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Blog Watch: Friday August 21

Image representing Android as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase, source unknown

It’s been a busy week on the blogging front, with a vast amount of reporting on news from Google.

The Googlewatch site provided some analysis of Google’s campaign to reuse analogue TV spectrum in the US. It has launched a “Free the Airwaves” website, specifically to use the “white spaces” between bands. According to Google:

Today more than three-quarters of those radio airwaves, or “white space” spectrum, are completely unused. This vast public resource could offer a revolution in wireless services of all kinds, including universal wireless Internet. The FCC will soon decide whether to open this unused spectrum for general usage, and your voice matters — a lot. So if you agree that freeing the white spaces represents a vote for the future of the Internet, please sign our petition and help spread the word about this campaign.

Google of course has a strong interest in increasing web usage, especially with its forthcoming Android platform:

We also want to be transparent about our involvement: Google has a clear business interest in expanding access to the Web. There’s no doubt that if these airwaves are opened up to unlicensed use, more people will be using the Internet. That’s certainly good for Google (not to mention many of our industry peers) but we also think that it’s good for consumers.

Meanwhile, Android developers are on the point of rebellion, according to Macworld.

The company’s actions — including restricting access to key development tools and allegedly treading on open source principles — have created, if not a full-fledged revolt, at least a sense of disappointment and disillusionment among many in the tightly knit Android development community, which numbers perhaps 2,000. Some developers have threatened to shift their attention to other mobile platforms.

The reason for the discontent: the Android Software Developers Kit. As Macworld says, in a very lengthy report which is well worth reading:

In July, Google announced that the latest SDK would be released first to the 50 winners of its Android Developer Challenge, a US$10 million contest that the company is using to find the best and most innovative Android applications — “cool apps that surprise and delight mobile users,” as Google says. While many developers cried foul, Google claims its SDK decision was designed to help the development community.

AppleInsider, one of the many Apple blogs keeping a watchful eye on Android, picked up on a New York Times report, that suggested a HTC-manufactured handset would be on sale at the end of this year:

The HTC-manufacturered handset, know amongst Internet circles as the “Dream,” will go on sale by the holidays — possibly even earlier depending on how long it takes the Federal Communications Commission to weigh in with approval. It’s expected to be the only Android phone available in the U.S. this year and will be sold exclusively through T-Mobile.

AppleInsider ran a video of the supposed device making the rounds on the Internet is said to match the one seen by the Times’sources, confirming its authenticity.

Salvation for mobile Twitterers may be at hand. The Mashable blog notes that alternative provider 3jam is stepping up to the plate:

3jam, a company specializing in Web and SMS communications, is launching a new service tonight that they sent us the scoop on. The service is looking to act as a replacement to the recently deceased capability for Twitter to send messages to users’ mobile devices. As Don Reisinger noted, “Twitter said that it simply can’t afford to support long-distance SMS Twittering anymore and the company claims “it could cost Twitter about $1,000 per user per year to send SMS outside of Canada, India, or the US. At the moment, the site doesn’t appear to be live yet, but they say it’ll be available at this URLbefore the night is up.

With the weekend ahead, time to brush up on economic theory. Wired editor Chris Anderson recently had a piece in Newsweek about the role of technology on inflation. However, Anderson says that:

Newsweek’s website does such a poor job with magazine content that it’s practically unfindable.

And so he helpful reprints the entire essay, “Unleash The World’s Engineers”, on his personal blog. He believes that the price-cutting power of technology can still bring nations relief if only bureaucrats will allow it to.

And finally this week, our thanks to Wired for picking out a site that provides a bit of fun for Manga fans. Face Your Manga does exactly what it says on the tin.

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Thursday, 21 August 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized |

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