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Comment Re:Some things do happen overnight (Score 1) 311

Other version of the story: others indeed paid 4 billion and got their hands on the patents, which wasn't what Google had in mind. Apple/MS won the deal, after which Google decided to publicly accuse them of wanting to attack Android. Microsoft then responds with "we invited you to join the party", but Google didn't want to, since they wouldn't be able to use these patents in their defense against Apple or Microsoft, both major patent holders related to mobile/smartphones - which sounds very logical to me. But that would imply Google actually really wanted the patents, and doesn't really sound like an overbidding plan, does it? So why did MS/Apple bid for these patents? They didn't want them to be used against them, and asked Google to join them, so they could split the bill. Sure, if Google hadn't placed such massive bids, they would have gotten them cheaper, but doesn't sound like a good strategy when fighting against 2 companies with both a massive cash-reserve and working together... The outcome offers no strategic advance at all for Google. If MS or Apple would have been short on cash, sure - that would have been another story, but now? The only real winner in this situation was the party actually receiving the money. If that was a strategic move, is was an absolutely moronic-one against companies with a lot more experience on this level.

Some people say the talks with Motorola had only been going on since that 4 billion fiasco, but I don't really believe that. I just think it gave Motorola a clear upper hand in the acquisition negotiations, I mean - 2.5 billion if the deal fails? And the announcement that Motorola would sue other Android manufacturers? Strictly a strategic move from Motorola to push the price up, and it worked, Google will pay WAY more than the company's was valuated. Stock shot up from $24 to $38 after the announcement - just check MMI on Nasdaq. That's more than +50% - and even with that massive spike, the total market cap still is only a bit more than 11 billion. But Google needs it, it needs the patents, to be able to force other Android-phone manufacturers into a patent consortium, which then would defend Android's interests, otherwise it could cost Google a lot more than this 12,5 billion... Motorola knew that, and had Google by the balls.

Oh - and the mobility division but is making losses year after year, it is not "a workable company to boot with". It will require major restructuring to make it profitable, and this will take time, and again - a lot of money, so no it's not a workable company to boot with. The outcome, I hope, is that Google manages to restructure and make this division profitable, and finally create phones that can compete with iPhones on hardware level. And also, end this entire patent-bullshit. Google ignored patents completely when it comes to Android, and now they just realized what a mistake this was. They'll be in a much stronger position now, but it appears it will cost them way more than they ever expected...

Comment Re:Some things do happen overnight (Score 1) 311

Who in their right mind would pay 4 BILLION for a distraction? Don't forget that if Apple/Microsoft decided that that much money wasn't worth it - Google would have bought that distraction for that sum, and I'm pretty sure that would have prevented them from spending another 12,5 BILLION on Motorola. I won't even go into what what shareholders might think about such a thing, right now the market clearly isn't too confident in what just happened at Google... There aren't many companies that could afford such cash-spending. Sadly for Google, Apple is pretty much the only-one with such a huge cash-reserve who can afford itself such massive buyouts, and even Apple chooses not to do it alone.

Google has a very weak patent portfolio. They're in the same situation Microsoft once was, and they decided to hire the guy who used to be responsible for the IBM patent portfolio... Google likes the patent system just as little as Microsoft liked it (there are some very vocal critics of Bill Gates against software patents) - but now realizes they have to invest in them anyway, just to defend themselfs.

Also, don't forget, Google is not a hardware company, they have zero experience on this level. Yes they have the Chrome notebook and Nexus phones, but they were all designed and built by other companies with their approval.

Comment Re:It's the APPS stoopid (Score 1) 716

You can also interprete history like this: if you can get the developers behind you, your platform wins. That is how MS 'won' the pc-wars in the '90s. That and lack of vision by Apple back then. And guess which platform has all the developers behind it right now? Also, Android is nowhere near the #1 mobile os. It only is if you only count "iphone sales" and ignore the iPads and iPod touches, 2 devices which have proven to be massively popular. Just to demonstrate what I mean: I have 14 collegues. There are 6 iPhones, 5 iPod touches, 4 iPads, 1 samsung galaxy tab, and 6 Android phones. 6 vs 15... And all iPod touches except for one are owned by ppl having an Android phone...

And on phones, yes, Android is a serious player there. But Android phones are mostly pushed through carriers, and people know a phone. What it's supposed to be it's primary use. Google trying to sell it's own Nexus one was a failure. What tablets are on the other hand are something new. And the only way you can demonstrate a non-tech person what it is, is by showing it. It just happens that the apps ecosystem is one of its primary strengths, you should understand if your iPhone 4 is filled with apps. And that on tablets, at this moment, can only be demonstrated on the iPad, and it's a going to be a though job for Android enter this market with nobody pushing the devices. It's the chicken and egg problem there. Nobody is buying the tablets because there are no apps, and nobody is making the apps because there is no existing market. Unless someone pays for the development of a few key killer apps for Android, the platform is going nowhere in the tablet market.

That said, I really hope Android tablets improve and would prove a serious contender for the iPad, just to kick Apple in the nuts now and then, since iOS can still be improved a lot (notifications anyone?)

