Saturday, June 29, 2013

Non-Android Linux and Open Source News

They really have to do something about the pricing... that's just too high.
MintBox 2 coming soon: Tiny Linux Mint desktop PC with Core i5 for $599

Review: LibreOffice 4 liberates you from Microsoft Office

9 Lesser Known LibreOffice Features

Stogey MasterCard uses open source?!!!!
MasterCard taps open source tech for new SMB e-commerce tool

ARM and Intel News

Intel looks past Windows, sees Android for Haswell successor

The ARM Diaries, Part 1: How ARM’s Business Model Works

The Engadget Interview: ARM co-founder John Biggs

A Look at Intel HD 5000 GPU Performance Compared to HD 4000

Android News

Sony SmartWatch 2 Brings Android and NFC, No Sony Phone Required

A really thoughtful article:
The five reasons why Android is killing Apple

Microsoft won’t bring its PC and Xbox games to Android after all

Ok, this is odd... free console with the purchase of a gaming subscription:
BlueStacks' new Android console is (almost) free forever

Nvidia Shield delayed to July, component issue to blame

A good reason to take a look at the Android Stock phones below:
Report: Android malware problem is getting worse by the hour

Android Device News

Android Stock Phones (2 articles):
Pure Android: Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One 'Google Play editions' review

Don’t panic, Google Play edition devices will get prompt updates

New Acer PC to run on Google Android

Sony's Apple Killer: A Smartphone That Can Be Dropped Down The Toilet

Google Android console, smartwatch, and new Nexus Q coming; at least one to launch this fall

Chrome News

Is Google Now finally coming to Chrome soon?

I had not heard of this protocol before:
Google adds its experimental QUIC network protocol to latest Chrome build, delivering HTTP over UDP

This next is the first time I've seen Chrome treated as a separate platform in a mainstream article:
5 Google Chrome extensions that accelerate productivity

This is a developer mode only feature for the moment! (2 articles)
How To Edit Microsoft Word and Excel Files Offline on a Chromebook - Chrome Story

Google's future Office killer now available in Chrome OS dev channel | PCWorld

Apple News

Apple Insider is getting increasingly bitter. The reason is not hard to understand... people not inside the Apple "unreality field" see that Apple is dwindling; Apple Insider is in major denial. The title of this next article is very misleading, it is really a first-order, anti-Android rant.
Editorial: Can Apple survive 2013?

A really thoughtful article:
The five reasons why Android is killing Apple

Yet another sign Apple is losing it:
Apple’s TV Commercials Touting Company Values Flop With Viewers

The one piece of positive news I could find for Apple:
Apple Inc details enterprise features in iOS 7

Apple to cut iPhone orders for rest of year, claims analyst

Phone users: Will you take the smartphone vs toilet challenge?
Sony's Apple Killer: A Smartphone That Can Be Dropped Down The Toilet

Is iOS 7 Buying Time For Apple, Or Stealing Time From Android?

iOS 7 for iPad First Impressions: Messing With the Best

Searching for an Alternative to Blogger (Google not Trustworthy)

Back in March, just after Google announced the demise of Reader, I wrote this article:
Are Google (or Any Cloud-based) Products Trustworthy?.

It essentially explores the problem of what happens when a cloud service provider, such as Google, abruptly discontinues a product you depend on, such as what Google did with Reader.

Well, today in the news I find the following:

Google's Blogger to delete all 'adult' blogs with ads in three days | ZDNet

Google's Blogger Cracking Down On Adult Ads | News & Opinion |

My blog doesn't have "Adult" content or ads, but the very fact that Google would change a policy, then give users THREE DAYS to change things is just crazy.

Worse, I've been trying to improve the template of this blog -- I don't like a number of formatting decisions in the blog template. I go in with Blogger's template editor, make my change, and voila... nothing happens.
Blogger also seems to be exaggerating the number of page views I'm getting (relative to individual post pageviews). I've tried to report it to Google, but I cannot get them to listen, which is odd for Google. And don't even get me started on FeedBurner!!!!

