Is Chromdroid the future of computing?

BY J. ANGELO RACOMA
www.androidauthority.com

Google is taking a page from the Apple and Microosft playbook. While the company’s strength lies in its search business and mobile operating system, it’s not exactly a hardware company, except for its partnerships (past and present) with HTC, Asus and LG for the production of Nexus devices, and of course its ownership of Motorola Mobility. Recent reports indicate, though, that Google may be planning to produce a device of its own — more specifically, a Chrome OS notebook.

The China Commercial Times cites Taiwanese manufacturers Compal and Wintek as servicing orders from Google for Chromebook computers with a 12.85-inch touchscreen display. As such, while Google has relied on Samsung and Acer for its previous Chromebook releases, this upcoming release might be similar to how Microsoft is going forward with its Windows 8 platform, by producing its own Surface tablet.

Does it make sense for Google to market its own Chromebooks? Perhaps this effort goes beyond how Nexus devices are intended to provide a “pure Google” experience in Android devices, given that Chrome OS is essentially a Chrome browser running Google services. Market-wise, Chromebooks are going strong, despite the general decline in the desktop computer industry. Samsung’s ARM-powered $249 Chromebook is currently the best-selling notebook computer on Amazon as of end-November.

Going beyond Chromebooks and laptops, though, there is one other thing that market observers are seeing as a possibility: the marriage between Android and Chrome OS.

The concept of convergence between Android and Chrome OS is not exactly new, and Google VP for engineering Linus Upson  said as much at this May’s Google I/O conference. The Android and Chrome OS teams are “working together even more closely” he was quoted to say.

Further analysis by ZDNet‘s Steven Vaughan-Nichols even puts a stronger case for the Android-Chrome OS convergence. Chrome ships as the default browser for Android 4.x onward, and Android runs on Linux underpinnings, anyway. This means it should not be too difficult for Chrome OS to switch platforms and perhaps run its system on top of Android. The upcoming Android 4.2 multi-user support will make the case for convergence even stronger, as multiple users are usually an essential feature in desktop OSes.

Of course, there’s the concern that putting everything in the cloud could be limiting for many reasons. First, you will need a fast Internet connection in order for things to be buttery smooth. Then there are the security concerns — what if someone gains access to your data?

In an article at Phone Arena earlier this year, it was argued that convergence would be one of three things, or a combination thereof: Chrome OS running on top of Android (possible through Chrome for Android), Android apps running on the Chrome browser, and the Google Play Store and Chrome Store merging together to offer apps side-by-side.

Whichever it is, this could be an interesting evolution in the desktop computer industry. Chrome OS and Android might eventually be the true successor to the Windows PC, in terms of mass-market desktop devices.

Microsoft won’t be around in 5 Years…and how it’s their own fault

First thing…Bookmark this page…In 2017, come back and DARE tell me I was wrong…Microsoft is killing itself while trying to kill the Personal Computer, and it’s 5 year long death is well deserved. So, like I said, bookmark this page, and on December 3rd 2017 from your Linux/Apple/Google computer re-read this article and bask in the glory of me, as usual, being right.

Microsoft is in deep trouble, their two main product lines are failing, and the blame game is intensifying. Steve Sinofsky gets the blame this time for the failure of Windows 8, but the real problem is the patterns that are so clearly illustrated by these actions.

Microsoft is largely irrelevant to computing of late, the only markets they still play in are evaporating with stunning rapidity. Their long history of circling the wagons tighter and tighter works decently as long as there is not a credible alternative, and that strategy has been the entirety of the Microsoft playbook for so long that there is nothing else now. It works, and as the walls grow higher, customer enmity builds while the value of an alternative grows. This cycle repeats as long as there is no alternative. If there is, everything unravels with frightening rapidity.

A company that plays this game for too long becomes set in their ways, and any chance of real change simply becomes impossible. Microsoft is there, and has been for a long long time. Their product lines have stagnated, creating customer lock in is prioritized over creating customer value, and the supply chain is controlled by an iron fisted monopoly. Any attempt at innovation with a Windows PC has been shut out for over a decade, woe betide anyone who tried to buck that trend. The history books are littered with the corpses of companies that tried to make change the ‘Windows experience’. Microsoft’s displeasure is swift and fatal to those that try. Or at least it was.

