Archive for May 30, 2008

Android Devs: Sorry, But Try Again!

May 30, 2008

Google has published the list of fifty finalists in some Apps-for-Android competition.

Click here for the PDF version (recommended over the web version).

Out of all of those apps, only two caught my attention.

Really, these are pretty sad.

Four of the finalists requested not to be published.

Those are probably the best ones.

Or so I hope!

Fudzilla: MSI Wind Gets Thumbs Up!

May 30, 2008

MSI Wind notebook starts the storm

We tried to surf the net, connect on wireless networks, type, listen to music, publish stuff at Fudzilla, write articles and watch some YouTube videos and the machine worked just fine. It can even cope with normal divx Video. We couldn’t really try a DVD, as there is no DVD drive in this tiny machine, but you won’t really miss it. When you play DivX AVI you have to count on 20 to 30 percent CPU time, which is not that bad considering that this CPU has 4W Thermal design power.

The bad part?

The only bad part is the plastic. It doesn’t look as cheap and doesn’t squeak as the one found on Asus Eee PC, and the display is far better than the 7-inch Eee PC 701 that we’ve seen before. However, the Wind PC casing still acts as a magnet for fingerprints. MSI needs to bundle a wiping cloth and to replace this plastic at its earliest convenience. Another good thing is that MSI changed its logo and this new one looks much more attractive than the previous one.

Hmmm… maybe I should rethink my craving for the black one?

I also wonder about this:

We managed to run a few tests and we’ve found out that only thing that really doesn’t run that fast on this notebook and CPU is video and audio encoding. This goes much slower than on a normal Celeron CPU.

Maybe I might have to forgo using Audacity. That’s a bit of a grumble, but doesn’t kill my desire.

We can highly recommend it to anyone who can live with a 10-inch display and really likes ultra mobility.

And that would be … me!

Joanna Stern Makes My Heart Skip A Beat

May 30, 2008

No, not the fact that she mentioned me by name in a post.

No, not the fact that she’s going to Computex next week.

It’s the sentence she casually throws out in this post:

I have been playing/testing the Wind for the last week and putting it through its paces.

She’s had it in her hands for a week?!!?

And Nate, get this!

Below the spacious screen is an adult-size keyboard. If the Eee PC’s keyboard is a one-bedroom apartment, the Wind’s is a mansion. The keyboard is very spacious and doesn’t require me to type in a hand-puppet shape. The matte keys aren’t as soft as the HP Mini-Note’s, but they provide solid feedback.

That is great news!

There’s a video and some new pictures!

I’m very excited by this. My Lust Meter reading has gone up again!!

Live jkk & Chippy!

May 30, 2008

Holy cow. I got to both UMPC Portal and jkkmobile in time to find out there was a live video chat going on! I came in with about fifteen minutes left, but I was still impressed as hell. I’d never seen anything like that before.

Here’s a screensnap:

Click = ginormous!

Jaysus. I remember when Telstar first went up and beamed live pictures from Europe!

When I was a kid, we had to use the Operator to place a long-distance call!

Now look at what people can do from their homes!

I love the Internet!!

Quote: David Card

May 30, 2008

No Way to Build an Operating System

So, apparently, the 2009-2010 version of Windows will still not have the next-gen file system I was writing about more than 10 years ago — when “Cairo” was the lead codename — let alone a microkernel with modules for OS “personalities” and compatibility.

You’re gonna fend off Google and cloud computing with a touch screen?? Good luck. I do hope there’s a skunkworks Plan B in the labs. No wonder buying Yahoo “isn’t strategic.”

This is simply more evidence for the folder I’m marking “Microsoft is Obsolete.”

Apple Owns The Mobile Me Trademark

May 30, 2008

Suddenly the Internet is in a tizzy over this?

Apple has owned “Mobile Me” as a trademark since January 5, 2006.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has four records of this.

In addition, they’ve owned the trademark “The Mobile Me” since April 26, 2000.

Interestingly (or not), the mark “MobileMe” (one word, which might not be as I’ve typed it) was abandoned by another company and is now dead.

I knew this because from time to time I pop into the USPTO TESS search system to see if Apple has yet filed a trademark claim for “iPod Air.”

Not yet.

By the way, I can’t seem to find a way to link to the USPTO filings I cite. Just hit the TESS link above and pop “mobile me” into the basic search field and you’ll get all of them.

“iPod Air” returns no results. But then I also try “iPod” to see if there’s something new that way.

It’s Now All Down To Apple Vs. Google

May 30, 2008

Listen, Microsoft isn’t even in this battle. Vista was a self-inflicted wound of such magnitude that the term Vistaster (think disaster with a V) has been coined. Microsoft only thinks it’s still a factor. It’s time, like Nokia’s, has passed.

Palm is not a factor, either. No matter what it devises, it can’t become a factor. ACCESS with its ACCESS Linux Platform was never a factor.

The epic battle is now between only two companies: Apple and Google.

The recent demonstration of the vastly revamped Android OS makes it clear that the intimidating geniuses formerly from Be, Inc. and PalmSource are intent on finally having a global Win. They’re now with a company that has unleashed them.

Apple, of course, has the iPhone. And the iTunes Store. And Apple TV. And the iSDK. And the upcoming App Store. Its Macs. The iPod. And even possibly the iPod Air and a subnotebook Mac. Plus, let’s not forget the custom chips — probably including the memristor breakthrough — that will allow Apple to do things competing companies can’t. While everyone else buys off-the-shelf components that everyone else can buy, Apple can Build Different.

