Category: Google

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YouTube keynote at CES 2012

Posted by Charbax – January 15, 2012

YouTube had a huge keynote by YouTube Content Partnerships manager Robert Kyncl at CES 2012, you can see it in its entirety here. The talk is about the amazing growth of YouTube, web video is about to represent 90% of all Internet bandwidth. YouTube works to monetize more and more of the web video content. I'd like them to overlay affiliated one-click purchases and price comparisons of the products video-blogged. I believe web video is a huge deal, just as it'll consume 90% of the web's bandwidth, it will also generate upwards 90% of the web's and Google's revenue, profit, learning, information, attention and time spent.

In the following clip, Stan Lee, the creator of the CSI TV show franchise, talks about user generated content on YouTube.

ARM Powered Google TV launching at CES 2012!

Posted by Charbax – January 6, 2012

I've been posting over 20 blog posts about the ARM Powered Google TV over the past year and a half, and now it's finally going to be shown for the first time on several ARM Processors at CES 2012! ARM is I think the key to make Google TV seriously revolutionary and a huge worldwide success, revolutionizing TV, the media people spend 5 hours per day watching in average! Look forward to my up to 100 videos coming up next week from CES as I plan to film the top ARM Powered devices to be shown there.

The ARM Processors to be unveiled to support "The New Google TV Experience with Full Live TV Integration" are:

- Marvell 1500 (which I think I might have covered a few months ago nicknamed Project Berlin shown in a Zinwell prototype)
- Mediatek shows an ARM Processor for Google TV
- LG L9 is probably an ARM Cortex-A9 optimized for Google TV

TV makers to show new ARM Powered Google TV boxes at CES 2012 include:
- LG
- Sony
- Vizio

Might not yet be showing Google TV but probably are preparing to launch Google TV a few months later:
- Samsung
- Panasonic
- I expect Philips to replace their Set-top-box functionality with Google TV
- Sharp
- Toshiba

These ARM Powered Google TV boxes thus have the full Live TV integration mode supported. That means the ARM Processors are optimized to playback 1080p in 60fps, evt play 2 1080p video streams at the same time (picture in picture stuff), they support HDMI input and output at the same time, rendering overlay graphics on top of the 1080p video stream, controlling an IR blaster. I expect they also support all video codecs up to 1080p at full bitrates, I expect 1080p USB webcams are supported for HD video conferencing. USB host ports are supported to connect USB NTFS/EXT/FAT32 hard drives and USB sticks. Full Chrome browser web browsing on top of Android with Flash is for sure supported.

That means the ARM Processors used in Set-top-boxes such as Samsung Hummingbird, AmLogic ARM Cortex-A9 Single-core, ZiiLabs, Rockchip RK2918, VIA ARM9, probably those didn't include the "Full Live TV Integration" support. My guess is some of those may also be working on customizing some ARM Processors to also support the Live TV HDMI pass-through features, while others I think may be waiting to support Google TV without Live TV pass-through. Possibly that those other ARM platforms need to wait for Google to open source this new Google TV source code before they can try to use the basic Google TV functionalities without Live TV pass-through. Perhaps Google will announce a Basic Google TV version to use on basic ARM Processors that aren't providing the pass-through stuff.

For people who don't use Cable, Satellite, DVB-T/C/S, for TV, there is no need for the HDMI input features of Google TV. We still want to have a more basic version of Google TV that offers every other feature and may provide it on cheaper hardware.

We're talking a revolution in YouTube, a revolution in video-on-demand, a revolution in Democracy. Why and how? Simply because things are going to change and improve much faster as more and more people watch web video content directly on the TV in a leanback experience, and don't watch the content in small embedded players on a laptop or desktop computer. Things change as more and more people will watch web video content instead of regular TV channels when in the living room. Things change when more and more people watch more political videos through the web, such as watching official campaign videos explaining policies instead of only the short sound-bytes on news channels leading up to important elections.

The most important factor that will make ARM Powered Google TV a success is the price. Marvell CEO said in his keynote at ARM TechCon 2010 that it only costs $25 to add this type of Internet connected Set-top-box functionality into a HDTV, and that it thus only makes sense that nearly all new HDTVs will quite simply integrate this right inside of them. It will be expected by consumers buying a new HDTV, that Google TV functionality will always be included for free and that it does not increase the price. I think all HDTVs will include an Ethernet port, some might include WiFi or just support it using any WiFi dongle on one of its several USB host ports on the side. As Eric Schmidt has said, by the middle of 2012, expect that most new HDTVs will include Google TV functionality for free. Expect ARM Powered Google TV set-top-boxes for $99 with Live TV integration and $49 without Live TV integration (no HDMI input, no IR blaster).


