Economics of computing devices

I have been observing that as smartphones are becoming smarter, they are also becoming more expensive, there have been a segment that have also entered the market once fill by feature, or dumb phones, but they are almost designed to entice you upgrade to the more expensive and glamorious models.

At the same time, laptops, particularly ChromeBooks are now dropping below the price of the average smart phone. Add in the increasing use of pads, especially Android pads and you have to imagine that MicroSoft should be getting very worried.

Desktop computers, PC’s, are almost non-exsistent these days, traditional laptops are in decline and the base for an exclusive Microsoft Windows empire is crumbling before our eyes.

Aren’t we glad that Bill Gates is still the richest (published) man in the world.

And to put another nail in the bed Microsoft sleeps in, no one wants Windows 8.0 or 8.1! Why not just rename Windows 7 to Windows 9 and go on from there? Windows 8 market share stalls, XP at record low

My new Sony PRS-T1 eBook reader

As I was using my old Android pad mostly as a ebook reader, when it became obsolete, OS wise (about the day after I bought it) I went looking for a cheap/inexpensive ebook reader. I only real requirement was to be more or less open, and I had a handful of EPUB formatted ebooks already. The Nook’s were looking promising and then I stumbled upon this;

Sony_PRS-T1_2

The Sony PRS-T1 on sale, a bargain, and it does even more than I was expecting on the low end of the market. And it’s still android, should I decide to root it, but it’s works very well. Reads all my books, and manuals, browse the net (in grayscale) and I have it syncing up with my Mint Laptop using Calibre, and I’ve been piling in all the free ebooks I can find, great!

The rise of the Smart Watch

With all of the talk about the iWatch from Apple, and every other vendor plus Dog announcing a smart watch. I thought I’d jump in and examine an apparently Failed smart watch. The Sony Ericsson LIVE VIEW

Ericsson_liveView

Now this device was generally panned by the media, partly because it was breaking new ground, and partly is was clunky, or so said.

Now I, like others would not have invested in such technology, partly as I’m not that active with my phone (Android) but also because it wasn’t rated highly. However Amazon was selling them for 25£ and that isn’t even an impulse buy by current standards. So I ordered one, and I now have had it less than a day, and this is my impression. But I really will try to comment on the whole Smart Watch issues.

The NM800 is an earlier version Sony Smart Watch technology, so first efforts not withstanding this is quite a nice device. The screen, while small is still readable, and at a very wide angle due to a lensing effect on the crown. It whole device is plastic and very light, but bulky enough to make you want to wear it on your wrist, I’m using it on the included clip, for three reasons, the included strap is poor, second, I have a nice watch. You can use a standard pin strap on the plastic watch fitting, thirdly and this is important, you can’t charge it on the wrist bracket, but you can on the clip.

In use the Liveview linked up easily with my phone, an HTC Desire X, after downloading the Sony App from the Google Play store. but it took a bit of fiddling, and downloading of additional (free) plugins from the Play store to add more complete functionality. But now, SMS, Gmail, phone calls all get forwarded to the device. I can read SMS, and email on it, though I have yet to get Facebook to work. In reality, there is nothing wrong with this device.

Now for the issues, the device at maximum range has a disconnect, reconnect problems, but I have yet to upgrade the firmware, which supposedly fixes this problem. The real issues, and this is the crux of Smart Phones is purpose. Of what Purpose do you need a Smart Phone.

Due to the use of Bluetooth for communications, 30 Meters is the furthest you and can be parted from your phone, in fact 10 meters is a more likely range. This might then be useful to check your ‘status’ without taking the phone from your pocket, or in a meeting, jogging or driving. However in normal practice the need for a bigger screen, and control surfaces found on the ‘full’ phone will be required to complete many actions and then would require you to pull out the phone anyway.

The next issue, as with Smart Phones, is power, and while I have not discharged the battery for the first time, the projected battery life for this device is 8 hours, about the same as an average phone. Which, by the way, decreases the battery life of the phone, requiring Bluetooth to be active on the phone all the time.

