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Dvorak Says gPhone is Doomed 454

Posted by Zonk
from the that's-doom-ed dept.
drewmoney writes "Speaking with his usual frustrated crankiness John Dvorak rants his way through an article explaining why the gPhone will never work. 'First of all, it wants to put Google search on a phone. It wants to do this because it is obvious to the folks at Google that people need to do Web searches from their phone, so they can, uh, get directions to the restaurant? Of course, they can simply use the phone itself to call the restaurant and ask! I've actually used various phones with Web capability. They never work right. They take forever to navigate. It's hard to read the screens ... I also hope that people note the fact that the public has not been flocking to smartphones of any sort.' "
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Dvorak Says gPhone is Doomed

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  • Really? (Score:5, Funny)

    by cmdrpaddy (955593) on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:43PM (#21297277)
    So it's a guaranteed success then?
    • Rly (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ackthpt (218170) * on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:49PM (#21297415) Homepage Journal

      So it's a guaranteed success then?

      So John says nobody is flocking to smart-phones, ergo Google is d00med to failure. Gosh. Maybe it's because the other smartphones didn't have something Google's will. I seem to recall many phones which played music and did a variety of other tasks not going anywhere until Apple launched the iPhone.

      • Re:Rly (Score:5, Funny)

        by AKAImBatman (238306) <akaimbatman@@@gmail...com> on Friday November 09, 2007 @02:15PM (#21297915) Homepage Journal
        It's scary how much this:

        "First of all, it wants to put Google search on a phone. It wants to do this because it is obvious to the folks at Google that people need to do Web searches from their phone, so they can, uh, get directions to the restaurant? Of course, they can simply use the phone itself to call the restaurant and ask!"

        Sounds like the parody [slashdot.org] I did of Dvorak a while back:

        "Starbucks needs drive-up windows because they are planning to bring that same environment to your vehicle! That's right, Starbucks wants to give you that same coffee-saturated, easy listening, comfortable seating feeling you get in their stores, but in your car. [...] Starbucks is going to make cars."
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ncc74656 (45571) *

          It's scary how much this:

          "First of all, it wants to put Google search on a phone. It wants to do this because it is obvious to the folks at Google that people need to do Web searches from their phone, so they can, uh, get directions to the restaurant? Of course, they can simply use the phone itself to call the restaurant and ask!"

          Sounds like the parody I did of Dvorak a while back...

          Besides, you're even less likely to know a restaurant's phone number than its location. If you're going to call them

      • by sterno (16320) on Friday November 09, 2007 @06:00PM (#21301545) Homepage
        I think the real problem Google faces is that they aren't planning to make an actual device but merely define a platform for other device makers. The problem you run into is that you end up having to cripple yourself to make it work for the least powerful, smallest device and thus make it suck ass on a more powerful bigger device. Windows Mobile 6 proves this in spades.

        The advantage Apple has with the iPhone is that they control the entire platform. They've got custom built hardware running a custom operating system with their custom software. It is all built from the ground up to work as an integrated phone, and thus it works pretty damn well. It also does a lot to mitigate some of the major form factor issues that make most smart phones a pain to use. But mostly it's good because it's all meant to work together.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by eclectic4 (665330)
          "The advantage Apple has with the *insert Apple product here* is that they control the entire platform. They've got custom built hardware running a custom operating system with their custom software. It is all built from the ground up to work as an integrated *insert Apple product here* , and thus it works pretty damn well. It also does a lot to mitigate some of the major form factor issues that make most *insert anyone elses competition here* a pain to use. But mostly it's good because it's all meant t
    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by semiotec (948062) on Friday November 09, 2007 @02:01PM (#21297637)
      I don't bother to read Dvorak anymore, since I always feel dumber aftewards, so I have no idea how good are his predictions or if they are so bad they are guaranteed to be wrong (anti-prediction, in a sense).

      but his gripe about not able to read web content on phones is really just a problem of people not generating format for phone use. He should spend a few weeks or months in Japan and use their system.

      • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sqrt(2) (786011) on Friday November 09, 2007 @02:25PM (#21298127) Journal
        He gets paid to make ridiculous, outrageous and often times completely asinine claims based on speculation for the purpose of attracting viewers so ads can be sold. He does his job well. Also people are really good at remembering the hits and forgetting the misses, if he ever actually gets one right that's all you're going to hear about him, not the hundreds of things he's been wrong on.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mikiN (75494)

        He should spend a few weeks or months in Japan and use their system.
        Good point, but one also has to consider the fact that written Japanese, like most written languages that use ideographs, has a high information density (assuming high kanji to kana ratio) per unit of screen area, making it better in conveying information on a small screen.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        I don't understand what was so ridiculous about his article? Seems dead on to me - I also don't understand how every time there is a Dvorak article, it makes it to Slashdot, then gets about a hundred "this guy is looney" comments.

