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ORBX.js: 1080p DRM-Free Video and Cloud Gaming Entirely In JavaScript

timothy posted about a year ago | from the streaming-requires-damming dept.

Graphics 103

An anonymous reader writes "According to Brendan Eich, CTO of Mozilla and the creator of JavaScript, ORBX.js can decode 1080p HD video and support low latency remote graphics entirely in JavaScript, offering a pure JavaScript alternative to VP8/H.264 native code extensions for HTML5 video. Watermarking is used during encoding process for protected IP, rather than relying on local DRM in the browser. Mozilla is also working with OTOY, Autodesk and USC ICT to support emerging technologies through ORBX.js — including light field displays and VR headsets like the Oculus Rift." Writes reader mikejuk: "The problem with all of this is that orbix.js is just a decoder and there is little information on the coder end of the deal. It could be that OTOY will profit big time from coding videos and watermarking them while serving virtual desktops from their GPU cloud. The decoder might be open source but the situation about the rest of the technology is unclear. In the meantime we have to trust that Mozilla, and Brendan Eich in particular, are not being sold a utopian view of a slightly dystopian future."

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Enirely? (0)

TeknoHog (164938) | about a year ago | (#43631485)

Spelling-optional titles and summaries enirely on Slashdot.

Re:Enirely? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43631583)

yep.

Re:Enirely? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43631703)

having words spelt correctly iz hard

Re: Enirely? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43632349)

Shouldn't coder be "encoder" too? Ugh

Re: Enirely? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43636587)

Not necessarily, coding is commonly used, e.g. arithmetic and Huffman coding.

Re: Enirely? (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43650289)

But in the ACTUAL context of this article, yes, it should clearly be "encoder".

No DRM (3, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year ago | (#43631487)

Watermarking, not DRM. This could be huge. OTOY’s GPU cloud approach enables individually watermarking every intra-frame, and according to some of its Hollywood supporters including Ari Emanuel, this may be enough to eliminate the need for DRM.

LOL.

"Hollywood Supporters". Those two words alone are enough to make this something to avoid.

Re:No DRM (3, Interesting)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#43631589)

Multiple people record the stream. Then, they de-watermark it collectively by combining the video files. Where do I miss something?

Re:No DRM (2, Insightful)

Rob_Bryerton (606093) | about a year ago | (#43631711)

Multiple people record the stream. Then, they de-watermark it collectively by combining the video files. Where do I miss something?

Why even bother using this type of stream as a source when a Blu-ray or even a DVD rip* would be easier, quicker, and of superior quality?

*I'd imagine that, even if the stream is 1080p, a DVD rip would be of superior quality due to the fact that the stream would be of limited bit-rate due to being streamed over the Internet. In addition to that, you be re-compressing an already compressed stream, resulting in further degradation.

Please note that I don't advocate piracy: I believe that ships and booty should be acquired in a legal and civilized manner.

Re:No DRM (1)

Buzer (809214) | about a year ago | (#43631767)

*I'd imagine that, even if the stream is 1080p, a DVD rip would be of superior quality due to the fact that the stream would be of limited bit-rate due to being streamed over the Internet. In addition to that, you be re-compressing an already compressed stream, resulting in further degradation.

It depends entirely on the quality of codec, how well encoder is doing his job & how much bandwidth they are actually allocating. I have seen 720p TV broadcasts being encoded even as 2Mbps h264 with very good results (which easily beats DVD). Of course when it's action heavy, you will need higher bitrate.

Re:No DRM (2)

sgt scrub (869860) | about a year ago | (#43631775)

You are assuming media will still be available in those forms. If a way is found to individualize files and rape customers for personal information at the same time, I seriously doubt that type of media will be around for long.

Re:No DRM (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | about a year ago | (#43635979)

If a way is found to individualize files and rape customers for personal information at the same time

Whew... I got scared by your first sentence. Never going to happen. We're safe from rape.

Re:No DRM (1)

Jherek Carnelian (831679) | about a year ago | (#43633015)

I'd imagine that, even if the stream is 1080p, a DVD rip would be of superior quality due to the fact that the stream would be of limited bit-rate due to being streamed over the Internet.

Go to the pirate bay and look for the 720p web-rips of Netflix's "Hemlock Grove" - they are of significantly higher quality than even an original, maximum bitrate DVD could ever achieve. As bandwidth increases and codecs improve (h.265 was just finalized) picture quality is only going to improve from here.

Re:No DRM (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43650387)

*I'd imagine that, even if the stream is 1080p, a DVD rip would be of superior quality due to the fact that the stream would be of limited bit-rate due to being streamed over the Internet. In addition to that, you be re-compressing an already compressed stream, resulting in further degradation.

Not even close, as DVD is an MPEG2 480i encode. These days H.264 @ 9Mbps can get you a 1080p stream of about 80-90% of Blu-Ray quality.

Re:No DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43634323)

There are ways to do collusion resistant fingerprinting that can catch up to c colluders for some predetermined c. If you can hide more information you can get higher c and accuracy.

As a simple example, suppose a file has 1000 bits encoded into it somehow, with each user having a unique random code.
If you and your friend go together and compare your files, there's still ~500 bits you'll both have in common, and thus can't find. If you mess up all the bits you can find to a random value, your combined file will still match to each of your codes with around ~750 bits, way higher than normal.

