Posts Tagged ‘Ministry’
In the past, “going Google” was something only cities or state and federal governments did — transitioning entire systems to the tech giant’s cloud. But now, entire countries are making the leap and to do it, they’re getting a giant Mountain View-assist. Following in the footsteps of the Philippines, Malaysia’s Ministry of Education is embracing Google’s Apps for Education nationwide, while also doling out Chromebooks to its entire school system. The initiative, part of the government’s Education Blueprint, should go a long way towards reducing the barrier to the web in developing countries, while simultaneously reinforcing its use as a crucial learning tool. It’s a smart move for a cash-strapped country like Malaysia, since Chromebooks are simple to use (there’s no real OS), boot instantly and are relatively low-cost — not to mention, GApps are free. And for Google, it’s a really great way to bolster adoption.
Source: Official Google Blog
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Chinese Ministry Critical Of Android’s Dominance — But How Much Power Does Google Really Have In China?
China’s technology Ministry is worried about the dominance of Google’s Android platform, according to Reuters. The news agency links to a whitepaper authored by the research arm of China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology which contains the above graph — so it’s not difficult to see what the Ministry’s issue is: Android has grown from a standing start in 2008 to saturate the local market, taking 72.4 per cent in Q3 2012 (Gartner sourced data).
According to Reuters, the Ministry’s whitepaper is critical of China’s dependency on a platform it argues is ultimately controlled by Mountain View. “Our country’s mobile operating system research and development is too dependent on Android. While the Android system is open source, the core technology and technology roadmap is strictly controlled by Google,” the whitepaper states.
It also claims that Google has deliberately impeded the progress of some Chinese companies seeking to develop their own operating systems (presumably by forking Android) by delaying code sharing, and accuses Google of using commercial agreements to restrain the business development of mobile devices of these companies. The paper goes on to pile praise on homegrown companies such as Alibaba, Baidu and Huawei for creating their own systems.
Google declined to comment on the allegations in the whitepaper when contacted by TechCrunch.
Alibaba’s Aliyun OS was going to be used by Acer to power a Chinese smartphone planned for launch last year — but cancelled, at least in part, after Google intervened. (Google argued that Acer was building what it described as a “non-compatible” Android device, having previously committed to building compatible devices.) Presumably this is the sort of commercial pressure the whitepaper is critical of.
Alibaba also declined to comment on the Chinese whitepaper when contacted by Techcrunch.
Another graph in the whitepaper pegs the Aliyun OS’s share of the 2012 Chinese market at around one per cent — versus 86.4 per cent for Android:
Reuters speculates that the Chinese government could be planning to impose regulations on Android to try to rein it in and give Chinese companies a chance to take some a greater share. That could also be good news for smaller foreign players such as Finnish startup Jolla, which is using the MeeGo open source OS as the foundation of its new Sailfish platform. Jolla is targeting its debut smartphone at China first, as well as setting up a base in Hong Kong to build an alliance around Sailfish. It has also attracted investment from China.
The smartphone market in China is undoubtedly huge — Jolla’s CEO describes it as a “300 million device market”. China also passed the U.S. as the world’s top country for active Android and iOS smartphones and tablets last month so it’s also a growing market. But while Android undoubtedly dominates the OS landscape not all Chinese Android-powered device are equal since a large proportion of homegrown mobile makers heavily customise Android and do not carry any of the standard Google services such as its Play store.
Analyst Enders Analysis created the below chart last year depicting Android page view data, sourced from Baidu, which illustrates how smaller Chinese device makers are increasingly dominating China’s device landscape — accounting for 39 per cent of the page views on Baidu properties in September 2012 vs just 22 per cent for the otherwise globally dominant Android OEM Samsung:
“Almost none” of the ‘other’ category of devices in this chart have Google services on them, according to Enders analyst Benedict Evans — so you could say that while Google’s platform is huge in China, Google itself may have far less influence than Android’s spread suggests because such a large swathe of locally made Androids are cut off from its services and thus can’t generate advertising sales for Mountain View.
In a recent blog post discussing Google’s failure to deliver any Android activation data since September 2012, Evans also notes that: “The great majority of Android devices sold in China, which are probably a third of total Android sales, come with no Google services installed, including no Google Play, and hence are not even included in Google’s activation numbers, since signing into Google Play is what counts as ‘activation’.”
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Previously this month an Egyptian court ordered that YouTube be blocked for 30 days as penalty for hosting Innocence of Muslims, an anti-Islam video that prompted riots when it spread out across the web last year. Nevertheless, it appears cutting off access to the country’s population of 79 million is too tall of a task for Egypt’s telecoms ministry. It’s submitted an appeal to the initial court ruling citing the high technical expenses that would come with accomplishing a temporary YouTube blackout.
Advocacy team Organization for Freedom of Idea and Expression (AFTE) has actually also appealed the February 9th court order, describing the request as “a cumulative punishment of all YouTube and Google service users.” “Prohibiting these sites will …
Iran’s Ministry of Petroleum and a number of affiliated companies were hit with a malware attack on Sunday, the ministry confirmed. Production equipment at several locations was taken offline as a precaution, including at the Kharg Island oil terminal, where 90 percent of oil exports are handled. While an oil ministry spokesman said the attack “had not caused significant damage,” it wasn’t completely ineffectual. The BBC reports the attack took the oil ministry and national oil company websites offline, and that some of the sites’ user data was stolen. Iran’s core data on oil production is safe, however, since it’s housed offline and therefore much less accessible to attackers. Following the attack a “cyber crisis management committee”…
The world got a first glimpse of “world’s first spherical flying machine” back in June this year, but its maker, Japan’s Ministry of Defense, decided it’s time to showcase it publicly a few days ago in Tokyo. And as you can see in the video embedded below, their ball drone is pretty awesome.
The drone can stand still in mid-air, fly vertically and horizontally through narrow spaces at up to 60km/h, and (which is very cool) keep on moving when it hits the ground or a wall. Thanks to three gyro sensors in its body, the machine can keep also flying even if it’s hit by an obstacle.
What’s also impressive is that the drone is made of spare parts that cost just US$ 1,400 in total.
Here’s the video (in English, shot by DigInfo TV in Tokyo):
Continue reading Japan’s Ministry of Defense shows off flying surveillance drone
Ouch. Ministry of Sound, the British record label that’s perhaps most famous for its annual compilation, conveniently titled The Annual, says it cannot move forward with planed lawsuits against alleged file-sharers. And why cannot it move forward? Because the primary ISP targeted, BT, has deleted 80 percent of the data that would have been necessary for the lawsuits to commence. Hence, ouch.
BT has apologized for deleting the data, and it has promised to do all that it can to assist Ministry of Sound in the future, but right now? Its hands are tied.
Well, more accurately, it has no hands to even be tied, so whatever.
I was always more if a Global Underground myself, but you pretty much cannot double-click while online and not run into a Ministry of Sound album.
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Props to Engadget