Posts Tagged ‘YouTube’

17: Don’t Be A Bum

January 18, 2013

1. Kansas House Speaker Asks House To Pray For President’s Death

Mike O’Neil, Speaker of the Kansas House in an e-mail to other House members:

Let his days be few; and let another take his office. Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.

At last — I can honestly voice a Biblical prayer for our president! Look it up — it is word for word! Let us all bow our heads and pray. Brothers and Sisters, can I get an AMEN? AMEN!!!!!!

Embarrassing.

via @kingbry7 on Twitter

2. Apply For Enstitute

I’ve previously written about Enstitute — an apprenticeship program where students work for a startup in NYC and “learn by doing” — and I can’t believe I missed the news that it started accepting applications for 2013 last month. Applications need to be submitted by February 3rd and must include 1) a video explaining why you should be accepted to Enstitute and 2) responses to a series of questions (my favorite: What is the failure that you most celebrate? Why?).

If you’re even slightly interested, get on it now. Sorry to my readership outside of the US, Enstitute doesn’t have an international presence yet; it will eventually, so stay tuned if you like the idea. Otherwise, Enstitute is cool and if you want to work in the tech sector, there are few better ways to start if you can manage to be selected for it.

3. Because It’s Printed On A Mug

Have you ever wanted to be rude to people but didn’t have a good excuse? Well those days are over! The author of Guinea Something Good (one of the webcomics I read) uploaded a mug design to his DeviantArt page based on a mug in the comic.

The mug reads I CAN BE RUDE BECAUSE IT’S PRINTED ON A MUG and it’s selling for $12.99. I’ll be picking it up later, and it’s brilliant enough where you might do well to pick it up too.

(No I wasn’t paid or even asked to post this, I just really find the mug fun.)

4. It’s Not Just Chivalry That’s Dead

Alex Williams, New York Times:

Traditional courtship — picking up the telephone and asking someone on a date — required courage, strategic planning and a considerable investment of ego (by telephone, rejection stings). Not so with texting, e-mail, Twitter or other forms of “asynchronous communication,” as techies call it. In the context of dating, it removes much of the need for charm; it’s more like dropping a line in the water and hoping for a nibble.

Online dating services, which have gained mainstream acceptance, reinforce the hyper-casual approach by greatly expanding the number of potential dates. Faced with a never-ending stream of singles to choose from, many feel a sense of “FOMO” (fear of missing out), so they opt for a speed-dating approach — cycle through lots of suitors quickly.

I’m not going to lie, I’ve been a participant in the “online dating” scene. I don’t particularly expect (or want) anything serious to come of it, but the idea that traditional dating is dead is interesting. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though; of my friends, two of the most successful relationships I know of started online.

It makes sense, doesn’t it? As vaguely alluded to in the quote above, when you aren’t restricted by location or schedules, you’re more likely to meet people who have similar interests. Traditional dating might be a casualty in favor of new communication mediums, but it’s a casualty that I’m okay with.

I say it a lot, but the world is changing.

via friends on Facebook

5. YouTube Might Be Investing In VEVO

If this rumor turns out to be true, it will turn out to be a pretty big “it’s about time” for YouTube. Janko Roettgers lays out the numbers on paidContent, but in short, one of the primary reasons people use YouTube is to watch VEVO videos. An investment by YouTube makes more than a whole lot of sense.

via FlipBoard for iOS

6. Mark Wahlberg And Ted At The Oscars

Mike Sampson, Screen Crush:

While making an appearance on Anderson Live – Anderson Cooper’s now-canceled afternoon talk show – Wahlberg revealed that, yes, they are working on a ‘Ted 2‘ but that it won’t take that long before you see him and his stuffed friend reunited. Says Wahlberg, “Ted and I will be appearing at the Oscars.”

If you follow me on Twitter you probably know that I’m not a fan of the Academy Awards — I view it as the industry patting itself on the back and film festivals are the events that really matter — but this will get me to watch at least part of the show this year.

As a sidenote, if you haven’t seen Ted, you really ought to. It’s one of the funniest theatrical releases last year and simultaneously has a lot of heart.

via FlipBoard for iOS

7. Tips To Succeeding In Online Courses

Some of the hardest classes that I’ve taken at traditional universities were online, and my performance in a few still sting me to think about. There’s an idea that persists among some students that online courses are easy — they aren’t. Online courses require a certain self-directing study ethic that’s hard to summon if you aren’t interested in the material, and US News has a list of five tips that can help students complete online courses.

My favorite of the tips is Have a consistent workspace. It probably seems obvious but, I know that when I was enrolled in traditional universities, I kind of threw study-places at the wall trying to find one that stuck. I’d rotate between a variety of coffee shops, the school library, my home, etc., and the inconsistency left me consistently distracted.

For somewhere around a year I’ve made a specific Starbucks my primary workspace for almost everything — homework, studying, blogging, coding — and the familiarity has amped up my productivity. If you do work on a portable computer, particularly important stuff like schoolwork, find a location you like and stick to it. The location might get boring after a while, but you’ll be there to work, it doesn’t need to be exciting; infact it’s better if it isn’t exciting.

via @StraighterLine on Twitter

8. S-VHS Teaser

While most of my Horror-friends weren’t incredibly appreciative of the indie Horror anthology V/H/S, I thought it was entertaining enough. As such, I’m happy to link you to the newly released teaser trailer for its sequel, S-VHS.

via @MrHorror on Twitter

9. Being A Minimalist

Design Taxi is a great blog that turns up in my feed every so often, and this time it’s an article about how to be a minimalist “in design and life”. The piece is effectively just a reblog of a comic by Grant Snider, but alas, credit where it’s due. If you’re looking to live a minimalist life, you’ll be hard pressed to find better advice.

via @MacTheDave on Twitter

10. Keeping Busy

At present I don’t make a whole lot of money; it’s been more than two years since I’ve had a well-paying, traditional job and I’ve lived off of pennies coupled with student loans and help from my parents since. Obviously that can’t go on forever — nor should it — and the reason why I’m learning Processing and hopefully other coding languages following is because I believe that skill can at least help me support myself. The icing on the cake is that it’s something I enjoy.

My last traditional job was as Apple’s rep at PSU for the 2010 school year, and that lasted between February 2010 to December 2010. It’s very easy to become sedentary when you receive the financial assistance that I have over the past two years, and it’s important to not let that happen.

The reason why I started blogging in December 2010 is because I didn’t have anything better to do. I liked movies, I felt like my opinions were half decent, and I didn’t have a job, so I started Picture This! Reviews and ran from there. Since then I’ve switched blogs outright, I’ve been hired onto a few others, I’ve even started a webcomic (which is admittedly on hiatus). I’ve consulted a little graphic design company on various things and through all this I’ve been going to school on-and-off.

When the time comes for me to make a half decent paycheck again, I’ll have a strong enough work ethic to do my job and do it well because I’ve kept myself busy for my two years away from regular cash. I didn’t have to — I would’ve received the financial assistance I have anyway — but I think that it’s important for my growth that I didn’t let myself become sedentary.

Even if you have to do work for pennies or even for free, it’s so much better than doing nothing and letting yourself become a bum. It’s so easy to do and I know because I’ve gone through periods where I took my assistance for granted and became lazy. Don’t do it. Keep yourself busy no matter what.

9.2: No YouTube for You (Microsoft)!

January 2, 2013

Google is blocking Microsoft from developing a YouTube app for Windows Phone phones, and in addition isn’t (yet) developing a YouTube app of its own, leaving Windows Phone users with just the browser version. So says All Things D:

But the YouTube issue is not a new one; Microsoft has complained about it to regulators multiple times since 2010. YouTube clients for Android and iPhone have fuller search, favorites and ratings capabilities, while YouTube for Windows Phone is basically a wrapper for the mobile Web version of the site, because it doesn’t have access to full APIs.

What’s new is that Microsoft is now claiming that people at YouTube are in favor of helping provide a good Windows Phone experience, but senior Google executives recently told them not to do so.

Interesting. Apparently YouTube isn’t as independent of Google as I had thought last year.

2.2: The End of the Amateur

December 18, 2012

As we probably could have guessed and The Verge is reporting, the top videos on YouTube are created by industry professionals. Homemade videos going viral is probably a thing of the past in the future.

This news is sad, honestly. While I like well-made videos as much as the next person, YouTube used to be a platform where people with next to no budget could compete with the big guys. That was something special and it saddens me to know that none of the top viral videos this year were created in a basement by a kid with an idea.

Some of my best memories of the web involve YouTube in its earlier days. I got way more enjoyment from Brookers than I ever will from Gangnam Style, and it’s bad for creativity now that the latter is the norm.

For Google to Win

September 24, 2012

Just over a month ago I published an article called For Apple to Win, and over the past few days I’ve been thinking that it needs a companion article for Google and its mobile operating system, Android.

The ugliness of the web was displayed very clearly last Wednesday (09/19/2012) through to today, and I’m guessing it will continue. So what happened last Wednesday? Apple released a major update to iOS — the operating system which powers its mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad — for the general public. iOS 6 adds more than 200 new features to iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches running iOS 5, and everything should have been great.

The problem with iOS 6 is that it might not be a wholly accepted update by people, without explanations or comforting. Unfortunately Apple has difficulty communicating with its customers and usually (maybe foolishly) leaves that to passionate fans who follow the company. Two of the 200+ updates that come with iOS 6 will cause confusion among people because, at face value, they’re downgrades. To add insult to injury Apple isn’t present to hold anyone’s hand leaving many feeling lost.

The two “updates” in question are:

  1. The removal of the default YouTube app.
  2. A complete revamp of the Maps app, replacing Google’s data and POI with Apple’s own (although licensed by partners), with added features like turn-by-turn navigation and “Flyover” 3D mapping.

YouTube is owned by Google and Google’s Maps data is, well, Google’s, so you could summarize those two updates as “Removal of Google”.

Ignoring Apple-Google politics for a minute, removing the default YouTube app makes sense. YouTube is a social network not managed by Apple. Apple controls iTunes, so it can filter out YouTube-quality comments and interactions in iTunes and App Store reviews. The same applies to the content viewable on YouTube; Apple controls the content that you see in the iTunes Store, but not on YouTube (like a guy being eaten by a Bengal tiger at a zoo, which you wouldn’t see in the iTunes Store).

Apple is fine with social networking and media streaming apps being downloadable in the App Store, but it reasonably wants to control every pre-installed app or service. That makes sense, infact YouTube as a default app for the iPhone and iPad hasn’t made sense in years! m.youtube.com in the Safari browser has been better for a very long time, and the App Store would’ve been a much better place for an app. Google apparently agrees as you can currently find a YouTube app [iTunes link] developed by Google in the App Store.

I knew it was coming and even I was surprised when the YouTube app wasn’t present on my iPhone after I updated to iOS 6. That’s what years of conditioning does to somebody, even if you follow tech news and companies as I do. But for someone who isn’t as much of a geek, it can be very unsettling and confusing to find something that you’ve used for up to five years outright disappear.

So naturally, everyone “in the know” approached these distressed people with comforting, helpful advice, right? They pointed them to either m.youtube.com or to the App Store app, right? Well, not everybody.

Within a few hours of the iOS 6 update going live for the general public, Twitter exploded with confused iOS users. “Why is YouTube gone???” was the theme. Okay, that’s something Apple brought upon itself, I figured. Someone will respond to them with info about the YouTube app on the App Store, I thought. Unfortunately my thinking was naïve, as Android fans who hate Apple, took the opportunity to capitalize on the confusion and make people feel stupid for being an Apple customer.

From my point of view, the tone which started that Wednesday afternoon has been extremely dark. Instead of being greeted by “Here’s a link to the YouTube app in the App Store, and also, YouTube works in Safari”, a lot of iOS users received snark. Heck, even I received snark for helping others that day. That wasn’t cool at all. It’s one thing to poke fun at people for using a product which you don’t like (which itself isn’t cool). Taking advantage of confusion and distress for your own negative and hateful agenda in the name of open source is abhorrent.

You can feel free to hate Apple as much as you choose. What you can’t do is taunt people for liking Apple, especially when they’re in distress because of something that Apple has done — well, you can, but it would just make you look like a jerk. Your ugliness could also damage Android. Infact it might actually push the people you’re taunting further towards Apple. As odd as that sounds, it’s simple, really…

IMAGINARY SCENARIO:

Darren, an “Average Joe”, just updated his iPhone to iOS 6. The first thing that he notices is “YouTube is gone!!!” and he takes to Twitter to try to figure out what happened. Jake, Android geek and power user, replies that he should’ve bought an Android phone instead, and that Apple sucks and etc. Steve, an iPhone geek, steps in and links Darren to the YouTube app in the App Store. The potential results:

  1. Darren downloads the YouTube app from the App Store, and he continues to have little to no opinion of the mobile platform war. He’s open to making his next phone an Android phone, but it’s unlikely.
  2. Darren downloads the YouTube app from the App Store and is appreciative of a random iPhone geek… while being extremely unappreciative of a random Android geek. That memory sticks, even if just subconsciously, and there is little possibility of an Android phone in Darren’s near future.

In either scenario, the snark didn’t help anybody, and in the second scenario Jake’s negativity damaged Darren’s opinion of Android.

The snark didn’t end with YouTube, however. Infact it’s been way worse. As people began to realize that the Maps app on their “updated” iOS devices — which they depended on heavily — had changed and maybe not for the better, the Android fans had a field day. It’s much, much worse than the YouTube thing because Maps are an important part of people’s lives and there’s more of an emotional connection to it.

Even tech websites like TechCrunch have picked up on it and are outright publishing negative articles about how Maps sucks simply because it’s “a hot topic” and generates a lot of page views.

The language should be, look, Apple’s own Maps is in its infancy and the POI will get better hopefully quickly. In the meantime maps.google.com works on all iOS devices, and if you miss Street View there’s an app called StreetViewer [iTunes link] which you can purchase for $0.99 (A free, “lite” version also exists). And as an aside, the new Maps app has great Turn by Turn GPS functionality, and some other nifty features.

Why isn’t that the language being used? Why is there so much hate? Why do some people feel the need to upset people when they can actually help them?

The amount of negativity that I’ve witnessed since last Wednesday is depressing. People who genuinely hate Apple are leading a lot of the discussion around iOS 6 at least in my communities, when it should be the Apple fans* — people like me equipped to comfort others — who settle them into iOS 6. Positivity is healthy, and it’s something that people will remember. If you’re an Android fan and want iSheep like me to consider it as an alternative platform, you need to not attack us.

Google wins when you don’t make people think negatively of its base, which is supposed to represent its culture. If you want Google to win and for Android OS to beat iOS, you’ll take this advice to heart.

*Or better yet, Apple should lead the discussions. It’s time for Apple to have a public profile, with representatives on Twitter and Facebook fielding questions ten hours per day. Have a PR crew that outright appears on TV news stations for interviews instead of leaving the news to report their own interpretation of events. Let me and people like me retire from this stuff.

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