In short, it seems Google has lost interest in Blogger and we all know what that means, don't we?

So, I'm looking for a Blogger alternative. I prefer it to be a canned solution. I do this for free, so it needs to be either free or cheap. Anybody got any good ideas?  (Please leave a comment below!)

Blackberry Dying

Shares down 27%.

The headlines below tell a lot of the story. In my look ahead at holiday sales, I said this season would be make or break for BlackBerry. They may not make it that long.

BlackBerry Windows Phone market share shrinks again

BlackBerry shares fall sharply after smartphone maker posts shock loss

Baig: Prospects look grim for BlackBerry

'Beginning of the end for BlackBerry'

BlackBerry Gives Up on Its Tablet, While Consumers Give Up on Its Phones

Microsoft BUILD 2013 - Aftermath

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"Live Blogging" Microsoft BUILD 2013 - Keynote 1

Really not a live blog, but rather me putting down my impressions as a developer while watching the first keynote remotely.

Summary: Microsoft has totally lost it. News of interest:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Apple News

These first three articles validate what I said in this blog's first post, Apple has to start offering more variety and lower pricing or they will dwindle:
‘Whipping boy of Wall Street’: Apple drops below US$400 on glut of unsold iPhones

IDC: Apple's iPhone sheds European marketshare in Q1, pushed out of top 5 in India

iPhone 5 sees mixed demand, says analyst

Of interest to developers in understanding how users actually use an iPad:
iPad users prefer landscape mode, late-night browsing

Alternative to iOS version of Microsoft Office:
Quickoffice Pro HD fills the gap left by Microsoft

Microsoft News

Good News

Microsoft to bring Xbox and PC games to Apple, Android phones

Microsoft revs speedier, smarter speech recognition for phones

Bad News

This next is a flop in the making. I'm sure the stores will look great, but it will create tension with OEMs and they are still trying to push Windows 8. Yes, it will like be Windows 8.1 by the Holiday Season... but what has been shown so far does not really fix anything. These stores will be putting lipstick on the pig that is Windows 8.
Microsoft To Set Up Windows Stores In 600 Best Buy Locations, Launching This Summer

NSA has total access via Microsoft Windows

As Microsoft Restructuring Nears, Top Execs Fret Over Their Fate

Microsoft Paying Developers for Windows Phone Apps isn't New

Windows 8 Adoption: 10 Reasons Why Microsoft Must Get Serious About It

Intel looks past Windows, sees Android for Haswell successor

Why Microsoft’s cloud matters: Hint the reason begins with “A” but it ain’t Azure

Microsoft and Oracle cooperating in the Cloud:
Microsoft/Oracle: A Yawner That Could Have Been Much More

Office News (sick of Office yet? Alternatives to Microsoft Office)

Quickoffice Pro HD fills the gap left by Microsoft

Office Mobile for iPhone and Windows Phone have the exact same functionality (gallery)

Microsoft's Office For iPhone: Wrong Product, Wrong Market

Microsoft retreats from Office 2013 restrictive licensing

More XBox Fiasco

That Microsoft reversed course here doesn't make me see it as less of a problem. Will users or developers believe anything Microsoft says now? Shouldn't shareholders be outraged over the waste of capital and goodwill?

Microsoft Reverses Course on Xbox One Policies

Xbox One Eighty: Microsoft Finds It Still Needs Gamers To Sell Gaming Consoles

Microsoft Xbox: The damage has been done

Xbox One: was Microsoft's reversal the right decision?

Why you shouldn’t trust Microsoft or Sony

Google Reader News

In case you have forgotten, Google Reader goes away July 1. Here's a list of places to look if you have not moved yet. Personally, I'm not really happy with any of the choices. I am currently hosting my own aggregator using tt-rss. This is not an approach to be used lightly - it's a pain to set up. I'd love to hear in comments about any reader that is nearly exactly like Google Reader... I miss it.