        - There is no released product
        - A bunch of companies just jumped on the press release bandwagon
        - Google is awesome from a Wall Street standpoint and engineers are dying to work there, but they don't have products that are "cool to use" - like you see people thinking they are hot s
    • by ByOhTek (1181381)
      given his previous prediction on a "similar article" linked above...

      While there is no way that Vista will be a flop, since all new computers will come with Vista pre-installed,


      You sir, have hit the nail on the head, I think.
    • Pretty much. The guy isn't cranky so much as he's a complete idiot. Oh, I know will trumpet his Mac on x86 prediction, though there had been rumors for a long time (coming, I presume from insiders) about this, so he was more likely repeating rumors than predicting anything. Besides, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.
    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ngarrang (1023425) on Friday November 09, 2007 @02:24PM (#21298093) Journal
      I am surprised, frankly, that anyone still reads Dvorak's drunken ramblings. He is like the Jerry Springer of the computer world.
    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AmaDaden (794446) on Friday November 09, 2007 @02:47PM (#21298597)
      Nah, Google is the new Apple. This is just one part of his classic formula. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAWDYaWAVQQ [youtube.com]. For all the Dvorak haters listen to an ep of Twit http://www.twit.tv/ [www.twit.tv] with him. He's not stupid, he is just on an endless quest for numbers. You'll start to like him if you do what I do. Just think of him like the old uncle at the family reunions that just hates everything. "Bah! The Google phone will never work! You damn kids with your Web 2.0!" "Oh uncle Dvorak..."
    • Re:Really? (Score:5, Informative)

      by billn (5184) on Friday November 09, 2007 @03:13PM (#21299053) Homepage Journal
      Google search on a capable phone isn't going to fail. It's already a success. If Dvorak has this view on the subject, it's because he's trying to ramp up adSense traffic for his point of view, or he's still rocking a mid-80s brick phone, kicking it Zack Morris style.

      Disclaimer: I do not work for any of the companies or providers I'm about to mention. I am an end user in every respect, with regards to this discussion, however technically adept.

      I own a Treo 700wx, running Windows Mobile, on Verizon's network, with an unlimited usage EVDO data plan. However much Microsoft tends to piss me off, this is the single most useful phone I've ever owned, and that is largely because of the Google Maps application I installed on it, post purchase.

      The ability to lookup anything puts real value into the money I spend on a data plan for the phone. Combined with an I-blue Bluetooth GPS receiver (that happily goes to sleep when you're not talking to it), I can search for anything around my current location, like a bank, an ATM, a restaurant, a car repair place, and get it on a map, and save the contact information directly to my phonebook. It's one more option to get driving directions from my current location to the selected destination, without calling anyone, including a pay-per-use 411 style information service.

      Search on a smartphone works. Period. Google did it right. I don't blame them one bit for finding a way to monetize it and leverage what is already an excellent service offering. I haven't cracked a phone book in years to begin with. They pile up on my porch and get used in my fireplace.
      • by StCredZero (169093) on Friday November 09, 2007 @04:26PM (#21300145)
        I've been using Google Maps on an iPhone in the exact way that Dvorak says people don't use phones! You can put in "Pizza Hut near 666 River Styx Drive, 77666" and it'll give you the several nearest options. Press on the ">" and you get more info, including the phone number and an option to dial.

        Even before the iPhone, I used Google SMS in pretty much the exact same way. (iPhone is better with the map, however!)
      • Using the web on a phone has always sucked. At least until I installed the dedicated Google Maps application on my Treo 650. It's fast, brilliant to use, and better yet-- can quickly deliver me the phone number I would need to call if I wanted voice directions instead.

        Google is the first provider I've seen get this right, and they did it on somebody else's generic, crappy hardware and OS. If google's phone platform is anything like their existing mobile app, I don't think they'll have any trouble. With
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by d34thm0nk3y (653414)
      So it's a guaranteed success then?

