Open Source Wins and Woes

Owing to public presure, the BBC iPlayer is now going to support Linux. But if you are a student in Newville, Pennsylvania who is into OpenSource, you may serve detention! (or NOT, see update below)


From Slashdot:

After previously limiting their iPlayer to only the Windows platform … the BBC’s content is now available to UK-based users of Linux and Mac OS X. From their site: ‘From today we are pleased to announce that streaming is now available on BBC iPlayer. This means that Windows, Mac and Linux users can stream programs on iPlayer as long as their computer has the latest version of Flash. Another change is that you do not have to register or sign in any more to download programs …’ It seems that the BBC have listened to people who petitioned them for broader support and an open format. Well, Flash isn’t exactly open, but its a lot more ubiquitous than Windows Media and Real Player formats

.

A high school student in Big Spring High in Newville Pennsylvania was using Firefox to do his work int he school computer lab (during a class). A teacher/moron (and I don’t say that lightly, I have a lot of respect for teachers) punished him for using Firefox instead of Explorer, apparently.

Here’s the story, and here’s the detention order for you to read.

UPDATE
: From the Big Spring School District Web Site:

Response to Internet Hoax
December 17, 2007

Recently, a file was uploaded to the Internet purporting to be a copy of a letter from Big Spring High School to a student regarding a two hour detention. The uploaded letter was an altered version of a detention letter sent to a student. Unfortunately, privacy concerns prevent the School District from giving a full explanation of the nature and source of the letter’s alteration at this time. The Big Spring School District does have confirmation that the discipline letter was altered.

The reports, blogs and other sources on the Internet indicating that a Big Spring student was assigned detention for using the Firefox internet browser instead of Internet Explorer are untrue and were based on the fake letter. Detention is assigned in our schools after appropriate warnings are given. If students continue to engage in non-academic activities or fail to follow a teacher’s directive during class time, discipline can and will be assigned.

Sincerely yours,

John C. Scudder

High School Principal

That’s their story and they’re stickin’ to it.

Comments

  1. #1 Lucas
    December 18, 2007

    Slashdot published a retraction of the latter story–apparently it’s a hoax.

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    December 18, 2007

    Lucas, thanks for the info! Now, we just have to hope that the expose of the hoax is not a cover up!

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