Steve Jobs Talks About Flash for iPhones, iPods and iPads

One of the things sorely missing from our Apple’s iDevices is Flash support. Why is that? Steve Jobs is here to answer that question.

Apple has a long relationship with Adobe. In fact, we met Adobe’s founders when they were in their proverbial garage. Apple was their first big customer, adopting their Postscript language for our new Laserwriter printer. Apple invested in Adobe and owned around 20% of the company for many years. The two companies worked closely together to pioneer desktop publishing and there were many good times. Since that golden era, the companies have grown apart. Apple went through its near death experience, and Adobe was drawn to the corporate market with their Acrobat products. Today the two companies still work together to serve their joint creative customers – Mac users buy around half of Adobe’s Creative Suite products – but beyond that there are few joint interests.

I wanted to jot down some of our thoughts on Adobe’s Flash products so that customers and critics may better understand why we do not allow Flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads. Adobe has characterized our decision as being primarily business driven – they say we want to protect our App Store – but in reality it is based on technology issues. Adobe claims that we are a closed system, and that Flash is open, but in fact the opposite is true. Let me explain.

First, there’s “Open”.

Adobe’s Flash products are 100% proprietary. They are only available from Adobe, and Adobe has sole authority as to their future enhancement, pricing, etc. While Adobe’s Flash products are widely available, this does not mean they are open, since they are controlled entirely by Adobe and available only from Adobe. By almost any definition, Flash is a closed system.

Apple has many proprietary products too. Though the operating system for the iPhone, iPod and iPad is proprietary, we strongly believe that all standards pertaining to the web should be open. Rather than use Flash, Apple has adopted HTML5, CSS and JavaScript – all open standards. Apple’s mobile devices all ship with high performance, low power implementations of these open standards. HTML5, the new web standard that has been adopted by Apple, Google and many others, lets web developers create advanced graphics, typography, animations and transitions without relying on third party browser plug-ins (like Flash). HTML5 is completely open and controlled by a standards committee, of which Apple is a member.

Apple even creates open standards for the web. For example, Apple began with a small open source project and created WebKit, a complete open-source HTML5 rendering engine that is the heart of the Safari web browser used in all our products. WebKit has been widely adopted. Google uses it for Android’s browser, Palm uses it, Nokia uses it, and RIM (Blackberry) has announced they will use it too. Almost every smartphone web browser other than Microsoft’s uses WebKit. By making its WebKit technology open, Apple has set the standard for mobile web browsers.

Second, there’s the “full web”.

Adobe has repeatedly said that Apple mobile devices cannot access “the full web” because 75% of video on the web is in Flash. What they don’t say is that almost all this video is also available in a more modern format, H.264, and viewable on iPhones, iPods and iPads. YouTube, with an estimated 40% of the web’s video, shines in an app bundled on all Apple mobile devices, with the iPad offering perhaps the best YouTube discovery and viewing experience ever. Add to this video from Vimeo, Netflix, Facebook, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, ESPN, NPR, Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, People, National Geographic, and many, many others. iPhone, iPod and iPad users aren’t missing much video.

Another Adobe claim is that Apple devices cannot play Flash games. This is true. Fortunately, there are over 50,000 games and entertainment titles on the App Store, and many of them are free. There are more games and entertainment titles available for iPhone, iPod and iPad than for any other platform in the world.

Third, there’s reliability, security and performance.

Symantec recently highlighted Flash for having one of the worst security records in 2009. We also know first hand that Flash is the number one reason Macs crash. We have been working with Adobe to fix these problems, but they have persisted for several years now. We don’t want to reduce the reliability and security of our iPhones, iPods and iPads by adding Flash.

In addition, Flash has not performed well on mobile devices. We have routinely asked Adobe to show us Flash performing well on a mobile device, any mobile device, for a few years now. We have never seen it. Adobe publicly said that Flash would ship on a smartphone in early 2009, then the second half of 2009, then the first half of 2010, and now they say the second half of 2010. We think it will eventually ship, but we’re glad we didn’t hold our breath. Who knows how it will perform?

Fourth, there’s battery life.

To achieve long battery life when playing video, mobile devices must decode the video in hardware; decoding it in software uses too much power. Many of the chips used in modern mobile devices contain a decoder called H.264 – an industry standard that is used in every Blu-ray DVD player and has been adopted by Apple, Google (YouTube), Vimeo, Netflix and many other companies.

Although Flash has recently added support for H.264, the video on almost all Flash websites currently requires an older generation decoder that is not implemented in mobile chips and must be run in software. The difference is striking: on an iPhone, for example, H.264 videos play for up to 10 hours, while videos decoded in software play for less than 5 hours before the battery is fully drained.

When websites re-encode their videos using H.264, they can offer them without using Flash at all. They play perfectly in browsers like Apple’s Safari and Google’s Chrome without any plugins whatsoever, and look great on iPhones, iPods and iPads.

