OLPC Summit: Sending data over short waves

Posted by – October 24, 2011

The idea is to be able to transmit data over large areas using short waves when there might not be internet. Here he is transmitting text over sound.

This video was filmed using the new JVC GC-PX10 camcorder at 36mbitps 1080p50, you can download the full sample file here on Google Docs

OLPC Summit: E-Toys for constructionist learning

Posted by – October 24, 2011

E-Toys is presented by Yoshiki Ohshima, one of the creators of the E-Toys app for the OLPC Laptop project.

This video was filmed using the new JVC GC-PX10 camcorder at 36mbitps 1080p50, you can download the full sample file here on Google Docs

OLPC Summit: San Francisco Proclamates October 22nd 2011 OLPC Day

Posted by – October 22, 2011

Sameer Verma presents the OLPC Summit in San Francisco. The mayor proclamated October 22nd 2011 the One Laptop Per Child Day in San Francisco. It's going to be 2 days of OLPC sessions, work, collaboration, projects, I will video-blog interviews with people involved with the worldwide OLPC deployments project.

This video was filmed using the JVC GC-PX10 camcorder at 36mbitps 1080p50, you can download the sample here on Google Docs

OLPC Summit: Daniel Drake and Christoph Derndorfer presents

Posted by – October 22, 2011

The OLPC Summit is underway in San Francisco for the third year. Programmers, hardware engineers, teachers, collaborators, volunteers from around the world gather in San Francisco to prepare the deployment of millions more laptops to the worlds children, to improve education, giving everyone in the world the equal access to information and equal opportunity.

This video was filmed using the new JVC GC-PX10 camcorder at 36mbitps 1080p50, you can download the full sample file here on Google Docs

Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich runs on Texas Instruments OMAP4460

Posted by – 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.

Archos 80 G9 for sale at $269 through Amazon and Circuit City

Posted by – October 12, 2011

I just checked the latest price on the Archos 80 G9 tablet (the basic 1Ghz 8GB version), and wow, it seems to be just $269 now on Amazon.com

It currently says:

Ships from and sold by CircuitCity.

The Archos 101 G9 1Ghz 8GB is also now for sale on Archos.com for $369 at this URL: http://store.archos.com/10070_101g9_landing.php

Consider that the 1.2Ghz Turbo version with 16GB and 250GB hard drive will also start becoming available later this month. And that the 1.5Ghz version should start being for sale around December normally. The faster Turbo versions having more storage will obviously be a little bit more expensive.

I hope to get my Archos G9 tablet within a few days, and then I'll post my full video-review. For now you can see my short overview video that I filmed of early pre-release prototypes of these tablets last July:

Sharp, Toshiba and Sony release 4K2K Quad-HD TV and Projectors

Posted by – October 12, 2011

At the recent CEATEC consumer electronics show in Japan (which I had tried to attend and video-blog at but I did not find a sponsor in time), Sharp, Toshiba and Sony showcased their first consumer-oriented 4K2K screens and projectors, perhaps finally leading up to more 4K2K for the mass market. Eventually more affordable, because Toshiba's 55" Regza 55×3 Quad-HD is announced to be priced at over $10 thousand. Sony's VPL-VW1000ES Quad-HD projector is even more expensive at upwards $20 thousand. Sharp did not yet announce a price for their 60" Quad-HD TV, but they showed what they call their new so-called Integrated Cognitive Creation (ICC) processor for what they claim to be higher-quality Quad-HD upscaling.

4K2K is awesome. And putting it on 55" or 60" screens and in projectors sounds like a good target. They need to sell 4K at sub-$2K. They need to price 4K at $2000 and below and not $10K and they need to mass produce 4K2K as a priority now instead of 3D.

The 4K content solution:

On the Internet, the most downloaded 1080p movies are below 10GB per movie. That means 4K movies can be compressed at a below 40GB file size. That means that a 4K movie can fit on a current Blu-ray disc. That means that more than 50 4K movies can fit on a $50 2TB hard drive.

