According to the Times-Standard (have I said how much I hate the fact that the T-S moves its arcticles behind a fee based protected area after 14 days and that’s why I won’t link to them? I have? A few times? OK. I will stop…no maybe not) the Arcata City Council meetings are going to be available on the web, both live and in archived versions, starting with Wednesday night’s meeting. Terrific!
One catch, though. According to the article, to access the video, you need “…Windows 2000 or XP with 128 mb ram minimum, Windows Media Player 9 or newer, 1.2 MHz processor, sound card, and a high-speed Internet connection.” Wonderful. While I can understand the minimum processor speed, need for a sound card and a high speed connection, why have they settled on limiting access to Windows 2000 or XP? That leaves me out. I usually run Mac OS. And that certainly leaves out Linux users. What is it about this service that makes it necessary to provide the video in such a limited format? Is it tieing in the agendas with certain points in the video? Is it the search? I can’t imagine these capabilities are not available in other formats. Maybe the article got it wrong. But while the whole world is moving toward open standards and accessibility, if the article is correct, the City of Arcata has taken one step forward, and two steps back.
I did actually try this on my Mac (the Planning Commission was available Tuesday evening) and it did work. Though the feed kept stopping and starting so it was virtually unusable when I fist connected. However, as time went on, things smoothed out. So, what gives? Is the article wrong? I read the press release from the City and it said the same thing. Does the City not know what their system compatibilities are?
If you have a system other than Windows 2000 or XP, try it out. Let me know.
The Times-Standard should really take a page from the ER on this one. How much money can they really be making by charging for their archives? Enough to justify the exposure they’re not receiving by having Google crawl tens of thousands of back stories? Not to mention an incredible public resource they’re denying to anybody who won’t or can’t pony up $1.95 a pop.
I don’t question their need to earn a profit, especially while competing against a newspaper that can run in the red indefinitely. I just think they’d better serve everybody’s needs if they released their archives (which doesn’t mean they have to put them into the public domain, just make them publicly viewable).
Back to Arcata, why not provide these videos using some open-source video codec that no person or corporation owns the licensing rights to? Seems appropriate for a government office…
Me too. I don’t link to them any more ever. I do quote the articles, though.
You wrote: “I hate the fact that the T-S moves its arcticles behind a fee based protected area after 14 days and thatâ€™s why I wonâ€™t link to them?”.
I got an e-mail from a reporter at the Times- Standard the other day. Among other things, he suggested I link to the T/S more often. I had to tell him I didn’t have a problem with linking to any story, anywhere, but the T/S links were only good for two weeks so I always tried to link to a story somewhere else whenever possible.