Flash underground

Cross posted to Nasty Nets, where joel posted some slightly-out-of-phase, marquee-scrolling shockwave files and a graphic designer asked him in the comments to upgrade to html5 so they could be viewed on an iPad:

I assume the last comment is a joke. Have always hated Flash but am suddenly envisioning an underground Net of people refusing to update to whatever spec Steve Jobs is currently co-opting. You could say and do pretty much anything and be invisible to the conformist “leading edge.” (Anyway, nice job with a couple of layers of obsolescentish tech, Joel.)

For those not following it, html 5 is the next generation browser spec. The big computer makers couldn't agree on the video standard part of it, so Apple took its toys and went home, forcing anyone who wants to make content for the fine family of Apple (TM) products to use a standard called H.264. (This is why Apple is known as "the new Microsoft.") This is supposed to "break Adobe," because Adobe's Flash multimedia spec will be obsolete when everyone switches over to html5 to enjoy their sleek Apple gear. Google is also aligned against Adobe and is switching YouTube from Flash to H.264.

The reason we're told we "need" a new standard is that Flash is too resource-hungry for small mobile devices such as smart phones, which we are assured are "the future of computing." Of course, the iPad isn't a phone, it's a neutered laptop, with a big screen and fast processors, which was made because people wanted to read books and watch movies and do other things that couldn't be done on computing's future. Point is it could handle Flash or any other less efficient standard but what's the fun of making a monopoly if you don't get to exclude people?

Update: The silly rhetoric about Apple leaving the past behind comes from Jobs himself. More on how Apple is leaving the past behind by turning eBooks into regular old uncopyable books.