bryan’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Feb 14th, 2011 @ 8:12pm

    Re: Re:

    Firefox does not support H.264 because it is not an open technology. The codec is free to use for now but there is no guarantee that it will stay that way.
    Mozilla objects to the way H.264 is being handled and choses to only include open tech with in Firefox.

    I can't say that I disagree with Mozilla; and to some extent Google, on the decision not to support H.264 and rather support open alternatives in Theora and WebM in their browsers.

    It likely will not matter much unless Google drops H.264 encoding for Youtube (which they could do), since the main push for H.264 has been for mobile devices.

  • Feb 14th, 2011 @ 8:00pm


    Not only did they MPEG-LA decide to piss off one of the largest tech companies in the world, they also chose to piss off the company that is responsible for a large part (if not the majority of web video) through Youtube.

    It would be funny for Google to switch all the encoding on Youtube from H.264 to Web M. Google has the ability and MPEG-LA just gave them a good reason to do it. Chrome already supports WebM, Firefox is supporting WebM also.

  • Jan 12th, 2011 @ 7:52pm

    (untitled comment) (as Bryan)

    Firefox refuses to use H.264 for the same reasons, H.264 is not really free. Google supports the same Ogg Thedora open codec that firefox supports, plus they support WebM (Firefox will also support WebM but doesn't in current versions).

    The interesting thing about this is weather or not Google will switch Youtube over to using WebM instead of H.264 for mobile optimized video.

  • Sep 20th, 2010 @ 4:04pm

    Read the article people, T-Mobile is not reading text messages (as Bryan)

    Everyone read the full article before commenting.

    T-Mobile is not reading individual's text messages and blocking / filtering them. T-Mobile blocked a company that provided text alerts for a marijuana dispensary.

    Since marijuana is an illegal substance under federal law (even if you live in California, possession, sale, and use is still a federal crime) T-Mobile acted within the terms and conditions of their service agreement and blocked this company.

  • Sep 20th, 2010 @ 8:21am


    This DDoS attack was in response to the MPAA and RIAA hiring an outside firm to execute DoS attacks against sites that refused to just give in the their demands.

    Just a reminder to the MPAA and RIAA not to piss off the internet as a whole. It is not a fight that the MPAA/ RIAA is prepared to win.

  • Aug 25th, 2010 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Article: There A Better Way To Text While Driving?

    Unfortunately your App will not be adopted by the same group that you mention. People who rely on texting as a primary form of communication are not going to install an app that automatically blocks texting.

    An app is not doing anything other than using technology to force people to stop texting while driving and is likely only be installed by people who are already convinced not to text while driving. Your low download numbers in the android market illustrate this point.

    Yes texting and driving is dangerous, but simply hiding from the issue will not help.

    Accepting the fact that people are going to text and drive is the first step towards reducing the risks.

    Hands free voice control is the most effective way to minimize the risk, if you don't have to look at your phone then texting is no more dangerous than taking a call hands free. This does not reduce the risk to zero (just look at the studies that show how ineffective hands free driving laws are at reducing accident rates), but it is a definite improvement over traditional texting.

    Once we accept the fact that people are going to do dumb, dangerous things while driving (yes this includes texting) then we can work to minimize the risks.

    Airbags were invented by engineers looking to keep occupants who were not wearing a seat belt safer, they were intended to replace seat belts not supplement them when originally thought up. Technology should be used to minimize the risks to people, even if their own decisions created those risks.

  • Aug 25th, 2010 @ 11:12am

    people are going to do stupid things

    First thing to understand is that people are going to do stupid things. People are going to do stupid and dangerous things while driving, this is not new.
    So rather than sticking our collective heads in the sand and shouting don't text and drive we should utilize technology to minimize the risks involved. Voice control software is rapidly improving. For example the Genius Button software on the T-Mobile Mytouch Slide has a driving mode that will announce an incoming text and the sender's name, read the text to you, allow you to reply, it will read your message back to you for confirmation, and finaly send the reply, all completely hands free without ever needing to look at the phone. The voice to text options available on other android handsets is also good but requires more interaction with the phone to use.

    The thing that makes text messaging more dangerous than calling is that you have to take your eyes off the road to look at the message. Complete voice control systems like this eliminate the need to look at the phone. That does not completely eliminate the risk, but should lower it to roughly the same as having a conversation.
    People are going to do stupid things, and that includes texting/ calling/ eating/ putting on makeup/ reading the newspaper/ etc while driving.
    It is in the best interests of everyone to minimize the impact as much as possible through technology.

    For full disclosure, I do work for T-mobile and typed this on my Mytouch Slide ( but not while driving).

