Oyo eBook Reader Arrived

Big deal in Germany. The Oyo eBook reader started selling yesterday. The biggest bookstore company there, officially has an own eReader now.
Of course I had to get one of those. And it's good that I pre-ordered. At about 1PM it was sold out. Apparently the personal at the store wasn't aware of the impact it had.

The box.
I unwrapped the package and there it was. Nice and felt good. It feels more robust than most of the eReaders, especially at that price of about $192 (139€). There is also a usb-charger inside, a micro-usb cable and a small quick start manual. The display showed "Oyo". A interesting thing, that reminds me, that eInk displays does not need electricity at all to show things, once they are written on the screen.

Yes, it's off!
The setup was exhausting. First you need to setup WiFi, which was a mess. First bug: There is no way to have a hidden WiFi with a static IP. Won't work at all. Then I sent my SSID, and I could find it, enter the static IP, netmask, gateway etc. and at last the password for my network. After that, I found out, once the Oyo drops WiFi after a couple of minutes of no network activity, you have to reenter the password again! The bug is: Automatic reconnect switches to DHCP instead of static IP. So no static IP at all. After reconfiguring my router to DHCP, everything worked fine...with WPA. Couldn't connect with WPA2. This wasn't easy. I have to go with dhcp/static dual now.
After that you need to enter, or register, the Thalia-account. This is straight forward. Then the Adobe ID, because it uses Adobe-DRM for ePub. Again, if you do not have one already, it's created. Finally it starts up, and you see your home screen.

Nicely presented. It's on? No.
It's a simple and useful UI. You have a bookshelf, your last books you read, and recommendations. If you download a book, it's gonna be stored in the internal memory. But you can drag 'n drop on your pc the file from the internal memory to the microSD-card, and it still works. No cover shown on external, though. I want everything on the microSD card, so I can build up a library with different cards for genres. If you insert a microSD-card it refreshes the library instantly, and shows your books.

Buying books is a hassle. Although the interface is nice, good search, categories and all, you need to enter the password again to buy. That's a no-go. Either you chose a password that isn't secure enough, or you have to be "Lt. Cmd. Data" to type this without a password-storage. I rather use my computer then. But that's a real bummer.

It's quite quick, the display, like all eInk, needs some time to refresh. The OS is GNU/linux-based system. Configuration menus are simple, but doesn't offer much. The size of the characters can be set in each eBook separately, togther with the font. You can store bookmarks with notices. That's fine and useful. The typing is performed by a shown keyboard on the display. The layout is not very good. You need to switch a lot to different modes, which isn't much fun when typing in passwords in setup. If you connect it to the computer, both internal memory and the microSD-card is recognized as usb-mass storage. That's a great advantage. Information for the bookshelf-list is used from the title and author metadata tags of pdf e.g.
There is a web-browser integrated with direct access to wikipedia, but you can surf freely in the web, too.

I could use ePubs bought from txtr.com and Kobo. This is real cool. It worked flawless. HTML-files must be in one file. Or every file will be shown as a separate eBook, which makes this almost unusable. The pdf's are nicely rendered, and you can choose many different ways to view it.

Slot for microSD, 3,5mm headphone, charging LED, microUSB
Oh by the way, it can read ePub,pdf,txt,html and show jpg,png,bmp. It plays MP3 for audiobooks or music, too. There is a 3.5mm connector for headphones. Display is 800*600 with 6" and capacitive (!) touchscreen. Battery lasts...forever. That means about some weeks without recharging, or 8000 page-turns. In one of the photos, you can see the very slim battery is slid in the device and can be replaced.

Battery left. You can slide it out to replace.
All in all, it's a good and decent eReader. The firmware needs to get fixed. That WiFi-issue isn't acceptable. Also it would be great if you could set the font and size by default and not only per ebook. But it's fun to use it, the quality of the eInk is outstanding, battery no problem, and you can read for hours and hours without getting eye-strain. It has some bonus features. The charger can be used with any usb-cable (standard usb-connector), so it's suitable for everything that can be charged with usb.
USB-Charger. Normal USB-Cable plugged in.
That's all: Cable, charger, Oyo and quick manual


Social Games: The Real Treasure On Facebook

As you might know, I recently made myself a Facebook-Account. And now, besides the expected, social functions like chat and timeline-postings, I found the real power of Facebook: Games!

