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That Vudu voodoo

Open source has swept away most gatekeepers in the software sphere, so that even Microsoft must dance to its tune. Enter the worlds of content and mobility, however, and gatekeepers still hold sway. Watching open source batter against these fortresses will be one of the great stories of 2009.

Vudu XL2 from vudu.com
Vudu got a headline writer to add the magic term open source to a story on opening its streaming video box to outside developers, but I don't see it.

The idea is that you could stream videos from Web sites like YouTube and Hulu into the box and watch them at your leisure, essentially Tivo-ing the Web.

Fair enough, but there are plenty of ways to do this already using open source software. Miro is up to Version 1.2, but it still draws less attention than its artist namesake.

Vudu told C|Net video whiz John Falcone that a lot of that network content is already locked-up and locked-out of the new box.

Oh, and the Rich Internet Application (RIA) software won't be available to developers until some time next year. So this is vapor open source?

To me this story illustrates a key difference between TV and computing that has nothing to do with technology, namely the power of gatekeepers.

Open source has swept away most gatekeepers in the software sphere, so that even Microsoft must dance to its tune.

Enter the worlds of content and mobility, however, and gatekeepers still hold sway. Watching open source batter against these fortresses will be one of the great stories of 2009.