Showing posts with label video. Show all posts
Showing posts with label video. Show all posts

Thursday, December 25, 2008

This My Heart: How to Blend Native American and Zen Buddhist Wisdom with Modern Painting and Video-Art

It blends Native American and Zen Buddhist wisdom with modern painting and video-art in a most fantastic mix. It illustrates a thrilling song - written and performed by Joy Harjo - with the modern paintings of an intriguing artist Tim Williams. Since today, This My Heart of Harjo's latest album Winding Through the Milky Way is also a video-art by founder of independent music community Project Bluebird as well as a song writer and singer Nancy Pontius. We really think you should check this one out:

Joy Harjo, shown in the above photo montage, is a Tulsa-born American poet, musician, and author of Native American ancestry. She has edited literary journals, written poems, authored screenplays and performed tenor saxophone with the band Poetic Justice and has recently been named by the United States Artists Rasmuson Fellows to receive a (nice!) $50K grant in recognition of her cultural contributions. Winding Through the Milky Way is, in Harjo's words "a little road music to accompany us as we make the timeless journey between Earth and Skyis" and available for listening here. Check on this recent video Interview with Harjo about Winding Through the Milky Way.

Tim Williams is an American artist and bookseller from Missouri, USA. Also known as 'shitao' on social media platforms Stumbleupon and Flickr, and similar to Pontius and Harjo, Williams has made the Internet his gallery and uses it to extensively share his paintings and river photography with all of us. We just love it when an artist does that. The original Shitao, in case you wonder, was an (important) late 17th century Chinese painter. Shown above: Self-portrait 2006 by Shitao (the living one).

For more about Joy Harjo see her official website here and MySpace here. For more amazing art by Tim Williams including paintings, photographs and what he refers to as "digital constructions" see shitao on Flickr and StumbleUpon. For more about Project Bluebird and Nancy Pontius see MyIndiRadio and ProjectBluebird on YouTube.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Get Your Own Copy: Top 10 Online Video Conversion Services

Most online video platforms such as Youtube, MySpace and Metacafe use Flash video streaming (.flv) rather than simple links to files we can download. There are various reasons for that with the main one being the common business model most of those services relay on: advertising. In other words - we get to watch the content for free but we need to do that online and on the site. While this may be serving well the interests of the service provider it might not always be how we want things to go: some of us want to archive our own copies of the videos we love. Others may want to transfer a certain movie from one website to another. Well, this is the time to let you know that you don't have to be "on Youtube" to watch a Youtube movie. Instead, you can download the video stream to your computer, keep it there as a "normal" video file and watch it whenever you like. Nothing is illegal or fishy about it, it is simply another way of consuming the data. Just like you do when you save an html page to your computer and read it later.

So, for your convenience, CultCase has selected some of the best online video conversion services available today. They are all free of charge and do not even require registration. We tested all of them by converting and downloading the same 1:42 min Youtube video seen above of an (awesome) cover version for the Beatles' Hey Jude. There were no significant differences between the services in terms of both time-to-deliver and video quality. All of the files looked reasonable considering the quality of the source and took approximately 1-2 minutes to delivery. If you try any of them with your favorite videos please do let us know how it went.

1. Zamzar


Zamzar is a free online file conversion dedicated to transforming songs, videos, images and documents into different formats. With this service the focus is on high-quality file conversion for as many file formats as possible. The basic free service lets you converting files up to 100MB each. In case you are an online video conversion freak and "want more Zamzar" you can signup for basic, pro or business account and get to convert larger files (up to 1Giga!), a personal inbox for online file storage and faster file conversions (pricing and signup here). Nice and clean interface design. Fun to use.

2. Mux


With a somewhat over-texted design but still simple and easy to use interface Mux is a new beta service allowing you to convert media files from major player websites such as youtube, dailymotion and google and download to your computer. Here you can also share it privately with friends & family or send it to your mobile phone.

3. Vixy


This online flv converter lets you convert Flash video files and download them in avi, mov mp4, pm3 or 3gp container formats encoded with mpeg4 codecs. The site claims to be doing that faster and less lossy than a typical transcoder. The service is based on an OpenSource engine named FLV to MPEG4 Conveter. In case you are a serious geek and knows your way around you can even download the project source code via their svn subversion.