Google Display Advertising, status of Truview, ad exchange networking, youtube monetization

Posted by Charbax – December 10, 2011

Google's display advertising business is growing very fast. On YouTube they are implementing TruView technology that allows only good ads to be displayed to the right target audience, and more.

Marissa Mayer at LeWeb 2011

Posted by Charbax – December 8, 2011

She didn't want to let me interview her, but I recorded a bit from her discussion on stage with the Apple fanboy MG Siegler. You can watch the whole video on the official LeWeb Youtube channel here:

Google Analytics Interview: Bringing accountability to Social Media

Posted by Charbax – December 8, 2011

Google is launching this new tool to measure the value of social media. Read more about it here:

Android 4.0.1 Ice Cream Sandwich source code released, how soon on every SoC?

Posted by Charbax – November 15, 2011

Wow, Google just released the source code for Ice Cream Sandwich in this Google Groups post.

Expect all Gingerbread-capable devices be able to upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich rapidly. The question is only how soon each ARM SoC can have it fully hardware accelerated? Who is doing that work of doing all the hardware optimizations? Who is eventually disabling or tuning down certain hardware accelerated advanced user interface features in the software if that hardware is not powerful enough or of lower performance?

As of course one can expect all the latest high-end Dual-Core ARM Cortex-A9 processors to support this soon, including all devices on the TI OMAP4, Samsung Exynos 4210, Qualcomm MSM8260/8660, Nvidia Tegra2 and Tegra3, St-Ericsson U8500/U9500 and more. Imagine how awesome it is going to be to see firmware updates upgrading all Tablets and Smartphones using following cheap SoCs to Ice Cream Sandwich:
- TI OMAP3630/3530/3430 ARM Cortex-A8
- Samsung Hummingbird ARM Cortex-A8
- Freescale i.MX51/53 ARM Cortex-A8
- Marvell PXA618 Single Core
- Qualcomm 8255/8255T Single Core up to 1.5Ghz
- Rockchip RK2918 ARM Cortex-A8 1.2Ghz
- Telechips 8803 ARM Cortex-A8 1.2Ghz
- AmLogic 8726 ARM Cortex-A9 Single Core 800Mhz
- NEC/Renesas EV2 ARM Cortex-A9 Dual Core 533Mhz
- Qualcomm MSM7227 ARM11
- Mediatek MTK6573 ARM11
- VIA 8710 ARM11

and more! Does anyone know how to get a confirmation from each of these ARM SoC providers to get an idea about how soon and if they expect to get full Ice Cream Sandwich support? Who is going to make that work, do each SoC provider, each device maker have to do all the work or is Google contributing a lot of those software optimizations already as part of the open source Android 4.0.1 code release?

How soon can we expect to find some awesome sub-$100 and sub-$200 fully capacitive, fully smooth Android phones, tablets running on the amazing Android 4.0.1? Can we expect them all now to be fully officially allowed to pre-load the full Google Marketplace, having the full Google-supported Tablet features, official tablet services pre-loaded, no questions asked? I expect Google's new Ice Cream Sandwich Compatibility Definition Document to allow for every one of those SoCs full compatibility, even the cheapest, and not requiring any specific sensors, screen sizes, buttons, 3G features or other to get official Google Marketplace on those.

I expect that we may see Ice Cream Sandwich on all these SoC, even the ARM11 based ones, starting as soon as before the end of the year, or maybe in January or February of next year. I expect all cheap tablets and phones to run the latest Ice Cream Sandwich, all come with the official Google Marketplace legally pre-loaded, regardless of sensors present. I also expect either Android 4.0.1 or perhaps later coming Android 4.1, Android 4.2 to also provide full support for Set-top-boxes, Laptops, E-readers and more. That means, I expect this to provide a full Google TV experience on HDMI out. I expect this to provide a full Chrome browser when outputting a HD output and keyboard/mouse is detected. I expect this to provide the best ever user interface and applications platform for E-Ink and Pixel Qi based e-readers, powering a better reading experience.


Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich runs on Texas Instruments OMAP4460

Posted by Charbax – October 19, 2011

The new awesome Samsung Galaxy Nexus was just unveiled in Hong Kong. It has an amazing 1280x720 4.65" HD Super AMOLED screen, LTE/HSDPA+ and runs on the new Texas Instruments OMAP4460 1.2Ghz dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor. This is what TI's Vice President of OMAP platform business unit Remi El-Ouazzane has to say about this:

Today is a great day for our collaboration with Google…The long-awaited Android 4.0 release is finally being revealed with the OMAP4460 processor powering the absolutely gorgeous Samsung Galaxy Nexus device. I am so excited about this launch. What I may be the most excited by is not only the ability to converge to one Android release for both smartphones and tablets, but to be able to pack that level of performance across graphics or video on an HD screen and within the power envelope of a smartphone device…This is where our OMAP smart multicore architecture makes a huge difference. At the end of the day, brute force (number of cores, for instance) does not rival sophistication.

and a further statement from TI:

Today, TI proudly revealed a major OMAP platform milestone: yes, the highly-anticipated Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” release runs on the OMAP4460 processor. This advancement is an exceptional demonstration of what OMAP processors uniquely do, and what separates them from competitors in the mobile processing world: the ability to provide hardware-integrated security, distinctive and advanced imaging features, enhanced memory and more, all on a smart multicore architecture.

Here are some of my impressions and expectations for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus and Ice Cream Sandwich:

- This means Samsung can maybe "easily" update processor speed to 1.5Ghz and maybe also later to the OMAP4470 1.8Ghz when those faster OMAP4 processors become available.

- I don't know how fast Samsung can manufacture these screens and how much it costs them, my guess is this screen is the most expensive Super AMOLED yet, and I guess that Super AMOLED is already quite a bit more expensive than LCD and I wonder if Samsung is able to manufacture enough of these screens to not create major shortages for the availability of this Galaxy Nexus worldwide for the months to come. If there is one phone worth queuing up for if you want to be sure to get one in the first weeks/months at release, this may be it.

- They haven't yet shown what happens when you connect to HDTV output, I wonder if the "pins" on the side provide HDMI and data output/input or/and if an MHL connector takes care of this like on the Samsung Galaxy S2. I expect the full Motorola Atrix type Laptop Dock, Desktop Dock, Multimedia Dock, all those features are likely part of Android 4.0, which is why I think Ice Cream Sandwich means the merger of Android with Chrome OS and Google TV.

- Samsung Galaxy Nexus is likely going to be expensive. This is not news though for high-end smartphones, those are all ridiculously expensive today. But that's just how things are, and they are able to sell tens of millions at those expensive prices. Consider that you are paying $2000 to $3000 for this phone with a 2 year contract. Considering the possibility that Samsung may not be able to manufacture enough of those 720p HD Super AMOLED screens, they may even purposefully increase the price even further at launch.

Google buys Hardware company for $12.5 Billion

Posted by Charbax – August 16, 2011

Here are some numbers according to Josh Pritchard, posted on Quora about a week before this acquisition was announced:

--Motorola actually has ~$3.2B in cash (~$170M are "cash deposits"), with $200M more coming from Motorola Solutions, per the terms of the separation.
--They have $2.4B in deferred tax assets, that Google presumably plans to use (the media seems to be completely missing this one).

So, if you net the cash and tax assets, it's more like ~$7B that Google is paying for the operating businesses and the patents.

Motorola Mobility has $6.2 Billion in assets (buildings and other stuff?) according to Wikipedia. Google gets 19 thousand new employees (up from 29 thousand current Google employees, a 65% jump in employee count).

Of course, what everyone is talking about are those 17 thousand patents and 7 thousand pending patents that Motorola Mobility has. Consider Motorola is a 80 year old company. Their patents most likely include many of the interesting Hardware Patents, I'm not a lawyer, but I am pretty sure strong Hardware Patents are worth much more than bogus software patents. This means Android, Chrome OS, Google TV can stay free and open source forever. Apple and Microsoft have to drop all their bogus lawsuits against Android companies immediately. Google now has the patent on the mobile phone, the Apple iPhone can be illegal tomorrow if Google wants it to be.

What do I think Google is going to do:

1. Ask the genius team behind the Motorola Atrix to join the Android team to make a platform that combines Ice Cream Sandwich, Google TV and Chrome OS into the ultimate ARM Powered device. Provide that solution as an all-in-one standard for the Android ecosystem and not just make it one product.

2. Interview any of the other 19 thousand employees at Motorola Mobility, ask who wants to work within Android, within Google or remain within Motorola Mobility and to do what. They can invent some genius interview process so somehow everyone gets what they want and what they deserve.

