Linked by weildish on Tue 20th Jan 2009 02:13 UTC
In the News Those up top (the Presidential Inaugural Committee) chose to utilize Microsoft's Silverlight technology to stream the upcoming inaugural events for the new president of the United States. Though Microsoft certainly likes this idea, this leaves out thousands of people in the US and elsewhere who still cannot run Silverlight or an open source alternative on their systems from viewing the streamed video online. Update by Thom: Linux and PowerPC Mac fans rejoice, as they can watch the inauguration as well using Moonlight. Migel De Icaza wrote: "Microsoft worked late last night to get us access to the code that will be used during the inauguration so we could test it with Moonlight." Microsoft and the Moonlight team fixed this issue in one afternoon, so it might be a little rough.
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Soooo ....
by WorknMan on Tue 20th Jan 2009 02:34 UTC
WorknMan
Member since:
2005-11-13

If they wanted to use an open source alternative, what kinds of open source alternatives can do the things that Silverlight and Flash can?

Anyway, this is one of the reasons why I use Windows as a primary OS. On one hand, alternative OS advocates claim that you can easily switch to another OS that can completely replace Windows, but on the other hand, I keep seeing things like this pop up. (Another recent story was about a girl in college who didn't have all the tools needed for classes on her Linux netbook.)

Don't get me wrong... I'm glad you guys are bitching about this, as well you should. On the other hand, some of these anti-Windows campaigns aren't exactly being completely honest about the things you can do in Windows that can't be done elsewhere. (And I'm talking for compatability reasons, not technical.)

Edit: I see that I have already been marked down. Do you guys think I'm trolling here?

Edited 2009-01-20 02:37 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE: Soooo ....
by sultanqasim on Tue 20th Jan 2009 02:52 UTC in reply to "Soooo ...."
sultanqasim Member since:
2006-10-28

"If they wanted to use an open source alternative, what kinds of open source alternatives can do the things that Silverlight and Flash can? "
They could have used, uhh... flash! Its far more widespread than Silverlight, compatible with all major OSes, and even a functional FOSS version is availabe (gnash)!

"girl in college who didn't have all the tools needed for classes on her Linux netbook" - Not true; the girl was seriously retarded and was unable to realize that you do not need MS Word to type or IE to surf the net and simple things like that. If she wasn't so brain dead, she would have realized that linux would have worked fine for what she needed to do.

Reply Score: 18

v RE[2]: Soooo ....
by testman on Tue 20th Jan 2009 04:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Soooo ...."
RE[3]: Soooo ....
by wakeupneo on Tue 20th Jan 2009 07:09 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Soooo ...."
wakeupneo Member since:
2005-07-06

So it is the end-user's fault again, is it?


...well, if the "end-user" has taken so little time to actually learn anything about the computer they use, to the extent that they think Internet Explorer IS the "Internet" and that MS Word is the only product that can type a letter, then yes...it's their fault.

Something about a bad mechanic blaming his tools comes to mind....

Reply Score: 10

RE[4]: Soooo ....
by AAArno on Tue 20th Jan 2009 09:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Soooo ...."
AAArno Member since:
2008-08-05

"...well, if the "end-user" has taken so little time to actually learn anything about the computer they use, to the extent that they think Internet Explorer IS the "Internet" and that MS Word is the only product that can type a letter, then yes...it's their fault.

Something about a bad mechanic blaming his tools comes to mind....
" equals ivory tower indeed.

Well, this girl is exactly that; not a mechanic. She doesn't give a damn what kind of engine the car is running on. She wants to use word, windows programs and internet explorer and that's it. Most users aren't interested in what a OS is and they're right; they have different priorities.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Soooo ....
by ichi on Tue 20th Jan 2009 09:35 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Soooo ...."
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

Well, this girl is exactly that; not a mechanic. She doesn't give a damn what kind of engine the car is running on. She wants to use word, windows programs and internet explorer and that's it. Most users aren't interested in what a OS is and they're right; they have different priorities.


I'm not a mechanic either, but if I need to tighten a screw I take the time to learn I need a screwdriver instead of going straight to TV when the shop assistant sells me a B&D drill.

Reply Score: 6

RE[5]: Soooo ....
by evert on Tue 20th Jan 2009 09:36 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Soooo ...."
evert Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, this girl is exactly that; not a mechanic. She doesn't give a damn what kind of engine the car is running on. She wants to use word, windows programs and internet explorer and that's it. Most users aren't interested in what a OS is and they're right; they have different priorities.


Surely, this girl is well prepared for this information age :-) (actually, it is not funny at all)

I expect students to learn a few basics to be succesful in the info age. And that includes some basic computer knowledge, like "what is a browser", "different applications", "what is a file format", and so on.

Maybe I expect too much. Dumbness is much easier, isn't it?

