Tag: contextual computing

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There’s Something You Should Know About Google

In 2004, at JupiterResearch’s defunct Microsoft Monitor blog, I took a contrary view about Google, by asserting that it is not a search company. “Search is a means to an end, and information is that end. Google monetizes the information through search and contextual advertising”. That Google is all about information should be obvious enough now, although perhaps not to many people outside the company 11 years ago.

In a post four days ago, but only seen by poor pitiful me this morning, Washington Post reporter Brian Fung rightly explains why Google will “win” with its push into telecommunications. He writes: “What made Google one of the world’s five biggest companies? Data…If Google forges into the wireless space, the search giant wouldn’t just be another alternative to Verizon and AT&T. It would control a vertical slice of this universe in a way that no other company does”. Yep. The information giant’s interest in wired and wireless information share the same destination. 

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Toshiba Chromebook 2 First Impressions

This afternoon, I received the Toshiba Chromebook 2, purchased 24 hours earlier from Amazon. The computer tests my taste for the contextual cloud, as I contemplate moving back to the Google lifestyle abandoned in early summer 2014. While in some ways my creativity flourishes on Apple products, I also feel encumbered. Synchronization still stumbles across Apple devices; informational utility of Siri sucks; fumbling around with apps across the user interface is distracting and time-wasting.

While having used Toshiba laptops in the distance past, this is the first I paid for. I chose the Chromebook for what it has that nearly no other does, 1080p IPS panel. The screen type offers bright and bountiful viewing angles. Most other Chromebooks rely on TN panels that are typically 200- or 250-nit brightness, or likely less than your smartphone. There is one, good viewing angle—straight on! The Toshiba tops 300-nits, which is similar to my 13.3-inch MacBook Pro (late-2013 model). The published numbers I’ve seen vary, with the most consistent 339 and 320 nits, respectively.

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Five Tech Products Changed My Digital Lifestyle in 2014

Looking back on this last day of the year, I wonder how my daily tech changed so much since the first. On Jan. 1, 2014, my core computing comprised Chromebook, Nexus tablet, and Nexus smartphone. Midyear, I switched out to all Microsoft—buying Surface Pro 3 and Nokia Lumia Icon. While commendable the effort, Windows poorly fit my lifestyle. Today, I’m all Apple—13-inch MacBook Pro Retina Display with 512GB SSD, iPhone 6 128GB, and iPad Air 128GB. I can’t imagine using anything else.

I abandoned my Google lifestyle for numerous reasons, with my desire to create more content rather than consume it being primary. Google gives great contextual computing, with respect to information that is relevant to where you are and even what you want. But Android and Chrome OS, and their supporting apps, aren’t mature enough platforms for consistent content creation. 

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I Told You So

Sony selling its PC business rocks techdom today. I am in process of writing an analysis for BetaNews and decided to excerpt a portion here, posted sooner, that hopefully will help anyone looking for context.

Additionally, because I work on a book about writing well and responsibly online, there is opportunity to refute long-time accusations leveled by aggressive BetaNews commenters. Yeah, the two are related. With that introduction…

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Nexus One Foreshadows Google Mobility That Could Get Ugly for Apple and Microsoft

Microsoft and Apple underestimate how quickly Google is consolidating its mobile platform—clearly so do geeks reviewing Nexus One. Google isn’t just going for one piece of mobility but the whole shebang. Google is putting together the pieces to offer a single mobile lifestyle, with no PC required, supported by search and other Google informational services. Like everything else the company does, free is the glue sticking everything together.

Google’s decision to sell Nexus One direct, even the carrier subsidized model, is part of the strategy. Open-source licensing has its limitations and risks fragmenting Android. As I explained in March 2009 post “There’s an App for That,” Apple changed the rules for mobile operating systems by breaking carrier control over updates. Apple distributes iPhone OS updates, preventing the kind of fragmentation typically caused by carrier distribution. By selling a handset direct, Google takes control of Android updates for a flagship phone that also acts like a baseline design model for handset manufacturers licensing the mobile operating system. 

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Google Takes Ownership of a New Mobile Category

Today’s Google Nexus One launch is as game changing as Apple’s June 2007 release of the iPhone. Perhaps, Nexus One is more important, although judging from blogs and tweets, geekdom doesn’t yet get it. Apple supercharged the smartphone category with a more natural user interface. Suddenly, there was a new way to interact with a mobile phone that was seemingly magical. Today, Google turned on the superpowers, by finally starting to integrate cloud services into its mobile platform in a hugely useful way. Additionally, Google is transcending the limitations of one natural user interface by extending the capabilities of another.

With Nexus One and Android 2.1, Google is doing what Microsoft failed to with its March 2007 Tellme acquisition: Offer a more natural mobile phone user interface. Voice should have been it, but Microsoft failed to bring the technology to Windows Mobile in a big way. By comparison, Google has been hot on voice search, which promises to be much better on Nexus One and other handsets running Android 2.1. Google is extending voice search to other services, which just last week I blogged the information giant should be doing