Open Source Proponents Criticize Apple And Google For Hypocrisy

Mozilla open source evangelist Chris Blizzard is blasting Google and Apple for not living up to the open source standards of HTML5. Specifically, he took Apple to task for their new “HTML Showcase” site.

“These web standards are open, reliable, highly secure, and efficient,” the site says. “The demos below show how the latest version of Apple s Safari web browser, new Macs, and new Apple mobile devices all support the capabilities of HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript.”

And yet the site is not compatible with Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. “That s right,” writes Blizzard. “If you re not on Safari, then F*** You. Aside from the incendiary language I ve used to help you understand how it feels the real underlying message here is that if you don t have access to Safari then you must not have access to HTML5. Wait, only Safari supports HTML5 Nope, lots of browsers do. A huge percentage of the world does have access to standards like HTML5.”

“Basically they are saying internally ‘omg, no one thinks we support html5, we need to prove them otherwise! We ll put up tests! Demos! The world will then know and we can go back to being perceived as actually leading the WebKit project which is also made of puppies and rainbows!'” he adds. “So you end up with sites like this. Sites that entirely miss the point of the web, interoperability, standards and html5. The demos that they put up are just filled with stuff that Apple made up, aren t part of HTML5 and are only now getting to the standards process.”

As Blizzard sees it the HTML5 moniker has been thrown around too loosely, which he mostly blames on Google. “The big problem is that html5 has come to mean a lot of things, mostly thanks to Google, said Blizzard. They ve basically been riding that and flogging it and making it their own. (That and [Chrome] performance simple, great marketing messaging. I appreciate it, even if the dishonesty of it makes my blood boil).”

“It s a shame that the main victim here turns out to be Apple, given that the king of these tactics is Google, he adds, But hey, Apple managed to come out with something that was so brash and misleading it deserves a good tear-down.”

Goggle said that the Native Client and the Chrome Store were originally part of HTML5, but eventually they became exclusive to the Chrome browser. Interestingly, with all this criticism Blizzard has for Apple and Google missing the point with HTML5, he says that Microsoft is getting it right.

“The most important aspect of HTML5 isn t the new stuff like video and canvas (which Safari and Firefox have both been shipping for years). It s actually the honest-to-god promise of interoperability,” writes Blizzard. “Even stodgy old Microsoft, who has been doing their best to hold back the web for nearly a decade, understands this and you ll see it throughout their marketing for IE9. (Their marketing phrase is ‘same markup’ watch for it and you ll see it everywhere in their messaging). The idea that the same markup, even with mistakes, will be rendered exactly the same. HTML5 represents the chance for browsers to work together and find common ground.”

Source: The Register

Zynga Sets Out For FrontierVille

Zynga announced today that it is launching FrontierVille. This wild west-themed social game is much like FarmVille, but features the option to control a whole virtual family of avatars and the ability to help others on their farms. The game also includes more variables, like wildlife encounters, varying weather, and vegetation growth.

FrontierVille gives users creative new ways to connect with people around the world while bringing out the pioneering spirit in all of us,” said Brian Reynolds, Zynga’s chief game designer. “FrontierVille is Oregon Trail meets Little House on the Prairie meets FarmVille.”

Experience FrontierVille for yourself at facebook.com/frontierville/ {link no longer active}.

Red Dead Redeemed By Marketing?

Red Dead Redemption has exceeded initial expectations, having moved five million units in a few weeks, with some considering it Take-Two’s next big franchise along with Grand Theft Auto. Contributing to this success, many think, is the high profile ad campaign the game saw.

“We note that RDR has displayed greater staying power, and remains in the top 10 of certain key online retailer sales lists, said Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter. Apart from the game s high Metacritic score, management attributed a large portion of the game s success to its marketing campaign. We noted multiple prominent billboards throughout Los Angeles promoting RDR, in addition to print ads, TV commercials, and a TV special.

“As a result of the success of the RDR campaign, Take-Two will focus more on marketing for future high profile releases, including Mafia II,” Pachter noted.

Source: IndustryGamers  {link no longer active}

Mac MIA At WWDC?

For a long time, the Macintosh line was at the forefront of Apple’s product lineup, but the winds have definitely shifted. There was nary a mention of Mac during Steve Jobs’ keynote, not even of the newest version of the Safari browser leaving many wondering if Apple isn’t shortchanging their own computer.

Other circumstantial evidence suggesting that Apple is minimizing the Mac comes from comments by Jobs indicating that mobile devices would supplant traditional computers (including Mac); also, the Mac category at the Apple Design Awards was dropped.

