Friday, February 28, 2014

Developers: Time to look at Tizen

Tizen is an open-source mobile-oriented operating system, supported by Samsung (as well as many others) as a part of the Linux Foundation.
Here's a quote from
Tizen provides a robust and flexible environment for application developers, based on HTML5. With HTML5's robust capabilities and cross platform flexibility, it is rapidly becoming the preferred development environment for mobile apps and services. The Tizen SDK and API allow developers to use HTML5 and related web technologies to write applications that run across multiple device segments.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Apple Fixes its Inexcusable Security Flaw -- But only for some of its users.

First and foremost, there is no excuse for Apple's recently revealed SSL security flaw.
Even the most trivial of SSL testing would have caught this.
You can see the bug here:
The iPhone bug: Is Apple getting too rich and too lazy? -

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

MWC 2014 - Smartphones

There were of course a number of smartphone announcements (for example the Samsung S5), but they really were not that interesting.

There were three that were interesting for very different reasons:

First the Lenovo S860. This $349 phone has amazing battery life: up to 40 days in standby and 43 hours of talk time.
Lenovo S850 and S860 smartphones bring ultra-long battery life, quad-core processors - SlashGear

Then, Mozilla announced yet more Firefox OS progress on low-end phones:
Firefox aiming to power entry-level smartphone - Taipei Times

And finally, the Nokia X series (actually 3 different phones):
Nokia fails all on all fronts with Nokia X. Basically it is an Android phone with no Google -- has Microsoft infrastructure instead, and a front-end designed to look like Windows Phone. Ugh! Who would want this?

Nokia Launches Android-Based Phone; Google Giggles - Nokia (NYSE:NOK) - 24/7 Wall St.

This is Nokia X: Android and Windows Phone collide | The Verge

Will the Nokia X be useful without Google's services?

Nokia X Software Platform: An Android-Windows Phone mess (hands-on) - CNET Reviews

How Developers And Consumers Can Get Android Apps On The Nokia X – ReadWrite

Really, this Nokia phone will flop so big!!!

Nokia seems to be having the corporate equivalent of a nervous breakdown.

MWC 2014 - Chips

It's strange the MWC was most interesting in its chip news this year:

Well Qualcomm should continue it's leadership for a bit:
Qualcomm launches 64-bit chips for high-end phones at MWC 2014 | Mobile World Congress - CNET Reviews
A quote from the article:
Meanwhile, the Snapdragon 610 and 615 contain the same essential software, hardware, and radio-frequency technology as the Snapdragon 410, allowing handset vendors to quickly develop a global portfolio of devices at different price levels. It also speeds up the time it takes to get carrier certification for the devices since the phones use the same wireless technology.
Wow... these guys really know how to do things!
Also there was:
Qualcomm overtakes Apple with eight-core, 64-bit mobile processor | PCWorld

The Chinese manufacturers are showing off interesting chips:

MediaTek unveils its 64-bit, LTE integrated MT6732 SoC

Meet the Allwinner UltraOcta A80 processor - Liliputing

Turning to Intel:

This is from ARM, you know, Intel's chip of choice for demos at CES! :-)
Intel Quark is just too hot for wearable technology, says ARM

Intel unveils its next gen and next gen after that and next gen after the next gen after that... claiming as usual they have better performance/power usage than ARM.  Given Intel's delivery on promises to date, I'm not believing any of it until third parties run benchmarks on shipping hardware. Remember, these are the people that did several of "their" demos at CES using ARM chips.  This really isn't news... its the same separate chip LTE we've know about before... and only Cherry Trail is really competitive with any of the new ARM stuff. And there is every reason to believe that won't be here until 2015. At this point, I'm believing too little, too late, AGAIN.

Intel Unveils XIntel Unveils XMM 7260 LTE Modem, Next-Gen Atom SoCs | News & Opinion | 

Here's a more in depth article:
AnandTech | Intel Talks Atom Z3460/Z3480 (Merrifield), Z3560/Z3580 (Moorefield) and LTE at MWC 2014

MWC 2014 - Wearables

I wish I had something interesting to say here, but MWC just wasn't that interesting this year...

Mobile World Congress: Samsung Leads Wearables Charge - InformationWeek

Samsung introduces Gear Fit activity tracker - Liliputing

Samsung Fit hands on (MWC 2014) | Android Authority

Samsung Gear 2 Hands-on (MWC 2014)

Sony shows off its SmartEyeglass concept at MWC 2014

Strange. Possibly Humorous News

First they made a women's skirt out of cell phones, now:
Nokia's Treasure Tag helps you find lost items with your Lumia | PCWorld
It's a bluetooth-enabled (rather large) tag you attach to things you think you might want to find. It's the most impractical device I've ever seen. Sure, they claim a 6-month battery life, but what person that actually needs the device, will get around to charging it?
Just to make sure only 10 people world-wide ever use it, the tags are $30 apiece and only work with Lumia phones. For some reason they believe third-parties will make apps that support the tags for iOS and Android. Even stranger, you can only have 4 devices with the tags per phone -- why?
What next, a cell phone that is an Android/Windows Phone hybrid?
No, wait, they've done that too:
Nokia X Software Platform: An Android-Windows Phone mess (hands-on) - CNET Reviews
Will the Nokia strangeness/humor never end?

