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$199 Freescale Tablet Design Runs Chromium OS

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the proof-of-concept dept.

Portables 93

Charbax writes "This is an extensive video interview with Freescale's manager of software development about their integration of the Chromium OS onto their ARM Cortex A8 i.MX51-based $199 Tablet reference design. It seems to run smoothly and fast with multiple tabs. There's no touch screen support yet, so input is done through a USB keyboard and mouse for now, but the WiFi drivers are fine. Freescale is also demonstrating Android and Ubuntu versions. Those have a 3G SIM card reader built-in, an HDMI output and 720p video playback. The question is: will they be able to support Chrome browsing at full speed on the most JavaScript- and Flash-intensive websites and support a large amount of opened tabs?" The demonstration of the Chromium tablet begins at about 11:20 into the video. The Android and Ubuntu versions are displayed earlier.

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Yeah right (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30715780)

Wake me up when I can buy the thing at a store for $199.

How to Calm a Cat in Heat (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30716076)

Equipment:

* 1 cat in heat
* 1 Q-tip

Procedure:

* Grab wailing, squirming cat and place it on your lap with its hind quarters readily accessible. Chances are the cat will freely offer them, if not the first time this procedure is followed, then certainly each time afterward.
* Insert the Q-tip into the cat's vagina. It will be exposed and puffy. Do not insert the Q-tip into the other orifice. Either way the cat will begin to scream, but there is a subtle and audible difference in the scream of satisfaction and the scream of rectal pain. Experiment a little until you can distinguish the two.
* Move the Q-tip in and out of the cat's vagina slowly at first, then more rapidly. No need to be gentle, no matter what you do with the Q-tip it beats a barbed cat penis digging around in there.
* You are finished when the cat is finished. You will know when the cat is finished because it will either begin immediately to have a cat orgasm, or it will run away with the Q-tip sticking out of its ass. If this happens let it enjoy itself for a few minutes before attempting to retrieve your Q-tip.
* That is it, you are done. Enjoy the peace and quiet until the cat flares up again.

What to look for: The cat orgasm that follows this procedure is something the likes of which I have never seen elsewhere. It is a wriggling, leaping, moaning dance of ecstasy that defies any experience of pleasure my mind can even begin to grasp. If humans had orgasms with the intensity of a cat serviced in this way there would be no such thing as war, hunger, capitalism or God.

Background: A cat in heat is, with few exceptions, one of the most irritating things to have living in your home. A cat in heat will follow you around and howl at you in a bone chilling, hideous wail until you are ready just to toss it outside and let it get pounded by the local tom's. After a few days of this torture having to drown a few kittens sounds relaxing. This cat-saving technique was first demonstrated to me by a terminally un-squeemish roomate of years past.

Re:How to Calm a Cat in Heat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30716156)

Well, thank you for that. That's a great weight off my mind. Except you still haven't told us just who the fuck you are, apart from someone who does cats with q-tips of course.

Re:How to Calm a Cat in Heat (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30716974)

Sorry, since I was posting AC, my sig was turned off. My name's Rob Malda.

Re:How to Calm a Cat in Heat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30716724)

* Get the cat spayed

Re:How to Calm a Cat in Heat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30720518)

This is the reason I browse Slashdot at -1. Sometimes, I get a great laugh from some truly absurd posts.

Re:Yeah right (4, Interesting)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716652)

Wake me up when I can buy the thing at a store for $199.

That's actually very insightful. There are a lot of big players who are going to have to make sure a $200 Freescale Tablet never sees the light of day to keep their shareholders happy.

If it ever hit the market, they'd sell a ton of them. Even the most ardent Mac supporter would have to think twice before spending more than $800 on an "iSlate" that will require another $600 in upgrades before it can be used instead of running out and spending $200 on a basic tablet that works.

I'd take three of them right now, today, if they were on the market.

Before they come out, I predict there will be "problems with the supply chain" and more "driver issues" and then several rounds of "intellectual property disputes" that will make sure a Freescale Tablet stays off the market at least until the big players can hit the markets with their more expensive offerings so the early adopters (aka "chumps") spend their money on 0-day.

Re:Yeah right (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30717162)

The dirty tricks squad is out in full force to nip this in the bud. There'll be the usual pans from Ina Fried and Mary Jo Foley and other puppets in the press. Then the arm twisting begins.

They might as well just record the meetings and copy the DOJ and Pamela Jones [groklaw.net] on the transcripts and emails. It's not like we're all not going to read it on Groklaw after the Attorney General subpoenas it as part of the antitrust lawsuit.

