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Tag: YouTube

Nasim Aghdam and the YouTube convergence

Saturday, 7 April, 2018 0 Comments

Recap: In Iran, she was known as “Green Nasim”, commanding a certain degree of social media clout. On Tuesday, in California, Nasim Aghdam proceeded to the headquarters of YouTube in San Bruno and went on a shooting spree. Three were wounded, with the sole death being Aghdam, who took her life after the bloody splurge.

Mark Steyn peels back the layers in a piece titled The Grand Convergence. Snippet:

“What happened is a remarkable convergence of the spirits of the age: mass shootings, immigration, the Big Tech thought-police, the long reach of the Iranian Revolution, the refugee racket, animal rights, vegan music videos… It was the latest mismatched meeting between east and west in the age of the Great Migrations: Nasim Aghdam died two days before her 39th birthday, still living (according to news reports) with either her parents or her grandmother. She came to America at the age of seventeen, and spent two decades in what appears to be a sad and confused search to find something to give her life meaning. But in a cruder sense the horror in San Bruno was also a sudden meeting of two worlds hitherto assumed to be hermetically sealed from each other: the cool, dispassionate, dehumanized, algorithmic hum of High Tech — and the raw, primal, murderous rage breaking through from those on the receiving end.”

For all those who have fallen out of love with the Silicon Valley dataopolies, Blockchain is the most promising technology as it has the potential to disrupt the centralized social media companies.


Coding is the new literacy

Monday, 26 June, 2017 0 Comments

So says Preethi Kasireddy, a software/systems engineer “with a passion for understanding things at a fundamental level and sharing it as clearly as possible.” She’s collaborating with freeCodeCamp on a YouTube series called “Ask Preethi” and people are invited to submit their coding questions, doubts, frustrations, and experiences. As she says in this Medium post: “Each week, I’ll answer a question I received. For my first video, I answered a question I get asked a lot: ‘How do you get a first developer job — specifically, a React developer job — if you don’t have experience?”

Note: React is an open-source JavaScript library for building user interfaces.


The Surface Laptop

Wednesday, 3 May, 2017 0 Comments

Microsoft is marketing its brand-new Surface Laptop as an “ideal balance of craftsmanship, performance, and versatility.” It comes with interesting specs [YouTube comment by Junior M6: “$1,000 and 4 GB’s of ram. LOLOL Delusional pricing.”] and the supporting video is notable for the emphasis that’s placed on the design of both the internals as well as the exterior. Why, it’s almost Apple-esque. [YouTube comment by Bruno Souza6: “Haha Apple comercial introducing Microsoft Surface!”]


AlphaGo was yesterday, Boston Dynamics is today

Friday, 18 March, 2016 0 Comments

How fickle these times are. How quickly glory fades and how rapidly doubt steps into its shoes. For example: Google was being deluged with praise last week after AlphaGo won the DeepMind Challenge against the champion Lee Sedol. Suddenly, the scary concept of Artificial Intelligence (AI) was, well, less scary and Google got lots of love. How short our attention span is, however.

Yesterday, Bloomberg rattled the rosy future with the headline, “Google Puts Boston Dynamics Up for Sale in Robotics Retreat.” The talk on the street was of the inability of Boston Dynamics to produce marketable robots anytime soon. Hence the reported “For Sale” sign. But there’s another aspect to the story, one which relates to the scary AI scenario. Boston Dynamics posted a humanoid robotics video on YouTube last month that made many people uneasy and the mother company, Alphabet, sensing another Google Glass moment, perhaps, began to count the negative publicity cost. Bloomberg quoted from e-mails published on an internal online forum that were visible to all Google employees:

“There’s excitement from the tech press, but we’re also starting to see some negative threads about it being terrifying, ready to take humans’ jobs,” wrote Courtney Hohne, a director of communications at Google and the spokeswoman for Google X. Hohne asked her colleagues to “distance X from this video,” and wrote, “we don’t want to trigger a whole separate media cycle about where BD really is at Google.”

After the match between AlphaGo and Lee Sedol, the scoreline read: Machines, 4, Humanity, 1. With Google’s retreat from robots, some would says it’s now Machines, 4, Humanity, 2. But that will probably change next week. This is a fast-paced game and the job-eating robots are advancing, despite the headlines.


The fail whale is back

Tuesday, 19 January, 2016 0 Comments

Well, this is embarrassing. Twitter changed its technical-issue page optics from the infamous “fail whale” to a cute robot mechanic. But it’s not working, the robot. Generally, it’s a bad day for robots and humans.

Twitter down

Status: Twitter is up here, but it’s down here. In fact, it has lost almost $14 billion or more than 50 percent of its value in the last six months. Meanwhile, our robot future is looking rather grim.