In the end, Windows advanced only to the point of undercutting any competition, and even then to the minimum extent possible. The rules in Redmond were, “Do not change anything unless it is to crush someone doing something innovative”. They didn’t unless they did, and it worked. And the market stagnated. Ask yourself when the last time Microsoft did something innovative? Did it come from internal impetuses, or a clone of the competition?

Sooner or later, someone will come along and do a better job than the treacle that Microsoft, offers. Actually that happens all the time. How about, sooner or later, someone will come along and do a better job than the treacle that Microsoft offers, and for some reason, Microsoft won’t be able to crush them like a bug. Then the circled wagons have an alternative. Then the decades of built up enmity have an outlet. Then Microsoft is in trouble.

In such a situation, a company has two choices, both of which are quite stark. They can radically change their ways or they can wither and die. Before you point to Windows 8 and say, “But they are changing and innovating”, hold off a moment, it isn’t what you think.

Microsoft has three product lines that underpin everything, Windows, Windows Server, and Windows Mobile/Phone/WART/whatevertheynameitthisweek. On those, the other moneymakers, Office and Exchange, run exclusively. The apps use protocols that are locked down with dubious methods, and will not run on any competition. The competition is likewise excluded from doing what Microsoft can, either directly like Novell, or by raising the cost to the point of it not being profitable. This is how the wagons are circled, with every iteration, the cost of competing go up, and value of alternatives go up too.

The problem is that if you are locked in with a choice of 100% Microsoft or 0% Microsoft, once someone goes, it isn’t a baby step, they are gone. Once you start using Google Docs and the related suites, you have no need for Office. That means you, or likely your company, saves several hundred dollars a head. No need for Office means no need for Exchange. No need for Exchange means no need for Windows Server. No need for Office means no need for Windows. Once the snowball starts rolling, it picks up speed a frightening pace. And that is where we are. The barriers to exit are now even more potent barriers to entry.

If you read the story about Steve Sinofsky being fired, err leaving at the peak of his success like Windows 8, you will see some interesting quotes. Take a look at theAllThingsD story, especially the update. Take a look at the quote from Steve Ballmer, “I am grateful for the many years of work that Steven has contributed to the company,” CEO Steve Ballmer said. “The products and services we have delivered to the market in the past few months mark the launch of a new era at Microsoft. We’ve built an incredible foundation with new releases of Microsoft Office, Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Microsoft Surface, Windows Server 2012 and ‘Halo 4,’ and great integration of services such as Bing, Skype and Xbox across all our products. To continue this success it is imperative that we continue to drive alignment across all Microsoft teams, and have more integrated and rapid development cycles for our offerings“.

You will see that one sentence is taken up by the normal excuse train when canning a top exec. The next three are spent on a tangent where Ballmer goes off about how well integrated their product lines are, and how successful that is making them. Any guesses why he went off on such an aside?

Start back a ways, Microsoft’s mobile OS line was failing, it was the laughingstock of the industry pre-Windows Phone 7. Microsoft totally revamped that OS with a new look, new paradigms, and a completely incompatible OS with all the apps that came before it. They spent almost half a billion dollars advertising it. They bought Nokia to both kill off one competitor and to buy their market share.

Microsoft at the time had approximately 12% smartphone OS marketshare, Nokia a bit over 30%. With the collaboration, Nokia and Microsoft, together with all the other OS partners selling Windows Phone 7.x, sales are now hovering around 2% of smartphone market share. Subsidies are massive and increasing, and Windows Phone 8 is just coming out. Luckily it is incompatible with the 7 variants that preceded it, and anyone who bought one got obsoleted without warning.

Microsoft’s mobile aspirations have failed so spectacularly that it is almost impossible to account for. Rather than fix the lock in that excludes the overwhelming majority of the market that does not have a Windows phone, Microsoft doubled down with the new iteration playing the same compatibility games they did before to lock out developers, competitors, and innovators. Laughably they did so in the name of compatibility. With Windows 8, current marketshare rounding to zero, every other bit of software written for Windows is excluded. Windows phone hasn’t paid for the last ad campaign, much less made dollar one, and likely never will.