Whistleblower (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30717240)

Hey, maybe for a change we could get a nice whistleblower to leak some documents. That would be great.

Re:Yeah right (2, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30719450)

The dirty tricks squad is out in full force to nip this in the bud.

And the media is going to do their dirty work, just like they are with the Nexus

Watch and see.

But it would have to be pretty blatant before the DOJ gets involved. The antitrust group practically works for the dirty tricks squad, after all. They won't bring a lawsuit until the Freescale is safely dead and buried, and then in 10 years, the fines will be a fraction of the profits that the big boys make.

It's just the cost of doing business to them.

It has already started (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30720708)

Here's a post from GigaOM [gigaom.com] that basically says that Google stabbed Motorola's Droid in the back to deliver this, despite the fact that Droid has a keyboard and Nexus One does not and so it's fair game.

That was picked up by TheRegister [theregister.co.uk] which for some bizarre reason sees this as a reason for Moto to run home to the warm embrace of Microsoft, as if the whole Sendo Maneuver [theregister.co.uk] had not happened (even though they reported it), and as if Google had actually done something dastardly. Now it's in the Mainstream press [j.mp] [Businessweek.com] and by Tuesday they'll be trying to meme it.

I'm doing what I can [gigaom.com] but we need more fans of open systems to get out there and make fun of these idiots or they will continue to spew their nonsense and Joe Sixpack might believe them and then we won't get our cool new stuff. Slashdot is popular but there are a lot of other sites out there like cnet, zdnet, Google Groups [google.com] and Yahoo where this nonsense might take root. People who know stuff need to go from here to there and put the word out that we'd like some shiny new Tegra 2 or Android slates, a Nexus One, and a Droid under our tree at Christmas and anybody that opposes that is a Luddite [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Yeah right (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 4 years ago | (#30719900)

Well considering that we have been hearing about $200 and under ARM netbooks that are supposed to come out "any day now" for a couple of years now I'm afraid you're probably right. I just wonder how much of it is other companies interference VS being new players and simply not having their shit together?

Starting new products in a field where margins are usually razor thin to start with is hard enough, then add in the fact that you can't show VC investors your new device running the dominant OS, because Windows don't run on ARM, add in having to cut corners all over the place and the sometimes dodgy vendors one deals with when going bottom of the barrel, and I can see why so many devices end up as nothing more than vaporware.

Personally if they come out with sub $150 ARM netbooks (preferably $99) and $200 tablets I'll be happy to snap some up to sell in my shop, but I'm not holding my breath. There is a niche for these non Windows devices, how big a niche I don't know, but with a college nearby I'm sure I wouldn't have any problems moving a "browser in a box" that let them take notes in class and had 6 hour plus battery life. For college and HS kids these things would be perfect! Hell i would even snatch up a couple for myself just so when I had to go to the doctors office or some other "hurry up and wait" establishment I could kick back and surf and read.

But considering the money Intel is already losing by having Atom eat into notebook sales, plus now AMD entering the market with really nice sub $500 netbooks with Radeon GPUs and real Athlon CPUs, I really don't see Intel sitting back quietly on this. so while I'm sure a lot will go tits up thanks to simply not having all their ducks in a row, after Intel shelling out 1.25 Billion to AMD for not playing fair i wouldn't be surprised if any of these do manage to get their shit together that old Chipzilla wouldn't be willing to grease a few palms to make them go away. with the kind of money Intel has in the bank if it looks like one is close to market Intel can always "buy 'em and bury 'em". So while I would love to have this and a few of those cheapo ARM netbooks sitting in my shop, I won't be betting the farm on them.

Re:Yeah right (1)

Calinous (985536) | more than 4 years ago | (#30720604)

There was some Elonex One netbook, for sale at around 200 euros (plus VAT). That's the cheapest I've seen so far, though not much cheaper than the original EeePC (with 7" screen)

Re:Yeah right (1)

Yfrwlf (998822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30720462)

Aah Capitalism, not giving consumers what they want since (pick one of various historical reference dates).

Re:Yeah right (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 4 years ago | (#30731104)

"Wealth of Nations", I choose YOU!

Re:Yeah right (1)

JWW (79176) | more than 4 years ago | (#30718986)

Wake ME up when the touchscreen on the "tablet" actually works.

Re:Yeah right (1)

the person standing (1134789) | more than 4 years ago | (#30720970)

Wake me up when there is a tablet which smoothly renders Slashdot...

Re:Yeah right (1)

tbuskey (135499) | more than 4 years ago | (#30739420)

I think we'll see $200 ARM tablets Real Soon Now.

