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MS Silverlight To Stream Obama Inauguration Events 589

Posted by kdawson
from the open-to-most dept.
Ilgaz writes in to let us know that we will have to install MS Silverlight 2 to watch the US President's inauguration online. Everyone running Mac PPC, Linux, and FreeBSD has been left out, as there are no working Silverlight 2-capable alternatives on these systems. Here is Microsoft's press release announcing the selection of Silverlight yesterday. Streaming of various events around the inauguration begins today at the Presidential Inaugural Committee site, which touts its "inclusive and accessible" coverage.
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MS Silverlight To Stream Obama Inauguration Events

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  • by retech (1228598) on Saturday January 17, 2009 @05:32PM (#26500229)
    That certainly didn't take long to have the rhetoric fail and the reality take charge.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ScrewMaster (602015) *

      That certainly didn't take long to have the rhetoric fail and the reality take charge.

      Oh, they're plenty tech savvy ... they're just not tech willing. Microsoft now owes the Obama Administration a favor.

  • Or alternatively (Score:5, Informative)

    by jonbryce (703250) on Saturday January 17, 2009 @05:33PM (#26500233) Homepage

    You can watch it using flash video here [bbc.co.uk]

  • Humm... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by LWATCDR (28044)

    Let's see. Wants to renew Bush's tax cuts, says it will take a while to figure out how best to close Gitmo, and picks a Windows only solution for streaming....
    So far so good.

    • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by Shakrai (717556)

      says it will take a while to figure out how best to close Gitmo

      Most reasonable people would acknowledge that it's going to take awhile to close down Gitmo. Many of the people held there are simply too dangerous to let go. Many of the others who aren't have no where to go -- their home countries won't accept them. It should be obvious that you can't just close the facility down and give everybody there a bus ticket home. Obama has committed himself to ending torture and finding a safe way to closing down Gitmo. What more do you want?

      Wants to renew Bush's tax cuts

      And? Do you really think raisin

      • Re:Humm... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by truthsearch (249536) on Saturday January 17, 2009 @05:52PM (#26500413) Homepage Journal

        Many of the people held there are simply too dangerous to let go. Many of the others who aren't have no where to go

        The US Department of Defense operates many military prisons. They can all easily be transfered to a military prison within the US. They were only held offshore to avoid jurisdiction, and that point's been rendered moot.

      • Re:Humm... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Bertie (87778) on Saturday January 17, 2009 @06:06PM (#26500539)

        Most reasonable people would acknowledge that it's going to take awhile to close down Gitmo. Many of the people held there are simply too dangerous to let go. Many of the others who aren't have no where to go -- their home countries won't accept them. It should be obvious that you can't just close the facility down and give everybody there a bus ticket home. Obama has committed himself to ending torture and finding a safe way to closing down Gitmo. What more do you want?

        Call me a woolly-minded old liberal, but they could always, y'know, try them, and either bang them up legitimately or let them go as appropriate.

  • by gapagos (1264716) on Saturday January 17, 2009 @05:34PM (#26500239)

    Ah, fuck.

  • Huh? What? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) on Saturday January 17, 2009 @05:34PM (#26500245)
    Boy, talk about cherry picking a slanted conclusion...

    The actual copy from the references story is...

    Microsoft's Silverlight technology has been chosen to stream U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony live on the Presidential Inaugural Committee's Web site...

    Nowhere does it say that all the networks will be using Silverlight exclusively.

    • Re:Huh? What? (Score:5, Informative)

      by sjames (1099) on Saturday January 17, 2009 @06:25PM (#26500687) Homepage

      To enlarge upon your point, that would be a committee that Obama is NOT heading up. He probably won't be personally supervising the mowing of the White House lawn either. I suppose people will be blaming Obama if the D.C. dept of Sanitation doesn't provide enough waste baskets as well.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        But, when you become president, everything you do is a political statement. Everything done by your administration is your responsibility. He chooses the people below him, who choose the people below them. It is his job to choose people who are politically savvy and take things like this into account. Comes with the territory. So he is to blame.
  • I have little use for Flash and less for Silverlight ... and the inauguration will still be on TV (and will be broadcast and re-broadcast ad nauseam anyway) so it's not like we won't get to see it if we don't knuckle under. I wonder what Microsoft will have to give in return for this great boon?
    • by Plug (14127)

      For the rest of you in the US, that is, who can already watch it live on television...

