Strange Tidings

Lot of crap swirling around the tech world the last couple off weeks… most of it leaves me with a bit of a headache and a combination of “what now?” and “what’s next?” feeling.

Let’s review.

Apple vs Adobe. Does Flash suck that bad? Yeah… it does. Normally I would blame the devs that write the shitty apps, but Flash is supposed to protect you from that, so my blame then goes onto the player. It hangs machines of all flavors and without warning – I can’t tell you how many times I find it lurking in my Task Manager when IE isn’t even open… but still, in it’s base form, it has served a purpose. It offers video without having to care about codex issues and it drives free TV a la Hulu. And I’m not on the anti-plug jihad that some people are – I’m actually viewing this as the end user I am, when it comes to browsers and web video: I just want it to work. All of that frames the Apple vs Adobe thing that’s going on. While Jobs may be 100% right or completely wrong about Flash, in this case it doesn’t matter to me: I hate the fact that my experience is limited because of a politically charged decision. Why not let me decide on my own whether or not I want to us Flash on my device? Is it because people will blame Apple for the bad experience caused by Flash? That’s a real worry – how my blue screens are caused by a shit driver but Microsoft ends up blamed? But is this the right way to fix it? That Apple has decided to make all languages but their own legitimate for their devices is part of this issue. That they only want to support one codex – the one they make – is part of this as well. As it stands today, it’s not too bad… Hulu will eventually move away from Flash – because it’s being forced to – and the whole storm will blow over… but what’s the long term effects of this? What happens if Jobs decides that JPEG is a bad standard and only PNG or RAW matter? It’s a scary prospect and not the last we’ve seen of it, IMHO.

Infinity Ward vs Activision. What did Activision expect? They threw so much money at IW for CoD that IW said “Whoa, hey, that’s too much for the game!” and then… what? IW is supposed to be happy when Activision doesn’t share the lion share of the profits? Dur.

Bungie and Activision. Ah, Bungie… what can I say? Well, I can point out that you just made all of the Infinity Ward people that are still at Activision shit themselves… how tough can you be when the world’s biggest FPS development house moves into your publisher’s stable? On top of that, I always hoped that MGS would have first crack at Bungie’s “next big thing” – that’s no longer an option.

Bungie vs Halo – this is a real thing too, now. Bungie keeps saying that they don’t want to work on Halo past 3 ODST Reach a certain point… recently stated “we might come back to Halo.” Does Bungie have other hits in them? Oni did pretty well. Marathon did too, but that was a precursor to Halo in the first place. Time will tell. I mean, gamers win either way: Bungie will keep making games – at least for the next 10 years – whether the come from Activision or MGS. It’s just a personal “huh?” that makes me go “huh?”

HP and Palm – this one was a surprise to me… I knew Palm was shopping around for a new owner – didn’t see HP being it though. The next question is what happens next. Does HP take the Pre and Pixi and put Windows Phone 7 on them, a la Palm Treo and iPaq? Does HP take webOS and put that on other devices, a la Slate? Looks like the latter is more likely to happen than the former… and that’s interesting. webOS is pretty good. I was very excited about the Pre before it shipped: it had a lot of the features that the iPhone was lacking at the time, but the Pre wasn’t available on GSM… and it wasn’t good enough to drop my T-Mobile or AT&T account for… I’ve had too much bad juju with Sprint and the Pre wasn’t enough to tip the scale.

Reach Beta – yay! Goodness on the console… in fact, I downloaded the bits to an 8GB USB drive. Wherever my profile goes, Halo Reach goes with me. Solid set of bits, that.

PRK – Jolene is blinking at me right now, as she recovers from her surgery yesterday afternoon… she reports blurry vision, but it’s better than it used to be (and isn’t supposed to be 100% until Tuesday.) And she keeps trying to rub her eyes! Full time job, stopping that.

At least it’ll be an interesting ride.

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