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Slashback: Alternatives, Ads, Apple 455

Slashback tonight with word on what you can use instead of JPEG, the return of as payware, NCR vs. Handspring, and more. Read on for the details.

Prepare the JPEG bonfire. Moderator writes: "Here is an open alternative to the JPEG file format. I tried posting it in the JPEG patent article but it got buried under all the comments about "THEY CAN'T DO THIS!" and stuff."

This project is called DjVuLibre and encompasses "a set of compression technologies, a file format, and a software platform for the delivery over the Web of digital documents, scanned documents, and high resolution images."

I hope the judge has a big "WITHOUT MERIT" stamp. theodp writes "A U.S. District Court has issued a summary judgement in the patent infringement lawsuit filed against Palm and Handspring by NCR, dismissing NCR's suit as having no merit. Praising the decision, Handspring's CEO said 'Settlement of this case was never an option,' while Palm's CEO remarked 'We refuse to succumb to intimidation by companies that use charges of patent infringement to bully others.' One of the NCR patents in question was for 'a portable terminal small enough to fit in the user's hand,' and the complaint went on to claim that NCR's researchers, 'recognized an unsatisfied need for a portable, handheld device which would allow the user to information such as appointments, to-do lists, and addresses, and execute financial and shopping transactions by connecting to networks using an interface module.'"

This is sure to bring out the AdCritic critics. thebus writes: "The good news. AdCritic is Alive! The bad news. You gotta pay!"

An annual subscription for $69.95 looks like something worth paying for if you're in the advertising industry, but it would be nice to get a less expensive "interested viewer" option as well. Oh well.

Oh Steve, ya big tease! Maïdjeurtam writes: "In this Yahoo finance article, Reuters asked Apple's CEO Steve Jobs about the possible abandonment by Apple of Motorola and IBM's processors (PowerPC G3's & G4's), and the possibility of Intel processor-equipped Macs. Steve Jobs didn't exclude the possibility. He noticed that, during the year 2002, Apple had to finish the OS X transition and, this done, there would be a lot of amazing possibilities, which he finds exciting."

Most of the content of this article was covered in yesterday's coverage of Jobs' keynote, and the bit at the end about other processors may be only a throwaway line, but it certainly is intriguing.

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Slashback: Alternatives, Ads, Apple

Comments Filter:
  • A jpeg replacement (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 18, 2002 @08:05PM (#3913170)
    How many of you are using the GIF replacement PNG? Anyone... anyone? Yeah, exactly. Unless IE (for Windows) supports it right, no one will ever use it for the web. THAT is why we don't want anyone company to develop a monopoly.

    PNG in Mozilla (and Opera) is pretty darn great. And 24-bit transparency rocks. Too bad I can't use it too often.
  • by NoFX ( 231408 ) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @08:10PM (#3913215)
    I always find myself thinking, "I WISH I COULD PAY TO WATCH COMMERCIALS!" WOW, Now I guess I can... Think about it.. Commercialized Commercials..
  • by Artifex ( 18308 ) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @08:11PM (#3913219) Journal
    Anyone know how well IMDB's subscription model is doing? If it's okay, I suggest a similar model for AdCritic: have the most popular or recent ads with basic search on an open server, with only paid members getting access to archives, good searching ("show me all the cereal commercials without kids", for example), non-US commercials, etc.

    Also, no offense, but the move to streaming servers from simply serving a file really sucked when they did that in the previous site incarnation. Over time, at least for the popular content, they end up using a lot more of their bandwidth than if they just gave files. The only real incentive they have to stream is if they own or license the content they are streaming - which they shouldn't have to do, since the ads were broadcast publicly, right?
    • Read the EULA. They forbid you to in any way have an archive copy of the ads. Which is the whole reason why I used to love I used to download my fav ads to watch over and over again. Now I have to pay a tonne of money every year and don't even get to keep any of them. Unless I were an industry professional (and then my company could afford to throw that kind of money away), the new AdCritic is a complete waste.
  • So could we find a replacement? :)

  • DjVu not an option (Score:2, Informative)

    by Guspaz ( 556486 )
    It's *nix only, which makes it useless to the vast majority of users. Sure, you can get a plugin for Windows browsers here but that doesn't mean you can compress images.

    A more suitable alternative is JPEG2000. And if this patent thing helps it's rollout get along faster, I'm all for it.

    Regards, Guspaz.
    • JPEG200 is more encumbered by patents than GIF. It'll never see the light of day.
      • JPEG2000 is more encumbered by patents than GIF. It'll never see the light of day.

        The latter does not follow from the former because those companies who currently claim patents on part 1 of JPEG2000 have also agreed to license their patents to the general public without royalty, unlike the recognized owner of LZW [] (GIF's back end) and the apparent owner of RLE-plus-Huffman (JPEG's back end).

