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Links for January 19th 2010 through January 21st 2010:
- YouTube to test movie rental service [The Age] – “YouTube announced it will begin testing an online movie rental service on Friday to kick off the Sundance Film Festival in the US. Five independent films from the 2009 and 2010 Sundance festivals will be part of a “small collection of rental videos” to be available to US users of the popular video-sharing website in “the weeks ahead”, according to YouTube. “Making content available for rent will give our partners unprecedented control over the distribution of their work – they can decide the price of their videos and the rental duration,” YouTube said in a blog post. […] The move represents another step for Google in generating revenue from YouTube, which it bought in 2006 in a deal valued at $US1.65 billion ($A1.82 billion). YouTube will also be stepping in as a potentially formidable contender in the growing market of online distribution of films that includes videogame consoles, Apple’s iTunes shop and US DVD rental giant Netflix.”
- Open Letter From OK Go, regarding non-embeddable YouTube videos [OK Go] – Despite making their name on YouTube, OK Go’s label (EMI) won’t allow their new videos to be embeddable. This is silly, the band agrees, and tries to explain to fans: “The catch: the software that pays out those tiny sums doesn’t pay if a video is embedded. This means our label doesn’t get their hard-won share of the pie if our video is played on your blog, so (surprise, surprise) they won’t let us be on your blog. And, voilá: four years after we posted our first homemade videos to YouTube and they spread across the globe faster than swine flu, making our bassist’s glasses recognizable to 70-year-olds in Wichita and 5-year-olds in Seoul and eventually turning a tidy little profit for EMI, we’re – unbelievably – stuck in the position of arguing with our own label about the merits of having our videos be easily shared. It’s like the world has gone backwards.” [Via]
- Rock Band opens to user-created songs [Music | guardian.co.uk] – Selling user-generated content is now possible using the Rock Band online store, but the process of preparing a song for the service is complex: “submitting music to the Rock Band Network Store isn’t as easy as uploading an MP3. Acts must convert their recordings into the game’s special format, compiling an array of sound files, lyrics and tablatures, as well as instructions for camera angles, lighting and choreography. This requires specialist programming expertise or the services of a contractor, many of whom charge about £300 per minute of music. Once the files are ready, they can be listed in the Rock Band store for anywhere from 99 cents (61p) to $2.99 (£1.83) per song. Currently, user-created songs are only available to Microsoft Xbox players while the developers, MTV Games, keep 70% of the sale price. “We expected this to be an initiative that would appeal to unsigned artists,” [said] Paul DeGooyer, MTV’s senior vice president for electronic games and music”
- YouTube confirms worldwide deal for live Indian Premier League cricket [Media | guardian.co.uk] – “YouTube has confirmed its first live major sporting deal, announcing today that it will host live Indian Premier League cricket matches in the UK, and casting into doubt the value of British TV broadcast rights. The YouTube deal involves every country outside the US – a significantly larger scope than reports had suggested. It was thought that YouTube would only stream live matches to countries that did not have TV deals with the IPL. The two-year deal gives the Google-owned YouTube the exclusive rights to stream IPL matches online, with the two companies splitting revenue from sponsorship and advertising.”
- YouTube Search Accounts for Nearly 28% of All Google Searches [Reelseo] – Still wondering why Google purchased YouTube? “…YouTube not only had 50% more searches than Yahoo web search (3.918B vs 2.629B) and 180% more searches than Bing (3.918B vs 1.399B), but the number of searches at the online video giant made up almost 28% (27.95) of the total searches on Google sites for Dec. 2009.”
Links for December 4th 2008 through December 8th 2008:
- Top 10 Most Pirated Games of 2008 [TorrentFreak] – “As expected, Spore is by far the most downloaded game on BitTorrent, in part thanks to the DRM that came with the game. Traditionally, games can’t compete with the most pirated movies and TV-shows in actual download numbers, but Spore came very close this year. Only 10 days after the game’s launch date, already half a million people had downloaded the game. During the months after that, another million people obtained a copy of the game via BitTorrent. According to our estimates, Spore was downloaded 1.7 million times since early September, a record breaking figure for a game.”
- Sony Killing Questionable LittleBigPlanet Levels, Without Warning [Game | Life from Wired.com] – Sony have been deleting the shared levels of LittleBigPlanet which users have made featuring, what Sony feel, are copyrighted or trademarked materials. Creators are given no warning, no opportunity to alter their levels to remove supposedly offending material, and simply find their levels gone. Sony have created an incredible toybox of creativity with LittleBigWorld but seem determined to upset so many people who actually create anything with it. This is how to kill a user community and guarentee the game never reaches it potential. Silly Sony, the lessons of web 2.0 clearly haven’t been learnt.
- iBreath to tackle drink driving [WA Today] – “The latest weapon in the war against drink driving is a breathalyser linked to an iPod or iPhone. The iBreath allows users to check their blood alcohol content to see if they are fit to drive.” (I’m sure after a few drinks connecting this little accessory will be entirely straightforward! LOL)
Links of interest for November 11th 2008 through November 13th 2008:
- New York Times: Fake New York Times Declares Iraq War Over! Here’s Who Did It [Gawker] – “The Iraq War is over, according to the fake New York Times! This morning a cadre of volunteers has fanned out across New York City to pass out a remarkably good, faux-copy of the Times dated July 4, 2009. They’ve even set up an entire website with all of the liberal fantasy headlines. Universities to be free! Bike paths to be expanded! Thomas Friedman to resign, praise the Unitarian Jesus! It’s not funny like The Onion, but obviously a lot of work went into this. Now we play “Who did it?”” The Yes Men. Clever parody; very clever indeed … the cover.
- Big fuss brews over LittleBigPlanet [The Age] – “LittleBigPlanet is fast firming as one of the biggest game launches this year because players can create and share their own worlds, but Sony’s heavy-handed moderation has many gamers crying foul. A key selling point of the PlayStation 3 game, which was launched in Australia just days ago and has received an average rating of 95 per cent from reviewers, is that people can share their own levels over the PlayStation Network. Some have spent days crafting their ideal custom worlds, including tributes to classic games and characters such as Final Fantasy, Pac-Man, Batman, Sonic The Hedgehog, God Of War, Super Mario Bros and Indiana Jones. Over the past few days, many have found their levels summarily blocked by Sony and LittleBigPlanet’s developers, Media Molecule, because they allegedly breach someone else’s intellectual property.” (Copyright vs creativity in an entirely corporately-owned toy world with brilliant design tools … what could go wrong? :P)
- Interview @MarsPhoenix – Universe – “For over a year, Veronica McGregor has been Twittering from Mars. Of course, she’s not living among the wind storms and dirt of the red planet herself, but she is the voice of MarsPhoenix, the strangely compelling, first-person, lonely robot Twitter feed that somehow became the official mouthpiece of NASA’s Phoenix mission and has catalyzed an entirely new kind of public involvement in science.”
- Cloverfield: Mapped [Google Maps] – Blow by blow map of the action in Cloverfield. As you might suspect, the action doesn’t quite make sense if you look at it on a New York map!
- China issues first definition of Internet addiction [China Daily] – Chinese doctors define what they call “internet addiction”: “Symptoms of addiction included yearning to get back online, mental or physical distress, irritation and difficulty concentrating or sleeping. The definition, based on a study of more than 1,300 problematic computer users, classifies as addicts those who spend at least six hours online a day and have shown at least one symptom in the past three months.”