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The End of .Mac and Google Apps? 245

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the days-of-futures-past dept.
mattnyc99 writes "In his weekly tech column for Popular Mechanics, Glenn Derene predicts that everyone will have a home server to network their house within 10 years—rendering Apple's .Mac accounts and Google's productivity software useless. As prices for products like HP's MediaSmart Server drop and as processing power becomes more pervasive, Derene says, 'you'll ultimately need a centralized server—that high-powered traffic cop—to coordinate the non-stop exchange of information between your new multitude of devices.'"
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The End of .Mac and Google Apps?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 05, 2007 @09:23AM (#19001051)
    It's called Plan 9 from Bell Labs [bell-labs.org].

    Those who don't understand Plan 9 are doomed to reinvent it, poorly.
  • by edittard (805475)
    Brought to you by the shameless plug for HP dept.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      A server in every home? People want less to deal with, not more. Why have a home server if you can just connect to one online? This is why I laughed when Microsoft introduced its home server edition of Windows, because it's so contrary to current trends.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        A server in every home? People want less to deal with, not more. Why have a home server if you can just connect to one online?

        One word: privacy. Oh, another word: performance. Most home networks are 100 Mbits/sec while the internet connection is typically less than 1 Mbit/sec, two orders of magnitude less. This relative difference will remain for the forseeable future as home networks move to GigE while broadband speeds slowly increase into the tens of megabits. Think high resolution photos and video fi
      • by teh kurisu (701097) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @02:47PM (#19003433) Homepage

        My flatmates and I had a server running in our living room all through uni. At first we used it to share our ADSL connection, which was accessed with a PCI modem that our ISP provided. We used it as a Quake server and a file and ssh server after that, so when we bought a wireless NAT router we kept it around.

        In my last year of uni, I was working in a special lab where we were allowed to bring in our own laptops and connect to the university network. This was all by special provision, and we were behind an additional firewall. POP, SMTP and IMAP were all blocked, so were were unable to access email services not only from the internet, but even from elsewhere in the same department. So we set up an email service on our living room server, that would check all our accounts and provide IMAP access when at home, and Horde webmail access when we were in uni.

        It wasn't an ideal solution, because Horde was difficult to set up and use, and very slow, mainly because although we had close to 8mb downstream, we were still on 512mb upstream. If this kind of approach is to take off with ordinary users, there needs to be a slot-in solution, and upstream speeds need to come closer into line with downstream. The other issue was power consumption. In these days where we're being told to consume less energy, an always-on machine in the house isn't going to look attractive.

  • that's moronic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lthown (737539) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @09:24AM (#19001057)
    I have a server at home, with over a TB of storage. I still use most of google's apps, especially Gmail.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by yada21 (1042762)
      That's because they haven't invented Googlepr0n. Yet.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gvmson (865343)
      Same here. I have 3 servers at home, that does not stop me from using both google and .mac
      • .mac is history... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MsGeek (162936)
        ...unless Apple starts giving it away. Seriously. Between Google apps and XDrive I have everything .mac has for FREE. Even the zealots will come around.

        Oh yeah, home servers, unless they are exposed to the Internet, do not give you the ability to access your data from anywhere there's connectivity. I dread to think what would happen in an Internet where you have home servers everywhere. Particularly home servers running WINDOWS. The only folks who would be happy in a situation like that would be Russian pr0
    • Re:that's moronic (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Professor_UNIX (867045) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @10:10AM (#19001303)

      I have a server at home, with over a TB of storage. I still use most of google's apps, especially Gmail.
      That's probably just because your ISP doesn't let you run servers on your DSL or cable modem. In the future when everyone moves to IPv6 there will be little to no restrictions imposed. Everyone will have a huge block of static addresses to use instead of having to pigeon-hole everything into a dynamic IPv4 address using NAT kludges. In the future Gmail will be irrelevant because your home server will have an e-mail server and web front-end built into it. Many of us already have this setup already, but in the future it will become as normal as someone having a TiVo or Xbox360 on their network. The days of a third-party provider collecting, indexing, and targeting advertisements to you based on the content of your e-mail will be over.
      • Re:that's moronic (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DShard (159067) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @10:34AM (#19001461)
        How do you figure that a change in communication protocol will change ISPs desire to offer tiered service? Blocking web servers has nothing to do with not having enough public IPs and everything to do with competition. The reason your broadband is cheap is the same reason port 80 is blocked.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by marcosdumay (620877)

        And will those servers run Dunken Fuken Forever?

        There is no reason we can't have that setup now. The only problem is that ISPs don't want it. So, in the future will ISPs be different, have competition, or what?