Fifth, there’s Touch.

Flash was designed for PCs using mice, not for touch screens using fingers. For example, many Flash websites rely on “rollovers”, which pop up menus or other elements when the mouse arrow hovers over a specific spot. Apple’s revolutionary multi-touch interface doesn’t use a mouse, and there is no concept of a rollover. Most Flash websites will need to be rewritten to support touch-based devices. If developers need to rewrite their Flash websites, why not use modern technologies like HTML5, CSS and JavaScript?

Even if iPhones, iPods and iPads ran Flash, it would not solve the problem that most Flash websites need to be rewritten to support touch-based devices.

Sixth, the most important reason.

Besides the fact that Flash is closed and proprietary, has major technical drawbacks, and doesn’t support touch based devices, there is an even more important reason we do not allow Flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads. We have discussed the downsides of using Flash to play video and interactive content from websites, but Adobe also wants developers to adopt Flash to create apps that run on our mobile devices.

We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform. If developers grow dependent on third party development libraries and tools, they can only take advantage of platform enhancements if and when the third party chooses to adopt the new features. We cannot be at the mercy of a third party deciding if and when they will make our enhancements available to our developers.

This becomes even worse if the third party is supplying a cross platform development tool. The third party may not adopt enhancements from one platform unless they are available on all of their supported platforms. Hence developers only have access to the lowest common denominator set of features. Again, we cannot accept an outcome where developers are blocked from using our innovations and enhancements because they are not available on our competitor’s platforms.

Flash is a cross platform development tool. It is not Adobe’s goal to help developers write the best iPhone, iPod and iPad apps. It is their goal to help developers write cross platform apps. And Adobe has been painfully slow to adopt enhancements to Apple’s platforms. For example, although Mac OS X has been shipping for almost 10 years now, Adobe just adopted it fully (Cocoa) two weeks ago when they shipped CS5. Adobe was the last major third party developer to fully adopt Mac OS X.

Our motivation is simple – we want to provide the most advanced and innovative platform to our developers, and we want them to stand directly on the shoulders of this platform and create the best apps the world has ever seen. We want to continually enhance the platform so developers can create even more amazing, powerful, fun and useful applications. Everyone wins – we sell more devices because we have the best apps, developers reach a wider and wider audience and customer base, and users are continually delighted by the best and broadest selection of apps on any platform.

Conclusions.

Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short.

The avalanche of media outlets offering their content for Apple’s mobile devices demonstrates that Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content. And the 200,000 apps on Apple’s App Store proves that Flash isn’t necessary for tens of thousands of developers to create graphically rich applications, including games.

New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.

Steve Jobs
April, 2010

Adobes CEO had this reply (just found it on Engadget)

There’s no official transcript yet, but the Wall Street Journal just live-blogged an interview with Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen, in which he responded to the Steve Jobs “Thoughts on Flash” letter posted this morning. Substantively, Narayen didn’t offer much we haven’t heard Adobe say before, but his frustration with Apple is palpable even in summary form: he called Jobs’ points a “smokescreen,” said Flash is an “open specification,” and further said Apple’s restrictions are “cumbersome” to developers and have “nothing to do with technology.” What’s more, he also said Jobs’ claims about Flash affecting battery life are “patently false,” and suggested that any Flash-related crashes on OS X have more to do with Apple’s operating system than Adobe’s software.

Perhaps most importantly, Narayen reiterated that Adobe is fundamentally about making it easier for devs to write multiplatform tools — a stance Jobs specifically took issue with in his letter, saying multiplatform tools lead to bad user experiences. Apple and Adobe and the rest of us can argue about battery life and performance all night, but that’s clearly the central philosophical difference between these two companies, and we doubt it’s ever going to change. That is, unless Adobe absolutely kills it with Flash 10.1 on Android 2.2 — and given our experiences with Flash on smartphones and netbooks thus far, we’ll be honest when we say that’s going to be a major challenge. We’ll link over to the full transcript when it goes up, but for now, hit the source link for the liveblog.

Live Action ‘Halo: Reach’ – Birth of a Spartan Trailer (Long Version)

The teams behind Halo are no strangers to creating some very cool live-action short movies to promote upcoming game titles. District 9 director Neil Blomkamp made one for Halo 3 that sparked hopes that a movie version of the popular game would finally happen. Then another one was made when Halo 3: ODST was on the way.

The game is a prequel, taking place in the year 2552, right before the events of the first Halo. You’ll play as part of the UNSC (United Nations Space Command) team known as Noble Team, which is composed of multiple super-soldier Spartans back when they were a lot less of a rare breed.

Now grab your Halo shirt and get ready for the beta starting next month!

