Saturday, 18-Jun-11 14:44
The "you morons, it's just the 90s all over again" -rant

At the Berlin Music Hack Day, where also our Thinglink team was and working on some cool demos, one guy got this brilliant, though somewhat insane, idea of creating a pure Javascript-based MP3 player.

What slightly disappoints me is the Slashdot crowd reaction, where people wonder why someone would ever make such a thing when all you need to do in HTML5 is to go <audio src="foo.mp3"> to get your MP3's running. Also there's the usual crowd who says that Javascript can never be so efficient as C++ or that Silverlight is better for this anyway. It's as if the crowd got all middle-aged and grumpy. Which, I think, they did.

We who gained our skillset in the 80s and 90s created the PC-centric world. We wrote the software on the native hardware and created platforms and tools to do that. The PC is a general computing machine with inputs and outputs. Now, the new generation is growing their own skillset and tools for the browser-centric world. They're not there yet, but projects like JSMAD are a clear and loud call that they're getting there. The people who say that there's a HTML tag for audio don't realize that HTML is a DSL run by a committee. The browser design teams decide what kind of audio their browser can play, and it's a mess of politics and IPR and whatnot. Projects like JSMAD make it all irrelevant: the decision what to do becomes the website programmer's decision, not the browser designers.

The browser must become the platform. And if it's not possible to write an MP3 decoder (no matter how inefficient) on it, it's not a platform. This is why JSMAD is important: it's a very important milestone on making the browser as a fully capable platform.

I think that the fascination with Apps (iOS, Android, etc) is largely because the mobile platforms are great escape routes for all the old guys who have 1EE7 native programming skills and no longer don't have the time or inclination to learn new environments like Ruby or Python or NoSQL or Javascript. In a way, it's returning to the 90s: slow processors, not a lot of pixels on display, sloppy connectivity and porting to other platforms is nigh-impossible due to proprietary interfaces. iOS and Android just like Windows from 90s, so they're a safe, cozy place to be. But the same logic still applies on the mobile as it did on the PC: to reach a bigger audience and gain a faster development cycle to beat your competition, also the Apps will move to the Web. Competition will make sure of it, and once the mobile web tools get better, we'll start seeing the impact. The young generation will march in, armed with tools like jQuery and Yottaa and create the next web.

You see, the best business chain is always the one where the producer sells directly to the consumer. Often this is not possible, and you need intermediaries - in case of iOS, Apple takes care of the distribution and discoverability and grabs a share of the cake. Music industry - well, I'm not sure anyone knows how many intermediaries exist in these old media fortresses. The evolutionary pressure is however always towards direct producer-consumer relationships, because in that way the profit margins are the best for the producer. The Web can provide that, and hence it will win out in the end.

Saturday, 11-Jun-11 18:00
Things you can do with Skyr and absolutely should

No, this is not one of my scientific experiments. This is a dessert concocted by the wife, and it uses one of my favourite ingredients, skyr, as it's main component. The recipe is embedded in the image; if you want this on your blog, just grab the embed code and share.

I've never been a friend of quark, but skyr works really well for my palate. I've been a happy eater since it's became available in Finland a few months ago, and you no longer had to rely on friends smuggling it from Iceland.


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"Main" last changed on 10-Aug-2015 21:44:03 EEST by JanneJalkanen.

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