Reply Score: 6

RE[6]: Soooo ....
by darknexus on Tue 20th Jan 2009 10:33 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Soooo ...."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Isn't this the wrong article for this particular line of discussion? The comments on the original article about the student/Dell/Ubuntu ridiculousness is still open, so shouldn't we discuss this over there? This article has nothing whatsoever to do with it.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Soooo ....
by Arawn on Tue 20th Jan 2009 10:52 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Soooo ...."
Arawn Member since:
2005-07-13

But the problem here is that a computer is not a simple household appliance, is more than that. It's a complex tool, that you need to learn how to use.
If she bought a Dell computer, when arrived saw that it came with a Linux distro and that was not that she wanted, she could have returned it immediately. Since she didn't, she should have learnt how to use the tools that came with the Linux distro and how to install more.

Blaming her failing at school because of her computer having Linux distro installed instead of returning it and getting a Windows one, or learning how to use it... that's tells something not so flattering about her. And unfortunately probably about most of the common users.

Lets compare: someone buying a VCR, then blaming the manufacturer because it has different buttons and operating procedures that the previous brand they ownned, and you can't tape your shows? RTFM.

Edited 2009-01-20 10:54 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Soooo ....
by jabbotts on Tue 20th Jan 2009 13:08 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Soooo ...."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

If she was not a computer expert, she maybe should have gone to a store or asked a friend who knew more. "Say, I need a computer that can see the Internet, run Word and manage my school work."

There are real places where it is not the user's fault but this is not one of those cases. If someone buys a VM Beetle for hauling the family camping wagon or a Ford F150 for doing time trials against the ricers at the local quarter mile; yeah, that's the consumer's own fault.

I also have to wonder how this girl was all alone in this. She had no friends, family or local computer shop folk who could answer a question or two? She was taking IT related courses in college but none of the other students could help? What steps did she take previous to the purchase for research and after the purchase to solve her issues?

Reply Score: 4

RE[5]: Soooo ....
by Budd on Tue 20th Jan 2009 14:18 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Soooo ...."
Budd Member since:
2005-07-08

Exactly.She's the driver.Why did she rode the car without having a driver license?

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Soooo ....
by segedunum on Tue 20th Jan 2009 18:56 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Soooo ...."
segedunum Member since:
2005-07-06

Well, this girl is exactly that; not a mechanic. She doesn't give a damn what kind of engine the car is running on.

OK, it's a bad driver who blames their car and complains that the pedals, gearstick and controls are different when they should all be equally familiar. Same difference.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Soooo ....
by jabbotts on Tue 20th Jan 2009 13:02 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Soooo ...."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

Trying to install the Windows version of Word and IE on a non-Windows platform.. sorry.. that is the user's own fault. If the articles (there where a few I read) had indicated that she had did a single internet search for the solution or even asked a friend with an ounce more tech knowledge then fine.. bad little OS. She didn't though.

Tell you what. Throw iWork on your Windows machine then come back and tell us all about how it's not the user's own fault for wondering why the Windows version of IE won't run on any other platforms. (do I get to complain because the osX version of IE won't install on Windows too?)

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Soooo .... thankyou
by jabbotts on Tue 20th Jan 2009 12:57 UTC in reply to "RE: Soooo ...."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

That was the very article I was half remembering. The girl dropped her college courses for the year over issues that five minutes on the couch with a cup of tea would have solved. What she did was the equivalent of buying Windows and claiming it can't play games because the osX version of a game wouldn't install and run.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Soooo ....
by Machster on Tue 20th Jan 2009 02:54 UTC in reply to "Soooo ...."
Machster Member since:
2007-05-15

OK I'll take your bait. This is not anti-Windows, it is anti OS descrimination. Silverlight is made available only to a select group, not even most Mac users have access to it (last I checked v2 is not available for PPC) so it appears that maybe flash would have been a better option? Why not use a technology that can reach more users?

Reply Score: 10

RE[2]: Soooo .... especially given the IT team
by jabbotts on Tue 20th Jan 2009 13:11 UTC in reply to "RE: Soooo ...."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

I'd expect the US President's IT team to be able to figure out how to stream video without requiring flash or silverlight. This decision was just plane lazy.

On the up side, moonlight had an overnight development cram session with access to the website code. Seems us lowly unix users are also allowed to watch the proceedings now. Would smoothing out the bugs over night happen in a proprietary company?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Soooo ....
by lemur2 on Tue 20th Jan 2009 03:21 UTC in reply to "Soooo ...."
lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

If they wanted to use an open source alternative, what kinds of open source alternatives can do the things that Silverlight and Flash can?


Things on the web shouldn't necessarily be open source ... but they should be open standards. Having open standard is vital for competition, because it means that any company can offer web content, any company can make tools to present web content, and any company can make viewers to display web content. None of it need necessarily be open source ... but it all must be open standards.

The open standards for the web are defined by W3C and other similar bodies, not by Microsoft or Adobe. Here they are listed:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_standards
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Wide_Web_Consortium#Standards

The open standards that can do what SilverLight and Flash can do are called SVG and SMIL.

