writes: Although Google has copped flak before when they've messed around with the winning formula that is YouTube, the world's most successful and popular video sharing site, I suspect that they weren't ready for the tsunami of anger that has been unleashed against them as a result of their latest changes.
All non-passive YouTube users (ie: anyone who wants to leave or reply to comments on videos) must now create a Google+ identity and link it to their YouTube channel.
Cynics (such as myself) are seeing this as a nasty piece of *evil* blackmail on the part of Google as it attempts to boost the numbers of G+ users and the levels of activity within the G+ community.
Unfortunately, in doing this, Google seems to have completely forgotten the KISS strategy that made their search engine so distinctive and a darling of Net users everywhere. The YouTube comments system was also very simple, very clean and surprisingly effective.
Now however, users must fight their way through the acres of dross that are associated with a Google+ account and although the new system offers a few extra features, much of the essential core functionality of the previous YouTube comments system has been destroyed.
There are presently several online petitions demanding that Google reinstate the old comments system and numerous "rant videos" from upset YouTube users but perhaps the best demonstration of how poorly this forced change has gone down is the like/dislike ratio and the nature of the comments on Google's own YouTube promotional video for these changes.
writes: Google have started rolling out their plan to force all non-passive YouTube users to join their GooglePlus service.
As of last night I noticed that I can no longer access the comments on my videos via their dedicated comments page and attempts to respond to comments posted by others simply by clicking on the "to reply, click here" link in the advisory email fail to show the comment concerned. This forces me to go to the actual video page each time and manually locate the comment within the hundreds that may be there.
For weeks, Google has been in nag-mode, constantly trying to coerce YouTube account holders link their channels to a G+ identity and now that this strategy has failed, they're basically saying that unless you do as they say, no more easy access to the comments on your videos. In fact they say this quite literally in a big red banner at the top of the screen when you log on which proclaims " Connect to Google+ to maintain access to new comments".
As an early adopter of YouTube and many other Google services I now find myself with a real mess on my hands. Most of my Google service accounts have different email addresses, therefore are different identities. To comply with Google's diktat, I will have to create several G+ accounts, meaning more logins, more passwords, more complexity!
I am not alone in this — users all over the Net (and on YouTube) are really annoyed that the "do no evil" company is forcing them to sign up to services they do not want and breaking stuff in the process.
The reason for YouTube's success is that it's relatively simple to use and focused. YouTube makes it easy to post videos and comment on them — full stop! If they start messing with that formula by adding the complexity and "features" of G+ then I fear they will pay a price.
In the past, one of the biggest benfits of Google was that it wasn't Facebook. It seems that is no longer the case (especially in light of their recent "we'll use your face and comments to promote products" initiative).
It would appear that Google is about to turn a silk purse into a sow's ear.
writes: Raphael Pirker, otherwise known as "Trappy" is the guy who flew his RC model plane over the Statue of Liberty and parts of NYC a little while back and got a lot of media attention in the process.
Trappy has travelled the world with his FPV RC models, getting some stunning footage that has been posted to his YouTube channel.
On occasion, he has been commissioned to make specific flights and take aerial video of particular locations — professionally but this is something that the FAA considers to be involation of their policies (note: policies — NOT the law). After a recent commissioned flight around the University of Virginia, the FAA hit Trappy with a $10K fine, alleging that he was operating a UAS without the necessary authority and had been reckless in his actions, creating danger to person and property.
More background and info on this can be found in this Wired.com story and this sUAS News report which lists the exact charges.
While it could be argued that Trappy's flying may have been a little reckless, the defense from his lawyer is that no LAWS were broken — because there are no laws pertaining to these craft.
I posted a YT video-rant about how the FAA (and other airspace administrators around the world) are failing to do their jobs and have instigated "policies" rather than create proper laws in respect to this new technology. I also argue the point that it's ridiculous that, in the eyes of the FAA, a small RC plane suddenly becomes a UAS and is treated as being the same as a Predator drone in respect to its potential as a threat to public safety. I won't post a link to the video (don't want to be a whore) but I'm sure folk can find it if they're interested.
