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Why Flash On Android Matters

The BBC uses Flash for its Android app. Adobe pulled Flash from the UK Google Play store (man is it hard for me to type “Google Play”, it’s so childish). Then they put it back because the *BBC app* needs it. BBC. As in BRITISH BROADCASTING SYSTEM. But hey, who watches any of their shows, right? Um, lots of people. Lots of British people.

After being unceremoniously dropped from the store earlier this month, Adobe’s mobile Flash Player has returned to the Google Play store in the UK. According to BBC News, Flash’s encore is the result of pressure from the BBC and “strategic partners” that rely on Flash for their Android apps. Perhaps the most notable app is BBC iPlayer, which requires Flash to play content.

Emphasis added to quote. Annoying.

Android Flash Player back in Google Play UK to support BBC iPlayer | The Verge

YouTube Doesn’t Know Johnny Cash Died

Somebody should tell YouTube that Johnny Cash died. According to a note on the nifty video for Chicken in Black (a truly bizarre/great song that Cash apparently recorded to piss off his record company), Mr. Cash will be playing live on February 25, 2012.

A quick click shows that in reality this show is The Johnny Cash 80th Birthday Bash. Not quite the same thing. Computers. What do they know?

Screenshot of the offending concert date below, along with two more screenshots of the video for Chicken in Black, which is totally worth watching.

Johnny Cash - Chicken In Black - YouTube

I’m reblogging this whole post while only reading part of it. This is what caught my eye:

"In other words, it makes the new Google behave more like the old Google."

I’ve been thinking for awhile that something was off in Google’s search results. The “friends and people you know” or whatever the hell it’s called only recently appeared at the top and doesn’t seem to change what’s below. I’ll read this at some point (in theory) and figure out if it solves my first world problem of not getting the search results I want.

The real thing about Google is that it’s a popularity contest. The more popular links go first. Like high school. I understand that they have to have SOME sort of criteria. As one of the not-popular crowd, that one rubs me the wrong way. Just because more people link to a site doesn’t mean it’s better.


Kudos to Facebook (with some help from Twitter and MySpace) for having the balls to do this. It’s a bookmarklet that replaces Google’s new “People and Pages” area, the hardcoded social search area, and the search completion drop-down, with organic results. 

In other words, it makes the new Google behave more like the old Google.

There has been a lot of back and forth in recent weeks over Google’s new Search+ functionality — about how “fair” it is, and whether or not it should lead to antitrust inquiries. But the bottom line is this:

Search+ makes Google worse. It replaces relevancy with Google’s own agenda to pump up Google+.

I say kudos to Facebook because while this isn’t an official app they created, they let their key product manager, Blake Ross, work on it and deploy it knowing full well that everyone would immediately tie it to Facebook. That in turn will put some heat back on Facebook, which itself is far from fully open with regard to data — and is gearing up to IPO. 

But again, the key issue here is that what Google is doing with Search+ is making Google worse. This bookmarklet illustrates that in a very effective way. 

John Battelle and Danny Sullivan have more on this, as do others. And be sure to watch the Focus On The User walk-through video, narrated by Ross himself. 

Page Becomes CEO (Misreading The News)

The fun way to read this headline - “Page Becomes CEO” - is to think that Google made a web page their new Chief Executive Officer.

What page would it be? Maybe the cache of an old Geocities site dedicated to Kirk Cameron and pictures of kittens? Or something more meta, like the homepage? That would mean that the Google page is the CEO of Google.

Or perhaps, in a nod to the old folks, and in honor of Google Books, they could name an actual physical page their CEO. What page would it be? A page from the Bible? Too controversial. Maybe something from a comic book? How about Spider-Man — “With great power, there must also come great responsibility.” That kinda works, doesn’t it?

Alas, Page is a person. And it’s not Ellen Page the actress. That too would be more fun.

Google’s management changes: Page becomes CEO; Schmidt Exec Chair | ZDNet

Google Kills 25 Computers For A Commercial

Gina Trapani makes an interesting point on her site

Here’s another difference between Apple and Google: Apple makes beautiful computers, and Google makes computers disposable. Check out this ChromeOS commercial. I actually recoiled watching the coffee, toaster, sink, and ice cream sundae land on the notebooks in this video and destroy them. Zero data loss is great, but I also love keeping and caring for devices I love.

The ad is highly cringe-worthy. To save you the 5+ minutes of your life, it features a guy working on a flier for a lost cat (why is it always about cats?). He works “in the cloud.” Every time he completes a task, something insanely destructive happens to his Chrome Netbook — doused in liquid nitrogen and then impaled with a spike, a child dumps an ice cream sundae on the keyboard — and presto, another machine appears. The point is that the data is still there because it is “in the cloud.”

I don’t see this as an Apple/Google thing; for me it’s more about a culture that encourages chucking old stuff and getting something new. Apple is very guilty of this; look at the way iPod batteries crap out just in time for the new models to arrive. Not saying this is a conspiracy, but most people I know with iPods say that it’s a given that the battery will eventually stop working and they’ll just buy a new device. I still have a lot of my old computers — partly because I’m a packrat who digs old electronics (a bad combination, especially in a Manhattan apartment), and partly because I’m unwilling to simply throw them in the trash, and therefore must wait for an opportunity to recycle the damn things.

Also worth noting is that the idea of “data in the cloud” is not remotely a new one. There is the old model of dumb terminals of course, and also the fact that everything the cat-flier-maker is doing in the video can be done RIGHT NOW on ANY COMPUTER. If the Chrome OS is simply a front-end for Google Apps, that’s actually very retro. Reminds me of skins you could buy to run on top of DOS. If Chrome OS boots instantly (or even fairly quickly) that would be handy. But the point of the commercial seems to be “hey! If I use Google Docs, I can get to my data even if my laptop gets destroyed!” And that’s just not a new idea.

Disposable Computers | Smarterware