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FOSS documentary on BBC World 100

Posted by Hemos
from the here's-something-for-your-eye dept.
Zoxed writes ""A two-part documentary, 'The Code Breakers' will be aired on BBC World TV starting on 10 May 2006. Code Breakers investigates how poor countries are using FOSS applications for development, and includes stories and interviews from around the world." The first part is screening tonight on BBC World."
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FOSS documentary on BBC World

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  • by mustafap (452510) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @10:40AM (#15301352) Homepage
    "According to Jonathan Murray of Microsoft "The Open Source community stimulates innovation in software, it's something that frankly we feel very good about and it's something that we absolutely see as being a partnership with Microsoft."

    Must have had his fingers crossed behind his back at the time. Still, it made me laugh.
    • Intel, IBM, Sun and Microsoft all seem to agree that FOSS is a welcome presence in computer software.

      Yes, and a skunk seems harmless enough until it releases its foul scent.

    • "According to Jonathan Murray of Microsoft "The Open Source community stimulates innovation in software, it's something that frankly we feel very good about and it's something that we absolutely see as being a partnership with Microsoft."

      Must have had his fingers crossed behind his back at the time. Still, it made me laugh.


      There's nothing to laugh about, everything he said is true:

      - The open source community is very active

      - They feel good about it, since they "leverage" a lot of open source code (read: they
      • (read: they legally steal the work of others)

        All right slashbot, freeze! This is the stupidity police. Put DOWN the KEYBOARD!

        Theft is a legal concept. Otherwise you're just "taking" something. Therefore there is no such thing as legal theft.

        In addition, if it's licensed so that anyone can use it, then clearly the copyright holder[s] intended that people should be able to use it.

        Finally, unless you are taking the only copy of a work, intellectual property cannot be stolen because an integral p

    • by loconet (415875) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @10:53AM (#15301478) Homepage
      And yet, a few years ago they saw it as a cancer..


      And yet this is the shaky basis on which Ballmer dismisses open source as anathema to all commercial software companies. It can't be used at all, he reasons, because even a tiny germ of it, like a metastasizing cancer, contaminates the entire body. Thus Microsoft 'has a problem' with government funding of open-source.


      Unbelievable. actually.. not.

      • And yet, a few years ago they saw it as a cancer..

        At least you should get your quotes right. It's the GPL that Ballmer sees as a cancer, not eopen source in general.
      • It reminds me of opposition of local ISP to the free city-wide Wi-Fi projects.

        Write your own innovative code, protect it as you wish and do not be a whiney child, Mr. Ballmer. You have your copyright on your code, Mr. Stallman have his own copyright.

        And government has a right to invest in the projects that benefit the population of the country. It has subsidized non-profit and profit organizations for that purpose.

        If you do not like government involvement, Mr. Ballmer, go to Russia - the country that has (o
    • by molarmass192 (608071) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @10:59AM (#15301532) Homepage Journal
      The ending of that quote is missing, here it is:

      "... unless those FOSS projects are using that commie bastard cancerous GNU GPL license. Great, now you've gone and made me say GNU. ARGH! I said GNU again!"

      It's humor people!
    • WTF!!!

      15:30 The Code Breakers.

      That's 3:30pm!!!. Anyone going to BitTorrent it for those of us (OK, almost all of us) that actually work????
    • No, he wasnt crossing his fingers - he was busy filling a carboard box...
  • Seem like their documentary title could use some adjusting, code breaking sounds a lot like simply creating a program that just doesn't work (i.e. is broken)

    Even though it may sound better to the masses, it does seem a little misleading to what the documentary is actually about.
  • by mapkinase (958129) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @10:43AM (#15301378) Homepage Journal
    Following its ten transmissions on BBC World the documentary will be available copyright-free for broadcast throughout the world.


    good job, lads.
    • But.... Ironically only on RealPlayer, not Helix player.
    • I am not going to see this yet because I don't have cable. Not much time in my life to view TV. But I'm told I'm in it, and would like to hear exactly how I'm in it. Also, if you work for the beeb, it would be nice to send me a DVD. Otherwise, I'll wait until it goes free and ask someone out on the net for one.