Police Seize Gizmodo Journalist Jason Chen’s Computers

Now this is an interesting story, give it a read and follow the links for more info:

Last Friday night, California’s Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team entered editor Jason Chen’s home without him present, seizing four computers and two servers. They did so using a warrant by Judge of Superior Court of San Mateo. According to Gaby Darbyshire, COO of Gawker Media LLC, the search warrant to remove these computers was invalid under section 1524(g) of the California Penal Code.

You can see the warrant here.

“When I got home, I noticed the garage door was half-open,” according to an account by Chen. “And when I tried to open it, officers came out and said they had a warrant to search my house and any vehicles on the property ‘in my control.’ They then made me place my hands behind my head and searched me to make sure I had no weapons or sharp objects on me.”

Then I found this little tidbit on Yahoo:

The California criminal investigation into the case of the errant Apple G4 iPhone that Gizmodo.com unveiled before legions of curious Internet readers last week is noteworthy in its potential to make new media law. But it’s also striking for another reason: The raid that San Mateo area cops conducted last week on the house of Gizmodo editor Jason Chen came at the behest of a special multi-agency task force that was commissioned to work with the computer industry to tackle high-tech crimes. And Apple Inc. sits on the task force’s steering committee.

On Friday, members of the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team (REACT) Task Force entered Chen’s home and seized four computers and two servers as evidence in a felony investigation. REACT is a partnership of 17 local, state, and federal law-enforcement agencies headquartered in Santa Clara County, founded in 1997 to address “new types of crime directly tied to [California’s] increasingly computer-oriented economy and widespread use of the Internet,” according to the task force’s website.

The idea was to bring a variety of business interests and police agencies together to help combat identity theft, computer fraud, and the like. The team’s website explains that “high tech companies … provide specialized training, liaison personnel and internal support for task force investigations.”

What’s curious is that one of those high-tech companies providing training, personnel, and support to the task force is Apple Inc., the alleged victim in the Gizmodo case. According to this May 2009 story from the San Jose Business Journal, Apple is one of the 25 companies that sit on REACT’s “steering committee.” Which raises the question as to whether Apple, which was outraged enough about Gizmodo’s $5,000 purchase of the lost iPhone for CEO Steve Jobs to reportedly call Gawker Media owner Nick Denton to demand its return, sicked its high-tech cops on Chen.

Gizmodo says it paid $5,000 for the prototype 4G iPhone from someone who found it sitting untended on a bar stool in a Silicon Valley beer garden. Stephen Wagstaffe, the chief deputy district attorney in the San Mateo District Attorney’s office, told Yahoo! News that the search warrant on Chen’s home was executed by members of the REACT Task Force in the course of investigating a “possible theft,” but he didn’t say whether the target was Gizmodo or the anonymous tipster who found the phone. In either case, it’s hard to imagine — even if you grant that a theft may have occurred under California law, which requires people who come across lost items to make a good-faith effort to return them to their owner — how the loss of a single phone in a bar merits the involvement of an elite task force of local, state, and federal authorities devoted to “reducing the incidence of high technology crime through the apprehension of the professional organizers of large-scale criminal activities,” as the REACT website motto characterizes its mission.

“It depends,” Wagstaffe says. “If there’s something unusual about the phone, then yes, REACT would get involved. It deals with anything that’s high-tech. So if it’s hard to put a value on it — for instance, if it’s not just any cell phone — then a local police force might have trouble assessing its value, and the task force would have the expertise to do that.” By calling its steering committee member Apple, perhaps?

“That’s a good question,” Wagstaffe says. “I don’t know if Apple is on the steering committee.”

He referred us to another REACT spokeswoman. We asked her to confirm Apple’s presence on the committee and to explain what, precisely, the committee does and how it relates to the task force’s law enforcement efforts. She hasn’t gotten back to us.

According to the San Jose Business Journal, other steering committee members include Cisco Systems, Microsoft, and Adobe. This isn’t the first criminal investigation REACT has conducted in which a steering-committee member was a victim: In 2006, REACT broke up a counterfeiting ring that was selling pirated copies of Norton Antivirus, which is produced by steering-committee member Symantec. REACT has also launched piracy investigations in response to requests from Microsoft and Adobe.

What a great story this is turning into!

Weekend Box Office Chart for April 23rd to April 25th

Claiming the No. 1 spot in its fifth weekend of release, the DreamWorks Animation How to Train Your Dragon took in $15 million giving it 4 weeks at #1 and one at #2.

