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Google Awards Android Dev Prizes, Introduces App Store

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the keeping-up-with-the-ijoneses dept.

Google 52

An anonymous reader writes "A group of Canadian engineering students was one of 10 teams to win a $275,000 prize from internet search giant Google Inc. Their program, Ecorio, gives users the ability to reduce their environmental footprint with tools that provide transit options for trips, invest in carbon reduction projects, and share their tips with other users. Other winners included a taxi location app, a price comparison app, and a settings manager than changes your settings based on your location." Google has also started talking about their plans for Android Market, which is similar to the App store used for the iPhone. Ars Technica's coverage points out a blog post by Google's Eric Chu which notes that early handsets running Android will have a beta version of Android Market enabled.

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52 comments

oh yea (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24809915)

sex with ducks

Re:oh yea (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24810197)

kdawson, is that you?

First app... (2, Funny)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 5 years ago | (#24809931)

First app? Duke Nuken Forever!

Hey, it's not like we've seen Android either...

Re:First app... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24810211)

Actually, at least from what I understand, we have...or at least I have, on my N810 [talkandroid.com]

Re:First app... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24811245)

Anyone can download it and run the emulator, develop for it, play with it...

Wow, all that computational power... (0, Offtopic)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 5 years ago | (#24809945)

and all that creativity, and they couldn't find "Slap a big enough tax on carbon, and move on to the next problem." I think they're putting the metaphorical cart before the metaphorical horse.

Re:Wow, all that computational power... (1)

smussman (1160103) | more than 5 years ago | (#24810303)

You know, that's a great solution!

While we're at it, why don't we have the UN tax genocides too. And that's only the beginning. Just think of all the problems we can solve this way!
</sarcasm>

Re:Wow, all that computational power... (1)

BPPG (1181851) | more than 5 years ago | (#24811109)

That's not a very creative solution at all. Even if there was an increased carbon tax, then carbon-reduction advice for individuals would still be in demand (even more so).

Re:Wow, all that computational power... (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 5 years ago | (#24811185)

Not if -- as is probably the case -- the top 90% most efficient ways to reduce carbon emission occur before any end user ("consumer") actually makes a decision. (Tide shipping more concentrated solutions, Walmart reducing drag on trucks, products being shipped less distance, factories recycling waste heat and energy ...) And I guarantee that the stuff this device iunds isn't in the top 90%.

Global warming alarmism has always been a rationale for micromanaging people's lives, not for finding the most efficient ways to reduce total carbon footprint, which a carbon tax would automatically do and with little effort from average people.

Re:Wow, all that computational power... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#24811813)

Carbon coaches would be like life coaches. "Use less fuel." instead of "Go to work everyday." and "Buy the less expensive product." instead of "Don't spend more than your income."

another beta program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24810119)

Google doesn't have any decent artist for gui and usability.
I guess that their Google store will sucks.

Re:another beta program (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24814205)

google's gmail called, and he corteously disagrees

booring. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24810191)

can't we talk about the iphone 3g instead?-

Cathedral to APTs bazaar? (4, Interesting)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 5 years ago | (#24810207)

TFA talks a lot about the cathedral vs bazaar model, which I find to be sort of funny. Android supports downloading applications (.apk files) from wherever you want, although it's intended that the market be the primary place you get them. In this sense it's every bit as open as a Linux distribution.

But wait. A typical Linux distribution doesn't actually support you adding other repositories or downloading packages from the web. Sure it might be technically possible, but you're going to encounter a lot of glitches, and if you ask the distro about that they'll just shrug and say it's your own fault for not using the official repositories.

In fact, given that the Android Market is planned to support for-pay software as well as free-beer software, that makes it technically more open than a typical Linux distro, in which the only reliable way of getting your software to end users is to get the distributors to do it for you, and they usually insist on particular kinds of licensing. Doing it yourself is a good way to find yourself in distro-compatibility hell.

