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BBC Backpedals On Linux Audience Figures

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the couple-orders-of-magnitude-between-friends dept.

Media 330

6031769 writes "After recently claiming that only 400 to 600 Linux users visit the BBC website, the BBC's Ashley Highfield has now admitted that they got their numbers wrong. The new estimate is between 36,600 and 97,600 according to his blog post. He stops short of describing how Auntie arrives at these two widely different sets of numbers and how their initial estimate is two orders of magnitude out."

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Hit Bots (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251379)

Rack-em-up!

Re:Hit Bots (4, Funny)

RuBLed (995686) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251523)

Can't we just rent a partion of Storm Worm botnet to do this... ohhh wait....

Re:Hit Bots (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251753)

if you change the useragent string it will work. now where's that botnet slice you were talking about...

Are other Linux estimates wrong? (5, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252033)

I would assume that the BBC did not invent its own method of measuring web traffic, but uses some package or service. If this got the number of Linux users so drastically wrong, how many other site's estimates of Linux users incorrect too? Could a lot more people be using Linux than we are told?

Re:Are other Linux estimates wrong? (4, Insightful)

Nullav (1053766) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252361)

Or perhaps they just pulled a small number out of their collective asses in order to avoid porting iPlayer to other operating systems.

ah (4, Funny)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251393)

They used Excel to calculate the first set of figures

Re:ah (4, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251411)

Either that, or the promised "Free Laptop" from Microsoft failed to arrive.

Re:ah (1, Insightful)

Wiseman1024 (993899) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252155)

Parent is insightful.

BBC sucks. They're sold out to Microsoft. First they offer content in their AIDS-ridden (DRM) format, and then this. Well, they can kiss my ass for all I care, I'm never going to visit their websites to help make their Linux statistics true.

Slashdot effect (1, Insightful)

Lunzo (1065904) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251445)

It could have been angry nerds protesting and visiting bbc.co.uk sites from their linux boxes to boost the market share stats. Or maybe a bunch of BBC stories have been posted to slashdot recently (e.g. this one).

Re:Slashdot effect (2, Interesting)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251501)

I assume that they calculate their viditor @ by looking at unique Ip+ useragent string combos that indicate the OS. Therefore, they probably have a record of both going back for at least several months. I would think that they would use statistical methods to determine a more accurate value for traffic that accounted for the slashdot effect. Like this example: 832 926 781 12324 49807 18266 5377 1216 1082 1109 988 ... the middle spikes would indicate an abnormal amount of traffic. they would be outliers and probably wouldn't be useful for determining an accurate value for Linux users visiting the site.

Re:Slashdot effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21251805)

the middle spikes would indicate an abnormal amount of traffic. they would be outliers and probably wouldn't be useful for determining an accurate value for Linux users visiting the site.

Says who? Selling advertisement to a traffic spike is just as profitable as selling advertisement to regulars. A traffic spike is potentially more valuable, since they are more likely to be seeing the ad for the first time. The integral is therefore probably a better measure than the median.

Re:ah (4, Funny)

mrbluze (1034940) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251835)

They used Excel to calculate the first set of figures

.. which came complimentary with their Microsoft site license (both Excel and the figures!).

I'm so hurt. All this time I trusted the BBC as a veritable, reliable news service. I feel so.. so.. violated!

...not!

Re:ah (1)

Peter Nikolic (1093513) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252365)

And of course they are all Ex-Spurts ... EX as in has been Spurt as in Drip under pressure yes i know as old as the hills but still completely true to this day . Maybe after 15 years in the job of choice they can start to assume the mantle of Expert that is so falsely claimed by 95% of Uni graduates as a right of passage .. Pete not sarcastic just cynical .

Nothing is solved, though (1, Interesting)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251407)

If they really want a cross-platform solution that doesn't rely on the goodwill of browser makers to support the standards, they ought to simply implement the site using Flash. Flash is a fine technology that is portable to any device that has a Flash player, so even devices without a CSS-supporting browser (e.g. cellphones) can view the content.

