Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Operating Systems Cloud Google Patents Technology

Google Granted Cloud OS Patent 143

Posted by Soulskill
from the i-invented-the-raindrop dept.
An anonymous reader writes "This week, Google was given approval of a network OS patent that it applied for back in 2009. The design of the OS is built for 'providing an operating system over a network to a local device' to provision new versions of operating systems onto hardware devices. Filed in March 2009, the idea for Chrome OS was protected by Google early in the development process of the OS, but it was hardly new and unique, given the general description of its features in the patent itself. It is the best sign yet that Google is working toward seamless hardware and software experiences."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Google Granted Cloud OS Patent

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 10, 2012 @03:19PM (#40950033)

    I like what Google does... most of it anyway. But it's just as bad when Google gets a software patent as when anyone else does.

    END - THEM - ALL

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 10, 2012 @03:25PM (#40950103)

      Yes and no. Software patents are a weapon. Depending on who wields the weapon, it can be disastrous. Legally, software patents can be used defensively or offensively. I'd say the offensive users are worse than the defensive users. Overall the system is broken, but how "bad" it is that some company got a software patent -- well, that time will tell.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Yes and no. Software patents are a weapon. Depending on who wields the weapon, it can be disastrous. Legally, software patents can be used defensively or offensively. I'd say the offensive users are worse than the defensive users. Overall the system is broken, but how "bad" it is that some company got a software patent -- well, that time will tell.

        It's not a matter of who's wielding it. It's a matter of how it's wielded. Google's been pretty friendly but we can't pretend it's always going to be.

        • by White Flame (1074973) on Friday August 10, 2012 @03:58PM (#40950521)

          Google's been pretty friendly but we can't pretend it's always going to be.

          Also, even if Google remains "friendly" regarding the patents it holds, there's no guarantee Google will be the one continuing to hold them. Patent war chests change hands with various sorts of mergers, splitoffs, lawsuits, stock deals, etc.

          This is the reason benevolent dictatorship doesn't really exist: A benevolent leader would not subject his people to a dictatorship, especially as an entrenchment for those who would follow him. Like you say, just because the current state seems benevolent does not mean anything about how that power will be applied in the future.

          Regardless, this thing should have died given netboot prior art.

          • by geekoid (135745)

            netboot is different.

            • netboot is different.

              How so? Netboot is like a mix of a fat and thin-client, of sorts. A server loads the OS on a local machine from a preconfigured image. I don't see how Google's patent is any different than delivering BIOS updates to routers and media centers.

        • by Riceballsan (816702) on Friday August 10, 2012 @04:03PM (#40950583)
          Indeed, the weapon analogy is a pretty solid one. It is more or less a similar concept (though massively different consiquences) to any other weapon. Say nukes as our example. I dislike the idea of nukes being out there at all. I am not happy or comfortable with the idea of the US having enough nukes to more or less destroy the planet. I would be less scared if say Canada or Switzerland had said nukes (though the idea of them seeking to get them would still be a bit unnerving). I would shit my pants if this full arsonal say fell into the hands of North Korea, Iran, Pakistan etc... and it would be even worse if it fell directly into the hands of say Al-Queda, the IRA or any other rogue terrorist group that has a history of attacks that specifically are going for the highest possible civilian count. Now that being said, in the case of patents, sadly with the broken system we currently have, someone is going to get the patent either way. Unless a major reform is done on the system, no matter how obvious, how trival or stupid a patent is, someone is going to land the patent, and there is a high chance that the court will grant them huge money even if the darn thing is both obvious and has been used for years. I can't directly condemn google for filing the patent, as the patent being granted to someone is inevitable, and there are worse hands it could have wound up in. I still do firmly believe that the entire patent system needs rewritten, but well that's just fantasy.
      • by gl4ss (559668)

        just publish what would count as prior art.

        that's enough of a defence.