“Jobs’ team has made it perfectly clear in shareholder and analyst meetings, as well as during recent product launches, that Apple is focusing on mobile gadgets,” writes Jeff Bertolucci. “While that strategy may include the MacBook laptop, the Mac desktop is definitely the odd device out.”

Source: PC World

Atlus Teams With Trine Developer

Atlus today announced that it has signed a publishing deal with Frozenbyte. Atlus will publish the next title from the developer of Shadowgrounds and Trine, with more details to be revealed at E3 2010.

“In a short amount of time, Frozenbyte has established itself as a premiere international developer, delivering original, critically-acclaimed interactive entertainment,” stated Tim Pivnicny, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Atlus. “Their last release, the cooperative physics-based action-platformer Trine, achieved arguably more acclaim and success than anybody expected, and left an indelible mark on the industry as to how new technology can help completely redefine a classic gaming genre. We’re incredibly excited for the opportunity to help them bring their next impressive project to the international gaming community.”

“We couldn’t be happier signing our new game with Atlus. As an independent developer we felt that partnering with a publisher who is flexible and shares our vision of the game was the best way to bring the game out to a large audience,” said Lauri Hyvarinen, CEO of Frozenbyte. “We can’t wait to unveil the mystery – I’m confident that we’re creating one of the best titles of 2011!”

Apple Offers Reversal On Pulse

The New York Times recently issued an objection to Apple over its Pulse app, which aggregated news from multiple sources including the New York Times. Apple, however, has put the app back up after briefly taking it down.

The specific objections deal with having the New York Times as one of the five default RSS feeds. They also aren’t fond that the app costs $4.99, violating their non-commercial license for the feed, and they don’t like that the app launches the full stories from links in the app instead of an external browser.

This move surprised many, as it is not uncommon for these RSS readers to be supported with ads or fees, and they also drive traffic to the home sites. Developer Kothari said there was an option to open the news link in the Safari browser, which causes iPad to close the Pulse app.

When asked if it was unusual that the New York Times would ask to be removed when some media sites would pay for the privilege, Kothari responded, “We thought so too, but we are happy to change if people think otherwise.”

Source: Wired

GameStop Running Pre-Order Bonus For Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood

GameStop recently announced that it will be giving out a pre-order bonus for Ubisoft’s Assassin s Creed Brotherhood. For a limited time, those who pre-order the game will receive an Assassin s Creed Brotherhood poster signed by the development team.

Additionally, the Harlequin character is available as a download for those who preorder the game. Described as a walking nightmare, it is available as a multiplayer character exclusively through GameStop.

The Assassin s Creed Brotherhood poster will be available while supplies last, and only for customers who pre-order in-store and not online. Assassin s Creed Brotherhood will release this holiday season.

Take-Two: BioShock ‘Doesn’t Necessarily Have To Be At 2K Marin’

While the first BioShock was developed at Irrational Games (then 2K Boston) and BioShock 2 was made at 2K Marin, it seems the developer of the next BioShock may shift again. When asked what the development of X-Com at 2K Marin meant for the BioShock franchise, Take-Two Chairman Strauss Zelnick seemed open to having a new developer work on it.

“We think BioShock is still one of the most important franchises in the industry,” said Zelnick. “We do intend to support it; doesn’t necessarily have to be at 2K Marin, but we do intend to support the franchise. First and foremost, we’re focused on downloadable content. We intend to continue to support BioShock 2 with further downloadable content. We think the franchise has a long life indeed.”

Take-Two made it clear that they weren’t entirely pleased with BioShock 2. While the game made a profit and saw many good reviews, the publisher said sales “slowed down sooner than we had expected.” While over 3 million copies of the game shipped, Take-Two provided no updated sales number.

Source: IGN

AdMob Being Locked Out Of iPhone?

While Google remains the primary search engine on the iPhone, they couldn’t have been pleased with the latest release of the developer version of iOS4. It seems the new developer agreement has been modified to disallow third parties, including Google’s newly acquired AdMob subsidiary, to share ad analytic information with its customers who have placed ads in applications on the iPhone.

“The collection, use or disclosure is for the purpose of serving advertising to Your Application; is provided to an independent advertising service provider whose primary business is serving mobile ads (for example, an advertising service provider owned by or affiliated with a developer or distributor of mobile devices, mobile operating systems or development environments other than Apple would not qualify as independent); and the disclosure is limited to UDID, user location data, and other data specifically designated by Apple as available for advertising purposes,” reads Section 3.3.9 of the agreement.

Apple recently engaged in a bidding war with Google over AdMob, which eventually sold for $750 million. Apple instead is launching their own solution called iAd.

Source: CNet