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The Internet

Walmart Rejects Firefox and Safari 555

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the also-dalmations-have-spots dept.
babooo404 writes "Last week, Walmart launched their online video download service. Immediately there were posts that the service did not work with the Firefox or Safari browsers. There was a collective, "WTF" when this happened as this is 2007, not 1997. Now it appears that reports are out that Walmart has completely turned off the ability to get into the application at all by Firefox, Safari or any other browser it does not like."
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Walmart Rejects Firefox and Safari

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  • WTF? (Score:5, Funny)

    by DeeZee (84216) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:31AM (#17972036) Homepage
    And the internets was all like "double-you tee eff, mate?"
    • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Funny)

      by rsborg (111459) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @11:38AM (#17972582) Homepage

      And the internets was all like "double-you tee eff, mate?"
      Hokay... [albinoblacksheep.com]
  • by mgabrys_sf (951552) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:32AM (#17972040) Journal
    Raises its ugly head. I can't tell you how many development groups I'd seen hobbled by outside politics vs real-world applications and logic. Sounds all conspiracy theoryish, but in the world of marketing, you can't get away from these things. Looks like Wall Mart got the Microsoft Kool-Aid.
    • by msobkow (48369) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:54AM (#17972230) Homepage Journal

      I don't know about partnership programs, but I do know that I've run into a couple of websites that use Flash media which claim that the latest version distributed by Novell as part of OpenSuSE 10 is not complaint. Yet as far as I'm aware the versions correlate, so it's just bad scripting on the part of bands and others who insist on using Flash in their websites, not a problem with the deployed tools or browsers.

      I've never liked the idea of coding to a browser. Use the standard query tags to determine the browser capabilities, and let any ugliness fall on the head of the vendor who ships incompatible crap. At very least, default to pure W3C, not Microsquishy.

      • by MCRocker (461060) * on Sunday February 11, 2007 @12:54PM (#17973188) Homepage

        websites that use Flash media which claim that the latest version distributed by Novell as part of OpenSuSE 10 is not complaint. Yet as far as I'm aware the versions correlate, so it's just bad scripting on the part of bands and others who insist on using Flash in their websites, not a problem with the deployed tools or browsers.

        I've never liked the idea of coding to a browser. Use the standard query tags to determine the browser capabilities
        Thankfully, there are things that can be done about some of these sorts of problems, like changing the user agent (use about:config in Firfox) or using tools like Greasemonkey [mozdev.org], Web Developer [chrispederick.com] and Firebug [getfirebug.com] to "fix" poorly designed web sites. Unfortunately, these tools are unknown to most users and some are difficult for the average user to use and even power users ofen find it more work than it's worth to fix bad sites.
        • Sure there are probably a few difficult to do work arounds (as it takes more than changing a user agent to get this to play nice). According to some developers, using "flash" is a workaround in and of itself since it "displays the same in all browsers". Of course, that isn't really true, and even when flash does display, I can't resize flash, the fonts are often so tiny that I & my elderly parents have to break out a magnifying glass to even attempt to make use of the content.

          I still expect that when I
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dave420 (699308)
        That's great advocacy, but shitty for businesses. Cutting out 80%-90% of your clients simply because "they should know better" is, quite honestly, childish. Yes, IE isn't the de jure standard, but it sure as hell is the de facto one. Fair enough if it's your own personal webpage, but if it has to generate revenue, you're shooting yourself in the foot by thumbing your nose at IE. It won't make people drop IE, but it will make them drop your site.
    • by HangingChad (677530) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @11:10AM (#17972372) Homepage

      Looks like Wall Mart got the Microsoft Kool-Aid.

      I think Microsoft got the former CIO of Wal-Mart and that relationship appears to be influencing Wal-Mart's choice of technology. Only a massive blast of the Ballmer arrogance death ray could convince Wal-Mart to karate CHOP 35% of their potential customers.

