Tag Archives: youtube

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Friday Night Music: Larkin Poe cover the classic ZZ Top song, “Sharp Dressed Man”

via Larkin Poe | ZZ Top Cover (“Sharp Dressed Man”) – YouTube

Via Paul Krugman’s newsletter. Not surprising, really.

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My favourite Friday Night Christmas Music links….

…are here!

Years ago (2011, 2012) I used to post music links every Friday night (as well as other days and nights). On December, I would focus on Christmas music. These are some of my favourites.

Enjoy! And joy to the world….

YouTube’s fight with its most extreme creators highlights the problem big IT has on it’s hands

Here’s a really good piece highlighting a big problem the Frightful Five / Big IT have right now with user generated content: YouTube’s messy fight with its most extreme creators – Vox.

Some background is in order. For years, content creators on Youtube (part of Google/Alphabet) have been jacking up the extremism in their videos to get more views. Extremism in all senses of the word, including political extremism. Some do it for Fame, but many do it for Fortune. This was going well for them until….

In March this year, 250 advertisers pulled back from YouTube after reports that ads were appearing on extremist content, including white supremacist videos. As a result, YouTube demonetized a wide range of political content, including videos that didn’t include hate speech but might still be considered controversial by advertisers. Creators called it “the adpocalypse” — they saw their incomes from YouTube evaporate without fully understanding what they’d done wrong or how to avoid demonetization in the future.

And this is the problem for Youtube and other platforms…how to maximize both traffic and profit. For a long time the formula was simple: more extreme videos = more traffic = more profit. Now they are hitting a wall, and advertisers and consumers are fed up.

The question big IT will be struggling with is: how to draw the line? In case you think the line is easy to draw, I recommend you watch the video by Carlos Maza of Vox. He makes a case that it is very difficult, even if at first glance it should be obvious what should be removed.

I don’t think there is a simple answer to this. If anything, it is going to be one of the major political debates of the first part of the 21st century, as global IT companies deal with national laws and policies.

Some of my favorite white noise and background screen savers from Youtube

There are lots of videos on Youtube of scenes like this. Some are good for white noise, others are good for acting as a screen saver.

Ocean Waves at night:

Ocean waves in the day:

Snow fall in the forest

Snow storm in the street

Night rain sounds

Rain fall sounds

A short defense of Drake’s dancing in Hotline Bling

It’s well known that Drake has suffered alot of mockery for his dancing in the video for Hotline Bling. This is too bad, because for whatever criticism you can raise for Drake’s dancing, he is no worse than most major pop stars when it comes to dancing. So what’s the problem?

The problem, I see it, is in the directing. Here is the Hotline Bling video. Count the length of the average shot. When I did it, it was in the 5 to 10 second range.

Compare that to Ariana Grande’s Focus video.

Count the length of each shot. The longest is usually no more than 3 seconds: the rest are 1 to 2 seconds. Is she a good dancer? It’s hard to tell. If you go to around the 3 minute mark, you seen alot of dancing, but the shots are still short and the camera is constantly moving. Any short coming in the dancing can be made up for in the editing room. And I’d argue that the Focus video is typical of most videos: very short cuts with lots of camera movement.

Now, it’s possible the director wanted the longer shots due to the changing nature of the lighting. But there is a similar use of dramatic lighting in Justin Timberlake’s Let Me Talk To You/My Love and he comes across well with no loss to the lighting effect

And like Ariana Grande’s video, this video has the performer do well defined step in a 1-4 second shot and then cuts away. This is typical of many music videos. (Yes, JT does have an extended dance routine at the end of My Love, but most of the video is all quick cuts….also, he has been dancing since his early days as a Mouseketeer :))

Drake would have been better off with shorter cuts and simpler dance moves, the kind of thing you find in most other videos.

Friday night music: Brook Benton – Rainy Night in Georgia

Perfect music for a melancholy Friday Fall evening.

Friday afternoon “vacation starting” music

I am starting mine. Two weeks. Two weeks needs not one but two classics from the 80s:

And

May you enjoy your holidays and vacation, whenever it occurs.