    • by jkramar ( 583118 )
      >It's *nix only
      That isn't fully correct. LizardTech [] provides encoders for Windows, although at a price. You're right that it doesn't have much support (notably a free Windows encoder), but JPEG2000 isn't widely supported either; no new format ever is. DjVu could go somewhere, although just where cannot be known yet.
    • Well, there was the GIF patent and it took what, around 5 years to get decent PNG support in most apps? (but it finally works well in web browsers, office progs, photoshoppish progs, etc)

      If JPEG goes the way of gif, perhaps people will realize its in their benefit to stay w/ and open format, and the next major release of everything will have whatever the "open" alternative is... but realistically its probably gonna take another 5 years
  • by Knife_Edge ( 582068 ) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @08:13PM (#3913237)
    I like the idea of a significant number of processors in the PC market that are not made by the two chip giants AMD and Intel. This stems partially from concerns about things like the pentium's processor serial number now - and future possibilities like palladium. I also appreciate that, thanks to the G4, Intel can no longer claim clock speeds are the only meaningful chip performance measurement.
    • by Resist148 ( 180448 ) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @08:37PM (#3913396)
      I wouldn't hold your breathe for Motorola, not that I don't want them to be successful, but they just reported a loss of 2.3 billion dollars last quarter. That makes 6 quarters in a row where they have lost money. They just can't go on much longer losing that much money. Maybe if they can get a new Processor out the door....3 year old 800mhz processors aren't going to cut it too much longer.
      • They could still stick with IBM. But your right, I haven't liked motorola in a long time (they held up the G4s) and they've been loosing too much ground to stay viable.
      • I wouldn't hold your breathe for Motorola, not that I don't want them to be successful, but they just reported a loss of 2.3 billion dollars last quarter. That makes 6 quarters in a row where they have lost money. They just can't go on much longer losing that much money. Maybe if they can get a new Processor out the door....3 year old 800mhz processors aren't going to cut it too much longer.

        Since when is Motorola's sole product line PPC chips? Motorola manufactures a vast range of semiconductor and consumer electronics products.

        Whatever the source of Motorola's woes, I doubt it's the PPC.

        Also, it's only the iMac that has an 800 MHz chip. The PowerMac G4 has 1 GHz chips. I'm sure there will be speed steppings down the road if Apple feels threatened by Intel and asks for them.
    • That's cool and all, but some of us like the idea of cheap CPUs. Remember how overpriced Intel chips were before the K6-2? And how slowly intel ramped up CPU speeds? Competition in the X86 world was a massive boon to CPU consumers, just like competition by the Dramurai was for RAM buyers. Perhaps if Apple started offering X86 and Motorola options, Motorola would get it the hell in gear and sell faster, cheaper stuff.
  • OSX on x86 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JanneM ( 7445 ) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @08:14PM (#3913244) Homepage

    Of course, _nothing_ says that any apple x86 computers would in any way be compatible with standard PC offerings. They would likely still have their own, special BIOS and architecture, and would likely include some 'special', cool, apple-specific hardware OSX would depend on. You would not be able to get OSX to run on anything but genuine Apple hardware, x86 or not.


    • Re:OSX on x86 (Score:3, Informative)

      by dhovis ( 303725 )
      They would likely still have their own, special BIOS and architecture

      I suspect Apple would require a different BIOS than what is used, per se, but right now Apple uses Open Firmware, which is an open standard for booting. You can wipe MacOS off of the so called "New World" Macs (most Macs since the original iMac) and install Linux if you like.

      • Re:OSX on x86 (Score:4, Interesting)

        by ( 184378 ) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @09:12PM (#3913580) Journal
        right now Apple uses Open Firmware, which is an open standard for booting

        Ask a Sun engineer if you want a more accurate response, but as I recall, Macs (including my own) using Open Firmware, which is a stripped down version of the true "open firmware" known as OpenBoot. This is, of course, used by recent Sun machines and is very nice. I wish my Mac had the same OBP as my Sun.

        For example, I managed to damage my video card on my Ultra 30. Yes, it was stupid and I regret it. However, I didn't know exactly what was wrong with it at the time. I connected a serial cable to the Sun, fired it up without the keyboard and was able to get into the OpenBoot prompt. From there, I ran the built in diagnostics which basically told me what an idiot I was and how much damage I'd done to the card (doh!).

        Now, granted, I have yet to try this with my Mac but I'm 95% sure it won't work.
        • Re:OSX on x86 (Score:2, Informative)

          by norwoodites ( 226775 )
          The serial part will work on macs with serial ports, in fact that was the only way to access the OF for the longest time on a mac because, the OF drivers for the video card sucked.
    • Of course, _nothing_ says that any apple x86 computers would in any way be compatible with standard PC offerings. They would likely still have their own, special BIOS and architecture...

      You mean my dream of cool 3D gel-like BSOD screens are out of the picture? Darn!

      Ooops, I forgot about the slashdot BSOD joke morritorium.
    • It would be pretty cool. Connectix would modify their VirtualPC software so that you could run Windows (natively) as a process within OS X, much as VirtualPC for Windows does now; the option to run both OS's without the speed hit of emulation.

      The biiiiiiiig downside to going with x86 chips... Classic/OS 9 apps would not run. Bye-bye QuarkXPress, and every other big app that developers are dragging their feet on.

      And another problem, the fact that all existing OS X apps would have to be recompiled for x86 binaries. Not a major task for the developer, but is every developer going to jump right on it? What a mess, after just having gone through the OS 9 to OS X transition.

      And then there's the whole issue of hardware. No more fuzzy math talk about how megahertz don't count. Apple would have to get damn competitive on hardware, either by offering very competitive pricing with narrow margins (not likely)or by continually trying to add features that PC vendors only talk about (like they did with USB, FireWire, DVD burners, and screwless, hinged cases).

      Apple wouldn't dare make the x86 jump for at least another year, minimum, and two years at best. They need to give the Mac community a little breather as we just went through the PC equivalent of open heart surgery.
    • Re:OSX on x86 (Score:4, Informative)

      by BWJones ( 18351 ) on Friday July 19, 2002 @12:50AM (#3914629) Homepage Journal
      I think the Steve comment was taken a bit out of context. Here is the whole quote: "The roadmap on the PowerPC actually looks pretty good and there are some advantages to it. As an example, the PowerPC has something in it called AltiVec, we call the Velocity Engine -- it's a vector engine -- it dramatically accelerates media, much better than, as an example, the Intel processors or the AMD processors... so we actually eek out a fair amount of performance from these things when all is said and done. And the roadmap looks pretty good. Now, as you point out, once our transition to Mac OS 10 is complete, which I expect will be around the end of this year or sometime early next year and we get the top 20% of our installed base running 10, and I think the next 20 will come very rapidly after that. Then we'll have options, then we'll have options and we like to have options. But right now, between Motorola and IBM, the roadmap looks pretty decent. "

  • by SirSlud ( 67381 ) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @08:17PM (#3913265) Homepage
    .. is a sucker. Sorry, had to say it.

    I know, some are really really really funny, but sometimes one has to make a stand for one's pricipals.

    I know hollywood movies can and have been one huge ad before (Wizard comes to mind for Mario 3, Pokemon, Big Trouble was a massive dorito ad), but doesn't anybody take issue with the fact that music and movies for pay hasn't come about yet, but that advertising for pay might? Isn't that kind of twisted?
  • Porting OS X (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dhovis ( 303725 ) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @08:19PM (#3913277)
    I think that this is one of the reasons that Apple maintains an Intel port of Darwin. It is not Apple's intention to move, but as long as the code works on more than one architechture, it makes it easier to port it to another one. You will loose Classic support though, and everything will have to be recompiled, but MacOS X provides a mechanism for distributing multiarchitecture binaries.

    IA-64 seems more likely than IA-32 to me, but some people have suggested [] Apple could move to IBM's Power4 line, which is closely related to PPC. How about ARM Processors? MIPS? Sparc? Alpha? Transmeta? Anybody have any other ideas?

    • Anybody have any other ideas?

    • Power4 - Won't happen. The "chip" is too high end to attract enough customers. Perhaps IBM will come out with a new PPC chip based on Power4 concepts (multiple cores, high bandwidth interconnects) though.

      ARM - Probably won't happen. ARM is pitched toward low end PDA class machines, OSX would be way to heavy for such a use. Perhaps if it were paired down and classic compatability thrown away, it _might_ happen. Though it's hard to imagine any of the current ARM based PDA guys switching away from M$ since they all have desktops that use Windoze and they wouldn't want to piss M$ off.

      MIPS - A moribund processor (as far as the desktop market goes). Not enough market share and no real hope of ever getting any (unless the PS2 with Linux kit starts to take over the home pc market space ;) Maybe Apple will buy SGI and whatever patents they have remaining?

      Sparc - Not likely. Those who buy Sparc based machines are typically data center guys, who would laugh in your face if you suggested installed OSX on their E10000.

      Transmeta - Now this might have been interesting. Tweak the chip to efficiently run Classic as well as native OSX. Not enough ooomph though. Apples biggest marketing headache against WinTel is the mhz wars, and TM would not help there at all. And of course TM's problems. Perhaps IBM will buy TM and incorporate the technology into the G6 (along with the Power4 stuff from above).

      Alpha - Never. A dead end as far as the market goes. Though running your VMS apps natively under OSX would have been interesting.
      • MIPS - A moribund processor (as far as the desktop market goes). Not enough market share and no real hope of ever getting any (unless the PS2 with Linux kit starts to take over the home pc market space ;) Maybe Apple will buy SGI and whatever patents they have remaining?

        Oh dear god. This brings to mind the idea of some kind of Spawn of the iMac and an Onyx, or worse yet a big Origin....

        • Think Quicktime7 ported to use the Infinite Reality engine. I can see that Onyx2 with purple translucent skins, but dang those blue led's on the hd's would look kewl.
    • Why would Classic die, and why would everything have to be recompiled?

      Code Morphing.

      Transmeta laid off 40% of it's workforce.

      IBM has DAISY as an open source project.
      HP has Dynamo, which Apple could license.

  • Okay, I may be wrong in this (too lazy to check the article which I read yesterday), but I think the original article merely talks about moving away from Motorola.

    The implication, of course, is a move to OS X, but I think it's much more likely that Apple will turn to IBM's PPC chips instead. IBM (the other part of the AIM triumverate) has been a supplier of Apple's chips for a while, and they're poised to release the processor's Apple needs well before Motorola (which can't seem to get their act together.

    Try [] or the Thursday, 7/11 update here [].
  • I've said it before and I'll say it again. I would love to see OS X on Intel processors for a variety of reasons. First of all, it's not Microsoft, so that means it's competition. My brother runs it on his Mac and it's great. It looks great, runs great, stable as a rock, and a unix core. I'd put it on my PCs in a heartbeat. Even if it failed, it would make MS push some features taht I think are smart like using 3D hardware to render the desktop to let you do all those cool window transitions and stuff. Also, OS X runs great on Macs, but Intel and AMD are up to nearly 3x times the speed of Macs, so think of what they could do. They could fund Wine for windows compatablility which would be a HUGE boost to open source. Plus software from the Mac could be easily ported, probably just a recompile like most unix software. And all the PC apps that might (and hopefully WOULD) get ported to OS X would easily go back over to the Mac, giving the existing userbase a major reason to want this. Plus the ease of a Mac on a PC would give Apple a reason to lower prices. At this point I'm close to rambeling so I guess I'll end this. I would LOVE to see OS X on PCs. I'd definatly dual boot it, no question. I'd pay $150, $200. And I'd love to be able to access the stuff on my Macs on my PCs without having to pay for some 3rd party program (my Macs are older and can't run OS X, so having an OS that could connect to them would be great). Plus it would probably FINALLY push MS to put in Mac compatibility stuff like Apple's had for years.
    • by BeBoxer ( 14448 ) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @08:51PM (#3913475)
      Even if Apple switches to x86 procs, their hardware will still be proprietary. Why? Because they would go broke in a heartbeat if they tried.

      1) Apple is largely a hardware company, and one with fat margins to boot. If they tried selling PC clones with similar margins Dell would take them to the cleaners. Hell, Dell would probably take them to the cleaners even if they charged slim margins.

      2) That stable as a rock feature your brother enjoys? The almost seamless integration of most hardware into the OS? Those are features of the tight control that Apple can exercise over their hardware. If you think you would get these same features running on generic PC hardware you are sorely mistaken. Most vendors don't bother writing OSX drivers now, despite the fact that all PCI, AGP, and USB devices will plug right into a Mac. What makes you think they'll bother writing OSX-x86 drivers? Or were you just going to use the high quality BSD 3d acceleration video drivers? The world of PC hardware is a tar pit of cheap hardware, poorly documented interfaces, and Windows-only drivers. Hardware detection and configuration has never really been one of Unix's strong points. Why do you think OSX would be much better?

      And don't let the fact that PIV's have almost 3x the clock of a Mac fool you into thinking it has 3x the performance. The PIV is first and foremost a high speed oscillator circuit. It is designed to have a high clock speed because most people are stupid and think it means fast. Meanwhile, Intel's highest performing chip at FP (the new Itanium's) is clocked slower than a Mac. So is it slower than a Mac? (Not that I'm arguing a PM is faster than a PIV, I just don't think it's a factor of three slower.)
      • >Apple is largely a hardware company, and one with fat margins to boot.

        See, I see it as a wierd (and unfortunate situation). I really dont believe Apple couldn't handle a wider hardware market. Drivers are up to the companies that make the hardware, so really, its the other hardware companies that would have to write the drivers. OSX, being built on *BSD, is still going to be inherently more stable than Windows, even if you factor out the hardware situation. My opinion, of course, and potentially groundless.

