The short version of Google’s lengthy I/O keynote: Let’s tell the future.
So much of the future that Google executives sketched out to open the company’s I/O 2013 developers conference depends on its software correctly sussing out what you want and worry about—and you not minding this man-machine mind-meld. Do you?
In this post for the Disruptive Competition Project, I take exception to the “Google is doing this to stick it to Apple” interpretation of the company’s forking the WebKit code into another open-source browser engine, Blink. I think this is good for Chrome users and good for the Web at large—and that if Google wants to subvert Web interoperability and sandbag Apple, there are other things you should watch out for.
I wrote an extended essay for the Disruptive Competition Project on a few possible and existing downsides of having a single browser layout engine, WebKit, dominate the mobile market. Behind them, there’s an interesting philosophical question: Do the usual antitrust concerns never matter if it’s an open-source product monopolizing the market?
In this post for Boing Boing, I evaluate the $249 Samsung Chromebook that shipped last month. Unlike, last year’s Samsung, I liked this one quite a lot. For a lot of users out there, it could make a decent only computer; for others, it could be a good second or third machine. Do you place yourself in either camp?
This weekend’s USAToday.com column tackles a reader’s question about setting a browser besides Safari as the default in iOS (you can’t, but I don’t agree with the reader’s contention that it’s as bad as Microsoft’s IE favoritism in the late ’90s). Then it notes a somewhat hidden option to make Google’s Chrome browser disable Flash objects by default. Have you tried this click-to-play setting?
A USA Today reader asked that question, so I answered it. IE9’s cleaner UI, better standards compliance, upgraded security and improved Web-standards support all justify upgrading. The column goes on to suggest Google’s Chrome as a good alternative, then concludes by explaining how to use two new non-Google search engines as your default in Chrome.