Re:No DRM (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | about a year ago | (#43632467)

that's peculiar.

I wonder if the OP meant encoder instead of coder.

Re:No DRM (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43650323)

If no one supports Hollywood there is no more budget for Hollywood movies.

And before anyone chimes in with the typical "good, they all suck anyway"... there has to be *something* redeeming about Hollywood content otherwise why the hell does anyone CARE if they use DRM or not!? If that's seriously your position you are no longer logically arguing consumer rights over DRM and are just being a spiteful hater with no real interest in the topic anyway.

bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43631535)

Please stop turning Firefox into a OS. I want my browser back.

Re:bloat (4, Informative)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year ago | (#43631567)

Please stop turning Firefox into a OS. I want my browser back.

Unless I'm missing something, there is no need for any additional code in Firefox or any other browser. Your browser just executes the ORBX.js javascript.

Re:bloat (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43631685)

Yes, you are completely missing the point [wikipedia.org] .

By now, the whole damn OS API is implemented in browsers. But slower. And shittier. And crippled.

s/browser/shell/g; s/tab bar/task bar/g; and you're done. In fact they already went that far, and called it ChromeOS [wikipedia.org] !

In fact they went even further: The browser is not the new OS, but the new machine [emscripten.org] .

Don't believe they went too far? Then feast your eyes at THIS: http://jslinux.org/ [jslinux.org]
Yes, that's right! The actual Linux kernel... running on an actual virtual CPU... actually implemented in JavaScript inside your browser!

If you don't think this path is fucked-up, you're fucked-up.

Re:bloat (1)

arosas (904929) | about a year ago | (#43631731)

I kinda wish I had mod points right now

Re:bloat (2, Insightful)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year ago | (#43631837)

Yes, you are completely missing the point [wikipedia.org] .

By now, the whole damn OS API is implemented in browsers. But slower. And shittier. And crippled.

s/browser/shell/g; s/tab bar/task bar/g; and you're done. In fact they already went that far, and called it ChromeOS [wikipedia.org] !

In fact they went even further: The browser is not the new OS, but the new machine [emscripten.org] .

Don't believe they went too far? Then feast your eyes at THIS: http://jslinux.org/ [jslinux.org]
Yes, that's right! The actual Linux kernel... running on an actual virtual CPU... actually implemented in JavaScript inside your browser!

If you don't think this path is fucked-up, you're fucked-up.

Irrelevant examples are irrelevant.

You use your Web browser to go to a web page and there's a video. How do you play it? Your browser uses some sort of plugin. This is not an example of the "Inner Platform Effect" but simply the most efficient and straight forward way to do it. As for the other examples, yes they are stupid, but irrelevant. All browsers contain a Javascript interpreter and ORBX.js is just another Javascript file. In fact, this *reduces* browser bloat by eliminating the need for a video plugin and instead, just using the Javascript interpreter that already exists in the browser.

Re:bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43633395)

Not sure if that could be seen as reducing browser bloat, javascript implementations tend to burn a lot more system resources then standalone compiled binary plugins do. Reducing the number of files doesn't mean it reduces bloat.

Re:bloat (1)

suy (1908306) | about a year ago | (#43634877)

You use your Web browser to go to a web page and there's a video. How do you play it? Your browser uses some sort of plugin. This is not an example of the "Inner Platform Effect" but simply the most efficient and straight forward way to do it.

I am perfectly aware that for some people (most people?) playing the video embedded in the browser might be the most straightforward way of playing it. For some it might be somewhat challenging finding the "save as" option in the context menu, and deciding a path that later they have to find again, but...

Embedded video players are the worst video player ever. Ever. There, I said it.

I'm following a class in Coursera, and the first thing I do is save the videos as local files and play them with VLC. When I press the spacebar to jot down something, sometimes the video pauses, sometimes an invisible blank character is written in a text field of the page, or some link that has the focus is accidentally clicked.

If the embedded player in the browser can't get right something as simple as toggling the playback, don't get me started on the convenient shortcuts that a video player has to play faster and slower, or going some seconds/minutes/hours forward and backward.

Browsers are nice, and some cool fancy webpages can be done combinating transitions, text, images, and yes, video, but attempting that a browser is going to be a good video player is never going to happen.

Re:bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43636045)

Anything javascript is not the most efficient and straight forward way to do it. The bloat you so call is very little compared to the original bloat of a javascript interpreter. Yes, it exists in the browser, we wish it didn't, because it's bloat.

Different thought: instead of trying to look at what is more efficient in terms of video codecs, why don't you turn around your view and look at why are people implementing javascript things to avoid coding native plugins? Why are companies avoiding as a plague trying to integrate some piece of code with browsers which move so fast you can't even freeze an API because every second it changes somehow?

Maybe the problem highlighted by people sidestepping native code is that we have built a mess of an industry around the concept of delivering and executing software. Instead of patching it it would be wiser to try to figure out how to fix it. But yeah, it's not going to happen (meanwhile "app stores" are filling their pockets with easy to install/update/use software and PC developers are wondering why).

Re:bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43641283)

Yes! Numerous 3rd parties could all make their own way of decoding video for the web. Since they are separate from the browser we could call these 'plugins'. Every plugin could be updating via the manufacturer of said plugin. You may be on to something there is no way this idea could turn bad!