(disclaimer: am a googler, but have no more info than the average slashdotter does on this)

Re:Cathedral to APTs bazaar? (2, Informative)

erikina (1112587) | more than 5 years ago | (#24810329)

No. All linux distributions support it. It just needs to be packaged correctly, but as each individual distro is so obscure you'll fine that it's rare for it to be done (Although openSUSE build service may help in the future).

So what you have, is people trying to install any old rpm on any rpm based distro and complaining it doesn't work or is not supported.

The only difference here is going to be popularity.

Re:Cathedral to APTs bazaar? (4, Interesting)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 5 years ago | (#24810609)

No they don't support it. I've had many, many conversations with distributors over the years about this topic. It "works" simply because of the way the tools are constructed. But they provide absolutely no guarantees that your app won't break tomorrow with some update they push, and are completely unwilling to make any such guarantees. In fact it's even possible for you to break peoples systems by distributing software on your own.

Trivial example of how things can go wrong, there's no namespacing in Linux. Let's say I make a game and call it Epiphany [sourceforge.net], then start distributing it outside the framework of the distributions. What sort of things could happen? Well, somebody else might make a web browser called Epiphany [gnome.org], which then might become a part of the base set of packages. What happens when the user tries to upgrade their distribution? Anything might happen, because you have two packages with the same name (or which both try to provide /usr/bin/epiphany).

In the best case the upgrade will just break and the user will be stuck having to choose one of the two packages. But they can't have both.

In the worst case, I decided not to fuck about with 10 different but somehow identical package management systems and used an autopackage or a Loki Installer. Almost all commercial software for Linux does this sort of thing. Now the package manager will just silently overwrite my game files with the web browser. It won't notify the user it's going to do this - it'll just uncleanly corrupt the game.

So what's the solution? Back when I was involved in distribution of apps for Linux, the usual proposal was to put third party software in /usr/local rather than /usr. Unfortunately no distributor properly supports this prefix, and besides, it just moves the problem around rather than solve it. Sadly there actually isn't a solution for this on UNIX - it's fundamental to the design.

You'll notice that Android doesn't use UNIX style directory trees or package management ... and this is probably one of the reasons why.

Re:Cathedral to APTs bazaar? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24810911)

Oh boy, here comes a rant.

But they provide absolutely no guarantees that your app won't break tomorrow with some update they push, and are completely unwilling to make any such guarantees.

NOBODY does. There's not a single OS vendor that does that, because it's impossible. If this is really what you're after, send me an e-mail when you buy that flying car.

In fact it's even possible for you to break peoples systems by distributing software on your own.

Like viruses? Why did you even type this sentence?

In the best case the upgrade will just break and the user will be stuck having to choose one of the two packages. But they can't have both.

No. If that happens, one of the maintainers fucked up. File a bug report or switch to a better distro.

Sadly there actually isn't a solution for this on UNIX - it's fundamental to the design.

No, it's the nature of the beast. As I stated above, there's not a single OS vendor today that does what you're asking.

Re:Cathedral to APTs bazaar? (1)

LarsG (31008) | more than 5 years ago | (#24811173)

Hi, Twitter. Forgot your login password or something?

What you ignore is that most OS vendors give you fairly good guarantees on a stable API/ABI. That is, they are not going to rip out the current sound API because someone went all "Oooh shiny! Pulseaudio rawks!".

Re:Cathedral to APTs bazaar? (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 5 years ago | (#24811043)

No they don't support it. I've had many, many conversations with distributors over the years about this topic. It "works" simply because of the way the tools are constructed. But they provide absolutely no guarantees that your app won't break tomorrow with some update they push, and are completely unwilling to make any such guarantees.

That's not true. Distributions guarantee that they will support certain standards in terms of having a minimum number of common dependencies installed in specific locations -- see the LSB -- and enterprise distributions guarantee binary compatibility between libraries in point releases and upgrades. As such, 3rd-party packagers who rely on these guarantees are indeed safe -- any any breakage caused would be accepted by the distributor as a bug. Keep in mind: Enterprise Linux distributions are intended to be used with 3rd-party software, both internal to the customer and sold by commercial vendors. Breaking binary compatibility wantonly is in nobody's best interests.

