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Facebook Acquires Parakey's Web OS Platform

Zonk posted about 7 years ago | from the iface dept.


NaijaGuy writes "Facebook has purchased Parakey for an undisclosed sum. We have previously discussed how Facebook recently opened up development opportunities for third-party developers. With this acquisition some observers have noted that Facebook might be trying to become a Google alternative, by providing an application development platform based on Parakey's technology. Facebook's 'Web OS' has also been discussed, and the company has made headlines partly because of the fame of one of its founders. Blake Ross helped launch Firefox, and it was enthusiasm for helping less geeky users like his mom to thrive on the web that got him through the doors of Netscape at the age of 15. A recent interview charts how that same enthusiasm led him to start Parakey, 'a Web operating system that can do everything an OS can do.'"

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Everything? (2, Interesting)

Zeebs (577100) | about 7 years ago | (#19935167)

What about bootstrapping the system. I'll venture a guess of no before even rtfa.

Re:Everything? (3, Interesting)

larry bagina (561269) | about 7 years ago | (#19935465)

From wikipedia (warning: I may have edited this just minutes ago):

The idea behind it is to make image, video, and writing transfer to the web easier. He explains that the current problem with transferring data to the web is that in order to move an image onto the web you first have to transfer pictures from your digital camera, then upload them to a place like Flickr.

That sounds like an ActiveX-esque security shit storm waiting to happen.

Voldemort kills Harry Potter with an anal probe (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19935175)

warning: spoiler in subject

Re:Voldemort kills Harry Potter with an anal probe (0, Troll)

normuser (1079315) | about 7 years ago | (#19935197)

Voldemort kills Harry Potter with an anal probe

I hope he used protection.

Re:Voldemort kills Harry Potter with an anal probe (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19935251)

I hope he used protection.
When this happens! []
(And how is parent poster a troll? It was an obvious joke, idiots. Boy, some mods...)

without RTFA (2, Insightful)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | about 7 years ago | (#19935189)

'a Web operating system that can do everything an OS can do':

can it:

(1) boot your computer (without requiring local media and thus becoming more of a "real" OS)
(2) run photoshop / gimp / doom 3 / (insert resource-heavy app here)
(3) run without any loss of functionality when you're sitting in the middle of nowhere without a wifi hotspot

Sure, the answers may all be yes...but not without a lot of hacking at the reasons why.

ok now I *DID* RTFA (3, Interesting)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | about 7 years ago | (#19935239)

at least one of them. Why does /. insist on posting articles with tripe like this (particularly amusing snippets in bold):

Imagine that in 2-5 years time Facebook has become the No. 1 destination on the web. Facebook as a Web OS is the leader in online storage, online applications, email, blogging and of course social networking. How people interact with Facebook has changed; Facebook OS has absorbed Facebook F8, all previous Facebook applications work under Facebook OS, but they work more like Windows does today; Facebook has become your desktop and not just an internet site. The Facebook Paint application substitutes Photoshop, Facebook Email is a superior offering to Outlook, Facebook Office (Facebook having acquired either Thinkfree or Zoho) provides the market leading word processing and spreadsheet platform.

Facebook BSOD!? (1)

denmarkw00t (892627) | about 7 years ago | (#19935517)

You forgot this rather amusing tidbit: "but they work more like Windows does today "

Re:Facebook BSOD!? (1)

Adambomb (118938) | about 7 years ago | (#19935715)

average users of social networking sites....with a platform operating "like windows does today"...

Its as if a million routers cried out in terror...and were suddenly silenced.

I fear something terrible has happened.

Re:ok now I *DID* RTFA (2, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | about 7 years ago | (#19935849)

Have you heard of XUL? All those things are possible today with a combination of XUL and HTML 5 technologies. Considering that Parakey is run by the fellow who started the Firefox project (Blake Ross), I imagine that basing his "WebOS" on Firefox technologies was exactly what he had in mind.

Here are a few examples of these applications:

ajaxWrite [] - Honestly, Google Docs is more usable, but ajaxWrite shows off how XUL can look exactly like a local application.

CanvasPaint [] - An MS Paint clone done with HTML 5 technologies.

