Category: Google

Google tries to control Android fragmentation

Posted by – March 31, 2011

There has been some talk about Google’s decision to delay the Honeycomb source code release. If Google releases Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Google TV and Chrome OS source codes within a month, then all this will be forgotten. Sure sure, M$/NOK will make Bingdroid, HP will make Webdroid, and RIM is making Playdroid.

It is OK if Google enforces rules on Google Marketplace and the Google Apps to demand a one-click search engine or social network change, meaning the Bingdroids cannot lock users into only using Bing but that it must be a one click easy process to change the search engine to Google as default if that is what the user wants. Same thing with the Facedroids, one click should be available to move contacts out of Facebook.

It is great if Google’s purpose starting with Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwidth is to try to regulate the home replacements and manufacturer’s custom UI layers. Please make it default to allow the Android bloatware user interfaces to be turned off! I don’t mind if manufacturers think they absolutely have to make Touchwiz, Sense, Blur, Rachael or other, but they should all make it an easy to find one click process to restore default UI, they should all provide a one-click Android Vanilla switch.

The main requirement that I think Google has with Android, is that they have to make sure that everyone making Android devices with full native Android Vanilla UI and OS, must be allowed the Google Marketplace, especially the cheap Tablet and Smartphone makers, no absolute need for compass, dual-cameras or any other very specific hardware features, apps in Google Marketplace with very specific hardware requirements (a small minority) can easily be filtered based on the hardware detected.

Google must have teams working closely with all the ARM chip providers, Texas Instruments, Rockchip, Telechips, Samsung, Qualcomm, Marvell, Freescale, ST-Ericsson, VIA, Nvidia and more, and Google has a responsibility to make sure each of those platforms support the full Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Google TV and Chrome OS, as soon as they totally open source them in a month or so. That is what I expect Google is doing with their ARM chip provider partners. And that work on deep SoC optimizations level must also be coordinated with each of the serious companies using each of those SoC to bring Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Google TV and Chrome OS products to market in the next couple or three months.

If for some reason you hear that Google is not willing to give access to Honeycomb source code to any serious Tablet maker (with a reputation of releasing tablets that can be trusted, no minimum company size) or to any of these chip makers, that could be scandalous and would have to be brought to the attention of the blogosphere, so in case you hear about any of those cases please post in the comments or send me an email to charbax@gmail.com so that I can try to understand who gets access to the Honeycomb source code, when and exactly how.

Some people (especially Apple fanboys) have been complaining that Honeycomb tablets supposedly only have 100 apps HD tablet optimized yet. Those people should also mention that about 90% of the 250’000 Android apps are built with Android 1.6 Donut SDK or newer, and since then, most Android apps are built to scale to medium density screens, which means they work fine on tablets. That actually means, the number of apps that work fine on Android tablets is more something like 220’000 apps, more and more of which are being re-optimized for more than 800×480, yet still most of those scale to 1024×600 or 1280×800 just fine.

Also, I believe the goal of Google is to implement future versions of Android, perhaps including Honeycomb and Ice Cream Sandwich already with a new system that auto-upgrades even the core parts of the OS, meaning that once devices are ready to ship with Honeycomb or Ice Cream Sandwich, they may never really need to be firmware updated by the manufacturer, that core Android system upgrades could be done automatically and securely through the Google Marketplace. That would be a very deep anti-fragmentation move, and that would mean that all future Android devices would all be automatically future-proof.

Google/Microsoft/Apple should pay for the Humans to Mars Direct 2016-2021 mission

Posted by – March 31, 2011

A Humans to Mars mission might cost as little as $30 Billion. Google has $40 Billion in the bank, Apple has $50 Billion in the bank, Microsoft has $80 Billion in the bank. Intel has $50 Billion in the bank. IBM has $100 Billion in the bank. HP has $110 Billion in the bank. Dell has $30 Billion in the bank. Cisco has $70 Billion in the bank. Oracle has $50 Billion in the bank.

