Wednesday, November 17, 2010

iOS has more games than four generations of consoles

This one's strictly in the "just for fun" category of stat comparisons, but the guys over at TUAW decided to do a little headcount of the sheer number of games Apple's App Store has available for consumption. Then, just for fun, they decided to compare that to some publicly available stats on how many games the last 25 years of consoles, both the sort that plug into your teevee and the handheld type, have churned out. Of course, the caveats are plentiful, as there are a lot of duplicates and Lite versions floating about in the App Store (as well as multi-platform games among the consoles), but the general point that iOS has a lot of games on its books is made pretty clearly. Now if anyone wants to document how many Flashgames there are for browser-based consumption, we look forward to reading your results in 2013.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Gingerbread coming today? It's still pinging

Posted on Thursday, Nov 11, 2010 by Phil Nickinson

The big ol' unsourced, unconfirmed, who-knows-if-it's-true rumor of the past week or so has been that Android  2.3 -- Gingerbread -- will be announced/released/something today. It's just about lunchtime, and no sign of anything sweet yet -- though as you can see from the Google analytics above, it looks like it's still pinging around out there.
Will we see it today? Dunno. Will we see it tomorrow? Dunno. Are our fingers crossed? Absofrigginlutely.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Google suing US Department of the Interior for Google Apps snub

Google has filed a lawsuit in the US Court of Federal Claims against the US Department of the Interior for being what it claims as "unduly restrictive of competition." Apparently the DOI wrote up procurement requirements for a hosted email and collaboration solution (it's currently hobbling along with 13 different platforms for its 88,000 users) that specifically stated the software had to be part of the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite. Google thinks there should be a competitive procurement process for the $59 million contract, allowing for potential alternatives to Microsoft (like Google Apps, for instance). The DOI says it's up for open competition on the contract, but it's "standardized" on Microsoft tech. We'll have to see how this plays out.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Google now second-largest ISP, carries 6.4% of Internet traffic

Network World - Google is now the second-largest carrier of Internet traffic, according to data released this week by Arbor Networks. But should corporate network managers care about this news?
Yes, says Arbor Networks Chief Scientist Craig Labovitz, who argues that savvy IT managers need to understand how macro Internet traffic trends will affect the design and management of their own network backbones.
"The way we think about the network is changing," Labovitz says. "We're going through a transition where the value of the network was about connectivity ... the ability to reach thousands of people and tens of thousands of other Web sites. But now there's a shift from connectivity to content. Increasingly, whether you're a consumer or an enterprise, you care not about reaching thousands of different Web sites. You care about the 20 social networking,cloud vendor and partner sites that you do business with."
The Arbor Networks' data points to a future where Internet traffic consolidates on the networks of a handful of carriers and content providers - what Arbor calls "hyper giants."
"This will affect how enterprises plan their services ... whether they host their own services or whether they use cloud vendors," Labovitz says. "The enterprise needs to shift its thinking in terms of [service level agreements] and the way it measures, monitors and secures its networks. That all used to be focused on connectivity, but now it needs to be focused on content."
Enterprise network managers need to focus more on the content and services they are delivering over the Internet, and less on Internet transport, Arbor recommends. "It's no longer just enough to know your circuit is up," Labovitz adds. "What enterprise users care about is the quality of service."
In the last year, Google has risen from third to second place in Arbor's list of the top 10 carriers of Internet traffic. All of the other companies on Arbor's list are ISPs, rather than content providers.
Today, Google carries an average of 6.4% of all Internet traffic -- a figure that has grown by more than one percentage point since January. Only one tier 1 provider -- a wholesaler to other ISPs -- carries more Internet traffic on its backbone network than Google does, and this wholesaler (Arbor declined to identify the provider) carries a lot of Google traffic, too.
The Arbor data shows that overall Internet volumes are increasing at a rate of 40% to 45% per year, and that Google is growing faster than that. Most of Google's data is video from its popular YouTube site.
Arbor Networks conducts ongoing analysis of Internet traffic housed on the networks of 110 ISPs around the world.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Google rolls out Chrome 7

Google on Tuesday released a new stable version of its internet browser, Chrome 7.
The latest update is part of Google's promise in July to release a new stable version of Chrome about every six weeks.

