Saturday, March 30, 2013

Strange, Possibly Humorous News

I have difficulty believing any mobile app is worth $30 million...
British teen sells mobile news app to Yahoo for $30 million -

Even by Google standards, 10 years is a long time in beta.
Quicksilver Mac app launcher sees release after 10 years in beta

Having once been a West Virginian, I uh... well... am amused...
Lawmaker seeks to ban Google Glass use while driving - SlashGear
In a sign that WV has improved since I lived there, NPR said the bill was tabled for a year.

Laugh, Cry, be Frightened? I am so ambivalent about this one:
BBC News - Egypt arrests as undersea internet cable cut off Alexandria

Apple News

Apple's iCloud disparaged over Core Data sync problems

Mobile computing pioneer Alan Kay not a fan of the iPad

Apple's 'iRadio' to reportedly launch this summer, music executive says

Cloud News

As it tends to be more Enterprise related, I do not cover this area very much. However, there have been recent developments in the world of open source cloud computing that you might want to know about.

Android Device News

Remember I try only to pass on important or unusual items... the number of Android devices being release is vast.

$169 HP Slate 7 tablet hits the FCC - Liliputing

Yuandao N80 is an 8 inch tablet with an RK3188 quad-core CPU - Liliputing

Ainol Novo 7 Crystal 2: Quad-core Chinese tablet sells for around $100 - Liliputing

OpenELEC 3.0 released: Light-weight OS brings XBMC to more devices - Liliputing

Comparison of ARM-based TV sticks, tablets, chromebooks running Linux - Liliputing

Hyundai T10 quad-core tablet on the way - Liliputing

Android TV box with Samsung Exynos 4412 quad-core chip now available for $120 - Liliputing

MiiPC wants to build a $99 Android PC for kids (Kickstarter) - Liliputing

Testing the $275, 5.8 inch, 720p Mithril Android smartphone - Android Authority

Mobile News

Sapphire Could Replace Gorilla Glass in the iPhone and other Smartphones | MIT Technology Review

This is a discussion of why PhoneGap doesn't really work as a solution for multiple phone platform development:
Here's why HTML-based apps don't work | ZDNet
I know every time I looked at using PhoneGap, missing features stopped me.

Interesting article about Chinese smartphone OS's you probably have never heard of.. yet?
China's Hammer Technologies launches Smartisan OS for smartphones - Liliputing

HP develops next-gen 3D mobile display, no glasses required

BlackBerry Says 80% Of BB10 Apps Are Native - Development - Mobility

Many of the smart phone new comer OSes have Android compatitibility.
Is The Only Way To Beat Android To Use Android? - Forbes

IDC predicts tablet shipments to surpass laptops by 2014 - Liliputing

Yes, Eric Schmidt uses a BlackBerry. Personally, I think it's great that Google has people using all the platforms. Microsoft and Apple suffer from fairly bad tunnel vision because they do not do this.
Eric Schmidt still loves his BlackBerry - Android Authority

Best Buy to give Samsung Apple-esque in-store mini-stores

InMobi App Publish lets you distribute your app across 130+ app stores

Friday, March 22, 2013

Rethinking Cloud-based Computing (SaaS)

Some time ago I moved both myself and my business to the cloud. I have generally been quite pleased with the result. This week two events happened that made me reassess the merits. This post is not against SaaS, but rather looking at problems that are larger or different than I expected going in.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Google Reader News

The biggest tech news story this week was Google shutting down Google Reader. The links below are a small fraction of the articles that were written. Google should think twice before abruptly shutting down a service used by almost all bloggers and reporters!

Android News

The most disappointing news (to me):

Chrome OS and Android Won't Merge, Google Confirms
Hmm... actually I don't want them to merge, I want Android to be available in a Chrome browser tab as if it were a native client app. Still, I'm less hopeful that this will be announced in May.

Are Google and Samsung headed for a divorce?

