By Greg Mills
Google's got balls.
That crude statement has a whole rainbow of meanings, depending on who you are.
To Steve Jobs it meant Eric Schmidt, Apple board member and CEO of Google at the time, had stolen the look and feel of iPhone to inspire Android. Apple's thermonuclear legal war was launched. Jobs appeared to be upset.
To Oracle, owner of Java, it means Google intentionally used bits of Java code to get the Android OS working without licensing the software. Will it also mean they fight infringement actions in court and win? Ouch! Now Google wants Oracle to pay Google's attorneys for their time.
To the Federal Trade Commission, it means that the worst offender in high tech abuses of user agreements (other than Facebook) has again been busted. This time Google was fined for tricking Safari into accepting advertising cookies that over rode user preferences to not be tracked.
The long list of examples of Google doing evil could go on until your eyes cross, but, actually, the newest Google balls are black, with a sexy undulating light ring, sort of like cylon robots in Battlestar Glactica. The 4.5-inch flat black balls are called the Google Nexus Q. To see Google's fancy web page selling the new device see http://www.google.com/nexus/#/q .
The slick sphere is sort of an Apple TV device that supports the Google sandbox of music, video and Chrome internet use on TVs and sound systems. The device sports an HDMI port, 10/100BASE-T Ethernet, Micro AB USB, Banana Jack Sound out and Optical Audio out. Wirelessly, it hooks up with BlueTooth and WiFI.
Touted as a social player device controlled by Android phones and tables that are running a special app, the device is actually dumbed down considerably for Google's benefit. Incredibly, the Google Nexus Q amounts to a round Apple TV device for three times the price! That's right, you get to play in Google's electronic playground without even the ability to run music and videos from your own devices or any other.
While currently it takes the latest Android OS to run the Nexus Q Android app, it appears hacking it to run other media is already available. Apple gets browbeaten for trying to keep Apple TV users in its proprietary Internet download stores, but Google has done the same thing.
David Pogue of "The New York Times" tested a Nexus Q and finds the device to be extremely limited and way overpriced. See his savvy review at http://pogue.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/05/the-google-nexus-q-is-baffling/ .
Google has teamed up with both Sony and Visio to put the electronics of the Nexus Q into some large TV sets. What isn't obvious is that the industry is scared spit-less what with Apple preparing to launch in their industry in the near future.
Rumors are all there is to go on, but it appears certain that Google intends to ramp up its entry into the fiber Internet business in places well beyond Kansas City. The fiber that they are running to houses like mine will need to hook up to something to allow the 1Gig internet service to make the last 20-foot gap to computers, TV sets and what ever else they plan to hook up.
I noticed the Nexus Q devices currently announced didn't have a Thunderbolt port. A next generation Nexus Q with the super fast Wi-Fi standard now in beta and a fiber optic input port could actually be the missing box that allows Google to supplant cable Internet modems, cable TV boxes, internet phone and other digital devices they have in mind.
I worry that the cool circulating LED lights on the Nexus Q are actually a hypnosis device that supports the secret Google mind control protocol. If I junk my iPhone and buy an Android phone, please someone, splash cold water on my face and smash the darn Nexus Q. It is very evil!
That is Greg's Bite.