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  • Switched On: Wanting webOS
    Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology.

    The last Switched On discussed why HP could have more success licensing webOS than Palm or PalmSource ever did with with Palm OS. To put it in the context of a more modern conflict, HP’s handsets could be the equivalent of a Google Nexus devices (but selling better in HP’s ideal), competing with phones from other Android stakeholders. Even the Nexus phones, however, are ultimately produced by existing licensees such as HTC and Samsung.

    WebOS as a licensed operating system would likely compete most directly with Windows Phone 7, an OS that offers licensees and consumers some choice but preserves a consistent user experience — particularly as it is trying to court developers. Unlike Windows Phone 7, though, webOS is rapidly being expanded to new form factors, with the TouchPad serving as the first tangible proof.

    HP has said that it’s most interested licensing to companies that wouldn’t compete with it in its core markets. For now, let’s count out HP’s major PC competitors Acer, Dell (which once may have tried to build its own webOS-like platform when it acquired Zing), Lenovo and Toshiba. However, many companies that could help develop meaningful (in terms of absolute volume but also as a relevant development platform) scale for webOS in at least the US market offer, at minimum, handsets. A handset licensee could imbue webOS phones with features such as a 4.3-inch display that HP has shied away from, but which has been present in many successful smartphones.

    Continue reading Switched On: Wanting webOS

    Switched On: Wanting webOS originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 10 Jul 2011 17:34:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • European Space Agency creates one billion pixel camera, calls her GAIA

    When we hear the name GAIA, our memory automatically zooms back to the Whoopi Goldberg-voiced Mother Earth from Captain Planet. This isn’t that GAIA, but it does have to do with planets. Back at the turn of the millennium, the European Space Agency devised an ambitious mission to map one billion stars in our Milky Way galaxy — in 3D (insert Joey Lawrence ‘whoa!’). To do this, it enlisted UK-based e2v Technologies and built an immense digital camera comprised of 106 snugly-fit charge coupled devices — the largest ever for a space program. These credit card-shaped, human hair-thick slabs of silicon carbide act like tiny galactic eyes, each storing incoming light as a single pixel. Not sufficiently impressed? Then consider this: the stellar cam is so all-seeing, “it could measure the thumbnails of a person on the Moon” — from Earth. Yeah. Set to launch on the Soyuz-Fregat sometime this year, the celestial surveyor will make its five-year home in the Earth-Sun L2 Lagrange point, beaming its outerspace discoveries to radio dishes in Spain and Australia — and occasionally peeping in your neighbor’s window.

    European Space Agency creates one billion pixel camera, calls her GAIA originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 10 Jul 2011 15:28:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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  • Google pulls co.cc subdomains from search, brings our global malware nightmare to an end
    Google’s been on a creative tear lately, rolling out new products and revamping older ones. But there’s a reason the phrase “search giant” is synonymous with Big G, and it’s always working to return better results. Sometimes that means tweaking its algorithm to prevent SEO-gaming; other times it means dropping over 11 million sites from search results, as the company just did in blocking the .co.cc subdomain. Google classifies it as a “freehost” — it belongs to a Korean company that provides free or cheap domains, often bulk-registered — and after automated scanning revealed a high percentage of malware-hosting sites, decided to scrub the entire lot from its results. Of course, this is something like using a nuclear weapon against cockroaches: it causes a lot of collateral damage, while your real target scurries to its next hideout. Still, we wish Google well in its bravely quixotic mission.

    Google pulls co.cc subdomains from search, brings our global malware nightmare to an end originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 10 Jul 2011 14:17:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

    Permalink ExtremeTech  |  sourceThe Register, Google  | Email this | Comments

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