      Thanks

      Bruce

      • You were indeed in it (largely being credited for substituting Free for Open), and I would be happy to send you a DVD or provide a download if you don't already have a copy.

        For the record, my take on the documentary was that it was fairly good on the whole (ignoring some obviously glaring mistakes in the voice over), but it gave way too much airtime to the Microsoft spokesman. Worth watching though.

        Cheers,

        Charlie
        • Hi Charlie, Bruce,

          I waited for Part 2 before posting.

          I agree with Charlie, but with one reserve: the main point of the documentary seems to have been to present the possible impact that the lower TCO of FOSS would have on IT in 3rd world and poor countries. Examples included Brazil (where the government has by law to consider FOSS for all public software purchase), India (where a school bus tours some country villages to teach kids computing skills, using FOSS) and Sri Lanka (where the Sahana project
  • "It's not that FOSS has had a bad press, it has had no press because there is no company that 'owns' it,"

    Until now? I mean this is on the BBC, which isn't just a major news source in the US or Britain, but the entire world. The continual adoption of Open Source software by developing countries is starting to give me hope that we might actually have a chance of escaping the Monocrosoft empire.
    • Re:Until now? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by MarkByers (770551) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @10:55AM (#15301503) Homepage Journal
      The continual adoption of Open Source software by developing countries is starting to give me hope that we might actually have a chance of escaping the Monocrosoft empire.

      You can escape already now, as long as you are willing to make some sacrifices like having to explain to family members why the you haven't played the fantastic game that they emailed to you as an .exe file.
      • like having to explain to family members why the you haven't played the fantastic game that they emailed to you as an .exe file.
        You mean rootmerootmerootme.exe? I thought it was a pretty lame game until I realized that it was a mixed-reality game that acted like it was a virus....
      • But there's also an urgent reason to get everyone else to switch to FOSS as well: In twenty years, when everyone's walking around with heads-up displays ala Vernor Vinge, coordinating everything of importance through the internet, the company/government that controls the tools will control society as well. Having a closed-source monoculture at that point would be a terrible, possibly irreparable, blow to open civil society. You'd literally have to buy a license to live.
        • You mention Vernor Vinge, and I have to mention "True Names." For anyone that hasn't read it, it is the best cyberpunk short story ever. What with all the bot nets and MMORPGs around today, Vernor's vision of cyberspace is looking more and more realistic. Then think about all the "unlicensed" computer tech the protagonist keeps buried under his house and ask yourself, with DRM heading in the direction it is, will this be us in five years? Vernor is some kind of prophet, I tell you.
      • You can escape already now, as long as you are willing to make some sacrifices like having to explain to family members why the you haven't played the fantastic game that they emailed to you as an .exe file.
        Most games don't fit e-mail attachment size restrictions since a long time. Beside, do you trust your family not to send you "bonzi buddy" like games ?
    • Except that on the version of BBC I get on Dish Network, it won't be available. There are 3-4 episodes of 'What Not to Wear' on tonight, though.

      From the Linux Journal LJ Index, June 2006:
      Percentage of local authorities using Linux in the UK: 33
      Percentage of local authorities using Linux in France: 71
      Percentage of local authorities using Linux in Holland: 55
      Percentage of local authorities using Linux in Germany: 68

      Local authorities using Linux in the US is probably in single digits, which represents a horrib
  • They said what? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by NoUse (628415)
    FTA:

    "Intel, IBM, Sun and Microsoft all seem to agree that FOSS is a welcome presence in computer software."

    Shared Source maybe, but FOSS?

