Larry Page starts today as CEO

Posted by – April 4, 2011

Larry Page starts as CEO

Larry Page starts as CEO

He might quickly become regarded as greatest inventor/innovator/entrepreneur in the world. A modern Nikola Tesla, a modern Thomas Edison. I think Larry Page wants to be CEO so he can get credited for the amazing things Google is about to release:

– Android powering next 3 Billion smartphones/tablets to be released these next 3 years. Android dominating in tablets is also inevitable.

– Chrome OS about to be released as first real challenger to Windows on Laptops and PC. Advances with native code and 3D browser plugins will enable full desktop performance right inside the browser, offline support and full multimedia support also being there.

– Google TV, first set-top-box to be successful at bringing online video to the TV.

– Google Circles, the first real social network that will actually be more useful than for stalking and following famous people.

– Google Cloud storage expanded, with Google Music as part of the deal, users will be able to store terrabytes of multimedia data on the cloud for cheap.

– Google Books to actually launch, regardless of the publishers lawsuits, Google Books is inevitably just about to revolutionize reading.

– YouTube to take over majority of people’s daily TV watching hours. With Google TV as tool, algorithms for a perfect on-demand lean-back experience are coming. YouTube already accounts for more than 50% of worldwide bandwidth usage, but this will only increase. YouTube will likely soon become Google’s main source of revenues.

– Most adults might actually be using Google Apps as main tool for collaborative productivity. Google Wave features might get integrated to empower the real-time collaboration.

More revolutions Google might attempt to get to do :

– Revolutionizing the cell carrier industry. They may invest giant sums in developing White Spaces worldwide. To actually create a free wireless broadband network for all. Very disruptive to telcos.

– Revolutionizing fixed line Internet access through proving that cheap Gigabit/s Fiber to the home can get built everywhere worldwide.

– Revolutionizing energy production, helping to prove that solar, wind, geothermal can be built and used for cheaper than coal and nuclear energy.

– Revolutionizing education, through establishing more of the Khan Academys, enabling talented teachers get their teachings out to students worldwide simply through clever video production.

Sure, Larry Page will probably be humble and say that the work was actually done by the more than 24’000 Phd engineers working at Google. Yet he will be the CEO while all these things get released, upgraded and implemented. Having co-founded the company, he might just as well want to be in charge when all these new products are launched. I also think that he might know about the potential trouble that his competing companies like Apple, Microsoft, Intel and others might get by not being positioned effectively in the cloud computing world. If somehow Google turns out to the be the last Silicon Valley giant standing through the next potentially upcoming bubble, it will make him look even more impressive.

You can also see my post on the day they announced that Larry Page was going to be the CEO: What Google should do. Now.

What do you think Larry Page will do as CEO of Google starting today?

Acer to focus much more on ARM Powered devices

Posted by – April 1, 2011

Category:Acer Incorporated

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday, Gianfranco Lanci was fired (or resigned) as CEO of Acer. The official reason is that the board of Acer now thinks that they need to stop being a Wintel company and become more of an ARM/Linux embedded devices company.

This is part of the big wave of change in the industry that is happening across the whole range of ex-Wintel-exclusive laptop makers such as HP, Dell, Lenovo, Apple, Toshiba and even Asus. All are moving away from Windows/Intel, and into rapidly re-focusing on making ARM and embedded Linux/Unix based devices. Here’s the reason why and Apple has been the biggest exemplification of this:

Profit margins:
– ARM and Linux can bring much larger profit margins to these companies. Instead of making 10-20% profit margins selling Intel powered laptops, these giants can make upwards 300% profit margins selling ARM Powered devices, like Apple does between the $150 BOM and $600 retail/consumer sales price of the iphone. The difference in profit margins are huge! ARM enables better distribution of profits among supply chain participants. In Apple’s case, their profit margins are 10x larger selling ARM Powered devices compared to the companies trying to compete in the Windows/Intel world.

Differentiation and design:
– ARM and Linux offers plenty more options, the giants of device making can put their engineers to work for the first time, in designing innovative, diversified and differentiated devices, to implement new amazing technology and at the same time have the possibility to aim at making a very significant fashion statement in the innovative designs that become possible. Apple is the ultimate example of this, their ipod/iphone/ipad are regarded as fashion examples, and the possibilities to set new trends opens up to everyone else in the industry. This is why the ARM and embedded code based product innovations are changing and improving much faster than Windows/Intel products. A giant of manufacturing always wants to be in control of their differentiation options, and not be locked into very limited reference designs and rules required to make Windows/Intel based products.

How hard is it to focus more on ARM? As previous anti-trust lawsuits against Microsoft and Intel have shown, these companies try to enforce exclusive relationships with other big players in the industry. They go as far as to use predatory tactics, dumping price on components, dumping price on licences, in exchange for exclusivity and they do what they can to block out of the competition from gaining any significant market share. But ARM/Linux is reaching a point of leadership.

So it will be a very hurtful and perhaps violent moment when giants like Asus, Acer, Dell, Toshiba, Sony, all one after the other announce more and more devices based on ARM and free software such as Android, Google TV and Chrome OS, it hurts Intel and Microsoft. So while these ex-Wintel-exclusive giants don’t want to make it look like the start of a nasty divorce, they still feel forced to make the transition, and so you see them all bringing more and more devices, until like with Apple, more than 60% of their revenues and profits suddenly comes from ARM Powered devices, and until they suddenly all come to their senses and realize that ARM is the place to be, and they invest most of their R&D in creating differentiation in that ARM Powered world.

That does not mean nobody wants to make Windows/Intel laptops anymore. It just means everybody spends much more effort to make much more profits in bringing differentiated product designs in the ARM Powered world.

I am the new Editor in Chief of Engadget

Posted by – April 1, 2011

Bestselling author Steven Carter with celebrit...

On the phone with Arianna Huffington

I just got off the phone with Arianna Huffington. She likes what I do and has asked me to be the new Editor in Chief at Engadget.com effective immediately.

I told her I will do it under one condition, that they agree to rename Engadget.com to ARMdevices.net, all visitors going to the previous Engadget.com will be automatically redirected to the more future-proof ARMdevices.net brand instead.

Under my command, the site will only feature Benchmarks and Funny Videos. I believe that snarky news items are a waste of time. Any Engadget editor who owns an iPhone, who knows someone who owns an iPhone or who has been in an Apple Store during the previous 6 months will be fired.

100% of the posts will be ARM related, 10% of which will be Archos and ARM related, as I believe Archos is the best company in the world. Any negativity towards Google will not be tolerated, let them close Honeycomb and ban emulators if they want!

If anyone has a problem with this, you can send me an email.

Here I’m being interviewed with Arianna Huffington at the announcement event this morning here in Davos:

Qualcomm’s next generation Snapdragon behind the scenes

Posted by – April 1, 2011

Last year, they invited us into their top secret R&D centers, now here’s a look into how they train their engineers to build the next generation Snapdragon processor:

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?

$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.