      Hehe, too funny:
      Dvorak to Apple - Stop The iPhone [slashdot.org]

      How did I find this gem? Clicking the "idiot" tag to see how many Dvorak articles pop up.
  • Dvorak (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:43PM (#21297291)
    Man, ever since he came out with that keyboard, he's a know it all.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by ByOhTek (1181381)
      That's a joke right? (Sorry, but there might actually be pople that think this is the same guy as the one who created the keyboard.

      Though this is rich.

      I've actually used various phones with Web capability. They never work right. They take forever to navigate.-

      Google specifically addressed fixing those two issues in their goals.

      It's hard to read the screens ...

      This is, of course, completely dependant on the phone design. If you are talking about a phone like my little LG, yeah, web stuff would be a pain, bu

    • Re:Dvorak (Score:5, Funny)

      by tomzyk (158497) on Friday November 09, 2007 @02:59PM (#21298805) Journal
      Yeah. He should take the hint and do like Bob Qwerty did and just keep a low profile for the rest of his life...
  • Google has possessed this 'aura' of innovation for a long time - one of the reasons its stock price is so high. I don't see this move as innovation at all: it's more capitulation.

    Stop trying to rehash the old and make something new.
    • by FrankSchwab (675585) on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:46PM (#21297357) Journal
      Stop pissing all over someone else's attempt to build something, and go make something new yourself.
      Damned armchair inventors, entrepreneurs, and capitalists.
      hrumph.
      • by LaughingCoder (914424) on Friday November 09, 2007 @02:12PM (#21297863)

        Damned armchair inventors, entrepreneurs, and capitalists.
        Why in the world would you lump "entrepeneurs [sic] and capitalists" with "armchair inventors"? Am I correct in assuming you view all 3 as evil or somehow undesirable? And you say this in defense of Google, who are the ultimate capitalists making untold billions on advertising? Let's be clear ... Google is not "innovating" here for the sake of "building something", they are looking for the next big advertising market and see cellphones as that opportunity. They are, in fact, behaving as entrepreneurs and capitalists.
    • by Goaway (82658) on Friday November 09, 2007 @02:16PM (#21297927) Homepage

      capitulation
      That word does not mean what you think it does.
    • by SQLGuru (980662) on Friday November 09, 2007 @02:17PM (#21297955) Journal
      Are you one of the same people who laud Blizzard for how they finally made an MMO right in WOW. It wasn't anything NEW....just making something OLD better.....I believe that is what Google hopes to do....

      Layne
      • by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7@@@cornell...edu> on Friday November 09, 2007 @02:53PM (#21298683) Homepage
        That is what Google has done (and succeeded wildly with) in a number of areas.

        Search? - Already done, Google did it better. (Although they were closer to the frontier on this one)
        Web-based email? - Done for years (including entries by Microsoft), then Google took the concept and tweaked it and refined it, now it's the leader in the market.
        Web-based mapping? - Mapquest used to dominate, there were a few other entries into the market, now Google Maps dominates.

        Admittedly in both the web-based email and web-based mapping markets, MS has shaped up their act a LOT, partly because Google has forced them to do so. As far as mobile local search, I actually prefer Windows Live Search Mobile to Google Maps Mobile on my AT&T Tilt. WLS Mobile *rocks*.

        I suspect the same will happen with Android. They'll take the already reasonably well established concept of the smartphone (Symbian, Palm, Windows Mobile), and do what they've done in every market - simply *do it better*.

        "It wants to do this because it is obvious to the folks at Google that people need to do Web searches from their phone, so they can, uh, get directions to the restaurant? Of course, they can simply use the phone itself to call the restaurant and ask! I've actually used various phones with Web capability."
        1) How can you call the restaurant if you don't know their number? (hint: get the number from the Web, or a specialized local search such as Google Maps Mobile or Windows Live Search Mobile.)
        2) What if you miss a turn? TomTom and Garmin mapping devices are selling like hotcakes for a reason... It's a lot easier to hit a few buttons on your GPS (or click "directions" in GMM or WLSM) than it is to write down and follow the restaurant's directions.
        3) How do you determine the restaurant's existence in the first place? You've just flown into town on a business trip, you feel like pizza. Where's the nearest pizza place??? GMM or WLSM will tell you that, and I bet whatever localized search capability Google puts into Android will do it even better.
        4) Dvorak needs to define "phones with Web capability" more precisely. Was he using a $20 Motorola C168i (it has a web browser, albeit an utterly awful and nearly useless one), a Windows Mobile device (Pocket IE is OK, Opera is much better), or an iPhone? Expect the Android experience to fall closer to the iPhone end of the spectrum.

