snydeq writes: "Simon Phipps provides an in-depth account of an ongoing shift from a MacBook Pro to a Chromebook. ' My experiences using a Chromebook for a month have been so good I believe it deserves serious consideration.... The Chromebook line is probably the most successful Linux desktop/laptop computer we've seen to date. Most of the software on the device is open source and it relies heavily on open standards. The options for updating it yourself are openly discussed, and enterprising hackers have even loaded full GNU/Linux distributions onto it.... It reminds me very much of the experience of adjusting to thin client computing five years ago. I can imagine it fitting easily into a corporate environment, especially using the administrative control features Google sells for business users. Businesses open to using a thin client desktop should be evaluating Chromebooks and Chromeboxes — they are today's open source equivalent of yesterday's proprietary thin clients and Sun Rays.'"
snydeq writes: "InfoWorld's Peter Wayner takes an in-depth look at Google Compute Engine, the search giant's response to Amazon Web Services and Rackspace. 'If you want to build your own collection of Linux boxes, Google Compute Engine offers a nice, generic way to buy servers at what — depending on the size of compute instance you need — can be a great price. The most attractive feature will probably be the proximity to the other parts of the Google infrastructure,' Wayner writes, adding that Google Compute Engine is just one part of the Google APIs portal, a grand collection of 46 services. 'I suspect many developers will be most interested in using Google Compute Engine when they want to poll these Google databases fairly often. While I don't think you're guaranteed to be in the same zone as the service you want, you're still closer than when traveling across the generic Web.'"
snydeq writes: "Let's all hope Google's fast, free Internet service spreads beyond Kansas City — and challenges the overly complacent ISPs, writes Paul Venezia. 'A few weeks ago, I discussed how the United States is haunted by the specter of metered and tiered Internet. Comcast, Verizon, Time Warner, and others are crying foul over unlimited Internet, and they're complaining bitterly about how very difficult it is for them to provide Internet access. In that discussion, I mentioned how Time Warner is apparently very nervous about Google's aspirations to provide fiber to Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas City, Miss. They're right to be nervous. Google Fiber has landed, and anyone in Kansas City who wants an Internet connection would be insane not to sign up.... It remains to be seen how this service performs, how well the hardware functions, and how smoothly the transition goes, but the fact this is moving forward and will shortly become a reality had better ring some bells with the major ISPs. Not only is Google promising speeds 100 times faster than median broadband in the area, it's doing so at an amazingly competitive price and even offering free service. That's the definition of a better mousetrap.'"
snydeq writes: "Yesterday's Compute Engine announcement at Google I/O made it clear that Google intends to take Amazon EC2 head on. Michael Crandell, who has been testing out Compute Engine for some time now, divulges deeper insights into the nascent IaaS, which, although enticing, will have a long road ahead of it in eclipsing Amazon EC2. 'Even in this early stage, three major factors about Google Cloud stood out for Crandell. First was the way Google leveraged the use of its own private network to make its cloud resources uniformly accessible across the globe.... Another key difference was boot times, which are both fast and consistent in Google's cloud.... Third is encryption. Google offers at-rest encryption for all storage, whether it's local or attached over a network. "Everything's automatically encrypted," says Crandell, "and it's encrypted outside the processing of the VM so there's no degradation of performance to get that feature."'"
snydeq writes: "The jury decided yesterday that Google did not infringe on Oracle's patents related to Android. Fantastic news — but the wider view offers little comfort, writes Simon Phipps. 'While the specific news of the patent phase verdict is good news for most people, the case still tells a sad story about software patents. The complexity found by the jury shows why software patents fail to deliver on the contract with society that they should represent. Unlike real patents, software patents contain little of value to the programmer: no sample code, only stylized algorithms. Instead, they consist mainly of a list of ways a lawyer can assert that the patent has been infringed. Even then, they are linguistically complex, leaving juries scratching their heads to interpret.'"
snydeq writes: "A U.S. judge has ordered Motorola Mobility and Google to turn over information to Apple on Google's acquisition in 2005 of Android, its development of the Android OS and the proposed acquisition of Motorola. According to Motorola, the information Apple seeks regarding Google's acquisition of Motorola and Android is not relevant to any damages asserted in the case."
snydeq writes: "The Chrome dev team is working toward a vision of Web apps that offers a clean break from traditional websites, writes Fatal Exception's Neil McAllister, in response to Google's new Field Guide for Web Applications. 'When you add it up, it starts to look as though, for all the noise Google makes about Web standards, Chrome is moving further and further apart from competing browsers, just by virtue of its technological advantages. In that sense, maybe Chrome isn't just a Web browser; maybe Chrome itself is the platform — or is becoming one.'"
snydeq writes: "Amid widespread concern about its new privacy policies, Google is now facing criticism over an offer to give users Amazon gift certificates if they open their Web movements to the company in a program called Screenwise. 'Google is asking users to add an extension to the Chrome browser that will share their Web-browsing activity with the company. In exchange, users will receive a $5 Amazon gift when they sign up and additional $5 gift card values for every three months they continue to share. (Amazon is not a partner in the project.) Users must be over age 13, and minors will need parental consent to participate. The tracking extension can be turned off at any time, allowing participants to temporarily close their metaphorical shades on Google.'"
snydeq writes: "A new approach to patching Android-based handsets is fast becoming a necessity, thanks to the growing number of device makers and carriers that are allowing Android patches to languish, preventing users from ever getting them, InfoWorld reports. 'The Android operating system's patch process poses a quandary for Google and a danger to users. Android's openness allows bugs to be found faster, but that benefit is offset by a longer supply chain in which manufacturers and vendors test patches at a glacial pace. Smartphone manufacturers must first create custom builds of the operating system that include their add-on software, then they test the software. Next, carriers take the firmware update and test it to make sure it does not harm their networks. The end result: Pushing patches out to users' smartphones is slowed.'"
snydeq writes: "Google has finally acknowledged that its characterization of Android as open source is false and, in the end, this can only make the mobile platform stronger, InfoWorld's Galen Gruman argues. 'It's hard for believers to accept that open source brings with it difficulties, but look at the consistent failure of the other open source mobile platforms — Moblin, Maemo, and MeeGo — that all devolved into grad-student-like thought experiments and personal pet projects. Users don't want that, and ultimately products are sold to users.' Instead, Google has been quietly taking parts of Android back in house to develop them purposefully and deeply, and as Google has asserted more control over Android, it's improved."