Finally, enterprise vendors do guarantee a stable ABI [redhat.com] for the life of their product; that's part of why you buy (or use a derivative of) an enterprise distribution.

Re:Cathedral to APTs bazaar? (3, Informative)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 5 years ago | (#24812899)

They guarantee a stable ABI for the lifetime of a particular release of their OS. That's useless, if there are 5 distros you want to support, and each one has 3 versions in common use (pretty conservative estimate) then that's 15 different builds of your program you need to produce, test and distribute. This is completely absurd and is one of the major reasons only the truly dedicated try to distribute binary software on Linux.

Re:Cathedral to APTs bazaar? (1)

cduffy (652) | more than 5 years ago | (#24814361)

That's useless, if there are 5 distros you want to support, and each one has 3 versions in common use (pretty conservative estimate) then that's 15 different builds of your program you need to produce, test and distribute. This is completely absurd and is one of the major reasons only the truly dedicated try to distribute binary software on Linux.

15 different builds? That is, indeed, completely absurd... if it were actually the case in practice.

Those who are not "truly dedicated", as you put it, generally target only the two most recent releases of the "big two" enterprise distros, and simply require their customers to upgrade (or pay for the process to certify the product against a different target, should those customers be disinclined and have the cash). Since that's where all the business customers are -- and thus where the money is -- it works out just fine. Perhaps folks will start targeting Ubuntu LTS releases as well for commercial software; what all these distributions have in common is that they're supported for long periods and have relatively slow release cycles (as opposed to consumer-desktop distributions), so the work involved in QAing a target platform is significantly less.

Moreover, distributions have made a practice of offering -compat packages implementing the ABIs of widespread enterprise distro releases; as such, packages built against an enterprise distribution (itself with long-term support) can additionally be used on future versions of that distribution or derivatives offering such packages. Even further, LSB standardization on things like init script behavior and return codes allows still more compatibility between distributions and releases. It's really not the problem that you make it out to be.

To illustrate my point -- Oracle and JRockit's binary packages run perfectly well on Gentoo; I repackaged both for my last employer. (Using Gentoo was a massive mistake, but let's not go into that here). Both of these are massive, binary-only packages which -- particularly in Oracle's case -- interact closely with the OS they run on. They're portable.[*] When I say this problem is much ado about relatively minor issues, I say this with significant experience (my job before last was with a Linux distributor), and with quite a bit of certainty in my conclusions. To be sure, that kind of compatibility isn't something that comes free -- it requires work on the parts of both the distributor and the ISV -- but that work is being done, and the result is such that Enterprise Linux distributions, by and large, tend to be binary compatible with each other, such that only minor efforts are needed to smooth over the differences.

If you're in the Austin area, drop me an email -- I'd rather argue this one over a beer (or some nuclear tacos [livejournal.com]).

[*] - Oracle RAC is kind of a PITA anywhere it isn't certified for due to issues with the OCFS kernel module -- but then, RAC is a PITA in places it is certified for, too.

Re:Cathedral to APTs bazaar? (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#24811427)

Different purposes.

Unix style directory trees are designed to operate efficiently over a lan. If you have a very limited number of applications and can guarantee that there will be no network hops involved, other structures can be used.

 

Re:Cathedral to APTs bazaar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24816735)

To run an app on android it has to be packaged into a package designed to run as a vm... if Google wanted to make subsequent releases I'm sure they will make the new vm engine backwards compatible. Problem solved. The apps aren't responsible for anything low level, it just simply is not as complicated as you are making it out to be.

Re:Cathedral to APTs bazaar? (1)

zsau (266209) | more than 5 years ago | (#24818859)

But they provide absolutely no guarantees that your app won't break tomorrow with some update they push, and are completely unwilling to make any such guarantees.

