Drop in Flash used on top websites

Thanks to Steve Souders (who works for Google), significant data shows that among the top 17 000 websites there was a 2 percent drop in Flash usage, in just over 4 months. You may consider that to be a small drop. But 2 points over such a short period of time is actually significant especially in the website industry, that in many cases, takes about 3 or 4 months to think about changing something…

Not great news for traditional Ad agencies that love Flash and have strong Flash development skills. But good news for the companies that are focusing on HTML5 and a more multi-platform compliancy approach…

Apple dominating tablets… for now

Great article over at The Register on the future of Android and Apple. Matt Asay discusses how Jobs recently glowed about the dominance of Apple in the tablet market. As I discussed recently the tipping point for Android is nigh, Android is taking over the iPhone and Assay points out that this is why Apple is concentrating their efforts on the tablet market now. In the same way that Windows wasn’t really better than Apple when the Mac versus PC battle took place and was lost by Apple, Android just needs to be good, cheaper and in multiple variations… what they have done with Android and in so doing have won the market.

I’m still gutted that Nokia aren’t going the Android route as I would have been such a happy man… :)

Android: the tipping point is nigh

Android market share keeps increasing. iPhone owners in the media seem to be getting jittery, looking to question Android on as many points as they can think of.

I’m curious to see so many articles, like on Econsultancy, Computerworld and Read The Web, questioning the numbers about Android dominance or questioning the quality of the apps and also questioning people like Fed Wilson here. “He is wrong” about the importance and future dominance of the Android platform (imagine Voldemort’s voice). At TechWatch, we are told Android is “a threat to the more expensive likes of the iPhone“. It’s as if they’re scared their own iPhone may not be the predominant phone in the market and that Apps will first be built for Android OS (Operating System) and then maybe for Apple ;)
Wilson’s data is solid and obviously his detractors (Apple’s friends in the media) need to explain why other things are more important to try and stop this from happening…. I’m surprised that haven’t started saying, the “OS-That-Must-Not-Be-Named” just to make it a bit more dramatic…

The fact that Android is attracting a higher percentage of younger users is also an interesting point to take into account for market share evolution, and which OS the younger population will be used to when they get older…

OS usage by age on smartphones

Love the comment on Nielsen’s blog about Seniors, it’s so true, make it easy to use:

Elie Gindi, founder of the senior-focused tech blog ElderGadget, recently told me that the people who follow him and his writers are interested and excited by gadgets and new technologies.

“If it’s good technology, seniors embrace it the same as everyone else,” he said. “The key here is if it is truly ‘good’ and they see a real use for it, whether for entertainment or business or lifestyle. They are smart shoppers who aren’t so much interested in [the] useless ‘bells and whistles’ many products contain.”
Ref: Nielsen

Media people in general are far more likely to use Apple hardware; hey its cool isn’t it. Journalists and people in the media in general are used to their Apple “iOS” and would prefer not to have to change. When I tried to get my girlfriend to change to a Motorola Droid she didn’t like the fact it was different even though I find all the same apps for her. She also later on decided it may not be as bad as that, when someone in Gossip girl used one. Ah the media again, even if it was helpful but too late…

Apple’s current position results from first mover, intelligent marketing and of course great software and hardware effects.
But as Reghardware points out, in 2010 Apple’s iPhone 4 “is essentially much the same product” whereas the competitors are getting better and better.

The quantity and variety argument will soon apply to Android but I find so many in both cases pretty useless so I disregard both these arguments completely. Blackberry still beats Android and iPhone hands down on Email. Even K9 on Android doesn’t provide search like on a Blackberry. Don’t even mention the email system on Maemo for my N900, so frustrating…

However an important argument from my point of view is what the system allows you to do. Apple does not and will continue to lock things down far more than Android. If you take the example of Innobel, this app that launched recently will not work and cannot work on iOS because Apple has locked down the functionalities that would like on Android allow you to share info with a caller while on the call. The situation is similar to how Windows ‘has’ to work with so many types of hardware, whereas Mac OS only has to work with its own limited range of hardware.

