1x77: Wax Cylinder Coming Soon

Jeremy Garcia, Stuart Langridge, Jono Bacon and Bryan Lunduke present Bad Voltage, in which three idiots fail to recognise the glory of having the theme tune from The League Of Gentlemen as one's ringtone, we create Garcia's Law, and:

  • 00:02:01 Google have long been a player in the chat or IM ecosystem. But just lately their approach in this area seems to be getting more and more confused. What's the deal, big G? You've got Allo and Duo and GTalk and Hangouts... what's the end goal here?
  • 00:24:33 Open sourcing your hardware. Kyle from OpenMYR, who are currently kickstartering wifi-controllable motors, asks the BV team: are we doing the right thing, publishing the hardware source for our creations? When's the right time to open your hardware: before it exists, after it exists, or never? We look into the question and give some thoughts

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Have you guys heard of the Arduino? It’s a single board computer popular amongst electronics enthusiasts. It’s fully open source both hardware and software. The original a great product and comes with a detailed set of manuals including schematics and details of how to program it including library functions.

There are lots clones of this product so its not the case that people are unlikely to just copy the product. In most cases the clone consists of the populated board and a wall-wart power supply and nothing else. In many cases the PCB is copied to the point that it still has the Arduino logo printed on the silk screen of the PCB though others have been re-branded.

I suspect this is because by not supplying any documentation the clones can be sold at a significantly lower cost than the original. Personally if were going to release open source hardware (or software) I would at least wait until I knew it worked before publishing if not until I released the product

I think you perhaps didn’t highlight in the discussion that often companies actively want their old products to die, example, Microsoft and Windows XP. If it was open source and there was still the odd community update going into it, not only would the brand image of Microsoft be at the mercy of “some other guys” but they might have to actively compete with their own older products. I know this is about hardware but I think the same thing applies.

Another example is the game my portrait is from, StarCraft. The original game got a big following and a competitive scene, Blizzard (the authors) got into a fight with the South Koreans ministry of culture over how much power Blizzard had. Ultimately because the game was easily hacked and modded, servers replicated etc Blizzard lost control of the scene. Then they release a second game some 10 years later (intent on preventing their previous “mistakes” its very locked to their servers, no LAN play etc), they simply can’t make a dent on the initial scene despite loads of cash and publicity, the second game is in its death throws and the original now is 18 years old and going strong. Inertia is a powerful force.

On the other hand ID did exactly as you suggest previously without any ill effect with the whole ioquake thing. Anyway, three software examples but again, I think hardware would be the same. I wouldn’t be stunned if an open hardware nintendo gameboy or whatever came out, then nintendo really had problems getting people to upgrade to their next device for example.

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At the next Bad Voltage LIVE I suggest each of you gets a roll of tin foil. Then whenever @bryanlunduke goes off on one of his Big Brother is after me (and Cory)! rants whomever he interrupts gets to wrap a piece of foil around him. I suspect by the end of the show he will look like a crinkley version of the T-1000 Terminator!

Other than that, another great show!

Personally I’ve given up on Google’s chat systems, and messengers in general. EVERYONE has SMS (even my parents) so that’s my default chat app. I use MightyText to send SMS from my computer and tablet, so from my perspective SMS is fully multi-platform! Also, up here in the Great White North (land of the loonie, and twonie) most people have unlimited SMS but limited/expensive data in their mobile plans.

And you forgot to mention the Google chat system built into Google Docs, etc. That pretty much proves @jeremy’s Law that every app expands until eventually it becomes a chat app!

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Re: Google chat apps
Allo is pretty much a direct competitor for WhatsApp which has a huge install base in South Asia. Google thinks they can compete by following the same model (ie. sign up with your phone number) for some reason. I don’t think they really intend Allo to replace Hangouts. The Assistant integration gives them a way to advertise in Allo which is something WhatsApp hasn’t really done yet.

I’d say Duo is meant to compete with FaceTime, but I have never used FaceTime and don’t know how it works.

Love Jeremy’s summary of the Google messenger ecosystem.

@jonobacon “there’s one email; gmail”. What about Inbox? :slight_smile:

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And now there’s another Google chat system - the RCS Jibe platform, https://blog.google/products/android/partnering-global-carriers-upgrade-sms/

Theoretically this is a standard that will replace SMS but at this point it’s Google/Android on Sprint only.

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