        Legally, they're going to use the patents they can to fuck with other companies, "do no evil" or not. it's always offensive.

        the only "good" they could use this for would be to use it as reasoning that sw patents are bad, as proof that the patent granting system is broken and that it should be abolished. apply in 2009 for a computer system booted from the network? they just took old concepts and put a buzzword of the 2009 on the title. tha

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Remember Nokia used to be FOSS friendly too...
        Now it's the one doing the damage (indirectly in this case)

      • That's like saying how bad a law is depends on how its used.

        Laws which allow authorities unfettered rights to spy on citizens are good, provided the government doesn't use that power to persecute.

        Wrong.

        Laws which allow authorities unfettered rights to spy on citizens are bad BECAUSE they could be used by governments to persecute.

        • That's like saying how bad a law is depends on how its used.

          No, its not. It would be like that if the claim was that whether software patents are a bad idea depended on how they are used.

          But when your talking about whether a particular corporation getting a particular software patent is bad -- given an environment in which software patents are permitted and often (whether or not in theory they should) overlap in coverage -- you really have to consider how the patent can reasonably be expected to be used ove

      • by Truedat (2545458)

        Yes and no. [Nuclear Missiles] are a weapon. Depending on who wields the weapon, it can be disastrous. Legally, [Nuclear Missiles] can be used defensively or offensively. I'd say the offensive users are worse than the defensive users. Overall the system is broken, but how "bad" it is that some company got a [Nuclear Missile] -- well, that time will tell.

        I'm not judging you btw, I just thought this is an interesting analogy that might be worth thinking about. In other words it's moral for the world to stock up on nuclear missiles as long as nobody uses them.

        However you seem to be beating round the bush and are trying to say Apple are the bad guys because they used them first vs Samsung?? The court case (and inevitable appeal) may give credence to Samsung acting first with their "copycat" weapon, time will tell.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      You don't have to worry. I patented getting a patent on a Cloud OS. That means I can threaten to sue Google.

      All you have to do, friend, is help me gather enough money to pay a retainer on a lawyer, and it'll work fine.

      Just send it to Nigerian Prince, c/o Exxon Mobile, 90120.

    • But it's just as bad when Google gets a software patent as when anyone else does. END - THEM - ALL

      I have to disagree. Software Patent is not intrinsically different than any other patent. The definition of patent is "to copyright an invention", and invention is "devised method of organization". By this definition, there is really nothing special about software or hardware. It is the same.

      So the focus really should be on invention. Is it original? Is it a just a design but not a method? These are the real issues. If there are reasons to get rid of all patents, that's an entire different issues than deali

      • New software is not new invention. You are just using the same old universal algorithms over and over again.

        That's my opinion - but regardless, the real problem is that the patent office must generate its own funding via fees, creating an incentive to approve every patent (so the fat reexamination fee can be collected later).

    • by dell623 (2021586)

      Google has never sued anyone over software patents except in retaliation to defend Google's own products. Ever. So yes it is undoubtedly better for Google to get a patent than anyone else, based on facts. I am not a fanboy, but the facts don't lie. Contrast this with the behaviour of Microsoft or Apple or Oracle or a billion patent trolls.

    • by Hentes (2461350)

      True, but software patents only go to corporations with deep pockets and herds of lawyers, so if Google wouldn't have patented it a worse company certainly would.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Since Microsoft and Apple design their OSes to be like this, they obviously have to pay Google now.

  • Maybe good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Aighearach (97333) on Friday August 10, 2012 @03:25PM (#40950099) Homepage

    Google pretending to have invented the thin client might protect us from somebody else patenting it. Although I did have to check the date and make sure it wasn't April 1st.

  • specific claim (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AdamWill (604569) on Friday August 10, 2012 @03:25PM (#40950101) Homepage

    "1. A system for providing an operating system over a network to a local device, comprising: a base image server configured to transmit a base image of the operating system; a preferences image server configured to transmit at least one preferences image; and an image loader configured to combine the base image and the at least one preferences image into a combined image at the local device in order to provide a full version of the operating system on the local device and automatically remove the full version of the operating system from the local device when logging off or exiting the full version of the operating system on the local device."