1. How to Train Your Dragon $15.0 Total: $178.0
2. The Back-Up Plan $12.2 Total: $12.2
3. Date Night $10.6 Total: $63.4
4. The Losers $9.6 Total: $9.6
5. Kick-Ass $9.5 Total: $34.8
6. Clash of the Titans $9.0 Total: $145.6
7. Death at a Funeral $8.0 Total: $28.4
8. Oceans $6.0 Total: $8.4
9. The Last Song $3.7 Total: $55.3
10. Alice in Wonderland $2.2 Total: $327.4
11. Hot Tub Time Machine $1.9 Total: $45.7
12. Diary of a Wimpy Kid $1.7 Total: $59.4

Sad News, Leonard Nimoy Retires From Acting

I’m just going to re-post the story here, some people had trouble following the link:

Just when he thinks he’s out, they beam him back in.

How else to describe Leonard Nimoy’s enduring, at times conflicted relationship with Star Trek, the franchise that’s defined his career for more than four decades — regardless of how many times he swore it off or believed it was finished?

“Countless times, I thought it was done,” he admits on the phone from Los Angeles.

But this time, says the 79-year-old actor-director-photographer, there are no more possibilities. Spock, his pointy-eared alter-ego, will live long and prosper. But it will be without Nimoy.

“I want to get off the stage. Also, I don’t think it would be fair to Zachary Quinto,” he says, referring to the actor who portrayed a youthful Spock in last summer’s smash Star Trek relaunch. “He’s a terrific actor, he looks the part, and it’s time to give him some space. And I’m very flattered the character will continue.”

In other words, don’t expect to see Nimoy in the next Trek sequel, scheduled for 2012. And don’t expect to see him anywhere else, either. Having just shot what will be his final appearance as enigmatic genius Dr. William Bell in TV’s Fringe, he says he’s retiring from acting altogether.

“I’ve been doing this professionally for 60 years,” he says with a laugh. “I love the idea of going out on a positive note. I’ve had a great, great time.”

After all, his involvement with Fringe was never intended to be permanent. Rather, he’d only agreed to appear in a few episodes as a favour to J.J. Abrams, who produces Fringe and, of course, directed Star Trek.

“I was away from acting for 12 years, so I guess I was seducable,” Nimoy says. “But since J.J. Abrams revived the Star Trek franchise, I felt I owed him something. And I’m glad I did it because he promised me a good story, and it was.”

Also in question? How many more science-fiction conventions he has in his future. He’ll be at this weekend’s Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo which “could be the last go-round for that too,” he says, noting he only has a few more public appearances planned.

Not that he doesn’t enjoy them. He describes each one as “a love fest. I’m so grateful to the fans. I call these kind of experiences a victory lap … It’s like having a family meeting — a family reunion.”

That goodwill mirrors how his own emotions about Trek have mellowed. Famously, his 1975 autobiography was entitled I Am Not Spock. By 1995, when he published his second autobiography, the title had been modified to I Am Spock.

He explains he made peace with the iconic series during the 1980s and particularly with Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, which he directed. “I felt like Star Trek IV was my personal statement on Star Trek.”

Now, typecasting be damned, he feels no regrets about donning the ears that made him famous. “Since Star Trek began in 1966, I’ve never had to worry about where the next job was.”

Rather, with his acting and filmmaking career behind him, he wants to concentrate on photography, citing an exhibition he has coming up in Massachusetts. He acknowledges he was met with skepticism initially about this latest creative venture, “but I’ve built credibility now in the art world.”

And among the general population, too. He recalls an incident in which he and Tom Hanks were approached by a young man who wanted his picture taken with Hanks. When Hanks asked who would take the photo, the man turned to the now former Mr. Spock.

“He said, ‘Mr. Nimoy, you’re a wonderful photographer. Would you take our picture?’ ”

‘Spock’ headed to Vulcan, Alt.

If Leonard Nimoy is going to be in Calgary, it only seems logical that he pays a visit to Vulcan too.

“I couldn’t resist,” he says with a very un-Spock-like laugh. “I thought, ‘Since I’m coming to Calgary, why not Vulcan?’ ”

Thus the Southern Alberta community of about 1,900 will get its long-awaited chance to host Nimoy on Friday, ahead of his scheduled appearance at this weekend’s Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo.

Nimoy’s fondness for the town is well-documented. Vulcan generated worldwide headlines last spring when Nimoy backed its bid to host the premiere of 2009’s Star Trek film. Ultimately, Paramount bused about 300 residents of Vulcan — which has long capitalized on the fact it shares the name of Spock’s home planet — to Calgary for a private screening.

Not surprisingly, news of Nimoy’s visit has again put Vulcan in the spotlight.

In addition to touring the town’s Trek museum, Nimoy will have his iconic Vulcan salute canonized in a handprint ceremony. He’ll also be there for the unveiling of a bronze Spock bust.

What message does he plan to convey to the townsfolk?

“How wonderful it is to be home in Vulcan.”

Xbox Live Could be Getting A TV Channel

Bloomberg news has the scoop on a new channel planned over on the Xbox 360, seems Microsoft is in talks with former News Corp. President Peter Chernin

– Microsoft Corp. and former News Corp. President Peter Chernin have discussed creating a television channel for users of the Xbox video-game console, said two people with knowledge of the proposal.

