Archive for the 'YouTube' Category

Laptop Convertible.

November 30, 2008

As with a lot of ideas I have with video, this one sat in my brain for a few months.  Additionally, I had a few surprises.  Sometimes when I plan a project, what happens in reality is exactly what happened in my head.  In this project, that could not be further from the case.  I think that adds drama to the video.  It certainly created some consternation for me!  But I also got to learn an entirely new skill set in the process, so it was all good.

For your entertainment, I present Laptop Convertible:

Advertisements

Scott’s Box Makes Me Want To Read Comics Again.

July 18, 2008

Building a 3 TB Backup Server Using FreeNAS.

July 6, 2008

My computer videos are the most popular thing that I do online for fun. Here is my latest.

New Media Will Eat Itself.

April 26, 2008

Two links pushed to me via Twitter are forming enough rumination to generate a post. This original video is blog worthy in and of it self and this blogger has seized upon it. It is biting but true enough to be funny. I must be a new media DB then. Except that I have a day job. I think that there are some new media people who are big who do it all for fun and have independent means (or are on the dole).

My peer group of new media folks are the ones who are doing other things for a living. Someone in this camp (who is far more successful in new media than I) is Scott Johnson. His Extra Life Radio Show is very, very popular and he has a web comic and other podcasts as well. He also has a full time regular job. He must be a very energetic guy to sustain this kind of output. I’m sure he would like to quit his day job, but the thing is that old school jobs pay a heck of lot better. That’s certainly true for me. I don’t even do advertising on my podcasts. I’m not going to be quiting my day job anytime soon.

The other link that makes me write is an article from The Los Angeles Times re: SXSW. Here we see new media doing self-cannibalizing at it’s finest with someone vlogging themselves while interviewing a blogger. If you want to take the analogy to its furthest, new media regenerates as it self-consumes. It feeds on itself but miraculously continues to grow in the process. If it is a Hydra, it bites off one of its own heads and two more sprout. Everyone is making content about each other which in turn generates new content.

How long can it continue? It will peak in growth like everything else. But new media itself is permanent. There will always be a segment of the population that like to write words and make videos. The gateway to entry has been forever smashed with WordPress and YouTube. There will always be someone to consume this. As a consequence, I think one thing that has died is the old media superstar. New media pulls market share and eyeballs away from old media even though it doesn’t pay the talent very well. Just like in the music industry, where there will never be another Rolling Stones, so will go the rest of old media. You won’t have enough money in old media to create an old school superstar any longer. Although, on the flip side, every element of human interest gets its own micro-celebrity. In certain instances, that micro-celebrity becomes big enough to be a micro-celebrity superstar, like Veronica Belmont, for example.

If the loss of superstars paves the road for participation in media by the masses, I think we’re all better off. Certainly, with our cameras and microphones and lighting kits, we are having more fun.

Weizenbaum and Artificial Intelligence.

March 15, 2008

In the Wall Street Journal of all places, I read that Joseph Weizenbaum had died. He created the ELIZA computer program that simulates human interaction. While not a sophisticated program, it is always mentioned (and always will be mentioned) in discussions of artificial intelligence and Turing tests. With his simple program, Weizenbaum immortalized himself as an AI pioneer.

Even though artificial intelligence has its critics, it is already ubiquitous. Just today, I called UPS and spoke at length with a computer. It used voice recognition technology quite effectively to identify my package number. Even now, I am writing this with NaturallySpeaking 9.5. This voice recognition program is inherently based on artificial intelligence algorithms.

But artificial intelligence is not voice recognition alone. AI “perceives its environment and takes actions which maximize its chances of success.” Weizenbaum, clearly a gifted man, gave up computer programming and the field of artificial intelligence altogether later in life. In a way, he was better off than two recent leading authorities in the field. However, based on what I’ve read about him and his work, he really felt that humans shouldn’t rely on machines for decision-making. Of course, now, we do that every day. Pilots use AI to fly airplanes. People rely on AI in their cars without even knowing about it. At some point, people will rely on AI to make decisions about their lives. In one’s PDA, one will have a virtual psychiatrist/business planner/personal coach always at one’s fingertips. I suspect that Weizenbaum would not approve of this, but I think it’s better than, say, relying on Astrology for that same advice.