You can't believe it, but yes, that's where I find myself spending the most of the Facebook-time. And as almost all the games having social features integrated, it's a load of fun.
The way those games work is, more or less, very similar. You do things that requires some time. So you need to check back in a specific amount of time. 24hrs for producing gold e.g. Then you need to come back and collect it, or it's gone. But there is action, too. So this is combined.

Of course there are many different games. That's what made my jar drop. What a lot of games, that actually work. It's fun, but it can be very expensive. You can always play for free. But you can also buy stuff for real money to upgrade more quickly. So keep watching you gaming-lust :).

If you want to play a nice game with me please invite me. At the moment, my favorite games are: Pirates ahoy, Crazy Planets, My Empire, Bowling Buddies, Treasure Island and Texas HoldEm Poker. But I'm ready for more cool new games to discover.


Will Google Me Ever Happen?

I wrote another extensive comment at Google Buzz on a post from Denis Labelle.
It's about the guessed Google Me, which was denied by Eric Schmidt. Nonetheless, the users seem to stick to that wish, that all services will come together and form an alternative Facebook, which I would very much appreciate.
But I'm not so convinced this will happen soon. Google is making serious mistakes in marketing their services and a lot of good things never took off.

Here is the comment:
Well, I'm not that optimistic. Google has to hurry. I love Buzz, I love Picasa (sometimes I think I'm the only one), I love GMail (if you want to count that in), and I certainly love GTalk. But there is a lot what's missing. I need a decent profile page where people can connect to me by the click of a button. I need to chat and interact more directly. And there needs to be simply more people using that service. I know, different people are using these services differently. I don't need a platform for my 20 real-life friends. I want to connect to the world.

I'm having a hard time to convince people even using Gtalk. And I'm telling you directly, it's because Google don't push their launched services enough. To stay with Gtalk, it needs voice for every system (Linux, Win, Mac) and most important on mobiles like Android. And not only that, video is the new thing, we need it NOW and integrate it on every desktop running GMail. As long as there is no decent standalone-program on desktops, how will a normal user wants to use it? Never, they just launch Skype, or use Facebook chat if they want text-only.
Same with all the other services. Google needs to push them as hard as they can. Buzz is great, and no one knows it. They read some Anti-Google postings in the big blogs, because it's cool to bash Google, and that's it.
But to be fair, Buzz and the virtual "Google Me" has a very long way to go, to give people a reason to use it instead of Facebook. There is nothing what can't be done with Facebook, but a lot you can do there, that you can't do on Buzz/Picasa/GTalk 
I'm hoping so that I'm wrong...


Twitter Wants Your Stuff?

I stumbled over a Buzz-post from Mahendra Palsule, today. CARL Book Beacon wrote about Twitter and their terms, which might let you think, they want to possess your content.

Well, it reads in the terms of Twitter:
You retain your rights to any Content you submit, post or display on or through the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).
And that's almost the same that Facebook stated in their terms. Why are they doing such a thing? Are they evil™ ? Okay first of all, I'm not a lawyer. But maybe I can get some light into this.

Why terms of usage at all?
For a company that operates worldwide, it's necessary to keep watching different laws. That can only be archived by having extensive "terms of use". There they set their own, and your rights, what you can or can not do on their service. To maintain any kind of social network, is nearly the hardest thing to do, because you deal with a lot of personal rights. To do so, you have to give the permission for the platform, to do things with your stuff.
Let's say you post a helpful tip on Twitter. Now this tip is on the Twitter-feed. Hundreds of tools sucks your tip with the Twitter-API into websites, apps and who knows where else. Thousand, maybe millions of people can see it on Twitter, retweet it, or share it with other social networks, like Buzz. E.g. Google Buzz even has a special function in it to automatically publish your tweets on Buzz. Same with Facebook and many other services.
Now think about it. If you wouldn't have Twitter permitted to do whatever they want with it, how could they prevent from being sued? Maybe you don't want your tweet at Facebook, maybe you don't want to be retweeted by user xyz, or you don't want to see your tweet on newsfeed. It wouldn't work.

