Tag Archive | "chrome os"

I urge you to buy a Chromebook; for security’s sake.

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It’s over 9 years since I posted the first set of articles on the Carrypad blog…which became Origamiportal….which became UMPCPortal. I wanted to relay some thoughts on my personal need for a mobile internet device I called the Carrypad. I wrote about 5-7-inch screen sizes, web browsing, operating systems, GPS and use cases: Bed, sofa, toilet, plane, train and ship. I was, even if I do say so myself, spot-on, especially with the toilet! But I didn’t think enough about security.

My first mention of security was when I did a mini review of the Pepperpad 3 in October 2006.

…I was able to check for software listening on IP ports. It all looks pretty clean and with the automatic updates, there should be no need to worry too much about security. Low maintenance is always a good thing.

Admittedly the threat-level was lower 9 years ago but I should have paid more attention to security over the last 9 years and today there’s absolutely no excuse because the Internet is now a messy place.

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The Lucky 13 Security Checklist. Prepare your Windows PC for better on-the-road security and privacy.

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wipe-97583_640-290x300_editedI’m preparing to go to Mobile World Congress where one of my worries will be security and privacy. To that end I’ve hardened my Windows build and written it up below as a checklist of tasks that I urge you to look at and consider, especially if you’re connecting to unknown hotspots.

The checklist has evolved from work I did training journalists in Ukraine, work I’ve done here on Windows 8 tablet security and work I’ve done on Clean Computing with Chromebooks which, interestingly, would have a checklist just half as long as this. Points 1-7 don’t apply to a Chromebook. Unfortunately I’ll be needing video editing and gallery management tools in Barcelona so I can’t use a Chromebook as my main PC there.

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Are Chromebooks Netbooks? Can they be Ultra Mobile? Are You Interested?

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Acer Chromebook 4I want to wind back to a post I wrote about Chrome OS last year…

Personally I’m having trouble working out what Google are doing here. Is it to promote HTML5 development? Am I failing to see the long-term play? Are we really going to be using operating systems on our desks that are dumber than the ones on our phones?

The advantages for netbooks users are limited. The license cost advantage will be just $15-$25, the device support will be poor and there will be a million and one re-distributions causing confusion and splintering for Linux.

High-speed javascript processing won’t be unique to Chrome. Fast boot won’t be unique to Chrome. HTML5 won’t be unique to Chrome. Web apps won’t be unique to Chrome. What’s going to get people to buy a Chromium OS computer? I doubt people will be queuing up for an OS that never needs upgrading.

I’ve also talked about the cloud NOT being mobile.

Put the two together in a Chromebook and you’ve got something underwhelming for Ultra Mobile fans.

Despite that, I got very excited listening to the Chromebook announcements this evening. Very excited. It peaked when I heard that the Angry Birds game (yes. I’m getting bored of that too!) had been written, in HTML5, to work offline. Some of the HTML5 performance demos were impressive too. And then, I saw the 1.3KG 11.6 inch 1366s768 Acer Chromebook. OK, it’s not as attractive as the Samsung Series 5 but look what’s inside.

Not only is it running on an Intel N570 netbook platform but some of the code, according to my source, came from the Meego project and there’s a tight connection between Google and Intel on this. Intel are even calling these Chromebooks, Netbooks!

samsung series 5 chromebook 3Finally, it was music to my ears to hear that legacy PC support was being dropped. No checking for floppys on boot. I assume it’s not a BIOS-based start-up too. USB support will be slim to start with, true, but it’s what we need to do. To start from scratch. Windows has the apps, but not the underpinnings to be a great mobile operating system.

Put THAT all together and you’ve got a slim OS build on a Linux Kernel where all the functionality is in the browser. Put that browser in MeeGo and what have you got? Chromebook and Laptop? Put Chrome OS on Oaktrail or Moorestown and what have you got? Always on?

As with MeeGo, Honeycomb and other ‘new’ OS’, the apps are going to be the big issue but look what Google just went and did. They offered an app store where the dev gets 95%. 95%! (Update: OK. Thats in-app purchases although doesn’t it mean you can offer a free app and then sell the license for the full version in-app for a 5% fee?)

I’m interested now because app development could be fast. Why? It’s very interesting for devs from day one. How many Chrome browsers are already installed?

I’m as interested in Chrome OS as I am in Honeycomb as a slim OS and app layer that could help in many ultra mobile scenarios….in the future. I’m buying an Acer Chromebook for testing, that’s for sure. I hope you can join me on the live session because that’s going to be a very interesting one.

But you may not be so interested. Looking at the 12 inch 1.4KG Samsung Series 5 Chromebook you might think – what the hell has this got to do with Ultra Mobile? Let me know in the comments below. Lets talk it through and shake-out the issues and queries. Here are some starting points.

  • Touch
  • USB support
  • No Bluetooth
  • Apps
  • Offline Cloud
  • Ethernet Port missing

Both devices are in the database along with all the specifications and links available at the moment.