4. VideoCodeZone


Convert Flash video files from Youtube, MySpace, Google Videos, IFilm, Break, Dailymotion and Metacafe to popular formats and download them to your computer. Copy and paste the URL of the video, select the output format and click Convert/Download. To convert local Flash video files select the file and click Convert/Download.

5. MediaConverter


Multi-file type converter and splitter supporting video, sound, ringtones, images and documents: not just of popular audio / video files such as mp3, wmv, 3gp, flv, swf, mov, avi, mpg, mp4, divx, ipod, psp and ogg but also picture formats like jpg, psd, doc, pdf, rtf, txt, odg and even abandoned formats as WordPerfect (...?). Check File mode, click Browse, choose the file and hope for auto-detection to work. If auto-detection fails, select input format and output format, submit the form. To convert a file from the Internet check URL mode, enter the file URL, select input and output format and go.

6. ConvertDirect


Online flv converter for Flash video files such as those used by Youtube. Supported output formats include avi, 3gp, mp3, mp4, wmv, mpeg, mov and psp. You can watch your vids on PC, iPod, Zune, PSP and various mobile phones.

7. MovAVI


Other than requiring no software to install (that's true about everyone on this list) the guys from MovAVI are also proud of the fact there are no ads on their site to interrupt you while you are enjoying their free service. Add up to 5 files limited to 10 min each and 100 Mb total size. Enter your email address and MovAVI will notify you when your files are ready. There is also a cool feature allowing you to merge your files videos into one large movie.

8. Flvix


Youtube Google Video dedicated online flv converter. Flvix comes from the folks who do Pingoblog, a cool ping service for bloggers. Very simple yet efficient interface. Converts Youtube and Google videos and serves them for download in avi, mov, mp4, 3gp and mp3 formats for PC, Mobile phones, iPod and PSP.

9. All2Convert


Online video converter. Copy video link, paste it in the URL video box, choose video format and press Convert. Wait for your converted video link to show up and download. Supports 3gp mobile phone format as well as iPhone and Zune videos, iPod, PSP and popular PC formats as dvd, mov, mp4, vob, rm and wmv.

10. ConvertTube


Youtube dedicated online flv converter. Allows you to convert Flash video files as used by YouTube to popular PC, iPod, PSP, iPhone and mobile phone formats such as wmv, mov, mp4, mp3 and 3gp. Same as Vixy, this service also claims to be doing its job faster and less lossy than a typical video transcoder.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Top Ten Signs Your Country May Be Going Fascist

Protests are restricted? Leaders profit from war? Citizens closely monitored? Country might be tuning into a fascist entity? Check the above vid by Dayjob Orchestra for the Top Ten Signs Your Country May Be Going Fascist, submitted by cgt2099 picked up in the Anti War group at Mixx.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What song is this? A OneManSho

This short (2:28) clip "took a heck of a lot of work" and is dedicated to those who - after watching this other vid titled "200 impressions" - blame the maker of having "too much time" on his hands. As you can probably guess already, 200 impressions (below) is not a very short one so you can either (1) trust me its very funny and continue to visit his channel, or just (2) click the little triangle, spend another 16:35 here and visit his channel later:

Either way, OneManSho is hot. He has been "Dealing you the business end of the funny stick since 2006" and already has over 2,800 subscribers on his YouTube channel. Check him out!

OneManSho on YouTube
OneManSho on MySpace

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Climaxed in 54 Seconds: NOT a Johnson Commercial

Climaxed in 54 Seconds: NOT a Johnson Commercial

Titled "Near Miss", this short piece posted by shurie does a great job mixing foreground and background composition with telephoto lens technique, builds up the tension and have it climaxed - all in just 55 seconds. I am not sure what it is exactly but I am 99% positive it's NOT a Johnson commercial. To watch the vid click the above photo or the link below. Enjoy :-)
Near Miss (55 sec)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Roadside Bomb Attacks: 6 Naked Reflections of Reality Taken by Soldiers

Roadside bombs, also known as Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are a powerful notorious weapon used by guerrilla fighters and terrorists against both organized armies and civilians. The war in Iraq, however, made roadside bombs more "popular" than they have ever been. Even though a huge effort is constantly being made to improve protection, according to Wikipedia, since 2003 and until today IEDs have been responsible for at least 40% of coalition deaths in Iraq. While many of the attacks are filmed by the attackers themselves some of them are captured live on camera by the soldiers, sometimes broadcasted on mainstream media channels and sometimes remaining rare citizen journalism documents reflecting the naked horror of reality. Following are 6 of the more unbelievable roadside attack videos taken by soldiers. This is how war looks like when its naked.

