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Author Topic: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back  (Read 21334 times)

JimH

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Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« on: April 30, 2010, 02:32:31 pm »

Apple has forbidden use of Flash or Flash derived apps on the Touch, the iPhone and iPad.  Adobe complained a little last week, so yesterday Steve Jobs wrote an open letter about Adobe.

You can read what Steve said, but his letter had the following six points (in bold):

Adobe isn't "open".  Adobe is "proprietary".

ha ha

Apple is the Queen of Proprietary.  They've not only kept Adobe off their new little computers, but they do everything they can to keep other competitors (like JRiver) away from their shiny little computers.  It isn't nice to sell someone a computer but forbid them from using it with their favorite media player.

Flash isn't a standard.  H264 is a better choice.

Flash is everywhere.  Almost all machines have it installed.  Our web pages have used Flash for at least five years.  We've had exactly two complaints about it.

Flash is a standard, just as iPods are a standard.  It's called a "de facto" standard, not one made up by a committtee of industrial experts from very large companies.  Flash is a "People's" standard.  H264 may be better, but that doesn't make it the exclusive choice of the customer.

"Flash is the number one reason Macs crash."

Oh brother.

Steve.  Macs crash?   Really?  I don't know that.  I use a Windows PC.  It doesn't crash.  I've never seen Flash crash Windows.  I've never heard of it.  I talk to 20 or 30 computer users every day, and I've done so for almost three decades.  Flash works.  But I didn't know that Flash caused Macs to crash.  That's good to know.

Battery Life

Hmmm.

I guess that would be more of a problem for my phone if it wouldn't accept a spare battery.  Oh, wait, Apple doesn't believe a user can change a battery.  I forgot they're embedded in the device.  Dead battery.  Return phone to Apple.   Bad Flash.

Touch

Flash doesn't work well with Apple's touch screens.  Bad Flash.  Bad Apple.  Figure it out, Steve.  You've got Adobe's attention now.  Personally, I don't like touching the screen when the movie rolls.  I'd use the escape button, but wait, AppleGear doesn't use buttons, does it.  How about a multi-purpose home button that emulates escape if you click three times short, three times long, then three times short again?

Adobe also wants developers to adopt Flash to create apps that run on our mobile devices.

Steve.  It's a computer.  Developers like to write apps for computers.  Flash has a lot of developers.

But I can see your point about Apple being "open" and Adobe being "proprietary".  Sort of.  From your point of view, I guess.  Not really.

It's not nice, Steve.  You know it isn't.  Give Adobe a call and tell them you're sorry you said all those mean things.  They still love you.  You'll feel better about yourself tomorrow.
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Diverdown1964

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2010, 02:44:13 pm »

Brilliant. I don't even particularly like Flash myself, but Apple's hypocrisy is galling.
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neFAST

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2010, 03:07:01 pm »

How can I "dig" that? There used to be a button on the board, no?
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Stonehedge

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2010, 03:12:59 pm »

I agree. Too bad that SJ has gone .....On Toms Hardware there are suggestions of drug use.

I use a Mac mini and think that it is nice small computer with a good UNIX implementation. But I don´t like if Apple want to decide for me.

I also use Windows computers and Linux so there are alternatives.
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MrC

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2010, 03:17:39 pm »

this belongs in the "Music, Movies, Politics, and Other Cheap Thrills" forum...
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raldo

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2010, 03:18:07 pm »

Adobe also wants developers to adopt Flash to create apps that run on our mobile devices.

I'd say this is the real reason why Apple doesn't want flash. Flash is a competitor to Apple's Apps which generate a lot of revenue for Apple. So, in a sense, it's understandable.
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jherbert

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2010, 03:29:11 pm »

Best comment on this I have seen so far.
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Stonehedge

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2010, 03:59:11 pm »

May I also make a quote? This is from Steve Jobs open letter.

"I wanted to jot down some of our thoughts on Adobe’s Flash products so that customers and critics may better understand why we do not allow Flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads. Adobe has characterized our decision as being primarily business driven – they say we want to protect our App Store – but in reality it is based on technology issues."

I agree on that Apple want to protect their App Store but Steve is denying this.
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glynor

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2010, 04:20:49 pm »

I don't know... I thought The Steve had some very good points.  Since you supposedly want a discussion about it, Jim.  I'll respond a bit.

Adobe isn't "open".  Adobe is "proprietary".

Apple is the Queen of Proprietary.

First off, he didn't say "Adobe is proprietary", he said "Flash is proprietary" and that is absolutely true, and there is a difference.  Adobe makes plenty of "closed" software (Adobe Photoshop and InDesign, for example), but Steve wasn't complaining about any of those packages.  He was drawing a distinction between building closed software and devices (Adobe Photoshop, JRiver MC15, the iPhone, and Apple MacOSX, to name a few) and having a closed standard used as the primary video and animation delivery vehicle on the web.  I think this is an important and not irrelevant distinction.  If Flash is left to exist as the de-facto standard on the web for video, there is nothing to stop Adobe from demanding per-stream licensing fees at some point in the future.  There is nothing to stop them from breaking existing content (without anyone having any say) with a new version of the Flash player, and there is no opportunity for other people to build competing "players" which might have better security or performance.

