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Suffering for Vista, on Arctic Circle by Alex Hallatt

Bill Gates on Arctic Circle by Alex Hallatt

Bill Gates on Arctic Circle by Alex Hallatt

I know I didn’t suffer Vista much, but I know how he feels!

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The Google Chromebook Sells Out!

Google’s latest iteration of ChromeOS hardware has very impressively sold-out almost as soon as it went on sale.

The new hardware is attractive for a number of reasons: it’s thin, it’s light, it features a lot of the latest technology like Bluetooth 3.0, USB 3, and dual-antenna a/b/g/n wi-fi (and we know there’s a mobile-wireless version coming soon too).

The coolest feature though is that it does not run on an Intel processor, but rather the Samsung Exynos 5 – an ARM A-15 processor like the kind found in smartphones and tablets! The A-15 is the latest iteration of the ARM design; and the Exynos 5 is a powerful chip with minimal power consumption – so no fans and longer battery life on a thinner, lighter battery.

About 90% of what I do my computers is web-based, such as e-mail, news, blogging, and even working with documents and spreadsheets on Google Drive. So a Chromebook would fill just about all my requirements. The only thing I’d be scared to try is managing my photo & video library or touching up my photos. There’s certainly no reason why a Chromebook couldn’t handle that and software like Aviary proves it possible but I think it will be awhile before we see digiKam ported to a Chrome App and there’s a truly comparable option.

What I can’t wrap my head-around though is why?! I have nothing against ARM-based computers or living my life on-line. But what I don’t understand is why we need another platform? At this point Android is a viable option for a netbook operating system. Chrome (the browser at the heart of ChromeOS) even runs on Android. An Asus Transformer is basically a Netbook running Android. Any Android tablet matched up with a Bluetooth keyboard is basically a netbook.

Even Microsoft with the launch of their Surface tablet and it’s choice of keyboard covers has basically said the netbook market was killed by the tablet market!

I’ve said this before, and I’ll keep repeating it as long as I have to: WE DON’T NEED ANOTHER PLATFORM!

Apple offers developers the burden of iOS and OS X. Google offers the burden of Android and Chrome. Microsoft offers the burden of Windows (in it’s many iterations) and Windows 8 new paradigm and Windows RT (all of which multiplied by the burden of traditional libraries or newer .NET libraries). And then of course there’s the waffling RIM that burdens us with the old Blackberry and the promise of BB10; and a flurry of other platforms like Firefox OS, Sailfish, and Tizen.

It’s not surprising that RIM and Microsoft are having trouble attracting developers to their app stores – developers are all sick and tired having new platforms dropped on them like a ton of bricks and being told “if it doesn’t succeed it’s your fault because you didn’t write any killer apps for it!

So why didn’t Google put Android on this hardware and call it a Nexus NB (for netbook) or Nexus K (for keyboard) or Nexus RT (for Kiss-our-ass-Microsoft)?

As a Chromebook my only interest in purchasing one would be to wipe-out ChromeOS and install ARMedSlack. If it was running Android though I’d be perfectly happy to leave it as is!

Cross-posted on 2FatDads

Corporate Greed is the Worst Public Relations at Yellow Pages

You know those thick yellow books we all have at home, that are really useful for boosting up kids at the dining table when you run out of actual booster seats? Well, turns-out there was a time before tablets, smart phones, and the Internet when people actually marched their fingers through those books to find phone numbers of businesses! Really!!!

Yellow Media, the publisher of those books – the Yellow Pages as they were known, has run into some trouble lately. Much like RIM, who’s market roared past them while they were busy gloating about how great they were, Yellow Media has also suffered from ignoring their market and assuming the old model was the only model. Not to say they haven’t tried, sites like AutoTrader.ca was quite successful (which is why they were able to sell it when they needed cash) and RedFlagDeals.com is my go to site when comparison shopping.

But these web sites just don’t provide the revenue to keep their print business afloat – I doubt any web site could ever produce the financial results that a traditional publishing business had. It’s just too easy to publish on the Internet – any idiot can set up a Content Management System (CMS) and populate with stuff – business listings, forums, news, etc.. If they’re serious they can get their own domain. And if they’re really serious they can even host the service themselves!

The leaders and directors of Yellow Media missed this simple fact. They thought no one could assail they’re lofty position as sole provider of phone numbers to North Americans. They missed the obvious fact the people’s web browser home pages most point to Google or Bing with a convenient search bar at the top, where they can type in the name of a company; iPhone users can just ask Siri! Android users can just ask Google! (I’m sure Windows Phone users can do something similar too).

So what happens to you when the world rushes past your astute leadership and whacks you in the ass as it laps you? Well, if you’re a director of Yellow Media you give yourself a raise – a 26% raise! Because all the patting yourself on the back is hard work and deserves some recognition! And in case anyone (like my, in this blog, in this post) points out the obvious, well, you back yourself up by spending another $300,000 to produce a report that says “look, all these other companies gave their directors big raises!” Of course you ignore that fact that your shortlist of companies are among the most successful in their industries!

I don’t agree with the Occupy movement in any way, shape or form. But it’s hard to not have sympathy when you see stuff like this!

BTW, don’t use your iPad as a booster – even the new iPad with it’s added thickness won’t be sufficient!

Source: The Globe and Mail

Cross-posted on 2FatDads

Microsoft bids $44.6-billion for Yahoo

This morning’s announcement that Microsoft bids $44.6-billion for Yahoo is causing a lot of speculation.

For my part, I could care less about Yahoo’s or Microsoft’s web sites – I use Google almost exclusively since they’re way ahead of Yahoo or MSN/Live (and when I don’t use Google it’s because someone else is ahead of them which implies Yahoo or MSN/Live don’t even register).

But what does concern me is the effect a “war” between MSN/Live/Yahoo and Google could have on Google’s dedication to it’s cool stuff.

I’m not sure how the industry works, but something tells me nobody makes any money when I visit Yahoo.com or Google.com; or when I sign-up for an account and create a personalized homepage. My understanding is these companies make their money selling ads. But Microsoft also makes their money selling software, hardware, game consoles, etc. Basically, Microsoft has tons of cash sources it can use to undercut Google, who probably depends a lot more on advertising revenue.

What would Microsoft do if they “won” the war? Well, I doubt they would produce cool things like the iGoogle homepage, Google Reader, Google Alerts, etc. And I doubt they make public so many services that people can integrate into their web sites. And I predict a bunch of MS Office Product Managers stomping on the servers that host Google Docs & Spreadsheets (followed by an attempt to use MS Streets & Trips to locate Zoho’s head office and then an attempt to use MS Encarta to figure out why if Indians live in India isn’t India a reserve somewhere in the USA).

So sarcasm aside, I think a successful purchase of Yahoo by Microsoft would lead to the death of the Google we geeks love, because online ad prices will go down and Google will have less cash to fund their 20% projects.

UPDATE Feb 3, 2008: My interpretation of the Google’s blog post on this subject is they are coming to same conclusion as I am – although they clearly but the blame on Microsoft rather than the underlying mechanisms of a free market.