So the conclusion, if there is one, is this; they work but have limited usefulness and are cute as hell, and a cool geek gadget.

The Nokia N900 To HTC Desire X

Well The end of my Nokia N900 did not come with a bang, but a bonus, a Christmas bonus gift card from my current employer. And and even though the N900 was still pulling it’s weight, it wasn’t current technology. The choosen replacement is not a top-of-the-line, it was priced to matched the value of the gift card and the mininum hardware specs I applied to make it useful. Hence the HTC Desire X, a relative new dual core Snapdragon S4 with version 4.0.4 Android.

HTC_Desire_X

And it is in White, Another irony as my laptop went from Apple MacBook white to Clevo Black, now my phone from Black to White.

So far I’m happy with the choice, but I’ve only had it a few days, and while I think it’s already a better phone than the N900, it will never replace the the N900 as a computer.

Oh, and one other thing, it doesn’t look like an iPhone.

UPDATE: I just got the Android 4.1.1 upgrade, Thanks HTC

The end is near, for my Nokia N900

No, the USB connector is not loose, in fact everything is working fine. Well maybe the battery runs down and the tiny magnet on the prop went missing (fixed), It was the dissapearance of the Nokia catalog from the apt repository that has signaled the closing of the timeline of this product. Not of my choosing as the selections of Android, IOS, and others is just getting interesting. Some new and amazing mobile phone are on the verge of release there is almost no time to read about one then another announces something better.

In any case the Nokia N900, is very long in the tooth, being 3 years old this month. Still, I can sill do things with it that are not duplicated on any other phone, when was the last time you were controlling your (IR) Television, of opening an X-Term? Those days are long gone, and maybe not to be missed either, except by some of us geeks.

Now to choose…..

Android WEP/WPA useless login features

I have come to the conclusion that if Android encounters a WiFi point that does not have WEP/WPA security, but instead, uses some corney web based HTML login code or password, Android goes bonkers.

Because Android is a very connected OS, the first thing that it tries to do on receipt of an IP address, it attempts to connect to Google services, and fails because it’s not fully on the Interet until it submits the correct HTML code. So the Android framework, that almost all Android apps depends on, Fails! And because the framework fails, the various browsers fail, and you can’t get to the login page to enter the unlock code to the portal, because you have no working browsers.

A classic “Catch 22″ issue. An issue that my N900 does not have

Android Sucks!
.

Froyo for the CnM Touchpad II

I took the plunge and re-imaged my Cnm Touchpad II up to Froyo (Android 2.2.1) , And after the second try, it installed, after sweating bullets. And not only is it pretty, it’s faster, and I (after some efforts) now have the Android market.

Mind you the CnM Touchpad II is NOT the intended target for this upgrade, and I lost the use of the internal microSD card, and the fullsized USB connector to the builtin software, but I restored most of the functionality with additional downloads from the Store.

I actually like the upgrade so much I will host it here: apad710_froyo_v3.img

As you can tell this image is for a APad 710 which is really an exact copy of the CnM Touchpad II, however this image is ‘hacked’ and ‘rooted’ and ready to roll.

If you Love/Hate Nokia read this


Will the Real Stephen Elop, Please Stand Up?

I couldn’t on my best day, speak to this better than this article.

If anything it should speak to any CEO/CFO/CTO that arrogantly enters a new company environment with preconceived notions of what strategy should be applied to their new positions. So this article isn’t just about Nokia, it’s about ignorance of facts.

Kindle as the fire of Fahrenheit 451

In the science fiction book Fahrenheit 451 I often wondered what the catalyst was. In the current age, that has become apparent, control, with government leaders demanding ‘controls’ over the Internet, and most other communications media the books presented in the Novel are information. However, there is another aspect of books which in this age of electronic books (eBook) presents itself as a missing element in control.

