NDP online viewing only for Windows users?

[This is sent to STForum ]

Dear Editor –

I am baffled as to why it is that those of us who want to view the 42nd National Day celebrations online have to have Microsoft Windows to do so?

I was trying to view http://www.ndp.org.sg/infocomm/livecelebration/ and it says:

“1. You may need to install ActiveX* components for viewing the
“Live Celebrations” if prompted.
* ActiveX is built on Microsoft’s Component Object Model (COM),
and is used primarily to develop interactive content for the World
Wide Web.

2. The live coverage is best viewed using Internet Explorer”

I run Firefox and use Linux exclusively. When there are plenty of totally cross platform, free and open streaming video technologies, like for example Theora (www.theora.org), it seems that the technology decision makers decided on a closed, platform-restricted and proprietary format as the way forward.

Spending tax payers money on proprietary products that in turn forces the citizens to have to acquire even more proprietary products to participate is not smart and downright offensive.

So, while it may be “We Are Singapore” on the parade square, it is more like “We Are [Microsoft] Singapore” on the net.

Majulah Singapura! Happy National Day, Singapore!

=======================================================
[August 9th update; the letter got printed on August 8th 2007]

I am including it here because ST in all of their twisted wisdom, will not make this thread any more available soon.

———————————————————-

DSTA_87
Default Yesterday, 07:46 AM
Isn’t there a flash version by Cachelogic?

Link here: http://www.cachelogic.com/home/pages…_Day/index.php

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DSTA_87
Default Yesterday, 07:48 AM
Forgot to add that it works in Firefox, so there should be no problem in running it in any system with flash support installed. Linux has flash support so does OS X.

———————————————————-

everythingiseventual
Default Yesterday, 09:06 AM
btw, i’ll be watching the NDP online from the mainlands…what’s the best source?

———————————————————-

sanjivmn
Default Yesterday, 09:15 AM
everythingiseventual: This morning, ST ran an article highlighting some places from which you can catch the NDP action.

———————————————————-

harishpillay
Default Yesterday, 11:47 AM
Unfortunately, the edited version is sparse on the details. See the original at: http://harishpillay.livejournal.com/60606.html. The issue is not the flash on the first page, but the live streaming component – http://www.ndp.org.sg/infocomm/livecelebration/.

Harish
———————————————————-

Leon
Default Yesterday, 04:20 PM
Majority wins mah…
How many Windows users vs how many Linux users?
If the streaming is to be done for the open source player on Linux. Then majority will have problem viewing them.
Perharps you can offer your help to the NDP team to create another stream for Linux users.

———————————————————-

clang123
Yesterday, 05:12 PM
agree with Leon…it makes economic sense to develop for the needs of majority…in any case, internet is not the only channel to watch parade

———————————————————-

sanjaymn
Yesterday, 05:50 PM
Market share of Firefox is in excess of 10% (closer to 15%).

Market share of Mac users is hovering at just about 5%.

I’m guessing that significant resources will have to be expended to make the streams Mac-compatible, but the few Mac users make this unjustifiable. In any case, if your Mac is recent enough, download Bootcamp (free) and boot up in Windows.

———————————————————-

harishpillay
Default Yesterday, 06:06 PM
Leon –

> Majority wins mah…
> How many Windows users vs how many Linux users?
> If the streaming is to be done for the open source player on Linux. Then
> majority will have problem viewing them.

I think you are missing the point. You can still have a ogg theora and
ogg vorbis player for any platform that will allow view it. The Linux and
Open Source world has always been accomodating to each and every
one – not like the proprietary Microsoft-minded world view.

> Perharps you can offer your help to the NDP team to create another stream
> for Linux users.

Yes, we will have to. Not only are Linux users marginalized, Mac users as well.

Thanks.

Harish

———————————————————-

harishpillay
Default Yesterday, 06:11 PM
clang123 –

>agree with Leon…it makes economic sense to develop for the needs
>of majority…

If all we had was to cater for the majority, Singapore would not be where
it is today.

Mediacorp is the one providing the streaming. There is really NOTHING to
develop. All that needs to be done has been developed. It is the way
Microsoft has locked in Mediacorp (or should I say, how Microsoft has
been able to sandbox Mediacorp) that we aree in this state.

Since I do not own Windows, how are we able to bridge the digital divide?
Will mediacorp supply a copy of windows to let me watch the stream? Or
should I just get the $1 copy of Windows from the pasar malam?

>in any case, internet is not the only channel to watch parade

but that is not the point. The official, tax payer funded site excludes some
tax payers from benefiting from it. There is a bigger social issue here
that both the media and a large number of IT companies have chosen
to ignore (or perhaps are clueless about).

Harish

———————————————————-

harishpillay
Default Yesterday, 06:13 PM
sanjaymn –

> Market share of Firefox is in excess of 10% (closer to 15%).
>
> Market share of Mac users is hovering at just about 5%.

all true. In Europe, FF is closer to 50%.

