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Sunday 28 April 2013

How Google hides free copies of public domain books while directing people to pay-for reprints

Google has been allowed to scan hundreds of thousands of out-of-copyright books from libraries around the world and supposedly this is a wonderful free resource for all of us. But, over the last year or two, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to find the free versions while Google Books presents reprints to buy.

Here’s an example… (more…)


Filed under: Computing,consumer,Net & technology,Photography — GS @ 5:59 pm
Monday 29 December 2008

Data costs threaten social networking sites

Recently I wrote about the closure of free video-hosting services at both AOL and Brightcove. I suggested that no free hosting service can be relied on to be around forever, or even a year from now in the current economic crisis.

Today the Daily Telegraph reports that social networking sites, such as Facebook, face a ‘data cost crisis’, as advertising revenue declines from a position that wasn’t exactly lucrative in the first place.

Research by the consultants Deloitte suggests that the cost of storing electronic data ‘has soared to more than $100m (£68m) a year for larger sites, as users increasingly want to upload memory-hungry photos and videos’.


Filed under: Net & technology — GS @ 3:47 pm
Tuesday 18 November 2008

AOL pulls the plug on its user-generated content site

AOL is to close its user-generated content site on 18 December.

(more…)


Filed under: Net & technology,Video-making — GS @ 10:51 am
Wednesday 13 August 2008

Content theft by reelstreets.com

(more…)


Filed under: Crime,Net & technology — GS @ 5:12 pm
Sunday 25 February 2007

Free wifi wireless hotspots in Manchester

A useful map of places that offer free wifi in Manchester city centre.

There’s talk of free wireless internet across the whole of Greater Manchester by next summer. Which will be great if they can do it.

It would totally change the way that I work, that’s for sure. Though I wonder if restricting it to 256k would be a huge mistake.

Such a low speed would rule out watching almost any kind of streaming web video and everyone seems to reckon that the future of the web lies with… video.


Filed under: Net & technology — GS @ 12:53 am
Friday 17 November 2006

The Power of Nightmares

If you haven’t seen this fascinating three-part BBC documentary series, you can download it from the Internet Archive:

Part1 | Part2 | Part3

It explores ‘the origins in the 1940s and 50s of Islamic Fundamentalism in the Middle East, and Neoconservatism in America, parallels between these movements, and their effect on the world today.’

And it shows how politicians have used the terror threat to restore their power and authority in a disillusioned age.

It’s a brilliant use of archive film of all kinds, combined with interviews. Give it a look even if you don’t usually watch this kind of subject, because it’s interesting to see how Adam Curtis the producer combines such diverse visual material.

If you have problems playing MP4 files, just grab the free VideoLan player.


Filed under: Documentary,Politics — GS @ 10:12 am
Wednesday 12 April 2006

Democracy Player — internet video player

democracy player - browser for watching online videos

Democracy Player is a new kind of browser for watching videos– grab webpages with video and video RSS feeds (including podcasts, video blogs, and BitTorrent feeds), and watch them full screen, one after the other. It’s free and open source.’

I’ve tried this kind of software before. But yesterday, when I installed Democracy Player, for the first time I really saw where this is all going. I think due to the neat way it presents the channels.

More importantly, I’ve actually been using it to find and watch videos. The full screen video quality is smooth. There is a bit of a slow down on the PC when you are downloading several videos (hope they can tweak that).

My favourite channel so far is Media Rights. It makes me want to get out and make videos about the things I care about.

I recommend ‘Fast and Reliable’ about a cycle courier (with a difference). I was touched by this film. Meanwhile ‘Battleground Minnesota’ also made me sit up, as the star Chris (also known as ‘Hip-hop activist Shakademic’) looks very like another (but different) Chris from Minnesota whom I know.


Filed under: Net & technology,The media — GS @ 9:46 am
 
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