There is no 4K distribution problem.

YouTube supports 4K streaming at below 20mbitps today.

The most downloaded 1080p movies are encoded at below 9mbitps bit rate. That means that a 4K movie can be streamed with a 36mbitps or faster Internet connection (at same "full" quality level per pixel), which more and more people can access today using a regular VDSL Internet connection over copper wires and even faster over the coaxial based network. Millions of consumers already have Fiber internet to the home, and millions more could easily get it. Those people can get 1Gbitps over the connection, that is more than enough to stream any 4K content needed.

Hollywood has already digitized most of their 35mm movies to the 4K2K format, which is already becoming the digital standard for Cinemas worldwide. And most of the new movies are being recorded using 4K2K cameras anyways and are already natively recorded in that format. So it would actually be a piece of cake for the film industry to provide every movie ever made in the 4K2K format, easily distributed on Blu-ray, on hard drives or streamed using 36mbitps or faster home internet connections and progressively downloaded using slower connections (if you only have a 20mbitps download ADSL connection, you may wait about half an hour before the 4K movie can start. Or you can get the 3K version at half the bitrate and that still would look 2x better on a 4K display than the same content in the 1080p format).

It is very common for all consumers to take digital pictures at 8megapixels or higher. Most new digital picture cameras take 8Mpix pictures or higher today. Even most new high-end smartphones take 8Mpix pictures. put the SD card from those cameras in your 4K2K TV, and for the first time, you can see the full quality of your digital photographs. Just to display your personal photography onto those 4K2K displays wil be worth the enthusiasm, even if you do not have fast enough Internet, even if you can't get a lot of 4K content on Blu-ray or directly onto hard drives, then still just as a picture viewer, the demand for 4K2K is worth it now.

Dear TV industry, please stop making 3D now and start mass producing 4K2K screens and projectors now! Get the price down below $2000 as soon as possible, than you.

Variscite announces OMAP4460 1.5GHz Dual-core System On Module

Posted by – October 11, 2011

Press release:

Variscite announces the first System on Module based on TI’s OMAP4460 smart multicore processor with dual ARM® Cortex™-A9 MPCores™ running at up to 1.5GHz each - now the fastest on the market.
Variscite is really speeding things up with the new future-proof and highly integrated VAR-SOM-OM44, responding to the increasing demand for faster processing and cutting-edge multimedia performance. Leveraging Variscite’s known design expertise for proprietary System-on-Chips from Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI), this offering is based on TI’s smart multicore OMAP4460 (OMAP 4) mobile processor. The VAR-SOM-OM44 is ideal for a wide range of target markets requiring rich multimedia functionality, advanced graphics and video capabilities, together with high-processing power.

Find more info: http://www.variscite.com/

Some of my expectations for Ice Cream Sandwich (to be shown starting October 19th)

Posted by – October 5, 2011

I expect this to be the open source Android OS for:
- Smartphones (from $50 to $600) iphone-killer
- Tablets (from $50 to $600) ipad-killer
- Set-top-boxes (from $50 to $200) ARM Powered Google TV 2.0
- Laptops (from $100 to $600) ultrabook/netbook/macbook-killer
- E-readers (from $75 to $300) kindle-killer
and combinations thereof. We can have 1 device that does it all when using MHL/HDMI output and the Pixel Qi LCD.

This is the first Android OS that is ready to use the latest ARM Cortex-A9 processors that not only run at 1.5Ghz (+50% compared to Tegra2) but most importantly also introduce much faster memory bandwidht (+200% compared to Tegra2).

This means devices with Ice Cream Sandwich can now run a full computer. A FULL ANDROID LAPTOP.

Just a sec here. Google has Chrome OS, brace for it.... I think it might merge now.

Think of the Atrix 4G, now over the MHL Connector, you can dock your phone to any HDMI monitor such as your HDTV, get your Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, and your Android phone is now powerful enough to run a full speed 720p or even 1080p Chrome browser.