Video and Audio support from the WHATWG specs are already in Opera and are expected to show up in Firefox 3. Apple is also implementing the tags, though possibly without default support for OGG. (You'll need to install the codec yourself.) In the meantime, the Video tag is being emulated [] by some developers by using Java Applets as the shunt. As soon as the video support is in Firefox, the shunt will automatically deactivate and allow the browser to take over.

Re:ok now I *DID* RTFA (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | about 7 years ago | (#19936019)

Honestly, Google Docs is more usable, but ajaxWrite shows off how XUL can look exactly like a local application.

That's your problem. Approaching everything from the "looks just like" and "pretends to be" perspective. Skinning his apps is the least possible problem a "Web OS" will have.

I'd think more along the fact that his "OS" doesn't have a security model, it runs on JavaScript (slow as hell, and Firefox is slower than slower than hell), it can't access local computer resources (hardware acceleration, big local files, play movies).

So you see, it's quite limited in what you can do. He can basically concentrate on the "faking it" part but that will get him nowhere with most users, which are looking for something *USEFUL* to do in that OS, that they can't do in their OS.

Re:ok now I *DID* RTFA (1)

Maniac-X (825402) | about 7 years ago | (#19936561)

Yeah but the thing is, a website will *never* be an operating system of its own. That's somewhere between the realm of extremely improbable to absolutely impossible.

The closest that would EVER come to happening would be the possibility of remote bootstrapping, with replicating an installation image, or an X-like thin client.

A "Web OS" that runs through your browser seems ludicrous because even if it were ABLE to communicate with your hardware, there are so many layers between the site content and your hardware that it would be ridiculously inefficient. First it has to interact with the browser, which has to interact with the various APIs in your ACTUAL OS, going through the Kernel and the BIOS to get to the hardware. Thats a lot of jumps, especially considering how horribly slow most browsers are to begin with.

I'm not saying it'll never happen, it just won't happen within a web browser.

Re:ok now I *DID* RTFA (1)

obender (546976) | about 7 years ago | (#19938595)


/apps/write/content/content.html was not found on this server Resin-3.0.21 (built Thu, 10 Aug 2006 12:03:19 PDT)

TypeError: main.document.getElementById("previewframe") has no properties

I'll stick to my OS for the time being.

Re:ok now I *DID* RTFA (2, Insightful)

moosesocks (264553) | about 7 years ago | (#19935891)


But you've got the problem that Web Browsers (and most "modern" languages like Java) are hideously inefficient for these sort of tasks. CSS/HTML/Javascript are being contorted to do things that they were never really meant to do.

The fact that firing up Firefox to look at my GMail (which is, by all accounts one of the more efficent "Web Apps") consumes considerably more CPU time and RAM than it does to fire up a fairly robust mail client is disturbing to say the least. Let's face it -- the Web is a shitty place to get day-to-day tasks accomplished that involve any sort of interaction.

If this web app idea is to get off the ground, I'd imagine that we'll eventually be using some sort of modern derivative of the X11 protocol to natively display apps, using our screens as true thin clients. Rebol [] did this a few years back, and it regrettably didn't catch on (probably due to it being proprietary), but I remember checking out the tech demos, and being floored by how fast it was, even on a 56k connection.

HTML's great as an information distribution medium, but the fact that it's even being taken remotely seriously as an application platform is laughable.

Re:ok now I *DID* RTFA (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19936137)

What's wrong with a display protocol that pushes document object model changes, rather than vector or pixel changes, to the client? That's where we already are.

Personally I prefer semantically encoded data to "applications" whenever possible, it's easier to reuse in unplanned ways (the same reason PDFs are prettier but less useful than HTML).

Re:ok now I *DID* RTFA (1)

TodMinuit (1026042) | about 7 years ago | (#19936649)

And exactly what does "Facebook Office," or "Facebook Paint," or "Facebook Start Menu" have to do with a social network, which is all that Facebook is?

I mean, as long as we're imagining, lets imagine a world-wide wireless mesh Interweb. Think of it as a series of wireless tubes.

Re:ok now I *DID* RTFA (1)

stevey (64018) | about 7 years ago | (#19940041)


I've been using facebook for a few months, initially to keep an eye on what local people were getting up to. But with the sudden spate of "applications" (many of them both badly coded and pointless) I'm finding myself less interested in returning.