Then came Windows 8, the all new tabletized UI, and WART. It is a miserable experience for the corporate user, and anyone spending serious time using one finds out the halo wears off surprisingly quickly. To make matters worse, Microsoft dropped the Surface bomb on all of their partners, you know, the ones they have under their thumb and locked down with monopolistic might. They are livid, angry beyond words, and were afraid of angering Redmond. As we exclusively brought you the story, HP dumped WART. They are now much more afraid of what happens if they don’t leave.

Then Acer postponed Windows RT devices until Q2, Taiwanese OEM-speak for it is stone cold dead. Other are looking for an alternative, any alternative, as a top priority. This exodus has never happened before, and is a one way street. Microsoft jacked up the price of WART to untenable levels, undercut their partners pricing on hardware, and made it impossible for any vendor to make a WART device profitably, and then surprised them with the news. The shocking bit? Microsoft feigned surprise that their entire partner base was not overjoyed at their entering the market and undercutting them. As a fix to placate OEMs, Microsoft picked a scapegoat and fired him, then went ahead with their plans at full speed. Partners somehow weren’t fooled.

To the surprise of no one, Steve Ballmer just described Surface sales as, “modest”Mr Ballmer is not one to understate anything, modest for Stevish means abject failure in English. Surface sales are said to be roughly four million after about a month of sales, hardly modest. Then again, to put the number in perspective, Apple was said to sell five million iPhone 5s on the first day, mainly because they were severely supply limited, and three million iPad Minis over the first sales weekend. Modest indeed, and no word about returns which SemiAccurate hears are astoundingly high. Surface is a failure too. Apple didn’t have a massive ad campaign to back it up either, they just released the products.

This means the two mobile compute markets that Microsoft was locked out of have been attacked full on by Windows Phone 7.x and 8, Surface, WART, Windows 8, plus the might of the entire Microsoft ecosystem. This has been backed by hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising, more in OEM incentives, and sold through an dealer and retail network that is locked in to a monopolistic supplier. With all of this, filtering out the initial sales bump of a new product, Microsoft isn’t even holding it’s ground in phone and tablets. Failure is not nearly a strong enough term for Microsoft’s mobile ambitions.

And that brings us to Windows 8 itself, the laughing stock of the OS world. Not since Windows Vista has there been an OS so widely derided as 8. Initially it seems like a fun experience, but as we said, that halo wears off quickly. For use on an older computer, it is miserable, you need touch. Unfortunately touch does not work on a vertical surface, there have been decades of studies to show this. Unless you are using a tablet, Windows 8 quickly becomes an exercise in frustration and arm pain. Worse yet, it is simply not workable for doing what most business users need to do, write a letter, make a spreadsheet, and reply to an email. How fun do you think pulling your hand off the keyboard to touch the screen every time you want to click a menu in Word is? Fun edgy UI or carpal tunnel nightmare? Luckily for those realizing this problem, Microsoft got in front of that potential deal breaker and, well, made it so there is no other way. You can’t avoid the new UI, and it is unsuitable for corporate work.

For developers, Windows 8 is a nightmare too. High end games are the one area where Windows still has no serious competition, but Microsoft doesn’t seem to care about this. Even with that lack of attention, Windows 8 has outdone itself in turning off the developer community. First Valve publicly trashed Windows 8, then came Blizzard backing Valve. Several other very large and influential development houses have expressed far worse sentiment for Microsoft and Windows 8 to SemiAccurate in private. No one likes what Microsoft has done, some just don’t say it publicly.

Microsoft has gone from a position of overwhelming power in software and games to one where they have to pay developers to port. This is usually the death knell for a platform, and most developers are already looking away to greener pastures. The strongest draw for consumers died with Windows 8, and pay to play is not sustainable even with Microsoft’s deep pockets. The sales of products will never justify third party investments at this point, without Windows 7 and earlier compatibility, there is no market.

The mainstream market isn’t doing well for Windows 8 either. OEMs, chipmakers, and Wall Street have collectively tried to minimize ever dwindling PC sales as a collective wait for Windows 8. With the release of that OS, sales in Q4 and Q1 were predicted to go up by 5-10% as the pent up demand was fed, good times ahead. Anecdotal evidence seen by SemiAccurate said otherwise, but it is just that, anecdotal.

