Chris J Powell

Google vs. Apple – Who will win, What are the implications of SOPA and Kindle Fire Source Code is Available

There seems to be a true love / hate relationship between Google and Apple, even the users of iOS and Android tend to be at odds but then Google comes out with another section of the Android Market that targets – Music and also officially rolled out the public release of Google Music.  Now the kicker is this potential cash cow for Google continues to be limited to US IP Addresses which means that lowly little me can not find a real replacement for iTunes even on the web…so sad.

The challenge for Google is that as good as the service may be, its connection to the most widely used smartphone OS does not translate at all to the portable music player market that Apple tied up with a nice neat bow with the iPod and the subsequent release of the Nano, Touch, Classic, Shuffle etc.  That is what really put Apple on the map and fueled the growth engine for the iPad and iPhone.


What seems very impressive though is that rather than get into the Credit Card processing or worse yet Gift Card world that Apple has so masterfully done, they are taking the approach of working at the carrier level.  In a deal with T-Mobile users of the Android Music Store will be able to charge their music downloads direct to their phone bill.  Mom’s and Dad’s who have given little Johnny and Jane a new Smartphone…it might be time to have a talk with them as the phone bill is likely to spike dramatically soon!


The biggest news that came out of Tuesday’s Google Music announcement though is that the service will also be integrated directly into Google+ and the Cloud Locker service extending the reach of your play list to everyone in your circles and beyond…that is something that even iTunes can’t say…I guess choosing Twitter over Facebook as the iOS5 partner is looking a little less impressive now eh!


What is SOPA?


In a bid to rid the world of Piracy (no not the Black Beard wearing, peg legged variety but the you, me and everyone else variety) in the Online world there was a hearing with the US House Judiciary Committed the other day about the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).  Now I had not heard of SOPA before stumbling upon the topic this morning so I did a quick education snapshot to get up to speed…basically SOPA’s goals are extend the Digital Media Copyright Act to the Nth Degree and place a very draconian law on Intellectual Property that has been digitized.

Under DMCA there was a liability protection for sites like YouTube that protected them from individuals posting copyrighted materials on their site, with SOPA that would be clearly wiped away.  Gone will be the days of TV, Movie and Video Clips being shared on any Social Media site.


To take a broad look at what is bringing this about, it is going to be a classic shoot out between Old Media and New Media.  This is gonna be a knock down drag out full on brawl, and it won’t be pretty.


In the Blue corner weighing in at 800 lbs and looking very Gorillaish is Bastion of Old Media: the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America, Macmillan Publishers, Netflix, Viacom, and various other companies and unions in the cable, movie, and music industries. Supporters also include trademark-dependent companies such as Nike, L’Oréal, and Acushnet Company.


In the Red corner weighing in at a svelt 195 lbs, it floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee is the New Media: Opponents of the bill include corporations and organizations such as Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, AOL, LinkedIn, eBay, Mozilla Corporation, and Wikimedia Foundation, as well as human rights organizations such as Reporters Without Borders, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Human Rights Watch.


From looking at the bill itself the simple act of placing a “Corporate Logo” on this site would place me in violation of SOPA and potentially open up liability to a Felony Offense in the United States…really…If I want to bash on Apple what better way to do so then to tie it to its recognized log…that is bunk and I think the American Legal system has bigger issues to deal with than adding another dumb layer to a flawed law that was designed to prop up a failing business model.  Here is a real idea…link up with the Google’s, the AOL’s the Facebook’s and start making some money from the connection that is already there with them…then there would not be the need to sue the world and be Jack Holes…Digital is here, if you have not figured out that it isn’t going away then stick your heads back into the sand for another 20 years and maybe a global EMP will have reverted us back to 1979 and everything will be done on 8mm film again.


Amazon opens up the Source Code for the Kindle Fire!!!


When I read this I was quite impressed.  A device that has been only on the market for 4 days has its Source Code revealed to allow both custom development and the Tweaks that Android is so well known for.


Now it is important to note that the Kindle Fire is NOT Open Source so the release of this does appear to be just the Amazon version of the Android 2.2 code that served as the the foundation of Kindle Fire OS.

There have been several interesting revelations because of this release of the Source Code though.  While most references to its Google Roots are removed from the Kindle…there are ways to bring back GMail, Google Maps, Google Reader and even the Android Market on the Kindle making it a best of both worlds device.  This is exactly what I love about an open platform that allows me to tweak, build and customize for myself and where Apple has built that one world view for everyone…with the opinion of…if you don`t like it…buy a PC.


Well that is it for me.  It will be a short day for me today at work as I have a Client Luncheon and then it is off to brave the Traffic of Toronto (oh my) as I attend the Awards Gala for Canada`s Smartest and Greenest IT.




Chris J Powell

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