Underground Impact

This 10 seconds video taken in the vicinity of Baiji in Iraq has been recently distributed anonymously via email in Israel. It shows an unsuccessful roadside attack so there are no hard sights here but the impact is shown in a way I personally never saw before.


Downtown Ramadi

One of the horrible sides of war in the New Media age is that, at least in some psychological aspects, it makes all of us a part of it. Yet, this also has some good sides. Hiding the truth became almost impossible. We can actually see how things look from the point of view of those who do it which may help us forming out opinion on the given subject. With this one for example, taken in the Iraqi downtown of Ramadi, you can almost feel the punch.


Camera keeps on rolling

Uploaded last year this 40 seconds clip documents a roadside bomb detonates nearby a convoy of British soldiers. The camera is inside the car when it gets hit and continue rolling.


Camera keeps on rolling. Tough driver continues driving.

Some roadside blasts are followed by a secondary attack. Thus, when you get hit and are able to continue driving it is probably the wise thing to do. Taken from a somewhat unusual angle with the camera installed on the engine hood, the fellow who was behind the wheel here must have been of the toughest as he somehow managed to keep on driving even after the blast, which probably saved a lot of grief for quit a few mothers.


Not just armed vehicles

While most roadside attacks target armed vehicles some are used directly against soldiers when they are on the move or even if just standing, as shown on this shot broadcasted on CNN


Minimal vehicular protection

Lastly, in spite of their very minimal vehicular protection this group of US marines was lucky enough to survived an IED attack described as "small". Watch this and your definition for small might be altered.


Monday, December 10, 2007

A World of Conflict: Innovative online documentary project on Yahoo News

A World of Conflict: veteran war correspondent Kevin Sites reports from major global conflict zones

Online television broadcast took another important step recently with the launching of A World of Conflict - an innovative documentary series in which veteran war correspondent Kevin Sites reports from major global conflict zones. Even though it is also included with Sites' new book "In the Hot Zone: One Man. One Year. Twenty Wars." with A World of Conflict there is no old fashioned TV version. The show is broadcasted exclusively on the Internet via Yahoo News. Other than the Intro chapter, previous episodes deal with Somalia, Congo, Uganda, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel and Iran. Chapter nine of the Hot Zone doco is focused on Chechnya.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Bubble 2.0? Laugh until you cry.

"Need a good domain name, must be cheap, can't be lame
Something cool like Flickr, Meebo
Wikiyou, Mahalo, Bebo
Telephone without the T
Diggg but with a triple G
Make your elevator switch
Code it up and hit the switch."

Anyone who was part of the IT industry back in 1999 knows the word "bubble" can be quickly and easily translated into massive dismissal waves, lower salaries and dramatic changes of family budgets. Even though the 2000 dot com crisis had mainly positive impact on my life course I can still remember it very clearly as a no joke situation. Lets all hope web 2.0 is NOT bubble 2.0. Lets hope this hilariously funny takeoff on Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire will remain just a great music video joke by Richter Scales that managed to take the lead on the Guardian Viral Video Chart earlier today.

Solo, video, arrangement and lyrics by Matt Hempey, Mixed by Bill Hare, Recorded by Jason Hunter & Charlie Forkish. As they say, Web 2.0 just had it coming. Laugh until you cry.

Download Here Comes Another Bubble in MP3
Richter Scales
Dot com bubble (Wikipedia)
Second dot-com bubble (Wikipedia)

Friday, November 23, 2007

From Columbine to Kaarst: the new nihilistic terror wave

We, the real people who send our children to school don't have any ECHELONs, CTUs, SD-6s or 8200s units to inform us when a new type of threat emerges, but we still have to realize the sad news: As if we didn't have enough of them already, a new form of anomic or nihilistic terror came into our world. It is very different from the common political / religious / military ones we know, it uses common Internet communication platforms as YouTube channels and Chat rooms. And its targeting our children when they are in school.

