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Microsoft Science

Microsoft Celebrates Feynman 50-year Anniversary 169

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the over-your-head dept.
Julie188 writes "A couple of years ago Microsoft acquired the rights to the famed filmed lecture series by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman and posted them online for all to see via its Project Tuva site. As part of the 50-year anniversary of the lectures, the Project Tuva site now includes commentary from MIT physics professor Robert Jaffe. Project Tuva still requires Silverlight (alas, not HTML5), but does offer some nifty features for the aspiring physics student, such as search and the ability to take notes."
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Microsoft Celebrates Feynman 50-year Anniversary

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  • by tian2992 (1690038) on Thursday April 21, 2011 @12:34PM (#35895832)
    It's a shame no one will get to see it...
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'll see it just fine. I don't feel the need to be a luddite.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Wow, not kowtowing to the latest in whiz-bang proprietary lock-in bullshit is being a luddite now? It amazes me that people have worked so hard to free the web from the clutches of the likes of MS (active-X) and Adobe (flash) through the efforts put into html5 and now we get the pleasure of being called a luddite. If anything, I'd say not embracing the <img> tag is being a luddite.
        • by Grygus (1143095)

          Wow, not kowtowing to the latest in whiz-bang proprietary lock-in bullshit is being a luddite now? It amazes me that people have worked so hard to free the web from the clutches of the likes of MS (active-X) and Adobe (flash) through the efforts put into html5 and now we get the pleasure of being called a luddite. If anything, I'd say not embracing the <img> tag is being a luddite.

          Wow, using a free browser addon that has versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux is kowtowing to the latest in whiz-bang proprietary lock-in bullshit now? Everything more advanced than the <img> tag is somehow shameful? How fearful you must be every time you click a link. I don't think I'd enjoy your Internet very much.

          • by oakgrove (845019) on Thursday April 21, 2011 @01:45PM (#35896974)

            Wow, using a free browser addon that has versions for Windows, Mac, and Linux

            That's interesting. Because, you see, I just went here [microsoft.com], was told my browser was not officially supported so I should go here [go-mono.com] and install moonlight. Okay, cool, so I do it and go back to here [microsoft.com]. Guess what. No lecture. That's some support.

            I don't think I'd enjoy your Internet very much.

            My html5 open standards based internet is fantastic, thank you very much. Works on my iPhone, my Xoom, my Ubuntu netbook, my Ubuntu desktop, and my Droid smartphone. Have fun playing with your silverflash.

            • Same here.
            • by Grygus (1143095)

              HA! That's a pretty good argument; I no longer have Linux installed so I took Mono's word for this, but if it doesn't really work then I stand corrected.

              Thanks.

          • by History's Coming To (1059484) on Thursday April 21, 2011 @04:01PM (#35898770) Journal
            MS buys rights to Feynman videos, puts them online for "everyone". That's very nice of them.

            MS then insists that you install their propriety video player to play it. Not an HTML5 tag, not *any* of the multitude of Flash based video players, NOT EVEN A SIMPLE LINK TO A VIDEO FILE!

            If you want to make something available to everybody for free you don't use a rarely used system that does nothing except replicate existing functionality whilst locking everybody else out. You don't insist they download (yet another) resource grabbing plugin. If you want everyone to see it you do what we did ten years ago, we called it "putting it on the internet" and it involved placing a video file on a server and then putting a link to the file on a web page. It's not that complicated, and I'm sure MS can cope with it. Unless, of course, you don't want "everybody" to see it. If you want only confirmed Silverlight users to see it then it makes perfect sense. I'm sure Feynman would have appreciated the gesture.
            • by Grygus (1143095)

              Okay... but how is this different from Flash? Is it worse simply because it's newer?

              I do agree that a downloadable video file would have been better, but it really seems to me that the word "Microsoft" is all some people need to see to fly into a paranoid rant. If they had linked to a file I have no doubt that someone would have posted about how the format they used was suboptimal and MS is trying to keep us from experiencing the video in some other format that is better.

              • It's worse than Flash because it adds nothing new. Flash would have been adequate to do what they needed, which is display the video whilst preventing people from downloading it too easily (I'm guessing). It adds nothing, but it requires a whole multi-megabit download and new software clogging up your browser. It adds nothing, and takes away from both those who want to see it and those who want the cleanest, fastest computer they can have. It adds nothing to the world, it's the very definition of ineleg
    • by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday April 21, 2011 @12:42PM (#35895976) Homepage

      It's a shame no one will get to see it...

