Apple would have you believe that Adobe's Flash platform just isn't an exciting development for mobile devices. In an open letter to anyone who would listen, Steve Jobs criticized the platform up and down in defense of shunning Flash from the iPhone/iPod/iPad experience. So what's Google's approach? The exact opposite.
It's expected that Google will go public with Android 2.2 during the opening keynote for the Google I/O conference tomorrow, and when it does, Flash integration will be one of the main points of interest. According to TechCrunch, Android users with smartphones eligible for the 2.2 update, such as the Nexus One, Droid, and soon enough the HTC Evo will see a link to an Adobe Mobile website immediately after the upgrade. The site will give users the option to "View Flash enabled websites" or "Get Adobe products," and if you select the former, you'll see a list of portals that work with Flash 10.1.
The site is already live, which you can view here and then compare to Apple's list of iPad-ready sites, which are ones that either don't use Flash or have incorporated HTML5 audio and video in addition to Flash.
With iPhone 4 OS just around the corner and Google backing Flash in a big way, it will be interesting to see how everything shakes out on the mobile battlefield.
According to reports, Acer will beat the competition to the punch with a netbook built around Google's upcoming Chrome OS platform. If all goes to plan, Acer will show the netbook off at the Computex Taipei show that runs from June 1 through 5.
Acer hasn't confirmed or denied the reports, although the company previously stated it would be one of the first hardware makers to push a Chrome OS device out the door. In case you haven't been following, Google's Chrome OS, which was announced last year, is entirely browser based and features near-instant bootup with a heavy emphasis on cloud-based applications.
While Acer will likely be first, it won't be the only company with a Chrome OS netbook in the coming months. Samsung Australia said earlier this year that it will launch a Chrome-based netbook before the end of 2010, and both Asus and Lenovo are expected to have hardware available as well.
Google has held firm that its Nexus One smartphone is selling just fine, even though it failed to make a dent into the Apple's iPhone market share, or any other major smartphone for that matter. That feeling of contentment -- if it ever really existed in the first place -- appears to be no more, and Google suddenly seems interested in pushing more Nexus One sales. To do that, the company needs to refocus its sales strategy, and that's exactly what Google is doing.
"While the global adoption of the Android platform has exceeded our expectations, the web store has not," Google wrote in an official blog post. "It's remained a niche channel for early adopters, but it's clear that many customers like a hands-on experience before buying a phone and they also want a wide range of service plans to choose from."
Having reached the above epiphany, Google said that once it increases the availability of Nexus One devices in retail locations, it will stop selling the handset online.
"Innovation requires constant iteration," Google added. "We believe that the changes we're announcing today will help get more phones to more people quicker, which is good for the entire Android ecosystem: users, partners and also Google."
We tend to agree, but why stop there? Under the Nexus One's current pricing model, only T-Mobile customers who are on an Individual plan qualify for the discounted handset pricing, which pegs the smartphone at $179. Everyone else -- including those who pay more for a Family plan -- have to shell out $529.
WSO2, makers of open-source application development software, announced on Wednesday the launch of its Carbon 3.0 componentized SOA middleware platform. According to WSO2, the latest release is the first to provide an interface that allows developers to simply point-and-click to tailor a rich set of middleware functionality into a lean and custom solution.
"For too long, enterprise developers have had to adjust their IT projects to the parameters of the middleware software they use," said Dr. Sanjiva Weerawarana, WSO2 founder and CEO. "WSO2 Carbon 3.0 puts IT developers in the driver’s seat for the first time. Now it’s simply a matter of choosing the middleware capabilities required, and Carbon automatically handles the provisioning—no integration required. It is the next step in the evolution of IT application and service deployment."
New Carbon 3.0 capabilities include a checkbox user interface where IT professionals can start with a lean core and click to add only the functionality they need or want, WS-Discovery support to allow Carbon 3.0 to automatically discover nearby service endpoints, and enhanced Governance Registry integration across the entire Carbon 3.0 middleware platform.
The Apache Software Foundation found itself the victim of a fairly sophisticated online attack, the group announced on their website. Apache described the event as a direct, targeted attack against their infrastructure, and specifically the server hosting their issue-tracking software.
According to Philip Gollucci, vice president of Apache infrastructure, the attack did not compromise the open-source Web server's source code repository, however hackers were able to access a server used to keep track of bugs, as well as obtain low-privilege accounts on another server used to maintain the people.apache.org portal.
