Merry Linux Christmas 2013!

It was a Linux-y Christmas for everyone this year!

2013: A Linux Christmas

ZDNet – By Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols – “Sales information for the 2013 holidays shows another successful season for Amazon. That’s no surprise. What may surprise some is how often Linux-powered electronics appeared at the top of Amazon buyers’ list.

Of course, Amazon’s top tablet sellers were its own house-brand, the Android Linux-powered Kindle Fire HD; the Kindle Fire HDX 7′; and the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9′. Amazon states that ‘Cyber Monday holiday shopping weekend was the best ever for Kindle Fire tablets and Kindle e-readers.’

A closer look at Amazon tablet sales shows Android powered all of the top ten selling tablets. Other than Amazon’s own tablets, the top ten sellers were low-end, sub-$100 7″ tablets from Chromo and Tablet Express/Dragon Touch, along with Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 3.

Apple? Microsoft? They came in at 11 and 12, respectively, with Apple’s low-end 16GB iPad mini and Microsoft’s 32GB Surface RT.

For laptops, Chromebooks were big winners. That’s also no shocker. Even before the holiday buying season really kicked in, the NPD Group found that Chromebooks ‘accounted for 21 percent of all [preconfigured] notebook sales, up from negligible share in the prior year, and 8 percent of all computer and tablet sales through November. It’s up from one tenth of a percent in 2012.’

The Samsung Chromebook; ASUS Transformer Book T100; and Acer Chromebook led the Amazon buyers’ list. The Chromebooks are low-end, affordable systems. The ranking of the Windows 8.1-powered Transformer Book is interesting because as far as I can tell, it’s the first bestselling “laptop” that is a hybrid laptop/tablet.

Overall, Amazon’s top 10 laptop list included four Chromebooks and six Windows systems. Apple? You have to drop all the way to number 15 to find a MacBook.

Then there are the TVs. TVs you ask? Yes. Smart TVs often are powered by Linux.

On Amazon’s top-selling TV list we find the Samsung 32″ Smart LED HTD, Samsung 40″ LED HDTV; 22″, and Samsung Slim LED HDTV. The first two of these are Linux-powered Smart TVs. In fact, almost all Samsung Smart TVs have Linux in their circuits.

Looking more broadly at Amazon’s best selling electronics gear we see a lot of Linux. The number-one-selling electronic device is the Google Chromecast, which runs a mix of Android and Chrome OS. It’s followed by the Roku 3 streaming media player. This, like the rest of the Roku line, has Linux under the hood.

Without a doubt 2013 is Linux’s most successful showing yet in a holiday sales season. Next year, as Linux moves more deeply into low-end laptops, tablets, and consumer electronics, it should do even better.”

Dr. Bill.TV #320 – Video – “The Mystery 4 Chromebook Edition!”

Ubuntu phones coming next year, GSotW: Allcast for Android, a Facebook discussion about Chromebooks and the future of computing, Amazon has best holiday season ever, Prime tops 20 million, Chromebooks give Microsoft heartburn, Facebook is dead to teens!

A “hands-on” demo of the Acer C720P Chromebook.

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

International Association of Internet Broadcasters

Blubrry Network

Dr. Bill Bailey.NET

Allcast for Android in the Google Play Store


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Dr. Bill.TV #320 – Audio – “The Mystery 4 Chromebook Edition!”

Ubuntu phones coming next year, GSotW: Allcast for Android, a Facebook discussion about Chromebooks and the future of computing, Amazon has best holiday season ever, Prime tops 20 million, Chromebooks give Microsoft heartburn, Facebook is dead to teens!

A “hands-on” demo of the Acer C720P Chromebook.

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

International Association of Internet Broadcasters

Blubrry Network

Dr. Bill Bailey.NET

Allcast for Android in the Google Play Store


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Available on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/82860802


Facebook is Dead to Teens

I have noticed that younger users are leaving Facebook to us old fogies. “Hey, kid, get off my lawn!” Yeah, right!

Facebook ‘dead and buried to teens’, research finds

The Guardian – “Facebook is ‘dead and buried’ to older teenagers, an extensive European study has found, as the key age group moves on to Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat.

