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Canada's CBC - Powered By OSS 47

Otter Escaping North writes "Blake Crosby's Under the Hood column on CBC's website recently discussed how almost the entire site is powered by open source software. It's great to see a government-funded agency making frugal technology decisions, and even better to see them trumpeting the benefits of doing so."
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Canada's CBC - Powered By OSS

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  • Yes, it's nice to see Open Source Software being used -- not becuase it's free and I don't want my tax dollars going to waste, but because it does the job better.

    But seriously...Windows Media for streaming? That's not open. It doesn't even work well.

    And Ogg as the only alternative, in limited numbers?

    Gimme a break. Give us a platform independent technology neutral streaming solution. MP3 would even be fine -- it might not be the best solution, but it is the lingua franca of the encoded music world at the mo
    • by xa0s ( 128789 )
      bah.. streaming is SOOooo 20th century. Podcasts baby! (in AAC) []

      No Windows Media required
      • Podcasts indeed. CBC podcasts fill much of my iPod. Now I just want the Sunday Edition every week. (I am, after all, already paying for it with my tax dollars...I might as well be able to listen to it at my convenience....all 3 hours.)
  • by bignickel ( 931486 ) on Monday July 17, 2006 @02:17PM (#15732389)
    As a Canadian taxpayer I'm thrilled to see so much OSS in use at the CBC. Now they just need to focus on non-proprietary file formats for their content (Windows Media is still king - at least for my regional radio). However, Ogg is an option for the national radio broadcast [], and the always excellent Radio 3 Podcast []. Now, we only need to get rid of Freestyle []...
    • Oh, god, yes. That show must go away. I thought the Round up was bad. This is much worse.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Now if only (Microsoft-IIS/6.0, ASP.NET) could break the damn flash habit they'd be fine.

      Also, (Apache/1.3.29 (Linux/SUSE) mod_gzip/ mod_jk/1.2.6-dev) has changed dramatically in the last year, the page is now dominated by advertisements where previously there were none, and at the expense of content. It has lost the professional look it had, it now gives the impression of something like an ISP homepage instead of a national news agency.

      Also an auto refresh on a main page i
    • Now, we only need to get rid of Freestyle...
      ... And CBC TV, the CRTC, Red Green, Canadian Idol, ... :-P All so embarassing.
    • Sadly the ogg stream for Radio2 has been broken for a very long time.
    • Agreed. Especially about the Freestyle. Why must 2-4 pm be the time of pain and misery on Canadian radio?
    • The only kingdom ruled by Windows Media is built on a crumbling foundation.

      Microsoft has never been a leader is streaming, and they certainly aren't now.

      Radio 3 streams in MP3 and is available through iTunes (as well as a number of other ways.) It's also not "always excellent": sometimes Grant Lawrence hosts it.
  • by 8127972 ( 73495 ) on Monday July 17, 2006 @02:21PM (#15732421)
    ...... Likely has more to do with their lack of funding: tml?id=b07beeab-4ad7-4fba-a2d7-f223bc16cd70&k=5921 2 []

  • Hardly Praise (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Let's consider the source... It's the CBC. they have one of the lowest ratings of all networks in Canada []. They lost the bid to broadcast the 2010 Olympics [] (which are in Canada), they lost the rights to broadcast the Briar (Curling) []. Their last truly big hit was "The Beachcombers", or at least nothing has come close since. (Maybe "Corner Gas" will do it).

    - I would be hard pressed to count this as praise for OSS when the CBC has no idea what they're doing in almost every other department.
    • Re:Hardly Praise (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Goose42 ( 88624 ) on Monday July 17, 2006 @03:18PM (#15732858) Homepage
      Yes, overall the CBC's ratings are lower than other Canadian networks, but the CBC has a drastically different audience than any other Canadian network. Would CTV or Global air something like The Nature Of Things (one of the greatest science documentary shows ever created) during primetime? Or spend the money to make it in HD? Hell no. Does any other major corporate network (radio, TV, or otherwise) give a crap about independant music in Canada? Hell no. But the CBC does, and the massive success of the Radio 3 podcast is proof of that. Its not so much a corporate network as it is a public service. Being that they're partially funded by tax money, they have a duty to give to the widest possible base of viewers. Even though they're loading up on the reality shows, they're still dedicated to The Nature Of Things and their documentaries (hell, they even have a whole cable channel dedicated to them).