I'm sure the facebook people don't care because I'm still a member and get included in their statistics, but the "old" facebook was more useful, and less myspace-like.

Re:ok now I *DID* RTFA (1)

Godji (957148) | about 7 years ago | (#19949721)

"all previous Facebook applications work under Facebook OS, but they work more like Windows does today"

'nuff said.

Re:without RTFA (1)

pooya (878915) | about 7 years ago | (#19935299)

Well, we have to see what we loose and what we gain. It is like that everywhere. You would think photoshop would never replace pen and paper and darkroom. Or doom would never replace paintball. Ofcourse, if they can make **fast enough** and fun games that you don't need to download they'll be very popular. Plus they can stick an advertisement on the online version and make it free. Which is why many people would rather play the free one rather than paying to buy it.

Re:without RTFA (1) (321932) | about 7 years ago | (#19936949)

Playing devil's advocate first:

'a Web operating system that can do everything an OS can do':

can it:

(1) boot your computer (without requiring local media and thus becoming more of a "real" OS)

A bootloader is what loads the OS. One could argue that a web-browser is a boot loader, if you really had to. In any case, booting itself is not, nor defines, an OS.

(2) run photoshop / gimp / doom 3 / (insert resource-heavy app here)

You are talking about something arbitrary and relative. Of course it doesn't run Photoshop. Nor does pretty much any other OS that Adobe specifically chooses to port it to. But you are getting somewhere with the 'resource' thing.

(3) run without any loss of functionality when you're sitting in the middle of nowhere without a wifi hotspot

It's written nowhere that an OS can not heavily rely on a network connection.

So none of these are things that are considered real requirements to call something an OS.

But I don't think Andy Tannenbaum would be too upset if we, for the sake of argument, described an OS as the manager of computer resources. I.e. the OS decides what 'application' can have which piece of memory/CPU time/network/audio/etc. Additionally I think an OS also contains (or makes available an API to create) drivers providing the access points to these resources.

So then the question is, does this thing manage in any way these resources? And if it does, does it do so in a way that's considered acceptable by todays standards with regards to protection/security? (perhaps also an arbitrary requirement, but I don't see how the next big thing in OS technology could be without that)

In other words:
- does it manage the memory an app needs/wants to use?
- does it make sure that separate apps can not access each others memory?
- does it gracefully shutdown the app if it (perhaps 'uncleanly') terminates and free all memory used by the app?
- how about for other resources, like audio input/output, network connections, etc?
- when multiple apps run at the same time, does it make sure all apps actually get CPU cycles?
- does it have per app and/or per user resource constraint capabilities? ie. can one app be prevented to connect to a certain server while another can?
- when new resources are available on the platform, can these be made available directly to the apps? (for example, is it possible to write a driver in the OS so that something like a new webcam can be accessed to apps?)

I could go on, but I'll get off my high horse now. I don't know the answers to this, since I haven't seen the actual product. But I do know the answer for most things that are named 'web OSs', and it's pretty safe to say that something implemented in Javascript residing in HTML pages is most likely in no way what is generally considered an Operating System.

Again, based on what I've seen from other projects (I don't know the details of Parakey), it seems to me like a huge step back, which will only become apparent when (if!) the 'OS' became more succesful.

There's absolutely no protection between applications. So a bug in one 'app' can expose all resources available in the entire system without effort.

Then again, it seems like next-gen consumers don't really care as much about privacy/security etc. Maybe I should just lighten up, but I can't help a tiny bit of revolt.

Re:without RTFA (1)

Mazin07 (999269) | about 7 years ago | (#19937627)

Oh, sure, I ran Kubuntu for a while. That's a real OS, isn't it? Could it, (1) boot my computer? chances were good when the gods smiled on me, but I made sure to keep GRUB on a CD-ROM nearby. (2) barely / bad hardware support and interface / no / (probably not) (3) no, unless you consider 4 or 5 programs to be "without any" functionality (Make sure you read parent first.)