3. Maybe Samsung, HTC, Sony-Ericsson or simply the stock market are later offered to buy back the Motorola Mobility Hardware division without the patents but with free unlimited licence to use any of the patents on Android devices. In 6 months, if the stock market has somewhat recovered, Google may get all their money back for that.

4. Or Google can find use in owning Motorola, perhaps ask Motorola to design hardware such as Cheap $50 Android phones to bring Android to all people in the developing world, special focus on Brazil, Russia, India, China (potentially 1-2 Billion Android phones can be sold there in 1-2 years), Google can ask Motorola design $50 ARM Powered Google TV enabled Set-top-boxes that all consumers and all Pay-TV providers are going to use.

5. Maybe Android is mature enough (owning more than 80% of the smart phone market by the end of the year), Google may want to use Motorola to launch White Spaces networks worldwide for free wireless broadband for all. $99 Android phones unlocked that include unlimited free Google Voice, unlimited free wireless broadband in every city all over the world. White Spaces are unstoppable. Maybe this is the time. They can bundle a Motorola router with the phone, you plug it to your home ADSL/Cable/Fiber to expand that White Spaces network in your neighborhood.

Google Wallet, your Android becomes your wallet/ID/tickets/offers and more, but does it use ARM TrustZone yet?

Posted by Charbax – May 27, 2011

Google wants to replace your wallet, your passport, your ID, to be used for ticketing, for local offers, coupons, deals and more. But is it secure yet?

We need this pin code mode and it needs to be fully 100% secure. But is it yet secure in this first implementation with NFC on the Nexus S 4G? Does Google yet use some type of deep hardware level security like the ARM TrustZone Mobile Payments platform?

We need this pin code screen to show up full screen, and there needs to be some kind of light diode indicator confirming that you are in 100% secure mode. That kind of pin code screen needs to come up to confirm every login, every payment, every money transfer. If they can do that in the way ARM is suggesting with TrustZone, this should make of this system a fully secured way to replace wallets, ID, Passports, tickets, coupons and more.

I want to login to my Google Account using my phone's pin code security system. I want this system to replace all login username/passwords on the web. This system needs to become the new interface for a new type of OpenID system. Google released in February an SMS based secure login service that they offer to all Google Account holders today. But SMS is not seamless, it's not really usable, the pin code screen needs to popup on your smartphone right there as you are trying to login, authenticate your access or to pay for something. That pin code authentication mechanism could perhaps be replaced by some kind of bio-metric authentication, or a kind of screen lock mechanism. Think of it like that calculator that you use for your security for your net banking, it needs to be the same integrated right into your phone.

Here's the 1-hour video of this Google Wallet announcement, embedded to start at time-code 22 minutes (you can rewind and watch the whole thing if you want) where Rob von Behren talks about the NXP PN65 based Secure Element solution, which sounds like this is true hardware based security!

Eric Schmidt talks about why Android gets more volume and more investments in the platform

Posted by Charbax – May 17, 2011

He has said it before, but perhaps not as explicitly when talking about tablets, and it's always fun to see Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Google, explain Android's strategy vs Apple.

Eric Schmid:
It's a classic contest in high-tech. In that contest, you have a very well run, very focused, closed competitor who builds a great product that does something that is very usefull. That would be Apple. You have another competitor who makes all the technology available to everybody else, and using various creativity and various partnerships gets the benefit over everyone else's creativity. Because there are more people involved in the open side of that, that side will eventually get more volume, have more investment, therefore have more creativity, more innovation, and ultimately the end user will choose the open one over the closed one.

Fareed Zakaria:
Except right now, the open one, all these tablets that are Android based, let's be honest, they are not as good as the iPad and they are more expensive, which strikes me as unusual.

Eric Schmidt:
Which product will produce a lower cost product quicker? One manufacturer for a product or many manufacturers competing? The matter of fact is that we are just at the beginning of this fight. And the fight between two very well run, very large, very significant ecosystem companies, will ultimately produce great value for consumers because the fight between them will keep prices low, keep these systems honest and open and encourage the kinds of investments that people want to see. One of the greatest things about this contest is that people who win in this are the consumer.


There is pride in both approaches but they are completely different. In Apple's case, they can continue to build beautiful and excellent products. The ecosystem that Google represents will continue and already has more volume, more users and will have more investment in the platform. Ultimately that will produce cheaper, better and faster products for everybody.

Posted by Fareed Zakaria on CNN GPS