Google should announce tomorrow that they invest $5 Billion in the Mars Direct 2016 mission (3 years ago, they made fun of the idea in the Google Mars Mission April 1st joke), $2.5 Billion now to Space X to develop the heavy-lift within 3 years. Google would publicly ask Microsoft and Apple to join in and each also invest $5 Billion in this. They can argue for it to their shareholders by saying 1) they can monetize the new patents that come of it 2) they can get each 1/3rd of all the advertising that can comes out of 7 years of live HD video streaming of the whole project. The number of years that this project will be under development, then launch and the 2.5 years of travel for the first crews. The live HDTV broadcast can be sent all over the world, they can recoup their investments just from the TV and live streaming advertising.

So now you’ve got $15 Billion from private US tech companies. The other $15 Billion can get paid like this, $3 Billion from EU, $3 Billion from China, $2 Billion from India, $1 Billion from Brazil/Japan/South Korea, $3 Billion from the US (Obama can do his Mars speech) and $3 Billion from the oil-rich Middle-east. The project would be an international technological collaboration, like the CERN LHC project, instead of a race.

Here are some of the reasons why I think US Silicon Valley companies should get bold and announce the financing of a major mission to send humans to Mars with 5-10 years:

1. These tech companies want to attract more scientists and engineers. The big investments means they can for example expand their R&D and combine it more with NASA.

2. These tech companies made unreasonably large amounts of profits these past few years and decades. If they all agree to spend the same large amount on this mission, that would not place one in disadvantage against the other in terms of how much of their cash is being spent. They owe it to society to give back at least for the scientific enthusiasm that it would generate for the world.

3. Those are basically investments in educations and universities. By those being US investments they would invest in US universities, all the Government has to do would be to open up for that H1B visa for all scientists and engineers from China and India coming in to work on that project.

4. The US army spends $1 Billion per day, for the price of just 4 days of war, they can fund their share of the worlds biggest scientific project, and arguably such a project can help to bring peace, as Humans can think bigger, look up to space, and think about life instead of fighting meaningless wars over limited natural resources.

Why am I a long time supporter of the Humans to Mars project and member of the Mars Society?

– I believe it’s worth looking for fossils or proof of previous life on Mars, would explain a great deal about why life appeared on Earth. This is the most fundamental question for Humans and should be the most important question to try to answer.

– Just the work put into the project will bring us new technologies to solve our Energy and Pollution problems.

– It will help solve our political problems, would be the strongest message for peace.

– Robots on Mars are awesome, but in 1 day, a Human Geologist on Mars can walk around and look through as much ground as the Mars Rovers did in the last 6 years. The only way we can realistically look for proof of life on Mars is by sending Geologists on the ground there and have them look for fossils and other proof over the period of 1 and a half years, which is the minimum time they would have to stay there anyways before being able to fly back to the earth, then it takes 6 months each way.

What do you think about the idea to send Humans to Mars as soon as possible? And why couldn’t the richest tech companies and billionaires not pay a significant part of it to get things going much sooner than politicians and their 4-year election cycles care to invest in on the longer term.

Mp3.com copies of Cloud music storage services from Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple

Posted by – March 30, 2011

11 years ago, Mp3.com provided unlimited cloud music storage for free. You’d just put your CD in the CD reader and all the songs would instantly beam to your account, no uploading even needed as long as the CD was in their cloud storage. It was awesome. Mp3.com got sued by all the record companies in the world, and lost because Universal insisted not to make an out of court settlement like all the other labels did, so Universal got the Mp3.com domain and basically destroyed all the genius that was there and did nothing with the domain these past 11 years. Mp3.com was much more than a cloud music storage service, that was just one of their last features. Their main strength was in providing a platform for all independent artists to release their music, get fans, make money selling downloads, streams, even on-demand burned CDs and merchandize. Mp3.com would give $1 Million per month from their ad revenue to the artists based on the popularity of their free mp3 downloads. It was awesome, and it could have gotten so much better (it was too hard to find good music, they should have done an automatic recommendations engine based on user ratings). Record companies saw a threat in Mp3.com becoming the big independent record label for all artists, turning all artists into independent artists, thus they saw an opportunity in sueing them for their music locker service, as an excuse to shut it down and delay the whole independent music revolution for another decade.

