My gPhone Predictions Were Awesome [thanks deep throat]

Duncan Riley, my buddy over at the Inquisitr, along with many others have said openly or privately to me that the gPhone (or whatever it’s going to get called this morning) is not an iPhone killer. Let me preface what I’m about to say with this: the gPhone is likely going to end up being the first mobile phone I’ve felt compelled to purchase in four years. That said, I completely agree.  Let me quote myself from last year (circa August last year): I talked to one of my inside sources at Google today. He spoke on conditions of anonymity, but the guy is someone I trust implicitly. He said that he was baffled at Google’s apparent internal confusion on the GPhone issue – that they’ve actually demo’ed the thing in public before. He said that the Google (applications) Suite is going to play a huge role in the usability of the GPhone, and the thought process behind it’s functionality is less about beating the iPhone and more about beating the $100 Laptop, which provides a huge clue behind what will be the pricing structure on this. My friend later clarified (and I included this in subsequent posts) that the gPhone/Android initiative isn’t really in direct competition with anyone, but it’s aimed to be a low cost internet access point with a pricepoint closer to the OLPC than the iPhone. Consider at the time that the OLPC was edging closer to $200, while the iPhone was pushing $600. All in all, not too many off base points! I’m actually pretty impressed with the accuracy of the info he handed...

Hey There, gPhone Enthusiasts

I had forgotten exactly how much traffic posting about the gPhone could bring (or Android, or the Dream, or whatever the term du jour is). I had my biggest traffic day in over a year here at my personal blog.  A lot of folks linked me on the images, so to those of you coming in from Gizmodo, Boy Genius Reports, JKOnTheRun, and InformationWeek (as well as the tons of other smaller but no less important blogs that linked me), thanks to you. I would pledge thanks to TechCrunch/CrunchGear, who ran my pictures, but they don’t know how to link properly. They ran the picture with my URL in the caption, but linked to my Utterli post. I’m not surprised, but am somewhat disappointed. Rather than give them any undeserved linkjuice, I’ll return the favor and just paste the text of their URL in this post rather than hyperlink to them: http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/09/19/htc-dream-g1-handset-in-the-wild/. If you’re into gadgets, this isn’t a specifically gadget focused blog, so it may not be your cup of tea to stick around.  We do, however, occasionally talk about robots (because robots are just frickin’ cool), convergence devices like eReaders, and the gPhone (because I was the one who broke the story on it last year). If your into sticking things into your RSS reader, jam in these two feeds: http://feeds.feedburner.com/rizzncom and http://feeds.feedburner.com/rizzn-video. That’s it. Back to your regularly scheduled...

gPhone Spotted in the Wild!

Yesterday, I teased some photos of the gPhone spotted out in the wild, and today I deliver. The official release date of the Android-powered T-Mobile Dream is the 23 of this month (a day quickly approaching – http://mashable.com/…ember-23/). One of my super secret spies at Google just happened to trade contact information with someone who admitted that the phone in his hand was the rumored Dream. Most of the details of the plans and specs are publicly available in various spots around the blogosphere, as are some leaked photos, but it would appear that there are a few of these roaming the wild and in regular use, particularly in day-to-day use as the fellow in questionused it for what appeared to be his primary phone. On the larger image, zooming in shows a bit of a peek at the interface, but from what I can tell it isn’t significantly different from screenshots I’ve seen elsewhere. Who’s excited to grab one of these? At a price point fabled to be under $200, I know I am. Mobile post sent by rizzn using Utterli.  Replies. Update: From the comments, a video that shows the interface in more...

I know what animal you're thinking of.

Hey Rizzn–ites, Have you ever played 20 Questions with a computer or small orb? If so, you know that computers and technology, are very capable of predicting what we’ll say and what we’re thinking. How does it do it? Greg Blonder, who we interviewed on the show about a month ago, posted on Internet Evolution today not asking how it does it, but noting how it doesn’t, and posing a work-a-round for poor predictive technology. I’ve chatted with Greg a few times, and he’s a great guy to talk to, but I don’t know him well enough to know exactly how much of an AI fan he is. I am a fan of AI. I’m an AI nut. One of my big fantasies (given enough cash and computing cycles, one that I think is realistic), is to create a truly sentient (at least by Alan Turing‘s standards) AI. Greg gives a couple examples of how current predictive technology falls short: Search engines, and their contextual ads: “Search engine companies believe that they can target ads more efficiently based on invading my privacy and analyzing my last hundred search queries and emails — and thus charge a premium for each ad served. But last week, while I was seeking information on car recalls, I was flooded by ads to buy the very same lemon from the same company I was investigating.” Piracy: “The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) snoops around our computers to see what music files we’re posting and trying to guess our intent. Do we own the track we posted, and are we just backing it up...

