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Is a Google Chrome Notebook Right for You?

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Is a Google Chrome Notebook Right for You?

    If you’ve been living under a rock, or just don’t follow the tech industry all that closely, you might not be aware that Google has been working on their Chrome operating system and a notebook that runs off of it.  In late 2010 they began taking applications for people to test out the never-to-be-released, beta notebooks known by the moniker CR-48.  They’ve since distributed the notebooks to a select group of media people and other random folks chosen from the applications, and on Wednesday word began to leak about when a Chrome-powered notebook might actually be available to consumers for purchase.  It looks as though at least one Chrome notebook will hit the market this summer, but how do you know if this would be the right purchase for you?  Here are a few things to consider:

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    What will you use it for?

    If you’re hoping to get a Chrome notebook to replace your existing laptop or desktop computer, it’s not quite there yet.  Having used the CR-48 for several weeks now, I would say it’s a great internet device.  There is no physical harddrive included in the setup, and you can’t run programs like Photoshop on it.  But if all you want to do is surf the net or type up a report, it’s perfect.  It’s lightweight, boots incredibly fast, and has an amazing battery life.  It’s great for taking along, and for browsing the web while lounging on the couch.

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    Like Android and iPhone smartphones, Chrome notebooks rely on apps for additional functionality.  Apps for the device are available in the Android Market.  And if you really do need to save something, the device includes a SD card slot so you may as well invest in a fairly large capacity SD card if you just can’t break away from the habit of saving everything on a physical piece of memory, rather than having it out there in the cloud somewhere.

    Right now, a Chrome notebook won’t completely replace a traditional computer.  You’ll want to check them out though if all you really want is another cool toy that will let you surf the net.

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    How much do you have to spend?

    For a notebook that lacks a harddrive and a CAPSLOCK key (they replaced it with a search button — genius!!), I can’t say I’d see them pricing it ridiculously high. My guess is they’ll be valued at around $500 MSRP, give or take a few dollars.

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    The latest rumor is that the search giant will release the notebook as a subscription service, with users paying in the $10-20 per month range.  Those who’d rather not deal with monthly fees could skip the installment payments and just buy it outright.  In other words, if you’re lacking funds to pay for it, you can get on the subscription service and pay only a little bit at a time.  Or if you’ve got extra cash and, you can just pay for the thing all at once and not have to worry about making a monthly payment. The subscription service, however, will make the Chrome notebook available to more people.

    Summary:

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    The Chrome notebook isn’t quite up to snuff to compete with enterprise computing, but for the average Joe consumer, it’s got mostly everything needed.  You can still plug-in your digital camera and upload your photos to Picasa, Flickr, Photobucket, or whatever other online photo sharing service  you use, you can check your email, surf the net, and write a report with Google Docs.   It’s a great device for when you really don’t need “everything”, and boasts some pretty good specs. It’s just so simple and easy to use.

    If you’re itching to get your hands on a Chrome notebook and weren’t selected to be a part of the CR-48 program, don’t fret — they’re hitting the market soon.  On Wednesday sources indicated that at least one model would be available in June/July, which is not that far around the corner.  It will be interesting to see how the consumer devices have been altered from the CR-48 test units, but I don’t expect it to be a far cry from what I’ve already seen.

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    Julie McCormick

    Julie McCormick is a writer, and co-owner of The Cleveland Leader, a Technorati Top 1000 site.

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    Last Updated on December 18, 2020

    Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

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    Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

    Technology has taken a vantage leap in providing solutions for man. Before now, technology used to appear complex and would require a great deal of expertise to handle solutions available. Today, we have technology applicable in the simplest human activities as smart products with intelligent algorithms powering them as they make error-free judgments and provide intelligent and analytic solutions.

    Does technology have all the answers?

    This article from Credit Suisse, tells us that technology does not have all the answers because it has been found to exhibit “similar biases,” as humans. No one can discredit the impact of technology, but it is not totally free of human input and this is the reason we experience these biases in many areas we have technology holding foot.

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    Creating technological solutions transparently

    This article suggests that the process of creating technological solutions be made transparent and subject to contribution from many people who would end up as users of the product – male, female, young, old, learned, unlearned and all other preferences as we have them. It also underscores the importance of having women on product development teams. This approach is not sure to eliminate all forms of bias, but it is a good way to start in order to appraise the full benefits of technology.

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    Technology as the connecting tool

    Technology so far has been a major connecting tool amongst us humans. It is used and appreciated by all regardless of race, language and sex. In order to keep it less subjective to these arguments about human biases. I believe we should gather opinions on products and solutions before making them available to the public. This could be done by gathering input from intended target users and receiving feedback across the stages of production.

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    “Recognizing the problem is a start…success will depend on inclusive technologies that meet this vast untapped market.” This cannot be more apt especially at a time when we look up to technology for solutions. We should not muzzle our progress with technology by battling algorithm bias. The first way to avoid this battle is by reading this article here.

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