HTML 5, Memristors and Software Piracy

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A quick summary of key industry happenings:

A) The economic impact of piracy (including software) is *really* not understood: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-10-423. See pages 15 – 19 of the full report in particular.

I’ve always been skeptical of the piracy claims, good to see someone actually reviewed them. I think it is better for the industry to focus on the valued real customer rather than to fabricate and fret about the unknown and unquantifiable pirate customer.

B) Memristors may be a blip on the radar right now: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8609885.stm, but this is one of the things likely to change computing in coming years. Of particular note – they are already playing in the 3nm space with room to shrink. Impressive for the size savings alone. The ability to replace flash chips, to stack “indefinitely” and to eventually merge RAM and CPU are all worthy features.

C) HTML 5 is making serious headway for creating “real” applications in web pages. Consider:

  1. Web Sockets: http://www.w3.org/TR/2009/WD-websockets-20091222/ and http://tools.ietf.org/html/draft-hixie-thewebsocketprotocol-74
  2. File API: http://www.w3.org/TR/2009/WD-FileAPI-20091117/ and http://www.w3.org/TR/2010/WD-file-writer-api-20100406/
  3. Background Threading: http://www.w3.org/TR/2009/WD-workers-20091222/
  4. And much more: http://www.w3.org/standards/techs/js

4 months ago I would have been very unsure about the capabilities and reach of HTML 5 – but Chrome (WebKit) and FireFox will have a large percentage of these features available this year. While there are still some missing elements, especially for MFT (such as advanced/efficient blob management and hashing) I think that the evidence shows that HTML 5 will eventually succeed in providing true application development in a browser.

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