Re:bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43639167)

You use your Web browser to go to a web page and there's a video. How do you play it? Your browser uses some sort of plugin.

To access the capabilities of the machine, like hardware video decoding.

This is not an example of the "Inner Platform Effect" but simply the most efficient and straight forward way to do it.

Compiling a decoder to run in software mode in javascript within a specific web browser is not an efficient or straight forward way to do it.

As for the other examples, yes they are stupid, but irrelevant.

Why do you find them stupid? Why is compiling Linux to javascript to execute withing a browser stupid?

Re:bloat (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43650437)

MOST EFFICIENT? Implementing the whole H.264 decoder in Javascript is going to make Flash video playback look like a perfect implementation in comparison CPU usage-wise.

The *most efficient* way to do it is to use hardware decoding from a GPU (or CPU like Intel Sandy Bridge, etc), which is what most modern computers have been capable of for years anyway. But even MMX/SSE SIMD optimizations (which I would assume are NOT going to be available to "pure" Javascript) would be several times more efficient than even a decent Javascript JIT...

Re:bloat (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43632019)

Yes, the inner platform effect is an anti-pattern, and browsers do represent an example of it to a large extent. But that's not actually a bad thing.

Browsers have become a major way to distribute/run applications and in many ways they are significantly better than other methods. Particularly, web apps are (for the most part) cross-platform, even to obscure platforms. Other pluses are that they are very easy to make accessible, easy for the end-user (or at least third-party extensions) to customize, easy to write, and auto-updating.

The slow evolution of HTML into an application platform is certainly weird, the blending of the document viewer with an application platform has issues, and the legacy in the technology isn't great, but it's still the best chance for a cross-platform application target.

Re:bloat (2)

ancientt (569920) | about a year ago | (#43632427)

Good points, but another key attribute of applications executed in the browser is security. The browser has a consistant security footprint that I trust a lot more than I trust new applications. I may visit hundreds of pages in a day from vendors I have never heard of before, but I'd never be comfortable installing hundreds of applications even if they were more efficient for the same tasks. Most of the time, I trust my browser not to do something bad to my computer regardless of the content and am placing my trust in a single application. Doing the same thing with an equivilant number of applications would be terrifying.

This is the single thing that makes Linux better than any other system for me. I can get practically all the software I want by investigating and trusting a single entity rather than dealing with dozens of different relationships with different levels of investigation and unpredictable levels of trustworthiness. If a browser based system can offer the same wealth of applications at a reasonable speed without serious security issues, then I find the idea quite interesting.

Re:bloat (1)

slew (2918) | about a year ago | (#43634505)

...another key attribute of applications executed in the browser is security. The browser has a consistant security footprint that I trust a lot more than I trust new applications.

I imagine that if we did statistics today on this, not only does much more malware exist in stuffs executed by the browser than from applications that they install, they are also much more likely to get malware from the browser vector than any other vector (because of compromised sites and random surfing).

Sure much of the malware payload isn't pure javascript, but many vulnerablities start there (e.g., xss, csrf, etc) and in the implementations of the "sandboxes" that browsers use to run the malware^H applets/plugins (like java).

I think you trust is misplaced in the current environment.

Re:bloat (1)

ancientt (569920) | about a year ago | (#43636553)

I wouldn't disagree that more malware exists in web content, but then I'm not suggesting the ecosystem is perfectly safe. The security difference between installing an independant application for each thing and running them all through a single application is significant.

Is IE10 safe? Is FF safe? Is Opera safe? Is Safari safe? Is Chrome safe? Is Flash safe? Is Silverlight safe? Is Java safe?

You can have a discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of the security models of each. You can say "No" to every one or mix your answers but the point is that you can make the decision. If you were to have to do the same thing for all the applications you can run in them, you'd never be able to complete the process.

Re:bloat (1)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#43634507)

This is the single thing that makes Linux better than any other system for me. I can get practically all the software I want by investigating and trusting a single entity rather than dealing with dozens of different relationships with different levels of investigation and unpredictable levels of trustworthiness.

Please do not conflate this discussion with a digression into the merits and demerits of walled gardens.

Thank you.

Re:bloat (1)

ancientt (569920) | about a year ago | (#43636477)

I understand why you'd want to avoid that, but a walled garden is really where you can't choose to install software outside the specific vendor and that's obviously not what I was talking about. Considering the positive and negative aspects of security for the system in TFA is relevant isn't it?

Re:bloat (1)

adolf (21054) | about a year ago | (#43637099)

No.

Re:bloat (1)

exomondo (1725132) | about a year ago | (#43637873)

The browser has a consistant security footprint that I trust a lot more than I trust new applications.

What do you mean by a 'consistent security footprint'?

Re:bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43632197)

Just because something is allowable by a technology does not mean it is the path it will go down. I can use goto in C++. Would I ever? Hell no. You can compile the Linux kernel to JS and run it in a browser. Would I ever use it? Hell no, but I like more efficient JS and better APIs. To each their own, I guess.

Re:bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43632649)

This post is so stupid, it's kind of depressing it's modded so highly.

A browser is supposed to execute javascript. What that javascript does is not something the browser devs decide. So what if there's a linux kernel in JS out there? It's not like the existence of it in any way shape or form hinders my ability to do what I want to do. As the gp pointed out, it's not like this is in the damn browser, it's just JS. Turing complete languages do turing complete things, get over it.

