But in spite of the cost, it won't actually float.
Most of the value of a Google branded Android phone comes from it being connected to the Internet, just like any PC, only smaller. The actual phone part they don't even make (and it runs in a separate, isolated CPU). Most of what Android is is an application stack that is not very different from desktop applications. I really don't see how some old phone related patents can apply to that. Now the GSM, CDMA, 3G, 4G, etc. implementations do have patents associated with them, but those would rightly be paid by the phone manufacturers. These manufacturers get the application stack side for free to enhance the value of their phones. They also modify it as they see fit, generally making it worse. So Google would like the user experience to be better, so they impose certain restrictions regarding app store access if the OS is drastically modified. What is wrong with that?
In case you missed it.
Android is based on Linux and other open-source software. Google also open-sourced most of their own contributions under an Apache license. I don't see that as evil. Now the patent trolls are going after them with overly broad patents (yet another indication of the broken patent system), primarily due to the success of Android. The patent infringement allegations have not been proven. Android is just simply better but the established players can't deal with that.
Google's biggest mistake was using the Java language. That has always been a legal time bomb, since it was never made an open standard.
You are quite right. Taken further, the simplest tools are paper and pencil. Also blocks, builders of some sort (like Legos), and "manipulatives". But nothing beats basic human interaction, one on one. For young children this all that is needed.
I believe too much technology exposure at a young age is actually detrimental to learning. I'm not the only one. See:
In my experience, the best teacher IS experience. Kids just need to get outside more and play.
Also consider that your public school teacher might also be one of those. "You never know what you're gonna get."
The devil is in the details.
Perhaps that's what the white-space bidding was about?
Because, unlike land-line phones, a cellular phone is a complex device that is an integral part of the system. A buggy or hacked radio software can potentially disrupt service to many other paying customers. It needs to be tightly controlled to assure network availability for everyone. Therefore every phone needs to undergo an expensive battery of tests and certification.
Therefore these phones are actully quite expensive. In order to get the price down to a level to attract the most customers they have to be subsidized. Therefore, you have to sign a contract promising to stick with them for some amount of time to cover that cost.
But you can also pay full price for a phone and get a monthly service plan from most carriers. Many people overlook this.
You can also, in fact, buy a GSM or CDMA modem (only) and attach it to a PC (or TI-89) by serial or USB, add some custom software, and make a smart phone out of it. It won't be very compact, however. Getting all that into one hand-held device is not so easy either.
Modern smart phones, like the G1, actually have two CPUs in them, one for the apps and interface and one for the radio interface. The radio CPU and memory are isolated by hardware.
Google does get it. But Google does not want to play by the existing rules. They want to change the rules.
However, there is growing concern in the industry about security related to hypervisors, and how that can undermine the security (file access permissions,etc.) of the guest OS. Therefore there is a trend to use "bare metal" hypervisors to better secure the whole system. Now, running Windows is the opposite of that. Indeed, it doesn't make any sense, especially considering MSs security track record.
In addition, their driver is about 22,000 lines of code! The existing paravirtualization code (that works with VMware also) is only about 6000 lines as far as I can tell. What exactly is IN that MS driver?
The knife is the most versitile tool ever, and the most essential for human civilization. You can't even make most of those other things without it, or something else that was made with it.
Shoot, many TV and print news sources are now even quoting people's blogs.
Actually, modern journalism is about profit. A headline and a few sound-bites are all that is required to bring people to look at the advertisements on the page around the arcticle, or see the commercial. Some of us, at least, expect more. But we don't get it, and they don't care as long as they get the advertisement revenue. It's all about filling pages with "stuff" to attract some eyeballs.
Yes, and also gets the "A" in school. It doesn't take any creativity to get good grades. If you question the logic and expose the flaws of exams, for example, you lose.