The channel would be exclusive to subscribers of Microsoft’s Xbox Live video-game network, said the people, who sought anonymity because the talks are private. At an April 12 meeting in Redmond, Washington, Chernin suggested raising Xbox Live’s monthly fee by $1 or $2 to add programming aimed at the online service’s young, male target audience, one person said.

The channel would be owned jointly by Peter Chernin and Microsoft, said one of the people, and would offer reruns and original shows. Chernin’s proposal underscores Hollywood’s efforts to find new ways to convince viewers to pay for films and TV shows delivered on the Web.

If you think this is all crazy talk, at least it’s consistent crazy talk, as Bloomberg’s sources say Chernin was also the one floating the idea of bringing Conan O’Brien to Xbox Live a few weeks back.

Weekend Box Office Chart for April 16th to April 18th

It’s another close finish this week between the animated adventure How to Train Your Dragon (last weeks number 3) and the superhero comedy Kick-Ass with last weeks (terra-bad) winner dropping down to 5th.

1. How to Train Your Dragon $20.0 Total: $158.6
2. Kick-Ass $19.7 Total: $19.7
3. Date Night $17.3 Total: $49.2
4. Death at a Funeral $17.0 Total: $17.0
5. Clash of the Titans $15.7 Total: $132.9
6. The Last Song $5.8 Total: $50.0
7. Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too? $4.1 Total: $54.8
8. Hot Tub Time Machine $3.5 Total: $42.5
9. Alice in Wonderland $3.5 Total: $324.0
10. The Bounty Hunter $3.2 Total: $60.3
11. Diary of a Wimpy Kid $2.8 Total: $57.1
12. Avatar $1.0 Total: $745.0

Big Daddy vs Batman and Other Fun Kick-Ass News

Nicolas Cage, who stars as Big Daddy in Kick-Ass, made an appearance on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno this week to promote his new superhero action film, which opens in theaters today.

For Cage’s appearance on the late night talk show, host Jay Leno decided to test the actor’s knowledge on Batman by going beyond just asking him trivia questions. Instead, he had Adam West, who played Batman on the 1960’s television series Batman, come out to play against him! Now, Cage is known for his love of comics and superheros, but can he really beat Batman in a Batman trivia contest?

As for how Kick-Ass is looking this weekend, hollywoodreporter’s got the story:

A $50 million production, “Kick-Ass” was directed by Matthew Vaughn (“Layer Cake”) and features Nicolas Cage and Chloe Moretz (“(500) Days of Summer”) as a foul-mouthed, costumed father-and-daughter duo. Aaron Johnson (“Nowhere Boy”) portrays the latex-suited title character.

Lionsgate acquired domestic rights to the film for teen millions in August. Internet buzz for the R-rated action comedy — stoked by the distributor’s online-heavy marketing campaign — has been building for months, and a bow in the $25 million-$30 million range appears in the offing.

Fanboys are the target audience, but positive word-of-mouth could broaden pic support notably. On the other hand, the film’s restricted rating poses a built-in barrier to many prospective teen patrons.

Lionsgate launches “Kick-Ass” on Thursday night, with nearly 1,500 locations programming 10 p.m. and midnight performances. The movie is set for 3,000-plus locations starting Friday, and the Thursday coin will be included with Friday boxoffice.

“I’m cautiously optimistic, and I’m confident that it’s playability will be great,” Lionsgate executive vp distribution David Spitz said.

“Kick-Ass” totes a ho-hum international cume of $12.5 million from earlier bows in the U.K., Australia and New Zealand, where it was hurt by its positioning opposite the first two weeks of “Clash of the Titans.” That Warner Bros. action fantasy should begin winding down a bit this weekend, its third, with prospects of adding teen millions to a current cume of $118 million.

Even More ‘The Avengers’ and ‘Captain America’ News

Rumor has is that Marvel might be ready to really hand fanboy Joss Whedon the keys to the car. Aside from Whedon directing The Avengers, reports are showing up all over the web that, not only will Whedon be directing The Avengers, but he’ll also be rewriting Zak Penn’s script. This doesn’t mean that he’ll be throwing the entire script away and starting all over, but what he will be doing is going over everything, removing and replacing some things, and adding whatever he thinks might be crucial to the story or his style of directing.

On top of all of this, Whedon is now also rumored to be taking the script for The First Avenger: Captain America and giving it the same touch-up treatment that he’ll be giving to The Avengers.

Shocking I know.

This all means that Whedon is walking into this massive pre-existing world that has been growing over the past few years, preparing to join forces, and that he’ll be responsible for bringing it all together when it finally does. And now, that doesn’t just mean taking what he’s given and making the best movie he can from it, but it means putting a massive self-signature on his movie AND Joe Johnston’s Captain America.