      • Re:that's moronic (Score:5, Insightful)

        by senatorpjt (709879) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @10:36AM (#19001475)
        I run servers on my cable modem, but I still use gmail for the email address I gave my boss, because their servers are more reliable than mine.

        Even if people have these servers, they probably won't have redundant power supplies, access to multiple backbones, automatic backup, or uptime guarantees from the ISP.

      • Re:that's moronic (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dal20402 (895630) * <dal20402@@@mac...com> on Saturday May 05, 2007 @10:39AM (#19001489) Journal

        And you really think Joe User is going to administer his own email server instead of using Gmail?

        Even if Apple were to develop "Mail Server for Idiots" and you could just plop it onto the IPv6 network, it would still require some administration, to set up accounts, deal with over-quota family members, etc. On the client side, either Joe will have to get a domain name or type in an IPv6 address every time he wants to get his mail remotely, rather than typing "gmail.com." All of that takes time and brainpower that most people want to use elsewhere. Furthermore, Joe's home server is a WHOLE LOT more likely to lose his data than Google is, since Joe never wants to take the time to back up.

        Most consumers will use home servers to store media libraries. In the IPv6 era a few more may use them for remotely accessible services like email and calendars, but not many. It just takes unnecessary time and effort, especially for someone who just doesn't care about technology.

      • In the future when everyone moves to IPv6 there will be little to no restrictions imposed

        That will be right around the time we all get nuclear powered flying cars, right?

        The days of a third-party provider collecting, indexing, and targeting advertisements to you based on the content of your e-mail will be over.

        How does it feel to be the new, proud owner of the Brooklyn Bridge?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AKAImBatman (238306) *

        That's probably just because your ISP doesn't let you run servers on your DSL or cable modem

        Says who? I run my own home-servers, and even a very popular web app. I used to rely on them for email service, but I transitioned to GMail instead. Why?

        Quality of Service

        Having dedicated staff ensuring that my email is running smoothly, is upgraded regularly with the latest features, has enough bandwidth and i/o to respond quickly, and is not vulnerable to attack is worth a lot more than the value of running my own

      • Re:that's moronic (Score:5, Insightful)

        by znu (31198) <znu.public@gmail.com> on Saturday May 05, 2007 @11:31AM (#19001799)
        I have business-class DSL with a static IP and a ToS agreement that lets me run all the servers I want. I used to have a server on the network and run my own e-mail, web hosting, etc. I don't anymore. Why? Because it's not worth my time. I don't want to have to worry about backups, software updates, spam filtering, DoS attacks... My e-mail is on GMail now, and I've switched my web hosting to MediaTemple. These guys have full-time staff to deal with any issues that arise. They have massive amounts of redundant infrastructure, backup power, and well tested procedures.

        I used to think things would head in the direction of personal servers. Now, I think the trend will be in the other direction. More web-based apps, more hosted services. Why? Basically, because it provides huge economies of scale, in terms of both infrastructure and manpower.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I don't see how the march of progress is going to undo these business models. The big boys have increasing resources too, and they remain beyond those of the home user. I mean, my age in years is steadily increasing, but I'm not about to overtake my older siblings any time soon.

        I use servers heavily in my home... for dumb storage, ftp, serving webs, VNC access to apps I don't want to lug around, an Exchange server, a couple streaming media apps, and a smattering of other misc crap. I have over 3TB of storag
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 05, 2007 @09:25AM (#19001061)
    ... we're all dead. -John Maynard Keynes
  • Not web based... (Score:2, Informative)

    by DTemp (1086779)
    I hope they don't plan on this server having a web-based interface to the outside world, because right now many ISPs (including mine, Comcast) forbid people from running web servers, and most actually block access to port 80 on their customer's lines.

    I'm hoping that will change, I hope I can use my internet line for whatever (legal) stuff I want in the future...

    I also hope my upload speed becomes as fast as my download speed, instead of the current 768kbps compared to 6.6mbps, but thats another story...
    • by tomhudson (43916) <barbara DOT huds ... a-hudson DOT com> on Saturday May 05, 2007 @09:47AM (#19001195) Journal

      su root
      vi /etc/apache2.conf
      i
      listen 8000
      listen 8080
      :wq
      apache2ctl restart

      There - fixed it for ya.

      now type http://examplehomeserver.com:8000/ [examplehomeserver.com] or http://examplehomeserver.com:8080/ [examplehomeserver.com]

      BTW - The article is wrong - not everyone will be running a home server in 10 years. Most people don't want to be bothered, and won't want to spend the extra $$$ on electricity, etc. Cheaper and easier to just have one family member/friend run a linux/bsd box and offer user accounts with ssh, sftp, and ~usr/public_html access (or symlink /home/user/public_html /htdocs/user for people who can't figure out how to type a tilde.

