Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tongue in cheek: Are we running out of gadgets to invent? This is a real turn-off.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Is some mobile platform about to get the boot? Mozilla’s “Boot to Gecko” aims to make the web the OS of the future.

B2G webpages >>

MobileMag Story >>

It’s best to give Mozilla the respect they deserve. They took on Microsoft to change the browser biz. And now on to new things.

So, Mozilla is working on a web-based mobile platform similar in concept to Google’s Chrome OS. The general idea is to center the user experience around the browser with a strong reliance upon cloud-based services.

Even Mozilla acknowledges that the goals of the Boot to Gecko, or B2G, project are rather, well, cloudy. But Mozilla believes that there could be B2G handsets on the market already during 2012.

B2G will be coming up against some interesting competition, not so much in the other boot to browser concepts that are popping up, but in established platforms that appear to be evolving in the same direction. iOS, for example, has developed very strong ties to the web for direct updates, storage and backup, and Apple is one of the biggest supporters of HTML5 development within W3C.

Anyway, best of luck to Mozilla. The smartphone market could use a good kick to move things forward a bit. Will this be the real WebOS? Can Mozilla pull a Firefox out of the hat?

Monday, November 14, 2011

The new tiny little “nano SIM” card. Is it still infinitely too large?

STORY via GigaOM >>

G&D Press Release >>

Is this the last SIM card you might ever own?

With talk of secure virtual SIM cards as network identifiers, it would be fair to wonder how much life the physical SIM has left. I would have thought the micro SIM card which Apple a house-hold name would have been a possible last iteration. But now we have the “nano SIM” from Giesecke & Devrient. This is yet to be standardized, and apparently G&D is working to push this via ETSI’s specification-making machine.

Sure, it’s smaller and could lead to some interesting form factor devices and will likely support more machine-to-machine communication, but isn’t it time to move beyond the SIM card and numbers as identifiers? It’s so 20th century.

It’s time to make a big moves in the growing identity crisis.

A huge development? G&D's Nano SIM measures
12mm x 9mm vs Micro SIM’ is 15mm x 12mm.

Microsoft’s smartphone market share sizzles to a record low. Ballmer says “We must be doing something right.”

Back in October I predicted that Microsoft’s Windows Phone would be the third man of the smartphone platforms market. But not with this attitude.

It’s difficult to say exactly what Microsoft’s market share is of the smartphone platform market. And Microsoft ain’t talking. But such a sound of silence means only one thing: the numbers are down and they are very bad. Pitiful probably. A bit of reverse engineering, looking at Android, iPhone, BlackBerry, and Symbian numbers, puts Windows Phone Q3 share at less than 1% of smartphones shipped during Q3 and probably closer to 0.5%. So with numbers like that you’d think Microsoft would be wearing the attitude of a challenger.

Nope. So, here we have Ballmer providing some indirect guidance to Google on everything they’ve done wrong on their way to reach more than 50% market share.

In other news, Michael Dell provides some excellent advice to Apple’s CEO on what to do with the company: “What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders.” (October 1997.)

Go get ’em guys.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Is four the new two? Mobile quad core arrives right on time. Two, we hardly knew ya.


Putting some hot new dual-core chipset in that new smartphone you’re designing? Sorry to tell you this, but it looks like dual is like so five minutes ago.

It seems like it wasn’t more than a year ago when dual-core processors in handsets were the absolute cutting edge. A speed war was brewing among smartphone vendors. There was chest pounding of specs: “1 GHz dual-core.” But there wasn’t much talk of actual benefits. But just as the megapixel arms race morphed into a speed race, the core battle is now upon us.

The other day, NVIDIA officially announced its Tegra 3, a quad-core mobile processor with five cores! The Tegra 3 is based on ARM’s Cortex A9 CPU with each single core running up to 1.4 GHz, supports full HD 1080p video playback and 7.1 surround sound audio, and it runs a 12-core GeForce GPU for what NVIDIA says will lead to three times the video performance. When you start talking a dozen cores, you’re bound to get some early adopter interest.