While experimenting with the Kindle on Android I found that the Android Pad I was using, while reading a Kindle book was in constant communication with Amazon Books. Almost every page turn was being recorded and sent to Amazon, even the location of where I was reading them was a requirement during the reading of the eBook.

I discovered that if you turn off location features in your pad, or Android Phone, the kindle software will prevent you from reading a downloaded book. If you can not communicate with Amazon via WiFI or other wireless channel, you can’t open your books, even if they were previously downloaded.

Sometime back Amazon became embroiled in a controversy over publishing rights to a book, and directly removed it from peoples ebook readers, without the consent of the user.

Amazon/Kindle does not allow the loaning of books to others, even if they have been paid for. The owner just doesn’t have that right anymore.

All of these elements add up to the same thing, printed books are ‘out of control’ they can be read by anyone, loaned to anyone, and their content is not subject to change once printed. These are things that Amazon eBooks can do. Change content, disappear, track readers, prevent distribution and dissemination of content.

Not to get too scary, but fundamentally the loss of printed books marks a point where knowledge has peaked, and the end of freedom of thought. No longer will information be available freely. The internet will be throttled, bottled, canned and banned to suit the requirements of the controlling society. Books will be available, eBooks, with controlled revisable content, restricted to cleared and sanctioned readers from known locations. And every word will be monitored as it is read.

The CnM Touchpad II – as a practical Pad

In my previous posting, I mentioned all the things this pad can’t or rather doesn’t do. To make this all balanced, I will put what it can do, into perspective.

For Instance, at a cost approximately the same as a Amazon Kindle You still get The Kindle eBook market.
… but then you get;

You can even play Games on it, who would have thought. And it has not added a single pence to my credit card. But I still don’t have the the ‘Google Market’ even though the calendar, contacts and Gmail still sync up with Google.

New Toy – CnM Touchpad II

Ok, lets name all the things this new Android pad isn’t

  • No Camera’s either front nor back,
    First almost ALL pads have terrible cameras, making them almost useless, and the Facetime crowd is a passing fad, besides I have video Skype on my Nokia N900
  • No 3G wireless internet
    It does support 3G Dongles, which can be purchased anywhere, and 3G roaming is super expensive
  • No Android 2.3 (yet) or 3.0 (never)
    There are hacker versions of Android 2.2, and 2.3 however Android 2.1 still constitutes 27% of the market.
  • No iOS Eco-System or Market
    Thank God, no Apple in my pocket, or looking over my shoulder
  • No Android Market (almost)
    It’s loaded, and sees the market, just can’t download and apps
  • No GPS
    I have GPS on my fore mentioned Phone (another battery killer) it does have Google Maps

What it does have is;

  • A full sized USB2 connector that can take 3G Dongles, Flash Dives and keyboards
  • HDMI output to 720P
  • A Mini-USB connector to host
  • A TF-SD slot to 16GB
  • 3.5 mm audio connector
  • built in trackball
  • A pile of pre-loaded, not installed apps.

And it cost less than 150.00€

Sync Me Up



How do you keep your connected devices connected?
How many different services do you depend on to keep your ‘stuff’ safe and available from anywhere?
Could you imagine a better way?
I can, and I almost have it working with my ‘stuff’,
now I’m just working on a way to make it easy for everyone else to do the same.

MeeGo is now Dead, as a Mobile OS.

This article MeeGo will not displace Symbian as enterprise OS has now demonstrated that Meego is no longer supported by Nokia, and it will be left to die with Maemo as a ‘Non-Runner’ in the Mobile-OS arena. It also indicates that Nokia Management has gone down the MicroSoft path to complete irrelevance in the Mobile Phone market. It’s no wonder the Maemo/Meego managers and developers at Nokia are leaving. Most are heading to the surviving Mobile OS’s Android, Web-OS, iOS and Blackberry.

NOTE: and the BS continues, with Intel killing off MeeGo for Tizen to further delay or destroy Open Source for mobile devices.