Regarding the hypocrisy... Apple does certainly make a lot of extremely proprietary and locked-down products, you'll get no argument from me there.  However, they do also support and create a LOT of open standards.  Some that I can think of off the top of my head that were basically purely or mostly Apple created: MP4 (based on, and effectively a replica of, the Quicktime MOV container), WebKit (written by Apple and released as open source), and RTSP and HTTP Streaming.  Many other standards also had a LOT of support and assistance from Apple: OpenCL, IEEE1394, and HTML5 to name just a few recent ones.  They draw a firm line between what they view as their "products" (software and hardware), which are locked-down to high heaven, and their "internet technologies" which are often open and freely available for even competitors to use.  For example: you can write your own RTSP streaming server competing with the Quicktime Streaming Server if you want (and some companies, like Wowza, have done just that).  Steve admitted as much in his letter.  He clearly stated: "Apple has many proprietary products too."  You may believe that they often are far too closed with their software and hardware lockdowns (and I'd agree with you wholeheartedly) but the "Queen of Proprietary" title you award them is far from a clear win.  I'd say there are others out there (Intel, for example) who are at least equally deserving.

Flash isn't a standard.  H264 is a better choice.

I think you misunderstood his point on this topic.  He wasn't comparing "Flash" to "H264".  That wouldn't make sense because they are two different things, like saying "Shoes are better than cheeseburgers."  One is a video compression standard and one is a web-focused extension framework, which can be used to serve video, but is not a video format in any way (not anymore, anyway).  He was simply explaining that most video on the web is already available using the open H264 standard, including the Flash video.  This is simply a fact, and Adobe agrees!  Adobe abandoned their old proprietary FLV video format with Flash 9 (soon after they purchased the tech from Macromedia) in favor of using H264 compression and the MP4 container.  Very little current video on the web is still in FLV format anymore, even though most of it is "served" by a Flash player widget.  For example, on my non-profit's web site, we serve all of our video using FlowPlayer, which is a Flash player (one of these days I want to switch to JWPlayer, but that's another story).  However, all of the video files actually served by the embedded Flash player are H264 MP4 files, just as Adobe recommends.  Steve's point, and it is a good one, is that using a Flash player made sense when you couldn't embed these video files directly in a page (because no browser would know how to play them, or give you a controller bar, or control over how and when and in what way the video would play).  Flash solved all of these problems and was quite ubiquitous.  However, now that there IS an open standard for playing video (HTML5) and most of the browsers can just use that, there is no longer any benefit for the web developer to using a Flash player.  Why NOT use an open standard instead, since your existing video assets are already ready-to-go as-is?

However, the situation isn't as simple as he pretends in his diatribe.  There are still some substantial stumbling blocks that he left out.  For example, while Microsoft has now committed to fully implementing it in IE9 when it arrives, they did NOT implement the VIDEO embed tag in HTML5 in their currently-shipping (and still #1 market share) web browser.  Making the situation worse, both Mozilla and Opera have refused to support H264 video compression in their HTML5 implementations because while it is an open IEEE standard, some of the underlying compression technologies are patent encumbered.  They chose to implement Theora compressed video in an OGM container (why they didn't choose MKV is beyond me, but anyway).  Theora is okay, but is no where near the quality of MPEG-4 ASP (H264), roughly equivalent in quality to older DivX/XviD encodes.  This fight has led to a bit of a fragmented HTML5 video support environment, with Apple, Adobe, Google, and almost certainly eventually Microsoft supporting the H264/MP4 standard and Mozilla, Opera, and Google supporting the Theora/OGM standard.  Luckily the Video embed tag in HTML5 does have a means to deal with this semi-gracefully, but it does force people like me who create the video for the web, to generate a pile of duplicate files in different formats for every single video we publish.  I understand why Mozilla and Opera feel the way they do, but Theora just isn't good enough.  They need to either adopt H264 or allow third-parties to build plug-in renderers for their browsers so that H264 video works using the video embed tag.

"Flash is the number one reason Macs crash."

Oh brother.

Steve.  Macs crash?   Really?  I don't know that.  I use a Windows PC.  It doesn't crash.  I've never seen Flash crash Windows.

I have to agree with you here, somewhat.  The Flash implementation on Windows is pretty good as far as crashes go, though it is awful on both OSX and all of the flavors of Linux and UNIX.  But, that is actually part of Steve's point... The problem is that no one except Adobe can fix it, and if they aren't motivated to spend valuable resources building well-optimized versions of the Flash plugin for Apple's operating system (and keep in mind, fully 50% of their money-making software Suite is sold to Mac users), how likely do you think it is that they will spend time fixing the performance of their Solaris build?  Or the Debian Linux version?  Or the Red-Hat version?  The issue is that there is no opportunity for competition to improve the problems.  There's no way for a third-party company to come in and fix it, you just have to wait and hope that Adobe eventually will do it (and it will certainly be on their timeframe).  There is no opportunity for competition to drive Adobe to fix it, which becomes something of a lock-in to the Windows platform.  If we allow Flash to stay a "web standard", and Adobe decides to stop making a version of the Flash player for Linux or OSX or Solaris or BSD, then that will make those platforms unable to access the full web experience.  His point is that the web is different from software.  That it was designed to be a level playing field, and that allowing one company with one proprietary standard to control it themselves unilaterally, is harmful to consumer choice and society as a whole.  He is saying that it is a different thing than locking down an operating system or an iPod, because, if you don't like what Apple does with their hardware and software, you can choose not to buy a Mac or an iPod and choose a Windows or Linux computer instead (or a Sansa or a Zune).  Apple isn't doing anything to lock you out of the Web with their proprietary ways.