I have a SmartQ7. ARM MID. 7" 800x600 color touch screen with 128 MB RAM. Runs a custom Ubuntu that can apt-get from the standard repos. I paid $240ish including shipping from Hong Kong. WinCE is available.

I'm using it to read eBooks and Google Reader. The RAM limits the browser (Midori) and the number of tabs. I don't have flash on it. I don't watch vids or listen to MP3s.

For what I do, it's great.

Maybe in a year I'll be able to buy a 10" 1024x600 (x768 or more please??) 1GB RAM Linux based tablet that can do youtube & other flash apps. I wouldn't bet on it, but I'm not convinced it won't happen.

The price point depends on the sales volume. If this generation of tablets flops, it'll be awhile until the next churn. If it does what Palm did for PDAs (now migrated to phones) that'll be a good thing. The Kindle & other niche tablets could make it happen.

which stores (1)

t3chn0n3rd (1490333) | more than 4 years ago | (#30783142)

Will these be available at wal-mart , or best buy or will you buy them online?

Question (0)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715784)

Can you even consider it a tablet if it doesn't have a touchscreen or stylus? Otherwise it's just a funky pc that nobody wants. Come back to me when this thing is $199 and has a touch screen...otherwise it's not much of a story, IMHO.

Re:Question (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30715892)

Moron..

Could you not see that it had a touch screen ?

Watch the video, then comment.

Re:Question (0)

hemp (36945) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716000)

There's no touch screen support yet, so input is done through a USB keyboard and mouse for now, but the WiFi drivers are fine.

A tablet that requires a keyboard and mouse? Why?
Why?? Why???

Re:Question (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716090)

It has a touchscreen. It does not yet have (working) drivers for the touch screen.

Re:Question (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 4 years ago | (#30735946)

It has a touchscreen. It does not yet have (working) drivers for the touch screen.

So how do they know the touchscreen works then?

Joking...

That's missing the point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30715908)

I think that the main news (whether it was news worthy or not is entirely different thing...) was that $199 (138 €) machine has enough power to run the OS decently. Which is kinda neat. IE: news about the OS, not hardware... The OS is still unfinished and doesn't yet have support for touch screen but that is pretty irrelevant as long as we can make two assumptions: They will get it working eventually and it will not hog large amounts of processing power. I think we can trust on those two.

It's neat to see that Chromium OS is going to be light. (Yeah, Linux is also. As is mobile version of Windows. But more options is still nice.) That said, I'm not sure if this was news worthy: I thought that was given already. That we knew about this.

Re:That's missing the point (2, Informative)

iammani (1392285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716170)

It's neat to see that Chromium OS is going to be light. (Yeah, Linux is also. As is mobile version of Windows. But more options is still nice.)

Er, actually Chromium is Linux.

Re:That's missing the point (0, Troll)

vcompiler (1383819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30719470)

Choose any Linux distro that can run Chrome Browser would be a better solution than choose Chrome OS.

Re:Question (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716010)

It has a touchscreen, so what is your point?

It's got great potential and a ton of functionality for a $200 unit. This is a stab at netbooks (cost/size), cellphones (3g/bluetooth), intel(arm) and microsoft(chrome).

Now google does their own questionable things sometimes, but a hit at those first 4 is a pretty good sign of some real competition.

Re:Question (4, Informative)

pj81381 (1703646) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716290)

Hey, this thing is (supposedly) $199 and has a touch screen!

At least the exact same tablets running Android and Ubuntu do. At about 11:34, Mr. Subramanian says "Chromium today does not support touch screen...". So it's not the tablet hardware which doesn't include a touch screen, but the build of Chromium they're using.

Re:Question (1)

hechacker1 (1358761) | more than 4 years ago | (#30719460)

All the multi-touch bits were just added to the Xorg stack. And Intel is working on a multi-touch library for common gestures. The software is just barely getting there, so it will be a while.

It's a format definition ("phone" "laptop" etc) (1)

fantomas (94850) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716306)

"Can you even consider it a tablet if it doesn't have a touchscreen or stylus? "
Slim square or rectangular hand held computers I think will generally be called "tablets" because that's what the pundits and sellers have decided to call them. When you have more influence than Steve Jobs, the New York Times, or other influential voice in the world of computing, you can call them something different.

