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Week In Review 26W2009

  • Android week. The HTC Hero is out and about and seems all nice. And there’s a new UI for Android HTC called Sense. I’m not sure I like it and it won’t be making its way to Google branded phones for licensing issues. So it’s present on the Hero and looks a lot like the stuff HTC did for their WinMo phones.

  • And cause Java is yucky there’s a native SDK for Android now. Of course, using the native stuff is even yuckier than going through the java APIs so we’ll only see desperate game programmers using it.

  • Intel and Nokia are getting cozy and will do stuff together. And it will be cool. Or innovative. Something like that. Meanwhile Nvidia goes for WinCE on Tegra netbooks in a bold move to try and kill the platform right on the blocks. Seriously guy. wince ??

  • On pathetic news the RIAA sued someone who doesn’t even own a computer. Keep in mind this are the people who want to automatically disconnect people from the Internet forever, make people pay “compensation” and eventually power of law to put people in jail. On more evil news, the Irish RIAA is suing ISPs instead of users. Won’t nobody set these guys straight ?

/wir | edited on 2009/06/29 -- permalink, click to comment

Week In Review 25W2009

  • myTouch 3G (or G2, or HTC Magic) is happening in T-Mobile. If you’re wondering, it’s an Android phone minus the G1 hideous hardware. Against most odds, it’s also coming to TMN in Portugal

  • Comcast seems set on making IPv6 happen by enabling its 30million something customer base.

  • On monopoly news, Microsoft seems to have [strongarmed linux out of the netbook market] just like they did in the past in the laptop market. Or at least that’s what I understand from the Taiwan Trade Authority director broken english.

  • On ditactorship news Germany passed an internet censorhip law this week. The censorship will be DNS based and the censored sites list will be maintained by the police. The objective, as usual, is protecting the children. There’s a number of things plain Wrong with this. First, the mechanism is pathetically easy to defeat so it’s not protecting anyone. Second, fully expect the people maintaining the list to be as incompetent as the people passing the law. And last and foremost, while it won’t protect any children it will make blacklisting any forum, such as the ones that allow anonymous whistleblowing, dead easy by posting illegal material. So in the end, this will a political censorship law and never be able to protect anyone.

/wir | edited on 2009/06/23 -- permalink, click to comment

Week In Review 24W2009

  • The week was full of Pre goodies. Typing in the Contra cheat code gets you into dev mode. And right after that came out a clever fella figured out the webOS image was right there in the restoration tool. And that’s not all, there’s a sure and easy way of getting the Pre to run unsigned images. My word! It’s almost as if Palm went out of its way.

  • On net unneutrality a small ISP group on the US is against being gouged by media providers. Looks like media guys want to levy a blanket fee on ISPs for access to its content. Cause you know, actually charging people who want to see it is too much work. And on reverse net unneutrality (uh??) BT wants more money from the BBC. See, that’s just like the first case, but the other way around.

  • The first major splint in the iPhoneOS platform happened with the 3GS supporting OpenGL ES 2.0 and the older hardware only supporting OpenGL ES 1.1. It was bound to happen.

  • Microsoft announced a free antivirus package. It will either naturally flop like a flounder or naturually annihilate all competition. If it’s the later I bet the rest of the AV crowd will give a good run for its money.

  • Asus put out a truly inspired mission statement this week. Asus wants to do products that are better than Apple’s. It’s nice to see vendors shooting for gold once in a while instead of just trying to be slight less crappy than the next guy. I just wonder if they have a plan for Microsoft …

  • Without much surprise the Hadopi law was ruled inconstitutional on grounds of both object and process being illegal. Sometimes the French do remind us sometimes they put the guillotine to use.

  • On cool tech news of the week Nokia is working on sucking in the RF for energy. Basically they want to convert all the background radiation floating around. So if you want to quick charge your phone move near a FM radio station or pop it into the microwave.

  • On pirate news, the PB judge served on the board of a media lobby group to learn about copyright so he ain’t biased. Oh well.

  • Busy week eh ? that’s all folks!

/wir | edited on 2009/06/15 -- permalink, click to comment

The Nokia store is jambatastic!

The Nokia store experience is pretty crappy and the bad news is it isn’t caused by technical issues on the platform.

Right of the bat i’m confused about what i’m buying. Is it linked to my account ? To my mobile ? Can i download it again ? Are the media files drm encumbered ? What are the formats ? Nokia needs to make a much better job at telling me why i should spend my money, the apps don’t even have a proper list of features and compatibility or screenshots.

Nokia allows off store payments, this sounds like flexibility for the publisher right ? Wrong, it means shareware apps get listed as free which doesn’t work to strengthen the trust in the store. And while we’re on pricing, what happened to the bread and butter of an app store, the 0.99 price point ? Nokia traded it for direct billing deals with the carriers. Nokia does the usual 70/30 revenue split but has a small hitch, if the billing goes through a mobile carrier they can apply a transaction fee that comes out of the developer’s cut so 70 cents can easilly go down to nothing. That and the fact Nokia goes to great lenghts to beat away independent developers fill the store with 2Eur pieces of crap and there’s even some utterly pointless apps in the 20+ price range. The irony in all this is after all the trouble Nokia went through setting up the direct billing stuff both the US carriers and Vodafone rejected it.

There’s also the thing about the content quality. There’s no adult filter and about 30% of the content seems to be racy wallpapers at 5Eur each (some of it of dubious copyright standing). On the apps side java craptastic apps are mixed with native s60 apps (and the lack of proper descriptions doesn’t help). And to top it all the selection criteria for the front page and the recommendations sections seems to be either ‘none’ or ‘paid placements’.

Another annoyance is the lack of proper app management. You can install right from the store app but sometimes it doesn’t let you chose where to install. On the oposite end you can’t uninstall from the store so it thinks you have a bunch of crap installed that you actually removed right after the first run. There also isn’t any obvious way of upgrading installed apps.

All told, until Nokia (or is it Ovi ? I’m confused!) makes the revenue model cristal clear and manages to get developers on board by dumping legacy annoyances like Carbide and moving to this century (go go magic symbian foundation!) the store will never get interesting content. And then they’ll have the opportunity to fix it up!

/tech | edited on 2009/06/11 -- permalink, click to comment

Week In Review 23W2009

  • On pirate news, ARRRR, the Swedish Pirate Party got into the EU parliament. This isn’t a joke, it means a considerable number of the Swedes believe their copyright law is wrong.

  • The Nokia N97 is out and doing the rounds. It’s nice and all but i’m not sure i’d even consider carrying all that bulk just for a keyboard.

  • E3 happened. MS announced Project Natal which is supposed to be basically a souped up eye toy but is really vapourware. Sony announced the worst kept secret ever. Nintendo announced a few not very exciting but real products (has opposed to exciting nonexisting products).

  • Microsoft decided to tell Obama the way they do business is tax avoidance and they won’t stand for governments trying to force them to pay the taxes the law requires. This also means “don’t tax us, tax the poor saps that work for us”. Cause you know, they money as to come from somewhere.

  • This has been a week full of douchebagging. It came to public attention it’s common practice for health insurers to wedge by holding big tobacco stocks. Everybody wins. And by everybody I mean the health insurers and big tobacco of course. The health insurer have direct interests in keeping tobacco a blooming industry and for their trouble they get to hike insurance premiums and have shorter lived customers.

  • China is installing spyware/censorware on all new PCs. You know, like US public Universities do.

/wir | edited on 2009/06/10 -- permalink, click to comment

Week In Review 22W2009

/wir | edited on 2009/06/01 -- permalink, click to comment
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