gPhone: 30 pre-Beta Tests Underway

Hey Rizzn-ites and gPhone Hounds, Last week I picked up a stray bit from a LiveJournaler about there being 30 rumored pre-beta gPhones wandering around in Mountain View California. Blogger Michael Bazeley recounts an experience he had in an Emeryville Apple store several days ago: So I’m standing in the Emeryville Apple store today trying to troubleshoot a problem with a sales rep when a young woman bolts up to us saying she wants an iPhone. Like, now. After some back-and-forthing about the particulars, she says she’s a Google employee and she was going to wait for a demo of the gPhone, but it turns out Google’s only letting 30 people test it internally and she’s not one of them. So she’s going with the iPhone instead. At which point, the Apple rep and I exchange glances and he says “gPhone? So it’s real, huh?” And the Google gal realizes she’s probably said too much and changes the subject. There you go. By the way, if you’re interested in carrier information, price, and design, check out this post. Want to be part of the Rizzn-ite army? Indoctrination instructions...

gPhone: Belaboring the Point on the NYT Article

Hey Rizzn-ites, I posted a bit yesterday about the NYT piece on the gPhone. The coverage of the NYT analysis has been spun as wrong as it can possibly be, with the grand take-a-way being that there is no gPhone coming. The original article was a bit off in the first place. I actually got an email from Miguel Helft this morning, responding to my analysis of what he said. I’m puzzled that you call this a hit piece. Really? A story that lays out the facts, as I known them, and strategy behind Google’s mobile ambitions and plans. In fact, most readers would probably come away with the notion that loosening carrier control and more competition for are good things. No? As for quoting Google enemies, the one and only source I quoted who is in that camp is Scott Cleland, and I very clearly disclosed his point of view. In fact, the one CEO of a carrier I quoted was Vodafone, by some metrics the largest mobile operator in the world, and a Google ally, since they provide easy access to Google services (unlike US carriers). The problem is, Miguel, that very few facts were reported. The leading items were your unqualified (by any sourcing) analysis, and the quotes from those that would be decidedly out of the Google camp. Karsten Weide? Ex-Yahoo. Dan Olschwang? Potential Google mobile competitor. Arun Sarin? T-Mobile competitor (gPhone carrier). Throughout the article, Miguel and all the quoted sources seemed mystified by the hype. As I stated yesterday, the gPhone promise is what the iPhone used to be, but without the threat...

Google + Jaiku

digg_url = ‘http://www.rizzn.com/2007/10/google-jaiku.asp’;I just found out via C.C. Chapman on Twitter, but it would appear that Jaiku has been purchased by Google! This from the Jaiku FAQ today: Jaiku is joining Google. While it’s too soon to comment on specific plans, we look forward to working with our new friends at Google over the coming months to expand in ways we hope you’ll find interesting and useful. Our engineers are excited to be working together and enthusiastic developers lead to great innovation. We look forward to accomplishing great things together. In order to focus on innovation instead of scaling, we have decided to close new user sign-ups for now. But fear not, all our Jaiku services will stay running the way you are used to and you will be able to invite your friends to Jaiku. We have put together a quick Q&A about the acquisition. Jyri Engeström and Petteri Koponen, Jaiku Founders I guess Leo Laporte was right to bet on Jaiku back when he made the switch. I’ll have to take a second look at the service, since it’ll likely be pitched at me within the next couple months in the form of Google’s new social networking initiative (yeah, bet on that!). @sugree had an interesting observation: zingku+jaiku = google phone. It’s a thought, and it is clearly related to the gPhone. Don’t think it’s the totality of it though, by a longshot. Registration to Jaiku is currently closed, but you can request an invitation from the Jaiku site./rizzn Want to be part of the Rizzn-ite army? Indoctrination instructions...