They give no guarantee that when they upgrade one pice of software, other software they distribute won't break either. Distributions are pretty dodgy in the best case; the best you can do is use a so-called stable distribution for a months or years in the case of Debian, until it's no longer supported. God help you if the stable distribution doesn't support your hardware, yet.

Re:Cathedral to APTs bazaar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24819227)

Thank you Gentoo:

emerge -u www-client/epiphany

That will update only the Epiphany web browser. I don't think the game exists in Gentoo's repository, but if you made your own ebuild, it would most likely be games-arcade/epiphany.

I love Gentoo

Re:Cathedral to APTs bazaar? (1)

erlehmann (1045500) | more than 5 years ago | (#24810361)

But wait. A typical Linux distribution doesn't actually support you adding other repositories or downloading packages from the web. Sure it might be technically possible, but you're going to encounter a lot of glitches, and if you ask the distro about that they'll just shrug and say it's your own fault for not using the official repositories.

Why should anyone support software that is entirely outside of (distro) standards ? Glitches mainly show up when repository maintainers don't do their job correctly.

[...] in which the only reliable way of getting your software to end users is to get the distributors to do it for you, and they usually insist on particular kinds of licensing.

... because when you can't fix issues at the source, abominations like libflashsupport [ubuntu.com] have to be created.

Re:Cathedral to APTs bazaar? (2)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 5 years ago | (#24810665)

libflashsupport is a problem of the communities own making. There's absolutely no reason why the existing sound APIs (eg, libasound) can't be made to support the needed features but somebody decided to create yet another sound daemon. The fact that the Flash developers have better things to do with their lives than support this weeks sound daemon shouldn't surprise anybody, and has nothing to do with open vs closed source. It has to do with immature platform management. Open source apps will have the same problem, except instead of a file called libflashsupport you'd need a file called foo-bar-1.2-pulseaudio.patch.

Re:Cathedral to APTs bazaar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24810929)

The fact that the Flash developers have better things to do with their lives than support this weeks sound daemon shouldn't surprise anybody, and has nothing to do with open vs closed source.

Bollocks ! This is precisely what free software is about - the freedom to modify, to extend. Open apps can be patched if you want them to work together with this weeks sound daemon or – regarding flash – made stable or less resource-hungry.

Re:Cathedral to APTs bazaar? (2, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813059)

I have to agree with the grandparent. If the Linux devs hadn't thrown a hissy fit when OSS went proprietary and just done what every other *NIX did - forked the last open release and kept it in their kernel - then Linux would have a stable and easy to use sound API. It always amazes me that FreeBSD has had in-kernel support for multiple userspace applications playing sound at once with software or hardware mixing as appropriate for almost a decade, with a simple interface (open /dev/dsp, set a couple of ioctls for sample rate and format, write data - about four lines of code in total with no libraries beyond libc needed) and yet people keep telling me 'FreeBSD is just for servers, Linux is better on the desktop' when Linux needs horrible hacks like userspace sound daemons (which add a load of latency, and only work if everyone agrees to use the same one) to get the same functionality.

Re:Cathedral to APTs bazaar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24811289)

It's not really a distro's job to make sure your system is compatible with any package medium other than their own. That's where other concerned third party users come in, and that's what the bazaar idea is all about: people that are not distro developers, but they want to achieve the same thing as you (like alien or something). The openness is what makes this possible, and this is an example of the bazaar.

Android's model is almost like a bazaar wrapped in a cathedral (which is more analogous to wikipedia or firefox plugins database). It's not exactly open, but there's only a few 'gatekeepers'.

Re:Cathedral to APTs bazaar? (1, Insightful)

DECS (891519) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813157)

The real story is that Google is introducing a new consumer-oriented platform with no software distribution security in place, particularly a problem on a mobile platform. It had a great opportunity to develop something that was both secure and open, and blew it. By taking the easy route, it also blew any chance of competing with Apple.

The iPhone has a strict, secured Apps Store and a DIY-at your own risk jailbreak community. Google only has an official DIY-AYOR model for distribution based on YouTube. The problem is, YouTube doesn't distribute executable code, only media. You can't broadly infect a million users with a malicious YouTube clip, or automatically send out paid SMS or spy on them. Mobile apps need more than a freaking YouTube. What the hell was Google thinking?