Re:Nothing is solved, though (4, Interesting)

jmv (93421) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251441)

Right, so where is the 64-bit version of Flash?

Re:Nothing is solved, though (1)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251461)

Right, so where is the 64-bit version of Flash?
Ever heard of nspluginwrapper?

Re:Nothing is solved, though (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251533)

That still isn't a 64-bit version.

Just because you can run something in an emulator/translator (see WINE), doesn't make a native application.

Re:Nothing is solved, though (2)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251563)

Just because you can run something in an emulator/translator (see WINE), doesn't make a native application.
So what? I can play flash on my 64-bit machine. Why not worry about things that matter, like perhaps the lack of an open-source flash player?

Re:Nothing is solved, though (2, Informative)

PuercoPop (1007467) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251687)

I can play _most_ of the flash, it hangs sometimes on firefox and most of the times in konqueror...

Re:Nothing is solved, though (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21252317)

yea, flash has been freezing up my konqueror sessions too. I've found that you can "killall nspluginviewer" to keep on working in Konqueror.

-Fig (dedicated Konqueror user)

Re:Nothing is solved, though (5, Informative)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251709)

Ever hear of Gnash? [gnu.org]

Re:Nothing is solved, though (3, Interesting)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252259)

Ever hear of Gnash?

No, I hadn't. Thanks for the info. Now what we need is a Flash Professional (you know, the Flash editor/maker) equivalent for Linux.

Re:Nothing is solved, though (1)

cloricus (691063) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251827)

I've been using gnu-gnash at work on my Linux workstation and it is almost ready for the prime time (IE most web games almost work and youtube only has a couple of bugs left). Why not just make a video player that works in the current gnash and flash, that way every one will be happy? Make it open source too.

Re:Nothing is solved, though (2, Informative)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251465)

Ubuntu has done a pretty good job implementing the 32-bit flash in their 64-bit OS. Install the 'flashplugin-nonfree package'.

Re:Nothing is solved, though (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251477)

Gaa! Move the quote mark one word to the left.

Re:Nothing is solved, though (4, Funny)

dwater (72834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251627)

> > Install the 'flashplugin-nonfree package'.
> Gaa! Move the quote mark one word to the left.

What? "Install 'the flashplugin-nonfree package'"?

That doesn't work either. :p

Re:Nothing is solved, though (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251481)

...and the version for phones (S60 at least) doesn't do video (yet) either.

Re:Nothing is solved, though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21252143)

or the power pc

Re:Nothing is solved, though (1)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252227)

32-bits ought to be enough for anyone!

Re:Nothing is solved, though (2, Insightful)

T-Bone-T (1048702) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251507)

What cellphone(read: non-smartphone) has Flash?

Re:Nothing is solved, though (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251609)

> What cellphone(read: non-smartphone) has Flash?

Why would I read 'non-smartphone' instead of 'cellphone'? Why not just write 'non-smartphone' since they are indeed cellphones?

Re:Nothing is solved, though (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252253)

I forgot to mention that even the smart phones that have flash don't do flash video. I heard it's 'soon' though.

Re:Nothing is solved, though (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251541)

Flash is a fine technology that is portable to any device that has a Flash player, so even devices without a CSS-supporting browser (e.g. cellphones) can view the content.

Unfortunately, Flash 9 on Linux has been the number 1 instability on any version of Ubuntu I have tried it on. Flash is the reason Firefox needs the Force Quit function all the time. Maybe someday they will get it right. In the meantime, how about something that just works?

Re:Nothing is solved, though (2, Informative)

Isauq (730660) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251727)

Interestingly, the most recent version of flash I installed on my distro has solved a number of long-standing problems with flash in Linux (Including the one where the right-click menu crashes your browser). If they could reduce the 100% CPU time that Flash seems to so desperately need in Linux, it would actually not be all that bad (though they're not out of the unstable woods yet by any means).

Re:Nothing is solved, though (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251757)

As I suggested in a sibling post: have you installed 'flashplugin-nonfree'? I have no troubles with it whatsoever.

