Quick Tip from Jerome – Dropbox

If you have a Flash or InDesign project that you are putting time into both at work and at home or just have files that you access and edit frequently from multiple machines, then Dropbox is a tool that you should look into. Dropbox is available for essentially all platforms, mobile, Mac, Windows, and even Linux. Once you have installed Dropbox and logged into your account, it creates a Dropbox folder in your home directory. Anything you put in that folder from then on is synchronized over the internet to any other devices on which you have Dropbox installed. For mobile devices you merely open the Dropbox app and you then have access to these files as well. Bear in mind that Dropbox is completely free for up to 2GB of storage, not a bad deal at all!

Now if you are feeling saucy and really want to take full advantage of this great tool, you can further its usefulness by using symbolic links or “symlinks”. What these symlinks do is to redirect anything you put into a folder into another folder. For example, if I created a symlink between my Documents folder and a folder on my Dropbox, then anything I put into my Documents folder will go right into my Dropbox. Pretty slick. Just know that it will remove the original folder from your system. In the case of our example, my Documents folder would disappear unless I removed the symlink. So be sure to back up. (It wouldn’t be a bad idea to know how to remove this symlink either.) Are any other ActionScript 3.0 developers salivating over this besides me? What this means is that you can have all your 3rd party or home brew libraries and classes stored in the ‘clouds’ and any updates you make on one machine goes to all. Now that’s better living through technology.

Need help with this symlink business? Here’s a link:
Symlink Tutorial

The battle behind the screens – Flash vs. Silverlight

It’s definitely a war–it’s just that it’s a Cold War.

Since Microsoft released Silverlight, (and by the way, watch what happens when you surf over there) their answer to Adobe Flash, in 2007, there’s been a (sort of) silent war going on behind the two software giants about who gets to play your movies.

When you go to a site like Youtube or Hulu to watch videos (and who among us does not, these days?), isn’t it awesome how fast it is? How clear? How the videos you watch don’t take up space on your hard disk or really even slow down what you’re doing in the background? That’s because when you go to those sites (and soon others like Vimeo and possibly Dailymotion), your browser loads a plugin to let you read the Flash Video that someone has posted and that the website has slightly reconfigured–and plays it right from the source, like you’re looking through your computer to where the video really is, somewhere else. This means that anyone, anywhere can see it, which is good news for video producers and marketers alike. Just as Mac OSX, Windows, and Linux can all (usually) read the same types of files, now we can all see almost any type of video–the trouble is that not everyone feels like they’re making enough money this way.

Any guesses who? (*coughSilverlightcough*)

Well, you’re mostly right, but it isn’t JUST Microsoft. There are plenty of people out to get Flash, now that it’s the standard for video playback on the web: Sun Microsystems (who makes Java), plenty of open-source proponents, and Apple have either resisted or worked around integrating Flash into their video products (iPhone, anyone?) but more than ever, Adobe is realizing that if they want their product to stay at the top, they’re going to have to get into some heretofore unexplored venues. To that end, the rumors are flying about new tools for developing iPhone apps using Flash, putative Flash support on the theoretical Apple Tablet (if it exists, right?), and more.

Microsoft is responding to this by leveraging their power toward pushing Flash out of certain areas; ever notice that the streaming function of Netflix is run on Silverlight instead of Flash?

So here’s the question: both Flash and Silverlight are proprietary software, and both are the big boys when it comes to video playback on the web–now whom would we prefer as the keeper of our vids? Because someones’s going to win this battle–and either way, it’s going to mean a lot about how we get (and what we can do with) our video.

Adobe Flash for Android: Will iPhone Lag Behind?

flash-android1

- by Jori Curry

In 2009, the iPhone has 43% of mobile web access, while the Google Android Phone is catching up to grab 5%, but the incorporation of Adobe Flash might be enough to tip the scales in favor of Android. Adobe and Apple have had a long relationship, and Adobe was quoted early on that come hell or high water, there would be a version of Flash for the iPhone, but it seems that Adobe is moving forward with other vendors.

“We are excited to be working alongside Adobe to bring Flash technology to Android,” said Andy Rubin, director of mobile platforms at Google. “Adobe Flash is crucial to a rich Internet and content experience on mobile devices and we are thrilled that Google will be one of the first companies along with the Open Handset Alliance to bring Flash technology to the smartphone market.”