Content is the problem. (2, Insightful)

Dzimas (547818) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715824)

I don't need a tablet PC unless it offers access to a compelling suite of applications. As it stands, this thing is basically an extremely underpowered netbook with a discrete keyboard and pointing device. Even with a touchscreen, it can't compete with a bottom end netbook for generic computing tasks (for example, typing just isn't efficient - I can't manage 45 wpm on a touchscreen). Apple gets this. The iPhone/touch is successful because of its integration with the app store, which offers *device-specific* apps. If apple releases a giant iPod Touch/eReader in the next couple of months, it will succeed only if there's a strong suite of apps written specifically for it. Other manufacturers will be left scrambling, because Chromium OS, Ubuntu NBE and Windows 7 just don't translate well to the tablet environment - you're left using a desktop OS on something that very definitely isn't a desktop. So Freescale's initiative will fail, as will dozens of goofy "tablets" that are little more than touchscreen-equipped PCs with user-hostile ergonomics.

Re:Content is the problem. (2, Funny)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715864)

If the rumors of Apple's "advanced gestures" for iWorks are true, I can't imagine anything more user hostile. Sure, there will be a contingent of people who rabidly defend Steve's decision to throw gangsigns at the computer to open a file, but those people also praised him for only ever making mice that didn't fit human hands.

And no one has seen the Chrome OS in a finished state yet, because it's not finished. How can you dismiss something that doesn't exist?

Re:Content is the problem. (2, Insightful)

KeithJM (1024071) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716254)

How can you dismiss something that doesn't exist?

Uh, you made good points until this. How can you NOT dismiss something that doesn't exist?

Re:Content is the problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30720168)

How can you dismiss something that doesn't exist?

Uh, you made good points until this. How can you NOT dismiss something that doesn't exist?

You know the expression "the jury is still out"? Until it exists, the case can't even be heard. Dismiss or not, neither happens until then.

Re:Content is the problem. (0, Troll)

vcompiler (1383819) | more than 4 years ago | (#30719524)

Chrome OS is pointless, even when I haven't seen it is in a finished state because it is for sure Chrome OS is a subset of a typical Linux distro. Any Linux distro with careful customization and running a browser (if you insist Chrome is fastest, you could even run Chrome Browser) is better than Chrome OS.

Re:Content is the problem. (3, Interesting)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715882)

the "compelling suite of apps" is already there, on the web: facebook, email, IM, twitter, browsing. Throw in google maps, an ebook reader, remote terminal... I don't think apps are that critical anymore, because they are already there.

As far as a keyboard is concerned, I'd rather have a tablet + separate keyboard/mouse for when I need them, rather than lug them around all the time. A pure tablet is better when not inputting much info, which is 50-75% of my time on a netbook.

Re:Content is the problem. (1)

Dzimas (547818) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715942)

I guess I didn't make myself clear - I already have email and a good browser on my netbook. There's no good reason for me to replace it with a tablet PC.

Re:Content is the problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30715980)

Then don't.

Re:Content is the problem. (2, Insightful)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715984)

Oh, OK sorry, didn't realize you wanted specific apps for the thing. The way I see it, I don't, it's just a more portable way to do the same things, and it's easier to add a keyboard want I want one than to rip it away when I don't ^^

Re:Content is the problem. (1)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715910)

Sorry for conflating Chromium and Chrome above. I still think the jury is out though.

Re:Content is the problem. (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716122)

odd I want exactly chromeOS. all I want is a decent web browser. Mobile safari is nice, but the iphone screen is to small and it doesn't have flash(good on the iphone bad on larger screened devices) Applications aren't nearly as important as the UI. if it isn't fully multi touch enabled it will fail. It is why windows tablet editions fail. as they cram a standard desktop GUI on a none desktop device.

software available doesn't matter if you can't use them well.

Re:Content is the problem. (3, Insightful)

insufflate10mg (1711356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30717640)

I agree fully. My main use for this would be browsing the internet and (since monitors do not strain my eyes) I would also use them to read on the couch and have much more massive personal library available for 'dedicated reading'.. When I need a more diverse range of applications I will go to command central and do work where my work is best done. It would just be nice to have a decent tablet capable of full web browsing capabilities and touch screen. Reading takes up such a large portion of my day that this would be invaluable and I would be willing to pay well over $200 for it.

Re:Content is the problem. (1)

coofercat (719737) | more than 4 years ago | (#30722232)

I see where you're going on this, but I think you're missing a proportion of possible uses for such a gadget.

I'm personally looking for one or two (touchscreen) tablet machines - definitely one in the kitchen, and maybe one in the bathroom or else just on the coffee table. I'm not looking to do all that much with it, except (in the kitchen) to be a place to play music, maybe watch something like BBC iPlayer for a cookery show, or just display a recipe on a web page (or fiddle with the home automation or what not). I'm not saying this specific device is going to be perfect for that (even when it gets touchscreen), but having hands covered in butter isn't going to be useful on any sort of keyboard or mouse. At least I can wipe the touchscreen clean, and I don't have to give up any horizontal space to use it.