Researching the Facebook use of 16-18 year olds in eight EU countries, the Global Social Media Impact Study found that as parents and older users saturate Facebook, its younger users are shifting to alternative platforms.

‘Facebook is not just on the slide – it is basically dead and buried,’ wrote Daniel Miller, lead anthropologist on the research team, who is professor of material culture of University College London.

‘Mostly they feel embarrassed to even be associated with it. Where once parents worried about their children joining Facebook, the children now say it is their family that insists they stay there to post about their lives.’

Teens do not care that alternative services are less functional and sophisticated, and they also unconcerned about how information about them is being used commercially or as part of surveillance practice by the security services, the research found.

‘What appears to be the most seminal moment in a young person’s decision to leave Facebook was surely that dreaded day your mum sends you a friend request,’ wrote Miller.

‘It is nothing new that young people care about style and status in relation to their peers, and Facebook is simply not cool anymore.’

In part of the study’s research with Italian Facebook users, 40% of users had never changed their privacy settings and 80% said they ‘were not concerned or did not care’ if their personal data was available and accessed, either by an organisation or an individual.

Information that people choose to publish on Facebook has generally been through a psychological filtering process, researchers found – unlike conversations, photos and video shared through more private tools such as Skype, or on mobile apps.

‘Most individuals try to present themselves online the way they think society is expecting them to,’ wrote contributing anthropologist Razvan Nicolescu on Thursday.

‘It seems that social media works not towards change – of society, notions of individuality and connectedness, and so on – but rather as a conservative force that tends to strengthen the conventional social relations and to reify society as Italians enjoy and recognize it.

‘The normativity of the online presence seems to be just one expression of this process.'”

It’s Been a Very Chromebook Christmas This Year!

As you know, I love my Chromebook that I got for Christmas this year. I have been playing with it, and it is AWESOME! But, it does my heart even more good to know that it is chaffing Microsoft! Hee!

Chromebooks’ success punches Microsoft in the gut

Computerworld – “Chromebooks had a very good year, according to retailer Amazon.com and industry analysts.

And that’s bad news for Microsoft.

The pared-down laptops powered by Google’s browser-based Chrome OS have surfaced this year as a threat to ‘Wintel,’ the Microsoft-Intel oligarchy that has dominated the personal-computer space for decades with Windows machines.

On Thursday, Amazon.com called out a pair of Chromebooks — one from Samsung, the other from Acer — as two of the three best-selling notebooks during the U.S. holiday season. The third: Asus’ Transformer Book, a Windows 8.1 ‘2-in-1′ device that transforms from a 10.1-in. tablet to a keyboard-equipped laptop.

As of late Thursday, the trio retained their lock on the top three places on Amazon’s best-selling-laptop list in the order of Acer, Samsung and Asus. Another Acer Chromebook, one that sports 32GB of on-board storage space — double the 16GB of Acer’s lower-priced model — held the No. 7 spot on the retailer’s top 10.

Chromebooks’ holiday success at Amazon was duplicated elsewhere during the year, according to the NPD Group, which tracked U.S. PC sales to commercial buyers such as businesses, schools, government and other organizations.

By NPD’s tallies, Chromebooks accounted for 21% of all U.S. commercial notebook sales in 2013 through November, and 10% of all computers and tablets. Both shares were up massively from 2012; last year, Chromebooks accounted for an almost-invisible two-tenths of one percent of all computer and tablet sales.

Stephen Baker of NPD pointed out what others had said previously: Chromebooks have capitalized on Microsoft’s stumble with Windows 8. ‘Tepid Windows PC sales allowed brands with a focus on alternative form factors or operating systems, like Apple and Samsung, to capture significant share of a market traditionally dominated by Windows devices,’ Baker said in a Monday statement.

Part of the attraction of Chromebooks is their low prices: The systems forgo high-resolution displays, rely on inexpensive graphics chipsets, include paltry amounts of RAM — often just 2GB — and get by with little local storage. And their operating system, Chrome OS, doesn’t cost computer makers a dime.

The 11.6-in. Acer C720 Chromebook, first on Amazon’s top-10 list Thursday, costs $199, while the Samsung Chromebook, at No. 2, runs $243. Amazon prices Acer’s 720P Chromebook, No. 7 on the chart, at $300.