    If this ever gets used in a court case, I predict a world of fun in defining exactly what a 'preferences image' is.

    • Re:specific claim (Score:5, Insightful)

      by postbigbang (761081) on Friday August 10, 2012 @03:31PM (#40950183)

      On the shoulders of netboot, PxE boot, and even CLOAD, this should have never have been granted. This, I believe, was designed to piss off Apple and Microsoft, but it should line the pockets of lawyers for decades.

      USPTO? Rubber stampers.

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Maybe you should read the patent and technical specs of the items you listed? Hint: They aren't the same thing.

        you people are idiots.

        • Read the whole thing. Do you live in a cave? Hint: cut thru the babble, and there is not a thing new. Not.A.Thing.

      • by Truedat (2545458)
        Jesus H, only on slashdot. Yes, if by "piss off" you mean "google attempting to add value to their business to protect future revenues". They are not trying to act out some nerds fantasy battle.
      • Yes, this is exactly what I was thinking. I'm pretty sure there's prior art of what this patent describes from over 20 years ago!

    • Re:specific claim (Score:4, Informative)

      by pointyhat (2649443) on Friday August 10, 2012 @03:38PM (#40950273)

      Definitely prior art then. I did this in 1992 when we booted our PLCs (their programs that is) off RS485 drops. When they were turned off the program memory was cleared.

      In 1996 we did it with Solaris by mounting /usr/local and /opt off an NFS share with automount. When they were turned off, it dismounted.

      In 2008 we did this with thin clients (which pull their OS and configuration from a TFTP server).

      In 2011 we did this with Office using App-V (not an OS but the principle is the same).

      More proof that patents are a load of shit.

      • Re:specific claim (Score:4, Interesting)

        by rgbrenner (317308) on Friday August 10, 2012 @03:57PM (#40950509)

        Did any of your examples do the following (all of which it must do to be prior art):

        Keep ALL OS and preference changes in sync with the server (so that when the local device is rebooted, OS and preference changes are restored). Note the patent also includes a remotely-mounted disk image for the user's files -- so that is not what it is talking about here.

        An image loader than downloads the OS and preference images and combines them to create the full version of the OS

        When the changes are synced with the server, the changes are compressed, encrypted, and transmitted incrementally.

        • by geekoid (135745)

          No. He's just another moron who reads a brief non technical description and then applies thing that seem similar.

          Any excuse to whine like a 4 year old about the patent system and these bozo's come out of the closet like clowns out of a small car.

          • I actually read the entire technical description and yes (bar the thin client, which I withdraw) I am correct. I'm just being as vague as the OP.

            I also hold a patent of a technical nature (microwave PLL implementation) so I'm hardly biased. In fact I still state it's a load of shit as I've had to spend a lot of money defending the patent in the past resulting in me just saying "do what the fuck you like with it" (yes I let you do that Analog Devices).

            Now I understand that your ID is several powers lower t

            • by rgbrenner (317308)

              to be prior art, it must meet ALL of the claims in the patent. None of your examples meet all of the claims, and therefore are not prior art.

              If you don't agree, please name the ONE technology that meets all of the patents.

              • by Anonymous Coward

                to be prior art, it must meet ALL of the claims in the patent. None of your examples meet all of the claims, and therefore are not prior art.

                Not quite. Prior art can apply to any of the individual claims of the patent (particularly the most broad 'independent' claims), should the prior art example fit the content of that claim. This would not invalidate the patent in its entirety, since any subsequent dependent claims will still hold if their addition to the broad claim is novel. But this would prevent the patent owner from applying the broadest claim to some competitor's product and stating that it is infringing.