Friday night music: Phox – Noble Heart

There’s lots of great videos of PHOX on YouTube. I like this one:

If you do too, search them out and you’ll find many good ones, including on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts.

It’s rich music that is deceptively easy listening.

Friday night music: Florence + The Machine – No Light, No Light

Saturday night music, on Friday. Here’s Florence + The Machine – No Light, No Light (Live on SNL) 

How to relax using white noise, winter edition (the joy of simulated warmth and coziness)

In the winter, I think one of the nicest forms of white noise is a fire. It’s not the same as having an actual fire, but if you have a computer or big screen you can Chromecast this to, I recommend this video:

I’ve watched quite a number of these videos, and this one is my favorite so far: really good sound, and it looks realistic. (Oddly, this matters to me, even though I know it merely a video).

If you want the feeling of being warm and cozy inside while it storms outside, I recommend this video for white noise:

Meanwhile, this Freshpet Holiday Feast (13 Dogs/1 Cat Eating with Human Hands) is great

I am amused every time I watch it. The folks who make it do a great job. It reminds me of the classic: Dogs Playing Poker,

Freshpet Holiday Feast – 13 Dogs and 1 Cat Eating with Human Hands – YouTube.

Amy In The Sun: The Other (Caribbean) Side of Amy Winehouse – LargeUp

Interesting speculation on where Amy Winehouse’s musical direction would have gone if she hadn’t died so young: Amy In The Sun: The Other (Caribbean) Side of Amy Winehouse via LargeUp. That post has a lot of links to Amy’s performances on YouTube, so if you are the mood for something other than Christmas music, click on that link and enjoy.

It’s Monday. You need inspiration. Here’s Yves Rossy flying around Mt. Fuji using a jetpack

So for those of you who say, “Hey! We were promised jetpacks!”…well, like the future, they are hear but just not evenly distributed.

For this videos  and more on this, go here: This Man Flew Over Mt. Fuji on a Real-Life Jetpack, and It’s Absolutely Breathtaking – Mic.

If you need an early winter pick me up, here’s a 1 minute video of a crow snowboarding

It’s no fluke: if you watch the whole thing, you can see he is into it!

Crows are remarkable. Via YouTube and  someone on twitter….I can’t remember who though. Thanks, whomever you are!

It’s Monday. You need a 1 minute video of cats trying to walk on a treadmill, yes?

Yes!

The video Treadmill Kittens  via @hchamp on twitter.

Do you have Chromecast? Then you want 5by

Chromecast is great for putting YouTube videos on your big screen TV. The problem for me, though, is finding good videos to watch: I want to spend less time searching and more time relaxing. 5by.com answers that problem by providing you videos picked by them around themes. I have just started with it, but it looks good (in more ways than one).

For more information, see Video Concierge.

The significance of cloud computing, as explained by the great Stephen Fry (@stephenfry)

This is a really well done video on the importance of cloud computing. It’s 5 minutes long, and well worth it.

Obviously, I would argue that your best bet for Cloud Computing services is from the company I work for, but otherwise I highly recommend this.

To all the journalists that think Internet censorship in Turkey is a new thing

I found this in less than a minute: Censorship of YouTube – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Here is the extract for Turkey:

Turkish courts have ordered blocks on access to the YouTube website. This first occurred when Türk Telekom blocked the site in compliance with decision 2007/384 issued by the Istanbul 1st Criminal Court of Peace (Sulh Ceza Mahkeme) on 6 March 2007. The court decision was based on videos insulting Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in an escalation of what the Turkish media referred to as a “virtual war” of insults between Greek, Armenian and Turkish YouTube members. YouTube was sued for “insulting Turkishness” and access to the site was suspended pending the removal of the video. YouTube lawyers sent proof of the video’s removal to the Istanbul public prosecutor and access was restored on 9 March 2007. However, other videos similarly deemed insulting were repeatedly posted, and several staggered bans followed, issued by different courts:

  • the Sivas 2nd Criminal Court of Peace on 18 September 2007 and again (by decision 2008/11) on 16 January 2008; the Ankara 12th Criminal Court of Peace on 17 January 2008 (decision 2008/55);[72]
  • the Ankara 1st Criminal Court of Peace on 12 March 2008 (decision 2008/251);
  • the Ankara 11th Criminal Court of Peace on 24 April 2008 (decision 2008/468). the Ankara 5th Criminal Court of Peace on 30 April 2008 (decision 2008/599);
  • again, the Ankara 1st Criminal Court of Peace on 5 May 2008 (decision 2008/402);
  • again, the Ankara 11th Criminal Court of Peace on 6 June 2008 (decision 2008/624).
  • again, based on “administrative measures” without court order following corruption scandal, relating several govermental officials including Prime Minister Erdogan on March 27th, 2014 The block in accordance with court decision 2008/468 of the Ankara 11th Criminal Court of Peace issued on 24 April 2008, which cited that YouTube had not acquired a certificate of authorisation in Turkey, was not implemented by Türk Telekom until 5 May 2008.

Although YouTube was officially banned in Turkey, the website was still accessible by modifying connection parameters to use alternative DNS servers, and it was the eighth most popular website in Turkey according to Alexa records. Responding to criticisms of the courts’ bans, in November 2008 the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated “I do access the site. Go ahead and do the same.”

In June 2010, Turkey’s president Abdullah Gül used his Twitter account to express disapproval of the country’s blocking of YouTube, which also affected access from Turkey to many Google services. Gül said he had instructed officials to find legal ways of allowing access.[75] Turkey lifted the ban on 30 October 2010.

In November 2010, a video of the Turkish politician Deniz Baykal caused the site to be blocked again briefly, and the site was threatened with a new shutdown if it did not remove the video.

In March 27, 2014, Turkey banned YouTube again. This time, they did so mere hours after a video was posted there claiming to depict Turkey’s foreign minister, spy chief and a top general discussing scenarios that could lead to their country’s military attacking jihadist militants in Syria.

It’s not a new thing: stop writing about it like it is new.

Eyes on the Prize: the complete documentary, on YouTube

As mentioned on Kottke, it appears that the entire documentary Eyes On The Prize is now on YouTube. You can find it here: Eyes On The Prize – YouTube.

For those of you unfamiliar with this documentary, it was, to quote Wikipedia, “… an American television series and 14-hour documentary about the Civil Rights Movement in the United States….”. That’s an understatement. It’s a great production about a great event in world history.

Highly recommended.

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Midweek music, 9/11 edition

Haunting video of Depeche Mode performing “Enjoy the Silence” on top of the World Trade Towers.

Found via Maud Newton, on twitter.

Midweek music: Frente! – Bizarre Love Triangle

A fab, fab cover. Take a break and listen.

Jay-Z. Brooklyn (Go Hard)….

…is brilliant. Brilliant song. Brilliant video. And it supports (RED)WIRE. What is smarter than this, indeed. Watch this.

From the ridiculous to the sublime, musically, and places in between

Checking out music on the Transbuddha web site the other night, I came across this!

Yes, not only is Jesus your friend, apparently he is also a Mountie. Okie-dokie, then. That’s the ridiculous. (And likely a comedy sketch, but still….)

As I was listening to it, I thought, hmmm…that sounds like Ranking Full Stop from the English Beat. Of course it’s also on YouTube.

While there are some differences, it is very similar! So, first song, very bad. But it got me listening to something better. And checking out that, I started thinking of their good cover of the classic Smokey Robinson and the Miracles song, Tears of a Clown. So I looked it up, and I came across this:

So, from the ridiculous to the sublime in a few minutes.

As a aside, I thought: man, the Miracles were a pretty subdued group of dancers. I did a check on the Pips, the Temptations and even the Jackson 5, and while all those groups were looser than Smokey’s backups, they were still more focused on singing and not so much on (lipsynching and) dancing.

I also think Justin Timberlake stole this look for his “Lovestoned/I think she knows” video. You can see it here: