Particle Debris (wk. ending 12/17) The Light Fantastic

Why is Google developing the Chrome OS? Is it just a fun project for a company that likes to play? Is it brain child of Google employees who like to experiment with technology, have too much unfocused time on their hands, and are curious to see if it sticks? Or is it something more strategic and sinister. The Silicon Alley Insider thinks it may be an attempt to undermine Microsoft’s Windows empire. My feeling is that the effort right now isn’t very strategic and isn’t going anywhere. But here’s a thought: “Here’s The REAL Reason That Google Is Making Chrome OS.”

If you’ve ever been suspicious that the computer industry is in collusion with the Department of Defense, this article sheds some light on things: “Apple and Google Make the Department of Defense Jump Through Hoops for Mobile Device Security.” Here’s a key sentence: “Apple and Google have a market advantage and they know it — Androids and iPhones are so popular that Apple and Google can thumb their noses at DOD.”


Of course, that won’t keep various individuals in the government from try to play naughty. There’s a claim, currently being examined, that a former government contractor sliped a backdoor into the OpenBSD encryption software. “Former contractor says FBI put back door in OpenBSD” We’ll want to keep an eye on this.

What are the keys to a company’s brand? Cory Treffiletti, writing for Online SPIN, reminds us that there are only four basic kinds of positioning statements for any brand in the world: first, biggest, best or different. Clearly, Apple’s brand is “best.” I am currently reflecting on what the Google and Microsoft branding positions are and if they really appeal to customers. This is worth a few minutes to help you answer the question yourself: “In Praise Of Being ‘Different’.

We’ve been hearing a little Apple upgrades to the MBP and iMac in 2011 as well as Intel’s Sandy Bridge, a second generation Intel Core processor and how Apple might use it. Of course, the PC world isn’t standing still, and sometimes the handwriting on the wall for Apple is first seen in the PC community. Here’s some industry chatter that sheds some light: “CES: First Intel next-gen laptops will be quad core.” I don’t know about you, but I am done with notebook computers that only have two cores.

Do you remember when Steve Jobs introduced the first iMac? I can only vaguely recall some of the details, so it’s fun to go back and actually watch the reality distortion field master unveil the very first iMac in 1998. Here’s the YouTube video I was reminded of this week. Watch for the part where Mr. Jobs calls the PCs “uugg-ly.” Also note his attire. Mr. Jobs’s sense of humor was in high gear that day.

We’ve all heard of Apple’s new network technology, Light Peak, and we’re exciting about it. But now we have all kinds of questions about it. Can other protocols tunnel? How fast is it? How will it affect Apple’s plans, if any, for USB 3? Will it launch on copper or optics? CNET News has some answers, and what better than to hear it all from Jason Ziller, an Intel manager heading up Light Peak work at Intel: “Anticipating ‘Light Peak’ tech from Intel, Apple.

Light beam world

I’m including this next article because it does bear slightly on the cord cutters, Apple TV, and all the new products and technologies related to Internet TV. We know just what we’re getting when we buy the Apple TV or a Roku box, and we can control it fairly well. The satellite industry, like the cable industry however, has had some business practices in the past that they could, maybe, get away with for a time. But that was then, and this is now. It’s interesting to see what DIRECTV tried to get away away with and how they were stopped by the Attorneys General of 48 states. “DIRECTV Pays $13M to Stop Consumer Fraud Suit.” Learning this lesson is part and parcel of competing with Apple TV, Roku, Google TV, etc. Do they realize that?

Apple TV

Here are two articles that relate to my editorial this week, “Storm Clouds are Coming.” The first is a closely related article by Ryan Faas that asks whether the complications brought on by modern Internet and software technologies can be properly navigated with respect to our U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment. The arguments get tricky, and Mr. Fass asks: “The Supreme Court and technology - are the Justices ready for 21st century cases?”

Computer spy

The second article kicks off talking about really, really bad CIOs, and how the two most recent destroyed Hewlett Packard. But on page two, Bill Snyder with Infoworld expresses some concerns abou Facebook and its business model. I heard one remark that Facebook has done a better job collecting dossiers on American citizens than any country’s secret police ever could have. And we gave it to them for free because of hubris. The agenda: steal people’s time and dictate their buying habits so that they have no time or inspiration left to fight back and lead an enlightened, independent life. You’ll only hear these concerns from people who are old enough to have seen it all and size it all up for what it is. “Silicon Valley’s worst of the worst.