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Fraud science used to promote Flash performance over web standards

Daniel Eran Dilger

A report purporting to vindicate the performance of Adobe’s Flash plugin in comparison to open standards broke through the weak editorial barriers of the tech community yesterday. It’s wrong, here’s why.
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The report was created by Jan Ozer, a proponent of Flash who makes his living selling books and seminars about Adobe’s technologies. The original article is even interrupted by an advertisement promoting Ozer’s “Streaming Production and Flash Delivery Workshop.”

After noting Ozer’s bias, one site commenting on it wrote, “we don’t think that [his bias] has any effect on the test outcomes [his report presented].”

The problem wasn’t that Ozer faked data to promote Flash; some of his findings actually indicate that even the early beta implementations of HTML5 beat the latest version of Flash in video playback tests. The real issue is that Ozer framed the debate around an absurd premise to shift the conversation from real issues to contrived garbage.

Flash Player: CPU Hog or Hot Tamale? It Depends.

A press release of fake science

Coverage of Ozer’s press release uncritically reported his findings that certain browsers were no better (or at least not much better) at rendering video from YouTube via Google’s experimental HTML5/H.264 site than via the standard Flash version of YouTube.

Ozer detailed only the reported “CPU Utilization” for his test Mac running Safari, Chrome, and Firefox browsers, and a PC running the same three browsers in addition to Internet Explorer. He compared the performance of Flash 10 with the latest Flash 10.1, and contrasted HTML5 playback on browsers that supported that as an alternative to Flash, not too subtly suggesting that HTML5 and H.264 were riddled with problems that inspire fear, uncertainty and doubt, while Flash simply works everywhere.

However, his results made no comment on the visual quality of Google’s Flash vs raw H.264 implementations. Previous tests I performed indicate that Google’s beta version of YouTube running HTML5 delivers raw H.264 video with remarkably better picture equality compared to the HD version of its Flash video for the same file. You can see for yourself by viewing anything on YouTube in “HD quality” via both Flash and HTML5.

Additionally, Ozer seemed to gloss over the fact that his tests really say next to nothing about the efficiency and performance of the Flash runtime compared to the use of open standards, because he wasn’t testing Flash content rendering, but really only the playback of video data delivered via a Flash wrapper.

To deliver video, Flash really isn’t doing anything special. That’s why browsers supporting HTML5 can do this themselves without needing something like Flash (or its doppelgänger, Microsoft’s Silverlight).

HTML5 savvy browsers like Safari and Chrome can also animate content and even (with a little more work) do the kinds of fancy interactive apps and games that Flash was originally targeted toward, all using open web specifications.

Why Apple is betting on HTML 5: a web history
Flash Wars: Adobe in the History and Future of Flash

The Flash problem

Flash is promoted by Adobe as being a great way to create everything from simple website navigation and interactive content to full-blown Rich Internet Apps. Using Flash is an alternative to using open web standards to build these types of content.

The problem is that when content creators built stuff using Flash, they’re locking up their code in a form that can only be rendered by Adobe’s sanctioned Flash Player plugin. Nobody else can create their own legitimate implementation of Adobe’s Flash Player because Flash isn’t an open specification. It’s a proprietary technology fully owned by Adobe.

That’s a problem for Apple because it wants web-based content to play back well on everything from the Mac to its iPhone platform. If content is created in Flash, that means Apple has to wait powerlessly for Adobe to fix the situation in its Flash Player plugin, something that Adobe (and Macromedia before it) consistently failed to deliver for the Mac platform over the last decade. Apple gave up on Flash in the mobile realm in part to hasten the development of open alternatives.

Flash content also forces Mozilla, Opera, and the other WebKit developers outside of Apple to similarly sit back and idly support Adobe’s poorly performing Flash platform in preference to independently optimizing the rendering of open web standards that were designed to scale better from desktops to mobile devices.

Adobe’s current mobile strategy has literally emerged just over the last year or two, largely in panicked response to the iPhone. Prior to that, Adobe was pushing the joke that is Flash Lite on mobile platforms, and a different version of Flash on PC desktops.

Ten Myth of Apple’s iPad: 2. iPad needs Adobe Flash
An Adobe Flash developer on why the iPad can’t use Flash

Ideological fraud science

Much like Microsoft and its new Windows Phone 7 initiative, Adobe is hoping everyone will forget that it has done an abysmal job in deploying appropriate mobile technology over the past decade, and has its fingers crossed that everyone will abandon the much better options that have become available over the past few years and instead turn back to subservient dependance upon refreshed version of 1990s monoculture instead.

Much of the ignorant tech media is actually cheering on this absurdity, which is a bit like right wingers hailing more Reganomic deregulation even as the economy fell into ruin due to misguided efforts at putting financial institutions (rather than the law) in charge of regulating themselves in the first place.

In both cases, ideologues are quick to leap upon the most ridiculous fraud science in order to support what they’ve been told they should shill. Ozer’s “report” on Flash conveniently ignores the real problems (which include both replacing the open web with a closed plugin architecture owned by Adobe, and Adobe’s terrible performance in building and delivering this).

Instead, he creates a strawman problem (suggesting that Apple is accusing Flash of being really bad at simply delivering H.264 video in comparison to open HTML5, and then attempting to show that’s not the case at all) while launching a conspiracy theory (that Apple is out to get Flash for malicious reasons) and a dramatic morality play (that Apple ought to instead work to invest its efforts into making Flash play slightly better, so Ozer can keep writing books about Flash for his captive audience of Flash creators and users).

HTML5 assault on Adobe Flash heats up with ClickToFlash

The truth is that Flash is irrelevant in the future

What Ozer should do instead is present the plain truth that Flash is a terrible platform for creating web content because it violates everything the web was designed to do: openly share content using openly documented specifications that any vendor can implement in competitive ways that advance the state of the art in hyperlinked, multimedia communications. Flash smothers the web with closed binaries that require Adobe’s interest to play back.

Additionally, Ozer should stop presenting half-truths comparing Google’s currently experimental version of H.264 playback with its refined existing implementation of Flash. Ozer fails to admit that Flash isn’t primarily a video distribution system, nor that video playback is really where Flash really exhibits its “CPU hog” problem. Flash is an interactive content platform that rivals the open web. Trying to subtly suggest there is not really a problem with Flash is the opposite of being honest.

Anyone can open a web page embedding a simple Flash visual and watch their CPU performance tank in real time as Flash Player is called upon to render a simple interactive graphic. Render the same element using JavaScript, and the browser itself can deliver optimizations and enhancements that cause it to play faster or more efficiently.

This is already the case in Safari and Chrome, where much work has been invested into making JavaScript execute many times faster than previous generations of browsers. Flash is really just an alternative version of JavaScript sold by Adobe that nobody else can enhance or accelerate on their own.

By presenting trickery in numbers, Ozer is playing the same role as climate change doubters: creating a distraction that lasts just long enough to turn the conversation away from meaningful changes and toward a false controversy that invents blame where none exists. In Ozer’s case, he deflects real criticism of the terrible performance of Flash (particularly on mobile devices) in order to shift the conversation to one that demonizes Apple for not rescuing Adobe from its own terrible implementation of its Flash platform.

Rather than encouraging developers to use open standards for creating interactive web content, and imploring Adobe to drop its dead end Flash runtime acquired at great cost from Macromedia and instead focus on creating tools for modern and open web standards, Ozer attempts to instead suggest that Apple is a bad company for not focusing most of its efforts into shoring up the performance of a fatally flawed web-alternative so that Adobe can serve as the sole beneficiary of all web development going forward, without actually doing anything but tainting the web with a proprietary binary trap.

Shame on you, Mr. Ozer. … and all of you in the tech media who gobbled up his fraud science while remarking how delicious it was.

167 comments

1 JohnWatkins { 03.11.10 at 4:31 pm }

Yup, it was pretty obvious from his “Streaming Research” web site (or whatever it was called, sorry it escapes me at the moment) that he was no impartial observer. We’ll see more of this as Flash has its greedy fingers pried away from web video.
All we need now are some decent tools for easily authoring HTML5 standard compliant content. Remember the good old days when Adobe actually used to make good, useful, tools instead of half-assed strategies for proprietary tweenware?

2 jdb { 03.11.10 at 4:38 pm }

Another Flash/Action Script developer doing similar tests but at least on the same hardware.

http://www.mikechambers.com/blog/2010/03/01/relative-performance-of-rich-media-content-across-browsers-and-operating-systems/

He tested on very high-end hardware, a dual-quad core 3 GHz Mac Pro. I’m not sure how that affects the tests but it certainly bears little resemblance to how most of us use Flash and HTML5

3 twujr { 03.11.10 at 4:50 pm }

I think the discussion needs to be broken down into a few discreet segments (not just Flash is bad or a resource hog).

1. I run a Flash blocker because I really don’t care to be inundated with dancing things trying to get my attention. I’m not anti-ad, I’m anti-needless animation. Simple interfaces are better. Learn to design well, not just loudly.

2. I run an ad blocker because I’m tired of waiting for ads to load. The ads ruin the entire experience of visiting a website. The monetizers have become so slow, I don’t care to wait for them.

3. If I want to play a game, I’ll turn on my Wii or play a discreet game. IMHO, Flash games are mindless time wasters that the world would be better off without… especially the ones on Facebook.

4. I watch remakes of all the old “classic” scifi movies and TV series like Star Trek, and the modern versions all have madly animated viewscreens on the bridge and overly busy animations on the tablets. When I need to get information in a quick, concise manner (i.e., my life and the life of my crew depends on it), I don’t need my eyes distracted by superfluous noise. Same holds true for the web.

Maybe I’m just cranky today. Perhaps I’m just cranky everyday, but my mantra holds: “Get off your butt and do something.” We’ve become a society of endless consumers driven by entitlement. This mentality shows itself in the mainstream online and tech community’s insistence that Flash (and needless animation in general) are so important.

4 jdb { 03.11.10 at 4:51 pm }

He’s actually an adobe employee. So, yeah I trust his analysis.

5 ulicar { 03.11.10 at 4:54 pm }

So the Flash dude falsified the research. Fine, I agree, but to use false information to beat it, that is a bit rich, even for you.

Safari does not support HTML5. It supports pretty limited subset of HTML5. You don’t trust me, go to apple site and check http://www.apple.com/safari/features.html

[HTML5 is not an all-or-nothing thing. It's a specification that, just like previous HTML and CSS specifications, can be implemented to various extents. Today's Safari supports most of the important elements in HTML5, and is rapidly expanding to increase support for new stuff. To suggest that it does not support HTML5 is a lie exposed by visiting a site like Google's HTML5-version of YouTube. ]

Chrome and Safari are using H.264, but Firefox is not and I guess will not, ever http://support.mozilla.com/en-US/forum/1/562286 which makes me wonder if H.264 will survive in the browsers due to Chrome and Safari having combined well less than half the Firefox numbers. Don’t believe me? Fine, visit http://marketshare.hitslink.com/browser-market-share.aspx?qprid=0 or http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats.asp or any other.

Start telling the truth, it is much better for your health and I will not be here.

[The fact that Firefox is pursuing a strategy that refuses to acknowledge H.264 is a problem for Mozilla, not the rest of the world. - Dan]

6 SamLowry { 03.11.10 at 4:56 pm }

So true. Thanks Daniel.
“Anyone can open a web page embedding a simple Flash visual and watch their CPU performance tank in real time as Flash Player is called upon to render a simple interactive graphic.”
An example: open a Flash chart in Google OR Yahoo finance on an iBook 1.2GHz, hover the mouse over that chart, leave it there. Nothing is happening or moving, but:
CPU usage = 100%, eating a hole in my battery.

7 stormj { 03.11.10 at 5:16 pm }

Installing Click2Flash was the best thing I ever did for my web browsing experience. Just like when I started turning Java off a few years back.

8 rufustfirefly { 03.11.10 at 5:19 pm }

If there is Fraud Science, I would check with Al Gore. He is an expert. Maybe they just lost the original code and that’s why they can’t update Flash. Maybe they read an article that said Flash was the very best solution and that created “settled science”. In any event, junk science is the coin of the realm. We use it to regulate businesses, we use it to destroy the California economy through air regulations with science from regulators who bought their PhDs at the UPS store. So, junk science is fine. Al Gore is cool with it, EarthFirst is cool with it, so I expect this site to be cool with it.

[Al Gore has been advocating the consensus of the scientific community for decades now. While there is some discussion about the details of climate change, it is noncontroversial.

I've been to Stockholm and have seen rising tides just as I've observed the burning of the rain forests. So I'm not as easily convinced as many ignorant "never leave home" Palin-Americans by the invented controversies about climate change that just so happen to spring from the same kind of people who refuse to believe in biological evolution.

It's not exactly curious why both creationists and climate change doubters believe things that are funded by the same pro-oil burning industries who hire quack scientists who have created a livelihood based on telling people what they want to hear. - Dan]

9 fiverone { 03.11.10 at 5:59 pm }

Daniel,
thanks again for setting the record straight. I was thinking (kind of knew) what your response was going to be after seeing this published report.

10 kilroywashere { 03.11.10 at 6:48 pm }

hmm.

Just how much has sea level changed in Stockholm? I’m dying to know.

[Enough for boats to not be able to navigate under bridges that they used to be able to. Stockholm is built on a series of islands connected by bridges, so its somewhat of a canary in a coal mine. - Dan]

11 kilroywashere { 03.11.10 at 7:04 pm }

really? How many feet is that?