Having pointed out that, if you were to subsequently claim that SVG and SMIL are not widely adopted, and lack adequate tools, you would have a point. In that case, the next best thing is to choose an existing protocol, for which there are existing tools and content and widespread use, and which is fully specified and able to be implemented by anybody for no licensing fee.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adobe_Flash#Open_Screen_Project

That would be Flash, not SilverLight.

Reply Score: 16

RE[2]: Soooo ....
by capricorn_tm on Tue 20th Jan 2009 05:13 UTC in reply to "RE: Soooo ...."
capricorn_tm Member since:
2005-12-31

Perfect, I could not have said better.

In fact I can see the confused idea that was behind the silverlight choice.

"Lads, we have to pass through the idea that our boss is new, is fresh, is something never seen before, so let's use the latest and spiffier and blinkier technology we have!"

The curios fact is that that kind of reasonement would never be even considered if applied at other fields.

"Lads, we have to pass through the idea that our boss is new, is fresh, is something never seen before, so let's do all the presentation in a place were everyone is standing up so that they are forced to dance all time long, no sitting allowed!"

See what I mean?

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Soooo ....
by siimo on Tue 20th Jan 2009 05:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Soooo ...."
siimo Member since:
2006-06-22

I think it also has something to do with what the development team is comfortable with. I have no idea what this site Obama uses is but if its written in asp.net then those same developers would find it easier to write SilverLight than Flash.

Don't think that justifies using it over Flash for a big site but just putting it out there.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Soooo ....
by AAArno on Tue 20th Jan 2009 09:26 UTC in reply to "RE: Soooo ...."
AAArno Member since:
2008-08-05

Yes, that would be ideal but a closed standard makes more money for the company that owns the product. :/

And I seriously doubt the Obama campaign chose Silverlight because it was 'fresh' or it was something 'the development team is comfortable with'; Microsoft just had their big foot in the door. Especially because, I recollect, the company was a big contributor to the Obama campaign.

Reply Score: 4

v RE: Soooo ....
by Moulinneuf on Tue 20th Jan 2009 07:13 UTC in reply to "Soooo ...."
v RE[2]: Soooo ....
by Moulinneuf on Tue 20th Jan 2009 07:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Soooo ...."
RE: Soooo ....
by iain.dalton on Tue 20th Jan 2009 07:54 UTC in reply to "Soooo ...."
iain.dalton Member since:
2006-02-28

Shortly after the planes hit the WTC, I watched Bush's speech online, and it didn't use Flash or any proprietary thing, just RTSP and some common video codec. Why is that no longer done?

Reply Score: 9

RE: Soooo .... - other recent story
by jabbotts on Tue 20th Jan 2009 12:54 UTC in reply to "Soooo ...."
jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

yeah, I read that other recent story about the girl in college who didn't have the tools needed for doing school work. She baught the ubuntu based Dell because it was cheaper. She then complained because Windows native Word would not install on Ubuntu but didn't look for an alternative applications; would she complain because Windows native Word wouldn't install on osX also? She claimed that it wouldn't connect to her network but details as to why and what she tried are not available. In the end, instead of figuring out how to do what she needed to or returning the notebook, she just called the school and cancelled the courses for that year. The best part was that she was taking IT related courses yet from the article, I'd be surprised if she could even figure out Windows if given a preinstalled system with all required applications ready.

If she was local to my area, I'd bend over backwards to help her; "Word" wouldn't be an issue neither would network connections. She's far from some kind of mislead victim of the zealot revolution though. You can't blame any OS for the shortcomings of the user.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Soooo ....
by Laurence on Tue 20th Jan 2009 15:39 UTC in reply to "Soooo ...."
Laurence Member since:
2007-03-26

Edit: I see that I have already been marked down. Do you guys think I'm trolling here?


Not trolling - just missing the point a little.
Microsoft specific standards will always favour Microsoft platforms. We all know this and, for 99% of day-to-day usage, this can usually be worked around (I know I've never hit major road blocks using Linux and FreeBSD - so I assume the same is true with OS X)

However, for a major government (or even any government really) to publicly favour a standard that excludes huge numbers of people* to such a high demand facility is simply bad decision making and/or programming.

Particularly given that there are more accessible standards that are available and have already been proven to work.

* Windows may hold a percentage majority, but the actual numbers of desktop installs of non-Windows OSs is still significant enough to cater for)

Reply Score: 6

RE[2]: Soooo ....
by WorknMan on Tue 20th Jan 2009 21:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Soooo ...."
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Not trolling - just missing the point a little.


I understand and agree that the government should've used something more open than Silverlight. That wasn't really my point.

I just found it a little ironic that this issue was raised by (according to the OSNews piece) a self-professed open source advocate, when it is clear that there are no open source alternatives that have the capability to currently do with Flash and Silverlight can do.

