Open Standard, Insert Foot

Open Standard, Insert Foot

Summary: Apple makes everyone's heads spin in confusion today.


The System, By Rosscott

There are times when some companies just make it too easy to bash them for what is obviously a bonehead comment or blunder. Today, Apple did just that.

"Viewing requires either a Mac® running Safari® on Mac OS® X version 10.6 Snow Leopard®, an iPhone® or iPod touch® running iOS 3.0 or higher, or an iPad™."

On what planet is the requirement of a specific OS type and version, browser, and hardware platform considered to be open?

I will rightfully criticize anything that deserves it; I have no partisanship towards any particular operating system, or hardware. I personally use multiple platforms in home and business; the best tool for the job is my motto when it comes to technology.

This one just takes the cake. In the past, Apple has been upbraided by many people--including me--for exaggerations, half-truths, and outright lies. This one just makes my head spin.

Open means ALL platforms have access to it. Open means that you can use it on any hardware, any browser, any device. It means that it can be ported to those platforms without restriction.

Apple's "open standards" are as open as RIM's encrypted email, where India wants access to the decrypted messages. It's as open as what goes on behind closed doors at the NSA, what goes on in offshore CIA prisons, and as open as the secret Vatican archives--If Dan Brown says they exist, then that's good enough for me!

Come on, Apple. You're just coming off of the fiasco of the iPhone 4 antenna debacle, and now you pull this for your next song and dance--sorry, I mean your next press release event. At least kiss us first this time.

Topics: Apple, Smartphones, Operating Systems, Mobile OS, iPad, iPhone, iOS, Hardware, Browser, India

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  • Don't care about flash myself.. from what I've read

    about it and adobe it seems like bad ju-ju, and I've never had an occasion where i needed it.

    Now what are you complaining about anyway is it Flash? The iPhone 4? Or something else?

    Pagan jim
    James Quinn
  • RE: Open Standard, Insert Foot

    So when Apple says "open standards" what they really mean is "Our proprietary protocols that only work on Apple products"
    • "Open" as in

      ... an open standard that anyone can code to. Only no one really has yet (or so I'm told).
  • RE: Open Standard, Insert Foot

    Open, just like free, is an overloaded word. Regarding freedom, the BSD people sneer at GPL folks who in turn snipe at proprietary. Dr. Goslin said, with regards to freedom, Sun meant the freedom of developers to run binaries on all, er, many, well, some platforms without modifications. Well, that's certainly a, um, special use of the word.<br><br>The astute reader will note that I changed the subject. I did so because I hope you see my point: when ever any one says we are [fill in warm, fuzzy, and buzzy here], it is usually expressed within a context and from a certain perspective and one advantageous to them.<br><br>And people with different agendas, contexts, and perspectives call them liars.<br><br>Ah, the old ennui. There's got to be some reason why I have to take breaks from the babble chamber here.<br><br>Apple says "we care about the interface and the performance and Flash takes some of that out of our hands." Others say that their priority is allowing users to configure and optimize their own experience (well, I'm not sure the carriers quite signed off on that memo.) You prefer the latter? Lemon drops and cherry pie!!!! You got a phone, shoot, lots of them and a new one every few weeks, waiting for you. How cool is that? (TM) Go Krazy!!<br><br>Apple thinks its customers are different than you. (Certainly not me, because I'm buying their stuff.) If Apple is wrong, and the phones stop selling, they'll adapt. Evidently, they don't see where they've miscalculated, yet.
    • RE: Open Standard, Insert Foot

      Pretty good take on the subject .. Enjoyed reading your comments.
  • RE: Open Standard, Insert Foot

    Apple limiting their mega media live video streaming event to just Apple devices? Didn't this rather "odd" behavior raise at least one "red flag" around ZDNet bloggers .. Scott Raymond included.

    I suspect that this is simply a trial run of technology that Apple will use in a future product and/or service and what better way to perform a "shake down cruise" than to limit this trial to optimized Apple equipment and software.

    Did this idea ever occur to you, Raymond? Or did you just want to go for the "cheap shots"? Perhaps that's "way unfair" but really, your bias against Apple shows .. Just as my bias towards Apple products shows. It will be interesting to see if my insight might prove correct tomorrow. At any rate, I'll probably watch at least some segments of this event on my iPad .. Just to satisfy my curiosity over how live media events can be viewed on my iPad .. Both over my home WiFi and then over my 3G AT&T service.
    • RE: Open Standard, Insert Foot

      @kenosha7777 - are you for real? I've seen some Apple apologists in my time, but I think you take the biscuit.

      Rather than accept that Apple's behavior is becoming increasingly distasteful, as evidenced by their handling of the iPhone4's antenna issue and now this "you can only watch the live webcast if you buy one of our devices", you try to defend them with some fabricated excuse?

      Live webcasts are not a difficult thing to implement these days. There's no need to run a "shake down cruise" of your bi-annual press conference & product tour because there are any number of companies who'd be only too delighted to stream the content of your event world-wide to ANY computer able to talk TCP and able to render video encoded in any one of a number of standard formats.