Re:Nothing is solved, though (5, Funny)

dbIII (701233) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251831)

how about something that just works?

What about the BLINK tag. Just as annoying as flash, carries just as much useful content as most flash but less resource intensive all around.

Re:Nothing is solved, though (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21251697)

What are you smoking? Flash is a proprietary protocol that is not portable by anyone except Adobe. That doesn't solve the problem at all.

Re:Nothing is solved, though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21251837)

Flash is proprietary, so it's not a viable alternative. Better luck next time.

Idiot (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251847)

If they really want a cross-platform solution that doesn't rely on the goodwill of browser makers to support the standards, they ought to simply implement the site using Flash


You sir, are an idiot. Flash is the antithesis of cross-platform solutions.

Re:Idiot (1)

L7_ (645377) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251975)

I think he knows what he is talking about... and was making a pretty sarcastic joke!

Of course flash isn't standard at all, yet CSS is... and he is saying to use Flash over CSS. Gotta catch that one.

Re:Idiot (1)

geekboy642 (799087) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252079)

Right.
'cause working on OSX, Linux, Windows, Unix, some smart phones, and more than a few PDAs isn't even a little bit cross-platform. No, you have to hit the greats first: Amiga, Atari, and BeOS. God, heaven forfend that anything should be cross-platform on systems that people actually use.

Re:Idiot (2, Interesting)

dwater (72834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252261)

> some smart phones

I'm curious...which smart phones, exactly, do flash *video*?

Re:Idiot (1)

khellendros1984 (792761) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252329)

Cross-platform? Yes. Open? No. I'd rather use a single-platform open source program than a multi-platform proprietary one. The open source program, *I* have control over. The other one? Not so much.

Re:Nothing is solved, though (1)

drsquare (530038) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251945)

Except Flash has a tendency to crash Linux Firefox.

Re:Nothing is solved, though (0, Redundant)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252131)

Why not just view the site from a Windows machine and IE? It's not like there isn't one on the desk next to you most places you work.

Sounds like good news to for the Linux community (2, Insightful)

fyrie (604735) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251415)

If they didn't think it was worth there time to correct the numbers, they wouldn't have.

Correction (1)

fyrie (604735) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251437)

If they didn't think it was worth there time to correct the numbers, they wouldn't have.
I think it is worth my time to officially say I meant:

If they didn't think it was worth their time to correct the numbers, they wouldn't have.

Re:Sounds like good news to for the Linux communit (1, Insightful)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251463)

Yeah, it went from a lot less than 1% to, less than 1%.

I still don't think that makes non Windows/MacOS support a priority for them. Do you?

Re:Sounds like good news to for the Linux communit (3, Insightful)

whoever57 (658626) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251515)

Yeah, it went from a lot less than 1% to, less than 1%.
Actually, I think it went from < 1% to "we are clueless". There is no explanation of the revised figures, where the original one came from, so why assume that the new figure correct?

Also, given the Linux-unfriendly nature of the BBC's site, how many Linux users either don't visit it purely because of the Linux-unfriendly nature of the site, or set their user-agent to look like Windows?

Don't be such a dick... (2, Insightful)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252255)

Don't be such a dick. It's attitudes like this that get the Linux community such a bad name. "We are clueless"? "Linux-unfriendly nature of the BBC's site"? How old are you?

He got it wrong, he was man enough to admit that he got it wrong. Why do you have to make such a big deal out of it?

And, sorry, but we have to agree that, statistically, it's still a tiny fraction of the user base. If I was developing a cross-platform application or service, commercial or otherwise, then I'd still plan on putting out the Windows version first, the Apple one second and the Linux one third.

Why? Because it just plain makes sense. If you need an explanation why then perhaps you're just not seeing the bigger picture as well as you think you are.

Re:Don't be such a dick... (1)

roguetrick (1147853) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252385)

First, you can make it cross platform at the get go, or even open. Second, why would you offer Linux third and Apple second? I heard the usage numbers between the two were just about the same.

