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Gary Edwards

Out in the Open: Inside the Operating System Edward Snowden Used to Evade the NSA | Enterprise | WIRED - 0 views

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    TAILS anonymous Operating System- excerpt: "When NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden first emailed Glenn Greenwald, he insisted on using email encryption software called PGP for all communications. But this month, we learned that Snowden used another technology to keep his communications out of the NSA's prying eyes. It's called Tails. And naturally, nobody knows exactly who created it. Tails is a kind of computer-in-a-box. You install it on a DVD or USB drive, boot up the computer from the drive and, voila, you're pretty close to anonymous on the internet. At its heart, Tails is a version of the Linux operating system optimized for anonymity. It comes with several privacy and encryption tools, most notably Tor, an application that anonymizes a user's internet traffic by routing it through a network of computers run by volunteers around the world. Snowden, Greenwald and their collaborator, documentary film maker Laura Poitras, used it because, by design, Tails doesn't store any data locally. This makes it virtually immune to malicious software, and prevents someone from performing effective forensics on the computer after the fact. That protects both the journalists, and often more importantly, their sources. "The installation and verification has a learning curve to make sure it is installed correctly," Poitras told WIRED by e-mail. "But once the set up is done, I think it is very easy to use." An Operating System for Anonymity Originally developed as a research project by the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Tor has been used by a wide range of people who care about online anonymity: everyone from Silk Road drug dealers, to activists, whistleblowers, stalking victims and people who simply like their online privacy. Tails makes it much easier to use Tor and other privacy tools. Once you boot into Tails - which requires no special setup - Tor runs automatically. When you're done using it, you can boot back into your PC's normal operating
Paul Merrell

US judge slams surveillance requests as "repugnant to the Fourth Amendment" - World Socialist Web Site - 0 views

  • Federal Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola denied a US government request earlier this month for a search and seizure warrant, targeting electronic data stored on Apple Inc. property. Facciola’s order, issued on March 7, 2014, rejected what it described as only the latest in a series of “overbroad search and seizure requests,” and “unconstitutional warrant applications” submitted by the US government to the US District Court for the District of Columbia. Facciola referred to the virtually unlimited warrant request submitted by the Justice Department as “repugnant to the Fourth Amendment.” The surveillance request sought information in relation to a “kickback investigation” of a defense contractor, details about which remain secret. It is significant, however, that the surveillance request denied by Facciola relates to a criminal investigation, unrelated to terrorism. This demonstrates that the use by the Obama administration of blanket warrants enabling them to seize all information on a person's Internet accounts is not limited to terrorism, as is frequently claimed, but is part of a program of general mass illegal spying on the American people.
  • Facciola’s ruling states in no uncertain terms that the Obama administration has aggressively and repeatedly sought expansive, unconstitutional warrants, ignoring the court’s insistence for specific, narrowly targeted surveillance requests. “The government continues to submit overly broad warrants and makes no effort to balance the law enforcement interest against the obvious expectation of privacy email account holders have in their communications…The government continues to ask for all electronically stored information in email accounts, irrespective of the relevance to the investigation,” wrote Judge Facciola. As stated in the ruling, the surveillance requests submitted to the court by the US government sought the following comprehensive, virtually limitless list of information about the target: “All records or other information stored by an individual using each account, including address books, contact and buddy lists, pictures, and files… All records or other information regarding the identification of the accounts, to include full name, physical address, telephone numbers and other identifies, records of session times and durations, the date on which each account was created, the length of service, the types of service utilized, the Internet Protocol (IP) address used to register each account, log-in IP addresses associated with session times and dates, account status, alternative email addresses provided during registration, methods of connecting, log files, and means of payment (including any credit or bank account number).”
  • Responding to these all-encompassing warrant requests, Judge Facciola ruled that evidence of probable cause was necessary for each specific item sought by the government. “This Court is increasingly concerned about the government’s applications for search warrants for electronic data. In essence, its applications ask for the entire universe of information tied to a particular account, even if it has established probable cause only for certain information,” Facciola wrote. “It is the Court’s duty to reject any applications for search warrants where the standard of probable cause has not been met… To follow the dictates of the Fourth Amendment and to avoid issuing a general warrant, a court must be careful to ensure that probable cause exists to seize each item specified in the warrant application… Any search of an electronic source has the potential to unearth tens or hundreds of thousands of individual documents, pictures, movies, or other constitutionally protected content.” Facciola also noted in the ruling that the government never reported the length of time it would keep the data, or whether it planned to destroy the data at any point.
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  • Facciola’s ruling represents a reversal from a previous ruling, in which a Kansas judge allowed the government to conduct such unlimited searches of Yahoo accounts.
  • In testimony, De and his deputy Brad Wiegmann rejected the privacy board’s advice that the agency limit its data mining to specific targets approved by specific warrants. “If you have to go back to court every time you look at the information in your custody, you can imagine that would be quite burdensome,” said Wiegmann. De further said on the topic, “That information is at the government’s disposal to review in the first instance.” As these statements indicate, the intelligence establishment rejects any restrictions on their prerogative to spy on every aspect of citizens lives at will, even the entirely cosmetic regulations proposed by the Obama administration-appointed PCLOB.
Gary Edwards