Am I going to throw away my laptop for this? No way, but if it's a matter of "honey, just check if the trains are running on time", then a super-slimmed down tablet on the coffee table or stuck to the side of the fridge is definitely easier than any machine I've seen (other than some smart phones, maybe).

The problem the tablet producers will have include convincing the masses that they need a coffee table computer, and proving to people such as yourself that $200 for a bit of a toy is actually worth it.

(Just another thought: I once bought a Phillips Pronto touch screen universal remote control for more than $200 - so obviously there are some of us saps out there ready to spend money on an apparently over-engineered solution to a problem ;-)

Flash + ARM? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30715852)

It says "will they be able to support Chrome browsing at full speed on the most JavaScript- and Flash-intensive websites"; I didn't think you could run the flash player at all on ARM chips. Gnash is probably out of the question too. It's coming along nicely but at present it only seems to function 25% of the time and it's very slow for video playback.

Re:Flash + ARM? (4, Informative)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716032)

``I didn't think you could run the flash player at all on ARM chips.''

Think again: Adobe and ARM Accelerate Flash and AIR for ARM Platforms [adobe.com]

Re:Flash + ARM? (3, Informative)

oh2 (520684) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716134)

The Nokia N900 has an ARM processor and full Flash support, v9.4 currently and 10.1 is coming in a few weeks according to Nokia. Its quite doable.

Re:Flash + ARM? (1)

Roman Mamedov (793802) | more than 4 years ago | (#30721536)

Think again: Adobe and ARM Accelerate Flash and AIR for ARM Platforms

"Package mozilla-plugin-gnash 0.8.6-2: amd64 armel hppa i386 ia64 mips mipsel powerpc s390 sparc"
Limited time super-offer, set yourself free from two evils AT ONCE: from the proprietary Flash and from the legacy x86. :-)

Re:Flash + ARM? (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716104)

Adobe now supports Flash on a variety of ARM chips. The i.MX515 in TFA was launched with a version of Flash, supported by Adobe, and provided to OEMs right from the start.

Re:Flash + ARM? (4, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716746)

Annnnd... that's what Microsoft gets for bringing out their Silverlight "Flash killer": Enthusiastic support from Adobe for alternative platforms. Way to drive innovation, Microsoft! Why don't you come out with a creative suite next? That would be great.

Re:Flash + ARM? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30718732)

Flash has run on a wide variety of platforms for years, although desktop Linux and *BSD have received a back seat because they didn't have the market share to be worth a high priority investment. Macromedia pushed Flash Lite for mobile phones, but it wasn't until relatively recently (last few years) that they've had enough CPU power for complex flash programs.

Re:Flash + ARM? (1)

emj (15659) | more than 4 years ago | (#30718768)

As far as I know Flash Lite is so different from Flash proper, that it doesn't really make much sens to use it. But then again you might actually have seen Flash Lite used?

Re:Flash + ARM? (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716180)

"will they be able to support Chrome browsing at full speed on the most JavaScript- and Flash-intensive websites".

They can test the JS performance by visiting Slashdot. It has way more JS than any other site I visit.

Flash (4, Informative)

randallman (605329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715886)

In response to all of the questions of the form "can it play flash". It's up to Adobe, not so much the hardware manufacturer. A manufacturer can included chips to offload video processing, etc., but if Adobe doesn't take advantage of the hardware capabilities, Flash won't play well.

Flash is terrible on everything but Windows. My 3 year old Pentium-M laptop with Ubuntu 9.04 can play 720p nicely using mplayer, but can't play 480p acceptably in flash. The problem is Adobe's exclusive control over the flash player. We need a real standard, hence the debate over html5 video codec inclusion.

So please realize more times than not that the shortcoming is with flash and Adobe, not with the hardware.

Why not take the next step (4, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716114)

And that is to blame website developers who use flash for stuff that it ain't needed for. Such as playing video. The video tag works now (not on IE, but lets face it, if you got IE, you got flash) so support it.

Re:Why not take the next step (1)

TheSunborn (68004) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716434)

Does the browsers that support the video tag support H.264 ?
 

Re:Why not take the next step (4, Informative)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716688)

Firefox supports Ogg/Theora/Vorbis.
Safari, iPhone, Android support H.264,AAC,MP4
Chrome supports all of the above.

http://diveintohtml5.org/video.html#what-works [diveintohtml5.org]

If you're a web site developer, it's probably best to host both, and have your pages detect what the browser supports.