Re:Sounds like good news to for the Linux communit (2, Insightful)

value_added (719364) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251621)

Yeah, it went from a lot less than 1% to, less than 1%.

I'm reminded that in the early days of Firefox, people mouthed that same implicit argument. Too small a minority to redesign all those IE-only websites ... When the numbers started to approach 10%, people took notice. How things have changed, huh?

Now, of course, the argument is that a business owner would be an idiot to write off 10% of their customer base. More important, the grander issues of healthy competition, accessibility, the destructive effects of monopoly power, etc. are brought to the forefront. Which is where they would have been if people weren't so focused on the numbers alone.

Re:Sounds like good news to for the Linux communit (2, Insightful)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252281)

Now, of course, the argument is that a business owner would be an idiot to write off 10% of their customer base.

Which is made worse by the fact that the BBC receives pretty heavy funding from the tax payer. The BBC should be providing services that commercial entities don't. Every time they make a decision like this, they're just providing another reason why they should no longer exist. EastEnders was a pretty decent argument in itself.

Re:Sounds like good news to for the Linux communit (3, Insightful)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251867)

By that logic, how is mac a priority for anyone either?

Did Micro$oft have anything to do with it? (5, Interesting)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251421)

According to this [bbc.co.uk] , the BBC signed an agreement with Micro$oft, er, ... the devil, ... back in September of 2006 to collaborate on, "search and navigation, distribution and 'content enablement'". Makes you go, "Hmmmmmmmmm?",...

Re:Did Micro$oft have anything to do with it? (2, Insightful)

Technician (215283) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251497)

According to this, the BBC signed an agreement with Micro$oft, er, ... the devil, ... back in September of 2006 to collaborate on, "search and navigation, distribution and 'content enablement'". Makes you go, "Hmmmmmmmmm?",...

So how do they count their visitors when only the ones who can view the content are the only ones that return?

How many Zune and Zen users have iTunes accounts? I wonder if they would claim less than 1% of the visitors to the iTunes store do not have an iPod so all other potential visitors is not important. The way I see it, is if iTunes provided DRM free music in several formats, they could instantly improve their marketshare by about 20%. Instead Amazon is picking up the other MP3 player market. Apple handed that part of the market to Amazon on a silver platter.

The BBC stats on Linux userbase is flawed for the same reason. Linux users don't return when the content is incompatible.

Re:Did Micro$oft have anything to do with it? (3, Informative)

Tim C (15259) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251957)

The BBC stats on Linux userbase is flawed for the same reason. Linux users don't return when the content is incompatible.
In the article originally posted about this a little while ago (that these new figures are correcting), it was made perfectly clear that the figures were for the whole of the bbc.co.uk domain not just the new streaming media stuff. Of course Linux users return to the BBC site - it's one of the most popular sites in the UK. The Windows-only section is a new, so-far tiny addition.

This is nothing like non-iPod owners using or not using iTMS (although I own an ageing iRiver and still use iTMS from time to time...). The vast majority of the content on the bbc.co.uk domain works just fine with Linux, as it's plain old HTML web pages.

Media companies will attemt to suppress Linux (5, Interesting)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251425)

I think that media companies are going to fight until the bitter end to supress Linux users because so much of their DRM technology just doesn't work. Microsoft will play ball with DRM Media companies, Linux users are much more likely to fight.

I have a theory that even if Linux users outnumbered Windows users, Game companies and Media companies would continue to do whatever they could to make Games and Media incompatible making the majority of people criminals so that they could stay in control of their content no matter what.

Despite all the trolling that everyone says how horrible Linux is because companies produce broken hardware that don't support it, plays musical chairs with chip sets, Linux is turning into one of the greatest OSes the world has ever seen. Lets make sure 2008 is not the last year of Linux. Lets make sure Linux does not go quietly into the night,

Re:Media companies will attemt to suppress Linux (1)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251511)

Lets make sure Linux does not go quietly into the night
You must be new here.

Re:Media companies will attemt to suppress Linux (1)

weirdcrashingnoises (1151951) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251785)

which is kind of ironic when you compare both your /. User ID #'s

Re:Media companies will attemt to suppress Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21251829)

I don't think Linux means, what you think it means.

