Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 24th Jul 2013 17:21 UTC
Google "Google is making another foray into the living room with the Chromecast, a small $35 dongle that allows users to stream videos from a phone or tablet to their TV using Chrome. Essentially, it turns every TV into a smart TV, but it uses the same basic interface as whatever device you're on." Looks like an absolutely fantastic product, especially with the low price point and SDK for developers. I want this. Now. Too bad 95% of the world can't buy it for now.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 24th Jul 2013 17:06 UTC
Google As expected, Google has just unveiled Android 4.3. It's not a huge release, but its got some nice optimisations, bug fixes, and a small number of new features. Nexus 4, 7, 10 and the Galaxy Nexus will receive the update today, and the new Nexus 7, also unveiled today, ships it by default. Speaking of the new Nexus 7 - it's got a 1200x1920 display, and is pretty much better in every possible way compared to the outgoing model. Still as cheap, too. Most of all: I hope they improved the horrible NAND flash Asus used which is the Achilles heel of the outgoing model.

 



Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 22nd Jul 2013 15:31 UTC
Legal Joel Spolsky killed a Microsoft patent application in just a few minutes - he found prior art and submitted it, and the USPTO examiner rejected the patent because of it. "Micah showed me a document from the USPTO confirming that they had rejected the patent application, and the rejection relied very heavily on the document I found. This was, in fact, the first 'confirmed kill' of Ask Patents, and it was really surprisingly easy. I didn't have to do the hard work of studying everything in the patent application and carefully proving that it was all prior art: the examiner did that for me." This is all under the umbrella of 'Ask Patents'.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 22nd Jul 2013 10:10 UTC
Apple "Apple revealed Sunday that its Developer Center suffered a lengthy outage this week following a security breach that may have compromised data, but a security researcher has provided evidence to suggest the shutdown was in response to his identification of a vulnerability." It's no secret that Apple's developer portals are a mix of outdated, crappy technologies, and it seems that this security researcher did good work by making that fact very, very clear for everyone. Would be nice of Apple to acknowledge his work, although as we all know, that's about as unlikely as Pluto blocking the sun, no matter how Apple claims it wants to be "open" about this disaster in its public statement.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 21st Jul 2013 16:04 UTC
Apple "It's now been almost three full days. I don't know anything about their infrastructure, but for a web service to be down this long with so little communication, most 'maintenance' or migration theories become very unlikely." Downtime is normally just part of life, but three full days? There's something going on.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 21st Jul 2013 11:31 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless So, the CyanogenMod team is teasing something new. My guess is that we're either looking at the CM team getting early access to new Android versions, or - and this is something I really hope - an OEM, preferably a large one, has decided to ship a device with CyanogenMod preinstalled. A boy or girl can dream.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 20th Jul 2013 19:05 UTC
Legal "Alan Turing, the Enigma codebreaker who took his own life after being convicted of gross indecency under anti-homosexuality legislation, is to be given a posthumous pardon. The government signalled on Friday that it is prepared to support a backbench bill that would pardon Turing, who died from cyanide poisoning at the age of 41 in 1954 after he was subjected to 'chemical castration'." Justice.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 19th Jul 2013 15:23 UTC
Humor "Surprise, surprise, a certain Korean company copies more of Apple's product design. When Apple launched the iPad mini in October 2012, Apple explained the design: the almost 8" screen size and thin border allow one-handed use. Now, the new 8" Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 has the same border design as the iPad mini." From what I can only assume is the The Onion of technology reporting. I love humour like this on a lazy Friday afternoon.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 19th Jul 2013 15:16 UTC
Windows "Named General Distribution Release 2 (GDR2), the latest update enables Data Sense, a way to track how data is being used, alongside FM radio, and the ability to set other applications as the default camera. [...] GDR2 also includes support for Gmail's CalrdDAV and CalDAV implementation, allowing Windows Phone users to continue syncing calendar and contacts after Google announced its intention to pull its Exchange ActiveSync service earlier this year." There's something wrong with your operating system's update/improvement rate when such a minute, insignificant release is news.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 19th Jul 2013 12:47 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless "The biggest mobile developer study in history with 6,000 respondents from 115 countries says that while iOS developers make an average of $5,200 per month in app revenue and Android developers pull in $4,700, more developers plan to start developing for Windows Phone than any other platform. [...] That's aided, of course, by the fact that 71 percent of mobile developers are already developing for Android, and 56 percent are already developing for iOS." I'm surprised there's so little difference between income for iOS and Android developers. Reading the web, it often seems as if all iOS developers are millionaires and Android developers are poor unwashed peasants. Reality is, clearly, different.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 18th Jul 2013 22:12 UTC
Microsoft The Verge, reporting that Microsoft lost almost a billion dollars with Surface RT, in this quarter alone. "At the end of the day, though, it looks like Microsoft just made too many Surface RT tablets - we heard late last year that Microsoft was building three to five million Surface RT tablets in the fourth quarter, and we also heard that Microsoft had only sold about one million of those tablets in March." That's catastrophically bad.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 18th Jul 2013 16:58 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless "The worst thing about Android phones isn't the crapware, though. It's the 'skins' - the modifications that phone companies make to Android's most basic features, including the dialing app, contacts, email, the calendar, the notification system, and the layout of the home screen. If you get the Play edition of these phones, you'll see Google's version of each of these apps, and you'll come away impressed by Google's tasteful, restrained, utilitarian design sense. But if, like most people, you get your phone for $199 from a carrier, you'll find everything in it is a frightful mess." Android's biggest problem (lack of updates is part of this). I got my Oppo Find 5 yesterday, and after only a few hours with the official, skinned firmware, I ran crying to the officially supported CyanogenMod 10.1 (Android 4.2.2). Stock (CM is mostly stock) is such a beautiful and elegant operating system - OEM skins are like screaming kids eating popcicles in front of you on a line to a theme park ride. Whenever someone hands me a stock Samsung or HTC, I die a little inside. Those guys simply have zero clue about software.

