A lot of neat things happening with Video.  I saw this coming back in 1996 but particularly called it two years ago.  Traditionally print magazine publishers, I saw video as the next “disruptive” publishing technology.

It’s not there yet.  The Canon Vixia cameras have made it where you really can shoot HD video in a way just not feasible before, and at a remarkable drop in cost.  The really not very good and much larger Sony HD cams we were using initially were $5000, hard to log the video off, didn’t REALLY do HD, and of course were huge.  The Canon’s have gotten so good you can shoot 5 or 6 hours on HD on a single battery and logging it off onto the computer is trivial.

Final Cut Pro is our editing suite.  I know six or eight ways to crash it every time.  No real bug reporting methods.  They don’t really want to hear it.  And it takes 16 or 18 hours to render some of these videos using a 12 processor Mac Pro with 4GB fiber drives.  But for the first time, you can edit video fairly cogently on a PC and it WILL complete the render process 9 times out of 10.

Bandwidth growth is a little slower although it seems the Cable Television networks are about the only ones that agree with me that Cable and Broadcast business models are on the verge of collapse.  They are scrambling for a foothold as Internet  Service Provider and have correctly determined that an order of magnitude higher data rate is the way to shut the telcos out of the deal.

In Chatanooga Tennessee of all places, they are installing 1 GB Internet to the home.  Bandwidth is happening slowly but surely.

We have used a player called JWPlayer from Longtail Video to play flash videos.  You may not be aware of it, but when you view EVTV videos, you are actually downloading them not from our two page little web site on the Apple server, but from Amazon.coms Cloudnet computer network.  This is the footprint, and the videos are stored there.  More importantly, this allows you to download the video from the server closest to you, whether that’s in Tokyo or Oslo.  It not only eliminates the scaling problem, but it dramatically enhances performance worldwide.

JWPlayer was actually the player used by YouTube originally.  The source code is available, and YouTube has since modified it for their own use (without actually contributing the changes back to the community – what creeps).   The player has a LOT of features, many more than we use.  But I’ve found it quirky and error prone and very difficult to troubleshoot.  Often, with minor errors it just does nothing, with no indication as to what the problem is.  And of course, it behaves differently on each computing platform.

The holy grail is to do away with the player entirely.  A group has been working for several years on extending HTML with Version 5.   This version will include, among other things, a much simplified VIDEO tag and standardizes on H.264 video compression.  I don’t know why there are still sour grapes yoyos continuing this debate.  H.264 was inevitably the lingua franca of video even before it was officially released.

In any event, HTML5 works quite well with the Apple iPhone and iPad and we’ve been struggling to deal with that.  Safari has HTML5 built into it already.  Google Chrome has a badly mangled version of itsorta kinda working. Firefox, darling of the LInux crowd, has NOT supported it in that H.264 ultimately is a patented technology and the whole Linux Religious Left are pathologically against anyone owning anything.  This religious fervor has basically doomed Firefox, one of the hard chargers in the move to unseat Internet Explorer, to irrelevance and ultimately a dwindling future and obsolescence.

That all moved one step closer today as Microsoft released the beta of Internet Explorer 9.  I haven’t tried it yet.  It REQUIRES Vista to run I’m told so the Windows XP survivors will have one more screw turned in the relentless Redmond pressure to upgrade.  But I’m told it DOES rather prominently support HTML5 Video.

There’s a few months of cleanup, but that basically tells the tale and HTML5 is the new playerless future of online video.  We tried Longtail Videos hopelessly unconfigurable 5.3 beta kludge, but it just doesn’t work.

So we’re putting up an entire alternate page set for HTML5 users.  This causes us to give up a few features we weren’t using much anyway.    But it works well with iPhone and iPad.  We’ve basically put our low res version in the box for viewing online.  Those who want the full high resolution HD experience, can click the TITLES of the videos and the larger file will start downloading.

So feel free to try the new pages.  A link on the main page simply takes you to the alternate main page, which also leads to the alternate Weekly Archives page.  If it doesn’t work out for you, sipmly go back to the normal MAIN page.