        But I see Apple as a software company that has no choice but to pay for the software via the hardware .. OSX is the bomb (I'm surprised to see all the "I dont run macs, but damn I want OSX" posts, especially given the Aqua factor) .. and the fact that Apple so vohemently protects their look and feel suggests that they put much value in the fact that people know, everytime, that they are running an Apple OS. (Plus, they plug it in movies alot more than MS although maybe thats cause MS refuses to let Windows go into movies? .. I think Apple wants people to see their software, not hardware.)

        So anyhow, Apple knows that if they let their hardware monopoly go, they risk not being able to deliver their software at a competative price-functionality/performance ratio. Wasn't that one of the big reasons behind them clamming up on the clone front?

        Can anyone give me some hard facts about whether or not its true that they rely on their hardware markups to drive the development of their kick-ass software?

        And yes, if anyone wants to diss me for calling Apple a good software company, the end of the Apple OS9 line was crap, but then again, nobody bought Windows ME for exactly that same reason - no amount of money or brains could keep the codebase under control.

        • Can anyone give me some hard facts about whether or not its true that they rely on their hardware markups to drive the development of their kick-ass software?

          I can't give you any hard facts, but II can give you a bit of empirical evidence.

          Apple give away nearly all of it's software. They sell a few of their more "professional" titles: AppleWorks ($79), DVD Studio Pro (somewhere around $1,000), iMovie ($50), Final Cut Pro (~$1,000), WebObjects (~$700 plus some cllient fees maybe), OS X (~$130), OS X Server ($1,000) and a couple more. It seems tha that the price of these titiles are comparable to the prices of similar products and that the price would reflect the development costs of the software plus all of the overhead associated with it. Given the quantity of "free" software they put out and the quality (iTunes, QuickTime, iMovie, iCal, iSync, etc) it seems to me that they would subsidise the development of the free stuff from the sales of their hardware. I have no idea how many developers they actually have working on these titles, nor how many people would be required to put together some of these things.
          Anyway, that's a long blurb about nothing and it may not make any sense, given the fact that i am pretty tired right now, lol...... any other ideas?
    • Even if it failed, it would make MS push some features taht I think are smart like using 3D hardware to render the desktop to let you do all those cool window transitions and stuff.

      Microsoft doesn't necessarily need Apple to push them in that direction, since they're already going there. Maybe not with Longhorn, but soon (say, within 5 years, which I guess isn't "soon" in computer time, but it's still relatively soon) you can expect DirectX to be the de facto standard for displaying anything on Windows. No more GDI, nor more GDI+ (which is better than GDI, but is not hardware accelerated by many drivers yet), OpenGL probably just as a wrapper for DX (or at least by default. I'm sure hardware vednors will still write OpenGL ICDs if the demand is there), etc.

      Of course, once that happens, expect to hear even more bitching and complaining about having such a heavy GUI on a server-class OS (I guess they could stick with the current GUI for their server-level versions and the DX-based GUI for consumer-grade and workstation versions, but I doubt that would happen for consistency purposes). Anyway, by that time, a DirectX-based interface won't be any heavier (relatively) on future hardware than the current GUI is on current hardware.

      • There's nothing wrong with having a server with a powerful, easy to use GUI.

        When you're not doing anything, the GUI isn't going to suck cycles anyway. And if you have a server in such a bad situation that you have to get up from your terminal and actually walk to its rack, *many* racks have a KVM built right in.

        Displaying something on the screen would ease troubleshooting, increase response to downtime, and make it more enjoyable for server technicians.

        Just because Windows has a GUI doesn't mean it doesn't also have a command line that is easily accessable and readily useable, either.
  • by MrResistor ( 120588 ) <> on Thursday July 18, 2002 @08:30PM (#3913353) Homepage
    Is it just me?

    The advertisers should be the ones paying. Let them post their add and bill them for the bandwidth (plus markup to cover overhead, obviously). It's got to be cheaper than getting TV ad spots, and the advertiser gets direct feedback on how many people actually watched it, as opposed to a guess based on "ratings systems".

    Adcritic was one of my favorite sites back in the day, but there's no way I'm going to pay to watch ads.

  • by kitzilla ( 266382 ) <paperfrog AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday July 18, 2002 @08:37PM (#3913398) Homepage Journal
    Jobs is needling Motorola. Unless Apple's business model is changing from that of a hardware to a software company, they'll stay with PPC.

    When folks see my iBook, they think of it as a "Mac." A Mac is different from a PC (in marketing terms). This difference is why Apple can turn a profit these days when Gateway is posting losses.

    If you put OS X on Intel, every beige box will be a "Mac." The name will lose all meaning, and Apple will have surrendered its hardware's marketing position.

    It might be that Apple has, indeed, decided the hardware market is too saturated to assure the company's long-term profitability. This is the only reason it would make sense to port OS X to Intel.

