Monthly Archives: October 2010

pitiless steamroller flattens Flash wannabe

Microsoft’s Silverlight dream is over « Tim Anderson’s ITWriting.

In the early days of Silverlight, simply supporting Windows and Mac accounted for most of what people wanted from a cross-platform client. That is no longer the case.

Further, despite a few isolated wins, Silverlight has done nothing to dent the position of Adobe Flash as a cross-platform multimedia and now application runtime. …

Why has not Microsoft done more to support Silverlight? It does look as if reports of internal factions were correct. Why continue the uphill struggle with Silverlight, when a fast HTML 5 browser, in the form of IE9, meets many of the same needs and will work across the Apple and Google platforms without needing a non-standard runtime?

XSPFGate

Not Watergate! It’s a gateway that converts XSPF to JSON, including JSONP. I’m hosting it on my personal account, but anybody is welcome to use it.

The purpose is to make it easier to use XSPF in AJAX hacks, which is usually blocked by restrictions on cross-domain XML requests.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you… THE MONSTER:

XSPF Gate

suppliers

David Pakman on Netflix:

Netflix developed great economic leverage with the rights owners — and that is the only way to force them to do deals that allow both customers to be delighted and also leave enough margin for startups to build a business.

But wait, there’s more. The deals you force the rights holders to do have to be survivable for them. Netflix needs its suppliers to stay in business.

The future of HTML on TV is WebKit

Andrew Baron of Rocketboom wrote a bit on TechCrunch entitled The Future Of TV Is HTML:

The world is obsessed with apps right now. An app is just software for your computer, and developers are being forced to recreate the same experience dozens of different ways. It’s a constant re-inventing of the wheel. What a waste of time. Now Microsoft is getting into the game too. While it’s easy for a consumer to ignore by just sticking to their platform of choice, developers and content distributors need to figure out WTF they must do next to make their “app” look the same on Windows or some other new platform, like yep, Apple Lion.

Yes, the diversity in platforms is also needed and welcome. It’s in the best interest of the world overall to have many choices. There are many examples of wants-and-needs not being met by just one development platform. Special tasks require alternate solutions. But for TV content, distributed to the living room, none of this really matters because the place to be is not necessarily on the phone, and its not in an app store, its on the web, via HTML.

And the future of HTML on TVs is WebKit. It’s what’s inside Google TV. Boxee switched over from Gecko. It’s optimized for embedded contexts in smart TVs like Vizio and Samsung. WebKit’s competition is Flash Lite, a version of Flash which is slimmed down for embedded platforms. Tivo has Flash Lite, not WebKit, for example. That means the best of both worlds for developers — the power and compatibility of HTML5 combined with the predictability of a single browser.

interactive TV app design

PC and mobile apps are used by individuals. Interactive TV apps like MOG’s Roku channel are used by groups. Everybody in the living room can see a living room app at the same time. Everybody there wants the benefit of the movie or the song or the map or whatever the app does. This limits interactivity. It’s like the issue of fighting over who has the remote — everybody is watching the TV, but only one person is picking the channel. Picking the channel can’t be the main point, or it won’t be fun for anybody but the one person with the remote.

on non-commercial licenses

From an essay by Erik Moeller on the Creative Commons Non-commercial license:

Any market built around content which is available for free must either rely on goodwill or ignorance.

The potential to benefit financially from mere distribution is therefore quite small. Where it exists due to a predominance of old media, it is likely to disappear rapidly. The people who are likely to be hurt by an -NC license are not large corporations, but small publications like weblogs, advertising-funded radio stations, or local newspapers.

Indeed, to make a substantial profit with your work, a company will have to provide added value beyond what is available for free.