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Adobe Abandons Mobile Flash Video (Over Steve Jobs’ Dead Body) 2011/11/10

Posted by nydawg in Archives, Digital Preservation, Information Technology (IT), Intellectual Property, Media.
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Wired Magazine ran an interesting news story that many have been expecting!  “On Wednesday morning, Adobe delivered the eulogy for its multi-media Flash platform for mobile, stating the company would no longer invest resources in porting its once-indispensable cross-browser technology to smartphones and tablets.  It’s a startling admission of failure from a company that vehemently defended Flash and its mobile strategy in the face of Apple’s refusal to allow it on the iPhone and iPad. Adobe even took on Steve Jobs in a war of words over Flash’s viability as a mobile platform, all in the public domain.  But the writing was on the wall for Flash years ago, and Adobe knew it. With no Flash announcements to be heard at its Adobe Max conference earlier this year and with the company slowly beefing up its toolkit of Flash alternatives, Wednesday’s move is in step with Adobe’s broader strategy of migrating its loyal Flash developer base to a new era, one where mobile platforms reign supreme.”

It’s interesting to watch how these advancements will change our archiving strategies as older formats are retired and/or unsupported.  Everyone knows that the H.264 codec is more energy-efficient, but is the quality also better, and is it worth those license fees?!  So  just for fun, you might want to check out Steve Jobs’ “Thoughts on Flash” from April 2010:   “I wanted to jot down some of our thoughts on Adobe’s Flash products so that customers and critics may better understand why we do not allow Flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads. Adobe has characterized our decision as being primarily business driven – they say we want to protect our App Store – but in reality it is based on technology issues. Adobe claims that we are a closed system, and that Flash is open, but in fact the opposite is true. Let me explain.”



Can IP Save Kodak?! 2011/08/17

Posted by nydawg in Archives, Curating, Digital Archives, Intellectual Property.
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All these rapid changes in the wireles, mobile world, seem to suggest a new paradigm emerging.  Which leads some to wonder about Kodak, George Eastman’s beloved photographic cash cow.
“The intellectual property hustle used to be so simple: purer, even. Patent holders extracted licensing fees, lump-sum settlements or cross-licensing agreements from nonholders, who paid up to avoid messy lawsuits or injunctions. It was a drag for almost everyone involved, but the stakes were comparatively small. Now, multibillion-dollar portfolio sales have put blood in the water, attracting an entirely different kind of shark.

We’ve already seen this play out once with Motorola. It’s easy to forget now that just a few weeks before Google stepped in to buy the company, investor Carl Icahn publicly and privately urged Motorola to sell off its patents, either for cash or by (again) splitting up the company. . . . Now we have the formula. It’s playing out with RIM, which is getting pressure to sell, license or spin off itspatent portfolio. Never mind that RIM’s intellectual property, or IP, might not actually be as intrinsically valuable as Nortel’s, Novell’s or Motorola’s. . . .

Right now, it looks like a seller’s market. Because nobody seems to be kicking the tires to see exactly what they’re buying, the conventional wisdom is to sell. Like Motorola a few weeks ago, RIM is in a tough spot, so this pressure is hard to resist. If RIM were to publicly announce that it wasn’t for sale, its already-weakened stock, temporarily buoyant from acquisition rumors, would fall to the ground.

It’s even harder for Kodak, which really does have a substantial patent portfolio and is in an even weaker market position. On Wednesday, Bloomberg ran an analyst-driven story titled “Kodak Worth Five Times More in Breakup With $3 Billion Patents“: . . . A company that’s lost billions of dollars over the decade, sporting a market cap of less than $700 million, begins to look like a much better buy if you think it’s sitting on $3 billion in assets. It looks even better if you think it might win a billion-dollar infringement suit against Apple and RIM, which has been dragging out in the International Trade Commission for years but may finally be decided soon.



and if yr interested, why not check out what’s doing at the George Eastman House – International Museum of Photography!

Bruce Sterling: Dead Media Beat Digital Preservation When Data Disappears 2011/08/13

Posted by nydawg in Archives, Digital Archives, Digital Preservation, Electronic Records.
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Bruce Sterling wrote this brief piece on digital decay in response to the NYTimes article “When Data Disappears” which mentioned him:
“People who think these knowledge institutions are stable need to go talk to the New Media scene in Holland. A paper book will persist alone in a dark dry closet, but you just can’t do this constant digital migration and curation without a constant budget; it’s like computing when they’ve cut your electricity. And they will cut your budget AND your electricity, because who the heck needs some dumb stack of old floppies? We’ve got emergencies, you know.

*As Stewart Brand wisely surmised many years ago,
 “The system doesn’t really work, it can’t be fixed, no one understands it,no one is in charge of it, it can’t be lived without, and it gets worse every year.”