      "You need to type a tilde before your user name in the url."
      "A what?"
      "A tilde."
      "I don't have a tilt key on my keyboard."
      "Not tilt - tilde!"
      "What's a tilde?"
      "That squiggly line thingee."
      "Oh, okay." ... pause ... I can't find it.
      "The one next to the one."
      "The one next to which key?"
      "The one."
      "I've got over a hundred keys ... which one?"
      "The one."
      "... yeah, sure ... quit pulling my leg - there's really no such thing as a tilt key, is there? This is a joke, like the "any" key."
      (- click - account deleted)
      • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @10:10AM (#19001305) Homepage Journal
        You sound like you go through something similar.
        I have to guide people through typing a colon key every couple of days and 99% don't know what I mean.

        "OK, in the host name box, type our domain name followed by a colon, then the number 1"

        "Yes, the colon key, hold down your shift key - thats the big key with the up arrows on it - then press the colon key, its the one with with the 2 dots, its next to the "L" key."

        Invariably (after hearing them rustling to put the phone on their shoulder) they manage to type a semi colon.
        I hope I never have to try anything more complex with my users.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by DTemp (1086779)
        But see, here's the thing: You can set up a web server on whatever port you want, and be clever and get it to work. However you're still (I think) in violation of your customer agreement with Comcast, because they don't want you to have a web server, any HTTP/HTTPS access, on ANY PORT period. So you might get around their port 80 block, but if they were to find you out, they could still do anything from sending you a friendly notice to stop, to shut down your service.
  • by niceone (992278) * on Saturday May 05, 2007 @09:26AM (#19001073) Journal

    Hmm, the summary says we'll have home servers "rendering Apple's .Mac accourendering Apple's .Mac accounts and Google's productivity software uselessnts and Google's productivity software useless".

    But TFA's only mention of Google or .Mac says:

    The technorati among you may protest: Why do we need home servers when everything is migrating online? Google has a full suite of productivity software available that works through a Web browser, and services like .Mac function as an online virtual server for home and small business users without bringing IT problems home. Combine that with a general trend toward higher bandwidth, and the distinction between your network and the Internet becomes almost academic. Nevertheless, the end result is the same: a server massive, networked, securely backed up and well-managed storage that is accessible from anywhere.

    which is not the same thing at all.

    • by kripkenstein (913150) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @10:26AM (#19001407) Homepage
      Indeed, TFA says something completely different than the Slashdot summary. It says that .Mac and Google datahosting are basically the same as a 'home server' solution. Furthermore, it is quickly obvious that the opposite of what TFA says is true: in 10 years, everyone will use a .Mac/Google datahosting solution, and not a home server, since

      1. The functionality is essentially the same, given broadband, the only difference being problems when the connection is down. Paying for a physical home server and maintaining it more than offsets that cost.

      2. Home users don't have the same misgivings that corporations have with hosting their data remotely, especially if the remote hosting solution is more convenient. And it will be. So essentially the only argument against remote hosting is eliminated for home users.

      Google's got the right approach, Microsoft with Home Server will be proven wrong. My 2 cents.
      • by masdog (794316)
        Google's got the right approach, Microsoft with Home Server will be proven wrong. My 2 cents.

        I think you're wrong. .MAC/Google are not the same as what Microsoft Home Server is. MS Home Server isn't much more than a (arguably) smarter NAS device for storing your photos, digital video, and TiVO files while allowing you to access them remotely if you choose to. It won't compete with Google unless they try to offer an Internet-based NAS.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by im_thatoneguy (819432)
        Yeah but try moving 2TB of data over to your .Mac or Google datahosting solution.

        The future is in rich media. People are amassing vast volumes of data every day. The future is a system in which they can access all of the data instantaneously. The webbandwidth curve and the home storage capacity are not in sync. This is why it's still a hastle to upload a 100MB file but the average user seems to have 100GB of movies.

        Just my My Documents folder is something like 60GB. There is no way I'm going to upload
  • by neoform (551705) <djneoform@gmail.com> on Saturday May 05, 2007 @09:32AM (#19001101) Homepage
    This basically assumes google and apple are going to be sitting on their hands for the next decade not changing their products in the slightest.

    Obviously as things change they'll evolve their services to meet demand.
  • I wonder what all these home appliances need so much cpu power+storage for that you need a central server? Can't you hook up these things with USB to your PC ?
    • I wonder what all these home appliances need so much cpu power+storage for that you need a central server? Can't you hook up these things with USB to your PC ?