 

Linked by Anonymous on Thu 18th Jul 2013 14:09 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless The decline continues for Nokia. While Lumia sales volume increased by 32% to 7.2 million during Q2, this was well short of the 8.1 million analysts expected would be sold. Meanwhile, smartphone sales are down 10.2 million units from Q2 2012, based solely on the death of Symbian. Did Nokia jump from a burning platform to a sinking ship? Or will the next Windows Phone update finally bring feature parity with Symbian? Note from Thom: Loads of new models, yet still not the turning point we are promised every time Nokia releases quarterly figures. I'm sure the next quarter, with the next new flagship, will turn it all around.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 17th Jul 2013 17:11 UTC
Google "Google must do more to allay concerns that it is blocking competitors in web search results, the EU's antitrust chief said on Wednesday, after rivals criticized concessions it has offered as being inadequate."

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 17th Jul 2013 17:08 UTC
Apple "All three major Russian cellcos have stopped selling the iPhone, the most dramatic instance so far in a rising tide of operator backlash against Apple's tough contractual requirements. VimpelCom has severed its ties with the handset provider, following in the footsteps of MTS and MegaFon. VimpelCom says it has put Samsung at the top of its list of smartphones to promote under its BeeLine brand. According to PhoneArena, VimpelCom blamed 'draconian contracts' and 'harsh conditions [...] especially in the marketing department' for its decision to dump the iPhone and sign a new deal with Samsung." Apple's treatment of carriers has long been a sore point, however, carriers didn't have much choice. Now that the iPhone is by far no longer the only big money maker, carriers have more leverage.

 

Linked by snydeq on Tue 16th Jul 2013 23:43 UTC
Linux Serdar Yegalulp offers a long view of the current evolution of Linux, one that sees the open source OS firmly entrenched as a cornerstone of IT, evolving in almost every direction at once - including most demonstrably toward the mobile and embedded markets. "If Linux acceptance and development are peaking, where does Linux go from up? Because Linux is such a mutable phenomenon and appears in so many incarnations, there may not be any single answer to that question. More important, perhaps, is how Linux - the perennial upstart - will embrace the challenges of being a mature and, in many areas, market-leading project. Here's a look at the future of Linux: as raw material, as the product of community and corporate contributions, and as the target of any number of challenges to its ethos, technical prowess, and growth."

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 16th Jul 2013 22:42 UTC
Legal "A diverse coalition of 19 groups announced today a lawsuit against the United States government for 'an illegal and unconstitutional program of dragnet electronic surveillance', known as the Associational Tracking Program, which collects all telephone records handled by Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint in the US. The group, represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, aims to compel the government to inventory and disclose the records in its possession, to destroy them, and to immediately end the surveillance program."

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 16th Jul 2013 16:09 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces "In its desire for authenticity, the Modern design movement curbed the ornamental excess of the 19th century, making design fit the age of mass production. Today, we're seeing the same desire for authenticity manifest itself in the 'flat' trend, which rejects skeuomorphism and excessive visuals for simpler, cleaner, content-focused design." Fascinating perspective on the whole digital vs. analog design debate by Dmitry Fadeyev.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 15th Jul 2013 23:17 UTC
Microsoft "Microsoft's Surface RT is getting price cuts across the world this week as the company looks to boost sales of its first ever tablet hardware." Great vote of confidence on a platform barely out the door.

 

Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 15th Jul 2013 22:12 UTC
Windows "If you are running a screen resolution of 1366x768 on a tablet, chances are that UI will look good at 100% DPI settings. But what about when you connect that tablet to an external high resolution display? In Windows 8 you can choose either 100% to optimize the UI on the tablet display or up to 150% to optimize the UI on the external display. You have to compromise. Windows 8.1 takes care of this issue by supporting per-display DPI scaling." That's pretty cool. Do other systems support this?