Flex/Flash: About Singleton, Threads and Flex | Blogging about Software Development - 0 views

  • Flex applications are, like Flash applications, compiled into an SWF file. Once a user visits the webpage containing your Flex application, the SWF file is downloaded to and run from the client computer. Instead of a seperate session each user receives their own copy of your Flex application. The client computer runs the Flash VM, which in turn fires up the local copy of your Flex application. Furthermore, Flex uses the Actionscript scripting language. The current version is Actionscript 3. Actionscript 3 is single-threaded. By now you probably already see where this is going. The single-threaded nature of Flex applications means synchronization is not required.
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    Flex applications are, like Flash applications, compiled into an SWF file. Once a user visits the webpage containing your Flex application, the SWF file is downloaded to and run from the client computer. Instead of a seperate session each user receives their own copy of your Flex application. The client computer runs the Flash VM, which in turn fires up the local copy of your Flex application. Furthermore, Flex uses the Actionscript scripting language. The current version is Actionscript 3. Actionscript 3 is single-threaded. By now you probably already see where this is going. The single-threaded nature of Flex applications means synchronization is not required.
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Gary Edwards

A Cloudy Forecast for the Enterprise - Here comes Google | InternetNews Realtime IT News - - 0 views

  • Cloud computing will give rise to the 'power collaborator', who will "connect with people and find dispersed information across an organization and make it relevant," said speaking in Boston at the Enterprise 2.0 conference continuing through Thursday. The concept of cloud computing and Enterprise 2.0 Web-based applications and interactivity has apparently struck a positive chord with a fair number of businesses. Up to 69% cite collaboration as a key reason for the appeal of such environments, according to a survey released this week by AIIM, a non-profit group that tackles issues involving document management, content, records, and business processes. Other factors include: Improved agility and responsiveness (56%), faster communications (55%); increased innovation (39%); and a reduction in IT costs (36%).
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    Google moves into the Enterprise Cloud arena, and has some interesting things to say: Cloud computing will give rise to the 'power collaborator', who will "connect with people and find dispersed information across an organization and make it relevant," said speaking in Boston at the Enterprise 2.0 conference continuing through Thursday.
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Gary Edwards

EU Stumbles On Buying Microsoft Alternatives -- Micosoft -- InformationWeek - 0 views

  • Ellinides said in an interview arranged by a spokeswoman for Commissioner Siim Callas, who oversees procurement, that studies showed the costs of moving to open source outweighed the benefits. He said it may be time for a new study.
  • "For the moment we are working in a Microsoft environment," said Christos Ellinides, director of corporate IT solutions and services, who recommends software for the Commission.
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    This is too funny. While Neelie Kroes is banging the open source - open standards drum, the head of the EU Commissions IT dept is buying Microsoft! The money quote: "Ellinides said in an interview arranged by a spokeswoman for Commissioner Siim Callas, who oversees procurement, that studies showed the costs of moving to open source outweighed the benefits. He said it may be time for a new study.
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Gary Edwards

Cocoa for Windows + Flash RiA Killer = SproutCore JavaScript Framework - RoughlyDrafted Magazine - 0 views

