A journalist writes, edits and shoots its five minutes daily tech video show
Everyone can launch its own video show and get a name. Take G4TV’s anchor Morgan Webb, who has started a personal side-project called Web Alert.com, focused on tech stuff of the day. Morgan writes, edits, and even shoots all her own stuff, and her husband handles the business side.
Each show is no more than five minutes, and is pretty compelling. And yes, it’s a kind Rocketboom.com, but even with less assets.
ABC.com debuts its high-definition player
ABC.com has launched its high-definition video player which includes some episodes of very know shows before the new fall season. ABC gives a few “system recommendations” as a “late model, fast computer”, screen resolution of 1300x770 and minimum bandwidth of 2 Mbps. Also, you must download a mini-application.
This player is an evolution of the first they built, awarded with an Emmy.
ABC has improved things like compatibility (across all supported platforms), playback stability, video quality… “HD streaming has arrived,” says. “The quality is really superb.”
ABC is competing to CBS’s Innertube service.
MSNBC launches a video-oriented widget
Also MSNBC is syndicating part of their contents, allowing people to embed widgets that combine content with advertising. Independent sites opt into a program created with the agency Pulse 360, and paste “boxes” (or widgets) on their sites. These publishers get a cut of the respective ad revenue, and MSNBC gets incremental revenue and traffic.
Gina Stikes, MSNBC.com’s director of marketing explains: “We will be able to aggregate thousands of member sites in our own vertical networks and represent this inventory for sale to advertisers.”
The service is called Publisher’s Vertical Network , and according to Pulse 360, it “helps large and small publishers work together to achieve the common goal of increasing revenue.”
Same interesting idea is being used at TheNewsroom.com, empowered with Voxant’s video service.
Personalized video messages thanks an easy Flash application
Check out this little application based on a Flash plugin called Bubble Guru. It allows people to record video, set options, add tags, and then embed the video on their website without having to be a programmer.
That bubble, like a talking head in a small window, moves with the users as they scroll down the page. Better if you see a demo . It could be ideal to quickly place video messages on the site without having to redesign the web page. But it is not free.
Finally, YouTube is unveiling its solution to video ads, beyond the pre-rolls. The new ads are semi-transparent overlays that cover the bottom fifth of the screen, and after 10 seconds, disappear. If you click it, a video ad will play in the same player, but you can close it, and then the original clip will resume.
The ads just play on YouTube, not on embedded clips. So far, the ads only apply to partner videos, and they are selling for $20 CPMs. Here is a test clip.
A teenager frees an iPhone from the shackles of AT&T
A skilled 17-year-old teenager from New Jersey has manage to hack an iPhone, and now it works fine with his T-Mobile account.
He has blogged instructions for the hack, and that phone is now for sale on eBay. The hack is not easy; it takes two hours and requires soldering and software work.
Flash will include H.264 high-quality video codec
H.264 video codec, used for high-quality video on Blu-Ray and HD-DVD video, will be part of the widely used Flash player, Adobe announced.
So far, Flash video has been good enough for 4x3, but not for high quality 16x9 video. This is an important step towards HD video streaming. (Technical details here)
Mobile-phone-compatible local-news sites on Gannet
Gannet announced a bunch of mobile-friendly local news sites. They are specially tailored to fit easily on the small screens of mobile-phone displays. They have updated content, 24 hours a day, and also carry advertising on the national, regional and local level.
To access them, users can add the letter “m” before the URL of a Gannet site –for example, http://m.usatoday.com.
Web 3.0, according to Google
Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt has launched a definition of Web 3.0. “While Web 2.0 was based on Ajax, Web 3.0 will be applications that are pieced together.”
He added that these apps will run on any device (PC or mobile), they will be customizable, and distributed virally (social networks, email, etc).
People are watching less TV news and increasing number gets their news primarily from the Internet, according to latest studies. There are any reasons: plastic anchors with plastic words and smiles, artificial urgent presentations with teases about what’s up, next or tonight (nothing is in the moment), 20 minutes of commercials an hour, plummeting credibility… The Internet is clearly a superior medium for news, says Cory Bergman, an expert on new television.
“The straightforward, scannable delivering is refreshing, and when combined with a non-linear presentation, on-demand video and two-way interactivity, the Internet is superior.” “There is room for two thriving news platforms here –TV and the web- but TV has to get more real,” she explains.
Niche audiences targeted by new streaming services
Niche programming aimed at narrowly defined audiences that can’t find movies and television shows even on cable systems with 500 or more channels, is coming thanks to new streaming video services, and the fact that 47 percent of American households have broadband connections.
Take this five samples, featured on the New York Times:
- The Independent Film Channel streams 22 short films by a relatively unknown artist.
- FEARnet, “the first multiplatform horror network” which is a joint venture of Comcast, Sony Pictures and Lionsgate, also has its programming online; it makes its money from banner advertisements.
- The nonprofit Jewish Television Network streams music videos by Jewish performers, cooking shows, Israeli news programs and religious services. This short of broadcast is hard to find on mainstream television.
- Also, the DVD rental company Netfilx allows watching 3,000 television episodes and movies on demand in streaming high-quality video.
- ReelTime who rent titles, for $1 each, to be watched on computers’ screen or on television’s larger screen (once the computer is connected). Some of their contents comes straight from ReelTime, or if are pulled from subscribers’ that have previously downloaded from a peer-to-peer network.
A BitTorrent for cell phones
A Malaysian tech firm called mBit is setting up a peer-to-peer system to cell phones. It is a BitTorrent-like service, which grabs small pieces of big files from multiple cell phones simultaneously. So millions of users will be able to send large files, like 50MB movies captured on a cell phone, using a kind of mobile super distribution network.
mBit firm wants to sell its software to 3G and 4G providers across Asia, like NTT DoCoMo. And they are planning to charge $2.50 per user per month.
Also, BitTorrent software has been modified for cell phones before, but required an Internet connection, just like a PC.
A free DVR without ad skipping
Time Warner Cable, the U.S.’ second-largest cable provider, behind Comcast, will offer its customers in October a free service called Look Back, which will let them record any television show without skipping through the commercials. The fast-forwarding function will be turned off.
This radically different approach from other companies that sell DVR (Digital Video Recorder) services, gives a sort of control to customers over the television schedule, but does not avoid the unwanted advertising. Unlike DVR services, Look Back will not let people keep a library of older recorded programs.
DVRs are now in about 17 percent of American households, and that figure is growing rapidly as more cable operators sell the service. For this service, people pay $10 or so every month to cable companies or to TiVo.
Google Maps embed code coming soon
Make it easy to embed stuff onto blogs and sites, and you will have instant syndication. Coming soon Google Maps will allow people to embed a map with just a snippet of code, the same way you embed any viral video coming from an advanced platform.