I don’t see any coastal towns in southern california going under water. Are you suggesting that there is this big bulge in the ocean around Sweden that I’m not seeing here?

12 rufustfirefly { 03.11.10 at 7:34 pm }

The consensus among computer users is that Microsoft is the best OS. Only a small handful of Microsoft deniers try to ignore the science of numbers, which clearly proves that Microsoft is the superior platform for computing. The vast numbers in its favor show that Microsoft has won the survival of the fittest. Others are just pretenders who will be made extinct by the certainty of Darwinist technological evolution. The “denier” community includes Mac enthusiasts, who exhibit characteristics of religious fundamentalism, they deny the evolutionary certainty that their tiny system can survive against the clearly more successful Microsoft. It is time to stop listening to the “deniers” and to simply force Microsoft on the small percentage of users who don’t have it now. A global tax should be levied on all non-Microsoft systems that would help offset the costs that these “distractionary” technologies place on mankind. The technology is settled, there are no arguments against what I say, anyone who challenges my statements is a lesser species. So, let us make it our goal to bring the benefits of Microsoft to all, whether the masses understand these benefits is not important. It is setttled.

13 twujr { 03.11.10 at 7:42 pm }

Biggest isn’t best.

I used/administered/supported Windows desktops/notebooks/servers for the better part of 20 years. It’s anything but superior.

I guess I’m happy being a “denier” and “distractionary”. To paraphrase Charlton Heston, “I’ll give you my Mac when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.”

14 rufustfirefly { 03.11.10 at 7:50 pm }

to twujr

I can appreciate that you like your Mac. I know from that fact that you probably are a religious fundamentalist. You probably worship Steve Jobs. It is sad that people like you, who seem to be nice, get misled and used by this religion of the Mac, which has a clear superstitious fervor. The Apple community plays on the less intelligent and causes them to follow along with this archaic faith. I encourage you to simply accept that the issue is settled. There is no serious debate. Microsoft is the correct answer. Other answers are based on religious arguments that normally appeal to lower intellects, and I mean no offense by this. I am just saying it is all settled. And I say it is settled. So it is settled.

15 scottkrk { 03.11.10 at 7:56 pm }

Dan could you please write an article on how Apple could go about expediting the demise of Flash and neutralising SilverLight?

How about the developers, developers, developers angle?

To hurt Adobe you would have to offer competition to their CS cash-cow, specifically Dreamweaver.

Apple could offer a $99 WebKit SDK like their iPhone and Mac OSX SDK’s. The more developers that understand and use Apple’s development tools the better.

Apple would be attacked for trying to own web authoring tools but unless Adobe is challenged, web developers will continue to use CS and Flash.

Scott

PS It would be nice if Apple didn’t have to do the heavy lifting but I can’t see it happening any other way.

16 twujr { 03.11.10 at 9:05 pm }

to rufustfirefly

Careful or I’ll cut you in half with my lightsaber.

…’archaic faith and religious arguments’.

Thanks for providing a good laugh. I should invite you to my next party.

t

17 gus2000 { 03.11.10 at 9:47 pm }

For Apple to bury Adobe for good:

1. Create a “Flash to HTML5″ converter. About 90% of that content is simple to convert.
2. Do not feed the trolls.
3. Give Adobe something bigger to worry about by releasing a “Photoshop” type application that runs under Cocoa, in 64-bit, and with Apple’s famous ease-of-use that doesn’t require taking classes to do anything outside of pasting heads onto supermodel bodies. Sell it for $59 instead of the SEVEN HUNDRED DOLLARS that CS4 costs at Amazon.
4. Keep ignoring the trolls.

BTW, I concur that using the Yahoo or Google stock charts spikes my 3GHz Core2Duo to 70% (just hovering the mouse). Playing the “IronMan 2″ HD trailer in Quicktime chews up around 17% CPU on average.

On an unrelated note, I no longer want to be Captain Kirk when I grow up. Tony Stark is my hero.

18 enzos { 03.11.10 at 9:53 pm }

twujr,
Even an infant knows Stockholm is not on an ocean it is on the Baltic Sea. The water level driven in- and outflows through the Danish Straits are the primary forcing in the sea level change. These are seasonal and hence more sensitive to climate change than are ocean levels.

Regarding which: “A sea-level rise of just 400 mm in the Bay of Bengal would put 11 percent of the Bangladesh’s coastal land underwater, creating 7 to 10 million climate refugees.” -WP

“The output of five global climate models (GCMs) run under two greenhouse gas scenarios was used in combination with tide gauge observations to project sea-level increases ranging from 200 to 900 mm by 2100, depending on location, GCM and scenario. The range mainly reflects equal contributions of spatial variability (due to subsidence) and GCM uncertainty, with a smaller fraction of the range due to scenario uncertainty.” -J. Climate Change 2009 pp 121-138

Though on the “fuck you, I’m alright” morality clear from your smug posts,that doesn’t matter coz you’ll be worm food by then and what’s a few million foreigners who don’t even speak good American?

19 ulicar { 03.11.10 at 10:35 pm }

Go to apple’s site and you will see how much of HTML5 Safari (and this is “grownup” safari, not cut down version on iPhone) support. If you are interested on how much your iPhone/iPad Safari supports HTML5, go to Google web applications and see what you get http://img202.imageshack.us/img202/3706/newimagen.png

So, who is telling stuff that are not true?

20 ulicar { 03.11.10 at 10:40 pm }
21 adrianco { 03.11.10 at 11:02 pm }

I think Apple is going to hold out against Adobe, and Flash will gradually disappear. The iPad will accelerate this. However my flash-blocker does highlight several Flash ads on this site, so Dan should clean it up…

Regarding sea level rise, see this detailed article at Skeptical Science – get their iPhone app as well.

http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=150

The good news for the USA is that seal level rise is not evenly distributed (neither is temperature rise), and the coastal USA has relatively low rise compared to parts of Asia.

22 Nick R { 03.11.10 at 11:38 pm }

Wait, you write a whole article bashing fraud science, and then you bring up biological evolution? You have to see the irony in that. if you don’t, you should really look into just how much fraud is presented as fact in regards to the “theory of evolution”. Disclaimer: No, I’m not a “Palin-American”, and yes I do think climate change is an issue.

23 Joel { 03.12.10 at 1:00 am }

Nick. Are you for real…? You think there is “fraud” in evolution…? All those damn palaeontologists trying to self-justify there salaries…! But then the USA is the laughing-stock of the world for taking Creationism seriously…

24 Joel { 03.12.10 at 1:01 am }

Obviously “there” should be “their”…

I think the issue in the USA should be eduction and rational thinking rather blindly believing what you are told…

25 beanie { 03.12.10 at 1:12 am }

Daniel Eran Dilger wrote:
“Nobody else can create their own legitimate implementation of Adobe’s Flash Player because Flash isn’t an open specification. It’s a proprietary technology fully owned by Adobe.”

SWF specification was opened up on May 1, 2008 as part of the Open Screen Project. It can be used to make a SWF player or SWF content. So if Apple wants to they can make their own SWF player instead of complaining.

Safari on Windows 4.0 marketshare is 0.3% according to NetApplications. How come it is such a flop? Chrome on Windows was probably around 4%-5%, before a Mac version was released.

26 enzos { 03.12.10 at 2:21 am }

apologies to twujr, kilroy it was.

27 kilroywashere { 03.12.10 at 2:38 am }

enzos,

really? So exactly how much has sea-level risen around Stockholm? And exactly How much has the ocean level in general risen? How close is calcutta to being overrun by the ocean?

Why don’t you educate me in my infancy?

28 kilroywashere { 03.12.10 at 2:41 am }

beanie,

Do you actually think Apple put Safari on Windows with the intent of competing for browser share? What interest would apple have in giving away browser software to Windows users?

29 Joel { 03.12.10 at 2:41 am }

Google not working for you, kilroywashere…?

30 Per { 03.12.10 at 2:58 am }

Ah, about the Stockholm argument. As the resident Swede here, I can tell you that water levels mostly have to do with rain levels inland as a large system of lakes exit their water into the Baltic Sea through Stockholm. Right now the subway system in Stockholm may be flooded because we had the coldest and snowiest winter in decades, and there are huge quantities of snow melting thus making the water level rise.

31 gctwnl { 03.12.10 at 3:08 am }

I have been trying to have a look at YouTube’s HTML5 stuff, but I have no idea to do this. When I turn off my Safari plugins, I just get a page telling me to click to get Flash.

So, how do i tell YouTube I do not want flash?

32 gctwnl { 03.12.10 at 3:12 am }

Sorry, found it already: http://www.youtube.com/html5

33 gctwnl { 03.12.10 at 3:19 am }

I just did a small non-scientific test and had a look at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLTD7G73h5k&feature=PlayList&p=036737129B49FEF7&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=5

After disabling my plugins and joining the html5 beta. Result:
- html5 looked better
- there were strange pauses in the video (not the audio) of the playback. This was not a data speed issue, there was far more data available.

34 Per { 03.12.10 at 3:21 am }

RDM must have gotten the attention of Windows Enthusiasts as the troll count keeps rising in the comments. This used to be a civilized place less than a year ago (except from during the presidential campaign when some republican readers took offense by Daniel comparing them to Microsoft).

This has been one of the few last blogs and sites where I actually bother to read the comments, please don’t let this turn into YouTube. Enough with the namecalling and flamebaiting. I used to get as much learning and reading pleasure from the comments as from the articles themselves, and I would hate to lose that.

35 rufustfirefly { 03.12.10 at 4:58 am }

Everyone with a brain believes in Evolution. It is settled science. By real scientists, not the ones that have to buy their PdDs at the UPS stores like they employ at the California Air Resources Board. Evolution is demonstrated in the scientific evidence. Haven’t you heard of Piltdown Man. Nebraska Man. You deniers are so stupid you are lucky to have us smarter people around to help you set your VCR clocks. And to help you when your Macs fail. By the way, are you still in denial about Microsoft. It won the evolutionary battle with Apple. So give it up, lay down in a tar pit, and let your bones be found by some smart guy paleontologist as proof of what happens to the weak – like poor old Piltdown Man.

36 Jon T { 03.12.10 at 4:59 am }

I endorse what Per says. Please may RDM remain a place for intelligent comment.

And for the trolls, please keep the usual silly insults reserved for Mac users out of here.

And try for some decent English too please…

who is telling stuff that are not true”

…is NOT good English.

37 Raymond { 03.12.10 at 5:16 am }

@Per

Unfortunately Apple has embarrassed many industry players over the last decade, who had become comfortable in maintaining the status quo . As a result, we have this rapid influx of trolls that really should be seen as a barometer of how well Apple has been doing of late. Things are only set to get worst with the release of the iPad. The trolls are gearing up to peck away at Apple’s liver for daring to steal the technological fire from the IT gods to give to mortal men.

38 gctwnl { 03.12.10 at 5:47 am }

I would like to suggest that Daniel changes the policy for this blog comments and states that he will remove off topic comments (starting with this one). I agree, we do not come here to discuss evolution, climate change and whatever, unless it is a topic of Daniel’s writings.

39 rufustfirefly { 03.12.10 at 5:52 am }

Raymond – I understand your frustration. It is not easy living in a complex world when you have a lesser intellect. If you were really smart, like I am, and if you weren’t blinded by your religious beliefs (the Apple dogma, the deity of Steve) you would know that Microsoft is the only way. The market has decided. The vast majority of users are a consensus, the science is settled. Your lame attempt to bring up “facts” like the iPhone, iPad, etc. is just a sad indication of your denialism. It is over for Apple. Move on. Stop resisting. Let those of us who know better lead you to a better world through modern science and technology. Windows XXX Excelsior will help you understand this, when it arrives. And I am not telling your stuff that are not true. This are all settled. I say.

40 ShabbaRanks { 03.12.10 at 5:59 am }

I’ve got to agree with Per here. Too many trolls, so little time. I, for one, can’t believe an article about an obviously biased Flash experiment has turned into a long and tiresome discussion about Creationism and Global Warming.

At least Ulicar keeps his trolling “on topic.”

41 Nick R { 03.12.10 at 6:13 am }

@Joel “rather than blindly believing what you are told.”… Um, who would be in that boat? Were you not taught evolution?

Look, I wasn’t trying to start a flame war, but if you don’t think that evolution was built on fraud science you don’t really know the history of it. I’m not saying there isn’t factual science behind it as well, but a lot of stuff was falsified… and it’s still in most textbooks.

People are so quick to bash “creationism” (which I didn’t even mention). Rather than show tolerance of views, people revert to calling others stupid. Not sure how that will convince the “creationist” side.

You’ve been taught evolution your whole life. The only way to get the whole story is to read both sides, then make an informed decision. Evolution is bias in the same way creationism is. If you only look at work that is critical of the othersde, how will you get the full picture?

You should look at some of the creation or intelligent design scientist’s credentials, before saying they are all stupid.

Lastly, don’t think that I don’t have friends who subscribe to evolutionary theory – both Christian and non-Christian. I don’t consider you stupid for believing it. I just thought the “fraud science” that is littered through evolution’s past was common knowledge, not that all the science was. In the same way Christianity has the crusades or those nutjobs that protest outside of funerals with “God is judging homosexuality” signs.

