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[News] MSBBC Slapped by the European Commission

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Europe takes aim at BBC licence fee

,----[ Quote ]
| The EC is keen to tweak the rules to allow national broadcasters to better 
| cope with new media, to define their public service remit and improve 
| national supervision of their activities. But opponents of the proposals say 
| they would hamstring public service broadcasters exploiting new media 
| technologies.    


They still try to save their reputation, having been corrupted by Microsoft and
its cronies (details below).

BBC Joins Parrot Foundation Advisory Board

,----[ Quote ]
| The Parrot Foundation announced today that the BBC, UK-based public service 
| broadcaster, will join the Parrot Foundation's advisory board. 
| [...]
| About Parrot Foundation
| The Parrot Foundation is a membership-based non-profit organization, 
| providing technical, legal, and organizational infrastructure for the Parrot  
| open source software project. It supports the open source community for the 
| Parrot virtual machine, tools, libraries, and computer language 
| implementations, and promotes innovation in virtual machine technology and 
| dynamic languages.     



George Wright responds to backstage questions

,----[ Quote ]
| Some of the backstage community noticed the efforts of the BBC in Ubuntu 8.10
| which was released on 30th October, to make a range of non-DRM content a. So
| we decided to catch up with one of the man behind the project, George Wright
| who is Portofolio Manager at Research and Innovaton. If Flash isn't your
| style we have the same video in Mpeg4, Ogg Theora and Ogg Dirac.


There is a BBC in my Amarok

,----[ Quote ]
| This script is now available from kde-apps.org or it can be automatically
| installed from within Amarok 2 by using the "Get More Scripts" button int the
| script manager.


Ubuntu Brings the BBC to Linux

,----[ Quote ]
| The saga is still unfolding, and DRM technologies are still stuck on being
| invasive, intrusive, shoddy, and ineffective. Who designs these things? Are
| the bright developers being foiled by PHBs? Or are the smart developers all
| busy doing other things, and the only ones left are the janitors? Who are
| plenty intelligent, but not hip to coding. Or maybe they are hip to coding
| and making DRM sucky on purpose. At any rate it is lame that in this glorious
| year 2008 of the 21st century, we are still hearing the same stupid excuses
| about why non-Windows users don't matter.


Research on BBC content for GNU/Linux

,----[ Quote ]
| We then worked with Canonical and their software partners Collabra to deliver
| this feed to the Totem media player, and Gstreamer multimedia platform, to
| display available content in a simple, browsable window using a free software
| plugin, where the feed is updated using the Internet, when the user starts
| the player.


Execs & Accounts UK and EU: WPP, Microsoft, BBC Worldwide

,----[ Quote ]
| Chris Dobson, Microsoft's VP for its UK Online Service Group, is leaving the
| company. Dobson is believed to be joining BBC Worldwide in a senior role. He
| joined Microsoft in 2001 following positions at Zenith and MTV Networks.


BBC set to name Erik Huggers as Ashley Highfield's successor

,----[ Quote ]
| The BBC is expected to confirm that former Microsoft executive Erik Huggers
| is to replace Ashley Highfield as the new BBC director of future media and
| technology as early as today.


BBC Opens Up - Or Does it?

,----[ Quote ]
| But nice as this sounds, there still seems to be a disconnect between the
| BBC's announced ideals and their actions. As the very definition of open
| standards that the BBC itself linked to says, "Open Standards are free for
| all to implement, with no royalty or fee." The fact that both AAC and H.264
| are encumbered with patent licenses that make their distribution under free
| licenses problematic flies in the face of this definition.


Crimes Microsoft Gets Away With - So Far

,----[ Quote ]
| News publications are cautious about making accusations, and because of that,
| some nasty acts of Microsoft are essentially being erased from the record.
| [...]
| Microsoft convinced Baystar Capital to put $50 Million dollars into SCO's
| lawsuit against IBM and other Open Source users, and promised to "backstop"
| Baystar's investment if SCO lost money, according to this sworn testimony.
| But I'm told that one person's testimony, even sworn testimony, isn't proof.



Dirac 1.0.0 Released

,----[ Quote ]
| Dirac is an advanced royalty-free video compression format designed for a
| wide range of uses, from delivering low-resolution web content to
| broadcasting HD and beyond, to near-lossless studio editing. The v1.0.0
| version was released yesterday, and the new VLC version supports playback
| of .ts/.drc Dirac files.


