April 20th, 2010

full steam ahead

My good deed for the day - and only 20 minutes for an ambulance

I was just coming out of Somerfields with my shopping when I saw a lady on the pavement on the other side of the road, holding her nose with blood streaming down her face. With the traffic streaming by I knew it would take a few minutes to get across so I went back into the shop and asked for a first aider: the best they had was a first aid box full of bandages so they tied an eye patch over her nose and I waited with her till the ambulance came - 21 minutes from the time on my receipt. She was slightly dazed and told me about a few other times she'd fallen, and a bit about her life; her medication takes away her balance and I drew on my fund of reassuring ways to calm people with problems too complex to tackle. At least I could keep her company and get her some water. My first aid training is rusty but I checked for nausea, bruising, breakages and concussion (she was in better shape than some of the fruit in the reduced section).

A tablet you can buy now, that does Flash

One of the reasons we went to Barcelona in the first place was to see what Toshiba was launching. There were TVs with Windows 7 logos (they do DLNA so you can send videos from Windwos 7 to your TV screen by right-clicking). There was a laptop with Intel's Wireless Display technology that sends your whole PC screen to a TV with a NETGEAR adapter. There were TVs with built-in YouTube players. There were some shiny new laptops. And then there was the final version of the JOURN.E Touch tablet that we played with when it wasn't ready, looking much easier to use and much more useful. Toshiba's very happy with it: it's half the price of the iPad, does Flash, has expandable memory - in short, they say 'The things the iPad doesn't do, we do'
The tablet-based, pre-iPad, post-iPad future, according to Toshiba


What's MeeGo for?

I've always said that the main reason Intel develops Moblin is to scare Microsoft; any time Redmond isn't playing ball, Intel holds up Moblin (I can't bring myself to call it MeeGo every time) like a scary hand puppet and waves it around until the 'softies cave in. Perhaps they haven't caved recently (or perhaps my utter speculation about Windows 8 on ARM is near to the bone), but Intel spokesperson James Reinders made some remarkably candid comments about Microsoft and Windows performance on Atom (twice, so it wasn't mis-speaking).

Personally I'm very happy with Windows 7 on Atom (in as much as I'm happy about Atom at all - I like the battery life but tend to hate the tiny keyboards), and I'm grateful that Windows VP Steven Sinosfky went through what must have been the pain of using a netbook as his main PC for months to make sure Windows 7 would make me happy (oh, and all you other Atom users too), but it did remind me that Origami died a death. Of course now that I know that Microsoft worked with Toshiba to create the nice, simple Media Controller interface on the JOURN.E Touch and that they brainstormed the 'three screens plus cloud' mantra together I'm wondering what we might see on the Windows 7 tablets that HP and, I think I can say, Toshiba will bring out this summer. 

Reinders also talked about Atom and embedded Atom in a way that made me think that Intel is trying to use Moblin/MeeGo as a scary puppet to wave at Google as well; Intel thinks embedded devices - smartphones, MIDs, what Qualcomm calls SmartBooks even though that's a trademark in Europe,in-car systems and all the other devices that are going Android and Chrome (or maybe RIM or - very successfully for Ford - Windows CE or, of course, iPhone and iPad) - need a better operating system. I'm inclined to agree - though of course I personally think it should be some variation of Windows 8 (I do seem to have a theme this week) rather than Moblin/MeeGo. But what I mostly think is that if Intel is using the same puppet to wave at both Google and Microsoft, then they are certainly wearing what an old friend of ours calls the Brave Trousers.

What do you buy a car for? This year it could be Android

By this autumn, you'll be able to buy a car that you can plug an Android phone into and not only will you be able to play music from it - you'll be able to use the controls on the steering wheel to launch apps. It will read you tweets and Facebook updates - and if you use the Aha app it cuts out all those Farmville reports too!

How Android is moving to the dashboard