Had to drop this in though:
Qriously Android Survey
from a Qriously survey which I’m guessing wasn’t done on an iPhone like in the example below:

On a side note, I must just say, the first company to provide a Smartphone with the following will be my best friends for ever and in return I’ll be their client, good deal no? I’d like a solid and powerful Smartphone with large onboard memory plus expandable memory, a good camera (above 8 mega pixels plus quality lens), with sturdy touchscreen and physical keyboard, with, and this is the important part, a battery that can be ejected and replaced with another one, without having to take the case + the back of the phone off. This is a winner for me! And all of the above is never going to happen with Apple, because they lock down hardware so much that the only option you have is to buy a new one, oh yes (and a case + a manual on how to hold it when you call). When will people learn…?

Update (08 Apr): What was I saying, and then I come across such a waste of time article on ReadWriteWeb where the iPhone lover journalist complains that his phone froze when trying to install Flickr on an Android phone. As if that never happens on an iPhone…

Get your smartphone to count calories

As explained over on TechCrunch you may think the below is an April fools but apparently not!

Check out what is “expected” as calories for a few cashew nuts. Imagine if you had a bag of them, they’d be deadly.

Snap those cashew Nuts

And well here’s a link for checking out the app

However on a more serious note having worked on similar types of projects for large companies these can be dangerous if taken too serioulsy when we’re talking about serious apps that provide fairly accurate info. Beware that it doesn’t become an addiction that rules your life:

reblogged via MobileCrunch

Kinect hack to manage home lighting system

No I’m not obsessed with the Xbox, I don’t even have one, but this is pretty cool, where you can see that the Kinect (with major hacking and programming) is used to manage the whole lighting system within the flat…

Simple really, lol ;)

Atrix: Motorola bringing you the dream setup

Just checking out the Engadget site specifically the “Motorola Atrix 4G, HD multimedia dock, and laptop dock hands-on” post and what can say but WOW.
I think this looks like a dream come true and if they have put a decent camera in there I think I’m in love…

The laptop dock is basically a screen with full size keyboard that pretty much turns it the phone into a laptop!

Sony Atrix Laptop Dock

Sony Atrix Laptop Dock

The phone dock allows you to plug in mouse, keyboard and hook up to a full HD screen !

Sony Atrix Phone Dock

Sony Atrix Phone Dock

Check out the engadget video that shows it all working and much more. It is really impressive if that is the type of experience that can be expected on the final version…

I was impressed with the Droid / Milestone but this is just great…

The User experience that is shown in the video and the amount of ways it can be used plus all the functions available through the WebTop application is just amazing.

PS: when are we getting this in Europe and moreover in France???

Apple software not so secure?

Following a tweet on LinkedIn from Laurent VERMOT-GAUCHY :

#news Apple software more vulnerable than Microsoft, security expert says http://goo.gl/fb/DpejF

The LA Times article he refers to, indicates that a security expert raises doubts about Apple’s claims that their software is more secure than Microsoft’s:

In Apple’s famous “I’m a Mac” TV commercials, the Cupertino company frequently implies that its computer software is more secure than Microsoft’s operating systems. But a renowned security expert says the truth may be the opposite.

Which is funny unless you’re called Apple and/or work on a Mac I guess…

Even online ads can be a security hole!

An article on the New York Times explains how a group or person was able to get malicious code inserted on the New York Times and gave readers the impression that a program was scanning their computer

New York Times Malicious Ad Code Inserted

New York Times Malicious Ad Code Inserted

THE NYTimes article explains that this attack via online ad systems have already hit companies like FoxNews.com and the The San Francisco Chronicle.

As you can see in the below letter from Publicis owned Starcom this is obvioulsy being taken very seriously and security is being tightened up around the ad insertion procedures…
Publicis-Starcom_Media-Partners_Letter (PDF)

Windows 7 Ultimate in Europe: if you do, buy it in the UK

I just came across Windows 7 Professional at £149.98 on Amazon whereas across the channel in France Windows 7 Professionnel E costs € 284,90

According to xe.com today this gives you:
149.98 GBP = 172.710 EUR

So currently on Amazon France and Amazon UK the difference between the same flavour of Windows 7 is €284,9 – €172.710 = €112.19 (over £97 difference)

win7_ultimate

What is interesting is that the Windows 7 Ultimate version is also available on Amazon.com at £159.85, so for 10 pounds more you get the Ultimate version! The Ultimate version doesn’t appear in many other places at the moment and not on the French Amazon site either but having a Vista Ultimate version on my Dell I was wondering why Ultimate had been left out of the previous offers. In France there was a 49.9 Euros offer between July 15th and August 15th on the Home version. I guess this is also a time specific offer but I must admit I still find it is a very hefty price after having paid so much for the really dissapointing Windows Vista Ultimate and actually having re-installed Windows XP because Vista was so bad.
I then installed the RC of Windows 7 on my Dell XPS as you can read. Windows 7 is great so far but I’m concerned at the moment that Windows seems to be selling the full product as an alternative to the upgrade because they haven’t been able to come up with an appropriate solution for upgrading from Vista Ultimate to the European version of the Windows 7 Ultimate. This may explain the difference in pricing at the moment between the US and the UK. A kind of “sorry you are going to have to do a clean install which will waste a lot of your time, instead of an upgrade like in the US”…

