Sunday, January 30, 2011


I’m physically staying in the same place, but I’m managing a new blog with my friends at

It’s kind of strange. I’ve physically moved a half dozen times since I graduated college but my blog has always been in the same place. Not anymore! Please update your bookmarks or whatever to the new EWZZY.COM

Saturday, January 15, 2011

It's My Birthday!

I am the ripe old age of 24. That means I'm in my mid-twenties and I'm leaving that early-twenties slump behind.
Things that also happened on January 15th:

  1. 1493 – Christopher Columbus sets sail for Spain from Hispaniola, ending his first voyage to the New World.
    1. Yeah Columbus, get outta here!
  2. 1777 – American Revolutionary WarNew Connecticut (present day Vermont) declares its independence.
    1. Way to go Vermont. Also: thanks for not being "New Connecticut" cause that name is awful.
  3. 1844 – University of Notre Dame receives its charter from the state of Indiana.
    1. Hey something happened in Indiana.
  4. 1889 – The Coca-Cola Company, then known as the Pemberton Medicine Company, is originally incorporated in Atlanta.
    1. And our destinies were forever intertwined.
  5. 1892 – James Naismith publishes the rules of basketball.
    1. Which would someday take over my home state and make my own nerdiness even more apparent.
  6. 1908 – The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority becomes the first Greek-letter organization founded and established by African-American college women.
    1. Way to go black college ladies!
  7. 1919 – Boston Molasses Disaster: A large molasses tank in Boston, bursts and a wave of molasses rushes through the streets, killing 21 people and injuring 150 others.
    1. Not at all good but seriously the craziest thing that happened on my birthday.
  8. 1936 – The first building to be completely covered in glass, built for the Owens-Illinois Glass Company, is completed in Toledo, Ohio.
    1. That's all you got Toledo?
  9. 1943 – The world's largest office building, The Pentagon, is dedicated in Arlington, Virginia.
    1. C'mon Wikipedia, is "The World's Larget Office Building" really the best way to describe the pentagon?
  10. 1967 – The first Super Bowl is played in Los Angeles. The Green Bay Packers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10
    1. Way to go Pack!
  11. 1990 – AT&T's long distance telephone network suffers a cascade switching failure.
    1. As this is the first major even after my birth to coincide with my birthday all I can say is: Not my fault!
  12. 2001 – Wikipedia, a free Wiki content encyclopedia, goes online.
    1. The best birthday present 15-year-old me could ask for.
  13. 2009 – US Airways Flight 1549 makes an emergency landing in the Hudson River shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport in New York City. All passengers and crew members survive.
    1. Way to steal my thunder Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger
And now for people I am forced to share my birthday with:
Actually this list is almost entirely Egyptian politicians, Russian poets, Chinese mathematicians, and European monarchy. Oh how I hate the monarchy! Here's the short list of interesting people:
  1. 1927 – Phyllis Coates, American actress
    1. She was the first person to play Lois Lane on tv!
  2. 1929 – Martin Luther King, Jr., American civil rights leader, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1968)
    1. Because of how great he is it'll be hard to make my birthday a holiday in my honor.
  3. 1930 – Eddie Graham, American professional wrestler (d. 1985)
    1. In 2008 he was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
  4. 1937 – Margaret O'Brien, American actress
    1. She played 'Tootie' in Meet me in St. Louis. That's a pretty good movie.
  5. 1957 – Mario Van Peebles, American actor
    1. I've never actually seen any of his movies but he did direct BAADASSSSS!
  6. 1967 – Lisa Lisa, American R&B singer
    1. I don't know her but notice the double first name. It'll come up again later.
  7. 1970 – Shane McMahon, American professional wrestler
    1. Shane O Mac! Oh man, I hated you so bad. Good times.
  8. 1972 – Ernie Reyes, Jr. American actor and martial artist
    1. Selected Fimography:
      1. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (1991) as Keno
      2. Surf Ninjas (1993) as Johnny
      3. That's all you need to know. He's just great.
  9. 1979 – Drew Brees, American football player
    1. I did not realize until today the Drew and I share a birthday.
  10. 1987 – Kelly Kelly, American WWE Diva
    1. "The girl so nice they named her twice."
    2. She's the first famous person to share my actual date of birth.
    3. Seriously two girls on this list with double name. WTF?
Finally of note is that the first Superman film serial came out on January 15th. 1948. If I believed in destiny I would claim that this is all part of the vast lineage that led to me being a massive nerd, but I don't. Instead I'll just take this time to get a little older and celebrate the anniversary of my birth.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Criticism of WebM