                As an example - Google can st

                • by rgbrenner (317308)

                  claim 1 was not quoted in it's entirety above. The full claim 1 is:

                  1. A system for providing an operating system over a network to a local device, comprising: a base image server configured to transmit a base image of the operating system; a preferences image server configured to transmit at least one preferences image; and an image loader configured to combine the base image and the at least one preferences image into a combined image at the local device in order to provide a full version of the operating system on the local device and automatically remove the full version of the operating system from the local device when logging off or exiting the full version of the operating system on the local device.

                  2. The system of claim 1, wherein the image loader is further configured to determine at least one of an appropriate base image or an appropriate preferences image for the local device.

                  3. The system of claim 1, further comprising a synchronizer configured to synchronize a base image on the local device with a base image on the base image server in order to provide a synchronized version of the full version of the operating system on the local device.

                  4. The system of claim 1, wherein the local device includes a Basic Input/Output System (BIOS), and the BIOS on the local device loads the image loader at boot time.

                  5. The system of claim 1, comprising a boot loader configured to boot load the combined image on the local device.

                  BOOTP/NFS does not meet what is described above.

              • by Qzukk (229616)

                NFS over IPSEC would do everything you claimed, with the linux kernel acting as the "combiner" between a / filesystem and a /home filesystem.

                Technically though, the claim says that the image itself is transferred to the client, which means it would be mounted on the local system then changes uploaded "incrementally" as diffs to the image as the changes are made, which makes all y'all wrong.

        • by Znork (31774)

          I did most of that in the ninetees with the CODA filesystem and netbooted clients. I have to agree with pointyhat, there's nothing new in the patent for anyone who's had any interest in implementing anything like it at some point in the last two decades..

          • by rgbrenner (317308)

            "most of that"?

            Then you don't have prior art. You need ONE that meets all of the claims described in the patent.

            You do understand that if you do something very similar to the patent, but do it slightly differently, and therefore do not infringe on ONE of the claims, you won't infringe on the patent.

            So saying you did something similar, but not exactly, and therefore this patent is invalid.. is an invalid argument.

            If you want to argue that what is different here is not sufficiently different to qualify for a

            • It does bring into question the Obviousness and Iterative nature, which a patent must not be. The PTO will grant you a weak patent if you like, just cross the T and dot the i... If you want to waste money defending a shitty patent in court, then it's on you -- That's their reasoning, granting a patent doesn't even mean it's valid these days -- remove your head from your ass: Swinging on a Swing Sideways was Patented!
            • by Znork (31774)

              Did most of it, could probably have done all of it. As far as I can recall I didn't actually encrypt, but if I had needed encryption the obvious solution would have been to, you know, encrypt. All of the claims are just obvious combinations of prior art or minor variations on things that have been done for decades.

              Of course, one doesn't expect the employees of the PTO to actually have been out of their basement for a few decades. Or have access to anything but a library from the early seventies.

        • And which of those individual "inventions" did not exist already? This is clearly in the realm of a possible incremental improvement of existing processes. It is astounding that something making such simplistic claims is patentable.

        • by multiplexo (27356)
          So let me see if I have this straight. I take an X-terminal, or my old Sun SparcStation that in 1993 could boot up, use bootp to get an IP address and then connect to a TFTP server to download an OS image and on top of that I add some minor refinements, such as adding another server that stores any changes I made to the OS so that the next time I boot I get an image that's customized, oh, and when I sync these changes to the server I compress them (which no one has ever done before to save bandwidth and imp
      • by MichaelJ (140077)
        We did this in the late 1980s with SunOS diskless boot of 3/50 and 3/60 workstations. They didn't get their "preferences" from a separate server, though, which would be enough to not be prior art for the patent.
    • by Meeni (1815694)

      Stateless cluster OS, back in the late 90'es, and probably existed in some form for mainframe client terminals. But whatever, its on the INTERNET, so its different now.

      • by rgbrenner (317308)

        the very moment you said "stateless" you proved your 'prior art' isn't prior art at all.

        • by Meeni (1815694)

          The client is stateless, not the environment. But anyway I used the wrong term, its diskless. My bad.
           