Weizenbaum was particularly put off by the fact that when ELIZA came out, people really took it seriously. Some people really couldn’t distinguish a simple pattern recognizer from a human being. If you have played with ELIZA, you may find this hard to believe. But remember it came out in 1966. No one had much experience with such things back then. No one had much experience with computers at all. This is how far ahead of his time Weizenbaum was.

At the same time, I think his dismay at how stupid people can be was misplaced. Artificial intelligence, in the form of an interactive program designed to pass Turing tests has not progressed much in the last 42 years. That is not to say that artificial intelligence has not progressed much, it has. However people have not built an interactive program designed to mimic humans with much more efficacy than ELIZA does. There have been some recent attempts and perhaps this is now becoming vogue once again.

Instead of worrying about people who can’t distinguish a computer program from a real person, think about how much these people can be helped. Look how many of the videos on YouTube are made by people who cannot see the consequences of their actions. A quick check with one’s personal digital mentor, might prevent the disastrous outcome from the typical “hey y’all watch this” YouTube adventure. Or Weizenbaum, who was clearly smarter than I am, could be right and such AI development could lead to a Terminator-style apocalypse. I suspect, however, no matter the outcome, such AI is inevitable in time.

Economic activity versus creative output.

February 24, 2008

Last year I started a gaming podcast and restarted a roundtable style podcast. I wrote fairly frequently in this blog and put up some videos on YouTube. Anyone who has done things like this will tell you that it is a reward in itself. But like anything else, you can burn out on it.

This year I have not made a single show for the gaming podcast. The roundtable style podcast has a show in the can that I have not edited for posting. I have written sporadically in this blog and haven’t done much with YouTube videos lately.

Usually when this happens, it is because I’m busier at work. That’s true now, but I also have had less energy. I’ve been going to bed at 9:30 p.m. I think it is just a phase of the winter months. In any event, I’m trying to shake some things up by getting up earlier.

But the main reason that I am doing fewer creative ventures is because I’m putting all of my creative energy into work. When I say work, I mean my main job, the source of my economic activity in life.

We all have approximately 16 hours of waking time each day. In this cage of time, there are only so many clicks. The higher the percentage of time that I use those moments for economic activity benefits me (and my family). If I am lucky enough to be doing work that I enjoy, then all the better.

This is not to say that freestyle creative projects don’t have value. Clearly they do. I’ve spent hundreds of hours doing creative work online for nothing. I did it because I enjoyed it. I’ve even had some ideas for other podcasts (one on computers for example). Now is not the time to launch some sort of new creative venture. Instead it is time to work as hard as I can in real life and only blow off creative steam when I need to.

When a creative venture starts to feel like work and I’m not getting paid for it, it’s time to end the venture. That’s really the case with the gaming podcast. I have some ideas for the show but I also have work projects that I’d rather complete instead. The other podcast is more precious to me but I see that becoming more infrequent as well.

It’s just the way that it is.

Beer Drinking Contest Sponsored by a Mexican Hotel.

January 17, 2008

You couldn’t do this in the U.S.A. because of the liability.

Ubuntu has Wobbly Windows!!!

November 4, 2007

Ubuntu has Wobbly Windows!

She reminds me of Rosanna Rosannadanna

April 5, 2007

I really just wanted to see if I could embed video in free WordPress.

I can’t.  The video I want to embed is here:

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aRniLSxVwk
When I try to embed it, I get this:

<object width=”425″ height=”350″><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/3aRniLSxVwk”></param><param name=”wmode” value=”transparent”></param><embed src=”http://www.youtube.com/v/3aRniLSxVwk&#8221; type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” wmode=”transparent” width=”425″ height=”350″></embed></object>

If I am doing something wrong, please help me.

I can’t get enough of Tyson the Skateboarding Bulldog.

February 2, 2007

My sister has two bulldogs and we had one growing up. This dog has been all over the web and he has his own website too. It looks like it’s a couple of years old. I’m amazed that he’s so good at it. He totally owns the skateboard. That’s a seriously smart dog. I can’t stop watching these videos.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaQw9V4Upj4 Most Popular

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziDeUbifKIM From the Website

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CA1lqwQHiqQ More Tyson

His website

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2SIG6IZV_A Tyson shows another bulldog his mad skills.