Apple Denies Linux Access To Its Movie Trailers

Apple has decided to block streaming content from for Linux users.  I say this because tonight I went to view a few of the upcoming movie trailers and was told to “Get the Latest Quicktime” in order to watch and I was denied the ability to watch them.

I hit the forums to see if others have the same problems that I have and I’ve found that many people have begun reporting the problem from around May of this year.  Not being one to give up, I decided to test things a bit to see what was doing.

I installed the useragent switcher on Firefox and switched my agent to Windows Vista and IE7.  I then watched headers as apple once again denied me despite my agent being accepted by it.  It seems that it is looking for an actual install of Quicktime on your system (I can’t tell you for sure, I just know that useragent isn’t what it is sniffing for).

How does one circumvent?  Pretty simple.  When you are given that denied message “Get the Latest Quicktime”, go to View >> Page Source.  Look for a URL that ends in .mov.  Copy that URL and paste it into a new tab.  That’s it,  you’re now watching the trailer.

I want to thank Apple for being exclusionary to Linux users when you benefit so greatly from Open Source software.  It sets a great example and shows what is really important to you as a company…and that is forcing your software onto everyone similar to Microsoft.

UPDATE:  I wanted to let everyone know my platform since everyone seems to think I’m silly enough to blog about this without installing the proper codecs.  I use PCLinuxOS 2007 as my main workhorse distro.  The apple trailers site worked for me previously until I recently checked it.  I’ve updated this
to current and have all codecs installed (w32codecs, mplayer, xine,
gstreamer, etc.).  I have uninstalled, reinstalled, and tweaked
everything I can think of tweaking to get this working.  Nothing thus
far works.  I should note that this is with Firefox 3 and I’m not sure
if that has anything to do with things.

Why the RIAA and ISP’s are Stupid

ISP’s are beginning to bow to RIAA demands and spying on their users. This is odd if you consider them a communications company…like the telephone companies are. For example, do you talk on the cell phone each day? How about a LAN line? What if…AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile (I’ve probably hit about 80% of you) monitored your phone conversations? You’re probably saying, “well, they already do” and you’d be right to some degree…but what if they monitored your line not for terrorism or keywords flagged by the US Government…what if they monitored your line for ANY illegal activity at all?

Say you were remarking to your friend about a deal down at Best Buy that was “a steal”. Told your mom how you “swiped a $beverage” from your buddies house. What if these keywords flagged you as one who participated in illegal activity if you discussed them on the phone? And what if your carriers had a “3 strikes and you’re out” policy? You’d find yourself phoneless based on the topics of your conversation. Sound far fetched?

It may not be. Compare the idea above to what Internet Service Providers (ISP) are doing. ISP’s are bowing to the RIAA (and BPI) and spying on their users…monitoring the topic of your communication and cutting you off if your communications do not live up to their standards. Virgin Media in the UK is the first major ISP doing this…

It seems ridiculous that an ISP can tell you what you should or should commicate about…which isn’t unlike a phone company telling you what to converse about over the phone. But it’s happening.

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Windows 7 – Touching Places it Shouldn’t

If you’ve read some of the recent news on the web, you’ll find at the top of many tech news sites a preview of Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows 7. This new operating system will bring multi-touch technology to the masses. Of course, this is a Linux Blog, so what am I doing talking about Microsoft?

Because this new operating system will be the nail in the coffin for Microsoft. If you think Vista was a downward spiral, think again. Perhaps you’re wondering why I seem to think this will happen. I’ve got a few reasons and I think other alternatives like MacOSX and Linux will fill in the gap that is created by them.

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OLPC Mission Has Changed

Has the mission of OLPC changed so much? I say it has. No longer are the five core principals initially employed when the project started valid. The original Five Core Principles were:

  1. Child Ownership
  2. Low Ages
  3. Saturation
  4. Connection
  5. Free and Open Source

It’s important to quote what is under #5 above:

The child with an XO is not just a passive consumer of knowledge,
but an active participant in a learning community. As the children grow and pursue new ideas, the software, content, resources, and tools should be able to grow with them. The very global nature of OLPC demands that growth be driven locally, in large part by the children themselves. Each child with an XO can leverage the learning of every other child. They teach each other, share ideas, and through the social nature of the interface, support each other’s intellectual growth. Children are learners and teachers.

