The Macalope Weekly: Flash in the pan

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Whoo-eee! Apple announced the iPhone OS 4.0 features this week and Adobe is madder than a cat in a room that makes cats really mad! Meanwhile, just a week into the glorious iPad revolution, counter-revolutionary forces are in motion! The Macalope is a reasonable mythical beast (way more reasonable than the Medusa or the Kraken and yet they get all the screen time!); he realizes the iPad is not for everyone. He just wants some honest arguments.

High on something and not so mighty

Apple’s iPhone 4.0 comes with a shiny new developer license agreement that seemingly cuts the legs out from under Adobe’s plans to enable the compilation of Flash code for the iPhone. To say Adobe is a bit peeved would be putting it mildly.

Adobe’s John Dowdell (tip o’ the antlers to John Gruber) tweeted:

I know that a number of good people work at Apple. If you’re seeking a more ethical company, Adobe is hiring:

More ethical? Developer, please. The bare-fisted blows of business as practiced by Apple may hurt and you may not like them, but that’s life in the bigs, John. Capitalism ain’t pretty sometimes.

If we’re going to ascribe ethics to corporations (a dubious and fruitless adventure at best), the Macalope would maintain that Adobe will one day have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do before a vengeful god for the number of crashes Mac users have endured thanks to Flash. Not sure you want to go there.

Adobe’s Lee Brimelow is equally sanctimonious and more verbose (tip o’ the antlers to Glenn Fleishman).

All we want is to provide creative professionals an avenue to deploy their work to as many devices as possible.

You’ve now gone past baloney and into pimento loaf territory. Sure, Flash enables developers to do that, but it’s also about locking them into your tools instead of anyone else’s.

Many of Adobe’s supporters have mentioned that we should discontinue the Creative Suite products on OS X as a form of retaliation. Again, this is something that Adobe would never consider in a million years.

Of course you wouldn’t! You’d be cutting off a huge revenue stream!

But this is equivalent to me walking into Macy’s to buy a new wallet and the salesperson spits in my face.

Mmm, no. That’s not a very good analogy. Here’s a good analogy: it’s equivalent to you expecting Nordstrom’s to sell the same cheap crap you sell at WalMart.

Now let me put aside my role as an official representative of Adobe for a moment as I would look to make it clear what is going through my mind at the moment. Go screw yourself Apple.

Adobe’s evangelists love to rail against Apple’s policy of not letting employees blog about business, but the Macalope will say one thing for it: it saves us from having to read self-serving and unprofessional rants like this.

Comments disabled as I’m not interested in hearing from the Cupertino Comment SPAM bots.

Oops. So much for that “open culture.”

Read more…

Your mileage may vary

Joe Wilcox points to seven techno-elites who have returned or are threatening to return their iPads for a variety of reasons, many of which make perfect sense. The Macalope certainly understands why you might be soured on the device if you had the Wi-Fi problems some are experiencing (the Macalope doesn’t doubt there are problems, but he has had exactly zero issues with his).

“I didn’t need it,” on the other hand, seems a little weak. You couldn’t figure that out before you bought it?

OK, maybe these are the kinds of people who just buy things to try them. If the iPad doesn’t fit their needs, that’s their beeswax, not the horny one’s. But some of these presumed techno-overlords behave more like sugar-addled pre-teens than logical decision makers. Take Nick O’Neill, for instance.

In the past 48 hours I’ve gone from boycotting the Apple iPad, to purchasing one, and this morning I’m bringing it back to the store.

Wow! So, when, exactly are we supposed to take your word on this, Nick? 48 hours ago during the boycott? 24 hours ago during the impulse buy? Now? Three weeks from Tuesday when you buy another one? A day later when you return that one, too?

All of the information O’Neill presents was readily available before last Saturday. But he’s finally made his mind up! Maybe! Who knows?! Follow Nick’s Twitter stream to keep up-to-date on his ever-shifting moods!

O’Neill also hits one of the Macalope’s hot buttons: “I AM PUNDIT! I SPEAK FOR ALL!”

The “killer” apps on the iPad are currently TweetDeck and Netflix…

Nick. You mean your killer apps. Technology pundits, here’s a free tip: No matter what your position is on the iPad or Apple or anything, adding a simple qualifier that it’s your opinion instead of some objective truth is not that hard. And it makes you look like sooooo much less of a tool.

Speaking of the competition…

Maybe the iPad’s not for you. Price, Wi-Fi problems, App Store lock-in, you’re John Warnock…whatever the issue, you feel you’d like something else. What are your options?

In a relatively reasonable critique of the iPad Jeff Jarvis notes one alternative:

The iPad is purposely handicapped, but it doesn’t need to be. See the German WePad, which comes with USB port(s!), a camera, multitasking, and the more open Android operating system and marketplace.

Well, Jeff, the problem with the WePad is you can “see” it, but you can’t touch it because the company—which appears to have no track record in shipping hardware and let’s just say is something less than a household name outside of Germany—isn’t shipping them yet.

So, forgive the Macalope if he feels that’s not exactly a viable alternative. Well, what about the iFree (tip o’ the antlers to Geoff Barnes)? You know, the Linux-based tablet from the somewhat scarily-named Spanish organization, EATCO? Good news! The brown and furry one hears the kinks are almost completely about to be worked out!

Its battery life isn’t good so you can only enjoy its use up to 2.5hrs after which it requires charging. Apple’s iPad scores well on battery with 10 hours running time. But guys, as per the latest update on twitter, Linux Magazine Spain stated that they have summoned Carlos De Castro Lozano, professor at the University of Cordoba to work on improving the battery life of the models that are to be put on sale. So, battery problem will be solved making iFreeTablet better than iPad in every respect.


It’s hard to tell for sure if that passage is sarcastic and the Macalope wants it to be earnest so badly that he can’t be an impartial judge of whether it is or isn’t.

Meanwhile, the JooJoo is getting terrible reviews, the HP slate continues to face an uphill battle, and Microsoft’s Courier exists as nothing more than a series of concept videos.

A year from now the iPad may have serious competition, but right now it’s the best tablet computer there is. Personally, the Macalope’s glad he doesn’t have to wait a year. Hey, as long as you’re practicing asceticism, maybe you should see if you can score some religious brownie points for it!

Wait. Note to self: “religious brownies.”

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