Sean O'Donnells Weblog
Wrong. This is a smart move by Adobe to enhance the popularity of the still closed and proprietary Flash runtime. But even if the Flash runtime was free and open I would still have problems with the platform.
I remember when Google Maps and GMail first launched, hordes of excited techies crawled all over it until its tricks and secrets where spread far and wide. The Pragmatic Ajax book even uses a Google Maps style interface as one of its examples. Google has lost nothing from this, no horde of competitors has sprung out of the night to steal its business using the code. But the concepts have enriched a thousand other web applications. News of the beauty of their code and their innovative techniques has reached every potential hire. Compare this to something like YouTube. Are the web developers of the world crawling all over its video playing Flash widget? No, because its a closed world.
Look at this great little mashup, its syncs Google Map with video footage of a car racing through the streets of Paris in the early morning. But whats the mechanism used to integrate? "Hit play at the 4 second mark". Smooth integration is impossible, because Flash is a closed world. If streaming media was a transparent, extensible technology such a crude bridge would be unnecessary.
The One Laptop Per Child project considers this to be such an important concept that they are building a view source button for all running applications right into the keyboard. This may turn out to be the greatest stroke of genius by an already overwhelmingly impressive project.
SVG is promising us a path for rich graphics. Firefox, Opera and others are promising us native video streaming in their next versions. We should focus our energy and passion on the technologies that allow us to work and learn together, rather than in lonely workshops and walled gardens.
Somebody going by the name danmagic pointed out that a very valuable function of the RIAA is to deflect attention from their members. The problem is the RIAA has a lot of members. To be practical, I knocked myself up a simple python script. Run it and it will print the names of 3 RIAA members , like this
Penalty Recordings (Ryko), Best Side Catalog, CM Java and other members of the RIAA
Run it again....
Black Out, Epitaph Records, Volcom and other members of the RIAA
Get the script here.
The script scrapes the RIAA's own membership page removes the crud , so from now on , when every they sue a small child, or tell us we cant rip our cds and play them on an ipod, make sure a little of the bad PR hits the member companies who fund them.
I just came across this list of sources of drm free sci-fi, and its pretty good. The sad thing is I found it while hunting for a web store selling them. I am sitting here with my credit card in hand, in the mood for some Heinlein, and no one is getting my money, as every source I can find has the books locked up in DRM sludge. Sigh, sooner or later they might decide they actually want me as a customer.
For quite a while now, I have only had a very foggy understanding of what closures where, and most explanations I have encountered only confused my already limited understanding. Martin Fowler has rescued me from this muddy state of mind with his short concise explanation of closures, and Ivan Moore was kind enough to translate his examples into Python. Python doesn't appear to really have full closure support however, as both lambdas and list comprehensions have limits on what they can do.