We’ll support both formats for a brief period.  But the handwriting is on the wall and it spells out HTML5.

Get over it.

Jack Rickard

23 thoughts on “HTML5”

  1. Field Report:

    My dieing Dell with XP, running Chrome, works very well with the new video.

    Previously I would have to choose “HD off” because it was “jerky” and sometimes I would show up to the page and just get the sad puzzle piece icon which a refresh would cure.

    Anywho. Keep up the excellent work.


  2. HTML5 page works great on my iPad. No blog entry on last week’s program, but I’m very interested in your Bluetooth dashboard. Hope you’ll do a segment on that and make the code/device plans available. I wouldn’t object to paying for them (how un-open source of me!). If I could drop my iPad into a mount on the dash and get this kind of read-out, it would be very cool.

    And thanks for the tips on what not to do with my 100Ah GBS pack.

  3. Regarding the footage following the Sept. 10th episode. Thanks for that Jack! And here I thought pet rocks were just a fad from the 70’s.

    Also, wondered what you thought of the Yuneec e430, or do you stick with the classics, aviation-wise.

  4. Just a thought concerning automobile computing.
    I’d hate it if an unwanted current surge in an EV takes out something as pricey as an iThing.

    Will you be considering your software under GNU licencing and releasing the source code into Freshmeat and/or Sourceforge? Hopefully, it will set the ball rolling. People will spend time, add, theme and work your software to work in other platforms, inputs etc. Including hardware types such as iThings, ITX, ARM boards, to our faithful old laptops.

    Cracking good blog and films Jack. All the best.

  5. I forgot to mention the best part about HTML5. It lets you skip ahead on screen. You can just move the slider and it will, after a couple of seconds delay, resume there.

    We’re still working on it. I put up the new video today with the iPhone small version first. I just hadn’t gotten the larger one uploaded yet. That’s why it may not have seemed as “sharp”. Apple Quicktime will actually produce a .MOV index file and a Computer Version and an iPhone version. It will select which one based on your bitrate, so if you are on a slower connecction you automatically get the low res version. We’ll see how that works out.

    The software I was showing is a little premature for release. In fact, one of hte problems is that I wrote it on an 8 processor Mac Pro and it runs very nicely thank you. When you move it to a little Mac Air laptop, it stumbles a bit. Just not enough horsepower.

    Part of this is my graphics. I basically composite a photoshop PNG of the needle over the photoshop PNG of the dial for every movement. As there are 5 dials, this is a little processor bound.

    But the serial routine is simply ridiculous. I’m rewriting that now trying to get something more efficient going than reading things a byte at a time from the serial port.

    We will make the software and schematic for the little Roving Networks Blue Sensor host board available as soon as I get a round tuit.

    As to putting it into subversion or whatever, I’ll have to look at that. I don’t want ANOTHER little online gig to look after. But yes, I’d like to get some other people involved. For example, the dials and pointers are just photoshop PNG files. No magic. You can plug different ones in with truly trivial code changes. Kind of a skins game. Oh, I guess the angles are calculated/scaled somewhat. I may try to generalize that a bit.

    Jack Rickard

  6. Hi Jack

    I really like your initiative with the HTML5 page, it work great in both Chrome and Safari.

    One thing that I have noticed, is that all the videos on the page starts loading, that takes up my bandwidth and it costs you unnecessary money, that two videos (good ones) I have already seen loads every time I am watching a Friday show.

    I do not know if this is just something that we have to live with, but I hope not, because it is putting an unnecessary strain on bandwidth in both ends.

    Thank you for leading the way into the future, with cars and webtechnology


  7. Just FYI IE9 fails miserably! I also had some playback issues with this weeks episode that I downloaded. First one to have an issue could have just been a glitch on my end. Keep up the great work Jack! I really enjoy your shows.

  8. Yes, the html5 videos work very well on chrome.
    Jack, I just discovered the “Pinky and the Brain” cartoons, now how do I get the theme song out of my head?
    Correct me if I am wrong but,I think you referenced Pinky and the Brain in one of your earlier shows. I definitely remember a reference to the Brain. Hope I’m not getting too far off in the weeds.