    • I thought EyeOS already did this in 2005
    • by dbIII (701233)
      Even knoppix was doing that before 2009 from a live CD.
  • Vs. Diskless boot? (Score:5, Informative)

    by MikeTheGreat (34142) on Friday August 10, 2012 @03:28PM (#40950123)

    Didn't Unix (specifically, NFS) have a diskless boot option decades ago? Between that and whatever VMWare's been doing (they must have a way of choosing which image you want to load onto your server, right?) how is this in any way an original, patent-able idea?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, but that didn't have the word "cloud" in it so it doesn't count as prior hype erm art.

    • by seyfarth (323827)

      RFC 906 (http://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc906) from 1984 described booting over a network.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      you don't patent loose ideas, you patent specific ideas.

      And this does a bunch of stuff the pope who wrote RFC 906 didn't even think of.

      I like how you don't know what vmware does, don't know who this patent work, but then assume they are the same thing.

      • It was tough reconciling the sacrosanct rule of not RTFA with a desire to actually know what the patent actually does. So I compromised, followed the link, and then only read the summary:

        A system for providing an operating system over a network to a local device is provided. The system includes a base image server, a preferences image server and an image loader. The system may also include a boot loader. A method for providing an operating system over a network to a local device is also provided. The method includes receiving a request for an operating system. The method further includes transmitting to a local device remotely stored base and preferences images that are configured for combination into a combined image. The method may also include the synchronizing the combined image with a cached version of an operating system on the local device.

        Going back and reading the patent in a little bit more detail, and then skimming RFC 906, I still don't see how the patent isn't obvious. Things like encrypting the image (or compressing the image), updating the image, etc, etc all seem like they 'fall out of' the diskless booting idea.

        Could you provide list of the speci

        • by Qzukk (229616)

          Could you provide list of the specific things that this does that RFC 906 doesn't do?

          What makes it different (although geekoid and rgbrenner appear to be too busy trolling to actually stop and figure it out, so they are incapable of answering your question) is that the claims declare that the images themselves are served to the client, consumed locally, then changes to the image are uploaded incrementally (which I assume means "as they are made" rather than just a diff on shutdown).

          In other words, the close

          • Huh - so the main difference is that it can figure out what's changed after the local machine has been running for a while, and save those changes?

            Many many moons ago I was at a Usenix conference & it seemed like the trendy topic was moving a process from one machine to another. After some quick Googling, it looks like the terms to look for are
            process migration [wikipedia.org]
            and
            application checkpointing [wikipedia.org]

            This patent sound similar to that stuff.

            (It's probably one of these things where I"m going to have to dig deeply int

  • by Anonymous Coward

    oh wait, this a google patent! carry on then!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    How is this any different than netboot? Support for that was built into Intel hardware, at least since 8 years ago and probably a lot longer. I bet people have been booting off, and updating over the network a lot longer than the terms of any patent. Not cutting on Google here. They just have to play this game, because it's one big game of corporate mutual assured destruction...

    • by rgbrenner (317308) on Friday August 10, 2012 @03:44PM (#40950337)

      Did you read the patent? I'm guessing not, since you're asking how it's different than netboot.

      Google's patent basically says:

      The BIOS loads an image loader
      The image loader downloads the OS image + a preferences image from a server
      The image loader combines these two images to create the full version of the OS and loads the image on to the local device
      When changes are made to the image on the local device (file change, settings, etc), these changes are kept in sync with the OS/preferences image server(s)
      When the device is shutdown the image is removed from the device

      The patent has more details.. but that's the basic idea (at least from my interpretation.. correct me if I'm wrong)

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        ok how is it different from a netboot that loads user prefs from the network after/while booting(hard to argue at which point it has booted) and saves said prefs(settings files) back to network?

        it was filed in 2009, pretty hard to come up with new concepts on the issue at that point. but pretty easy to word older obvious ideas so that they get through the patent office..