gPhone: In Defense of Google

Hey Rizzn-ites, Well, if you’re like me, you woke up this morning with an inbox full of emails and a Google reader that pointed to mostly links to the New York Times article on the gPhone. Instead of tapping out thirty or forty replies to emails on my comment on the story, I’m simply going to post here, and refer all the bozos who wrote me back to this article. You can hear me talk about this today on RizWords, daily politics and technology (subscribe for free to listen). Everyone in the new media seems to be taking the New York Times article as if it were gospel, on not a poorly written re-hashing of everything else Crunchgear, Information Week, DigiTimes and I have written previously. Very little primary source research work was done for the article, and everything mentioned as a ‘fact’ about the gPhone, I’ve mentioned previously (to little fanfare) on my blog. The only difference is that the New York Times didn’t attribute me as a source, nor did the even bother to contact me and ask me where I got my facts from. That’s right. I’m saying plagiarism. If not from me, then from the blogosphere in general. That they’ve not checked me out or asked me about anything (or that anyone but the Boston Globe has contacted me from the MSM) to try to get a couple of the rumors they’re reporting as fact correct completely floors me. Here are the first four paragraphs of the NYT article, translated and condensed down to a sentence a piece: Everyone is saying there’s a gPhone coming....

gPhone: Rumored to be in the Wild!

Hey Rizzn-ites and gPhone hounds, Just a bit of gPhone news for the weekend, it has been reported by Alex Lewis over at Network World that Google may have released some ‘pre-beta gPhones into the wild’: Google has reportedly released approximately 30 pre-beta gPhones to current employees for testing. There are a lot of rumors, but if you hang around Mountain View, CA much you may see one in the wild. I was talking to a Googler yesterday but as soon as I asked he quickly shoved the device into his pocket and changed the subject. IF this was one of the fabled Gphones, it appeared similiar in shape to the iPhone, maybe a little thicker, with a bright screen and video. So there ya go, another tasty gPhone rumor snack for you. Carry on! /rizzn Want to be part of the Rizzn-ite army? Indoctrination instructions...

gPhone: Unsubstantiated Rumor

I haven’t spoken with “Deep Throat” in a couple of days, so I’ll have to ask him about this, but I just picked up an unsubstantiated rumor from a student at Rochester Institute of Technology: So apparently Google’s Phone really truly for all times for serious is coming, whether one likes it or not. It seems that there are displays at the Googleplex where people (that is, Google employees) can check it out. It also seems that the phone will be partially ad supported, in the sense that walking around town if you get close enough to some restaurant you will receive […] I’ve heard of something similar in Korea where instead of getting coupons, you get texts whenever one of your friends is within x miles of you. Interesting. I’ll update you later. Gonna go record a show real quick now. /rizzn Want to be part of the Rizzn-ite army? Indoctrination instructions...

gPhone: ExpansysTV demos the possible HTC/gPhone Platform

digg_url = ‘http://www.rizzn.com/2007/10/gphone-final-countdown-starts-here.asp’;As we mentioned yesterday, the new HTC Dual touch has been released. ExpansysTV has released a five minute long YouTube video demonstrating the device. It has been speculated by some that this could be the platform for the new gPhone in development by Google (and my trusted sources at least haven’t denied this could be one of the platforms, either). So, figured you gPhone hounds might be interested in taking a peek. Enjoy. Want to be part of the Rizzn-ite army? Indoctrination instructions...

gPhone: The Final Countdown Starts Here

digg_url = ‘http://www.rizzn.com/2007/10/gphone-final-countdown-starts-here.asp’;Update (11:52 AM CST 10/3/2007): You might be interested in this video demo of the HTC Dual Touch, which is rumored to be the hardware platform for the gPhone. I’d also like to re-iterate that the release dates are less trusted than the details in the main post. I mentioned that the dates I’ve heard have ranged from late Sept to early Oct. I haven’t had any two sources say the same date twice, as I mentioned on the show, as well, so I don’t trust those dates as much as I trust the rest of the details I’ve disclosed. Everyone seems keen to discount me using the dates I mentioned as ‘proof’, so I thought I’d re-iterate the authenticity of specific facts (or lack thereof). In other words, read the entire article in context. Update (8:38 PM CST 10/1/2007): Several people have written in to me with the caveat that after the $400 gPhone is purchased the carrier connection might be subsidized by ads, thus technically free service. No one has said anything that would indicate this explicitly, but then no one has said anything to directly contradict it either. I wouldn’t count on this fact personally, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility. Trust me, though. I’d love it if it was free.Update (5:00 PM CST 10/1/2007): Finally heard back from T-Mobile. A spokesperson who preferred not to be named stated: “…regarding the gPhone, T-Mobile does not comment on rumors or speculation.” Almost verbatim what Google currently says publicly when asked. In response to my queries about data network specifications, the spokesperson said: “…I...

gPhone: Rumor Control.