Google Reader Is Shutting Down; Here Are the Best Alternatives

RSS isn't dead: the best Google Reader alternatives | The Verge

The Race To Replace Google Reader – ReadWrite

InoReader: fast RSS reader for the Web -

Newsvibe Is a Simple, No-Nonsense Web-Based Feed Reader

Feedly Gets Its Own Syncing Service, Detaches You From Google Reader

Feedly Launches a Standalone Webapp, No Extension Necessary

What you need to know about Feedly Cloud and its web interface -

AOL to Launch a Reader Product - Mike Isaac - Media - AllThingsD

Inside Digg's Race to Build the New Google Reader | Gadget Lab |

NetNewsWire Beta Brings Several New Features, Temporarily Lacks Sync

A first look at Aol Reader |gHacks Technology News

Review: NewsBlur is a worthy, powerful Google Reader replacement | PCWorld

Chrome News

The video is actually a bit of a disappointment, but the article is nice and the message is true:
Still don’t believe Google Chrome is a platform? This video will change your mind.

Walmart and Staples enter in a big way. Many others in progress.
Chromebook now available in 6,600 stores around the world

This next is really the same thing (Walmart and Staples), I just like the title.
Chromebook Sales Expanding Despite Tablet-Leaning Market – ReadWrite

Developing on a Chromebook with Codenvy — Google Developers

Meet "Bolt" Another Haswell Based Chromebook (May be Touch Screen and 4GB RAM) - Chrome Story

It's very clear that ChromeOS (and Android) will be big this Holiday Season.
Amazon Begins Preps For Chrome Notebook Sales | Chrome OS Site

Android News

Big market share news from Gartner:
Device Shipments Up 6% To 2.4B In 2013, Driven By Android Smartphones, Tablets Amid More PC Decline | TechCrunch

10 reasons Android beats iOS 7 - NBC

iOS 7 vs Jelly Bean | Apple iOS vs Google Android - PC Advisor

Could Android ever become the dominant PC operating system?

Intel looks past Windows, sees Android for Haswell successor | PCWorld

Is the HP Slate 21 the first of a new breed of Android PCs?

Google Glass taken into the operating room - Android Community

Android Device News

This section tends to get crowded, no matter how many links I cut. Summary:

  • HP has 3 entries because it shows just how much the #1 PC OEM is getting into Android. Also, the Tegra 4-based 21" all-in-one is a new class of device.
  • There are a number of newish devices.
  • 8-inch tablets are likely to be the big seller this holiday season.
  • The Ouya and the Shield game consoles are now real (the Ouya is even shipping).
  • Samsung has made an interesting Android Camera.

HP Slate 21: a Tegra 4 Android all-in-one with a 21.5-inch display

Android smartphones with 6 inch, 2560 x 1600 displays coming next year

HP Slate 7 review (video)

Sony SmartWatch 2 coming in September, pairs with your Android phone - Liliputing

Cubieboard gets a dual-core upgrade ($59 Android, Linux mini PC) - Liliputing

Androidly is a $229 smartphone for your wrist | News |

Asus, Acer, Dell and Lenovo are reportedly preparing 8-inch Android tablets for Q3 2013

AnandTech | NVIDIA Shield Gets a Launch Date and a Price Cut: June 27th for $299

Samsung Galaxy NX is an Android camera with interchangeable lenses - Liliputing

First look at the Samsung Galaxy NX camera (Android, 4G, interchangeable lenses) - Liliputing

$99 Nextbook Premium 8HD tablet hits Walmart for not-so-premium price - Liliputing

HP Android tablet tipped with Tegra 4 - SlashGear

Ouya officially on sale to the public today, already sold out on Amazon

Samsung Announces Dates, Prices for Galaxy Tab 3 | News & Opinion |

Linux News

Oracle acquired control of MySQL when they bought Sun. Open source developers grew increasingly unhappy with how Oracle handles MySQL and a fork called MariaDB was created. Late last year it was placed under the MariaDB Foundation. Red Hat is considering a jump to MariaDB.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 software stack still under wraps | ZDNet