And even worse, why is the media so complacently ignorant in not calling out Google on this criminally negligent cop out? It's Windows XP all over again, except that Google should have the benefit of hindsight working for it.

Google's Android Market Guarantees Problems for Users [roughlydrafted.com]

Let's hear it for Eco-Friendly! (3, Funny)

bigtallmofo (695287) | more than 5 years ago | (#24810217)

Their program, Ecorio, gives users the ability to reduce their environmental footprint with tools that provide transit options for trips, invest in carbon reduction projects, and share their tips with other users.

I invented a diesel engine that runs 24 hours a day, 7 days per week and plays an airhorn reminding people to turn out their lights when not in use. I'm now seriously considering throwing out my current cell phone so I can buy an Android-enabled phone so I can run Ecorio and find out how I can be more environmentally responsible.

Google says to Apple "Gimmee Some-o-dat!" (2, Insightful)

speakerbomb (1319693) | more than 5 years ago | (#24810295)

Oh yeah, Google will be quick on that one. There is no way The Goog is going to watch Apple's App Store make a million dollars a day and rake in a cool BILLION dollars [money.co.uk] in revenue next year and not respond.

As a marketing consultant, I can appreciate how easy the App Store relieves people of their burdensome credit. Just fire up the App Store on the iPhone, select one of the thousands of apps, and press the BUY button. Voila, your pre-authorized credit card is charged with a sale. And you get emailed an invoice from Apple a few days later. I've done it myself, with purchases of up to $20 in fact. Steve must know how media starved and spend-easy us iPhone users are ;)

APT Repos, Not "App Stores" (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 5 years ago | (#24810581)

Android software would be much more available if it were served to machines from Debian (or Ubuntu) style APT [wikipedia.org] repositories, rather than Apple style "App Stores". Not just because free software is basically more popular and available than $pay software. But also because anyone can set up an APT repo, and anyone can point their machine at it. The machines ship with a list of tested/approved repos, but the machine's admins can easily add/delete from that list. They can even make their own local repo, or one shared among a user group or developer group, or a website of fanboys.

These repos make SW deployment trivial, even with complex interdependencies (though with some exceptions when the repos and packages are managed badly). Simple, reliable SW management is perhaps Debian-style OS'es best feature, and even more important on something like a mobile "phone", that's supposed to be super-simple for even the lightest weight users to master without thinking too hard.

Since Android is supposed to be a major OSS platform, I hope it quickly gets a F/OSS repo system that all its users can easily use if they want. Because that would kill the "all-proprietary only" SW model that phones now support.

Re:APT Repos, Not "App Stores" (1)

dark42 (1085797) | more than 5 years ago | (#24812365)

This is exactly how Cydia works on the iPhone.
It is an iPhone front-end to APT, and a much better alternative to the closed-source Installer.app.

Re:APT Repos, Not "App Stores" (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813087)

Much as I hate much of the interface on the Nokia 770, this is one thing it does well. The installer app is just a front-end to apt. It has the standard repositories configured when you install it, but it lets you add others. It warns you that you don't get Nokia support when you install things that aren't from their repositories, but apart from that it just works. Apps all get update through the same interface, whether they come from Nokia or a third party. Of course, it doesn't have a mechanism for paying for software...

Re:APT Repos, Not "App Stores" (1)

stavarotti (911739) | more than 5 years ago | (#24813661)

Google's position with Android is fantastic but how far can they really go? Open in the cell phone world is not really open. Will the Big Telcos allow unlimited tethering with current $30 data plans (T-Mobile 3g)? Will they allow voip apps provided via the 'free' market place to be downloaded to the phones? Will big Telcos like Sprint and Verizon limit or virtually cripple the devices loaded with Android like they do all their other devices (Think Sprint and bluetooth, games, apps e.t.c)? Only time will tell.