      I was bummed to discover that Microsoft owns the rights to the Feynman lectures. Available in Silverlight only just rubs salt in the wound.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 21, 2011 @12:49PM (#35896102)

        It's a shame no one will get to see it...

        I was bummed to discover that Microsoft owns the rights to the Feynman lectures. Available in Silverlight only just rubs salt in the wound.

        Exactly. Feynman loved to teach and he loved to educate. He would not appreciate people holding his teaching behinds artificial barriers. What a shame. I'd sad to see Feynman's legacy "owned" by people who are so inferior-minded and unimportant compared to him.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          What barrier, a free download barrier? Yeah, Christ - they might as well have locked them in an airtight, locked container and dropped them to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, amirite?
          • by SanityInAnarchy (655584) <ninja@slaphack.com> on Thursday April 21, 2011 @01:06PM (#35896360) Journal

            What barrier, a free download barrier?

            For some value of "free".

            Free download, but only available for Windows and OS X. If you're on Linux, there's Mono, but that tends to lag behind -- I usually have to get some bleeding-edge version whenever I actually need some Silverlight content. And contrary to popular belief, neither Windows nor OS X is "free".

            What's insulting about this, especially to Feynman's legacy, is that there's a very simple right way to do this: HTML5. And that actually is behind a free download -- Chrome, Firefox, etc, assuming you don't already have a browser capable of playing it. Or, for that matter, multiple technologies at once, if you're afraid of the codec issue -- put it in, say, H.264, then you should be able to develop Flash and Silverlight shims for browsers which don't support H.264 in HTML5.

            • by Covalent (1001277) on Thursday April 21, 2011 @01:29PM (#35896732)
              Silverlight != FOSS Therefore, this awesome piece of the legacy of Richard Feynman is currently != free. Furthermore, what is to prevent MS from making this no longer "free"? Nothing. The real tragedy, though, is that 50-year-old video of a man who is long dead is still covered by copyright.
            • Stop already ok? It is *free* and *available* for 98% of the world. The last 2% includes linux, bsd, plan 9, etc. You know what? You made a concious choice to use an OS that is not only in the minority, but is miniscule in use compared to win and osx. You knew that so stop whining when a company makes a product that works on those platforms but doesn't cater to your need. And before you go off your horse again, I use FreeBSD most of the time - but I don't go freaking out when someone doesn't provide su
              • by vegiVamp (518171)

                I think it's really time the *nix admins drop all of their services from the net for a day or so, just to see what remains and finally settle this "minority OS" joke once and for all.

              • Stop already ok?

                No. Stop reading, if you have a problem.

                It is *free* and *available* for 98% of the world. The last 2% includes linux, bsd, plan 9, etc.

                Note how you listed more desktop OSes in your "last 2%" than support Silverlight for those "98%".

                Oh, and does it support iPhone? Android? There are large chunks of the world, significantly more than 2%, for which their phone is their computer. That's not an exaggeration, either -- people who actually do have a phone, but no desktop, laptop, etc.

                You know what? You made a concious choice to use an OS that is not only in the minority, but is miniscule in use compared to win and osx. You knew that

                What does this have to do with the ideals of free information and education?

                so stop whining when a company makes a product

                And herein lies the problem. I wasn't whining abo

          • by oakgrove (845019)
            You know what else was a free download? IE6.
            • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 21, 2011 @01:17PM (#35896532)

              You know what else was a free download? IE6.

              That's it then; the thread has been Godwindowed.

            • by Anonymous Coward

              And at the time it was bar far the best browser you could get. Just because companies are still using it 10 years after release is not their fault.

              • by Anonymous Coward
                circa: 2021

                And at the time it was bar far the best rich content plugin you could get. Just because companies are still using it 10 years after release is not their fault.

                There FTFY

                Do people not learn?

        • by RDW (41497)

          'He would not appreciate people holding his teaching behinds artificial barriers.'