      Sorry, but I much prefer Apple when it was the David to the industry's Goliaths rather than assuming it was the second coming.
  • Hold on...Open Standard is very different from Open Source

    Open Standard actually means anyone is allowed to adopt it as a certified standard for it's purpose. So Scott you know what to do with your own foot.

    MPEG2 (DVDs) is an ISO/IEC Open Standard
    WebM is Open Source
    H.264 (Blu-ray) is an ISO/IEC Open Standard
    OGG Theora is Open Source

    Apple is talking about the IETF HTTP Streaming Protocol which I believe uses the MPEG2 transport mechanism, they will be using it to stream the event live. It is an open standard or soon will be. I believe it is now going through the IETF standards process as we speak.

    If no one else is supporting this open standard yet then what are you going to do? They will. Same thing happened with USB and Firewire.
  • ZDnet has come to this -

    The guy openly (pun intended) says - 'open means all platforms have access to it' - really? what is a portable application then?
    • RE: Open Standard, Insert Foot

      @ravi16aug - Firefox is available on pretty much every platform. As is Opera. And Chrome. And Gimp. Heck, even Microsoft Office is available for Windows and Mac.
      • You're calling MS Office an open standard???

  • RE:"the fiasco of the iPhone 4 antenna debacle"

    After using an iPhone 4--without a case of any kind--for a month, I can tell you that the media-fueled "debacle" was a total load of hooey (aka BS)!
  • Scott Raymond.. get a clue.. how far is your foot down your throat?

    Is HTML 5 an open standard? YES. does that mean i can use any browser to view any HTML 5 compliant content.. NO! The browsers need to be updated to actually use and adhere to he standard.. open means anyone is fee to use the standard if they so please.. your criticism demonstrates complete and utter ignorance of this subject area.. in future please write about thing you know about or you'll again end up looking like a complete fool.
    • RE: Open Standard, Insert Foot

      @doctorSpoc . I agree with most of your post except the first part (unfortunately it seems that the remainder is based on the first HTML 5 is not a standard. It's still changing, it's still in the review process and will continue to dangle there for a few more years (2020?). It's like saying "this is a standard meter" and two weeks later someone walks by with a slightly shorter "meter". Oops, let's remeasure that map again!

      HTML5 is still evolving, and has just recently (as in "mere weeks ago") settled down on a streaming technology. They're still debating about dozens of other features. In the meantime, the web is still evolving, CPU's are still doubling in capability every 24 months, memory is still growing. And all the while Flash is still the best tool for creating top notch interactive content in a production environment. It's the only thing out there that truly is independent of platform - even more so than HTML5, or anything apple ever built.
      • well we can't wait forever for these guys...

        @rock06r - 802.11n was ratified like last year or something... and yet ever wireless router manufacture just built as best they could to the draft n spec for many years now.. and they worked very well in the interim.. a few small incompatibilities here and there, but the world moves on with or without ratification.. you don't.. you can't wait for complete ratification to start implementing, by that time the tech will likely not even be relevant anymore.. you work with the draft.. work with other devs and when they cross the last "t" and dot the last "i" you wiggle your code to match.. not ideal, but it is what is done.
      • Flash is still the best tool

        Unless you want to deliver your content to me. IMHO Flash has too much potential for bugs, performance drag, and security flaws.
  • Brilliant!

    Since this standard is "open", it seems like this maneuver today will get lots of people asking, "So if this standard is open, why can't I watch it with my browser?" Brilliant.
  • HTTP Live Streaming is an open Draft Inter Standard..

    need Safari and Quicktime X... the plaforms mentioned have implemented this standard and have quicktime x so they are the only ones that can use it at present.. but anyone is wholy able to implement and use it.. basically lets you stream using plain old http so no special ports, no firewall issues etc..

    HTTP Live Streaming is an HTTP-based media streaming communications protocol implemented by Apple Inc. as part of their QuickTime X and iPhone software systems. It works by breaking the overall stream into a sequence of small HTTP-based file downloads, each download loading one short chunk of an overall potentially unbounded transport stream. As the stream is played, the client may select from a number of different alternate streams containing the same material encoded at a variety of data rates, allowing the streaming session to adapt to the available data rate. At the start of the streaming session, it downloads an extended M3U playlist containing the metadata for the various sub-streams which are available.
    Since its requests use only standard HTTP transactions, HTTP Live Streaming is capable of traversing any firewall or proxy server that lets through standard HTTP traffic, unlike UDP-based protocols such as RTP. This also allows a Content delivery network to easily be implemented for any given stream.
    Apple has documented HTTP Live Streaming as an Internet-Draft, the first stage in the process of submitting it to the IETF as a proposed Internet standard.

    more detail here..
    • RE: Open Standard, Insert Foot

      @doctorSpoc - I think the point of the rant was that Apple chose to exclude 90% of its potential audience by requiring that they use an Apple device to view the webcast.

      That's not open and it just further reinforces the view that Apple's arrogance and elitism is now way out of control.
  • Open Standards

    'nuff said.
    Scott Raymond