Re:Media companies will attemt to suppress Linux (4, Funny)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251893)

It sounds outlandish, but when MS and the DReaM team gang up, hideously nightmarish shit like tilt bits and encrypted fucking system busses are the result. I think you're right, but I see the MS lockin and DRM lockin monsters being vanquished by Global Benevolent Dictator Linus the week after he is appointed lord and emperor over all mankind. Unfortunately we will have to wait till 2038 for this, at which time a rebellious renegade decides to port an ancient operating system to a revolutionary closed source architecture and MS is reborn. So the cycle of the saga of the ages continues, waxing and waning in the aeons.

A little dramatic? (-1)

SalsaDoom (14830) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251931)

Hi there,

Linux isn't probably going to outlive all these guys, at least until another Free OS comes out that is better. It'll have nothing to do with stupid media codecs and DRM when it does, when Linux 'dies' it'll be because -we- superseded it another another Free OS. I run just linux myself, I have for a long time. I can manage to view most things without too much trouble, and if there are few very stupid companies that don't want their content viewable... fuck 'em.

Trust me on this one, Linux isn't going into the night at all, and least of all because the BBC is ran by a bunch of corrupt idiots too busy suckling on Microsofts teat to snack on some clue.

--SD

Different sets of numbers? (5, Funny)

smurphmeister (1132881) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251435)

He stops short of describing how Auntie arrives at these two widely different sets of numbers and how their initial estimate is two orders of magnitude out.

English to metric conversion?

Re:Different sets of numbers? (2, Funny)

dwater (72834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251557)

..or maybe they're using some kibihits or something.

Re:Different sets of numbers? (5, Insightful)

turbinewind (667970) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251651)

It's unfathomable to me how an IT head could be this far out of touch with his user numbers. Someone in his position hires analysts to design, programmers to code, IT staff to admin, but his job is to know his customer and direct his team to serve them. These numbers are his livelihood! I get the bit about largest audience first (although I don't get is why not develop a cross-platform system), and I don't see his remarks as sufficient basis for the M$ conspiracy theories. But c'mon, how does a IT head for one of the largest media companies get this wrong?

Re:Different sets of numbers? (1)

dfgchgfxrjtdhgh.jjhv (951946) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252383)

the bbc is a public sector broadcaster. it isnt a commercial business & his livelihood doesnt depend on his/the bbc's success (which is guaranteed, by law).

therefore the managers job is to shuffle papers around & look busy.

Re:Different sets of numbers? (1)

DavidD_CA (750156) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251737)

How many football stadiums of people is that?

Re:Different sets of numbers? (0)

Charcharodon (611187) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251771)

The British use metric about as much Americans do. More like a "Standard to English" conversion SNAFU. Maybe they were measuring it in "stones" or some antiquated English measurement unit.

Re:Different sets of numbers? (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252313)

> The British use metric about as much Americans do.

Bollocks. Britons use metric in many more situations than USians (can't speak for the other countries in America, since I haven't lived, or even visited them).

For example, I can't recall ever hearing anyone in the US use Celcius for temperature, while it's the other way around in the UK.

Notable exceptions are :

1) beer - always in pints
2) personal weight - always stones/lbs.
3) distance/speed - always miles/mph.
4) penis/tv size - always inches.

I can't think of any others off the top of my head.

Hrm, I guess that's more often than my impression. Still, I don't think the US use metric in any situation, do they? ...oh, you said *about* as much. Well, I guess that's the wildcard that makes you right. Fair enough.

Re:Different sets of numbers? (5, Informative)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252215)

The British use metric more than 'merkins, we have it as a standard (except for a few exceptions, hey we're British...)

In what other country can you buy a litre of petrol, drive a mile down the road at 30mph, under a 1.3m high bridge to buy a pint?

Re:Different sets of numbers? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21252359)

You've have the conversion wrong as well cause if you drive under a 1.3 m high bridge you won't make it to the pint, at least not with your head in the same place

Nonexistent and living in mom's basement to boot (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21251479)

Like all those phony Ron Paul "supporters"!