42 ShabbaRanks { 03.12.10 at 6:21 am }

PS: Dan, you need to stop feeding Ulicar too. He knows exactly what he’s writing and why. (He says trying to ignore the Creationist and Anti-Global Warming trolls. Calm blue ocean…. Calm blue ocean….)

43 Nick R { 03.12.10 at 6:22 am }

@rufustfirefly I hope your kidding.
Piltdown Man a hoax:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piltdown_Man
Tooth of Nebraska Man falsely identified:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nebraska_Man

44 Joel { 03.12.10 at 6:30 am }

Please supply links to bona-fide websites indicating the “fraud” behind evolution. Ditto for serious Intelligent Design scientists. I keep trying to search for this Google but I keep getting Creationist whack-job sites. :(

I made “informed decision” years ago. On one hand we have a theory that’s backed up by examples from the fossil record and other, verifiable bits of evidence. On the other-hand we have a nice story for kindergarten that has convenient hand-waving when we get to the nuts+bolts. Hhmm….

45 uberVU - social comments { 03.12.10 at 6:40 am }

Social comments and analytics for this post…

This post was mentioned on Twitter by DanielEran: New: Fraud science used to promote Flash performance over web standards – http://tinyurl.com/yk3o4s3

46 gctwnl { 03.12.10 at 6:43 am }

@Nick R

You should look at the evolution scientist’s credentials, before saying they are all fraudulent.

The first scientist who would be able to prove evolution wrong would become more famous than Darwin. Scientists live for the opportunity to prove another scientist wrong. And you think that world-sized wheelbarrow full of frogs could enact a conspiracy?

47 ShabbaRanks { 03.12.10 at 7:01 am }

DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS.

48 Joel { 03.12.10 at 7:09 am }

@ShabbaRanks: Good point. I will not bother answering his post any more…

49 Nick R { 03.12.10 at 7:28 am }

@ShabbaRanks — wait, I’m not trying to be a troll. Dan took a jab at creationism/evolution and I bit. Sorry that has bothered you. I seriously come here for in-depth Apple talk. Joel responded, and I responded back. What’s wrong with two minds meeting on RDM comments and discussing something? Does it really warrant an all caps reply of “DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS”? Dan makes those comments knowing he may get responses to them… just like his articles. I’ll gladly drop the topic now, back to Apple.

50 luisd { 03.12.10 at 7:40 am }

@ShabbaRanks

you beat me to it! Just to reiterate

DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS.

51 Donald { 03.12.10 at 7:56 am }

Is it fair to say, then, that given the way things are at present we can expect a future in which entire websites will be displayed only by proprietary applications such as Flash and Silverlight that are managed and updated by non-independent bodies?

52 borker { 03.12.10 at 9:18 am }

@Joel

It’s not even just that the evidence is there and examinable by anyone with an interest to do so (repeatability) it’s that there is absolutely nothing that is scientific about creationism or it’s brand du jour ‘intelligent’ design.

Science makes predictions that can be tested, creationism is incapable of this. A pertinent example of this is that one of the hypothesis that arose as a result of Darwin’s work was that there must be a mechanism by which traits are passed from generation to generation. In the 1800s and 1900s DNA was discovered and it’s role (along with RNA in later discoveries) and the previous hypothesis was proved, in a way that could be test and independently verified.

“Intelligent” design is a creation (ironically :) of the misnamed ‘discovery’ institute and comprises the heart of their “wedge strategy” of supplanting science with religion. A quote stating the goals of ‘intelligent’ design lifted from the so called ‘wedge document’ reads: “reverse the stifling materialist world view and replace it with a science consonant with Christian and theistic convictions”. People who claim to be doing ‘critical analysis of evolution’ who promote one form or another of ‘teach the controversy’ are simply running plays from the discovery institute’s wedge playbook. Nothing to do with science, no interest in the facts or specific nature of evolution, just an attempt to tear down anyone and anything that goes against their fundamentalist views.

53 TheMacAdvocate { 03.12.10 at 9:26 am }

“…which is a bit like right wingers hailing more Reganomic deregulation…”
/eyeroll

Otherwise, nailed it as usual.

PS: please get a publicist. I’d like you to get all the eyeballs you deserve.

54 ShabbaRanks { 03.12.10 at 9:34 am }

@ Donald.

That appears to be the case and is the best arguement against Flash and Silverlight. It’d be like the days when you required IE all over again. *shudder*

55 borker { 03.12.10 at 9:37 am }

@Donald

Exact opposite I’d say. Adobe can’t get flash onto iPhones, MS has bought its way into some usage of silverlight on a few sites (F* you CTV for your olympics website!) but won’t be making an appearance on any non-winmo phones. Netbooks, phones, iPads etc are creating too many new platforms on too many different architectures outside of the classic windows desktop for companies like adobe to keep up with and MS has no interest in supporting (but oddly Miguel de Icaza probably does ;)

Open standards supporting browsers are spreading at such a rate that it will be much easier in terms of both writing code as well as technology licensing for developers to spend their time writing once to a standard then writing X times to every possible plugin, do client side detection for plugins etc etc

56 rufustfirefly { 03.12.10 at 9:37 am }

I hate Reagomic deregulation. Better to have lots of rules and regulations. How about a 2700 page bill devised by people in back rooms that is read by nobody before being signed, to control how we all are able to procure medical services. Regulation is good. It comes from the smarter people who know better. They realize the wisdom in the “regulation” that creates fines and jail sentences for those who refuse to buy the insurance in the 2700 page plan, devised by people who have a completely separate plan for themselves. Now that is deregulation I can believe in.

57 ChuckO { 03.12.10 at 9:45 am }

@twujr 3,
“Maybe I’m just cranky today. Perhaps I’m just cranky everyday, but my mantra holds: “Get off your butt and do something.” We’ve become a society of endless consumers driven by entitlement. This mentality shows itself in the mainstream online and tech community’s insistence that Flash (and needless animation in general) are so important.”

Well said.

58 ChuckO { 03.12.10 at 9:50 am }

rufustfirefly 53,
Yea right. Let’s keep the status quo while insurance costs eat up all our meager raises.

It’s amazing how many financial meltdowns did we have between the depression and Reagonomics? Zero! How many have we had since Reagonomics? Two or three (Savings and Loan, The internet meltdown, our current problems).

Keep up the non-thinking, buddy!!!!!

59 borker { 03.12.10 at 9:55 am }

@ rufustfirefly

yeah d00d, down with regulations. When I drink a bottle of vodka and want to go driving at 100 through a school zone ‘the man’ has some regulation that says I can’t. When I want to build a 100 story office building on a foundation of creamy soft camembert cheese and fill it with 10,000 occupants even though i know it’ll fall down in a light breeze, there are those dang ol regulations saying I can’t. Revolution I say!

60 rufustfirefly { 03.12.10 at 9:59 am }

Chucko

How many meltdowns have we had when Democrats were running Congress? And I take it you are OK with somebody “mandating” you buy something (even if you don’t want it)? I thought Liberals were pro-choice. And if is so good, why has Congress excluded itself? And it is so good, why is the current Government run plan, Medicare, so out of money? Why does the GOVT Medicare Plan so often refuse to treat “pre-existing conditions”? You may like to be told how to live your life. You may want to be a serf. I prefer freedom. Obviously, you prefer coersion and state control. These are simply competing worldviews. I wish all you totalitarians would get together in one place and then you could go to town with your government imposed slavery. Just leave the rest of us alone. It is our “choice” and choice is good, right?

61 rufustfirefly { 03.12.10 at 10:07 am }

To Borker

No problem with regulating driving speeds and construction. Now, as to the Health Care plan, I take it you would be OK with the GOVT mandating that you purchase a Dell with Windows Vista Home Edition. You don’t like it – tough. Bureaucrats have decided it is best. If you are OK with one of the most important aspects of our economy being completely taken over by people like Charles Rangel, Pete Stark, Chris Dodd, Barack Obama and letting these people make your personal decisions, then you are a pretty sorry specimen. Do you not have any personal pride and dignity? You volunteer to be a slave to the state? And you are OK with a bureacrat telling you that you can’t use a Mac, because it is not on the authorized list? How weak and pathetic.

62 ChuckO { 03.12.10 at 10:09 am }

rufustfirefly 57,
“How many meltdowns have we had when Democrats were running Congress?”

Are you blaming the current financial crisis on the current Democratic congress? That’s beyond idiotic.

I guess you’ll be refusing your social security checks when you retire then?

Don’t hold your breath until the country returns to the year 1860. The rest of us have a modern country to build.

“You may like to be told how to live your life. You may want to be a serf. I prefer freedom. Obviously, you prefer coersion and state control. These are simply competing worldviews. I wish all you totalitarians would get together in one place and then you could go to town with your government imposed slavery. Just leave the rest of us alone. It is our “choice” and choice is good, right?”

Good God, man get a hold of yourself. What’s an embarrassment of demagoguery!

63 borker { 03.12.10 at 10:10 am }

@ rufustfirefly

yeah, that’s actually not true though is it? You either have to accept total anarchy is the way to go (in which case I’d rather it was you and your ilk who find a new place to go) or you have to accept that a society must operate with a degree of rules imposed upon itself (and remember, in the good ol days before corporate lobbyists took over government the ‘someone’ imposing the rules was us, through our duly elected officials… you know, democracy?)

When a democratically elected government creates laws, its not ‘government imposed slavery’ its democracy. You don’t like? vote em out. Better still, run for election. You seem to think you have the pulse of the people, go put it to the test.

64 borker { 03.12.10 at 10:22 am }

@ rufustfirefly

a mandate to have health insurance is not the same as being told to by a specific computer, with a specific OS etc etc, to carry your utterly irrelevant metaphor a little further, the ‘mandate’ would be to own a computer, the freedom would be to choose which one. Now of course there is no comparison between product ownership and medical coverage.

The mandate is, I feel, a bad thing without the option to have a government option or single payer option. Whose fault is that the best bits of the reform are off the table? Largely the republicans, partly the dems and entirely industry. You clearly have a political party axe to grind, but I couldnt care less. I think health care for all is one of the most noble aspirations a government (which is meant to represent it’s people, that democracy thing again…) can have and I don’t care what party gets us there. I’m sad that the dems are in the process of failing to do what they were voted in to do (health care access was one of the biggest promises of the Obama campaign) but its on the heads of the individual lawmakers who are allowing this fail that I place the blame.

But again, back to your basic hypocrisy that you like some regulations but not others. The current group of law makers were voted in. If you don’t like it, vote them out or stand and run yourself.

65 JohnWatkins { 03.12.10 at 10:24 am }

1.) I’d be happy with an “ignore” feature rather than the work intensive removal of comments by Dan. He has bette things to do.

Flash:
1.) It’s obvious there is not need to use Flash for video. This is settled. Within a year or two Flash will be completely marginalized for video playback (yes, I use click to Flash and rarely find it necessary to click.)

2.) The other half of Flash is animation. It gets used for 2 basic things: conventional animation and animation of the UI.
•A) Using Flash for UI on websites is ridiculous. I never cease to be amazed by the way corporate sites have been lured in to adopting flash so extensively on their websites. Its simply a way for expensive designer/consultants to hide their work and lock in their clients and future revenue. It serves the consultants well, but is clearly not beneficial to their clients.
•B) Conventional animation is where Flash excels. Only problem is, the resulting file format is proprietary. We need an open “Flash-like” standard for animation. This will erase the problem of Adobe making crap software for some platforms and will allow competition and improvement in both the rendering of animation and in the creation of tools for creating/editing of those animations.
•C) These tools are the missing link in the transition to functional HTML5. Of course they cannot be created until the HTML5 standards become more clear. HTML standards for video are just the beginning, but should be sorted out soon (if Adobe will stop sabotaging the process.)

66 ChuckO { 03.12.10 at 10:26 am }

borker 63,
Well put but I think we’re wasting our breath on a hysterical teabagger and ideologue.

67 rufustfirefly { 03.12.10 at 10:27 am }

A democratically elected government does not have to invent ways to break arms and ignore all established rules to create legislation. A real legislature does not vote on bills that don’t exist and can’t be reviewed. A real legislature does not create laws that don’t apply to its own members.

To Borker — since the Deficit has expanded fourfold in just the last year, and since it has expanded about eightfold since 2006 when Democrats took control, yes I do blame the Democrats. Is it your position that the Democrats have exercised financial constraint and have attempted to reduce the Deficit? Please.

68 JohnWatkins { 03.12.10 at 10:32 am }

Perhaps an ignore feature that also indicates how ignored posters are. This would allow members to make their own choices while subtly signaling to the group as a whole likely trolls (although the more ornate the system, the easier it can be to game it.)

69 ChuckO { 03.12.10 at 10:35 am }

rufustfirefly 67,
Go Google the difference between the deficit under Carter and Reagan. Reagan spent us out of the recession in the early eighties. Or how about the (Bush) Republican’s unfunded expansion of Medicare with the prescription drug program or their unfunded tax breaks or their unfunded spending on Iraq and Afghanistan.

You need to stop being a hypocrite or stop calling out the Democrats for things the Republicans are more guilty of. In other words stop lying especially to yourself.

70 borker { 03.12.10 at 10:44 am }

@ rufustfirefly

What ChuckO said, basically. Again, its results I care about, not parties, but if we’re talking deficit effects, then I guess you’re on the side of the public option as the CBO says it’ll reduce deficits more than any other approach (including the current crappy compromise bill, or your preferred ‘stick head in sand and hope China never calls in the loans’ approach).

