Category Archives: connection

PC Makers Considering Android for Netbooks

Here’s a link to the article.  I have a netbook with Window’s XP, but I’m not beholden to XP.   I can’t install anything like Office on my netbook because it’s too much of a resource hog and required installation from a DVD drive.  However the basic version of MS Office that comes with the laptop is fine for the things I do on it.

What I do need with respect to my netbook is the ability to get on the Internet and to view whatever parts of the Internet I desire.  On my iPhone my current limitation is Flash —  but that more of a problem with Adobe than anyone else.  My feeling is as long as the browser works well, I’m golden since I will most likely used web-based software because a netbook doesn’t have much on board storage.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that netbooks will be treated as the lowest-end computer.  I did witness over the holidays, many financially pinched people considering a netbook as their first PC purchase or as a replacement for an ancient computer that was too old to allow access to the Internet.  When I think about this user, I really don’t know what’s best.  They may be used to “ancient versions” of software or they may be computer illiterate.  This tends to make me think, the simpler the better.  But when I consider which is easier to use, my PC or my iPhone, I would have to say they are about the same since the iPhone mimics a PC experience.  In other words, to successfully use most mobile devices beyond basic dialing phone numbers, there is an expectation of computer literacy.  Thinking in this vein, does the OS matter?  No, just as long as there’s a big clear “Internet” button,  links to do basic things like calendars and view images, and the presentation is professional.   This is most important because I think past attempts at Internet appliances failed because the interface design “looked down” on potential customers (the young, the elderly, and the computer illiterate).  It has to look like a real PC and it has to function like a real PC.

For the more savvy user, I think speed is the key. If Android turns out to be the speedier OS that allows similar functionality and software selection to PC and smartphones, then I think Android will be a winner.  I hope, though, that Microsoft isn’t resting on its laurels and are, instead, working dilligently on a Windows-lite for netbooks.  It’ll be a tough fight once the cell phone makers enter the fray.   However, this competition will be good for everyone because it will force innovation.  I’m looking forward to it.

Consumers Want More Home Networking

Here’s a little article from InformationWeek about consumers’ desire for more interoperability and networking options for their various personal gadgets.  Hahaha!!!  Well … in terms of networking, WiFi, Bluetooth, TCP/IP are just that.   All of the devices I have that use these protocols I can see on their respective networks.  When I remove DRM and other barriers I can push and pull data between these devices over their respective networks, too.  However, I would imagine for those that are not inclined to explore or are technically challenged, all of this networking stuff is daunting.

Because the electronics manufacturers want to lock consumers into their product ecosystems, the manufacturers are not inclined to make their products open to consumers.  Of course this never really works.  Successful products like the iPod work with a great many accessories and other non-Apple products and crafty people have come up with ways to “crack” the iPod so users can get around  DRM and reclaim the music they have purchased.  These products also tend to have a bunch of third party companies that make accessories and software for the devices.   Of, course it takes market dominance to begin with to have cottage industries pop up around a product.  iPod can thank the mp3 format, USB, and great product design for their success.  The glue, though, for interoperability are the mp3 file format and the USB hardware interface.  iPod took advantage of protocols that were already well established as universal.

So it seems to me that the foundation for device interoperability already exists.  It’s simply a matter of making it such that ordinary people can communicate with their devices over the common networks.  Centralized network devices like home servers and the third generation consoles like the xBox360 come close, now, to knitting everything together.  The problem is that these devices are not accessible to the lowest common denominator of consumers.  The wii comes closest to a device that is very accessible, but its hardware and software are not capable.  Continue reading Consumers Want More Home Networking

Patient Empowerment Through Social Networking

Here’s an interesting story from CNN about how medical patients can find support and help through patient social networking sites.  Here’s a link.  There are several links within the article to some of the websites that link patients to patients.  This is wonderful!  It’s difficult to go through serious illness.  It’s difficult even to go through a non-threatening illness.  Not only is support needed, but getting advice about the best doctors and navigating the healthcare system are key and indispencable.

More Blog Postings are Written in Japanese than English

This sounds surprising at first until you read the article.  As a nation of commuters that are always online, it makes perfect sense that Japan would lead in the number of blog postings.  What’s was most interesting in the article is the difference in blog intents between Japanese bloggers and American bloggers.  I’m not I sure I buy the “chest thumping” characterization of American bloggers, though.  It makes me wonder though, would “humble” blog intent translate into Japanese wanting to print their blogs.


Here’s a link to the article
Japan’s Bloggers: Humble Giants of the Web

By Blaine Harden
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, December 6, 2007; A01

TOKYO — Compared to the English-speaking world, the Japanese have gone blog wild. They write Web logs at per capita rates that are off the global charts.

Click the link above to read the full article.

Article: Teens Lead in Web Content Creation

Here is an article with some interesting statistics about teen web content creation habits.  I’m not at all surprised that a greater percentage of girls than boys blog.  What does surprise me is that teens restrict access to their content and personal information more than I thought they would and more than older people.  With all the media chatter about teens online, you’d think the teens out there are all posting every bit of their lives for everyone to see.


Teens Rule the Web