Speaking of strangeness/humor never ending:
'Flappy Bird' Is Dead, Long Live 'Splashy Fish' - Forbes
But this is even weirder... it features Miley Cyrus's head flying by flapping her tongue:
Flappy Bird clone Flying Cyrus takes a wrecking ball to App Store chart

And for that matter, will people ever tire of finding Google Glass odd?
We Now Have a Report of a Google Glass Hate Crime | WebProNews

I'm not sure why Steve Jobs should be "honored" at all. I guess it is just a blatant attempt by the USPS to get iCritter users to like them. It certainly is strange. There is some synergy... the USPS often has long lines and iCritter users seem to like standing in them! Do you suppose there will be a line stretching around the local post office the night before the stamp releases?
Steve Jobs approved for a 2015 U.S. postage stamp

This is humorous, and certainly Amazon trying to deliver via a drone is strange:
Netflix Mocks Amazon With Video for DVD Delivery Drone | Wired Business |

This next is an incredibly strange product. It is a bluetooth-enabled shell, that makes a AAA battery the size of an AA battery. The idea is you can use you smartphone to turn off your kid's toy. To me, that's just mean. Also, a AAA used as a AA is likely to cause issues in some devices.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Strange, Possibly Humorous News -- NO FLAPPY BIRDS

I should include a link here that points back to this post... after all, having to say NO FLAPPY BIRDS is strange and possibly humorous!

Ah, TechEye!
Apple copies glorious North Korean operating system - Communist engineering inspires the west | TechEye

This guy writes Onion-esque spoofs for the New Yorker:
Gates Spends Entire First Day Back in Office Trying to Install Windows 8.1 : The New Yorker
Many don't understand it's just a joke: [Apple blogs for example]
Bill Gates fails to install update for Windows 8.1 - The Voice of Russia

I think he was serious...
Steve Wozniak suggests Apple to make Android phones

Not even I'm willing to blame Apple for this problem:
Snowboarder's iPhone crashes after fans swamp him with nude pics | Technically Incorrect - CNET News

Definitely strange.
This goat simulator looks like maybe the best video game ever | Grist

Strange, and just interesting...
Tunnel vision: how an obsessed explorer found and lost the world's oldest subway | The Verge

They used to be the largest cellphone manufacturer.... what happened?
Nokia makes a skirt from 80 Lumia smartphones | Tech Culture - CNET News

Wow, its not even announced yet!
A Crazy Man Dressed as an iPhone Has Begun the iPhone 6 Queuing Madness | Gizmodo UK

Strange, Possibly Humorous News -- Flappy Birds Edition

This doesn't begin to cover all the articles written about Flappy Bird.
Words fail me here... this is weirder than the "Hello Kitty" rifle.

Here Are Your 'Flappy Bird' Cheats, Ya Slackers

7 Tips for High Scores on Flappy Bird |

Why You Can't Quit Flappy Bird: It's The Ultimate Hardcore Game In Sheep's Clothing – ReadWrite

LA Times - 'Flappy Bird' to be removed from app stores, developer tweets

Flappy Bird is going down, but the developer is still going strong

Flappy Bird creator says he took it down because it was too addictive

Proof 'Flappy Bird' Will Be The End Of Humanity

Man Offers to Rent Flappy Bird iPhone on Craigslist |

How can I play Flappy Bird? Second-hand iPhone with Flappy Bird installed on eBay | Metro News

iPhone 5 with Flappy Bird 'sells for $94,000 on eBay' before listing mysteriously disappears | Metro News

Play Flappy Bird on Chrome – Chrome Story

Tiny Bird brings Flappy Bird to the Pebble | Android Authority

These Flappy Bird Alternatives May Help With Your Flappy Withdrawal – ReadWrite

Flappy Bird is gone, but 174 indie developers won't let it be forgotten

Google Begins Rejecting 'Flappy' Games From The Play Store As Clones Continue To March In

Monday, February 10, 2014

Announcing a New Blog

My new blog is about the future of application development. For the moment, this means HTML 5 and related technologies. To be clear, I'm not talking about making "web pages" or a "web app" that runs insider your browser, but rather a whole new class of applications created using web technologies and having the capabilities of "native" apps.

The new blog is called App Progress.

Here is its manifesto.

It will cover topics about the changing world of application development, including:

The Dart programming language

HTML5/JavaScript/CSS3 [and how to learn to live with them :-)]
and how these standards are evolving: Polymer and Brick

Cordova/Phone Gap

ChromeOS and Chrome Apps

Firefox OS and Open Web Apps

Server-side programming: Dart, Node.js, and Go

Monday, February 3, 2014

Strange, Possibly Humorous News

The Google various sagas continue....
LA Times - Google ordered to move 'mystery' barge island in San Francisco Bay

Meet Google's Robot Army. It's Growing.

The Simpsons may have the smartest thoughts yet about Google Glass | The Verge

Definitely strange:
This Magic Bra Will Only Unhook If The Woman Wearing It Is In Love - SFGate

class MyMessage extends Message throws(IOError) {
    @override String getMessage() {
        return "This is my way of telling you about a new law in Kentucky\n" +
                "I'm a University of Kentucky graduate\n" +
                "I wish I could say this sort of thing is unusual in KY.";
Computers are a foreign language in Kentucky - Parlez-vous Java? | TechEye

Someone actually went to the trouble to create a networking protocol that uses sound as the mechanism for message transmission. Bascially using microphone and speaker in a manner not completely unlike how old modems used to work.
Katee/quietnet · GitHub

The EU has gotten into its head that police ought to be able to remotely switch off your car. The security problems here are enormous. How will they know the car they are targeting is the one they will actually be switching off. (For example, what if the license plate is stolen or there is an error in the database?)
Coppers can switch off your car - Tech Eye - All the technology news unfit for print

Nearly as strange, the US Department of Transportation wants to have vehicles communicate to avoid crashes. Again, the security issues are enormous. Imagine the terrorism possibilities here.
Feds to require vehicle-to-vehicle communication to prevent crashes - San Jose Mercury News