Google stores

Rumour has it that we might be seeing some Google stores opening in the not too distant future. I rather hope they do.  Google may not have the same range of branded hardware as Apple has with their products, but it would give Google the opportunity to showcase directly to people the Android system as well as their various Nexus phones and tablets. There’s also the Chromebooks, and if Google Glass is going to be priced around the $500 to $1000 then I’d really be wanting to play with it before thinking of purchase. Each of the Google stores could…

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AOL

In times gone by AOL was often seen as a bit of a joke by the technically literate (or even by a basically competent computer user).   The sort of person who used AOL would be seen as the sort of person who thought the CD draw on their computer was a cup holder, or get confused when they couldn't find the 'any' key when told to 'press any key'. Through some clever (really annoying?) marketing at one time AOL was a very dominant force in the on-line information supply system, first in providing their own "walled garden" community, then as…

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Technology future

Time for a technology change cycle to come around again?   Look back 20 years or so and the technology / mobile phone market was dominated by companies like IBM and Benefon, multinational companies providing some excellent (analogue) phones with big plans for the future. However they totally underestimated the speed at which the switch from analogue to digital would happen. Improved call quality and the extra features, especially text messaging, got the public's attention where companies like Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola stepped in with new and exciting products. The older giants with their existing development plans could not change quickly…

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Google and Apple

So it looks like Google is going to pay Apple $ 1 billion next year to be the default search engine within the iOS empire. Interesting how Google and Apple may be competitors  in various areas, but Google does seem to be more open in its cross-systems attitudes,  and rather say 'sod you, we'll just work flat out for our own system' they will still work with active competitors. (Both Mozilla and Opera benefit from Google funding.) I guess this reflects the power of of information obtained with long term data analysis compared to short term costs. It can also make…

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EE 4G

So EE are currently claiming 45% population coverage with their 4G service, and by the summer this should be up to 55% coverage. As someone who likes his mobile internet I’d been following T-Mobile / EE 4G development over the last year, and their activation of the system in the second half of 2012 coincided with contract renewal time for me.  However I was somewhat pissed off at their 4G prices, and totally pissed off at their data caps. So fora standard 12 month contract the cheapest is currently at £41 a month and with a 500MB data limit. So…

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WebRTC and Skype

What’s this WebRTC thing and what about the future for Skype. Quite a few people I know use Skype. Of them not one person I know has had anything positive to say about Microsoft’s takeover of Skype and its integration in with Messenger. However how much of a future does Skype have? Recently I've noticed comments about something called WebRTC (Web Real Time Communication). The idea behind this to enable things like browsers (or any web based application) to be able to provide audio and video communications just as part of what they do. No plug-ins to configure or add-ons to download,…

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Poor Microsoft

What about tablet sales and Microsoft. Comparing the last three months of 2011 to the last three months of 2012, for 2012 apparently tablet device sales have jumped up by around 75%. For that 2012 period Apple shipped just under 23 million iPads, Samsung around 8 million Galaxy tablets, Amazon around 6 million of its various Kindle devices, and just over 3 million Asus / Google Nexus 7s. What about Microsoft? Well, what about Microsoft.... With all its hype and publicity, it shipped less than 900,000 Surface units.   Oh dear, the phrase 'could do better' springs to mind!

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BlackBerry

So we've just had the new BlackBerry announcement. I've used Windows Mobile phones before and they've performed in a perfectly competent fashion, but were rather 'blown away' when I got my iPhone 3GS (and discovered the ease and use of Apps). We then had the Windows 8 phone release which I followed but it did nothing for me. However the run up to this BlackBerry release had got me interested. I've never been a BlackBerry user and have had no real desire or need for one. However I've seen many students around where I work use them and they seem happy with…

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Dropbox.

Steve Ballmer has dismissed Dropbox as a 'fine little start-up' with only 100 million users. In a way I can live with that, Dropbox only having one hundred million is nothing compared to the billion Office users. However a vast number of those Dropbox users are students at schools, colleges and universities, and they like it. They also use Office, but only use Office because they have to, not because they like it! However today's university graduates will move into the adult world of work, commerce, industry and so on, and many will take their Dropbox experience with them. I'll…

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