Speaking of Captain America, Hayley Atwell has been confirmed as Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger opposite Chris Evans by Marvel Studios yesterday. In the early comics, Peggy Carter fell in love with Captain America while they fought together in the war effort. The character will be updated for the feature adaptation.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER will focus on the early days of the Marvel Universe when Steve Rogers volunteers to participate in an experimental program that turns him into the Super Soldier known as Captain America.

In addition to CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER, Marvel Studios will release a slate of films based on the Marvel characters including the highly anticipated sequel, IRON MAN 2, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow on May 7, 2010, THOR on May 6, 2011, and Marvel Studios THE AVENGERS on May 4, 2012.

Whedon In Final Talks to Direct Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’

Joss Whedon, the writer/creator/producer of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Firefly, and Dollhouse is currently in final talks with Marvel to direct Marvel’s ‘The Avengers’, a film that would amount to an all-star team of Marvel superheros, including Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), as well as SHIELD leader Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) plus I’m sure a host of other heroes (wish Hulk was on that list!).

While Whedon has been rumored for this job for awhile, and is high on the fanboy wish-list. He’s an interesting choice: despite his writing/producing TV series resume, and genius writing skills, he has only directed one feature in his career — 2005’s Serenity. He has, on the other hand, directed many television episodes, including 22 episodes of Buffy, 7 episodes of Angel, 3 episodes of Firefly, 3 episodes of Dollhouse, and even episodes of both The Office and Glee. Oh, and let us not forget Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.

Marvel Studios has apparently realized this faithful following and how much Whedon is just a geek and fanboy himself. According to Deadline Hollywood, the maker of epic comic book movies is in final negotiations with Whedon to direct The Avengers, which is the film that will bring all of these massive characters and storylines into one film.

After Iron Man 2, Marvel has three pictures left on a distribution deal with Paramount before it moves to Disney, and the studio has been churning them out. Iron Man 2 gets released in May, Captain America will begin shooting this summer in Europe, Thor is in production, and Marvel Studios just set Pete Sollett to direct Runaways, based on the comic book series created by Lost writer Brian K. Vaughan. Whedon has written installments of the latter, so he knows how to make those superheros fly. Marvel has considered all of the individual superhero movies to be an intro to The Avengers, so the wanna-see on this one will be huge. The film will be released in the first weekend of May, 2012.

Weekend Box office Chart for April 9th to April 11th

Looks like we had an almost photo finish with Clash of the Titans and Date Night this weekend. I’m glad to see the better movie won out in the end.

1. Date Night $27.1 Total: $27.1
2. Clash of the Titans $26.8 Total:$110.4
3. How to Train Your Dragon $25.3 Total: $133
4. Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too? $11.0 Total: $48.5
5. The Last Song $10.0 Total: $42.4
6. Alice in Wonderland $5.6 Total: $319.3
7. Hot Tub Time Machine $5.4 Total: $36.9
8. The Bounty Hunter $4.3 Total: $56.0
9. Diary of a Wimpy Kid $4.1 Total: $53.7
10. Letters to God $1.2 Total: $1.2
11. Shutter Island $.8 Total: $125.0
12. Avatar $.8 Total: $743.7

The Halo Movie Isn’t Dead Just Yet

Microsoft’s Frank O’Connor insists that the Halo movie will rise again. We’re still a little bitter after Neill Blomkamp’s version was killed.

The movie version of Halo has almost happened before — Peter Jackson and Neill Blomkamp could tell you all about that — but so far said project just hasn’t panned out. Still, Frank O’Connor, the Master Chief of the Halo world, says the film will happen. Eventually.

O’Connor addressed the issue at the MI6 Conference in San Francisco last week during a session called “Extending Your Game Beyond the Package.”

“We’re going to make a movie when the time is right,” he said. “We own the IP. If we want to make a movie, the scale of all the other stuff that we do changes dramatically. We make tens and tens of millions of dollars on ancillary stuff, toys, apparel, music and publishing. If we do a movie all of that will grow exponentially. We have some numbers if we do a movie, but it changes everything. It also changes our target and age demographic.”

So there you have it. Not only is O’Connor certain that a Halo movie is going to happen at some point, but it makes absolute financial sense to do one too. What, you think Microsoft is in this for the fun of it?

The question, is Master Chief still relevant nowadays, or have you moved on?

Best Video Ever: New York Gets Destroyed, 8-bit Style

Wow, just wow! I’m pretty sure I read someplace that if you happen to have on one of our Video Game T-shirts, you can protect yourself from a disaster like this.

Imagine the apocalypse. Now imagine characters and elements from ’80s games carrying it out. This is exactly what this crazy video portrays, and being a classic games geek myself, if this sort of thing were to happen in real life, I’m not sure whether I’d run or marvel at the sight.