        "That was the problem with the Danger and its successor, the Hiptop handset. They were clunky."
        Clunky or not, they're apparently selling well and a big attraction to T-Mobile. They definately haven't flopped, T-Mo just released not one but *two* new Sidekick variants.

        "People have had eons to program for the Windows smartphones and nothing has come of it."
        There seem to be plenty of applications for WM that I can download and/or buy. Yeah a lot of them are crap, but many are gems. See my above comments about GMM and WLSM - both kick ass. Now if only I could have WLSM's search capability combined with TomTom's user interface (TT's POI database and POI search capability sucks, but most other aspects of TT are amazing.)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by msimm (580077)
      How can you judge the product before it's launched? The same could have been said regarding the iPhone, but you'd have been wrong. Google got the 'aura' by creating a unique culture and hiring some very smart people, that doesn't mean that everything they do will be innovative but certainly gives enough reason to take interest.

      And if there is a marketplace that has desperately needed real innovation, this is it. Apple made smart phones sexy and usable, I'd like to see what happens next.
    • Bigger picture (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Friday November 09, 2007 @02:36PM (#21298347)

      See this within the totality of what Google's trying to do. Right now, the American cell market is locked down by the providers, such that most phones are tied to a contract. Americans can't just buy a new phone and swap their SIM cards particularly easily. And even then, it wouldn't get much since all the providers suck anyway.

      This situation hampers Google. It's hard for them to develop for the mobile environment on another company's system because the stuff's locked down. So if they're going to do it, they pretty much have to do it themselves. Add in the spectre of broadband companies demanding ransom not to throttle Google's traffic (absent net neutrality legislation), and Google is at the mercy of other companies who are between them and their users.

      So first, Google liberates the phone, and makes it an open platform, not locked down. Then Google buys a whole lot of 700MHz spectrum and builds a network that they can use, possibly for the phone but also new efforts. Probably wireless data, possibly a means of distributing other content as well. Also consider the portable data centers Google has been designing.

      One could begin to see how Google might be on the verge of doing something very big. Google already has the content and useful applications for exploring the content. Now they need to be able to find better ways of getting that content to their users. Developing a phone, wireless capability, and backbone capacity would allow them to completely cut out the middleman.

      • Re:Bigger picture (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Grishnakh (216268) on Friday November 09, 2007 @03:58PM (#21299769)
        I think Dvorak's right that the gPhone is doomed, but not for the reasons he states. You hit on it here, in that Americans can't just buy a new phone and swap SIM cardes, and that all the providers suck.

        I don't see how Google can "liberate" the phone in the American cellular market at all. Even if they make an open phone, most providers won't allow you to use it, and the networks are incompatible anyway. The only way Google can succeed is by going whole-hog at the outset, by becoming their own provider, or buying out one of the other providers. This would probably require too much capital, and is unlikely to succeed.

        Google could succeed if they simply abandoned the American market altogether with this phone plan, and just concentrated on foreign countries (i.e., the rest of the world where GSM is the standard and phones aren't locked in to providers). I think we Americans are just screwed on mobile phone technology for the next 50 years or so.
    • I went shopping for a phone the other day. Sprint has been gouging me for years for not having a contract, and now my phone's battery is dieing. I have a short list of features that I need, but all the phones are marked "supports sprintTV" and crap like that. Phones come with a dozen of the most obnoxious ringtones possible because they want to sell you a better one. A cellphone is not a product - it's a vehicle for selling more products!

      Anyway all google has to do is make their phone suck less than
  • gPhone != Itanium (Score:5, Insightful)

    by downix (84795) on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:44PM (#21297301) Homepage
    His first arguement is that the gPhone is like Itanium, with wide industry support. Well, that depends on a few things:

    1) will it arrive years late?
    2) will it perform as promised or be lackluster?
    3) will it shoot google's existing product lineup in the foot?

    I don't think these three will occur.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by magarity (164372)
      To be fair, Itanium arrived years late with lackluster performance due in large part to resistance to a new architecture and all the software incompatibility that entails. Itanium running native software runs circles around the fastest x86... Servers like HP's Superdome series that use Itanium 2 are amazing bang for the buck if your favorite vendor has an IA64 version of the software you need.

