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There are lots of things happening in the world of computers and electronics,
but I will briefly summarize on a simple level what really caught my attention.
microsoft windows dominate the market, and in reality it is still a monopoly (even thought they are loosing their grip), but it still influences the quality negatively. yet the situation is getting better and things are turning around, because there are some real alternatives out there. windows, linux and mac os x — are the operating systems, and perception of our computer experience defined by them, however internet brings us a layer of abstraction and soon we'll feel it even more.
thus, news by topics
1. in the world of macintoshes apple inc, is the player and they came out with new major version of the operating system - leopard and now they already released and update 10.5.1. there are tons of new things in leopard, they cool, useful and really new, but personally I'd wait perhaps till january, until they polish rough corners and all major apps get updated to work right with it. also
2. there are tons of rumors about ultra-slim, super portable laptop to come out from apple. they also point to january. and they expect a new desktop (mac pro) to come out about the same time.
3. ntfs on a mac can be used (read/write) with google's macfuse, but this new app will help you make that transparent.
4. adobe blessed us with a photoshop update and new version of lightroom.
5. native instruments released and free audio player capable of mixing mp3 tracks - Beatport SYNC
so providing rumors are true, I came to conclusion that my new computer should be a laptop and it looks like that ultra-slim one can be the one. i hope i will like it.
1. walmart (with is still the biggest store in the world) started to sell a desktop computer for 200 bucks, but with linux instead of windows. and people like it.
2. taiwanese computer giant asus release a ultra-portable laptop, that is weigh less that 1kg, with a flash hard drive, for 400 bucks, also with linux and people also like it a lot.
3. finally they started to sell those news grabbing one-laptop-per-child notebooks (they idea is to make a cheap computer that will be affordable in poor countries, so people there do not fall behind, with deepening digital divide), while the price is higher that originally was planned, it is decent. people in developed countries can buy a pair, keep one for themselves, while donating the second one for a child in a poor country. these will cost you 400 bucks. not bad at all. and they also run linux and people also like it.
yet it really not because linux got so much better, but more because applications are moving to the internet and linux can let you use them simply enough and cheaply.
adobe also announced plans to make all they apps available as web applications. this is wicked cool and phat, but we won't see it any time soon. never the less soon we will see photoshop express. usable, with many limitations, but from the browser.
amazon got in the spotlight with the realease of new electronic book reader device - excelent news.
i do have a similar gadget already.
the most important aspect of those is the screen and supported formats. amazon seems to get it right.
1. really soon we will know who will be the real players in the new spectrum of wireless communications. and it looks like world is unifying behind the same frequency, with america and asia from new and europe a bit later. it things work out well, it will give us a lot more wireless internet options, that are faster, affordable and with a superb coverage. google is ready to soil things with big bucks in the upcoming bidding, and some other big ones like apple and verizon and others as well.
2. google and 30 other companies announced new unifying mobile phone software platform. in a way it is like a linux for mobile phones. they call it android and it is based on linux. in general it is a good idea, but now it is still a vaporware and it will stay that way at least for a year. and even after that there are no guaranties that it will succeed or even make a dent.
3. google (yes them again) finally started to offer imap for gmail. and now mail on iphone is way more usable.
i also want to add, that i am still very happy with my iphone and will repeat that this a revolutionary step forward, even though it is not that obvious now. do you know what i really miss on iphone? the ability to sync everything everything to the computer. right now there is a backup, but it is not the same thing. do you know what I like the most about iphone? the ability to sync things with to/from the computer, and ability to access it on the go, in a portable (in a pocket), usable manner.
there is a new fashionable term - steampunk is a fantasy, and it an imitation of stylistics of industrial revolution and steam machines era with some
modern functionality. things like that we could find in an old sci-fi movie. but it exists, even now. in a form of attempts to add advanced functionality without feasible means.
and the last thing
few days ago tema lebedev boldly stated on his site that google is much more evil that microsoft. yeah, sure, and cat is the most dangerous beast. this is just some showing off. yes, google is a big corporation and they do have ambitions, but there are rules and some companies follow them and some not. most notorious offender is microsoft. it is not that easy to measure positive and nevative deeds, yet labeling just like that is easy, but foolish. (yes russians like doing that, so do reactionaries too). artlebedev studio makes superb website designs, some other things are cool, but not as robust. their news-grabbing keyboard is the example of modern day steampunk. also he claims that global warming is a myth. and for a long time was brainwashing web designers in russia that meta-tags for setting page encodings are evil. we don't have to listen to everything he says, especially if he talks about things outside of his expertise.