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Comment Re:Bad idea, speaking as a Chromebook user (Score 1) 102

Actually, that's a very good point. It also means that as developers, the only way we can test our apps now is to purchase a chromebook to test on. I can't just test it on my Mac and go "this works" and push it up knowing it'll just work on the chromebook.

Now I would have to build on the mac, send the package over to the chromebook (which I now have to have) and test it there, and repeat ad nauseum for bug fixes, before I can finally push it up.

Chrome app development worked because any normal dev platform could also be your test box. Soon? not so much.

Comment Amazon plans for benefits-free hiring for grads (Score -1) 110

there. fixed it for you.

Seriously, this is insulting. You work through college, you get a professional degree. You should be getting a job with real benefits, not a job that requires you to pay a quarter of your salary to the ACA, no 401K, etc.

Part time work is not a panacea. It is a step backwards, a trend that will treat professional developers with the same respect as a walmart greeter, if not checked.

We as developers deserve better.

Comment Re: Spotify (Score 2) 102

you'd have to look up the details (there's an extension to do that), but one "clue" is whether or not there is a forced nav bar from the window manager on the window. My own app was originally hosted, but at some point Chrome forced it to have the O/S's native drag-bar, which I didn't want. Packaging as a deployed app, as opposed to a hosted one, solved that. It required making other changes to the code around local storage and browser history (two items that Chrome deployed apps disabled, for reasons I still don't respect), but I did it, because the aesthetic quality of having my music player with no "chrome" from the O/S was important to me.

So I'm rather pissed off at Chrome right now for this.

Comment Re:Android runtime for Chrome (Score 1) 102

Yeah, but Android Apps on Chrome on the O/S is a hell of a lot of overhead for a basic HTML5 single-page that you would just rather package and have in an independent window rather than forcing the user to always have to keep a tab open.

I have a Chrome app music player (a client for subsonic), an html5 app that I also serve on the web and deploy on Amazon's Fire OS platform. For a time it was on Firefox as well as an app but they eliminated their "app" capability a year ago.

The problem is that I want this music player to be independent, as most music players are. I don't want to force the user to keep it in a tab, stuck in size to the window of the rest of the browser. I *like* having them be able to open it independently, size it to what they want, etc, just as they would the player if it was native.

Now, with Chrome throwing this away, I am going to have to look at new deployment tech like electron, which adds a huge amount of overhead (though less than running in an Android interpreter) for the same feature set that Chrome was giving me effectively for free.

Comment HTML5 Audio Tag is improved, too (Score 1) 28

With 50 and 51, one could preview the new media by turning on a chrome://flags setting. That setting is now default 'on' instead of off with 52. With html5 audio tag, it fixes a lot of streaming issues with constant bit-rate files (duration wouldn't update, and you'd not get an 'end' event when the song finished, things that worked fine for variable bitrate files), issues that were also in the webview as well. So those web apps that need html5 audio tag will work much better, and phonegap/cordova apps will when the webview for Android goes out, hopefully soon after the browser...

Comment I agree this is "bad" (Score 2) 27

Any time you keep credentials on a public hub is just a bad thing to do (in a "cross the streams" sense), and I addressed that in a blog entry back when bots were finding thousands of Amazon AWS and S3 OAuth credentials and secret keys made public on github.

But I do wonder, for libraries that give you an API token to use (Flickr, Trello), how should one use it in a pure html5 single-page client app, one that doesn't use any server proxy middleware. E.g., except for securing the API key, there's no reason for a flickr photo slideshow to ever need to talk to my own server: it should just talk to Flickr directly. Routing everything through my server as a proxy just for the API key would be horribly inefficient and expensive on my bandwidth, as well as unnecessarily slow.

But if I just leave the API key in the app's scripts, it can, with a little bit of research in the web console, be found by anybody looking for it. Even if I were to encrypt it in some way, that encryption could be cracked easily because everything needed to decode it could also be found because it all is in the javascript somewhere.

So what if any is the solution for efficient CORS-based HTML5 single page apps for APIs that require a key that you should attempt to secure in some way to prevent others from using the key to create abusive applications of their own?