          Feynman was pretty keen on unlocking things, too. Perhaps he'd have approved of unoffcial methods of viewing these lectures, like this:

          http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=feynman+messenger+lectures [youtube.com]

          Note that the MS site doesn't have the famous 'Feynman Lectures on Physics', but the much shorter series of 7 Messenger Lectures given at Cornell:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Character_of_Physical_Law [wikipedia.org]

        • by pclminion (145572)

          Exactly. Feynman loved to teach and he loved to educate. He would not appreciate people holding his teaching behinds artificial barriers. What a shame. I'd sad to see Feynman's legacy "owned" by people who are so inferior-minded and unimportant compared to him.

          This doesn't even come close to "owning" Feynman's legacy. These are a small set of lectures, impressive for sure, out of thousands of lectures he gave over the course of his life. Before Microsoft picked up the rights to these, they were owned by C

        • He would not appreciate people holding his teaching behinds artificial barriers.

          Actually Feynman would have told you to put two sticks together to reach the bannana. [youtube.com]

      • by blair1q (305137)

        It's part of an experiment.

        They're working on a theory of Quantum Embargodynamics.

        Once it's perfected they'll be able to keep you from doing anything without a license. No matter what kind of matter or energy you are, no matter where you are in the universe.

      • 'Surely your'e joking Mr Feneyman'

        A darn good read.

      • These should absolutely be in the public domain. It drives me crazy when companies claim rights to something that they had no part in creating or any real connection to. These should be archived at the Library of Congress and freely available to anyone to use and learn from.

        Also, Feynman rules!

  • by bobs666 (146801) on Thursday April 21, 2011 @12:43PM (#35895994)
    It's only in the Microsoft net. Due to the requirement to use Silverlight.
    • by Tuan121 (1715852)

      X is also not on the Internet due to the requirement of Flash.

      • by Noughmad (1044096)

        Since when does http://www.x.org/ [x.org] require Flash?

        • Ask them, it is not X windows. it is not X.

          They did not a nice domain x.org.

          And you missed the point I am not talking about the X Windowing System. I am talking about Apple Computers. Where the Apple, does not want Flash to run.

          -----
          Perhaps when you feel a wosh of wind over your head you should not post to /.
          I know I have done just that.
      • by blair1q (305137)

        Flash runs on (almost) everything, and is being ported to run on everything (that's more than trivially worth porting to).

        Silverlight is being deliberately hoarded for use only by Windows and Macintosh machines.

        • Flash runs on (almost) everything, and is being ported to run on everything (that's more than trivially worth porting to).

          Silverlight is being deliberately hoarded for use only by Windows and Macintosh machines.

          Considering that's probably 98% of the machines in use it's a non-issue, especially since Moonlight is there for Linux, and if it doesn't work, well you can just grab the source and fix it yourself.

          As for Flash, Steve has said it sucks, so it must. Along with Blu-Ray.

          Personally, I'd like them to make the lectures available cheaply on DVD or available via download; because the bigger issue, for me, is I'd like to watch them when I don't have net access, such as an 8 hour plane flight.

          • by oakgrove (845019)

            Considering that's probably 98% of the machines in use it's a non-issue,

            During version 6's heyday, IE had almost that amount of marketshare [wikimedia.org] Browser innovation by Microsoft came to a grinding halt for years. Cool progressive technologies like svg support? Fuggedaboutit. Fast javascript engine? Yeah, right. You wouldn't want to make the browser too powerful right? Might usurp some of the need for, you know, a particular desktop operating system. Fortunately, Firefox got some traction and now we have a very healthy browser market with newer and more advanced capabilities c

            • Considering that's probably 98% of the machines in use it's a non-issue,

              During version 6's heyday, IE had almost that amount of marketshare [wikimedia.org] Browser innovation by Microsoft came to a grinding halt for years. Cool progressive technologies like svg support? Fuggedaboutit. Fast javascript engine? Yeah, right. You wouldn't want to make the browser too powerful right? Might usurp some of the need for, you know, a particular desktop operating system. Fortunately, Firefox got some traction and now we have a very healthy browser market with newer and more advanced capabilities coming down the pike all the time. Why go back to the bad old days of the internet? The argument that, "well, it works on Winders and mcintosh" isn't good enough. It wasn't good enough then and it isn't now.