Microsoft specific standards will always favour Microsoft platforms. We all know this and, for 99% of day-to-day usage, this can usually be worked around (I know I've never hit major road blocks using Linux and FreeBSD - so I assume the same is true with OS X)


Even if your number of 99% is correct (though I believe that to be a little optimistic), there's still a lot of stuff that has to be worked around, even if you can get it to work. In other words, you basically have to hack it, and that can be a pain sometimes. But the zealots who are urging people to jump ship from Windows don't bother to inform people of this, talking about how grand life is going to be on 'GNU/Linux'... "format your hard drive, pop in the Ubuntu CD, and life is bliss. Got Windows games? No problem! Just throw on Cedaga, and all your games will run just as good as they did in Windows!" The actual reality of the situation is hardly presented in those '7 Reasons You Should Switch To Linux' articles.

Of course, as someone pointed out, there are also a lot of BS-Linux campaigns. But these are put on by billion dollar corporations who are looking for a profit, not by normal end users of their products.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by averycfay
by averycfay on Tue 20th Jan 2009 02:41 UTC
averycfay
Member since:
2005-08-29

Actually linux users aren't really being left out. The inauguration committee website is one of probably 100+ sites that are going to be streaming everything. I'm planning on watching on hulu because their video quality is generally excellent and it works great in linux.

That said, it sucks that anyone chooses to use silverlight given its abysmal market penetration compared to flash.

Reply Score: 15

My Reasons
by systyrant on Tue 20th Jan 2009 02:57 UTC
systyrant
Member since:
2007-01-18

My only problem is that Microsoft, a convicted monopolist, seems to get all it's support from the government... who convicted them. I have no bigger problem with Silverlight than I do with Flash. I don't like either, but at least flash has a Linux, Mac, and Windows version all made by Adobe. Can Silverlight say the same?

Reply Score: 12

At least go with Flash
by chekr on Tue 20th Jan 2009 03:48 UTC
chekr
Member since:
2005-11-05

Flash supports these extra platforms:

98
ME
Mac PPC
Solaris x86
Solaris SPARC

Reply Score: 12

lol...
by djames on Tue 20th Jan 2009 03:53 UTC
djames
Member since:
2006-04-18

you guys need to get your heads checked.

why don't you turn on the freaking TV if you want to watch it.

“Microsoft Silverlight was built to enable people to consume online content in unique and engaging ways,” said Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the .NET Developer Division at Microsoft.

if that statement is correct...when will Silverlight come with a USB electronic vagina? Since that's the only killer app I can think of utilizing Silverlight.

Reply Score: 12

RE: lol...
by softdrat on Tue 20th Jan 2009 04:49 UTC in reply to "lol..."
softdrat Member since:
2008-09-17

<<why don't you turn on the freaking TV if you want to watch it.>>

No can do - my TV just crapped out and is now in recycling. Is this Obama thing going to be broadcast in sports bars?

Reply Score: 3

I'm not really upset about this
by lawlernet on Tue 20th Jan 2009 04:24 UTC
lawlernet
Member since:
2005-08-22

It seems like a really dumb move, if they wanted to reach the maximum amount of people possible, they should have just went with Flash. But there are plenty of other sites around that will be streaming it, much of which I would think to check for coverage for it rather than the official government website.

If the only way to access this was using Silverlight, then I guess it'd be worth getting upset over. But, like other posters have said, you can easily access it elsewhere.

Reply Score: 3

..was
by mtzmtulivu on Tue 20th Jan 2009 04:41 UTC
mtzmtulivu
Member since:
2006-11-14

{..} on their cheap Dell machines bought at basement prices from Wal-Mart, there won't be too much of a problem for them

necessary?

Reply Score: 2

RE: ..was
by weildish on Tue 20th Jan 2009 21:26 UTC in reply to "..was"
weildish Member since:
2008-12-06

Not exactly necessary, but thrown in for a humorous effect as well as to make an off-topic point. It's sad, but true, and I see it everywhere I go: your average user owns a piece of junk manufactured by Dell or HP that really shouldn't be running the system installed on it. It's cheap, and the guys at Best Buy or Wal-Mart will tell you it's a great system because they don't know any better. The average user likes the price, takes the word of the sales rep as golden, and buys the under qualified machine. Now we have five hundred thousand proud owners of new computers "running" Windows Vista. And you know what I mean by "running." Just because it has the sticker on it doesn't mean it should be running it. Manufacturers stretched the truth there, and I think that's one of the reasons so many people have hated Vista so much-- it really shouldn't be running on the hardware they said it could run on-- definitely partly MS's fault for saying it could. But anyway. I'm majorly getting off topic here. Please forgive.

Reply Score: 3

Yes we...
by historyb on Tue 20th Jan 2009 06:31 UTC
historyb
Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes we can, not with anything linux. He's just a big politician like any other b

Reply Score: 3

Who's paying the bandwidth bill?
by mckill on Tue 20th Jan 2009 07:00 UTC
mckill
Member since:
2007-06-12

I bet MS will be footing a part of the bandwidth bill (if not all of it) for this, and I seriously doubt Adobe would offer anything other than demand stupid licensing fees. Flash and Silverlight are basically just as bad, they're closed solutions.

For those claiming Flash has more users because Mac/PPC users can use it, do you realize how shitty Flash is on Mac OS? You basically need a quad core Core2 to handle a decent stream. The majority of Mac users are now Intel users anyways, it doesn't make sense for MS to support older platforms for projects going forward.

