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+ - HALE Dreamer: The Difference Between Android and Apple Accessories->

Submitted by JoeBorn
JoeBorn (625012) writes "One of the little discussed factors in the Apple v Android debate is the accessory ecosystem. Apple has fostered a robust ecosystem with a set of standards, a "MFi" verification program and reference designs. The Android ecosystem has little of that, but also none of the restrictions that go with it, this puts more work on the startups that want to get into the Android accessory space, but also gives them more freedom to innovate. HALE devices has created an alarm dock that includes an integrated Do Not Disturb feature, based on their own set of standards. Is this an area that hurts or helps Android?"
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Android

+ - Sonr Labs Releases a Plug In Standard for Android Phones->

Submitted by
JoeBorn
JoeBorn writes "Android's lack of a universal connector (like Apple's 30 pin) has meant a dirth of peripherals. Sonr labs has released source code and a reference design that's been used to create a speaker dock and advanced remote control (using the headphone jack as a modem) which allows interactivity with Internet music from the couch, dining room table, etc."
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Hardware

+ - Android a Tipping Point in Innovative Electronics->

Submitted by JoeBorn
JoeBorn (625012) writes "Neuros CEO has a posting discussing why electronics has been such a tough go for so many US small companies over the last couple decades, and why Android represents a potential economic tipping point that goes far beyond cell phones or the obvious significance of the technology itself. In the posting, he makes the case that Android has the potential to be an economic catalyst for garage hardware startups, similar in impact to the IBM PC of 30 years ago."
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Comment: Re:Atom (Score 1) 199

by JoeBorn (#31813420) Attached to: How Neuros Built Their Nearly Silent HTPC
I'm from Neuros and as others have suggested, we'd LOVE to use an atom solution. The issue, as fuzzyfuzzyfungus suggested is that we can't anticipate what users will want to use the machine for, and sadly much of that is not optimized. flash 10.1 did not completely solve this problem (and its not available in 64bit yet anyway). Further, flash isn't the only inefficient application out there, and the entire point of our box is flexibility, and that you can run virtually any application you want without hassle. I would love to do what you are doing and go with an atom solution, it would save us money and hassle, and be more efficient. Its very close, but just not quiet there for what we're trying to do just yet. No one will be happier when that day comes.

Comment: Re:Wasted money on fluid bearing fans (Score 2, Interesting) 199

by JoeBorn (#31813314) Attached to: How Neuros Built Their Nearly Silent HTPC
I'm from Neuros (to get that out of the way) You shouldn't lump ball bearings in with fluid bearings. Fluid bearings combined the long life of ball bearings are are practically silent. But you are right about going big and slow. That's why the product uses a 120mm fan that's speed controlled, in typical use its under 1000 rpm and pretty much dead silent.

Comment: Re:Slashvertisement (Score 1) 199

by JoeBorn (#31813134) Attached to: How Neuros Built Their Nearly Silent HTPC
That's been my experience too, that the dB specs are meaningless because they are so filled with lies. This device is about as quiet as any fanned system gets and in any normal ambient environment you can't tell if its off or on from 3 feet away. You'd all but need to be in a sound proof room to hear it from 6 feet away.

+ - Silent, discless HTPC v. a NetTop for your TV?->

Submitted by JoeBorn
JoeBorn (625012) writes "Neuros has a blog posting discussing how they created their latest "thin" HTPC to be nearly silent. Instead of using a net-top architecture (atom or the like) they used a full 2.7GHz CPU and put this effort into making that nearly silent. The article talks about their efforts on fan selection, placement, control and vibration dampening. This route was chosen to "give more headroom" for CPU hungry apps (web and otherwise) including adobe flash. The solution costs $279, Is this an appropriate tradeoff for a device powering your TV?"
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+ - YouTube Taking a Discriminatory Position with API->

Submitted by
JoeBorn
JoeBorn writes "Google has started to close down access to their YouTube API for some 3rd parties. The process and decision criterion are non-public and reportedly based on ability to pay for advertising. Having a big company like Google arbitrarily picking winners and losers up front is sure to have a chilling effect on innovation in the space, and should make users question the trust they've vested in the company founded on "doing no evil""
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Comment: Re:But ATI doesn't support hardware x264 accelerat (Score 1) 121

by JoeBorn (#29011247) Attached to: Neuros LINK Mixes Quiet, Aesthetics, and Ubuntu

Also, if we're talking high end processors, we aren't talking about this particular device

A 2.8GHz single core is a pretty careful choice. It's a pretty good balance that supports a wide range of content, remember not everything supports multiple cores well (or hardware acceleration for example). This processor does everything up to 1080p24 (what you see on apple.com for example) and also supports flash video, etc. On one hand, there's a great deal of discussion of ION or other graphics centric solutions, which are great when that hardware matches *exactly* what you want to playback, but then try something not optimized (flash for example) and you are very limited. On the other side, there are more powerful CPUs, but the expense (and cooling requirements-noise go up) and in most applications you won't see one lick of improvement, I know because we tested a lot of them before settling on this one.

Comment: Re:MP4 / Patents (Score 1) 121

by JoeBorn (#29011125) Attached to: Neuros LINK Mixes Quiet, Aesthetics, and Ubuntu
yep, sure have. It's funny just today in the mail I got a big envelope from a law firm I didn't know, and I put it aside just figuring it was another letter from a patent troll demanding royalties. That's just a routine part of being an electronics manufacturer nowadays. It turned out it was something else for once, but generally big envelope from a law firm you don't know mean patent troll nowadays.

Comment: Re:Even for power users... (Score 1) 121

by JoeBorn (#29010999) Attached to: Neuros LINK Mixes Quiet, Aesthetics, and Ubuntu
The parent post does a very good job of posing the problem that the NeurosLink is trying to solve (with the exception of composite output which we've left for dead). The traditional embedded devices are more plug and play and a PC is vastly more flexible, how do you combine the benefits of both?

The problems with a HTPC being plug and play are not at the high level. As many posts in this discussion demonstrate, many people have an easy enough time installing XBMC on Linux and the machine works well at the basic level. Its the details where a big amount of effort is needed. Make sure audio over HDMI works. Make sure the remote works and all the buttons are mapped correctly. Make sure you can configure the system entirely with the remote (at a minimum get it on the network). Make sure all videos play flawlessly out of the box, not just downloaded MKV files, but Hulu HD and all the other flash video sites. These are the kinds of little details that its really helpful to have a manufacturer behind. Someone has got to hammer away at the "final 5%" that's required for it to be competitive with any dedicated device.

The good news is that once you get those details taken care of you left with a really powerful, robust flexible system. Obviously many talented folks have been hammering away at the various components for years (XBMC, MythTV, etc) so its really glue that's left to be done.
Programming

+ - Open Source Television->

Submitted by jonniee
jonniee (1271482) writes "The Neuros LINK is essential a quiet x86 PC running Ubuntu Linux with an ATI graphics card delivering video via VGA, DVI, and HDMI output. What makes the LINK such a compelling platform for these folks and Linux/open source developers in general is the recognition that a real business entity is stepping forward to spend the money necessary to market and commercialize what tech enthusiasts have been doing for years."
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