Re:without RTFA (1)

NaijaGuy (844212) | about 7 years ago | (#19957241)

I submitted the story just before leaving work on Friday and forgot to check it until today. Looks like Zonk edited my really long submission, and because of that little web OS quote from the article, we ended up hearing an excess number of repeated comments about how this stuff can't replace an OS (and even some silly guy talking about me or the article writer dropping out of computer science). Let the record show that I do not think they're trying to completely replace all OS functionality, and I really don't think anyone else mentioned in these stories thinks that either. I believe it's more of a handy abstraction to discuss it in those terms rather than a technically precise description.

In the part of my submission that was edited out, I was trying to ask if any developers out there have actually used Facebook's API or if anyone knows more about what can be done with Parakey. The rush to denounce this stuff and the fact that the story was posted late on a Friday night (in the U.S.) probably reduced the chances of finding out any useful information from people who would actually have something to share from their own experience. I'm really curious about what they can do because I'm hopeful for continuing abstractions in application development.

Why? (1)

mr100percent (57156) | about 7 years ago | (#19935227)

Why would they do it? They already created a facebook API and have a thriving developer community (and some slick apps btw). Wouldn't it be hard to integrate a different sort of code into what they have already? Or is this a defensive purchase?

Re:Why? (1)

70Bang (805280) | about 7 years ago | (#19935835)

You get two, two, two replies in one.

#1: Why would they do it? They already created a facebook API...

But the question just itching to come out is: Did they develop it with an API as they went -- even just to make their lives easier; or, did they shoehorn it in after the fact? It's sad when the latter takes place. The code is forked and anyone who is hopeful things are well and find themselves forked up because their code behaves differently than the original source.

#2: "a Web operating system that can do everything an OS can do"

I'm guessing you didn't make it to Operating Systems before you dropped out of Computer Science.


They dropped it? I figured it wasn't their choice. ;)

I'm always amazed people get through with a BS in CompSci when the degree should be "Computer Programming". (In college, there was a business track and a science track. The biz track people were madder than half-squashed bees because I started suggesting their degree should read, "Business Data Processing" because the rest of us had CompSci, but took classes where we had to write our own compiler, OS, device driver, DBMS, take Electronics, Microcomputer Interfacing, etc. I don't think they (the biz folks) wouldn't know how to write a compiler, DBMS, etc...even as a collective group. Heck, they only had to take one year of Calculus. I can't complained: I tested out of three years, so they still had to take more than I did. There are a lot of posers with a CompSci degree don't know about anything about Computer Science but programming a couple of programming languages. Besides, none of them had things like a sports team. There were a lot of CompSci program who did hit athletics. For my roommate, his brother, and I were on the Soccer team. I hated the "ten minute get in shape" drills.
What's fun is to give them (fresh off the turnip truck): "It's midnight. Your material is the last part of a [i]Death March[/i] and everyone is gone. It must be done by 8am or everyone goes outside to see you push a peanut on your nose around the building or you're toast. You've got a stubborn error, but you don't know what's causing it, including something outside of the IDE which is also affecting your ability to compile your code. What will you do?"

{deer looking into the headlights}

"Ummmm, I'd send email to my friends."

And what will you do in the meantime?

(deer looking into the headlights of a convoy of semi trucks. ("Con-on-voy, Con-voy")

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19937709)

seriously...put the bong down now. you've had enough. or at least go outside.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19938417)

Slick apps? Seriously? Is that how far our standards have dropped that the crap that passes for applications on Facebook can now be described as "slick"? How about "barely functional and totally useless proof-of-concepts used to harvest user information"?

CS320 (4, Insightful)

mrroot (543673) | about 7 years ago | (#19935281)

"a Web operating system that can do everything an OS can do"
I'm guessing you didn't make it to Operating Systems before you dropped out of Computer Science.

Re:CS320 (1)

archen (447353) | about 7 years ago | (#19935759)

An understandable mistake though. I mean when people referr to an OS now they also think of things like MSN Messenger, Safari and a slew of other things which really have nothing to do with being a part of an operating system. People have become accustomed to referring to integrated external applications as being the capabilities of the OS. Probably doesn't help that Microsoft uses Windows + {generic_name} and Apple uses i{generic_name}

How can Facebook hope to compete? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19935283)

At best, they can be the new AOL. They don't attract many expert users, which, no matter what the media says, has been the key to success of every important, extensible broad platform which has seen widespread adoption.

