The Mozilla Foundation, makers of the popular Firefox web browser, have recently announced they would like to start phasing out their Thunderbird e-mail client so they can focus more fully on their web browser. This really isn’t a new idea as Mozilla has been talking about such things for a while, but now they’ve made it official.
Ultimately, they would like to hand the project off to another group that will continue to support and maintain it. Perhaps the Apache Software Foundation would be a good fit as they do have a history of adopting and maintaining various software projects.
For a while now there’s been talk of Google combining Android and ChromeOS in some way. Most conversation has centered around the idea of Google allowing Android apps to run on ChromeOS so they could easily be used on the desktop. This idea was further bolstered when Google did allow some Android apps to start running on Chromebooks within ChromeOS. Some even thought Google might add some code to the basic Linux kernel, which is the underlying core operating system powering both Android and ChromeOS, so that Android apps could be run natively on any Linux desktop.
It turns out Google is taking the opposite approach. Google is going to embed ChromeOS into Android. This decision has mostly been the result of Android being by far the more dominant platform over ChromeOS. This means Android will be coming to the desktop as an official operating system in its own right in the form of Chromebooks, and it also means the name of Chromebooks will be changed to reflect the new Android base.
This is a very interesting move. It would be even more interesting if Google started offering Android on regular desktop computers instead of on just Chromebooks. That would serve to increase Android developers’ potential market, especially when it comes to games.
With our current level of technology, at the time of this writing, a manned mission to Mars would take only eight months to arrive at the famed red planet. While this is certainly a lengthy space of time it’s not as unheard of as it may at first sound. In the early days of ocean exploration, some crews would be at sea for months or years at a time.
The difference is those ancient sea ships would occasionally come into port or weigh anchor at an island where the crew could get out and relax on land. And although the ships themselves weren’t huge, especially when you factor in the number of crew on them, there was still space for the crew to walk around and stretch their legs.
The available space on a current spacecraft would be tiny. The crew wouldn’t be able to move around much during the entire eight-month voyage and there’s no way they could stop in at an island if they wanted to rest for a few days. So while the length of such a trip might not be beyond the realm of possibility, real attention would need to be paid to how much space those voyagers are afforded.
The one thing that would really spur the attempt to get to Mars would be if one of the Martian rovers found some verifiable ancient alien artifacts, however unlikely that would be. If that were to happen, all resources would pivot full-tilt to get people to Mars and begin the real exploration.