Inside the mind of Eric Schmidt | Alan Rusbridger | Technology | guardian.co.uk: "Schmidt on the power of connectivity - I would argue that Google and the internet enable people to move up the supply chain. So people, instead of doing rote work, can do more creative work. More creative work requires more jobs, more fees, and so forth. Agriculture is getting mechanised, which has been true for hundreds of years; people are moving to cities. Cities are more productive than rural farming anyway; they are more connected. Creativity will drive innovation, innovation will drive new businesses, new jobs, and so forth. That's how economics works. That is the story of the British industrial revolution. If governments stay out of the way and allow this connectivity to occur, the core human creativity, this passion for making the world a better place, takes over."
The $12 Gongkai Phone « bunnie's blog: "Recently, I paid $12 at Mingtong Digital Mall for a complete phone, featuring quad-band GSM, Bluetooth, MP3 playback, and an OLED display plus keypad for the UI. Simple, but functional; nothing compared to a smartphone, but useful if you’re going out and worried about getting your primary phone wet or stolen. . . ." (read more at link)
Google earnings: Google overcome Motorola losses - chicagotribune.com: ""If you look at most companies they never do anything different, and eventually they run into problems for that reason," said the 40-year-old Page, who co-founded Google in 1998 with Sergey Brin. He said the new lineup of yet-to-be-released Motorola devices would offer a variety of improvements over current smartphones, with features such as longer battery life and better resistance to shattering or damage from spilled drinks. For now however, the Motorola business continues to be a drag on Google's consolidated results, said Gillis of BGC Partners. Revenue at the Motorola business, which Google acquired for $12.5 billion in May 2012, declined to $1.02 billion in the first three months of the year, from $1.51 billion in the fourth quarter. The Motorola business posted an operating loss of $271 million in the first quarter."
Internet infrastructure is learning from the spammers and other cyber attacks--
Spam war caused failure at critical internet exchange center | The Verge: "The good news is that the web is built on redundancy, so the extra terabit-per-second of bandwidth could be spread across the network without any catastrophic failures, but the wake-up call for telecoms is real. There's never been a DDoS attack against an internet exchange before, and exchanges aren't set up to protect against them. LINX is run as a non-profit collective of ISPs, a kind of no-man's-land between providers, so it doesn't have the resources of multi-national telecom to back it up. And before today, their internal IPs were open to traffic from outside the network, leaving them vulnerable to DDoS attack."
The inexorable rise of WhatsApp | MHP Communications: " . . . WhatsApp is, according to Ben Evans and many others, the biggest social network you’ve never heard of. It’s a phenomenon – so much so that Facebook tried (and failed) to buy it in late 2012.
For the uninitiated, WhatsApp is an app that allows you to send free messages (text, images, audio and video) to anyone for free. It does for SMS and MMS messages what Skype did for voice calls. Unlike BBM, iMessage and others, it’s no walled garden. It works across networks and across Blackberry, Windows Phone, iOS, Android, Symbian and others.
Its growth has been nothing short of spectacular. According to Onavo Insights, over a third of UK iPhone owners have it on their device. In Spain, that number is a staggering 97%. . . ."
AT&T unveils new insanely expensive shared data plans - SlashGear: " . . . In the past, the biggest plan you could opt for had 20 GB of data to share between devices and users. AT&T has unveiled plans with even more data, with one offering more than twice as much. The new AT&Tdata plans offer allotments of 30 GB, 40 GB, and 50 GB. As you can imagine, these shared data plans are incredibly expensive. The 30 GB plan will cost you $300 per month. The 40 GB plan will set you back $400 per month, and the 50 GB option will cost you $500 per month. These incredibly expensive data plans do include unlimited talk and text messaging. On top of those whopping monthly charges for the giant chunks of data, you will also have to pony up additional monthly charges for each device you add to the plan . . ."