Hey Rizzn-ites and gPhone hounds… Several folks, most notably these guys at DigiTimes, are talking about the gPhone again. I ran some of the theories past ‘Deep Throat’ over at Google (and remember, you guys named him that, not me). I’m forced to sit on some of the information he gave me for a time being, but I can comment on some of the rumors in broad generalities, as I did on the show last Friday (see episode 135). From the DigiTimes rumors: Although market rumors previously stated that Google is likely to use an EDGE solution developed by Texas Instruments (TI) for its planned handset, recent developments indicate that Google is also evaluating the possibility of launching a 3G handset initially. I’m still waiting on confirmation of some information from a certain American carrier regarding their technology platform, but, as I understand it, Google is past the evaluation stage in development for this iteration of the gPhone in terms of which mobile network they’ll use. Google [may] postpone the launch of the so-called Gphone to the first half of 2008 instead of the latter half of this year as expected due to the change of platform and problems related to licensing… Obviously nothing is set in stone, as the product is still in late-stage development, but it sounds to me that the product will be released sooner, rather than later. Deep Throat didn’t give me an exact date, but other sources tell me that it will be publicly released (not just demo’ed behind an NDA-wall) between 9/27 and 10/5, and released simultaneously (more or less) world-wide. I’m not...

gPhone: Vindicated!

Rizzn-ites! (further discussion on this can be found on Episode 121 of RizWords. Subscribe in iTunes for the first scoops!) Don’t ever doubt me again! When a leak or a confirmation comes from me, you know it’s true! :-p What am I talking about? Obviously you haven’t checked Engadget or your copy of the Boston Globe yet. The gPhone was demo’ed in Boston, according to Scott Kirsner, to: Dan Roth of Nuance, Mike Phillips of Vlingo, Paul Ferri of Matrix Partners, and Murali Aravamudan of Veveo. It’s an interesting assortment of names, and include a lot of names and companies we talk about here on the show. Off that tidbit, what can be assumed? Well, given that Google specializes in search, and has a considerable amount of resources devoted to video and voice recognition (GOOG-411 and Video Search), we can assume they’ll be either trying to incorporate their’s or other’s technology into the device. Additionally, Om Malik came out today with a number of other confirmations on things we already knew here at Rizzn: Google Phone is based on a mobile variant of Linux, and is able to run Java virtual machines. We knew this to be true from Deep Throat… Linux-based kernel. All applications that are supposed to run on the Google Phone are java apps. The OS has ability to run multimedia files, including video clips. We didn’t know that it would have video on it, although it would be rather silly for Google not to include one of it’s leading draws, currently, YouTube in the mix somehow. The Java angle makes me a bit nervous –...

RizWords Weekly Roundup

I’m going to try to highlight a few things from the show this week that I think warrant further discussion. This may or may not become a regular feature. We’ll see how you guys like it. gPhoneDo I really need to say more about this? Check Episode 116 of RizWords (you may need to subscribe to the feed to listen). Also read these two posts. The second one contains links to other interesting coverage. Or just Google gPhone. Everyone’s got an opinion now. Two Unfortunate Investments (originals: here and here).On Thursday we talked about VC put into startups Veveo.TV and Wis.dm. Both Art and I puzzled over the amount of money flowing into these two losers. Wis.dm is basically an expanded form of the comments features on every website on the web, but tries to be the newest Web 2.0 to pull wisdom from the crowds. On Wednesday and Friday, I inaccurately referenced from memory the anecdote of Sir Francis Galton, who was from the 19th century, not the 17th, as I said. The anecdote itself was properly related, though, which can be found in his Wikipedia entry: [T]he crowd at a county fair accurately guessed the butchered or the “slaughtered and dressed” weight of an ox when their individual guesses were averaged (the average was closer to the ox’s true butchered weight than the estimates of most crowd members, and also closer than any of the separate estimates made by cattle experts). The example by which the term is defined dictates that yes or no questions aren’t going to be the type of questions that the crowd displays...