  • SproutCore brings the values of Leopard’s Cocoa to the web, domesticating JavaScript into a functional application platform with lots of free built-in support for desktop features. Being based on open web standards and being open source itself means SproutCore will enable developers to develop cross platform applications without being tied to either a plugin architecture or its vendor. Sitting on top of web standards will also make it easy for Apple and the community to push SproutCore ahead without worrying about incompatible changes to the underlying layers of Windows, a significant problem for the old Yellow Box or some new Cocoa analog. SproutCore also lives in a well known security context, preventing worries about unknown holes being opened up by a new runtime layer.
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    The story of Javascript and the browser as a RiA competitor continues to unfold. This lengthy summation from roughlydrafed is perhaps the best discussion 'i've ever seen of technologies that will drive the Future of the Open Web. Roughly believes that Apple and Google are fighting for an Open Web Future, with Adobe and Microsoft RiA jousting for a broken web where they dominate the application development. For usre the web is moving to become an application platform. The question is one of who will own the dominant API, and be in position to impose a global platform tax. This is a great summary demanding a careful read. It also confirms my belief that the WebKit layout and document model is the way forward. It's by far and away the best (X)HTML-CSS-DOM-JavaScript model out there. The W3C alternatives do not include JavaScript, and that pretty much seals their fate. And while there are many JavaScript libraries and frameworks to chose from, i would pay close attention to three initiatives: WebKit SproutCore, Gecko jQuery, and Google GWT. ~ge~
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Gary Edwards

Flash Wars: Adobe Fights for AIR with the Open Screen Project [Part 3 of 3] | AppleInsider - 0 views

  • Two areas where Flash can offer real value is in displaying and packaging video on the web, and in serving as a Java replacement for developing applets. Here's a look at how Adobe is working to defend its strengths in the face of competition, and how its efforts to open the Flash specification in the Open Screen Project play into these efforts.
  • proprietary FLV video container format
  • more advanced and open H.264 video codec
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  • Apple's ability to disrupt the status quo in video playback is evident in its deal with Google to vend YouTube videos to the iPhone, iPod Touch, and Apple TV as straight H.264 rather than Google's existing mix of a Flash-based player and its archaic GVI file format based upon AVI.
  • As Apple's hardware-based H.264 playback in mobile devices begins to define how to reach affluent customers with content, Flash will increasingly lose any allure on the PC desktop as well, as developers won't want to target PCs and mobiles using two different systems.
  • Adobe seems to be hoping that nobody notices these problems and that its vigilant marketing efforts can entrance the public into thinking that a drawing app extended into an animation tool and then retrofitted into a monstrous hack of a development platform is a superior technology basis for building web apps compared to the use of modern open standards created expressly to promote true interoperability by design rather than retroactively.
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    Part two of the Prince McClean Adobe-Flash history. Excellent history involves Adobe SVG, Microsoft VmL-XAML-Silverlight, Apple WebKit, Sun (Java) as they battle for dominance over web applications and the future of the Web itself.
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Gary Edwards

Flash Wars: The Many Enemies and Obstacles of Flash [Part 2 of 3] - AppleInsider Comments - 0 views

  • Throughout 2007, Apple stripped nearly every vestige of Flash from its corporate site and other products, and began recommending that developers use open standards instead. As noted in Gone in a Flash: More on Apple’s iPhone Web Plans, last summer Apple published a document titled "Optimizing Web Applications and Content for iPhone," which not only listed Flash as the single bullet point item under a listing of "unsupported technologies," but went on to explicitly encourage developers to "stick with standards," and use CSS, JavaScript, and Ajax instead.
  • Microsoft has already begun leveraging its Windows and Office monopolies to distribute Silverlight as a Flash-killer on both the Windows PC desktop and on the Mac. When Microsoft releases a Mac product, it can only mean one thing: it's working hard to kill a cross platform threat to Windows.
  • the new Cocoa iPhone/iPod Touch SDK not only offers Adobe insufficient means to develop a Flash plugin, but also clearly forbids the development of runtimes designed to advance competing platforms on top of the native Cocoa environment, whether Flash, Silverlight, or Java.
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  • Apple is fighting for control of media distribution with open standards! What is it you do not get about Mpeg4, AAC, MP3 and H.264?
  • Silverlight will just not play H264 content : as usual, microsoft has adopted a look alike, incompatible video format : VC1. About why Quicktime is better that Flash when it comes to serious H264 usage, you may want to have a look at the following note/demonstration of a quicktime+javascript player : http://blog.vrarchitect.net/post/200...ter-than-Flash In short : Quicktime can reach any frame of a video. Flash just reach the I-Frames. So if you have a GOP/keyframing of 250 for instance, you can see only one frame every 10s of video (to be honest, most classical gop implies a frame every one or two seconds)
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    Excellent comment focused on the clash between Flash and Apple. Apple promotes JavaScript, CSS and AJAX: the WebKit- SproutCore recipe
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Gary Edwards

