Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Prediction: iPad 2 -- "Scorched Earth" -- thinner, lighter, new low price

Prediction time: 

The iPad 2: "Scorched Earth"
thinner, lighter, new low price. 

All models will be thinner and lighter. .5kg = 1.1 lbs. 

They will all have a new lightweight screen. Same 9.7". Same 1024x768 resolution. iPhone 4 apps will run at full "Retina" resolution. 

All models will have a new lighter chassis. Probably plastic rather than aluminum. Similar to the iPhone 3G case. But it will have high-tech name for the material other than "plastic". 

All models will have a lighter and smaller battery. Apple will claim they've increased efficiency in dual core models to allow them to still claim 10 hours of video with the new battery. 
  • $299 model - 16GB, same features as current iPad: "A4" Single core CPU, Wifi. 
  • $399 model - 32GB, Wifi, new dual core CPU "A8" SOC, "Facetime" cameras: 1MP rear, VGA front. 
  • $499 model - 32GB, Wifi + 3G (both AT&T or Verizon supported in US), new dual core CPU SOC, "Facetime" cameras. 
  • $599 model - 64GB, Wifi + 3G etc. 
Availability: March 15th worldwide for Wifi. May 1st for 3G. Apple will demonstrate a few apps that have been optimized for dual core through use of "blocks". 

There will be a developer preview of some exciting thing for enhanced performance in iOS 5. 

Thanks for coming.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Return of the Sony Google TV Box

Be sure to check out parts one and two of my Google TV adventures:
First Impressions of Sony's Google TV
Further Adventures in Google TV-land

So after my success with the Logitech Revue recounted in my previous post, I tried to setup the Sony Google TV box in the bedroom. I had previously put the Sony through its paces with the main TV room's Samsung HDTV.

The bedroom has an older 37" Sharp 720p LCD HDTV, and I've had an old, half-broken XP laptop driving it for media and Internet content. That system works, but it's far less than ideal. It works in the sense that it can play full-screen Flash and Silverlight video, but it's often choppy or glitchy, and it seems every time I use the PC attached to the TV then Firefox, Microsoft, AVG, Flash or something else wants to perform an update in the middle of whatever I'm doing. So I've been looking for a replacement. A Mac Mini would be great, but Apple raised the price of the base model, and even then controlling and navigating a Mac Mini from across the room is a challenge, and thus fails one of my important goals with this project which is enabling Internet and local media content on my TVs that everyone in the family can use. The Mac Mini definitely fails in that respect even with media control software like Frontrow, Boxee or Plex.

I swapped out the XP laptop for the Sony Google TV that I had previously tested with the Samsung HDTV. Fortunately, the Sharp has an HDMI input. I don't have an HD set-top-box on that TV. So I'm just running the Google TV as a standalone internet content box (a la Apple TV or Roku). Cable setup was easy, and the system came right up at the correct resolution.

Then came the problem of changing the TV and AV receiver setup. The Settings app on the Sony allows you to change the configuration so the controller can control the TV and audio correctly. But obviously they haven't done much testing of changing the configuration of a previously configured Sony Google TV.

The Settings app asks you to pick the brand of your TV then it asks you to test that the system is setup to control your model of TV. To do this you must use the Vol+/- buttons on the Sony controller to see if they adjust the volume on the TV. But the Sony doesn't even realize it's already been configured to use an AV receiver to control the volume so it's doesn't even trying to send Vol+/- to the TV. Duh! So I guess.

Then changing the setting for the AV receiver is even worse. It asks for the brand of your audio receiver, then it gives you a very long list of codes that you can go through one by one -- select, a dialog that says "Press Enter", test, fail, go back, select another code from the list etc. After about 10 tries I got what seems to be the right one.

The scenario above is vastly inferior to the Logitech Revue's Harmony system of device configuration which consists of simply entering the exact model number for each device.

After all that is done, I'm mostly able to control the Sony Google TV in the new configuration. But I want to also be able to do basic control like select Home and arrows and OK from my Logitech Harmony Remote. But that's not possible, the Harmony uses only IR signals. Sony's Google TV is exclusively controlled by RF signals.

I don't really care about having a Blu-ray in the bedroom. I have only one Blu-ray disc. Our local video store (yes, we still have a local video store) doesn't carry Blu-ray.

I decide it's time to return the Sony Google TV box to Best Buy whence it came. First I make sure I erase everything on the Google TV -- the button to do that is in the Settings app About panel.

I return the Sony Google TV and the unopened Blu-ray of Avatar that I had bought with it. Best Buy didn't give me any hassle. I notice they have at least of dozen Sony Google TV boxes on the shelf, but they are all sold out of Logitech Revues. (Of course, I have no idea how many they have received of each device.)

I order a second Logitech Revue from Amazon. It'll be here tomorrow.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Further Adventures in Google TV-land

"Where do these socks go?"
In case you missed the first installment I wrote up my initial impressions and notes on the Sony Google TV set-top box. First Impressions of the Sony Google TV, and finally, Part 3: The Return of the Sony Google TV Box is up.

The Logitech Revue with Google TV

The Logitech Revue Google TV showed up. I swapped out the Sony Google TV box for the Logitech to try it out.

Both the Logitech Revue ($300) and Sony Google TV (with Blu-ray) box (NSZ-GT1 $399) are Google TV set-top boxes. They are essentially "lite" home theater PCs designed to access content on the internet, stream video and run apps on your HDTV.

The Same Only Better
Although the Logitech Revue and Sony Google TV function almost the same, the Logitech has a notch more polish. One thing, the Logitech does not have a Blu-ray player whereas the Sony Google TV box does. (It should be noted that the Blu-ray player in the Sony box is somewhat orthogonal to the operation of the device. When you play a DVD or Blu-ray in the Sony box you can't access the other Google TV functions without quiting the Disc Player.)

The Logitech's setup is pretty much identical to the Sony. The Logitech Setup Guide has more information than Sony's. But the cable configuration is the same. The Logitech has a single IR blaster compared to Sony's dual-blaster cable, but it seems to throw a wide "blast" and has no trouble controlling my components. (The Logitech has a second port to plug in a second IR blaster if you need it.)

An example of superior polish is the way Logitech leverages their huge Harmony universal remote control database to set up your TV, receiver and satellite or cable set-top box. You must find the exact model number of each device, but that's it. 

Another example of polish is that the Logitech only requires you to set up the overscan screen sizing adjustement once. The Sony required me to run this step twice -- once for the factory installed operating system firmware and once after it downloaded an operating system update. (The Logitech does require downloading an operating system update too.)

The Keyboard Advantage
The keyboard remote on the Logitech is by far the biggest difference. It's much much easier to use than Sony's more game-console-like remote. Logitech's is a rather nice full keyboard with an integrated touch pad plus dedicated buttons for things like play, pause, volume, channel, etc. 

Neither remote has a backlight. But the Sony is unusable in poor light (especially with aging eyesight). The Logitech has the advantage of big familiar buttons and keys. It feels similar to a nice laptop keyboard layout where, for example, the placement and touch of the arrow keys quickly becomes second nature. 

In theory you can plug in any HID standard keyboard and/or mouse to either Google TV. (I tried a MS wireless mouse on the Sony, and it worked perfectly.) So it might be possible to find other controller options to satisfy demanding users. Logitech sells a special GoogleTV version of their diNovo mini controller, but it's expensive ($130) and it looks like it relies on more multi-function buttons. 

There are some nice finishing touches to the Logitech keyboard controller. For example, the touchpad facilitates scrolling using a two finger drag, and there is a duplicate "click button" on the upper-left of the keyboard -- again, easy to locate by touch.

I'm pretty satisfied with the Revue's keyboard controller. It seems to provide a much more frictionless interface to the Internet -- a big part of Google TV.

Also iPhone and Android control apps are on the way. Those should provide some useful and handy control options.

The Google TV Experience
Again, the Logitech is pretty much the same as the Sony. The pre-installed shortcuts and apps vary slightly. Some of the Settings Options are different.

Logitech has a Shortcut to Amazon Video On Demand. (The Sony has an app and service called Qriocity for video rental.) The Amazon Shortcut is just a URL to the Amazon website VOD page which, of course, you can easily create on the Sony. 

(Both the Sony and Logitech devices have some Amazon VOD software on the system. My guess is that this has something to do with HD movie DRM. Amazon doesn't yet offer HD movies to Google TV, but the website says it's coming soon.)

Logitech offers a Media Player app with very similar capabilities to the Media Player app on the Sony, but it has a different user interface. The app is supposed to allow you to play media on DLNA and UPnP servers on you local network as well as media on directly connected USB devices. I have had no more success with the Logitech Media Player than I had with the Sony, which is to say none. Again, further investigation is required, but so far this feature is a failure. Mileage may vary.

The Logitech also has an app for their HD video chat optional feature similar to Apple's iPhone Facetime and others. This feature requires a special optional $150 webcam and someone to chat with on the other end with the same setup. It's not much interest to me, but some people may be looking for that feature. I would think this won't be all that interesting until a solution manages to get widespread adoption and multi-platform device support. Many services are working on these things, but it's not really on my radar.

The Great Google TV Lock-out of 2010
No discussion of the Google TV at this point would be complete without pointing out that many of the TV networks have tried actively blocking Google TV devices from streaming free TV episodes via Hulu.com, ABC.com, CBS.com and NBC.com. NBC.com and CBS.com may be allowing Google TV now, but it seems to change from day to day. (Fox.com seems to be fine with Google TV devices streaming their content.) 

Google is apparently in negotiations with the networks. Who knows if they have the chops to swing such a deal, or if they do what they will trade away to networks in exchange? It's even been speculated that Netflix may win the day if they can swing a deal and become the defacto portal for streamed TV over Internet-connect TV devices. Hulu.com says they will be offering their content on a subscription basis similar to what they offer to the iPad. Hulu has been charging $10/mo, but rumor has it they will try $5/mo.

A Little Bit About Using Google TV
Even though neither the Logitech nor Sony Google TV provides "deep integration" with my DirecTV HD-DVR. They both control it as "generic" DVR the same way. Google TV knows what channels you get and provides guide listings with content customized to your setup. 

So you can easily hit the Search button which puts up a Search box no matter where you are. A search results in a customized directory listing of shows your set-top box can get as well as Internet-hosted content and Google web search results. (This Search box is also where you enter URLs.)

If you select a set-top-box TV show listing and the show is on right now the Google TV just displays the Live TV and tunes the set-top-box to the appropriate channel. If the show is in the future you get a dialog that will either just tune to the appropriate channel or take you to your DVR's guide display where you would proceed with programming your DVR to find and record the show in the exact same manner you do without Google TV.

Finding Stuff
I've had good luck using the Google TV Search function to find programming. Specifically, I've looked for the San Francisco Giants' Championship games. This is always a frustrating experience using my DirecTV box. The DirecTV search function is pretty bad. The first game where I tried this last week on the DirecTV guide, in spite of having a special button on the search dialog for "Post-Season Baseball", DirecTV could not find the game (I guess the schedule changes are a challenge). Google TV Search found it instantly. Select the first listing. Bam! The Google TV tuned the DirecTV to the channel. Play ball!

Today, I tried this again. GoogleTV quickly told me when and where the game would be broadcast, but because the show was in the future it offered the Tune In Now or Guide options. Guide showed that DirecTV had no clue that the game would be on. (It was listed as "To be determined" or some such.)

As noted in my previous writeup, some Dish DVRs work in tight integration with Google TV and can be programmed directly by the Google TV to record a show.

Since DirecTV already has an Android app that can program the DVR remotely, it's not hard to imagine a future version of that app running on the Google TV with tighter integration with the Google TV search functions. But like the networks and Hulu, it's not obvious that DirecTV will offer this to Google TV. Or they may, like Dish charge additional fees. Who knows?

What's Not There?
For me, one of the biggest pieces that's not yet been delivered with the current Google TV is the ability to play media stored on devices on my local network. I would like to be able to play music from our MP3 library. I would like to play DRM-free video files I've downloaded and ripped.

The Google TV out-of-box experience for direct or LAN attached media has been a failure. But the device has tremendous potential. I might solve the problem myself. Or software upgrades and eventually apps should address this problem. (Once the SDK and app market for Google TV are available third parties will be able to create all manner of media server and playback options.) 

The Verdict
We primarily control our HDTV with a Logitech Harmony Remote Control. It's the only remote on the coffee table, and everyone in the family can use it. My goal has been to find an Internet-enabled video streaming HTPC-like-thing that everyone in the family can use. 

The Logitech Revue has an option to allow the Revue to be controlled by any Harmony remote. This is essential in that it will allow the Harmony to set the Google TV to automatically display "Live TV" at which point the system will function exactly like it did before. Most importantly I won't get a panicked phone call that the TV is displaying "some weird Google screen". The Sony Google TV just doesn't offer that level of customized control, and since the Sony is controlled by RF signals (not IR) it can't easily be controlled by the Logitech Harmony Remote. 

Even though I didn't previously have a Blu-ray, it's looking like the Logitech Revue is the keeper between these two units. This is primarily due to the Logitech's superior keyboard controller and better device integration with its Harmony remote control technology.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Galaxy Tab vs iPad

Samsung Galaxy Tab vs iPad+3G

Galaxy Tab iPad 3G
dimensions 190x120x12mm (7.4x4.7x0.5in) 243x190x13mm (9.6x7.5x0.5in)
weight 380g (13.4oz) 730g (25.7oz)
screen diagonal 7" 9.7"
screen dpi 169 132
screen width 6.05" 7.76"
screen height 3.55" 5.82"
screen format 16:9 4:3
back camera 3MP AF (LED flash) -
front camera 1.3MP -
battery 4000mAh ("7 hours video") 6600mAh ("10 hours video")
flash memory 2GB built-in + 16GB microSD card (supports up to 32GB microSD card) 16GB, 32GB, 64GB
interface possibly PDMI standard (USB, DisplayPort, HDMI) Apple dock connector
CPU 1GHz ARM CortexA8 "Hummingbird" 1GHz ARM CortexA8 "A4"
dynamic RAM 592MB 256MB
price $400 with 2-year contract (T-Mobile, Sprint); $600 without contract (Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile); $650 without contract (AT&T) $630, $730, $830 (16GB, 32GB, 64GB + 3G)

Galaxy Tab Advantages:

  • true multitasking with background processes
  • one-handed operation
  • half the weight
  • half the size
  • denser display pitch
  • front and back cameras - still and video
  • HDMI output
  • USB access to files
  • external slot microSD card expansion
  • choice of all major US carriers (not just AT&T)
  • carrier-subsidized pricing option available
  • slightly cheaper than 16GB iPad+3G
  • 16:9 screen format
  • Flash 10.1 in browser
  • cloud syncing and backup
  • no computer required for syncing or setup
  • no iTunes required
  • most Android apps available on Google Android Market run full screen
  • Swype Input and Voice Input available throughout

iPad Advantages:

  • 108% larger display
  • 30% higher resolution display
  • App Store with more apps including 21K optimized for iPad screen size and resolution
  • available in Wifi-only model
  • aluminum unibody
  • iTunes integration

Monday, October 18, 2010

First Impressions of the Sony Google TV






First Impressions of the Sony's Google TV

[Update: Part 2: Further Adventures in Google TV-land - Logitech Revue with Google TV and Part 3: The Return of the Sony Google TV Box are available for reading.]

I picked up a Sony Google TV (with Blu-ray) set-top box (NSZ-GT1 $399) at BestBuy the other day. I also intend to look at the Logitech Revue Google TV set-top box ($300) which is due to ship this week. (BestBuy assured me that I could return the unit within 30 days without a restocking fee.)

The Sony box is a Google TV which is basically a "lite" home-theater PC with a netbook grade CPU, and the Sony box is unique in that it also incorporates a Blu-ray player. Sony is also selling a few flat-screen LCD HDTVs with the Google TV functionality built in.

The Setup

There's almost no printed documentation. Just a quick setup guide to get the cables connected. It is very basic. The rest of the setup instruction is on-screen.

The box is small, about the size of small laptop only thicker. On the back it has HDMI in and out ports, an IR blaster cable with two IR blasters attached, an optical audio output, an Ethernet port, 3 USB ports and a small laptop style power supply. The device has Wifi for network setup as an alternative to Ethernet. The front has a power button, an LED and a slot for Blu-ray and DVD discs, an eject button and another USB port -- a nice touch.

Setup was pretty easy. I'm using it with a Samsung HDTV, a Yamaha AV receiver, and a DirecTV HD-DVR. The box just goes between the DVR and the HDTV using the HDMI cables (one is included, you reuse your existing DVR HDMI cable). I used Ethernet which was already in place. Position the IR blasters so they will reach the AV receiver and DVR. That's it for the cables.

The first step of on-screen setup was pairing the remote to the system. It guides you through some simple setup for network connectivity and screen sizing. Then it downloads an update to the system. This took about 20 minutes over my DSL connection. It reboots then you do the basic setup again.

The next step involves setting up the device to control your set-top box or DVR, your TV and your AV receiver. It's was easy to set it up to control all these devices following the on-screen instructions. (I did run into a glitch with one step where it wanted me to confirm I could control my TV by pressing the volume buttons, but the volume on my TV is disabled in my configuration.)