The bottom line is that in equating a small RC flying wing made of foam with an evil baby-killing Predator drone, the FAA is way, way out of touch with reality and way-behind the game in respect to making reasonable and effective laws in this area. Also, by relying on "policy", they are allowed to play judge and jury so can apply unfettered bias and prejudice in their actions with impunity.
writes: I read that Iceland has refused asylum and citizenship to whistleblower Ed Snowden.
In response to this, I wrote a very polite, email to the office of the Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson (details on this webpage) expressing my disappointment at the decision and my sympathy for a once-proud nation that seems to have lost its nerve when faced with the might of the USA.
If anyone else wants to do the same then perhaps it's not too late to alert the Icelandic government to the fact that they could win millions of new friends from all over the world if they were to show their courage and bravery by helping Snowden, as they have with others in the past.
Of course any such communication needs to be polite, concise and focused on showing Iceland that the internet community supports Ed Snowden and those who are prepared to help him.
Maybe the Slashdot community can help. Why not spend a few quick minutes firing off an email so we can find out for sure.
writes: A UK appeals court has upheld a previous decision that news headlines are a "literary work" and therefore are protected by copyright — enabling online publishers to demand payment for their use or sue for unlawful use. This particularly affects aggregators but has the potential to affect bloggers as well.
Aardvark Daily asks the question: if a two or three-word headline now carries copyright protection, what's the point in trademarking a catch-phrase or product name?
And what about Fair Use? If a short headline is a complete literary work, will critics, reviewers and comedians be allowed to use it in its entirety for the purposes of plying their trade?Link to Original Source
writes: Today's Aardvark Daily rediscovers an article from an old edition of Popular Mechanics magazine which features a device seemingly capable of defeating the laws of Newtonian physics and even levitating solid objects by defeating gravity.
How could a venerable magazine like PM be duped by this story?
Or were they really duped? After all, there is a picture of the levitating device and diagrams that allegedly describe exactly how it works, using simple mechanical components and principles.
Could it be that the future of anti-gravity drives, the long-awaited flying-car, and space travel has been lurking in the archives of Popular Mechanics for 50 years all along? (Yeah, right).
Sometimes it's fun to look at the science/technology follies of half a century ago.Link to Original Source
writes: Asmiov's first law of robotics is "A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm."
So how come the most advanced robots on the face of the planet today (military UAVs) regularly bring death to insurgents (and sometimes innocent civilians) with impunity?
What ever happened to Asmiov's principles? Have they been ignored out of expediency?
Are they yet another casualty in "the war against terror?"
Is (as the article suggests) Asimov spinning in his grave right now?Link to Original Source
writes: I've got a pretty successful "all original content" YouTube channel (my vids viewed over 6 million times, most subscribed NZ channel in sports, 19th most viewed NZ Channel) but it doesn't earn me a bean.
What I'd like to do is create a new channel (covering a completely different topic) with premium content that I can make available to people who want to pay a *small* monthly or annual subscription. I see this as a far more viable way of earning money from this kind of video content than Google's lame overlaid ads and the accompanying (lack of) revenue share.
I did suggest to Google/YouTube that they offer a turnkey pay-channel setup for people like myself, using the YouTube infrastructure.
Content creators could just upload their content, set a monthly/annual subscription rate and leave the rest to Google. Google would sign up the subscribers and take a clip on each sub to earn their share of the profit and provide the access control and subscription management back-end. The balance of each sub paid would be forwarded to the channel-operator by Google, as they do with AdSense payments (each month that the minimum payment threshold is reached).
For Google/Youtube — $profit$
For the channel operator — $profit$
For everyone else — a chance to get access to premium content for a small stipend.
Unfortunately, despite the ongoing losses being racked up by YouTube, Google don't seem to be interested in exploiting this opportunity.
So I'm left looking for a service that *can* deliver what I'm after.
And before anyone suggests I just host the stuff myself — I don't want to build a subscription management system, payment processing or other elements and I don't want to have to organize enough bandwidth to serve up all that video content — I just want a turnkey solution I can use for a share of the subscription fees.
Any ideas folks?