Cheapest way I know of that gets you to an ARM-based Linux server that can have a SATA drive:
Cubieboard gets a dual-core upgrade ($59 Android, Linux mini PC) - Liliputing

Mir is a replacement for X11. It is made to support mobile devices as well as desktop. It is simpler, which is part of the problem as features used by things like Gnome are not available.
Canonical's Mir move doesn't sit well with some Linux developers - Network World

If you read this blog, you probably know the answers:
The most popular end-user Linux distributions are... | ZDNet

13 Linux Debuggers for C++ Reviewed | Dr Dobb's

Microsoft made a serious mistake when they made the City of Munich mad.
City of Munich spreads the gospel of Linux with Lubuntu giveaway - Network World

LibreOffice love sees Microsoft removed from thousands of PCs in South Tyrol | ZDNet

LibreOffice is getting better, even better - Open Source Insider

Firefox OS and Tizen are probably the new comers to watch:
Shisutena to launch a 10 inch Tizen Linux tablet in Japan - Liliputing

Google's new competitor duo: Firefox and Foxconn - CBS News

Firefox OS: Will Mozilla's Secret Sauce Be Enough? | Mobile | LinuxInsider

Sunday, June 23, 2013

AMD, ARM and Intel News

AnandTech | Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974) Performance Preview: Qualcomm Mobile Development Tablet Tested

Intel launches Haswell processors: here's what you need to know

Qualcomm introduces new Snapdragon 200 chips for entry-level phones

It's been a while since I found AMD newsworthy... but this looks interesting:
AMD slates first ARM server chip, 'Seattle,' for 2014

The Dart Programming Language

Dart is an open source, Google-back programming language that attempts to get around the numerous problems of Javascript. It is on the threshold of being usable in production environments.  Its development is moving incredibly fast. Personally, I've switched much of my development to Dart. It works in normal browsers and in a node.js-like version. It currently is used mainly to compile to JavaScript, but it will eventually be included natively in Chrome, and hopefully other browsers. You can expect a lot more coverage of Dart on this blog.

Dart main web site

Recent news:
Dart: Faster Editor and more

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Look Ahead at Computing Sales in the 2013 Holiday Season

Following in the tradition of my 5th most popular post: Watching Computers and Tablets Sales in the 2012 Holiday Season, I spent an hour last Saturday at my local Best Buy, observing what the current state of computer sales is.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Strange, Possibly Humorous News

Evidence of Karma I guess. Apple still did not release a good way for Developers to address different screen sizes at WWDC 2013. This means that Apple has to try to do everything with fixed resolutions and densities. Thus, having spent years trying to get away from Samsung, Apple now has to turn back to them, as no one else seems to be able to produce screens with pixels as dense as needed to produce an iPad mini using Apple's self-imposed resolution/density constraints. This is both Strange and Funny.
Rumor: Samsung to supply 7.9" Retina displays for Apple's next iPad mini this year

Handgun drone unsuccessfully shoots mobile phone

Body-Double: Lifelike Android Demoed at Futuristic Conference

This is the funniest link I've ever featured in Strange... News, you simply have to watch the video:
Lewis Black gives middle finger to Google Glass and Xbox

Friday, June 14, 2013

Android News

[EXCLUSIVE] Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie to come in late October, also optimized for older phones - VR-Zone

Google Cloud Print app hits the Play Store - Android Community

Sony Opens SmartWatch to Developers | News & Opinion |

Everything You Didn't Know You Could Do with Google's Voice Commands

Android infiltrates Computex via tablets, PCs, set-top boxes - Computerworld

Clothes that speak to your mobile devices? OMsignal makes it possible

OnLive Desktop hits Android Market, brings Windows 7 virtual machine, Microsoft Office and 2GB free cloud storage to your tablet | 9to5Google

Why the time is right for the 'Droidbook' | PCWorld

One-Third of Americans Now Own Tablet Computers -

5 Things a Tablet Computer Does Better Than a Laptop - Technology Digital

Why doesn't Android have a built in find lost phone function?

