Will Google Video Die?

Posted by Mike Merritt in Technology, Websites on | No Comments

As an avid uploader to YouTube during the school year, Google Video was of little interest to me.  I’ve uploaded one video to there, but only because they accept videos that are longer.  Then ten-minute time limit was imposed after I first signed up for YouTube, and thus my first account is grandfathered.  However, when I went to go sign up for TV 22’s account, I found it imposed.  I was a little angry, but worked around it.

So, I was interested to see this article: Why Won’t Google Video Just Die? on Wired.com.

The basic premise is that YouTube might be bringing back longer video times, as its testing it out right now.  I hope they do, since 10 minutes if often not long enough.  And I can see why people don’t like Google Video: no way to collect videos under one user account, so people can see who owns what.

 

Writing at Poligazette

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I’ve had Poligazette [ed: removed dead link] in my blogroll (right ->) for a while, and they’ve become one of my favorite blogs.  Now I have even better news!  I have been accepted as a writer at the site.  What does this mean for Dymersion?

Not much.  It’s easy for me to say this since I’ve always set a one-post-a-day goal here.  If I’d been posting more regularly, it’d be a problem.  But, with one a day, that makes it easy to post some entries here, and some there.

Not to say things won’t change in the future.  But, for now, Dymersion is here to stay, content and all.  So, take a look at Poligazette.  It’s a great blog with writers who have a diverse range of viewpoints on politics.

Now, off to make a film!

 

The AP vs. The Blogosphere

Posted by Mike Merritt in Technology, Websites on | No Comments

Man oh man, there’s a bunch of things I want to talk about this week, but first one of the foremost issues in my mind as of this point.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (and in this case you may have been), the Associated Press wants to charge people for using excerpts of their content.

The Associated Press, having already announced its intention to harass bloggers who publish snippets as short as 39 words from AP stories, has now published a web form through which intimidated parties can give the AP money in return for “permission” to publish as few as five words.

At the heart of the debate is the age old concept of fair use.  Copyright law in the U.S. protects fair use.  Basically it says that someone can’t go suing you just for using small portions of their works.  For example, you can claim all rights reserved on everything you write, but people still have the right quote small excerpts of that work.  Fair use law is really murky as there are not set concrete limits as to what exactly can be quoted or copied.

Continue reading »

 

Website Making

Posted by Mike Merritt in Websites on | No Comments

So, my lack of a Dymersion entry last night was due to me completing some final touches on the website for the club I’m in, TV 22.

For some time, I’ve been trying to make it work like a true CMS; that is, static pages for some spots, and blog-type pages for others.  I’m using WordPress as the CMS, and for a while, I was using a plug-in to try to include WP pages on other pages.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t working out too well.

I finally found out that WordPress and WordPress-MU, WP’s multi-user solution, has the capability to make a static page as the main page of a blog!  So, there’s no need for the plug-in.  I was so freaking happy about that, I could cry, haha.

I made sure the layout was working right, and set up a blog on the News 22 side to add  our YouTube videos.  I added all the information about the club that was needed, and voila!  The site was set.  You can read about the nearly year and a quarter journey from no TV 22 site to one working well on WPMU at my blog entry there.

My TV 22 blog will be the primary source for articles I have on my work in the club, whether it be producing Eastern Expedition, shooting and editing video, or other aspects of the television industry.  It won’t be updated nearly as often as this one, and I’m not going to make it a goal like I have here.  I’m simply too busy during my days to attend to two blogs a day.  However, entries I post there will be cross-posted to here (if they’re not simple posts about the TV 22 site or something), as well as cross-posting any appropriate entries I make here to there.

On the subject of attending to blogs, I know it’s been a long time since the last Dymersion Video episode.  I’m planning to start them up again.  I didn’t have a tripod during my month at home, and the last few weeks have been busy.  However, I will try to squeeze one in this week.  Perhaps after the primaries this week, I’ll chime in on the direction of the nominations, talking-head style!

Until next time…

 

Living in Ikea

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I met Mark Malkoff, a New York comedian and Audience Coordinator at The Colbert Report, last August. When I met him, I heard about one of his then-recent videos, where he goes to all 171 Starbucks locations in Manhattan in less than 24 hours. I watched it, and found it highly amusing. I encourage everybody to see it.