Re:Why not take the next step (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30716902)

I hope by "detect", you mean "use fallbacks": see Video for Everybody [camendesign.com] for a clean way of handling HTML5 video tags in a way that will gracefully degrade and pretty much work fine on every browser (offering a download link for browsers which completely lack video support).

Re:Why not take the next step (3, Interesting)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716924)

If you're a web site developer, it's probably best to host both, and have your pages detect what the browser supports.

And right there is why the HTML5 video tag will never defeat Flash video in its current form. With Flash, you need only one encoding.

Re:Why not take the next step (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30719758)

With flash you only need one format if you want crappy video or don't care about supporting versions less than 9. Otherwise, you'll probably be hosting FLV and H.264.

Re:Why not take the next step (1)

Simetrical (1047518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728076)

If you're a web site developer, it's probably best to host both, and have your pages detect what the browser supports.

And right there is why the HTML5 video tag will never defeat Flash video in its current form. With Flash, you need only one encoding.

"Never" is a bit strong. Apple is reconsidering its decision to avoid Theora, last I heard, but since it involves lawyers it's taking a long time. In the long term, I expect everyone will settle on a baseline royalty-free format that works well enough, like Theora.

Re:Why not take the next step (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#30720858)

if one ignore iphone and android (both use hardware to save on battery, and would therefor need new devices to run on before ogg can be supported in any form, unless they use a DSP or something), safari can make use of anything that has a codec in quicktime, tho by default only the mentioned codecs are included by apple.

Re:Why not take the next step (1)

jones_supa (887896) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716896)

And that is to blame website developers who use flash for stuff that it ain't needed for. Such as playing video. The video tag works now (not on IE, but lets face it, if you got IE, you got flash) so support it.

Well, it does work but honestly the support is still quite preliminary. But you're right, many sites use Flash only for the video part for which it is quite a hack. HTML5 video is stuff that matters. :)

Re:Why not take the next step (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30719438)

More importantly: There's a HTML only hack for the video tag that resolves to Flash for backwards compatibility as a last resort [camendesign.com] . It even supports multiple codecs etc. and oh... it also supports the iPhone...

Seems to me that there's no reason to still use Flash for video...

Re:Why not take the next step (1)

Simetrical (1047518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30728230)

And that is to blame website developers who use flash for stuff that it ain't needed for. Such as playing video. The video tag works now (not on IE, but lets face it, if you got IE, you got flash) so support it.

It works, yes, but . . .

  • It doesn't support fullscreening at all in any released browser, only in Firefox 3.6.
  • It doesn't support programmatic fullscreening in any browser, or even in the spec itself – so you can't have a custom "click to go fullscreen" button.
  • It doesn't support control over autobuffering in Chrome or Safari. They always fully buffer anything you put on the page, wasting your and your viewers' bandwidth if the video is never actually played.
  • Firefox supports autobuffering control, but it's either no buffering at all until the user hits play, or always buffer the whole thing – no "buffer just enough to start playing right away" mode.

And this is even ignoring the codec issue. (If you have an existing H.264 video, should you re-encode it as Theora? Trying to lossily compress something already lossily compressed = awful quality.) I wouldn't use it over a Flash player on a general-audience site until implementations are a bit more mature. Video support is a big, complicated feature, and it needs time to become really great.

(Of course, you could always use <video> as fallback if Flash is missing, rather than the reverse. That would be nice for me, as a Chrome Linux user whose browser tends to crash and burn if I enable plugins.)

Re:Flash (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716120)

Actually, it's a bit of both. Freescale worked with Adobe before the launch of the i.MX515 to get Flash running on it.

Re:Flash (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 4 years ago | (#30720868)

adobe seems to lately be pushing flash to other platforms besides wintel, probably because they see html5 taking over if they do not.

Re:Flash (2, Informative)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716280)

My 3 year old Pentium-M laptop with Ubuntu 9.04 can play 720p nicely using mplayer, but can't play 480p acceptably in flash.

My 3 year old Pentium-M laptop with FreeBSD 8.0 plays flash just fine via the linux-f10-flashplugin10 port -- we don't even get a native libflashplayer.so. Sounds like you have an Ubuntu problem, not a flash problem...

Re:Flash (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 4 years ago | (#30717364)

It will play flash the day one of the companies that need it seriously fund Gnash or any other open-source group trying to make a decent open source implementation.

Re:Flash (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#30717968)

Youtube doesn't play smoothly on my Athlon II X2 3.5ghz. I'm amazed you got it to play acceptably on Windows, because I couldn't. ;)

PS: This seems relevent. Don't DDOS them.

http://camendesign.com/code/video_for_everybody [camendesign.com]

It's a non-javascript solution for embedding video that plays on a wide variety of devices and platforms. (iPhone, OSX, Linux, Windows, Firefox, IEx, Opera, etc.)