The MySpaces and Facebooks of the world are fads, IMHO. Nothing serious will be built on them.

I for one ... overlords (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19935305)

I for one welcome our new Facebook Operating Systems overlords.

No, not everything an OS can do... (4, Insightful)

blakeross (611172) | about 7 years ago | (#19935315)

This has been discussed ad nauseum, even in the last Slashdot article, but: no, Parakey does not do "everything an OS can do" from a technical perspective, which is the only perspective most people here care about. That should be obvious. The quote was in the context of average users--people like my mother--who are not thinking about concepts like memory management. The idea is that Parakey accomplishes the functions of an OS (and much more) from an *end-user's* perspective.

I'm confident the truth won't stand in the way of another 200 posts on this topic :)

Re:No, not everything an OS can do... (3, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | about 7 years ago | (#19935403)

The idea is that Parakey accomplishes the functions of an OS (and much more) from an *end-user's* perspective

Actually the phrase you seek is "software suite", not "OS".

Re:No, not everything an OS can do... (1)

crazybasenji (1130955) | about 7 years ago | (#19935699)

Hear, Hear!! I think that's the point that most people here are forgetting; the average user doesn't know/care about PCI slots, memory management, etc. The demand for that type of use will always be there; much like some people will always need an SGI-type box. But then again, this is slashdot, which hardly counts as the target demographic that FB is seeking with this purchase. Whether people realize it or not, but the future of CONSUMER computing is the thin/dumb client with the internet as the central server. It's an interesting race to see which device gets their first, the PC or the smartphone. Hopefully, it is the PC because if the smartphone, for an intents and purposes, is a closed platform. Which if you start connecting the dots, is why GOOG is trying to purchase the block of airwaves.

Re:No, not everything an OS can do... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19935815)

I think that's the point that most people here are forgetting; the average user doesn't know/care about PCI slots, memory management, etc.

The "average user" can kiss my ass. Just because most people need anything technical dumbed down for them, does not make the dumbed down retard-speak the truth. I don't care who they're marketting their piece of shit software too, but if we're going to discuss it on a technically oriented website, we should call a spade a spade. These javascript/html/"ajax" abominations are called "web operating systems" by exactly three groups of people: idiots, people out to make a buck off of idiots; and pansy "web developer" Nancy-boys who are bitter that they get laughed at by everybody doing real development work.

Re:No, not everything an OS can do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19936071)

pansy "web developer" Nancy-boys who are bitter that they get laughed at by everybody doing real development work

I think you've overestimated your power of derision. It's sort of like, you laugh at people for being ignorant, and they laugh at you for being a socially incapable virgin with bad hygiene and no regard for human beings.

Re:No, not everything an OS can do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19936345)

I think you've overestimated your power of derision. It's sort of like, you laugh at people for being ignorant, and they laugh at you for being a socially incapable virgin with bad hygiene and no regard for human beings.


Re:No, not everything an OS can do... (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | about 7 years ago | (#19936003)

The quote was in the context of average users--people like my mother--who are not thinking about concepts like memory management. The idea is that Parakey accomplishes the functions of an OS (and much more) from an *end-user's* perspective.

Last time you went with the "end-user" perspective I asked you: ok let it play a DVD then.

One day you'll realize you had to concentrate on the "much more" part that makes an online app/ui unique and market this as an "extension" of people's OS, versus pit your product against the OS (seemingly) a user already has (and will run your "OS" into).

In an OS, people don't just wanna open HTML gadgets that look like Window apps an pretend they're in an OS.

That's what geeks want. Have realistic shadows and when you make a screenshot, and show it to your buddies, they'll say "oh what window manager is this? Is it a gnome/kde skin or something?", then you'll sit proud and say "No! It's an HTML/JS app!". You'll get geek scores, but people can't care less what you faked since they still can't run your OS without *their* OS, and can't run their movies, games and apps in your "OS".

Also what kinda OS is when you can't install third party apps into it. You see, I hope you do NOT allow third party apps in your OS, since they all have access to each other in a shared JS environment. When the first app that steals private info blows the news 'omg Parakey stole my credit card!!', you'll realize yet another reason you can't fake an OS in a browser and get away with it.

