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False Positives Adventures in Technology, SciFi and Culture from Toronto

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

Other uses for the Google Operating System, or the Google Space

Via kottke.org: GooOS, the Google Operating System has a commentary on topix.net : The Secret Source of Google's Power

from Kottke:

He argues that Google is building a huge computer with a custom operating system that everyone on earth can have an account on. His last few paragraphs are so much more perceptive than anything that's been written about Google by anyone; Skrenta nails the company exactly: Google is a company that has built a single very large, custom computer....

and Topix.net
Google is a company that has built a single very large, custom computer. It's running their own cluster operating system. They make their big computer even bigger and faster each month, while lowering the cost of CPU cycles. It's looking more like a general purpose platform than a cluster optimized for a single application

So how would I like to use the coming Google Space Operating System and take advantage of that secret sauce :
  • A Google IM (instant Messaging ), would seems to be a simple extension of Gmail.

  • A secure Google Id. something beyond a user name and password for my precious data. and make transmitting that password very secure. Maybe Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) based?

  • A Google file system, I want to see my Google space as a drive mapping on my Win, Mac, Linux, or Palm computing box. like how USB dries just show up. The mapping should be secure as well. maybe make the whole thing a zero install vpn (virtual private network) ?


  • Killer applications (services) for this kind of infrastructure are :
  • A Google backup for my data files, always in sync or dependent on the current bandwidth. Even better : mark which directories are to be kept incremental in sync with my Google space file system.

  • A Google web photo album, with restricted sharing, so I can share some albums (sub directories) with Family only, some with Friends. (allow the option of using Google's IM to tell me when something changes)

  • Put a intranet.com like interface on it and you have corporate Google space for company or project sharing of documents and calendar events (plus blogs or wikki's ?)


  • Offer the infrastrutcture for free (or almost) and change for the services (on a yearly/monthly scale)

    All of these blur the boundary between my physical present OS (the one in front of me) and the Virtual Google OS. At minimum it would act as an extension of the local OS. Although (as Kottke argues), once the Google space is in place it would make that local OS less important (one of Microsoft biggest fears in it's battle against Netscape and Java). Access to the Google Space would be dependent on available bandwidth, storage, and local situation. (more of a issue on wireless and smart phone or PDA like devices)

    If I have lower bandwidth it would make sense to locally cashe my directory listings and my most fequently (or last) used files; How many get locally cashed would depend on storage as well as bandwidth (full cimputer vs hand held vs broadband vs wireless); At work or at an Inernet cafe I what only a secure web interface with no local copies)

    all of these does not even touch on Ftrain's : August 2009: How Google beat Amazon and Ebay to the Semantic Web which I have noted on Monday, February 02, 2004 and Tuesday, July 22, 2003


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