Fact-checking a reporter

Sorry, low-info post here… I’m just annoyed enough to correct some of the errors in Ben Charny’s most recent DowJones/CNN article. Here’s a snippet:

“Though a big hit on PCs, Adobe’s video player isn’t yet compatible with devices from Research In Motion, Apple’s iPhone and phones based on Google Android software. The Palm Pre, due in June in the U.S., also isn’t Flash compatible. Microsoft continued the pile-on last week, when it said an upcoming mobile version of its Windows operating system software won’t be compatible in the short term, and that its Windows Marketplace for Mobile online software bazaar won’t offer any Flash-based products. Apple is to update its iPhone software on Tuesday, and by all appearances, it still won’t be compatible with the Adobe feature. The one success has been No. 1 cell phone maker Nokia. While it says a billion Nokia cell phones are now Flash-compatible, many are cell phones, rather than their souped-up cousins the smart phone.”

Just off the top of my head:

Adobe Flash Player is more than “a video player”.

Blackberry doesn’t yet seem to have the oomph for rich-media type of applications, although there’s hope that future generations will.

Apple is a weird case — you’ve got to get them to talk about what they’ll be doing. Adobe has stated we’re working on making it run, but Apple’s got to provide a plugin mechanism to do so. It’s Apple’s story.

Google Android isn’t shipping yet, but they’re Flash-happy.

Microsoft is on board with Flash Lite, although I have no idea when they’re shipping. Puts a different spin on his Silverlight quote.

Palm Pre isn’t shipping yet, but they’ve also announced.

The “only hit is Nokia” bit is wacky… Nokia’s a great partner, and so are others. Flash Lite has been de-facto standard in Japan and Korea for years. We’ve shipped about a billion Flash Lite installations, not a billion Nokia Flash Lite installations. And that line about “Flash works only on the lower-end phones” collides straight with the blather about “Flash is too demanding for iPhone”.

Sorry I’m so cranky to correct — this off-kilter Ars Technica piece set it up, I guess — but technology is complicated enough, why add to the confusion?

9 Responses to Fact-checking a reporter

  1. foresmac says:

    What exactly is off-kilter in my piece, and what did it set up?
    [jd sez: Hi Chris! Sorry for the oblique reference, but I didn’t wanna be cranky all day. Those postcard spins are already on the desktop, even aside from Apple’s proprietary extensions to (of all things!) Cascading Style Sheets.]

  2. Keith says:

    I think some of the confusion in the journalistic world comes from the difference between Flash Lite and the new push from Adobe for getting full featured Flash 10 on phones and other mobile devices.
    [jd sez: Could be. But it also could be from outlets like DowJones/CNN not accepting comments, and instead syndicating out their content, flooding the zone. Hard for them to get good error-correction! 🙁 ]

  3. Hey thanks for the AndroidGuys plug! I appreciate it immensely. I felt the same way when I read the article. Some people obviously only see things as Flash if it shows it loading upfront.

  4. foresmac says:

    Obviously the effects are possible on the desktop. But manipulating DOM elements that way isn’t. Apple’s CSS Transform extensions are what enable it via the web.

  5. Jaimie says:

    Its so frustrating to not have flash player on my blackberry. Nothing more annoying than all the web pages I can’t load on my curve
    [jd sez: Understood. The goal is to have any content viewable on any screen, and there’s great progress being made, but we’re not there yet.]

  6. tntranch says:

    Is there any alternative to FLASH for the BBCurve? What is the operating program for Blackberry Curve?
    [jd sez: I don’t know the Blackberry product line, sorry.]

  7. Brian says:

    Whilte that is a technically accurate statement, please step out of your cubicle and consider that statement from the user’s perspective; by “users” I don’t mean tech/developers, I mean the general public. Yes, Flash is more than a video player, but 100% of the Blackberry users I asked only care about watching videos on their Blackberry.

  8. Kr says:

    I was extremely disappointed when I got my blackberry 2yrs ago and soon found out I couldn’t watch news videos because it wasn’t compatible with flash player. On friday I purchased the super duper 3gs and for the last hour searching for a way to watch these videos on PBS CNN etc. Now I find that my great techy purchase is not giving me them either! What a rip off!!! I hope there is a compromise made soon by these fighting children!
    [jd sez: Have faith, things do eventually get better. 😉 The goal here is to make it all “just work”, whether viewing an application or video, or creating them, whatever the brand of device you choose. Difficult job, but things are getting close now. 🙂 ]

  9. Meg says:

    What do you mean by close and how will we know about it? I’m another frustrated BB Curve user. I really miss being able to watch hulu and other sites that require flash. Can we get on an email notification list for when adobe produces a flashplayer for the blackberry?
    [jd sez: RIM announces new Blackberry models.]