    • Looks like Wall Mart got the Microsoft Kool-Aid.
      Well, let's hope they drink it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by stochelo (1062816)
      Of course, Walmart proudly sells computers preloaded with Linspire and corporately uses Red Hat. That must be some good kool-aid. Methinks there is more to the story.
  • I mean come on, doesn't everyone know that the internet is run on Windows software and IE is the only REAL web browser! Anyone who uses anything else MUST be a hacker trying to break their site.
    • I mean come on, doesn't everyone know that the internet is run on Windows software and IE is the only REAL web browser! Anyone who uses anything else MUST be a hacker trying to break their site.

      I don't think it's that at all. WalMart is so profitable because it targets average middle America. Its niche happens to be precisely the vast bulk of people who don't know much about computers and stick with the default Internet Explorer. Because the company targets this niche so successful, it obviously would feel little need to ensure that its site works with the minority of users who use other browsers. It's not fear of hackers, it's just a desire to do as little work as possible.

      In any event, should we really care about not being to shop online at Wal-Mart? Check out a report like Fishman's The Wal-Mart Effect [amazon.com] (New York: Penguin, 2006) and you'll be convinced to take your business anywhere but there. At the same time you help Grandma install Firefox to beat the constant threat of spyware and adware installation, you might also want to do a good turn by doing some shopping for her at a locally-owned store...assuming you have any left.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Ridayah (945429)
        Having a small-town business in my family, as well as most of my friend's families owning their own businesses, I agree with the get local first. And I haven't set foot inside a Walmart, much less bought from them, in over 3 years.
      • by SuperBanana (662181) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @12:15PM (#17972878)

        WalMart is so profitable because it targets average middle America. Its niche happens to be precisely the vast bulk of people who don't know much about computers and stick with the default Internet Explorer. Because the company targets this niche so successful, it obviously would feel little need to ensure that its site works with the minority of users who use other browsers. It's not fear of hackers, it's just a desire to do as little work as possible. In any event, should we really care about not being to shop online at Wal-Mart?

        I had the same, "oh, so what?" reaction at first, but your post made me realize: Walmart's dominance in the marketplace (and indeed, calling them a "niche" retailer is hysterical) means that all those grandmothers, aunts, uncles, significant others, friends, etc which we have spent time convincing to use some other browser ("It works with almost everything, PLEASE use it instead of Internet Explorer") hit walmart.com and get a big "I DO NOT WORK WITH THIS SILLY LITTLE BROWSER."

        What happens? Grandpa mutters something, we look like idiots/liars, the alternative browser never gets used again, and Internet Explorer's market share creeps back up. Grandpa tells his buddies at the VFW that his "rocket scientist" grandson installed some "Flame squirrel" browser that didn't *even* work with *Walmart's* website. Etc.

        By the way, folks- it's best to encourage people to use almost anything but IE, and not just ONE other browser, to encourage standards compliance. Already, site designers seem to only care/brag about making sites work in IE or Firefox- and said site breaks in Safari, Opera, etc. That's not how the web is supposed to work.

        • by Belial6 (794905) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @01:44PM (#17973676)
          That's why I always open install the 'open with IE' Add-On. Then when Grandma says that the site doesn't work, I can tell her that the site is broken, and might not be secured. I explain that she can get to it by clicking the open with ie button, but she should know that it might break her computer if she does. I explain the IE doesn't tell you when the site is broken or insecure. I then make a face, and tell her that ...Well... Walmart MIIGGGHHHT be safe, but that I'm surprised such a big store would have an insecure broken site. This has the following effects:

          She doesn't immediately switch back to IE.
          She places the blame for the broken site on the proper entity
          She avoids sites that are IE only, as she perceives them as dangerous and broken
          She can still go to the sites that are IE only if it is really important to her.

          If it is a site that she is going to go to anyway, you can set the plug in to automatically load in IE, and grandma care for that site.
        • all those grandmothers, aunts, uncles, significant others, friends, etc which we have spent time convincing to use some other browser ("It works with almost everything, PLEASE use it instead of Internet Explorer") hit walmart.com and get a big "I DO NOT WORK WITH THIS SILLY LITTLE BROWSER."

