Rod Dreher

Rod Dreher

Steve Jobs hates Flash. Here’s the secret why.

Did you read Steve Jobs’ letter explaining why he’s down on Adobe’s Flash? I got bogged down and bored by it. But this analysis by Charlie Stross is anything but boring. Excerpt:

If you’re using an iPad in 2015, my bet is that you won’t bother to have home broadband; you’ll just have data on demand wherever you are. You won’t bother yourself about backups, because your data is stored in Apple’s cloud. You won’t need to bother about software updates because all that stuff will simply happen automatically in the background, without any fuss: nor will worms or viruses or malware be allowed. You will, of course, pay a lot more for the experience than your netbook-toting hardcore microsofties — but you won’t have to worry about your antivirus software breaking your computer, either. Because you won’t have a “computer” in the current sense of the word. You’ll just be surrounded by a swarm of devices that give you access to your data whenever and however you need it.
This is why there’s a stench of panic hanging over silicon valley. this is why Apple have turned into paranoid security Nazis, why HP have just ditched Microsoft from a forthcoming major platform and splurged a billion-plus on buying up a near-failure; it’s why everyone is terrified of Google:
The PC revolution is almost coming to an end, and everyone’s trying to work out a strategy for surviving the aftermath.

UPDATE: More from, including two former Adobe engineers saying Jobs’ criticism of Flash is right on target.

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posted April 30, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Only smart devices are addictive balls and chains that provide incidental marginal value. They are mostly time wasting platforms.
In 2015, under-employed slacker America will be absorbed in craptastic iPad diversions while the sclerotic economic and social models collapse around them.
P.S. At least they won’t notice…

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posted April 30, 2010 at 2:57 pm

There is still no reason why the iPad and iPhone can’t provide Flash. Just let the consumers make the choice, they can avoid Flash and have a longer battery life and easier use, or they can use Flash. Like it or not Flash is a “proprietary standard” on the web, kind of like Microsoft’s file formats.
Job’s complaint that Flash is the source of most of OS X’s crashed is pure baloney, however. There is no way an application, and a Web application at that, should be able to crash an operating system. The fact that OS X is built on a rock solid BSD platform tells me that Apple screwed it up somehow when they added all of their bells and whistles.

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posted April 30, 2010 at 3:07 pm

And it would appear that Steve Jobs only loves openness when he is referring to Flash: .

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posted April 30, 2010 at 5:44 pm

I think the Mac/Apple vs. Microsoft is a false dichotomy.
There’s a third way: Ubuntu!

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posted May 1, 2010 at 12:04 am

yepyep. I am a very happy ubuntu user.
And I prolly will be for the rest of my life. Few people know about Linux when they start and participate in these platform/OS debates, but those of us who do know and use Linux… we’re gonna ride this out just like we ride everything else out: with better, if more complicated, software that just so happens to be FREE.
open source for the win.

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La Dolce Vita

posted May 1, 2010 at 10:01 am

Yep. This is how the Open Range of the internet finally gets fenced in. This is what finally brings the runaway entrepreneurialism (and amateurism) of web content production back back under the centralized control of capital-heavy corporations.
The beauty of the internet is the way it decentralized and democratized the distribution (and storage) of vast amounts of information. The internet itself is like a virtual commons. Yes, this has made it easier for bad actors to seed the landscape with assorted viruses for profit and malicious amusement. But it has also repeatedly frustrated corporate lawyers, who want to keep a lot of horses under lock and key in a lot of barns.
Plus, am I the only one who anticipates the possibility for Orwellian abuses inherent in cloud computing? Or am I missing something?

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posted May 2, 2010 at 2:39 pm

I think one reason why Apple won’t let consumers make the choice is web developers. If iPad and iPhone owners had a choice of Flash, it wouldn’t force developers to use alternatives—thus perpetuating its use.

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