Chrome 7 comes with hundreds of bug fixes, an updated HTML5 parser, the File API, and directory upload via input tag. It is available in the stable and beta channels for Windows, Mac, and Linux.
“The main focus was the hundreds of bug fixes”, Jeff Chang, a Google product manager, wrote in a blog post.
"We've also included a few other things that may be of interest to developers, such as full AppleScript support on Mac OS X for UI automation and implementation of the HTML5 parsing algorithm, the File API, and directory upload," Chang wrote. "Also, if you choose to block sites from setting any data in your browser's content settings for cookies, you can now use a new dialog for managing blocked cookies in bulk."
The latest version will automatically update an installed Google Chrome version.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I'm back!

Cruise was a blast!  Visited the Bahamas, St Thomas and St Maarten on the Carnival Dream.  Stay tuned for more n00buser updates this week!  Leaving you here with a pic I took on Orient Beach in St Maarten.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Attn: My followers!

Heading on a 7-day cruise today for my honeymoon!  So stay tuned for updates the week of October 17th!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

One More Time: Verizon iPhone Rumored for Next Year

Sarah Jacobsson PurewalPCWorld

Oct 7, 2010 1:06 am
Verizon will have the iPhone by the beginning of next year, the Wall Street Journalreports.

I know what you're thinking: No way! VerizonThe iPhoneTogether? What a completelybrand-new rumor!

Well, according to the Wall Street Journal and "people familiar with the matter," Apple plans to begin mass producing a special iPhone for Verizon by the end of this year--an iPhone that will be released in the first quarter of 2011. While the new iPhone will resemble AT&T's iPhone 4, it will be "based on an alternative wireless technology used by Verizon."

The alternative wireless technology is CDMA (code division multiple access), which is a channel access method used by Verizon, Sprint, and various smaller carriers in the United States. The alternative to CDMA is GSM (globally system for mobile communication), which involves a SIM card and is used by AT&T and T-Mobile. While CDMA tends to have stronger coverage in the United States, particularly in rural areas, GSM has a larger global footprint and is the standard in Europe.

The Journal reports that the CDMA iPhone is being made by Taiwan-based Pegatron Technology Corp. Pegatron is the manufacturing subsidiary of Asustek Computer Inc. Qualcomm Inc. will be providing a "key chip set" for the new iPhone.

This new(ish) rumor comes just a couple of weeks after Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg told investors that he would welcome the opportunity to sell the iPhone--though his tone suggested that such a partnership wasn't going to happen anytime soon. Seidenberg said that Verizon would have to "earn" the right to sell the iPhone, which sounds a bit like Verizon hasn't quite yet managed to do that.

However, Verizon President Lowell McAdam said that at "some point" Verizon and Apple's business interests would align, though he declined to comment on whether or not Verizon would soon have an iPhone in its lineup. "I fully expect it," he said, "But I don't have anything to say.

In addition to the not-so-new rumors of a Verizon iPhone, the Wall Street Journal also reports that Apple is working on developing a new iPhone model all together. According to the Journal's unnamed sources, the new fifth-generation iPhone will be a "different form factor than those that are currently available." (What does that even mean? Will it be a flip phone? Square-shaped? Have three touch screens? Leave your thoughts in the comments.)

Sure, rumors of a Verizon iPhone pop up just about every other week, so you should probably take this news with a fairly large grain of salt. That said, the Wall Street Journalhas been pretty accurate in reporting iPhone-related rumors (they were right when they said Apple was developing a new iPhone for the summer of 2010--and yes, this wasbefore the Gizmodo fiasco).