Acer Chromebook

Samsung Series 5 Chromebook

Google Chrome Blog announcement

Acer Chromebook, Samsung Series 5 Chromebook Specs, Pics

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At 11.6 and 12.1 inch respectively, the two Chromebooks announce today fall right alongside netbooks. They even utilise a netbook CPU, the Intel Atom N570 dual-core 1.66Ghz part – the top of the range.

Acer Chromebook.

Full specs and links here

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  • Intel Atom N570
  • 11.6 inch 1366×768 screen
  • 16GB SSD storage
  • 1.34KG

 

Samsung Series 5 Chromebook

Full specs and links here.

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This is the larger, heavier of the two. Note the sealed battery compatment.

  • Intel Atom N570
  • 12.1 inch 1280×800 screen
  • 16GB SSD storage
  • 1.48kg

There’s a 3G option available on the Samsung Series 5.

See the two devices side-by-side

What Google’s Chrome OS Means For You.

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Google finally launched Chrome OS at a press event in San Francisco yesterday after first introducing the concept back in July of 2009. Its a straight forward idea, your browser is the operating system and you use web applications for your daily needs.

On the surface Chrome OS is virtually identical to Google’s Chrome browser but actually runs on a stripped down Linux core which promises to be lightweight and efficient.

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As part of the announcement Google opened a pilot program to test Chrome OS on an x86 unbranded notebook called the CR-48. The Intel Atom based 12.1 inch notebook won’t be on sale to the consumers but does come with a speculated 8 hours in use battery life and an impressive 8 days standby. Whilst the CR-48 certainly doesn’t come under the Carrypad coverage I’m certain as the platform matures smaller ARM based devices will be available which will bring better portability, power efficiency and of course the all important full desktop browsing experience which we talk about so much. Couple this with the new Chrome Web Store providing web applications for both Chrome OS and browser and we could be provided some competition to the developing MeeGo ecosystem.

So, What Google’s Chrome OS means for you?… Nothing yet but watch this space.

Confirmed: Chrome is for Netbooks. Is Android 3.0 for Tablets?

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We’re getting a clearer picture of the operating system strategy from Google today as PCMag reports on Eric Schmidt’s closing keynote at IFA in Berlin. Apart from talking about the future of search, location search, fast search, personal search and the growth in mobile web and smartphones, he confirmed in a Q&A that Chrome OS is targeted at netbooks.

The next question is ‘what is a netbook’ but at least the strategy for Chrome OS aligns with what Google said on day one. If we consider Chrome OS to be a very fast way to access Google search and web applications and add the web application layer/web app store then you have a basic framework for a web-based user interface and application layer for a simple Linux-based PC. Interestingly, that Linux-based core could come from the Android space, from Linaro, from MeeGo or any of the other mobile-focused Linux platforms and could even contain an Android environment as part of the user-layer but we get the impression that Google is going it alone on this as a separate project. It will be interesting to see what netbook manufacturers pick it up and work their drivers and customisations into it because at the moment, the Intel/Nokia-backed MeeGo appears to have the better position.

With Chrome OS targeted at netbooks it would be easy to summise now that Android 3.0 is for next-gen high-end smartphones, tablets and smart-books. We need to be a little careful though because Google is also putting a lot of effort into TV and Eric Schmidt confirmed in his keynote that Android is a part of Google TV. Could this be the target for Android 3.0? Whatever the strategy here, the key point is that Google will open Android up to new screen sizes. Its a clear signal for developers to start thinking about large-screen applications.

When will this happen? Chrome partnerships will be announced later this year but Android 3.0 timescales are less clear.

With companies like Samsung, Dell and Toshiba moving real products into this space now and with Samsung pushing for 10M sales of the Galaxy Tab [That seems way too high to me – Chippy] there must be people at Google thinking about speeding up the Android 3.0 process. Major changes to Market and their app suite would be needed so this isn’t a minor task but with HP, Nokia, Intel and others breathing down their necks, it has to happen soon.

See also: Question Marks that Remain Over Q4 Tablets

Sidenote: Intel are working on an X86 port of Android for their ‘always-on’ capable platforms for 2011. These platforms are targeted at the 4-10 inch screen space and so clearly something has to happen with large screen support. With Intel and a key member of the Open Handset Alliance and a close Google partner (Google TV for example) we should also watch for clues from that side of the camp. Intel are likely to have X86-Android ready for mid-late 2011 and this, according to Intel, will be offered up as an official X86 Android. Some of this Intel/Android work is also likely to be part of Google TV.

The full and very interesting keynote is available here.

Via netbooknews.de

Google Chrome OS Tablet Rumored for Nov 26th

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Downloadsquad have had a tip-off that a Google Chrome OS tablet is coming. Finally we’ll be able to see if it’s just a dumb browser or whether Google have finalised the Chrome Web Store they were promising. It will be interesting to see what platform they’ge chosen too. Could this be the first Moorestown tablet?

Apparently HTC are building it but price and details are unknown at this stage. We’ll put it in the database as soon as we have info.

Google launching a Chrome OS tablet on Verizon, goes on sale November 26.

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