Intel and Microsoft's Greatest Fear (1)

mattaw (718560) | more than 4 years ago | (#30715932)

This is what Intel and Microsoft most fear - a perfectly usable ecosystem of increasingly powerful web connected devices that don't need them. At all. At last! M (Note they didn't bother to do a Windows Mobile version - kinda a dead os there)

Re:Intel and Microsoft's Greatest Fear (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30715956)

at last? i strongly suspect the first ecosystem of increasingly powerful web connected devices didn't use intel processors or the windows operating system at all

Re:Intel and Microsoft's Greatest Fear (1)

Arimus (198136) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716596)

Especially as for a long time MS didn't have a reliable tcp/ip stack - you had to use third party stacks.

Also recall a certain Mr Gates knocking the internet and basically saying it will never take off ;) Kind of like his 640k is enough for anyone comment - proof that even successful people frequently place their foot in their mouths.

A more recent quote... (5, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716828)

Personally I prefer the much more recent statements from Mr. Ballmer [usatoday.com] :

There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It's a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I'd prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get.

That foresight - it's eerie. It's like he's got some sort of direct view into the future... Maybe we should call him the Oracle of Redmond.

To be fair (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30718350)

They did make a lot of money. He got that right.

Re:A more recent quote... (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30718752)

I'm not sure what you think he got wrong. Apple has under 2% of the total phone market share (although a bit more than that if you only count Smartphones, and a lot more than that if you do what a lot of analysts have done and redefine Smartphone to mean 'thing like an iPhone' before you do), and they've made a lot of money. Personally, I'd prefer to own the highest margin 2-3% of the market than the lowest-margin 60%; the money's often about the same, and the effort required is a lot lower. I guess that's why I'm not a manager at Microsoft.

Don't blame me. (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30719382)

I [seattlepi.com] didn't [theinquirer.net] mod [washingtonpost.com] it [techworld.com] funny [nytimes.com] .

Re:A more recent quote... (2, Insightful)

mgblst (80109) | more than 4 years ago | (#30719404)

You are right, but since he is talking about having Microsoft OS on those phones, I am pretty sure he is talking about smartphones, since Microsoft only produces OS for smartphones, not for regular mobile phones.

He seems to be confused.

Ooh... (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30719426)

Missed one. [softpedia.com] I guess maybe Bing [bing.com] is useful after all. It's a humor engine.

Re:A more recent quote... (1)

hazydave (96747) | more than 4 years ago | (#30725610)

Only problem... Mr. Ballmer forgot that Microsoft's software is ALSO Smartphone-only. So they're sharing the same 10% (well, a bit less in 2007 when he said this) of the total phone market as Apple. And from the look of things, Apple's market share had grown every year (Android grew faster in the last year, but essentially from nothing), while Microsoft's has fallen, fast (Nokia and RIM are still numbers 1 and 2 in smartphones, world-wide, but they have been losing market share, too... but in a growning market, that can still mean sales increases).

The other thing Mr. Ballmer didn't consider (maybe they shouldn't let him talk so much in public)... that 10% or so of the phone market brings in slightly more than 50% of the sales (based on 2009 sales), by dollar, and nearly 2/3 of the profits. And that's before you look at additional revenue streams like app sales. So you might actually be happy with 2-3%, if that really translates to 20-30% of all smartphone sales. In other words, you might be happy with RIM's annual sales, rather than, say, oh-I-dunno, Windows Mobile's?

The more interesting thing, though, is just how low the whole smartphone thing can fall in price. I don't think Apple's ever going to deliver something in the "free" (with subsidy) category. There are some WinMo phones at that level, though that could be a firesale factor -- they can't sell them otherwise. Microsoft does the WinMo thing the same way they do other things.. they get the OS fees up front, fixed, and let the vendors hash it out in the hardware world. As margins an entry levels fall, this is going to price WinMo out of the market. RIM has been trying to go after consumer sales, but they remain fairly pricey, for phones that just don't compare to the others very well anymore... RIM is really good for a company's ability to push its phone policy on all employees, but there's little to recommend it to individuals. Not sure about Nokia... they're backing both Symbian and Linux right now, but barely known in the US smart phone market. They could certainly go cheaper with Linux.

