Archive for January, 2010

Taunting Adobe Flash with the Apple iPad

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Is Apple ashamed of the iPad’s lack of Adobe Flash? Far from it, they seem to be proud to be the ones who are working to kill Flash and move websites to open standards like HTML5.

I found it amusing to read commentary that suggested that Steve Jobs accidentally revealed the iPad’s lack of the Adobe Flash plugin when he viewed the NY Times website during his web browsing demo. For example, a post on Geek.com says that “a missing plug-in message spoiled Jobs’ presentation for a moment but he quickly navigated away.” That is not true. It shows several times during his demo of web browsing on the iPad. In fact, if you scan to time mark 0:13:57 in the released video of the iPad special event, Steve Jobs actually zooms and and makes the “broken plugin” fill most of the display.These seem to be deliberate. It is clear that Apple views Flash as a terrible format. It is not an open standard for information, Adobe controls it, it wastes a lot of battery life, and it slows down other functions by overusing the CPU.

It seemed to me that Jobs was taunting Adobe and the abomination that is Flash. For years we’ve needed someone with the will and the strength of position to kill Flash. Apple has both. The iPhone doesn’t do Flash and never will. Same for the iPad. Eventually, websites that want to continue reaching many people with disposable income will start using HTML5 and other standards instead of proprietary junk that kills batteries. If the iPad used Flash, that 10 hour battery life probably drops to 2 hours. Apple would be making a big mistake to put Flash in it.

For an insightful commentary on how Apple seems to view Adobe Flash technology, read John Gruber’s post Apple, Adobe, and Flash at DaringFireball.net.

Blog Reset

Monday, January 25th, 2010

My first web page was written in October 1994 and was hosted on my Centris 650 (a Macintosh), running at 25 MHz, with 8 MB of RAM. The server software was Chuck Shotton’s MacHTTP. I was a sophomore in a Bachelor of Science in Physics program at Drexel University in Philadelphia. The previous month I had been a volunteer in the university’s “Connectivity Fair,” demonstrating to students and faculty some exciting software called Mosaic (and MacWeb). It allowed you to access the Internet via a graphical interface, rather than text-only via FTP, Gopher, Telnet, IRC, and the like.

Drexel had installed two Ethernet ports in each dorm room over the summer of 1994, providing each residential student with a direct, high-speed connection to the Internet. The connection included permanent IP addresses which allowed us to run our own servers reachable from anywhere else on the Internet. I installed MacHTTP and coded my own web pages using SimpleText, a basic text editor. I learned HTML by reading a few basic introduction pages and then looking at the source code of other websites. Around the same time, the 0.93beta of Netscape was released – a commercial (though free to education users) new web browser made by the former students who had created Mosaic. There were many opportunities to work with school departments to leverage this new media to further academic goals.

Fast forward to today. After graduating from Drexel, I moved from physics to computer consulting, developing database systems, building e-commerce sites, designing workflow automation processes, and much more. I blogged some of my thoughts on technology over the years, but most of that material is very outdated (I may bring over anything I think is still interesting, even if only for humor’s sake). I found myself becoming more and more fascinated, and often infuriated, by the results of the intersection of law and technology. Here were two powerful forces, one designed to be conservative and deliberate, the other often chaotic and swift. The law tried to cope with new technology, while technology at first thought that law was irrelevant. The tangles of human behavior that created led me to want to get involved on both sides of the equation. So, I went to law school – the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, New York, NY.

Three years and many hours of stimulating (or not-so-stimulating) lectures later, I am a new attorney. Admitted in New Jersey, pending application in New York, earning some money via my old career, while seeking a legal career in a difficult market. Part of that search involves upgrading my website to develop my professional brand. Thus, the blog reset. My intention is to post commentary on (or sometimes merely citations to) interesting legal and tech news.