Life after Android for Samsung means Tizen and probably a forked Android OS--
With Galaxy S4, Samsung prepares for life after Android | Mobile - CNET News: " . . . "We wanted to talk about the Samsung experience," Ryan Bidan, director of marketing for Samsung Telecommunications America and the main speaker during the launch festivities, told CNET on sidelines of the launch. "While Android is important, in the context of this conversation, we didn't feel it was relevant." Indeed, Samsung is attempting to steer the conversation away from Android and toward its own brand. . . . The first Tizen phones will appear later this year, and carriers such as Japan's NTT Docomo and France's Orange have committed to selling the devices. In the U.S., Sprint Nextel is part of the trade group supporting Tizen, but has yet to commit to selling the phone. Samsung, meanwhile, is putting a lot of weight behind the phone, with one executive putting it in the same stratosphere as the Galaxy S4 and the next Galaxy Note as flagship devices for the year. NTT Docomo and Orange have already said they consider Tizen to be a platform for higher end devices. Samsung has yet to prove it can be a software company, despite shifting its focus to that area last year and hiring tons of software engineers. But with Tizen, the company has a burgeoning operating system with growing support from carriers and other vendors. When paired with Samsung's marketing heft, that makes for a powerful combination. . . . " (read more at link above)
Tizen--another smartphone OS--means more fragmentation in the smartphone OS market:
Is Tizen an Android killer in Asia?: " . . . Tizen, the pliable OS. Samsung and Intel may be spearheading its development, but they've been joined by a conglomeration of Asian telecoms, including Huawei, KT Corporation, NTT Docomo, and SK Telecom. These firms have their thumbs to the wind – and their noses to profit – and it's leading them away from Google. Tizen --due to ship on Samsung devices later this year -- will retain Android's more desirable features, like the low price tag and the cross-compatibility between markets, but it will also leave room for regional adaptation, and allow for synergy with a wide range of content providers. Its similarity to Android means that applications will port easily. With Samsung's size, the company shouldn't have much difficulty convincing developers to make that happen. Despite Tizen's clear advantages overseas, analysts in the US tend to portray it as a response to Google's purchase of Motorola Mobility. The theory goes that, with talk of a Google X phone, and speculation that new releases of Android will be strategically timed, manufacturers are worried about the platform's neutrality. This may be true, but there's a more immediate reason for Google's clients to look for an (at least partial) exit: Android is hurting their bottom line, in the international markets that happen to be growing the fastest. . . ."
Need a good notebook--with a ton of cloud storage? Chromebook Pixel may be your answer--
Google to ship LTE Chromebook Pixel by April 8; here’s the LTE service pricing — Tech News and Analysis: " . . . The $150 premium for the LTE model also includes a small bit of LTE service: 100 MB each month for two years. After that, it will cost an additional amount for mobile broadband service on Verizon’s LTE network. I spoke with a Google representative a few weeks back to verify this no-contract plan pricing for the Chromebook Pixel:
$9.99 = an unlimited day pass
$20 = 1 GB good for one month
$35 = 3 GB good for one month
$50 = 5 GB good for one month
Given that the LTE model can still use any Wi-Fi hotspot, including one created by a smartphone, having these pay-as-you-go plans are a reasonable way to ensure connectivity in a pinch on the Pixel. Even better: I was told that the Pixel can also be added to an existing Verizon Share Everything plan for $10 per month. . . ." read more at link above
If you have good internet at home (and a good computer/tablet), and do not travel, you really don't need a smartphone--
My Dumb Phone Experiment: Phase Two | MIT Technology Review: ". . . It’s bothersome to me that even in shedding my iPhone, connectivity seems downright inescapable. It is as though even the lowest of low-end phones see Facebook, Twitter, and email connectivity as their birthright. If this phone proves to be a distraction, I don’t know what I’ll do – I may begin to shop around at Verizon or T-Mobile stores, to see if they have anything “dumber” to offer. I may turn to eBay for vintage models, if any are still supported. I may beg Fred Stutzman, the maker of Freedom, the Internet-disabling app, to enter into negotiations with Apple to make his app available on their devices . . ."
China's government has it all wrong--android is not a problem--after all it empowers Chinese manufacturers to compete in the global marketplace--and Google gets nothing! When Success is Failure--Google gives away Android--and now China users have android smartphones with Baidu pre-loaded--
Google’s Android Failure in China is Another Setback for the Search Company in the World’s Largest Internet Market | MIT Technology Review: "But what’s often overlooked is how little Google itself is benefiting from Android’s growth in China. Most Android devices sold in China have been stripped of Google’s advertising-supported apps and services, as well as its Google Play store for third-party apps and music, books, and video. That means the devices are missing the two main ways by which the U.S. Web giant brings in revenue from the free Android operating system. The CEO of Baidu, the desktop Web search leader in China, said this year that 80 percent of Android-branded phones come with Baidu’s search service, rather than Google’s, loaded on the device."