Comment I18N a cost, but US rights getting harder (Score 5, Interesting) 158

It really has nothing to do with international rights. Cost may be a factor, but it isn't the most important right now. They can license whatever the studios will sell them.

The studios aren't selling.

The reason is that they figure they've got the killer show that is enough to get them to install the service for just that studio's output. HBO and Starz are already exclusives (with HBO recently revoking Netflix's license with Sesame Street), Disney's working on theirs, CBS has forked off their own instead of signing on to Hulu with the other networks.

At $15/m, they figure they've got the one killer show that is enough to get that monthly subscription, and they're gambling they're right by taking their material off of Netflix.

In the end, "cutting the chord" is not going to save anybody any money, because instead of paying cable $99+ / month for shows and HBO, they're going to have to sign on to 7 services to get the same shows they want to watch, resulting in the same $99/month.

Comment Re:Open source Picasa (Score 3, Interesting) 86

well, to get us to use the cloud for that, they would need to have their cloud-editing tools not suck.

They bought picnik and totally ran it into the dirt, where all that is left is a handful of astronomy-named one-shot filters that make me miss instagram, and i've never actually installed instagram for f's sake.

Otherwise, you can do more editing on your phone/tablet than you can on your desktop, and that is one gigantic bit of what-the-f round two. The idea that mobile should be *better* than desktop is an attitude I will simply never ever understand.

Comment Devices for non-nerds don't need nerd-features (Score 2) 66

So the hardware and the O/S is a little limiting? Fine. It isn't the type of device you need.

On the other hand, all of the ridiculous levels of settings and personalizations and all that on a 5.1.1 or 6.0 Android box is too much for my parents to want to argue with.

There's something to be said for "works well enough". As developers we should not forget that, lest a simpler product line come along and put your complex fully-featured super-product out to dry, no matter what features the new upstart is missing.

I'm not saying Amazon's Fire will do that to Android, as the tablet market right now is still pretty large and has room for all (and of course, Fire could easily re-enable Android features they've suppressed at a moment's notice should the demand truly be there). But it is something to consider that not all products are the right fit for all audiences.

I have a Fire that I use for reading at night (Feedly, Pocket, and Facebook - all the links i've saved throughout the day - and kindle books if i'm still awake after all that). It works perfect for that purpose (I also use it as test platform for my apps since i'm targeting that easier-to-use market).

But I take a Samsung Tab 4 with me during the day, because that's the better one for when I want interactive stuff or games or things that require Google Play Services and all that.

Right tool for the right job and the right audience.

(That said, FireOS 5 did have a few really annoying bugs I've had to work around, but nevermind... :) )

Comment Word: being bought by google actually sucks. (Score 4, Insightful) 167

Pretty much everybody and everything Google has acquired, they've pretty much killed off. They bought Picasa, and are finally killing it with a product that has FAR fewer features (and nothing to replace the capabilities of the desktop app at all).

They bought picnik a few years ago, made it the online editor for Picasa and google+ photos for a while, but then over time ditched ALL of it in favor of a handful of crappy instagram filters.

So all of the features, all of the tech, all of the MONEY in Picasa and Picnik is gone. Utterly gone. No legacy left. Google, once the most functional of photo online services out there, is now a second-hand copy of Apple's iCloud...just as everybody was basically complaining that Apple's online/mobile photo approach is damned annoying and nobody wants it and they're all out looking for something better.

At least Flickr has actually *added* functionality (as well as performance) in the last few years. I just hope whomever they get sold to will be able to keep it alive.

Comment Re:That's a shame (Score 2) 167

oh, it is easy: it is just like Apple's photos app. strictly chronological on date-taken (unless there's no exif data, in which case it is by date created or last update or, well, whatever, who cares). Plus albums. Unlike Picasa (but like Flickr) you can put a photo into multiple albums without it making copies of it.

And unlike the Android, the web version doesn't mix-n-match your online photos with the ones on your phone as if there was no difference between them.

Beyond is one hell of a step backwards as far as features go.

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