Re:APT Repos, Not "App Stores" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24813863)

yes. exactly right. it's all about these issues.

on many forums and blogs, when a person asks for these features, the "community" responds by downplaying the issue, managing expectations, etc. it's very frustrating.

based on some first-hand knowledge of similar industries, my guess is that the telcos and handset makers have hordes of user accounts with which they manipulate customer desire.

I should keep up with my tech slang (2, Funny)

DaBjork (575727) | more than 5 years ago | (#24810735)

Man, I was really excited for an android market - how shocked I was when it was just a software store. My android still needs gyroscopes

Just JAVA apps? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24810909)

Or will they allow c++ apps (ok, so I want to port www.ifrisbeegolf.com ) ; )

Carbon, green, ecological, AGW, am I the only one? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24810947)

Am I really the only one getting sick and tired of this goody-goody save-the-planet doublethink bollocks? It seems everywhere you turn, someone is jumping on the bandwagon, ignoring the obvious problems the "approved solutions" pose, usually to end up sitting on the side of said wagon with palm outstretched to remove more and more money from us, not to mention frowning, for example, that we're not using CFLs instead of tungsten filament lamps.

Heads up: CFLs do NOT last longer in a typical TFL environment like a kitchen or bathroom where they're switched on and off a lot, they cost more in both energy and material to produce and are rather difficult to dispose of when they go titsup, all for a saving of 75% of the *lighting* energy consumption in your home, which equates to a mere fraction of what you use in total and is unlikely to offset the amount of CO2 emitted to produce the thing in the first place. Like everything else to do with this greenrush, it's a con and a deliberate blinkered view of the technology involved. The fact that the Goog are involved is icing on the cake.

Fine, cover your roof in photovoltaic cells. Just let me know a) if you make ROI in 25 years time when the fuckers need replacing, b) if you offset the amount of carbon emitted to make those panels *including* that used to extract/process the raw materials used and c) what we in the Northern latitudes are supposed to do when some cunt in Sunnyvale tells us, in the most annoying self-righteous manner possible, that we should be using PV. Don't say micro-generation using wind: Anything other than a terribly inefficient Savonius Rotor is useless in the turbulence around built-up areas and, if you haven't noticed, more people now live in urban areas than rural. Of course, if you could get a few green campaigners standing in front of your turbine, the hot air alone would generate megawatts...

Nuclear is a nice, carbon neutral source, but they're against this as well. Want to tell me how many people have died due to well-designed, not modified for military extraction of plutonium compromising the core containment, reactors? Now tell me how many Chinese people are going to die when these PV cells get replaced and the poor bastards have to reclaim the precious (and highly toxic) materials in the old ones.

You want tips on going green? Here's a tip: Wait until these idiots know their arse from their elbow. Until such time, ignore them as they're just contributing to global warming by dint of the amount of shit they emit. Methane is a far worse greenhouse gas than CO2, you know. So is water vapour, although back in the days when we had particulates in the atmosphere, due to the fact that we've been burning shit for eons, the resultant cloud cover raised the planetary albedo, the one factor absolutely proven beyond doubt to make a difference to GMST. Remember WWII? The amount of crap that was burned and the particulate count back then was far beyond anything we have in recent times, yet what were the winters of '46 and '47 like?

Oh shit! Carbon bad, particulates bad! Stop burning coal and diesel! Slam filters on EVERYTHING! Oh FUCK! Now we've got another feedback loop that was worse than the one we thought we'd seen due to CO2. Pissup. Brewery. Couldn't run one.

Android vs. App Store (1)

feyd-rautha (1256602) | more than 5 years ago | (#24810955)

It'll be interesting to see how this competition for the mobile market shapes up between Apple and Google. Obviously Apple has a much larger vested interest in the mobile market, but ANY competition is generally good for the consumer.

Androbuntu ? (1)

Teisei (1172661) | more than 5 years ago | (#24811027)

I wonder they create a special Ubuntu edition for Android.

