Google today launched PerfKit, an open-source cloud-benchmarking tool that, in Google’s words, is an “effort to define a canonical set of benchmarks to measure and compare cloud offerings.” The PerfKit tools currently support Google’s own Compute Engine, Amazon’s AWS and Microsoft’s Azure clouds. Google says it has worked on this project with over 30 researchers, companies and customers, including ARM, Canonical, Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, Rackspace and Red Hat.
This whole thing started when Google updated its Indonesian Android One landing page earlier today, complete with a tidbit claiming that such low-cost devices would run "the latest and fastest version of Android (5.1 Lollipop)". Given that one of Android One's major selling points is to bring the latest and greatest software updates to people in emerging markets, it's a little curious that none of the other international landing pages (think India, Bangladesh and Nepal) have gotten similar updates. Then again, it's not like we haven't seen a company representatives prematurely pull a trigger before. Tacit, purposeful confirmation? Human error? It doesn't matter -- this cat isn't going back in the bag.
It’s common for NVIDIA and AMD to tweak their drivers to optimise specific titles, but patches to operating systems just for games? Usually developers work around platform quirks, but that’s not good enough for Linus Torvalds, the man behind Linux. When crashes in The Witcher 2 were caused by Linux’s core software, Torvalds not only requested the bug be fixed, but that Steam games should be used in the future as “good tests of odd behaviour”.
Google sold Motorola to Lenovo, but retained the Advanced Research and Projects (ATAP) R&D group that runs the project. ATAP recently showed off a second generation prototype of the Ara phone, and earlier this month, Google announced plans to launch a 2015 pilot program in Puerto Rico. Project Ara has also recently attracted some interesting technology partners, including battery maker SolidEnergy, audio experts Sennheiser, and health accessory designer Lapka.
Together with ATAP's Project Tango for developing 3D sensing phones, Project Ara represents Google's vision for the smartphone future. The timing seems right, as the Android smartphone scene is looking a bit moribund compared to hot-ticket technologies like wearables, drones, and home automation.
Cyanogen, the company behind the popular open source operating system and the OS of choice for last year's OnePlus One, wants to be even more independent from the Google-based software that lies at its foundation. According to Cyanogen's CEO, Kirt McMaster "We're attempting to take Android away from Google."
Have you ever installed a full desktop Linux system on your Chromebook? It isn’t all the hard, but it is a bit more complex than it should be. New features in the latest version of Chrome OS will make dipping into an alternative operating system easier. For example, you’ll be able to easily boot a full Linux system from a USB drive and use it without any additional hassle!
There have been quite a few reports in the media announcing the end of Google Glass. Some journalists have even written what amounts to obituaries for the much-maligned Glass technology. But is Google Glass really going away? I think not and in this column I’ll tell you why Glass 2.0 just might be the next iPod.
Last summer Microsoft talked its partners into trying to stop the growing popularity of Chromebooks in its tracks by making a big push during the holiday season. While full retail results won’t be in for a while, we do know the laptop sales results from the most important retailer of them all, Amazon. Guess what. With that retailer at least, Microsoft and its buddies failed. Miserably.
Amazon reports that its top three computers sold over the holidays were — drum-roll, please — Chromebooks. It was that way last year too. Oh, wait, I’m wrong; Microsoft did worse this year. In 2013, one of Amazon’s top three sellers was a Windows machine, The Asus’ Transformer Book, a Windows 8.1 “2-in-1” device that transforms from a 10.1-in. tablet to a keyboard-equipped laptop.