Then came the first hard evidence, Joanne Feeney of Longbow Research came out with two notes on the health of the PC market. In it, she claims that laptops are going to be flat in Q4, desktops down by 5-10%, numbers in line with the whispers. Windows 8 launched and sales go down? During Christmas and Chinese New Year? Really? Stop and think about that, the last few releases you read stories about people camping out for midnight sales, this time a new OS tanks sales. Does that scream market acceptance to you?

So here we sit, Microsoft has utterly failed in phones, utterly failed in tablets, and is seen as a has been by the next generation. The company can point to technical superiority all day, but people aren’t buying. Windows 8 itself seems to be dropping sales of PCs too, and that will have a knock on effect to their server OS as well, something that is also losing share at a frightening pace. To stop the decline after only losing the majority of their marketshare, Microsoft took the unfathomable move of forcing a touch UI on servers. If this doesn’t make clear the depths of how lost Microsoft is, and how reactionary their fixes are, nothing will.

To fix things, Ballmer didn’t acknowledge the massive problems confronting the company, didn’t address how their purported fixes are not only failing to stem the losses but also destroying the market for previously safe products, and he didn’t even announce anything to look forward to at all. Instead, he picked a scapegoat, canned Steve Sinofsky, and claimed Surface sales were, “modest”. iPad sales are not modest. iPhone sales are not modest. Android phone sales are not modest. Android tablet sales are modest only in comparison to Apple products. Surface sales are not modest either, they are an absolute disaster.

Getting back to Ballmer’s eulogy for Sinofsky, remember that? He said that the guy gave his all, did a great job, and took the fall for, well, Ballmer most likely. The rest of the quote goes on to say how integrated the whole of Microsoft is now, go team. It all works together, and is a single whole unit. In fact, you would be forgiven if you thought of it all as one piece that will get tighter integration as we move forward. Great.

Unless you own an iPhone, iPad, Android phone, or Android tablet, they don’t play well with Microsoft by Microsoft’s design. You can’t have Office on them, you can’t properly integrate them in to the Server 2012 offerings, and they can’t run the scant few Windows 8/WART programs out there. They sure can’t run Halo 4, and will never be a surface, but do have an app selection that dwarfs what Microsoft can offer, not to mention music and video libraries that again are without peer. If you give up your iPhone, iPad, Android phone, or Android tablet, you can be with the 2% of loyal Microsoft customers that have bought all of the offerings and are enjoying an existence free of non-Microsoft products.

Somehow, 98% of the market doesn’t seem to be moved to abandoning their current devices. In fact, you could say just the opposite is happening. Windows 8 sales are withering, and the target market doesn’t seem to want to pay more for less functionality just so they can get an OS that has “modest” sales and no apps. For a good reason. Give up iTunes and their reams of purchased songs, movies, and TV shows? Android or iOS apps that have no equivalent in the Microsoft ecosystem? All for more money and a clunky frustrating interface? What’s not to love? Why would any consumer not want to re-buy all of their libraries so they can move to a Surface?

Somehow people are not just staying away in droves, customers who previously bought Windows desktop and were purportedly waiting to upgrade either decided not to or were actually gone long ago. The whole death spiral of low marketshare has doomed Windows Phone 7 and 8, made WART and Surface non-starters, and the entire OEM space is hell bent on making viable alternatives to Windows itself. Microsoft is said to have internally written of any chance of corporate adoption for Windows 8 too. That means all the goodies that Server 2012 brings, we assume there are some, are only going to work with a Windows 8 desktop just like the last 4-5 generations. Microsoft is nothing if they are not predictable.

So Android and iOS are not losing ground to Microsoft, instead they are pulling sales from Windows 8 proper. That means Server 2012 has less appeal to customers as well. OEMs are incentivized to push anything but Microsoft, and so it goes. There is a whole generation that has tablets that don’t run Windows anything. They use Google Docs, not Office. They use Gmail not Outlook or Exchange.

They could use Microsoft’s purportedly spiffy Office 365, but somehow don’t seem to want to spend the money on the full Office desktop license it seems to require. There are ways to pay for the service as a standalone too, but no one is. The whole cloud integration with Windows 8 in all forms doesn’t do much for you if you don’t use Windows 8. If you build it, they will come. They built it, and the users came. Microsoft built another, and wonders why no one wants to buy their expensive tickets anymore, especially since the fine print on the back binds you to not going elsewhere else ever again.