      The following situation is the case for my little cousin: A boy's files are on a USB drive. But after the theft of a Nintendo DS video game system from a classmate's cubby hole earlier in the school year, students are prohibited from carrying a USB drive or any other electronic device to school. So how does the boy get the files from to the computer in his mom's house to the computer in his grandparent's house where he stays after school until his mom and step-dad get off work?

      • by rthille (8526)
        What an idiotic policy. What happens when someone swipes a jacket or a pair of shoes? Do the kids then have to come to school without shoes or a jacket?

        Given that it's easy to get small flash drives free after rebate, the loss of a jacket could easily be more financially important than the flash drive.
  • by ABoerma (941672) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @09:37AM (#19001127)
    ...that in 10 years time some ninety percent of current technology will be rendered useless.
  • doubtful (Score:5, Insightful)

    by somelucky (1098039) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @09:38AM (#19001133)
    Even in the future the main problem with this setup is reliablity. I have had a server in my home doing these functions for many years. However I would never rely upon it to be the same as a real internet server providing these services. When the power goes out at home, most of the time it will stay down until I get back home. I do agree that in the future we may not have to pay a premium to get 'business class' type access that we do today.
    • by b0s0z0ku (752509)
      Even in the future the main problem with this setup is reliablity. I have had a server in my home doing these functions for many years. However I would never rely upon it to be the same as a real internet server providing these services. When the power goes out at home, most of the time it will stay down until I get back home.

      I'm running OBSD with a backup mail exchanger. If power goes down and comes back up (and the limits of the UPS are exceeded), the box just reboots. Mail stored in the interim is se

    • I do agree that in the future we may not have to pay a premium to get 'business class' type access that we do today.

      That's the thing I don't agree with. The point of "business class" access is guaranteed reliability - The telephone was invented a long time ago, and they still won't guarantee it. Having to provide same-day service under penalty to everyone is just unfeasible.

  • by Chairboy (88841) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @09:38AM (#19001135) Homepage
    I have old copies of Popular Mechanics going back twenty years, and let's discuss some of their predictions. According to them:

    * I have a landing pad built into the roof of my house for my flying car.
    * When I need to get to Europe from New York, I take the subway to a special terminal that connects me to a train that shoots under the Atlantic at thousands of miles per hour in a vacuum.
    * On the rare instances I don't take the super train, I take a Bell Osprey derivative shuttle to the local airport where I don't even need to get out of my seat, because it follows a track built into the shuttle and the airport and automatically zips me into my waiting hypersonic sub-orbital jetliner (which, for some reason, seems to go nowhere but Tokyo).
    * I can fix my hot water heater by removing the broken heating element and replacing it with a new one from the hardware store. Possibly the most ridiculous prediction/claim of all.

    I like their enthusiasm, and the pictures and ads are great, but I'm not quite ready to start shorting stock in companies based on a Popular Mechanics prediction.
    • When I need to get to Europe from New York, I take the subway to a special terminal that connects me to a train that shoots under the Atlantic at thousands of miles per hour in a vacuum.

      That brings back memories: I saw a variation of this idea in an Encyclopaedia Britannica annual special edition book, which I think was from the late '70s. I just googled for it and found a description on this page [nycsubway.org]:

      Physicists told symposium attendees of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that trains con

  • by Pigeon451 (958201) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @09:40AM (#19001151)
    With Google apps and such, you just need to log in and take care of your business. No need to worry about server updates, hacking, spam, etc. A home server takes a little effort for someone who knows how to run one, but can take a lot of time for someone unfamiliar with servers.
  • Windows Home Server is absolutely baffling to me. The cat is out of the bag on NAS devices for the power users and self-built servers for the geeks. The average user is still years away from such a device. .Mac is about way, WAY more than backup (namely iWeb/photocasts/blogging/etc, which are things I have no use for even with two macs).

    So, why, oh why, is Windows Home Server missing the feature that I'd happily pay for: Media Center integration?

    It seems like a no-brainer. Media Center computers ca
    • by b0s0z0ku (752509)
      iWeb/photocasts/blogging/etc,

      iWeb and their user interface is dreadful, IMHO. You're far better off with Google page creator (whatever it's called) or even regular web hosting and an ... ahem ... borrowed copy of DreamWeaver.

      -b.

  • by DMouse (7320) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @09:43AM (#19001167) Homepage
    The major things i like about google's web based word app are:

    1) it is someone else's responsibility to back it up, cluster it, load balance it, and improve it,
    2) it is social, i can include other people in on my document edits easily,
    3) i can effortlessly access it from anywhere, be it uni, work, home or a cafe.

