2006/11/07

Flash and Firefox / NNf

Adobe Systems Incorporated donated the code for the ActionScript virtual machine to the Mozilla Foundation.

That means the engine behind Flash will be incorporated into the Firefox web browser, although the first incarnation of Firefox with this code is not expected until 2008.

It will be interesting to see the impact of this code donation. If the Tamarin project, established by Mozilla with the ActionScript code, enables next gen versions of YouTube, Second Life and other video, animated or 3D internet content, Adobe's move could be the catalyst for some really cool innovations. New resources like Tamarin, along with Amazon's S3, the expected Gdrive and MS Live Drive, mean the cost of entry is becoming lower and lower for dedicated and smart internet innovators.

Lots of action in the open source world this past week!

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Below is the final list of issues for the TUESDAY, 07 November 2006, NEW NET (Northeast Wisconsin Network for Economy and Technology) 6:50 pm weekly gathering at Mister Churro, 207 N. Richmond St., Appleton, Wisconsin, USA. A slightly different commentary format was tried this week, with an attempt to highlight the "most important" issues, as well as mention a couple interesting sidelights.

The ‘net

  1. Firefox 2, Internet Explorer 7: Random Thoughts http://blogs.pcworld.com/techlog/archives/003021.html
  2. Pressure Forces Microsoft to Change Vista Licensing http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,127741-c,vistalonghorn/article.html
  3. Eco groups use online maps in mine fight http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061105/ap_on_re_us/google_mountaintop_mining
  4. FON buys GSpace, Will Add Storage to WiFi http://gigaom.com/2006/11/05/fon-gspace/
  5. A bigger bang http://www.guardian.co.uk/weekend/story/0,,1937496,00.html
  6. Three transfer services for large files http://mediafire.com/ http://yousendit.com/ http://dropsend.com/
  7. Windows Live Local Gets "Virtual Earth" 3-D Cities http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/061106-170532
  8. Microsoft tries 3D maps, fails http://blogs.zdnet.com/Google/index.php?p=379
  9. FCC classifies Broadband over Power Line as information service http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061105-8154.html
  10. Wikipedia "hoax" not actually a hoax http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061106-8161.html
  11. Jellyfish Smack: How Low Can You Watch Prices Fall? http://www.techcrunch.com/2006/11/06/jellyfish-smack-hold-low-can-you-watch-prices-fall/

Security & Privacy

  1. US Customs announces massive new database on trucks and travelers http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061103-8143.html
  2. We ALL want to use biometrics: we just don't know it yet. http://www.silicon.com/publicsector/0,3800010403,39163734,00.htm
  3. China: Net Censorship? Not Here http://news.yahoo.com/s/cmp/20061103/tc_cmp/193501251
  4. Eliminate Spyware http://ralphcaddell.com/pchelp/spyware.htm
  5. Antiphishing Fighters Target Malware http://www.cio.com/blog_view.html?CID=26362
  6. Wikipedia Targeted by Malware Writers http://www.sci-tech-today.com/story.xhtml?story_id=01200189K7ZC

Mobile Computing & Communicating

  1. Web access for autos on the road http://news.yahoo.com/s/usatoday/20061031/tc_usatoday/webaccessforautosgoesontheroad
  2. Verizon Offers Wireless Synching Of Phone/PC Contact Lists http://news.yahoo.com/s/cmp/20061101/tc_cmp/193500851
  3. Ringtone from any MP3 http://www.lifehacker.com/software/ringtones/geek-to-live-make-a-ringtone-from-any-mp3-212232.php
  4. Meebo: IMing from anywhere http://blog.meebo.com/?page_id=205

Open Source

  1. Oracle zeros in on Red Hat http://news.yahoo.com/s/infoworld/20061030/tc_infoworld/83132
  2. PHP road map revealed http://news.yahoo.com/s/infoworld/20061101/tc_infoworld/83332
  3. Amarok, the Linux music player, is shipping a new version http://blog.wired.com/monkeybites/2006/10/amarok_jukebox_.html
  4. Why Gaming Is Lousy On Linux http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,2047506,00.asp
  5. Microsoft backs Novell's Linux platform http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061103/ap_on_hi_te/microsoft_novell
  6. Microsoft-Novell: Bad Omen For Open Source Linux http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3641851
  7. OpenOffice Blesses Microsoft-Novell Pact http://news.yahoo.com/s/cmp/20061104/tc_cmp/193501757
  8. Microsoft Keeps The Patent Hammer Handy In Novell Linux Pact http://news.yahoo.com/s/cmp/20061104/tc_cmp/193501752
  9. Top Plugins for MythTV http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,2050657,00.asp
  10. Ten ideas about Ideas http://www.linuxjournal.com/node/1000119
  11. FreeGeek.org http://www.freegeek.org/mission.php
  12. Firefox & Flash: Adobe gives ActionScript VM to Mozilla http://blogs.business2.com/utilitybelt/2006/11/web_20_bombshel.html

