I wrote a guest post for MacStories, covering the history of patent law surrounding patent trolls. While recent lawsuits from Lodsys and Kootol are causing panic and alarm from indie developers, it's not like this threat is suddenly new. Patent lawsuits have always been on the table, but they were ignored by the majority of small companies. Now it's clear that patent holders will pursue people who violate their patent. Whether ethical or not, they are legally required to defend their patents, and that means we will see more patent lawsuits pursued by trolls. Meanwhile, none of these small developers can afford to fight, so they settle, perpetuating the cycle.

 

Technical details of the upcoming Flash Player for Mac, wherein the Adobe team is switching to using Core Animation to do faster rendering of non-video Flash files. It's worth noting that the performance will only initially be seen in Safari on Mac OS X 10.6, as the plugin is fully Cocoa-ized now.

Also interesting to note is that Flash is still using the ancient QuickDraw APIs which have been deprecated for years.

 

Open donations, so if you're a Redditor, give them a hand. Their goal is to make it to $314,159.26 in donations (100,000 * pi).

 

Beyond impressive. This is more than some governments have contributed so far.

, , ,    Tags
 

This uses the new <video> tag in the HTML5 spec, but only supports browsers which implement the H264 codec.

Two interesting bits. First, this is great news for anyone on a platform where Flash is either unavailable (like iPhone) or where performance is terrible (like Mac and Linux). Second, there is a debate about the HTML5 spec's video codec, as it supports video in Ogg Theora or in H264. Safari and Chrome support the H264 codec, while Firefox and Opera support Ogg Theora. But this player only supports the H264 codec. I wonder if other sites will follow suit, and implement a de-facto standard based on H264.

, ,    Tags
 

Just a few years ago, Greenpeace would regularly call out Apple for their environmental impact. In that time, they've managed to climb a few ranks, mostly on the back of their efforts eliminating toxic chemicals like PVC. Kudos to them.

Not to minimize the efforts of other companies high on that list. Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Toshiba, Phillips, LG, Sony, Motorola, and Samsung, you guys rock for not polluting all over the place.

, ,    Tags
 

I wish I had found this article months ago. In it, Chris Hanson demonstrates how to merge multiple model files into one contiguous model object at runtime. This can be useful in many situations, such as large models with lots of entities, and scattered models in separate plugins. Extremely informative.

 

Ars Technica:

ChangeWave queried 4,068 current and potential smartphone consumers last month and noted that a full 21 percent said that they would prefer Android on their next smartphones—a jump of 15 percentage points from the year before. Comparatively, 28 percent of respondents said they would prefer iPhone OS; this makes the iPhone the leader in this category, though this number dropped four percentage points year over year.

Many iPhone developers and Apple enthusiasts are quick to shrug off the Android platform, for a variety of reasons ranging from aesthetic and design, to functionality and developer tools. Many of these criticisms are certainly valid. But iPhone has its own share of problems, and certainly is deficient in many ways to the Android.

With Google's press conference tomorrow, and CES for the remainder of the week, there will be a lot of focus on the Android platform. It will become a much stronger platform in 2010. It will be interesting to see how Apple responds with iPhone OS 4.0 (which history suggests they'll probably talk about in March).

 

Right before the Super Bowl. One of the country's biggest chicken producers filed for Chapter 11 in December. This reorganization has caused huge slowdowns of their production. Coupled with the looming Super Bowl, expect your wings to be pricey for the next couple weeks.

,    Tags
 

This one is for all of those developers out there who scoff at JavaScript. This is a working neural network algorithm in JavaScript used for ripping apart CAPTCHA images (in this case, from Megaupload) and deciphering them. This is really sophisticated stuff, and even though Megaupload has some pretty easy CAPTCHAs, this should be pretty easily adaptable to other CAPTCHAs.

Page 1 of 6