    • Re:They said what? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by tiocsti (160794)
      Some shared source licenses are also open source licenses. Certainly there's nothing wrong with the Microsoft Permissive License or the Microsoft Community License from an opensource perspective. The microsoft reference license, on the other hand, is not quite so free or useful (you can use it to understand, but cant modify it or redistribute it).

      http://www.microsoft.com/resources/sharedsource/li censingbasics/sharedsourcelicenses.mspx [microsoft.com]
      • Interestingly, the Microsoft Community License (Ms-CL) seems to have some of the same properties that they were complaining about in the GPL (actually, at a first glance, it looks to be somewhere between the GPL and LGPL in terms of restrictiveness and whether you can use it as part of a closed-source program).
      • Yes there seems to be the odd bright glimmer starting to appear at microsoft as the farm yard animals are put out to pasture in the back paddocks where they no longer can do to much harm. But why should they confuse the issue with their own fine print, I think GPL2 is pefectly adequate.

        While they are at it they might as well start making some code etc. contributions to the $100.00 notebook project or at the very least allow their staff to volutarily participate if the choose to do so.

    • FTA:

      "Intel, IBM, Sun and Microsoft all seem to agree that FOSS is a welcome presence in computer software."

      Shared Source maybe, but FOSS?
      dunno, seems like Microsoft has always loved having the ability to take things like IP stacks from FOSS
    • Based on comments that Microsoft employees make about Free Software, I sometimes wonder if there is anyone in management at Microsoft who actually understands the philosophy behind Free Software. They don't seem to understand why this huge threat to their business has emerged. It seems like it is all a big mystery to Microsoft. This isn't surprising, I suppose. The Free Software mentality is almost completely opposite to the Microsoft mentality.
  • A publicly broadcast documentary about FOSS? This sounds awfully...mainstream? How will I continue to arrogantly lord it over the unwashed masses with my greater knowledge of FOSS if they just start talking about it publicly?

    Hehe...

    Actually, I did smile at this bit from the article:

    "Intel, IBM, Sun and Microsoft all seem to agree that FOSS is a welcome presence in computer software."

    Oh, how loaded can a statement be?

  • Long overdue and bloody obvious!

    "Much of the role of open source in the development of the Internet is well known: The most widely used TCP/IP protocol implementation was developed as part of Berkeley networking; Bind runs the DNS, without which none of the web sites we depend on would be reachable; sendmail is the heart of the Internet email backbone; Apache is the dominant web server; Perl the dominant language for creating dynamic sites; etc."
    --Open Source Paradigm Shift
    by Tim O'Reilly
    June 2004

    Alright la
    • Does anyone know what percentage of mail servers these days use Sendmail?

      Personally I dumped it for Postfix at the first opportunity, as did most other people I know. It just seems so much more painful to use.

      I guess migrating a large enterprise from one to the other could be quite a bitch, so there's a lot of inertia to keep with what you know, but I'm just curious if Sendmail's time as one of the "killer apps" that drives the internet is waning.

      My apologies if I start a flamewar here...
  • by Manip (656104) on Wednesday May 10, 2006 @11:26AM (#15301753)
    In an ironic twist most people in the UK (home of the BBC) won't get to see this as we don't receive BBC World and it isn't being broadcast on any of the "normal" BBC channels.

    A little ironic don't you think... Kind of like the yanks not getting something created by ABC or Fox but letting the rest of the world have it.
    • I remeber reading an aticle on the BBC website a while ago about this program. From what I recall it isn't going to be shown on the BBC terrestial channels (BBC 1 or 2) for atleast quite a while due to already full schedules. BBC 4 (their documentory/boring channel) should show it in the near future however. Although I could be getting mixed up with some other similar program.

    • Do you get this channel with sky even? Its the first time I have heard about it...
      • Even worse, I try the realplayer link and get "BBC World is not available in the UK".. Sheesh...
        • Even worse, I try the realplayer link and get "BBC World is not available in the UK".. Sheesh...

          BBC World is a commercial channel, funded and run completely seperatly from the normal BBC news (although staff are shared, BBC World pay for this). The BBC charter doesn't allow it to be broadcast in the UK.

          Of course the competition argue that the license fee subsidises BBC World, which it arguably does.