71 rufustfirefly { 03.12.10 at 10:48 am }

Chucko

Google the Constitution. The Congress is responsible for creating budgets. The only thing the President does is sign the bill. Google – “who believes in big expensive government programs”. The answer is Democrats. That is why they exist. So get real.

As for premium increases – the current bill involves massive tax increases that begin immediately. The supposed Health Care benefits (sic) don’t begin for 4-5 years. That is so the 10 year cost analysis can show this only costing $1 trillion, instead of the actual $2.5 trillion. And Democrats, including Dick Durbin just the other day, said if the bill is passed, there will be very large premium increases by the Insurance Companies over the next several years. That is if this passes. And that makes sense. This bill is not at all about controlling health care costs. That could be done by eliminating bogus lawsuits, and allowing insurance companies to sell nationally instead of having to deal with state by state regulations. These obvious improvements are too simple for Democrats. No – we must have massive regulations that will increase the cost. How can you add 30 million people to the covered without increasing the cost.

72 ChuckO { 03.12.10 at 10:56 am }

rufustfirefly,
“Google the Constitution. The Congress is responsible for creating budgets. The only thing the President does is sign the bill. Google – “who believes in big expensive government programs”. The answer is Democrats. That is why they exist. So get real.”

Yea, except Reagan and Bush both had Republican Congresses for everything I mentioned. So you get real and keep pushing the lies buddy. The last 30 years the Republicans were in control of the country so suck it up buddy. This mess is on your hands. The least you could do is shut up and skulk off to your corner if you can’t face the facts. Go read some Bruce Bartlett. He get’s it.

73 Imapolicecar { 03.12.10 at 11:02 am }

@rufustfirefly

Thank you. I see the light now. I will throw away my Apple products and follow the Bible of Redmond. I promise to be faithful to the hold trio of Balmer, Gates and Vista. I have read the registry and confess my past wrongdoings by worshipping zippy speeds, effective programs and reliable OSes. I want Microsoft. I want corruption, poor design and above all I want it cheap. I want hardware problems so that I can better serve Microsoft, I want to know software incompatibilities so that I can better understand why I am here. I want it not to work so that I can better understand Balmer. I want the blue screen of death becasue my favorite color is blue.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. :)

74 ChuckO { 03.12.10 at 11:11 am }

Sorry, everybody for falling for @rufustfirefly. I won’t respond to him anymore.

75 miloh { 03.12.10 at 11:29 am }

@Everybody

Take a step back and look at the things rufustfirefly is saying. He/she is using so many stereotypes and clichés that it’s ridiculous. It’s so unbelievably over the top that it has to be fake.

76 borker { 03.12.10 at 11:47 am }

yeah, I can usually manage to avoid getting sucked into this sort of thing, but every once in a while I get played. C’est la vie.

77 Nick R { 03.12.10 at 12:02 pm }

I second ChuckO – @twujr 3,
“This mentality shows itself in the mainstream online and tech community’s insistence that Flash (and needless animation in general) are so important.”

I was so guilty of putting Flash on a pedestal back in 2000-01. I was certain it was the wave of the future for the internet… how wrong I was. 99% of the time if I see a Flash load bar – I’m out. Thank you “click 2 flash”!

78 ipadEric { 03.12.10 at 12:42 pm }

I agreed with everything you had to say about flash and html5, but you lose credibility when you make shallow left wing innuendos that are not relevant nor appropriate.

79 takes12no1 { 03.12.10 at 1:03 pm }

Cool article and was enjoying reading it until…, Daniel hurt his creditibility with this…. ‘Much of the ignorant tech media is actually cheering on this absurdity, which is a bit like right wingers hailing more Reganomic deregulation even as the economy fell into ruin due to misguided efforts at putting financial institutions (rather than the law) in charge of regulating themselves in the first place.”
This shows he is OK with writing about his strong opinions about things he knows nothing about. Why must you ruin everything with your hate? Rufustfirefly – don’t let the libtards get you down…your right on.

[I try to stay balanced and non-dogmatic, but have no problem with gonzo journalism when being "fair and balanced" means ignoring reality or skewing it by justapozing truth with extremist Conservative ideology.

Remember that radical Muslim extremists also fear science, doubt climate change, and refuse to acknowledge elementary biological evolution in preference to religious myth.

So think about whether your ideological hatred for liberal thinkers and progressives like Al Gore really trumps what you think about radical conservative fundamentalists like Osama bin Laden. Gore doesn't blow up buildings and kill children. - Dan ]

80 Fraud science used to promote Flash performance over web standards « iNewΙΤ { 03.12.10 at 2:08 pm }

[...] science used to promote Flash performance over web standards Fraud science used to promote Flash performance over web standards That’s a problem for Apple because it wants web-based content to play back well on everything [...]

81 kilroywashere { 03.12.10 at 3:17 pm }

Joel,

If a person makes claims, he should be able to explain them himself and cite his sources. Those of us who are actually educated in science (versus being educated in pop science sold in grocery store magazine racks) know that the climate of the earth has “changed” drastically over the millennia and that human industrialization and farting cattle had nothing to do with it.

I signed up to make comments on this blog because I finally had enough of a san francisco kook condescending to people with whom he merely has philosophical and world-view disagreements.

His condescending attitude is particularly laughable given Phil Jones and the gang have now been fully exposed as frauds. Everyone knows this. Everyone knows it has been snowing in New Orleans. Anyone with a brain should be able to see for himself that the temperatures are going down….not up. So, anyone not smart enough to look at what is right in front of his face and come to the proper conclusion shouldn’t be condescending to wal-mart shoppers or any other classification of people upon which he looks down his nose.

I visit this blog for technical analysis of tech industry trends. I often roll my eyes when Daniel inserts his personal political and religious views into the technical analysis. I find his political and religious views silly and naive. That said….I really don’t care what his political and religious views are…nor do I dare to argue over them. Its the condescending, know-it-all attitude that irks me and prompted me to comment.

82 rufustfirefly { 03.12.10 at 3:22 pm }

ChuckO

Your history is weak. Reagan never had a Republican House – ever. He only had a Republican senate briefly.

Did you major in Phys Ed?

83 luisd { 03.12.10 at 3:24 pm }

kilroywashere ,

And exactly what science is it that you specialise on?

And where exactly is it that the temperatures are going down, and when? Do you understand the mechanics of weather patterns? If your science is meteorology, I’ll shut up.

84 rufustfirefly { 03.12.10 at 3:31 pm }

Luisd,

It doesn’t matter what science Kilroy specializes in. He has a scientific background. And that means he understands that when the top scientist in the Global Warming movement “loses” the data that supports his analysis, and has to conspire with others to create the fake data to support his preconceived idea, that is called fraud. The entire Global Warming argument is based on the science of the CRU, and Phil Jones, and the Hockey Stick (phony), and the melting Himalayan glaciers (phony), and James Hansen of NASA and his hysterical claim that the sea level near England would rise 240 feet soon, if his fraud is not accepted. And his data is borrowed from Phil Jones at the CRU. The now fired Phil Jones. Kilroy’s point was totally logical, reasonable, and indisputable. Now, I take you up on your offer to shut up.

85 luisd { 03.12.10 at 3:37 pm }

rufustfirefly, I’m just glad you have taken the offer to shut up! Everybody in this place will just be happy when you do it!

86 kilroywashere { 03.12.10 at 3:51 pm }

luis,

I hold a bachelors degree in physics. While that didn’t teach me meteorology, it did teach me how to read and understand scientific information. I can use that training to know when a scheister is shoveling manure around my feet for the sake of securing government grants for himself.

87 rufustfirefly { 03.12.10 at 3:55 pm }

Luis, John Watkins, ChuckO, and Assorted other Lefties Here,

You are obviously well trained to say you will “ignore” and call names (teabaggers – owww – that is so rough), and talk to one another. The one thing you don’t do is actually respond to real statements of truth. For example – the fundamental data on which Global Warming alarmists base their arguments was managed and controlled by the Climate Resource Unit – CRU – at East Anglia. This group worked with other groups, but it was the defacto official keeper of the data. It’s research is now clearly tainted with fraud. This is not in dispute. Real concerned citizens would be most concerned about why was such an elite scientific organization engaging in fraud, instead of time honored, open analysis where critical input and competing theories are welcomed, not trashed, because truth is supposed to be the motive. Instead, those who had relied on the CRU exhibit no concern our outrage at the “bad science”. No – the only concern is aimed directly at the people whose real hard work exposed the fraud. These people should be lauded, but they are not. Why? Is not science supposed to be about seeking real truth? Apparently not, as the global warming alarmists are more concerned about preserving their “theory” than actually attaining a real understanding of what the climate is doing and why.

Now – John Watkins, Imapolicecar, ChuckO, Luisd, and Borker – you can resume the name calling. I don’t expect you to actually show any interest in real, objective science. It is too dangerous. It might not give you the answer you want.

88 luisd { 03.12.10 at 3:55 pm }

Rufus,

Have you actually done science yourself? Beyond your Physics degree, and probably a final year research project or dissertation. Did you stay in academia after your degree? Or have you moved on to other areas not science related?

89 luisd { 03.12.10 at 3:57 pm }

And sorry Kilroy, the message was for you, not for rufus. Apologies for the mistake!

90 kilroywashere { 03.12.10 at 3:58 pm }

luis,

You guys need to get some historical perspective. I’m old enough to remember the Indian crying over a beer can in the woods back in the 70s. I know about the howls of educated socialists back in the day over how we were all doomed due to overpopulation, deforestation, population, nuclear waste, chemical pollution, acid rain, ozone holes, global cooling. 30 and 40 years has gone by on all this stuff and none of it has come true. All of this global warming nonsense is just the impending-calamity-du-jour that socialists use to manipulate people into supporting their political ambitions.

You need to develop a healthy sense of cynicism.

91 luisd { 03.12.10 at 4:02 pm }

Rufus,

To you, I would only recommend to read the structur of scientific revolutions. It should help you to understand how science develops, and the interaction between science and society.

http://www.amazon.com/Structure-Scientific-Revolutions-Thomas-Kuhn/dp/0226458083

92 kilroywashere { 03.12.10 at 4:08 pm }

The details of my personal history are irrelevant to the point. But I will say I didn’t pursue a career in physics if that is what you want to know.

93 luisd { 03.12.10 at 4:15 pm }

Kilroy,

I entirely agree with you, but all extremes are bad. I’m a scientist myself, and do perfectly understand the relationship between science and society. I’m also fed-up with over-blown subject and scare-mongering. But also fed-up of journalists making an argument or a division in opinions when there is none.

If all those “socialists” hadn’t cried loud about deforestation, over-population, etc… what would have happened? Did you visited London n the days of big smoke clouds? Didn’t pollution regulation helped then? Deforestation has slowed down in some areas, in other it has actually been reversed, isn’t that good?

The weather patterns have changed. And that is a fact. Temperatures in my hometown have raised from a comfortably 2o C to 24 C all year round when I was a kid (and the records are there to see), to winters with temperatures below 14 and summers about 35. If this is not weather change I don’t know what it is.

The river Cam in the UK used to freeze regularly 25 to 30 years ago. It hasn’t frozen in over 15 years. Same the canals in Amsterdam.

You question (and so do I) if these patterns are human induced? Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. But if they are, shouldn’t we do something to prevent the changes hurting us? If they are not our fault, then there is no harm in understanding the impact that our activities have on nature.

If there was or not a fraud in the climate data at one or a small group of institutions, it is irrelevant. There are plenty of other data sets worldwide to look at.

94 rufustfirefly { 03.12.10 at 4:16 pm }

Luis

Thank you for the suggestion. I will be looking closely to see if the “structur of scientific revolutions” includes losing ones data (as Phil Jones did – but then it was just the Global Historical Temperature Record. ) Or if this scientific book you recommend includes methods to “hide the decline” as the CRU people, and Michael Mann of Penn State, sought to do, because the decline caused trouble in selling their theory. Or does this scientific journal include using “speculation by journalists” as part of the “settled science” as the UN Report did when it referred to certain melting of the Himalayan glaciers within 35 years. Turns out this was just something that had been mentioned as a possibility in a magazine by a writer, not a scientist.

Now – I agree with Kilroy’s point. Intelligent people exercise some critical thinking in analyzing information. If you check you will see there are thousands of real scientists who have written peer reviewed articles taking issue with the assertion that GW is caused by man. Some of these scientists may even has as academic backgrounds as impressive as yours.

95 luisd { 03.12.10 at 4:20 pm }

Rufus, it does include all that! And you will be shocked that it has been happening since the times of Galileo. And that all that is in the very heart of science! Human Science. And despite of all that we still find facts. It is an amazing book. You will love it.

96 rufustfirefly { 03.12.10 at 4:28 pm }

OK – you have me sold. I take it from your comment that you do at least recognize that the Global Warming science has included fraud which should be exposed, punished and ended. And going forward there should be serious attention given to those who have alternative theories. And the scientific method – open and honest – should rule. And if you don’t agree – you don’t say – we will put that scientist on ignore, he is a teabagger, creationist. You let the science drive the debate. And fraud, on any side of the debate, should be criticized and those engaging in it should be ostracized.