"None of the source code was affected in any way," Gollucci said.
The hackers, who so far remain unidentified, broke into Apache's HIRA server on April 6 using a Web programming error known as a cross-site scripting bug. They then used a password-guess attack to steal user passwords up until Apache admins noticed the attack on April 9.
Intel isn't exactly used to playing second fiddle to other chip makers, but in the smartphone market, ARM pretty much reigns supreme. That might be starting to change.
The Santa Clara chip maker today announced it has ported Google's Android mobile OS platform to run on its Atom processor series. Intel claims customers have been asking for this, and the company has plans to extend its Atom architecture beyond Android.
"Intel is enabling all OSes for Atom phones," said Renee James, general manger of Intel's software and services group.
The move will certainly have an interesting impact in the mobile world, as Intel would be going up against some capable ARM-based platforms, including Nvidia's Tegra chipset and Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor.
PDFs. Why do we use PDFs? It's a question I've asked myself time and time again during the following scenarios: my default PDF reader crashing my browser whenever I erroneously click on a link to the blasted extension, an image- or page-packed PDF consuming all of the system resources on my work machine, and while I'm spending extra time to convert a perfectly likable file (.doc) into a new format that's compatible with even more people. At least, I think that's the reason.
But really, though, why do we use PDFs? Perhaps it's the wrong question I should be asking, however. Sad to say, PDFs are here to stay. And I must confess, filling out a PDF form has a certain elegance to it (and built-in digital signature support) that you just can't find in a standard text file or Word document (or OpenOffice.org document).
So instead of asking ourselves how we can rid the world of PDFs, we should really be thinking about the various ways we can improve our interactions with PDF files. That's where this week's Freeware Files comes into play. I'm going to show you five freeware or open-source apps that'll hopefully ease the burden you face when you're trying to manipulate this quirky file format. As well, I'll show you a few more features and tricks you can use to turn your own PDF routines into nothing short of a master class.
The long development of Firefox has left many a crashed browser in its wake. But a recent study undertaken by the Mozilla Metrics team shows that the relatively new Firefox 3.6 is much more stable than Firefox 3.5. As each release matures, the rate of crashes goes down with each update. Version 3.6 has already surpassed 3.5 in overall stability, having gotten about 40% more stable since release.
Another interesting statistic uncovered by the study was that Firefox 3.5 started out significantly less stable than version 3.0. Firefox product lead Mike Beltzner explained that the cause was 3rd party applications. The 3.0 build was what took Firefox into the mainstream and developers began building on top of it in larger numbers. When the code was altered in version 3.5, many API calls that worked fine before caused crashes.
Whatever the cause, we're certainly happy to see Firefox improving over time. Now that we've got these numbers, you've got another reason to update if you're still on 3.5.
The best thing that ever happened to Linux might have been Windows Vista. It also hasn't hurt matters that Ubuntu continues to make the open-source side of the fence more accessible to new users. While Windows 7 more than makes up for Vista's woes, there are now 12 million users rocking Ubuntu.
The upcoming Lucid release may boost those numbers even higher, but the real growth came in the pre-Windows 7 days. In 2008, Canonical estimated there were some 8 million Ubuntu users, so that means there have been about 4 million added since then. Of course, these numbers aren't exact, but they're probably pretty close.
"We have no phone home or registration process, so it's always a guesstimate. But based on the same methodology that we came up with for the 2008 number, our present belief is that it's somewhere north of 12 million users at the moment," Chris Kenyon, vice president for OEM at Canonical, told InternetNews.com.
As impressive as the numbers are, Red Hat's Fedora leads Ubuntu by a good margin with an estimated 24 million installations.
HTC can afford to live high on the hog this year after posting higher revenues than the company anticipated. For the first quarter of 2010, HTC reported $1.19 billion in revenue, a 19.33 percent increase from one year ago. In a best case scenario, HTC had hoped to report anywhere from $1 billion to $1.07 billion for the quarter.
New phone shipments played an integral role in driving up HTC's numbers, particularly Android-based smartphones to T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless, market watchers noted. March was especially kind to HTC, in which revenues reached $515.57 million, a 60 percent sequential jump and 32.38 percent rise on year.
Market watchers expect HTC to perform even better in the second quarter, predicting revenues will reach as high as $1.37 billion.