Pay for four cores, get the fifth for free!
An interesting development with the Tegra 3 is the introduction of what NVIDIA calls the “Companion Core,” a fifth lower-power and slower (500 MHz) core to provide CPU support to for less-intensive tasks such as stand-by. This is a clever way to drive battery efficiency. In face, NVIDIA is claiming the Tegra 3 supports up to 12 hours ov video playback on the device, a 60% increase in battery performance over the Tegra 2.

We’ll soon be seeing some intense video, audio, and gaming experiences on tablets and smartphones thanks to chips like this.

So, is it a dual to the finish? And soon a finish to the dual?

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Republic Wireless. Is WiFi the new core?

via PC WORLD >>

Republic Wireless >>

A few years back, UMA was the talk of the town. But like all hyped technology, the fizzle comes before gradual takeoff. Is some form of UMA on the verge?

This interesting story is spreading across the blogosphere: A new U.S. MVNO called Republic Wireless has popped up with an all-you-can-eat voice/text/data deal for $19 per month.

Republic Wireless will rely on “Hybrid Calling” to bring down the costs, using WiFi for core connectivity with Sprint’s CDMA network for complementary access. (So, this is not the 3GPP standardized version of UMA for roaming between GSM and WiFi.)

Users will need to buy a customized Android handset from Republic. There’s not much in the way of detail yet, but launch is on November 8th.

One of my favorite wireless networks for voice of my choosing and data is iPass. If will be interesting to see is service providers like Republic Wireless provide a service too good to pass up.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

HP ARMs servers. How worried should Intel, AMD be?

via PCWORLD >>


ARM processors in HP servers? Pretty cool. Literally.

It’s interesting to see that ARM-based chips aren’t just being tested in laptops and tablets but also in servers. In general, they’re more energy efficient and run cooler than processors from vendors Intel and AMD, so there could be consider savings in energy and space.

So, here’s news of HP testing ARM-based processors in servers. These test machines will be based on what HP calls the “Redstone” platform, rack-mounted hardware with 72 small server boards, each with four 1.4GHz ARM Cortex-A9 design-based processors made by Calxeda. The server will be running a 32-bit version of Linux.

Glenn Keels, director of marketing for HP’s Hyperscale Business Unit: “We want to get the technology out there so that people can start testing their applications for suitability.”

More “Let’s talk numbers.” Finland to require operators to include broadband speeds customer contracts.

STORY via Cellular News >>

A few weeks back I wrote about some attempts by lawmakers in the U.S. to come up with some solid definitions of mobile broadband such as 4G. Unfortunately, operators around the globe have been throwing “4Gs” and “3Gs” around as meaningless marketing terms without the real bandwidth to back them up.

So, I’m happy to see more signals in the “Let’s talk numbers” trend.

Ficora, Finland’s telecommunications regulatory agency, issued more detailed instructions to operators about including accurate information about the bandwidth of mobile as well as land-line broadband. As of the beginning of 2011, Finnish operator were required to list bandwidth ranges, but it seems going forwards, even more realistic numbers have to be provided, and fewer theoretical figures.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Is Kinect, the future of business? The future of research. The future of TV? The future of WOW?

via Microsoft’s Blog >>

There hasn’t been very much WOW around these days. Perhaps Siri, but we’ve really seen that before in various forms. Look at the smartphone market and it’s a game of follow the leader in which each vendor tries to create a more rectangular, blacker, touchscreen device. Nope. Tech vendors talk about the pursuit of WOW. And they bring us more of the same.

Oh, other than this: Microsoft’s Kinect. If senses, it listens, it looks, it responds. And it’s only one year old.

But even at that young age, Microsoft sees that Kinect is ready to grow in all directions. With a new commercial SDK for Windows, Kinect might soon be sitting at the adults’ table: it could be a solid prototyping tool, an involved teaching aid, an enabler of the immobile, and the future of the future living room.

Get Kinected.