Joho the Blog » 2008 » October

October 31, 2008

When a video is trivial

It’s been a while since I used Seesmic, the video twitter site (or, as I think it would like to think of itself, the YouTube Made Easy and Instantaneous site, or possibly the YouTube Meets Social Networking site). Here’s one I did last night:

ChopsticksFrom a Beijing hotel room

Seesmic does indeed make it incredibly easy to record and post videos. And I sort of like the idea of occasionally recording a thought on video and posting it on my blog. Seesmic lets you copy and paste the code into your blog. But as the above makes clear, it makes a little thought look like a full-size video. I could, of course, just embed a link to the video at Seesmic. But I like embedding the video itself. I’d like a way to indicate that the video is of a quick, little thought. So, maybe doing it halfsize would work:

ChopsticksFrom a Beijing hotel room

(My connection right now sucks, so I can’t tell if that worked. Sorry.) Other ideas about how to present a video that is really just a quick thought? How could Seesmic help lower expectations? [Tags: ]

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YouTube 1985

This video pretends to be from YouTube’s origins in 1985. Cute.

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October 30, 2008

Charlie Nesson goes after the RIAA

Cofounder of the Berkman Center and legendary law school teacher Charlie Nesson is taking on the RIAA

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Worst. Fleshtone. Ever.

Fleshtone isn't always fleshtone

Happy Halloween.

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October 29, 2008

Tracker tracks the trackers

This site has a tracker that tracks all the electoral college tracking polls. Each row represents a different tracker.

We can only hope that there are several of these sites, so we can track the trackers tracking the trackers.

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Kick in an hour’s wages for some folks with a conscience?

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October 28, 2008

Big book news from Google

Google has reached a settlement agreement in the lawsuit brought by publishers who were afraid that awareness of the existence of the publishers’ books might leak out onto the Internet. (Non-biased translation: Google has settled with the publishers suing over its books.google.com book search service.)

As far as I can tell from Google’s plain-English explanation (which, overall, is exceptionally clear), the default for out-of-print books that are still under copyright will be that they are available through Google Book Search. You’ll be able to not only see snippets (as now) but will be able to purchase them, with the money being distributed through a new, independent, book rights registry. In addition, libraries and universities will be able to purchase site licenses for all the books Google’s scanned.

For books currently in print and under copyright, it sounds like not much has changed. Google says publishers can “turn on” the purchase and preview options. Couldn’t they before?

Once this settlement is agreed on, we will have what sounds like a reasonable program for working within the bounds of copyright. Much will depend, of course, on what the pricing is.

Now we have to work on fixing copyright so that it serves its original purpose — providing an incentive sufficient to bring authors to write — rather than being used to create an artificial scarcity to serve the economic interests of an industry entrenched in a ditch carved into paper.

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Wendy Seltzer worries that Google will now become iTunes for books …

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Linking to defamation is not defamation

A Canadian court has decided that linking to a defamatory page is not itself an act of defamation. It does leave admit exceptions, such as repeating the content of the defamatory passage or linking the phrase “The truth about Wayne Crookes is found here.”

The chilling effect if the court had decided otherwise would have been positively arctic.

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Voices without Votes

Jose Antonio Vargas has an interesting article in the Washington Post about watching global blogs watch the US election. He focuses on Voices without Votes, an offshoot of Global Voices. Why, did you know that six local candidates in Brazil added “Obama” to their names?

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Global code of conduct for free speech and privacy online

The NY Times breaks the news that a bunch of large companies and rights organizations are proposing a global code of conduct to help protect online free speech and privacy. (The Berkman has been involved in this.)

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Rebeca MacKinnon has an excellent post on this.

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