  • Jul 4th, 2010 @ 11:24am

    Data usage growth

    This same report also states that year over year data usage grew by %230.

    Even the people who are not using much data are quickly increasing their usage.
    The reported data usage also likely includes older phones that are not as capable (less powerful browsers and applications) and use less data because of it. Newer mobile OSs (Android, iOS, upcoming Windows Phone 7) all sue more data than older smartphones due to their connected nature (over the air backups, video, etc).

    These factors mean that data usage is on the rise, and even the people who are not paying overages now will likely end up paying data overages before the end of their contract. The handset manufacturers and the networks are not going to stop marketing the data heavy capabilities of modern smartphones.

  • Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 10:06am


    The main reason that ATT's network is so bad is that they have decreased their spending on network every year since the iPhone launched. If ATT had been investing in their network for the last 4 years then it would be different, but they have made no effort to keep up with the demands being placed on their network. ATT created the problem by not investing in their network, and now rather than spending the profits they are making from the increased fees charged for smartphone services to improve the network they are limiting their customers. Do you think they are going to stop marketing the iPhone and all of the data heavy apps it can run to customers?

  • Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 10:00am

    Less investment in network year over year

    ATT has major network problems not only because smart phones like the iPhone use more data than regular phones but because ATT has made NO effort to keep up with the demand on the network. Until this year ATT's spending on it's network has decreased every year since the original iPhone launched. There is no excuse for that. They may have been surprised by the demands the iPhone placed on the network, but in July they have had 4 years to address the issue. Instead of investing the profits from the services of these data heavy phones back into the networks, ATT has DECREASED their spending on their network.

  • May 8th, 2010 @ 5:35pm

    I read techdirt BECAUSE of tech and law.

    The primary reason that I read tech dirt specifically because it often deals with the interplay of technology and law. There are many Tech blogs and there are many Law blogs, but there are very few that combine both and understand both.

  • Apr 26th, 2010 @ 9:22pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The person who found it attempted to return it to it's owner( now known to be Apple engineer Gary Powell) by waiting at the bar where it was lost, then attempted to call apple and return the phone and was blown off by apple care.

    If apple was the original owner, then the prototype clearly became abandoned property when apple declined the attempts to return the phone.

  • Apr 26th, 2010 @ 9:18pm

    Re: Re: At what point is it stolen property?

    You are completely wrong.
    The police were not searching for the iphone prototype, they were searching for information on the person that Gizmodo purchased the phone from.

    Gizmodo openly contacted Apple and offered to return the prototype after they had identified it as apple hardware and not a knockoff.

    This had NOTHING to do with recovering stolen property.

  • Apr 21st, 2010 @ 12:57pm

    (untitled comment) (as Bryan)

    I have worked for a cellphone carrier for the past 4 going on 5 years. Those stickers are not perfect, but keep in mind they are not water damage indicators they are moisture indicators. Your phone does not have to fall in the toilet to get enough moisture in it to cause problems. Yes leaving your phone in the bathroom while you take a hot shower can kill your phone, yes you can drop you phone in the toilet and it may still work, it all depends on variables such as what the phone is doing when it gets wet. Also those indicators are cumulative, a little wet = pink, a lot wet = dark red. If your phone is exposed to moisture a little at a time the stickers will eventually turn red. I tell people all the time, your phone is an expensive piece of electronics, if you would not do something to your new lcd flat screen tv you should not do it with your phone. If more people would be honest about what they did then these indicators would not be neccesary, but 99% of people i have ever seen with wet phones claim it has never been wet, even when there is visible liquid in the phone.

  • Jan 17th, 2010 @ 6:10pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    SMS text messages do have a cost to carriers, they have use the signaling portion of the spectrum which is intended to be used for the phone and the network to communicate, so the network knows where your phone is. Individual messages are extremely small but the spectrum they are allocated is also very small. Individual messages do not pose an issue, but when multiple millions of messages are being sent then they can cause issues. Additionally the back end systems that handle and the messages also have a cost.
    Look at Boost mobile, they have an insufficient system to handle the number of text messages that their user submit, resulting in delays and unreliable message transmission.

  • Dec 28th, 2009 @ 11:18am

    Fraud (as Bryan)

    There was at least one reported a response (via consumerist I think) that online iPhone sales were suspended in NY due to a high rate of fraud in online orders.
    That would make sense as to why online orders are blocked, but you can purchase in store or through apple.

  • Jun 17th, 2009 @ 7:43pm

    Re: Hardware Company is right

    Apple is a Hardware company and only use their software to sell hardware. That's why they only want you to use iTunes on an iPod / iPhone. That's why they only want you using OSX on their hardware.
    Apple is a hardware company.