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Internet Explorer falls below 50 percent global marketshare, Chrome usage triples

By Tim Stevens  posted Oct 5th 2010 7:19AM
Oh, IE, it pains us to do this to you. You who once so mightily won in the battle against Netscape Navigator now seem to be losing your war against a battalion of upstarts, relatively fresh faces like Firefox and Chrome. According to StatCounter, IE's global usage stats have fallen to 49.87 percent, a fraction of a tick beneath half. Firefox makes up the lion share of the rest, at 31.5 percent, while Chrome usage tripled since last year, up to 11.54 percent. Two years ago IE had two thirds of the global market locked down, and even if Internet Explorer 9 is the best thing since ActiveX, well, we just don't see the tide of this battle turning without MS calling in some serious reinforcements.

Update: If you needed more proof of Chrome's increasing popularity, we got a tip on this report from Softpedia confirming that Chrome is the fastest growing browser of the moment. Firefox is more or less flat and, well, you know all about how IE is faring.

Press Release--
Microsoft's Internet Explorer Browser Falls Below 50% of Worldwide Market for First Time – StatCounter

BOSTON & DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE) browser has fallen below 50% of the worldwide market for the first time according to StatCounter. The company's research arm, StatCounter Global Stats finds that Microsoft IE fell to 49.87% in September followed by Firefox with 31.5%. Google's Chrome continues to increase market share at an impressive rate and has more than tripled from 3.69% in September 2009 to 11.54% in September this year.

"This is certainly a milestone in the Internet browser wars"
"This is certainly a milestone in the Internet browser wars," commented Aodhan Cullen, CEO, StatCounter. "Just two years ago IE dominated the worldwide market with 67%."

He added that Microsoft's agreement with European Commission competition authorities to offer EU users a choice and menu of browsers from March may have tipped IE below 50% globally.

In Europe, IE market share has fallen to 40.26% in September this year from 46.44% in September last year. In North America IE is still above 50% at 52.3% followed by Firefox at 27.21% and Chrome at 9.87%.

The rise of Google Chrome in North America has also been impressive and in June it overtook Safari for the first time.

StatCounter Global Stats are based on aggregate data collected by StatCounter on a sample exceeding 15 billion page views per month collected from across the StatCounter network of more than 3 million websites. StatCounter, which provides free website traffic information, publishes browser stats in its StatCounter Global Stats, a free online research tool. It also monitors Internet market share battles including Search Engines, Social Media and Operating Systems including mobile.

For individual country analysis go to:

Further information on our analysis is available at:

About StatCounter
StatCounter, a free online visitor stats tool, was founded in 1999. It offers its members the chance to grow and improve their online businesses by allowing them to monitor the number of hits to their website; the geographical location of visitors; the various pages a visitor views; keywords used to find the site plus other features. For information on this real-time, user-friendly, and free visitor stats tool, please visit

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Cloud Printing: Print Remotely With Smartphone, Dropbox

Digital Inspiration’s Amit Agarwal has a clever Dropbox-based solution for printing documents from a smartphone or tablet, whether your printer’s down the hall or thousands of miles away. The idea is so simple, you’ll be amazed you haven’t thought to try it yourself.
Dropbox is a popular utility that allows users to sync and share files on different computers. Native Dropbox applications are available for most smartphone platforms, giving you mobile access to all your files, and many mobile applications are now integrating Dropbox for remote syncing and storage. You can also add files to your Dropbox account via e-mail or the web.
In this solution, use any of those means to get the file you want printed into a shared Dropbox folder — call it “PrintQueue” — that you’ve set up for this purpose. Your print-capable computer uses a script to monitor “PrintQueue,” automatically print its documents and then move them to a different folder. (Agarwal calls this second folder “logs”; I’d call it “Completed Jobs”). If you’re a clever hacker, you could even add scripts to send a remote notification that the print job has been completed.
For Windows, Agarwal has a downloadable VBS script that will set this up for you; as he notes, there are different scripting solutions for Mac OS X or Linux too.
Once you’ve got this rigged, the immediate use case is to send a document wirelessly from a smartphone or tablet to a local printer. And it is kind of magical to stand there and watch the whole process unfold, as in the video above.
But think beyond that. Suddenly, your printer is capable of networking with any computer, anywhere — with any phone, anywhere — that you approve and authorize. This is potentially so much better than hooking up a computer to a wireless router or navigating the virtual bureaucracy of an office printer network. It’s way better than a fax machine.
This could be one future of social networking and file sharing: Instead of big, ad-cluttered feeds that push photos, status updates and Farmville notifications or anonymous networks that chop files into bits and reassemble them, imagine friends and acquaintances broadcasting to each other, wheels within wheels, each with different levels and fields of access. Designating someone a “friend” might not be worth very much in this cockeyed world, but automatic remote access to someone’s printer still means something.