Re:bloat (1)

houghi (78078) | about a year ago | (#43633273)

Firefox even disregards the hosts file.
Sure, you can disable it, but why would it be ignioring it in the first place? Why would it have DNS cache and looking up things itself. Probably just so it is faster on paper then some other browser. Well, with those miliseconds gained, please deduct the hours I spend trying to figure out what the fuck went wrong when I could not get to localhost or any machine that was in my hosts file.

So, please stop adding shit to the browser that should belong in add-ons (if somebody wants them) or at least make it easier then to go through the about:config. Why not spend some time on making those settings more accessible?

Oh, a search shows that all browsers do this. Probably so we don't use mvps [mvps.org] or other similar sites.

Re: bloat (1)

shitzu (931108) | about a year ago | (#43633389)

Haven't noticed it. I use hosts files constantly to test that a site works correctly on a name based virtual server before changing the DNS and it has always worked. Granted - i use FF on OSX and you are probably talking about Win.

Re: bloat (1)

omfgnosis (963606) | about a year ago | (#43642209)

It doesn't ignore it on Windows either. And I'd recommend testing your sites in Windows FF as well, they're not always quite the same.

Re:bloat (2)

WoOS (28173) | about a year ago | (#43633497)

Yes 'just' execute ORBX.js. And if ORBX.js will work as well the the pdf.js Firefox has started to use instead of arcoread, I will soon have to use another browser to see content besides HTML more than half of the time.

Javascript is slow and insecure. There is a reason I use noscript. I don't want every application re-implemented in Javascript and the browser using it instead of native applications just because it is possible.

Re:bloat (1)

luke923 (778953) | about a year ago | (#43631581)

It was already bloated before it went the OS route.

Re: bloat (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43631593)

They INVENTED JavaScript and are single handedly responsible for us not being locked into MS's 'vision' of the net - without costing you a cent. Give them a break.

Re: bloat (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year ago | (#43631611)

Actually Netscape invented JavaScript. Mozilla got the code from Netscape (but did a more or less complete rewrite anyway because that code was too messy), but they are a different organization.

Re: bloat (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43631803)

Actually Netscape invented JavaScript. Mozilla got the code from Netscape (but did a more or less complete rewrite anyway

Actually actually the JavaScript interpreter is one of the few components from Netscape that they didn't rewrite (although it has of course had plenty of development over the years since then).

Re: bloat (4, Informative)

SuperAlgae (953330) | about a year ago | (#43632199)

From wikipedia...
"Eich is best known for his work on Netscape and Mozilla. He started work at Netscape Communications Corporation in April 1995, working on JavaScript (originally called Mocha, then called LiveScript) for the Netscape Navigator web browser. He then helped found mozilla.org in early 1998, serving as chief architect."

Since Eich both invented the language and helped found Mozilla, it seems like a pretty fair statement to say they (the Firefox/Moziilla team led by Eich) invented javascript.

Also note that he actually INVENTED javascript. He didn't just write an implementation of it. He is the original creator of the language itself.

Re: bloat (0)

bios10h (323061) | about a year ago | (#43635601)

Oh yeah? well he should be shot. :)

Re: bloat (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43650473)

That I can't disagree with (well, not literally, of course :)

It's so ironic that Javascript and HTML/XML form not only the basis of the modern WWW but are GAINING in popularity for "desktop" applications, when they comprise some of the most ridiculous and/or inefficient code and data descriptions someone could come up with. And even more ironic when people use XML as a data format with Javascript, since most Javascript XML parsers are insanely horrible in terms of performance (hence JSON was born). Really, the only reason they are still used is that CPU and RAM specs have so far outpaced software development that no one seems to give a shit any more about performance...

Re: bloat (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year ago | (#43631657)

They INVENTED JavaScript and are single handedly responsible for us not being locked into MS's 'vision' of the net - without costing you a cent. Give them a break.

Except for the fact that every day I encounter websites that do not display properly and/or are non-functional in any browser other than Internet Explorer.. Despite the popularity of Firefox and Chrome, we are still very much locked into "Microsoft's vision of the net"

As for giving them a break, I don't think so. After using Firefox for several years, my wife, the typical clueless nontechnical user, switched to Internet Explorer. Partly because it "worked better" on the websites she visits most often and partly because she updated to the latest release of Firefox and suddenly found that Firefox was "broken" -- some features she liked and used frequently were missing.

Re: bloat (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43631737)

Of all the sites I use on the web, the only ones Im locked to IE are my email app thru my business and the CRM system. (IE 10 - no legacy need) other than that. I havent needed IE for anything else in years now. I am not saying there are not times where your wifes situation are recomended. However in my case, i took everyone I know off IE close a decade ago now and have not heard any complaints.

Re: bloat (4, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#43632451)

I left Firefox too for a long time too.

I am typing this on Firefox 17 ESR because I do not like change that often when it breaks things, but it is much better thant Firefox 4. Versions 4 through 8 were really terrible and I do not blame his wife for switching.

My exwife used IE 6 right until IE 7 came out. I loaded up Firefox 2 and she was shocked how much better it was. She is not a loyalist and thinks IE is crap. Point being is that browsers and things change. Some people use Firefox out of habbit like some IE users now and wont change. Some like me use the best tool.