George Collins walked out one May morning

Saturday, 17 May, 2014 0 Comments

It is said that upon his first encounter with English folk-song some six years ago, Sam Lee had such an epiphany that the abandoned his career as visual artist, teacher of wilderness survival and part-time burlesque dancer. Those losses are our gains. Hat tip to Niamh O’Brien for the link.

“Fair Ellender called unto her head maid
Whose corpse is this so fine
She made her reply George Collins’ corpse
An old true love of mine”


Cavan for Christmas

Saturday, 14 December, 2013 0 Comments

In January, The Strypes will play gigs in Toronto, New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, but on the 27th, 28th and 29th of December they’ll be in the Town Hall in their native Cavan. The band’s debut album, Snapshot, was released in September. From it, here’s What a Shame.

“The way he spat at the mike his lyrics couldn’t be fresher
They say he’d be a superstar if he could handle the pressure
After they put it to paper, they took him to tea
And told him just a couple changes that they wanted to see

They said his hair would be better if he coloured it black
And that he wouldn’t sound as harsh if he could tone it all back
They dressed him up in a craze to make him look pretty
They said the kids would dig if he looked like he came from the city”


The wrought iron sound of Richard Warren

Saturday, 2 November, 2013 0 Comments

“Operating at the interface of rhythm and noise as punk-primitive, clearly finding his true self in the blues.” That’s what The Independent said of Richard Warren. And there’s this from WithGuitars.com: “The sound is stripped down to a wrought iron core, revealing an intriguing collision of country soul and primitive apocalyptic blues, Southern Gothic and English Romanticism.” Richard Warren’s new album, Rich Black Earth, will be released on the coming Monday, 4 November.


Whalers a cappella

Saturday, 17 August, 2013

Pete Truin, Jamie Doe and Sam Brookes are The Ballina Whalers (pronounced Bal-en-a, by the way). Singing a cappella, they carry on a musical tradition that goes back over hundreds of years in which shanties tell of whaling ships, raging storms, hardship before the mast and lost love. No ballads of sunken oil rigs or over-fishing by rapacious Spanish trawlers here. Nothing, either, about the plight of polar bears affected by warmism. The next generation of seafarers or shanty composers will have to tackle those subjects.


YouTube paid channels are part of a possible future

Friday, 10 May, 2013 0 Comments

YouTube has launched a paid channels experiment that can be accessed by paying a variable subscription fee, which starts at $0.99 a month. National Geographic is there, and so is TNA Wrestling Plus. Among the other offerings: Fix My Hog and Gay Direct. And there’s more to come. Notorious B-movie producer and director Roger Corman has announced that he will launch a paid YouTube channel this summer. “Corman’s Drive-In” will showcase his library of around 400, er, classics.

For all those who equate YouTube with free, this will come as a shock, but Jaron Lanier, the computer scientist who popularized the term “virtual reality”, will be pleased. Who Owns the Future? is the title of his new book and in it he pleads for a radical rethink of how all those busily engaged in creating the digital commons should be compensated. The Lanier solution? If information is worth money (and the share price of Google would suggest it is), then people must be paid for what they contribute to the web. He proposes an intricate system in which Facebook, for example, is no longer free, but also stops getting user data for free. Information creators of would be rewarded with nanopayments generated by users of information in Lanier’s scheme.

The internet, claims Lanier, is currently biased in favour of “siren servers” (big companies) that convince users to exchange data for “free” services — search, e-mail, social networks. But instead of heralding a new age of prosperity, he writes, the net is making us poorer. Careers in professions such as music and writing are disappearing, thanks to the ease of copying, and more traditional middle-class jobs will certainly follow. “To grasp the Huffington Post’s business model, picture a galley rowed by slaves and commanded by pirates,” wrote Tim Rutten. While some grow fat, creatives are not paid and many are driven to destitution by those who pretend that they have our interests at heart. Jaron Lanier’s heart is in the right place, but his nanopayment proposal is unworkable. Paid channels offer a better solution.


Milestone week for Twitter and YouTube

Friday, 22 March, 2013 0 Comments

One of the problems with sleeping is that it prevents one from tweeting. Joe Weisenthal, Executive Editor of Business Insider, @TheStalwart, admits as much and he’s clocked up a remarkable 116,313 tweets to prove that he’s doing his best to keep awake and alert 24/7.

Would Joe Weisenthal be a happier, healthier person today if Twitter hadn’t been invented seven years ago? It’s too late now to ask that question because all changed, changed utterly on 21 March 2006 when Jack Dorsey sent Tweet No. 1. Since then, the service has expanded to 200 million people writing 400 million messages a day. And talking of success, it’s worth pointing out that YouTube is just one year older than Twitter and it announced a milestone of its own this week: one billion unique monthly users. Every minute, 72 hours of video is added to the channel, so it was appropriate that Twitter should turn to YouTube to celebrate its seventh birthday.