Again, I think he paints a bit rosy of a scenario.  The App Store and their mobile devices are completely locked down, and I'm not a fan of that policy at all.  Apple views the App Store as a store, similar to iTunes or Amazon MP3 Store, and not a "communications medium".  I think the line is a bit blurry here, though there is certainly still lots of consumer choice.  If you don't like the policies, you can always buy an Android device or WebOS phone if you prefer, and you can still get on the web and still get software for your device.

His other point in this section, which you skipped over, Jim is probably even more relevant.  Where is this legendary Mobile Flash that Apple is supposed to approve?  It doesn't exist.  It is completely and utterly vaporware, not just for Apple's hardware, but for all of the current ARM-based mobile platforms (sorry, the stripped down thing they call "Flash" on Windows Mobile doesn't count, all code has to be custom written for it and it has nothing even approaching a full feature set).  Adobe has been promising this for years now.  Where is it?  Where is this proof that current generation ARM hardware can actually run full Flash content with acceptable performance?  Maybe if Adobe was actually shipping a product for Apple's competitors (and launch dates hadn't slipped for over two years) so that Google and Palm/HP could proudly pronounce "we have full Flash support, na-na-na-na", then Apple's song would be a bit different.  But so far, it has been vaporware.  All promise and no delivery.

You also skipped over one of his 6 major points entirely, which was security.  And on this, I completely agree.  Adobe has a dismal security track record, especially in their Acrobat and Flash technologies.  Literally two weeks don't go by before some website (often top-tier sites like MSNBC or The New York Times) ends up serving their users a malicious Flash SWF that exploits a security hole in the Flash plugin to install malware.

Even high-tech sites aren't immune.  It happened just a few weeks ago at Anandtech, of all places.  Mashable and the Drudge Report got hit a few weeks before that, and so on and so forth.  Macromedia never designed Flash with modern security concepts in mind, just like Microsoft didn't design Windows 95 with fundamental security concerns in mind, and so it is fundamentally broken.  It needs to be re-written from the ground up, and Adobe has shown NO inkling of a plan to do so.  In fact, just a few months ago, they announced that they weren't even going to release security patches for critical flaws except on a quarterly basis!  They backed down a month or two later, but the fact that they even had this laughable plan shows a callous disregard for computer security and a fundamental misunderstanding of the responsibility that comes with that 98.9% installed base with a web-connected technology.
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glynor

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2010, 04:21:20 pm »

Battery Life
I guess that would be more of a problem for my phone wouldn't accept a spare battery.  Oh, wait, Apple doesn't believe a user can change a battery.  I forgot they're embedded in the device.  Dead battery.  Return phone to Apple.   Bad Flash.

You can carry a pile of extra batteries with your phone if you want, I suppose.  For me, I'd rather have longer battery life and no removable battery than a removable battery with lots shorter life.  And, yes, in every fair test, ALL of the competing phones with removable batteries do worse than those with none.  Could be a long-running fluke, but I doubt it.  The battery concern is quite serious.  Power use nearly DOUBLES on modern laptops with GPU acceleration when Flash kicks in.  Cutting your battery life in half is no joking matter.

That said, I think the Steve was pretty disingenuous here.  He explains that the reason Flash video, in particular, consumes so much more power on mobile devices is that handset manufacturers build components into the hardware which accelerate video decoding (indeed, it is part of the ARM architecture, and it is also part of all of the different GPU components of the major ARM-based platforms out there, including the Apple A4).  According to Steve, Flash does all of it's decode functions in software and makes no use of the GPU assistance and special code paths in the ARM architecture that are available.  We'll have to take his word for it, I suppose, since Adobe isn't actually shipping a version of Flash for any of these platforms, but even assuming it is true... A lot of this is because of restrictions in the API.  It is not entirely clear that Adobe could use the accelerated code paths in an iPhone OS version of Flash, if Apple would let them build Flash for the iPhone at all.  It is possible (other apps in the App store do accelerate video decode, like AirVideo), but the licensing language is murky, and Apple could use it as an excuse to reject the app.

We will see if Adobe ever releases a full-featured Flash player plugin for Android, Windows Phone 7, or WebOS, if they actually do bother to make a different version for each and every set of hardware.  I personally doubt it.  The problem is that the hardware market is so fractured.  Adobe would end up having to write different plugins for each different actual device (an "Android" plugin that uses hardware acceleration designed for the Motorola Droid, would not necessarily work on the Nexus one, and CERTAINLY wouldn't work on the HTC G1).  They would almost certainly optimize their iPhone version, if Apple would let them, but how do you think you would fare if you had a less-popular hardware design?  How about 18 months after your device was released and a new version of Flash comes out?  Think they'd ever bother to back-port it or would you be on the hook for a new phone?

