Tag Archives: Google

Google May Have Android eDrama – Editorial

A few days ago, I stumbled upon [H]ardOCP talking about a “front page” article saying that Google may have inadvertently pushed some Android developers to the iPhone SDK… This is rather an ironic tale of karmic shock as about a year ago, there were some whispers in the grapevine that Google was proposing to OpenMoko prospective programmers with a rather gutsy move to say “Come to our project, cause we are Google after all! We have tons of capital and our project is more financially stable.” So naturally, most programmers do want a buck for their efforts and most basically said “bye” to the OpenMoko Project and hopped on the Google Android bandwagon. In the midst of all the hub-bub of Google vs. OpenMoko, the Apple iPhone crowd was rather disappointed that their shiny $500+ toy had no clean API layer to play with like Windows Mobile or PalmOS. They managed to juryrig their own method of installing applications onto “jailbroken” iPhones by apps like iPwn or WinPwn to free the phone’s certification of applications in a means of giving the device a gray zone to play in. Of course, the problem with that was Apple’s coders releasing new firmware builds for the iPhone would render these “jailbroken” iPhones into paperweights unless the unofficial teams such as the “iPhone Dev Team” found ways to circumvent Apple’s check-sums. That somewhat changed with the iPhone 2.0 software release and the offical push of the iPhone Software Development Kit (or SDK for short).

Let’s delve into the background of the 2 “major” projects…

The Android project (in my observation) almost is a deceptive concept of “open source” as depending on how you rank with Google, you get certain layers of access with Android. What do I mean? Like if you’re an amateur coder who wants to make an application for fun, you would have basic access to the API. Now… let’s say you did something like won the “Google Summer of Code” competition or you are dumping millions of dollars to Google’s Android venture, naturally, you get premium access to the newest SDK builds and even API access to even control device functions. That could get some users who have slaved hours on Google’s Android project pissed! This is really the pressing concern from the article highlighted by AppleInsider, actually. Imagine that you and a few friends of yours make a killer app that just requires you to know the exact pressure sensitivity readings of the touch screen for an Android phone, but the caveat is none of your “staff” are big name commercial people or Summer of Code winners… This could be the one failing crux to your masterpiece to ever find completion. However, someone who won the Summer of Code competition may have an all access pass to all functions of the phone and could create a killer app that could rival yours. End result: Your team loses out on a chance to monetize on your killer app, yet your competitor gets a chance to dominate the market. Could you imagine the frustration to know your competitor’s app would be up for sale in Google’s Android App Shop for $2.99 a download while you’re going “If only Google let us access code on touch screen sensitivity…” with your friends?

Apple’s iPhone SDK is much in the same spirit like Google, an illusion of open source, but I feel they have mitigated drama by allowing all users certain levels of access. There’s the “Free” SDK which is just basic tools to build and test apps for personal use. But to get your name out there… Apple wants you to pony up $99 for a Basic Developer license which gives you the right to distribute your app to other iPhones via WiFi and also sell/give your app away at the iTunes App store. Should you sell your app, you do get 70% of the revenue. Then there’s the “Enterprise” license for $299 which allows you the power to make in-house corporate apps for the iPhone, like a trippy app that monitors and plays with your custom ECU for a tuner shop or other endless things your corporation wants to use the iPhone for. This license in particular is recommended for firms employing 500 people or more.

In my opinion, Apple’s rules are a little more concrete than the undefined access rules that Google has imposed on it’s users… We’ll have to sit and see how things brew down. The fact that Google’s been dawdling with producing a real and hard phone is making their time slip, while Apple and even OpenMoko have live phones to play with! Sure, Google has a deal with HTC to have a phone created as well as make it so that users with HTC phones can do a firmware update to have Android operational on their phones… Add to this that they are trying to fight between T-Mobile USA and Sprint|Nextel as official providers… You have a concept that may simply have trouble breaking the market in a solid fashion. I guess in a sense I am saying… Google better give everyone an “eHug” and get their crap straight or come up with a better strategy quickly unless they want to let Apple take more limelight from them..

[Preview] Google’s iPhone Killer Project May Be Dying…

Apparently, even though Google’s Android project drama with weasling away OpenMoko devs and other Lin-phones has been good and well… Google may be in quite the tizzy internally.

Unfortunately, I have work soon, so I’ll have to dissect this argument later tonight.

I have quite the musing on it…

“I, for one, welcome our new Robot Overlords” – The Intarw3b 0wnZ j00

Privacy, a hallmark thing that Americans do value. In many other nations, the right to privacy is pretty much null and void. In an era where people fear information leaks (like the TJ Maxx incident with its aftermath), privacy online has become an issue that is pretty serious. Google co-founder Larry Page tried to keep his wedding details a secret from Google’s indexing but that ended up being a bust. Initially, no one really took mind to the internet storing our information… but with how the times are changing, there are companies who make a buck off of caching as much information as they can about anyone. Check out sites like Spock if you want to understand what I mean.

People are lacking confidence in the internet with stories like our own national government losing laptops making headlines. It doesn’t help that companies like ABC and CBS have made documentaries¬† showing that there is an illegal underground trade for “identities” online from internet forums and such. Couple how easy it is to obtain personal information with tools like Google and it becomes like a modern day version of “Big Brother is watching you”.

When you have the government pushing the idea of:

You give out plenty of information to us, what’s the harm of letting companies making a buck off of harvesting that information?

It almost parallels why people are not comfortable with the concept that if you are currently under the age of 50, you must get a mandatory national ID that has embedded technology. These national ID cards would be used (for example) to check in at a bar and keep a record of your tab of what you had consumed.

I personally feel that unethical law enforcement officers could potentially abuse that information for entrapment purposes. Nothing like having 2 beers, 7 shots of liquor and maybe a round of whiskey on the rocks but to stay and sober up… then on driving 2 miles away from the restaurant (sober), a cop stops you and decides to entrap you for a DUI or DWI.

There’s another side to this issue… If this national ID card has wireless technologies, an identity thief with a laptop and signal scanner could just read every person’s information until they find the perfect “replacement identity”. Add the ability of Google’s indexing and the identity thief can create the perfect alibi.

Google’s ambiguous privacy policy does not lend itself very well to the end user. The short story of it: “We can hold on to your information as long as we want. You can’t really do much about it.” This has not been received well in nations Europe where they have required that Google must comply to their laws and clearly state a defined period that they intend to hold onto records of what a European user does on Google. Sadly, the concern for privacy has not hit the minds of American users. We’re worried over rising gas prices or why the fast food joint’s value menu has less good and edible food rather than our digital civil liberties being encroached on.

I would dare to say that if Thomas Jefferson were alive and saw how we’ve given up our rights just from fear… He’d probably put a 9mm bullet in his head. When a nation has allowed it’s leaders to trespass on our rights, then we have forgotten the meaning of “Old Glory”.¬† This is not the nation that our forefathers died for.