      As well, CBC News is still considered to be some of the best in the business. CBC Newsworld is by far the best news channel I've ever seen, and George Stromboulopoulos's The Hour is truly amazing.

      While they may be losing out on some major bids due to lack of funds, that doesn't really matter as much to the CBC as it would to a completely corporate network, because the advertising dollar isn't their sole bottom line.

      As for Corner Gas, that's CTV, not CBC.
      • The Nature Of Things (one of the greatest science documentary shows ever created)

        The series should have been renamed to "Here's Another Endangered Species; Oh, How Foolish We Are!". I'm not sure if there were any episodes with a different theme.

        As for Corner Gas, that's CTV, not CBC.

        It's too bad that the second season has almost zero laughs.

        The only Can-Con that was on my must-watch list was Traders.

        • The last three episodes I watched of The Nature Of Things consisted firstly of a two-parter on the history of the human species, complete from ancient ape to modern sapiens, complete with a ton of incredibly well done re-enactments. The third episode (which aired last night) was a history of Tibetan medicine and the role it is now taking in modern Tibetan society, including how it incorporates practices from western medicine to produce the best health-care possible.

          No endangered species there. While Suzuk
    • I think Corner Gas is a CTV program.
    • Re:Hardly Praise (Score:4, Interesting)

      by hey! ( 33014 ) on Monday July 17, 2006 @03:47PM (#15733127) Homepage Journal
      I don't know about CBC, but you could say similar things about public television in the US, which is mainly privately funded. Public TV doesn't have the ratings.


      Most of the innovation in television programming in the US comes out of PBS.

      Would there be a cooking channel without Julia Child? Home improvement shows without This Old House and Crockett's Victory Garden? The History Channel without a long tradition of shows like The American Experience and of course Ken Burns Civil war? A Disocvery Channel without Nova? Even reality TV shows have their origins in public broadcasting (albeit the PBS versions were considerably more high brow).

      Sure, you may like Discovery Channel better than Nova (I don't), but the fact is people don't invest in something like that until the know it's going to be popular.

      Somebody has to dare to be unpopular, even if it's because they're stuffy and pretentious.

    • Dont confuse CBC TV with CBC Radio.
      CBC TV is abysmal.
      CBC Radio is highly regarded.
      Whenever funding cuts to the CBC are proposed, it is the fans of the radio network that rally to its support, usually with some success.
      But CBC management don't get it of course. Radio has no prestige for them, so they spend 90% of their budget on what people don't want (TV) and almost none on what people do want (Radio).
      • Amen! CBC TV almost never interests me, but I am consistently impressed with the quality and entertainingness of CBC Radio.

        To put it another way: CBC TV makes me bored with Canada, while CBC Radio makes me fascinated by and in love with my country.

        My biggest complaint is that they don't have more podcasts on their website.
    • Rumour is that TSN is gunning hard for NHL rights next time around too. Losing "Hockey Night in Canada" would be a huge blow to CBC, as it is by far their most watched show, and biggest money maker as far as advertising goes.

      Losing the Olympics hurt big time too, though it hard to win bids when the biggest two commercial competitors, Bell (CTV/TSN) and Rogers (SportsNet), team up to bid against you. Funny how the CRTC made Bell sell SportsNet when they bought TSN so that they wouldn't have a monopoly on s
  • Good, maybe they'll have some money to devote to content.
  • by 0racle ( 667029 ) on Monday July 17, 2006 @03:09PM (#15732782)
    There would be no way to verify the x% required Canadian content. If its not 15% Canadian crap, it can't be on the CBC.
  • they have a great mail server. Its a bit funny they picked FreeBSD over OpenBSD considering OpenBSD is canadian. (well theo is anyway)

    I found the story a bit odd to post though. Most websites run on apache which is free/oss. The default case is free software for all websites (and open source). Wouldn't it be interesting to talk about why 30% of the web chooses closed source software for their webservers instead?
  • From the /. Main Page listing this item: "12 of 9 comments". What?
  • All right! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by FlyByPC ( 841016 ) on Monday July 17, 2006 @03:39PM (#15733043) Homepage
    Any site that not only uses open-source, but has cool games like Sushi Samurai [] is OK in my book!

    (...even if the game is a shameless clone of BurgerTime [] with different sprites. Using Wasabi as a weapon is just too cool for words.)

"Conversion, fastidious Goddess, loves blood better than brick, and feasts most subtly on the human will." -- Virginia Woolf, "Mrs. Dalloway"