Worlds first high performance Dirac video codec implementation available

,----[ Quote ]
| Thanks to collaboration with the Xiph.org foundation there is an official
| mapping for putting Dirac video into the Ogg container format underway, and
| the Schrödinger project also hosts a proposal for mapping Dirac into the
| popular MPEG-TS container format, which is currently being considered for
| certification by the MPEG working group. We expect to see and provide
| mappings for a lot more container formats in due course.      


BBC iPlayer protest report

,----[ Quote
| First on site with me is Tom Chance, Green Party spokesperson on Free
| Software. He has organized for Dr Derek Wall, lead spokesperson for the Green
| Party to join us and make some statements about BBC iPlayer and the Microsoft
| lock-in it establishes.  
| [...]
| We have 1500 fliers to distribute, that focus on the key issue with the
| iPlayer, and why $130 Million and 4 years of development don't get you much
|                  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
| when you choose Microsoft DRM.  


BBC Director General grilled by MPs on iPlayer

,----[ Quote ]
| During the meeting there is discussion of iPlayer’s total cost to the licence
| fee-payer - the BBC representatives are unable to give a figure, but start
| the bidding at £20m, excluding staff costs. Thomson gives incorrect
| information - that Mac and Linux versions of iPlayer have the same
| functionality as Windows versions - and has to change his evidence at the
| end. Perhaps it was this confusion that prompted Dr John Pugh MP to follow up
| the encounter with a letter direct to Mark Thomson today discussing platform
| neutrality in greater detail. A copy of this letter has been passed to the
| Open Rights Group.        


BBC website £36m 'overspend'

,----[ Quote ]
| THE BBC went almost £36 million over the intended budget for bbc.co.uk in the
| past year, it was disclosed today.


The BBC Has Drunk its Brain

,----[ Quote ]
| Good to see the BBC with its finger on the pulse of computing, bravely
| serving up the facts without fear or favour here:
|     Microsoft's next operating system (OS) will come with multi-touch
|     features as an alternative to the mouse.
| Rather like the Hewlett-Packard touchscreen system I used back in the 1980s.
| [...]
| Is this a similar statement to 2003's "Bill Gates said that Longhorn will
| have a unified storage system called WinFS." found at
| http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3220017.stm


Has the BBC Duped Us over iPlayer?

,----[ Quote ]
| I wonder how that complaint about the BBC providing state aid to Microsoft is
| coming along....


Feeling the heat at Microsoft

,----[ Quote ]
| If I ask you who is Microsoft's biggest competitor now, who would it be?  
| Ballmer: Open...Linux. I don't want to say open source. Linux, certainly have
| to go with that.


BBC pinches hot new columnist from Microsoft


Beeb slammed for 'fawning' to Bill Gates

,----[ Quote ]
| BBC viewers have flooded the corporation with complaints over how it
| covered the launch of Microsoft Vista earlier this week.
| In one cringingly servile interview worthy of Uriah Heep, the
| Beeb's news presenter Hugh Edwards even thanked Gates at the
| end of it, presumably in appreciation at being allowed to give
| the Vole vast coverage for free.
| In other TV news items presenters excitedly explained how Vistac
| ould be obtained and installed - details courtesy of the BBC's
| website.
| But British viewers, currently forced to pay a £131.50 licence
| fee to maintain the BBC's "impartiality", were less than impressed.
| Scores got in touch to complain that so much was Auntie up Bill's
| bum that you could barely see her corset.


BBC iPlayer Protests

,----[ Quote ]
| Who are the people responsible for creating this mess?
|     * Mark Thompson, BBC director general (DG)
|     * Erik Huggers, group controller at BBC Future Media & Technology
|     * Ashley Highfield, director of new media and technology
| Right now, there is very considerable concern within the BBC that the actions
| of the Director General and his team are sending the corporation in the wrong
| direction. The BBC has been embroiled in a number of recent controversies,
| all linked back to the DG's leadership.  


Leaked Ofcom blueprint bashes Beeb

,----[ Quote ]
| OFCOM SECRETS have again slipped out, as latest report suggests that the poor
| old BBC may have to ‘donate’ some of its licence fee to other channels.
| This leaked information suggests the BBC’s ‘excess’ licence money will be
| given, yes given, to other broadcasters for public service by 2012.


Remoulding Microsoft for the web

,----[ Quote ]
| Yesterday two of Microsoft's leading executives, Jean Philippe Courtois, head
| of all Microsoft outside North America, and Gordon Frazer, head of Microsoft
| UK visited BBC News' Business Unit, as part of a series of lunchtime talks we
| arrange with leading businesses.

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