Sadly there isn't anything available that allows for open streaming content, hopefully that will change with HTML5 <video> tag/mp4.

Reply Score: 2

Might be good
by Glynser on Tue 20th Jan 2009 07:11 UTC
Glynser
Member since:
2007-11-29

Might be a good thing for Microsoft actually. There will be lots of people who want to watch that, so it's a very quick way for Microsoft to gain some serious marketshare inside the Flash world.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Might be good
by Jokel on Tue 20th Jan 2009 09:00 UTC in reply to "Might be good"
Jokel Member since:
2006-06-01

Yeah - and a great way to say to everybody that does not use windows, to drop their "broken" OS and go to the nice and warm mindless Windows OS. How helpfull.

There was no reason to get out Silverlight other than to make anything incompatible for a non-window-OS on the web again. It's the whole "you have to use IE" story again. Slightly modyfied, but with the same end result again.

And don't say the guys at Novell are working on a Linux version. They got a "Novell-only" disclosure of the protocols and inner workings, so nobody else but the "partner" of Microsoft can use it. Also they got only some tiny bits to get it working, but not the full inner workings to get it really work good - so the Linux version will always be more crappy and lags behind.

Sure - flash is not at all great too, but at least Adobe is giving some good working implementations for Linux (even a 64 bit version too). Microsoft itself does absolutely nothing, but leaves everything to Novell (and nobody else as I explained before). So if Moonlight (Linux version of Silverlight) works crappy they can blame Novell and keep clean hands their self. Also by disclosure only to Novell they are sure the implementation can only be developed by a small tiny subset of the whole Open Source Designers potential. This almost ensures Linux will never ever have a full working version of Silverlight...

So - yes... Using Siverlight is same Microsoft practices as usual...

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Might be good
by Glynser on Tue 20th Jan 2009 09:18 UTC in reply to "RE: Might be good"
Glynser Member since:
2007-11-29

Of course, I didn't say it's a nice practice ;) but for Microsoft, it's a really good opportunity.

Also, keep in mind that Flash is also some kind of monopoly here. Though I wouldn't mind if it would remain one, at least it works.

Reply Score: 1

v Somethings don't run on Linux,
by jessta on Tue 20th Jan 2009 08:36 UTC
Moonlight Will Work
by dgoemans on Tue 20th Jan 2009 08:54 UTC
dgoemans
Member since:
2008-08-23

From migueldeicaza on twitter:
Moonlight will render the Obama Inauguration on Linux, get it now: http://www.go-mono.com/moonlight

Reply Score: 5

way over the top
by unclefester on Tue 20th Jan 2009 09:06 UTC
unclefester
Member since:
2007-01-13

The whole inauguration process is totally over the top.

Here in Australia the new Prime Minister just goes to visit the Governor General to be sworn in a day or two after winning the election . The whole process takes only a few minutes with half a dozen people present. The Prime Minister then goes back home.

Reply Score: 8

RE: way over the top
by karl on Tue 20th Jan 2009 11:17 UTC in reply to "way over the top"
karl Member since:
2005-07-06

this is my tongue-in-cheek-response ;) (if you take it too seriously someone must have damaged your funny bone)


Perhaps Obama's inauguration, like that of any other U.S. President, seems to be "over the top" due to relative power and importance of the U.S. President, both domestically and internationally. On the one hand the Governor of California has arguably more power and influence than the Australian PM (I believe California alone has more people, and the GDP of California dwarfs that of the continent of Australia). And the last Australian PM simply asked "how high" everytime the last U.S. President, W, said "jump".

Reply Score: 1

The US President is not powerful
by unclefester on Tue 20th Jan 2009 14:48 UTC in reply to "RE: way over the top"
unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

The USA is an economically and militarily powerful country. However the US President has extremely limited political power. In fact the US president is one of the least powerful political leaders in the world.

The Australian Prime Minister has personal political power that no American President could ever dream of. He can call a federal election whenever he wants within his three year term. He appoints his cabinet personally (from his elected party members) without any validation process. He normally has almost total control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Australian politicians are obliged to vote along party lines and public dissent is absolutely forbidden. So the PM does almost no wheeling or dealing.

The Prime Minister does not have any term limits. John Howard, the previous PM, was in power for 13 years. Robert Menzies was PM for 17 years until he retired.

It is absolutely unimaginable that any Australian Prime Minister could ever be publicly cross-examined like Bill Clinton was by Kenneth Starr. In fact the Prime Minister can only be censured by a majority of both houses - it has never happened.

In essence the PM of Australia is an elected dictator with almost unfettered personal political power as long as he has the support of his party and the electorate.

Reply Score: 2

RE: way over the top
by darknexus on Tue 20th Jan 2009 11:43 UTC in reply to "way over the top"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

I'm from the US and I agree, it's utterly ridiculous.
Personally, I'm not even going to watch it. Talk is cheap. I do not judge anyone by their words, but by their actions. Obama's actions will speak louder than any words he might say today and, if his actions are contrary to the words he speaks, the words are meaningless and a huge waste of my time.