2 years ago IE 9 was the best browser. Secure, supported decent HTML 5, quick etc. Then Chrome was the better one. Now I find Firefox improving as it is no longer a bloated pig that breaks ever release and is OK. Once someone leaves due to performance the image is tarnished just like yours is with IE. Very hard to get people to switch back.

Re: bloat (1)

houghi (78078) | about a year ago | (#43633313)

The problem with what you do is compare the browsers with what is out there. What you should do is compare it with what you want and then you start to realize that Firefox is a lot of crap. The Firefox developers decide too often what I should instead of what I want.

I run several different DISPLAYS, so I am forced to use different profiles, otherwise the second one does not start. I have to look for a workaround so it correctly uses my hosts file.

My machine does DNS, so there is NO need to do it yourself. Almost any program can be opened twice. (When you run firefox a second time, you just open a new window) Yet with Firefox this is not possible. Not on a second DISPLAY.

Sure there will be some excuses as to why, but I am not interested in excuses or explanations. I am interested in results.
1) Throw out everything DNS related
2) Let me run a second instance (not a second window) of the program

There are many more issues, yet I wanted to keep it relative short.

When comparing it to other browsers, it is the least crap and apparently that is a high enough standard nowadays. Woot for mediocrity.

Re: bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43633483)

I don't get why you would need a different instance for different DISPLAYS. You know, you can look at different websites on different DISPLAYS even if you are using the same instance. Why do you need separate instances to look at websites on different DISPLAYS???

Re: bloat (1)

Vegemeister (1259976) | about a year ago | (#43633901)

I think the CAPS are meaningful. Parent is talking about the X11 "DISPLAY" environment variable. If you have more monitors than you can connect to one video card, you can either have hardware acceleration or all physical screens on the same DISPLAY. Or at least that was the case the last time I looked into it.

Re: bloat (1)

Vegemeister (1259976) | about a year ago | (#43633911)

Use Firefox sync to keep your profiles the same?

Re: bloat (2)

H0p313ss (811249) | about a year ago | (#43631755)

Except for the fact that every day I encounter websites that do not display properly and/or are non-functional in any browser other than Internet Explorer.. Despite the popularity of Firefox and Chrome, we are still very much locked into "Microsoft's vision of the net"

I am a professional software developer for a fortune 500 company, all the the projects I've been on for the past 14 years have been web related in one way or another.

If you were any fuller of shit you would simply explode.

Re: bloat (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | about a year ago | (#43631799)

Except for the fact that every day I encounter websites that do not display properly and/or are non-functional in any browser other than Internet Explorer.. Despite the popularity of Firefox and Chrome, we are still very much locked into "Microsoft's vision of the net"

I am a professional software developer for a fortune 500 company, all the the projects I've been on for the past 14 years have been web related in one way or another.

If you were any fuller of shit you would simply explode.

I see . . . and so I am trapped in some sort of alternate universe and all those websites I have encountered which do not function properly in Firefox, but work just fine in Internet Explorer don't actually exist.

You sir, are the one who is full of shit.

Re: bloat (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43631947)

I see . . . and so I am trapped in some sort of alternate universe and all those websites I have encountered which do not function properly in Firefox, but work just fine in Internet Explorer don't actually exist.

GP's piss-poor arguing skills aside, I haven't seen a not-functional-in-Firefox website in years. What's the most egregious example you can provide?

Re: bloat (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | about a year ago | (#43632299)

I see . . . and so I am trapped in some sort of alternate universe and all those websites I have encountered which do not function properly in Firefox, but work just fine in Internet Explorer don't actually exist.

GP's piss-poor arguing skills aside, I haven't seen a not-functional-in-Firefox website in years. What's the most egregious example you can provide?

You won't get an answer, those the vast majority of websites actually work better with Chrome and Firefox then they do with IE. Unless of course they were meant to only work with IE, which means that they were not really meant for public use anyway.

Re: bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43632477)

I do IT for a business with this problem. The core of our business relies on a product which doesn't support anything but IE and doesn't yet officially support IE10 (I can use it, but I'm the only one in our organization that does in part because I have sufficient experience to overcome the hurdles of getting it to work and mostly because I don't perform the core tasks of the organization.) We also suffer in part due to dealing with a federal agency which has a site that they don't support for anything but IE7, 8 or 9. I have long been frustrated that they don't support FF, Opera, Safari or Chrome, but now that they aren't even keeping up with IE, I've had more than a few ranting moments. (Again, I can make it work in IE10, but it is "unsupported" and I can't make it work so far in any other browser.) Then there is the contract system we're locked into which has the same issue. (They're working hard to become compatible with Apple products which actually will make them work in the others as well.. but after five years of waiting I'm not holding my breath.) Then there is a product system we rely on that has the same issue and even I can't make the stupid system work in IE10 or any non-IE browser.

I'm not one of the previous posters, but I can say that our business has suffered for the lack of cross compatibility. The biggest symptom of the problem is reliance on ActiveX, but the real problem is companies that hire the cheapest developers as a rule and lock themselves into supporting applications written by novices who don't have a clue how to develop outside of the Microsoft tools they put on their resume.