          Not really. Walmart.com works fine in alternate browsers. It's the Wal-Mart downloadable video service which is IE only. And since every other downloadable video service out there is IE only too (except iTunes, which

      • by mdrebelx (972995) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @12:26PM (#17972964)

        In any event, should we really care about not being [able] to shop online at Wal-Mart? Check out a report like Fishman's The Wal-Mart Effect (New York: Penguin, 2006) and you'll be convinced to take your business anywhere but there.
        I have not shopped Wal-Mart for years. I started getting a bad taste for them with the whole music censorship that was really brought to light when they banned Sheryl Crow for daring to have a lyric about Wal-Mart and refusing to change it. There is a whole litany of reasons to see Wal-Mart as an "Evil Empire": the censorship, the employee practices, the bullying and bankrupting of suppliers, the complete annihilation of small-businesses in small-towns, the indirect forcing of jobs out of the U.S. while still draping themselves in the American flag. Even the store's logo and themes are red, white, and blue while their practices are quite un-American.

        In a way it makes perfect sense that Wal-Mart would be in bed with Microsoft. Both companies have a storied history of questionable business practices and ethics. Both companies devour the competition, offer you some watered-down compromise, and tell you how great it is. Both companies seek total domination and are getting more desperate as they see their dominance starting to erode. Really, this shouldn't be much of a surprise.
    • by suv4x4 (956391) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @11:01AM (#17972304)
      I mean come on, doesn't everyone know that the internet is run on Windows software and IE is the only REAL web browser! Anyone who uses anything else MUST be a hacker trying to break their site.

      This would be funny, if it wasn't true. This was coming 1:1 from the mouth of one of my big clients (and otherwise a smart fella), just 10 months ago.

      I would explain in a long tirade how Firefox is picking up and so on and so on. He'd just say "Nah, don't spend a second testing in Firefox, they'll have to use a REAL browser /IE/.".

      Of course, I was secretly testing in other browsers for the hell of it, since I'm your typical thickheaded geek.

      A month ago, the same client comes back crying that something broke the feature in the new Firefox 2.0. The irony.

      (Also, turned out the issue was from a tweak HE made, after reverting it was ok.)
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Pig Hogger (10379)

        A month ago, the same client comes back crying that something broke the feature in the new Firefox 2.0. The irony.
        Hopefully, you charged him an arm and a leg to tweak the code so it would work (I mean, remove the "crash if != IE" test)????
  • User-Agent (Score:5, Informative)

    by apathy maybe (922212) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:34AM (#17972052) Homepage Journal
    Which is why I use a user-agent that says "I am not a Googlebot/2.1". But change it to IE or something else if websites don't like it.

  • by Peter La Casse (3992) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:35AM (#17972058) Homepage
    They're not called the Evil Store Of Death for nothing.
  • Shocker... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ChowRiit (939581) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:36AM (#17972074)
    Shocking revelation: one big profit driven multinational corporation being paid by another big profit driven multinational corporation to do something they probably shouldn't be doing. Whatever next?
    • Because... anything done with a profit motive is holy and beyond criticism?
    • Re:Shocker... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) * on Sunday February 11, 2007 @11:05AM (#17972332) Homepage Journal
      IIRC, there was a big splash last year about Walmart selling Linux PC's. So it was reasonable to hope for a little while that, although they are undeniably mighty and evil, that they might be fighting the equally mighty and evil Microsoft, thus (however unintentionally) serving the forces of good. Kind of a Stalin vs. Hitler thing. Now it seems the nonagression pact is back in force.
  • by BrianRaker (633638) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:37AM (#17972078) Homepage Journal
    I guess they just lost the chance in getting my money.

    Well, I take that back, they never had a chance at getting my money.
  • by onion2k (203094) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:37AM (#17972080) Homepage
    Firefox users by their very nature are the sort of people to try something new. Firefox is something you have to go out of your way to install on Windows, it's not bundled with Windows, and so I rather suspect that the 15% (approx) of internet users who have it as their primary browser are among the top 15% of people who are most likely to try a new video download service. Walmart are blocking the very people who will try this thing.