In the end, the death spiral for Microsoft is in full effect, and management is expending a lot of effort to speed it up. Anyone who dares point out that the entire system is collapsing, or worse yet suggests an alternative, gets Sinofsky’d. Or was it Guggenheimer’d? In any case, Microsoft is unwilling to change, and that is very clear. Even if they wanted to, they are culturally far beyond the point of being able to. What was a slow bleed of marketshare is now gushing, and management is clueless, intransigent, and myopic. Game over, the thrashing will continue for a bit, but it won’t change the outcome. Microsoft has failed.

Sales down, Microsoft raises prices radically

Dec 3, 2012 by Charlie Demerjian ( www.semiaccurate.com )

Analysis: Squeeze those that can’t get away

Microsoft is going to make up for the Windows 8 sales shortfall in a brilliant move, milking the trapped. In a shock to no one, they are raising prices on their enterprise customers to cover consumer revenue potholes.

As SemiAccurate has been saying for years, Microsoft is in deep trouble, they are irrelevant to what computing has become, and are living off an ever shrinking customer base. The company is repeating the one still working play they have, circling the wagons around the enterprise market, effectively raising the barriers to exiting. This allows them to jack up revenue almost on a whim from those that are left.

The problem for Microsoft is that this playbook was written when there was no alternative to what they offered so it worked well. Times have changed and there are now multiple replacements for every piece of the Microsoft stack, most being much more attractive than what Redmond offers. A decade ago, Microsoft sales agents were quick brush off potential defectors, where would they go? Now that question has a different answer, and the cracks are showing.

Those barriers to exiting that grow ever higher are equally effective, if not more so, at keeping outsiders at bay. As the low end Office discounts show, Microsoft is palpably desperate for new customers, but have nothing to offer them. As we have been saying for years, Management does not comprehend the problems they face well enough to change, and now it is too late.

As you might be aware, the worldwide economy been a bit tepid of recently, worse for enterprises than consumers. Companies are just not buying anything they don’t have to, and haven’t for quite a while. Luckily for Microsoft, they used their monopoly might years ago to force customers larger than about 50 or more licenses on to a subscription payment model called Software Assurance. Microsoft has quite a lock on this customer base, so it was steady, recurring revenue.

Unfortunately for the company, new paradigms like Salesforce and other ‘cloud’ services popped up. Microsoft had no response. The younger generation moved to phones, tablets, and other devices, and Microsoft still had no response, much less a viable alternative. Traditional desktops and laptops were losing marketshare slowly, but the segment itself is withering.

The next generation grew up outside the circle, and as sales of Windows Phone are vividly illustrating, those barriers are just as effective at excluding them now. Microsoft just cut their order for the overhyped Surface tablet in half, and that was selling orders of magnitude better than all the other Windows 8 tablets. Combined. And still the plans didn’t change.

The first sales numbers for Windows 8 are out, and the numbers are devastating. Luckily for Microsoft, even thought their internal sales figures have essentially written off adoption for that OS in the business space, Software Assurance means that those customers will pay full price for it, even if doing so makes them understandably annoyed. Unfortunately for the accountants, the consumer side does not have to purchase it, and they quite simply are not. The overall income stream side needs a helping hand lest Wall Street start asking pesky questions.

Faced with both an urgent need to boost revenue and shrinking customer base, what is a company to do in such a down economy? Entice customers with lower prices? Yes, there is a bit of that, but not on the parts that really count, at least publicly. Lowering prices would be a sensible, easy, and likely very successful way to make a few (billion) bucks. It isn’t even a hard concept for the layman to grasp, sweeten the deal a bit, and make it up in added volume.

In light of all this, Microsoft did exactly what you would expect, they raised prices radically. How radically? Between 8 and 400%. The most pertinent of the numbers is the CAL raise of 15%, this effectively jacks the price of Windows up by 15% for everyone who is buying volume licenses. The assurance side of Software Assurance is not for the customer’s benefit, and they know it.