Read More

Friday, October 1, 2010

Users Making the Switch to Cutting Edge Browsers

New Web browser market share stats are out. This past month has seen a decline in the overall market share of the Internet Explorer franchise, but breaking things down by version shows that more users are adopting the latest generation of Web browsers whether it's Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome.
Microsoft's Internet Explorer declined again in overall market share for the first time in a few months. The browser as a whole lost .75 percent--with Internet Explorer 6 dropping .63 percent, and Internet Explorer 7 falling half a percent. Those losses were offset, though, by yet another significant gain for Internet Explorer 8--climbing 1.16 percent since the last month.
Chrome 6 had by far the largest gain over the previous month, coupled with Chrome 5 taking the most precipitous plunge. Overall, Chrome is up slightly, but that is after a decline of 4.33 percent by Chrome 5 and a swift rise of 4.66 percent over the previous month for Chrome 6. Apparently the vast majority of Chrome users willingly embraced the latest browser and made the switch.
Firefox users followed the same trajectory. The use of Firefox 3.5 fell .18 percent. However, the latest official release, Firefox 3.6, went up .25 percent, and Firefox 4--which is still only in beta--went up .08 percent.
Even Internet Explorer 9 is riding the cutting edge browser popularity wave. It has only been two weeks since Microsoft publicly launched the beta of Internet Explorer 9 at a media event in San Francisco. In that brief period, though, the beta of Microsoft's next major update to the Internet Explorer Web browser has already been downloaded more than six million times.
In an Exploring IE blog post, Microsoft's Ryan Gavin notes, "Net Applications' browser usage share report released today shows IE9 Beta usage share at 0.25 percent for the two weeks after launch. The tech enthusiast community is observing a notable increase in IE9 activity: LiveSide reported IE9 Beta users accounted for 25 percent of their reader base, IE9 overtook IE6 users at DownloadSquad, and Network World reported poll results showing 47 percent of people intend to try IE9 Beta. Additionally, we saw tweets from the likes of Ed Bott who noticed, "Halfway through Day 1 of IE9 availability, 8 percent of my ZDNet visitors are using the beta. Steady increase all day, higher than IE7.""
Some of that upswing may be a function of the success of Windows 7 and an increase in PC sales. Users who have clung to outdated browsers like IE6 would suddenly have IE8 by default on a new Windows 7 system, and in the event that a user chooses not to use Internet Explorer, the likelihood is that they will install the latest version of whatever browser it is they opt to install.
Regardless, of the reasons behind the numbers, new Web technologies need new Web browsers, so the transition to cutting edge Web browsers benefits developers, as well as everyone else who surfs the Web.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Android Now Ties iPhone In Consumer Interest

Sep 30, 2010 6:29 pm
Android Consumer Interest

One year ago, if you told an average person you were thinking about buying an Android, they'd have thought you were some sort of robot-mongering madman.
My, how times have changed.
Since the debut of the first Android handset in 2008, we've seen Google's mobile operating system grow in leaps and bounds. Initially catapulted by the high-profile marketing push surrounding the Motorola Droid, Android sales have been on a nonstop rocket ride upward. Smartphone users are now snatching up more Android phones than iPhones -- despite what certain turtleneck-loving CEOs may imply -- and the ratio shifts further in Android's favor with practically every passing month.
Now, a new report finds Android has essentially matched the iPhone when it comes to overall consumer interest. If recent trends are any indication, it won't be long before Apple's prized product is eating Google's dust.

