Tuesday, January 20, 2009

tweet clients, drm

Since Adobe took over Macromedia and added DRM, Flash has suffered, in my opinion. Adobe seems to purchase content creation companies, then sells creation software, then adds two steps of DRM, so whatever free player for the content probably slows to check DRM and/or nags users for updates. It's brill for making money, but it sucks out a percentage of creativity, at least for all of those who can't buy the Adobe software.

In the case of Twitter, Adobe evaluators probably determined they couldn't control content creation from the millions of contributors who constantly tweet. Instead Adobe attempts to add Twitter functionality by creating aesthetically appealing tag hashing software that those millions might want to install. But, surprise, the software, TweetDeck, also requires customers to sign a EULA and to install Adobe's proprietary run-time platform Adobe AIR. Adobe AIR appears to have Adobe's customary DRM layers and potential phone-homes (updates, statistics) drawbacks. To me, TweetDeck means "Twitter, now with statistical data-mining, nagware, and under-the-hood file manipulation". Extrapolating a bit, watch for Adobe to someday "partner" with Twitter or otherwise make "reliability" data-sharing agreements with Twitter. One of the simplest explanations for why DRM seems to make financial sense to companies is this article which notes how creation software helps lock non-purchasers out of the creative process. The article is from Techdirt.

tag hasher options
TweetDeck :: Linux version available but, as noted, requires the installation of Adobe Air runtime.

TweetGrid :: Linux compatible. Nothing to download. It appears to require that one's referrer header is set to "2" in "about:config". The developer told me this is to prevent hotlinking. I left my referrer header at "0" and installed the RefControl add-on to firefox to manage the header. This helps on other sites which require headers as well (eg. Adobe!). Appears TweetGrid searches both a tweet's text and its title.

Twitter Search :: This is a sort of rudimentary way to go about it, which is why Adobe and TweetGrid can step in, but it can find whatever I want. Apparently limits its search to tags.

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