Tag Archives: YouTube

knowledge is good

The University of Nottingham is definitely on to something.  What with their wildly popular and scientastic Periodic Table of Videos, it looks as if they’ve unveiled a new venture that’s rampaging through the Interweaves.  It’s called Sixty Symbols, “a channel devoted to those funny letters and squiggles used by physicists and astronomers.”

As evidenced by the rejuvenated popularity of Star Trek, I think people’s minds are melding to the idea that the 21st century is more about learning than it is about greed. Huzzah.

campuscast

Egads…it looks like the web 2.0 / social networking movement is really picking up steam in academia.  There seems to be a new online lecture-cast platform that’s unveiled every week.  Inevitably it’s an encouraging movement, as colleges and universities are realizing they have the ability to capture lightning in a bottle as it strikes on campus.  Librarians are cashing in as well, as increasingly we are the ones who are doing the recording, organizing and disseminating of such content.

The movement toward increased lecture-cast only makes perfect sense.  A special event happens on campus, and with the permission to record and eventually post said lecture, an institution not only contributes to the overall body of knowledge, but also promotes itself and faculty in the process.

Notable platforms

  • YouTube – EDU – With brilliant examples like the periodic table of videos, more and more schools are uploading content, forcing YouTube to organize a separate space for the professional geeks.
  • FORA.tv – Focuses more on the prestigious speakers than the institutions. Important indeed.
  • Academic Earth – currently featuring lectures from Berkeley, Harvard, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, and Yale.
  • iTunes U – Virtual beheamoth that it is, iTunes U is a subset of the iTunes Store contaning massive amounts of lectures, supplementary course info, and stuff of a general academic nature.  Typically free, of course.

infomaniacs hang out @ FORA.tv

fora A colleague just passed along a link concerning FORA.tv, and I must admit it looks exceedingly captivating.  Like academia.edu, FORA.tv is another piece of the academic’s puzzle for marketing ideas by and for those in the academic world, or rather anyone who wants to learn for learning’s sake.   What is FORA.tv all about?

FORA.tv helps intelligent, engaged audiences get smart. Our users find, enjoy, and share videos about the people, issues, and ideas changing the world.

We gather the web’s largest collection of unmediated video drawn from live events, lectures, and debates going on all the time at the world’s top universities, think tanks and conferences. We present this provocative, big-idea content for anyone to watch, interact with, and share –when, where, and how they want.

I’m not sure, but it looks as if FORA.tv gathers its content from institutional organizations themselves rather than indexing from sites like YouTube or Google video, etc.; still a little uncertain on this one. Uploading video also requires a submission process, obviously for weeding out the less educational content.  But if you wanted to find the latest high-profile speech on the economy or were even wondering what it would be like to die via black holes, FORA.tv is the place to be.

more privacy

Like spiders crawling the Googlewebs, so unfolds our privacy saga.  Has some middle ground been struck?

According to the agreement, YouTube will mask the identities of individual viewers when it provides viewership records to Viacom. Among the things YouTube will cloak: user IDs and Internet protocol addresses (the unique numbers for each Web-connected device).

Viacom has said that, under the court’s confidentiality order, the data will be released only to its outside attorneys and consultants and can be used only in this lawsuit, not to pursue individuals.

Whew.  I was wondering whether I would surrender my privacy by showing a video discussing how better to  protect it.

privacy: or, google, thou art now a ‘brary

Still trying to wrap my head around this whole YouTube ruling.  Especially in light of what Congress, now with a single digit approval rating, has just decided with respect to telecom immunity.  What is clear, infopeeps, is its similarity to the situation faced by libraries since 9/11: requests for patron circulation habits and records.

Quick…blame Jon Stewart!

The order comes as part of a $1 billion copyright infringement lawsuit brought against YouTube’s owner, Google, by Viacom, the media company that owns large cable networks such as MTV, VH1 and Nickelodeon. Viacom alleges that YouTube encourages people to upload significant amounts of pirated copyrighted programs and that users do so by the thousands, profiting YouTube and Google. It wants to prove that pirated videos uploaded to the site — video clips of Jon Stewart‘s “The Daily Show,” for instance — are more heavily viewed than amateur content.

The article goes on to mention the staedfast assurances that Viacom will not go after individual users, but rather compare copyrighted vs. non-copyrighted content, Google has taken the library stance:

“We are pleased the court put some limits on discovery, including refusing to allow Viacom to access users’ private videos and our search technology,” Google senior litigation counsel Catherine Lacavera said in a statement. “We are disappointed the court granted Viacom’s overreaching demand for viewing history. We will ask Viacom to respect users’ privacy and allow us to anonymize the logs before producing them under the court’s order.”

Nice middle road approach, I suppose.  But how reliable is that anonymizing?

But making the records anonymous is not fail-safe. In 2006, an AOL researcher inadvertently posted three months’ worth of searches typed in by 650,000 anonymous AOL users. Although their identities were masked — each user was given a randomly generated unique identification number — the search terms, which included names, home towns and interests, could be collated and used to identify a person, as an enterprising New York Times reporter showed.

Forget IP information, user addresses, and unique logins for a second. Did anyone even consider that one’s search terms can be studied to understand online research/viewing patterns?  Subtle and far fetched, perhaps, but it is indeed a behind-the-scenes method for piecing together a user’s zigsaw puzzlery of searching patterns.

Disturbing thought…will this decision get society, and ultimately librarians (preferably in reverse order) to shift this debate focusing on clarifying copyright before it’s necessary to invade privacy?  We’re a motley lot, us ‘brarians…do we have the attention span for that? I guess it’s just easier for Viacom to get the data than think about fair use.  Does ALA have a response to the ruling?

Meld this to your minds, infomaniacs…is it not ironic how fake news so powerfully informs people to the extent they are frenzied to embrace such online havoc?

Jon Stewart is powerful indeed.