Android's Growing Interest

The Android-iPhone study, conducted by independent research firm ChangeWave, looks at the mindsets of smartphone consumers planning to purchase new devices within the next 90 days. ChangeWave interviewed 4,000 people for the report.
Click to ZoomAccording to the company's data (chart available here), 37 percent of prospective phone buyers want an Android in their pockets. That's up 7 percent from the firm's previous study in June and, as ChangeWave VP of Research Paul Carton puts it, represents "a six-fold increase in consumer preference for the Google OS" over the past year.
Thirty-eight percent of smartphone shoppers, meanwhile, currently have the iPhone in their sights. That's down 12 percent from Apple's level in June. You could write off the drop as being a result of the fading hype from the release of the iPhone 4, but the shift is nothing new. We saw the same sort of changes back in January, and the vast majority of analyses over the past year have indicated similar movements as well.
(As for other smartphone platforms, RIM has remained relatively stable -- the BlackBerry Torch, not surprisingly, doesn't seem to be doing much to drum up consumer interest -- and Windows Mobile is maintaining its position as a mere blip on the radar. Time will tell if the new Windows Phone 7 will give Microsoft any significant traction.)

Android and the Smartphone Shift

So what's driving the change? It's simple: Android's open approach equals choice. Choice means more products and more opportunities to find something that fits your needs. The more options and the more opportunities there are, the more customers a platform is going to attract. (And no, despite the occasional surge of headlines to the contrary, an open model does not mean a doomsday-like scenario of malicious apps and unprecedented attacks.)
We could argue endlessly about the merits of one platform over the other. Ultimately, though, a smartphone is a personal thing -- and finding a phone that strikes your fancy comes down to your own personal preference. There is no absolute right or wrong answer.
That said, the iPhone offers a single setup: one phone, one form, one largely unchangeable software experience. If you like that setup, you've found the phone for you. But if you prefer anything different -- be it a larger display, a physical keyboard, or a home screen with anything beyond neatly aligned static icons -- you aren't going to find it in Apple's garden.
On the other side of the spectrum, you have Android. Some Android phones are great. Others...not so much. But taking into account both hardware and software, there's no shortage of options. And within those options, there's no shortage of diversely attractive possibilities.
Apple's iPhone will undoubtedly have a dedicated group of followers for many years to come. And Apple will likely have no trouble turning a handsome profit from its mobile portfolio. But as the number of Android-based options continues to expand, so too will Android's grasp on the mobile market.
You don't have to be a robot-mongering madman to see the logic in that.
JR Raphael is a PCWorld contributing editor and the author of the highly scientificApple/Android Fanboy Quiz. You can find him on both Facebook and Twitter.

Google gives Gmail users more control over inboxes

SAN FRANCISCO – Google Inc. is addressing one of the biggest complaints about its free e-mail service by giving people more control over how their inboxes are organized.
The new option announced Wednesday will allow Gmail users to choose whether they prefer their incoming messages stacked in chronological order, instead of having them threaded together as part of the same electronic conversation.
Gmail has been automatically grouping messages by topic or senders since Google rolled out the service six years ago.
But this so-called "conversation view" confused or frustrated many Gmail users who had grown accustomed to seeing all their newest messages at the top of the inbox followed by the older correspondence. After all, that's how most other e-mail programs work.
The complaints grew loud enough to persuade Google to revise the Gmail settings so users can turn off conversation view and unravel their messages.
"We really hoped everyone would learn to love conversation view, but we came to realize that it's just not right for some people," Google software engineer Doug Chen wrote in a Wednesday blog post.
The aversion to conversation view doesn't seem to be widespread. Gmail ended July with nearly 186 million worldwide users, a 22 percent increase from the same time a year ago, according to the research firm comScore Inc. Both Microsoft's Windows Live Hotmail (nearly 346 million users) and Yahoo's e-mail (303 million users) are larger, but aren't growing nearly as rapidly as Gmail.