Comment Re:Use cases? (Score 1) 716

It doesn't do anything "new" - it just does it differently. It's about comfort. You pick it up, you don't have to wait for anything, do your thing, and put it down again. And doing that stuff anywhere you want. If you have a 3G-capable version (imho silly to buy a non-3G version), no fiddling with wireless sticks, crappy drivers and custom, carrier-specific login-programs.

I use my recently bought iPad for lazy reading of my rss feeds in my couch using Reeder (which links with my google reader account), streaming a movie from my pc to me using Plex, reading a PDF tech-specs at work I need for doing actual work on my laptop, checking my email and calendar, browsing, playing games, checking the weather and news, GPS in my car, instant messaging, checking out my social network stuff and random news with the awesome Flipboard app, quickly checking a server using SSH on the road, ...

And if somethings else comes up, I just put it down, it's not even necessary to close the cover or tap the lock button, and put it away with the comfort of a book. No clumsy closing of the lid, balancing my laptop, checking if my laptop is not running out of battery, if I would be able to do with the current battery-charge, ... And it's a lot more portable than a laptop. I only have mine for a bit more than a week, and I already miss it when I forget to take it with me. It's a bit the same thing as a smartphone. Or the internet. Once you had it, you become frustrated if you miss it. Comfort is the main keyword for me.

Comment Re:It's the APPS stoopid (Score 1) 716

First of all, the tech-aspect is not what the average Joe is looking at. Faster cpu? better cameras? higher resolution? They wouldn't know what the hell you are talking about. Oh look it can play the cool game or do the cool stuff my friend can do with his phone! This is a real-life situation I've withnessed: 3 college girls talking about apps on the apple appstore, one holding an iPad, one an iPhone, and a 3rd looking very interested. 10 minutes later they're browsing through some fashion-brand app and talking about shoes & stuff. You really think that 3rd girl would EVER consider buying a tablet that can't do that? And if she got one, she would think it sucks.

That is your average user. They do not care about specs. They care about the cool stuff they can do with it. And you know? They're absolutely right. Better camera? As if a tablet would be a replacement for a 'real' camera - or even a phone camera? SD card reader? What for? Storage expansion? Storing camera photo's on the tablet? Most people just attach their camera to their PC using usb, and using the standard crapware that came with the camera to store them on their pc. Faster cpu and more memory? They won't even know what you're talking about. USB? What are you going to connect to it? Keyboard? Camera? Printer? Seriously?? The point of a tablet is portability. Wireless is the key.

Flash? That must be the most pointless argument ever. Users don't even know what the hell it is. And if what I've seen from flash on Android phones reflects the user experience on the tablet, most users would agree it sucks. Also, most videos on the web - the primary use for flash - nowadays play perfectly on the iPad. If your site's video is not working, on other sites it works just fine, your site is broken. Not the tablet. I never understood that a closed tech with such a bad security-trackrecord as flash would suddenly become an argument "pro" an "open" platform. Although the interpretation of Android's openness seems to be subject to Google's will.

Oh, and as someone who had his own software development company - I wouldn't risk investing loads of my own money in a platform which could very well fail miserably.The iPad's market however is something easily accessible and visible for everybody. And the market is there, people know it, and it "just works".

Comment Re:60fps on a phone? Why? (Score 1) 105

Sorry but that's absolutely wrong. The reason why movies and tv work at 24fps and games don't is simple: motion blurring. A camera captures all motion within a certain timeframe (equal to the shutter-time of the camera). A computer renders a single snapshot of this motion, which appears very sharp. For the first, your brain creates sharper images than there actually are, even at 24fps, and sees them as motion.
For the computer generated ultra-sharp snapshots however, you need a lot more images per second to convince your brain of it being a fluent motion. There is no way this is affected by screen size, focus or your eyes. It's your brain that has to be fooled, not the eye. And for sharp static images - you need at least 60fps to fool your brain in every situation, and Carmack knows this very well...

Comment Re:True, but.... (Score 1) 332

Well, then I'm sure you're free enough to be able to move to a more densely populated area in the USA where you can get a 100Mb down/5Mb connection... New York City has about 8 million people living on 468.9 sq miles, Belgium about 10 million on 11,787 sq miles (source: wikipedia)... Shouldn't be a problem there I think?

And maybe it's the silly US "2 big parties with 1 winner" democratic system that makes you distrust your government as much as you do. Democratic governments are there to take care of the population, not be against them. And I'm pretty happy with the fact that my crazy-ass neighbor can't just walk into a store and get a gun. I myself would not even want a gun in my house with little children running around, that is an accident waiting to happen - but that's a personal preference. Thing is - that's mostly the attitude here in Europe. Guns are dangerous, don't forget these laws were not just made "for fun", Europe has had more than it's share of violence in it's history. For being a developed country, the USA's homicide rate is scary high and gun accidents kill about 500 kids/year in the USA according to a 5 second google. That are things I expect my government to take care of, because clearly people are too stupid to do this them-self. Apparently, making it very hard to own a gun seems to work pretty well (note that it is perfectly possible for me to buy and own a gun, I would just have to get myself a permit).