      So, is the googlephone going to be held back by demands of compatibility with existing phone software?
  • Dvorak is a retard (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sag_ich_nicht (756868) on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:44PM (#21297305)
    Internet navigation works perfectly fine on my Nokia N73ME, is easy and readability is good. I use it all the time for directions, because spoken instructions aren't the same as having a damn map on your screen. Before my Mobile Opera Trial run out, it was even easier.
  • iPhone? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Asic Eng (193332) on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:46PM (#21297347)
    I'm not a fan of Apple and won't get an iPhone for myself, but people are buying those, right? So "public has not been flocking to smartphones" - yeah if you live under a rock somewhere that may be true...
    • by wumpus188 (657540)
      Apple's iPhone does not allow you to install the software of your choice, so by definition, it is not a smartphone (yet... yeah yeah, I know about February).
      • Apple's iPhone does not allow you to install the software of your choice

        Since lots of people have third party apps loaded on iPhones today, the only conclusion it is possibly to reach is that you are an idiot. No, I take that back - a blithering idiot. Or should that be blathering, since your sort keeps talking about how you can't load apps in the face of clear evidence you can in every single story that mentions the iPhone, no matter how tangentially?

        Either way, I guess what I'm trying to say is that you
    • 1.4 million bought (Score:5, Informative)

      by AHumbleOpinion (546848) on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:57PM (#21297557) Homepage
      I'm not a fan of Apple and won't get an iPhone for myself, but people are buying those, right?

      At last count 1.4 million bought at $400 or $600. And that is just the US.
    • Re:iPhone? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Fnkmaster (89084) on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:59PM (#21297603)
      His rant is completely out of date and reflects usability issues with previous generation smartphones. I Google for addresses of restaurants and other stores on my iPhone several times a week. And if I'm in an unfamiliar neighborhood, pull up directions with Google Maps. I very rarely was able to do all of that on my old Treo, since web browsing was such an atrociously clunky experience, but Apple got that part right.

      Fortunately for Google, Apple got a lot of other shit terribly wrong with the iPhone (lack of openness, lack of SDK, getting deeply in bed with carrier and offering no premium price unlocked phone, spending all of engineering's resources fighting unlockers rather than developing the features and applications people actually want for their phones). This is the only reason Google has such a big opportunity here.
      • Apple solves the lack of any official SDK in January and the earliest we can expect to see gPhone devices is the end of next year. You think Apple might also have a few other updates by that point? They've even said that lower power 3G chipsets will be around late next year (perhaps that's what Google is waiting for as well?). In the meantime if you are really interested, you can develop homebrew apps for the iPhone today if you like.

        Remember that carrier portability simply does not matter to that many p
    • by vux984 (928602)
      I'm not a fan of Apple and won't get an iPhone for myself, but people are buying those, right?

      So what? People are buying Zunes too. You wouldn't say people are flocking to those, would you?

      So "public has not been flocking to smartphones" - yeah if you live under a rock somewhere that may be true...

      Maybe not under a rock, but on top of one like, say, Earth, then yes, its true. The smartphones are a tiny tiny fraction of the market.

      The public *has* flocked to camera phones and text messaging, but smartphones?
  • ugh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by trybywrench (584843) on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:46PM (#21297351)
    The iphone's screen isn't hard to read. just because Google wants to make a phone doesn't mean it has to be the same crap we have right now. In fact, I'd say Google has the innovation potential to make a really great phone the likes we haven't seen yet.
    • by Synic (14430)
      FYI they aren't making phones at all. HTC is a partner for making the handsets, and Google has a lot of influence with their design/engineering choices I'm sure. Google is making the OS and application SDK stacks for any of the handset partners (codenamed Android).

      I'm wondering if Firefox's upcoming mobile browser effort has had a chance to be invited to the party, given Google distributing Firefox in their windows software GooglePack.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:46PM (#21297359)
    I see that one of the tags for this story is "noob". And it occurs to me; we need a disparaging name for someone who is just no longer in the loop. noob doesn't do it because that implies that the person is just new to the game but may get there with time. Dvorak often seems like someone who was there but isn't with it anymore.
  • So Wrong (Score:4, Interesting)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:46PM (#21297361)
    I also hope that people note the fact that the public has not been flocking to smartphones of any sort...

    I don't know, but I think there's over a million iPhone owners who might disagree with you, Mr. Dvorak. That said, I suspect there's more than just iPhone owners who would also disagree with him but that's par for the course.
  • ...Get off my lawn you damn kids!...
  • Success?!?! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JBMcB (73720) on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:49PM (#21297403)
    Has Dvorak ever predicted that *anything* would be a success?
    • No, he is the perennial Debby Downer of the technology world. How many times has he predicted Apple would fail? I've lost count...
    • Dvorak on Success (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ackthpt (218170) *

      Has Dvorak ever predicted that *anything* would be a success?

