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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.”



Back from the SAA Annual Meeting #saa11 2011/09/01

Posted by nydawg in Archives, Education, Electronic Records, Records Management.
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I’m back from the annual meeting of the SAA, and I had a blast.  I had the opportunity to hear many archivists and historians opine on best practices, photographic collections, digital forensics, electronic records management and a whole lot of other interesting topics.  And I hope to write about it soon.

Before I do, though, I wanted to write briefly about something I noticed.  Last Wednesday, I had a 7:30 am flight and left brooklyn at 5:15.  The night before, I had used the MTA Trip Planner and learned that there was a G train at 5:30 connecting to the E @ 5:44 to arrive at AirTrain by 6:45.  Plenty of time to go through security and catch my 7:38 flight. . . .  But nooooooooo.

For some reason, the G train was late, and the next E train that came was running local (stopping at all stops), so the estimated 30 min. subway ride became a 60 min trek, leading to Security Check in at JFK (Jet Blue).  So I get my ticket and arrive at security at 7:10 am, and there’s about 1000000 people in front of me.  (Okay, maybe 100).   I finally made it through at around 7:30 and made a mad dash for the gate– without even time to put on my belt!  Alasl, I got there too late, and the door to the plane was closed.  The plane was still there (I was 8 mins early), but they had stopped boarding.  I asked the woman at the help desk and reserved a space on the next flight (8 hours later) and paid $40. . .. . Anyway, I learned a lesson, and blogged a couple times while there.  (something about flying suitcases)

So what did I learn?  Well, when I returned from Minneapolis, we touched down at 6:01 pm and I was home, in my apartment, at 7:31.  The E train was running express!

Well, this all got me thinking.  Maybe the MTA Trip Planner doesn’t make the connection or association that some E trains don’t run express early in the morning?   If it’s algorithm is finding outdated information, it could cause problems.  Or maybe the MTA Trip Planner should give multiple trip and time suggestions and offer a way to browse through the results, so people aren’t blue-skying their journeys to the JFK airport. . .

Okay, so I learned that I need to leave that extra 15 minutes early even when doing due diligence.   It wasn’t that bad, but it is a bit ironic that I spent eight hours waiting to take a 60 minute flight to Chicago followed by a 30 minute taxi to the gate.

One other thing I noticed was soldiers walking through airports carrying huge backpacks filled with who-knows-what.  I wonder if the military have embraced wheels on suitcases yet as per a previous post.

HP Abandons WebOS Tablet, Buys Autonomy for Data Analysis 2011/08/19

Posted by nydawg in Information Technology (IT), Intellectual Property, Media.
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It was shocking news to hear that only a year after HP purchased Palm and their excellent multitasking webOS, HP is changing its strategy.  According to Ars Technica’s Peter Bright:

“HP has missed out on a fantastic opportunity with webOS. The company was in a position, by hook or by crook, to give webOS the kind of wide distribution that even Apple would be impressed by. It just had to spend some cash to do it. As an operating system, webOS has what it takes to be a success. The operating system’s user interface was well-received, and it has strong concepts, such as unified messaging and card-based multitasking, that rival platforms are only starting to compete with. It also had a development model familiar to millions of Web developers.”  Bright continues “So here’s what I would have done if I ran HP. I would recognize that a successful mobile and tablet platform can earn a boatload of cash. It’s a market that’s absolutely worth going after. I would recognize that with webOS I had the fundamentals of this platform, but lacked the critical mass of users that is required to create a sustainable platform.  So I would have done two things. One cheap and easy, one expensive and easy.”

Personally, I love my PalmPrePlus and its webOS never ceases to amaze me.  Seriously!  And it plays Flash videos and can run more than 30 apps simultaneously unlike the iPad iOS.  And it doesn’t have all the problems of Windows Phone / Mobile, and etc.    It’s much better than the Droid 2.2 I run on a different appliance, but . . . .  I’ve been looking at those pictures of the new hp tablet, and figure that pretty soon they’ll be selling on Woot for under $200. . . . !  But the war between flash-playing systems and HTML5 video-playing systems continues.  Read all about it in “It Didn’t Have to End This Way: what HP Should Have Done with webOS” . . .  in the meantime though, the smartphone or mobile computing world is getting a bit smaller. . . and then there were two. . . . (Apple and Droid) . . . and blackberry . . . and microsoft . . . and nokia . . . and Googorola . . .

and to put a cherry on the top of this sweet story, as the NYTimes puts it: “Hewlett-Packard is paying up big time to join the data analysis party. But one question now is whether anyone will try to spoil the festivities.  H.P.’s $11.7 billion deal for Autonomy is an enormous 64 percent premium to the British company’s Wednesday closing price. It is, according to the technology giant, the cost of changing itself into an enterprise software company.”



