Robots everywhere

You wouldn’t ask these robots for advice, but at least they do what they are designed for, to a degree.

As I’ve mentioned before, a robot doesn’t need human cognition to be useful. More important is being designed for its “habitat” and some level of adaptation to the actual situation, with no need for manual reprogramming.

More Dreaded Chores Outsourced to Robots (They Do Windows) –

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Coffee goes the way of ink

A coffee machine that only accepts branded/DRM’d coffee capsules.

How do you DRM a coffee pod? | Ars Technica

Via NFC maybe? It could also be mechanically or via colors or patterns. Something we looked at at Anoto during 2008, to identify (rather than protecting) different types and colors of whiteboard pens.

“In Keurig’s case, it’s less likely that the company is trying to lock coffee competitors out than bring them under control. … the company already said it plans to issue licenses to third parties so they will still be able to get their product on Keurig machines for a price.”

This would be very similar to Apple’s approach towards peripheral manufacturers.

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Nokia X with Android

More or less what’s happened lately, not necessarily in the completely right order:

  • Nokia loses most of its smartphone market share to Apple and later Google/Samsung/HTC etc. The stock plunges.
  • Nokia collaborates with Intel for a modern smartphone/tablet platform called Meego, based on Nokia’s Maemo platform and Linux.
  • Steven Elop moves from Microsoft to become CEO at Nokia.
  • Nokia releases a few Meego phones.
  • Microsoft lobbies and pays Nokia $1B (officially) to adopt Windows Phone, dropping both Symbian and Meego (surely Symbian was end of life, but that didn’t apply to Meego).
  • Nokia employees are disgruntled over the choice of Windows Phone as the new smart device platform, blaming top management for treason and incompetence.
  • Microsoft decides 2013 to acquire Nokia’ mobile phone division some time during 2014. The stock jumps.
  • Nokia releases a low-end Android phone.

What happens next?

Nokia X Dual SIM – Affordable dual SIM smartphone with Android™ apps – Nokia

Hands on: Nokia X review | Phone Reviews | TechRadar

This is a rather low-speced phone (800*480, 3 Mp, etc), but it will also be sold for peanuts. The naming indicates this is one in a potential series of phones with different specs.

It runs a forked version of Android 4.1, making this an outdated and probably expensive platform for Nokia, as Google only delivers the full application package to Google-provided Android (and then of course the latest version), requiring replacement apps. Samsung has the same issue, for good and for bad. Nokia X comes with Opera’s browser. The UI is custom.

Nokia X family – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Interesting quote from Joe Belfiore, Microsoft: “Other things we are LESS excited [about]“. Like Android phones?

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Flappy Bird copycats

When you thought Flappy Bird was gone for good, developers have been busy releasing copycats of the notorious game:

Flappy Bird: AppStore sees new clone of Dong Nguyen’s game every 24 minutes – News – Gadgets & Tech – The Independent

Over Sixty ‘Flappy Bird’ Clones Hit Apple’s App Store Every Single Day

The same has happened on Google Play:

Simple (2D pixelart sprites is good enough), addictive, and using established/proven concepts seem to be key criteria for mass adoption of mobile games, and it’s also been shown that in-app purchases of more levels or (secondarily) advertising is what works revenue-wise, not upfront cost.

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CliqTags at AppDirect; official this time

More information at CliqTags: CliqTags at AppDirect; official this time | CliqTags

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CliqTags at AppDirect

News about CliqTags: CliqTags at AppDirect

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The verdict of Twitter’s first report

Many things looked promising (more revenue than expected etc), but the market still questioned Twitter’s long term potential. It’s all about getting more users to get more ad revenue. Twitter doesn’t have any other business model that generates a lot of money.

“monthly active users came in at 241 million, a 30% year-over-year increase but well below expectations”

“on May 7 it’s expected that 454.3 million shares held by all insiders will lose trading restrictions, putting downward pressure on the stock”

Twitter shares tumble 17% after results

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TweetLink – now much easier to use

Logo Magneto shadowA Quick page (the new home page) has been added, where TweetLink will make all decisions for you, but on the other hand you get your tweet link much easier. Advanced can still be used if Quick doesn’t cut it for your needs, but in most cases it should be sufficient. We recommend that you try the link out before you publish it.

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Freemium games/apps FTW

Freemium (free to download, with in-app purchases) games and secondarily social apps, generate the most money.

Why free games are increasingly the most profitable apps – Quartz

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Lenovo to acquire Google/Motorola handset division

Update: Supposedly Google keeps many of the patents, but they sell for almost 1/5 of the acquisition cost.

A surprising move considering I had expected Google wanted Motorola’s patents against Apple.

Lenovo to buy Google’s Motorola in China’s largest tech deal | Reuters

“Lenovo had negligible market share.”

True, but they are big on computers in general.

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