Re:No, not everything an OS can do... (1)

TooTuff (1131081) | about 7 years ago | (#19936699)

Blake, I'm just an end-user and have never written a line of code in my life, but I admire the passion and motivation you have to take on difficult tasks in order to change the status quo. You, and a cast of thousands of open-source volunteers, did that with Firefox. You changed the world in a small but significant way. How many people can say that their actions changed the lives of millions people? Not many. For that, I just want to say thanks for the time and effort. (ending fanboy rant...) That said, one question I came away with after reading the article about Parakey was: where is the so-called personalized web OS platform hosted? I understand the whole synchronization thing (I use flickr updater for example) but who hosts this Web OS and all the personalized data? Is Facebook now the intended host or is a new Parakey specific platform in the works? Also, I love your key idea. It makes complete sense. We all have keys for everything in our lives: car, house, locker, so why not have simple "keys" for our on-line world? Instead of the ever-expanding password list, most of which are just insecure duplicates, we could either have a constantly expanding "key chain" of unique keys or , better yet, or a highly encrypted master key that verifies our identity and gives us instant access permission. I really hope this takes off. If you become the next billionaire in the process, so be it. Those who innovate deserve the spoils of their labor. If someone wishes to donate their time and effort to society, more power to 'em! In my mind 200 million and counting free copies of Firefox is a darn good example of philanthropy.

Re:No, not everything an OS can do... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19937589)

ok, time to stop giving Blake a blowjob now...

"Web OS?" (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | about 7 years ago | (#19935379)

I suppose this sounds trollish, but frankly to me the very phrase just screams SLASHVERTISEMENT!, because no-one who knows what they're talking about uses language like that -- it's strictly a marketing term.

Google. (2, Insightful)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 7 years ago | (#19935391)

Of course, Facebook will soon be purchased by Google.

Re:Google. (2, Interesting)

appleprophet (233330) | about 7 years ago | (#19935823)

I hope not. Is it just me or has Google become relatively stagnant?

Take Gmail for instance. That was launched at roughly the same time as Facebook. Since then, Gmail has remained almost exactly the same. On the other hand Facebook has been adding features every other month and dramatically changing itself every year. The same goes for Google Calendar, orkut, Google Images, and virtually all of Google's products. Even Google Search itself is almost exactly the same as it was 7+ years ago (obviously they have been tweaking the algorithm.)

What makes it even worse is that Google has armies of the smartest kids as well as PHDs working for them, and they double their workforce every year.

Re:Google. (2, Insightful)

majid_aldo (812530) | about 7 years ago | (#19936159)

some things don't need to be changed like: the google search page, basic instant messaging, basic email, windows xp, and the jeep cherokee.

Re:Google. (1)

Marty_Krapturd (817250) | about 7 years ago | (#19956637)

I like the distinction:

What makes it even worse is that Google has armies of the smartest kids as well as PHDs working for them, and they double their workforce every year.
Emphasis mine. Yes, in addition to smart people Google also has people with papers and letters behind their names!

Re:Google. (1)

Mister Kay (1119377) | about 7 years ago | (#19936145)

G-book? or Google Face? Facebook by Google?
On the plus side, that spot that says "I'll find something to put here." can finally be replaced by some good old Google ads. Mmm... sweet sweet personalized advertisements... it makes my nipples a little hard just thinking about it

mac os? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19935413)

you fucking fanboys. all taking that steve jobs dick up your faggot asses. sucking on the dicks on dirty faggot linux fagboys.
i laugh at you. you couldn't handle straight up unix so you both fucking shit out some really fucked up mess and try to call yourselves hardcore? i'd break you fucking faggot necks.
when you're really ready to step up to real unix come around. i'll beat your fag asses like that matthew shepard faggot dick sucker.

Dirty fucking Arabs (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19935481)

Did anyone else see this 3520070719?pageNumber=1&sp=true/ [] in TFA

Disgusting assholes

Re:Dirty fucking Arabs (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19938155)

The relgion of peace strikes again.

Allahu ackbar! *pushes detonator*

I know we have some fucked up Christian extremists, but Islamic extremists are way off the deep end.