    I do not agree that the market is tapped out for Apple. If I were Jobs, I would constantly press hardware requirements through technological innovation on the OS and clever new add-on devices. This will keep their existing customer base on an upgrade track. A hot OS and new features, properly marketed, will also serve to attract new users. Their entry point is a hardware purchase.

    Given Apple's commitment to their new retail stores, I'd think they still believe they're a hardware company. No Intel for now. Just options. :-)
    • by Slur ( 61510 ) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @09:13PM (#3913585) Homepage Journal
      IT is not out of the question for Apple to make their own computers utilizing Intel processors. They would only support the OEM hardware, avoiding the pitfalls of Windows, which must support zillions of configurations.

      The most challenging hurdle I can see is dealing with big versus little-endian issues.
    • If Apple switched to x86 chips I'm sure they would add some proprietary BIOS or something to prevent the OS from running on non-Apple PCs.

      To its credit, Apple already has one successful CPU architecture shift behind them (680x0->PPC). So they have experience dealing with the compatibility issues. (though said experience included writing a 680x0 emulator for PPC; it'd be a big project to do a fast PPC emulator for x86...)
    • If you think Jobs is above running on Intel hardware, think again. Intel hardware does not imply beige boxes, anyway...

      'NeXT Thing you know, we'll have FAT binaries! ;-)

      'Still has his Framed '88 NeXT Poster On The Wall
  • Here is an open alternative to the JPEG file format.

    Wasn't PNG supposed to be the "Open Alternative?"

  • Gifs??? (Score:2, Funny)

    by robotbrain ( 579211 )
    The thing that is blowing my mind right now is how there are GIFs all over the djvu website!??
  • Send in the Clones (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mumkin ( 28230 ) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @09:05PM (#3913542) Journal
    Apple had its flirtation with allowing its OS to run on other people's hardware. They killed it off. I'm still using an old PowerComputing clone that I bought back in '95, running OS X on it just fine thank you. Sure, it's been through a lot of upgrades, but until I bought an iBook last month Apple hadn't seen a dime from me for hardware since I bought my old Centris 610 a decade ago.

    They killed off their licensing arrangement with the clone makers because Apple makes its money from hardware. It's very hard to imagine that they could sell Wintel users enough copies of OS X to make up for the lost hardware sales they'd get from "switchers" who no longer had to buy an entire new machine. Would it rock if I could run OS X on a tricked out custom-built PC at half the price of an apple box? Sure! Would Apple profit from my doing so? I don't think so.

    I suspect that The Steve was just suggesting Apple might switch to IBM's Power 4 as the next gen architecture, not that they'll start dropping Athlons into iMacs.

  • by guttentag ( 313541 ) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @09:12PM (#3913582) Journal
    or at least reduce our dependency... If you have an HTML page that calls 30 little images, each client that views the page has to make 31 connections to your server. Wouldn't it be better to reduce it to one or two? It would probably speed up slow connections significantly.

    It is possible to render images using intricate table coding in which each cell represents a pixel (use colspans and rowspans as necessary to optimize the table).

    See my example here []. It does use one tiny, two-color gif for the page background, but most of what appears to be images are actually table cells with bgcolors. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite properly in Mozilla, which absolutely refuses to render 1x1 table cells.

    In reality, this isn't a total solution, but if image format lawsuits succeed this is what we'll end up doing to render graphics on the Web.

  • by Tjp($)pjT ( 266360 ) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @09:13PM (#3913587)
    It is scheduled to be retired by HP/Compaq/Digital glom after the next two generations are out. The architecture has lots of headroom and Apple could own it outright. It has been 64 bit from the start and is very flexible. And the Apple^H^H^H^H^HAlpha architecture equivalent of AltiVec (MVI) is quite suave.
    • It is scheduled to be retired by HP/Compaq/Digital glom after the next two generations are out. The architecture has lots of headroom and Apple could own it outright. It has been 64 bit from the start and is very flexible. And the Apple^H^H^H^H^HAlpha architecture equivalent of AltiVec (MVI) is quite suave.

      Too late - I'm pretty sure Intel picked up most of the intellectual property involved, as well as most of the Engineers to work on IA64.

  • best commercial ever (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jcsehak ( 559709 ) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @09:18PM (#3913625) Homepage
    VW's "Milky Way []" (last one on the page). Like the best silent films, they manage to tell a wonderful story with no words, except this is all in the space of a minute. The music chosen gives further meaning to the video, and vice versa. The fact that it's an advertisement is almost an afterthought. Which, ironically, makes you want to buy one even more. I consider it to be one of the finest short films ever made. If more commercials were like this, I'd pay for that adcritic subscription. Especially if they offered a way to get broadcast-quality copies of these commercials.
    • Do you know who created the music?