    Thanks again.

  9. I too had issues with the download of recent episode. No sound at all in VLC player and repeated stutters and sound drop outs in Quicktime. I also agree that having all the videos on the page load with the HTML5 page slows everything down.


  10. JRP3:

    It’s becoming a tradition. You may have PART of it right. NOTHING IS DOWNLOADING. There is a bug in some browsers that causes it to DISPLAY the DOWNLOADING advisory. You are not actually downloading ANYTHING. It looks like you’re downloading EVERYTHING. If you click on the downloading arrow, there is also an annoying delay of 4 or 5 seconds where nothing appears to happen. Then it starts playing. That’s the only video you are downloading.

    You can still click the titles to download the high resolution file as it always was.

    Jack Rickard

  11. I think it’s a bit narrow minded to be labelling people wary of patents as the “Religious Left”. For example look what happened with NiMH and the EV1. I think it’s very prudent to be careful to avoid technology with patents by large corps. They have a history of abusing the privileges that those patents provide.

    In the end though, if people need to use it – they will find a way, whether it’s patented or not. Patents can just be a frustrating stumbling block to progress.

  12. I am a bit narrow minded. Of course, I don’t post things anonymously, but I’m indeed narrow minded.

    The basis for open source and for patent free standards is of course perfectly legitimate. When it becomes a cult/religious matter actually crippling the functions of the network, I get a little narrow minded about it.


  13. Your attempted ad hominem attack does nothing to prove your point. I’m glad you understand how labels are not helpful here. Apparently you don’t like being called “narrow minded”, others may not like being called “Religious Left”, or “Fascist Right”. Unless you really understand who you are talking about, it’s best to avoid.

    Anyways I’m certain that Firefox would love to include support for many common codecs, but those with patent restrictions make it a practical hindrance with licencing and legal issues when offering their software with their own free, and without cost license.

    It is not always about Religion.


  14. ANd that’s the reason I eschew the Religious Left. Utterly muddled usually drug dazed thinking.

    There was nothing about my comments that any clear thinking individual would misconstrue as an attempted ad hominem attack. It was a completely SUCCESSFUL ad hominem attack in ALL respects.

    Anonymous, YOU came here with the ad hominem attack – that’s what narrow minded IS. And I’m FAMOUS for ad hominem attacks. I pathologically never start them, but I don’t back off of them at all. Once I see someone in a forum throwing their weight around and spewing nonsense attacks in all directions, I take it as a personal opportunity to once again demonstrate how it’s REALLY DONE BY AN EXPERT.

    There are lots of browsers without the crippling defect of having to carry the free and open source concept to the point where it is a crippling defect. Why you would be certain what the people at Firefox would love is a mystery to me, but again, as you are ANONYMOUS, who knows?

    Jack Rickard

  15. “Firefox, darling of the Linux crowd, has NOT supported it in that H.264 ultimately is a patented technology and the whole Linux Religious Left are pathologically against anyone owning anything. This religious fervor has basically doomed Firefox, one of the hard chargers in the move to unseat Internet Explorer, to irrelevance and ultimately a dwindling future and obsolescence.”

    Your generalizations towards the Linux and Firefox community including religion, and pathology are the hallmarks of narrowmindedness and prejudice.

    I only meant to highlight a flaw in your statements. Again, my anonymity would not make your statements any less narrow minded, nor my argument any less valid. I apologize if you take offense to any of that.

    What is the more crippling defect?

    a) Giving people total freedom with their data and software.


    b) Restricting people’s use of data and software by controlling the technology via patents, and restrictive licenses incompatible with open use.

    What do I know about Firefox?

    – I know what Firefox would not want to have intentionally crippled software.
    – I know that Firefox is interested in the freedom of data and software.
    – I know that the freedom of data and software leads to great possibilities for interoperability of networks.
    – I know that because patents and licences are inherently designed to restrict freedom, that they also inherently restrict the flow of software and data, and in turn can hinder interoperability of networks.