Apple and Microsoft are the two biggest opponents of WebM and have publicly declared that they won’t support it, going to far as to mock the format outright. Together Google, Firefox, Opera have a comparable marketshare worldwide as Microsoft and Apple with Desktop and Mobile shares together. It’s possible that either side could give in if a format becomes popular enough but H.264 has such a foothold in hardware that this looks like it’s too late to change now.

Quality of Encoding

The real test of a codec is the quality of the compression. It turns out that MPEG LA’s patents are really useful for compressing video and without them you put yourself at a severe disadvantage. WebM is good enough but at the same file size it isn’t quite as good as H.264.

Actual Openness

Google claims that WebM is an open standard but it was devised entirely by On2 before being released as completed by Google. H.264 however is the result of a years long open discussion by top experts. The end results reveal exactly that. H.264’s documentation is complete and verbose while Google’s documentation is spotty and incomplete.

Actual Patents

The state of H.264’s patent encumberment is well known That’s its thing. Google claims WebM is patent free, however experts have looked at the source code and have made claims that it’s awful close to being a derivative of H.264. If MPEG LA wanted to it could possibly sue Google or ask for licensing fees for use of WebM just like it does for H.264.


With so many weakness and cracks in its few advantages WebM doesn’t have much of a chance at becoming the official standard of web video. It seems like an eventuality that H.264 will win the war. How long will it take and if we’ll ever have a singular format that can reach all users are questions we’ll have to wait a long time to have answered.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The H.264 WebM Divide

On January 11, 2011 Google announced that they would be dropping H.264 support from Chrome in favor of their own WebM format. Their claimed reason was that this move would better back their proposed royalty free video future. There have been many accusations that this is not their entire reasoning. To understand this complex topic let’s go back a while.
The H.264 video standard was completed in 2003. Since then it has been adopted for use in Blu-Ray discs, Youtube videos, Flash video, broadcast television, and many other applications. It’s such a popular standard mostly because it’s well documented and very effective at compressing video. Because of it’s popularity many devices have been made with specialized chips that can only decode H.264 video. That has created a degree of lock-in. Since our phones utilize these chips we can’t send them another video format and expect them to play it as well or at all.
So if H.264 is used by almost everything then why resist it? Patents. The h.264 standard is based on a collection of patents pooled together by MPEG LA. MPEG LA consists of:
France Télécom
Sedna Patent
Victor Company
So you can see there is a lot of big names working behind h.264, and if they collectively wanted to they could ask everyone who’s using the standard to encode/decode video for licensing fees on their patent. So far they’ve only asked manufacturers who make products that can decode H.264 and those selling video in the format. MPEG LA has promised never ask for fees from end users and free providers but nothing actually stops them from doing so.
Since decoding software is included in what they’re asking licensing fees from, browsers that can play back H.264 are required to pay up. Firefox and Opera would be among those so they’ve decided only to support the Ogg/Theora and now the WebM standard. Microsoft and Apple are members of MPEG LA and as such are exempt from fees. Google has, until recently been paying the fees but has joined up with Firefox and Opera by dropping H.264 support.
The WebM format was not created by Google. In fact they bought video software company, On2, and immediately released the format as patent free and open source. There has been much criticism of the format. If Google wants everyone to support their format then they’ve got quite the uphill battle.

I wrote this for work but since nobody there will actually end up reading it I thought I should put it up here... where nobody will end up reading it.