It’s all there — Pacman, Tetris, Arkanoid. Once-friendly, familiar characters wreak havoc on the buildings, streets and cars of New York. The video was created by Patrick Jean from the Paris-based special effect studio One More Production, and the production level is nothing short of amazing. See for yourself.

Apple Sells Over 300,000 iPads First Day

Apple has issued a Press Release announcing that over 300,000 iPads were sold the first day and a monster 1 Million apps and 250,000 iBooks were downloaded during the first day.

The real question is how long till we see this on The Big Bag Theory, I mean sure Sheldon is mostly on a PC (looks like an Alienware), but you never know. Maybe the people over at Dunder Mifflin will sport it in the Office first?

CUPERTINO, Calif., April 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Apple® today announced that it sold over 300,000 iPads in the US as of midnight Saturday, April 3. These sales included deliveries of pre-ordered iPads to customers, deliveries to channel partners and sales at Apple Retail Stores. Apple also announced that iPad users downloaded over one million apps from Apple’s App Store and over 250,000 ebooks from its iBookstore during the first day.

“It feels great to have the iPad launched into the world — it’s going to be a game changer,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “iPad users, on average, downloaded more than three apps and close to one book within hours of unpacking their new iPad.”

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution with the Apple II, then reinvented the personal computer with the Macintosh. Apple continues to lead the industry with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system, and iLife, iWork and professional applications. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store, has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced its magical iPad which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.

Weekend Boxoffice Chart for April 2nd to April 4th

It seems the old gods of Mount Olympus are the new rulers of the weekend box office. The remake of Clash of the Titans debuted at No. 1 with a weekend take of $61.4 million.

1. Clash of the Titans $61.4 Total: $64.0
2. Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too? $30.1 Total: $30.1
3. How to Train Your Dragon $29.2 Total: $92.3
4. The Last Song $16.2 Total: $25.5
5. Alice in Wonderland $8.2 Total: $309.7
6. Hot Tub Time Machine $8.0 Total: $27.8
7. The Bounty Hunter $6.2 Total: $48.9
8. Diary of a Wimpy Kid $5.5 Total: $46.2
9. She’s Out of My League $1.4 Total: $28.6
10. Shutter Island $1.4 Total: $123.4
11. Green Zone $1.2 Total: $33.0
12. The Ghost Writer $1.1 Total: $11.0

Clash was ok, not the best, but don’t go see it in 3d, the 2d was better.

Captain America Sidekick Bucky Named

Rumor has it Sebastian Stan is Bucky in the new Captain America film.

Stan is one of those actors who’s been in everything, but it’s always hard to place his face. You may remember him as Chase Collins in The Covenant, or from his work in Gossip Girl. He was even rumored to have been in the running for the part of Captain America. Clearly someone at Marvel likes him, because even though Chris Evans got the role of Cap, Stan snagged the Bucky roll

From Deadline:

Now that Marvel Studios and director Joe Johnston have set Chris Evans to play the title role in The First Avenger: Captain America, the other roles have begun to fall into place. Sebastian Stan is about to be fill the role of Bucky, the sidekick who fights side by side with the shield-throwing superhero. Stan is best known for Gossip Girl and he just completed the Darren Aronofsky-directed Black Swan and the Todd Lincoln-directed The Apparition. He also was just seen playing the nemesis in Hot Tub Time Machine. Studio confirmed Stan will be in the film in a deal that has multiple options, but there is no confirmation on whether Bucky transforms into Winter Soldier, as is the case in the Marvel Comics version. Marvel is also close to setting the female lead role of Peggy, and recently tested Keira Knightley, Alice Eve and Emily Blunt for that role.

Clash of the Titans Poised to Dominate Boxoffice With Pointy Swords!

Easter weekend will be sweetened with yet another 3D release, with Warner Bros.’ “Clash of the Titans” sending distributors scrambling like so many children hunting holiday eggs.

The remake of the 1981 cult classic opened at 8 yesterday in about 3,000 2D and 3D theaters and starting on Friday, “Titans” will play in roughly 3,700 theaters, with about half showing the action fantasy on at least one 3D screen and the others playing it in 2D only.

That represents about 17% fewer 3D venues than DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon,” which Paramount bowed last weekend in 2,178 3D theaters and 4,055 locations overall. But it seems enough to validate a decision by Warners just a couple months ago to convert “Titans” to 3D to exploit the format’s surging popularity.

There also will be considerable splitting of showtimes on many screens between “Titans” and “Alice.” But all things considered, the situation has shaken out well for the industry, Warners distribution president Dan Fellman said.

“Everybody is going to be fine,” he said. “We will be covered in every major market. We’re in very good shape.”

Bolstering that upbeat assessment is tracking data that shows huge must-see interest in key “Titans” demos.