Re:Nonexistent and living in mom's basement to boo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21251865)

He's fucked in the next election. Done! Nope, he's done!

Loose Change (0, Redundant)

Soporific (595477) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251521)

It's another fucking conspiracy to keep the linux world at bay, this time by two orders of magnitude even... Jebus...

~S

this FP for GNAA.. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21251583)

need your help! dead. It Is a dead

Astronomy Related? (4, Funny)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251625)

Does this have anything to do with the "Intergalactic missing mass" in the other story? Perhaps the astronomers and the BBC should get together and compare notes. Maybe they'd find enough mass to account for the formation of galaxies and locate all those missing Linux visitors in one easy step.

300-600 Linux flavours? (3, Funny)

HyperJ (940722) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251663)

Maybe they counted the wide variety of Linux flavours rather than individual users.

BBC is hopelessly biased... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21251673)

Despite claims of "fairness", they have a huge chip on their shoulder.

Have a look at Biased BBC [blogspot.com] .

Especially the part where the BBC spends millions covering up a BBC report (!) that conclusively proves they are biased.

Re:BBC is hopelessly biased... (0, Flamebait)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251719)

To a liar everyone seems biased.

Re:BBC is hopelessly biased... (2, Insightful)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251895)

A state run media biased in a vague way in favor of the Government it's ran by?

No way!

BBC might be slanted but compared to CNN or Fox, the BBC is a goddamn breath of fresh air.

(Also, I don't care as long as they keep letting Jeremy Clarkson make fun of Wales and America.)

Re:BBC is hopelessly biased... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21252211)

The BBC is not state run or state owned. If you think the BBC is biased in favour of the Labour government you aught to read some of the recent history between the two. Sure the BBC has a bias but it is one all of its own and compared to the other companies you mention it as close to impartial as makes no difference.

Re:BBC is hopelessly biased... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21252257)

BBC Bias is urban and leftist which is just fine with most of /. It is not acceptable however for them on any other "independent" organization funded under and by the threat of imprisonment by the state.

Re:BBC is hopelessly biased... (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252355)

"The BBC is not state run or state owned"

So, who owns it then?

slashdotted perhapsity? (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251715)

stops short of describing how Auntie arrives at these two widely different sets of numbers and how their initial estimate is two orders of magnitude out.

Simple, one is before being slashdotted, and one is after.
       

But what we really want to know is (3, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251739)

how many Commodore-64 visitors?

Running BBC on Linux (2, Interesting)

sz.evolution (1185039) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251745)

I have a stripped down install of Ubuntu Gutsy. With mplayer and firefox/mozilla mplayer plugin, I am listening to BBC streams right now. What, exactly, is the problem?

Re:Running BBC on Linux (2, Insightful)

Techman83 (949264) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251775)

I'm guessing you are doing this using the win32 codec plugins for mplayer. Whilst quite a feasible way of getting it to work (one I use myself), it's not technically legit. It doesn't quite fit the Free/Open Source ideals and also does nothing to rid the world of DRM.

Re:Running BBC on Linux (1)

weirdcrashingnoises (1151951) | more than 6 years ago | (#21251823)

which brings up one of the benefits to being a "lazy linux" user. DRM? sure it's evil, but i know good and well that someone out there who is a lot less lazy then i am is going to figure out some way to bypass it and perfect copies or whatever... and thus, all this "zomg DRM so evils!" doesn't even matter to me that much. so yes, it's evil, but it's an evil i never have to face.

Linux. Empowering the Lazy.

Re:Running BBC on Linux (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252339)

It's not all about being lazy...there's actually a modicum of skill involved too. Some just don't have that skill, nor the time to acquire it.

Re:Running BBC on Linux (2, Informative)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252273)

The bit you're missing is iPlayer, which allows you to view more or less anything the BBC has put out over the course of the last (week? month? Some time period).