Ostensibly, the CAL raise is to make up for the mobile device boom, basically tax that which you can’t control. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that Microsoft would rather own those devices too, but that market is closed to them now. Other items are given the same tired excuse as the last few price rises, essentially otherwise nonsensical product mix changes. Add this program to one suite, remove that one from the next. While Microsoft spins this as a value proposition, if you run the numbers the price always goes up radically.

What does this all mean? Easy, Microsoft management is painfully out of touch with their customers, the markets, technology in general, and the overall economic situation. When faced with a shortfall, shrinking customer bases, a widely disliked core product line, and unprecedented partner defections, what do they do? Circle the wagons and radically raise prices on those that can’t get away. Unfortunately for the software giant, this time it is not playing out like the last few times.

http://semiaccurate.com/2012/12/03/sales-down-microsoft-raises-prices-radically/

What I’m doing

What I’m doing with this site, I really don’t know. It may become just a one-stop shop for me to post all my interests and use it as a reference point (like the trick on how to unlock all Samsung phones) or just what’s on my mind. So this is basically a blog for now, I might spread it out and have different sections for Metaphysics/Tech/Conspiracy and make this place look a lot cleaner, but for now I will have to deal with this flowing format.

What I learned Today – 12-03-2012

TIL the Manhattan Project secretly tested the effects of radiation on its own citizens, including injecting pregnant women and feeding schoolboys radioactive oatmeal.

WANT TO LEARN MORE?

http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-201_162-524873.html

http://www.ksdk.com/news/article/339573/3/I-Team-The-Armys-secret-Cold-War-experiments-on-St-Louisans-

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1003703226697496080.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2002/apr/21/uk.medicalscience

http://beforeitsnews.com/chemtrails/2012/06/bbc-documentary-reveals-1963-us-and-uk-conspiracy-to-spray-toxic-chemicals-from-aircraft-2222754.html

http://www.reddit.com/r/AnythingGoesNews/comments/ypkja/pilots_conducting_mass_spraying_of_pesticides/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_LAC

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Dew

http://www.democracynow.org/2005/7/13/how_the_u_s_government_exposed

http://boston.cbslocal.com/2012/04/30/homeland-security-to-test-biological-sensors-in-mbta-tunnels/

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/watercooler/2012/sep/25/picket-lawsuit-filed-against-epa-over-human-experi/

http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-02-ugly-medical-uncovered.html

http://www.democracynow.org/2004/5/5/plutonium_files_how_the_u_s

http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/01/health/human-test-subjects/index.html?hpt=hp_c2#

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2012/07/gitmo/

http://www.reddit.com/r/occupywallstreet/comments/t5tnd/police_in_minnesota_have_been_caught_on_video/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/may/11/minnesota-police-occupy-officers-marijuana

http://www.startribune.com/local/minneapolis/177405891.html?refer=y

Windows 8 hard sales numbers are finally out – SemiAccurate

Nov 30, 2012 by Charlie Demerjian (www.semiaccurate.com)

“Wait for the hard numbers”, otherwise known as the mating call of the Lesser Skulking Microsoft Shill, Redmondus petardsmoochii was heard far and wide this week. Unfortunately for those propagating these transparent fantasies, they did come out and you will never guess what they said.

You might recall that last Tuesday, Microsoft broke form and announced that Windows 8 had sold 40 million licenses. The sycophantic Microsoft press proudly trumpeted this in headlines, obviously more fearful of ad revenue losses than being called out. Most went much farther and breathlessly highlighted how much better than Windows 7 these numbers were. Only later in an update was it pointed out how hollow those numbers really are, and that Microsoft refused to clarify what the numbers actually represented when asked. In spite of it’s intentions, the article did indeed paint a very clear picture of Windows 8 sales.

But still the shills denied reality, “Wait for the hard numbers”, they cried, “Wait for the hard numbers”. We laughed, but we did, and we were curious about what they would eventually say. As SemiAccurate said in that article, we had hard numbers, several sets in fact, but unfortunately we could not make them public. Suffice it to say that the Redmondian ripostes, in both paid and misguided forms, did not even rise to the level of third rate entertainment. They could only reach as high as sad.

And so, much to Microsoft’s chagrin, barely two days later the real numbers did come out. No, not some third rate hack quoting dubious figures, but no less than NPD, basically the gold standard for sales numbers. Their report on Windows 8, actually Windows PCs in general, is downright scathing for this type of missive. Worse yet for Microsoft and their swarming apologists, it reflects the reality that every industry watcher is seeing on the ground.

