Sticks and stones! There was a lot of teasing on the playground this week after Google announced the removal of H.264 video support.
Google Removes H.264 Video Support From Chrome
In case you missed it, here's the gist from the official Google Chrome blog:
...we are changing Chrome's HTML5 <video> support to make it consistent with the codecs already supported by the open Chromium project. Specifically, we are supporting the WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs, and will consider adding support for other high-quality open codecs in the future. Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies.
Feedback hasn't been all that great. Microsoft in particular has been rather snarky. Tim Sneath, head of Windows and Web evangelism for Microsoft, likened Google's WebM video codec to the largely unsuccessful Esperanto language:
The Esperanto language was invented last century as a politically neutral language that would foster peace and international understanding...We are supporting the Esperanto and Klingon languages, and will consider adding support for other high-quality constructed languages in the future. Though English plays an important role in speech today, as our goal is to enable open innovation, its further use as a form of communication in this country will be prohibited and our resources directed towards languages that are untainted by real-world usage.
In the post, Sneath link "Esperanto" to the WebM Project, "Klingon" to Theora, and "English" to the Wikipedia entry for H.264.
Google declined to comment on the backlash, but many have suggested that Big G believes sometimes painful steps are necessary for progress.
On the other hand: "...while many of the emotional responses to its announcement were absurdly over the top, plenty were pragmatic, producing another piece of evidence that the tech industry is getting a little tired of watching another episode of Google Knows Best," noted Tom Krazit of CNET.
Catch a Bug, Make Some Money
If you need some extra change, just go vermin hunting. Google recently awarded Sergey Glazunov US$ 3,133.70 for finding a critical vulnerability that Google patched with a new release of Chrome.
Glazunov was previously awarded US$ 1,337 four times, US$ 1,000 eleven times, and US$ 500 for different levels of vulnerability discoveries within chrome. This most recent winning, however, marks the first time Google has paid out the top-level award.
Google issues Chrome updates automatically, so restarting the browser installs the new version.
Google Acquires eBook Technologies
Big G recently grabbed up an e-reader and content distribution company called eBook Technologies:
We are happy to welcome eBook Technologies’ team to Google. Together, we hope to deliver richer reading experiences on tablets, electronic readers and other portable devices.
Following the launch of Google's e-book store and, considering how big tablets are projected to grow this year, the move is a good one. And while it's not that much different than the Kindle Store and iBooks, Google Books can be accessed from any mobile or desktop browser, and it allows users to see actual scans of books rather than just text.