Google has its search engine, its spy satellite mapping, its ad revenues, Blogger, Picasa, and a whole slew of online things that I’ve not paid much attention to because they’re all stamped Beta — and also because they seem to announce something new every freakin week. They’ve also been busy with a syncing strategy (something Apple desperately needs). And to tie it all together in the outside world, Google now has the Android OS. Which has suddenly leaped ahead of both Windows Mobile and PalmOS. (Even the clunky early demonstrations on Small Square Screen prototype phones made it leap ahead of ACCESS. For Google actually had companies signed up for it.)

The Internet is going to be the new telephone. But moreso: the transfer of information and entertainment is something that the pre-computer telephone couldn’t do. With music, photos, movies, and more transformed into digital data, the Internet has become sort of like Star Trek’s transporter. What used to be thought of as things — DVDs, books, magazines, newspapers, et al — can now be instantly “beamed down” to a receiving device.

And the primary receiving device is going to be an Apple iPhone or a Google Android OS phone.

Google sees what Apple has been doing. Google will try to replicate that as much as possible. There’s already rumors of an Android App Store. That’s unsurprising.

There is really only one area that’s still up for grabs and it will be interesting to see who jumps in first.

Because whoever jumps in first is going to set the standard.

The remaining area is ebooks.

I’ve called again and again for Apple to step up and embrace ebooks. Apple would give them the legitmacy they gave to music downloading. It’s still unclear if Apple will do so. Apple most likely has been considering the same issues that Sony studied before it released its BroadBand eBook (BBeB) file format. For reasons other than ebooks, Cringely has called upon Apple to purchase Adobe. Such a purchase would immediately give Apple the ebook high ground.

On the other hand, Google has already been doing ebooks for years, but no one has really noticed that (other than David Rothman and a few other folks who specialize in covering ebooks — well, also the libraries that have supplied the books!). Has Google’s massive scanning of books been part of a long-term plan to capture that market in a way no one else has considered? They’ve already got libraries and libraries of books digitized. Forget what you see right now when they serve it up on a screen. All of those image files are, I’m sure, also in a text format of some kind, waiting to be poured by the jillions into whatever ebook file container Google creates or annoints. At some point, Google’s ebook inventory is going to make Amazon’s printed book stock look like a forlorn corner bookstore.

And here’s where Google can snatch ebooks away from everyone else, legitimize them, as well as deliver them in a manner that is consistent with the alleged openness they claim their Android OS touts: embrace the ePub file format.

The ePub file format is designed to be used on virtually any kind of display device. Whether someone accesses an ebook over the Internet or has it in hand as a purchased item on a subnotebook or phone, ePub is the standard that permits that.

What Amazon offers with its Kindle is a proprietary format that Kindle owners can’t even read on their desktop computers. Sony’s BBeB is likewise proprietary but does allow ebooks to be displayed on a desktop or notebook computer — but it’s limited to Windows. What both Sony and Amazon count on are continued sales of their razors — dedicated eInk reading devices — and the continuing profits from the razor blades (ebooks). This is already an outdated and obsolete strategy. Prices have not dropped to the point of being an impulse purchase. And even though an iPhone and an upcoming Google Android phone can be just as expensive, both of those have more than a single purpose.

Amazon, Sony: Expecting people to buy a dedicated eInk reader for ebooks is like still expecting people to buy a CD Walkman to listen to music!

Apple already has its Internet access points out there: its hardware. Millions of iPods. Millions of iPhones — with millions more to come. The probable iPod Air. But Apple is not the Internet. Apple is just its iTunes Store, its App Store, and whatever revamp of its .Mac service is unveiled next month. For Apple to spread out into the Internet, to challenge Google on its own turf, it will have to turn its stores into platforms that any merchant can set up. By doing that, Apple can relent on its standard pricing model and allow each merchant to catch hell for its own pricing.

Google already has the Internet in so many ways. It’s just beginning to get its access points out there via phones running the Android OS. Don’t, however, make the mistake of considering Android an operating system only for phones. It’s not. I’m sure the frustrated geniuses have planned all along to extend Android into other types of hardware. Perhaps the first real “netbook” will be the one running Android OS — deeply tied into everything that Google offers already (and in the future) on the Internet.

The future is going to be determined by these two companies for at least the next decade or two.

Which one of them is going to blink and reveal itself by grabbing the ebook prize?

Who Hasn’t Emailed Me?

May 30, 2008

MSI hasn’t replied. Despite the fact I emailed two people!

The Amazing Kreskin hasn’t replied.

And still no change from last time:

Dubai never replied, despite promising to. That country can drop dead!

Yorkshire Television still hasn’t responded.

Pastor Manning hasn’t either.

Nor has the alleged original owner of the ipodair domain.

No, I don’t forget. Nor should you.

Note For The Philips Crapcam

May 30, 2008

Turn on the Philips crapcam before plugging it into USB.

If it isn’t already turned on, all the photos are erased!

I’ve already lost about sixty photos because of that.

You frikkin eejits.

And Blogger Is Back

May 30, 2008

Bloody hell.

First it was WordPress.

Then Blogger momentarily goes belly-up.

Consider all this when you trust your data to web apps!