On media broadcasting and Aereo

Capitalism has its strength, but American capitalism should be aptly named ‘corporatism’. The governments serves the interest of big corporations, and they alone. They prioritise media before the rest of society. We have seen absurd cases like NASA’s mars landing video get taken down by a local station that reported the news because f-ing news itself “violates” that  station’s copyright. And Youtube is not at fault because it took down that video. The local station requested that, and they may have done that on an automated basis, abusing their rights and impose their greed on every video that even remotely resembles their content. And the local station didn’t even get fined for disrupting millions of viewers!

My favorite internet radio service, Pandora is struggling financially even though it did its job fantastically: It allows user to listen to music they like most, categorizing music and expanding our knowledge. But they have to pay 50% royalty on their revenue while terrestrial radio stations pay only 15% simply because they are… old technology, limited to a local area and belongs to bigger media corporation. What sort of retarded environment that penalizes innovation, adaptation and quality of service?

In today’s news Aereo, startup focused on bringing terrestrial over-the-air programming to internet users won a lawsuit because Fox news want them to pay for making their program more accessible to viewers. Specifically, Fox news want Aereo to pay for rebroadcasting free content. Actually Fox got what they wanted before, arguing that every video streaming service is a public performance (sorry, what?) and thus have to pay royalty. Aereo work around this stupid law in a roundabout, but efficient way to circumvent this stupidity:

Here, briefly, is how Aereo works: You pay $8-ish a month, and get assigned a mini-antenna, roughly the size of a dime, that is located in a warehouse in Brooklyn. Aereo has thousands of these antennas, each of which is assigned to a single user and connected to a single DVR-like device. When you want to watch, let’s say, “The Voice,” Aereo’s app pulls the show from your antenna, streams it to your device, and makes a copy that is only viewable by you. If 40,000 other Aereo users are watching “The Voice” at the same time, there will be 40,000 dime-sized antennas streaming 40,000 identical copies of the show onto 40,000 devices and into 40,000 DVRs.

If that sounds absurd, it’s because Aereo’s entire business model is based on a legal head-fake. Under copyright law, 40,000 people with their own antennas can watch TV at home for free, but if you want to have one giant antenna that picks up TV shows and distributes them to an audience of 40,000 people, the law calls that a “public performance,” and you have to pay a copyright fee to do it. Aereo didn’t want to pay those fees, so it figured out a way to make what is essentially a simultaneous mass broadcast look like lots of little broadcasts.

Or that’s what they say. This may be entirely fictitious and the explanation is just there to please lawyers. Yep, there you have it, free content with ads is not free, and you have to pay to see it. Also, you have no choices because every f-ing media company operates on the same model: Trying to attract more viewers by limiting access to some viewers and make people pay for free-by-law content. What kind of logic is this?

Change has come to America

Possibly largest inauguration festival ever in America. It’s not just about the well-planned celebrations, it’s a about the new attitude. It’d be hard for Bush to stand between an open crowd like that (neither in a small crowd). One could say it’s courageous, the highest target for those who don’t like America stand between a sea of people. But the ceremony went through smoothly. Well, looks like the terrorists like the democrats 😛

I haven’t seen any change for the ongoing conflicts just yet, but I’ve seen changes on the white house’s web site. Really diligent webmaster. Last time I checked (around 11 am EST), it’s still Bush’s. I was expecting only a name change, but the new design surprised me. I like the new color and layout, the feeds and the jqueries. The professional online presence from the presidental campaign was carried over. If this were a Vietnamese site, it’d took one or two month to make the same change :))

The political Google bomb from 2004 was also taken care of. I tried to access the old target and got redirected to the new biography, while search engines are redirected to Bush’s. Well done! I like the new administration already!

Also, from the new biography more goodies is now accessible. (Say, you want to know about the first pets?)

2008 in Google’s terms

2008 is almost over, and Google has released Zeitgeist 2008. A good time to blog about it, since it’s still quite fresh and if I don’t do it now, I would postpone it on and on and on, right? 😛

Zeitgeist | Pronunciation: ‘tsIt-“gIst, ‘zIt | Function: noun | Etymology: German, from Zeit (time) + Geist (spirit) | Date: 1884 | Meaning: the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era.[1] [2]

This year the chart is not as colorful as before but it was enhanced with annotations 😛

Economy

Since the first release in 2001, the Zeitgeist progressively does a better job reflecting situations of the world, from regional to international.


Trends for Layaway

And no, that’s really a burst, a sudden increase in term of 8 times the original volume; not because the chart is scaled! The turkeys did quite a good job!

Over the hedge comics @ overthehedge.com

Oil

Gas price contributed is part, oh well…

Look at how consumerism has taken over the world. People care about the environment not for their children but instead for their pocket. What if one day the earth stood still? 😛

Who, what and how

I comment only for what I feel like commenting 😛

Who is…

  1. who is Obama
  2. who is McCain ~ Google is becoming one of the criterion for presidency 😛
  3. who is Palin
  4. who is lil wayne
  5. who is miley cyrus
  6. who is dolla
  7. who is jonas brothers
  8. who is chris brown
  9. who is biden
  10. who is martin luther

What is…

  1. what is love ~ How can you define love 😛
  2. what is life ~ 42
  3. what is java ~ Americans doesn’t seem to use that much coffee 😉
  4. what is sap
  5. what is rss
  6. what is scientology
  7. what is autism
  8. what is lupus
  9. what is 3g ~ Proof of Apple’s influence (j/k, 3G standards are in active development)
  10. what is art

How to…

  1. how to draw
  2. how to kiss ~ Isn’t this stuff best practiced than learning
  3. how to write ~ Blog is growing, right…
  4. how to cook ~ Restaurants are now expensive for Americans
  5. how to tie
  6. how to hack ~ Adults are taking their kids apart from the fun…
  7. how to run
  8. how to cite
  9. how to paint
  10. how to spell

International queries [3]

Nothing that much interesting, since Google themselves is quite lazy to translate the international queries this year 😛

What a pity Vietnam still haven’t generated enough data to appear in the yearly list, or is it some kind of classified data? Because I’m quite sure not only Vietnam are contributing to that infamous #1 query, while the second and third appeared in the Zeitgeist…

It’s not something that makes you proud when you searched for blog the most… ;))

Loneliness

Technology takes people nearer to each other… less and less lonely since 2004. The world is getting better! 🙂 You’ve got to love it!

Translation

Google released Vietnamese support for Google Translate this year together with a couple of useful enhancements (translated search, dictionary, etc.). Before that I have always been in doubt that all the Vietnamese pages on Google is machine translated; but that’s countered by the fact that nobody in Vietnam ever succeeded in writing such a translation engine; and the translation looks natural enough :-/ Time to put that to the test 😛

Web history in Vietnamese

Same page, translated from English

Sure enough, you can see the apparent similarity: the wording is the same; the grammar on the static page is a little better than the translated one but is still far from perfect. My guess is Google has someone with basic Vietnamese knowledge, and the person’s responsibility is just to check whether the translated text is readable. Oh well, even though people has to turn to English if they want to read the TOS, this may help kids and give a good example of how hard to translate Vietnamese (O’ great language =)).

Also, since I received complaints that my English is so terrible, this blog has just been enhanced with a translator thanks to David Pozza and Google for providing the API, hope it is more readable now 😉

(Look to the right)

~ And that’s another day with Google