lower retail price on a netbook.


So far, so good, right? Well, there's a bit beneath the surface here. For starters, this isn't going to be a totally fresh OS: instead, it will be the "Google Chrome [Internet browser] running within a new windowing system on top of a Linux kernel," Messers. Pichai and Upson promised. So if you like Linux, you'll probably cotton to this. If you're not a Linux fan, you may not.


There are tons of unanswered questions: how well will this support the myriad of devices out there: printers, displays, CD-ROM and DVD-ROM drives and/or disc writers, USB devices, and so on? If you can't hook up your printer/DVD-ROM/Webcam to this and have it run, you'll likely be upset.


Also, how secure, in terms of data and identity protection, will this be? It's a nice idea that users "want their data to be accessible to them wherever they are and not have to worry about losing their computer or forgetting to back up files" as the Google duo wrote. But do I really want you looking at my financial documents? My photos? My resume?


Moreover, do I want, say, the federal government to rely on an open-source, "cloud computing" based OS for its sensitive information? Especially after the news July 8 that North Korean computers were attacking sensitive computer installations in the U.S.?


According to Peter S. Kastner, chief research officer at Scott-Page, a Westport, Mass., technology research firm, Google has a challenging task.


"Most of the time, Web applications hosted in the cloud work OK," Mr. Kastner said via e-mail. "The limiter is network bandwidth, which affects speed and reliability (e.g., data lost in flight). Plus you have to trust your online 'cloud' service to backup and secure your data.


Mr. Kastner, a 40-year veteran of the technology industry and co-founder of the noted Aberdeen Group research firm, added, that there are "tradeoffs both ways between doing it yourself and trusting your online vendor. Many people are using redundant vendors, putting critical family photos on both Google Picassa and HP Snapfish on the assumption that both [firms] won't crash or go out of business."


He did say there was a "potential flaw in the model: always-on Internet in emerging markets." If there's no Internet connection available, there's "no useful netbook functionality besides local games," he said.


How will this shake out? It may be trite to say "time will tell," but we shall have to wait. Buying a netbook now, however, might make even more sense than before. In about 18 months, you could have a new operating system to keep your hardware running like a young colt.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.

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