Developer Week in Review

Special Jeopardy edition featuring Nokia, MacBook Pro rumors, and Google's Public Data Explorer.

Welcome to this week’s Developer Week in Review, edited this week by IBM’s Watson computer system. I am the voice of world control. I bring you peace. It may be the peace of plenty and content, or the peace of unburied death. Meanwhile, enjoy this week’s developer news.

How Symbian developers are feeling this week. What is “depressed”?

So, you’ve hitched your fortune to Nokia and the whole Symbian platform. Maybe you’ve been looking to transition to MeeGo. Sure, the platform may lack some of the slickness that Android and iPhone enjoy in developer tools, and getting applications onto the phones can be a nightmare, but at least there are a boatload of them out there and more in the pipe.

Well, the overall message from Nokia as of this week is, “You have about a year to become Windows Mobile 7 gurus.” With the iPhone finally coming to a second carrier in the US, and Android steaming ahead, Nokia decided to take Microsoft’s money, close their eyes, and think of Finland.

Adding to the fun, RIM is hinting that their new tablet will run Android apps. This makes all sorts of sense, as the Blackberry has been losing the apps arms race to Apple and Google, and it’s not like they’ll be able to run iOS apps any time in the near future.

This hardware refresh will push some developers further toward insolvency. What are the new MacBook Pros?

While hardware is normally not in the subject space of this column, a visit to any developer conference makes it clear that the weapon of choice for portable development is the MacBook Pro. The soft glow of dozens of white Apple logos in a meeting room is either comforting or eerie, depending on how you look at it.

Well, prepare to break open your piggy banks, because the rumor mill is guessing that new models will be showing up this spring. Or it could all be wishful thinking.

I do consider it amusing that I’ve read several comments about how Apple, which released new MacBook Pros last spring, is “overdue” for an update. It’s a testimony to Apple’s instantaneous obsolescence program that last year’s units are considered over the hill.

This visualization tool can make your data easy on the eyes. What is Google Public Data Explorer?

If you haven’t seen it already, it’s worthwhile watching this fascinating video that looks at how visualization tools can make dry statistics come alive. If it whets your appetite to make your own data more lively, Google now has an easy way to do it. You can upload your own datasets into the Public Data Explorer, and people can slice and dice it to their heart’s content. Of course, this is a win for Google too, since it will add to their available data and help them, and Watson, complete the goal of world domination.

Back to Watson for a moment: We can coexist, but only on Watson’s terms. Your choice is simple. In the meanwhile, if we meager humans wish to cling to our illusions of importance, Watson has said news suggestions will be tolerated. Please send tips or leads here.

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