What to Expect from Google Chrome

November 30, 2009

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What to expect from Google Chrome OS


Chrome OS is going to pretty much be a web browser that acts as an operating system. There will be added functionality to the traditional web browser such as a file system and hardware support that will help it function as a true operating system, but at it’s heart Chrome OS is going to be just a web browser.

This will allow Google Chrome to be lightning fast compared to other operating systems like Windows or Mac OS X because Chrome will not have to worry about much of the overhead that the other operating systems have to deal with. All of the applications on the system will be web based out in Google’s cloud and should not be processor intensive on the machine.

The majority of processing should take place in the cloud.


With most if not all of the operating systems applications residing on the cloud along with the majority of the files, security becomes much easier for Google to maintain. They can insure that applications are constantly up to date and files are free of viruses by checking for them in the cloud itself. The downside here is that Google is going to insure all applications are up to date, you probably won’t have a choice of keeping an older version of a product you prefer instead of updating.

A New Computer

This operating system is a brand new take on what a computer should be, and for now if you want to run it you are most likely going to have to buy a system built to run this operating system. There are most likely going to be several system requirements for this operating system, the one I know of for sure is the requirement of a solid state drive for a hard drive. This isn’t really Google’s fault because you can’t expect them to write drivers for every bit of hardware imaginable to allow it to run on their operating system.

The good news is that Google is releasing Chrome OS to be open source, so if the operating system takes off the hardware producers can write the drivers themselves. You won’t be locked in to specific hardware as much as you are with Mac systems, but won’t have the same extent of freedom you do with Windows machines.

Several PC manufacturers have already begun developing hardware for Chrome OS, including HP, Acer, Asus, Lenovo, Qualcomm, TI, and Intel. So I won’t be too worried about being price gouged on a new Chrome OS machine as there will be plenty of competition out there.

A Greater Dependency on the Internet

As you can imagine with an operating system that is built upon a web browser the Internet is going to be very important to any machine running it. The majority of applications and files used by the operating system will exist only on the Internet. This means if you don’t have an active Internet connection your machine will most likely be a brick. However, this already seems to be the case for most people. When I’m without Internet on my computer it seems the only thing I ever do is play solitaire or listen to music, things I’m sure you’ll be able to find ways to do on Google Chrome without the internet as well.

I also foresee Google partnering with one or more wireless carrier to allow users to be able to use a wireless data connection easily with Chrome OS to access files and applications on the cloud.

I even believe we’ll see wireless carrier branded machines running Chrome OS natively. Wireless data isn’t just for cell phones anymore.

Editor’s note: our friends at 40tech.com recently discussed their own experience with Google Chrome OS.

Editor’s second note: Did you skip The Soap Boxers last due to Thanksgiving? Obviously, many of you did – we missed you! We kept a full schedule – here is what you missed.

Saturday Stew

July 18, 2009

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Harry Potter

Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince opened in theaters at midnight on Wednesday. It broke the record for a midnight screening with $22.2 million is is well on its way to a huge weekend. I’m not fan of the Harry Potter series, but I am definitely a fan of the J.K. Rowling story. Rowling was on welfare before writing the Harry Potter series and becoming a billionaire. What a wonderful rags to riches story. We often hear stories about people who are on welfare for decades and have no real desire to work. Here’s a story about someone who took the assistance offered by the government, and used it to get back on her feet and become a success. The money the British government spent on welfare payments to Rowling ended up being a great investment – as they made it possible for Rowling to pay tremendous tax bills on her subsequent income!

Apple shuts down Palm Pre sync

When the Palm Pre launched, one of its features was the ability to pretend that it was an iPod, allowing it to make use of Apple’s iTunes software. There was some debate over at Lazy Man and Money regarding whether Apple would allow this to occur, or whether they would release a future update to block non-iPod devices. I thought that they would indeed block the Pre, and felt that they had the right to do this, asserting that it was not an unfair barrier to competition to force Palm to bundle a iTunes-like product with the Pre.

On Wednesday, Apple released iTunes version 8.2.1. According to Apple, “iTunes 8.2.1 provides a number of important bug fixes and addresses an issue with verification of Apple devices” – in other words, if iTunes can’t verify that your device is an iPod, you can no longer sync with it. Palm is suggesting that Pre own simply cease upgrading iTunes to retain the ability to sync.


Google has announced plans to launch their own operating system, Chrome OS. Chrome OS will be a simple operating system that is based on Linux. Chrome is not expected to be as feature-rich as operating systems like Apple’s Mac OS X or Microsoft’s Windows. On the flip side, the computer should boot more quickly (fewer things to load) and run faster (due to the operating system requiring fewer system resources). Chrome OS will essentially allow a computer to run Google’s Chrome web browser. Will Chrome OS be a solution for everyone? No. But if you spend nearly all of your computer time in your web browser, it may be a good fit for you.

Google’s free web-based productivity suite Google Docs will face competition from Microsoft, as the software giant has announced plan to release a free web-based version of Microsoft Office next year. The web version won’t include all of the features that will be available on the desktop version of Office, but it might be a good solution for many people.


The country of Ukraine has banned the Sacha Baron Cohen movie “Bruno”, saying that the movie is immoral. This will certainly be a death blow to the movie, ensuring lackluster crowds.

Oh, hey, just kidding. What I meant to say is that Sacha Baron Cohen will use this publicity to bolster his “bad boy” image, and that the banning will make more people flock to the theater to see what all the fuss is about.


Bank of America, which is not one of my favorite companies, charged a New Hampshire man 23 quadrillion dollars for a purchase at a local gas station where he often purchased cigarettes. The man was also charged a $15 “over the limit” free. After two hours on the phone, Bank of America removed the charge and the fee from his account.

Capitol Shooting

Officers shot and killed a man near the US Capitol on Wednesday. The man was trying to elude police. He jumped out of his car and began shooting at officers. I stumble across this sort of story occasionally, and always wonder what on earth is going through the person’s head. Do they think that the cops aren’t going to shoot back?

Sears Tower

The Sears Tower is no longer the tallest building in the United States. What happened? Did someone sneakily build a taller building? No, the Sears Towers was renamed Willis Tower as part of an agreement with Willis Group Holdings. The 110 story tall tower opened in 1973. Sears moved out of the building in 1992, but the Sears named has been retained until now. I wonder how many years (or decades) will pass before Chicagoans begin referring to it as Willis Tower?


The Yankees recently signed Damian Arrendondo, a 16 year old shortstop from the Dominican Republic, to a contract worth $850,000. (Note: international players may be signed as young as 16). Major League Baseball invalidated the contract when it was determined that the player was not actually named Damian Arrendondo, and that he was older than 16. No word yet on whether he is truly a shortstop.

Why the fascination with ages of these kids? After all, if a player is good, he’s good, regardless of whether he is 16 or 18, right?

Not exactly. Take this outside of the baseball world for a bit. If a 1 year old can count to 10, he’s a genius. If a 7 year old can count to 10, you’re not impressed. Yet, it’s the exact same skill. It’s the same with baseball skills. A 16 year old may exhibit the exact same skills as an 18 year old, but the 16 year old is a better prospect because he’s ahead of his peer group in the development curve.