Hewlett-Packard is going to open-source the WebOS operating system used on Palm smartphones and the company's misbegotten and cancelled TouchPad tablet computer. That means that independent software developers will be free to maintain and upgrade the software, maybe even port it onto a tablet worth buying.
It's all too little, too late. But it's something.
Over at Harvard Law, the ever-clever Jonathan Zittrain has a good idea--software to tell smartphone users exactly what data is being transmitted from their phones. The Apple and Carrier IQ user tracking scandals are helping to focus our minds on this issue. Our phones transmit all sorts of data about our activities. Surely we should know what they're sharing with the phone company, the phone maker and who knows who else. Somebody really ought to create an app for that...and quick.
Four decades ago, Intel created the first true microprocessor. We're all still trying to catch up.
A new study finds that cell phones don't cause brain tumors. Well, all right then.
...if you're in California. The governor there just vetoed a bill that would have required cops to get a warrant before viewing the data stored in a suspect's phone. So now, a cop can just take your phone and start skimming through whatever he finds there.
Microsoft is aggressively recruiting software developers who were working on HP's now-defunct WebOS, in hopes of getting them to write software for Windows Phone 7. And it seems to be working. Here's a report that 500 WebOS developers have already signed up.
Microsoft's great, hidden strength has always been its excellent relationships with software developers. They made it easy to write lots of great software for Windows. If they can do the same for Windows Phone 7, Microsoft's bid to become a player in smartphones might still succeed...
It's awfui early for retailers to be cutting the price on HP's new TouchPad tablet, innit? But they are...
Looks like Sprint won't be offering cellphones that run Hewlett-Packard's WebOS operating system, the same software that runs on the Palm Pre phone and the HP TouchPad tablet.
The Internet's nearly full up, because of all the phones and tablets and game consoles and such that we keep plugging in. But a new Internet addressing scheme is about to solve that problem--permanently.
Location-based services like Foursquare really aren't too popular, according to this report. Sure, all the cool kids like to talk about "checking in" and becoming the "mayor" of this nightclub or that coffee shop. But most folks don't see the point. I used Foursquare myself for several months but have lately wiped it from my BlackBerry without regret. Does me no good that I can see, so why bother? Besides, why should I report my movements to Foursquare? Go hire a private eye if you're that interested, but you'll get no help from me.
Did you hear the one about the Palm Pre 2?
The original Palm Pre was supposed to be competitive with Apple's iPhone. And no doubt about it, the Pre was a darned good phone. But it never caught on with consumers. A desperate Palm agreed to be acquired by Hewlett-Packard Co., which mainly wanted to use WebOS, the Pre's operating system, for a new line of tablet computers.
But HP hasn't given up on smartphones. Last month, the company launched the Palm Pre 2 phone. But the launch was so quiet I must confess I missed it. Maybe because the new phone is presently available only in France, and will come to the US sometime next year. Not much of a vote of confidence in a technology that's actually not bad.
We've heard that one before. But it's become a lot more plausible lately, due to the rise of mobile devices and cloud computing . Here's long-time tech analyst Henry Blodget, warning Microsofties that the end is near...
I'm not talking about digital viruses, either. I mean good old-fashioned germs, the kind your mom was worried about when she taught you to wash your hands after using the bathroom. Needless to say, even the cleanest of us are covered with microscopic bugs, and some of them end up on our smartphones whenever we touch them. Which is why the world needs something like this--a gadget disinfector. Personally, I just use those disinfectant wipes every now and then. But maybe it's time for an upgrade....
It's a smart way to get back some of the cash you paid for aging gadgets. Here's how...
Here's a bit of a shocker from Engadget. Apparently Hewlett-Packard mainly wants Palm's WebOS software for use as an embedded operating system in lots of other electronic devices, but the company doesn't want to make phones. So does this mean the Pre is really dead? Hmmm.....
The researchers at Nielsen know, and they're spilling the beans.
For instance, the average iPhone has 37 apps on board, compared with 22 for Androids and a mere 10 for BlackBerries. And 21 percent of Americans now have a smartphone. And there's more interesting data where this came from...
Meanwhile, Palm's CEO insists the company will remain independent.
Most of the world still doesn't own smartphones, so there's still time for a turnaround.