Tag Archives: internet

Viacom’s schizophrenic relationship with youtube

From the youtube blog:

For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. It hired no fewer than 18 different marketing agencies to upload its content to the site. It deliberately “roughed up” the videos to make them look stolen or leaked. It opened YouTube accounts using phony email addresses. It even sent employees to Kinko’s to upload clips from computers that couldn’t be traced to Viacom. And in an effort to promote its own shows, as a matter of company policy Viacom routinely left up clips from shows that had been uploaded to YouTube by ordinary users. Executives as high up as the president of Comedy Central and the head of MTV Networks felt “very strongly” that clips from shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report should remain on YouTube.

Viacom’s efforts to disguise its promotional use of YouTube worked so well that even its own employees could not keep track of everything it was posting or leaving up on the site. As a result, on countless occasions Viacom demanded the removal of clips that it had uploaded to YouTube, only to return later to sheepishly ask for their reinstatement. In fact, some of the very clips that Viacom is suing us over were actually uploaded by Viacom itself.

This is so absurd you’d be hard to come up with a better “who’s on first” plan yourself.

The End of Fail

Via rc3.org I came across this blog post:

FAIL is over. Fail is dead.
Because it marks a lack of human empathy, and signifies an absence of
intellectual curiosity, it is an unacceptable response to creative
efforts in our culture. “Fail!” is the cry of someone who doesn’t
create, doesn’t ship, doesn’t launch, who doesn’t make things.
And because these people don’t make things, they don’t understand the
context of those who do. They can’t understand that nobody is more
self-critical or more aware of the shortcomings of a creation than the
person or people who made it.

I really like the take.  It’s way easier to be a critic than a creator, and people have found a winning strategy on the internet to just hate things, loudly, and cleverly.  It’s a pretty easy pattern to use to get fame, but at the end of the day it often just discourages new creation. 

If you think something is a fail, look harder.  Maybe it wasn’t ever trying to do what you thought.  Maybe the things that make it interesting are values and capabilities you don’t understand or even knew existed.  Maybe it has some real warts, but real gems as well.  An open mind and the benefit of the doubt leads to much more interesting discovery of information.

Integer Latitude / Longitude

I was very happy to recently realize that you can put latitude and longitude directly into google maps, and it will give you a map with that marker.  This is really useful if the address gives you a location that isn’t right, as you can manually adjust the latitude and longitude to put the marker in the right place.

My parents almost live on the 44 degree lat line (I think the GPS coords for our wedding were 43.9998), so it occurred to me to see where the closest integer Lat / Long was to them, which isn’t that far away, though it’s close to a mile off any of the local roads. 

[googlemaps https://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=44,+-73&sll=43.997939,-72.988658&sspn=0.013244,0.06609&ie=UTF8&ll=44.007694,-72.995825&spn=0.006622,0.033045&t=h&z=14&iwloc=addr&output=embed&s=AARTsJqH-YRBtxlABQEMAHKGLzj7oyghMw” scrolling=”no” width=”600″ frameborder=”0″ height=”450″>
View Larger Map

I was obviously curious where the closed one was to me, which I’ve actually been past before. It’s also only a couple hundred feet of a road, so easy to get to.

And that made me wonder. What an interesting experiment that would be, to get a photo from ever integer lat / long on the planet, and display it on a website. I’ve got too many sticks in the fire, so no time for that, but if anyone decides to do it, let me know. I’ll contribute a few pictures from the ones I can get to.

Updated: apparently this already exists, my search terms were just wrong the first time.  It’s called the Degree Confluence Project.