        • ok how is it different from a netboot that loads user prefs from the network after/while booting(hard to argue at which point it has booted) and saves said prefs(settings files) back to network?

          NetBoot downloads once, at boot time, and is a one way process. This Keeps things in sync constantly while running, actively patching state (more than just preferences) in and out.

          • by gl4ss (559668)

            ok how is it different from a netboot that loads user prefs from the network after/while booting(hard to argue at which point it has booted) and saves said prefs(settings files) back to network?

            NetBoot downloads once, at boot time, and is a one way process. This Keeps things in sync constantly while running, actively patching state (more than just preferences) in and out.

            sure, but "user prefs from the network after/while booting(hard to argue at which point it has booted) and saves said prefs(settings files) back to network" is not a one way process. and it's been done, perhaps not elegantly, but done anyways. if the /home or windows equivalent of that is just mounted from the network then that's what it is..

      • Sounds like a network boot of Windows 95/98 + roaming profiles to me.

      • by IAmR007 (2539972)
        That sounds exactly like UnionFS or union mounts: http://lwn.net/Articles/312641/ [lwn.net], http://lwn.net/Articles/217084/ [lwn.net]. UnionFS is used in some LiveCDs to allow saving to a ramdisk (which you could dump to a file if you want).
    • by DeBaas (470886)

      hard to tell, but to me it seems that the big difference is that with netboot, you boot from the network, whereas this boots locally, gets a boot image, puts it to local disk and boots that. So you boot locally, just first get the bootimage over the network and store it.

      It looks in my view similar to http://simpc.nl/ [simpc.nl] Although SimPC (at least way back, when I worked on it) always booted locally and just got a new new image when a it was newer. Considering that they mention it may be 'synchronized version of

  • Prior art? (Score:5, Informative)

    by PPH (736903) on Friday August 10, 2012 @03:33PM (#40950209)

    ... I think as I look over at my BOOTP/NFS diskless client that has been sitting on my desk for over a decade.

    • Prior Art means specific things/processes defined in the patent provably existed before the patent was filed. It does not mean that the general description of the Product that uses the patent matches the general description of another product that existed before.

      • by PPH (736903)

        Prior Art means specific things/processes defined in the patent provably existed before the patent was filed.

        Or things sufficiently similar to Google's patent claims existed to make the claims non-obvious.

        The chariot wheel was sufficient prior art to keep Ford from having a patent granted for the wheel on its Model T.

        • That patent would have expired by now, and allowed everyone to code whatever algorithm they want on a general purpose computer.

          I took compsci. I learned about ifs, loops, subroutines, how to string them together (and a few other odds and ends), and I consider myself free to string them together however I damn well please.

    • by rgbrenner (317308)

      Can we stop with this BS? It's very clear from the patent claims that netboot is NOT prior art.

      I agree with most of the people here that software patents should be eliminated.. but when you make up prior art, the people on the other side of this debate look at your claim, see that it isn't prior art at all, and then you are out of the debate.. because you've been shown to be inaccurate, or worse, a liar... and they win the argument.

      So please just stop.

      There are plenty of arguments that can be made for the e

      • by PPH (736903)

        but when you make up prior art,

        Make up? Thin and diskless clients and the protocols to provision them with an OS and configure them from a remote server have been around for decades. The Google claims might not line up exactly, but I suspect that there's nothing sufficiently novel about them, given the prior art, that they dweserve a patent.

        • by rgbrenner (317308)

          thin and diskless clients are not what is described in the patent.

          If you think they are close enough, then point out the differences, and then say that what Google has done is not sufficiently novel to qualify for a 20 year patent.

          Many would agree with you.. including myself.

          But the patent definitely does not describe a thin client, and simply holding them up and saying they are the same as the patent won't win you any arguments

          • by Aighearach (97333)

            The patent describes a netboot configuration where the home directory is also networked mounted and the client uses a RAM disk.

            It is true that the patent doesn't line up with exactly one earlier product but it certainly lines up exactly with the easily combined existing products. And if you have those goals, it is obvious how to do it, none of the tools is being used for something other than the intended purpose.

