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Government Privacy United States News

White House Ditches YouTube 204

An anonymous reader writes to tell us that in an apparent response to privacy complaints, the White House has quietly moved off of YouTube as a method for serving the President's weekly video address. Choosing instead to use a Flash-based solution and Akamai's content delivery network, this comes just days after YouTube began to roll out their own new policies regarding privacy of visitors.
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White House Ditches YouTube

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  • Re:Wise choice (Score:5, Informative)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @06:47PM (#27045637) Journal

    It still depends on Flash as well.

    If you actually visit the site you'll see an HTTP link to an MP4 of the video. So they did this right.

  • Re:Wise choice (Score:4, Informative)

    by Chabo ( 880571 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @06:50PM (#27045665) Homepage Journal

    Well, I'm not sure if there's some crazy DNS/softlinking stuff going on that the bandwidth isn't being taken from whitehouse.gov, but it looks like the technology is being provided by Vimeo [vimeo.com], whoever they are.

    And if you want to download the video, it's in .mp4 format, with AVC1 and AAC-LC codecs. Personally I'd rather see H.264/Vorbis .MKVs, but...

  • Re:Wise choice (Score:4, Informative)

    by thetoadwarrior ( 1268702 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @07:35PM (#27046139) Homepage
    While the BBC may do that the UK government does not. The difference, imo, is that the UK (and US) government get money from their tax payers who live around the world. The BBC does not. Its money only comes from UK tax payers so there is little room to justify letting everyone watch the content. Where as I'm an American and I live overseas. I still file my taxes so yes I have just as much right to watch the video. In fact I also got a stimulus check despite the fact there was little to no chance I'd spend it on the US economy. But I am still an American and tax payer so I get the same rights.
  • by thetoadwarrior ( 1268702 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @07:39PM (#27046171) Homepage
    They include an MP4 and text so you don't even need a video player to know what was said.
  • by davidsyes ( 765062 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @07:46PM (#27046245) Homepage Journal

    Oh, OK, sweet. MP4 and other options ARE available...

    Stupid me. THIS is why slashdotters should RTFA, FIRST, heheheh....

  • Re:Wise choice (Score:2, Informative)

    by Celarnor ( 835542 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @07:50PM (#27046283)

    That's your choice, then, isn't it?

    Of course it is. I'm not complaining about it.

    I was merely answering the question; the parent to my original post said 'Who doesn't go to Youtube'? Being one such person, I replied, with the said reason I don't use it.

    I don't think that he understands that if you want something on demand in this way, you're going to pay for it; either you're going to pay for the hosting yourself and ensure that no data gets kept or anything like that, or you pay the cost in the users privacy, farming them out as eyes for advertisers and data for demographic mining.

    I'd rather spend money and retain my privacy. My privacy is more valuable than I can put a dollar amount on.

  • Re:Wise choice (Score:3, Informative)

    by FishWithAHammer ( 957772 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @09:14PM (#27046959)

    When Ogg Theora stops sucking, they can entertain the idea of using it.

    (I'm sure a mod's already going for "Troll", but keep in mind that Theora really does suck, on many technical levels. Start with being about half as efficient as H.264 and move on from there. It's bad. Vorbis, on the other hand, is quite nice.)

  • Re:Wise choice (Score:5, Informative)

    by fczuardi ( 574719 ) on Monday March 02, 2009 @09:17PM (#27046985) Homepage

    Nice so it can be re posted on YouTube with little effort. Still think using a free service that everybody and their dog uses makes a lot more sense than paying for it.

    Yes it Can... be reposted to Youtube or Vimeo, or Archive.org or Blip.tv or even your preferred P2P network, you can even host it yourself because as far as I know this videos are all public domain.

    But you don't need to re-post them to Youtube and Vimeo at least, because whitehouse folks already do that for you:

    They only stopped embedding youtube videos on the whitehouse gov site (maybe to stop advertising google's service for free on a tax-payer funded website, although the link to Vimeo is still there), but they are still publishing copies of the weekly videos on youtube and other free services that everybody and their dog uses...

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers