Archive for January, 2011

New-ish “cloud” backup solution — MiMedia — also streams

January 31, 2011

This is my first real posting regarding cloud services. I’m no stranger, I just haven’t been altogether happy with what’s available. I’ve used SkyDrive, Dropbox and have done a trial with Carbonite as well as a number of the other online backup/file sharing providers and have accounts with streaming/storage providers like MP3tunes, Grooveshark and some of the other, lesser known services but, I have to say, I like MiMedia‘s prices and services. I got a MiMedia account because blueTunes folded and “gave” their users to MiMedia. All my music was transferred and I have a free trial for the service which I am exercising now.

So, what’s their deal? They provide both online backup (“cloud” backup) as well as the ability to stream/share your content with others (I’m streaming Bob Marley right now).

Via a Windows application (no Mac or Linux yet) you install on your computers ( — you can connect as many to your account as you want), you pick the files/folders you want backed up and they monitor for new files/updates/changes and upload them to their servers. One useful twist is that you can request they send you a USB drive onto which you place your first set of files (they pay the shipping both ways). Load it up with up to 250GB of pictures, documents, videos, music, applications, whatever, send it back and they’ll put it in your cloud. Then, as you continue about your work, all the stuff you’ve “tagged”  will have their changes sent to your cloud.

They don’t yet have an Android app but if you’ve got a Flash-capable browser, you can go in that way. And you can upload and download individual files.

Undiscounted prices are

  • 25GB for $5/month or $49/year
  • 100GB for $10/month or $99/year
  • 250GB for $20/month or $195/year

And they can provide more if you need it.

What’s powering your Android phone? Does it matter?

January 31, 2011

A few days ago published a brief description of the the (now) 4 main vendors of CPUs/GPUs/SoC that power our Android phones and tablets. The players are Samsung (Hummingbird), Qualcomm (Snapdragon), TI (OMAP) and NVidia (Tegra 2) and the article is here. It’s relatively short and gives some good insights into the various benefits of each. Aside from battery life, it seems that NVidia is the clear winner but I think all of the vendors have multicore in their future.

New Android keyboard — Keypurr

January 4, 2011

I found this in the market today, gave it a try and I think it’s now my favorite keyboard! Here are AppBrain links to a trial and a purchase version.

What’s different? It doubles up a few of the keys so, instead of 10 (or more) keys taking up previous real estate, there are 6. It can “guess” what word you’re going for based on its dictionary but you can also force it to take a particular letter by swiping UP on the key. It’s really something that you should see so head over to the Keypurr site and take a look. It’s “on sale” until January 10 for about a buck (regularly around $4). I used it for a few hours and then decided to buy it.

Openness — whether to buy from Samsung?

January 1, 2011

Is Samsung for openness or not? I can’t make up my mind. They seem to be clued in to this whole Android thing, what with their Galaxy S phones, the Galaxy Tab and their partnership with Google on the Nexus S. Yet rumor is that the recent update to the Galaxy Tab will disable root and (try to) lock down the tablet (see this article from which kinda indicates, to me at least, that they don’t get the whole “open” thing.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand about commercial realities. I understand that they need to protect their investment and keep their support costs low — the technical non-savvy can really put a load on your support line if they don’t understand what they’re doing, try to root their device and screw something up. But that’s recisely the reason I think the way to go it to make the root process easier and keep things more open. The Android community-at-large is a wonderful resource! By enabling them and even, dare I say it, reaching out to them, you can almost guarantee the success of your product, Witness the Viewsonic G Tablet. I bought this on November 2 (launch day) at Sears, of all places. The UI was horrible, it was laggy, it couldn’t remember my local time across reboots and it couldn’t maintain a WiFi connection. But the XDA-Developers community made the tablet usable. In fact, it was posting on XDA back on October 30 that clued me in to the tablet in the first place. I got involved early on, providing stock ROM images to the early crew so we’d all have a safe harbor to return to. Without doubt, it was my interactions with them that motivated me to keep the tablet and I’m convinced it was the efforts of all of us in the communiy that motivated Viewsonic to release their kernel source, allowing further development. And now we hear that Viewsonic plans to release more Android stuff at CES — phones and everything (see this WSJ article along with a host of others). My Nexus One is nearing it’s 1 year anniversary and I’m in the market for a new phone. Because of Viewsonic’s recent track record, I’m inclined to look very favorably on them for my next one.

So, Viewsonic managed to turn a “failed’ product around by cooperating with the community. And it seems like HTC has gotten it all along.

Samsung? Motorola?