Device News

Android gets cheaper: Meet the $100 quad-core phone, $59 dual-core tablet - Liliputing

Unu Android tablet is designed to plug into a TV for gaming, watching - Liliputing

DailyTech - Mad Catz to Produce M.O.J.O. Android Gaming Console

Best Android smartphones running stock Android

Google Glass teardown reveals that it's powered by a 570mAh battery

So you want a water resistant device. What are your options?

NSA Surveillance News

This is not a topic I'd normally cover in this blog, but as so many principals are caught up in the problem, it really needs a mention:

PRISM, Apple, Google, Microsoft: How the NSA's surveillance program could ruin Silicon Valley. - Slate Magazine

Thousands of firms reportedly swap data with U.S. agencies | Politics and Law - CNET News

Call connected through the NSA: Ars readers react | Ars Technica

Google's Real Secret Spy Program? Secure FTP | Threat Level |

The government should loosen Google’s gag - The Washington Post

Analysis: Why Google can flatly deny knowledge of Prism | USA Today

ARM and Intel News

Snapdragon 800-based Galaxy S4 shows up, breaking benchmark records

This next article is mostly about power usage... and the CloverTrail+ chip probably is significantly better than the competition, however it is probably wrong about performance. The Snapdragon 800 and Tegra 4 probably have significantly better performance.  That said, it does raise hopes for Bay Trail... performance will be good enough and battery life may be significantly better than the ARM competition. I wish these companies would let the appropriate bloggers get their hands on these chips so we could get proper testing done!
Intel CloverTrail+ processor mops the floor with its competitors

Is Intel finally ready to take on its ARM rivals?

Intel claims Silvermont processor outshines ARM's top chip

Intel desktop roadmap for H2 2013 and H1 2014

New Benchmark Results

I added preliminary Snapdragon 800 results to the table and also put Geekbench 64-bit results (where applicable) on my Arm vs Intel Benchmarks page.

Linux and Open Source News

Hands-on with Jolla’s first smartphone running Sailfish OS

Hadoop creator: Proprietary software platforms are finished

Linux migration proposal for Berlin rejected

Chrome and Google Apps News

It looks like Chrome Packaged Apps will  have access to music stored in iTunes:
Yes, They Are Doing Something With iTunes

15 cool and fun Google Chrome Experiments

It's intended for Android/Chrome mirroring:
Is Google Creating a $35 HDMI Dongle Called Chromekey?

Meet The Native Code Editor for Chrome OS

The EU has really strict privacy laws:
Sweden tells council to stop using Google Apps

HP is now a Google Apps Reseller:
Google creeps up on Microsoft at HP: Now office apps

Apple WWDC 2013 - Epilog

Ok, we have all had time to digest WWDC, so there is a lot of news...

Microsoft News, more XBox Fiasco

Well, I'm TRYING to find good new to report for Microsoft:

This means that Apple and Microsoft are now using the same underlying network filesystem protocol:

They are joining Apple and Samsung:

This next is only kind of good news, you have to be an Office 365 subscriber and it doesn't work on iPad:

However, they keep finding new areas to screw-up in:

Strange, Possibly Humorous News

This is as strange as the Hello Kitty rifle:
RoboRoach: How to control a cockroach with your smartphone

They'll also dine on your Android:
Invasion of crazy ants that dine on your iPhone

Edward Snowden is the guy that recently leaked the information about the NSA's mass surveillance program:
Edward Snowden’s Sexy Girlfriend Becomes Latest Internet Obsession After He Leaves Her All Alone (VIDEO)

From the makers of Roomba (the vacuum cleaner), your new virtual office presence:
iRobot Remotely Goes Where You Want to Go, Sees What You Want to See

Monday, June 10, 2013

"Live Blogging" Apple's WWDC 2013

Really not a live blog, but rather me putting down my impressions as a developer while watching the keynote remotely.