    Now, if I were a Walmart stock holder I'd be asking some very searching questions about whether or not the board is acting in my best interest with this move. If I invest in a company I expect the people running it to work to make my investment pay a good return. Hell, they have a legal duty to do so (in the UK where I live anyway).
    • Now, if I were a Walmart stock holder I'd be asking some very searching questions about whether or not the board is acting in my best interest with this move.
      I think Walmart is privately held (i.e., not a public company), so they should be safe from shareholders' suits...
      • Walmart is not privately held. It is one of the largest (by market capitalization) companies. Ticker symbol WMT.
  • Big whoop... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    The sheep that march to Walmart's "Low Prices -- Whatever the Cost" beat will not be affected. They are good consumers. Not hippie freaks, using products that cannot be found on the acres of shelving at Walmart. Walmart understands the threat of free software. Walmart understands the danger of choice. Give the customers too many choices, and they just furrow their brows endlessly, taking forever to make a purchase, or worse, not making one at all!
  • by GNU(slash)Nickname (761984) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:40AM (#17972114)

    FTA: "The video that you download requires Digital Rights Management 10 (DRM 10) software"

    So, the video only works in Windows (Media Player 10+, presumably). I think it's safe to assume that if you have WMP10, you also have IE, so if making the site IE-only prevents* people from accessing it who can't use the product anyway, what's the big deal?

    *Yeah, yeah. "I don't WANNA use IE on my Windows box. IE sucks." It's not like you have to UNinstall Firefox to do so, so suck it up, princess.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by theangryfool (1049608)
      And furthermore, depending on how they detect "non-ie" you could probably greasemonkey https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/748/ [mozilla.org] it away (maybe), use the ie tab https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/1419/ [mozilla.org] in firefox, or just change the user-agent.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by inode_buddha (576844)
      DRM 10, eh? That's what Snort and Ethereal are for. Sniff a few packets and figure out what the Wal-Mart site wants to hear. Compare dumps between an Win/IE boxand one of the alternatives... Oh wiit! I don't even *own* a Win/IE box! How am I supposed to get legal videos?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by arevos (659374)

      So, the video only works in Windows (Media Player 10+, presumably). I think it's safe to assume that if you have WMP10, you also have IE, so if making the site IE-only prevents* people from accessing it who can't use the product anyway, what's the big deal?

      Because, generally speaking, users don't like hassle. Sure, they could close down Firefox and load up IE every time they visit, but they could also just go to a competitor's website instead. Now, it could be that Walmart offers sufficient incentives (such as low prices, monopoly over certain movies) to justify the extra hassle for most people, but this restriction isn't going to do Walmart any favours. Nor does it help that early adopters for services like this tend to be the same technically competent peo

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Fortyseven (240736)
        Realistically, who shuts down Firefox to load a page in IE?

        In the latest XP Service Pack they added the ability to launch multiple processes, so you can have Firefox and IE going at the same time. I even tried loading calc.exe once while doing that, and it ran all three at once just fine.
    • by Blimey85 (609949) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @12:08PM (#17972824)
      Why should we suck it up? Wally World wants our dollars yet they aren't willing to take the few extra minutes to test their offering on any other browser. This seems odd considering that Firefox users are probably more likely to be early adopters of a service like this. We think different... or something.

      For me it's simple. I have IE and I could easily switch over and use it. But I won't. I won't because I don't NEED this service and therefore since Wally World won't go that extra mile for me by ensuring their offering works on the browser I choose to use, I won't give them any of my dollars. It's not like I'm using some obscure piece of software that nobody has ever heard of before outside of the couple of guys in their parents basements staying up all night coding. Firefox users need to quit "switching" everytime some jackass decides to code for IE.

