There are a lot of things to like about Google's prototype Chrome OS machine, the CR-48, not the least of which its name that makes it sound like a relic from the future. Indeed that's what Google wants it to be, a sort of beacon of our instant-on, cloud-based tomorrow, but that's rubbing a few industry pioneers the wrong way. One is Friendfeed creator and former Google employee Paul Buchheit, aka the dude who created Gmail. He's a bit confused about the overlap between Android and Chrome OS, as indeed many of us are, saying flat out that "Chrome OS has no purpose that isn't better served by Android" -- or, at least, it won't when Android gets some tweaks to make it work better in a traditional laptop-style environment.
Meanwhile, GNU founder and free software pioneer Richard Stallman is lashing out a bit more strongly, calling cloud computing "careless computing" because it causes users to give up rights to their own content:
The police need to present you with a search warrant to get your data from you; but if they are stored in a company's server, the police can get it without showing you anything. They may not even have to give the company a search warrant.
As we've recently learned that is at least not the case for e-mail, but what about Google Docs and browsing history and all those private musings you made on Google Buzz? Will ease of access trump data security fears? Will Cara on All My Children ever stop having flashbacks about Jake? Important questions, these.