Starting this week, Mark has embarked upon a new venture. With his apartment undergoing fumigation, he needed a place to stay for a week. His wife is staying in upstate New York with her parents, but as you can imagine (depending on where they live), that could be a long drive to work each day. All his friends apartments were too small (or so the story goes), and hotels in Manhattan are expensive. So, instead, he chose to try living for a week at his favorite furniture store, Ikea.

The videos on the site are up to day three now, but I think he’s been four days now, so I’m guessing a new video is well on its way. So far, the first three days worth of videos, I’ve found at least, to be very funny. He gets some great ideas for comedy, and this is no exception. Though, judging by some of the reactions from employees in a couple of the videos, I’m sure they won’t be too unhappy to see him go on Saturday, haha.

Anyway, give the videos a watch. Hope you enjoy them as much as I have!

 

Tweeting Through My Day

Posted by Mike Merritt in Personal Life, Websites on | No Comments

Because I often have the problem of what is going on with myself during the day so that I can’t remember it to talk about later, and because I know people on the Internets love nosing into people’s lives, I have followed the lead of many others and signed up for Twitter.

For those who don’t know what it is: Twitter basically allows you to make updates on what’s happening in your life. It’s made for people who may not be around their computers to blog about it at a given time, thus it has a mobile post feature. It’s also useful since many things that happen in one’s day are not worth blogging about, but someone may want to leave a short statement about that thing or event.

Twitter is not a blog service. Clearly made for the era of text messages, they only allow you to leave statements up to 140 characters (SMS only allows up to 160), which should be enough to briefly describe something that’s happened to you, or the mood you’re in. I liken it most to Facebook’s status feature, which works similarly, and (at least recently) is also updatable by cell phone.

In addition to signing up for an account, I’ve found a plug-in over at WordPress that allows me to share recent Twitter updates.  Just look over to your right, in the new “Up to the Minute” section of the sidebar.  Though my first update was via web, if there’s anything I really want to talk about while I’m around my computer, I’ll probably do it via my blog. So, most, if not almost all my Twitter updates will be made via my cell phone.  Should be interesting to see what I come up with.

Happy nosing!

 

Getting Flickr’d Off

Posted by Mike Merritt in Websites on | No Comments

One Texas girl has expectantly found herself as the subject of a marketing campaign…in Australia.

The original photo was taken by what appears to be a friend or staff member of a camp she went to.  Well, apparently Virgin Mobile Australia liked it so much, they took it, and used it for as part of a recent marketing campaign.

What’s the issue?  Well, some people have brought up several supposed problems.  One is copyright infringement.  The other is using the likeness of a person, especially a minor, without a talent release form.  There’s some other smaller, pettier issues, but I’ll go over these two here.

Issue one actually isn’t much of an issue when you look at it.  The photo was licensed under what’s called a Creative Commons license.  Like the copy of Microsoft Windows, Linux, or Max OS on your computer, you have certain things you can and cannot do with it.  Likewise, the photo is the same.

Creative Commons was started several years back as a way to basically promote sharing on the Internet.  Targeted toward creative works – websites, photos, writings, and music, they made several licenses, each of which give a number of combinations of freedoms and restrictions to somebody who might like to use the work.

For example, Dymersion, and most of its associated works, as well as all photos I take (unless they have people in them), are licensed under a Attribution-NoCommerical-ShareAlike Create Commons license.  This means that I retain copyright, but you can use, make derivative works of, distribute, and perform my work as long as you attribute it to me, don’t use it for commercial purposes, and share alike – that is, release it under the exact same license.

So, what’s the issue here in terms of license and copyright?  Apparently none, because from what I’ve read, that particular photo was released under the Attribution license.  In that license, you just have to credit the original creator.  Elsewise, you’re free to use, distribute, modify, make derivative works of, and perform the work, even for commercial purposes.  Worse still, they don’t have to release their derivative work under the same license.  So, the ad is “all rights reserved.”  So, it would appear that from a copyright standpoint, Virgin Mobile is cleared.

