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Watching Obama on LInux without Silverlight

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From the 'cross platform video is not an option' files:

As a Linux user, I'm always seeing some kind of FUD out there that Linux users are being short changed out of ..something. In today's case the FUD was surrounding the Inauguration of Obama, an event that was streamed live via multiple sources including the Presidential Inauguration Committee (PIC). The problem with the PIC feed is that it was broadcast using Silverlight 2.0 which isn't yet available on Linux.

So the Moonlight (Silverlight on Linux) people led by Novell's Miguel de Icaza literally burnt the midnight oil last night to get something together that would work on Linux.

Sounds good right? It is but..

Let me tell you how I watched the streaming video. On an Ubuntu Ibex (just what I booted today I've got a multiple boot system and use multiple Linux distros..), I simply went to CNN and clicked on their Live video stream.

Guess what? It worked.

No I didn't load in Moonlight/Silverlight. CNN was just using their everyday Flash based streaming tech (and hey who doesn't have Flash today) and it worked well without issue for me at all.

So while Silverlight/Moonlight is all fine and nice and the late night efforts by Novell to get things to work are interesting - sometimes all you need is rock solid cross platform technology like Flash to get the job done.

I would hope that moving forward Obama and his communications team choose technologies that are cross platform and more importantly - already exist without the need for late night crunches.

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