What about media?
Okay, now it's getting tricky. Twitter does not store your picture by itself. It shows it on the new Twitter inline, but you need to host it somewhere else. Flickr, Picasa, Twitpic or your own blog are the usual places. Again, to show, or distribute a link to it, Twitter needs the right to do so. You grant them this right by posting your stuff to Twitter. But how about if you share or link to media from someone else. I think we have fun with this in the future :) But let us assume you only post own content.

Creative commons license to the rescue.
There might be a way to make sure your content is not used by other parties without giving you credit or apply certain requirements. If you chose a creative commons license for your media, which again, is not hosted at Twitter, you can set that others can use it only under the same license (SA), or non-commercial (NC). Also, if you don't want your content to be edited or used for other works, you can restrict this too (ND). This license is proved to be effective in many countries.
Now keep in mind that these may not apply to content you really host at Twitter. That means the written text. However, I did apply a creative commons graphic and note on my Twitter-feed. This whole procedure is theoretical as long as no court has proven it. But I think it's a good chance. Sublicensing is not restricted, the content is not hosted on Twitter, therefore it's merely a link you post and Twitter sucks the content from the link and show it. So you didn't post the content, but only a link to it. So if you give a creative commons license to your media where you host it, the license should be intact. Both Flickr and Picasa have easy functions to apply CC-Licenses to your stuff automatically.

My Conclusion.
I don't see any kind of evil in that. Twitter and Facebook need to protect themselves from getting sued all over the planet. In addition, there is no way to rob your rights. Anyone can write what they want into their terms. If they don't apply to the laws, they are invalid.
I don't see any chance for a service to license content at a site you link to. That would be insane, because thousands of blogs would now be under the Twitter license :). As long as you do not upload your media to Twitter, which you can't do even if you wanted to, the creative commons license will stay valid in my opinion.

Update: Gautam John found a link, which does a good job to explain that content is not equal links to content. Basically the same as my statement.


WebM-Playback May Be Out Soon For Android

On the official WebM-Developer-Blog there is a demo, showing WebM-playback on the TI OMAP 4 Processor.

Lets see when we get this, and on what Android versions it will be available. I suppose Gingerbread, and a downloadable player for Froyo.


The Social Network Is Not Bad For Facebook

You know, I read a lot before I finally went to the cinemas. The movie started much later here, and I'm just saw it about 1 hour ago.
I write the conclusion first, because there is much more important things about "The Social Network" than the question if the movie was good or not. I think it was great. Not the big mainstream thing, but the stuff for any Techie.

Now that this is clear, how is Mark Zuckerberg's character there? Is the movie real?
I heard a lot of people that claim they know him. I never met him, and I probably never will. They say it's not the true picture they show about him. Well, is that so? I guess it is near as much as possible for a movie. And now, is he the bad guy? No. He's just a genius, who might have problems in the interaction with other people.
He did the right things overall. You can see this: Facebook is a multibillion dollar company, almost made by one person. So I think, Mark Zuckerberg's charakter in the movie isn't evil, isn't wrong, or isn't reckless. I think that the movie shows some real stuff, and I can't see much wrong in it.

In the movie he doesn't treat his friends very good, and barely have abilities to make a decent date with a girl. I think that is the fiction part of the movie. Of course they need some "heart" in a flick that shows in the cinema. But however, even if that would be true, it's not nice, but you know, business and success is never nice at the beginning. It flows, one thing comes to another, and you have to keep the boat on the water.

Is that bad for Facebook now? No, why? Nothing in that movie made Facebook look bad. I think it's the opposite. It gives sympathy that a few people made this out of thin air with a few bucks and much talent.