  • WRONG! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Frosty Piss (770223) on Saturday January 17, 2009 @05:38PM (#26500291)
    Typical garbage from KDawson.

    The story *DOES NOT* say that Silver light will be used exclusivly accross all channels. It says:

    Microsoft's Silverlight technology has been chosen to stream U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's swearing-in ceremony live on the Presidential Inaugural Committee's Web site

    ...on the Presidential Inaugural Committee's Web site...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      So you are forced to use Silverlight on that website, which is just wrong and is what the guy is complaining about.

      • Re:WRONG! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Saturday January 17, 2009 @06:11PM (#26500565) Homepage Journal
        Especially since Silverlight is a brand new technology with small market share(flash is around 94% last I checked). This is much different than complaining about having to use popular, longer-lasting MS software such as Word or Visual Studio.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jejones (115979)

      ...on the Presidential Inaugural Committee's Web site, which states at the top of the page, "The Presidential Inaugural Committee, at the direction of President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden, will organize an inclusive and accessible inauguration..."

      There, fixed that for you.

  • by gapagos (1264716) on Saturday January 17, 2009 @05:40PM (#26500303)

    You can watch it Live on YouTube on this channel [youtube.com].

  • It's not encouraging that the committee's website will stick to this proprietary format, which is mainly designed to kill JavaScript and launch Microsoft's conquest of the free and open Internet.

    However, is this really exclusive? Will the inauguration be streamed in other formats from other sources? Presumably. In which case, this is really not a problem. It's MSFT getting some marketing.

    The marketing won't work. Silverlight will die, and pretty rapidly. I predict MSFT will stop pushing it early 2010.

    • by Skreems (598317)

      The marketing won't work. Silverlight will die, and pretty rapidly. I predict MSFT will stop pushing it early 2010.

      Good luck with that, since it's going to happen the second people stop using Netflix (their Silverlight-only "Watch Instantly" software is in Beta, and will at some point replace the old version entirely).

  • Moonlight...? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gcnaddict (841664)
    Whatever happened to Moonlight? I thought they covered Silverlight 2.0 just fine:

    http://www.go-mono.com/mono-downloads/download.html
  • Yes I know there are other sources, but it still pisses me off. They did the same thing with the convention in Denver, and forced us all to download yet another crappy plug-in (Silverlight 1) to do something we already have 15 that can already do. Flash is bad enough, I don't need a shoddy MS knockoff version too.
  • Moonlight ? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Saturday January 17, 2009 @05:49PM (#26500391) Journal
    Oddly enough Jan 20th is the official release date for Moonlight 1.0 The Linux implementation of silverlight. But only of the silverlight 1.0 spec. I wonder if 2.0 is really required.

    moonlight roadmap [mono-project.com]
  • by melted (227442) on Saturday January 17, 2009 @05:57PM (#26500459) Homepage

    I think Silverlight is one of the few things Microsoft got right. I've been using Silverlight quite extensively on my Mac since Netflix switched to it, and it's rock solid. This kind of got me interested into looking into the programming aspects of it, and it's pretty darn easy if you know .NET Framework and WPF already, and if you don't, the learning curve is not that bad. I wanted to write a multi-file uploader for one of my apps, and I was able to do so in just a couple of hours, end to end.

