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Microsoft

Submission + - Microsoft, Adobe Poised for Battle

David Kesmodel from WSJ writes: "Microsoft Corp. and Adobe Inc., which usually stay off each other's turf, are poised to do battle as they introduce software aimed at handling functions like video and animation on the Web, the Wall Street Journal reports. Microsoft today plans to unveil a test version of its Silverlight software that can be used to build advanced programs that run on the Web — an area Adobe has dominated with products like Flash — while Adobe plans to preview new video software called the Adobe Media Player, the WSJ reports."
Media

Submission + - Enforced ad-watching coming to Flash video players

Dominare writes: The BBC is reporting that Adobe is releasing new player software which will allow websites that use their Flash video player (such as YouTube) e.g. to force viewers to watch ads before the video they selected will play. From TFA:

But the big seller for Adobe is the ability to include in Flash movies so-called digital rights management (DRM) — allowing copyright holders to require the viewing of adverts, or restrict copying. "Adobe has created the first way for media companies to release video content, secure in the knowledge that advertising goes with it," James McQuivey, an analyst at Forrester Research said.

This seems to have been timed to coincide with Microsoft's release of their own competitor, Silverlight, to Adobe's dominance of online video.
The Internet

Submission + - Apple, Opera, and Mozilla Push for HTML5

foo fighter writes: "The insular World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has been slumbering the past several years: HTML was last updated in 1999, XHTML was last updated in 2002, and no one is taking their largely incompatible work on "next-generation" XHTML or "modularized" XHTML seriously. Both HTML and XHTML are in sorry need of removing deprecated items while being updated to reflect the current practices of web and browser developers yet remaining compatible with legacy Recommendations. The much more open and transparent WHATWG formed in 2004 to address this problem and has been hard at work on developing a draft spec for HTML5 to update and replace legacy versions of both HTML and XHTML. The quality of this work has reached the point that Apple, Opera, and Mozilla have requested the adoption of HTML5 as the new "W3C Recommendation" for web development."
Books

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Dies At 84 380

At least twenty-two readers took the trouble to make sure we knew that Kurt Vonnegut has died at 84. From the Times obituary: "Kurt Vonnegut, whose dark comic talent and urgent moral vision in novels like 'Slaughterhouse-Five,' 'Cat's Cradle' and 'God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater' caught the temper of his times and the imagination of a generation, died last night in Manhattan... Mr. Vonnegut suffered irreversible brain injuries as a result of a fall several weeks ago, according to his wife, Jill Krementz." Reader SPK adds: "He will be remembered not only as a great writer, but also as a staunch civil libertarian (long-term member of the ACLU) and as a 'mainstream/literary' author who integrated science fiction concepts into his writing. So it goes."

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