Melting clouds

Amazon claims its Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) "changes the economics of computing by allowing you to pay only for capacity that you actually use".

Quora, Foursquare, Reddit and co didn't pay much when, the other day, the said elastic snapped (or as Einstein would put it : EC2 = Mess*) : their customers couldn't reach the service.

Sony also faced down servers issues with its PlayStation Network, but the trouble went even further : it appears that accounts were hacked, password and credit card details potentially stolen. Not the best context for the Sony Tablet launch.

This tablet runs on Android, an OS under scrutiny these days, just like rival iPhone : users start wondering about what happens to the huge amount of data generated by their compulsive smartphone behaviors, and their blind acceptance of countless obscure authorizations. They're afraid of Apple and Google might abuse their power, and they're right. But they should be worrying even more about what might happen when really bad guys reach their supposedly safe place in the cloud.

mot-bile 2011

* not yet a car crash ("Amazon Cloud Drive, cloudn't it ?") ?


Samsung SH100 : from your camera to your social network

A Wifi camera, a keyboard enabled touch screen, a remote viewfinder Android app and voila, your picture straight to YouTube or to your Facebook page.

You can bet the said app will itself be connected to the existing Samsung Mobile Print app, which allows me to print wirelessly from my Samsung Galaxy phone or my Samsung Sens laptop to my Samsung Printer.

Sooner or later, my Samsung Fridge shall join the party to spit shopping lists out, but I don't have the Wifi model yet.

Next thing you know, SGR-1, Samsung's killer-robot that has been patrolling the DMZ since last year, will update his status on his twitter account ("shot a crane today - getting rusty I guess").

mot-bile 2011

PS: and as far as Samsung's army of 400 lawyers is concerned, they just sent one message to Apple : bring it on (see "Samsung Electronics cleared of infringement of Japanese patents" after "Apple heart(break)s Samsung")


Apple heart(break)s Samsung

Copycats. That's how Apple sees iPhone / iPad rivals. The main culprit and market share holder with its Galaxy lines, Samsung would have infringed no less than 10 patents, 2 trademarks, and 3 trade dress. As much as it hates suing a good client (Apple devices scream "Samsung Inside" from many angles), Samsung will file a counter-suit for less specific motives.

Nokia, HTC, or Motorola also have two-way legal battles with Cupertino, who also faces lawsuits from H-W Technology, or Robocast.

It's like a poke game : sue me ? suits me: I poke back. Forget hardware, OS, platform, or app wars : lawyer layer's all the rage now, and that's where innovation will come from...

Speaking of upgrades : LTE will be commercialized in July 2011 by SK Telecom and LG U+. Korea Telecom will follow suit (no lawyer needed) the following year : if they haven't decided yet with which infrastructure, they can until then rely on a strong nationwide Wifi presence to absorb the smartphone boom (unlimited wireless data plans include free access to Nespot). LG Telecom is probably eager to switch as quickly as possible to a more universal technology than the CDMA allowed by its own 3G license.

4G in SK ? 3G in NK ! On the other side of the DMC, North Korea's mobile market keeps booming : 430,000 subs EOY 2010, not much for a 24 M strong country, but quite big for a place with so few strong people. Mobility reaches far beyond the first nomenklatura circles : this is the place where not so long ago, only a few priviledged people were allowed to have a radio, locked on official frequencies. Here, suits to be feared are less of the law than of the military kind.

mot-bile 2011


Kakao Talk of the day

Kakao recently claimed its 10 millionth KakaoTalk user - or is it app download ? -, including 10% overseas (mostly in the US, thanks to the Korean diaspora, but the service is also available in English and Japanese). Now the Bundang based venture wants to go global.

Good luck : VoIP is a highly competitive field where "incumbent" Skype almost looks like the obsolete PTT running on grand dad PCs. In Korea, Kakao faces giant netco Daum's MyPeople, a more comprehensive social networking tool, or pure players like NeoMecca (OlivePhone app)... not to mention Google Talk, present on all Android smartphones.

Note that rivals Daum and Naver are considering suing Google for its dominant position as Android's favored search engine.

Indeed, the Google brand is indeed reigning on every Android smartphone's main screen, and more discreetely but pervasively present across the app menu : "Talk" for Google Talk, "Maps" for Google Map, "Places" for Google Places, "Latitude" for Google Latitude, "Finance" for Google Finance. Also there : Gmail, YouTube...

What puzzles me most is the way local MNOs deserted the battlefield : where a Vodafone would have branded the UI, KT / Show remains in the background. You know you have an iPhone or an Android device, but the operator appears simply as the hardware salesperson, and a not so proud carrier.

As we saw earlier, Korean MNOs have very poorly prepared for the smartphone revolution, but even now, it almost looks as if they want to dump their own app stores.

mot-bile 2011

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