The prices were significantly lower than those for the Windows notebooks on the retailer’s bestseller list. The average price of the seven Windows-powered laptops on Amazon’s top 10 was $359, while the median was $349. Meanwhile, the average price of the three Chromebooks was $247 and the median was $243, representing savings of 31% and 29%, respectively.

In many ways, Chromebooks are the successors to ‘netbooks,’ the cheap, lightweight and underpowered Windows laptops that stormed into the market in 2007, peaked in 2009 as they captured about 20% of the portable PC market, then fell by the wayside in 2010 and 2011 as tablets assumed their roles and full-fledged notebooks closed in on netbook prices.”

Amazon Sales During Christmas Season Sets Records!

Wow! Amazon had a great Christmas sales season!

Amazon Prime tops 20 million members as company touts its best holiday season ever

Geekwire – “Amazon is exiting the 2013 holiday season with ‘tens of millions’ of Amazon Prime members, according to a statement this morning from CEO Jeff Bezos — signaling that the company has reached at least 20 million members for its $79/year subscription program.

Overall, Amazon says the 2013 holiday season was its ‘best ever,’ with more than 36.8 million items ordered on Cyber Monday alone. It isn’t a surprise that the holiday season set a new record, given the steady growth in e-commerce sales worldwide. The company didn’t disclose sales figures, so the full impact won’t be apparent until Amazon reports fourth-quarter earnings.

Bezos’ Amazon Prime statement, however, is significant because it’s the closest the company has come to giving an official count for its annual membership program. An an estimate by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners put the total at more than 16 million as of Sept. 30, but Amazon usually keeps the official number under wraps.

Amazon said in a news release, ‘Prime was so popular this holiday, that Amazon limited new Prime membership signups during peak periods to ensure service to current members was not impacted by the surge in new membership.’

One potential factor in that surge: Amazon’s decision this fall to raise the limit for free Super Saver Shipping (for non-Prime members) from $25 to $35, which may have caused more customers to consider Prime membership, for its core benefit of free shipping.

The growth in Prime membership has meaningful implications for the company, given the key role that Amazon Prime plays in generating repeat business and customer loyalty for Amazon. Prime members receive free two-day shipping on eligible items, in addition to Prime Instant Video streaming and Kindle book borrowing.

Amazon said this morning that it added 1 million Amazon Prime members during the third week of December alone, in the build-up to Christmas.

‘Amazon Prime membership continues to grow, and we now have tens of millions of members worldwide. They benefit from all-you-can-eat free two-day shipping on millions of eligible items and our members have a voracious appetite,’ said Bezo in Amazon’s post-Christmas news release this morning. ‘We are extremely grateful to our customers around the world and wish everyone the very best for the coming year.’

The company noted that a record number of Prime items were shipped on Amazon’s peak shopping day. That was part of an overall spike in shipments that overwhelmed UPS and FedEx, causing delays in some Christmas packages.

A company spokeswoman said via email this morning, ‘Amazon fulfillment centers processed and tendered customer orders to delivery carriers on time for holiday delivery. We are reviewing the performance of the delivery carriers.'”

A Facebook Conversation on Chromebooks

I recently posted that I got a Chromebook C720P for Christmas, and that I was excited, and a Facebook Friend sent me some questions, here’s how the discussion went…


Facebook Friend:
Hi Doc… last week I was looking at the Samsung Chromebook (Acer and Samsung) and I’m still hesitating a little on it. Now you show up talking all excited about it. Tell more about it. I understand you’ve got the Acer. Do you like it better than the Samsung? Is that the one around $250? I’m asking this cause I saw one on line (think it was Samsung) for around $800+. Give me your best thoughts.

Dr. Bill:
This one, the Acer C720P, has a touchscreen. Before this, to get a Chromebook with a touchscreen was $1400.00 – this one is high end, fast, and has a touchscreen, but it is only $299.00 on Amazon. It is REALLY nice if you “live” in the Google-sphere. I also have a Google Nexus 10 tablet and a Google Chromecast on my TV, so I am pretty into Google tech. I am working toward seeing if I can do all my computing for a week just off the Chromebook. Quite a challenge for me as much computer related work as I do. It is very fast, and comes up nearly instantly!

