by John Moe // Posted: 09/10/10 12:24 PM
Yesterday we told you about YouTube Time Machine. Today is another doohickeyization of The Tube. It’s not an official YouTube/Google product but some industrious geeks have created a video version of the Google Instant feature. Just go here, start typing in a word, and you get the most popular search result for the most likely word you’ve formed so far.
I typed in “to” and soon had a Tom & Jerry cartoon showing up. It’s completely pointless and a fun way to spend 10 minutes or so. It goes a lot slower than Google Instant because videos take way longer to load than search results. But still: neato.
Posted: 08/30/10 12:31 PM
By Steve Henn
Nirvana for film buffs. Imagine an online movie rental store with every movie, ever made always in stock - an unlimited number screens and an infinite of show times. Eric Schmidt might want you to call it GooglePlex. For months now Google’s been slowly expanding its pay-per-view service, streaming movies on YouTube into homes and mobile phones around the world. Today Financial Times reports that Google is one step closer to making this vision reality. Its reportedly negotiating with Hollywood Studio’s to radically expand its pay-per-view offerings. Hmmm… can’t you just see Schmidt thinking, “I bet this service would work a whole lot better if we could get a faster connection to our customers.”
by John Moe // Posted: 08/06/10 05:29 PM
I guess a dude who dropped out of Harvard and became the richest person on the planet couldn’t be expected to strenuously fight for the campus experience. Bill Gates, speaking at the Techonomy conference in Lake Tahoe, said that soon all the best lectures will be available free online. So instead of plunking down $50k a year on tuition, you can hang out and watch YouTube all day and be fine.
YouTube grants continued fame to Warhol's off-handed statement about the impossibility of continued fame.
by John Moe // Posted: 07/29/10 04:50 PM
Joke’s on you, Andy! Because now that YouTube has extended the maximum length of videos to 15 minutes, we get New York Times headline writers who are jumping out of their skin to write headlines like this.
By Jeff Horwich // Posted: 07/20/10 06:17 PM
We’re just wrapping up tomorrow’s show, about social networking for little kids (and how it might not be as bad a thing as you think). And of course I had to go back and re-watch one of the simultaneously funny and deeply sad viral video hit of recent weeks: the beleaguered Jessi Slaughter & Family. After being mercilessly harassed online, the 11-year-old and her father and mother make the ill-fated decision to make things worse by turning on the webcam again (more background here).
You’ve probably seen it already. If you haven’t, you may wish to follow it with a chaser of the double rainbow guy. (Heads up: Some words go flying in here that make it NSFWoK — not safe for work or kids.)
Jessi’s tale is also a good complement to our forthcoming episode — a chilling example of what can go down when you’re not paying attention to what your kids are up to online. (And for God’s sake, do not try to rectify your child’s Internet troubles by just rolling tape and then posting to YouTube.)
So do we shield our kids from the ‘net until they’re old enough to handle it? Or — as our show guests suggest — can we train them in so they’re more prepared for the Wild Wild Web?
Choose wisely. Or, as I once heard someone say, “Consequences will never be the same.”
by John Moe // Posted: 07/14/10 11:33 AM
On Tuesday, a federal appeals court ruled that the FCC’s indecency rules are unconstitutional (a violation of first amendment rights) and vague. Among the reasons cited by the court: the internet -
“We face a media landscape that would have been almost unrecognizable in 1978. Cable television was still in its infancy. The Internet was a project run out of the Department of Defense with several hundred users. Not only did YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter not exist, but their founders were either still in diapers or not yet conceived.”
Part of the reason for the original ruling was that broadcast television was pervasive in our lives and there was no ability to block it. But now broadcast TV exists in a media landscape that also contains cable and the internet as well as parental controls.
by John Moe // Posted: 07/08/10 01:15 PM
I’ve been as delighted as anyone with the original Double Rainbow Oh My God video. I’ve posted some autotune versions. I certainly enjoyed James Urbaniak’s audio mashup with The Rainbow Connection. I realize of course that by next week or possibly sooner, we’ll all be a little sick of Double Rainbow Oh My God. That’s the way these things go. They run their course and fall from favor like so many Macaranae.