              I think you are confusing the platform with the technology. Ensuring your technology (Silverlight) runs on the two platforms (Win/OSX) that dominate the desktop means virtually everyone will have access to your technology; they few who don't us either platform simply are not worth expending resources to reach. Once a platform reaches critical mass (such tablet OS's) the technology will move to them as well (well, unless the Steve dictates is sucks). While the platform can limit the technologies performance

          • by tlhIngan (30335)

            Personally, I'd like them to make the lectures available cheaply on DVD or available via download; because the bigger issue, for me, is I'd like to watch them when I don't have net access, such as an 8 hour plane flight.

            Or more fundamentally, in a format usable by portable devices. Like tablets.

            These days, I save the long YouTube videos for my iPad where instead of sitting down at the computer watching it, I can rest somewhere else with the iPad on my lap and watch the video in comfort. Yeah, I could also w

    • Actually I'm saying thanks to the submitter because I completely missed this part of the copyright problem.

      If the only "authorized copy" of some Grade AA Must-Have item is buried it that cabinet with the Beware of Leopard sign, that could instantly flash us to IE6 2.0 problems for hundreds of proprietary blobs!

      • by jesseane (2044838)
        While Silverlight loaded the above Tuva link in IE, I watched "Richard Feynman - The Relation of Mathematics & Physics. Part 1" on YouTube in Firefox. And uh yeah, it's still loading. Thanks Microsoft.
    • Thank you for the modding up, after getting Troll'ed down.

      I see some people have also discovered that there are many disjoint internets being produced by the venders trying to take over the world. You know who is doing this to people.

      "X is also not on the Internet due to the requirement of Flash".

      But take note that Google payed for the bandwidth that I used to view the set of you-tube meda using my open source software. I leave it to you to figure out Where the better Internet is. and why you might ha

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Anyone have a torrent link?

  • Charge a few bucks to cover costs.
  • "Project Tuva still requires Silverlight"

    They'd be better sending it out on 5.25" floppies, more people would see it.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Sure.. its not like the millions of people that watch the insanely popular netflix streaming service, using up more than 20% of north american bandwidth (even surpassing youtube), are using silverlight...

      5.25" floppies, eh?
      • by jonescb (1888008)

        Netflix can be viewed on all major video game consoles, and there are other devices like the Roku. I'm fairly sure these don't run Silverlight, the Wii and PS3 particularly. I don't have any statistics on which device people use to watch Netflix. But I think there is a larger audience of people who want to watch the movies on their TV rather than their computer screen and don't know how to set up an HTPC.

        • by iluvcapra (782887)

          Hrm. The Netflix web client uses Silverlight, that's sorta the point -- more people use the Silverlight route (or HTPC route) than a Roku. Stated as a happy Roku owner, but I know I'm in a minority, just as all principled Silverlight abstainers should know they are in a minority.

  • We used Feynman's intro physics book back when I was in college, and though I got an A in every physics course I ever took, I found that book completely baffling. Instead of being logical and straightforward, it was full of mathematical sleight-of-hand, bringing new variables from nowhere, because "we can call this anything we want!", and magically proceeding the final equation. Entertaining, maybe, but as far as understanding the material it was completely useless. He's just one more celeb I can do with
    • by gstoddart (321705)

      We used Feynman's intro physics book back when I was in college, and though I got an A in every physics course I ever took, I found that book completely baffling. Instead of being logical and straightforward, it was full of mathematical sleight-of-hand, bringing new variables from nowhere, because "we can call this anything we want!", and magically proceeding the final equation.

      It's kind of always been my impression that was exactly how physicists did math.

      Not trolling, but I've been told by physics majors

      • by steve_bryan (2671)

        Feynman wasn't just another Nobel Prize wining physicist. When he was an undergraduate at MIT he competed in the Putnam Competition and "won" (the top few scores are lumped together and he was one of the competitors with a top score). Meaning that he wasn't a bull in a china shop when it came to mathematical sophistication. On the other hand I did hear first hand when he compared physics to math as analogous to comparing sex to masturbating.

  • by GuruBuckaroo (833982) on Thursday April 21, 2011 @01:42PM (#35896912) Homepage
    Jesus Christ on stick, you people disgust me. Not a single comment about the content of these lectures, the life and theories of the man, it's all about how Microsoft pooped in your pool by putting this up in the same format Netflix uses. Seriously.
    • by blair1q (305137) on Thursday April 21, 2011 @01:45PM (#35896970) Journal

      In order to comment on the content, you have to see the content.

