About the future of home computing....

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About the future of home computing....

Postby edbarx » 2012-12-01 21:32

This evening, a local TV station (Malta, EU) presented an interview with a university professor holding a doctorate in ICT. He said that the future will bring less powerful machines, the user programs will move to the cloud and users will use/hire programs as they may need them.

Since I use GNU/Linux and I like to have my machine doing the processing locally on my computer, I am inclined to think this will put some drawbacks to whoever like me wants to use a free and open system. Imagine if the grand majority of computer users switch to this model with programs not needing to reside and run on home computers, the price of a system capable of running and holding programs locally would shoot up making it financially difficult to purchase a computer with a capability which currently is available with very accessible prices.

I would like to know what other GNU/Linux users think about this "new" model of doing home computing and whether it will remain possible to have one's programs run on a local machine.

Thanks.
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Re: About the future of home computing....

Postby Randicus » 2012-12-01 22:55

As has been mentioned in other threads, cloud-computing is not viable for everyone. Not only many home users, but many, if not most, businesses. If that person is correct about less powerful computers being made because of cloud-computing, it would mean two kinds of machines being sold. There would still be too many people and businesses using regular computers for them to become a small and expensive niche product. So my belief is you can set your mind at ease. The convenient and dangerous world envisioned by that professor is still in the (relatively) more distant future.
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Re: About the future of home computing....

Postby BowCatShot » 2012-12-02 02:29

There was a college professor who predicted the exact day that he would die. On that date a crowd gathered to watch it happen. At one minute to midnight he shot himself in the head just so he wouldn't be wrong.
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Re: About the future of home computing....

Postby Randicus » 2012-12-02 03:03

A very insightful contribution to the discussion. :roll:
Undoubtedly, this particular professor will shoot Time in the head if he is wrong.
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Re: About the future of home computing....

Postby Bulkley » 2012-12-02 03:14

The biggest problem with cloud computing is the loss of security when your data is on some corporation's servers, particularly when that corporation has every incentive to use that data for its own ends. To explore software freedom further listen to Eban Moglen on Youtube. You can hear a sample with this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Fr6n5DbkLM Yes, the picture is poor but listening is more important than watching anyway. His discussion of the cloud starts about 8 minutes 45 seconds in.
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Re: About the future of home computing....

Postby korilius » 2012-12-02 03:17

I've wondered and worried about the cloud computing debacle for some time. I tell everyone that possession is 9/10ths of the law. I assume they understand what I mean. "If it's important to you, keep it close." It's like people who buy gold and silver and then keep it all at their bank! Crazy.

I envision a future for cloud computing... one that would be local and open source. Like my own cloud.

http://wiki.openstack.org/Packaging/Debian

It's to be noted that previously, the effort was made to use the same source package base as for Ubuntu, but since Ghe, Julien and Loic are working on the Debian packaging, the support for Ubuntu has been removed from the packages in Debian (as it was too much efforts and difficult to maintain).

<jab>
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Re: About the future of home computing....

Postby andrew` » 2012-12-02 03:46

A more ideal future (IMO) would be an always-on lower power computer used at home which all other computers connect to for storing files, acting as a server for some programs that run in the browser, and maybe more. Even if that computer/server is always on, a lot of households might save power if people used lower power computers.

I'm not a fan of the "cloud" because a lot of SaaS providers automatically scan your data for advertising and can track when your computer is on (when you use the SaaS). Plus once your data is on the "cloud", it's an uphill battle trying to control it. A supposedly innocent company like Google can easily become a not-so-innocent company in the future. I'm certain that data vulture companies like Datalogix will become more prominent than they are already in the future.
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Re: About the future of home computing....

Postby dilberts_left_nut » 2012-12-02 04:12

andrew` wrote:A supposedly innocent company like Google
:shock:
:lol:
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Re: About the future of home computing....

Postby vrkalak » 2012-12-02 04:35

About 15 years ago, I attended a lecture at the University, given by a big-wig from INTEL.

He said, "the PC (Home Computer) would never be able to hold a Gigabyte of information. It was not physically possible."

My PC has over a Terabyte (Tb) of internal memory . . . heck, I have a couple of flash-drives that hold 32 Gb now. :D
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Re: About the future of home computing....

Postby andrew` » 2012-12-02 04:58

dilberts_left_nut wrote:
andrew` wrote:A supposedly innocent company like Google
:shock:
:lol:

I said "supposedly" because of popular opinion. I don't actually believe they're innocent at all. :lol:
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Re: About the future of home computing....

Postby Randicus » 2012-12-02 05:01

vrkalak wrote:About 15 years ago, I attended a lecture at the University, given by a big-wig from INTEL.

He said, "the PC (Home Computer) would never be able to hold a Gigabyte of information. It was not physically possible."

My PC has over a Terabyte (Tb) of internal memory . . . heck, I have a couple of flash-drives that hold 32 Gb now. :D

Which shows how difficult it is to predict the future. The person edbarx mentions is restricted to only doing what anyone can do. He is predicting the future based on things he knows and believes. There are always other variables that one does not know, and of course, things one believe can be correct or wrong. As an example; imagine how different things may have been if a single man had not come along whose greatest computer-related talent was crashing a computer, but had great marketing ability and a ruthless business attitude. (Bill Gates. Not Mr. Jobs or Linus Torvalds. :lol: ) What unknown variables do and will exist regarding the cloud? Since this cloud-thingy is in the embryonic stage, future development can progress in many directions.
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Re: About the future of home computing....

Postby edbarx » 2012-12-02 08:34

Bulkley wrote:The biggest problem with cloud computing is the loss of security when your data is on some corporation's servers, particularly when that corporation has every incentive to use that data for its own ends. To explore software freedom further listen to Eban Moglen on Youtube. You can hear a sample with this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Fr6n5DbkLM Yes, the picture is poor but listening is more important than watching anyway. His discussion of the cloud starts about 8 minutes 45 seconds in.


Thanks for the link. It was an interesting and reassuring listening.

OOPs:
I forgot to thank all the other contributors who tried to give a rational answer to my question.

Thanks.
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Re: About the future of home computing....

Postby nadir » 2012-12-02 12:19

I too enjoy the speeces of Eben Moglen.

I got no clue about the cloud, but you might like this:
https://torrentfreak.com/pirate-bay-mov ... of-121017/
it seems to show that it also has got advantages.

To me it looks as if the future of computing is more like: entertaining-boxes, more close to a TV, but with a few more features (you mean i really can browse youtube with my TV? And my mails too? Amazon and ebay too?). Aka smartphone, smartTV and iPads. An interactive TV, so to say.
Adevertisement will be way more (though if i look at my smartphone it's hard to believe there will be more than that...)
The one (entertain-boxes) doesn't exclude the other (cloud-computing), sure.

We perhaps have to go back to the basements if we want to actually do something with a device.


Eben Moglen, in one speech, says:
"The bad news: we started very bad"
(speaking of the internet, i think here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKOk4Y4inVY . Only slightly related, but it's my main pet -free speech, that is).
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Re: About the future of home computing....

Postby edbarx » 2012-12-02 21:10

Thanks nadir for the link. It was a very interesting lecture to listen to.
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Re: About the future of home computing....

Postby nadir » 2012-12-02 23:27

edbarx: if the threat to internet freedom slightly as serious as i see it, then we should discuss such questions as often as possible. I for one got no idea what to do about it, but being informed won't hurt.
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