Thursday, February 4, 2010

Symbian Mobile OS Goes Open Source

The Symbian mobile operating system is the world's most widely used smartphone platform. On Thursday, the Nokia-backed organization that controls the code took a step to further increase its popularity. The Symbian Foundation said its Symbian OS is now fully open source and open to contributions from developers around the world. As open source software, Symbian can now be used or modified by developers "for any purpose," the Foundation said, "whether that be for a mobile device or for something else entirely."

"The development community is now empowered to shape the future of the mobile industry, and rapid innovation on a global scale will be the result," said Symbian Foundation director Lee Williams, in a statement.

Nokia bought out Symbian for about $410 million in 2008 with an eye to bringing the OS into the open source community. Symbian gives phone manufacturers an alternative to commercial mobile operating systems such as Microsoft's Windows Mobile. Symbian held about 47% of the worldwide smartphone OS market last year. Research in Motion's Blackberry was second, with a 20% stake, and Windows Mobile third with 12.4% of the market.

All 108 packages containing the source code of the Symbian platform can now be downloaded from Symbian’s developer web site (, under the terms of the Eclipse Public License and other open source licenses. Also available for download are the complete development kits for creating applications (the Symbian Developer Kit) and mobile devices (the Product Development Kit). These kits are compatible with Symbian^3, the very latest version of the platform, which is now fully open source and will be "feature complete" during Q1 of this year.

Read more about this migration to Open Source on the official Symbian Foundation website, in the News & Media section.

Google Apps gets more IT-friendly

Google Apps become more IT-friendly today with the addition of new security features for iPhone, Nokia, and Windows Mobile users. The new features allow administrators to enforce password requirements and remotely wipe data from mobile devices.

"With this change, Google Apps Premier and Education Edition administrators will be able to manage their users' iPhone, Nokia E series, and Windows Mobile devices right from the Google Apps administrative control panel, without deploying any additional software or having to manage dedicated enterprise mobile servers," wrote Bryan Mawhinney, a Google software engineer, in an announcement posted Wednesday on the company's Enterprise Blog.

These new mobile device management capabilities will allow administrators to:
  • Remotely wipe all data from lost or stolen mobile devices
  • Lock idle devices after a period of inactivity
  • Require a device password on each phone
  • Set minimum lengths for more secure passwords
  • Require passwords to include letters, numbers and punctuation

These features will be accessible from the 'Mobile' tab under 'Service Settings' in the Google Apps control panel. Once a user starts syncing their devices with Google Apps, the domain administrator will be able to remotely wipe device data, right from the user settings page. These policies will let employees access their data from their phone while helping IT administrators easily control access to corporate data on mobile devices.

Read the official article on the Official Google Enterprise Blog

Friday, January 29, 2010

Samsung Electronics First to Begin Mass Producing 3D TV Panels

The 3D experience is one step closer to "invading" your personal home space. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd announced that it has become the first company to commence mass production of panels for 3D LED TVs and 3D LCD TVs.

“Samsung Electronics aims to lead the global 3D TV panel market in pioneering panel mass production for 3D LED and LCD TVs” said Wonkie Chang, president of the LCD Business at Samsung Electronics.

The company began producing LED and LCD compatible panels for 40-inch, 46-inch and 55-inch full-HD 3D TVs using ‘3D Active Glasses’ this month, employing Samsung’s exclusive true 240Hz technology. Samsung’s true 240Hz technology delivers full-HD viewing in 2D, and also smooth, natural, full-HD 3D images that can vividly capture rapid movements. Operating at 240 frames per second, Samsung’s panels deliver a more lifelike picture with alternating left and right eye images through the use of 3D Active Glasses technology.

Samsung’s new 3D Active Glasses technology first blocks the left and then right lens, causing a momentary lag when images are shown to each eye to achieve more lifelike 3D images. The term, 3D Active Glasses, was selected as an official term by the Glasses Standardization Working Group of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) earlier this year. The polarized glass method previously used in 3D glasses produced separate images for the left and right eyes, resulting in half the resolution of two-dimensional pictures as only half of the screen can be viewed through each polarized filter. Brightness was also lowered because of the polarized filter.

According to DisplaySearch, a market research firm, the 3D display market is expected to grow from $902 million in 2008 to $22 billion in 2018. Specifically, the 3D TV market is expected to expand to a $17-billion market, with sales increasing from 200,000 units in 2009 to 64 million units 2018. But who knows, that could be a lot more a lot faster. I know I'm dying to get one of those.