Anyway – I will look for the book

97 kilroywashere { 03.12.10 at 4:32 pm }

luis,

the climate has always changed….we aren’t still in an ice age. It has been drastically changing long before humans came along. The amount of pollution we generate is insignificant compared to what nature itself generates; therefore, how can our pollution have any significant effect on a planetary basis.

btw….if socialists care so much about the environment, why are the worst environments found in socialist countries? These people are and have been for decades figuring out ways to manipulate people into supporting them in order to gain political power for themselves. I, for one, don’t buy any of their screams and howls. They don’t care one whit about the environment in my estimation.

I’ll turn the question back on you…how many people are dead because they changed the glue on the space shuttle tiles or because they stopped asbestos from being used to insulate the beams in the trade centers or got DDT banned? How many people have died so that guilt-ridden liberals could feel like they were saving the planet?

Further, I’ll ask….why must I drive a dinky bubble-car around when Al Gore gets to spend thousands per year heating his personal swimming pool, rides in private planes and drives SUVs around.

The rich and intellectual elite who run everything want the average “wal mart shopper” to be dirt poor while they eat steak and lobster daily at our expense.

This wal-mart shopper has enough sense not to fall for the baloney.

I don’t think anyone opposes people being made to clean up their own messes and implement reasonable cleanliness in their businesses. But, these people exaggerate, lie and exploit on a massive scale. I don’t trust them.

98 luisd { 03.12.10 at 4:36 pm }

Times have changed. Now we shout, discuss, tag people with names, some loose their jobs, some don’t…. Galileo had to retract himself or be burnt alive! Simpler times then…

99 luisd { 03.12.10 at 4:43 pm }

Kilroy,

Don’t confuse socialist with the old eastern block, which was dictatorship under a communist banner.

Scandinavian countries despite of some of them having a Monarchy, have actually a very socialist organisation. In the true sense of what socialism is supposed to be. They also have the “greenest” records in Europe and worldwide. And some of the highest living standards. Generalisations are dangerous. I try to avoid them.

The rest I agree with you. But just because my neighbour is bathing himself in tar, I don’t think that is a good idea to bathe myself in tar….

100 Nick R { 03.12.10 at 5:08 pm }

These are some of the best comments I’ve read in awhile. Love the debate guys, thanks for not resorting to name-calling… well, the majority of you anyway.

*grabs popcorn*

101 kilroywashere { 03.12.10 at 6:19 pm }

luis,

ummm. who do you think ran the soviet block? It was socialists. Socialism has always been a mechanism for the intellectual class to convince the poor masses to revolt against their established leadership and put the intellectual class in charge. They continue that behavior to this day.

Why in the world would you admire a system that puts a handful of elite people in charge of dictating how the average person lives?

I certainly don’t want somebody like Al Gore telling me what I can drive, what I can eat, where I can live and what medicine I take.

The only way I understand the fascination with socialism that developed in intellectual circles in the early 20th century is to realize that the whole concept played into their egos. They think they are the smartest people and should therefore be in charge of running everything.

I often see claims that this country or that country does well with socialism…you’ll pardon me if I’m skeptical of such claims on the surface based on what I know about socialism. I do live in the Socialist Republic of California and I can assure that it has been a disaster here. The state is in shambles. I used to live in the Socialist Republic of Pennsylvania. It was no picnic there either. I grew up in Louisiana which has a long history of populist socialism going back to Huey Long. I can tell you that the place was a cesspool of public corruption and abuse of the common man by the aristocratic elite who ran everything.

As for “greenest”, I don’t buy into that whole fad. That fad is cultivated by people who need religion in their lives, but rather than picking a real one, they create one in which meaning and purpose in life is derived by their roles in “saving the planet.” All that nonsense is no different than a fundamentalist running around saying “believe in Jesus and be saved”…sounds great as a mantra, but totally useless in practice.

BTW: one of my junior engineers lives in Rotterdam. He tells me that Amsterdam is quite code this year. I wouldn’t go around saying the place doesn’t freeze any more.

102 TheMacAdvocate { 03.12.10 at 6:41 pm }

Were there 5 comments that had to do with the article? I guess that’s the price Dan’s going to pay for bifurcating his readers along OS and political axes. It’s a shame that some meaningful back-and-forth about tech has to obscured by a couple of offhand comments in the body of the article.

I love your writing Dan, but every one of those polarizers adds 30 cruft comments that take away from it.

Just sayin’.

103 JohnWatkins { 03.12.10 at 7:19 pm }

“Were there 5 comments that had to do with the article?”
Well TheMacAdvocate,
By your observation that means I am responsible for 40% of on topic comments ( although I would not agree,) and yet I was still attacked by the Wacko RustyZipper (apparently thoughts on empowering participants to filter out psychotic rantings makes me “a lefty” — or was it my thoughts on Flash and the bias of Jan Ozer?)
I don’t think its Dan’s fault some some people are immature, inflexible, and intolerant of ‘other,’ as you seem to contend. It appears to me your comments are only about 10% on topic. Did you have anything to say, or did you just want to whine about Dan’s writing and blame him for the actions of obvious trolls?

104 kilroywashere { 03.12.10 at 7:22 pm }

I wouldn’t have even bothered taking the time to create an account if I hadn’t once again had to endure a condescending remark directed at me just because I dare to not fall in line with the high-minded thinking of san francisco liberals.

105 rufustfirefly { 03.12.10 at 7:25 pm }

I think Daniel might have made a very valid point about “junk technology” not junk science, in relation to Flash. The discussion about junk science in other areas, like the banning of DDT, global warming, the air regulations against diesel engines in California by the Air Regulation Board, is related. Junk science and junk tech should all be analyzed and exposed. Junk is junk whether it is science or tech. And Daniel does go out of his way to create the political debate when he makes gratuitous and uninformed comments in the political realm where his knowledge is not deep – like it is with Apple. That is OK though. Political debate is good, and is better than silencing debate, or just cutting it off with the lame technique of just name calling to end discussion when your arguments run out. So, I say it is fine. How many of the posters on this board who live in California knew that the main scientist responsible for producing the scientific reports for the Calif Air Resources Board bought his PhD at a UPS store. And then, when this was discovered by real scientists, the CARB demoted, but did not fire the fake scientist who had lied in his job application. Makes you wonder about the standards for Government Employment. Have a great weekend all.

106 kilroywashere { 03.12.10 at 7:28 pm }

Quite frankly….I’d rather be walking around a wal-mart in Tulsa, Oklahoma rather than walking around Market Street in San Francisco dodging the smelly drunkards and moochers that wander around there shoving their hands into your face….and don’t get me started on the Tenderloin. That place is a cesspool.

I go to SF once a year for WWDC and I have to shake my head at what I see. I can’t believe such a thing exists in the wealthiest nation that has ever existed.

107 rufustfirefly { 03.12.10 at 7:56 pm }

JohnWatkins – your whining is unmanly. Quit the lame talk about trolls after you spend half your time taking cheap shots. You love trolls. You are a troll.

108 harrywolf { 03.12.10 at 8:32 pm }

Evolution is a heavily-researched idea about how creatures (including humans) developed on this planet.
Creationism is a fantasy based around fear of death.
Neither is ‘proven’ beyond doubt, but they arent really comparable, are they? One is a decent attempt to understand, the other is paranoia.

Flash is a way of delivering content that depends on, and is the property of, one company.
HTML etc. is a way of delivering content that depends on many people and isnt the property of anyone.
Obviously a monopoly is NOT preferable to open source, especially when neither has an advantage.

Global warming is unproven and so far remains so. Its an emotive issue and isnt really ready for prime-time debate. It is monetized however, and money makes truth irrelevant.

Global Capitalism however is proven to be a BAD idea, and is heavily monetized and emotive – impossible to debate at all, common sense and truth vanished long ago.

In the end, its all about co-operative behaviour or competitive behaviour. The choice should be yours, but it isnt because Darwin said that only the fittest survive and we have been fighting and eating each other ever since.
Why we base all our lives on Darwin (not even an original thinker), and Newton, a documenter of the obvious, is beyond me.

911 and Muslim extremists are two ENTIRELY unconnected concepts, Dan. The supposed connection is an invention of the media.
Please consider (or reconsider) the rather obvious arguments for a ‘false flag’ operation on 911.

And finally, if any of you Americans want to understand the USA, move to another continent for a while and look back. You may be shocked.

109 harrywolf { 03.12.10 at 8:40 pm }

@ rustfirefly:

‘unmanly’ means what exactly? Womanly perhaps?
Where are you going with this?
Stop digging now, that hole looks awfully deep…..

110 JohnWatkins { 03.12.10 at 8:56 pm }

Take your meds Rusty.

111 tofino { 03.12.10 at 10:14 pm }

back to flash – i remember there was a time when you could set quicktime to handle flash. can you enlighten me how that was accomplished and why that’s no longer the case? it’s been a long time, and i seem to recall there were problems – i think it could only handle flash 4 (?) and below. was the flash player spec more open at some point? maybe during the macromedia days? what changed? thanks.

112 olambo { 03.13.10 at 1:50 am }

@ ulicar
I sometimes find your comments more entertaining than Daniel’s original prose. Don’t run away and why don’t you create your own blog.

113 luisd { 03.13.10 at 2:31 am }

Kilroy,

You are all confused and unwilling to listen to other points of view. A discussion is impossible that way.

There is a big difference between socialism and soviet communism… But that is irrelevant, as you are entrenched in your point of view.

There is not such a thing as socialism in the US. Not even in California. You guys have the right wing party and the ultra right wing party. You have been fed (since the days of the cold war) the idea that anything to do with socialism is bad, and equates to the destruction of your moral system. The ultra-right wing party uses this feelings deeply carved in the american psyche to discredit the right wing party, by calling it socialist. It is just like calling them names!

About Rotterdam… I am confused. I few posts ago you were saying that the weather is changing since millennia. But in this last comment you are saying the opposite (or at least the tone seems to have changed to “my mate told me the weather in a city he is not living in at the moment is cold, hence the weather in the whole world is not changing”). Is this the way you ” read and understand scientific information”? It seems a bit bias depending on the point you want to make…

114 Joel { 03.13.10 at 3:23 am }

I somehow think Roughlydrafted needs an “Ignore” button…

“ummm. who do you think ran the soviet block? It was socialists.”

Thanks for giving me my morning chuckle. Its good to know there’s a new bogey man haunting the USA. Used to the British, turned into the Commies, and for a while it was the Terrarists with silly hats. Now its the Socialists…! Always gotta be scared by someone…!

115 gslusher { 03.13.10 at 6:13 am }

@rufustfirefly: “Your lame attempt to bring up “facts” like the iPhone, iPad, etc. is just a sad indication of your denialism. It is over for Apple.”

Perhaps you’re trying to be sarcastic/funny–maybe I’m just too old (62) and too stupid (I only have 3 degrees from MIT), so I don’t recognize tongue-in-cheek. However, a minor “fact” is that Apple just became the third-largest company in the US in terms of market capitalization. Apple ($205.48B) moved ahead of Wal-Mart ($205.09B) and Berkshire-Hathaway ($202.2B), but still behind Exxon ($315.38B) and Microsoft ($256.71B). To put things in perspective, Google’s market cap is $184.28B, Amazon’s is $58.6B. During a deep recession, Apple has continually grown and shown quite a few record quarters, including the latest. That’s an odd fact for a company that’s “done.”

116 twujr { 03.13.10 at 7:18 am }

@rustusfirefly via gslusher:

Not only does Apple have the third-larges market cap, but is a company that has earned that position by profitably making tangible products. When you examine the kind folks from Redmond, they appear to lose money on each physical item they produce. (I’ll capitulate they make money on having someone press and box DVDs for them.) There is a completely different league of product complexity between writing software (albeit very complex software) and producing something as simple as an iPhone which is composed of very complex software, custom and custom-packaged technology, manufacturing budgets, infrastructure partnerships, network integration, multi-supplier manufacturing partnerships, fulfillment, etc. That they can do this and rank #1 in customer support is even more of a singularity in the market.

If it was so easy to bring a new, market-defining product to market then I would have expected working tablet-format computers and the Windows Phone Series 7 long before now. Examine what happened with the JooJoo tablet (whatever it was going to be or is now named): the inventors couldn’t have it manufactured anywhere near the price point they originally told everyone they would hit.

I feel confident enough in the iPad to speculate $700 that it will do what I need and help me build my business and produce a healthy ROI on this investment.

Sorry for using big words. I happened to drop out of college twice.

t

117 TheMacAdvocate { 03.13.10 at 8:54 am }

@JohnWatkins

My point is that illustrating your arguments by making politically charged analogies is going to attract trolling. I’m fine with Dan doing whatever Dan feels like doing: I’ll read him regardless. I’m just offering a little practical advice for maintaining a readership and warding off trolls.

You may want to be more familiar with my body of comments before you use pejorative words like “blaming” and “whining”, but I will say they do indicate a level of insight consistent with your other “contributions”. Stick to your knitting, John.

118 berult { 03.13.10 at 9:06 am }

I love Science; it weighs, measures, estimates, projects, postulates, describes, ponders… It’s all pure discipline.
I love Journalism; it weighs, measures, estimates, projects, postulates, describes, ponders… It’s all pure discipline.

I love Scientists and Journalists; they over and under weigh, measure up and measure down, over and under estimate, project, postulate, describe, ponder… in a pure undisciplined, human way.

There is a conflictual relationship between reality and its human vectors. Let me illustrate the reality conundrum by asking a question:
which one of the following two scenarios would have achieved the best end result, the greater positive impact on the Planet in terms of its environment?

