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Round Up: BBC iPlayer RSS Feeds and the Ethical Dilemma Cafe

Nick Reynolds

Assistant Editor

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Terms and conditions of entry to the Ethical Dilemma Café

“BBC clamps down on ILLICIT iPlayer watchers” was the Register’s colourful headline about the decision to switch off BBC iPlayer RSS feeds. Some unhappy users of the feeds found Jon Billings’s post introducing Platform API and made their objections known. Jon (who is Head of Platform API) explained:

"The iPlayer RSS feeds were a legacy part of older versions of the iPlayer website which we’ve finally had to shut down with the end of a larger hosting contract for those legacy sites..."

jk asked:

"can you confirm that Nitro will be available and useful to open-source developers?"

And Jon responded:

"Yes, it will be available to developers of both open-source projects and closed ones... Nitro has an explicit public licence which will govern usage. To be certain whether your use case is enabled or not, please have a read of the Licence..."

If you’re interested in this subject you can read the BBC’s guidelines on syndication of on demand content.

Yesterday the Radio 1 channel arrived on BBC iPlayer. Ben Cooper, Controller of Radio 1, tells you about it on the About The BBC blog:

"Even the most passionate radio advocates know that we need to continue to evolve our offering and ensure we give our young audience a reason to forsake Minecraft and GTA and spend their precious screen time with us instead."

Over on the BBC R&D blog I was intrigued and amused by an experiment Jasmine Cox and Ian Forrester carried out at Mozilla Festival 2014 called the Ethical Dilemma café:

“Before entering the café, visitors were confronted with a notice, warning them that by crossing an arbitrary boundary they were giving away all of their personal data to the 'café', and potentially malevolent 3rd parties... For allowing us to liberate personal data we offered free smoothies and popcorn… One particular pair of visitors, a father and young son, were split in their decisions to embrace free smoothies. The father was wary of the risks and refrained from crossing the line, however his son immediately placed an order for a smoothie. After a short disussion, with the father explaining the dilemma, his son rejected the smoothie."

Also on the R&D blog the IRFS team's latest in their series of weeknotes gives a flavour of what their team have been doing:

Libby has been monitoring people. She made a network of stalker bots (built from Radiodans) that track people by mac address and take their photos... James has been monitoring Comma systems - rsyslog TLS log shipping and a per-stack Kibana/Elasticsearch/Logstash setup... I also saw Zillah type a letter of thanks on Alistair Cook's own portable typewriter (see top). You don't hear that sound much anymore..."

Nick Reynolds is Assistant Editor, BBC Online (and enjoyed watching Royal Blood on the Radio One channel on BBC iPlayer).

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