There is no inherent external dependency in being able to localize software into their language, fix the software to remove bugs, and repurpose the software to fit their needs. Nor is there any restriction in regard to redistribution; OLPC cannot know and should not control how the tools we create will be re-purposed in the future.

A world of great software and content is necessary to make this project succeed, both open and proprietary. Children need to be able to choose from all of it. In our context of learning where knowledge must be appropriated in order to be used, it is most appropriate for knowledge to be free. Further, every child has something to contribute; we need a free and open framework that supports and encourages the very
basic human need to express.

Give me a free and open environment and I will learn and teach with joy.

No longer is it about empowering a generation of children from poorer nations and letting them learn with the ability to help improve the platform they operate on…what it’s now about:

“‘The OLPC mission is a great endeavor, but the mission is to get the technology in the hands of as many children as possible. Whether that technology is from one operating system or another, one piece of hardware or another, or supplied or supported by one consulting company or another doesn’t matter. It’s about getting it into kids’ hands. Anything that is contrary to that objective, and limits that objective, is against what the program stands for.'”

…just like a fun toy right? <sarcasm>Let’s drop Nintendo DS gaming systems into their hands…laptops, laptops, laptops…that’s what it is about…because we’re all about getting the technology to the kids. </sarcasm> We’re not about empowering them to learn about computers, networks, and software. We’re not about them learning on a system where there are no limits. As RMS states, “Teaching children to use a proprietary (non-free) system such as Windows does not make the world a better place, because it
puts them under the power of the system’s developer.” That developer is Microsoft.

Congratulations go to Microsoft for bringing proprietary lockin to millions of kids worldwide who will no longer be able to take pride in their own contributions the the core OS, who will no longer feel community ownership, and who will no longer be the sole operator of their own open source software based XO.

Our children our the future and what we aren’t teaching them with closed source software is just as important as what we ARE teaching them.

Why Business Doesn’t “get” Desktop Linux

I used to skateboard when I was a teenager. This was during the times when Tony Hawk was in his prime…Powell Peralta was the number one skateboard company on the planet, and Thrasher magazine was the number one choice of reading material.

Most of my friends at that time all rode Powell Peralta boards. The thing is…I was always looking for an advantage…something that could give me a competitive street skating advantage or something that just plainly worked better.

I found that advantage in H-Street equipment. I began riding a naked H-Street board with H-Street Arrow wheels. Switched from tracker trucks to independent and changed my bearings from German to Swiss. I watched Hokus Pokus and idolized Danny Way. I was ridiculed. I was told that I didn’t know what I was doing. I was told that H-Street was no Powell Peralta. A year later, everyone had a Hokus Pokus poster on their wall and were trying to get the gear and equipment I had already purchased.

I’m not saying I’m a trend setter. I’m saying I recognized quality and functionality before most did. Many businesses today are exactly like my friends. They don’t want to change. They don’t recognize quality or something that can give them a competitve advantage (at least not until its too late in most cases).

Why is this? Why is it that many corporations and small to medium businesses cannot or will not take a step back and look at the competitive advantage and cost savings Linux and Open Source software will give their business?

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Google Reader, You Suck

UPDATE:  Google Reader has changed their behavior as of late.  This post no longer applies as the behavior I wanted has been integrated.  Thanks for reading Google! :)

When I’m not using BlogBridge (that is, when I’m checking my feeds from someone elses computer) I check via Google Reader. It’s been quite nice for me to check out what’s happening in the world of Linux while away from my standard feed reading environment.

Recently though, they have changed the default behavior. Now when I want to mark an entire feed read (feeds with a large number of unread feeds), an annoying confirmation dialog box pops up and I have to confirm that I truly do want to mark all of my feeds as read (in true Microsoftian-esque style mind you).

Whoever enabled this needs to be sentenced to a life of annoying popup dialog boxes. Make their primary desktop be Vista and make them turn on the UAC and make them do their normal job. Sentence them to an entire year of stupid annoying popups. I despise popup dialogs…the demon brain children of the department of redundancy department… (a department google must now have created…and here I thought Microsoft was the only company that had one of these!) more than anything in computing.

Please google reader, take out that stupid dialog! Or at least give us a checkbox option. This type of behavior is frustrating, redundant, and lame.  I cry suckage google reader >:|