MJR's slef-reflections

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BBC TV: Click: Free=beer and facebook-flaming

Fri, 16 May 2008 17:15:36 +0100

Free software finally gets significant coverage on BBC TV's Click show this week, but I think it's very much Linux rather than GNU/Linux and free cost rather than freedom. They mentioned free security software and even raised the possibility of trojans, but didn't mention how free (as in freedom) software allows any random end-user to check or have it checked.

Quite a missed opportunity! However, Click has a regular letters section, so watch it (times below), email click@bbc.co.uk and see if we can get the free software view across.

The letters section this week seemed to be flaming proprietary SaaS social network site facebook for their pathetic default-permit approach to security of user details. I really think there's a role for something like noserub in free software social networking.

Click-UK is shown on BBC News Channel Saturday 1130, Sunday 0430 and 1130, Monday 0030 and Sunday 0430 on BBC-1 (times BST)

Click-World is shown Thursday 19:30 GMT, Repeated Friday 09:30 and 12:30 (Asia Pacific only), Saturdays 06:30, Mondays 15:30, Tuesdays 01:30 (not Asia Pacific, Middle East or South Asia) and 07:30 GMT

Anyone else see this?

1 comment.

Tags: life, satellite, software, web.

Sky Data Protection

Sat, 24 May 2008 08:52:34 +0100

For the first time in a while, I've filed a data protection complaint with the Information Commissioner's Office about a company's bad behaviour.

Take a bow, Sky TV! Claiming that you can't remove my details from your mailing lists because I'm not one of your customers is stupid beyond belief. If I'm not one of your customers, never have been and have never permitted you to have my personal details, then you shouldn't have them anyway and you definitely shouldn't keep them after I've asked you to stop.

1 comment.

Tags: life, satellite.

BBC website, TV and Technology

Tue, 03 Jun 2008 10:43:29 +0100

[Dish]
(How I get TV)

The British Broadcasting Corporation, the largest UK public service broadcaster, is seen as a slow lumbering beast and a bit clueless about technology, as you can see from the comment when I wrote about Click: Free=beer and facebook-flaming recently. I think that's a pretty typical view.

For example, the BBC has recently helped to launch Freesat which is good in some ways (free-to-air and maybe more standards-based than Sky) but still publishes half-truths like

"Installing a satellite dish is a job for professionals"

(On balance, it's no harder than installing most TV aerials, in my opinion, but remember you get no warranty on DIY.)

It's pretty much the same situation online, which is why stories like The BBC and innovation [DavePress] and Good news for websites - BBC told to link out more! continue to be news, nearly 12 years after the BBC's website launched. (Source)

One of the few areas where BBC triumphs is probably news-gathering, picking up stories that are unpopular with both business and government, like BBC NEWS: Towns triumph in broadband tests which follows the Experts Say Ofcom Wrong About Rural Broadband storm online. I recently helped The Doon of May team look into internet connectivity and I was surprised how bad it was in their location: a bit of attention from BBC News is most welcome.

If you'd like to try receiving the BBC - or some other national broadcasters in Europe - by satellite, I'm currently taking Questions About Cycling on Satellite over on my Cycling Fans blog.

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Tags: cycling, hardware, life, satellite, web.

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