    • by multiplexo (27356)
      Dude. You should sell it to someone for a lot of money and tell them that it's a new prototype for a "Cloudstation". Cash in on the hype!
  • by CODiNE (27417) on Friday August 10, 2012 @03:35PM (#40950241) Homepage

    It is the best sign yet that Google is working toward a bright future as a patent troll."

    FTFY

  • They want their prior art back, and also referred us to BootP+TFTP(or)NFS and similar diskless workstation schemes which predate PXE by decades.

    • by rgbrenner (317308)

      1) the patent says when the data is synced, it is compressed and encrypted
      2) BootP does not keep OS changes in sync (if the OS image is changed, those changes are not saved w/ BootP... the patent has an OS image server that keeps those changes in sync)

      • LTSP images are also encrypted and compressed. Changes can be put in sync over NFS or whatever. LTSP is done over DHCP via TFTP.

        This stuff is ancient. Really can't see how they can patent what was old even in the 1980's.

        One could even argue theat emacs-client does this via Emacs server, but some wouldn't call Emacs an operating system.
        • by rgbrenner (317308)

          LTSP is not the same thing at all. Here's a wikipedia page to LTSP: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_Terminal_Server_Project [wikipedia.org]
          and the patent is in the summary. Go compare them.

          • LTSP provides an operating system over a network, in this case Linux - as in the patent.
            LTSP provides this operating system disk image in an encrypted and compressed form, as in the patent.
            LTSP even provides login credentials for clients, which is even better than this patent.
            LTSP can also provide a mounting point for various preferences (most preferences are in fact in the /home/* directories), as in the patent. These preferences are automatically synced (on save) as in the patent.
            LTSP also has options of
  • It is always easier to avoid a patent than invalidate it.

    Netboot is not an anticipation of the claim because it does not have the "preferences image server".

    It is dead easy to avoid, though. Just don't "remove the full version of the operating system from the local device when logging off". Note the word "remove"? Do something like invladiate an encryption key that is needed to make the full version work. That is part of the OS's data, not part of the OS itself. Even just by overwiting a small but cr

    • by epa (752046)
      I meant to say -- I am a patent attorney!
    • by Aighearach (97333)

      Netboot is not an anticipation of the claim because it does not have the "preferences image server".

      We used to do this using netboot with NFS mounted home directories. Actually we had both per-server and per-user preferences on /etc and /home/user and yes they were stored on their own data server.

      Just don't "remove the full version of the operating system from the local device when logging off".

      We used to do that by running it on a RAM disk. As long as you're shutting down and not just removing power, the disk gets unmounted and the OS is removed.

  • Or... just use pxe+tftp with a modified Puppy Linux. Just add a couple lines of code to init for using /proc/cmdline to select which squashfs to load (choice of flavor=.sfs) and the user save file (savefile=.*fs ... which can be any file system including network or encrypted ones) onto the union file system.

    ... but why bother - I can already get a modified puppy with Xvesa+jwm+rxvt+sh in a 1Mb kernel image and boot in ~1s, so I am pretty sure that with coreboot in a 2Mb BIOS we could skip the pxe/tftp pa
  • "Providing an OS to a device over a local network" sounds a lot like PXE boot to me. Or VMware's Boot from SAN.

    • >>Or VMware's Boot from SAN.

      I think you mean "Or boot from SAN", no? Not sure what VMware (or their overrated toy software) has to do with that, other than that ESXi, too, can boot from SAN like any semi-modern or modern OS.
  • if google applied for the patent back in 2009 it can't be for a network operating system because i remember using netware in high school in the 90s and surely the us patent office can't be that ignorant to not know of netware

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NetWare [wikipedia.org]
    "NetWare is a computer network operating system developed by Novell, Inc"
    "Initial release 1983"
  • ...that should be a four letter word.

The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it. -- E. Hubbard

Working...