Posted on 02 January 2012.
Plus why atoms are full of empty space, the upper bound for Kindle sales?, Android’s screen problems and more
A burst of 9 links – the last of the year! – for you to chew over, as picked by the Technology team
Tough negotiator: HP wanted $1.2B for webOS and Palm’s assets (exclusive) | VentureBeat
“$1.2bn. That’s how much HP paid for Palm last year, and it’s also how much the company was trying to sell its Palm assets for over the latter half of 2011, VentureBeat has learned.
“As baffling as it may seem, HP was trying to rid itself of Palm without taking a loss on its purchase, a source with knowledge of the negotiations told us. When asked for confirmation about the pricing, an HP representative declined to comment.”
Facebook laughed them out of the room.
Why are atoms mostly empty space? >> Discover Magazine
If you understand (or accept) that an electron is also a wave, then this is a brilliant exposition of why electrons have specific orbits “around” the electron. It’s not technology per se, but it has enabled the transistor, the laser, solar power…
Kindle fire remains Amazon’s best-selling item, million Kindle per week sales continue | The Verge
“Amazon just announced that it sold more than a million Kindle devices per week throughout December — that includes the Kindle, Kindle Touch, and Kindle fire tablet.”
Here’s a suggestion: if Amazon had sold more than 5m Kindles, it would have said so, because that’s such a solid, impressive number, and would imply that it had sold more than 1.25m per week. (Six million would have been 1.5m per week – even more noteworthy.)
So our suggestion is that it sold between 4m and 5m Kindles (of all flavours) in the period.
A look ahead: 2012 is Microsoft’s turning point >> Ars Technica
“2011 was in many ways a quiet (albeit thoroughly profitable) year for Microsoft. The company made big, important announcements—the Nokia partnership, the Windows 8 reveal – but neither had much impact in 2011. Nokia has released only a couple of handset models in a few countries this year, and Windows 8 is not yet in beta. 2011 for Microsoft was all about telling us what to look forward to. 2012 will be when that talk becomes real. 2012 will be when lots of Microsoft’s talk becomes real.”
The ‘trouble’ with Android | Stephanie Rieger
Android can produce a huge range of screen “sizes” for phones demanding a web view, according to one site’s mobile results: “This client of ours isn’t unusual. They are UK based and their audience reflects a wide cross-section of consumers. if anything, the audience probably skews a bit older (and therefore if you believe the stereotypes) less likely to be experimental with new technologies. so why the incredibly wide range in Android screen sizes?
“What we in fact are seeing is a classic case of unintended consequences. In this case, the consequences of a wide ecosystem coupled with some of Android’s more user-friendly design decisions.”
Turning off Google search results indirection >> StackExchange
“I don’t really care that Google is tracking what I click, and I don’t really care about the extra indirection when I click on a result (though both are concerns). but I find it annoying that I can’t copy-paste a result by simply right-clicking on a link and choosing “copy link address”"
The solution turns out to be quite simple.
December 2011: Google to release new tablet ‘in the next six months’ >> VatorNews
December 2011: “The tablet wars are getting exciting. First Amazon released an iPad killer, called Kindle fire. Now Google is coming up with its own.
“Google will ‘market a new tablet of the highest quality in the next six months,’ according to Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, in an offhand comment a week ago during an interview with an Italian newspaper, Il Corriere della Sela.”
Got that? OK. Now…
From April 2010: Google in unique position to deliver “iPad Killer” >> PCWorld
From the balmy days of April 2010: “Google is one of a handful of companies capable of delivering a device that can compete with the innovation and user experience of the iPad, while possibly delivering more business functionality akin to what we expect from the HP Slate.
“The new York Times reported on April 12 that ‘Eric E. Schmidt, chief executive of Google, told friends at a recent party in Los Angeles about the new device, which would exclusively run the Android operating system.’
“This tidbit was accompanied by anonymous sources claiming ‘the company had been experimenting in “stealth mode” with a few publishers to explore delivery of books, magazines and other content on a tablet.’”
Nearly two years later, Schmidt is back saying the exact same thing.
Apple fined by Italy over misleading product guarantees >> BBC News
“An Italian watchdog has fined Apple 900,000 euros ($1.2m, £750,000) for its handling of customer guarantees.
“The country’s Antitrust Authority said Apple had failed to inform shoppers of their legal right to two years’ technical support, recognising instead only a one-year standard warranty.”
The fine equates to 17 minutes of Apple’s expected worldwide revenue for the current quarter. That’ll definitely teach them not to do it again. (via @YiannisintheMani)
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Boot up: why HP couldn’t sell webOS, Microsoft’s 2012, Google’s tablet and more