Microsoft, Apple News

Google Is Driving Apple and Microsoft Crazy


Samsung's new co-CEO: 'Windows isn't selling very well'

Samsung’s JK Shin: Windows Phones are not selling well

Microsoft is paying developers $100 per app, max $2000 to develop for Windows.
I'm willing to do "Hello, World!", "Hello, Galaxy!", "Hello, Universe!", ...
Seriously though, just what does Microsoft expect from this offer?
Paying Developers to Support Windows 8 is a Slippery Slope

This is probably good news for Linux:
First-tier vendors to supply more notebook models with no OS

This sort of article has increasingly been popping up in non-tech publications:
Tired of broken Windows? Try Linux | Washington Times Communities

I don't usually cover enterprise stuff, but Lync is an unusually good product:
Why I love Lync 2013: A telecommuter's dream come true

The fact they can charge more for a discontinued Office 2010, says a lot about Office 2013:
Microsoft discontinues Office 2010 sales, some retailers jack up prices


Developers prefer Apple's iOS Maps SDK over Google Maps

Apple's iOS: In desperate need of a facelift

New 'Why iPhone' section of Apple's web site touts smartphone superiority

Miscellaneous News

Dropbox adds a Mailbox to build out mobile services portfolio

Getting touchy about tablets: Why one size really doesn't fit all

This got mentioned during the Google Reader brouhaha: | Your Cloud, Your Data, Your Way!

Market shares collapse with 'brutal speed' in cyclical smartphone industry

Wacom debuts new Cintiq 13HD for artists, standalone tablet on the way

Build collaborative apps with Google Drive Realtime API

How 'Minority Report' Trapped Us In A World Of Bad Interfaces

Use NFC for everything (Sheldon would be happy):
NFC your life

These next two are about the same thing:
Meet OX Text, a collaborative, non-destructive alternative to Google Docs

Open source, Web-based office suite takes on Google Docs, LibreOffice

ChromeOS News

The most disappointing news (to me):

Chrome OS and Android Won't Merge, Google Confirms
Hmm... actually I don't want them to merge, I want Android to be available in a Chrome browser tab as if it were a native client app. Still, I'm less hopeful that this will be announced in May.

Using the $249 Samsung Chromebook as a Linux notebook

Chromebook's biggest fan: Linus Torvalds

Google Testing Chromebook With Next Generation Intel Processor "Haswell"

Samsung Chromebook 3: Cheaper, more productive alternative to a tablet

Chip News

Exynos 5 Octa to hit mass production in Q2 this year

U.S. Galaxy S4 vs HTC One vs NVIDIA Tegra 4 fight in early benchmark comparison

NVIDIA updates Tegra roadmap: Kepler graphics, 64-bit processing on the way

GTC 2013: Pedraforca Is A Power Efficient ARM + GPU Cluster For Homogeneous (GPU) Workloads

Nvidia and ARM: It's a parallel, parallel, parallel world

Core i7-4770K: Haswell's Performance, Previewed : Core i7-4770K Gets Previewed

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Are Google (or Any Cloud-based) Products Trustworthy?

As most readers of this blog already know, Google is killing Google Reader. I am upset that they have chosen to do this, but what most upsets me is the way they have done this:

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Android Versions and Bad Journalism

Many reporters go on and on about about the fact that Android Users "don't upgrade".
Some of the more intelligent realize that is the phone makers that don't upgrade.
But both sets are fundamentally wrong.

The reasons there are so many Android 2.3 users is that phones are still sold using 2.3. The simple fact is that 2.3 is reasonably functional and that the cheapest phones are only able to support 2.3. This is a good thing as people that could not otherwise afford the phone can get one. Outside the US where phone subsidies by contract are usually not done, this is particularly important. This will be changing soon as faster hardware is getting cheaper, but a new pool is forming around Android 4.0 (ICS). There is definitely hardware out there that should not move beyond 4.0.

While some phone and tablet makers are slow about getting upgrades out, by and large most phones and tablets that can be upgraded eventually get the upgrade.

