Google & Android–Open?

“Like most Linux-based mobile platforms, Android is not entirely open source. The core operating system consists of the GPL-licensed Linux kernel and an Apache-licensed middleware and userspace stack. Several key components at the higher levels of the platform—particularly the Android market and several other pieces of Google-branded software—are proprietary. Device makers that want to use include those components on their products have to commercially license the software from Google.”

I really like the comment below. It’s exactly the way I feel—“Open”, when touted by mega-corp Google is pure hogwash. It’s like Facebook telling me my data is secure.

Ryan Paul, Android’s ascent in China might not elevate Google (via David Chartier)

This sort of thing is what makes me so uneasy about trusting Google with anything. It’s the same story: Google is “open” with the products that don’t make them money and closed with those that do, using “open” as a marketing buzzword against Apple and hoping nobody notices how incredibly closed and secretive most of their products and operations really are.

iOS is far more “closed” than Android, but at least Apple doesn’t try to bullshit me about it. They put it right out there. “We control everything because we think it’s better that way. If you don’t like it, there’s the door.”

And since they’re honest with me, I trust them more.

Adobe Flash is NOT Open

Quote

“But at Opera we say that the future of the web is open web standards and Flash is not an open web standards technology.

Flash does have its purposes and will have its purposes, the same as [Microsoft’s] Silverlight and others, especially for dynamic content.

But flash as a video container makes very little sense for CPU, WiFi battery usage etcetera – you can cook an egg on [devices] once you start running Flash on them and there’s a reason for that.”

— Opera product analyst Phillip Grønvold, quoted on MacRumors

EeePC and the Lunacy of Windows

I’ve really been enjoying using and playing with my new EeePC. More than I thought I would, really.
But I’m fast coming to the conclusion that I’m not geeky enough to put up with Linux much longer. It’s really quirky and confusing for a non-techy type like myself. I mean, I had to go online to eeeuser.com, read the wiki and do some experiments before I could figure out how to simply format a SDHC card. That’s just too inconvenient for me.

I never thought I’d ever actually say this—but I want to install Windows XP on it. Which brings me to the “lunacy” part.

So I go online to Amazon.com figuring I could order it for a discount, not pay sales tax and get it here in a couple days with my Amazon Prime 2-day shipping benefit. But then I saw the price: $199.00 (okay, $191.49 with the exciting 4% discount…whoopee)! In order to do the install you must have the full version with SP2—OEM discs won’t work.

But that’s a price that’s extremely hard to stomach. That’s 50% of what I paid to buy the danged computer! It’s more than what I paid for my new Sam Hecht-designed 320GB portable USB Hard Drive from LaCie I just received today. It’s not quite double the cost of the much superior MacOS X Leopard.

As if I really needed any further evidence against the Evil Empire, this really makes it strike home just how much Micro$oft has been gouging the world with its overcharging for inferior product.

Sigh.

Introducing—The EeePC!

Last week, my friend Mike was talking about a really cheap, small new PC on the market that will run Windows. Sort of wanting to be able to play Empires in Arms but definitely not wanting to pollute my Mac with Windows, I thought I’d take a look.

Well, that turned out to be a problem…

The Asus EeePC is apparently the hottest selling piece of technology that company has ever made. Being a total Mac geek, I never really heard any of the buzz because I couldn’t be bothered. But after seeing it online on the NewEgg website, I spent practically the entire weekend reading reviews, watching podcasts and generally studying up on the device. I liked what I saw so much, that I ordered one and it came today; here are the unboxing photos. Note the 6-inch steel ruler in most shots for size comparison; this thing really is small and surprisingly sturdy and well-made.

Take note: this is the first non-Apple computer I’ve bought in over 25 years. I wish Apple had come out with a cheap, portable device like this rather than the beautiful if somewhat crippled and definitely pricey MacBook Air.

My research got me thinking about how this little, 2 pound, solid-state computer essentially has everything you need to get on the internet and do light work—for only a couple hundred bucks (my top-of-the-line model 4G cost $399.00). The research also got me really into the world of Google (especially Google Docs)—but that’s another story.

So far, this little guy pleases. It’s so handy and “forced perspective” speedy (it takes less than 30 seconds to boot up). However, I’m not yet convinced I could use it as my real mobile computer solution, especially since I value my Mac ease of use so highly. Time will tell—though I’m fast learning that Linux is not for the faint of heart. I’m sure I’ll have to switch it over to Win XP, which it supposedly handles quite well.

You’ll have to stay tuned to read more about my adventures with this little guy. I’ve already been reading up on how to make a bootable windows sytem on an SD card, and am even now downloading a disc image of —believe it or not—a MacOS X install for it!

New mobile blog: My Hiplog

While I was away in Japan, T-mobile finally came out with the Sidekick 3 phone—so I bought one. It’s pretty cool, and especially the flip-out screen revealing a luxuriously large keyboard. Since what I mostly do on the move is email, it made more sense than the Treo. I have to sell it on eBay now…

Anyway, one of the fun things I discovered after becoming a Sidekick user was a site that lets you post items instantly to a blog. You can attach pictures from the (fairly mediocre) camera on the phone and everything. So, I’ve added a link in the navigation called “dpk mobile journal” to give you easy access to it. If the mood strikes me, I post things “in the moment” from wherever I happen to be. Check it out sometime!