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Comment PalmOS (Score 4, Informative) 156 156

However, current operating systems and programming techniques aren't up to this yet. It will take a long time.

PalmOS has been 100% RAM-only from the original Palm Pilot all the way up to Palm Thungsten III (Palm T5 with Flash, and Palm Live with a micro drive where the first to actually have a permanent main storage).
Everything is in-RAM, everything is stored in in-RAM databases. Data saving is immediate, etc.

(Also, although not so extreme:
lots of embed system, usually Linux-based, only have a minimal amount of ROM as sole storage and mainly work using RAM. Though they aren't completely in-RAM oriented and still use the concept of "files" and "storage", and thus make use of ramdisk (usually tmpfs) to hold files.
Still, that also machine which mainly count on RAM storage).

Comment Vorbis in video games, etc. (Score 1) 183 183

Now if you convinced Netflix, Google, Apple, Microsoft etc. to replace all their codecs with Xiph codecs, you would see patent lawsuits rolling in.

Because they are BSD licensed, various Xiph codecs like Vorbis are popular for storing soundtracks of video games.

FLAC is a popular audio codec in high-end HD-based digital autio players aimed at audiophiles.

Google did provide Thoera variants at some point in time (I don't know if they still do).

Nobody ever lost money following suit due on thr gound of these codecs.


The reason that Theora isn't that popular, is that currently H264 does provide a better image quality for a given bandwith and as most of the target audience already have a hardware chip supporting decoding (e.g.: in the tablet they use to watch Netflix) licensing doesn't matter much for them.

By asking for more money, H265 / HEVC is losing part of its attractiveness to H264. It compresses video better / gives more quality for the same compression. BUT costs more money.

On the long term all these are argument in favour of Daala : not only will it eventually produce even better compression (simply on the ground of being based on technology even more advanced), but is not covered by patents.

Comment Vorbis vs. Licensing terms of WMA (Score 3, Informative) 183 183

Flash the US device with the European ROM (which involved tricking the ROM installation program by switching ROM files after it did its check and before it did the install) and just like that the US device could play Vorbis. How MS bullied or bribed the manufacturer to omit Vorbis from the US ROM I don't know.

The bullying was done as part of the PlaysForSure program.

That was microsoft's attempt to counter music stores like iTunes and co. They had a platform for selling DRM-ed music in WMA format. OEMs had to undergo a certification to be able to advertise "Microsoft PlaysForSure". That mandated certain formats (support for DRM, support for WMA). It was worded in such a way that it basically forbid manufacturer to put any other codec on the device (see the "Criticisms" section. According to MS that was due to a junior employee who wrote it. Yeah. Sure.). It think the controversy was talked about back then here on /.

My opinion is that this probably started as an attempt to initially close loop-hole to avoid consumer playing non DRM-ed / unlicensed music (i.e.: pirated), but at the hand of MS executive quickly evolved as a way to attempt crushing competition.

That severly limited the spreading of non-WMA formats (free like Vorbis or FLAC. Or alternative licenses like Sony's ATRAC, etc.) because OEMs probably feared that including extra formats would exclude them from WMA certification and they would lose market share to manufacturer who didn't.
(Specially since back then, Vorbis didn't have any markets, it was mostly used for higher quality home rips. Whereas WMA had Microsoft's store and OEMs were hoping to have something against the iTunes behemoth).

Or mostly so in the US.

The rest of the world didn't give a damn fuck about microsoft's market (was is even available outside US ?) nor play for sure. People wanted mainly MP3 because that was the most widespread format, and adding extra formats was a way for OEM to put more tick box on their feature list. As such adding Vorbis was a win-win: it doesn't cost anything (and even had a BSD licensed integer implementation for embed available for free) and was one extra feature that they'll advertise to gain attraction. Every single asian no-name manufacturer did add it.

In Europe nearly every player I've seen in store did have Vorbis support.

That explains the dual ROM:
- one ROM to placate microsoft to get access to PlaysForSure in the US market.
- one ROM with as many features as possible cramed in to gain visibility everywhere else.

Comment More than one way.... (Score 1) 183 183

More than one way to do thing with compression.

But when you're designing your codec with one hand tied behind your back, it's not going to work as efficiently.

Yup, your hand is tied behind your back, but just as you try to work anyway, standing in another corner there's this other guy with an hindu name asking you if you need a hand. or six.

It might not work as efficiently if you try to achieve the exact same thing but are restricted in the methods you use*. But you can obtain very efficient result if you try something completely different. Then the patents won't even matter.

The realm of DCT it a patent mine field? Try something else.

Dirac/Schroedinger by BBC has show that you can use wavelets instead.

Daala by Xiph is on the way of showing that lapped transforms + perceptual vectors + range coding work too.

*:And even then in that situation, there might be efficient way to do the same thing while doing it differently enough to not be patented.
On2/Google/Xiph have repeatedly shown that with the various VPn codecs being close to the MPEG/H26x, with the patended bit swapped out.

Comment Xiph and lawsuits (Score 5, Informative) 183 183

Like that ever stopped patent lawyers.

Total number of lawsuits lost by Xiph for Vorbis, Opus, FLAC, Tarkin, Theora, etc.: 0

Yes, lawyer won't stop simply because it's different. They would dream to lawsuit Xiph into the ground. But so far they haven't found anything on any of the other technologies developed or taken over by Xiph.

The people at Xiph know their shit and if they say that a codec is using a non patented alternative technique, it is non patented.

A large number of installed systems work by fiat. That is, they work by being declared to work. -- Anatol Holt