Here are some samples:
Android 4.x finally surpasses Gingerbread in OS share - AfterDawn

Android 4.0 (ICS) + outpaces Gingerbread share | TG Daily

Android version distribution: February 2013, Jelly Bean gains slightly | BGR

Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean Are More Popular Than Gingerbread | Gadget Lab |

Android News (Lots, Important)

Android News is complicated today...

Linux and Smartphone News

Ubuntu is making a massive effort, if they do it right, they could be big players.
Ubuntu Mir: Is This the Future of Linux Everywhere?

Chip News

The ‘Fastest Smartphone Ever with Intel Inside’ coming on March 14, right on Galaxy S4 event day

Report confirms Nvidia’s Tegra 4 beats Qualcomm’s fastest Snapdragon processor

Samsung’s octo-core processor is ‘ready for prime time,’ says ARM strategist

Expect a wave of cheap 28nm processor phones as MediaTek enters the bussines

Imagination Technologies Confirms PowerVR SGX 544 IP used in Exynos 5 Octa

Apple's next-gen A7 processor reportedly being readied for production by TSMC

These next 2 are about Calxeda's new ARM-based server, even with the A9 chips, ARM is competitive in some important areas. The big race starts 1Q14 when 64-bit ARM chips arrive.

Calxeda's ARM server tested

Calxeda’s first ARM server is a serious threat to x86 server domination

ChromeOS News

See the Android News post for articles about a possible ChromeOS/Android merger.

The real threat to Apple: Google’s Chromebook could upend the tech economy

This next seems to work well. At the same time, the latest ChromeOS stable release, got much more stable and faster as well.
$249 Samsung Chromebook gets support for Netflix streaming video

Linux triumphant: Chrome OS resists cracking attempts

This next is a real competitor to the Samsung 550. It's a shame they insist on putting in a regular hard drive... presumably someone will experiment with swapping in a small SSD.
Acer releases new C710-2055 Chromebook

Another Chromebook Debuts; End of Windows Era Nearing?

Microsoft, When Will Investors Lose Confidence?

I remember watching IBM in the early 1990's. I worked for a research group that had an IBM contract on which I was the lead developer. It was kind of eerie to watch. IBM was rotten to the core, but they had so much momentum, it took literally years before the stock market finally gave up on them. In the end, IBM nearly died and certainly became a significantly different company.

Watching Microsoft today, has the same flavor. For the past few years, it has been clear that they are rotten to the core, and I cannot help but wonder when the stock market will wake up to the fact.

Google News

Advanced Uses for Google's Site: Operator

The Best Ways to Tweak Your Search When Google Doesn't Give You What You Want

Google Unveils the 'Talking Shoe' [Video]

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Google Reader Shutting Down? Am I wrong to be so dependent on Google?

Google is shutting down Google Reader effective July 1st, 2013.

Google Official Blog: A second spring of cleaning

I realize they were not charging me for it (I'd gladly pay).
This particular one (given the nature of my blog) is really, really painful to me.
They have raised all sorts of uncertainty in my mind.
Is Blogger safe? How long will they give me if they shut down a paid service?
At least in my mind, they just made me reassess the virtues of cloud computing.

This was a major usage of my Chromebooks. Am I going to have to go back to a "real" laptop?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Strange, Possibly Humorous News

Bear spray-armed thieves rob Vancouver Apple Store

A "Fair and Balanced" tablet?
News Corp to launch a 10 inch Android tablet for schools/students

Amazing ‘How guys will use Google Glass’ parody hits the web

Google News

A good example of how Google+ is different from Facebook:
Introducing Art Talks on Google+

Google and Amazon are headed for a major clash (see this Android News post for another example).
Amazon Prime may be undercut by Google’s own shipping service

Google begins offering vague estimates on secret FBI surveillance

Is Google rebranding things "Google"?
Android Is Dead (Long Live Google)

ChromeOS News

Linus Torvalds really likes Google's Chromebook Pixel

Linus Torvalds is making the Chromebook Pixel his primary laptop

The secret origins of Google's Chrome OS

How I survived 7 days in Chromebook exile

Android News

This has a number of articles of interest to developers.