Summary: Unless you're an Apple fan-boy, don't bother watching the keynote. News of interest:

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Think Twice Before You Buy an XBox One

As I pointed out a few days ago, the Xbox One was already looking undesirable.

Well it seems that Microsoft is not finished ruining yet another line of business. They are requiring the XBox One to be online every 24 hours, even if you have physical media. Here's Paul Thurrott's take:
Confirmed: Xbox One Requires Always On Connection

UPDATED: Paul Thurrott added a new post explaining the new licensing rules for XBox One games... he tries to put a good face on them, but personally, I find them the worst problem yet:
Xbox One Game Licensing Explained

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Computing Industry Turns Away from Windows

Asus, Acer, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung are all making Chromebooks this year.

Samsung makes Chromeboxes. [Think ChromeOS on a Mac-mini.]

All five are shipping Android tablets already.

AMD wants to get into Android and Chrome. Literally.

Now new classes of Android devices are starting to show up:

ARM and Intel News

There was a huge amount of chip news this week, mainly due to Computex:

Qualcomm launches quad-core Snapdragon 400 processor - Liliputing

The Exynos 5 Octa and the State of Samsung SoCs

ARM targets $200 smartphones with new Cortex A12 processor | PCWorld

AnandTech | ARM Cortex A12: Between Cortex A9 and A15 in Power & Perf, Sampling in Late 2014

AnandTech | ARM Mali-T622 & V500 Video Block Complement Cortex A12

AnandTech | Exploring the Floating Point Performance of Modern ARM Processors

MediaTek launches a new quad-core chip for tablets

Future Intel Pentium and Celeron chips coming to Android

Intel Launches Low-Power, High-Performance Silvermont Microarchitecture

ARM's 2014 processors will blow today's smartphone chips away, with 3x the performance or 1/4 the battery drain | The Verge

ARM claims processor superiority over Intel's Silvermont | ITworld

Forget Haswell: Why tablet processors mean more to Intel at Computex | PCWorld

Innovation, Reinvention on Intel® Architecture Fuel Wave of 2-in-1 Devices, New Mobile Computing Experiences

Android News

This Paul Thurrott articles talks about a new Microsoft commercial. The gist of the commercial is that top-end Android Phones are overly expensive. Generally speaking, I agree, though unlike with Apple, at least Android users have plenty of other choices.

It may be time for many Android developers to move to supporting ICS and newer.
Android Jelly Bean Hits 33% Adoption, ICS Falls to 25%

I'm sure Monday during the WWDC Keynote, Apple will do everything possible to play this one down:

Miscellaneous News

Feedly Will Support Syncing for Reeder, Press, and Other Apps

The State Of The Word Processor: HTML Compatibility

OpenCloud competitor, CloudStack has first release:
Apache CloudStack grows up

Mozillux: A Nice Linux Distro With a Unique Software Set

The potential ban includes the iPhone 4.
Apple Faces Ban on Some Older IPhones After Patent Loss

Microsoft Ponders Major Restructuring, Amid Renewed Wall Street Focus

Mozilla, Foxconn unveil the first Firefox OS tablet

U.S. takes Apple to trial over e-books price-fixing

Chrome News (and ChromeOS, etc.)

It is getting more and more difficult to separate Chrome news from ChromeOS / Chromebook / Chromebox / Android Chrome news. From now on, I'm going to call all this sort of news: Chrome News.

These two events may contain big Chrome news! [UPDATE: it turns out they don't]
Google to hold two special events for mobile Chrome on June 7 and June 13

AMD joins the Chrome team:
AMD Says They Will Design Chips For Chrome OS Too

Meet some packaged apps:

Meet The Native Code Editor for Chrome OS

Automated video editing app Magisto launches one of Google’s first ‘native’ Chrome apps

New things Chrome can do:

Native Messaging Extension API on Chrome Lets Extensions Open Your Windows Apps

How to use Chrome’s serial API to talk with Arduino Board

NFC is Coming to Chromebooks