    Only the future can tell about Firefox’s future obsolescence.
    I’m just suggesting that you’re really blaming the wrong people here.

    Thanks again,


  16. Ah, I thought so. A live one here. Data wants to be free. Great possibilities for interoperability of networks? How about holds interoperability BACK – that’s what we’re talking about here. With the most commonly available video files IT DOESN’T WORK AT ALL.

    I spent a number of years with LInux. With the most commonly available hardware IT DOESN’T WORK AT ALL. Yet in their religious fervor, they insist the software works fine, it’s the HARDWARE that doesn’t have proper religious beliefs.

    Similarly the VIDEO is the problem. The reason Firefox can’t play it is that IT’s fine, the VIDEO is hosed up.

    Up is Down and Down is Up and round and round. Ubuntu has gone through 4 major releases and STILL can’t work with exotics such as WIRELESS KEYBOARDS. Creative SOUNDCARDS, and other such esoteric marvels.

    Mention this and they go BERSERK with religious rant. Wireless Keyboards WANT to be free.

    The truly psychopathically religious left LUNATIC fringe. I finally went to the Mac side of the world and it was like not hitting myself in the head with a hammer any more. No more endless hours battling with common simple hardware devices with endless drivers and tweaks and hacks to try to get at least PARTIAL operation out of them.

    Patents and licenses are inherently designed to restrict freedom. Linux is designed to keep you from working AT ALL.

    Jack Rickard

  17. Alright. I’m done trying to debate you.
    I’ll just share some insight and leave with some food for thought.

    If something doesn’t work it isn’t because of any religious doctrine – it’s either because there are legal restrictions, or it just hasn’t been implemented yet. Free software in general is a work of many volunteer contributors. It’s often the case that a hardware manufacturer doesn’t support Linux at all, so people have to make things work by their own efforts.

    Actually, Mac OS X is derived from many pieces of free software. The fact that
    your Apple machine works so well is because you paid Apple to take the effort
    of selecting the hardware, software, and resolving any other licensing and
    patent issues. Comparing that service with a free download would be fallacious.

    Most Linux distributors can’t afford to include certain functionality by default because of license restrictions. Many times it’s as easy as a one line command to get things working.

    Wireless keyboards and Creative soundcards work quite well in Linux. In fact I use both of those devices.

    I assume by your responses that you are trying to save face without actually admitting your error. The fact is that the free and open source software communities are made up of a diverse group of people and organisations, from many countries, many walks of life, and with many different motives for their involvement. Companies like Apple, IBM, Intel and even now Microsoft are participants.

    Jack, the only real way for you to save face is to admit your error and apologize.
    So, say what you will. I think I’ve provided enough for you to ponder.

    Frankly, I’m really disappointed by your comments. I actually admired you for your contributions involving EVs and all the information you shared.


  18. Your pandering while simultaneously assuming a condescending tone sends a hopelessly garbled message.

    Ubuntu does NOT work with Logisystems Wireless keyboards and hasn’t through FOUR major releases. It’s a known bug. And it never has worked with Audigy 2 cards from Creative Labs. You’re knowledge in this area is just abysmal.

    Yes, it’s free. That’s the excuse for it not to work? And if it doesn’t work, what IS it?

    Mostly a useless toy for kids. Kids that can’t afford software that DOES work. It’s intriguing. And indeed I spent several years PLAYING with this toy. And if your need for a computer is to have something to play with, it’s endlessly intriguing in the quest to get broken software on a broken operating system to work. Kind of reminds me of hte early days of personal computers.

    But if you actually need to use the computer to do something else, it’s a total waste of time.

    I like the open source concept. I actually think it would and can work and specifically on some EV problems – as long as it does NOT attract the religious cult left, such as yourself, who just love to take a little piddle in everybody’s sandbox, wherever they can in a MINDLESS exercise to share POVERTY worldwide – what a quest – through BROKEN software….

    Now THERE’s a mission for you.

    Jack Rickard

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