My question is why should I pay pretty much the same price as I paid for Vista for a new version when the previous one was so bad I didn’t even use it!

Note: When you check the Microsoft stores these differences are also visible:
In the US, Windows 7 Ultimate is available for $319.99
In France, Windows 7 Ultimate is available for €299.99 (eq. $430 xe.com on 23/08/09)
In the UK, Windows 7 Ultimate is available for £199.99 (eq. $330 xe.com on 23/08/09)
So much for the talk about the US prices being higher than in Europe for once! They are as usual higher in Europe than in the US, even though there won’t even be a simple upgrade option and you have to backup then do a clean install then transfer data over. Granted this is the best solution in the long term but not having the upgrade option is a pain…

Change Keyboard from English to French at Login screen on Windows 7

I had a problem the other day trying to get a Windows 7 operating system, that is in English to work with a French keyboard. Of course, I hadn’t set it up myself, but was asked to change the system after the fact. It initially had an English QWERTY keyboard and then my friend started to use a French AZERTY keyboard.

So first, check the list of values below, and then choose the one you want to change to. The English code which could be for the UK, 00000809 or for the US it would be 00000809, and say would befor example changed to a French standard keyboard, the value of which would be 0000040c as you can see in the list below.

Click in the far bottom left hand corner on the blue ‘Start’ circle and in the Search for Programs and Files area type “regedit”. Regedit is a powerful tool and could severely damage your computer if you mess about with it so make sure you are careful and know what you are doing…

Once regedit is launched you need to click in the left hand column on “HKEY_USERS”, then “.DEFAULT” etc. as the path below:
HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Keyboard Layout\Preload

Once you click on “Preload” you will see values appear in the right hand preview pane. Below (Default) you should see an item called “1” when you select and right click on this you should see the option “Modify…”.
By clicking on this you can change the value to the one you need. Just to check you should see that the current keyboard value is in the list below and corresponds to the one you want to change from. Then, leaving the “value name” as it is, update the “value data” accordingly with the new value selected from the table below and that fits the type of keyboard you are using.

00000402 Bulgarian
0000041a Croatian
00000405 Czech
00000406 Danish
00000413 Dutch (Standard)
00000813 Dutch (Belgian)
00000409 English (United States)
00000809 English (United Kingdom)
00001009 English (Canadian)
00001409 English (New Zealand)
00000c09 English (Australian)
0000040b Finnish
0000040c French (Standard)
0000080c French (Belgian)
0000100c French (Swiss)
00000c0c French (Canadian)
00000407 German (Standard)
00000807 German (Swiss)
00000c07 German (Austrian)
00000408 Greek
0000040e Hungarian
0000040f Icelandic
00001809 English (Irish)
00000410 Italian (Standard)
00000810 Italian (Swiss)
00000414 Norwegian (Bokmal)
00000814 Norwegian (Nynorsk)
00000415 Polish
00000816 Portuguese (Standard)
00000416 Portuguese (Brazilian)
00000418 Romanian
00000419 Russian
0000041b Slovak
00000424 Slovenian
0000080a Spanish (Mexican)
0000040a Spanish (Traditional Sort)
00000c0a Spanish (Modern Sort)
0000041d Swedish
0000041f Turkish

Please make sure that you know what you are doing before using this method as getting it wrong with regedit could have really bad side effects… There are no value checks that the normal Windows interface uses to check you have entered data that will work.

In order for this to take effect you will need to restart your computer or you can simply log-off and log-on again.

From what I have understood the values in HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Keyboard Layout\Substitutes are to provide a user with the ability to switch between 2 languages at login as opposed to a screen that does not display any other options at login. So if you have an external keyboard that is different to say the keyboard on your laptop this would be were you could enter in order of priority the 2 language values. This should then provide you with a option in the top left hand corner of your Windows 7 login screen with the option to switch between langauges/keyboards.