Runtime wars (1): Does Apple have an answer to Flash, Silverlight and JavaFX? « counternotions - 0 views

  • Adobe’s got Flash, Microsoft Silverlight and Sun JavaFX. What does Apple have in this multimedia runtime war of information and entertainment delivery? On the surface, nothing. Some might argue that QuickTime is already the answer; Flash and Silverlight are finally catching up. Further, if Apple can convince Google’s YouTube to re-encode their video inventory in QuickTime’s primary codec H.264/AVC and if the new Flash player will also feature the industry standard H.264, why bother with anything else? Because more than just video is at stake here. Surely, both Silverlight and the latest Flash offer high-resolution video, but they also deliver (rich media) applications.
  • This new breed of network-aware platforms are capable of interacting with remote application servers and databases, parsing and emitting XML, crunching client-side scripts, rendering complex multimedia layouts, running animations, displaying vector graphics and overlaid videos, using sophisticated interface controls and pretty much anything desktop applications are able to do.
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    Another excellent discussion concerning the Future of the Web. 2 Parts
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Gary Edwards

Chris Dixon Explains Why He Loves Paper - Business Insider - 0 views

  • Steve Jobs predicted that tablet computers would become so dominant that “PCs would become like trucks” – special-purpose industrial devices. Skeptics replied that tablets were only useful for consumption and not creation and therefore couldn’t replace PCs, to which Jobs said:
  • We are just scratching the surface on the kinds of apps for the iPad…I think there are lots of kinds of content that can be created on the iPad. When I am going to write that 35-page analyst report, I am going to want my Bluetooth keyboard. That’s 1 percent of the time. The software will get more powerful. I think your vision would have to be pretty short to think these can’t grow into machines that can do more things, like editing video, graphic arts, productivity. You can imagine all of these content creation possibilities on these kind of things. Time takes care of lots of these things.
  • History supports Jobs’ argument. In the past, new user interfaces led to new categories of creation applications. Back in the 70s and 80s, when computers had text-based interfaces, word processors and spreadsheets were invented. In the 80s and 90s, when computers had graphical interfaces, presentation and image editors proliferated. Jobs was simply predicting that historical patterns would repeat.
  • ...1 more annotation...
  • Today we are announcing that Andreessen Horowitz is leading a $15M Series A investment in FiftyThree, a company whose goal is to build the essential suite of mobile tools for creativity. You might know FiftyThree as the company behind the iPad app Paper. Paper has been embraced by millions of everyday creators, and has won dozens of awards (including Apple’s App of the Year). It is also one of the top grossing iPad productivity apps ever. But this is only the beginning of FiftyThree’s ambitious plans.
Paul Merrell

Emergence of Cloud Technology Raises Complex Copyright Issues, Lawyers Say | BNA - 1 views

  • NEW YORK—The emergence of cloud technology as an electronic content infrastructure in the entertainment industry raises complex copyright issues, attorneys said at a Sept. 15 panel discussion.Increased reliance on cloud-based distribution platforms and business models in the industry “creates novel and inevitably ambiguous copyright issues,” according to Daniel E. Schnapp, who moderated the discussion at a Copyright Society of the U.S.A. luncheon.At stake is the balance between copyright holders' exclusive rights to reproduce and publicly perform their works versus the ability of consumers and service providers to make lawful use of the content through emerging technologies without infringement, he suggested.
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    The recording industry is worried about cloud computing. Hollywood was probably there too. 
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    Entertainment Industry should care more about quality, accessibility and price of their productions instead of being always blaming technology and forcing restrictive legislation...
Paul Merrell