Michael Robertson, the enterpreneur behind Mp3.com, did a whole bunch of other cool stuff since. Including Gizmo5 bought by Google to add VOIP SIP features to Google Voice (I presume.. internationalization of Google Voice is still hopefully coming up), the Linspire Linux OS (formely Lindows, they had to change the name because of a Microsoft lawsuit) was online with an app store and 40’000+ apps 4 years before the Apple “appstore”, he also redid his Music locker idea at Mp3tunes.com

While I wish Google, Amazon, Apple all the best in licencing access to unlimited music streaming service and combine it with music locker for $1/song purchased songs, here’s what I would like these cloud storage for multimedia file services to be like:

1. Mp3 files, DivX files, MKV files, that are common, must be free to store. As the cloud service only needs to store one of each file, if you upload a pirated Mp3, DivX, MKV, Flac, then it should recognize it and not charge you for the storage. This way, people could beam Terrabytes of music, movies and TV shows to their cloud storage and not have to pay for any storage.

2. No need to upload the file if an uploading app recognizes the file as already being on the cloud. Then let it just beam the file to the cloud storage, and provide unlimited streaming from there.

3. Firm unbreakable promise that the cloud service providers are not going to hand over the index of all the pirated files to RIAA and MPAA. What would be the point in showing those copyrights holders what you pirate.

4. Cloud services need to provide one-click export/copy to another cloud service, meaning they can talk directly to each other, even share the files efficiently across all the cloud services.

5. The cloud service providers, perhaps with help from the Government, need to implement global content subscription plans, around $10 per month should give unlimited legal access to all Music, Movies, TV Shows, Ebooks and Applications. If everyone in Europe and the USA paid $10 per month, that would amount to $60 Billion per year, plenty enough to pay for all the content creators directly, no DRM needed, no separate subscription plans needed, one plan should provide legal access to everything, and piracy can get legalized.

6. The cloud storage services can smartly integrate with P2P networks if needed, to facilitate mass distribution of all the huge files. Eventually do something similar to Wuala, or they could simply implement BitTorrent and smart BitTorrent caching systems in cooperation with all the ISPs. The idea is this, the cloud distribution system must be able to manage that 1 million people want to download the same 4.5GB 720p MKV movie file at full speed all at the same time, eventually download it in a way it can be played back while downloading (p2p streaming).

What would you like to see the cloud service providers do to provide better cloud storage for multimedia file streaming?

Sony and Samsung to release ARM Powered Chrome OS notebooks this summer?

Posted by – March 27, 2011

Picture of the new release of Google Chrome OS

Image via Wikipedia

Yes! Well, I just put this out here, as a rumor. What do you think?

Here’s what I think Samsung is doing, preparing a super thin Exynos 4210 ARM Cortex-A9 based laptop for summer release, running Chrome OS nicely and 10+ hours battery runtime even as it weights less than a kilo.

Here’s what I think Sony is doing, preparing a super thin Nvidia Tegra2 ARM Cortex-A9 based laptop for summer release, running Chrome OS nicely and 10+ hours battery runtime even as it weights less than a kilo.

Best kicker out of all this? MSRP for these should be below $199 unsubsidized for the whole chew-bang. Those could even be sold $99 subsidized yet not even requiring a contract but just using month-to-month 3G/LTE data as a service (for example, just requiring that the user pay the first $100 in data credit in advance, could be enough for 5 months of $20/month/2GB data service packages, using more than 2GB/month on cellular and the user would have to pay more at a rate of $10/GB on demand or just use the Internet over WiFi or Ethernet for free). Include a 1280×800 Pixel Qi screen, and the battery runtime instantly could increase to upwards 30 hours and the whole experience be sunlight readable.

Of course, Toshiba, Dell, Acer, Asus are all also working on this. And all the Texas Instruments OMAP4430/4440, Marvell Armada 610, Freescale i.MX6 and even Nvidia Tegra3 are also going to be among the choices used in these devices.

Obviously, Apple is investing a farm in preparing their first Apple A5 ARM Cortex-A9 powered OSX for ARM Powered Macbook mega-slim, and Microsoft is investing a castle in making Windows 8 for ARM ready on time so they can try to convince ARM Powered laptop makers to just use Windows as a Chrome OS or Ubuntu alternative.

