Google I/O My Take on the Big Picture

I didn’t plan on watching Google I/O yesterday, but I’d hit a lull in my code when it was about to start and I’m really glad I did.

I think the best way to look at Google I/O is to contrast it with an Apple Keynote, Google announced or built upon a lot of services that Apple provide to iOS users:

  • Chat Platform
  • Music Platform
  • Games Platform
  • App Services

Among others, but the crucial thing is that at no point did Google say that any of their new services were exclusive to Android or Chrome.

Google and Apple are both service and hardware vendors, they both sell you an ecosystem, an experience. But the difference is where Apple’s ecosystem is focused on providing services that lock you into their hardware, Google by contrast sells hardware that allows you to take advantage of their ecosystem.

Google don’t care if you use GMail or Google Maps from an Android phone or an iPhone, so long as you use GMail or Google Maps.

By contrast Apple need you to buy an iPhone, they don’t care if you use Apple Maps, Google Maps, Bing Maps, Nokia Maps, or even the Open Street Map Project. They want you to use those services on their shiny shiny devices, because they get a cut of any revenue made from apps on those devices.

One thing that I think gives Google the upper hand is that the cost of entry into their ecosystem is much much lower, and it doesn’t tie you to a particular device manufacturer. I can try GMail out on my iPhone and use it as my primary email, move to the web, or get an Android phone, it doesn’t matter and it’s free for me to do so.

If, however I want to try out Apple’s ecosystem, I HAVE to get and iPhone, iPod Touch, or an iPad all of which are expensive purchases. Apple only makes money if I fork out money for the device, given that once a user does get an iDevice they get locked into the ecosystem and most will find it very hard to migrate to another device, but that initial barrier to entry is fairly high.

I’m not sure whether the services to sell hardware or the hardware to sell services will prevail. It’s entirely possible that they will co-exist for a very long time, but the hardware to sell services does feel a little outdated to me.

Personally I think that it’s more likely that Google’s model will prevail in the end. The thing is that’s not going to stop me from say buying an iPhone, because even if I did I know I can take my Google services with me.

I know that this totally ignores Windows 8 and BlackBerry but there is a whole other blog post in that.

What do you think? I am completely wrong?

Slumber Party Cafe in Akihabara


Just when you thought Japan coudn’t get any weirder, in comes the Soineya ‘co-sleeping specialty shop’ a cafe in Akihabara (Where else…) where you can fork over $80 for “sleep” with a girl. I assume coffee is extra?

From the website via Google Translate (Because it’s funnier that way):

 Japan’s first! ? Ya “lying” from Akihabara shop of lying. I spend the time that you just feel the skin loose. Provides you with a simple and ultimate healing of lying.

Apparently they are opening another one in Shinjuku soon.

And just in case you were wondering:

The shop is strictly prohibited sexual act and adult services. If you were forced, there is the case you will be leaving the way.

Interested? Want a break down of the prices?

3000 yen admission fee ?
? 3,000 yen for 40 minutes the first time only

3000 yen for 20 minutes
40 minutes 5,000 yen
6,000 yen for 60 minutes
120 minutes 11000 yen
16 000 yen to 180 minutes
for 4 hours 20000 yen
25,000 yen 5 hours
6 hours 30 000 yen
50,000 yen for 10 hours (service fee nomination)

(500 yen per hour) $ 10 nomination fee
* The nomination fee will not be applied except for this nomination.

? Options
Customer third arm pillow 1000 yen a girl
$ 10 to break even in three minutes the girl you
3 minutes ¥ 1,000 customers to the head of the girl Iikoiiko
look at each other one minute 1000 yen
1000 yen one wearing clothes
3 minutes reflexology 1,000 yen
2,000 yen reflation thirds reverse
¥ 1000 3 minutes Hizamakura
2000 yen 3 minutes Hizamakura reverse

? There is also the option can not be by girl

I don’t even know what some of the options mean…

The site has a list of profiles for the girls but it’s all just placeholders, and it looks like there is a Google calendar where you can schedule ahead. My Japanese isn’t good enough to make out much more from this site, but colour me bemused.

Interested? Want to follow then on Twitter? Well you can do that too! @akibasoineya

Their twitter feed is a bit odd, I did find this on it though…

Hat tip to Lost at E Minor

Nexus 7 Not an iPad Killer But It’s not Meant to Be

Right now people are probably composing millions of blog posts singing the praises of or deriding the Google Nexus 7 that was announced yesterday. Here is a summary of what you are likely to read:

Blah blah blah blah iPad, Blah Blah Blah Nexus 7 Blah Blah Blah Blah competition heating up Blah Blah Blah,  Blah Blah Blah Google Blah Blah Apple Blah Blah Mountain View, Blah Blah Cupertino Blah Blah Blah 7 Inches, Blah Blah Blah Steve Jobs said it’s too small. Blah Blah Blah Could this be an iPad Killer? Blah Blah Blah I’m a pundit I know what I’m talking about, Blah Blah Blah probably not an iPad Killer.

The thing is if you looks at the specs for the Nexus 7 there is no way it’s aimed at the iPad, sure it might eat into it’s market a little, but compare there is no way that a $199 device is going to compete with a $399 device, for one thing the iPad 3 is resolutionary, whatever that means (I really wish Apple would hire someone who spoke English).

People are making the wrong comparison though, the Nexus 7 is priced exactly like the Kindle Fire, it even comes with a gift certificate for Google Play store that is pretty much exactly what Amazon introduced to raise flagging Kindle Fire Sales  earlier this month. Just look:

It’s practically an upgrade to the Kindle Fire at the same price point! I’m not saying that it’s not going to eat into iPad sales, but that’s not what the intention is, Google want a device that people will use to consume it’s content, they sell books, movies, games and other crap, the Nexus 7 allows you to give Google money to view the content they sell, plus if you have big pockets it might just fit in there which the iPad doesn’t.