Would I have done it like him? Not exactly. I would have been a little nicer to my friends and colleagues, and I wouldn't have done, your could've done, some other minor things. And that's why he owns a billion dollar company, and I'm still blogging for nothing, expect trying to get some readers.
Mark Zuckerberg did everything right.


You Can Now Mute Specific Services On Buzz

Without a fuzz, a widely wanted feature sneaks into Google Buzz. You can now mute a specific service for a User.
If you click on the right drop-down menu of a post, you can now select e.g. "Mute Twitter posts from ..." to stop receiving updates sent via Twitter from that particular person.

This works not only with Twitter, but for all kind of postings. You don't want to see someones blog-postings? No problem. Don't like Videos in your stream? Get them out.
This is enjoy many users and gives a way to filter their Buzzes a little bit.

But be careful. If you use this too much, you might miss some important stuff. You could end up in an even more boring time-line, if you filtering out too much.

Ubuntu 10.10 Final Release is out

The new Ubuntu 10.10 is now ready for download in the final version.
There are some big changes like always with a new Ubuntu version number. The new Software Center is surely one of the highlights for the normal user. It is pretty simple now.

While I will stay with the 10.04 LTS until it's long-term support of it will be closed, it's worth a look if you want the very latest version of Ubuntu. However keep in mind, that the last 3 updates took a time before running without problems. So if you like a stable system you might want to stay with the LTS version or wait quite some time before installing it.

Here is the article from Lifehacker (Creative Commons License BY-NC)

Ubuntu 10.10 Final Release Now Available [Downloads]: "
Ubuntu 10.10 Final Release Now AvailableEarlier this week we walked through our favorite new features in the Ubuntu 10.10 'Maverick Meerkat' release candidate; today the popular Linux distribution's final release is ready to download and install.
There aren't any glaring changes that stand out on first install from the RC, and all the stuff we love is still there: easy installation, the incredibly user-friendly Software Center, Ubuntu One's streaming music (which is on its way to getting even better), the new Ubuntu font, and the Unity interface for netbooks, to name a few. If you've been biding your time until the official release, your wait is over, so head over to Ubuntu.com to download a disk image (or just hit up Update Manager if you're already running Ubuntu). And, while you're waiting for it to install, be sure to brush up on all the new features with our screenshot tour.

Ubuntu, as always, is a free download.


Technorati Tortures Users with Survey

Technorati sends out emails for participating in a survey for the "2010 State of the blogosphere".

You know, I'm nice :) and made it. But then it went really frustrating. The length of the survey is ridiculous.
So many questions, and be careful what you answer, it can lead to even more questions. After about 35 minutes I was through. In the last 10 minutes I keep on answering, just to see how long the survey is.

This is exactly how a survey should NOT be. Punish those who don't send it straight to the spam-folder. So if you do not have the urge to spent approx. 30 minutes of your time to answer strange questions about your blogging-usage, don't even think about clicking the link in the email.


The WeTab-Disaster

Photo by RudeCactus.com / Creative Commons License BY-NC-SA

Well it could've been a good tablet. I was all for it. But then something odd happened. They announced MeeGo as the OS, and I knew this would be a fail. But let's take a look back in time.

When it first was announced the word "Android" was all over it. Yeah it would run Android apps. The press-conference held, was showing a slideshow that ran under Windows, as some found out very soon, and called it a fake presentation. Then slowly, it was made more clearly that it will be GNU/Linux on it and not Android. Everyone was thinking of a special Ubuntu-version, which would have been great. But it was another Linux-OS they chose. Then short before the selling date, they decided to go with MeeGo, in which Nokia and Oracle is involved.
After the launch, it was very clear that it was a disaster. The OS not perfectly finished for prime-time it hits the stores, and the buyers went berserk. No Android-Emulation at all at the start, flaws and bugs, and no content. The features will be available via an update, soon. This is the worst? No it isn't.
Today heise online reports, that one of the CEOs and his wife have written fake recessions on Amazon.
And that he leaves the management for now.

Well, I'm so glad I cancelled my pre-order as soon as I heard there will be MeeGo on it. And my instict didn't fool me. Personally, I consider this tablet dead.

