Sunday , 22 July 2018
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Boot up: Google Music’s ‘lacklustre’ debut, free XBox 360 with Nokia Lumia upgrade, and more

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Don’t be too disappointed by Google Music’s lacklustre debut >> TechCrunch

“There are two things the critics decline to acknowledge: that Google is providing a simple, free service, and that all Google products start out underwhelming and gradually expand. Android was a mess when it showed up. And it’s still a mess — a mess blowing up to the tune of half a million devices a day. We all know Google doesn’t ship complete products. So why do we waste our breath in day-one aspersion or praise when it’s going to be a new Music down the line?”

Microsoft drops Dryad; puts its big-data bets on Hadoop | ZDNet

“Just a month after insisting there was still a place for its own Hadoop competitor, Microsoft officials have decided to discontinue work on LINQ to HPC [high performance computing], codenamed ‘Dryad’. “In a November 11 post on the Windows HPC Team Blog, officials said that Microsoft had provided a minor update to the latest test build of the Dryad code as part of Windows High Performance Computing (HPC) Pack 2008 R2 Service Pack (SP) 3. But they also noted that “this will be the final (Dryad) preview and we do not plan to move forward with a production release.” “Dryad was supposed to provide a way for running big-data jobs across clusters of Windows servers. It was designed to provide a platform for developers to build applications that can process large amounts of unstructured data.” Wow. Hadoop is an open source high performance computing effort spun out of Yahoo. Microsoft is really opening up.

Nokia Lumia 800 Windows 7.5 smartphone special offer >> Orange

“Free Xbox 360 when you upgrade, while stocks last”. Microsoft’s spending its billions on this one all right. Wonder what phone people will upgrade from to this? And how many “unwanted gift” Xbox 360s will suddenly appear on eBay in the next few weeks? (Then again, Christmas is coming. People might keep them for presents.)

Flash Facts >> David Egbert

“Flash is alive and well. It will be receiving continued improvements for desktop web apps and mobile apps (don’t forget, Adobe Touch apps are built on the Flash Platform. You better believe the Flash Platform will continue to improve).” Later he adds that “The preferred method for deploying content to mobile devices is creating apps (which both Flash Professional and Flash Builder can create) or using HTML5.” So: Flash for mobile apps and for desktop. In which case why not use HTML5 for the mobile apps too? And if mobile is a bigger platform than the desktop (which it soon will be..) then…?

‘Stop Online Piracy Act’: the Infographic >> AmericanCensorship.org

If you wondered what self-inflicted idiocy looks like, here it is. Then again, these are the politicians who brought you the ineffective CAN-SPAM Act, which was meant to kill off spam, but didn’t. We can only hope that if this act passes it’s just as ineffectual.

Apple introduces revolutionary new laptop with no keyboard >> The Onion

There’s no date on this, but it dates from the past couple of years. Bear it in mind when you look at the next link. How is The Onion so good at reality?

Steve Jobs’s secret meeting to explore an iPod phone is revealing >> Patently Apple

“After six months of working on the trackwheel P1 and multi-touch P2 phone options, Jobs called his inner circle into his conference room to make a decision. Fadell had been trying hard to develop the trackwheel model, but he admitted they had not cracked the problem of figuring out a simple way to dial calls.” After six months? You’d think they’d realise that after six days.

Knockout (dynamic Javascript library)

Via @Amtiskaw: another dynamic Javascript UI library. Looks initially more complex than Tangle (which we linked to yesterday) but perhaps more powerful.

The Changing Web (Geeks Only) >> Talking Points Memo

“This is an amazing statistic, though admittedly you’ve got to be a bit of a computer geek to appreciate it and also probably have to have been around for the 1990s. But here’s the number. Only 56.81% of visits to TPM (November 2011) come from devices or computers using the windows operating system.” We were pointed to this by Tim Bray (XML inventor, Google engineer), who described it as “interesting hard browser-market-share data”. Have a look at the mobile data.

Geo withdraws from the BDUK game >> thinkbroadband

“Geo Networks Ltd has announced the reluctant decision to withdraw from the BDUK [Broadband Delivery UK] Broadband Framework and future Next Generation Access procurements. “The lengthy press release on the Geo website explains the firm’s reasoning, but while complaining about BT and its ability to exploit a pre-existing fibre backbone, withdrawing from the BDUK process and future NGA procurements is almost handing BT a victory without BT having to work for it.” This is bad because it reduces the diversity of companies offering high-speed connectivity to areas beyond cities. Jeremy Hunt and Ed Vaizey really need to get on top of this: BT is going to dominate this hugely important market unless they do. And that means a privatised monopoly. Where’s the EC’s antitrust team when you need them?

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