    • by WiiVault (1039946) on Saturday January 17, 2009 @06:19PM (#26500637)
      I refuse to support Silverlight for the same reason I won't support the Xbox. I simply do not want MS to dominate any more markets. We all should know by now that when that happens, things get bad.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      It may be the most perfect software ever written, but it is not open, its not free, and its not inclusive. So its exclusive, proprietay, and elitist. On top of that it doesn't do anything significantly better than the competition they are trying to use their market share to squelch. Its just a f'n shame that our leaders who espouse freedom, don't get it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I wouldn't care even if it would be the best coded thing ever. Reasonable people shun non multiplatform, non-open formats and that's that.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by NevDull (170554)
        Reasonable people deal with the consequences of picking an "alternative" platform.
  • by slightly99 (741774) on Saturday January 17, 2009 @06:45PM (#26500903)
    Oh my God, turn on the damn TV, it'll be on every frakking channel. I am so sick of techies having hissy attacks because every damn thing isn't instantly streamed to their iPhone or twittered to their PSP.
  • by iamghetto (450099) on Saturday January 17, 2009 @07:24PM (#26501217) Homepage

    I use Ubuntu at home, and I use it by choice. We all now that if we're running FreeBSD of a PowerPC Mac there are certain things that aren't available for us either. It's the price we knowingly pay for the choices me make. We're the exceptions, not the rule.

  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Saturday January 17, 2009 @07:58PM (#26501493)

    Msft pulled the same stunt for the Democratic National Convention:

    http://ixnotes.wordpress.com/2008/08/26/democratic-national-convention-against-gnulinux-or-bought-by-microsoft/ [wordpress.com]

    And for the Olympics.

    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20080623-nbc-olympics-on-the-go-download-service-is-vista-only.html [arstechnica.com]

    Must be nice to able to buy so much influence.

  • Cross-Platform (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Detritus (11846) on Saturday January 17, 2009 @10:07PM (#26502391) Homepage
    Microsoft's definition of cross-platform: Vista and Windows XP. Anything that threatens the hegemony of Windows must be destroyed. Standards are for losers.
  • by zullnero (833754) on Saturday January 17, 2009 @10:13PM (#26502433) Homepage
    Seriously, Barack Obama did not sit down and say, "Man, I really dig this Silverlight stuff. Maybe we should stream the whole inauguration in it."

    The bottom line is that the person who made the decision to use Silverlight was probably the same person who made that decision for the Democratic National Convention. Most likely, the guy/gal was hired because he/she had Microsoft Certs and experience. I know a lot of very smart people who could very well have been tabbed for the same thing that are Microsoft people, and they probably would have made the same decision because they don't think beyond "this is a cool technology and it makes it easier for me to do what I want".

    If you think it's a money thing, you don't know crap. Microsoft gives to both the Democratic AND Republican party. I know a lot of very hardcore Republicans who work for them. Yes, I know, I know a lot of people that I'm painting in a really bad light here. Apple, however, gave a lot as well. So did Google. And they tend to support Democratic and Independent causes more often than Republican.

    Look, one thing you have to know is if Barack Obama had a whole lot less on his plate...after all, the economy is going down the tubes, followed by the environment, we've got wars that we're fighting and we don't really know why we're still fighting them...costly occupations...our schools are going to pot and good jobs are getting really, really scarce. If that stuff wasn't all on his plate, and he knew that Apple and Linux people wouldn't be able to stream the inauguration, he'd be upset and ask to talk to whoever made that call. As it is, it was probably some guy that was hired that was probably held over from the DNC stuff. Maybe it was one of his paid staffers.

    Write a letter. Get your feelings out there and make it known. Don't just whine silently to yourself. If they get word, then some staffer might get a talking to. Really now...if you wanted this to be streamed using more open/cross platform technology, you should have started complaining about it when their tech team would have had some time to offer an alternative.
  • I wonder ... (Score:3, Informative)

    by PPH (736903) on Sunday January 18, 2009 @12:02AM (#26503115)

    ...what antics will ensue when all the Windows users with older systems (sans Silverlight 2) get the message to download and install it as the inauguration begins?

    How many prerequisite patches and service packs must be downloaded and reboots must be performed? And how much of the ceremony will be left to see once the install is done?

It is the quality rather than the quantity that matters. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca (4 B.C. - A.D. 65)

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