Touch

Flash doesn't work well with Apple's touch screens.  Bad Flash.  Bad Apple.  Figure it out, Steve.  You've got Adobe's attention now.  Personally, I don't like touching the screen when the movie rolls.  I'd use the escape button, but wait, AppleGear doesn't use buttons, does it.  How about a multi-purpose home button that emulates escape if you click three times short, three times long, then three times short again?

I have no idea what you mean by this comment.  But the truth is, for Flash Applications (not video players, but for all of those Flash games and site designs, just like the one you guys have up on your page), any application that detects and uses a mouse rollover effect (like JRiver's page does) does not work on a Touchscreen device.  That's just the way it is, and it was a very good point.  So, assuming that Adobe does eventually come out with a full-featured Flash plugin for Android, and assuming HP or Asus or someone does make a nice Android tablet, and I buy one (which is a good likelihood), then I STILL won't be able to fully experience and use lots of Flash content, including the Flash content on JRiver's web site.

This is, of course, not Adobe's fault at all.  However, the vast majority of Flash site navigational controls out there DO make heavy use of the mouse rollover design paradigm, and they are all either useless or very difficult to use with a touchscreen device (even a Windows 7 touchscreen device, as I've experienced myself).

Adobe also wants developers to adopt Flash to create apps that run on our mobile devices.

Steve.  It's a computer.  Developers like to write apps for computers.  Flash has a lot of developers.

But I can see your point about Apple being "open" and Adobe being "proprietary".  Sort of.  From your point of view, I guess.  Not really.

I agree with you completely on this point.  The closed App Store model is a monster and is dangerous to the future of software development.  I'd say it is even MORE dangerous than the x86 monopoly ever was.
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bob

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2010, 04:40:44 pm »

Have used one of those platforms where adobe absolutely refused to do a SIMPLE port of flash, I say, good riddance to it. I don't care about any attributions of Jobs motives. To be unable to use lots of websites in any meaningful way because of one companies closed policies, well they can just take a flying leap. Silverlight and Quicktime can join flash in the flying leap. Fortunately it seems that exclusive content served by Silverlight has pretty much vanished from the sites I frequent.

In a similar vein, it's great Firefox has put a lot of hurt on the tendencies of many websites to do I.E. only.
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gappie

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2010, 04:51:54 pm »

they have forgotten where the letters UI stand for...
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Mr ChriZ

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2010, 04:58:59 pm »

Quote
I agree with you completely on this point.  The closed App Store model is a monster and is dangerous to the future of software development.  I'd say it is even MORE dangerous than the x86 monopoly ever was.

This I completely agree with. I hope Android offers a good alternative and developers flock to it.

I'm not a fan of flash.  It always seemed  a very messy way of developing to me. 
Technically I think Silverlight comparatively looks far more pleasant, and is rapidly becoming more competent to.
I suspect however HTML5 will soon finish off both of them as it's the only thing that's likely to make it into all browsers, and content delivery will chose the winner.

glynor

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2010, 05:47:44 pm »

This I completely agree with. I hope Android offers a good alternative and developers flock to it.

Agreed, though I'm skeptical.  Android has a serious problem with product segmentation, and so far Google hasn't done very much at all to address it.  As a developer, you are forced to code either to the lowest common denominator or to each and every different handset that comes out.  Whereas on iPhone OS, I can write my code once and it will work on every iPhone ever released so far.  That won't last forever (looks like iPhone OS 4.0 will be a line in the sand for the original model), but 4+ years of device compatibility is a far-cry from the absolute mess that is the Android software ecosystem.

There was an interesting segment on the Engadget Podcast about a month ago, where they had the developers who wrote their mobile "Apps" for them on the show, and they briefly discussed with them the differences between the platforms.  They said that writing the Engadget software for Android took literally three times the man-hours that writing the software for all of the other mobile platforms they did combined (iPhone, WebOS, and Blackberry).  On top of that, they complained Android app was substantially limited in design and functionality because they had to write it assuming only a minimum of hardware and OS support (they basically designed for the G1 on Android 1.6).  That was their only choice, because the Android marketplace is so horribly fragmented.

That's the major issue that is holding me back from going with an Android phone this summer when I replace my iPhone 3G, and it is the major thing I'm worried about with a potential Android tablet.  I bought my iPhone 3G a couple of months after they were released, and I will still get iPhone OS 4.0, for free, immediately upon release (or pretty close) two years later.  I couldn't even say the same thing about the Motorola Droid phone two months later, and each Android revision seems to make it worse.

If it is a pocket computer, then it is a pocket computer, and I want a platform.  The old cell-phone model of upgrading the handset to get new software features is not acceptable. I don't have the money to upgrade my phone every couple of months (and I don't get them free like the editors of the gadget blogs).  It needs to be fully supported at least for the length of my contract (2 years).   If Google somehow manages to set some strict hardware standards, and fixes the segmentation problem, then I think they'll be a viable iPhone competitor (and they'll absolutely get me as a user).  Until then, though, I'm not interested. 
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JimH

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2010, 08:14:29 am »

Adobe Employees Throw iPhones in SF Bay (maybe)

Quote
Adobe confirmed Thursday that it plans to demonstrate a version of Flash for Google's Android software in May at the Google I/O conference, in responding to Apple CEO Steve Jobs' criticism of Flash in an open letter. And the company wants to make sure its employees use those phones: it's preparing to give away Android phones running Flash to employees, according to three sources familiar with the plan.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-20003922-94.html
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MarkCoutinho

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2010, 10:16:11 am »

Just read on a site that Microsoft is turning against Flash too. "Flash has got some problems", they say. They go for HTML5.
Read the blog of Dean Hachamovitch: http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2010/04/29/html5-video.aspx
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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2010, 10:18:42 am »

I use Firefox on my MAC mini for surfing. But when I go to Apples App Store is Firefox not working. Apple demand Safari and iTunes to buy software on-line at App Store.

