Firefox Jumps on the Mobile OS Bandwagon at MWC 2013

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At Mobile World Congress, a bunch of people with ties huddled into a room in Barcelona, Spain to hear what Firefox had to say.

Firefox announced Firefox OS, a new mobile operating system that will inevitably compete against Apple, Android, and the other big names. I’m not going to go into super specific details, but here’s the important stuff:

Firefox OS has secured shipments on many different devices (many of them very cheap) from LG Electronics, Alcatel One Touch, and some other unheard of companies. It won’t be coming to any devices in the US until 2014.

The big headline of Firefox OS is that they’re ditching a typical app store and instead hoping to have an “open market” of HTML5 based apps. In essence, the OS is basically a web browser. “Apps” are actually just links to websites.

Essentially, I think this is a good idea that will succeed in foreign markets but not in the US.

I’ve covered the quality+userbase=userbase++ concept in my post about Google+. In case you didn’t read that, basically, any social networking site’s best feature is more users for people to socialize with. When you have users, other users want to join, and your user base will exponentially grow. This same system can be applied to app stores. For your phone to be successful, you need apps. For developers to make apps for your phone, there need to be users. For there to be users, there need to be apps. The more users you have, the more apps you have, the more users you have, the more apps you have, and so on.

Firefox OS has the edge here because the “apps” are all HTML based (websites). This means that anyone who has ever created a website has the knowledge to create an app for Firefox OS – so there are already 8 million developers for this OS. Removing the learning curve of a new language and new library for a mobile OS will make it much more compelling to developers and, in turn, more compelling to users.

Phones running Firefox OS are going to be released mainly in China and developing cell areas for a fairly cheap price. As a result, I think it will succeed in those markets where iPhones and Androids are often too expensive. I don’t think it’s going to succeed in America as the competition from Microsoft, RIM, Android, and iOS is very hot.

Overall, I think that Firefox OS is a controversial approach to the Mobile OS – websites as apps – and will thrive in less modernized countries, but fail in others.

 

Our Children Will Have No Idea About Computers

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For the past decade, we have undergone a staggering revolution. Suddenly, computers are becoming faster, more powerful, smaller, and most importantly, easier to use.

If you listen to any speech from the CEO of a hi-tech company, there is almost always a reference to usability.

Steve Jobs, Macworld Expo 2007: “There’s no power brick necessary. And they’ll hook up an HDMI cable to their wide-screen TV, and they’ll use wireless networking to get their content. So it’s really, really easy to use.”

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft Surface Event: “We believe that any intersection between human and machine can be made better when all aspects of the experience hardware and software are considered in working together.”

Hugo Barra, Google IO 2012: “Android makes your life easier. Simple tasks should never require complex procedures.”

The list goes on and on. Today’s focus is on making it easier to use your devices so they become an integral part of your life. (Now I’m talking like Steve Ballmer after watching all of those keynotes.)

This evolution both gives and takes.

As devices become easier to use, the knowledge needed to use these devices is less. And when we don’t need to know something, we usually don’t.

Basically what I’m saying is that as devices become seamless, anyone will be able to use them, and very few will bother trying to know what’s actually going on inside. To prove my point, I give you an iPad – an extremely intuitive, easy to use tablet – and Iggy the cat – a feline with no technical training whatsoever.

If an illiterate kitty is able to use our devices, it is likely that our children will know as much about the device’s insides as Iggy.

This has another consequence. My generation (the millennials) is extremely involved and educated in computers. As the demand for computer engineers increases, there are more and more millennials coming out of college ready to work. The next generation, however, will be far less knowledgable about computers. This means that as the demand for computer engineers increases over time, the supply of young coders will decline. This will mean that either they will become far more valuable, technology will come to a standstill, or we will decline back into the dark ages.

Okay, that might be going a bit far.

But my general point still stands: As devices are easier to use, our children will know less about them.

Thank Goodness: Evasi0n Brings iOS 6.1 Jailbreak to All iOS Devices

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Finally, the iOS haxing community has come through. Ever since the release of iOS 6, there has been no jailbreak available for any device past an A4 processor. Not any more! The Evad3rs Dev Team has brought us a Jailbreak for any iDevice running any version of iOS 6. This includes

-iPhone 5
-iPhone 4S
-iPhone 4
-iPhone 3Gs
-iPad with A6X chip (4th gen)
-iPad 3
-iPad 2
-iPad mini
-iPod touch 5
-iPod touch 4

The jailbreak is beautifully straight-forward and available for Windows, Mac, and Linux for an always beautiful $0. 

Read more and download here.