    Home based servers currently have none of the above, and until we get cheap at home clustering and easy ability to host apps on home adsl we still wont.
    • by owlnation (858981)

      Home based servers currently have none of the above, and until we get cheap at home clustering and easy ability to host apps on home adsl we still wont.

      I think you probably mean home T1 - home adsl isn't going to be very useful for most us for hosting our own servers.

      TFA is nonsense on so many levels. I like the parent's posts about Writely and do share them. Google and Apple are some of the least stupid companies currently around in the tech market. I'm pretty sure they'll figure something out in 10

    • by jgrahn (181062)

      The major things i like about google's web based word app are:

      1) it is someone else's responsibility to back it up, cluster it, load balance it, and improve it, 2) it is social, i can include other people in on my document edits easily, 3) i can effortlessly access it from anywhere, be it uni, work, home or a cafe.

      Home based servers currently have none of the above

      Mine has (2) and (3) and as for (1), clustering/load balancing is of course not needed. I'd happily let some organization do my backups, if

  • But what I'd like to know is how we're all going to be able to access these hundreds of Tbs of media from our ubiquitous home servers when we're out and about in our flying cars?
  • by blantonl (784786) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @09:44AM (#19001173) Homepage
    Let me be the first to say that Glenn literally pulled this assertion straight out of his ass.

    No one can argue against home media servers driving innovation into the household, especially around automation and media management - but to displace software as a service? GoogleApps? I don't even in the slightest see where these two things correlate.

    GoogleApps and .MAC (the two examples citied) not only provide value as a collaboration platform, but they are also extremely well designed, and cost effective for the business community. If anyone thinks that I'm going to plunk down 2K on an HP Media Server, and all the sudden declare my independence from Software as Service for the business purposes... well... you get the point - it's utter BS.

    Glenn literally did 2 things.

    1. Plugged HP's products (successfully)
    2. Showed how absolutely absurd some columists can be (successfully)
    • Software as a service works because enough of the aspects of providing that software are a PITA. A decade from now, it's within reason that the software will be simple enough, the hardware will be cheap enough, and the bandwidth will be plentiful enough for the pendulum to swing back.
    • by b0s0z0ku (752509)
      and all the sudden declare my independence from Software as Service for the business purposes

      A lot of businesses are still uncomfortable with Software as a Service. Something about their private documents being stored somewhere that's not under their control. For businesses, if Google was smart, they would come out with an Google Apps Appliance that hosts the apps and their data locally, has secure web access and Google's version of dynamic DNS, includes a VPN server, and has an easy way of backing up d

  • But Seriously (Score:5, Insightful)

    by joe_n_bloe (244407) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @09:45AM (#19001181) Homepage
    Why do I want an extra "hub" computer in my house when it's already a pain in the ass to keep a WEP-enabled wireless router working, and I actually know what I'm doing.

    I'd rather let the guys at Google provide my word processor without my having to find room for another plug in my power strip. I've had enough DIY in my life. But y'all feel free.
    • by b0s0z0ku (752509)
      Why do I want an extra "hub" computer in my house when it's already a pain in the ass to keep a WEP-enabled wireless router working, and I actually know what I'm doing.

      WEP-enabled? No WPA? That means that it's probably 2-3 years old -- maybe it's time to upgrade or at least get new firmware?

      BTW, my router and server have been working fine for the best part of a year. No hassles. Then again, I use OpenBSD for anything that I really care about. Not very featureful, but robust as a tank.

      I'd rather

    • by Lumpy (12016)
      The other problem is that tech is actually going the OPPOSITE way he thinks he sees.

      home servers? nope. that is not gonna happen. Low power appliances that use 15-18 watts of power instead of the 470 that a server uses will start to appear more and more. NAS manufactureres are gettign the idea that their product is crap if it does not support NFS and SMB out of the box, nobody wants to install a special driver to access their low power NAS. High power servers are stupid in the home, you are not running a
    • Nuf said.
    • My wifi hasn't burped once since i swtiched from a 'home router' to a old pc running some sort of linux or bsd distribution ( i finally settled on pfsence, since im a bsd guy and m0n0wall wasnt keeping up with technology, but the linux choices are just as good )
  • Useless? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Wister285 (185087) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @09:56AM (#19001245) Homepage
    This article seems to be in the typical tradition of Slashdot sensationalism. HP bringing a new product to market that competes with Google's and Apple's products doesn't mean that one should automatically assume that older products become obsolete. HP's product doesn't solve the fundamental purpose of the other companies' applications. Google's and Apple's products are able to be used anywhere simply by logging into the web interface. This is the simplicity that people want. People have enough problems just from setting up their computers, so it is doubtful that within five, or even ten years, that people are going to want to manage a central home server. For better or worse, software as a service is something that big companies are pushing more and more. Despite technical or philosophical objections, its adoption will come down to one thing: whether a significant number of people believe that it increases their quality of life. Software as a service makes sense to a lot of people. Only their willingness pay for it will dictate how quickly it becomes popular.
  • I've been asking friends lately what they expect 10 years from now will be like for the average computer user. About ten of us have, after some long coffee breaks, decided that it'll be something like this:

    No one will buy desktop PCs. in 2017 everything will be similar to what we call a laptop today. Data won't be stored on the laptops. Some people will have servers at home, but these people will be eccentric folks like us that host our own web, mail, et cetera in 2007 -- the fringe users. Everyone else will store their data online somewhere. Bandwidth will be charged by the pound instead of flat rate, but it will be very afforadable -- copying a terabyte to home won't cause more than a second of consideration. People will still have workstation caliber desktops, but those will be specialized machines much as they are today, overpowered for a certain task. By 2017, ipv6 is finally mainstream but just barely. Mobile devices will have aggregated down into a single device-- music, cell, radio, visual-- everyone will have the same typical device they carry that does everything, and it will work well. By then, everything will be aware of your biostats if you let it, so your music can follow your general mood, et cetera. They won't be psychic, just dumbly intelligent. Other than that, we decided that technology will be a lot less visible-- as it gets good/small enough to start hiding away in things, so it shall. Presentation will lose its glamour for the most part, and homes will actually look less teched out like they did before the 80s rose.

    I'd love to hear other people's imagination reply to these inevitably wrong projections :)
    • by Cheeze (12756)
      "Bandwidth will be charged by the pound instead of flat rate, but it will be very afforadable "

      I'm not sure how much a packet, bit or byte weighs, but it better be affordable.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Nate4D (813246)
      I actually think it'll go the opposite way.

      My hunch is that as the general public becomes more technically savvy, and storage devices get smaller, you'll actually wind up carrying your entire computational environment everywhere with you, operating system, applications, data, and all, on a little flash-drive-like thing about the size of a credit card.

      You can actually do this today, if you're mildly geeky - a 2 gig flash drive and a lightweight Linux distro leaves you plenty of room to do most of your daily
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ScottyB (13347)
      There's one major wildcard in your predictions--batteries (or mobile power solutions, in the case of things like methanol-based fuel cells). I think you're on the mark with respect to the home environment--laptops and off-site storage--since we're almost there now in major cities where bandwidth is plentiful (e.g., FiOS) and with people storing everything on gmail and photo sites.

      The mobile landscape outside of the home, though, will be heavily dependent on how batteries develop. Without some breakthrough
    • by Kjella (173770)
      I don't think people will be online "everywhere" to the point of not needing local storage. I'm sure that you can get some sort of low-bandwidth wireless most places, but just judging from how pissed I've seen people that lose access becomes, well... Also there are plenty areas where you can't go faster than a slow DSL/cable line and still won't in another 10 years. Working with any sort of media files, music, movies, pictures etc. would be too slow. Imagine synching your iPod over a 2Mbit Internet connecti
  • Um (Score:2, Insightful)

    For $599 Apple already makes the Home Server its called a Mac Mini and is way better a solution than this HP Ad that /. is promoting.

  • by jellomizer (103300) * on Saturday May 05, 2007 @10:18AM (#19001343)
    The problem with a home server is to keep it running. .Mac, Google Apps, spend a lot of time and money (well at least I really hope) to make sure their servers are running backed up and have plenty of fail over. For most people if they have a consumer friendly home server it will be all and good until it breaks then you are SOL all your years of collected pictures... Gone, your important stuff gone... And who is to blame for it yourself. .Mac and Google (I Hope) have trained administers with backup systems that keep them running and if a system crashes you data is still there. Also your data is available from anywhere where there is an internet connection. We are getting more and more mobile with computing laptops are common now for normal use, Cellphones, PDAs are getting more and more powerful we can access the internet from anywhere. With a Home Server we will need to set up correct permissions keep track of security updates if we want external access and with most broadband connections have a much smaller up stream the server will be very slow from a remote location.

    This would have been a good idea 10 years ago, where most internet was Dialup and Slow and most people had Desktop that they did work from home, but today it is a case of too little to late. We don't want a server anymore We want someone else to have a server and us to have access to it, and not worry about maintaining it.
  • by peterbiltman (1059884) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @10:19AM (#19001347) Homepage
    One of the big reasons that I believe home based servers will triumph over hosted apps is the very same reason that they do in any organization -- security and privacy. Case in point, about 6 months ago after being a fan of Gmail for a long time I pulled the plug. Why? Reading the local newspaper one day I saw an article about how the courts have ruled that if your e-mail is stored on someone elses server they don't need a warrant for it. I'm not sure how universal this is, or if it was just in one particular jurisdiction, but that was enough to make me switch. I now run my own mail server.