This is interesting since Steve Jobs is talking with BIG emphasis regarding open internet standards.

I know that there are workarounds with Firefox plugins but should that be needed? It is not needed when buying elsewhere on the internet.
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Diverdown1964

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2010, 11:54:21 am »

I think that the real issue here isn't whether or not Flash is any good, it's the fact that Apple is actively blocking it, and anything else that doesn't flow through its control.
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Stonehedge

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #18 on: May 01, 2010, 12:18:49 pm »

But the quoted blog statement ends with "Despite these issues, Flash remains an important part of delivering a good consumer experience on today’s web."

Microsoft does not end any Flash support, they are adding HTML5 support for playback of H.264 video.

Just read on a site that Microsoft is turning against Flash too. "Flash has got some problems", they say. They go for HTML5.
Read the blog of Dean Hachamovitch: http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2010/04/29/html5-video.aspx
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gvanbrunt

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2010, 04:04:32 pm »

I agree with many of the points presented here. I own an iphone and a PowerMac and have invested plenty of time learning to develop for the platform. Apples latest escapade locking developers into using whatever tools they deem "up to standard" is the last straw for me. I will no longer invest any time, effort or resources into their products. I plan on replacing my iPhone shortly and developing for that platform instead.

Too long have they spewed lies about reasons for locking customers into do what they want. Case in point, their reason for locking the DB on their devices was because of DRM issues. Give me a break, iTunes no longer sells DRM songs, so why is it still locked? So you have to use iTunes and they can pollute your computer with their store...

If Steve is too pigheaded to see that he is going down the exact same avenue that killed what could have been whaMac's dominance of the PC in the 80's then he deserves everything he gets. The real irony is all the iJobs fan boys slag "M$" for only being about money, when in reality it is the other way around. If Jobs stuck to marketing and R&D of great tools, and out of the business end of things, Apple might actually stay on top and add some real competition to MS.

Anyone want to buy an iPhone 3G?
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fitbrit

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2010, 11:39:32 pm »

I must say that I thought Steve Jobs made some very valid points.
Also, I know several developers of mobile apps who think the Android situation is a mess right now. I think a lot of the original post is fuelled by bitterness (understandably), which has little to do with Flash on Apple hardware. Flash is known to cause a lot of crashes on Macs. Whether it does so on a Windows PC is irrelevant when describing how stable it is on a Mac. Nowhere was it said that OSX was not proprietary; the comment was about using open web standards, not operating systems.
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Diverdown1964

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #21 on: May 02, 2010, 07:46:38 am »

Here's a fantastic letter that expounds on the root problem further:

http://calacanis.com/2009/08/08/the-case-against-apple-in-five-parts/
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JimH

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #22 on: May 02, 2010, 08:46:08 am »

Flash is known to cause a lot of crashes on Macs.
If that is true, it is the OS that is at fault, in my opinion.  A good OS should be able to defend itself.
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glynor

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #23 on: May 02, 2010, 11:56:34 am »

If that is true, it is the OS that is at fault, in my opinion.  A good OS should be able to defend itself.

You misunderstand the quote, Jim.  It never crashes the OS, just like Windows.  OSX has a fully protected memory model, just like NT.

Flash does commonly lock up the browser(s) though (with the exception of Chrome, where it locks up only the tab where the crash occurred).  When "the Steve" referred to crashing, he was referring to the data they get from the auto-generated error reports that OSX sends (with permission, just like Windows) whenever a process terminates unexpectedly.  Even when it doesn't outright crash, if you get a bunch of tabs going on OSX or Linux that have Flash in them, it is pretty easy to bring the responsiveness of the browser to a crawl (and suck up unbelievable sums of memory).

Flash is NOT perfectly stable on Windows either.  It's pretty easy to find examples of Flash with ActionScript that will crash Flash on Windows and bring down the browser if you look around.  It just doesn't seem to happen as randomly on Windows as on OSX (or Linux).  That's a resource allocation issue on Adobe's part.  The OSX and Linux versions lag behind the Windows one, and just aren't as polished or stable when they're done.
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bob

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2010, 12:45:00 pm »

Hey Glynor, I got an email from Mozilla a week or so ago that stated they have a version of Firefox (I forget the name) that does the same as Chrome, when a plugin (typically flash) goes bonkers in a tab it doesn't crash the browser.
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glynor

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #25 on: May 02, 2010, 12:57:23 pm »

The feature is called Out-of-process plugins (OOPP), and it is currently in some of the nightly builds of the 3.6 branch of the Firefox tree.  It will be released in an upcoming dot release for Firefox 3.6.  It is beta quality currently.