-Al Gore and Joe Lieberman summon the then left-leaning Supreme Court for a ruling on the Florida vote count in 2000. They prevail. Gore and Lieberman can drive their environment agenda through at least one term and manage to keep control over Supreme Court nominations. Having been out of the White House for eight years, Republicans and Rightists are up in arms and dispute the very legitimacy of their Administration. Hence internal strife bordering on civil war makes it immensely hard to push through any kind of agenda, let alone a progressive environmental one. And then there is Joe Lieberman; I’ll leave it at that. It takes guts, intelligence, humility, patience, gravitas, and more to take the Helm in such troubled waters . Above all else, you have to believe that you do what is right for America even if It sends you to your political grave and to the dustbin of History. It is risk taking at the highest level of human endeavor. You seek to turn the tide of History even if it breaks you personally. …They fail on all counts and get ousted after one miserable mandate. And yet, they achieved the extraordinary feats of keeping Dick Cheney nowhere near the levers of power, and control over the Supreme Court for another generation.

-Al Gore yields the Floor in 2000 and fades into the conference circuit background. He bears the mantle of environmental advocacy, circles the Globe, builds up his reputation amongst peers of the environment realm. He preaches clean energy, invests in it. Nobel Prize in tow, with a seat on Apple’s board, his real and figurative voices can be heard loud and clear in the debate. He makes a difference and he thrives on it.

A broken, self-effacing man in an enriched reality scenario;
an enriched reality man in a broken impoverished reality scenario.

119 arun { 03.13.10 at 9:21 am }

116twujr,
I agree with you on all your points except the last. There’s no need to be condescending here. If Rusty thinks that Apple’s bad and Microsoft products are the best thing to hit the world ever, let him/her hold to that opinion. We who moved from the Microsoft mess know otherwise.

Harry,
Global Capitalism is proven to be a bad idea? Where do you live? From your response I surmise that you’re from the developed world. IF so, you need to go to any of the hell holes across the world. Try Sub-saharan Africa or wonderful communist Cuba or N. Korea or any of the innumerable other places where the reach of Global Capitalism is naught. Spend some time there and find how Global Capitalism compares to every other economic model. Truth is, while Capitalism isn’t perfect by any means – its not even known whether there’s a perfect system – it’s loads better than anything else we have right now. It’s certainly better than seeing your countrymen starve to death or seeing them as bag-of-bones paupers in the streets.

As for 911 and Salafi jihadis being unrelated items, I’m not sure I understand. How are the planners of 911 and the movement they belong to not related to the attack they carried out? An attack, that I might add, cost the lives of a couple of thousand innocent people. Or do you have incontrovertible proof that the Salafis did not carry out the attack and that the Americans planned to do in the twin towers themselves? Anyways, I’m curious why you think that drug-running, pro-slavery pimps and murderers who’d murder you for being a christian/jew/hindu/buddhist/member of any other non-salafi muslim sect or crucify you for being an atheist are more trustworthy than America?

FYI, I live in India. And I love the US. If I ever choose to become a citizen of another country, I’d choose USA over any European nation any day of the week.

120 rufustfirefly { 03.13.10 at 10:45 am }

@ gslusher (respectfully)

You say “Perhaps you’re trying to be sarcastic/funny–maybe I’m just too old (62) and too stupid (I only have 3 degrees from MIT), so I don’t recognize tongue-in-cheek. However, a minor “fact” is that Apple just became the third-largest company in the US in terms of market capitalization. Apple ($205.48B) moved ahead of Wal-Mart ($205.09B) and Berkshire-Hathaway ($202.2B), but still behind Exxon ($315.38B) and Microsoft ($256.71B). ”

Your arguments that Apple’s supposed growth in Market Cap, Revenues, etc. show that you are anchored in “old science”. You probably got your degrees from MIT before new science had evolved. Now – a trend like you describe – increasing popularity of Apple – is actually proof that it is dying and shrinking. You see, the Theory of Microsoft Market Dominance, is more important than the facts. So the real scientist today can easily devise an explanation. You see, today if global temperatures go up, that means that the mankind has created global warming and the CO2 we produce will lead inexorably to higher temperatures. And if the last 10 years show declining temperatures that means – the world is warming too. No matter what the temperature trend, it supports the theory. So, likewise, Apple’s increasing revenues are just anomolous and completely predictable signs that Apple is surely losing to Microsoft. Facts to the contrary don’t matter. All facts support the theory. And it is settled. I say so.

121 miloh { 03.13.10 at 12:11 pm }

Well, at the very least Dan is getting some ad revenue from all of this crap.

122 HandyMac { 03.13.10 at 12:33 pm }

@ rufustfirefly: Priceless. You’ve made my day.

Btw, I wonder how many here recognize the reference? One of the greatest films ever, even more timely now.

@ gslusher and others: Maybe I’m wrong (first time ever, of course), but I do get the impression that Rufus’s first half-dozen comments, anyway, were, shall we say, of the “tongue-in-cheek” variety. Brilliant, though.

Rufus, you should stroll on over to http://www.lewrockwell.com and write something for them. The proprietor is a Mac guy, but I bet he’d publish an expanded version of your argument in favor of Microsoft.

123 HandyMac { 03.13.10 at 12:49 pm }

Daniel, as a 22-year exclusive Mac user and Mac support consultant (and longtime reader of RDM), I’m with you (and Steve, and John, et al.) on Flash — installing ClickToFlash two weeks ago revolutionized not only my computing experience but my life, as the fans on my MacBook Pro no longer run constantly, thus substantially lowering my chronic stress level.

But you lost me with the gratuitous swipe at “climate change deniers”. I suppose I am one, since I don’t believe the propaganda in favor of this theory — not that the climate is changing, which of course it is all the time — but that (a) the change is anthropogenic, (b) it is necessarily and fatally catastrophic to humanity, and (c) it requires a response that will result in a totalitarian New World Order that would beggar the imaginations of Orwell and Huxley.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Earth is warming up. Nor if it is cooling. Both have happened in the past, both historical and pre-, and both will happen in the future. Change is the universal constant. I am not convinced that whatever climate change is happening now (because it *is* changing, there is not a nanosecond when it is not) is caused by human activity. It may be, but the fact that this theory is being promoted by people I know to have lied about practically everything in the past — as well as the present — does not encourage my trust.

What is clear, however, is that human activity — primarily the universal breeding frenzy — has placed the species in a situation where *any* major climate change, whether anthropogenic or not, will be disastrous. What I do find interesting is that no one is talking about this simple, easily observable fact.

Bangladesh is in trouble not because of whatever climate change is happening, it is in trouble because there are too many people there on too little land at or near sea level. It is a fact that in some time in the future the sea level will rise at Bangladesh, regardless of human activity or inactivity. If not tomorrow, then in 50 or 100 or 1000 years. It will also fall at some point, maybe even before it rises. In either case, Bangladesh will be unable to cope, and there will be massive suffering. The only way to improve Bangladesh’s chances is for its population to be reduced to a level that could allow some flexibility in responding to crises, either natural or human-produced.

(For the record, no, I do not propose some draconian NWO solution to Bangladesh’s problem, such as forced mass sterilization. Nor is mass abortion a solution, since abortion is murder. I am opposed to *any* initiation of force. However, constantly pumping up Bangladesh’s poor-thing victimhood does not really help Bangladesh. It is not kindness, nor “compassion”, to enable their self-delusions. They could solve all their problems, if they had the will. As could we all.)

As for Stockholm, same story: Planning for the future on the basis of an assumption that it will be exactly like the present or past is a recipe for failure. If not next week, then next year, 100 years, or whenever. If Stockholm’s bridges are too low when the sea level rises a foot or two (or five), then Stockholmers have several choices how to respond. They could, for instance, rebuild their bridges higher. The world will change. Those who adapt, survive. Those who refuse to adapt, proclaiming their “right” to have the world meet their needs, will perish.

Imposing a “carbon tax” (and other draconian universal mandates) on the whole world, whose only provable effect will be to make Al Gore and his friends even more astronomically rich (and powerful) than they already are, and which is very likely to have “unforeseen” (that I don’t believe) catastrophic effects on world economies, is not a rational solution to whatever problem there may be.

Btw, I am not a “Palin-american” or a “creationist”. I was brought up a liberal Democrat, and was a hippie, draft-dodger and more-or-less socialist in my youth (mostly in San Francisco — remember the Peace & Freedom Party?). But I am also a skeptical, thinking person, and began to realize some 30 years ago that — as I have learned since — practically everything I had been taught and told, by all the “authorities”, and believed, throughout my life regarding political, historical, economic, social and other subjects was a pack of lies. Many times burnt, many more times shy.

As for the theory — and note it is a theory, not proven fact (nor could it be, until a time machine is invented) — of evolution, it does seem to be a pretty good explanation of a lot of observable fact. But there are some gaping holes in it — see for instance http://www.lewrockwell.com/reed/reed59.html (the writer is *not* a “creationist”, merely an intelligent critical thinker) — and the fact that its proponents attempt to cover these holes by raising the volume and ad-hominem attacks makes me suspect that maybe the theory doesn’t entirely hold water as a one-size-fits-all explanation of what it purports to explain.

I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t just agree that we don’t, after all, know everything. But fanatical evolutionists seem to be just as fundamentalist in their thinking as the “creationists” they excoriate. So no, I don’t “believe” in evolution, any more than I “believe” in the dogmas of Christianity (never having been any kind of Christian).

“Secular humanism” a.k.a. “scientism” turns out to be as much a religion as “fundamentalist” Christianity, and its adherents just as committed to remaking the world in their own image — by force, if necessary. As an independent “think for myselfer”, I have no use for either, just as I have no use for either the Democratic (a.k.a. “left”, “liberal”) or Republican (a.k.a. “right”, “conservative”) Parties, as it is clear to me they are run by the same people/powers behind the scenes. Like the Iraqi Christian community, I am the real endangered species.

In short, your pejorative characterization of “climate change deniers” and “creationists” as unthinking “true believers” rings hollow. Pot, meet kettle.

124 HandyMac { 03.13.10 at 12:54 pm }

“Gore doesn’t blow up buildings and kill children. – Dan” I can’t let this one pass. How many Iraqi children died due to US sanctions during the Clinton/Gore years? Something over a million, as I recall. Of course, as their Secretary of State Madeleine Albright assured us, it was “worth the cost”. Worth the cost to her, apparently.

125 lahaina { 03.13.10 at 1:17 pm }

124 comments and running on this one. Looks like it was hijacked around comment #9. Great article as usual, though.

126 tofino { 03.13.10 at 4:19 pm }

looks like daniel learned from prince at appleinsider that trolls are good for clicks. there can be no other reason to mix his excellent articles with off topic politics… sad to see.

127 chandrac { 03.14.10 at 2:21 am }

@rufustfirefly
I guess you were neglected as a child and given hand me downs. Your passion for all things Microsoft is telling, as is your enthusiasm for its current, if declining, dominance.
I see your name is Fly. That’s very telling. There is a saying about the tendency of the mass of humanity to happily settle for mediocre crap because it’s cheap and because one feels a sense of being in with the crowd. Not a contrarian. Afraid of being an unique individual in all aspects of our lives etc. The saying goes something like this, as you know. I include it here so it may help others here to understand where you’re coming from (and, sadly, where you’ve been and your habits etc., while you’re there). This is for you.
‘A hundred zillion flies eat shit daily. They can’t all be wrong, surely? I’d better eat shit too. I like to belong and so, to become unnoticeable’.
Somehow this makes it easier to understand you. Not to agree with you. Eeeeuw no! But it helps us to get where you’re at and what works for you.
Peace.
And bon appetit!

128 chandrac { 03.14.10 at 2:33 am }

@HandyMac
You’re mostly right, but Mankind has seriously compromised air quality and is causing the rapid decline of water quality too. There’s more besides, like toxic landfill and nuclear waste. Enough cumulative reasons to change behaviour.
Population should become issue #1, I agree wholeheartedly.
On topic, the point behind Dan’s article is also that if a Flash ‘expert’ proponent is seen to be lying to defend Flash, It’s an automatic fail. A definite non-QED.
What’s needed in Tech issues like this which impact the user and UX is an independent point of reference. A simple report, like any product review, publishing verifiable test results of like for like comparisons would silence all the noisemakers of disinformation. How about it Daniel? You have the tech savvy to get such a ball rolling. It’s a necessary resource that is MIA.

129 gctwnl { 03.14.10 at 2:43 am }

@Handy Mac:
All these discussions started because of Daniel’s ‘fraudulent science’ theme. Now science is not perfect and people are sometimes fradulent, even in a honesty-based enterprise as science is. But it is the best thing we have to get the facts to base our decisions on.

With respect to climate change, science tells us the climate is changing rapidly and science tells us also that the most likely cause is our behaviour as (too many, I agree) humans.

Currently, the sun has been underactive for a while. The Sun has cycles of different activities. Over the last 10 years or so the overall temperatures on earth have been stable, not going up, nor going down. But they should have gone down. So I expect a more rapid increase in the next ten year and an end to climate change denial.

What is than left is the question, how much are we humans to blame? Here also, science is the best we have. And other explanations (like sun cycles) have far too small effects to explain the rise.

Still, whatever we do, the best way to find out what is happening and what is causing it is science. Alternatives (what are there? tarot? gurus? dice? ignoring?) are all worse than science.