How quickly do you think ARM Powered laptops will dominate the laptop market? Post your opinions in the comments.

Honeycomb source code and CDD delayed

Posted by – March 24, 2011

Businessweek reports that Google has decided to delay Honeycomb source code release.

The search giant says the software, which is tailored specifically for tablet computers that compete against Apple’s iPad, is not yet ready to be altered by outside programmers and customized for other devices, such as phones.

“To make our schedule to ship the tablet, we made some design tradeoffs,” says Andy Rubin, vice-president for engineering at Google and head of its Android group. “We didn’t want to think about what it would take for the same software to run on phones. It would have required a lot of additional resources and extended our schedule beyond what we thought was reasonable. So we took a shortcut.”

Rubin says that if Google were to open-source the Honeycomb code now, as it has with other versions of Android at similar periods in their development, it couldn’t prevent developers from putting the software on phones “and creating a really bad user experience. We have no idea if it will even work on phones.”

Here is my opinion on this:

As long as Google releases the full Honeycomb source code within a month or so from now, and hurry up to confirm (even sooner) that the updated Compliance Definition Document for Honeycomb will open up to allow many more smaller manufacturers (such as Archos, Rockchip, Telechips, ARM11 and many other small tablet makers) access to the full Google Marketplace (that can provide filtering), then all will be good.

My expectation is that Google is working to make sure their Honeycomb source code release supports all types of hardware, not only including cheaper ARM Cortex-A8, ARM9, ARM11 tablets, but also optimize things for Laptop use (see Asus Transformer, how awesome would Honeycomb be on devices like Toshiba AC100!), and also they might try to coordinate the Honeycomb source code release with the first open source release of Google TV thus making all those devices Set-top-box ready when HDMI output is used on any HDTV.

One can expect Google to synchronize full open source release of Honeycomb, Google TV and Chrome OS by the Google I/O conference coming up on 10-11th May or before.

What is your opinion on Google’s Honeycomb source code and updated CDD release delay? You can write in the comments.

Archos Gen9 tablets, 1.6Ghz Dual-core, 3G, to be announced in June

Posted by – March 18, 2011

Archos just announced that their revenues are up 44% for 2010 sales compared to 2009 sales, to $118 Million in yearly sales. They also managed to increase their profit margins from 13.5% to 23.3%. In terms of actual profits after R&D, Marketing and other expenses, Archos is about break-even. Archos plans to more than double its revenues and profits in 2011, grabbing about 5% of the worldwide tablet market share expected in 2011 (they captured 22% market share in France for November-December 2010, behind iPad 67% but infront of Samsung 4%, so it should be doable even as tablet competition strongly increases). They plan to do that among other by launching Generation 9 in June (at least show it for the first time), that’s only 3 months from now!

Here are the first few details as reported by bestofmicro.com from what they heard at Archos investors meeting today about the Gen9 tablets (what’s in bold is from the report, the rest of following text are my added speculations and guessing):

ARM Cortex-A9 Dual-core 1.6Ghz, it’s the fastest processor in a tablet ever unveiled thus far. I expect this to be a customized Texas Instruments OMAP4440, but that is only because I guess Archos will continue their long time partnership with TI that they’ve had for over 10 years now.

New innovative 3G modem. Yup, we’re getting 3G (at least as an option). What kind of 3G? How they implement it? I dunno, it seems they have a new special way of doing it? I hope they do it with some kind of modem module that can be added or swaped, thus making the tablet compatible with all types of cellular networks current and future and making production and distribution easy, anyone think it could be a module? Somehow allowing for space for a standard USB 3G modem on an “internal” USB host could also be a very innovative way to simply add 3G to the devices, the back of the device could “simply” have some space available to insert any standard compact 3G modem such as the Huawei or ZTE 3G usb dongles that anyone can buy everywhere for as little as $20 unlocked.