Google Purchases Motorola Mobile for $12.5B to Compete with Apple & Microsoft 2011/08/15

Posted by nydawg in Information Technology (IT).
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I’m fascinated by this continuing soap opera story, a piece in the puzzle, of how mobile technologies are changing everything!  In case you’re not totally up-to-date, it seems that there’s a competition between smartphone companies including Blackberry (RIM), iPhone (Apple), Nokia (Microsoft), Motorola (Google) and Droid (Google). (Yes, there’s others, but for the sake of simplicity. . . .)  Earlier this year, Microsoft announced they were purchasing Nokia for $19B.  The implication, (to me at least), was that Microsoft would install their (subpar, soon-to-be-obsolete) Windows  Phone software on a well-known & respected smartphone brand and, inevitably, would . . . .

In other words, I see this as a software company realizing that they need control over the hardware.  Like Apple’s iPhone and Microsoft’s Windows Nokia, now Google is recognizing that they need hardware! . . .

“Google made a $12.5 billion bet on Monday that its future — and the future of big Internet companies — lies in mobile computing, and moved aggressively to take on its arch rival Apple in the mobile market. . . . The acquisition would turn Google, which makes the Android mobile operating system, into a full-fledged cellphone manufacturer, in direct competition with Apple.. . . .  The deal, which requires regulatory approval, would also give Google a valuable war chest of more than 17,000 patents that would help it defend Android from a barrage of patent lawsuits. . . . That is because Google works with 39 phone makers that use different versions of Android across their platforms, resulting in variable performances, said Richard Doherty, research director for Envisioneering Group, a market research and consulting firm.

Apple, by contrast, controls its entire product — device and software. With the Motorola acquisition, Google, too, could exert greater control over its products.  But it is far from clear that Google, a $179 billion business largely built on sophisticated search algorithms and online advertising, can transform itself into a device maker. The business is costly, and the margins are slim, said Jordan Rohan, an analyst with Stifel Nicolaus.  “Computing is moving onto mobile,” Larry Page, Google’s chief executive, said in an interview. “Even if I have a computer next to me, I’ll still be on my mobile device.”




New CLIR Report “Digital Forensics & Born-Digital Content in Cultural Heritage 2010/12/22

Posted by nydawg in Digital Archives, Electronic Records, Information Technology (IT), Intellectual Property.
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Yes, it’s true: Digital Forensics makes an early foray into archival discourse with a look at the problems facing us with Web 2.0’s exponential growth in formats, mobile devices, distribution systems, operating systems, social media,

“… the emerging domains of Web and mobile forensics, driven by the recent and rapid rise of cloud computing and Web 2.0 services and mobile devices like smart phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs). Many high-profile individuals (writers, politicians, and others likely to become donors of personal papers) lead active online lives, participating in communities like Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, Google (and using applications like Google Docs), Twitter, and even virtual worlds like Second Life. E-mail may be stored locally, in the cloud, or both. The challenges here are legal as well as technical: different Web services are governed by different end-user license agreements, and too often these do not include provisions for access even by family members or next of kin, let alone archivists. Remote backup providers like iDisk or Carbonite present the same issues. It is not difficult to foresee a time when hands-on access to a physical piece of media containing the data of interest will be the rarity for the archivist. Similarly, the growing popularity of smart phones, PDAs, tablet computers, and other devices with the potential to store all manner of information, including e-mail, text, video, voice messages, contacts, Web-browsing activity, and more, will present new challenges for the archivist in the not-too-distant future. Indeed, mobile forensics is already a major growth area in the commercial forensics industry and even in the consumer market, where readily available subscriber identity module (SIM) card readers facilitate the recovery of deleted contacts and text messages.” (p. 4)

It’s 104 pages long, and I’m not familiar with the authors, but it has two well-known and respected archival advisors including UBC’s Luciana Duranti and UNC’s Cal Lee.

Given these objectives, the primary audience for this report is

professionals in the cultural heritage sector charged with preserving
and providing access to born-digital content in their collections,
especially in manuscript collections and in archives. We also hope
that the report will be of some interest to those in legal or industry
settings, not least in terms of building awareness of additional constituencies
for their methods and tools. In fact, the distance between
the two fields may be overstated. There are deep historical connections
between the emergence of archival science and the Roman law
of antiquity, founded on concepts such as chain of custody.