Happy New Year 2009

December 31, 2008

Barack Obama’s YouTube happy holiday wishes 2008

December 24, 2008

JibJab: Year in Review 2008

December 24, 2008

iJustine: Happy Holidays

December 24, 2008

Tina Fey / Sarah Palin = 2008 Entertainer of the Year

December 24, 2008

Guitar Hero + Rock Band = increase music sales for labels

December 24, 2008

AP article


Dramatic rescue in water main break in Bethesda, Maryland

December 23, 2008

Barack Obama shirtless photos in Hawaii causes stir

December 23, 2008

Looks like the guy has been working out.


Warner Music pulls out of YouTube after new licensing deal fails

December 23, 2008

News: After several years of licensing its music videos on YouTube, Warner Music has left the negotiating table and YouTube for a renewal of the license. On its blog, YT said: “Sometimes, if we can’t reach acceptable business terms, we must part ways with successful partners. For example, you may notice videos that contain music owned by Warner Music Group being blocked from the site.” Warner said: it “simply cannot accept terms that fail to appropriately and fairly compensate recording artists, songwriters, labels and publishers for the value they provide.”

Cnet says that Warner screwed up: “By all indications, Warner overplayed its hand. YouTube can afford to let Warner walk. The vast majority of music listened to at YouTube comes from the two largest recording companies: Universal and Sony BMG. Universal, the label that represents U2, Kanye West, and The Rolling Stones, is the most-viewed YouTube channel all time with more than 3 billion views. Sony BMG is a distant second with 491 million views.Warner isn’t even in the top 10. The record company’s 278 million views is good enough only for 11th place.”


Obama girl on DVD

December 22, 2008

2008: The End of the VCR?

December 22, 2008

News: LA Times has this excellent article discussing the end of manufacturing of the VHS tape. Soon, VHS tapes used on VCRs will suffer the same fate as Polaroid film: obsolescence.

Analysis
: I have a confession to make. I own a VCR and still occasionally use it–the last time to tape Obama’s convention speech, followed by Palin’s convention speech. I also have a DVD player, but it broke after I used it once and I never got around to buying another one. And it may be shocking to some who know me as a techie, I don’t have a DVR. Don’t get me wrong, I think DVRs are cool. But, to be honest, there’s not much on TV I ever find worth time shifting for later viewing. If I miss it, no loss.

But I will miss the VCR, just as I already miss Polaroid cameras and film (I still have my cache in the refrigerator). The VCR gave birth to one of the most important copyright cases of the 20th century, Universal City Studios v. Sony, in which the Supreme Court recognized the Sony safe harbor. Under the Sony safe harbor, tech developers are protected from copyright lawsuits for developing technologies that are capable of substantial noninfringing uses (even if they have infringing uses, too). Even more than its legal contribution, I find something beautiful and simple in the analog, retro features of the VCR. It was revolutionary in its day, and lasted for over 2 decades. Not true for the DVD, which some say will already become obsolete to BluRay soon.

It’s hard to say why people become attached to some (but not all) “retro” technologies. But they do. Many people still swear by vinyl albums and turntables! (Not me.) Many people think Polaroid photos are works of art. (Me.) Although the VCR is not as glamorous as vinyl or Polaroids, it has a special place in my book.


Continental airlines jet in flames in Denver

December 21, 2008

Thankfully, no fatalities reported.


Time’s Six Degrees of Obama

December 21, 2008

Click here for the graphic


Obama weekly YouTube address, Dec. 20, 2008: announces science and technology staff

December 20, 2008

Kevjumba, the funniest guy on YouTube, reports back from college on Christmas break

December 20, 2008

Gov. Blagojevich defiant: “I will fight until I take my last breath”

December 19, 2008

Obama receives criticism for selecting Pastor Rick Warren for invocation, despite opposition to gay marriage

December 19, 2008

YouTube launches HD videos with HUGE video player

December 19, 2008

Here are the HD videos. Click on a video and then press the “watch in HD” button.

Here’s what YT said on its blog:

“Starting today, if you click the “watch in HD” option below any HD-enabled video, the video will automatically play in widescreen – so you can find out where the hell Matt is in glorious HD, if you so wish. As part of this launch, we have created an HD Videos area where you can browse videos uploaded in the HD format. In anticipation of your questions – including how to encode your videos to take advantage of this new feature and how to avoid the dreaded “windowboxing” – we have prepared an FAQ in the Help Center. Hopefully you’ll find any technical information you need there, but feel free to post follow-up questions to the YouTube Community Help Forums.”

Analysis: Wow. The video quality is fantastic. An YouTube has the LARGEST video player I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, my broadband connection can’t really handle the file size, so it starts and stops. But this does make my HD camera more useful!!


Should Pres. Bush ask Iraqi govt to pardon shoe thrower?

December 18, 2008

The shoe thrower has asked the Iraqi government for a pardon for his shoe throwing at President Bush. Should Pres. Bush weigh in?


Cleveland Clinic surgeon discusses 1st ever face transplant in U.S.

December 17, 2008

Spoof: Kitchen sink thrown at Pres. Bush

December 15, 2008

Journalist hurls shoes at Pres. Bush in Iraq

December 14, 2008

This is unbelievable. I’m surprised the Secret Service didn’t start whisking the President away, out of the room. After the first shoe was hurled, shouldn’t the Secret Service have stepped in front of Bush and protected him from the 2nd shoe? At least we know GW still has quick reflexes.

Pres. Bush responds after the incident below:


Video of the week: How to reduce stress during finals 2008

December 14, 2008

1. UNC flash mob rave at library

2. College of Charleston flash mob rave at library

3. UCLA “undie run”


Obama’s weekly YouTube address, Dec. 13, 2008

December 13, 2008

UCLA students “undie run” — students strip to underwear after studying too much

December 13, 2008

Christian Bale stars in new Terminator movie: 2018, Terminator – Salvation

December 12, 2008

Jesse Jackson Jr. denies wrongdoing in IL Governor Blagojevich scandal over filling Obama seat

December 11, 2008

Is Jesse Jackson Jr. “Senate candidate No. 5” in Illinois Governor corruption scandal?

December 10, 2008

Click here for the video
More from ABC


YouTube to launch widescreen videos for embedding?

December 10, 2008


News
: YouTube recently switched to a widescreen video player on its site. On YTs own blog, it appears that the embeddable videos will also preserve the widescreen format. The function doesn’t work yet for users, but take a look at how YT has embedded this video on its blog in widescreen.


Amy Poehler back as Hillary Clinton on Saturday Night Live (SNL), Dec 6

December 7, 2008

Click here for the video