Disclaimer, the settings/options I talk of are a wishlist rather than something I know is existing, I don't know how stuff work on current - still early - Firefox OS. Never seen a phone with it yet.
I can zoom the map myself to know where I am, and as for the GPS data it can be used to record trips on local storage without sending the data to Google or another 3rd party.
I'm using Mate or Xfce, Cinnamon would be heavier in disk accesses and ram for me and especially I want to run a desktop that can run on all computers not just mine. So I run a 2D desktop.
I read the Mint news and it's progressing, for instance in Mint 14 they made a unified control panel in Cinnamon instead of having two control panels (a Gnome 3 one and a Cinnamon one) ; Cinnamon 2.0 brings the bigger changes. Overview with screenshots here http://segfault.linuxmint.com/2013/10/cinnamon-2-0-released/
I've seen the 'entire Java API libraries' aspect described as a giant attack surface. That's one easy to understand explanation for the security problems with Java, and client-side execution of arbitrary java code downloaded from the internet is now pretty much dead.
Because the Chromebook. They already have a desktop web OS, which competes with Windows and Apple laptops, and it sure makes sense being able to develop web apps or Chrome apps from that environment.
Autopilots are old as fuck, but that was not so much the question.
And rub it with alcohol
Reply to myself,
Cinnamon's backends have been moving away from Gnome 3, been forked and renamed. Previously Cinnamon stuff of a particular version would need Gnome 3 stuff from a particular version, possibly held back a notch in some cases.. It's probably safer to try the Nemo from Cinnamon 2.0, which ought to not conflict with Gnome 3. I didn't try any of this.
I did kind of the reverse thing before, using nemo on Mate. It was a bit of a mess (two file managers fighting for the right to render the desktop icons, stuff that opens in caja from the panels and in nemo from the desktop..)
The nemo file manager could be an interesting option, it's a fork of nautilus 3.x, precisely to add the missing stuff in and improve on it ; it is Cinnamon's file manager. It uses GTK3. So it might be less disruptive than caja in a Gnome 3 environment.
I think XFCE is somewhat mainstream, i.e. you had Xubuntu 7.04, debian ISO with XFCE etc., maybe it was hardly a common desktop or default desktop but the best known after KDE and Gnome. (not counting FVWM, twm, *box etc. as desktop)
LXDE though is quite a recent desktop in comparison.
This makes me think of the Cray, nice-looking cylinder shape with a big mess of small wires inside. Or that video a while back where people were time-lapse wiring a cluster with lots of colored cables, in the center of it.
Probably more practical would be to migrate from massively parallel to faster serial communication. Like the difference between old parallel printer cables to USB. Granted, these inter-chip lineswould have to be carefully designed and shielded (high freq.), but so do light fibers.
Did that happen already? Hypertransport looks like a serial bus, and Intel's QPI is much of the same thing. Likewise PCIe replaced PCI, like your printer cable exemple. All those buses are "serial, but you use multiple lanes anyway" though.
Ubuntu 12.04 (and Mint 13) are 5 years, already.
How much software is there? What's good with Ubuntu (and Mint is a wrapper around Ubuntu) is there is a lot of software in the default repositories, so no need to add repositories (to then need to acquire guru skills if something goes wrong with that) or do "make install" for trivial software.
Is there documentation? the worst thing is having spent years how to do apt-get upgrade, apt-get dist-upgrade, apt-get clean, apt-get autoremove etc. and stuff like service gdm stop, then have to learn all new crap. But at least there's killall gdm, or killall (whateveryourdm)