Billy Wenge-Murphy’s Techdirt Profile


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  • May 6th, 2011 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Mindless Brand Fixation

    Some people have written articles articulating why the GIMP is inferior for anything except putting text on cats*. When they do, the open source community throws a fit.

    (*Actually the GIMP is pretty bad at this. You have to do a cubersome trick with multiple-layers to make a simple border around text)

  • May 6th, 2011 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Adobe is now...

    Now, if only the internet would stop using Flash so I can rid my system of the word "adobe" from folders and registry entries

    Sure thing, as soon as the technology catches up. The collection of cool new stuff you can do natively in a webpage, loosely called "HTML5", is getting closer and closer to Flash's capabilities.

    But that's the thing: Flash is ahead and the alternatives are still playing catch-up, years on:

    - <canvas> is finally a full replacement for the raster graphics capabilities added in Flash 8....about 6 years ago.

    - Video is hit and miss because Microsoft and Apple, as members of MPEG-LA, are pushing the patented H.264, and undermined the <video> standard. Open source browsers CAN'T support patented technologies, and WebM support is coming to Flash (it already does H.264), so it'll stick around as the cross-browser delivery method of choice.

    - Poor networking support (WebSockets were sent back to the drawing board for a controversial safety reason)

    - Can't do webcams and microphones at all (The work on this is brand new)

    - SVG is a bit glitchy compared to vector rendering through SWF, and, more importantly, vector animation capabilities outside Flash are practically non-existent. You just have a hodgepodge of half-assed alternatives. Luckily, vector animation is increasingly irrelevant.

    - Flash 10 added great dynamic audio capabilities. For HTML5, there are two competing alternatives. Firefox's Audio Data API, which finally found its way into the stable branch (Firefox 4) and the Web Audio API (yes, confusing) which is still limited to experimental builds of Mac Safari. Opera isn't participating at all. It'll be at least another year before we can do that reliably.

    But Adobe continues to add features to widen the gap. Will WebGL be as good as Molehill? AIR is being given the ability to target all sorts of different devices. Will HTML5 apps get similar treatment? (Before you drink the Apple Kool-Aid and say "Steve Jobs is a big friend of open standards! Mobile Safari supports HTML5!", go check out and see how poor its support really is)


    There's idealistic philosophy fantasy land, and then there's the reality. I look forward to a Flash-free web....about 5 years from now when the capabilities, maybe, catch-up to what Flash offers.

    Even then, Adobe's software may still be dominant, if theirs is the better, easier toolset for the average person. People point out "Well, Adobe is giving us HTML5 export, so they're killing themselves!". Not so. As this article touches on, their dominance stems from their tools and not their plug-in alone. They may very well dig their talons into HTML5 authoring (or they may go the way of Microsoft Frontpage)

  • May 6th, 2011 @ 2:48pm

    Re: Self-Inflicted Injuries Abound

    GIMP: Inferior in features and (more importantly) usability to Photoshop, or even Paint Shop Pro.

    Inkscape: Now I'm the one laughing. It absolutely PALES in comparison to the Flash authoring environment. Where is the timeline in Inkscape, exactly? Where do I point and click to execute a simple motion tween?

    Don't know what Scribus is but I'll agree on the other two. A web designer who NEEDS Dreamweaver is just awful at what they do.

    transition away from the world of pain

    The open source alternatives are a world of pain all their own. (I say this as a Linux user)

  • May 6th, 2011 @ 2:19pm

    (untitled comment)

    is a skill that 99.9 percent of the people donít have

    Only 1 person in 1000 can put words together in a coherent manner according to a formula?

    Actually he may be right about that....

  • May 6th, 2011 @ 2:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Ridiculous

    When you commit a crime you (can) become a "limited public figure". Incorrect statements in relation to your case are by and large NOT defamatory unless made with "actual malice"

    >Whether a rape occurred is not a matter of opinion. It is a matter of fact.

    Partially correct. Rape has particular legal meanings that may differ from the common usage.

    But without magical omniscience you can't determine the fact with certainty - which is why people are free to argue their interpretation after the case is resolved, and are not limited to the court-approved version of reality which may very well be opposite from the truth.

