Flash has failed.

Adobe Flash (formerly Macromedia Flash) was introduced to the world in 1996.  This is the multimedia platform that brought browser based gaming and video to their current massive popularity.  It’s hard to imagine that YouTube would have exploded without the ubiquity of Flash.  Curiously, YouTube was also one of the first betrayers.

In 2007 YouTube started converting videos to Apple’s preferred H.264 format and distanced itself away from the Flash encoder.  Ironically, this was made possible by Adobe’s acceptance of h.264 codec in flash.  YouTube started using the new format so that Apple could more efficiently use the videos on its AppleTV and soon to be released iPhone devices. 

The only thing that could have forced Apple to accept flash was video.  Now with YouTube available in an alternative format, Apple could boldly strike the first blow against Flash.  The iPhone could be released without Flash.  Apple’s attack on Adobe was clear.

Today, with the release of the iPad, Apple strikes another mortal blow to the Flash platform.  The iPad is the logical conclusion to the success of the iPhone.  People enjoy the applications and video features of the iPhone so much that Apple has designed a device just for those purposes.  It’s a giant iPhone without the phone, and size is important.

The large format of the iPad allows of easy viewing of video content.  Netflix, ESPN, and ABC will have apps to view their content on the iPad.  Many news web sites such as CNN are adopting non-Flash methods for video delivery such as HTML5. Flash’s dominance in the video market is dying.

Apple has repeated stated that they dislike Flash because it is inefficient and insecure.  Most computer experts would agree with these points.  Since its beginnings, Flash has had this reputation.  Apple’s real concern with Flash, however, is just as obvious.  Flash is a multimedia platform that could distribute powerful applications for mobile devices without using Apple’s application service.  If allowed, users could use Flash applications through the browser instead of purchasing similar applications through the Apple app store.  Web based applications, such as those built by Flash, are the only real competition to the applications available through the app store. 

Apple uses unique, brilliant hardware to capture entire markets.  The iPod captured the music market.  The iPhone/iPad devices will capture the mobile application market.

The next logical step is to take control of Internet based delivery of all video.  Why pay your cable company when you can get all of your audio and video content from Apple?  A redesigned AppleTV could be Apple’s next weapon?

Will Apple attack the cable companies like they have attacked Flash?

Stay tuned. 

Teh Show v0.1

May 29th, 2008

My buddy Jared and I are experimenting with various screencasting/podcast setups. We decided to do an unrehearsed run, had a good time, and Teh Show v0.1 was born.

teh_show.jpg

We discuss random tech stuff like the semantic web, greasemonkey, and the brief-lived starbucks free-wifi hack. Plenty of screw-ups exist. For some reason I was shocked that Jared liked firefox but hated Vista (which really makes perfect sense). Jared could not get his screencasting software to keep running.

Mainly, however, it is just us being ourselves–blathering idiots. Comments, questions, and snide remarks are always appreciated.

The purpose of Spellr.us is to review your website and find all your spelling errors. Now in beta, spellr.us has opened to a few beta testers, and I was lucky enough to be selected to test the service. I have posted a screencast showing the service in action.

spellr.us screencast

A service like this should be very important to most blogs. Most people are going to search for terms that are correctly spelled. Therefore, having the correct spelling is essential to getting good placement by google in the search rankings. Of course, misspellings are unprofessional as well.

I am a horrible, horrible speller… and mightyq is constantly correcting my destruction of our language. Thus, I was very excited to use the service.

Sadly, right now, there is no way to create a custom dictionary. Therefore, instead of easily finding my misspellings, I was flooded with words and jargon that were not in the simple spellr.us dictionary. Of course, without the ability to add words or to filter these common terms, finding the misspellings among all the other tagged words is almost impossible.

However, the custom dictionary is coming. If it will be enough to find the misspelled needles in the haystack remains to be seen. My fingers are crossed, and I bet they will succeed.

Addendum: Kevin from spellr.us has already commented on at our higher resolution podcast on this topic.

CamTwist is an OS X application that will add realtime video affects to a video stream. Most commonly CamTwist is used to provide video effects to a webcam or live video stream. CamTwist is free and requires a version of OS X that supports Quartz Extreme. This screencast demonstrates all the currently included video effects. Youtube version and higher resolution video podcast versions of this demo are available. CamTwist is free and is available now.

CamTwist demo

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Blog Me Tender, Blog Me True

March 11th, 2008

The tech-recipes authors are blogging like crazy. As I am not always the tutorial zealot, please allow me to brag on the crew a little this morning.

BFF and code monkey Q is becoming the photographer and photoshoppper extraordinaire. In his blog exposure post he highlights some of his favorite photography related blog posts.

New tech-recipes author Incursor reminds us all to take an ubuntu typing break. Our other ubuntu guru ShamansTears is on the cusp of getting Google Calendar working offline. He is destined to get us a big scoop before somebody leaks it to the a-listers.

Gadget boy and hardware hacker Seamonkey420 is beating the tobacco addiction but will never be able to give up the gear habit. Check out the videos for his Asus Eee PC 4G and his PS3 versus HTPC.

My wife and I are celebrating a little family time in the wine country. You guys be careful and not mess up the place, okay?

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New HandBrake is Much Faster

February 28th, 2008

I downloaded the new HandBrake for both XP and OS X today. I have been exceptionally impressed. I am currently ripping some of my DVD library on both systems and thought I would give my initial impressions.

This version of handbrake is dramatically faster. I have not seen benchmarks between the two version but the upgrade is not subtle. Within OS X on my MBP I am seeing my fps increase from the mid twenties to the mid thirties using my typical encoding settings. On my underpowered Vista box, I am seeing increases going from the low teens to mid twenties. There is no doubt in my mind that this version of handbrake is much faster.

Installation on OS X was a snap. Drop the app file into the applications folder and allow it to overwrite. HandBrake on the mac will gladly rip many DVDs even with copy protection.

Installation within Vista was a double click away. My first attempt at coding within vista failed however. As usual, running HandBrake in administrative mode fixed that. HandBrake for windows does not rip copy protected media.

The Vista version of the graphical interface still does not have the picture preview function. I find this essential in trying to pick deinterlacing settings for my old home videos and DVDs that are interlaced.

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Hansbrough Dunks on Iona

November 20th, 2007

This was an amazing dunk even from my cheap seats…

[youtube wtPU9vhJ2_4]

Republicans Snub YouTube

July 30th, 2007

Am I really so far out of the mainstream that I did not expect this? YouTube has more buzz, more hype than TV… and most of the Republican contenders for President are actually going to dodge it?

John McCain and Ron Paul have accepted… good for them. They are the least scripted of many of the candidates on both sides of the race.

Do the others assume that only young, less voting prone people use YouTube? Certainly Obama and Hillary have found a way to turn the YouTube debate into some mainstream press.
Anyway, I love it when blog posts get sucked into Reuters:

Mitt Romney — who recently faced derision and questions about his common sense for strapping his dog in its carrier to the top of his car during a 12-hour drive, causing the animal to defecate over his windshield — came right out and said the format is beneath his dignity.

Thanks for my first lol of the morning…

I find it amazingly interesting when strong personalities step out of character. Here is Stephen Colbert–out of character–discussing his show and politics at Harvard’s Institute of Politics.

A Conservation with Stephen Colbert. 1 hr and 9 min.

The Machine is Us/ing Us

February 7th, 2007

Wow.

I’m not sure that it is as educational as it is impressively done. Expressing information in a screencast is always very difficult. This guy is brilliant in the way he does it.

You gotta view the video…

The Machine is Us/ing Us