      • Yeah. That's Nick Drake []. Great stuff -- so good that (as a card carrying music snob) I'm embarrassed to admit I first heard of his work from the VW commercial. He's a folky 1970's singer-songwriter who lived a pained and short existence, and finally committed suicide via pills I believe.

        Personally, I'd check out his "Pink Moon" album first, and maybe work backwards frm that; and there's a few compilations out now that are truly excellent as well. And there's a short documentary on his life called "A Skin Too Few" making the festival rounds which is supposed to be very good as well.

    • I disagree. VW's "Milky Way" is the second-best commercial ever. The best is VW's "Synchronicity" commercial which, unfortunately, does not appear to be available on the VW site.

      If anybody's knows where I can get a copy, I'd be grateful.
    • I agree. I normally despise commercials, but I can watch that one over and over. It's the only commercial that I can think of that actually makes me feel like I want the product. Even the most entertaining of commercials get really old and annoying after you've seen them 10 times a day, but not this one. Then there are the ones that are annoying or stupid from the beginning, and make you never want to purchase a product from that company. I wouldn't hate commercials as much if more commercials were as pleasant and effective as this one. Bravo to whoever Volkswagen's ad agency is.
    • by Artifex ( 18308 )
      I don't think most of us in the United States will ever see the best commercials there are - in every compilation of international commercials I have seen, the Europeans trump us easily, especially when it comes to "public service announcement" type ads. Since these compilations get shown every year at film festivals, it would make perfect sense for AdCritic to offer them as a pay feature.

      I wouldn't say it's the best one, but one of the ones I remember best from these annual shows was one that only ever played at one theater in England, for a reason that will be obvious: it was a PSA, and showed a homeless (drug addicted? alcoholic?) person, the quiet kind most ignore unless they are causing trouble, only in this ad you hear not only about the man, but from the man himself. The PSA turned out to be for a local charity that assisted people like him, and at the end of the part where he talks about how they helped him, he says they even gave him a job. The commercial ends with the charity saying that besides just helping him, they hired him to collect donations... and he's the guy everyone outside that theater in England just all passed by and probably ignored on their way inside, as he sat on the ground outside the theater. If I remember correctly, it closes with a shot of him there, waiting.

      I think most people in the theater watching the compilation with me were crying at the end of that one, and we were a few thousand miles away. It was... very effective in getting people to care about someone, flipping it back around to point out that they may think they care, but they have ignored obvious opportunities to help, and then pretty much pushing them directly back towards that opportunity.

      I'm sure I've really mangled the content, and you can't possibly really get the full effect from what I said - which is precisely why AdCritic should be showing foreign ads, as well. There's a lot of powerful stuff out there, and we should be able to access it online.
  • by tristan-b ( 251953 ) <> on Thursday July 18, 2002 @09:19PM (#3913626)
    The funny thing is, Apple hasn't been using PowerPC processors in most macs for some time now. That's right. If you open up your brand new G4 tower, that piece of silicon won't have the PowerPC label. In fact, no processor made by Motorola is made under the PowerPC name. Due to a bit of a hiccup with IBM over licensing the name, they're all merely "PowerPC Compliant" processors. Seems we won't see a PowerPC G5 coming from them after all.
  • You don't need to use something to replace JPEG... probably. Realistically, the people they're going to go after for JPEG use are the manufacturers of products that use it (digital cameras, image editors, etc) and make a lot of money doing so. This is why Sony was an early target.

    If all you do is take an image out of your camera and put it up on your site, you're not infringing their patent anyway (IANAL, so go ask yours), the camera maker is.

    I suggest that everyone take a deep breath and then those few of you involved in deciding what image formats are used by open source software should get together and start working on a long-term solution. JPEG is very nice, and if it's still the best technology in town in 17 years (or the only one that's unencumbered), we'll go back to using it.
  • What I'd really love to see is MacOS X running on Sun SPARC hardware with the BSD below the GUI replaced by Solaris 9.

    The best scaling UNIX below with one of the most usable GUI's on top ;-)

  • OS X on Intel might or might not be technically feasible, and who knows if it would truly increase marketshare and profits for Apple. Most of what I'm seeing in this discussion is just educated guesswork, which is all any of us who aren't in the executive suite at One Infinite Loop can do.

    However, ponder this. Microsoft wields considerable influence over Intel, as the ongoing antitrust trial has revealed. Does anyone out there really think that Microsoft won't use its monopoly to put roadblocks in Apple's way if they go with AMD or Intel chips?

    Apple would represent at the very most 10% of Intel's market, and maybe twice that for AMD if they had an exclusive deal. MS has never backed away from an opportunity to leverage their operating system monopoly. I could certainly see them forcing AMD and Intel to incorporate design changes with the aim of making compatability with OS X more difficult.

