A browser’s all you need?

Over at Lifehack.org, Leo Babauta has a post titled Firefox OS: Why My Hard Drive & Software are Obsolete.

He’s got a lot of good points to make. I’m not ready to go totally web-based just yet. For academic writing, citations are essential, and Google Docs doesn’t play nicely when it comes to creating them just yet. Google Docs and Zotero don’t know how to play well together, either. That said, Google Docs handles citations from imported Word docs just fine, so it’s a good way to back up my work.

Nearly all my other word processing and spreadsheet needs I handle directly in Google Docs and Spreadsheets. It seems to work better for me than Zoho’s suite.

For now, I’m still using Google Notebook for collecting web research, but I’d like to see some major improvements to it. I’m really looking forward to the release of Zoho Notebook. It will be interesting to see what Google does to keep up.

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4 responses to “A browser’s all you need?

  1. The huge problem though is massive privacy, the CIA and other intelligence agencies will love having a private database of all the information connected to people that upload all their personal files there. Your whole personal life and everything will be stored in one gigantic database, people forget the internet and companies on the internet are giving birth to orwells vision… except it’s more subtle then overt: Who can stop a third party from peeking or harvesting you email without your consent in the halls of financial and political power? No one has ever thought about the *danger* this represents and the hardening of classes as science starts to predict markets and how markets behave which will lock people into a kind of slavery while the most rich keep others from gaining societies most profitable profit generating assets.

    If you consider scientific predictions of markets to be cooky, maybe you should check out MIT’s and others economic engineering (social engineering) projects that go by a multitude of others names.

  2. Well, I’m not suggesting keeping really highly confidential stuff online. That clearly wouldn’t be a good idea.

    But for ordinary, day-to-day kinds of things, I don’t worry too much about it. An awful lot of information is out there already. Any email can be broken into–not just GMail. And then there are credit reports, spending habits that could be gathered from our credit card issuers, banks that have all kinds of information on us, hospitals that have our medical records, insurance companies…it’s not only Google that has lots of information. Actually, I figure most of what I store with Google is a lot less sensitive than what’s already out there.

    So, while I’m not going to store highly personal information anyplace I can’t protect it myself, I’m not going to lose much sleep over the rest.

  3. Jesse Saunders

    I agree with Acavender. I see a lot of people worried over privacy issues, but honestly there is very little that a government would gain from looking at my information. I got a Cricket wireless phone and occasionally people will say you know that that company was created by the FBI, and I tell them that the FBI doesn’t give a shit about me, they have much more important things to worry about. It doesn’t seem logically possible for the government to be able to control or predict people’s behavior in anyway that is meaningful to me. Now they may gain some insight somehow by viewing this material, but what possible affect could that have on my life. I think they’re incompetent anyway, so I’m not really concerned at all. It seems that the vast conspiracy and almost god-like powers of intelligence and analysis that they would need to pull off the things you’re talking about are way beyond possible. And if they do possess these powers, I would imagine that there would be nothing that my (by comparison) feeble intellect could do to out think them. To grant an entity almost divine powers and then suggest that you can see through their plan seems like a contradiction to me.

  4. Have you tried ThinkFree online office (www.thinkfree.com). They and Sun have created a Java version of OpenOffice so you can edit complex MS Office documents, way more powerful than Google Docs.

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