Is Liking Something On the Internet a Meaningless Gesture?

It occurred to me just now that one thing that FaceBook and Google+ do that Twitter doesn’t is have a mechanism to show passive approval of something. On FaceBook you can “Like” a post and on Google+ you can “+1” it, Twitter has no equivalent. On Twitter you can either comment on a post by replying to it, or you can share it by retweeting.

I think the like is an empty gesture, it holds no meaning, and it serves only to boost the ego of the poster, also it’s prone to ambiguity, if someone posts a status update saying something like “My dog died today, he was a lovely hound” and someone likes that what does that mean? does it mean that you like the fact that the dog died or that you are being sympathetic to the person for their loss?

If you are being sympathetic and all you can be arsed doing is clicking a button then you are a pretty lazy, a person who was actually sympathetic would say something passing on their condolences, if you like the fact that their dog died because the dog ate your hat well maybe you shouldn’t be sharing that fact.

What do people think is liking a status update an empty gesture?

Note: I’m not talking about liking things on services like Pinterest, StumbleUpon or Last.FM where your likes are actually stored, that’s more curating things you like rather than silently expressing that you agree with/approve of a statement.

Pantone Tarts!

If there is one thing I like to blog about it’s creative design ideas, if there are two things I like to blog about it’s desserts, so imagine my joy when @Wantonitalics pointed me to these Pantone tarts on twitter!

They are made by Emille Griottes and I don’t know very much else about them because I don’t speak French and Google translate isn’t doing a good job of translating the page…

Via Griottes

Apple Punditry

English: The logo for Apple Computer, now Appl...
I miss this logo

I’m going to weigh in on the off chance I’m right but here are my expectations for the apple announcement today:

  1. New Apple TV (I hope with a little bit of storage but I doubt it)
  2. iTV Apple TV with integrated TV, probably available in 32″ and 24″ varieties.
  3. Apps for Apple TV (I don’t own an apple TV but I assume that it doesn’t do apps) People will liken this to the Pippin
  4. Update to the iPod range, with the iPod Touch being upgraded to match the iPhone 4 without the 3G radio of course.
  5. Update to Laptop range, this has been a long time coming and a lot of people are speculating that the MacBook Pro will move to a MacBook Air like form factor.
  6. Possible bump in processors to Apples Desktops, to be honest I’ve not paid attention to the Apple Desktops in 5 years and they don’t seem to have changed aesthetically since the G5 was announced, so it’s possible that they might refresh the desktop case but I doubt it.
  7. Oh yeah iPad 3, which is annoying as I’ve only just got an iPad 2. Higher resolution screen and beefier processor seem a given, I think Apple will continue to sell the iPad 2 this time as the low end alternative moving to a two tiered model like the 3 tier model they have with the iPhone 3GS/4/4S at the moment.
  8. Something new about the App store to mark the 25 billionth app being downloaded, what? I don’t know.

I don’t think any of this is rocket science, I think it’s business as usual. I’d like to see the Apple TV turn into a console/entertainment centre but with Valve thinking about releasing one and the way that Google TV is going I think that the market is too saturated.

I know this is cliché, I don’t actually care very much as I doubt I’ll be buying anything that Apple announce today, but I thought I’d weigh in.

This is the first big Apple event since the death of Jobs, I predict lot of people are going to be comparing Tim Cook to Steve and most of them are going to say that he doesn’t have the same charisma. It’ll be interesting to see how well whatever Tim Cook announces sell without Steve’s “Reality Distortion Field”.

If Apple announce a Pippin 2 I might want one though… I really wanted a Pippin when the first one was announced.

Bandai Pippin (Atmark Player)
Image via Wikipedia

Biodegradable Graffiti Made of Living Moss

I stumbled onto the image below which tells you how to make moss graffiti in simple steps, I did a quick Google and also found an instructables article on this and another that suggests beer instead of butter milk. All in all the idea is pretty neat, although I think moss can be a bitch to get rid of.

I wonder how long it will be before someone starts using this technique and a plastic stencil to do Banksy-esque graffiti using moss.

Via Real Lol


A Plethora of Whovian Knitwear

I noticed a whole bunch of Dr. Who knitwear over the past couple of days and rather than post them individually I’ve decided to put together one mammoth post with all of them in it. So Enjoy and feel free to buy or make me any of this if you are that way inclined. 
TARDIS Socks (Technabob)/Ravelry (Or another version also on Ravelry)With pattern on Google Docs.

Another TARDIS sock Design on Wee Little Knitter with Chart.

Dalek Gloves for which you can buy the pattern on Etsy.

TARDIS gloves by Enchanted Craft on Etsy.

Another set of Dalek gloves also by Enchanted Craft (Enchanted Crafts have a lot of coll stuff actually)

TARDIS beanie with tassels by Amlowi on Etsy

Also TARDIS beanie sans tassels and Dalek Beanie from Amlowi


Fergie’s LEGO Dress

I had ask Google who the hell Fergie was, apparently she’s famous. Anyway whoever she is she has wore a dress made almost entirely out of Lego to Nickelodeon’s annual Kids choice awards this year. That has to count for something.

Via Geekologie

Apocalypse Tomorrow

Artist Andrew Tarusov (Site in Russian thank God for Google translate) has creates this apocalyptic calendar with a different disaster for each month.  The images are in the style of Gil Elvgren who is apparently a world renowned pin-up artist.

via Oh My Pinups.