      I'm guessing we're finding out how many /. users use /. on Windows boxes this time of day.

    • by jesseane (2044838)
      Maybe that's because Feynman's awesomeness goes without saying?
      • by TeknoHog (164938)
        Feynman has talked a lot about the importance of openness in science. For example, at the end of "What do you care what other people think?" there is a praise of the scientific method that resonates well with Open Source. Therefore, putting Feynman's work behind the bars of Microsoft is particularly blasphemous.
        • by pclminion (145572)

          Feynman has talked a lot about the importance of openness in science. For example, at the end of "What do you care what other people think?" there is a praise of the scientific method that resonates well with Open Source. Therefore, putting Feynman's work behind the bars of Microsoft is particularly blasphemous.

          Feynman probably would have agreed. In the very next sentence, he probably would have called you an idiot for not watching it anyway. In the Douglas Robb Memorial Lectures, Feynman was asked this q

    • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Thursday April 21, 2011 @02:15PM (#35897410) Journal

      Marshall McLuhan (I think?) would be proud that the Medium is the Message. If you wanted to talk about Feynman's Awesomeness, you/someone would have posted a story like "It's the 50th anniversary of Feynman's Lectures. How has Feynman contributed to what you do today?"

      This story is "Microsoft bought the rights to SomeCoolContent. However, they couldn't have picked any of three generic video formats, but once again made an excuse to follow their Proprietary Only strategy."

      2002 called. They want their "Sites work only in IE" back.

    • by Bucc5062 (856482)

      I have to agree with you on this rant. Way to many moons ago I walked into my freshman physics class with high hopes of being a physicist. I am not sure such an engaging lecturer as Dr. Feynman would have saved me from the pit of hell that was calculus (thus sparking my career in computer science), but listening to him today shook the dust off my love for physics.

      I followed along, took notes like I was in class and felt that at the end of the lecture that I had learned something new, even from a1964 film.

      • by Raenex (947668)

        I am a Linux fan and support FOSS

        So did you watch the lectures from Linux? Are you happy the lectures are being used to promote a Windows view of the Web?

        Feynman's awesome, but when his awesomeness is being used to promote proprietary formats that takes center stage.

    • by steve_bryan (2671)

      OK, here is a comment on the content. I went through the hoops to soil my MBP with Silverlight. Then I learn that these aren't THE Feynman Lectures, they are just some Feynman lectures given at Cornell to a fairly general audience. I recall reading somewhere that the actual Feynman lectures delivered to undergrads at Caltech in the 60's which are the basis of the textbooks are stored somewhere in a video archive. The release of those lectures is what I thought was being announced. Of course that would be a

    • by vegiVamp (518171)

      > Jesus Christ on stick

      Is that the new catholic... well, schtick? Not a bad move, everything is better onna stick.

  • ...we will celebrate 50-year annivesary of Microsoft -- by removing Windows support from the last piece of still-maintained software.

  • And I call it a piece of art because the man was a damn artist when it came to explaining physics.

    The universe in a glass of wine.

    Searching for it returns nothing.

    I know you can look it up by the section of the class, but come on natural language search is the new pink.

    I'll stick to the bad recordings passed around by CIT students for the past quarter century.

  • "50-year anniversary" is as redundant as ATM machine, PIN number, etc.

    And while I'm off-topic, they're not celebrating 50 years (or "50 year-years", if you're the headline writer) of Feynman; they're celebrating 50 years of his Lectures.

    [Off to mow the lawn with my lawn-lawnmower.]

  • I remember that I got a copy from a friend in high school on a collection of ripped CD's that I might just as easily have not gotten my hands on. It is the single-most inspiring series of lectures many people will ever hear in physics for the target audience of entry level university physics progressing towards graduate physics (save maybe the early lecture on how to take a derivative of displacement, which showed the time of the series). About damn time that it is freely available to the general public.

  • ...browser.

    So, since when has Microsoft ever had a problem with Silverlight running in Chrome? I've been to many Silverlight sites with no issues whatsoever. Why is this one in particular discriminating? The link it even tries to send me to points out that Silverlight is installed and working fine.

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