At the end of the day we get the job done and mostly well, but for the next few years at least, we'll keep suffering. I'd love to name the names but even anonymous, the list of specifics would be enough to identify me, the company, the products, the related agencies and companies and we have a policy that would make that officially reasonable grounds for termination. Yeah, it is stupid. Yes I hate that part of my job, but there are enough good parts and I'm in a position to fix some of it, so it balances out most days.

For home users I have the opposite experience. I install Firefox (or Chrome) with Adblock Plus, LastPass and Xmarks, show the how to use it and they never want to deal with IE again.

Re: bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43645023)

...written by novices who don't have a clue how to develop outside of the Microsoft tools they put on their resume.

I think that hits the nail on the head. Last time I was looking for a job I was repeatedly told that my core understanding of Microsoft wasn't sufficient to be a developer for companies who are not Microsoft. WPF and .Net are great...I've used them in several jobs, internships and at home...but I am no where near being an expert on them. The first thing I do when I start programming in .Net is fire up stack overflow because I know I'm going to be asking a bunch of easy questions about syntax, best practices, etc.

Unfortunately, .Net manages to be a beautiful framework that is easy to understand and allows you to prototype things extremely rapidly. A knowledgeable, competent programmer using a .Net language can do amazing things. There's just a huge noise:signal ratio when it comes to bad developers:good developers.

Re: bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43633055)

Short list of sites that are IE only off the top of my head:
Target's (target.com) employee website.
The UK's welfare website.
Oracle's peoplesoft.
Filenet (Document archival, workflow)

Re: bloat (1)

omfgnosis (963606) | about a year ago | (#43642275)

I haven't looked at the others, but target.com seems fine at first glance on Safari 6.

Re: bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43640033)

SSRS2008 tile view, most enterprise switch web administration pages from most vendors, first few generations of web based CRM, certain school student management systems (staff or student perspectives/tools), first few generations of web based document version control, anything with ActiveX (security cameras, asian and some european banks, government portals)...

Re: bloat (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43631913)

I am a professional software developer for a fortune 500 company, all the the projects I've been on for the past 14 years have been web related in one way or another.

Good, then you'll be able to present a reasonable and well-put argument to refu--

If you were any fuller of shit you would simply explode.

Aw.

Re: bloat (1)

H0p313ss (811249) | about a year ago | (#43632291)

It simply wasn't worth the effort. There's just no point in arguing with someone who's making it all up.

Re: bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43638053)

Well you obviously put in the effort to post initially, and then put in a number of other replies. Surely somebody who knows what they are talking about can easily put up a well-reasoned and factual reply instead of just profanity and name-calling. All your post shows is that his assertion made you angry.

Re: bloat (1)

Alex Belits (437) | about a year ago | (#43632021)

I call bullshit on that.

Re: bloat (1)

SuperAlgae (953330) | about a year ago | (#43632229)

I almost never use IE and I haven't found a site in years that required it to work well (barring some internal corporate crap).

I do agree that Firefox went through a rough spot by jumping into a rapid release cycle without preparing enough for the challenges that brings. However, they seem to have gotten things working pretty smoothly now. There are frequent updates, but I no longer see things breaking like I did when they first started it.

Re: bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43632417)

Wait till you see "Australis" Firefox. Mark my words.

Re: bloat (1)

Goaway (82658) | about a year ago | (#43632421)

Check your timezone settings - you seem to have left them about ten years into the past.

Re: bloat (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about a year ago | (#43632469)

Care to share the sites?

I remember those dark days but besides the British ministry of health and welfare that requires its applicants to use IE 6 I no of none and I mean none on the net. Work it is different as 85% of corps love crappy ancient software because they can standardize on it and never spend money to change something unless the accountants see a way it can boost the shareprice.

Even at my work my coworkers use IE 9 and it works with 90% of our portals. Chrome bitches about our portal system with a warning box but it still renders fine. We have old stuff in the office too. Thank God for Firefox and Chrome.

With tablets going into the workplace I envision the following decade will be about ripping out the ancient proprietry stuff like MS and moving them into virtualization servers accissible by a webkit browser and open HTML 5 apps by decades end. Microsoft is not there yet with Windows 8 and the surface, but I can imagine that will change rapidly as apps that run on the big 3 will come out and Windows 9 will be very much improved and can run tablet style and cloud enabled so you can get rid of your while I.T. department and go cloud.

Re: bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43638081)

moving them into virtualization servers accissible by a webkit browser

Awesome, now what about gecko, blink and trident? Or should we standardize on webkit and create yet another implementation-specific dependency rather than standardizing on standards?

Re: bloat (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about a year ago | (#43650495)

Except for the fact that every day I encounter websites that do not display properly and/or are non-functional in any browser other than Internet Explorer.. Despite the popularity of Firefox and Chrome, we are still very much locked into "Microsoft's vision of the net"

Ok, that is just absurd. With the latest generation of browsers I almost never see any compatibility issues. I use Chrome and Safari for Microsoft Outlook Web Access and they work perfectly for me. So Microsoft is locking people in when their flagship web-based (and very complex) product works fine on all browsers?

Re:bloat (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | about a year ago | (#43631601)

It's a cross platform OS, what's not to like. SQUEE at the first part of the summary, AWW at the second part. What a letdown.

Re:bloat (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year ago | (#43631631)

Firefox is becoming the Emacs of web browsers.

Re:bloat (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#43631655)

Firefox is becoming the Emacs of web browsers.

Is that good or bad?

Re:bloat (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43631765)

Good. Unless you're a vi user.

Re:bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43631713)

What would make you think, other browsers are better? Modern web browsers are bloated by definition.

Re:bloat (1, Funny)

infogulch (1838658) | about a year ago | (#43631715)

So, that means chrome is vim, and IE is notepad... sounds about right.

Re:bloat (0)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43631739)

wait a minute. I actually have a use for notepad

Re:bloat (0)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#43631961)

IE has uses too. Downloading Chrome or Firefox, and, uh...

Re:bloat (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43632205)

thats what thumbdrives are foe. dont even need to load IE for firefox or chrome downloads, load the version on the tumbdrive and it auto updates to the new version!

Re:bloat (1)

Vegemeister (1259976) | about a year ago | (#43633919)

If we go by memory footprint, Chrome is Eclipse.

Re:bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43634243)

So soon Firefox will have everything, except a decent web browser?

Re:bloat (1)

amorsen (7485) | about a year ago | (#43637385)

So soon Firefox will have everything, except a decent web browser?

Just install the Lynx Addon [mozilla.org]

Re:bloat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43632147)

Please stop using JavaScript, ActiveX or any poorly supported client side scripting language! It's fine that we are working on a cloud based graphics engine and all that but please for the love of god create something that wont require a developer to test their system on 10 different browsers / version types before it goes public.

just what the world needed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43631639)

just what the world needed another codec...

Name conflict (1)

Tyler Eaves (344284) | about a year ago | (#43632129)

Someone dropped the ball big time on the name. There is already a software company called ORBX...they make flight sim addons.

Standard 'pump and dump' con (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43632311)

Investors in high technology are almost always idiots with no education in the fundamentals. Rather than take an informed approach based on carefully gained knowledge, they try to 'smell' success and are very vulnerable to signs of enthusiasm from industry 'figures' like 'Eich'.

It is child's play to create video decoders that SEEM to work great on very carefully chosen video material. An analogue would be the early colour ink-jet printers that seemed to create excellent photos in the store, when the manufacture provided JPG files were printed, but were actually lousy when it came to the types of photos real users wish to create hard-copies from.

X264 is the planet's best H264 encoder by a massive margin, and is free and open-source. The development team is excellent at examining the quality of competing encoders, and showing the reality of their performance. So, I just know Brendan Eich has provided some of the x264 team with access to the OTOY encoder/decoder, so that people we trust can verify the claims. WAIT... I am certain Eich has most certainly NOT done any such thing.

This is a 'pump and dump' con project at its most crude. Some well respected (snigger snigger) industry figure talks up a tech he 'claims' to be independent of (yeah, no chance he owns shares in OTOY- no chance at all). How many times does this need to play out. Magic compression schemes for file storage. Magic holographic storage disks. Magic new battery technologies.

Know what all these cons have in common? Wishful thinking by badly educated 'nerds' leading to people actually believing such publicity. The very best example of this was with the worst and most hopeless semiconductor project of all time, Intel's Larrabee GPU, on which Intel spent more than AMD's and Nvidia's total GPU R+D combined, and yet the very design of the Larrabee meant it could only have ever have been the monumental failure that it was. Intel's (very very expensive) engineers didn't know the first thing about proper GPU hardware, and Mozilla's chumps have even less knowledge of usable video encoders.

The Mozilla company is so technically incompetent, it doesn't even know how to assign a separate thread to the standard GUI elements of a window, so that Firefox can still stay 'responsive' while other code paths are busy processing application code. So incompetent, that they do not know how to prevent a 'busy' Firefox from stealing the entire resources of the host computer. So incompetent that they've never even heard of 'memory management'. Believe me, looking to these clowns for 'breakthroughs' in any area of the industry is just hilarious.

Re:Standard 'pump and dump' con (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43632591)

The Mozilla company is so technically incompetent, it doesn't even know how to assign a separate thread to the standard GUI elements of a window, so that Firefox can still stay 'responsive' while other code paths are busy processing application code.

Mozilla is as much a collective community of volunteer programmers as it is a company. This means it can include you, so you're welcome to contribute a patch to this bug. [mozilla.org]

So incompetent that they've never even heard of 'memory management'.

Now that you've thrown away all your credibility [mozilla.org] , I can safely say:

Believe me

No thanks.

Re:Standard 'pump and dump' con (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43633525)

Although you make some points your article would be much better if it wasn't from an Anonymous Coward so we could check you are not affiliated to a competitor of ORBX. It might have also kept you from going into full rant mode at the end, which weakens your post.

No standardized format? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43632405)

How do you download a movie? How do you know you will still be able to play it in the future? How do you encode? As Brendan Eich says himself, "encoders are still mystery-meat". Well I'm not eating it unless they tell me what it is.

Javascipt + Gaming = Not gaming (1)

TrollstonButtersbean (2890693) | about a year ago | (#43632543)

And javascript wasn't designed to be the screwed up obfuscation platform we see it used as today In a decent world, someone will time travel into the past to warn young Brendan Eich that his future self will be an evil Hitler version of himself with false ideals that will misuse the inventions of the younger self to promote bizarre uses in conflict with the original intent. Yes this is a real-life time paradox where ones future-self is subverting positive ideas of their younger self.

Watermarking is Stupid (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year ago | (#43632679)

Watermarking is worse than DRM. Another person has already spelled out how to defang it - compare multiple copies and fuzz the parts that are different.

But the huge downside for the vast majority of regular joes is that it makes all of the customers responsible for "protecting" the videos they watch. If anyone hacks them or snoops the download stream or even infiltrates the server transmitting the video and releases their copy into the wild, that innocent viewer is now implicitly responsible for that piracy. It becomes a guilty until proven innocent situation.

No way am I going to watch a streaming movie, much less pay for it, if it means I have to now worry about the ultra-litigious MAFIAA coming after me with multi-million dollar copyright infringement lawsuits because I didn't know my PC was infected with a virus designed to pilfer the videos I watch.

Re:Watermarking is Stupid (1)

HiThere (15173) | about a year ago | (#43635609)

I disagree. I will, however, admit that SOME implementations of water-marking are worse ins SEVERAL ways than SOME implementations of DRM.

Consider, however, that watermarking should not prevent someone 20-50 years from now from reading & displaying the file. In that sense it is much less bad, in almost all implementations. (The ones that aren't less bad in that way contain some other feature that would properly be called either encryption or DRM.)

Re:Watermarking is Stupid (1)

LostMyBeaver (1226054) | about a year ago | (#43651123)

I wrote an internal paper in at an old job suggesting a method of water marking that would be invisible by the viewer, require almost no CPU performance requirement and also would survive multiple generations of re-encoding and scaling. Water marking is not what you think it is.

As an example what I suggested would take an H.264 file that is already encoded and alter each macro block only slightly so that there would be a slight (not noticeable) phase shift in the chroma planes. It would be progressive towards 16 -20 "hot spots" and would require no encoding since the phase shift can be implemented by simply altering the CABAC or CAVLC just by a little bit. It could in theory increase the file size by several bits per hour, but that was a fair trade-off in my opinion. The end result would be a video that is entirely the same to the viewer.. after all, the chroma planes are such poor quality compared to the luma with that it would not deteriorate the viewer's experience at all, it would be able to be done while delivering the file using a simple change to the web server delivering the file and it would survive multiple generations allowing the original purchaser's account number to be identified from the file even after scaling and re-encoding.

In fact, I did a demo of this tech on a real-time streamer which was pretty cool. We set up a demo of 9 MPEG-2 transport stream remultiplexers in a fashion which appeared to be geographic oriented and streamed television signals. We then produced from those 9 MPEG-2 remultiplexers 512 different multicast streams. We then altered the PMT (program map table) for the viewers of the signal in a geographic region to selectively choose the PID of different streams. Then we went to the pirate bay and waited for certain water marked TV shows to appear. They had been ripped and sometimes re-encoded for iPhone. Once we knew the region it came from, we changed the geographic regions to be local to the region which was represented by the video we downloaded. Rinse and repeat until such time as we narrowed the signal to individual house numbers, the third week. You might be surprised to hear it, but we clearly identified and verified the user which had been ripping the shows. We asked him to stop and that was the end of it.

What was the benefit of this? Easy, we managed to create a relatively simple system that could be employed to identify people pirating shows and ask them to stop. The other end result, the content providers backed off their insistence that we employ DRM and content protection. Using the same technology for video on demand allows users to view their shows on web browsers without DRM.

In case you're wondering how complex this was... it took me about 4 days to implement the stream parser, about another day and a half to implement the CABAC/CAVLC tweaker and about two weeks testing internally before it could be trialed. Took a little longer on the EIT inserter as it wasn't really meant to function on a fine scale regional system, but that was just a matter of some database work.

I have also worked on some DRM systems designed to be entirely non-intrusive. That is a much greater challenge since DRM should be hard to crack and should also allow users that do have rights to use the files without noticing the DRM. As you might notice, it almost certainly can't be done. So I focused instead on water marking in such a way that there's no chance it would ever degrade the viewing experience.

I hate both types of rights management. But, if people like myself don't try to solve the problem in such a way that the legitimate user isn't impacted, then the idiots in hollywood will do it in ways where they are.

Perfect! Now I just need to upgrade my computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43636173)

To one that can not only decode h264 in software, but in a language that -- despite ludicrous amounts of effort having been wasted on speeding it up -- is still ridiculously inefficient compared even to the optimised native code h264 decoders that are too slow to handle HD video on my primary computer.

Which is why we have hardware decoders. Which work very nicely for playing back HD video without my having to waste money on a new computer to replace this one that works perfectly well and consumes significantly less power than the kind of monstrosity that the Firefox developers are apparently using.

Seriously, what is with this obsession with reimplementing everything with a technology that is basically the worst possible choice for 99% of the things it is now being abused to do?

Finally (1)

LostMyBeaver (1226054) | about a year ago | (#43643799)

I started a project on this nearly 2 years ago within my company to make use of WebCL as a means for providing real-time video coding and decoding. The problem I faced more than anything else at the time was audio synchronization. I also made a bunch of noise about this with regards to the stupid video tag being codec dependent. My implementation however was purely H.264 at the time.

I'm glad to see someone taking this serious. This has many options including providing support for DRM for vendors who want to use it without forcing DRM into the W3C standards. As I said... about damn time.
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