          You're not missing much, besides it is available in the UK, point you sat dish to an appropiate satelite.
    • Last I knew, we (Amerikuns) don't get CNNi (International), or MTV International (if it still exists). When I was in Norway, during the summer of 1991, I was shocked at the amount of near real news comming out of CNNi. It was "info-rich" compared to the fluff they broadcast domestically. The CNNi Headline News actually spent the whole half hour talking about world events. The domestic version would spend 5-10 minutes on world events, 10-15 minutes on domestic "news", then spend the last 5 minutes or so
      • "It started to make me wonder if people outside the USA have a better picture of what's going on (even in our own country) since we are so "sheltered" from information."

        I'm absolutely certain of it. The first three Web sites I hit for international news are:

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/ [bbc.co.uk]
        http://www.timesonline.co.uk/ [timesonline.co.uk]
        http://news.google.com/ [google.com]

        Tremendously different slant on many issues than staying with US domestic news. Also some very clearcut cases of biased reporting in US media (not just the horrible Fox News). In f
      • (This is all from a Swedish perspective)

        Back then MTV played music videos (I know, I'm dating myself); but even the international version was waaaaaaay better than what we received in the US.

        Well, International became European (UK based), then Nordic, and now, since recently, it's national. With a healthy dose of guaranteed-to-sell US/international artists, obviously. And of course it's 50% "Pimp my ride" and "Cribs" now... International doesn't seem to even be on cable networks. MTV2 is, though.

        I

    • Well, I just checked the BBC world listings and I can't see it either, because it's being aired at 3:30 PM today on the east coast! (which has already passed!) I guess they figure working stiffs don't need to see it.
    • In order to get BBC World in the US you have to either:
      1. Have a C-band (big) dish and a FTA digital receiver.
      (Currently. It's only non-scrambled by the grace of their hearts.)
      2. Have a grey market Canadian satellite subscription.
      3. Pirate the Canadian or Central American satellite services.

      BBC World is apparently available for US carriers to offer, but
      as with most stuff from abroad with actual thought-stimulating
      content, US carriers "don't see a market" here for it. Shovel me
      some more
    • If the show is going to be freely available, it would be great to get a copy, by the F/OS BitTorrent protocol, no less -- if simply to send a copy to my snarky relative who says "free" software is for "cheap" people.

      Anyone putting up a torrent, or know where a torrent is available?
    • Why would we want to watch our own propaganda? :-)
  • man, this title is horrible!
    The Code Breakers

    I could scream in agony! this sounds like it was about crackers, thieves, reverse software engineers that break the law and infringe patents!

    lets say tv-magazines write this title and the word "FOSS" - then people who read this, but don't watch the ducumentary will think FOSS was something criminal!

    thank you very much for this FUD, BBC a.k.a. broadcasters of copyrighted media
    • you're just embarrased (as in: shy) because you are getting tv coverage. You'll get used to it ;)
    • No kidding. I thought they were doing a TV series based on David Kahn's classic book about codes and ciphers.
    • I agree. Something like "The DRM-busters" or "The MS Lock-in Breakers" would be better.
      • These concerns on the title were actually raised. The intention was as stated by parent of this title, was to give impression of breaking the lock-in effect through writing code. None technical people seemed to be happy with this title and it stuck.

        Of course you can't quite put MS in the title without getting a lot of heat. :) Although it would have definitely made it much clearer/better.

        Normal disclaimer, these views are personal and not that of IOSN or UNDP-APDIP.
  • I have noticed that in the US there isn't very much media coverage of Open Source Software. I for one would really appreciate it if they would start talking about it, it would make television much more interesting not having to only hear about MS software on TV. There used to be a channel called TechTV that would occasional talk about Linux, and they would get help calls asking about getting into Linux, unfortunately they were bought out by G4. Grrrrrr...
  • Microsoft Windows and Adobe Photoshop are free in poor countries. Or they cost the same as Linux.

    Go to any market in the third world and you can buy these software products for about $1 a CD.

    It's not the software you buy in poor countries as much as it is the CD. The software on the CD doesn't matter.
  • Great. It doesn't look as if it will be on BBC America.
  • Will this be available for download after it has aired or is BBC Radio the only one that has downloads?

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