      If Firefox was arcane or backwards I could understand not wanting to support it. Firefox is a powerful, robust, well written browser that is, in my opinion anyway, far superior to IE 6. I can't say much about IE 7 as I've only used it a couple times and hopefully I'll never have to again (was the only browser on a friends computer, I do NOT have it on any of my machines). It's not hard to code to standards that all browsers support, or at least claim to support.
    • by mkiwi (585287) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @01:07PM (#17973316)
      Another note about this:
      the DRM software in version 10 is probably not included automagically in all regular windows xp sp2 installations, meaning that if you want to use the store with your dial-up modem (as many people would- not trying to troll here), you would have to first upgrade all your MS stuff via Windows update, probably not knowing to uncheck the windows genuine advantage box, and downloading and instaling that.

      Some of the patches are great, some not so much. If I patch my computer over a 768kbps connection or lower and something breaks all because I wanted to use walmart's video store, I am a totally pissed off consumer.

      One wonders if MS didn't have a hand in this...

  • Won't shop there (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mgkimsal2 (200677) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:40AM (#17972118) Homepage
    I've been on the fence about shopping at walmart for awhile. They're never my first choice, and I think I've only been shopping there about 5 times in the past year. After this, it's one more reason not to shop there. Yet another reason - unrelated - was that the last couple times I've been there I had great service from a particular employee. In both cases I made a point to call up the store's regional manager and praise this person. Two months later I found out that this employee had not received any mention, acknowledgement or recognition. Just seemed to speak volumes about how they treat their people, and this latest move speaks to how they treat their customers.
    • ... the last couple times I've been there I had great service from a particular employee. In both cases I made a point to call up the store's regional manager and praise this person. Two months later I found out that this employee had not received any mention, acknowledgement or recognition.

      Two theories
      (1) Such quality service may be the expected day-to-day norm, so management may have put the employee in the "meeting expectations" bucket and hence warranted no attention. As opposed to the "needs impro
  • Don't worry (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wirefarm (18470) <jim@mmdc.nCOWet minus herbivore> on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:40AM (#17972120) Homepage
    Bit Torrent still works. It's completely cross-platform, too.

    (When I said "Don't worry," I was saying that to the customers. WalMart should worry.)
  • ...what happens when one configures a browser to identify itself as I.E. on Windows and goes to their site?

    Would anyone higher up hear about it if a bunch of us went into Walmart, filled carts full, then asked someone in customer in the video department about the online videos browser/platform support, and then just walked out on getting an unsatisfactory answer?
  • It'a all cool. I reject Walmart. So there.

  • born dead (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gravesb (967413) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:44AM (#17972160) Homepage
    A lot of people thought this would go the way of their last video offering. It now seems that they are dedicated to making it a failure. Too bad, the more competitors in the on-line video business, the better.
  • The Walmart video download site (http://mediadownloads.walmart.com/ [walmart.com]) appears to be Slashdotted already, so I can't check to see if it's just a UA check or something that actually won't work outside of IE (Like ActiveX controls).
  • by KH (28388) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:46AM (#17972174)
    Think of this as a favor on Walmart's side. They only want to suck money out of sackers who use IE. They spared FF/Safari users from their greed, so to say...

    How many of FF/Safari users out there sincerely want to buy movies from Walmart? I don't even live in the States, so I wouldn't even try.
  • DRM is the problem (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ServerIrv (840609) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:46AM (#17972176)

    If you want to use this service, the downloads require Digital Rights Management 10 (DRM 10) software. This doesn't just lock out browsers that they don't know how to code for, but also all non-Microsoft operating systems.

    The fact the Walmart is behind this also scares me. Walmart has changed the face of American retail for good and bad. Walmart has been able to force it's suppliers to bow to their knees for fear that Walmart doesn't carry their product. If the number one retailer in the world would have realized what their customers want, media without restrictions, this could have actually fought and easily won against the iTunes store, and NetFlix. I just hope this doesn't catch on, because it will give other retailers another justification to place Microsoft's desires above that of the consumers.