> I’m guessing that significant resources will have to be expended to make
> the streams Mac-compatible, but the few Mac users make this unjustifiable.
> In any case, if your Mac is recent enough, download Bootcamp (free) and
> boot up in Windows.

Streaming is not platform specific. That bit of information seems to be
missing here. Run Ogg Theora and all is well – on all platforms. “We
are Singapore” on the parade square, but “We are Microsoft Singapore”
on the net.

Harish

———————————————————-

DSTA_87
Default Yesterday, 06:56 PM
Harish, you missed the point of my post. I am not talking about the ndp website at all.

If you check here: http://www.ndp.org.sg/multimedia/webcast/index.html you will see 3 different options for live streaming and the third one is a flash version which works in firefox.

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DSTA_87
Default Yesterday, 07:04 PM
Also, if you want to stream the live camera from linux/OSX you can use mplayer and point to the following url:

mms://ndpwmedia.staging.qala.com.sg/stream03

Do note that you will need to install the binary codecs as the stream is based on windows media video 9.

Yes it is not user-friendly to people who are not into the technical aspects of computers however.

———————————————————-

DSTA_87
Default Yesterday, 07:15 PM
Also this link might be useful for those Linux people out there:
http://mplayerplug-in.sourceforge.net/

Again I need to emphasize you will need the binary codec packages which can be found here: http://www.mplayerhq.hu/design7/dloa…#binary_codecs

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vision3001
Default Yesterday, 11:19 PM
Harish should learn to be not so quick to bash Windows whenever opportunity seems to arise. Instead to see for constructive solutions, eg. mplayer plugin, etc.

———————————————————-

harishpillay
Default Yesterday, 11:54 PM
DSTA_87 –

Hi.

>Harish, you missed the point of my post. I am not talking about the ndp
>website at all.

OK, but I was. I was talking about that http://www.ndp.org.sg/infocomm/
then click on Live Celebration. All that the website designer needed to say is that if you are not running Windows go to some other URL.

> If you check here: http://www.ndp.org.sg/multimedia/webcast/index.html
> you will see 3 different options for live streaming and the third one is a flash
> version which works in firefox.

And that is what I would have expected them to point out. Not doing so is
plain unthoughtful.

Harish

———————————————————-

harishpillay
Default Yesterday, 11:56 PM
DSTA_87 –

>Also, if you want to stream the live camera from linux/OSX you can use
> mplayer and point to the following url:
>
> mms://ndpwmedia.staging.qala.com.sg/stream03
>
> Do note that you will need to install the binary codecs as the stream is
> based on windows media video 9.
>
> Yes it is not user-friendly to people who are not into the technical aspects
> of computers however.

If only the organizers had listened to the website designers. I am told by
the designers that the streaming entity (mediacorp) was not willing to listen.
Perhaps the website designers should have taken the initiative and listed
alternative viewing options as well. Sigh.

———————————————————-

harishpillay
Default Today, 12:00 AM
vision3001 –

Hi.

>Harish should learn to be not so quick to bash Windows whenever opportunity
>seems to arise. Instead to see for constructive solutions, eg. mplayer plugin,
>etc.

I am not doing windows bashing per se. I am asking the designers of the
National Day website to provide options for non windows users to be able
to consume the content. Having said that, windows bashing is a old tired
thing that does not deserve any more air time. I don’t use it so why should
I care. I care more about how sites that are national in nature are set up
to only cater to windows users. That is money that comes from yours and
my tax that I cannot then benefit from.

I have the proprietary codecs from mplayerhq and I can indeed watch
the wvm and other proprietary contents on both my Fedora 7 and RHEL
desktops, so that is not the key issue.

Harish

———————————————————-

vision3001
Default Today, 09:09 AM
>I am asking the designers of the
>National Day website to provide options for non windows
>users to be able to consume the content.

View N-Day Parade on various platforms
http://www.straitstimes.com/ST%2BFor…ry_146896.html

That’s an example of a constructive reply.
———————————————————-

vision3001
Default Yesterday, 09:10 AM
>That is money that comes from yours and
>my tax that I cannot then benefit from.

Precisely.

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everythingiseventual
Default Yesterday, 09:15 AM
thks sanjivmn!

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harishpillay
Default Today, 12:00 AM
vision3001 –

>>I am asking the designers of the
>>National Day website to provide options for non windows
>>users to be able to consume the content.
>
>View N-Day Parade on various platforms
>http://www.straitstimes.com/ST%2BFor…ry_146896.html
>
>That’s an example of a constructive reply.

Indeed the reply from IDA is positive. All I would have wanted them is to put the link in the page I mentioned.

Harish
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About harishpillay

father, husband, son, hacker, friend, human
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