Android: A Fragmented Platform or Not?

Android RobotIf you were to believe the latest headlines at Business Insider, Android is a fragmented mobile platform and has a negative effect on the applications, for developers and end-users alike. Android is currently in a heated battle with the other two big names in mobile technology (the iPhone and the BlackBerry being the other two), and this is a serious matter definitely worthy of discussion.

But Dan Frommer’s allegations in his latest post on BI don’t really add up. Frommer contends that the official twitter app for Android, which only works on Android v2.1 and up, is proof that Google’s mobile OS isn’t as “unified” as the competitors, and that this is a sign of early-onset serious fragmentation that will only get worse down the line. The thing is… it’s not.

It’s true that Android, available for deployment on any device manufacturers are willing to bundle it with, faces certain compatibility issues. With a multitude of devices, each with its own mostly-unique set of hardware and features, creating software that will run the same for everyone isn’t as easy as it is on the iPhone. But it’s nowhere near as much of an issue as Frommer makes it out to be.

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Why Tech Communities are Falling Through

Note: This is a personal opinion piece. Feel free to take this with several grains of salt. Hell, take the whole cube while you’re at it.

I’ve been doing some thinking, and after having numerous conversations with some individuals who will remain un-named, I’ve come to the conclusion that some people are too wrapped-up around the computer system that they use, to the point where they could very well border-line on “fanboy,” and I feel that this is affecting the credibility of the tech community as a whole.


“John,” a PHP developer, switches his personal home computer from Windows to Linux, and he enjoys using Linux because of the advanced functionality that it provides to him.

Now, “Jim,” a long-time Windows user and Microsoft supporter, who has conversed with John for several years, criticizes John for his decision, stating that he is brainless and dim-witted because Linux is open-source, and that Windows is the only platform that matters.

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Gutsy Gibbon and Really Slow Internet

Last month, Canonical Ltd. released the newest update to their extremely popular Ubuntu: Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon (7.10)… But it hasn’t been all fun and games, as thousands of irate users will tell you… If you search the web, the blogosphere, usenet, and the Ubuntu Support Forums for slow internet problems, you’ll get more than you ever bargained for. Ubuntu 7.10’s networking stack is broken, make no mistake about it.

The symptoms include incredibly-slow internet access, inability to access certain domains, slow logon times, slow application launch times (under GNOME), and so on and so forth. There hasn’t been any official acknowledgement, but the consensus is that it’s a bug that’s re-surfaced from Ubuntu Edgy Eft (version 6.10).

In short, internet on Ubuntu is useless. There are multiple guides across the net with the solution along with an “explanation” we find to be inadequate and fundamentally flawed. The solution is to disable anything that even smells remotely of IPv6. Remove it from the network settings, remove the definitions from the hosts file, configure your favorite web browser to pretend it doesn’t exist, and you’ll get your internet back.

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Thoughts on Windows Vista SP1

As we’ve previously covered, a pre-beta build of Windows Vista SP1 has been leaked to the internet recently, and we’ve been busy checking it out. You’ll be glad to hear that, so far, we like what we see.

Rather than mucking through paragraphs of text and observations, here are some quick and to-the-point tidbits about what seems to have been improved so far:

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Why Apple Delayed Leopard for the iPhone

Yesterday’s news: Apple [[AAPL]] takes developers off of OS X 10.5 “Leopard” to hurry up and meet iPhone deadlines.

Today’s news: Why they did it.

This decision was not about (not) missing deadlines for contracts with Cingular, not allocating enough resources to iPhone in the first place, or otherwise neglecting to do the right stuff at the managerial level – iPhone was delayed, yet Apple chose to trade in an iPhone delay for a 4-month postponement of OS X Leopard. Why would they do that? Is iPhone really a bigger deal than OS X 10.5? Does Apple care more about the iPhone than Leopard?

Apple is notoriously quiet about the future of their products – especially their operating system, OS X. While Leopard is but a bump to the minor version of Mac OS 10, it’s supposed to be a big deal. It’s certainly hyped-up for a lot longer than the actual iPhone – both in and out of Apple. So why this “sudden” shift in priorities? The answer is rather clear, and even self-explanatory.

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The Windows Vista Monster Review

Windows Vista RC1 (screenshots!) was released this week with great fanfare. Coming after the highly-successful pre-RC1 build 5536, it had quite a lot of high expectations, and it certainly exceeded quite a few of them. In a word, Windows Vista RC1 is too good to be true. If it wasn’t for the pre-RC1 build, we wouldn’t be able to believe it. The last non-RC1 branches build we receive, build 5472, was a mess. It lacked a sense of completion, it crashed, it was buggy, and it was huge. RC1 couldn’t be further from that harsh reality.

Windows Vista Build 5600 is release candidate, and comes close to the meaning of that word. Generally speaking, an RC build is “ready for release” unless major bugs come up. With Vista or any other OS, there are bound to be quite a few major bugs left by RC1, and it’s the way the company handles them that matters more than anything else. And with Vista, we’re really impressed. We can finally present a honest look at what Vista will be. This isn’t just RC1 being reviewed, this is Vista.

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ReactOS Reviewed: The Next Windows?

The idea is simple: Linux isn’t always the best non-Windows operating system. Windows is excellent and unbeatable for quite a few people and tasks. But neither is perfect. Almost exactly 10 years ago, a team began to search for a fix. In 1996, Linux was unusable for anyone but the most technologically ‘gifted’ and Windows 95 wasn’t anywhere near as complex as Windows today.

Originally called FreeWin95, the project had a decent idea, but terribly organized, implemented, and coded. Two years later, the dos-clone kernel was dumped, and the real project began. It was called ReactOS, and this time it was for real.

ReactOS is a 100% Open Source (mostly GPL) rewrite of the Windows Kernel. At its heart, ReactOS is an initiative to create an open-source project that is fully compatible with the all Windows NT-based drivers, applications, and services.

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