Steve Jobs has been quoted saying Flash Lite ““isn’t capable enough to be used with the Web.” Now it seems Adobe is moving forward with other partnerships with Google, Microsoft, Palm and Nokia, as stated at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

iwantflash1Jack Gold, an anylist with J. Gold Associates was quoted with explaining the reasons Apple is blocking Flash on the iPhone: “Adobe wants Flash to run really well. To get high performance, you need to run in the lower layers of the OS or phone. Apple wants to push its own technology, in this case, QuickTime. It has its own interests at heart. Look at how long it took to get Flash onto Macs. I honestly don’t think you will see Flash on the iPhone anytime soon.”

With this shift in the “Adobe-Apple” relationship, will this open the door for the Google Android phone to take the lead? While Apple is rumored to enable video to be streamed via HTML5, will this be enough to fight the wave of Flash that has penetrated the web? According to Market Share, Mac users make up 9.81% of those using the internet. One can only assume that this increase up from the paltry 5% in 2001. The base of “Appleloonians” that have been lifefong users (I myself started out with the Apple Iie in 1983) is growing due to the iPhone, but many of us are seeing difficulties on the web without Flash.

In my opinion, just like Apple said that they would never develop for Windows, there will be little choice but to accommodate Adobe Flash, which is quickly taking over the internet as we know it.

Facebook and Adobe Partner with Flash

- by Jori Curry…

Flash, FacebookAdobe and Facebook have proposed a marriage between Flash and Facebook to give developers a whole new set of tools with the Client Library, a free open source programming language. An announcement that comes after MySpace’s partnership with Microsoft’s Silverlight. Using Actionscript 3.0 Client Library, the new Facebook Connect will integrate the power of Facebook into individual websites using Flash, Flex and AIR. A good example is Red Bull that is engaging customers through Facebook Connect.

Adrian Ludwig of Adobe recently told MacWorld, “We are seeing that it’s becoming quite easy for traditional developers to start using Flash,” said Ludwig. “That’s quite a change from where it was five to eight years ago when Flash was focused on animation.”

This marriage is a library that provides Flash developers a much easier process without the Facebook platform. Many developers have built their own libraries using Ruby on Rails that tie into Facebook, but now will have a much easier time plugging into the Facebook platform through Flash. On the Adobe Developer Connection, there are pages dedicated to tutorials and videos to help get developers started.

“Combining social functionality with the Adobe Flash Platform gives the millions of Flash developers the tools to create Web experiences that are truly differentiated,” said Bryant Macy, Director of Platform Product Marketing for Adobe.

While Facebook Connect is available for the iPhone, we are still unsure if Flash will come to the iPhone anytime soon. One can hope that the recent Adobe Open Screen Project, which is designed to partner with companies to use Flash as the RIA platform is the first step in enabling Flash on the iPhone.

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iFrame Facebook application

iFrame Facebook application

Flash for the iPhone?

 

Flash for the iPhone?

Flash for the iPhone?

- by Jori Curry

When the iPhone originally debuted, Adobe made it clear that Flash for the iPhone was a no brainer, and would happen. Then last March, Apple openly contradicted this, and now it has come to light that Apple and Adobe are potentially collaborating to make Flash on the iPhone a reality. The previous objections have been that Flash is too much of a memory/CPU hog, and Flash Lite isn’t sufficient. While the recent announcement has been that Flash isn’t a reality yet, talks continue, and the long relationship between Adobe and Apple ensure that there is much behind the scenes development going on.

According to GearLive and PhoneMag, the issue hasn’t been battery and CPU issues, but licensing negotiations. Apple has a long tradition of promoting Open Standards, while Flash is a proprietary standard. Apple has confirmed the 2009 World Wide Developer Conference for June 8-12th, and they are notorious for unveiling major announcements at that kind of  platform. Adobe and Apple have had a long relationship dating back to the early ’80′s. Logically, alienating Adobe doesn’t seem like a good business move for Apple.

Other rumors include the upcoming iPhone will have a 3.2 megapixel camera, and sources say that Apple has ordered CMOS image sensor orders for a Flash to be included….(camera flash, not Adobe Flash on THIS rumor). Also, the new iPhone is rumored to be integrated with AT&T U-verse protocol.

Now if we could only cut and paste…