    Similarly the same goes for hosted apps. It's great they are backing it up, but remember, it only takes one rogue employee to sell your secrets to your competitor. If you are a business storing business-related documents on a hosted service you are at the mercy of the hosted company. You can say "it won't happen because of XYZ" all you want, but again it only takes one rogue employee working for the hosting company. Furthermore, if you are a public company or deal with sensitive information -- forget about it -- unless you want to be out of business tomorrow.

    Centralized storage and data manipulation is the key -- whether that be in the home or the workplace. We are just now entering into this market and I think we are going to see some really good innovations come of it.

    And, personally, yes I've tried out the Beta of Windows Home Server. My thoughts? I love it. It has a few features missing, but when it goes "gold" I plan on switching my home server over to it.
    • A. "Microsoft's Windows Home Server software"

      I have no response. I'm too busy rolling on the floor laughing insanely. A Microsoft box should never be connected directly to the Internet without either a Linksys/Netgear type NAT/firewall in front of it (or a *nix based equivalent), nor would any competent non MS-brainwashed person use it as any kind of Internet server. (I know many do - doing so demonstrates their lack of competence, directly)

      B. Email stored on someone else's server

      No this was about email the
      • by b0s0z0ku (752509)
        I hate POP with a passion, and while I would use IMAP, there just isnt a standalone email client I like.

        Try Thunderbird 2.0. Once it's set up correctly, it's fast and gets the job done quite well. (I actually don't use the filtering/spam capabilities, preferring my server and procmail to do it, but, it still works nicely).

        -b.

  • by LoudMusic (199347) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @10:28AM (#19001421)
    Lots of people are talking about all the technical reasons why everyone won't have a home server to replace online service and control their other devices, but how about the non-technical stuff. Like the fact that 99.9% of computer users have absolutely no clue what they're doing. They just send email and make text documents and spreadsheets. Setting up a home server, no matter how Apple-simple it gets, is a daunting task that frightens them even to think about. And coordinating it with all their other devices? Not likely. How about configuring it so you can access all your stuff from anywhere in the world? People would probably cease up and stop breathing. And there is no way, even for the most proficient of geeks, that any home user could provide themselves with as good of uptime as Google or Apple.
  • by dyfet (154716) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @10:28AM (#19001425) Homepage

    There are strong political and commercial interests who activily oppose such a vision. First, there are the telcoms and cable companies who want to be gatekeepers to people's email and maintain monopolies on other services as well. Try setting up an email server on a residential service, and getting it both to successfully send email without interference by your isp, and having your email messages "accepted" by existing services, regardless of whether you have domain keys setup on your dns, etc, and you will see some of these forces in action.

    As for media servers that may feed media where you want it on demand. I imagine if the RIAA and similar gangs can secure root access to your shiny new internet connected media server, say through trussed computing, and control where you are allowed to listen to your own music, along with an automated billing service, maybe then they may promote it rather than activily oppose such a vision. I could imagine such gangs buying laws that state operating "unlicensed" media servers is "intent to infringe" or some other similar kind of nonsense.

    Finally, the traditional media providers and a particular software monopoly prefer a captive internet "consumer" model, starting with asymetric speeds, cemented by restrictive use contracts and finding common interest with governmental desires for increasingly filtered services, whether for imagined security threats or for unpopular governments keeping tabs on restless populations. Home servers where people can be liberated as true publishers and equals as information producers, rather than reduced to mear consumers captive to external hosted sites for what may become an ever decreasing set of tolerated forms of expression and activities, is certainly not in their agenda.

  • I run a web server and for me it's part time. The sites are mostly my own real-world businesses and when I need to add, oh say, something new in the hppd.conf throu SSH it takes me a lot of remembering, lots of reading and calls to friends. AND everyone is going to have a server they have to maintain? I used to be a full time developer, 6 months pass and I can't remember how too.... how is my friend who can barly figure out how to restart their PC keep a "home" server running? Anyway...... I am going to my
    • by b0s0z0ku (752509)
      I run a web server and for me it's part time. The sites are mostly my own real-world businesses and when I need to add, oh say, something new in the hppd.conf throu SSH it takes me a lot of remembering, lots of reading and calls to friends.

      Use a GUI or web-based front-end to the text configuration files if you can set it up. Makes things a lot easier, and you can still edit the flat files if there's something that the front-end can't do.