But some thought is owed to why this thing went viral in the first place. It got a huge jump start from the Twitter account of late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel who pointed it out to his 85,000 followers. I don’t happen to follow Kimmel but I started seeing it pop up all over soon after that: on BoingBoing, on Twitter, on Facebook, all over the place.
And of course I found it delightful and started spreading it too. I did so because it was the opposite of what I normally experience online and really in life. It was unadulterated wonder, it was joy, it was actual astonishment. We live in a world where information is easy to access, process, interpret, and file away. In my job, I filter through stories all day, judging them, sorting them out, moving on. Even if you’re not in a media job, you’re a media consumer (because hi, you’re reading this) and you absorb, analyze, and sort.
But here’s this dude who’s totally amazed by this one thing for a really long time and he narrates his amazement. It’s funny because it just goes on and on and on for a remarkably long time.
It went VIRAL because it’s a curiosity: dramatic astonishing wonder at something that’s occurring not on a screen but in the sky. We watch this thing at our computers and we gaze through the looking glass at this alternate world free of cynicism, sarcasm, “Fail” or “FTW” or whatever net-specific snarky nomenclature we’re used to seeing.
Double Rainbow Oh My God guy famously asks, “What does it mean?” He’s talking about the rainbow but if we ask the same question about the video, it means something that had been missing in our lives got put back in if only for a few minutes.
by John Moe // Posted: 07/08/10 11:53 AM
Google introduced a new option on YouTube that’s kind of a mashup of YouTube, Facebook, and Pandora. It’s called Leanback and it provides a full screen ongoing series of videos. One ends, the other begins. The preferences are based on what your Google profile says about you, what your Facebook friends are linking to and Liking (if you let it connect to Facebook, or what you search on).
I must admit it’s kind of cool. I typed in Tom Waits and got a whole bunch of videos and concert clips that I can just leave running while I work. I’m sure there’s a business/strategy to this story, something about getting you to linger so you can watch more ads, but mostly I just think it’s neat.
by John Moe // Posted: 06/04/10 11:44 AM
Google data collection mess gets messier
China blocking Foursquare
U.S. Cyber Command wants to ‘operate freely’ to protect and defend computer resources
Is YouTube about to offer live streaming? Because shouldn’t everything be more like Chatroulette?
Microsoft Patch Tuesday is coming. Stores have had decorations up for months, of course
Could Microsoft be buying AOL? “Welcome! You’ve got Ballmer!”
Get energy from the stars
Car charging stations coming to town
Gadget tells you when you need a break. Thanks, gadget
by John Moe // Posted: 06/04/10 11:05 AM
TechCrunch’s Erick Schonfeld stumbled across a YouTube help page that offers buttons for things like “moderator” and “live stream”. The online video company has done some live streaming from time to time (Tiger Woods’ apology, some cricket matches) but this would be a new field for them. And it comes at a time when other video companies like UStream, which offer live streaming, are making big gains. Of course there are a ton of issues with copyright but that’s not likely to stop YouTube for long. So there would be even more of a chance to share everything about your life which heaven knows we as a society desperately need.
by John Moe // Posted: 05/20/10 11:38 AM
Confusing app now available for all to get confused by!
New Video standard - (where are the geeks in the house. holla.)
Apple selling more iPads than Macs - Newton sales sluggish
Facebook in PR scramble mode - as you already read on their private profile
Undercover at Foxconn
Use Urbanspoon to get an Urbantable - urbanforks come with.
Pakistan blocks YouTube
Government wants to make money from gambling. Sure, so do I.
New Data.gov site launches tomorrow
Google as crystal ball
09/26/10 11:15 AM
There’s a vote coming up this week in Washington that will have a big impact on how you use the internet, what’s available to you, how much faster you’ll be able to get things online. On Thursday, the FCC is expected to open up unused parts of the broadcast spectrum, a lot of people call it “white space”. This is space that was positioned to be something of a buffer between television stations but such padding is proving less essential since the conversion to digital TV.
On today’s show, we talk to Glenn Fleishman from Wi-Fi Networking News and The Economist about how the spectrum works and what kind of new space we’re talking about. We also check in with Tim Wu from Columbia Law School about the companies that will look to use the space and what it all might mean for you and me as internet consumers.
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- Microsoft and political repression in Russia
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