About that fugly remote

In spite of what you might have read on the Interwebs, the Sony Google TV remote is pretty nice. It's small and functional. It's not fugly. You might even say it's cute. On the right side is the Home, Back, Menu and Window (PIP) buttons as well as a thumb pointer thing with a center button to select. The left side is a D-pad with arrows and Enter in the center. It can be a little confusing at first understanding what button on-screen has focus between the two input methods (tip: D-pad Enter is not the same as pointer click-select).

The lower part of the remote is a mini (but complete -- incl. Tab and Esc) QWERTY keyboard, plus transport controls. One flaw is that @ should probably have a dedicated key -- it requires Shift-2. Some of the buttons are also kind of mysterious or unpredictable to a beginner like INPUT, GUIDE, TV, DVR. These are supposed to map to your DVR or AV receiver, but they change based on context. The ZOOM and SCROLL trigger buttons on the away side of the remote are a mystery too.

[Update: I've discovered how the mysterious SCROLL and ZOOM trigger buttons work. Hold one down and use the right-hand thumb-pointer (Sony calls this the Optical Finger Sensor or OFS) to scroll or zoom in Chrome (and possibly other apps). Doesn't work on the TV view. Scrolling and zooming are using software and not hardware accelerated and are kind of clumsy. Also simultaneously holding the SCROLL and ZOOM trigger buttons allows drag-and-drop and selection operations using the OFS.]

One major gripe I haven't resolved is that the "AMP" button that toggles the remote to send audio control to the AV receiver times out after few minutes and resets to mapping the volume controls to the TV. On my setup I never want to control volume with the TV.

[Update: Fn+AMP will lock the remote's audio controls to control the AV receiver. Problem solved.]

One fairly important thing Sony left out for some unknown reason is a backlight on the remote. This makes it very hard to use the remote with its 2 million tiny buttons in a dark or dimly lit room. (I've heard it's popular to watch TV in the dark.) I don't think the Logitech Revue's standard remote keyboard has a backlight either, but the Logitech's keys are much larger, and the optional Mini Controller for the Logitech does have a backlight.

[Update: The Logitech Mini Controller will work with any Google TV including the Sonys. For that matter I've read any standard HID keyboard or mouse will work with Google TV. I plugged in a Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse, and it worked perfectly.]

It's Android underneath

Google TV runs on the Android OS. Apparently it's based on Android 2.1, but that's not particularly relevant because it's not an Android phone and it doesn't have the standard Android apps. The Android OS is most apparent in the user interaction model based around the four core Android buttons: Home, Back, Menu and Search. Just like an Android phone press and hold Home gives you a list of currently running or recent apps. Back will always take you out of wherever you've just gone. As with an Android smartphone you must embrace the power of the Back button. There currently seem to be no Widgets or Notifications in this Google TV version of Android.

Control Apps

Sony, Logitech and Google are promising smartphone apps to function as remote controls for their Google TV devices. These would obviously work fine in the dark. None are available yet. Sony is promising an Android app, Logitech is promising an iPhone and Android app and Google will be publishing both an iPhone and Android app. I would expect the Sony and Logitech apps to only control their respective devices. It's not clear if any of the iPhone apps will be universal apps and give equal support to the iPad or if they will only run in the iPad's iPhone emulation x2 mode. (The iPad seems like a more natural fit for home theater control due to it's larger battery, longer default sleep delay times, and that it's more likely sitting on the coffee table than in your pocket.)

Set-top Box Integration

The Sony Google TV can control many satellite and cable set-top boxes and DVRs. Dish Network has a special arrangement with the Sony and Logitech boxes where for $4/month you can get deeper integration with Google TV than "generic" DVRs. With this additional integration you can schedule shows to record and search recorded content on your DVR. This only works with some Dish DVR models. (Dish is also offering the Logitech Revue to their subscribers for $179 which goes to cover the monthly fee and then some.)

Other DVRs are handled generically although reasonably well. A customized directory listing of shows is integrated into Google TV search results and Home Screen functions like "What's On". And when you pick a TV listing item from the list it will switch to the channel.

Control of the DirecTV DVR can sometimes be a little confusing. DVR control is part of the TV app, but what you see on screen are your same old DVR control menus. In some respects the app acts like a universal remote control for your DVR. And there's not always a one-to-one mapping of controls on the Google TV remote to the buttons in the DirecTV's native menus. As an example the on screen prompt says "Press Exit" but you must press Esc on the Sony remote.

