Expect a rough road ahead for Flash

Adobe has patched Flash twice in two weeks now. The reason for this was due to Hacking Team, an Italian company that sells hacking tools to government agencies, getting hacked. Hacking Team, it turns out, knew of at least three unpatched vulnerabilities (also known as “zero-days” or “0days”) in Flash, and exploits for these vulnerabilities were among the things that got breached.

That’s why Adobe is having a bad month.

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No, this doesn’t mean Ubuntu and Linux are giving up

This week, Mark Shuttleworth closed the longstanding Ubuntu bug #1, which simply read, “Microsoft has majority market share.” Because Microsoft didn’t lose its market share lead to Ubuntu, or Red Hat, or some other conventional Linux distribution, some people, including John C. Dvorak, are interpreting this as some kind of surrender.

I don’t see it as surrender at all. Microsoft’s dominant position, which seemed invincible in 2004 when Shuttleworth opened that bug, is slipping away. They still dominate PCs, but PCs as we know it are a shrinking part of the overall computing landscape, and the growth is all happening elsewhere.

I have (or at least had) a reputation as a Microsoft hater. That’s a vast oversimplification. I’m not anti-Microsoft. I’m pro-competition. I’m also pro-Amiga, and I’ll go to my grave maintaining that the death of Amiga set the industry back 20 years. I have Windows and Linux boxes at home, my wife has (believe it or not) an Ipad, and at work I’m more comfortable administering Linux than Windows right now, which seems a bit strange, especially considering it’s a Red Hat derivative and I haven’t touched Red Hat in what seems like 400 years.

What Shuttleworth is acknowledging is that we have something other than a duopoly again, for the first time in more than 20 years, and the industry is innovating and interesting again. Read more

The low-cost tablet invasion

Over at PCMag, Tim Bajarin took notice of the low-cost tablet invasion.

Don’t get too excited about the $89 tablet he just heard about; it’s a single-core, 1.2 GHz tablet with a 4:3-ratio 800×600 screen. For $89, it’s fine, but I wouldn’t call it unexpected, and certainly not revolutionary. It’s a couple hundred megahertz faster than the $79 tablets at Big Lots, and has 120 more pixels in one direction.
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If you’re wondering where those anti-Google ads came from

If you’re wondering why political-style anti-Google ads are suddenly running everywhere, it’s no coincidence. Microsoft has hired one of Bill and Hillary Clinton’s advertising masterminds to try his hand at campaigning against Google.

While it seems to be having some effect on public opinion, its effect on market share and Microsoft’s bottom line will take more time to gauge. But I think in the long term, talking to customers and figuring out why they are walking out of Microsoft stores empty-handed will prove more effective. Read more

The good (or at least decent) $89 tablet

Right around a year ago, I wrote about the difficulties of making a good $100 tablet. But then, today, I read on Slashdot about someone finding a nice $45 Android tablet in a Chinese bazaar, then finding a similar unit at Fry’s back home in the States, priced at $89.

That raised a couple of questions. First of all, what’s the tablet?

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Kindle Fire in perspective

Amazon’s Kindle Fire sold 95,000 units in its first day of pre-orders, which pales next to the Ipad’s 300,000 on its first day. But the Kindle Fire looks to be a slower burn. It’s sold 250,000 units now. By comparison, the Ipad sold 1 million units in its first month, which the Kindle Fire hasn’t matched yet, but it’s only been five days. Some people are reporting it’s on pace to sell 2.5 million units in its first month. Realistically, I think the number should be lower–more on that in a second. But I think the naysayers should learn really fast that this war isn’t over.
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