The IPCC was founded by politicians hoping in fact to make a bureacracy that would kill the unwelcome warnings from science. The result has been a rather groundbreaking world wide scientific effort, which, some issues notwithstanding, largely tell us that the climate is changing and that we are a major cause. Welcome to the anthropocene.

As humans, as long as there remains enough oxygen in the atmpsphere and we do not get a runaway Venus effect we will probably survive thanks to the fact that we are the most adaptable large sized species on earth. Most likely even, our technology is probably (barely) sufficient to do geoengineering to dampen the effects (and cause other problems). But the catasrophe will be far less inhumane if we move to clean energy asap (and as a Westerner, that also makes the stranglehold of questionable regimes like Arab and Russian less, so it is a win-win). For that too, we will need science, and massive amounts of it.

What the Reed fellow writes is about things we do not know, mainly how did cells start. But the absence of proof is not the same as proof of absence. And btw, new findings on the sea bed have found cell-like structures in hot vents which are eerily like proto-cell-scaffoldings. So maybe the answer on that one may be not too far off, though we will never be certain. New Scientist reports on research about these issues in its October 19, 2009 issue. Also an interesting read about how science works, in this case a lonely scientist going against all common scientific assumptions and working in his home lab (and still being a true scientist).

130 luisd { 03.14.10 at 2:51 am }

@gctwnl,

An excellent summary!

131 Imapolicecar { 03.14.10 at 6:37 am }

rufustfirefly
Now – John Watkins, Imapolicecar, ChuckO, Luisd, and Borker – you can resume the name calling.

What on earth are you talking about Rufustfirefly? What name calling did I do? I injected a little bit of light humor. No rude words. No ad hom attacks and you then accuse me of name calling?

Considering you called several people “other assorted Lefties” I think perhaps you are the name caller! I’m quite shocked by your attack on me.

132 Imapolicecar { 03.14.10 at 7:04 am }

luisd @ kilroywashere ,
Do you understand the mechanics of weather patterns?
luisd @ Kilroy
I entirely agree with you, but all extremes are bad. I’m a scientist myself, and do perfectly understand the relationship between science and society.
The weather patterns have changed. And that is a fact.
(…) If this is not weather change I don’t know what it is.
The river Cam in the UK used to freeze regularly 25 to 30 years ago. It hasn’t frozen in over 15 years. Same the canals in Amsterdam.

luisd @ Kilroy

You are all confused and unwilling to listen to other points of view. A discussion is impossible that way.
About Rotterdam… I am confused. I few posts ago you were saying that the weather is changing since millennia.
————
May I make a couple of observations. The first is that being a scientist myself and studying the relationship between science and society for near to 30 years I would be unable to claim that “I perfectly understand the relationship between science and society”. I don’t think that’s because I am either stupid, poorly trained or a sloppy researcher. It’s a complex situation that changes very often. As the relationship is not one that can be analysed using scientific tools it relies on social science methodologies which have a great deal of imprecision although can generate broad understanding of some issues.

The second observation is that both Kilroy (is that the same user as Kilroywashere?) and Luisd are commenting about weather. Climate change has little to do with weather which is a relatively localised effect and is not indicative of overall patterns in global change. Issues such as sea level changes, ecosystem destruction, postitive feedback due to the defrosting of the tundra permafrost, rainfall pattern changes, pest increase or decrease, weed increase (and other general competition to agricultural crops) are all issues that humans have faced for millenia. There are numerous examples of these changes (such as the medieval warming period in the UK), the reduction of monsoons over north africa (leading to the movement of peoples to the Nile delta and the increase of size of the Sahara) and so on. We have dealt with these all to a greater or lesser extent – mainly because these weather changes have been relatively slow.
However, the great possibility arises that we will have climate change not weather change. Climate change will have major effects on the world and this will not be a slow change but a devastatingly quick one (weeks or months if we are lucky) with extreme consequences that are unlikely to be quickly reversed in our children’, children’s lifetimes. The consequences will cause decades of problems such as reducing transport and trade (ships and planes will not be able to have relatively predictable routes) and making much of our current infrastrutures useless. If climate change occurs it will not be something that we will handle particularly well such as a mere increase of sea level by a metre.

Just so you are aware.

133 Mr. Reeee { 03.14.10 at 11:25 am }

Good article.

I generally come here for intelligent articles and reader commentary. It’s a shame that the comments here have devolved into something I expect to find on Mac Daily News.

@rufustfirefly… Some advice: try to develop a sense of humor in line with your namesake, Groucho Marx.

134 luisd { 03.14.10 at 11:51 am }

Imapolicecar,

We seem to be in violent agreement. Thanks for expanding on climate vs weather. Good point.

About science and public interaction, YOU must perfectly know that what I said, was exactly what you explained. When I wrote I perfectly understand the interaction between science and society it was as in how complex it is. I really can’t stand patronising professors.

It is clear from your comment that you have been 30 years in science! Old school indeed. Your opening is what I call the “Professor’s syndrome”. Discredit your colleague from the onset so you can qualm any guilt about rejecting his grant application/paper. Never-mind is good work/good science/exciting. The “If I didn’t do it, it can’t be good!” old maxim. I get that a lot at work… I was going to ignore it here, but I just can’t.

135 luisd { 03.14.10 at 11:53 am }

Imapolicecar,

I should have concluded, that you must be careful with that professor’s syndrome. If you are using outside of your academic work, it is really really damaging you! It’s bad enough is the academic circle, but to apply it in a blog!

136 lowededwookie { 03.14.10 at 4:44 pm }

It is somewhat interesting that people keep bringing up religion and evolution as though people who believe in God are fools and those who believe in evolution are right.

The problem is that real science all seems to point to some form of design which goes against evolution. Hell, when questioned as to what would happen if science proved there was such a huge jump from one entity to another how could evolution explain that (evolution requires very small changes to happen), Darwin himself said that his theory would be disproved. Guess what, science is continually finding things that require massive changes. Hell, there’s a form of bacteria that 75% of its makeup cannot be explained by evolution.

Evolutionists are just as gullible as what they make us God worshippers out to be believing fraud science over real science so the comparisons are moot.

However, getting back to the topic at hand I have to agree that all the tests I’ve done show Flash to be very very resource intensive.

Play a simple crappy Facebook game like Farmville for 5 minutes then play DHTML Lemmings for the same time and look at CPU usage. DHTML Lemmings is much much less than Farmville and yet it is doing much much more than Farmville. DHTML Lemmings is classic Lemmings done with nothing but HTML and Javascript whereas Farmville is done in Flash.

Sorry but it’s going to have to be a rabbit out of a hat for Flash supported to make me believe that Flash is the better product, especially since it is actually based on Javascript as well.

137 Dorotea { 03.14.10 at 5:23 pm }

Why is it that it is always God Vs Evolution. I figure God created the rules of the universe – including evolution. So – no problem.

Btw. I hate flash. Click2Flash rocks. I load flash when there is a video to watch. No more ugly dancing people banner ads for me.

138 Nick R { 03.14.10 at 5:32 pm }

Humans love to choose sides. They like to claim tolerance, but never really act on it. Most people criticize others as if they are the ones with all the answers. It is this sort of prideful behavior at the heart of all humans that prevents us from truly loving one another.

Daniel was extremely upset when Prop 8 failed to pass, and felt a huge injustice happened against a large group of people. He wanted people to show tolerance to them, while not showing tolerance to people that disagreed with Prop 8.

Just as he made the comments about climate change deniers and creationist. He thinks he has all the answers (or access to them), and treats people accordingly.

Climate change deniers and creationist are all backwoods right wingers that are dumber than a box of rocks. As if they blindly believe whatever is thrown at them. I agree that there are people like that, but don’t act like they only populate one side.

The fact is, brilliant people have researched climate change, evolution, the Bible, religions, etc. Those brilliant people have not all agreed. Just as I read the above article and got one thing out of it, read the comments and got one thing out of them, while others hated the article and hate the comments. Some think thoughtful discussion is going on, while others think the trolls have taken over.

We all want to think our way is the right way, since none of us would (sanely) support a lie.

My beliefs – which I would contend are historically and scientifically viable – would make me hated by some people here. That is the world we live in. The real questions are do you believe enough to be hated, and are you going to be kind to others that don’t believe like you?

Imagine being stuck with the worldview that you had 10, heck 5 years ago. We are all constantly learning and evolving our thinking.

139 Imapolicecar { 03.14.10 at 5:40 pm }

I’m not apologetic Luisd. You are not writing and explaining yourself clearly at all. If you really can’t stand patronising professors then that’s your problem. However, I’m not a professor and no matter how well intentioned you are it would be nice not to be labelled as some “professor” with all the abstract connotations that it beings along. Yes I have been 30 years in science. Is that a problem for you? What is “old school” got to do with it? Is that a mark of respect or derogatory. I don’t know. You are simply unclear and come over as big-headed.

This “professors (sic) syndrome” you mention is something I haven’t heard of. I googled it but didn’t find anything. Are you being ad hominem here? I suspect so. However, you seem fed-up with everyone, including me. Don’t know what I can do about that.
And just so you know, I work in technology, industry and education not academia. However, I don’t know any academics in my fields of study who only work in academia land. They all have important experience in technology and industry.

140 Imapolicecar { 03.14.10 at 5:56 pm }

@ Nick R

Well, the issue is that we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. The worst thing is inactivity as game theory tells us that it is a lose-lose situation.

We can take extreme action now and if global climate change is averted we will have been justified. It will be expensive in many respects but not always justifiable (climate change hasn’t taken full effect so we will have no worst situation to judge by).

We can take no action and hope that our technological might can cause a reversal/partial reversal or alleviate the issues. This will ultimately be possibly less expensive but less effective. However, if no climate change occurs then it will save us all a lot of resources.

Ultimately, it is governmental policy that makes the difference. At the moment, there is a fragmented approach to most non-local policies. The grass-roots level is advocating controls in reducing climate change issues. The money says to let it wait and see as there is still profit to be made. It’s ec0-centric vs techno-centric in essence.

I don’t have a fixed way of looking at solving the problem but currently will go grass-roots as the money isn’t financing the solutions as fully as it should nor acknowledging the problems. In the end, usually any development in technology brings profit so I just wonder where the inertia really is and why?

141 enzos { 03.14.10 at 7:10 pm }

A bit baffled Luisd’s “Professor’s syndrome” as well. I think he means he found your post didactic. But why use a real word when you can make one up ad hoc? And why engage in study and discourse of evidence-based climate science when waving your hands around agreeing with half-arsed Big Energy propaganda makes you all hip and New School (as opposed to that nasty Old School that 99% of research scientists subscribe to)?

Your restraint is admirable.

142 Nick R { 03.14.10 at 7:12 pm }

I have plenty of friends that believe in the God of the Bible and evolution. Wayne Grudem has excellent thoughts on the subject. The big bang works with Genesis 1, and so does evolution for some: man was made from the dust of the ground.

@iamapolicecar
thanks for the reply. I personally agree with you, I was just presenting how little tolerance we really have (including myself!).

143 luisd { 03.15.10 at 2:24 am }

enzos,
I did not mean didactic at all. I meant patronising and big-headded.

About “Professor’s syndrome”, what part of “what I call” was not clear. You will not find it with google.It is a term I use, and that is why I defined what I mean by it in my post.

Finally, I am a firm supporter of global warming, and all my posts before the police car one, where aimed at trying to fend off sceptics of global warming. Please read my posts before labelling me!

144 luisd { 03.15.10 at 2:25 am }

Imapolicecar,

Yes, of course, professor. Sorry to contradict you :) Won’t happen again.

145 Chipotle { 03.15.10 at 5:03 pm }

Dan: crazy suggestion here, but maybe you should consider avoiding analogies which are guaranteed to create pile-ons of largely irrelevant debate.

146 Conrad MacIntyre { 03.15.10 at 6:54 pm }

Woah, woah…

@Dan:
I love your blog and I come here often to read the great articles you write… HOWEVER… Lumping anyone who claims to believe in Jesus in the same pile is excessively unfair. I suppose you’d like me to equate you with anyone I’ve ever met who was an advocate of Apple? Or a Democrat? Or a San Franciscan? I doubt it. I whole-heartedly believe in Jesus, but I am also an Apple fan, a climate-change believer, a Democrat (Canadian, actually, and I endorse the NDP), and I think that a universal healthcare bill would be great for the average American. I’m not a Republican, I do not want to be associated with George W., Pat Robertson, or James Dobson. Watch your generalizations, sir.

@rufustfirefly :
You are an idiot: Here’s why; you trot out your ‘settled science’ as though everyone should just fall to their knees and thank you for enlightening them about thing of which we know not. All Christians are wandering around blindly avoiding the issues and content to live in our churches but there be dragons outside. No. And as for your so-called PROOF of evolution, Piltdown Man and Nebraska Man… HA! I say again, HA! These are the two biggest hoaxes in the history of evolution! Piltdown Man was an INTENTIONAL FORGERY created by knowingly putting together an Orang-utan jaw with the Skull of a modern human, then doctoring them up to look older than they were! And Nebraska Man was the PROOF of the missing link based on a single, solitary tooth! It was eventually PROVED that the tooth was not from a man OR an ape!! It was from a Peccary (from the swine family)…

Please, if you’re going to bring evidence at least make it viable. These have been known hoaxes since 1953 and 1927 respectively. Grow a brain.

