Particle Debris (wk. ending 8/5) Perils Lurking Everywhere

I just love sand charts. Have I mentioned that before? Mayhap a time or two. Here’s a pair of sand charts that show how Apple has gobbled up the profits in the mobile phone market in 2010 and now 2011. Note Mr. Elmer-Dewitt’s emphasis: “we’re talking about all cell phones all over the world, not just smartphones and not just in the U.S.” Here’s the article. Prepare to be stunned. “How Apple is sucking the profit out of the mobile phone market.


It’s always interesting to see the current browser share statistics. The second chart is of the most interest to me: there are two declining browsers and two advancing browsers. Here’s the ars technical summary for July, 2011. Personally, I was not happy with Chrome’s installer leaving unwanted remnants when I tested it awhile back, and so I’m always curious what the allure is — now that Safari 5.1 has sandboxing.

A very crude estimate of the power consumption of a CPU is a constant times the frequency times the voltage squared. That’s why modern CPUs are on a low-power rampage and why we had to curtail ever increasing clock speeds. But now another problem is cropping up — getting power to all those hundreds of millions of transistors, according to the chief scientist at Nvidia. Here’s the top level summary from the New York Times: “Progress Hits Snag: Tiny Chips Use Outsize Power.”

The UK is making some very big changes related to consumers and digital media. As the BBC put it, “Plans to block websites that host copyright infringing material are to be dumped by the government.” Moreover, an update to the UK’s copyright law makes it legal for consumers to rip CDs and DVDs for personal use. The whole article is both refreshing and largely reflects, I believe, the sentiment of people in the U.S. For some inspiration read, “Government drops website blocking.

Okay. I’ve written something you don’t like. You’re mad. How shall you handle that? Fortunately for you, there’s an easy solution right on the Internet itself! Just go check out this humorous flowchart to see how to handle your anger. “So you’re MAD about something on the Internet.” Feel better now?

Lion crystal ball

There’s been a huge amount of discussion on Apple’s new consumer approach with Lion. Whereas Apple’s original thesis was to make a UNIX OS usable by mere mortals, Lion takes the next step and makes OS X really easy to use with iOS insights and starts to leave the gurus and tinkerers on their own. That doesn’t mean Apple is going to abandon the Mac, in my view, or even abandon OS X. It’s just a progression of thought by Apple. However, every astute article we read gives us more and more insight, and without endorsing this writer’s thesis that OS X will be gone in five years, I’ll still present it to you as food for thought. “Mac OS is the new Apple II, iOS is the new Mac OS.”

The next article is R-RATED. Some ADULT LANGUAGE. So if you’re one of our younger readers, just SKIP this article and move on. Okay, for the rest of you this essay sums up the writer’s feelings about Google’s recent actions and their whining about how Oracle, Microsoft and Apple are ganging up on them. (Poor baby.) ADULT readers, just go take a look at have some fun. But really, the guy has some good points.

You may have surmised by now that Google is in a bit of trouble. Not only does Google have its hands full with alleged patent violations from Apple and Microsoft, but the scarier, more dangerous problem Google has is with Oracle and the Java litigation. Our regular reader, Nemo, describes it as perilous:

The problems for Google is that Java components that it included in Android exist in every Android device and are essential to every single app and the development of apps that run on Android. Judge Alsup has warned Google that would be wise to settle because it appears that if it loses, the result be that he will issue a broad injunction against Android that will end Android as a viable mobile OS in the United States and its territories. I can imagine an order that orders Google to remove all infringing Java components from Android and halt the use of all infringing component of Java, which means no more Android apps and a version of Android that can’t run any apps; that orders all infringing Android devices sequestered and quite possibly destroyed; and that possibly orders Google take down all the apps on its Market Place that use infringing Java technology.”

Holy crap. And here’s some irony. I am told that Google could have had all the rights to license what it needed to do with Java for US$100M and declined. In the days when Groupon in a fit of silliness fancies itself worth US$6 billion, oh, how small one hundred million looks.

My initial reaction to the Oracle suit was that Google’s attorneys would find a clever way to wriggle out of the mess. My second reaction was that, damn, Oracle’s attorneys are really, really good. If Nemo is correct, this could be a real disaster for Google. Stay tuned to TMO.

What happens when you’re an incredibly smart, talented, and knowledgeable Apple employee — and you challenge Steve Jobs? Trip Hawkins tells a revealing story about his relationship with the Apple interim-CEO, which was rocky. I see both some grudging respect and bitterness mixed together, but the most interesting part to me was how Jobs had to force Mr. Hawkins out of Apple — so that the company could speak with a single voice. In my opinion, that’s the same thing that happened with Guy Kawasaki when Jobs returned to Apple, but I’m not an insider on that one, so it’s just speculation.

This next item falls under the how to compete with Apple department over at Car Talk Plaza. If you can’t beat Apple, lower the price until even the least discriminate buyer is lured in. Case #1. HP Touchpad. Case #2 Logitech Revue/Google TV. You know what the next step is, right? When these devices can’t make any money…. Case closed.

Finally, I haven’t had a chance to write up a tip on this, so I’ll mention it here. There have been some minor changes in Time Machine for Lion because of the introduction of local snapshots when Lion isn’t connected to its Time Machine external volume. The purple tick marks now represent archives on the external volume and the white tick marks represent local snapshots. Read this nice summary and watch for that when you upgrade to Lion.