Reply Score: 4

RE: way over the top
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 20th Jan 2009 15:58 UTC in reply to "way over the top"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Its a celebration of a peaceful transition of power in a non hereditary fashion, often between diametrically opposed individuals. Something that truly was remarkable when we first started doing it, so no its not about the power or prestige of the country. The occasion of the inaugural address has also been a moment where the new executive lays down his plan for the country. Some of the most important speeches by US presidents have come during their inauguration.

Reply Score: 2

The bottom line
by theosib on Tue 20th Jan 2009 09:11 UTC
theosib
Member since:
2006-03-02

Here are the plain and simple reasons why they should not be using silverlight:
- The government should not encourage the use of closed, proprietary, or obscure standards unless there is no other option. Flash is bad enough.
- The government should avoid dealings with convicted monopolists. Sure, they have to use Windows on some of their computers, but this time it's not necessary.

Reply Score: 4

RE: The bottom line
by Adam S on Tue 20th Jan 2009 13:48 UTC in reply to "The bottom line"
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

You just complain, but offer no solution.

Would you prefer they simply didn't stream it at all? What other choice is there for a proven high-demand video stream?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: The bottom line
by Adam S on Tue 20th Jan 2009 15:26 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The bottom line"
Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

None of those, aside from Flash, is a reasonable alternative today. And you know that.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: The bottom line
by iain.dalton on Wed 21st Jan 2009 21:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: The bottom line"
iain.dalton Member since:
2006-02-28

What's wrong with the other solutions, say, Darwin Streaming Server or Flumotion Streaming Server?

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Soulbender
by Soulbender on Tue 20th Jan 2009 09:21 UTC
Soulbender
Member since:
2005-08-18

won't know any better to use a browser aside from Internet Explorer 7 or 8 on their cheap Dell machines bought at basement prices


Nothing like a cheap dig at Joe User, eh? Nice to see that geek elitism is alive and well and as stupid as it always was.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Comment by Soulbender
by weildish on Tue 20th Jan 2009 21:35 UTC in reply to "Comment by Soulbender"
weildish Member since:
2008-12-06

I was actually making a point, while also attempting at being a bit humorous, because we all know it's true. Microsoft knows most people are "Joe User," and they can take advantage of that to get everyone using Silverlight.

Reply Score: 1

Works with Moonlight
by voidspace on Tue 20th Jan 2009 10:29 UTC
voidspace
Member since:
2008-06-25

You realise that Microsoft worked with the Moonlight guys to make sure that the inauguration *will* work on Linux right...

Reply Score: 3

Moonlight *now* will work for the inauguration
by karl on Tue 20th Jan 2009 11:01 UTC
karl
Member since:
2005-07-06

dgoesmans already mentioned it:

Miguel's mono team fixed-up Moonlight to work with the live video stream.

http://tirania.org/blog/archive/2009/Jan-20.html


thx Miguel, and
Thanks to: Joseph, Larry, Geoff, Rusty and specially Aaron from Novell and Brian, Eric, Ben at Microsoft and Mio at IStreamPlanet to make sure that Linux users will be able to watch Obama's inauguration.

Edited 2009-01-20 11:02 UTC

Reply Score: 2

ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

Have you all read the Miguel's blog and the Microsoft announcement?

They both did an amazing work! Collaboration was impressive and the Mono team tweaked its technology A FEW HOURS to be able to run the Obama's inauguration...

Impressive, really impressive! My hat off for them and for the MS team too, because its collaboration with the Mono team.

Reply Score: 3

Matzon Member since:
2005-07-06

or in other words - mono is at the mercy of microsoft ...

Reply Score: 3

lemur2 Member since:
2007-02-17

or in other words - mono is at the mercy of microsoft ...


Precisely so. It has always been so.

This is EXACTLY why everyone should shun Mono/Silverlight utterly.

Before people pipe up and say the Flash is at the mercy of Adobe ... be advised in advance that this is NOT the case. The OpenScreen initiative opens up the specifications for Flash, and permits anyone at all to write their own implementation without having to pay royalties.

On Linux, the alternatives to getting flash from Adobe include gnash and swfdec.

Edited 2009-01-21 00:53 UTC

Reply Score: 3

ari-free Member since:
2007-01-22

Adobe is not the super monopoly that Microsoft is. Neither is Apple and that is probably why many of their supporters give them a lot of slack since they have to do whatever it takes to go against Microsoft.

First the RIAA and now this...I find it very interesting. I'm probably as conservative as Newt Gingrich but if I was president, I would push the govt to adopt open source alternatives. I am opposed to anti-trust measures, however.