Operation Payback

Richard M. Stallman shows a way to resist:

Operation Payback: "1 October 2010 (Operation Payback)
ACS:law made thousands of people hate by running a 'legal blackmail' business.
The company may face huge fines for publishing (probably accidentally) personal information
about hundreds of its victims. With luck, this may dissuade other companies from following in its path. But as long as publishers control governments enough to procure more laws to punish P2P users, no one will be safe.
Governments want citizens to put passwords on their wireless nets so as to act as enforcers in the War on Sharing. One way to resist the war is to leave your wifi net without a password.

I wouldn't dare to do this in every country. Some of them makes you responsible for anything what goes over your wifi. No matter if it's you or not. Think this is not democratic? Right, so write your local government.

Google TV Comes To The U.S.

If you can't wait for Google-TV, there are good news ahead.
However, if you live outside the U.S. this is devastating. Expect to wait a long time. The contracts between the European stations e.g. can take a long time, if they will ever made. See the YouTube disaster in Europe. France and Italy okay, but else? Ridiculous.

Here comes Google TV: "
(Cross-posted from the Google TV Blog)

It’s been almost five months since we introduced Google TV to the world at Google I/O, and today we’re happy to give you an update on our progress. For those who haven’t yet heard of it, Google TV is a new way to think about TV: it’s a platform that combines your current TV programming and the open web into a single, seamless entertainment experience.

One of our goals with Google TV is to finally open up the living room and enable new innovation from content creators, programmers, developers and advertisers. By bringing Google Chrome and access to the entire Internet, you can easily navigate to thousands of websites to watch your favorite web videos, play Flash games, view photos, read movie reviews or chat with friends—all on the big screen.

Since our announcement, we’ve been overwhelmed by interest from partners on how they can use the Google TV platform to personalize, monetize and distribute their content in new ways. Most of these partner sites already work with Google TV, but many are choosing to further enhance their premium web content for viewing on the television. Today, we’re excited to announce several of these content partners.
  • Turner Broadcasting has been hard at work optimizing some of their most popular websites for viewing on Google TV, including TBS, TNT, CNN, Cartoon Network and Adult Swim, available anytime through Google TV.
  • NBC Universal has collaborated with Google TV to bring CNBC Real-Time, an application that allows you to track your favorite stocks and access news feeds while enjoying the best financial news from CNBC directly on the TV screen.
  • HBO will bring access to hundreds of hours of programming to Google TV with HBO GO. Authenticated subscribers will soon be able to access all of their favorite HBO content on-demand in an enhanced website for Google TV.
  • NBA has built NBA Game Time, an application that lets you follow game scores in real-time and catch up on the latest highlights from your favorite team in HD.
In addition, we’ve partnered with some of the leading premium content providers to bring thousands of movie and TV titles, on-demand, directly to your television. Amazon Video on Demand offers access to over 75,000 titles for rental or purchase, and Netflix will offer the ability to instantly watch unlimited movies and TV shows, anytime, streaming directly to the TV.

We have also been working with some leading technology and media companies to optimize their content for Google TV, including news sites like The New York Times and USA Today; music sites like VEVO, Pandora and Napster; information networks like Twitter; and online networks like blip.tv. And with YouTube Leanback, we can offer the best experience for you to watch your favorite viral videos and personalized channels on the television.

You can get a sneak peek of some of these apps in the video below:

This is just the beginning. Over the next few weeks, you can expect to hear from more sites that are enhancing their web content for the television. If you’re interested in learning more about how to optimize your website for viewing on Google TV, please visit our developer page.

Today we also launched a new website that provides more information about these apps and all of the other great features of Google TV. And if you want to stay up to speed on the latest developments from the Google TV team, check out our new blog.

We’re really excited about the enthusiasm surrounding the platform and can’t wait for it to reach your living room. Devices powered by Google TV will launch this month, so look out for more information in the next few weeks from Sony on its Internet TV and Blu-Ray player, and Logitech on its companion box.