How bad is it? Is down 21% from last year bad enough? Windows 8 making up a mere 58% of sales vs Windows 7 in the same period after release has a good explanation, channel inventory, but even that isn’t exactly comforting. Luckily for Redmond, tablet sales are going to power Windows 8 right back to the top of the sales chart blowing past iPads, right? According to NPD, they were less than 1% of sales. Ouch. That number does exclude Surface because it is a direct sales product only, and Microsoft will not release hard numbers there. Any guesses why? Smile and repeat 40 million or you won’t get the next ad contract you daring investigative journalist you.

There is one upbeat statistic in the NPD numbers that seems to have been taken way out of context by people reporting this story, the ASP rise. ASPs for Windows 8 devices have gone up by about $80, something attributed mostly to the cost of touch screens. We would be shocked by this, except, well SemiAccurate wrote that exact issue up two months ago.

If you factor in the percentage of Windows 8 devices that have touch screens, our numbers are eerily close to NPDs ASP rise.  Surprisingly the same information we said two months earlier and at a much lower price than NPD. This ASP rise is unequivocally not a good thing for end users, only people selling devices. Actually, it is more of a problem than a two edged sword if you look at the big picture. There is a bump in ASPs, no question there, but even the most rabid fanboi would have to admit that ASPs * volume is a net loss for everyone, top to bottom.

In the end, not just hard numbers but independent hard numbers are out. To the surprise of no one who is not directly or indirectly on the Microsoft payroll, they just suck. To be honest, they are actually slightly worse than SemiAccurate initially saw and expected. Microsoft predictably came out with dubious number, backed up by a few other equally specious bullet points, and the tame press ate it up. No surprise there, that is how Microsoft messaging works. The few softball questions that were lobbed at Microsoft PR were bobbled, leaving no doubt how bad Windows 8 sales really are. At least OEMs are not rebelling in the face of this disaster. Squawk. Polly has the numbers now.

http://semiaccurate.com/2012/11/30/windows-8-hard-sales-numbers-are-finally-out/

Unlock Samsung Galaxy S3 And Samsung Note 2 Phones For Free

If you are a proud owner of a Samsung Galaxy S3 phone or a Samsung Note 2 phone then we have found a way for you to unlock your phone for life without paying a single dime to anyone. Unlocking a phone means you will be able to use it anywhere in the world. You are no longer required to use only your carrier’s simcard. For instance, if you are in USA and you got your Samsung Galaxy phone, then you can only use an AT&T simcard with it. However, we have found a way to remove that limitation. You will be able to use whatever simcard you want to use with your phone. Even within USA you will be able to use T-Mobile or any other carrier’s simcard in your unlocked Samsung Galaxy phone. You will also be able to gift this phone to your friends abroad, they just need to add their own local simcard and this phone will work out of the box.

Disclaimer Before You Unlock Your Samsung Galaxy Note or Galaxy S3

Before we put this guide out, here is the disclaimer:

  1. We have tried this method and it worked fine. We cannot guarantee it will work on all phones out there.
  2. If something goes wrong with your phone or your number, we will not be responsible for it.
  3. Your carrier might void your phone’s warranty if that concerns you.
  4. This method was also posted on xda-developers forum last week, we do not think we stole from him/her or the other way but this is just a miraculous coincidence.
  5. The manufacturer might remove the key combination we are going to use and hence it might not be there with new batch of phones made after December 1st, 2012.

Free Samsung Galaxy Unlocking Guide

Having put the disclaimer out there, we have saved our butt from hated comments. Please know that things can go wrong as Murphy’s law prevails. However, because the same software behaves similarly, if you do not have a conflicting app on your phone you should be fine following the steps to unlock your Samsung Galaxy or Samsung Note phone.