Friday Wrap-Up

Hey, Rizzn-ites. It’s been an odd week for us here at Studio.Rizzn. It would appear that the gPhone story has knocked us onto a lot of people’s radars. There are actually enough people posting here to warrant a bit more attention from me to my blog. I know I’ve broken this promise many times in the past, but I’ll be posting a bit more often around here. And in the spirit of wrapping up the gPhone rumors, I’ll put in writing here what I’ve been trying to put out on the show the last couple of days… I got a call from my friend over at Google (the guy everyone calls ‘Deep Throat’), and he told me that “oops, yeah, um, I should have told you that stuff off-the-record, or not at all, because that demo I was talking about? yeah, it was a private demo, not a public one. Sorry!” On the up side, though, he’s not fired. On a similar note, I’ve finally contacted my old buddy at HTC to try to confirm the rumors CG started about them doing the hardware for the gPhone. Unfortunately, by the time I called him, the lockdown had already initiated. I know the fellow pretty well, so it was unusual for him to be so tightlipped. His exact quotes were “I know nothing,” and “I know only what I read on blogs.” This can be interpreted so many different ways, I’m not even going to try to extrapolate. Mostly, though, I surmise that very possibly the CrunchGear story is correct. Nothing in there directly contradicts anything I’ve heard. So, for...

gPhone Hubbub!

While the world continues to try to figure out whether to believe me and my unnamed source, I’ve got a list of a few of the folks talking about gPhone confirmation. Most folks are seeming to repeat what I say, and accurately interpreting the words, although a couple have taken an aspect of my analysis and skewed it. That’s ok – it’s expected. Since I don’t have any other breaking news today, and my Developing for Facebook story isn’t ready yet, I’m going to round up some of the coverage here. (hey! it’s not every day that the entire blogosphere mentions my name. let me bask in it for a second!) Google alerted me this morning that: Wired said that: Rumor: Google Phone Will Be Linux-Powered, GPS-Loaded and Cheap: “If the murmurs are true, the GPhone cometh in September.” the UK Guardian said that: The gPhone: “Speculation continues about Google’s mobile phone plans.” IntoMobile said that: Google GPhone confirmed as low-cost sub-$100 device: “Rizzn.com has also allegedly confirmed that the Google Phone will be using an ad-based model to help subsidize the cost of the phone – serving up Google ads whenever possible.” [a point of clarification… that’s analysis on my part, not confirmation. There will be ads on the phone, and the price-point is allegedly going to be low, but that one will subsidize the other, it’s just an educated guess on my part] SEOPrincipal said that: Google Phone “Confirmed” – Will Be The Computer For The Poor: “Finally, someone posted something that looks like a reliable confirmation of the coming release of the Google Phone.” [thanks! finally...

GPhone – It's Confirmed

digg_url = ‘http://www.rizzn.com/2007/08/gphone-its-confirmed.asp’; Update: 9:36 AM CST (10/02/207): This is where the update on all the new gPhone confirmations are.Update 5:36 PM CST (8/27/2007): 211 Blog Reactions to the story, according to Technorati. Apparently I struck a chord talking about the what people seemed to have now dubbed it, the “gPhone” (notice the iPhone-style capitalization). At any rate, I encourage you to check out the podcast discussion over at Podango to get the full sense of context of the conversation. It’s around 7-10 minutes into the show or so, but the first story off the top. Since it’s such a big deal and everyone is talking about it now, I’m going to check again with my friend and see if he or someone at the company will make a statement on it. He had mentioned a name (that presently escapes me) that had demo’ed it in the past and that might be willing to speak about it. My goal is to track him down or be given a good reason why he can’t (or won’t) speak to it now. Update 11:33 PM CST (8/27/2007): I spoke to my friend again this evening and told him about everyone’s linking and talking about the story. He was moderately amused, but ask for re-assurance I wouldn’t use his name, which I told him. He gave me the name of the fellow that’s the lead programmer/designer on the gPhone. He’s set to speak with him in the near future, and he’s going to try to casually ask whether or not he was actually supposed to say something about this or not. To re-iterate:...