Parakey! (1)

Stoutlimb (143245) | about 7 years ago | (#19935495)

It's not margarine, it's Parakey!

Stop it! (1)

Bluesman (104513) | about 7 years ago | (#19935541)

The OS can already do everything that an OS can do.

Stop trying to reinvent the wheel.

Online office apps are pointless once somebody offers decent, cross platform, ad supported storage of data.

Re:Stop it! (1)

Catil (1063380) | about 7 years ago | (#19936471)

Web Applications are often advertised as "access from everywhere" which sounds like "centralize your data." The real meaning, however, is "access with everything" - Web-Apps should be working on every electronic device running a modern browser; every PC with every possible OS, mobile phones, even game consoles.
If you, let's say, make a presentation with your favorite online app, you can show it to everyone every time.
The same goes for Flash, Silverlight and other fancy web technologies. There is nothing "more cross platform" than a browser these days.

It's not the reinvention of the wheel, it's making your car fly ;)

A web what? (1)

tietokone-olmi (26595) | about 7 years ago | (#19935557)

So what can it do? Can it manage memory? What filesystems does it implement? Do you have fork(2) or an equivalent? What about TCP/IP? How are your hardware drivers?

Shouldn't you invest in a dictionary, son?

Windows Live? (0, Troll)

mr-niloc (1129967) | about 7 years ago | (#19935845)

Sounds like Windows Live. Probably violates hundreds of patents too.

To me Parakey sounds more like.. (1)

Dragonshed (206590) | about 7 years ago | (#19935943)

A web portal with a very tightly integrated, extensible "smart client".

The following scenario sounded interesting: Plugging in your camera and having pictures automatically copied, sorted, ready to organize on your "local server", automatically publishing once you're connected to the website.

The bit about developing "applications" using JUL sounded interesting too. I wonder how much cross-over functionality this and Google Gears has.


'its what we call a "LASER"'

wonderful, another company run by 22 years olds (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19936021)

Got a lot of daddy's VC cash? Just what the world needs, another closed OS.

What this site needs is some editors that can tell a waste of money when they see it.

What does this mean for user freedom? (2, Interesting)

bitspotter (455598) | about 7 years ago | (#19936095)

At first, hearing this pissed me off. Now it just makes me nervous, after reviewing some of the old and new information (neither of which amounts to much, given Parakey's stealth mode).

The number one thing that encouraged me about Parakey was that not only was it open source, it didn't fork over it's users control over to web services companies. Sure, Livejournal, for example) has its code released under a public license - but that doesn't stop LJ from locking in user data. Alternate instances of of LJ code son't interoperate, and I still can't make complete archives of all my posts, comments, and interactions on any social networking site. This is my life [] , we're talking about - I don't want some company to have better access to it than I do.

Parakey, insofar as it was described in the Spectrum article, did the right thing here by making the user's desktop the central archive (using open code, and open formats, of course). My life would remain mine, and web services would simply syndicate it from its origin under my control.

From what I've been able to discover about the Facebook platform, it's not nearly as useful as the web interface is - there's tons of crap I've been bombarded with on the web pages after logging in, only a tiny fraction of which is actually accessible through the API. Given FB's dependency upon an advertising model, it doesn't surprise me at all that they want to hold my own social life hostage as a carrot to get me to use the web interface. Unfortunately, I'm not biting.

So my concern is, has Parakey bailed on the user-centered model in favor of the service-provider-centered model? It would be a shame.

Everybody wants to be the OS (2, Interesting)

TechnicolourSquirrel (1092811) | about 7 years ago | (#19936983)