    You can laugh and say I'm being paranoid, but if I were Steve Jobs, I'd be concerned about Microsoft's ability to apply pressure to both AMD and Intel.

  • Anytime this discussion comes up you see the same 2 posts:

    1. They can't do it, they would go broke!!!
    2. Please Apple... Please do it

    Perhaps they could compromise and use x86 with their hardware. They wouldn't have to make OSX compatible with other hardware, but they could. They could probably make a hell of a lot of money allowing a few select manufactures to bundle OSX for a premium. Want OSX on your dell? Sure thing, it will just cost you $300 more. This way their hardware sales are not canibilized by other manufactures offering cut-rate systems with OSX.

  • OS X on Intel (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dr00g911 ( 531736 )
    At several times during past keynotes, Jobs has mentioned the possibilites of using new chips from both Moto and Intel.

    I've personally heard him mention the possibility of transitioning quite a few times over the past few years -- usually mentioned as an afterthought.

    Because of Jobs' pacing and delivery (and his famed RDF), the media hasn't picked up on it very much -- and whatever stir is caused dies down very quickly, and people forget again by the next time an expo rolls around.

    I imagine during the last couple of years of OS 9, this was more of a veiled threat to Moto to try and keep up with clock speeds and the like, much like Apple's (non-veiled) threat against ATI.

    Honestly -- with the exception of the CPU -- just about everything in modern Macs is a standard across the industry.

    Now with Darwin for X86, it shouldn't be terribly difficult at all to transition to Intel -- and might be a welcome change of pace. I've had a 450mhz G4 tower for 4 years now, and machines have barely doubled in speed.

    We've heard rumours of the G5 for, um like, 3 years now? Always 6-8 months out (just like today).

    I'm as much of a Mac nazi as they get, but as long as the machine behaves the same and -- God forbid -- prices might drop a bit, I'm all for it.

    The Mac is all about the user's experience. And, for the most part, the user could give a shit what's in his box as long as it behaves consistently and reliably.
  • Talk ot the Town (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LinuxMacWin ( 79859 ) on Thursday July 18, 2002 @10:46PM (#3914116)
    I have moderator access, and I am wondering if I should write a comment (and hence can not moderate), or moderate (and hence can't post). However, noticed something which has not been represented so far. Hopefully this will not go unread as there are already 200 comments posted.

    People say mac users are fanatic (and that's why they don't switch). People say Mac is losing market share. People are unhappy with Apple charging $99 for DOT-MAC. And so on and on...

    However, given a choice of 4 subjects (JPEG alternative, patent infrigement, ad critic, and Apple), I see most of the comments (more than 60% per my count) are about Apple. Either that reflects the zealotry on the Mac side, or, boy, is Mac the talk of the town !

  • If Apple ever did switch CPUs (I don't see this happening with the investment all their big name software vendors have in AltiVec code), it would be on their own machines. You'd still have to buy an Apple to run OS X. I own a couple of nice G4s and have no complaints about the price or performance.

    There is a concrete example that exists to show why it would be a terrible mistake for Apple to move to Intel hardware in general, rather than Apple built Intel hardware --- Be. When Be was concentrating on building hardware (does anyone remember the BeBox) and software to match, they were in good shape. It was only when they dropped their PowerPC hardware and moved to generic Intel that they began to have problems. Distribution channels are locked up by Microsoft licensing (this won't change), they had to deal with everyone's $10 NICs and video cards, etc.
  • by ecloud ( 3022 ) on Friday July 19, 2002 @12:46AM (#3914617) Homepage Journal
    DJVU was designed for scanning paper documents, mainly. It doesn't include actual ASCII text like scanned PDFs can, but it is tuned for accurate visual representation of printed pages. The images have a couple of layers - the high-contrast material (such as text) and the background nuances (shading of the paper etc.) So it's possible to view the image with or without the background. And the background, being low res smooth shading, doesn't cost much space. I've been using it for a couple of years for this purpose, because neither JPEG nor PNG are ideally suited for it. Separating the foreground from the background strikes me as a really good idea.

    It wasn't completely free at first so that was good news when it was announced a while back.

    Of course to be truly useful as a JPEG replacement it needs to be included in browsers. People don't like having to mess with plugins.

    Anyway I bet the JPEG patent stuff will blow over soon enough. This company obviously has brass balls and no brains to think they can pull that off. Maybe they will manage to sue a few big guys, bully some little ones, make some money and then get a little more complacent as their time runs out. But I imagine we will still be seeing lots of JPGs 10 years from now (just like GIFs didn't go away).

An elephant is a mouse with an operating system.