Re:Androbuntu ? (1)

fsmunoz (267297) | more than 5 years ago | (#24811395)

Androbuntu? Like, Ubuntu but for real men? Now that's probably an untapped market (although there is Debian).

Re:Androbuntu ? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#24811625)

Androbuntu? Like, Ubuntu but for real men? Now that's probably an untapped market (although there is Debian).

No, Ubuntroid. Although, actually, that sounds more like some kind of medical condition.

Aww, man... (1)

FlyByPC (841016) | more than 5 years ago | (#24811595)

Here I thought they were gonna start a robotics-component market. What's this "handheld phone" business?

You know if I ever open a store (1)

Provocateur (133110) | more than 5 years ago | (#24815133)

that sells androids, or leases them for housework and menial tasks such as xenomorph elimination, offworld mining and/or colonization, or act as overlords (with whip and monocle to match) for some particular breed of basement dweller, my lawyers would have to meet with Google's about other names that Google could come up with, to name their application.

[OT] Recent Google Search Changes SUCK! Etc. (1)

Mana Mana (16072) | more than 5 years ago | (#24816617)

Since Google SMS does not offer an easy way to give feedback on their product pages they will hear my gripes here. In the past ~3 weeks I have noticed changes in their SMS search results -- FOR THE M-U-C-H WORSE!

Google SMS
==========

* [lowes in 11219] -> Google SMS had formerly understood a search request *within* a specific neighborhood in NYC. It spat out appropriate guesses like: If you meant Lowe's near Brooklyn NY here are results 1, 2 and 3 over two SMS messages. It was fuzzy and accurate. It worked beautifully.

Note that I use zip codes in searches as it is easier to type a 5 digit zip code to specify a FOCUSED location instead of a long and less focused section by neighborhood name. To wit, 11219 vs Borough Park vs Brooklyn NY. See?

However, the results recently are awful, non fuzzy-logic, with 1 or 2 results instead of the previous version's of 3 per search. Oh, and google now adds a lot of useless self adverting for their product in the guise of tips. It's the coup the grace.

So. Recently a friend asked me from her mobile while on the road where the local Lowe's was in Brooklyn. I know how to get there but I needed an address to give her to enter into her GPS -- GPS databases are so lacking so frequently that I rely heavily on Google SMS to get the latest locations for businesses. So I sent Google SMS [lowes in 11219].

** That used to tell Google SMS: search in zip 11219, or in Brooklyn NY, or in NYC, or in NYC Metropolitan including New Jersey. It didn't work however. In essence I wasted time, text money, finger calories, battery life, grief, and a good deal of patience and good will that Google will not be seeing anytime soon.

I sent half a dozen permutations of my search to get a valid result other than "check your spelling", for I know Google had the result. It had given them to me in the past.

I got a valid result when I thought, wtf! do they not understand zip codes anymore, and typed [lowes in brooklyn ny]. That worked!

Google Maps
===========

WTF have you done to it?

* Clicking on each driving direction used to bring a popup-GIF of the maneuver. No longer. We get huge Street View Flash photos instead! No. NO. NO!

* One could rearrange destinations by dragging them around on the left pane. No longer! NO!

* One could collapse LONG directions by clicking on a plus (+) previously. No longer. NO! BTW, Google does not tell the user when it makes assumptions about the destinations. To wit, I entered [10038 to fair view nj] and I had to scroll all the way to the bottom of long instructions to see that Maps had substituted something like Fair Avenue in Connecticut. WTF? I meant "fairview nj" apparently, I discovered after much mucking about. NO!

* After splining via-points by hand one could right-click and "remove this point (spline)". No longer! It magnifies instead! Nooo.

* I wont reiterate my other previous gripes about Maps.

* Oh, I hate that you have complicated the from/to entry box interface! Simplicity! Not complexity.

* Ah fuggit. Add calculate tolls, scenic routes options!

* Ah fuggit. Add calculate tolls, scenic routes options!!

* Ah fuggit. Add calculate tolls, scenic routes options!!!

Seriously, you guys have driven me to use Mapquest more and more.
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