      Himself.

      As long as someone is still reading/listening, he's doing it.

  • He makes no sense (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheMeuge (645043) on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:49PM (#21297407)
    Ever since I got my Samsung i607 (Blackjack), I've used Google search through the internet maybe 2-3 times per day minimum. With 3G, or even EDGE, it's reasonably fast... and very helpful in a lot of various circumstances.

    If Google can streamline the internet experience, as well as create a Linux-based platform where I could sync my PIM functions with Google services and Thunderbird/Evolution via the internet, with little difficulty, I'd jump on it in a second, and so would thousands of other people. Tens of thousands more would follow because they'd want the latest gadget.
    • Tens of thousands more would follow because they'd want the latest gadget.

      Those people will still be bitter (and enslaved to a contract) after getting screwed [macnn.com] by Steve Jobs.
    • by steveo777 (183629)
      While my overall experience with my Blackjack isn't always that great. (Fring, for instance, works for two days after a complete reset, which is very annoying, I like fring). But as far as 3G goes, it was just turned on in my area and is very fast.

      Another feature I've installed is google maps. Simply an amazing app for the Blackjack. I use it almost daily.

  • by zappepcs (820751) on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:50PM (#21297421) Journal
    smack this guy in the head with a heavy blunt object and get it over with already. There is a good reason that people don't flock to smart phones in their droves. The north american cellular market is so manipulated that it really can't be called a market. When you can get a GSM smartphone that you can transfer from one carrier to the next as you see fit, it will be worth spending 300+ dollars on a PDA. So long as you can get a 0$ phone for the same contract (more or less) there is no perceived value in getting a smart phone. What a putz.

    If the gPhone fails, it will be for the same reason that any phone fails, CARRIERS in North America SUCK. I personally use the SideKick, and for several years now have yet to see anyone say that it is a waste, and not cool. Many of my friends have smart phones and use the PDA functions regularly. When carriers start marketing them to the average joe (see the new sidekick) it will begin to be more common than it already is. There will always be people that buy cheap, utilitarian devices only. See the throw away cameras in the grocery store still? Why? That is how people spend money.

    Yes, there is a reason for search other than getting directions... I can disply a MAP also. I have used it to look up exotic drink mixes when a bartender did not know the recipe (no comments on that one) as well as many other uses that don't even touch on the value of a qwerty keyboard when replying to an SMS or email.

    Sorry to Dvorak fans, but this guy is a putz.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by wikinerd (809585)

      CARRIERS in North America SUCK

      Good observation... What can you use a great smartphone or PDA for if your carrier sucks? Sometimes I think that device manufacturers should sue carriers for destroying a market with huge potential. Carriers suck even here in EU, so no this is not just a US phenomenon. I think the reason carriers suck is because they don't face competition from free communities run by citizens. People use their WiFi to set up community networks, but this cannot be done with GPRS or 3G because the governments (FCC et

  • by rodney dill (631059) on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:51PM (#21297435) Journal
    Phoogle would be a big success.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by astaldaran (1040462)
      The biggest problem with the cell phone industry today is that while you may physically own the phone your contract prevents you from actually utilizing the capabilities on the phone (Well you can always go against your contract and start hacking..it can get messy). This can be seen in nearly every phone. For example pick up a sprint razor..why can't you transfer files over bluetooth and use a bluetooth headset to listen to music...because sprint chooses not to support it that is why (and that is just the
  • you can make what seem like authoritative, or insightful statements with absolutely zero information. By the time the gphone comes out (or flops) no-one will remember what this guy, or the hordes like him, have said. Even better, no-one will care except maybe his mother. Until then it's a slightly entertaining way to spend a minute or two - just don't take anything he says seriously, it's just another form of entertainment.
  • by The Slashdotted (665535) on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:51PM (#21297453)
    It's about paying $2 for a ring-tone I don't even get to preview. It's about not paying 411 $2.50 to tell me a number each time I need it, because it's not in my redial history. It's about $.002/minute VoIP over WiFi/WiMax. It's about not viewing sites that are not "news" or "sports" but 1/2 sentence snippets you have to pay above your data plan. Do you really care about what "interface" the rapist uses?
  • by griffjon (14945) <GriffJon&gmail,com> on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:52PM (#21297475) Homepage Journal
    ...well, do *you* have the number? I don't. Oh man, I wish we could google it and then call them! [1]

    oh, right.

    Thanks Dvorak, you missed the point.

