Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Another plugin bytes the dust

Two years ago I went to a conference at University Politehnica of Bucharest and in one of the panel discussions there was a topic about the future of web technologies. I stated my point that plugins in browsers are annoying and the trend in the following years will be to get rid of them. Some guys from Adobe Romania were very vehement and upbeat about the future of Flash especially. Two years on the situation is clear: Flash was banned on iPhones and iPads for stability and security reasons, Adobe announced that they will no longer develop Flash and open-sourced the Flex platform, we have a version of YouTube that runs videos using HTML5 player. And a few days ago Mozilla released a new version of Firefox that has a PDF viewer, so you can see PDF files in browser without using the Adobe Reader plugin. I am on the beta update channel for Firefox, so I had this feature for a couple of months and it works just fine. Since the PDF viewer is written in JavaScript and it's open source I expect a similar feature to occur in the other browsers in the near future. Enjoy!

Monday, February 04, 2013

El Plato Supreme

The patent war goes to Super Bowl. Maybe you heard about patents, but even if you didn't, they already affect your life one way or another. The principle behind the concept of patents is correct, namely to protect one's invention for a period of time, so that he can excessively benefit from her idea. The problem is that this system leads to everybody rushing to claim a patent on any idea they have each morning and to formulate their brand new idea as vague as possible, so one can later claim that is applicable in different places than where was used originally. In IT field the result was also a series of patent wars and lots of litigation, which further made companies acquire as many patents as possible in what is effectively an arms race. The latest war of this kind is between Samsung and Apple over the design and features of smart phones and this war was brought to the most watched television event in U.S., the Super Bowl final in American football, by the commercial bellow. Enjoy the game!