“It’s gigantic,” Fellman said. “We own males over and under 25, and we’re in good shape with the females as well.”

Consensus estimates suggest that “Clash of the Titans” could march north of $60 million through Sunday. A roughly $125 million production, “Titans” was co-produced and co-financed by Legendary Pictures.

Easter weekend generally is a solid boxoffice session, with Good Friday strengthened by kids and some adults having the day off. But this weekend will be compared with a non-Easter frame from last year, a $155 million session topped by the $71 million bow of Universal’s “Fast & Furious.”

Bored? Watch the Newest A-Team Trailer

Will it be good? Ummmm probably not but judging by the two trailers released for this, it looks like a faithful adaptation of the TV show. As far as 80s TV shows go, I think The A-Team was top of the crop, so I’m really hoping this movie does it justice. However, I think the trailer for Miami Vice looked ehhh, but that turned out to be bad, real bad.

Joe Carnahan directed the film, which has, a spot-on cast for the members of the A-Team: Liam Neeson as team leader John “Hannibal” Smith; Bradley Cooper as Templeton “Face” Peck; Sharlto Copley as “Howling Mad” Murdoch; and former UFC champion Quinton Rampage Jackson as “B.A.” Baracus.

The A-Team hits theaters June 11, 2010.

Oh and we have some of the best A-Team shirts out, have you seen some of these yet! I mean really anything with Mr. T on a shirt is killer.

First iPad Reviews Are In, Are You Going To Get One?

The first few iPad reviews are in. Gizmodo has the goods. Here are a few:

The WSJ’s Walt Mossberg is in love with the iPad’s interface and design:

The iPad is an advance in making more-sophisticated computing possible via a simple touch interface on a slender, light device. Only time will tell if it’s a real challenger to the laptop and netbook.

USA Today’s Edward Baig was impressed:

Apple has pretty much nailed it with this first iPad, though there’s certainly room for improvement. Nearly three years after making a splash with the iPhone, Apple has delivered another impressive product that largely lives up to the hype.

NYT’s David Pogue was sure to clarify just where the device excels:

The iPad is not a laptop. It’s not nearly as good for creating stuff. On the other hand, it’s infinitely more convenient for consuming it – books, music, video, photos, Web, e-mail and so on. For most people, manipulating these digital materials directly by touching them is a completely new experience – and a deeply satisfying one.

PC Mag’s Tim Gideon also realizes the iPad’s limitations, but praises it nonetheless:

Is the iPad a perfect product? No. And the omissions will give the anti-Apple crowd plenty of ammo. Why do I need this extra device that’s not a full-fledged laptop? Where’s the camera? What about Flash? Um, how about multitasking? These are all valid complaints, but one thing I can say about most Apple products, and certainly the iPad: There may be things it doesn’t do, but what it does do, it does remarkably well. Aside from the aforementioned limitations, there isn’t a lot else to gripe about. And to my great surprise, you can actually get real work done with the iPad.

The Houston Chronicle’s Bob “Dr. Mac” LeVitus agrees with our thoughts that the iPad is a whole new category of mobile devices:

It turns out the iPad isn’t as much a laptop replacement as I thought (though it could easily be used as one). Instead, it’s an entirely new category of mobile device. For example, now when I want to surf the Web from the couch or back deck, the iPad is the device I choose. Starbucks? Same thing. Think of the iPad as a new arrow in your technology quiver, an arrow that will often be the best tool for a given task.

I had high expectations for the iPad, and it has met or exceeded most of them.

BoingBoing’s Xeni Jardin was thinking ahead while trying out the device:

Maybe the most exciting thing about iPad is the apps that aren’t here yet. The book-film-game hybrid someone will bust out in a year, redefining the experience of each, and suggesting some new nouns and verbs in the process. Or an augmented reality lens from NASA that lets you hold the thing up to the sky and pinpoint where the ISS is, next to what constellation, read the names and see the faces of the crew members, check how those fuel cells are holding up.

I like it a lot. But it’s the things I never knew it made possible – to be revealed or not in the coming months – that will determine whether I love it.

The Chicago Sun-Times’ Andy Ihnatko thought the iPad lived up to all the excitement and hype:

The iPad user experience is instantly compelling and elegant. It’s not every computer and every function. It’s a computer that’s designed for speed, mobility, and tactile interaction above all other considerations.

The Root’s Omar Wasow thinks the iPad has something for everyone:

Apple pulled off a remarkable balancing act in that it has designed the iPad in such a way that in can simultaneously appeal to both newbies and nerds. For low-tech users looking for an affordable entry-level PC, the iPad is a computer without all the distractions. […] For the tech-savvy with $500 to drop on a gadget, the iPad offers a convenient way to consume and enjoy digital media without being tethered to a computer all day.