After announcing that SOPA would be delayed until 2012, it’s hearing date and potential vote has been quietly rescheduled to 12/21/2011. While SOPA claims to help stop piracy, it also gives DHS even greater ability to act without due process. Even if that wasn’t a violation of the 4th amendment, DHS has a horrible record of abusing the power it already has. It’s time to once again call our representatives to remind them they are sworn by oath to protect the constitution.
More nanny state skullduggery on our Internet: check out who’s at the top of the SOPA’s author’s donor list.Then have a look at who’s been downloading!
Meet the most distracted generation as mobile data use explodes. Age demographic shows data usage peaks at 25-34 and declines with age.
Doing the only right thing to restore customer confidence: Sprint is the first wireless provider to ditch Carrier IQ.
An old tactic as a new trend? Buying new business in a very slow economy. Verizon offers $300 to competitors subscribers in the southern US to jump ship. Groupon burns some of it’s IPO cash trying to stay ahead of copycat offerings from Amazon and Ebay.
A few lucky souls in San Francisco will be getting uncapped 1GB broadband for about what most US cable subscribers pay for 30MB or less.
There’s plenty of tech media coverage of Republic Wireless’ new hybrid mobile plan that was launched today. It’s great to see some new entrepreneurial blood in the stagnant US wireless market. The only real innovation in Republic’s offering is in its partial de-crippling an Andriod smart phone and setting up a deal to use Sprint’s network as a fall back for it’s potentially disruptive service. The low cost is possible because Republic’s service is only truly unlimited on WiFi connections, with a limit on 3G network usage.There’s also a pretty big investment for the consumer in the unproven service that entails buying a $199 locked handset up front.
If Republic’s service performs reasonably well, it could indeed be disruptive to the industry. What troubles me most is that this sort of utility exists in every smart phone with the addition of an app like Republic’s. If the FCC was truly representing the masses, all smart phones would be unlocked and there would be exponentially more businesses competing to offer wireless and mobile VoIP service via WiFi and other non traditional networks. While requiring the acceptance of unlocked handsets on all networks could create chaos in the marketplace, it would also foster innovation and grow the market for everyone – including the FCC’s wireless cartel.
While the tech media lemmings continue to push a plethora of praise the the decidedly totalitarian Fruit Phone, consumers are voting with their dollars elsewhere. Open source makes for tremendous efficiency in the implementation an build process enabling a variety of choices versus a monoculture. This has created so much momentum behind Andriod, that it’s mobile OS dominance has become something akin to Microsoft’s practical monopoly on the desktop.
Google’s Android platform has gone from activating 100,000 units a day in May, to 200,000 daily units as of today, according to Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
Schmidt was speaking to journalists (pictured above) at the Techonomy conference in Lake Tahoe, CA, and the technology blog TechCrunch managed to get some video of the chat (see below).
The activation growth shows impressive progress for Google’s mobile OS in the span of just a few months. Schmidt pointed to recent quarterly shipment numbers that showed Android phones outselling the iPhone in the last quarter as proof and said that he confirmed the number with Google’s own internal figures. (Mobile Beat)
While Android is open source, there are some big caveats that come with its dominance. It will be the top target for exploits. We still haven’t developed an effective way of policing them on the desktop, and many mobile users tend to be even less tech savvy than desktop users. Then there’s the fact that while the platform is open, implementation is crippled by carriers.That limits users choices on how they use their handsets and allows carriers to continue to nickel and dime them for simple services that could be replaced by simple apps. Lastly, the Andriod project, while open is overseen by Google. Many of us will argue that this “do no evil” company is anything but. Searchzilla continues to unapologetically cook its search results to favor a political agenda along with pay for placement. Worse yet, Google’s CEO has repeatedly stated that we have no right to privacy online. It’s virtually certain that some of this attitude will be baked into Andriod if it’s not already present.
There is a silver lining. Open source projects tend to spawn forks and branches when the overseers overstep. Andriod and its inevitable variants are likely to dominate mobile for some time to come. This will put Apple back in the boutique business for mobile. In other words, if smart phones were shirts, we won’t all be forced to wear turtlenecks. It will also most likely make Google’s Chrome OS irrelevant.
Conclusion: look for the cloud in your pocket, soon,and cheap. It also means you’ll have many more choices than you have now.