The Grumpy Troll

Ramblings of a grumpy troll.

Google I/O Thoughts

I am a stupid grumpy troll. I was invited to Google I/O Extended, but got the date wrong and set aside tomorrow to attend, a day late. Not only have I missed it, but I've denied someone else a slot. That's really embarrassing. More embarrassing than it is annoying to have not attended.

How did this happen? I'm human, I made a mistake when entering the event in Google Calendar.

Why was I entering the event in Google Calendar manually? Er, because the various mails from Google did not include event details in such a way that GMail and the Google Calendar integration would detect the event and offer to save it to my calendar for me. I remember silently grumbling to myself at that lack of integration.

So, I go to look at the live streams. "Your browser does not currently recognize any of the video formats available".

What's happened is that I've disabled Flash in Chrome. I have a new 2012 Macbook Pro, non-retina, with Intel HD 4000 graphics, running Lion 10.7.4. As you will discover if you search the web, many many people have encountered the same problem as me: kernel panics, with Google Chrome always the foreground process. Repeatable kernel panics, so that if I let Chrome load the open tabs again, the system will panic again within two minutes. As such a web-search will reveal, disabling Flash stops the problem, and Adobe pushed out an updated version of Flash to avoid triggering the issue.

For clarity: if a kernel can panic because of content on a remote web-site, displayed by a non-privileged process, then the onus shifts to Apple to demonstrate why this is not a major security hole. But so far, no sign of updated drivers, and the best I can do is reduce the attack vector by not exposing my vulnerable system in the one place which I currently know is vulnerable. This is far from an acceptable security stance.

For clarity: Chrome bundles Flash instead of using the system version, so that it's always up-to-date for security issues. Apparently, that's not the same as always bundling the most recent version of Flash, so as long as I use Chrome, I'm pinned to a version of Flash which causes my system to crash. Thus I've disabled the Flash extension.

If I want to, I can install Flash separately and use Safari or Firefox to browse the web. Frankly, I mostly don't care about Flash. The one place I do care is Youtube, since Google do not make all videos available in codecs which their own browser natively supports.

Which leads to today. I go to the live stream of Google I/O but discover "Your browser does not currently recognize any of the video formats available". Currently playing on channel 2, the show I want to watch? "The Web Can Do That!?", about "Chrome".

Apparently, Google can't stream their own conference in a codec supported natively by their own browser, so I can't watch a video about what the web can natively do, since I need a proprietary extension to watch that talk.

Google need to hire the "that would be ironic, fix that now" people away from Apple.

Separately: the Google Nexus 7 advertorial on Youtube does display natively (without Flash). It looks pretty damn good and had me excited.

Alas, looking at the specs, there's no storage expansion (MicroSD card slot), so to get 16GB it's $249+tax, and I'm interpreting the absence of "a" in "802.11 b/g/n" to mean 2.4GHz only, no 5GHz WiFi. I'd pay $100 more just for those two features, as it moves it away from "toy" and into "useful and reliable". Too many developers work on a campus with just two WiFi networks, set up to interoperate, live in nice houses in the suburbs and do not apparently visit places where a MBP list of WiFi networks develops a scroll-bar in the drop-down menu. This is something Apple repeatedly gets right, but too many Android devices get wrong.

The store page says "Wi-Fi use requires 802.11a/b/g/n access point (router)". Perhaps there's just a letter missing on the blurb page, since the sale page lists 802.11a as acceptable for getting a connection. I'm going to take a chance and order it, I can always return it.

In reading the Terms and Conditions in the tiny scrollable box on the Checkout page, I again see "In order to use the Nexus 7, you understand that you will need your own 802.11a/b/g/n access point Wi-Fi router". Okay, that's what they're explicitly contracting to, so if it doesn't support 5GHz I will feel absolutely no qualms about returning it within the 15 days.

Interestingly, the T&C show that it's manufactured by ASUSTeK and warranty returns are through them.

-The (stupid) grumpy troll.


I pull youtube videos with quvi. Open-source, no flash involved, and you get to watch them even once youtube have panicked and taken them down.
Categories: calendaring tablet Android google WiFi