Reply Score: 2

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Agreed. While I do like C# as a language (which is a standard and could be implemented by anyone) I don't like the situation with Mono at all. Sure, Microsoft worked with them... this time. What about next time? And the time after that? There's no real advantage for Microsoft in making Mono and/or Moonlight fully comply with .NET and Silverlight. In fact, they have a good reason to keep them just that little bit out of date, the better to make it look less attractive to prospective developers and keep attracting them to Microsoft's platform but not appear they are doing so. It's actually a sound business move by MS, though it puts Mono in a very bad position.
It is the height of foolishness to hand your executioner the noose with which you are to be hanged, and I can't help but feel this is exactly what Novell has done with Mono.

Reply Score: 3

JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

Don't worry about it. If MS plays their games of old, they'll shoot themselves in the foot.

The web is fully open, and people who develop for it, and use it (of course), expect things to be open and cross platform.

If MS plays games, they'll marginalize Silverlight. The competition is very fierce. Flex/Flash has a huge lead and head start, it's fully open (open source initiative, anyone can do their own implementation), and fully cross platform. Same with Java/JavaFX. Same with Ajax. Same with OpenLazlo. And on and on.

If MS ties Silverlight too tightly to Windows, and doesn't fully support their own Mac version, and doesn't support the Mono implementation, nobody will use Silverlight, except for existing ASP.Net developers (because it's in their comfort zone), and except for sites that MS pays to use Silverlight.

So far, MS has been paying it's way to Silverlight marketshare, and it's still far behind Flex and Ajax. And JavaFX is coming on.

I've been playing around with Silverlight, using Visual Web Developer Express and the Silverlight tools. I'm impressed. But alas I probably wouldn't choose to use it for any web project because the tools are tightly tied to Windows, and I'm not fully convinced about the Mono implementation. I think I'm pretty typical. So don't worry about it.

Reply Score: 2

And ?
by mmu_man on Tue 20th Jan 2009 13:12 UTC
mmu_man
Member since:
2006-09-30

It's still a proprietary thing, and won't work on many platforms.
Moonlight isn't available everywhere either, and is probably too large for some of them.
Was it too hard to just use a standard video format ?

Reply Score: 4

RE: And ?
by PlatformAgnostic on Tue 20th Jan 2009 16:28 UTC in reply to "And ?"
PlatformAgnostic Member since:
2006-01-02

What? Do you want to watch the inauguration on your toaster? Mono ought to work on most reasonable computer platforms that people use without MSFT Silverlight support: Linux/x86, Mac/PPC. What else do you want to run it on?

Reply Score: 1

Would be funny...
by mmu_man on Tue 20th Jan 2009 15:13 UTC
mmu_man
Member since:
2006-09-30

To see all those silverlight players break...
We could sing like the girl in the clip...

"I've got a crash on Obama..." ;)

Reply Score: 3

It works!
by abraxas on Tue 20th Jan 2009 15:21 UTC
abraxas
Member since:
2005-07-07

I now have moonlight installed for both firefox and epiphany and it works for both. I will be watching the silverlight stream of the presidential inaguration on Linux with moonlight.

http://www.pic2009.org/

Edit: Missing codecs were automatically detected and downloaded from Microsoft and they work.

Edited 2009-01-20 15:23 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: It works!
by mariuz on Tue 20th Jan 2009 16:37 UTC in reply to "It works!"
mariuz Member since:
2006-02-21

hmm interesting their website is on apache

http://uptime.netcraft.com/up/graph?site=www.pic2009.org


I have installed the moonlight but i don't feel very comfortable with the drm or whatever codecs they have installed on my machine

http://mapopa.blogspot.com/2009/01/silverlight-on-jaunty-64-moonlig...

Edited 2009-01-20 16:39 UTC

Reply Score: 1

Don't even need Flash
by Earl Colby pottinger on Tue 20th Jan 2009 16:54 UTC
Earl Colby pottinger
Member since:
2005-07-06

I am running BeOS, yet I can still download and view .flv files using VLC. VLC also supports an number of streaming video formats. The idea that you must have Flash or SilverLight is stupid.

But to me, more stupid is the idea of not having the video available in downloadable DIVX files. This is something that people will probably want to have on thier computer/player years from now to review.

If only in the schools. Why would you want to depend on an outside streaming server?

Reply Score: 2

Much ado about nothing ...
by JeffS on Tue 20th Jan 2009 17:00 UTC
JeffS
Member since:
2005-07-12

So what if Microsoft paid/influenced it's way to having the PIC site use Silverlight? There are about 12 billion other places to stream the inauguration, using other protocols/runtimes.

Also, it's commendable that the MS engineers helped the Moonlight guys to get it working on Linux.

All that said, Silverlight is pretty irrelevant to me. For RIA, Flash/Flex, plus Ajax with common media codecs, have already won. Now it's up to Silverlight and JavaFX to duke it out for the table scraps, with Silverlight having the big head start and more marketing dollars, but JavaFX having much greater cross platform capability.

Also, it's no small task for a third party, no matter how big, to target Linux as a platform, because, well, it's not a true platform. With all the separate distros and all their separately maintained repositories, Linux is actually several different appliances or silos, even within different versions of the same distro.

Adobe had a hell of a time to get Flash to fully compile on all the major distros. Up until Flash 9, the Linux version of Flash was always 6 months to a year behind the Windows and Mac versions. And Adobe was making a sincere effort to target Linux. It's just that there were so many different versions of gcc, glibc, various libraries, file structures, and so on, it made it very difficult to come out with a version of Flash (and an installer) that would run properly on as many distros (and all of their sub versions) as possible.

I love Linux, and use it regularily, but this is what pains me about it.

Reply Score: 4

Other solutions to the issue...
by bornagainenguin on Tue 20th Jan 2009 17:07 UTC
bornagainenguin
Member since:
2005-08-07

Copy and paste this link in the open box of your favorite mediaplayer, it should work.



I have it running in Mediaplayer Classic right now. The original instructions on Slashdot said you could run it with vlc by running the command like this:



or



I hope this helps someone!

--bornagainpenguin

Reply Score: 3

This may be after the fact...
by gabrielwalker on Tue 20th Jan 2009 18:06 UTC
gabrielwalker
Member since:
2006-05-30

...But I just got done watching the entire inauguration. On Ubuntu. -- By watching it on Hulu, using their flash player.

I'm sorry, should I be all mad and grabbing at pitchforks because I didn't use a Microsoft video stream? Instead I just watched the Fox News stream. ...Which was really just as distasteful and all.

Reply Score: 2

The Problem with Mono and Moonlight
by segedunum on Tue 20th Jan 2009 18:45 UTC
segedunum
Member since:
2005-07-06

"Microsoft worked late last night to get us access to the code that will be used during the inauguration so we could test it with Moonlight."

What happens if Microsoft decides not to work with you? It goes against the principles of writing open source software in the first place - getting things to work if you want to.

Reply Score: 2

Performance
by ssa2204 on Tue 20th Jan 2009 23:14 UTC
ssa2204
Member since:
2006-04-22

I am still amazed at how mediocre quality Flash video can suck up 95% of my CPU. Does Silverlight perform as miserably? Ironic if it does as I was just watching a WMV video that was 5x the quality of Flash but used about 5x less the CPU..give or take.

As for this actual topic, how many are actually going to watch the feed via the official inauguration site anyways? I think most are going to use something like MSNBC, CNN, BBC, etc..

p.s. Ironic that MSNBC uses Flash, and not Silverlight.

Reply Score: 3

Correction
by Machster on Wed 21st Jan 2009 00:18 UTC
Machster
Member since:
2007-05-15

"Update by Thom: Linux and PowerPC Mac fans rejoice, as they can watch the inauguration as well using Moonlight."

Moonlight's site says that it is NOT compatible with PPC.

Reply Score: 2

What is needed
by kaiwai on Wed 21st Jan 2009 07:11 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

What is needed is a Flash replacement; anyone who has ever used it for a long period of time will realise just how horrible it actually is.

Silverlight like .Net has so many possibilities but due to who is controlling it and the lack of transparency when it comes to disclosing the specifications etc. It is hard to trust Microsoft for the long term.

I really would love to see .Net and Silverlight 100% open standards and documented but I have a feeling that it is more of a pipe dream than something that'll ever come to fruition.

Reply Score: 2

JeffS
Member since:
2005-07-12

http://www.betanews.com/article/Mono_22_may_overtake_NET_in_some_cr...

Meeting another milestone for the open source effort to extend Microsoft's .NET platform outside of Windows, the Mono Project -- backed by Novell, but with a little help from Microsoft too now and then -- is celebrating the release of version 2.2 this week.

Perhaps the most important addition to this latest release is full support for SIMD (Single Instruction / Multiple Data) extensions, which should provide orders of magnitude in performance improvements for developers who are building .NET games -- and there are more of these developers in high places than you might think -- to run cross-platform. "When the Mono runtime's SIMD optimization are active the operations on the structures defined in this namespace are mapped to hardware operations which can improve the performance of your graphics, multimedia or 3D operations significantly," reads a recent edition to Mono's online documentation.

An October 2008 demonstration at PDC by Mono's lead developer, Miguel de Icaza, demonstrates the speed explosion up-close. The graph depicts the standard Mono common language runtime's ability to do sophisticated 3D graphics, and when you're talking about time, you don't want to be the bar on the bottom of the chart. But there it is, and obviously, compiled C++ will be much faster. But look at the tiny little pair of bars at the top: That's Mono with SIMD extensions.

What's very, very interesting about this development is that it places Mono in a class that's conceivably above even .NET itself. Game developers may even consider writing for Mono for Windows instead of .NET for this very reason. As InfoQ's Jonathan Allen put it, "Mono is outgrowing the standard. Mono is not just playing catch-up any more, it is trying to move past the CLR in many areas. And as an open source project, they can slip in new libraries at a much faster clip than Microsoft."

Cool stuff. Mono is being used by the Unity game engine, which is used for Wii and iPhone games. This, and MS .Net itself is a complete non-starter for real games (other than toy demos).

Gotta like it when MS get a taste of "embrace and extend" strategy! ;-)

Reply Score: 2