The project is called Electrolysis.  The basic idea is to implement a full multi-process capability for Firefox.  First of all, OOPP will run all browser plugins in their own sandboxed process, which will insulate the browser from plugin crashes (like Flash).  Secondly, the model will allow a Chrome-like multi-process tabs feature, though it will be much more flexible.
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HTPC4ME

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #26 on: May 02, 2010, 01:43:23 pm »

why we waste our breathe with apple here amazes me!

i'm not gonna even begin to waste my time bashin them(alright maybe a tad).

my opinion short and Bitter.  Screw Apple!

ya got apple and want JRiver, or any other software. YOU FIGURE IT OUT.

and when jriver tried helping out Steveripoffs customers who wanted to use a good player, they were told that they would owe apple an ungodly amount of money.

Let em sink! eventually mac customers will learn to do there own maintenance, or actually learn to read on how to tweak there system. or do what the rest of em do, and have multiple platforms in there residence. (this i know for a fact from the umpteen mac forums ive had to visit for my gf. but hey " its an apple everything just works" but yet i have to spend hours researching them for her to tell her it just doesnt work. and her reply like the typical mac user... no its windows, or every other platforms fault. umm then why can i find apps that will do what you apple fanatics want and cant find, how come i can download a song play it on any computer, burn it ten thousand times,(the list is endless of things the GF has wanted that i'm capable to do with my other platforms.)

The Battery.. HA! i'd rather carry a duffle bag of 50 batteries for my cell, knowing that when my battery dies for good. i'm not being forced to go buy a new iphone at over $600.00 because i got forced into a contract, and my plan doesnt end for another year and a half. There are many people in this world that live out of there means(Or are forced to, or can't afford to buy high bucks items over and over again). And to Me THAT IS JUST A JOKE!

I think JRiver Needs to Come Up With a Great Line Like HTC Did in there Recent interview with the media... Basically, Apple Get %^C#^%....
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"We've yet to have the time to look at the allegations against us from apple"
htc should counter sue... they've had the mp3 player's, video, internet in phones YEARS before Steveripoffjobs even contimplated copying all the features of a real mans cellphone, and even then they couldnt get multitasking to work, a flash, or any other complaints i've heard from iphone users or there million apps that ya download and use that have a total of 6 settings in there options, leaving the user wishing there was more they could do. EX? EQ's for one.

 in conclusion.. ya want jriver, any other software... Do as Gvanbrunt is forced to do...
Quote
Anyone want to buy an iPhone 3G?
You'll have plenty of people out there who just wanna be able to click those pretty little squares and have no interest in the abundance of features, or customization others have.
No Offense Gvanbrunt (i know you use multiple platforms so this isn't directed at you)But I Know I Don't Want It, Burn The Almighty Thing!

Ohhh And One last thing. Learn The Phrase It's Better To Be thought Of As A Fool Then To Prove It...Don't brag your product is uncrackable, Ya Look Like Idiots When A 17 yr. old cracks your phone!

Great Post Jim! I concur With 100% Of It!
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glynor

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #27 on: May 02, 2010, 01:52:15 pm »

The Battery.. HA! i'd rather carry a duffle bag of 50 batteries for my cell, knowing that when my battery dies for good. i'm not being forced to go buy a new iphone at over $600.00 because i got forced into a contract, and my plan doesnt end for another year and a half. There are many people in this world that live out of there means(Or are forced to, or can't afford to buy high bucks items over and over again). And to Me THAT IS JUST A JOKE!

Sorry, buddy... That's just FUD.  The official Apple battery replacement program for iPhones is $79.  They'll do it while you wait if you go to an Apple store, or you can send it in with 3 business day turnaround time.  If you don't want to pay that much, you can send it to iResq instead and they'll do it for $39 with 24 hour turnaround.  A replacement battery for a Nexus One runs $35 on Amazon right now, so that's pretty comparable.

But, either way, I've had mine for almost 2 years and it still works perfectly fine.  There's no way you'd need a new battery while still under a regular 2-year contract, and especially not only 6 months in.  If it does somehow, the battery is covered under the standard Applecare warranty and they'll replace it free.
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HTPC4ME

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #28 on: May 02, 2010, 02:03:56 pm »

gick gick

tmobile sells phone chargers for $29.99

got mine(house and car charger) for 5.99 with free shipping. and i dont have down time. and ive got an extra $33.01 to spend on my future JRiver UPGRADE!

how long before i can get this post locked?

Down With Apple!
So Whats Going To Be New In Version 16, Anyway to make webremote and webplay inoperable for iphones? i guarantee i have friends code worthy enough to accomplish this, JRiver do you want there names? I'll pay $100.00 bucks for jriver's proggy Every YEAR (UPGRADE PRICE) if you can accomplish this! eventually all those customers will be forced to re-evaluted there buying decisions!
Harsh? hmmmm isnt that what they do?



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gappie

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #29 on: May 02, 2010, 02:08:52 pm »

how long before i can get this post locked?
;D ;D ;D ;D
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HTPC4ME

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #30 on: May 02, 2010, 02:13:39 pm »

glynor i respect ya, your very knowledgable. in fact you put me to shame in regards to technology, and comp skills... But there are posts here and convo's you and i have had in regards to helping setup my gf with certain apple apps,apple issues she's had etc... and she just wasnt able to accomplish things, and thats just my experiences in this forum.

i'm just expressing my feelings about apple as you are towards others.