Why does EVERY successful tech company suddenly want to be your OS? Christ, even Facebook now wants to be your OS. I ALREADY HAVE AN OS IN FACT WE ALREADY HAVE HUNDREDS OF OSES SO STOP TRYING TO REINVENT THE WHEEL. I look forward to the day when the computer operating system is something nobody thinks about anymore, and instead thinks more about new operations to add to this system. We have an industry full of people falling all over each other to reinnovate the first thing that was ever innovated in this space, because they are all telling stories to each other that lionise those who take over the whole product. These are the typical developer's heroes: people who forced an advantage in one application into a measure of control over the system. Their heroes are not the people who just design one application that is incredibly good at some goal, and then continue to focus themselves on that goal -- these sorts of people are just not 'thinking outside the box'. And 'thinking outside the box' usually means making the "intellectual" leap to you sitting on top of the box, owning the whole box -- i.e. the only thing you will allow outside the box you are building, is you. Thinking in this way about every possible product is thought in this particular society to make one brilliant, maybe even a genius. For some reason, this type of thought process is no longer called by its former name: 'ragingly narcissistic megalomania'. No, now it proves you are brilliant and insightful, rather than just nakedly ambitious to the point that you see a crown for yourself (and little else) in everything. Watching something REALLY stupid happen like the best social networking app that has ever lived trying to remake itself into the shittiest "operating system" that has ever lived, proves that the tech industry's self-image is fundamentally broken, and we need entirely new models for what is a 'smart' engineer, what is a 'good' design philosophy, and what is a tech 'hero'. Because we can't continue to thrive with a million little Bill Gateses like this; that ship has sailed, my friends. And it's not even a very intereesting ship. In the future people will get about as excited about new OSes as they do about new plumbing networks. Trust me, people, in the long view the application is the heart of our world, not the OS. The OS is a necessary evil: if you could get rid of it, you would. This is rarely true of the application. Therefore, ultimately, applications will be removed from operating systems to stand out on their own (the opposite of the current trend, and what would naturally REALLY happen if there weren't current technical advantages to functional integration that are very specific to today's tech level). Most filmmaker's don't make movies in the hopes of winning a role in the design of film projectors -- because the two arts are entirely unrelated, so it would be a stupid, broken way for an industry to self-motivate. And yet this is exactly how the tech industry does it. Even my social networking designers, who are faced with the task of writing an app to manage the most complex network we know (human society), seem to think of themselves primarily as faced with the task of winning a seat managing one of the most simplistic network designs we know (binary logic machines). It begs reason! In fact, the whole thing is so stupid in a decidedly 'Hitchhiker's Galaxy' way, that I call for the immediate destruction of the tech industry as a whole, followed by the more logical apportionment of the design of tools in each field to experts in that field: so that social networking sites will be designed by wannabe sociologists, instead of by wannabe driver writers.

Smart Guy (1)

Klanglor (704779) | about 7 years ago | (#19937235)

the facebook CEO is a smart guy, he is learning from the best of the best. I don't know if you ever seen he's keynote, but he sells a bit like Steve Job. He buys a bit like Google and he monopolize a bit like Bill Gates. give it a few year, if he manage to generate a yearly net worth of 100$ per users, he will be a billionaire.

Re:Smart Guy (1)

girltard (806055) | about 7 years ago | (#19937915)

Quit shilling for facebook, you astroturfing troll.

Re:Smart Guy (1)

Klanglor (704779) | about 7 years ago | (#19981431)

bah... you just can't see business opportunity. plus maybe u don't have any friends. i fell sorry for you now.

Re:Smart Guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19938279)

Smart, maybe. But he is an awkward presenter. I can't remember where I read that he looks like a 15 year old boy who has memorized the whole presentation...Anyway...

Linus is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19937605)

I am with Linus on this one

Schoolmates (1)

dasare1503 (875182) | about 7 years ago | (#19939531)

It's funny that Facebook bought Blake Ross's startup since Blake Ross went to high school (and was in the same class) as one of Facebook's original developers and main financier. Not a bad class of '99...

Everything? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#19940367)

People have been so brainwashed by Microsoft 'Operating Systems' that they think all an OS does is:

- Run Paint
- Run Email
- Run Word Processing Applications
- Run Web Browsers
- Play Games

This is exacly what an Operating System Does NOT DO. The Core functions of an OS are:

1. Allocate Memory
2. Allocate / Control Hardware Resources (Disk, CPU, IO, Peripherals)
3. Manage Files
4. Lastly, the OS is nothing by an 'Abstraction' Layer, between the hardware, and the programmer.

Looks like someone failed basic highschool computer science.

Now, on this note, can someone explain why Windows is worth $500.00? While it does do most of the core OS functions, it does most of them rather poorly. It does however, have a good file broswer and paint program.
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