Here are the much awaited steps to Unlocking Samsung Galaxy S3 or Samsung Note 2:

  • Insert your foreign simcard – a simcard that does not belong to your carrier and hence will not work currently.
  • Restart (ok, turn off and on) your phone with the foreign sim in it.
  • Samsung Galaxy  note or whatever you call the Samsung N7100 in your country can be unlocked. So is the case with Samsung N7105 and a bunch of other models that we are still uncovering. Open your dialpad and enter the following digits in order  *#197328640#
  • Main Menu > [1] UMTS > [1] Debug Screen > [8] Phone Control > [6] Network Lock > Options [3]Perso SHA256 OFF > (after choosing this option, wait for at least 30 seconds, then go back one step by pressing the Menu button, select back, which should have brought you in [6] Network Lock, then choose [4] NW Lock NV Data INITIALLIZ.
  • Just to make sure you don’t make mistake reading and we did not make mistake typing and the computer did not make mistake displaying here is a worded equivalent of above sequence: Asterisk Pound One Nine Seven Three Two Eight Six Four Zero Pound. Some people call the Asterisk button the star button and the Pound button is also called the hash button simply because of the symbol they bear – no shit Sherlock.

This is it, your phone is now unlocked and can be used with any carrier in the world.

Unlocking other Models of Samsung Phones

It appears that this is the secret code that Samsung has had for a long time. Now that secret is out there might be other models that can be unlocked using this hack. You can try this on other models and if you are successful unlocking other samsung phones, leave a comment and we will update this post with that information.

Internet Meeting Spurs Controversy

Internet freedom could be at stake at a secretive meeting of governments that begins Monday in Dubai.

The United Nations International Telecommunication Union will negotiate new international telecom regulations, including Internet issues, at the World Conference on International Telecommunications that runs through Dec. 14.

Many companies, organizations and individuals oppose the meeting because it is a secretive session that involves some countries that oppose a free and open Internet.

According to the Center for Rights, some proposals allow for access to be cut off more easily, threatening privacy, legitimizing monitoring and blocking online traffic. Others seek to impose new fees for accessing content, the group says, adding that there could be consequences for businesses and human rights.

U.S. officials expect other countries to push for international Internet traffic taxes and for the ITU to take Internet governance away from the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and other organizations.

Such talk has drawn the attention of Washington. In August, the U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously to send a message to ITU that the Internet doesn’t need new international regulations.

In addition, last month the European Union also called for negotiators to block attempts by the ITU to gain ultimate control over the Internet at the conference.

And Google, the Internet search leader, has been vociferous in denouncing the meeting and for weeks has been promoting its “take action” website where people can join a list of those who oppose the WCIT as well as ask others on social networks to also join the movement against it.

A representative from the Internet Society — a member of the ITU — says factors such as competition among carriers, transparency and regulatory independence have contributed to the success and growth of international telecommunications and these things are not currently addressed in the treaty, which was last negotiated in 1988.

“There are clear opportunities of positive things that could be included into the treaty to bring it up to date in a way that would be consistent with what we’ve seen has worked,” the representative said in a video.

 

 

Apparently a Vampire is on the loose

 

While most of us think of vampires as creatures that lurk only in books, movies, and teenagers’ bedroom walls, for some parts of the world, vampire folklore is still very serious business. One of those places is Bajina Bašta, Serbia, where officials have warned the populace that a very old and notorious vampire might be on the loose, having been displaced from his home.

According to folklore, the vampire Sava Savanović lived in an old watermill on the Rogačica river, in Zarožje village, where he would suck the blood of millers who came to grind their grain. Since the mill closed in the 1950s, it has served as a tourist attraction for those curious about its vampiric associations. But since the owners left the property untouched—for fear of disturbing the vampire—the mill fell into disrepair and recently collapse altogether. The problem? Now many locals believe the vampire is homeless and roams the town now that he has been disturbed from his slumber.

Village mayor Miodrag Vujetic has confirmed that the local council issued a public health warning, reminding residents to place garlic on their doors and put in a cross in every room of their houses, saying:

“People are worried, everybody knows the legend of this vampire and the thought that he is now homeless and looking for somewhere else and possibly other victims is terrifying people. We are all frightened.”

While not as famous as some folkloric vampires, Sava Savanović has achieved his share of notoriety, not just in myth but in fiction as well. He appears in the story Posle devedeset godina (After Ninety Years) by Serbian writer Milovan Glišić and in Leptirica, a horror film inspired by the story.

http://web.orange.co.uk/article/quirkies/Vampire_fears_boost_garlic_sales