Web video accessibility from EmbedPlus on 2011-08-11 (w3c-wai-ig@w3.org from July to September 2011) - 0 views

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    For those who care about Web accessibility, here is an opportunity to provide feedback on some accessibility tools for one of the most widely-used web services. The message deserves wide distribution. The contact email address is on the linked page.  The linked tool set should also be of interest to those doing mashups or embedding YouTube videos in web pages. Hi all, I'm the co-developer a YouTube third-party tool called EmbedPlus. It enhances the standard YouTube player with many features that aren't inherently supported. We've been getting lots of feedback regarding the accessibility benefits of some of these features like movable zoom, slow motion, and even third-party annotations. As the tool continues to grow in popularity, the importance of its accessibility rises. I decided to do some research and found the WAI Interest group to be a major proponent of accessibility on the web. If anyone has time to take a look at EmbedPlus and share feedback that could help improve the tool, please do. Here's the link: http://www.embedplus.com/ Thank you in advance, Tay
Paul Merrell

Technology News: Tech Law: Court Ruling Grants Email the Cloak of Privacy - 0 views

  • The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has handed down a ruling that delights privacy advocates and Fourth Amendment purists: In U.S. v. Warshak, it found that the government should have obtained a search warrant before seizing and searching defendant Stephen Warshak's emails, which were stored by email service providers.
  • It is an important ruling, because it is the first time a federal court of appeals has extended the Fourth Amendment to email with such careful consideration, and it is likely to be influential on both legal and practical levels
  • The decision is particularly important because the Stored Communications Act does allow the government to secretly obtain emails without a warrant in many situations, according to the EFF, which filed an amicus brief in the case.
Gonzalo San Gil, PhD.

Gallo report: Copyright dogmatism wins a battle, not the war Submitted on 01 June 2010 | La Quadrature du Net - 1 views

  • Brussels, June 1st 2010 - The vote, in JURI committee of the European Parliament on the Gallo report "Enforcement of intellectual property", including the rapporteur's repressive amendments, reflects the asphyxiating influence of corporate lobbies on EU policy-making. The ALDE group, which had stood for fundamental freedoms on several occasions, this time sided with the entertainment industries. This vote should make EU citizens react and convince MEPs about the stakes of our evolving digital societies. Beyond the vote of the Gallo report in plenary session, there are other upcoming legislative battles where the public interest of creativity and access to knowledge can be upheld against an obsolete vision of copyright.
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    Gallo Report on the future of EU copyright: repression or reflexion ? Submitted on 25 May 2010 in * copyright * proposals * Gallo * press release * Read more * Twitter * Facebook * Delicious * Digg * MySpace * Français Paris, May 25th, 2010 - The Gallo Report on the future of "intellectual property rights" (IPR) enforcement will be voted on June 1st, at 9 AM,1 in the Committee for Legal Affairs (JURI) of the European Parliament. Since no compromise was found between the members of the committee, two visions will frontally oppose. While the rapporteur -- French sarkozyst EPP member Marielle Gallo -- is pushing for more repression to tackle online file-sharing, some positive amendments from all the other political groups2 seek to end the dogmatic repression and call for the consideration of alternative schemes to fund creation. Every citizen concerned by the future of copyright in Europe and by the open nature of the Internet should express their views to the Members of the JURI committee3. 1. 1. http://www.europarl.europa.eu/activities/committees/calendarCom.do?langu... 2. 2. http://www.laquadrature.net/wiki/Rapport_Gallo_Amendments 3. 3. La Quadrature's wiki-based tool Political Memorycan be used for this purpose.
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    Perhaps The (Only One) Association that cares about Internet Citizens' Freedoms here in Europe...
Paul Merrell

Open letter to Google: free VP8, and use it on YouTube - Free Software Foundation - 0 views

