It Done Broke.

Mozilla And The Cost Of H.264

John Gruber over at Daring Fireball makes a good philosophical and practical case for why Mozilla’s position on Ogg Theora and H.264 is poorly placed. I’d like to see an equally solid business breakdown on how the proposition of using H.264 affects those companies (Microsoft, Apple, Google and Mozilla) respectively financially.

I honestly don’t know how Mozilla’s organization actually makes money.  But I do know how the others make money and the fact that they have a reliable revenue streams from other sources that could support the licensing costs of H.264 (at the point when it starts costing) is not a trivial consideration, I would think.

Update: Gruber now seems to have started painting himself into a corner.  Like,

“I don’t know what the MPEG LA will do come 2016.”

Not much to make business decisions on then, is it?  And,

“Perhaps they will attempt to charge web publishers for licenses to distribute H.264 video. But if they do, web publishers will react the way they did to Unisys’s GIF threats: by switching to another format.”

Well then, why not do it now?  But the clunker is:

“But if Mozilla’s position were really about idealism — tough love for the good of the web in the name of free, open file formats — then in addition to not supporting H.264, they’d drop support for plugins like Flash Player. I believe such a move would just drive Firefox users to Chrome and Safari (or even back to IE), and I suspect Mozilla knows this, too, which is why dropping plugin support isn’t being discussed. But they can’t say Firefox only supports free and open video formats while still supporting Flash.”

This makes no sense.  The entire debate has nothing to do with plugin support.  Plugins aren’t the issue.  The issue is native support for formats.  Mozilla isn’t saying Adobe shouldn’t offer the Flash plugin.  They’re saying they don’t want to support H.264 natively for the <video> tag.  That’s a big difference.

You can take whatever interpretation of Mozilla’s statements you like – tough love, idealisim, open format philanthropy – but it still doesn’t make sense for Mozilla to support a format that they’re at risk of being charged for licensing if it doesn’t fit into their business model.

Web Users At Risk Of Social Networking Addiction

This is kind of like saying conversationalists at risk of talking to other human beings.  The term addiction is thrown around way too easily these days.  Okay,

Eleven percent of those under the age of 25 would interrupt sex for a message, and 24 percent under 25 would answer a message in the bathroom.

…is a bit silly.  But really, it seems to me almost like it’s a restructuring of social norms.  Is it a problem, or is it just an evolving expectation that we have with the immediacy in communication and relationships?

Although, if you’re interrupting sex for a message you’re just not doing it right.

WiFi scanners removed from App Store

Apple is in the process of removing WiFi scanning apps from the App Store for using a private framework.  Some of these apps provide functionality that the iPhone OS weakly attempts.  Its own interface is buried away in Settings and tells you the bare minimum of what it thinks you need to know.  There’s no advanced mode which is what these apps provide.  That this is a private framework at all is somewhat of a mystery since it’s hard to believe that they’re genuinely interested in the public’s security concerns.

Energy Efficient Building Looks Like Meat Tenderizer

Meat Tenderizer Building

(From io9)

Also, The Internet Is Not America

Bruce Shneier makes some great points about Eric Schmidt’s unbelievably narrow-minded take on privacy issues, but one that’s glossed over is his statement that “we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act.”

It’s true, though: if you’re a witch, you won’t drown.

Twitter: crankietech

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