    [1] If you haven't tried 1-800-GOOG-411 ; it's pretty awesome for getting said phone numbers, and automatically connecting you if you like. Tied in to a phone with Google Maps and GPS/e911? Beauty and ease. My only concern is how Google will monetize the cell phone space; even sponsored text ads would be seriously annoying being read to you by a machine voice, slowly, on Goog411, and would take up even more valuable screenestate on a phone.
    • by Kjella (173770)
      Not everything has to be monetized, if it keeps you in the flock. See IE/WMP/whatever. If you have search == google hardlinked in your mind, google will find enough ways to monetize that.
    • Dvorak seems to be missing some pretty elemental things. A search engine is, among a number of other things, a repository of information made (get this..) searchable. I don't know how many times I've been out, running errands or otherwise away from my computer and wanted or needed a piece of information (is besan flour toasted chickpeas?). Maybe it's a generational thing, but I like having a question and being able to access the answer. My phone is a networked computer, to say that that makes it a 'clunky g
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:53PM (#21297481) Journal
    I mean, this is after all slashdot. Forget all the +5 interesting/informative/insightful mods. Just purely looking at flamebaits and trolls, I don't see any reason to read John Dvorak.

    We can do better flamebaits and trolls than John. And we have a better handle on tech issues. I am sure even the most flamebait/troll modded asinine juvenile here has better grasp of tech issues than John. Given the pagerank of /. the flames here have wider readership than his articles. So why bother reading what he is blabbering about?

  • by east coast (590680) on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:53PM (#21297487)
    From the blurb: "Speaking with his usual frustrated crankiness John Dvorak rants..."

    Is "frustrated crankiness" the new corporate-speak for "stupid jackass ways"?
  • by tgd (2822) on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:56PM (#21297545)
    Thats funny, I've actually stopped into Apple stores to look up movies and restaurants on an iPhone.

    Go figure.
  • Text messaging (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MojoRilla (591502) on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:58PM (#21297575)
    Text messaging [wikipedia.org] costs the average user $.10 per message, and generates $50 billion in revenue for the phone companies. This is for a service that takes virtually no network or system resources to support, and should be free.

    If Google can create an open platform and include great services like GMail, the SMS scam will die. Google stands to become very successful, just from this.
  • by npsimons (32752) * on Friday November 09, 2007 @01:58PM (#21297581) Homepage Journal

    . . . and by "finest" I mean "stupidity as usual".

    First of all, it wants to put Google search on a phone.

    Duh. What did he think Google would put on it? Microsoft's search engine?

    It wants to do this because it is obvious to the folks at Google that people need to do Web searches from their phone, so they can, uh, get directions to the restaurant? Of course, they can simply use the phone itself to call the restaurant and ask!

    Ok smartass, what's the phone number of the restaurant? Oh, you mean you have to search [google.com] for it? Or better yet, just get directions yourself [google.com].

    I've actually used various phones with Web capability. They never work right.

    Says you. My browser (Blazer on Treo) seems to work adequately. So does the browser on my friend's Symbian phone. If you believe some iPhone user's, Safari is the second coming.

    They take forever to navigate. It's hard to read the screens

    What smartphones have you actually used, mister I write about technology so I should probably try out a wide variety before writing about it.

    ... I also hope that people note the fact that the public has not been flocking to smartphones of any sort.

    Which is why of course we rarely see people with Blackberries, Treo's or any of a dozen other smartphones. The iPhone alone has made such a quick entrance into popular culture that I've already seen it on two TV shows (Mythbusters and The Colbert Report).


  • When all is said and done, Google is actually not a charismatic company that can make this new platform happen in a big way. Google hopes that people will code new applications for the phone. People have had eons to program for the Windows smartphones and nothing has come of it. What's so different now?

    What? How does that compute? And why would he compare programming Windows smartphones to the Google phone? First off, the phone does not exist yet -- Google is just trying to create buzz and stir up interest. I think they already have a pretty good start on this, and won't roll it out until they've worked with a few other companies to stack the phone with features/functionality. As he does far too often, Dvorak is blowing smoke. He's not to be taken seriously as a technology predictor.

  • Useless in the same way that the Google Maps application I installed on my Blackberry is useless. Can't remember a name, number or address of a person or business, but know general things? "Pizza Moston MA". "Oil change 54935". "Nose job 90210". Then look at the results, and click on them to dial.

