As you might imagine, companies that make flash drives are working on making them faster, have them last longer and keeping the prices down. At a recent Flash Memory Summit in California a Facebook representative was urging them to "just make it dense and cheap". His reasoning is that there are some types of information that don't need fast access speeds such as logs, usage metrics and even some user data that they hardly ever access. How many photos have people uploaded that they looked at once and are now stored in memory bytes somewhere? "Write-once, read-never is probably the spec for a lot of this," the rep suggested. In other news, there is such a thing as a Flash Memory Summit.
Photos of bits and pieces of the new iPhone 5C have been spotted in the wild. Well, at least rumours of such things that may or may not be in different colours finally moving the iPhone from the current black or white into other hues. We will need to wait and see of course, but with a plastic body it means that different colours become very easy to build.
I know some of you might be getting excited but you still have to wait until October to download the Windows 8.1 update for your PC. This would be a year since the original release. Normally there is a release to manufacture's (RTM) build so that OEMs etc can do a bit of testing on their devices and for others to make sure applications will still work. This time no one will get access until October, keeping it all a mystery but not necessarily the good kind. I doubt this new update will do anything to boost sales of the Surface and other RT-based devices with Asus, HTC and Lenovo all moving out of that market space.
That is not stopping Microsoft, however as they have partnered with Nvidia to produce a second-generation Surface RT. The reasoning is _ no you won't believe this, because neither did I _ because this next version will come with Outlook. According to Nvidia's CEO Jen-Hsun Huang it is the "killer app for Windows". He hopes it will be a big success. In addition to those mentioned earlier, Toshiba has also cancelled its Windows RT plan blaming "supply chain issues". It should be noted that none of their other products appear to have this problem. Nvidia is of course rooting for this because it uses their ARM Cortex CPUs that have seen a drop in sales recently, for what should be obvious reasons.
In a "why is this news?" story, Microsoft has released a YouTube app in the Windows Phone store. Your normal reaction might be "well duh", but back in May Google was preparing legal action because the Microsoft version back then didn't allow the YouTube ads to display properly. Since YouTube is essentially sponsored by ads, this makes sense. Microsoft was claiming that Google blocked access to some APIs and the legal battle lines were drawn. Now it appears to be all good and the lawyers were holstered. Of course, some users have already posted comments that the new app now doesn't play any videos at all but some people seem to always get caught up in details and I'm sure it will all be fixed soon.
In the continuing saga of Samsung versus Apple, Samsung has now hit double the market share of the iPhone expanding 46.5% in the second quarter with, according to Gartner, over 225 million units shipped across the globe. The market is expanding most rapidly in the lower end of the premium smartphone segment or around the US$400 (12,700 baht) average selling price point. This change in dynamic is why Apple is starting to look at the lower-range targets for their flagship devices. One problem for Apple is that iPhone 4 sales have been eating into the iPhone 5 space.
So how much privacy can you expect of your data in the Cloud? According to a recent Google court case, not much at all. Or in legal terms "a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties" i.e. Google. The company argued that a secretary opens letters addressed to a businessman so it is reasonable to assume that people managing the Cloud may read emails as part of the delivery process. The case was based on Google scanning emails to generate targeted advertising. Note that staff don't actually read all of your emails as such. The ruling opens up more services such as better personalisation and voice recognition so that when you say "what is my schedule?" it will search through your stuff to find out. Stuff here includes Gmail, Google ++, Calendar and anything else it has access to. Google will also now be providing the equivalent of an "off" button to turn some or all of this off if the user so desires, but not of course by default.
James Hein is an IT professional of over 30 years' standing. You can contact him at email@example.com.
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