Tag Archives: freedom

Ashley Highfield on iPlayer, DRM and Crossplatform Support

From the Backstage Blog, a frank discussion about DRM and Cross-platform support. It all started when I asked Ashley a few questions recently about the iplayer strategy. Ashley answered the question with quite a bit of passion and Matthew Cashmore thought hey wouldn't it be a good idea to get some of that passion in a recording. He is the result which you can judge for yourselves…

The iPlayer, no don't do a runner, seriously, it's taken over the mailing list, dominated our discussions and is something that many members of the backstage community care an awful lot about. So do we. We all know the questions. Why don't we stand up to the rights holders? Why do we insist on using DRM? Why did we sign a secret deal in blood with Microsoft?

So we finally decided that these questions needed answers, and the only person to talk to was the boss. We present 26 minutes of questions and answers about iPlayer, DRM and cross platform support with Ashley Highfield, Director Future Media & Technology.

In this frank discussion we cover the DRM issues, explain that iPlayer isn't a Microsoft only party and ask why didn't we use a non propriety solution.

You can get the file directly from Blip.TV under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike licence in Mpeg3, Ogg Vorbis or AAC.

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Technorati blocked in China?

Chinese censorship at work?

Mario dropped me a skype just a moment ago, the skype was this gem of a blog post titled China blocks Technorati.

I received an email this morning from Ken Carroll of ChinesePod telling me that China has blocked Technorati at the great firewall – it would appear that Technorati will no longer be available to anyone to use in China.

And its starting to kick up a stink over at Technorati and Mad about Shanghai. To be honest I'm not suprised. Technorati is one of the biggest blog search engines and was a gateway to all types of views and opinons from around the world. This simply won't do if your a chinese authority attepting to censor what your citizens are viewing online. Obviously I think this censorship is not a good idea and there simply causing there citizens to look a little deeper for the content they actually want to read just like the iran censorship of bbc.co.uk.

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Breaking the grid in the city and online

Grids and boxes

Molly has wrote a really good comparsion between the grid systems of most American cities and the grids of websites in an entry for Alist apart titled Thinking outside the grid. Thanks to Sheila for the heads up.

On the other hand, Tucson’s designers planned for only a certain amount of growth, and this has caused innumerable problems in maintaining the city’s ease of navigation and usability as the city grew beyond its planned limits. Furthermore, the constraints of Tucson’s grid do not encourage the emergence of alternative neighborhoods and communities. Many residents of Tucson will agree that the city lacks a vibrant center—or many unique communities—as a result, and that when those isolated spots do exist, they’re easy to get to, but people aren’t motivated to get out and find them.

London, unlike Tucson, is a maze. I know Londoners who carry around a London A-Z guidebook to help them navigate! The city’s transportation system is so challenging that would-be cab drivers must pass a test demonstrating that they possess The Knowledge in order to drive traditional black cabs. The city’s organic growth hasn’t exactly made it the easiest place to navigate.

Fantastic stuff, specially when you start thinking about the differences between the two cities communities and how blogs look compared to news sites.

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