Local Media Integration

The Media Player app doesn't see my DLNA/UPnP server (a Netgear ReadyNAS), but I don't know why. The specs for the Sony Google TV say it's supposed to be able access photos, video and music from DLNA and UPnP servers, but it might be a problem with my DLNA server setup. Further investigation is required.

The "Dual View" picture-in-picture function doesn't work on top of some of the apps, and you get an awkward dialog informing you of this. Also the Dual View tends to block things as it's always in the lower right quadrant of the screen. It would be nice to be able to relocate the window. (I had a Sony TV 15 years ago that could do that.) In these respects Dual View seems like a bit of an afterthought.

I haven't tried the Blu-ray features of the Sony box yet. There is an app labeled Disc Player which I assume allows Blu-rays and DVDs to function much like the TV app.

[Update: When playing a DVD disc with the Disc Player app the GT1 becomes exclusively a DVD/Blu-ray player and you can't access other Google TV functions. If you press the Home or Search button it puts up a dialog saying that it will have to stop the Disc Player app. I haven't yet tried any Blu-rays, but it probably behaves similarly.]

I also have not tried plugging in a local hard drive or thumb drive into the USB ports.

[Update: I tried accessing a local USB hard drive with some media files, but the drive was partitioned with multiple FAT32 partitions, and Google TV could only see the first partition. Unfortunately the media files were on the second partition.]

The Google TV Apps

The line between apps and web apps is not always obvious. And many apps blend into websites and back to apps seamlessly.

The browser is Chrome and not the lightweight Android browser. It seems to work like Chrome on the desktop. It has full Flash 10.1 integration. My current browser torture test is Google Docs and Microsoft Office Live web apps. (Not that anyone would want to edit documents on their TV.) Neither site works with full functionality on the magical iPad. I was able to open and edit documents in Google Docs, but I was unsuccessful with Microsoft's Office Live web apps.

Google TV's integrated search is very cool. Just hit the Search button at any time, and it brings up a beautiful overlay over whatever app you are in including the live TV app. Dual View should have that level of slickness.

I don't have a Netflix account so I didn't try that. Pandora was very easy to use. There's a Napster app, CNBC Real-Time (with CNBC streaming and stock tickers), Gallery for photos (it currently only supports Picassa), NBA Game Time, and Twitter.

Sony has a video rental site called Qriocity (can I use that in Scrabble?). It has many recent and some classic video releases. Iron Man 2 costs $5.99 to rent in HD, $3.99 to rent in SD (the latter is the same price as Amazon).

There's no specific app for Amazon Video on Demand, but I noticed there's Amazon VOD software listed as installed on the system. I don't know why. I logged into my Amazon account using the browser and was easily able to browse and buy or rent movies and TV shows there and watch shows that I've previously bought. You can only stream video. You can't download shows to a local harddrive with your Google TV from Amazon VOD, but you can purchase movies and TV shows and they are permanently available for streaming. Amazon offers TV shows in SD and HD resolutions. The current Mad Men costs $2.99 to own in HD and $1.99 in SD. Some shows on Fox, ABC and BBC only cost $0.99 in SD or HD to purchase (apparently to compete with AppleTV). Amazon's VOD movies are currently only available in SD to Google TV and typically cost $3.99 to rent for 48 hours. (Amazon indicates HD movies will be available to Google TV soon.)

The YouTube site gives you the option to automatically default to their "Leanback" interface -- an interface optimized for TV viewing.

One last thing...

I discovered you can force the device to reboot by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Delete!

Obviously there's a lot of functionality to the Google TV. And this device and OS release is quite literally just the beginning. I'll try to gather my thoughts on how well it succeeds and post those as well as any other things I learn. One big test will be whether other members of the family can work this device. I'm uncertain if it will pass that test.

Sony's online help site with lots of nitty-gritty details:

http://esupport.sony.com/docs/btv/nsz/index.html

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Tall Tail of the App Store or The One That Got Away


The Tall Tail of the App Store or The One That Got Away

This pretty picture tells the story from the developers' perspective. The timeline is, of course, the startling part. November 2008 wasn't that long ago.

What happens next? Well the exponential growth apparent here might continue for some time. Even if developers leave the platform and apps are abandoned, the apps won't get removed from the store. But it would be interesting to track an aging of app updates. That might present an indication of whether the app population is starting to flatten out and resemble a logistic curve.