And then there's Android... that can also go much cheaper... they're already supporting smaller-then-iPhone displays (320x200). The cost of the OS is zero, or perhaps "less than zero" based on Google kickbacks (which may not last forever). There's also the development cost issues... a company developing Android phones for the current smartphone market might save some money using Android on their cheaper phones, even if they're not intended to be full smart phones. This hasn't happened yet, but given how pervasive ARM is in the phone world, it should be possible to put Android on much lower-spec phones.

I'd love to hear Ballmer say something equally silly about the Android OS this year :-)

IDEA! (4, Funny)

clinko (232501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716186)

I have an awesome idea!

Instead of $199 for people that will buy it, lets make it:
- For Children in (um, africa? india? as long as it's not Gadget Geeks...)
- Bright green (or uglier if possible! Think Big!)
- Delayed by 4 years
- Cost Twice as much!

THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!

Re:IDEA! (2, Insightful)

StreetStealth (980200) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716940)

Ouch, man. Ouch.

But warranted.

Re:IDEA! (1)

hiscross (1226636) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716976)

Perfect, like a laptop/tablet is going to change thousands of years of culture. A pacemaker can help a heart live, but only Jesus can change a heart to live free.

Re:IDEA! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30721668)

Dead Jewish Zombies FTW!

Work around Flash (3, Informative)

loudmax (243935) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716320)

The best solution to working around Flash video that I've worked out it to use the Video download helper [mozilla.org] Firefox plugin, then play the videos in Mplayer. It has pretty good support for Youtube and its many imitators. Unfortunately, it doesn't handle copy-protected stuff so it won't work with the full length movies on Youtube or anything on Hulu. It is an extra step to download the video before playing it, but the add-on makes it pretty easy, so I find it worth the hassle if I'm going to watch anything more than a few minutes long.

I haven't seen anything approximate ported to Chrome yet. Hopefully it'll get one soon... or better yet the <Video> tag becomes universally supported even sooner.

Re:Work around Flash (1)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30716728)

With the YouTube HTML5-ifier Chrome extension, YouTube pages are rewritten to use the <video> tag.

If/when Chrome for Linux supports extensions, you're golden, for YouTube at least. The same hack for other sites shouldn't be too hard.

Re:Work around Flash (1)

iammani (1392285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30717664)

I am already using HTML5-ifier in chrome running on linux. Its cool, hardly uses 10% of the resources compared to the flash version.

My only gripes about html5-ifier are that it does not support auto-start yet, ie automatically start playing video on open and that it does not have playlist support, ie at the end of a video start playing the next video on queue. Otherwise its superb!

feel sorry for Sridharan Subramanian... (1)

johnjones (14274) | more than 4 years ago | (#30718904)

I really do feel sorry for him the interview really is terrible

why cant people do interviews...

support js and flash... (1)

Odinlake (1057938) | more than 4 years ago | (#30719256)

...browsing at full speed on the most JavaScript- and Flash-intensive websites and support a large amount of opened tabs?

Dude, my (rather powerfull) desktop comp. doesn't do that.

What fucking idiots!! (1)

randyleepublic (1286320) | more than 4 years ago | (#30719684)

Their tablet gets slashdotted, I go to their website to buy one, and what? It's not even listed as a product!!! In fact there is not even a category of "tablets" listed amongst their offerings. The damn thing is not for sale anywhere. Oh, sure, they'll go far with that one. BTW, anybody want a big bag of Palm Pilots and accesories?

I'll take 5! Right now! (1)

corychristison (951993) | more than 4 years ago | (#30720236)

Seriously, especially if it's not locked down to disallow other operating systems.

I'm not interested in Ubuntu or Chromium OS, I'd like to install whatever flavour or Linux/BSD/${OtherOS} I feel (obviously that means something that will run on ARM, anyway).

I bought an iPod for my wife for that price (8GB model) and it is very restricted and physically smaller than what she actually uses it for (eBook reader via BookShelf and light web browsing).

why so small? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30721740)

ok, seriously, i know tablets and "netbooks" are great for people with gigantic pockets but really i need a keyboard that you can type on. why cant i just get a full sized laptop with an ARM processor (not co-processor!) that will have a really long battery life?! my ARM based cellphone still lasts a week with it's tiny battery, so why cant i have a laptop that lasts a week?!

the industry seems to be more interested in the latest buzzword bullshit instead of actually making shit people want.

Off topic Quesiton about Freescale (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30749384)

Hey guys this is off topic but it concerns freescale and Linux so this is the best place to ask. I'm looking for Codewarrior for the HCS12 that runs on Linux. I've looked on there site but all I find are .exe versions. I need the software for a univserity course and of course because I'm on Linux my profs don't try to help lol.

ya so don't mod this off topic because i know it is but this is a freescale Linux / Chromium question so where better to ask.
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