Personally... I've cut all ties with them.

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glynor

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #31 on: May 02, 2010, 02:18:45 pm »

tmobile sells phone chargers for $29.99

got mine(house and car charger) for 5.99 with free shipping. and i dont have down time. and ive got an extra $33.01 to spend on my future JRiver UPGRADE!

You can be all the hater you want, but quoting $600 and a requirement to buy a new phone after 6 months was just a lie.  I'm not claiming there are not cheaper options out there.  There sure are, but cost isn't everything, nor is a bulleted feature list.

And all I know is that every previous feature phone I've owned "needed" a new battery after 10-12 months of use, because it would no longer hold it's charge acceptably.  This has not been my personal experience with my iPhone, nor has it been our experience at my company where we have about 300 users with iPhones or iPod Touches.  I've only heard of one user total that has had to do a battery replacement, and that was fairly recently on his first-gen iPhone and he left it plugged in at his desk all day long every day (which is terrible for Lithium Ion batteries).

They do certainly need charged more frequently than an average "regular" cell phone, but no one that I know who has one really feels this is a serious problem.  Mine always lasts a full day and I just plug it in on my nightstand at night when I sleep.  That was not my experience when I tested both the older HTC G1 and the Motorola Droid.
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glynor

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #32 on: May 02, 2010, 02:24:27 pm »

i'm just expressing my feelings about apple as you are towards others.

Personally... I've cut all ties with them.

Personally, I have very mixed feelings about Apple.  I genuinely like some of their products (Final Cut is the best cutting app, I'm sorry AVID people), but I also really dislike some of their choices, especially when it comes to product hardware lock-downs.

I'm absolutely no fan-boy.  Most of my machines are home-built Windows PCs.  I do have a Mac laptop, but I didn't buy it myself, and I need it to run Final Cut.  I have both Macs and PCs at work, but only Windows machines at home.  I've never owned an iPod (too limited).

I bought an iPhone because I wanted a true pocket computer platform, and none of the other alternatives were acceptable at the time.  Everything has it's flaws.
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bwaldron

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #33 on: May 02, 2010, 02:26:12 pm »

Personally... I've cut all ties with them.

As have I; sold off my collection of iPod devices and am now solely using an Android phone and a Sansa Clip.

It takes a lot to make Adobe look good in comparison...but Jobs has done it.
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HTPC4ME

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #34 on: May 02, 2010, 02:34:02 pm »

spv c550 - owned it since it was first released in UK.. in my closet and battery works flawlessly never replaced it.. before that the E200 had it for years as well never replaced battery. all i ever replaced on both phones were the shells due to them being dropped. Amazingly the spv c550 from over 25 feet down onto concrete while up on a hopper when i was doing asbestos for a living, The battery popped off and she got scratched (not cracked -  scratched) (Don't do this at home, this was an accident and i was def sweating bullets on my way down the ladder) lol

Quote
They do certainly need charged more frequently than an average "regular" cell phone, but no one that I know who has one really feels this is a serious problem.  Mine always lasts a full day and I just plug it in on my nightstand at night when I sleep.  That was not my experience when I tested both the older HTC G1 and the Motorola Droid.


 i will give the Gf's iphone credit for battery length.. out of the box it blows my new htc hd2 out of the water. but as i'm doing rom updates and tweaking. i'm getting closer and closer to her battery levels. and in time will be equal to if not beat hers.


Anywho... Ive Got A Clients Windows Virus Infected PC to fix. (How Ironic For This Topic)
L8R
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gvanbrunt

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #35 on: May 02, 2010, 05:39:26 pm »

I'm pretty much like Glynor, I purchased an iPhone because it was the first really usable multi use cell phone. While applications existed before it, they were not easy to use and the iPhones touch interface changed all that.

Time has moved on, and there are now real alternatives to the iPhone. I agree Android is still a bit of a gamble (and a mess of issues), but at least I won't have them changing what I'm allowed to do with my own device constantly.

Most importantly I won't have Mr. Jobs spitting in my face and then telling me he was worried my face might catch fire. I'm tired of his spin. He can make money off of others from now on. It won't be me...
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JimH

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #36 on: May 03, 2010, 10:42:27 am »

But Wait!  There's more!

Quote
After years of being the little guy who used Washington to fend off Goliaths like Microsoft, Apple CEO Steve Jobs is about to learn what life is like when the shoe's on the other foot.

According to a person familiar with the matter, the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission are locked in negotiations over which of the watchdogs will begin an antitrust inquiry into Apple's new policy of requiring software developers who devise applications for devices such as the iPhone and iPad to use only Apple's programming tools.

Article at the NY Post
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Mr ChriZ

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #37 on: May 03, 2010, 10:50:53 am »

But Wait!  There's more!