Posted by Ambarish Kenghe (AK), Developer Product Manager, Google TV

WebP Is Based On WebM

Yeah right, it's the same library and method.
Check my article at ryocentral.info main.

WebP - A New Image Format For The Web

After WebM for video, Google now suggests a new image format.
Its an alternative to JPEG. And now you might ask why someone should use WebP instead of JPEG. Well, one of the reasons for Google to offer such a opportunity is the size of the picture.
The new format uses much less space than JPEG. And not only with the same, but with better quality. You can see this on a example. Those images has been converted to PNG so you can see it in your browser now.

1093968 bytes368168 (66.35%)
Image URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:2004_Theodore_Too_%26_Queen_Mary_2_in_Halifax.jpg
Image Title: Boat "Theodore Too" sailing next to boat "Queen Mary 2" in the port of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Image Author: Emmanuelm

Mind the characters "Queen Mary 2". The artifacts are gone on WebP and it's 66.35% less big in size.
The format makes use of the same library used for WebM. So Firefox and Opera will surely integrate it in their browsers. Google tries to get this in th WebKit, too. But everyone doubts that the fruit company is pleased with that idea. However, no need to say, that Chrome will support it too, right?

If you want to know more you can visit the official site.


The Most Expensive Chocolate I've Ever Bought

It's about $4.10 for a 2.47oz bar.
It's from wild cocoa-beans grown in the forest, no mass-production. The native farmers in Ecuador get a special treaty for this, which let them get some money. This is in contrary with normal mass-produced chocolate which leaves less(!) then a cent per bar for them.
And th best is, it tastes marvelous. It's real different to the normal sorts of cocoa-beans. They have wild coffee, too. So I tried an espresso. You can't imagine how great it was. Now working for chocolate and coffee :)

Ah, mind the name: Rio Napo! Well I forgive their misspelling :).

New Twitter Is Killing Some Tools

A few days ago, I got access to the new Twitter-design which is in currently in beta. The overview and the integration of pictures and video directly in the view is a big improvement. The speed is really good. I wouldn't have expected this.

And so some tools will be obsolete for most of the users, I think. No, not software like Tweetdeck or Seesmic, but for the small clients, which did just that what the new site does. Making it a little more comfortable to check the tweets and putting media inline.

Although there are some work to do. Links to pictures and videos are only showed inline when linking directly. Ping.FM e.g. does not work. No preview. Same with some shorten URLs. This needs to be fixed.
You also can see in the screenshot, the old backgrounds won't show up correctly. This is no bug, but they changed the complete layout course. Now more of the screen will be used. Unfortunately it's dynamic, and not fixed. So while users with big browser windows might see some 100 pixels on the left side, other will only have less than 100px.

Overall this is not going to stop me from posting with Ping.FM. But to check the tweets, I'll think I will use this more often.

Google URL Shortener has a website now

Finally! Google is opening a site for the already working url shortener.
An appealing goo.gl/ url is nice. And it's expected to be very reliable. Let's see how things are going when some traffic comes in the play.

Lifehacker reported:

Google URL Shortener, aka Goo.gl, Finally Gets Its Own Web Site [Url Shorteners]: "
Google URL Shortener, aka Goo.gl, Finally Gets Its Own Web Site
Previously relegated to the Google Toolbar and Feedburner, Google URL Shortener finally has a web site of its own.
Google URL Shortener (Goo.gl) now has a simple web interface where you input a URL and receive a shorter one. Nothing revolutionary here, but in addition to keeping track of your previously shortened URLs Google's touting the following:

Stability: We've had near 100% uptime since our initial launch, and we've worked behind the scenes to make goo.gl even stabler and more robust.

Security: We've added automatic spam detection based on the same type of filtering technology we use in Gmail.

Speed: We've more than doubled our speed in just over nine months.

Here's an added bonus tip from Googler Matt Cutts: if you add .qr to the end of any goo.gl-shortened URL, you get a QR code instead of the URL. For example: http://goo.gl/LFwS.qr

But if you're not into the web site, there's always the handy goo.gl Chrome extension, or this goo.gl-supporting Firefox extension.