Archive for May 2010
The other big thing announced at Google’s I/O conference — other than Google TV, I mean — was Android 2.2, known as Froyo. (That’s short for “frozen yogurt”, btw. All Android releases are given a dessert code name. Don’t ask why.)
Anyway, Froyo will feature USB tethering, support for Flash — take that, Steve Jobs! — and over-the-air updates/streaming for apps and/or music files. Stuff that the iPhone doesn’t yet do, or do particularly well.
Sounds great. But I’ll never see it with the phone I’ve got now. I’m stuck at Donut. I’m hoping I can get to Eclair before December, when my contract is up and I can upgrade my T-Mobile G1. That’s what I get for being an early-adopter.
Yesterday Google introduced Google TV, which “combines the TV you know and love with the freedom and power of the Internet.”
Basically all this boils down to Google (a) worming its way onto your TV’s “desktop”, thus enhancing its ubiquity, and (b) shoving YouTube videos front-and-center on your TV, thus giving the monetization of the site a much-needed boost. (Hey, YouTube might break even this year.)
Do I need another box connected to my TV? No. And given how the digital switchover went for me, I don’t even want to try.
The NY Times is reporting that the “data protection supervisor for the city-state of Hamburg” — impressive job title! — has given Google a week to turn over the hard drive containing 600GB of data from unsecured wifi networks that the Google Street View cars inadvertently collected as they bopped around the city.
You may remember last month Google horrified the German federal commissioner for data protection when they admitted to collecting data from unsecured wifi networks. Last Friday they finally explained what happened:
“… we have been mistakenly collecting samples of payload data from open (i.e. non-password-protected) WiFi networks, even though we never used that data in any Google products. However, we will typically have collected only fragments of payload data because: our cars are on the move; someone would need to be using the network as a car passed by; and our in-car WiFi equipment automatically changes channels roughly five times a second. In addition, we did not collect information traveling over secure, password-protected WiFi networks. So how did this happen? Quite simply, it was a mistake. In 2006 an engineer working on an experimental WiFi project wrote a piece of code that sampled all categories of publicly broadcast WiFi data. A year later, when our mobile team started a project to collect basic WiFi network data like SSID information and MAC addresses using Google’s Street View cars, they included that code in their software—although the project leaders did not want, and had no intention of using, payload data.”
With regard to that unwanted data, Google said that they are “currently reaching out to regulators in the relevant countries about how to quickly dispose of it.” Data captured in Ireland has already been destroyed.
But Johannes Caspar of Hamburg isn’t going to be so accomodating:
“Mr. Caspar, who is leading the government’s discussions with Google, said during an interview that ‘Up until now, all we have to go on at this point is what Google has told us that they have collected. But until we can inspect one of the hard drives ourselves, we will not know to what extent what kinds of data have actually been stored.’”
Amazon tells me that they’re going to introduce a Kindle app for Android Real Soon Now. That’s great news, but they’re being a bit coy about whether it will actually run on my G1. They say it “supports Droid Incredible, Google Nexus One, HTC MyTouch, Motorola CLIQ, Motorola Droid, and many more Android phones.” The MyTouch isn’t all that much different that the G1, but who knows?
(Thank you, Google, for punishing us early-adopters. That would be, oh, about 2/3 of your Android users. At least I didn’t let Google sucker me into an overpriced phone they won’t support after 5 months.)
OK, rant over.