Monday, January 28, 2013

The democratization of the smartphone 2

Not so long ago I wrote an article about the democratization of the smartphone. Gizmodo also run an article recently on the same more or less subject.
Its somewhat statisfying to see that this issue is being recognized even if not in the same lines as I think it should.
The first comment read under the gizmodo article (ok, the commenters there are not the brightest but thats life) was "I have to agree. Android is the phone of the entitlement crowd - those who think they are owed something in life. Every single person I know with an Android phone is a fucking cheapskate who pirates games and music."

Some people (like the commenter above) have their head shoved so deep in their asses that cannot see or just don't want to understand what is going on outside their rectum. 
Yes some people pirate stuff, some don't, some people use android phones some others use feature phones, some use landlines (yes strangely these still exist) some use iphones etc etc. WHY THE FUCK MAKE AN ISSUE ABOUT IT? It reminds me the common greek expression, ο αστυνομικός είναι όργανο, το μπουζούκι είναι όργανο, άρα ο αστυνομικός είναι μπουζούκι. Which just shows the (low) intelectual level of that specific commenter but anyway. The issue I would like to talk about is the new operating system coming from Mozilla foundation. Firefox OS. Some people attacked it on the basis that: why would we need another OS? We have iOS, WindOwS, Android, Blackberry OS etc...

Well the main issue as I see it is that with the exeption of Android and perhaps in a lesser degree Windows, the other OSes are tight up to a specific manufacturer. You cannot easily take iOS to run on a Samsung device or an HTC. Same goes for Rim OS. Though there are exeptions due to fan dedication (mainly the HD2 and Samsung H1 comes to mind), no hardware manufacturing company wants to waste money and resources to bring older phones up todate with newer OS versions. I admit that older smartphones with 200 or 400Mhz CPUs will struggle running the latest version OSes, but that makes them obsolete almost on purchase. Especially if they come from small manufacturers with limited developing resources. And then you get e.g. Android updates every few months and manufacturers struggling to keep their newest handsets updated with the newer OS version.
Locked devices, (and I do not mean carrier locked but rather OS locked) are the norm for a specific reason. Mobile handsets have become a (vanity) consumer product rather than a use related object (like a wrench) and become obsolete very very fast. That is definitely designed on purpose. Of course there are workarounds but those are normally device specific and need someone skilled to really dig in them to discover them in the first place and someone to thoroughly search for it in order to use it.

Here is where firefox OS could make a huge difference. 
Quite honestly I do not know what the Mozilla foundation could gain from producing a mobile OS, but since they have done so, it would be nice to make it available to older devices. I do not know how that could be implemented and it would probably be left on the fan base of each device to port the Firefox OS to specific devices, but I think mozilla should dedicate a team on that goal. Helping the fanbase port their OS to older mobile handsets. So as Apple do not seem to grasp the poor mans communication needs and Android handset manufacturers do not want to update (for free or not) their older models, Mozilla could grab the chunk of users that have a smarphone but cannot update to the newest OS version. Perhaps a minimal imput from the manufaturers is needed but not necessary. In any case Mozilla would be in a better bargaining place than any user alone.

And so the era of OS unrelated mobile handsets (in the same way as the PC that can run a variety of OSes) might begin. Perhaps they could even charge a small (!) amount of money for such OS changes-updates. So that they could have some cash flow from people who can't aquire a new handset but can spend a few $$ to modernise an existing phone.

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Μπήκα στην ιστοσελίδα της Ελευθεροτυπίας σήμερα και είδα την παρακάτω εικόνα:
8 στους 10 κρυώνουν γιατί δυσκολεύονται ή δεν έχουν να πληρώσουν της θέρμανση, γιατί από τη μιά έχει αυξηθεί το κόστος του πετρελαίου από την άλλη, τους έχουν μειώσει τους μισθούς ή είναι άνεργοι και δίπλα το ΔΝΤ λέει να μειώσουν και άλλο τους μισθούς ώστε να επιτευχθεί "η εσωτερική υποτίμηση"

Γενικά δεν θα με πείραζε ένας μισθός του 1990 ή του 2000 να είναι ένας ικανοποιητικός μισθός, αλλά θα πρέπει να μπορώ να συντηρηθώ με αυτό το μισθό. Δηλαδή, να ψωνίζω στο σούπερ μάρκετ με τιμές 90, να βάζω βενζίνη στο αυτοκίνητο σε τιμές 90, να είμαι σε θέση να αγοράσω προϊόντα σε τιμές 90.
Μέχρι να γίνει αυτό, θα παίρνουμε τον πούλο.