  • by bl8n8r (649187) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:46AM (#17972178)
    The part I dont like is people continue to support these tactics by using/patronizing the products/places that are directly responsible to taking away their choice and alternative. Wise up people. You may one day wake up to find you have no options left.
    • people continue to support these tactics by using/patronizing the products/places that are directly responsible to taking away their choice

      Do they? Everyone I know stays away from things they don't like or approve of unless there's no alternative.
  • Does anyone know if the movies are the altered "family friendly" versions of real versions?
  • by SilentGhost (964190) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @10:48AM (#17972192) Journal
    we can always /. it
  • So what (Score:2, Informative)

    by jm.one (655706)
    Lauch.com still doesnt support Firefox for their audio streams and goes the more than doubtful way of attempting to install a flavor of the Mozilla ActiveX Plugin ( bases on this one [www.iol.ie], just with the WMP ActiveX Plugin and their page in the whitelist) This gets more funny when u go to a european MTV side and start thier "Overdrive" plattform, which will attempt exactly the same. I guess this wide use(without contributing to the code at all) is the very reason why there isn't any ActiveX Plugin for Firefox 2.0
  • another million $ amount has mysteriously disappeared from Microsofts accounts
  • I'm surprised that someone hasn't created a nice way to stuff the server logs of websites that insist on only supporting noncompliant proprietary browsers. If a just 1000 Safari users visited Wal-Mart's site and reloaded the page once every 30 seconds, they'd generate nearly 3 million page views per day. And with a little app to help, one could even erase cookies between reloads or use of proxies to look more like 3 million unique visitors.

    What would a company think if the majority of logged visits came f
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Go to google. Search for "buy dvd."
      Find the walmart adwords ad.
      Click it.
      Walmart sends money to google.
      You go to the beta entrance to walmart downloads.
      Click it.
      Start over.
    • by Tim Browse (9263) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @11:15AM (#17972408)

      If a just 1000 Safari users visited Wal-Mart's site and reloaded the page once every 30 seconds

      Safari runs on Mac OS X. You can't watch the Walmart movies without WMP/DRM v10. You won't have that on a Mac. That's probably where Walmart's reasoning ends.

  • This is the danger of letting them exist at all. They will restrict choice as they get more and more powerful. Sure its their right when they are small, but as they approach the status of monopoly the rules change.
  • It was Wal-Mart that starting selling PC with Linspire preloaded instead of Windows, in order to have a low cost machine. Now they are supporting MS exclusively.

  • They are the 800 pound gorilla, and they believe that they can do no wrong. For decades, Wally World has been the poster child for everything that is wrong about corporations getting too big.
  • Slashdotted? (Score:4, Informative)

    by griffjon (14945) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .noJffirG.> on Sunday February 11, 2007 @11:29AM (#17972530) Homepage Journal
    I get (after a few refreshes) (rendered as text from the server) an HTML page that reads: "The Wal-Mart Video Downloads store is currently unavailable due to temporary site maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience."

    Either they're fixing it or are slashdotted?

    As much as I hate Walmart, they did sell the Linspire systems; I think this is laziness more than intention.
  • No Linux support. (Score:3, Informative)

    by FunWithKnives (775464) <`ParadoxPerfect' `at' `terrorist.net'> on Sunday February 11, 2007 @12:00PM (#17972770) Journal
    I think that, more interesting than the lack of support for Firefox, Safari, Opera, et al is the fact that it does not seem to support Linux. Specifically Kubuntu 6.10 with Opera 9.10 got me this little nugget of joy:

    We're sorry, your operating system is incompatible. To provide the best download experience, we can no longer support Windows 98, ME or NT. Please visit again after you upgrade to Windows 2000 or XP. Visit our Help section for complete system requirements information.

    Same exact issue with IE6 (ies4Linux) as well.

    Honestly, I wouldn't be using Wal-Mart of all places to download my music, but it is still somewhat of a poke in the eye, not just to alternative browsers, but alternative Operating Systems as well, it would appear.
  • by smoker2 (750216) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @12:12PM (#17972856) Homepage Journal
    AFAIK, there are precisely no online stores or providers (excepting iTunes) selling movies for download that don't require IE and Windows.

    Channel 4 (UK), Amazon, Blockbuster, etc. iTunes isn't in the same league, but still requires the use of a seperate app. Even some uploading is restricted, Metacafe (as was mentioned on /. a few weeks ago) uses flash (!) to upload videos and can't handle linux contributors.

