Here’s some random computer nerd news and analysis:
- Amazon launched a cloud music service which allows you to upload your music and play it on any Internet-connected computer or (Android) smartphone. It’s going to cost a buck a gigbyte, per year. Anything you buy from Amazon is stored on the cloud for free. I’ve been waiting for something like this ever since Lala was eaten by Apple. What’s interesting about this is that Amazon is doing it without buying licenses to stream music. The record industry has long maintained that any kind of service that stores my music on the Internet for me to play back owes them additional royalties because, well, shut up, that’s why. Amazon has decided to raise their middle finger to that idea, and I’m sure Baby Jesus is looking down from heaven clapping his chubby little hands over the news.
- Jon Gruber at Daring Fireball is someone I read and respect, but he’s way over the edge on his analysis of Google’s decision to hold back on releasing Android code to phone makers:
So here’s the Android bait-and-switch laid bare. Android was “open” only until it became popular and handset makers dependent upon it. Now that Google has the handset makers by the balls, Android is no longer open and Google starts asserting control.
Maybe my understanding of Android licensing is off, but I think it’s always been true that phone makers can take the Android source code and do with it what they will — they just can’t call it “Android”. The issue is that they’re too cheap and lazy to do it. In fact, they’re so cheap and lazy that they’ve been slapping Android on every device they produce and have been failing to issue timely upgrades. Since Android is a Google brand, this makes it look like Google, not the phone manufacturer, is delivering a shitty phone, so they needed to do something to stop the proliferation of crap Android implementations. And pardon me if I have no sympathy for the phone makers’ balls, which they willingly and lovingly placed in the hands of Google because they were unable to write software for the devices they’re cranking out.
- Speaking of Google, it will be interesting to watch the reaction of ISPs in Kansas City, Kansas after Google drops gigabit fiber on their asses. And I’ll be interested to see if other cities that are struggling to attract businesses and residents will roll out their own fiber. This is one of the ISPs biggest fears, and they’re working their lobbyists overtime in North Carolina to keep their monopoly interest in fiber instead of letting towns install their own. The result of monopoly ISP usage caps is already being felt in Canada, where Netflix has cut streaming quality by 2/3 to let Canadians watch without going bankrupt paying for usage cap overages.