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Why you shouldn't rely on Apple, Google, Amazon AWS, Yahoo, Oracle (Sun), Facebook or Microsoft for your desktop/server-side functions:
Google Kills Desktop Search and Gadgets  Google To Shut Down 10 Products
Google To Rebrand Blogger & Picasa For Google+ Integration  Google Shuts Down more  
Microsoft Kills Windows Live Google kills iGoogle Apple kills iWork at short notice Apple kills MobileMe
Google kills more Posterous killed by Twitter Google kills RSS service! Yahoo kills Yahoo Maps(!!!!) and Yahoo Pipes
Google kills Picasa Google (finally) kills 5 search APIs Google kills Panoramio

Cloud proprietary systems are not to be trusted: PBS Newshour interview.

.....And remember, HP (HPQ), Dell (DELL), Yahoo (YHOO), RIM (RIMM) ain't doing so well.  Compare them here .

HP (HPQ), Dell (DELL) are losing ground fast because of stronger, better competition in cameras, PCs and printers in the consumer market.
Samsung, Acer and Asus have better products and prices and have less reliance on PCs and a large tablet presence.
They are the only 2-3 who can compete with Apple and also provide components to them (i.e. they can't lose!).
In an ARM world, Intel/AMD based systems suppliers are a dying breed - except for Intel based rack server makers (HP/Dell) - who are going to lose it all to ARM anyway.

ARM inks deals with GlobalFoundries... "AMD silicon line" to make 20nm ARM.
Google to design it's own ARM-based servers.....

If you rave about Apple products, then there's something you should know......
OS-X and iOS in all Apple products are based on ..... UNIX! In fact, a mashup of Darwin.
So this is why you PAY lot$ of good money for a x386 (or ARM) platform with a "free" OS on it, eh?
KHTML is the basis for Apple Safari and Google Chrome browsers - again based on OpenSource software.

Android is based on Linux, a flavour of UNIX, too.

Social networks?
Facebook - how can 800m people use this trash? The stock (FB) is worth, at best, $5/share (not $38!). Market cap: $10b, not $100b.
Twitter - only marginally less crazy than Facebook. Neat, but worthless. Unless you want to start social unrest......
GroupOn is worthless. A shameless way to rip-off vendors out front and make them regret it later.
The only one worth anything. It's a thinking man's social network for networking and used by real professionals.

Fan boys of Apple in jury try to run over Samsung, etc. Biassed jury! Fight back Samsung, backed by the others!!!


Looking one year out.....in August 2013

Cell 'phones ['Mobiles'] - What a mess! More info here.

Name Designation Size (mm) Used in
SIM 1FF   Old, old devices
mini-SIM 2FF 25 x 15 Most devices
micro-SIM 3FF 15 x 12 Some newer devices - often mini-SIM sized with break-off edge
nano-SIM 4FF 12.3 x 8.8 Latest devices - tiny, for Apple and latest smartphones (not easy to find, Feb 2013)
 Asus WL-330gE Tiny Wireless Access Point, router, digipeater
Lantronix U-Box USB server (USB ports from RJ-45)
Zonet Wi-Fi Web Camera (no PC required) Best used for movement detection
D-Link Wi-Fi Web Camera (no PC required) Best used for "paced" output [really tough to set up - not for networking beginners]

 SanDisk Sansa Fuze (NOT the Plus!) The most brilliant MP3 player - forget your iPod Touch! Very limited supply. Get one before they have gone. About $50, plus $7 for 8GB extra memory and $5 for a full extras kit!

 Sony Noise Cancelling Headphones - low cost. Despite what my brother may say(!), these are good for travelling and at $20 are a bargain compared to the better $199 Sony NC60 cans. Yes, my NC20's are much better, but they should have been $199 too, but I got them for $49 on eBay shortly after they were made obsolete. Warning: None of these are truly good headphones, for that you need to go to AKG and (maybe) others.

Kill pesky TVs making noise all around you....  Adafruit TV-B-Gone.
3D Printing extrusion:
Fab@Home RepRap MakerBot 3DSystems Shapeways
3D Stereolithography (3D printing done right - since 1990):
First real stereolith (low cost) system: Formlabs
High-end stereolith: Nanoscribe    

The Most Frustrating to use Tech
iPad - 15 minutes enough to drive you completely mad
Motorola Xoom - 10 minutes enough to drive you completely mad
Google Chrome - <30 minutes enough to really be really annoying and vast amounts of RAM used (100MB to start, 75MB per tab).
Ubuntu Linux with Unity GUI
Windows Vista - the worst OS EVER!

The Best to use Tech!
Opera - Fast, small, good rendering. Facebook were rumoured to be buying it. Instead, it's now just a Chrome based fork.

ARM the Cambridge-based (UK) driver of the new tech
Microchip the 90's and 2000's workhorse in embedded systems

Open Hardware
Raspberry Pi - "educational" board
Suppliers of Open Hardware/Software kits, etc.
Adafruit - SparkFun 

Other small boxes
  Futurlec Embedded Projects Dangerous Prototypes (PIC)
DD-WRT on Routers. I even got a WRT54Gv8 running decent code! ...and YES the 12V router can be run from 5V. Amazingly, I have it running on a USB port (by making a USB to 3.5mm barrel connector cable). The router stays powered in standby mode of the PC and is powered off when the PC is off! [I am using it in Client mode, so it simply runs as ethernet connected WiFi tx/rx and NOT an AP, Repeater or Bridge].  The v8 didn't used to be supported - here's more detail. I believe later versions are again easier to flash.

 Watch out for these guys at electric imp !

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