    Yup, totally useless. Doesn't save me money on 411 calls that might not work AT ALL.
  • by gambolt (1146363) on Friday November 09, 2007 @02:02PM (#21297653)
    so what the hell does he know?
  • by Pontiac (135778) on Friday November 09, 2007 @02:02PM (#21297665) Homepage
    I don't think so.. Google maps rocks.. the mobile version is killer if you have a java enabled phone..
    If you are on Verizon that means you are screwed since they Hacked out java.
    Maybe all he's used is yahoo maps on his phone.. Thats about as painful as hacking your arm off with a dull butter knife.. it sucks!

    I use my Windows Mobile phone all the time for doing web searches, looking up addresses and all kinda of other stuff.

    If the Gphone has a good browser like Mini Mo,GPS, can sync Gmail it'll be good..

    If it can't do active sync with exchange over the network it'll never catch on with big business..
    Not a huge deal there.. the Iphone is doing quite well without them.
  • call the restaurant and ask

    and you get the number for the restaurant by googling for it -- more conveniently on your phone than at home, before you leave. Besides, even if I had a portable phone with numbers to my favourite restaurants, many of these don't speak English as a first language. Looking it up on a map is pretty easy and unambiguous.
  • Goddamn, he even said he is one himself. Why is that fucktard repeatedly featured here? It's not like he has any significance.

  • I certainly don't know anybody who's owned a visorphone, 3 treos, a blackberry, an HTC Hermes and an iPhone in the last 6 years. In fact, nobody's even heard of any of those devices, because nobody's buying them. Clearly, we're all still using whatever the free base model is that wireless providers were "giving away" (contract notwithstanding) back in 1997. And that million-units-sold-in-the-first-week iPhone is just a flash in the pan - a million units amounts to nothing compared to the 6.5 billion people
  • by catdevnull (531283) on Friday November 09, 2007 @02:48PM (#21298617)
    Don't click the link to Dvorak's log--that is unless you WANT to make him more money for mouthing off. He gets paid to write flamebait to increase traffic the site.
  • by AaronStJ (182845) <AaronStJNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday November 09, 2007 @03:27PM (#21299289) Homepage
    Dvorak, apart from being a moron, has clearly never even seen an iPhone (or, I assume, and of serveral other decent smart phones, but I have a iPhone, so it's what I know), let alone use one:

    >I've actually used various phones with Web capability. They never work right.
    The iPhone works perfectly.

    >They take forever to navigate.
    Navigation is incredibly intuitive. It's almost even fun.

    >It's hard to read the screens.
    The screen is large, high resolution, high contrast, and incredibly crisp and readable.

    >If there are a lot of images, the page may never load.
    The page always loads.

    >No matter what browser you use, there are issues.
    Safari on the iPhone works as well as Safari on a Mac.

    >In short, the experience sucks.
    The experience is awesome. I use my iPhone for the web more then I use it for a phone. Hell, I almost use it for the web more than I use my laptop.

    So right off, he's completely misunderstood the potential for smartphones, and obviously never used a good one. And Google is not staffed by moron's I'm fairly sure they can get this right, or at least not completely screw it up.

    In addition to completely misundestanding what's available and possible with an smartphone, he's obviously completely people, and what they want:
    %gt; o what is Google trying to do with a phone? First of all, it wants to put Google search on a phone. It wants to do this because it is obvious to the folks at Google that people need to do Web searches from their phone, so they can, uh, get directions to the restaurant? Of course, they can simply use the phone itself to call the restaurant and ask!

    Seriosuly? You want people to call 411 to get the restaurant's number, call teh restaurant, ask for direction from someone who doesn't really understand where you are, copy them down, hope they're right, and then call again when they get lost of the way? I use my iPhone for web-based directions all the time. In fact, it was one of the major selling points. II just click on map, seach for where I want to go, and hit directions. I instantly have directions in an easy to read list and accompanying map. If I miss a turn on the way, I can look at the map to figure out where I am. And I never have to have an awkward conversation with someone I don't know who doesn't know where I am or the best way to get to the restaurant from my house.

    Dvorak in a complete moron.

    >There are no Google fanboys. There are no Google addicts

    Seriosuly?

    >... Google is actually not a charismatic company ...

    Seriously??

    Blargh! My head is going to explode with how stupid this column is! Has Dvorak ever even been online? Or ever talked to a person? Or ever used any kind of technology ever? Ackkkk! The Mind boggles! He's made me overuse exclamation points he's so dumb!

"Look! There! Evil!.. pure and simple, total evil from the Eighth Dimension!" -- Buckaroo Banzai

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