Tentative Review of Hulu

NBC broke away from iTunes to offer its shows through Amazon (which only works on a Windows PC— no iPods etc) and through their new venture Hulu. It is a flash based video offering meant to compete with YouTube (event though YouTube was never meant to compete with NBC). The folks at MacRumors offered a glimpse of the new service, which is still in private beta. You can watch (sort of) an episode of The Office from there, as well as a few other shows like Airwolf.

At first glance there will be plenty of commercial breaks (indicated by dots along the video’s timeline), something I’m not interested in. But more importantly, the video stutters to the point that it is not watchable.

So far it looks as if NBC has shoved away iTunes and YouTube for crap. Viewers don’t want to be hassled with shoddy services and they don’t like having to go to many different places to find those services. This move is bound to push more folks to the legal use of DVR and the (likely) illegal use of bit torrents. Apple offered NBC a revenue stream, free promotion, free bandwidth and an attractive and simple delivery package— it is hard to see how spending hundreds of millions of dollars to try and feebly push customers back into an old business model will work out well.

humor, technology

Arguements for or Against YouTube (a new hamster dance)

I was recently involved in a discussion about how useful YouTube is. I was on the pro YouTube side. I don’t think it is the end-all for the internet, but I do think it is possible for it to provide a useful service. However, I can not agree with the idea that YouTube creates a new place for people to have a voice and create democracy. That might happen a little bit, but that is just by virtue of YouTube being part of the internet.

That said, I’m not sure if this video is an argument for or against YouTube. I guess part of freedom is the freedom to decide whether or not you like something, or in my case to be unsure if you find something to be stupidly funny or just stupid.

humor, travel

Evil Can Still be Kind of Funny

Ignoring the arguments about whether Google is as good as they claim to be, one has to admit that they have a sense of humor. Take for instance their directions via google maps to get from New York, NY to Paris, France. I don’t know why I’d never considered just swimming the 3,462 miles to save on that costly plane ticket.

My brother showed me a couple of other cases of slightly evil and very evil being kind of funny. One is the now famous “Wooden Spoon Prank” check you tube for the dozens of people trying to imitate this.

The other is less known, but about a thousand times more evil. It is actually only borderline funny because it is so mean.

And of course all of this is courtesy of youTube, which is owned by Google… along with the other third of the internet.


Look What That Wacky DMCA is Doing Now!

A little while back I mentioned that you can’t copyright an art form, but you can copyright a performance… here is a great example of how that is being used.

If you have you ever been to a wedding where someone danced the “Electric Slide” and you videotaped it Ric Silver might have a lawsuit waiting for you. That is right, this knuckle head is using the mother of all bad ideas, the DMCA, to stop just about anyone from doing the Electric Slide on video, from teaching it, or even listing the moves without his permission.

Silver also claims to have come up with breakdancing and The Robot (seriously, look at the bottom of his webpage!), so you kids better watch out, especially if you’d like to show your stuff online at a place like YouTube. CNet recently reported Silver has issued DMCA powered take down notices for just about every video that has the Electric Slide performed in it on YouTube. It seems as if he’s scoured the entire planet for footage of his silly dance suing at will to try and leech every penny possible from folks. CNet reports:

Indeed, Richard Silver, who filed the copyright for the Electric Slide in 2004, said on one of his Web pages that the DeGeneres Show had been putting up a legal fight as he tried to get compensation for a segment that aired in February 2006 in which actress Teri Hatcher and other dancers performed the popular wedding shuffle.

But this isn’t about a dance that most people don’t care about. It’s about someone trying to squeeze pennies out of others by enforcing copyright. The world is rapidly changing into a place where “content creators” can own and control just about anything, and that is scary.

The most insightful part of Wikipedia’s entry on the Electric Slide is the talk page. It is Ric Silver at his best insulting people and making several threats there to sue folks for things like slander and defamation of character and using the timeless catchphrase, “We’ll be seeing you in court.”

The question has to be asked, is this the direction we really want things to go? A place where we can’t dance unless a bonehead like Silver gives us the okay? Will America be the home to some sort of bizarro version of the Footloose town, where kids can’t dance or Ric Silver will get their parents house?


Randall Park and Dr Miracles

Randall park is a funny man, he’s been the man behind Dr. Miracles on Channel102.net. Channel 102 is an amazing website (as is Channel101.com). The last installment of Dr. Miracles aired on Channel 102 just recently, you can catch the entire series, only four “episodes” on youTube or Channel 102, they are all funny but *very* inappropriate for the little ones. Here’s the finale.

[tags]humor, dr miracles, randall park, adult humor, comedy, channel 102, funny, parental guidance suggested[/tags]