Where it gets stickier is whether Virgin needs a talent release form from the girl.  Also, do they need special permission from the parents, given that she’s a minor?  I’m not a lawyer, so I really don’t know the answer to this question.  Some people have said the photo taker is at fault for not getting a talent release when taking the photo.  Personally, I think that argument is bull.  This person didn’t take the photo intending to submit it to use it on a marketing campaign.  He took it, and put it on his Flickr profile.  I see no issue here.

But, does Virgin Mobile need permission to use a likeness?  I’m sure none of this outrage would be existent if there wasn’t a person in the photo.  A picture of some nice mountains?  Sure.  No problem.  But, we have a person here.  So, what is the real requirement?  I don’t know.

So, the family has apparently sued Virgin for damages.  I think this could all have been avoided if Virgin had just asked the photo taker for permission to use the photo.  He probably would have contacted the family of the girl.  Or maybe he would have said no.  Who knows.  As for the lawsuit, I’m getting Virgin will try to get the family to settle.  Pay them off, so the girl has some nice money for college.  Then the issue will be done.

That’s my say on the issue.  What’s yours?

 

Reading Material

Posted by Mike Merritt in Websites on | No Comments

On a side note, I know I don’t get many visitors to this blog, but this is anybody who might have be doing some drive-by reading:

Do you have a blog which you’d like some more visitors to read? If so, I want some more blog reading material. Simply provide a link to your blog in a comment, and a brief one to three sentence description of what it’s all about (this is to prevent people from just drive-by spamming me, hopefully). Even if it’s a “this is my day” blog, I wanna know about it. If it’s about the virtues of fine Italian cuisine, I wanna know about it. However, I run a semi-family oriented operation here, so nothing NSFW unless you consider your site educational in nature. I’m not a prude, but I don’t need parental complaints about their kid running across an “erotica” site. At least if your site is education, I’ll have a decent response if they do complain, because some people really are prudes.  If I like your blog enough, I’ll add it to my Blogroll.  How’s them apples, huh?

This is not only for my benefit. By giving me some good blogs to read, you in turn given anyone who might see this entry good blogs to read. And all advertising is good advertising, right? Well, I guess unless it’s bad advertising.

 

The Gmail Experiment

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As a person who attends university, I have a problem. While I can use Mozilla Thunderbird to receive my email, I cannot use Thunderbird to send it, due to the blocks placed on their network…basically, they’re blocking port 25, and have no plans to open it up any time soon.

So far, I’ve been able to deal with the problem, but it’s been a bit of a pain. I get my email in Thunderbird, but then, for each account I want to respond to (and I have several), I then have to go to that account via webmail and respond there, meaning I have to login to several different places to get anything done. Well, that’s not why I moved to using a client a couple years ago. I moved so I wouldn’t have to do such a thing.

So, what to do? Well, in comes Gmail. They have a feature where you’re able to respond to email under several different email addresses. Input an email address, and they’ll send you a verification to that email. Confirm, and voila! You can respond to people via that email using Gmail. So, using this, combined with instructing my email addresses to forward to Gmail, the problem seems to be solved. I have yet to really see it work in action, so I’ll have to reserve my judgement. Using it this way, all my email will come to the same inbox, which makes it about equivalent to what Thunderbird’s Global Inbox does. I’m not exactly a big fan of that. For example, in Thunderbird, I have separate inboxes setup for all my email.

On the other hand, I have to do something. I want to be able to respond to my email without having to go elsewhere, and respond to it with the original message attached, and also avoid having to put in a subject line. I could copy the message to the compose email window, but I’m lazy in this respect. I don’t want to have to do it. So, hopefully, with Gmail’s labeling feature, this problem will be solved.

The other thing I don’t like is that Gmail is not bringing in the forwarded emails with the full address. Instead, it says something like, “something@something.com to mike”. Problem is that several of my emails are michael@something.com, so I don’t need all my emails saying “something@something.com to michael”. While you can mouse over the recipient or click “More Options”, with several emails now forwarding to Gmail, I’d prefer not to have to do that just to determine what email they mean. So, I’ll have to find a way to fix that.

Anyway, that’s it for tonight. Let the experiment begin!

 

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