Jul 212011

If you guessed Adobe, you win a prize. Yes, the house that Steve razed – everybody’s 2nd favorite target of mocking for their sheer incompetence and duplicity – has transitioned into Apple’s latest version of its operating system with a grace reminiscent of a vintage Jim Carrey skit. The list of problem programs include: Acrobat, Adobe Drive, Contribute, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash Builder, Flash Catalyst, Flash Player, Illustrator, Lightroom, LiveCycle, Photoshop and Premiere Pro. So basically the entire company’s portfolio.

Mind you, Lion has been circulating in developer betas since February, so the only thing standing between you and perfectly-functioning versions of your Adobe bloatware is Adobe’s utter apathy. Seeing as they have yet to deliver a functional version of Flash to mobile devices, this should come as no surprise.

Thanks for continuing to make it easy to mock you, Shantanu.

Apr 072011

The first quarter of 2011 has come and gone and surprise: no PlayBook. Some people speculate that the success of the iPad 2 is causing RIM to balk, but this is stupid. Half the people that want the new iPad haven’t been able to get one, and you’re going to wait until the market is even more flooded with them before you release your competing product? Not likely, but that’s the kind of dreck you see posited by the tech press nowadays.

The real reason is Flash. The bugaboo in the saddle of every consumer electronics maker since the release of the iPhone is shitting on yet another launch. It seems every iPad-knockoff or shartphone™ is preceded by prancing CEO’s crowing on stage about “the full Internet”. Too bad there has yet to be a full release of Flash included with any of them.

“We’re not trying to dumb down the internet for a small mobile device,” says Mike Lazaridis, RIM’s CEO, during the PlayBook demonstration. “What we’re trying to do is bring up the performance and capability of the mobile device to the internet.”

I don’t think Lazaridis’ product is going to perform any better, so he better hope Adobe gets its shit together between now and when the next 2 and a half million iPad 2’s make it into peoples’ hands, or the PlayBook launch is going to make the Xoom look like the iPad 2.

Nov 162010

Despite not being able to cogitate anything but disingenuous corporate doublespeak, Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen continues to fill the air with Flash rhetoric that’s becoming increasingly embarrassing to behold. His latest trip off the reservation was today at the Web 2.0 Summit, where he declared that the reason Flash runs so miserably on the new MacBook Air is because Adobe didn’t get an advance copy of the machine so they could optimize it for the hardware. With that hilarious statement, one has to wonder what he was thinking.

When Steve Jobs said that he didn’t want to have Apple and its customers held hostage to the release schedules of third party development platforms, statements like “we didn’t have an advance copy of your hardware so we could optimize our technology for it” was more or less exactly what he was talking about. And since when has Adobe optimized Flash for versions of Apple hardware anyway?

Despite any precedent, Narayen claims that Adobe has the new Air in their labs and is currently beta testing an optimized version of Flash for it. So I guess we can look forward to Adobe-optimized versions of Flash for all Apple hardware running different GPUs? In perpetuity? I’m sure that’ll be announced with the version of Flash that can run on a modern mobile processor without grinding it to a halt. You know: the one that he’s been flapping his gums about for the last 2 years.

This guy is so full of shit it makes my eyes bleed. Adobe is so clearly trying to defend the technology  they overpaid Macromedia to get, they will say anything to extend the duration of its overdrawn tenure. Apple released a hugely hyped and critically acclaimed piece of hardware, someone quantified Flash’s dismal effect on the device’s performance, and the the anti-Flash kiln flared to several thousand degrees. Narayen’s lip service response is nothing more than piss-poor damage control; it will not produce “Adobe Flash for Macbook Air” any more than his words have ever delivered on any promise the company has made regarding Flash and mobile devices.

Nov 092010
Boy Genius Reports got their hands on the Galaxy Tab from Samsung, the 7″ tablet device that Steve Jobs pronounced “DOA”. The verdict: it’s not big enough to be a tablet and not small enough to be a phone, even if you try.
Son of Surface
I found the most interesting bit to be about the Tab’s browser, and BGR’s advice on how to make it usable:
Browsing the web with Flash on (enabled by default) proved to be a pretty frustrating experience. Scrolling was jittery, slow, and sometimes pages just wouldn’t even finish loading. However, once we changed the browser’s plug-ins setting to on demand (think Click2Flash), the browser popped to life. Pages loaded very quick, scrolling was almost fluid, and using multi-touch gestures to pinch zoom in and out worked like a charm. The browsing experience on the device is exactly where you want it to be.
This should surprise exactly no one. The Tab is a device with a 1 GHz processor and a gig of RAM and Flash still makes it choke. It’s amazing to me that when I see CEOs sit up on stage with Shantanu Narayen, they’re smiling and laughing, introducing their products with “the full web” or “the web the way it was meant to be experienced”. They wear these smug grins of one-upmanship, like they figured out a way to do something that Steve Jobs couldn’t. Yet review after review skewers the performance of these devices with Flash enabled. It’s 2011 and Adobe still can’t deliver on the promise that Narayen has been filling the air with for years.
Jun 302010

After much speculation, Hulu announced Hulu Plus – its pay service that will run on multiple platforms, including the iPad, iPhone 4 and iPhone3GS. For $9.99/month, you get a deeper reservoir of TV show content, both current and past as well as access to a limited (as in, “High Fidelity” is the only movie I recognized at a glance) pool of movies.

The good:

-It runs on all current Apple devices. As a bonus, it tweaks Adobe, who is constantly dropping the Hulu name as the major reason iOS devices need Flash. Suck it, Narayen.

-Most content is in 720p

-There’s a lot of network TV to watch?

The bad:

-Still has ads. Seriously.

-It’s a little less than a basic cable subscription and $9.99/month more than over-the-air HD. A basic Netflix account will give you streaming access to one metric buttload of movies (as current as the “Surrogates” vintage) and season after season of TV shows (including BBC content) for a buck less a month. It’ll also give you access to first-run DVD titles by mail.

Now you may have guessed that I’m not a huge network TV guy. Maybe it’s because I like swearing too much. Maybe it’s because seeing Meredith Grey’s terrible complexion in HD combined with her incessant on-screen whining is a recipe for an instant aneurism. I also understand that this is the Future of Television (bold to denote major scary paradigm shift) and therefore the networks have to price this as aggressively as they can get away with before they back down to something that a rational person would pay. But $9.99 ain’t it. Also, with regard to including advertising in your pay service model: get fucked.

I do appreciate your tweaking Adobe, however. So there’s that.

May 052010

Adobe must not respect the anti-trust regulators in this country. According to the New York Post, the same company that bragged of their proprietary multimedia platform: “over 85% of the top web sites contain(ing) Flash content and Flash is running on over 98% of computers on the Web” is crying to federal regulators about Apple’s recent decision to ban cross-compilers from creating iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad apps. Nevermind that Apple doesn’t have anywhere near that kind of stranglehold on the smartphone market – or the app store market. I guess it does have a monopoly on the non-shitty smartphone market, but that’s kind of subjective.

So why would a company that brags about having a virtual monopoly on multimedia content creation on the web call attention to a company that doesn’t fit any rational definition of monopolistic conduct?

Oh. That would explain a lot.

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