Last fall, Google made its first attempt to take over your living room with the launch of Google TV — a platform that merged the web with television content to create an experience promising to usher in a new era of convenience and interactivity.
Unfortunately it’s been mostly a dud thus far. The platform’s overly-complex user interface and content issues (some major channels specifically block access to their websites from Google TV devices) has led to weak adoption. Google is reportedly working to give the platform a major revamp, and there’s at least one more bright light in its future: soon, Google TV will support Android applications.
Now, Google’s been promising that the platform would be receiving Android support ever since it was first announced, but up until now there hasn’t been a strong indication as to when that’d actually happen (the most specific Google’s gotten has been “summer”). Today, we’re one big step closer to seeing that promise come fruition: Google has just released a preview version of a Google TV plug-in for the Android SDK.
This doesn’t mean that you can install Android apps yet. Rather, it means developers can start to tweak their existing Android apps for the so-called ’10 foot experience’, so that their apps will be ready once the Google TV update does ship to users.
From the Android blog:
These are still early days for Google TV, and this release is another step in providing developer tools for the big screen. While the number of apps available on TV will initially be small, we expect that through this early release of the add-on you’ll be able to bring optimized TV apps into the ecosystem more quickly. To start doing this, download the Google TV add-on today. Also, please continue to reach out to us on the Google TV Android Developer Community forum. We look forward to your contributions!
Tristan Louis is a colleague and insightful analyst. Over the weekend, he took a look at the top 20 sites according to Alexa and ran them through the W3C HTML validator to see who is playing by the rules and who still has some catching up to do.
Surprisingly, MSN.com was the sole site among the top 20 to completely pass, and Amazon had the most page errors – more than 500 of them with more than 100 particular warnings – “showing that disregard for standard compliance does not seem to have an impact on economic performance,” he says in his blog post.
Most of the top 20 sites have adopted the UTF-8 encoding type that supports multiple languages by default.
While the W3C validator isn’t the last word (or even the first word) when it comes to HTML5 accuracy (as we have covered before here), it is an interesting comparative metric.
Louis then went on to examine the code of many top Web 2.0 companies to see how they compared. All of them are using UTF-8, and all of them had errors with the validator. Only five out of the 11 sites have made the transition to HTML5, with the rest using XHTML or HTML v4. As he says, “It looks like there is still much room for improvement in the world of HTML validation.”
The inherent problem with voucher sites like Groupon is that you pay up front, so if a merchant screws you or won’t accept a coupon, you’re very probably stuck dealing with the voucher site. Enter Voucher Complaints.
Put together by Harvard Biz School assistant professor Ben Edelman, it generates complaint letters based on your situation—and this is the killer part—based on your location, because laws vary from state to state. For instance, did you know you might be able to redeem an expired coupon in Massachusetts for the full face value? Check out this hardcore noise:
I have a concern about the expiration date on my voucher. I tried to use the voucher after the listed expiration date, and the merchant told me I could redeem only a lower value, not the full face value shown on the voucher. Under Massachusetts law, your voucher is a gift certificate. (Specifically, the law states: 255.1: “A gift certificate shall include… any other medium that evidences the giving of consideration in exchange for the right to redeem the certificate, electronic card or other medium for goods, food, services… of at least an equal value” (http://bit.ly/mf4SSH MGL §255.1).) According to Massachusetts law, a gift certificate may not lose value due to dormancy (MGL §266.75D). In particular, see Massachusetts 266.75D: “Whoever sells or offers to sell a gift certificate, as defined in section 1 of chapter 255D, which imposes dormancy fees, latency fees, administrative fees, periodic fees, service fees or other fees that have the effect of reducing the total value amount for which the holder may redeem such gift certificate, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $300 per violation” (http://bit.ly/lw8kV0 MGL §266.75D). Thus, the reduction in value is not permissible.
MoviePass gets kicked out of theaters before it can get a ticket originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 02 Jul 2011 11:57:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Despite our commander-in-chief’s seemingly undying allegiance to BlackBerry, it looks like the federal government could be ready to make a break from RIM. According to a Washington Post article published yesterday, a number of agencies within the federal government are questioning their attachment to the standard-issue BlackBerry devices, and allowing government employees to bring in their own preferred methods of communication — among other things, Congress now allows the use of iPads and iPhones on the House floor and use of BlackBerrys at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has dropped from 1,000 to 700 in the past year. What’s more, the General Services Administration is currently shifting 17,000 employees to Gmail, a move it says could reduce expenses by 50 percent in the next five years. Likewise, the USDA will also move its email services to the cloud with Microsoft’s services, claiming $6 million in annual savings. Now, we doubt Obama’s going to turn a blind eye to RIM entirely, but he has been getting awfully cozy with that iPad.
BlackBerry finally sees competition within US government originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 31 May 2011 16:19:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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