6 sizes from 5″ to 10″. That’s the sizes it seems they are aiming at. It might mean Archos noticed their 7″ and 10″ Gen8 were much more popular and in demand than the smaller sizes, and it might mean Archos is realizing a tablet has to be at least 5″, perhaps they leave the smaller sizes to the Arnova line? I expect/hope all are capacitive, even the 5″ one. Likely sizes are 5″, 7″, 10.1″, other possible sizes (since there are 6 sizes planned), 9.7″ 4:3 aspect ratio, 5.8″, 8.9″, 8″ 4:3 aspect ratio. I also hope Archos and Pixel Qi can synchronize release schedules so Archos can provide Pixel Qi matte capacitive screen option on all these sizes, at least as an option. Would you pay $50/$100 extra for Pixel Qi if Pixel Qi is not yet fully mass produced? One can hope Pixel Qi is fully mass produced in time, and that somehow Archos sees the opportunity in using it accross the line, thus making Gen9 ready for productivity, ready for real reading, ready for outdoor use, ready for use in professional and study situations, ready for serious collaboration on text annotations, ready to be Kindle-killer and iPad-killer all at the same time.

All are Android, obviously it has to be Honeycomb (source code for Honeycomb has yet to be released in the open by Google, it should be done any day now), can Google finally open up Android and allow value Archos tablets the full Google Marketplace access? I would expect so, that could hopefully allow Archos to be certified. (this is totally up to Google is my guess)

Archos says they continue to focus on aiming for the medium range pricing. My guess is it likely stays below $300, but if they do 3G, Pixel Qi and if they are first out with OMAP4440, who knows, perhaps the price might sneak up to something below $400. Archos CEO is planning all this based on offering the best possible value they can, my guess is that they aim to stay below $300 for the basic models.

They continue to make hard drive versions. Reason being hard drives provide much more storage at much lower cost. My expectation is at least some of the 6 sizes will have hard drive options. Capacity can depend on how thick they can accept that hard drive to be, cause 2.5″ hard drives can go up to 1TB as far as I know, but those are probably too fat. So 250GB for sure, 320GB and 500GB again maybe, if the 320GB or/and 500GB are available in super slim mode.

Well that’s all they have teased for us for now. What other features are you hoping Archos is preparing for us in the Gen9 tablets? write in the comments. You can also comment in the forum: http://forum.archosfans.com/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=43708&p=337531#p337531

Sources: http://www.archos.com/corporate/investors/financial_doc/ARCHOS_2010_Results_en.pdf, http://www.bestofmicro.com/actualite/28876-Tablette-Android.html

Nintendo Wii2 to be be ARM Powered?

Posted by – March 16, 2011

Logo circa 2008

Image via Wikipedia

There are some rumors and speculation that Nintendo might unveil Wii2 at E3 in June. Here’s what I think Nintendo should do:

1. Sell it for $99 as an ARM Powered set-top-box

2. Use ARM Cortex-A9 Dual-core or Quad-core with future proof 1080p graphics, even support 1080p 3D output.

3. Little integrated storage, but include SD card slot(s) and support USB Host for external hard drive storage.

4. It’s a Blu-ray player, but all the games should be downloadable and stored on SD cards or USB hard drives.

5. Nintendo should start unlimited games subscription packages, games are downloaded from the Internet, eventually even use BitTorrent, synchronize also unlimited games onto the Nintendo 3DS and using new official Game Cart for previous Nintendo portable and home consoles. The main problem with this is the disruption of retail stores and the ways they promote the sale of video games. But it’s a change Nintendo has to make. $10-$20 per month in a subscription should give unlimited access to all past and future Nintendo games for home and portable consoles.

6. Wii2 should run Google TV software in my opinion, so it also doubles as the best HDTV VOD Set-top-box, so it disrupts regular TV programming, Nintendo can turn everything to on-demand entertainment in the living room.

7. All previous Nintendo games can be updated online, and can receive new online gaming modes.

8. Built-in HD video conferencing, might require additional HD usb webcam.

9. The Wii2 creates a WiFi hotspot to interact automatically with the 3DS/DSi/DS, and includes Bluetooth also for remote controls, including also a bluetooth keyboard and a bluetooth headset.

10. New innovative virtual reality gaming mechanisms, might add Kinect-style 3D cameras, but more likely, new Wii game controllers, new gloves and even detectors on feet for a full virtual reality experience. Maybe they integrate sensors like the Freescale MMA9550L in their new remotes and compact body sensors. Some type of glasses with two IR emitters perhaps as well using this trick.