147 enzos { 03.15.10 at 11:18 pm }

Chipotle > maybe you should consider avoiding analogies which are guaranteed to create pile-ons of largely irrelevant debate. <

Dan's adding a few chillies and stirring the pot so things don't settle and get stuck. Looks like he's having a ball!

148 enzos { 03.15.10 at 11:31 pm }

Conrad;
different categories: religion is about certainty, science is about doubt. Neither can used to ‘disprove’ the other.. (despite Dickie Dawkins’ best efforts). For me Creationism would take a monumental and heroic suspension of disbelief but I wouldn’t call you a fool for doing so.

Enz

149 twujr { 03.16.10 at 3:21 am }

I hate to break up the debate and bring things back to Flash… but I found a wonderful example of Flash-inspired laziness.

Take a look at drphil.com with a Flash blocker enabled. It’s bad enough the entire home page is two Flash elements, but it gets worse. Enable Flash and click through to a past episode (I was looking for the one concerning Facebook games and Farmville). These pages are a combination of Flash headers and menus, which are “acceptable”.

The site designer also created the headline in Flash. In this page’s example, there were four individual Flash boxes at the top of the text. Each one contained one word set in what looked like Arial with no animation.

This is the type of laziness and poor interface design that I see as a complete break-down of designer competence.

t

150 gctwnl { 03.16.10 at 5:57 am }

Just curious: what options are there to do a non-Flash site with interactive graphs (as in sliders move, contents of graph changes), animations, movies, etc.? And then two sides: what is needed at web browser side and what is available for the developer?

I wonder, because I noticed a big firm who recently decided to move to Flash (Adobe Flex) for their Rich Internet Applications and I wonder if they really had a choice at this stage.

151 JohnWatkins { 03.16.10 at 9:01 am }

@twujr,
What’s really amazing is to see my processor go from 5% use to 100% saturation with one click (and little is really happening on the webpage!) Disgraceful Adobe!
But yes, really lazy web authoring. And its all too common.

@getwnl
That’s really how Flash should be used (but only that.) But since Flash support for different platforms is uneven, and the scheme is closed and proprietary, its a bad temporary solution even for that application. Unfortunately there are presently no other viable options that cover all the bases (that I know of.)
AJAX nicely covers some stuff. There are various open projects in the works (lower level building blocks.) But there needs to be focused agreement, effort, adoption, and then easy to use tools that enable production of standard and open content will follow.

152 gctwnl { 03.16.10 at 9:28 am }

@JohnWatkins,
Thanks. I assume Silverlight also covers this, right? But that leaves me wondering. Any environment that covers this is in fact a portable environment that threatens the closedness of environments like iPhone OS. Apple wants developers to build for iPhone exclusively (SDK). Hence no Flash. But that probably also means that they will not be enthousiastic about any other cross-platform solution, even if it is open.

It seems to me Apple’s position is a difficult balance. In the end they want to protect their hardware turf more than anything because that is where the profits lie. They sell not hard- or software, but user experience (hence the close integration of all parts in the ecosystem). Both drivers are more or less anathema to any cross-platform environment.

Difficult to gauge where this is going. Because the ultimate question is: how much is not having the cross platform environment hurting user experience? For a company it is currently still only possible to build these kinds of rich customer experiences with Flash. Building apps for every platform is just too expensive. In that sense, Adobe’s ‘compile to iPhone app’ becomes an interesting move for companies wanting to limit resources.

153 JohnWatkins { 03.16.10 at 11:27 am }

@getwnl
Silverlight is just Microsoft’s Flash (closed and proprietary.)

No, the whole idea with open standards is to enhance portability and eliminate closed environments. Apple has no problem with interoperability (they have lead non DRM’d music, and open standards as they currently are doing with HTML5, shunning Flash, helping with OpenGL and Open CL, etc.) but they move to defend their own look and feel, etc.
HTML5, just like HTML4, leaves it to the browser and the OS to display content appropriately for the platform. With a proper standard something like a video or google finance chart should render fine on any browser without plugins. As a bonus, the quality of rendering is up to the browser (competition) and the controls and appearance are up to the OS (consistency and choice.)
Actually I came here to post this for you. Gives a good explanation of the Flash/HTML5 thing as well good info on where HTML5 is, what it can do, and how it will work. Sound like he feels its pretty much there except for ratification and creation of authoring environments.
http://radar.oreilly.com/2010/03/why-html5-is-worth-your-time.html

154 SunnyGuy53 { 03.16.10 at 1:22 pm }

> The consensus among computer users is that Microsoft is the best OS.

That’s like saying that the consensus among consumers is that MacDonalds is the best dining experience.

Mentioning Darwin is appropriate. At one time the dinosaurs ruled the earth. But they are long extinct, aren’t they. Back in the day, you would have claimed the dinosaurs to be superior to the lowly mammals. Who today would say to you: “How do you like me now?”

Sunny Guy

155 rufustfirefly { 03.16.10 at 1:50 pm }

@SunnyGuy53

You say “That’s like saying that the consensus among consumers is that MacDonalds is the best dining experience.”

I agree, even though it is my statement you are taking issue with. My point is my statement about Microsoft makes as much sense as the common, but foolish, statement, that there is a “consensus” about Global Warming and no alternative ideas are worth considering. First, there is no consensus. Hundreds, if not thousands of the leading climate experts do not agree with this “orthodoxy” and have taken public issue with it. Second, science is not about “consensus”. Real science, as opposed to junk science, encourages competing views because the competing views force new information to be considered, new possibilities to be examined, and lead to a better understanding of the truth. So, the “consensus, the settled science” got “unsettled” when Phil Jones, Michael Mann, and others at the CRU and NASA were found to have corrupted the data and the scientific process.

I made the assertion about Microsoft because I know the posters here are mostly passionate about Apple. So am I. But the numbers of users, actual global market share, do represent a consensus that Microsoft is better. Does this make it better? Of course not. Nothing is settled. Not Microsoft’s market share, or the root cause of the weather. There is active debate about whether the last 10 years have seen global temperatures rise or fall. If this is not settled, how can the cause of the global temperature be known. And how can rational people assert that the “government” can fix the temperature? Has the government fixed war, or hunger, or prosperity, or mail delivery, or anything? Most government action creates greater problems than whatever ill the government was trying to fix. The most active governments are dictatorships – they believe in full control. No dictatorship has ever produced good for mankind. Government control of the flow of all carbon based energy is nothing more than asserting dictatorial control over the economy. This would produce unemployment, higher prices, lower standards of living, lower standards of innovation, and most important, reduction of the liberty that is at the core of our Constitution.

So, kudos to Apple for being better than Microsoft. Apple’s biggest danger is that it will tend toward market dominance like Microsoft. Who can compete with it’s vertically integrated model, which is simply superior? Likewise, kudos to our Founding Fathers for engineering our Constitution so brilliantly that it provides protection from the ever present tendency of men/women to try to steal individual freedom through the expansion of government powers. It is human nature. And the protection against this move toward tyranny is a informed public that understands and cherishes freedom and allows the Constitutional safeguards to block attacks on the individual – like that represented by both the current Health Care bill, and the Cap and Trade legislation, that is based on the junk science Daniel decried in his article above.

156 twujr { 03.16.10 at 2:09 pm }

@rufustfirefly

You’re comparing Microsoft’s market share with Apple’s and claiming a consensus is like comparing Toyota’s market share with BMW and stating that BMW has no ability to thrive. While I currently drive a Toyota, I see that their fit and finish build quality has declined over the past several years and I’m not sure I’d buy another one.

I believe the reason that BMW is a superior vehicle is that they build to a level of performance and fit and finish, not price. More and more, it seems like Toyota builds to price.

Over the past decade or so Apple has thrived as the underdog. I hope they always keep that passion, regardless of what the “other” 90+% of the world does.

t

157 Mike { 03.16.10 at 9:57 pm }

Originally posted by rufustfirefly:
There is active debate about whether the last 10 years have seen global temperatures rise or fall. If this is not settled, how can the cause of the global temperature be known.

Actually the cause of global temperatures is known because we’ve had data longer than the last 10 years to work with. If you did the last 10 years, you’d be cherry picking data, since 1998 and 1999 were exceptionally hot years. So looking at the last 50 or even 100 years is a better trend for the future. If you look at that data, it’s clear that global temperatures are rising. And scientists are in consensus that global warming is happening, but the public isn’t aware of it. Anyway, 90% of the scientists agree that climate change is man-made, not by nature… just look at this article.

http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2009/07/public-trusts-scientists-not-their-conclusions.ars

Who can compete with it’s vertically integrated model, which is simply superior?

I have to argue with that. Because there’s plenty of examples of non-vertically integrated models out there in the business world that do just fine. And besides, Apple will never gain a monopoly and at best they will be dominating. Even then, the PC market is too big for one company to take over and dominate… unless you do it in software. Apple hardware just simply costs too much for some people and lots of people are willing to pay for an (arguably) inferior product. So I don’t think Apple has a problem with more competition. If anything, having a monopoly like Microsoft has made them innovate more than ever, because most people are locked in one way or another to Windows, and so those that switch will have to have that much more incentive to switch. So it’s just a different business model, but it’s not necessarily “the best”.

158 Robbie { 03.17.10 at 12:51 am }

@ rufustfirefly
You wrote:
“[...] and allows the Constitutional safeguards to block attacks on the individual – like that represented by both the current Health Care bill [...]”

It reads:
“[...] and allows the Constitutional safeguards to block attacks on the RICH individual – like that represented by both the current Health Care bill [...]”

Robbie

159 rufustfirefly { 03.18.10 at 4:03 am }

NEW HEADLINE — Fraud legislation used to promote Flash Health Care Mega Bureaucracy performance over Free Market and Free Choice.

(Please post if you understand what is in the 2000 – 3000 page “bill” which is to receive a final vote in the next few days. I would like a copy of the bill to review)

160 Matthew Fabb { 03.18.10 at 4:32 am }

In the HTML5 vs Flash debate, many have claimed that Flash consumes too much CPU when running video and that HTML5 would be a more efficient way of viewing video. Jan Ozer’s tests and articles try to address that issue and that issue alone, not get into the larger HTML5 versus Flash debate.

Also Ozer writes books on video software outside of Flash and if HTML5 becomes the video standard, I imagine he would switch to writing HTML5 video instead of Flash video (if he isn’t already writing a book on HTML5 video). In the end his speciality seems to be in video not just Flash video.

As for quality Jan Ozer specifically chooses a video and switches to 720p and shows what YouTube video he’s using. Looking at both videos myself I don’t notice visible difference, but I would have to install a tool to capture the FLV file to compare to see if they are the same file. However, once again since they are both at 720p they seem to be at the same quality.

161 paul_houle { 03.18.10 at 2:19 pm }

Flash sux, use Silverlight.

[You might also have once said "AOL sucks, use MSN," but why not just promote web standards instead? - Dan ]

162 PhilipWing { 03.20.10 at 10:23 pm }

Dan, I understand this is your own blog, but please stay on your main subject. I also understand you’re upset about a variety of issues, e.g., Kaiser bean counters trying to screw you over, but sometimes only enforcing currently law is necessary. Please write with your usually excellent work like your Microsoft Courier article, which I will forward my upline wanting to avoid $50 per month stuck with a device even our Windows Shop IT may ditch in going to Windows Mobile 7 (or iPhones as even she hopes). FYI, that’s with adding it to my AT&T iPhone Family plan.

163 FreeRange { 03.23.10 at 7:01 pm }

Dan – where are you??????? We miss you…. lets get some new articles up!!!!!!!!!

164 Dorotea { 03.23.10 at 8:23 pm }

I agree….. I need something while I wait for my new iPad

Puleeeeze!

165 vaprrs { 03.25.10 at 9:27 am }

Poster rufustfirefly is quite correct in stating there is no consensus amongst scientists about climate change being anthropogenic. I would estimate 2/3 are against at the government lab where I work. It is at this point dogma in the media, not science.

There is so much more to the debate than the CRU fraud. The climate models are interesting academic exercises, but the truth of the matter is that we are currently incapable of accurately modeling a global climate system even for short periods of time, and have no way to validate any model we might produce. Many over-reaching (and sometimes bordering on fraudulent) assumptions and simplifications used in these models greatly impact the results. Certainly nothing to base policy upon.

We should all be progressing continually towards clean renewable energy and conservation with or without “global warming” simply because it is the right thing to do in terms of efficiency, economy, and sustainability. The real tragety here is that the climate change scare and its fraud science drains resources away from those of us working to make a real defference in the world.

P.S. Dissapointing that rufustfirefly had to spell out the tongue-in-cheek. FYI, I have a PhD in Env. Eng. from a top school (as rated by US News).

[If you want to claim credibility for your opinion via your education, you can't really also post anonymously and cite a decorated (by US News, really?) but unnamed institution, because that just smacks of falseness - Dan]

166 Windows Phone 7: Microsoft’s third failed attempt to be Apple — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 03.26.10 at 8:16 pm }

[...] Fraud science used to promote Flash performance over web standards Flash Wars: Adobe in the History and Future of Flash [...]

167 The fallacy of Flash: why Adobe’s ideological war with Apple is bankrupt — RoughlyDrafted Magazine { 03.30.10 at 10:42 am }

[...] alarmed that creating content for the iPad will require digging through another bag of tricks. Fraud science used to promote Flash performance over web standards A clashing cymbal of [...]

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