Smartphones projected to overtake feature phones for the first time in 2013

Android fragmentation predicted to squeeze out independent developers

Google and Amazon are headed for a major clash (see this Google News post for another example).
New Amazon API takes on Google for Android ad dollars

The Evolving Economics of the App

Android To Be 58 Percent Of App Uptake

What Smartphone OS do You Use?

Apple News

It's funny, all three of the significant Apple news articles are about Apple and a competitor.
Apple has ceased to make news.
[There was some news (really just speculation) about an iWatch, but as everyone else is doing one too and there were no actual facts, I omitted it.]

The Author doesn't mention them, but this is the best argument I've seen for Chromebooks:
Browsing Web on iPad stinks, and Apple likes it that way

Mac users are finally realizing just how far iOS is behind Android:
Five features iOS should steal from Android

Miguel de Icaza leaves Linux Desktop for a MacOS Desktop:
Gnome cofounder: Desktop Linux is a CHERNOBYL of FAIL

ARM-based Servers

Up to now, it has largely been talk, but this one is supposed to ship next quarter.

HP's ARM servers to get Texas Instruments chips

Microsoft News

For a place that is increasingly irrelevant in the world of computing, Microsoft did manage to be in the news a lot this week. Not much of it was good news though.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Tablet Musings

Theses articles are about the role of tablets and speculation as to what degree they are a fad.

What Do You Use Your Tablet For?

I Can't Find a Single Productive Use For My Tablet [Opinion]

MakeUseOf Experiments: Going Tablet-Only For a Week & Staying Productive

In my own case, I use a 10" tablet to play games, a 7" tablet to read books. Both are used occasionally to check email or browse the web, but I MUCH prefer to use a Chromebook to do either task. I also blog from a Chromebook. I read news from Chromebook, smartphone and tablet (in order of frequency).

So, how about clicking through and leaving a comment?

What do you do with a tablet?
To what degree are they a fad?
Have you ever used a lightweight, no-Fan laptop like the Samsung ARM-based Chromebook?

Future News

Google's Brin says smartphones are antisocial, 'emasculating'

Google Glass is a giant chisel to pry me out of Apple’s ecosystem

This is a cool new way to do a UI:
SpaceTop 3D see-through computer revealed

ICE iPhone seizure shows extent of government's data retrieval abilities

Android News

Android's enterprise presence seems to be its biggest failing:
Bad news for Android: enterprise share dropped in Q4

Despite the title, this next is a serious look at what is and isn't true about Android malware.
Android malware will kill us all!

Russian search giant Yandex releases app store for Android, stocked with 50,000 apps

Apple iOS Apps Leak More Personal Info Than Android

Chip News


Intel unveils Clover Trail+ dual core chips for smartphones - Liliputing

Intel Smartphone Chip with 3D Transistors to Ship This Year -


Freescale's Insanely Tiny ARM Chip Will Put the Internet of Things Inside Your Body | Wired Design |

Baidu Is Helping Disrupt the Server Market

Round up: MWC processor news - Tegra 4/4i, Exynos 5 Octa, Clover Trail+, and Snapdragon 600/800

Non-Android, Linux Smartphone News

There is serious momentum in these new smartphone OSes, yet it is already a crowded market.

Where things stand with Sailfish OS and Tizen | PCWorld

Ubuntu Touch OS heading to slew of smartphones, tablets | Mobile - CNET News

Sailfish OS makes the rounds, shows up in unexpected places (videos) - Liliputing

Tizen operating system officially unveiled at MWC

Sony jumps on the Mozilla bandwagon, will launch Firefox OS device in 2014 - The Next Web

Strange, Possibly Humorous News

No, you don't have to urinate on your iPhone...
Uchek Urine Test App - Business Insider

That is "Cat" as in Catapillar, the heavy equipment manufacturer.
Cat to release the B15 rugged phone in March for €329

In High School, I was a trainer for the football team... I cannot think of a crazier place to have an iPad. Surely a small paper checklist would be as effective, and you don't have to worry about the battery being discharged.
NFL turning to Apple's iPad to diagnose concussions during 2013-14 season