The streaming media is straight unencrypted WMV or RealAudio, which is why you can play it.

iPlayer is a VB wrapper around Windows Media Player and requires the DRM functionality offered by WMP.

Give them a break... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21252097)

Jeez, look, they've come and admitted their mistake - That sort of behaviour should be rewarded, not used as extra ammo for attacking them!

How many other major companies do you think would have done that?

Certainly not any I can think of!

Between 36,600 and 97,600? (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252105)

Still not very precise are we... Good thing they are not supported by advertising. I can just imagine a pitch to the advertisrs: We have between 3m and 12m visitors a week and between 5% and 65% are located in North America and between 9% and 48% of those are your target audience ......

just be compliant to open and published standards (3, Insightful)

2ms (232331) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252107)

The guy doesn't have a clue. He looks at Linux as BBC's nuisance. In reality, the nuisance to everyone, BBC included, is that BBC has apparently ignored openly published industry standards. Adhere to the simple and straight-forward standards rather than locking self in to working with MS, and you're automatically compatible with viewers on [b]any[/b] operating system. Do that and you don't even have to think about that obnoxious OS created by hacker nobodies.

Re:just be compliant to open and published standar (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252287)

BBC has apparently ignored openly published industry standards.

Well, the BBC is more or less obliged at this point in time to use DRM because practically everything they produce is a labyrinth of licensing and contracts - contracts with the writer, record labels for background music, actors, directors.

So, exactly what openly published industry standard which implements DRM would you propose they choose, hmmm?

Re:just be compliant to open and published standar (1)

MysteriousPreacher (702266) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252387)

Linux is a nuisance to them, since their life would be easier if everyone would stop whining and use the OS from the company that the BBC seems to love so much.

Someone needs to take a hammer to the BBC, and get it focussed on doing something useful. Too many parts seem to just ape what the commercial broadcasters are doing. i.e. do we need a tax funded broadcaster to air Beverly Hills Cop II? I reckon there are commercial broadcasters who are just as capable of showing us that masterpiece of world cinema.

Linux, BBC, and RealPlayer (1)

glomph (2644) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252169)

I've been listening to the BBC on Linux with my RealPlayer, or whatever it's been called for the past 10 years.
Whatever dark place they've pulled these stats from requires a thorough cleansing.

Re:Linux, BBC, and RealPlayer (2, Funny)

dwater (72834) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252357)

ok, so that's one.

anyone else?

Over-staffing at the BBC (1)

threaded (89367) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252195)

Apparently there is a major problem with over-staffing at the BBC. I can easily see this issue is down to having to ask several different departments what the 'scores on the doors' are, and at the first count actually only one department had replied to the inquiring email. This revised number is simply due to the numbers from several other departments being returned and accumulated into the result.

Expect the number to keep climbing for some days yet, and then actually to go up and down like some strange kind of under-damped oscillation. This tail effect is due to the various business units actually re-reading the email and responding to it with 'corrected' figures.

Remember never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity when considering the organisational structure of an juggernaut such as the BBC is really quite archaic.

'Strategic Partnership' with Microsoft? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21252291)

It's interesting in the interview how Highfield denys that he and the BBC is in league with the devil (his words not mine). How then do you explain press releases like "BBC and Microsoft sign memorandum of understanding as BBC seeks new strategic partnerships to underpin creative future" - http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2006/09_september/28/microsoft.shtml [bbc.co.uk] ?

The BBC was actually developing its own codec called DIRAC for the iPlayer project but its demise coincided with the hiring of former senior Microsoft executives to Future Media and Technology team (e.g. Erik Huggers, the MS director responsible for Windows Media Player in Europe).

This is a classic corporate 'coup d'état' by the Monopolist. A coup that has resulted in ~£100m (~$200m) of taxpayers money going to finance a media product that deliberately excludes large numbers of the UK public and is, as it happens, horribly broken.

All this is at a time that the BBC is shedding 12% of it workforce, cutting back of its world-renowned R&D efforts and selling off its landmark buildings in west London.

As the Free Software Foundation put it, the BBC now stands for "Bill's Corrupted Corporation".
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