11. The size should be barely larger than a dual CD case. With Blu-ray player in there, HDMI output (possibly HDMI input/throughput also for full Google TV like features and easy setup), Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0 host ports, new TV sensor ports.

Which ARM chip provider could get that deal with Nintendo to be mass produced into Wii2? Could it be Nvidia’s Kal-El, OMAP4440, i.MX6, Marvell’s Tri-Core, Qualcomm’s Quad-core? What do you think Nintendo should do for the Wii2? Write in the comments..

Apple’s manufactured scarcity, free publicity, playing for the analysts

Posted by – March 12, 2011

The craze started at the release of iPhone1 in June 2007. I remember watching the live stream on Mogulus, predecesor to livestream.com, it was filmed and broadcast by Max Haost, founder of livestream.com and they were extremely hilarious in the way they would actually make fun of the people standing in line. I find this unbelievably hilarious, it’s the extreme example of the gadget-craze (out-of-control gadget consumerism?)


The ipad 2 line in Houston, TX as reported by Engadget.

Blame the analysts, unless they see lines, they think Apple isn’t selling any products.

This launch was engineered to generate lines (no pre-orders, 3 week waits if ordered on line…) and lots of free publicity…

Comment by Ghostbear1 in that Engadget article.

the scarcity principle is the mother of all marketing techniques (…) We generally perceive that things that are difficult to get are typically better than things that are easily available. If everyone wants it then it must be good right? This actually taps into the principle called social proof

Source: salescrunch.com

Queuing up for a piece of gadget is a really weird concept. In theory, especially for Apple, those devices are mass produced in gigantic proportions in the biggest Chinese factories, somehow Apple would not be able to manufacture enough to sell to whomever would want one?

This whole lining up deal is a situation designed by Apple’s viral marketing department.

This carefully choreographed gadget marketing/pricing ballet has turned Apple into the second largest company in the world, just 3 and a half years after the release of the iPhone. It’s really insane if you think about it. If not for the largest oil company in the world Exxon Mobile, Apple would be the largest company in the world, and most of Apple’s current profits and revenues come from their ARM Powered iOS devices, especially the iPhone.

So now Apple is doing a big push on the tablet market with iPad. And the iPad2 certainly has a nice Dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor in there.

There are Android tablets like Archos 101 Internet Tablet released 6 months ago, that are lighter at 480gr vs 600gr, that have real mini-HDMI outputs built-in, real USB-host built-in, a real kick-stand built-in, and that still support more video and audio codecs (such as all DivX, MKV found on BitTorrents), with Flash support, real multi-tasking for 40% to 60% cheaper price than the ipad2.

In my opinion, Honeycomb is the first real Tablet OS. And I am pretty sure Honeycomb tablets will overtake iPad market share in less than a year, faster than Android overtook iPhone after the Nexus One release.

For some engineering resource/time allocation/prioritisation issues, Google chose not to allow much to happen with tablets with Donut, Eclair, Froyo and Gingerbread. Companies like Archos were left with the open source part of Android, doing the customizations they want, but for some strategic reason, they were left without the full support from Google. Google didn’t want Android Powered iPad and iPod Touch competitors to dominate the market in 2010. They thought they perhaps were busy enough dominating smartphone growth of that year, and gaining the full support by two dozen Smartphone makers in the process.

I think Google’s strategy is to simply let the Apple viral marketing people do their thing first, then get their better open and free software in gear, and riding on Apple’s viral marketing coat-tails, Google’s Android ecosystem can then provide the big push and rapidly dominate.

This is also a dance of technological disruption, and disruption of those disruptors. Google can’t be seen as encouraging the industrys too rapid change, while some companies bet their futures on the Open Handset Alliance, Google had to be careful and let the market move as fast as it can without hurting the feelings of the big partners who invest billions of dollars in this and want to see their investments safely recouped.

In any ways, look forward to the Android Honeycomb ecosystem taking care of making Android the top platform for tablets fast, and look forward to new designs to make tablets even more fun, more productive, and basically turn these gadgets into the user interface of the future of mobile computing for all the people of the world.

