Google dominance of the search market along with their current moves to monetize the average users second click seems to leave other web content producers at a disadvantage. Perhaps there is nothing to worry about but when you own the primary entry point to the web that so many use and when there is so little transparency…
Hot on the heels of Joost, Dublin based Babelgum have opened their public beta. They are imposing a daily download limit at the moment though. Content owners can go here to find out why they’d want to use Bablegum to distribute video content.
Initial impressions are good, the fullscreen UI employing floating transparent dialogs and widget panels that are all the rage these days. Picture quality is excellent and they have some decent original material like Jesus Children Of America.
Let the content race begin…
Quite cool, YouTube type upload and sharing of (copyrighted?) documents, downloadable as PDF, MS Word, Plain Text or machine-generated MP3 (not the easiest to listen to it has to be said) formats.
Interesting to see Babelgum are setting up shop in Dublin. It is nice to see them cite the availability of skilled technical people as the key reason for locating here though I suspect that favourable corporation tax rates may also have been a key factor.
The news that Adobe are discontinuing support for their SVG Viewer browser plug-in on Jan 1st 2008 is bad news for the SVG community in general, and bad for anyone who has existing SVG content on their sites. This doesn’t mean the plugin will disappear overnight but content formats that may not render on the majority of browser are very unattractive to content producers.
Internet Explorer 7 has never had SVG support and Microsoft’s current stance seems is still to tell IE users to install the Adobe SVG plugin. Meanwhile folks over at svg.org are lobbying Microsoft for native SVG support but maybe they are not listening? Firefox 2, on the other hand, does support SVG natively.
By the way, Adobe publish some useful scripts to prompt the user to install the SVG plug-in if required. However, they need some tweaking to get pages that use these scripts to let Firefix 2 just use its native SVG support. Modified versions that I created to work with both Firefox 2 and IE 6/7 are available here.
From the OSGi blog, this is just too true:
However, sometimes I wonder if our skills are not blinding us from the
complexity we put on the rest of the world. And this is not because we
are so clever and our users are not, it is actually often the other way
around. Users are often too clever to learn unnecessary details and
complexities, they just refuse to bring up the patience.
Too true, most of the time they just will not bother. This isn’t a new phenomenon either – JVC invent VHS and thirty years later the vast majority of users still cannot program the damn video recorders with any degree of confidence. Then they do it again with DVD players and recorders that are built for geeks.
Apple fuelled a revolution in the audio industry with the iPod and it will take a similiar revolution (possibly driven by Intel/Viiv this time) to bring time shifted video to the masses. No matter how good the content is, the interface needs to be seriously dumbed down.
Kudos to the Beeb! Via iPodder, iTunes & my iPod, I’ve been listening to weekly podcasts of Fighting Talk (quick-fire sports journalism with a cutting edge) and Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time for some time now. In Our Time in particular is a fascinating program that in recent weeks has covered topics as diverse as Stoicism, The Mind and Body Problem, Alchema, Angels and Dark Energy – philosophy topics you just don’t learn about in school
Yesterday, the BBC announced they will begin podcasting 20 more radio shows. I’m looking forward to a listen-to-when-I-want-to diet of more excellent Beeb content like From Our Own Correspondent and The Reith Lectures 2003