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?

$20,000 OpenWorld Contest to design best app for STM32 ARM Cortex-M3

Posted by – March 30, 2011

Register now to win $20,000 in cash prizes for mobility applications based on STM32 ARM Cortex-M3 MCU developed on the EvoPrimer platform from STMicroelectronics.

http://stm32circle.com/ contest registration is open for the OpenWorld design contest promoting development of technologies for human-assistance applications. OpenWorld is a technology promotion of the “Autonomie” project – a collaborative industry-research consortium for the development of integrated electronic technologies that facilitate access to public spaces and services for the handicapped.

$20,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to participants with innovative and useful electronic applications designed to assist people, with any of a variety of disabilities or limiting medical conditions.

The contest is sponsored by project memebers, STMicroelectronics, ST-Ericsson and Raisonance.

Linaro to establish leadership in embedded software accross all ARM chips

Posted by – March 27, 2011

Linaro was established last year, and they are making rapid progress in bringing up Linux on ARM, the goal being to solve fragmentation, to catch up with Intel’s x86 through consolidation and development of common ARM Linux code. Linaro’s ultimate goal is to establish leadership in core technology open source innovation on ARM member SoCs. Linaro wants to accelerate time to market. Not just catch up with Intel, Linaro’s goal is absolute leadership.

Here’s a 27 minute video update from Linaro CEO George Grey about the plans that they have got for this year, as they expect 2011 to be a huge year for Linaro, their software is rapidly making it possible to have fully optimized ARM powered Linux laptops and desktops released to the market this year. Basically, Linaro is a company build out of the ARM industry collaborating to bring to market ARM Powered Chrome OS laptops, ARM Powered Ubuntu Laptops, even for all of the Android and Meego stuff.

This video was posted last month on the LinaroOrg YouTube channel.

Linaro has grown to over 80 engineers in the first 6 months. They are still adding engineering talent every month. At launch it was stated that the company would grow to a little under 100 engineers. You can find more information at http://linaro.org. What do you think Linaro should do to make it easier for companies to build ARM based Linux products? You can post your info and ideas in the comments.

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.

Intel Atom inventor/CEO fired? Intel’s lower power Mobile Computing efforts failing?

Posted by – March 27, 2011

Anand Chandrasekher

Image by umpcportal.com via Flickr

Last week, the blogosphere exploded with speculation about what really happened at Intel, as Anand Chandrasekher, the founder of the Intel Atom group, the man responsible for launching Intel’s MID and UMPC initiatives, the manager of Intel’s efforts to reach into tablets and smartphones, he was either fired or he voluntarily resigned, it’s often hard to really know which is which (when everyone involved already is a billionaire), as often a firing can be obfuscated as a resignation, to keep the interpretation of the transaction as positive as possible, and not create a scandal out of such announcement. And as senior vice president at Intel, employee of Intel throughout 24 years, he has been well paid and would feel no need to diss his now former employer.

Anyways, I don’t need to ramble more about things I don’t know about. The purpose of this thread is for you to comment here about what you think is really happening at Intel. Do you think Intel should give up and simply join the rest of the Industry in licencing the ARM Architechture and bring back new Intel customized and optimized ARM Processor designs? Why wouldn’t Intel simply licence the ARM Architecture and use some of their 82500 employees to work on that? Why wouldn’t Intel afford to work on both x86 and ARM and deliver on the full potential of what their industry leading semiconductor R&D and fabs are able to output, thus deliver the chips that the industry demands for? Why does Intel absolutely need to try to force their x86 onto an industry which obviously prefers choice?

Another fun fact, Intel recently acquired for $1.4 Billion a division of Infineon Technologies AG, called Wireless Solutions (WLS) that has more than 3,500 employees worldwide. Out of that acquisition, Intel is now releasing the XMM 6260 platform, which they say is the worlds smallest HSPA+ 40nm baseband processor, brace for it, it’s obviously an ARM11 SoC, now made and sold by Intel.

In Barcelona this week Intel CEO Paul Otellini announced that Intel’s new XMM 6260 platform is shipping to customers and will be found inside smartphones later this year. Sounds familiar? Well it might because Intel has been trying its best to find a way into smartphones for years. This time howver I think they might just make it happen. Why? Because it turns out that the XMM 6260 is in fact an ARM11 SoC designed by Infineon and manufactured in Taiwan by TSMC. Looks like, Intel’s secret weapon against ARM is…er…ARM. Quoted from: shanzai.com

What other areas would you agree with me, that Intel should just kill their darlings, they should just swallow the pill, Intel needs to licence the ARM Architecture and they need crank out the best ARM Processors they can make out of their best in world foundries. That does not mean Intel needs to give up on x86 at all, it just means they need to stop trying to cram x86 down everyones throats and they need to get with the trend in free market competition that means provide better choices for the industry.

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.

Google’s Android speech-to-speech voice translator gets impressive

Posted by – March 22, 2011

I didn’t know it could already understand and speak more and more languages. Check out Eldar Murtazin doing a bunch of speech-to-speech voice translations on the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S2 smartphone from Russian to English, Russian to French and Russian to Finnish. Are you impressed? I am. Google is constantly improving the speech-to-speech voice translation, eventually understanding all accents and speech styles and pitches, it may be that Google can learn from each users voice (when the user is recognized or logged in) and become better at understanding every persons speech, which may also get applied to YouTube videos and thus generate always better subtitles that also can be translated in every other language automatically.

Eldar Murtazin also claims Samsung may be preparing a separate Tegra2 Super Clear LCD based Samsung Galaxy S2 with product number i9003, thus could not only be cheaper than the Exynos 4210 Super Amoled Plus i9000 version, but could also possibly help Samsung supply enough of these new SGS2 to the market while Samsung’s big new Super Amoled Plus factory may not yet be totally ready for mass production of their screens (last year, Samsung announced that the new Super Amoled Plus factory would not be ready before June this year), and also while Samsung’s production of their new ARM Cortex-A9 Exynos 4210 may not yet be at full production capacity thus Samsung can use Tegra2 which is probably being manufactured at faster speed.

Source: mobile-review.com

Android domination expressed in dance

Posted by – March 22, 2011

Funky house music techtonic dance in Android green robot costume presented by the Sony-Ericsson marketing team in Taipei Taiwan, what will be the next step in Android domination marketing?

Source: Engadget.com

NetbookNews.com: iPad2 smart cover not so smart afterall

Posted by – March 21, 2011

After just a week of use, Sasha Pallenberg of NetbookNews.com is reporting on how dirty, scratchy the Apple Smart Cover really is in real use, and it seems it doesn’t protect the display but that it makes big marks on it instead. After antennagate, after verizon-antennagate 2, this could be the beginning of smartcovergate.

This video was posted at: http://www.netbooknews.com/22124/apple-ipad-2-smart-cover-protection-not-at-all/