Boot up: Schmidt's memory, Windroid?, Scoble off Glass, and more

Boot up: Schmidt's memory, Windroid?, Scoble off Glass, and more

Plus what the Surface really does, Mac Pro reviewed, creating New York flood maps, IAPs’ takeover, and more

A burst of 9 links for you to chew over, as picked by the Technology team

Google’s Eric Schmidt suffers from memory loss problems … >> Google+

Jack Schofield noted something about Eric Schmidt’s Bloomberg TV appearance:

According to a weird story at +VentureBeat it’s his fault that Google missed out on social networking. Unfortunately the writer neglects to mention that Google launched its own social network, Orkut, in 2004, at almost exactly the same time as Facebook. (Admittedly it was accused of knocking off somebody else’s code, but this is Google.

What Jack didn’t recall was that Google also bought the Twitter-like Jaiku at about the same time as Twitter was growing, when the two were roughly the same size and on the same growth curve. So Google didn’t overlook social at all. It fumbled it.


Windroid: What if Microsoft forked Android? >> VentureBeat

Chester Ng of SweetLabs:

Windroid could still support Windows Phone apps in parallel, enabling Microsoft to piggyback the Android app ecosystem while building out its own.

A Windroid phone could have exclusive (or, at least the best) integration of Word, Excel, Powerpoint for productivity, Skype for communications, Xbox for entertainment, Nook for reading, Bing for search and navigation, IE for browsing, and so forth. Microsoft is the one company that can replace nearly all of Google’s services one-for-one with a compelling alternative.

A Windroid phone could be offered at a lower cost than traditional Android to device makers and consumers if Microsoft waived the $5-10 per-unit patent royalty it currently collects. Waiving that royalty would be a boon for device makers.

Makes a lot of sense.


Surface Pro 2: Day… what day is it now? >> Technovia

Ian Betteridge:

Thinking of Surface Pro 2 as a tablet is a category error. The Surface Pro 2 just isn’t a tablet. It just looks a bit like one – and, importantly, I’d make the mistake of listening to its proponents, who demand it should be treated like one.

To give a concrete example: All the talk about Surface Pro 2 as a tablet had led me into the category error of wanting to use apps for everything, when perfectly good web apps exist and are fully-supported by Internet Explorer.

Take Feedly or Pocket as examples. I was looking for a decent Pocket client (hint: there isn’t one) when I could use the web site. This reflects the way I would work on my Mac, but is very different to the way I’d work on the iPad, where web apps tend to be a last resort.

Or take my annoyance at how horrible the Surface Pro is to use in portrait mode. The answer was simple: Stop using it in portrait mode. Forget, in fact, that portrait even exists as an option.

He says it’s ” a good laptop which can sometimes be used as a tablet-like device, rather than a tablet which makes much of what a laptop does redundant.”

(In a previous article, he suggested that the 64GB model really doesn’t have enough storage.)


Scoble says Google Glass is doomed >> Google+

Robert Scoble (yes, really) has a thoughtful piece about why 2014 might not be Glass’s year, but future ones could be:

I think I figured this one out after talking to hundreds of people. Most are disappointed in themselves and their lack of ability to put their phones down. They fear that if they were to go with Glass they would just totally lose themselves to their mobile addictions. They are right to be scared of that. If Glass actually worked the way I’m dreaming of I would be even more addicted to our online world than I am today. People are scared of losing their humanness.


It’s not just Google: the many feuds of Rap Genius >> Washington Post

Google is just the latest in a long list of people, companies or other entities who have had beefs with the lyrics site. The company and its outspoken founders have a habit of rubbing people the wrong way. Here are just a few of the many examples.

Rap Genius doesn’t come out smelling of roses, to be honest.


The Mac Pro Review (Late 2013) >> AnandTech

Anand Lal Shimpi:

The last time I did a Mac Pro vs. OEM PC comparison, Apple came out quite competitive on pricing although a DIY system wins by a huge margin. The same is true for the new Mac Pro. I poked around Dell, HP and Lenovo websites looking for comparable systems. It seems like Ivy Bridge EP systems are still a bit rare, with Dell not offering any. Both HP and Lenovo offered fairly comparable systems.

Guess which was cheapest. Note: contains benchmarks.


How we made the 3D New York City flood map >> ProPublica

Jeff Larson and Al Shaw:

we wanted to create a visualization that would show readers the impact Sandy had, how much impact a potential flood could have, and how the measures laid out in Bloomberg’s plan, if implemented, might protect the city.

Lovely maps. Of course London had flood maps produced by the team at UCL years ago…


In-app purchases take over app revenues >> eMarketer

Leaving aside ad revenues earned by app developers and focusing only on revenues to app stores, Distimo found that 98% of Google Play store revenues and 92% of Apple App Store revenues in November 2013 came from free-to-download apps that offered in-app items for purchase. That compared with 89% and 77%, respectively, just 11 months earlier.

What’s the business model for apps going to be a year, and five years, from now?


Sony, Panasonic to end OLED TV plans >> Digitimes

Sony and Panasonic were originally hoping to drive down costs of OLED TV panels in order to compete in the market against Korea makers. However, until the end of 2013 the Japan makers have yet to resolve the bottlenecks and therefore will not be able to mass produce the technology in the near future.

The makers could produce a limited amount of panels but they would be priced high. Additionally, as Ultra HD TV panel pricing continues to drop and as more Ultra HD content is being produced, the makers believe that cooperating on Ultra HD TV production will bring in better business opportunities in 2014.

A 55in OLED TV currently is priced around US$8,000 while an Ultra HD TV of the same size is around US$3,000.

Huge price difference. (Who buys 55in TVs?)


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