Jan 31

Robert Scoble has a good analogy:

Let’s go back a few years to when Firefox was just coming on the
scene. Remember that? I remember that it didn’t work with a ton
of websites. Things like banks, e-commerce sites, and others. Why
not? Because those sites were coded specifically for the dominant
Internet Explorer back then.

Some people thought Firefox was going to fail because of these
broken links. Just like Adobe is trying to say that Apple’s iPad
is going to fail because of its own set of broken links.

But just a few years later and have you seen a site that doesn’t
work on Firefox? I haven’t.

What happened? Firefox FORCED developers to get on board with the
standards-based web.

The same thing is happening now, based on my talks with
developers: they are not including Flash in their future web plans
any longer.

Regarding those blue boxes that indicate embedded Flash content in MobileSafari, think of it this way: Who can make them go away?

Adobe can’t. They can’t put Flash Player on iPhone OS on their own.
Apple could, but they won’t.
Users could make Apple change its mind by refusing to buy iPhones, iPod Touches, and iPads because they don’t support Flash. That does not seem to be happening. In fact, iPhone sales are accelerating.
Web site producers could do it, by replacing or providing an alternative to the Flash content on their sites.
Uh, magical unicorns?

Adobe’s initial reaction to the iPad seems to be geared toward #3 — emphasizing publicly that iPhone OS devices are not capable of rendering the (admittedly, substantial amounts of) Flash content on the web today. Good luck with that.

Adobe’s fear, of course, is that #4 is what will happen. And with good reason, since I think it’s fair to say that we’re seeing this happen already. Flash evangelist Lee Brimelow made his little poster showing what a bunch of Flash-using web sites look like without Flash without actually looking to see how they render on MobileSafari. Ends up a bunch of them, including the porno site, already have iPhone-optimized versions with no blue boxes, and video that plays just fine as straight-up H.264. iPhone visitors to these sites have no idea they’re missing anything because, well, they’re not missing anything. For a few other of the sites Brimelow cited, like Disney and Spongebob Squarepants, there are dedicated native iPhone apps.

Kendall Helmstetter Gelner put together this version of Brimelow’s chart using actual screenshots from MobileSafari, the App Store, and native iPhone apps. The only two blue boxes left: FarmVille and Hulu.

The explanation is simple. Web site producers tend to be practical. Those that use Flash do so not because they’re Flash proponents, but because Flash is easy and ubiquitous. Few technologies get to 100 percent market penetration; Flash came remarkably close. A few years ago you could say that, effectively, Flash was everywhere. It made total sense for sites like YouTube and Hulu to go with Flash.

Flash is no longer ubiquitous. There’s a big difference between “everywhere” and “almost everywhere”. Adobe’s own statistics on Flash’s market penetration claim 99 percent penetration as of last month. That’s because, according to their survey methodology, they’re only counting “PCs” — which ignores the entire sort of devices which have brought about this debate. Adobe is arguing that Flash is installed on 99 percent of all web browsers that support Flash, not 99 percent of all web browsers.

Used to be you could argue that Flash, whatever its merits, delivered content to the entire audience you cared about. That’s no longer true, and Adobe’s Flash penetration is shrinking with each iPhone OS device Apple sells.

What’s Hulu going to do? Sit there and wait? Whine about the blue boxes? Or do the practical thing and write software that delivers video to iPhone OS? The answer is obvious. Hulu doesn’t care about what’s good for Adobe. They care about what’s good for Hulu. Hulu isn’t a Flash site, it’s a video site. Developers go where the users are.

[From ★ Who Can Do Something About Those Blue Boxes?]

Good riddance.

Jan 27

Wired is on the spot, covering Apple’s Jan. 27 event at 10 a.m. PDT in San Francisco, where fans expect Steve Jobs to unveil a tablet. [From Live Coverage: Apple’s Special Tablet Event]

I’ll be tracking this like everyone else. Then I expect a 2GB SDK download in the next few days. I hope I’m not near my bandwidth cap 🙂

Jan 27

Britons waste up to eight days a year dealing with computer problems at work and home, a new study found. [From Britons waste up to eight days a year on computer problems]

They should switch to a Mac.

Jan 26

Apple reports a 50% increase in profits after seeing its most profitable quarter ever over the Christmas period. [From Apple sees profits increase 50%]

These results just mask the fact that they are really beleaguered.

Jan 25

The Guardian’s top 50 television dramas of all time

Buffy not #1? No Dexter? Although the funniest part is the level of cluelessness in the comments. If some of the Buffy haters on there actually have seen any episodes they must have been the expurgated versions the BBC prepared for daytime TV. Because it’s a children’s programme obviously. One that has to be heavily cut for pre-watershed airing.

Jan 25

There are certain works of art that achieve all that they set out to do; and others that change the direction of their very art form. Peter Aspden thinks ‘Avatar’ does both [From Simply out of this world]

At last a commentator who isn’t an idiot!

Jan 25

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My cheap USB hub died the other day. Inside is a bit wibbly wobbly so I’m not surprised. Let’s see if the new one lasts longer.

Jan 21

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Pip’s teeth are dropping out about the place.

Jan 17

First Nokia sued Apple. Then Apple sued Nokia. Last week, Nokia went to the International Trade Commission and requested a ban on the import of infringing Apple products. Today, Apple asked ITC to ban the import of infringing Nokia products. This game of patent-infringement ping pong dates back to October, when Nokia first sued Apple for violating 10 patents, including holdings related to GSM, UMTS and wireless LAN. About a month and a half later, Apple countersued, claiming that Nokia was attempting to steal their technology. Since then, both sides have filed further lawsuits claiming further patent violations of various sorts. This week, the squabble’s stage has moved to the International Trade Commission. A few days ago, Nokia requested that the ITC ban the importing of any and all Apple products, from MacBooks to iPhones, that make use of the patents in question. Today, Apple fired back, requesting the same ban on Nokia’s mobile phone imports. The ITC’s evaluation process takes 15 months, so don’t worry about these companies’ products disappearing from shelves anytime soon. But Apple’s latest filing reminds us that we shouldn’t expect this this legal game of anything-you-can-do-I-can-do-better to go away anytime soon. [Bloomberg][From Nokia Moves To Ban Apple Imports, Apple Moves To Ban Nokia Imports [Lawsuits]]

So what’s the next step then? An undisclosed settlement?

Jan 15

HBO is stoked about how ‘Thrones’ is coming together… [From HBO: ‘Games of Thrones’ dailies ‘fantastic’]

They’ll run out of books in the series if GRRM doesn’t speed up a little. But I am looking forward to seeing this if it gets greenlit.

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