Monthly Archives: January 2011

WebOS & Android tablets, Facebook U-Turn

These last two days, we’ve seen some nice new developments in the technology world and I will try to lay down the most interesting (in my opinion) :

WebOS and Android tablets

We’ve had some nice news about the up and coming HP / Palm’s WebOS Tablets. Engadget has photos and some information about the possible release dates (which seem to be aimed at the second half of this year) -> http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/18/exclusive-hp-palms-webos-tablets-pictures-plans-and-mor/ . All-in-all this seems to be an awesome tablet from the looks of it (and the fact that WebOS itself is pretty cool already), but I do not like the deadline at all. I do not think I will be going for a WebOS tablet if I get to choose between that and an Android 3.0 (Xoom or something else that will have come out by then) or the iPad 2 which is rumoured to come out not too long from now.

Android tablets had some nice surprises with Acer announcing work on 3 new tablets based on the Sandy Bridge processor (Intel), probably running Android 3.0. Three form factors that will give consumers and even wider choice as to which size is best for them. I personally cannot wait :) . On top of that, we are going to see a Triple-booting “Evolve III Maestro” triple booting Android (update : 2.2, sorry) , Windows 7 & MeeGo ! Engadget has some more information and a video : http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/17/evolve-iii-maestro-slate-triple-boots-android-meego-and-windows/ .

Facebook turns around on data sharing

You might have followed that there was quite a bit going on about the fact that many Facebook applications managed to have access to much more of your information then you were actually aware of. Initially, Facebook decided just to ignore the issue once it got out, but it seems they are going back on that decision and have frozen the data sharing for now. They are saying that it will stay frozen until they have figured out a better way to handle the issue. The BBC has a nice article that explains all of this in more detail : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12214628?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Chrome defends drop of H.264 codec support

Chrome drops H.264

A few days ago, Google announced they were dropping H.264 video support for their browser : Chrome.
This has come as a pretty big surprise to most of the industry and people had different opinions about it. Some said it was “short-term pain for long-term benefit” and others said it was plain stupid. It is important to point out that this change only effects the HTML5 <video> tag, which is only available in the latest browsers.

Google’s argument is three-fold :

  1. H.264 is not open, nor is it free. A license fee has to be paid for every product that ships with the codec. Hence, this is not possible for any open-source project (their revenue being as small as it is, cannot go into licensing other code).
  2. This is not a “move on it’s own”. Many open-source communities are behind this move, not the least being Firefox and Opera.
  3. The <video> tag in browsers such as Opera and Firefox (two of the other big browsers) do not support H.264 either. This means that publishers will have to encode their video twice in any case (which means that Google is not causing that situation by dropping support now).

I myself think it is a good move. If Google is smart (and presumably it is), they will re-encode all Youtube videos with their native WebM format. Youtube being the largest video-sharing website around, they can make this move for the better, getting rid of the patent loaded H.264 once and for all :) .

Sources : http://blog.chromium.org/