    There is currently no legal competition for the likes of TPB and Mininova, and thus the movie producers will keep losing out.

  • by merc (115854) <slashdot@upt.org> on Sunday February 11, 2007 @01:02PM (#17973276) Homepage
    If you don't like what Wal-Mart is doing the answer is pretty simple -- don't shop there.

    This is one of those things where the market will correct itself. The natural evolutionary path being that they will lose market share to users of non-Windows based platforms as well as Windows users that use non-IE browsers. That's probably a fair segment of the market.

    This problem will take care of itself.
  • by Animats (122034) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @02:53PM (#17974236) Homepage

    This is another one of those crap articles that links to a blog, which links to other blogs, and doesn't link to the actual source of the problem.

    Which is WalMart Video Downloads (Beta). [walmart.com]. And which is currently returning the message "Site Temporarily Unavailable The Wal-Mart Video Downloads store is currently unavailable due to temporary site maintenance. We apologize for any inconvenience. Please try again later."

    So see what happens when it comes back up.

    Of course, the real problem is probably that, having downloaded, you can only play the resulting download with Windows Media Player.

  • by SnowDog74 (745848) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @05:50PM (#17975778)

    1. Wal-Mart fears they will lose customers to Apple.
    2. Wal-Mart launches internet distribution.
    3. Wal-Mart removes Safari and Firefox support, thus ensuring they WILL lose customers to Apple.
    4. PROFIT! err... Oh, snap!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Ntimid8r (1038052)
      This is the comment I received from wal-mart when i asked why firefox isn't supported. Thank you for contacting us at mediadownloads.walmart.com. Your comments and questions are very important to us as we strive to meet your needs. Thank you for taking the time and writing to us that the Walmart video download site is not compatible with the Firefox browser. I apologize for the inconvenience caused. We have forwarded your feedback to our Research and Development team which is already working in this regar
  • by Allnighterking (74212) on Sunday February 11, 2007 @08:35PM (#17976936) Homepage
    Got the user agent switcher plugin. Even though I'm running Ubuntu with FF2.0 I lie and tell mallmart that I'm running ie6 on windwosXP. Get in just fine. It runs just fine.

      Typical lazy programming. If the ID-10-T's designing this sight had done any studying at all since about 2000 they would know you don't need to build browser specific sites if you bother to code to standards. Even IE will work.

  • by xylix (447915) on Monday February 12, 2007 @06:11AM (#17980716)
    I just had a similar problem with the Air Canada web site. (www.aircanada.com) When accessing the site using Safari (latest version, on Mac os X 10.4) I got the following message:

    Unsupported Browser Warning. We have detected that the browser you are using is not able to view some of the more advanced elements of our >website, and may prevent you from completing your booking.

    To view supported and tested configurations, pleaseclick here

    I wrote to them to complain, saying that there is no reason why they can't make a web site that works with any modern browser. They wrote back to me and "helpfully" suggested this as a solution to "MY" problem:

    We have been made aware that some of our customers encounter at times difficulties in using their MAC computer when trying to use the Air Canada Web Site. Even though we are working to improve our web site, these following quick steps have proven to be quite useful for most of our clients to enable debug functionality on Mac. To enable this functionality :


    (1) Go to and download OnyX
    (2). Open OnyX and select the "APPEARANCE" tab and then select the "Misc." tab, far right
    (3) Enable the "Safari Debug menu" option.
    (4) Quit OnyX and then open Safari.
    (5)You will now see a "Debug" menu on the far right-navigate down to "User Agent" on this menu and select "Windows MSIE 6.0"
    (6) Safari is now behaving like Windows IE version 6.

    So the "solution" is to pretend that I am using Explorer to make the warning go away. If anyone thinks that this is a viable solution then perhaps 'faking' Explorer will work for Walmart as well.

    Is there any site out there that we can direct companies like Walmart or Air Canada to to explain why they should make a standards compliant web site?

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