Thoughts on Chrome OS and Libraries

With the Chrome OS announcement and reveal today, a few thoughts cropped up on this as a possibility and a threat to libraries and freedom of information.

First, in the spirit of Cory Doctrow’s ‘Little Brother’, if these catch on there are some significant concerns. Whitelisting could be embedded in the OS at a level where it would be very difficult to subvert. Our laptops and desktops today are vastly overqualified for the tasks we use them for. That’s both a problem and an opportunity.

Second, I kind of want to lock down my OPAC terminals to that level. The speed issue is great too, especially if it can take under 1GHz  computers and make them start up that fast. You could replace the current low-end enterprise desktop models with a ChromeOS thin client for the web. You could provide secured kiosks for the library system with a very minimal financial outlay.
Third, why no integration with Android apps? That seems like a major oversight. I don’t think I’d trust a web based encryption program, nor am I particularly impressed with the current state of video or photo editing online. I don’t even want to talk about the current state of the ILS ecosystem in this context.

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