Professional linkbaiter Guy Kawasaki reports a "juicy tidbit" from the Gnomedex conference in Seattle: "Adobe is scratching their collective chins and in deep thought considering a Yahoo acquisition." We don't believe it. With a $23.61 billion market cap, Adobe isn't exactly in a position to spend $40 billion on Yahoo, even its stock price has finally sunk below where it was when Microsoft made its offer. So why the rumor? Look to its source: Chris Pirillo — the guy who puts on the Gnomedex conference, of which we admit to only a vague awareness before Pirillo sent a Twitter message about the rumor and got everyone talking about it. And him. And his conference.
Silverlight, Microsoft's buggy effort to tackle Adobe's Flash video technology, has another hiccup on the road to mass acceptance. Gotuit, a video-technology startup, has filed suit against Microsoft for patent infringement. Gotuit will be represented by Spencer Hosie, a law firm which has tangled with Team Redmond before and managed to squeeze out a $60 million settlement for Burst.com. Don't even know what Silverlight is? Read the primer so you can bluff your way out of a gaggle of Google employees. [News.com]
Left: The head-turning photo that appeared all over the world yesterday. Right, the original photo. The New York Times, which ran the altered version, explains how the photo spread "from the Web site of Sepah News, the media arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards," to "the front pages of The Los Angeles Times, The Financial Times, The Chicago Tribune and several other newspapers as well as on BBC News, MSNBC, Yahoo News, NYTimes.com and many other major news Web sites." We lucked out by running other photos for variety. (Photo by Sepah News via AP)
Year-over-year revenues are up 19 percent at Adobe in the most recent quarter, driven mostly by sales of the new CS3 versions of popular applications such as Photoshop. (Even bloggers use it!) But there was little growth in revenues derived from mobile markets as the company struggles to make its Flash Web-video technology the go-to media software for phones and other devices. On the iPhone front, the company has Flash running on an emulator, but in Cupertino, Apple is developing its own alternative. [ZDNet]
The latest iteration of Joost, the once-hot, now decidedly not video startup from the people who brought you Skype, will work in your browser — but only if you download a plugin from Joost. And while Joost struggles to find good content, Adobe is rolling file sharing into its Flash player, beating Joost's new plugin to the punch. NBC has worked with file-sharing content delivery platforms in the past, and Hulu — a site backed with quality content — uses Flash. I'm sure the Joost developers are tech whizzes, but even our journalist math puts them on the wrong side of this equation. (Photo by Job D.)
What's so bad about Mozilla's Toronto workspace? Besides the fluorescent lighting, the colorless white walls and the folding tables, the worst thing about Mozilla's Toronto workspace is how we're sure management would improve it. With corporate graffiti, company logos and too many colors. That was management's trick at Facebook and look where readers ranked it in our poll on tech's ten worst workspaces — as tech's second-worst workspace, just after Mozilla. Check out the full list, below.
After reviewing our post "The 10 worst workspaces in tech," commenter AdmNaismith described Facebook's office, pictured above, as "foggy, dank, dim, and utterly depressing." Commenter mothra1 hated Yahoo's New York offices more: "They suck! Lifeless and impersonal. Kinda like the douchebags who still actually work there." Meanwhile, Adobe apologist BlairHapjo told us we "clearly didn't get past Adobe's lobby," and the rest of the office features "Aeron chairs, real offices (with doors!), big picture windows." For us, the worst offices we found on Office Snapshots and elsewhere were the the ones that try too hard to seem Internet-hip, like Jajah and Google. Now it's time to settle the disputes. Below, vote for your least favorite and help us rank tech's 10 most dismal places to work:
We've toured the top 10 workspaces in tech. Click to viewNow, we've gone back to Office Snapshots to find the 10 worst. What makes them so bad? Some offend with exposed fluorescent lights, gray cubicles and a dystopian corporate sheen. But others, with their pseudo-hip graffiti, kindergarten toys and plastic decorations — all in a desperate attempt to seem "Internet-y" — come off even worse. We'll start with Yahoo's New York digs.
Mark Hamburg, pictured here accepting a Photoshop Hall of Fame award, on being hired away from Adobe to work on user experience at Microsoft: "Given that I find the current Windows experience really annoying and yet I keep having to deal with it, this opportunity was a little too interesting to turn down." [News.com]
Engineer Mark Hamburg has left Adobe for Microsoft. Known as the "architect" of Adobe, Hamburg is credited by the Photoshop Hall of Fame with "programmer logic and the compositing models that unite Photoshop's imaging effects to specific features such as the history palette, free transform, screen caching, and shapes." Hamburg will move to Seattle and focus on "user experience." [LightroomNews]
Cat-loving software developer Brent Simmons parses a lot of error logs maintaining NetNewsWire, an application for reading RSS feeds, and it's a fine perch on which to spot trends online. Lately he's been seeing more and more browsers borked by Microsoft plugin Silverlight, the software giant's tragically late multimedia competitor to Adobe's Flash. This could be a good sign for Microsoft in terms of a growing user base, but personally I've yet to see an installation of Silverlight in the wild, even on regular trips to Microsoft Country. I'm guessing the problems are more likely due to bloated code, a monopolist's tendency to ignore industry standards, or both. Simmons, for what it's worth, wishes a pox upon both houses because users blame his product when the big-shots' bugs cause problems with his product. (Photo from Brent Simmons)
Some fanboys say the iPhone actually provides something better than the "real Internet," because it lacks Flash. You kidding? What's the point of Internet-on-the-can without all that embedded Web video? While his holiness Steve Jobs won't go there, Microsoft mobile exec Derek Snyder will, signing Microsoft to license Adobe's Flash Lite technology.
The best thing about Facebook is that it isn't a blinking mass of glittery images and horrendous, unreadable "designs," right? Perhaps not for long. Now application developers can use Adobe's Flash in their work. This will be nice for musicians who want to embed their music or whatever, but how long until auto-play emo starts blasting from my speakers while I'm trying to
stalk catch up with old acquaintances? Please, Mark Zuckerberg, I beg of you: Keep these people in line. God forbid Facebook ever become as ugly — or as popular — as MySpace.
Sources tell Valleywag that lifecasting startup Ustream.tv is in advanced discussions with Microsoft to acquire the lifecasting service for more than $50 million, but there are other companies in the bidding as well. Ustream is currently raising a very large initial round of VC financing, and Microsoft is attempting to grab them prefunding for a cheap price. Our tipster also mentions that Microsoft would use Ustream as a way to promote its Adobe Flash competitor, Silverlight. Ustream has raised around $2 million from angel investors, and seems to have hit the market at just the right time.
You're not the only one watching what you do in Adobe Creative Suite 3, the company's ubiquitous photo-and-design software package. Adobe is watching you, too. According to this screenshot from Uneasysilence, launching Adobe CS3 triggers communication between your computer and behavioral analytics firm Omniture. (For starters, Adobe could have chosen a partner with a less ominously Foucauldian name.)
Why is CEO Bruce Chizen stepping down from Adobe next month? Normally, CEOs give a bit more than three weeks' notice. The Adobe press release announcing his replacement, Shantanu Narayen, trips over itself to stress the company's supposedly strong financial performance. One obvious conclusion: Chizen knows something about the software company's future we don't — and he, and Adobe, aren't telling.