  • May 6th, 2011 @ 1:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Ridiculous

    It's also why we have the concept of a "limited public figure" which invalidates a broad range of slander claims, so that people like you can't silence contrary opinions with civil suits

  • May 6th, 2011 @ 1:37pm

    Re: I still want a .xxx domain name

    I want to be the first one to have a non-pornographic .xxx
    The hipster in me craves to use .xxx ironically.

  • May 5th, 2011 @ 11:43pm

    (untitled comment)


    Don't say that sort of thing in this post 9/11 hysteria or DHS will detain you

  • May 5th, 2011 @ 11:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Shocked! Shocked, I say!

    "Designing software takes a bunch of work and thinking"

    That's why we have copyrights. Paintings, novels, movies, music, etc, all take substantial investment of effort and skill, but we don't grant patents on them. Patents are not a reward for hard work, they're an incentive to discover truly novel things

    ...And that never happens, so fuck 'em.

  • May 5th, 2011 @ 11:26pm

    Re: Perfectly Simple Fix

    >Just repeal that part of the law which makes patent infringement illegal

    How is that different from abolishing the patent system (which I would totally support, btw, especially as it relates to software). If permission isn't needed to use them, then there's no reason to grant them...

  • May 1st, 2011 @ 11:05pm

    (untitled comment)

    That's a pretty stupid design; the kind of thing a kid draws in their notebook in math class

    (Am I still allowed to say that when it's "cultural"?)

  • May 1st, 2011 @ 10:59pm

    (untitled comment)

    I promise never to pirate - or even watch - your telenovelas. There, problem solved. Now, about those beheadings....

  • Apr 23rd, 2011 @ 1:31pm

    (untitled comment)

    >How do you sell someone a $60 game that's really worth it?

    It's NOT worth it. I thought this was obvious.

    I grew up on 2D blips and bloops, and I'll be happy to go back. Death to brown 'n bloom. Please die as soon as possible so cheap indie studios can take over the industry you're choking the life out of.

  • Apr 23rd, 2011 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re:

    Wal-Mart, huh? I don't know who to side with on an issue like that. It's like being stuck between an anti-competitive rock and a union-breaking hard place.

  • Apr 23rd, 2011 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Art is alive and well - all the good ideas are not taken.

    >you'll find little if any copying of other people's recordings in their music

    Except the endless common themes and riffs they used, as all musicians do. What you've missed in your rambling wall of text is the core idea. Everything you can create is derivative even if it's only trivially so. You're still creating on top of basic musical ideas, building on them successively in only modest ways.

    And at least a few of those artists had popular songs which were renditions of old folk songs. Even perfectly legal copying from the public domain is still copying for the purpose of this discussion. Your argument is absolutely nonsensical.

    >This kind of whining is self-defeating adolescent rationalization

    Yum, trollbait

    Come up with an original idea, post it here, and I'll retract my statement. Either disprove it in a mature manner or don't weigh in at all ;)

  • Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 11:38pm

    (untitled comment)

    And you wonder why the rest of the world thinks Americans are socially-backward cretins.

    Did you know that Scandinavians have no problem with bare butts in media or even *gasp* ....BREASTS? You even see topless women in advertising. It's madness! It's some kind of sick perversion, much like their socialized medicine.

  • Apr 22nd, 2011 @ 11:33pm


    "However if you just want to rap over someone else's entire song"

    That's not sampling.

    "Just make your own song instead of copying"

    Everything is derivative of something else. Truly new ideas are completely impossible. Sampling is not a lower form of art, it's a natural, legitimate, creative use of content - the law simply doesn't respect that. The music industry as we know it is narrowing the scope of transformative fair use down to nothing.

    The culture is right, the law is wrong.

  • Apr 20th, 2011 @ 5:31am

    (untitled comment)

    I don't know if people know this - this might be secret information that only I possess - but anybody can make music. Record labels don't own the concept of music itself. An MP3 file cannot automatically be assumed to belong to one of the members of the music oligopoly, simply because they have gobbled up so many millions of pieces of intellectual property into their portfolio.

    But this is probably quite esoteric knowledge that I'm descending from my ivory tower with and bestowing on the commoners....

  • Apr 20th, 2011 @ 5:12am

    Are Simpsons references still cool?

    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand star-wipe!

  • Apr 14th, 2011 @ 8:31pm


    But they'd still be able to sue everything in sight. An active use requirement would only make them more aggressive, forcing them to pick smaller targets and kill them in their infancy.

    The only way we'll bring justice to this system is to completely abolish business method patents and software patents.