SkyNet

  1. New mobile GMail app looks, feels like PC interface http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20061102-8134.html

General Technology

  1. SMIC's bid for profitability falls short http://www.infoworld.com/article/06/10/31/HNsmicfallsshort_1.html
  2. Microsoft Delivers Free Small Biz Accounting Software http://news.yahoo.com/s/cmp/20061031/tc_cmp/193500278
  3. Ambitions are sky-high for New Mexico spaceport http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/custom/space/la-na-spaceport30oct30,0,2415967.story?coll=orl-news-headlines-space
  4. Berkeley's Mesh Network: Dust in the RFID Wind http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,2051310,00.asp
  5. A USB with oomph http://crave.cnet.com/8301-1_105-11115-1.html
  6. VMWare's Fusion begins private beta http://www.tuaw.com/2006/11/03/vmwares-fusion-begins-private-beta/
  7. USB turntable http://www.x-tremegeek.com/templates/searchdetail.asp?productID=12071
  8. This is the month to see Mercury http://www.jacksonholestartrib.com/articles/2006/11/06/features/science/404825ab6bd00acf8725721d00267cc1.txt

Economy and Technology

  1. Entrepreneurs and VCs descend on Silicon Valley for Startup Camp http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=3880
  2. The $200 Billion Lunch: IPv6 http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2006/pulpit_20061102_001174.html

Analysis of This Week’s Economy And Technology Issues

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. A major surface shift in the Microsoft attitude towards Linux bears consideration. Microsoft and Novell announced a new MS-Linux ‘cooperative’ working relationship. This is a ‘surface’ shift because it is difficult to know whether MS has accepted the importance of open source software and wants to build a collaborative relationship with FOSS or has chosen the relationship with Novell as the best way to fight or minimize the importance of open source. There is reason to question MS’s intentions with the Novell agreement because of its history of dominating the software industry through defeating rather than working with competitors and its past statements about Linux (e.g. “The rationale for this is, that the aim of free software is not to enable a healthy business on software but rather to make it even impossible to make any income on software as a commercial product”).

Another major Linux topic is Oracle’s ‘attack’ on Red Hat. Oracle appears to be seriously undermining Red Hat’s business model by offering support for Red Hat Linux at a lower cost than Red Hat. Dell said they will be using Oracle for their Red Hat Linux support. Combined with the MS venture with Novell, Red Hat employees are likely to have ulcers, long work days and a small Christmas bonus.

A move that seems much more beneficial to open source than the Microsoft or Oracle announcements is Adobe’s donation of the ActionScript virtual machine to Mozilla. Item #12 under Open Source indicates that the CEO of Adobe realizes they run the chance of someone developing a better Flash engine, but he says, “Shame on us if we can't out-innovate the competition.” Adobe certainly stands to win if the open sourcing of ActionScript results in more people utilizing Flash for video innovations on the web, but the Adobe/Mozilla deal feels a lot warmer and fuzzier than the Microsoft/Novell deal. The first version of Firefox to use the donated Flash code is expected in 2008.

Microsoft changed their policy for Vista so you can now install it an unlimited number of times, except for computers that are bought with the OS pre-installed. You still can’t have single-license versions installed on multiple machines simultaneously. This article was listed above as an internet issue because MS would have never relented if it weren’t for the web’s ability to create high publicity and feedback levels in a short time. Also, I hadn’t realized you couldn’t take the legally purchased copy of Vista from a store-bought computer and transfer it to a computer you build yourself, although that’s not surprising since you don’t buy the OS, you only rent it under limited terms.

Microsoft released Live Search Virtual Earth, a 3-D competitor to Google Earth. The Search Engine Watch post gives a good overview of the new mapping service. There are currently 15 cities in virtual Earth, and it’s a browser-based service rather than a downloaded program like Google Earth. This MS launch is an interesting progression in the online mapping world, and a tantalizing taste of things to come in the next few years. However, it only works in Internet Explorer, and as the #8 item under The ‘net points out, the experience will be most enjoyable with a high end machine. Maybe Andy can check it out and give a review of MS Virtual Earth vs Google Earth at an upcoming NEW NET gathering.

An interesting item for some older non-geeks who want to put their vinyl music into digital format is the USB turntable, #8 under General Technology. A number of people have expressed interest in getting their vinyl onto CDs or computer, but didn’t know where to start. That meant existing solutions, which may seem simple to you, were more complicated than they wanted.

On an open source, sustainable community note, FreeGeek.org in Portland sounds pretty interesting, per #11 in Open Source. I don’t think there is anyone in Wisconsin who does something like this. It would certainly be a good way to get some positive press for Linux and open source, and might be a good way to bring more members to Wisconsin Linux user groups. Josh, Pehr, Justin, James, Blake, Dennis, others – any interest in further discussions about this?

Let me know if you have any additional tech issues for this week. See you Tuesday at Mister Churro!


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