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    With your purchase of On2, you now own both the world's largest video site (YouTube) and all the patents behind a new high performance video codec -- VP8. Just think what you can achieve by releasing the VP8 codec under an irrevocable royalty-free license and pushing it out to users on YouTube? You can end the web's dependence on patent-encumbered video formats and proprietary software (Flash). This ability to offer a free format on YouTube, however, is only a tiny fraction of your real leverage. The real party starts when you begin to encourage users' browsers to support free formats. There are lots of ways to do this. Our favorite would be for YouTube to switch from Flash to free formats and HTML, offering users with obsolete browsers a plugin or a new browser (free software, of course). Apple has had the mettle to ditch Flash on the iPhone and the iPad -- albeit for suspect reasons and using abhorrent methods (DRM) -- and this has pushed web developers to make Flash-free alternatives of their pages. You could do the same with YouTube, for better reasons, and it would be a death-blow to Flash's dominance in web video. If you care about free software and the free web (a movement and medium to which you owe your success) you must take bold action to replace Flash with free standards and free formats. Patented video codecs have already done untold harm to the web and its users, and this will continue until we stop it. Because patent-encumbered formats were costly to incorporate into browsers, a bloated, ill-suited piece of proprietary software (Flash) became the de facto standard for online video. Until we move to free formats, the threat of patent lawsuits and licensing fees hangs over every software developer, video creator, hardware maker, web site and corporation -- including you. You can use your purchase of On2 merely as a bargaining chip to achieve your own private solution to the problem, but that's both a cop-out and a strategic mistake. Without making VP
Matteo Spreafico

TWEET IDEAS: 13 Things to Do on Twitter Besides Tweet - 1 views

Gary Edwards

Google Gets Oracle's Help In War Against Microsoft (GOOG, MSFT) - 0 views

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    Interesting discussion at Business Insider. I disagree with the Eric Krangel somewhat in that Oracle does benefit from working with Google Apps. Check the comments section for my response.

    "If Google (GOOG) is going to get big companies to pay for its Google Apps service, plugging into other enterprise software is going to be helpful. So it's good news for Google that Oracle (ORCL) is willing to play along."

    "This morning the two companies announced a new collaboration between Google Apps and Oracle's Siebel customer care/CRM software. With the new "Oracle Gadget Wizard for Google Apps," it's now easier to port data between Oracle and Google Apps spreadsheets..........." That gives Google a new selling point as it deploys salespeople to the enterprise in its bid to convert Microsoft Office users into paying Google Apps customers.
Gary Edwards

The Silverlight RiA Platform : Replacing the desktop from the cloud - 0 views

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    In the future application developers won't care what desktop operating system you use, they will only care which Fit Client platform is the most pervasive. This is what Adobe AIR, Microsoft Silverlight, Google Gears and Curl are fighting for. Nothing short of the future of desktop and RIA development. Microsoft brings with it a huge ecosystem of .NET developers - potentially millions of developers already skilled in WPF, XAML and C#. That's a pretty scary for others in the Fit Client arena. Right now the future of the desktop is completely open. Anyone with enough clout could win the desktop - effectively usurping Microsoft Windows dominate position.
Gary Edwards

Is the W3C to Blame for the Breaking of the Web? | Continuing Intermittent Incoherency » Power vs. Authority - 0 views

  • Consider the recent CSS features added by WebKit: transformations, animations, gradients, masks, et cetera. They’ve very nearly _run out_ of standards to implement, so they’re starting to implement the wouldn’t-it-be-cool-if stuff. If I’m not mistaken, this is the exact sort of thing you’re wishing for.
  • Changing the renderer (which is what we’re taking about when we talk about upgrading “the web”) goes hand-in-hand today with upgrading the *rest* of the browser as well, which requires the user to care…and users (to a one) don’t give a flying leap about CSS 2.1 support.
    • Gary Edwards
       
      Note to marbux: the browser is the layout/rendering engine for web applications and services. Nothing happens on the web unless and until the browser, or a browser RiA alternative, implements a compliant end user interface. Focus on the browser layout engines, and Web applications will follow.
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    Another article taking up the issue of "Blame the W3C" for what increasingly looks like a proprietary Web future. The author is an Ajax-DOJO supporter, and he tries to defend the W3C by saying it's not their job, they don't have the "power" or the "authority" to push the Web forward. About the best they can do is, at the end of the day, try to corral big vendors into agreement. Meanwhile, the Web has become the wild wild west with browser vendors innovating into their corporate web stacks where vast profits and future monopolies rest. For me, WebKit represents the best effort insisting that the Web remain Open. It's OSS with excellent big vendor support. And they are pushing the envelope. Finally!
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