      -b.

  • by MORB (793798) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @10:35AM (#19001473)
    "Because in ten years, everything that could benefit from a microchip inside will have a microchip inside. And that means that were all going to own a lot of computers. Your television? A computer. Your cable/IPTV box? A computer. Your cell phone/messaging device? Also a computer. Bedside clock? You guessed it: Itll be a computer, too."

    Those things have been computers since at least ten years.

    Except alarm clock, because turning them into computers would be utterly pointless, so it didn't happen.
    That all this junk would be networked has also been predicted a long time ago, and it just doesn't make sense.
  • Only problem is that many of us ( not me, thankfully ) have metered internet at home. This could seriously rasise your internet bill.

  • that don't have a fixed home or business location? Call them "road warriors". There'll always be a market for hosted applications, just because some people don't have the SPACE or time to host a server.

    -b.

  • Might we start with everyone having a computer in their home in the next ten years?
  • by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @11:15AM (#19001695)
    So I'm living 10 years in the future I guess. I have a home server with a registered domain - I get email directly, serve my personal web content such as photo albums, program in alarms that wake me up in the morning via a distributed music system, backup the laptops I use throughout my house, cache DNS and automatically scarf data I need for managing my finances - stock quotes etc off the web.

    A couple of things are a bit kludgey because I don't have a truly static IP; but that is not too far in the future. Really the only downside with that is I have to send my email out through my ISP's SMTP rather than directly.

    The advantages over Google etc. are essentially unlimited space (I have 2 TB online right now) and very very fast access to the content, and I have control over the features of my setup. The disadvantage is setting up a reliable backup strategy takes some time and effort.

    A year ago I used a hosting service for many of these features, but snce Cablevision made it's Boost service available with unblocked ports and dynamic DNS I moved everything to my home server.

  • ...backups are only for whimps.

    I'll install a homeserver when
      - there's a reliable way to back it up
      - someone invents free energy
      - it's maintenance-free

  • Our home server is a small MCE box hooked to the TV for PVR, media storage and display, and sharing files and media that are accessed by (all laptop) clients around the house. No machines host any Internet available services, so security is less of a concern. It backs up to an inexpensive NAS box. We use an outside mail host, so availability of the server and Internet connection isn't as critical.
  • by failedlogic (627314) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @11:33AM (#19001807)
    If the writer is even correct, then I hope manufacturers come out with Open and common protocols to sync any device to any storage server. Example: iPod is dependent on iTunes to sync properly and get all the music uploaded to it, Palm Piolts need the Palm Desktop, a Blackberry needs special software as do many cell phones. Much of this proprietary software only runs on Windows (or really well on Windows) exception being the iPod.

    I'm a Mac user. But its dawned on me how reliant devices are on Windows to sync up and upload/download your information. Cell phones will be a heck of a lot more common in the future. Shoudn't I be able to store my voicemails, text messages etc on my own computer rather than the carrier's networks quickly, easily and cheaply? I've looked at getting a Blackberry but, frankly, if it doens't work well on my Mac where all my business contacts are stored, I'm not about to start using Windows (and buy a new computer have a G5 so can't dual boot) just to use a Blackberry.
  • Won't happen. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Urza9814 (883915) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @11:42AM (#19001871)
    Not while ISPs like Comcast get away with charging $60 to remove the 'you may not run a server' clause from their TOS. (I actually did call them to see how much that would cost. $40 a month for what I have, $100 a month for the EXACT SAME SERVICE but with servers allowed.)
  • by Gryffin (86893) on Saturday May 05, 2007 @12:09PM (#19002071) Homepage

    Obviously this idiot doesn't have broadband access from a US telecom (DSL) or cable company. Every single one of them explicitly forbid any sort of "server", and enforce it by blocking nearly every port from 1-1024.

    My ISP, OptimumOnline, is a great example; for years I've been getting around their blocks by using high ports and/or ssh tunneling, but just last month they essentially NATted the whole network -- I can't ssh to my home box, no matter what port; Hell, I can't even ping the thing.

  • I don't want that job and I really don't want to fuck with slow network speeds to support my dumb heads on the network. I have a network file storage device now and anything less than Gig Ethernet is torture.
  • While Microsoft has been on this particular little bandwagon for a while now, with big plans for a "Vista Home Server" or something to that effect, and while HP et al may be clamouring for something where the margins and above all, sales will be thicker than the razor edges they now are (MS's margins on Win2K3 Server are enormous compared to WinXP/Vista), I'm pretty sure they'll mess it up and completely miss the boat just like they did with Windows Media Center, which, together with the poor Media Center P

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