Facebook Friend:
Thank you, appreciate the info. Just one more question if you don’t mind… lately I’ve seen some laptops with touchscreen. Honestly, I don’t like it. To me it doesn’t make any sense… but I could be wrong. Educate me on this.

Dr. Bill:
I know what you mean. “They,” the designers of such things, are pushing us to a touchscreen world, because the prevailing theory is that the future of computing is tablet-like devices. According to these folks we are now in a “post-PC” era (Google that phrase for more discussion.) I believe that Cloud PC technology like the Chromebook can be a viable platform… but, I also wanted to have the option to move toward the “touch-screen” future that they are predicting… hedge my bet, so to speak. Also, if the Chrome OS experience is not as viable as I think it will be, I can install Ubuntu Linux on it, and have a nice touch-screen Linux laptop. That’s the plan, anyway!

Oh, forgot to mention that the 720 (without the “P”) is 50 bucks less and does not have a touchscreen.

Facebook Friend:
Thanks for the insight. Also reminds me some… close to 30 years… and my first cellphone (from the company I was working for,) was one of those huge ones that you could use in the car or carry all those pounds. And the whole thing was basically just the battery. In those days people started talking about what we have today. That really sounded like it was a Dick Tracy thing. It really made no sense at all.
A few years back, I would say some 15 years, I heard people talking about “in the future” computers with no Hard Drive. Everything would workout from a big computer installed somewhere. Again… no sense at all. And look where we are now!


The bottom line is, things are always changing, and we have to be open to change… that’s how we stay current with the directions that things are moving toward. So, join me for the adventure ahead in computing!

Geek Software of the Week: Allcast for Android!

Do you want to stream content, a la Chromecast from your Android tablet, phone, etc. to most DNLA supported devices (this includes Roku, Apple TV, etc.)? Well, now you can! Koushik Dutta, from ClockworkMod has posted a new app in the Google Play store! Here’s a video on how it works:

And, if you “have to have it” here’s the link to the Play Store for the app:

Allcast for Android in the Google Play Store

I know, this Geek Software of the Week is different, but, expand your mind!

Ubuntu Phones Are Coming Soon!

Well, the crowd-funding effort may have failed, but it demonstrated a desire on the part of uber-geeks for an Ubuntu phone, so… guess what? Ubuntu is making arrangements to… “Make it so!”

Ubuntu Touch OS phones coming from unnamed OEM next year

The Verge – “Canonical’s Ubuntu Touch operating system will be headed to mobile phones made by a mystery hardware manufacturer, the company said today. Speaking to CNET, founder Mark Shuttleworth said Canonical’s made an agreement with an unnamed smartphone maker to get the operating system on ‘high-end’ phones sometime next year. If this sounds like a broken record, you’re not mistaken. Back in January, Canonical promised devices running a standalone version of Ubuntu by early next year, a goal that went off track when crowdfunding for the company’s Edge smartphone hardware missed badly. The operating system that would have powered it lives on though, and Shuttleworth now says the company is currently in high-level discussions with at least four additional major phone makers to get Ubuntu Touch devices out the door.

Canonical is one of several companies fighting for what’s become a very fierce battle over mobile operating system market. Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS collectively run the devices used by the majority of smartphone users, while Microsoft, Blackberry, and others duke it out for the rest. Canonical is joined by other companies, including Samsung which also has a Linux-based operating system called Tizen, as well as Mozilla, which launched the first Firefox OS devices back in April.”

Dr. Bill.TV #319 – Video – “The Santa Claus Tech News Edition!”

Microsoft Office 365 bug allows hackers to steal credentials, SuSE Linux does ‘What Does the Chameleon Say?’, Picard sings, ‘Let in Snow!’ sort of… Lastpass needs Chrome grant! GSotW: Jaksta! Roku has a real, official YouTube app in the Channel Store!

Links that pertain to this Netcast:

TechPodcasts Network

International Association of Internet Broadcasters

Blubrry Network

Dr. Bill Bailey.NET

Jaksta – Download Video & Music from YouTube and 100,000+ Other Sites!


Start the Video Netcast in the Blubrry Video Player above by
clicking on the “Play” Button in the center of the screen.

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Available on YouTube at: http://youtu.be/89xsQfsdxL4

Available on Vimeo at: https://vimeo.com/82492968


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