Nevermind the Oculus Rift, I’ll take a Microsoft HoloLens.

The Windows 10 presentation and the Microsoft presentation took me completely by surprise. Windows 10 and the Xbox gaming experience, the nice integration of Steam into the Xbox app and other neat little features. Let’s not forget the Microsoft Surface Hub, all in all not too shabby.

Let’s get back to my main point. Everyone has been all over the Oculus Rift for the last year or so, and VR in general. Recently even Samsung released their version of a VR headset, Gear VR. Personally I think that Gear VR is a complete waste of your money. You are limited to Apps on a closed software eco system and you are limited to one manufacturer, and at the moment one phone. All aboard the fail boat. Also all these VR headsets promise only 1080p resolution split in half, each half for each eye. In an age where UHD televisions will be taking over soon, and where 2560×1440/1600 is pretty much the norm for computer monitors, VR headsets have a little catching up to do. Next gen PC video cards will be able to handle UHD gaming as well. Also I’d like to mention the Canadian equivalent of the Oculus, the Totem VR by a Canadian company from Montreal.

Then there is the fact that VR is very anti-social. You close your senses off to the rest of the world and delve into one just by yourself.

Insert the Microsoft HoloLens. Have a look at the commercial.

This isn’t just a device for entertainment, this is also a collaboration tool. A multipurpose device that uses Augmented Reality (AR) to display computer generated images, and video streams around your home. Microsoft had to actually create a new Processing Unit for this. A processor which measures and calculates your surroundings in order to render images and sounds via the HoloLens and it makes sure they are rendered in the appropriate space. I’m talking about the new HPU or Holographic Processing Unit.

The applications for this processor alone are amazing. New mapping technologies, and new ways to map areas. Imagine a quadrocopter fitted with one of these HPUs sending back telemetry data in real time, you could map and navigate areas that were previously inaccessible to humans. It is said that NASA is using the HoloLens as a collaboration tool for it’s Mars mission.

Surely this is a hit for Microsoft, I personally can not wait to get my hands on one of these devices. I have shifted from contemplating getting a VR headset to most definitively getting a HoloLens. Well played Microsoft. Get your wallets ready.

UPDATE 2016/03/09: Never mind the Hololens, Microsoft over promised and under delivered. The Hololens is a steaming pile of shit. The HTC VIVE came out swinging and I pre-ordered that. Room scale VR is where it’s at at the moment.

Google and Android 4.x.x WebView security problem

So recently Google has been getting nothing but flak from the online community in regards to an existing security issue in Android 4.x.x with the exception of Android 4.4.x (Kitkat). I’ve been watching this problem, and reading about it for the last 2-3 weeks or so.

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Apparently in Kitkat Google overhauled WebView completely, and probably for a good reason. Here is a good read about it. What really surprised me is the fact that professional sites the likes of Ars and others are siding with the hardware manufacturers. Which leads me to believe and confirms my previous suspicions, these hacks know very little about technology or are getting kickbacks from companies.

First they need a lesson on Linux versioning which can be found here. The basics of it… 4.x.x denotes a major revision with new features and major updates, think Windows 7 vs Windows 8. 4.4.x is a minor revision with bug fixes and probable feature additions and fixes, think Windows Service Packs. 4.4.4. is an insignificant update generally associated with bug fixes only, think Windows Updates.

As far as I am concerned Google did their part, they updated Android 4 all the way to 4.4.4, overhauled WebView and inturn fixed what was ailing previous versions of it on Android. This practice is similar to Windows releasing service packs, going from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1. The underlying OS is the same, however some features were fixed or replaced.

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I’m glad this issue is getting the light of day, because this raises a bigger problem that exists with the OEM Android hardware manufacturers, NOT with Google.

The culprits responsible for this issue are the OEMs. The Samsungs of the world. They are the ones responsible for updating their hardware with the software that Google provides them. They have Android 4.4.4 which is immune to the issue, but the problem is that the life expectancy of their devices is so short. So short that you might get one or two software revision updates if your lucky. The life expectancy of a Samsung phone is 1.5-2 years at most. The S4 is getting it’s last update this spring to version 5. I guarantee you after this the S4 will be abandoned by Samsung.

The life expectancy of a Nexus device is about 3 years. Apple does the same thing. After 3 years you can not expect an OEM to support their device anymore. The hardware tech moves so fast that is is nearly impossible to do so as well.

Yes the old version of WebView is patched via Google Play, where the new one is done via firmware updates. But I still believe that manufacturers should take responsibility and update their hardware, yet no one is screaming bloody murder in their direction. So the issue is not that google will not patch the problem, they already have. The issue is that OEMs the likes of Samsung are not willing to push software updates to their old devices. It is the OEMs