Article at the NY Post


Lol at the wording, "which of the watchdogs will begin an antitrust inquiry into Apple's new policy of requiring software developers"

That is quite amusing  :)

glynor

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #38 on: May 03, 2010, 11:08:36 am »

Well, this is probably a good thing.  It will be pretty difficult to show monopoly status in these markets, which is the only way the government has any power to tell Apple what to do with its own business, so I'm skeptical that the feds will actually accomplish anything legally.  However, the very threat of legal pressure might be enough to move Apple in a more developer-friendly direction over time.  If we can get the App Store process made much more transparent, with hard-and-fast rules, appeal procedures, and everything else documented out, then that will have been a very good win.  Maybe it will even keep Apple from trying to kill the MonoTouch project, which would also be a Very Good Thing.

On the other hand... An "inquiry" in DOJ and FTC parlance is not what you might think it is.  The inquiry they are talking about is essentially an official process used to decide whether to open an investigation, not an investigation itself.  So, what the Post reported was effectively:  "The FTC and DOJ are talking to each other and trying to decide whether to try to decide to start an investigation into Apple's change in their Terms of Service."  Ahhh... The Federal Government at work!  What I'm afraid is that they'll spend lots of time and taxpayer money in order to pad the lawyers' balance sheets effectively issue another Sternly Worded Letter to Apple, which Apple will file in the circular file like the one they got in August from the FCC.

People like to yell "monopoly", but it is actually fairly difficult to prove monopoly status under the law, and then to prove that Apple is using that monopoly power in anti-competitive ways.  It was far-from-clear that even Microsoft had monopoly power with Windows when the FTC launched their investigation of them back in the late 90's, and they were running with above 98% market share at the time.  It would seem to me that there is LOTS of competition in this space right now, and by the time that the FTC or DOJ even decides whether to try to decide to do anything, there will likely be even more competing devices for sale.

Still, it could be viewed as a warning shot across Apple's bow.  The DOJ/FTC could effectively say to Apple: "We don't like this, and if and when you DO take over the market, like you did with your iPod, we'll be coming for you unless you change this."  And that might be worth something indeed.
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glynor

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #39 on: May 03, 2010, 11:12:47 am »

PS.  If you're interested, John Gruber did a very good write-up on some of the background behind this and some of the history of why Apple doesn't want 3rd Party frameworks available on iPhone OS.  Most people assume that it just because they want to maintain the App Store lockdown.  I'm sure that has a LOT to do with it, but that is absolutely NOT the entire shooting match.

http://daringfireball.net/2010/04/middleware_and_section_311

It does somewhat assume you know some of the history of the OSX platform and the problems with CodeWarrior.  But, suffice it to say that CodeWarrior is why Microsoft didn't ship a
"true" OSX version of Office for YEARS after it was released, and is why Adobe is only just now (10 years later) shipping a Cocoa version of Adobe Creative Suite.
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JimH

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #40 on: May 03, 2010, 11:16:04 am »

... what the Post reported was effectively:  "The FTC and DOJ are talking to each other and trying to decide whether to try to decide to start an investigation ...

I'm glad they're "trying to decide whether to try to decide" about Apple and not JRiver.
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glynor

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #41 on: May 03, 2010, 12:10:27 pm »

I'm glad they're "trying to decide whether to try to decide" about Apple and not JRiver.

Me too!   ;D
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gvanbrunt

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #42 on: May 03, 2010, 04:53:32 pm »

And as long as somebody gets me a tissue to wipe my face in the in the meantime I'm happy too... :)

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Most importantly I won't have Mr. Jobs spitting in my face and then telling me he was worried my face might catch fire.
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benn600

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #43 on: May 04, 2010, 10:39:46 am »

One of the arguments is that flash requires hover information to function properly.  Websites use hover extensively, especially some of the newer heavily scripted sites, not to mention right click or double click which are effectively useless on the iPhone.  I guess they should stop supporting the web because web sites are not exclusively and explicitly built for iPhone viewers.
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flac.rules

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #44 on: May 04, 2010, 02:17:34 pm »

Steve Jobs does say some stupid things, and I'm pretty tired of their lock-in tactics. That beeing said, Flash is a piece of CPU-hogging unstable piece of junk. It sucks an extreme amount of CPU compared to the task, and it does cause chrashes a lot of the time, also in windows. (browser crashes, not total system chrashes)
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ThoBar

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #45 on: May 04, 2010, 08:44:56 pm »

Steve Jobs does say some stupid things, and I'm pretty tired of their lock-in tactics. That beeing said, Flash is a piece of CPU-hogging unstable piece of junk. It sucks an extreme amount of CPU compared to the task, and it does cause chrashes a lot of the time, also in windows. (browser crashes, not total system chrashes)
My sentiments exactly.
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gappie

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #46 on: May 05, 2010, 11:44:45 am »

so much text.. no images.  ?
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JimH

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #47 on: May 16, 2016, 06:46:57 am »

I was wrong about Flash.  It's going away.  Chrome will start to move away from it later this year:

http://www.computerworld.com/article/3070495/security/google-to-block-flash-by-default-on-most-sites-for-chrome-users.html

Google will warn first, then allow use of their flash player.
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Awesome Donkey

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Re: Open Letter to Steve Jobs -- Apple Flash Back
« Reply #48 on: May 16, 2016, 10:26:29 am »

Thankfully HTML5 has since become a thing.

I, for one, won't allow Flash to touch this computer. I do hope that Firefox and Edge soon follow suit. I also hope that Microsoft stops forcing Flash through Windows Update - I don't want nor need it automatically installed and updated.
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