Also, you may be able to deny the holocaust, I can say "fuck" on tv without being beeped out. If it offends someone - they have to deal with it. I was allowed to drink when I was 16, and actually had my first beer when I was 12, and nobody cared. Different freedoms? There's a huge difference in law-enforcement, which actually shocked me when I was in the USA for the first time. And freedom of speech? Well, some of my opinions and world views clearly shocked people, and they expected me to shut up about them, which didn't really feel like "freedom of speech" to me. Also, don't generalize, nazi symbols are not forbidden in all European countries.

We might have a few laws extra - but to me, that's not any different from the "you are not allowed to steal" law, which as far as I know, also exists in the USA. They protect me, and I'm pretty happy with that. I'm not saying I agree with all laws, but most of the time they do make sense, and in general, small offences are not enforced as violently and unforgiving as I have seen in the USA. When my cousin (who has lived his entire life in the USA) was here, he couldn't believe his eyes when we were walking through a park, and some dude lighted a joint in public. When 2 cops walked by and just asked the guy - in a very friendly manner - to put it away, he couldn't believe what he just saw. A lot of USA citizens have a very deformed image of what life in Europe is like, most of them have never left the USA in their entire life, and probably never will. In Europe, it's hard not to get out of your country at a certain point and be confronted with different cultures. I myself have seen quite a bit of the world, been in the USA, Africa, and most of the Western-European countries, and I can't say I feel less free than anyone I've ever met on my trips.

Don't get me wrong, I like the US, it's the country with the most open and friendly people I've ever been to, but moving there permanently? (which I am free to do if I wouldn't be happy here) I don't think I could do that. Silly speed limits would probably be nr 1 reason on a pretty lengthy list :D

Comment Re:True, but.... (Score 1) 332

I can assure you, none of my tax-money goes to subsidizing internet providers. Governments supporting private companies is extremely regulated in the EU, and mostly forbidden by anti-competitive laws. There was quite a bit of noise here in Europe when countries wanted to support the car-manufacturers financially for exactly this reason.

And I pay 55Eur/month for phone + cable-tv + 20mbit down/1mbit up cable internet. I do have a 50gb/month limit, but for 99eur, I can have 100mbit down / 5mbit up with no limits with the same company. Compared to what they offer in the surrounding countries here, that's both actually pretty expensive...

I hate it when uninformed Americans think "their system" is better when they have absolutely no clue about the "other systems". For me as a European citizen, it almost seems like "freedom" has become a marketing term for US companies as a scapegoat for higher prices. I don't think my freedom is in any way limited by our expensive taxation systems, and seeing what this system gives back to me, I pay them with a smile, knowing that I live in a relatively peaceful country which won't spend my tax-money on mind-bogglingly expensive wars abroad, and that our army will mostly be used for humanitarian and (mine) cleanup missions.

Comment Re:Calling it now (Score 1) 273

Apple only thinks of "User experience". They don't want to face the 'normal user' the choice of "do you want to install/enable flash - it could have a negative performance impact on your browsing experience". A normal user doesn't know or doesn't care about "flash". If they happen to play flash-games, that's because both Windows and OS-X have been shipping with it since ages. If you don't want Apple to make that choice for you as "the user" - don't buy Apple, because that's what they do, decide what's good for their user and what's not.

And to be honest, I don't get the fuzz about flash on mobile. They've been bitching about it for years - and only now they're ready for it? Good thing Apple added iAds to iOS4, so they'll be able to compete against the advertisement spam Adobe brings to Android under the false pretense of "choice".

What strikes me the most is that Adobe gets the geek audience behind them - just because they happen to support the "open" Android platform, while the "closed" Apple refused to add it. Flash is and remains proprietary technology - whatever Adobe's trying to tell you. It has deeply embedded DRM which they will never open up.

Comment Re:14k buys a lot of film. (Score 1) 347

These digital backs have been around for quite a while now (though at a higher price-tag), and they're rarely used for the 'final' shot. I know someone who has one, and he uses the digital back for his test-shoots and lighting setup. It saves him a HUGE amount of time since he doesn't have to use a substitute digital camera which might give other results, and then do test-shots with real film which he has to develop - and retake the shot until it's good... Once the scene and lighting is set correctly, the back is removed and a full 80mm-film used for the final shot (which btw costs a bit more than $4 these days)

It's not the cost of the film that's, it's the time spent on set... 14k is dirt-cheap if you can save a day or 2 on each shoot...

Comment Re:No Wonder GPL Software Is Such Garbage (Score 1) 205

"Ripping off" ??? If the BSD creators felt this way and would not approve such use, they would have used a different license... Apple does what it's allowed to do with the software. They don't want to reinvent the wheel, unlike some Redmond-based company, and are prepared to go for the best sollutions for their customers. They use/support webkit, they distribute Apache and countless other opensource applications with their OS. Want it or not - that's what they are allowed to do.

Most people here have to shut up about licenses - since 99% have never even written any code. It's the developer that decides what someone else would be able to do with his code, and that's nobody else's decision.

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