Google TV seeks FCC regulation to start a WebTV revolution

Posted by – February 10, 2011

Google may or may not soon be allowed to add Hulu Plus to its Google TV boxes, which may provide the Google TV boxes access to most of the TV shows and other content that currently is being blocked on Google TV by US TV Networks such as Fox, CBS, ABC, NBC and Viacom. Why would they want to block Google TV? Cause it’s the trojan horse that disrupts TV from within, once consumers are only one click away from any YouTube video, only one click away from all VOD, legal or illegal, once this is easy to use and available for all in a sub-$100 cheap ARM Powered Google TV box, this is when those 5-hours per day people watch TV start spending more and more of that time watching content that is not owned or controlled by these networks.

At the same time, something awesome is going on with Google and Sony vs Cable Networks and the Movie industry at the FCC. Arstechnica published this awesome article explaining how Google and Sony are supporting an FCC regulation called the AllVid system.

The trade association is trying to set limits on how easy it will be for devices like Google TV to access pay TV content and reassemble it into something that will reconfigure both television and the Internet.

That’s at the heart of the FCC’s proposal for an AllVid system, which Google very loudly supports. AllVid doesn’t exist yet, but the idea is to mandate an industry-wide gadget that you could plug into your broadband router and connect to your cable TV provider, then watch online video and pay channels through a variety of AllVid-friendly devices. Not surprisingly, Google and Sony love this idea, because it could transform the Google TV from just a neat product into a revolution.

Big cable hates the proposal, because that revolution could leave multi-video program distributors (MVPDs), if not in the dust, at least working in a far more competitive video environment.

Basically, what this could mean, is that content would be separated from technology. Content owners won’t be able to make exclusive streaming partnerships with one set-top-box maker and not be available on the other. What this means, is that Hulu and Netflix must be available on all devices and that there will be a standard user interface to access all those on-demand and streaming contents.

This probably also means that all of those TV Networks in the USA who are streaming their TV shows for free using ads from their websites, would have to provide all that content to all devices through standardized user interfaces. None of these content providers can choose to block any device from accessing any content, and the advertising and pay-per-view models will thus be standardized.

Big cable insists that the metadata used to create on-screen program guides is copyrighted. The Motion Picture Association of America protests that the AllVid idea would put studio content painfully close to sites like The Pirate Bay.

Program guides should not be copyrighted, that is ridiculous. Anyone should be allowed to list what is going to be on TV at any given time. And anyone should be allowed to list movie titles, directors, actors, plot and even display a poster for each of those contents.

The MPAA is correct, this will mean that pirated content will also just be one click away, but that will force content owners to allow for seamless access to all the contents either for free with ads or at very reasonable cost as pay-per-view. And this will also enable the next step for Government regulation, that is to standardize the all-you-can-eat subscription model so that one Global Licence cover the legal and free access to all contents.

France: Archos has 22% Tablet marketshare

Posted by – February 8, 2011

According to French market analyst GfK, Archos is now the second biggest tablet maker on the French market, far in front of Samsung (4%), Toshiba (3%), Huawei, Viewsonic and others. Sure enough Apple has the biggest market share with 67%, but I think that’s mostly due to Apple having more cash for manufacturing and distribution. If Archos had been able to spend more money producing more units and having better stock availability at all resellers and never run out of stock during these past 3 months, then I think Archos would probably be number 1 in market share, even in front of Apple.

Source: archoslounge.net

As I run the biggest Archos fansite community at http://forum.archosfans.com and I have been publishing the earliest and most popular video reviews of Archos products for over 6 years, publishing the earliest and most popular videos of Archos full Tablet line such as the 70 Internet Tablet, 7 Home Tablet, 101 Internet Tablet, 32 Internet Tablet, 43 Internet Tablet, I may be biased. But I am sure that if all stores had enough Archos in stock to satisfy the demand for tablets over these past 3 months, Archos would sell even more than Apple.

What matters to the consumer is the value proposition. What features they can get for what price. Archos newest Gen8 Android tablets are about half the price of the iPad and provide more features.