Laptop makers want to release ARM Powered Laptops without touch screens running Chrome OS only, sure enough, they can do that. But if that Laptop has a touch screen, it can DUAL-BOOT with Ice Cream Sandwich. That is how I see them merge. Basically Android gets a full Chrome browser. And Chrome OS can safely and easily switch to Android mode on ARM Powered devices if needed.

This is the recipe for the ultimate ARM Powered device. Ice Cream Sandwich Powered.

But Ice Cream Sandwich is also less bloatware, a faster user experience, it can run on the cheapest $50 Smartphones to destroy what's left of Nokia's Symbian sales in the developing world. It can run on ARM9 like Mediatek, ARM11 like Mediatek and Qualcomm, ARM Cortex-A8 single core processors like Rockchip RK2918 and Telechips 8803, as well as single core ARM Cortex-A9 like AmLogic and low frequency ARM Cortex-A9 like the NEC/Renesas one. But I expect every other ARM Processor to be fully supported. Obviously slower processors may have some UI layers automatically disabled such as having less holographs, less animations, less transitions, so that the OS scales perfectly for every hardware platform and at the same time that it can fully take advantage of the newest fastest performance.

In terms of looks compared to Gingerbread and Honeycomb? I don't care about the looks, give us whatever the user experience scientists have measured is the absolute best design for a user interface. This is a simplification of the smartphone but at the same time the enabling of new more advanced features for the first time.

Obviously that a Nexus Prime for $529 unlocked with a new 4.65" 1280x720 Super AMOLED HD screen, with a new TI OMAP4460 or/and a new Qualcomm MSM8660, obviously that is going to be the most awesome reference product for this new version of Android. My question is how much of the Atrix-features for HD web browsing, full Chrome on HDMI output, I wonder how much of that is shown already this October 11th or if the OS is presented for now just as a Smartphone upgrade and that the whole rest of the ecosystem gets added later.

What do you think Ice Cream Sandwich is going to be like?

Archos wants to provide the G9 tablets for 0.50€ per day with 3G to students in France

Posted by – October 3, 2011

The Archos CEO Henri Crohas today spoke on French radio station France Inter (the audio is in French) to suggest for a Government supported promotion plan to be offered to French students where the student can pay only half a euro per day to get the Archos 80 G9 with 3G stick and with a 3G data connection on a 2-year contract.

The French Government is launching an offer to students in France to get an iPad2 or Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 for 1€ per day over a 2-year contract to get the tablet and 3G connectivity. That amounts to 730€. As a counter attack, Archos is suggesting that the Government support a French offer to French students, where the student can choose to get the Archos 80 G9 with 3G stick and with 3G access for half the price 0.50€ per day over 2 years, that amounts to only 365€. Given a choice with such huge price difference, obviously most students will choose the Archos tablet deal and not Samsung or Apple.

Archos is the only Tablet maker in France, and one of the only tablet makers based in Europe. The latest sales numbers for Tablet sales in France show that Archos is biggest Android tablet maker in terms of market share, in front of Samsung. They are of course second biggest tablet maker after Apple, for example last November and December months, Archos had 22% tablet market share in France and Apple had 68%. But that difference may get lowered quickly if the French Government accepts to support providing Archos tablets to all French students at a discounted price, half the price compared to the iPad2, all the while Archos providing a faster processor and far more features such as more video codecs supported, HDMI, 2x USB Hosts, Kick-stand (which makes it much more usable for education) an up to 50% faster processor and more.

Consider that Archos only has 100 employees, and Apple has 50 thousand (500x more). Consider that Archos has a market capitalisation of $200 Million on the Paris stock exchange while Apple is valued at $350 Billion on NASDAQ (1750x more). That Archos has about $40 Million cash to use for launching mass production while Apple has $70 Billion cash that they can use to launch as much mass production as they want (1750x more). And regardless of all that, it seems Archos may find a way in France to single handedly sell more tablets than Apple.