According The Guardian, following a tip-off from the Finnish police still investigating the murder of eight people at a school in Tuusula, Finland by an 18-year-old on November 7, 2007, German authorities closed a secondary school in Kaarst, Düsseldorf yesterday after being warned about:

"evidence on a closed internet chatroom conversation between several parties which pointed to plans for an attack in Germany [...] a plan to carry out a massacre, in the latest of a string of violent plots believed to have been hatched by students in internet chat rooms."

No evidenced link between the Finland case and the plot in Germany was reported but it does clear that both attacks appear to be "inspired by the 1999 Columbine shooting in Colorado". Now I don't know if you happen to watch Michael Moore's excellent documentary Bowling for Columbine (if you haven't I suggest you should), but to me, it becomes pretty much clear that we are dealing with a phenomena which will only become stronger over time.

The Internet as we know it was at its early stages when the Columbine terrorists, seen in the above security camera picture (source:, had done their did but the message was still strong enough to get through. Pekka-Eric Auvinen could already post his plans on the web before going on a rampage at his school. Under the YouTube pseudonym Sturmgeist89, he posted a video entitled "Jokela High School Massacre - 11/7/2007" in which he pretty much informed us all about his plans. In addition to a YouTube channel, Sturmgeist89 was also posting to a MySpace page prior to his fatal attack. It should not be so hard to believe that if such an Internet platform was already active, it would obviously might have changed a lot for many Finnish families that don't feel safe anymore.

They say there is some good and bad in just about everything and at least in Germany, where - for the good and the bad - they always have been a model for efficiency, a new Internet platform is now reported to be in planning process, aiming to allow the public sharing information about possible attacks of the new nihilistic terror wave type. I am not sure how much would this system really be a transparent user data sharing / collaboration platform, or just a new way for people to deliver information to police authorities. I hope it's the first, rather than the later, but anyway I am glad its happening and hope this would turn into a global effort, not just a German one. If you are not convinced yet, perhaps you should spend 5 minutes watching the above video posted by YouTube user phoenixgenesis.

The worst school attack in Germany's history took the lives of eighteen people - fourteen teachers, two students and a policeman - in Gutenberg high school in Erfurt, eastern Germany Friday April 26, 2002, but it seems that what this attack didn't do, the recent events do.

The "Not for Public Use" photos above courtesy of

Thursday, November 22, 2007

vConvert: online video streams to local video files

Ever wanted to save a YouTube video on your computer or upload a file you saw on one online video platform to another? vConvert is an online service allows you to convert online video streams as those broadcasted on YouTube and similar to local video files on your computer using popular formats such as mov, mp4, mp3 and 3gp used mostly by mobile phones.

The vConvert server converts FLV to the selected format faster and less lossy than a typical transcoder. Just submit a url wait and download your clip.

Image courtesy No Turn Left

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Metacafe and Peerbox team up for user video sharing on mobile phones

PeerBox by Nareos, a popular mobile social networking service already reviewed on this blog, announced last week a partnership with Metacafe, the world’s leading independent online video entertainment site, to provide Metacafe’s users with mobile social networking. With the help of PeerBox technology, Metacafe users may now access, download and share user generated videos directly from mobile phones. Yet, the PeerBox technology also provides extended social functionality such as rating, commenting, etc.

According to Erick Hachenburg, CEO of Metacafe, the short videos served by Metacafe are "especially well suited for mobile distribution, enabling people to enjoy an entertainment break whenever they like and wherever they want". Yet their partnership with Nareos seem to also be part of Metacafe's intentions to extend "reach into Europe.”

Alexander Lazovsky, CEO of Nareos says the partnership with Metacafe helps PeerBox to "strengthen its position as the leading content-rich mobile social network service" and "positions us at the forefront of the mobile user generated content revolution.”
Alexander Lazovsky channel on Metacafe

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Animusic: video art by computers

Can computers make art? Working from home just like your humble servant and mastering his craft for over a decade, programmer, composer and movie director Wayne Lytle think they can. As the main creative force behind Animusic LLC, a 3D animation company producing animated music content founded by Lytle in 1995, initially under the name Visual Music, that is exactly what he lets his computers do.

Animusic media is formed by a proprietary, custom-written software, branded as Animusic Studio, that generates the animation in a semi-automatic process manipulating the animated fingers, hammers and pluckers of the robots based on the data fed in the corresponding MIDI file. Thus, with both graphics and music synthesized digitally Animusic can in my opinion be considered as a new form digital media, perhaps even a new form of art.

According to Animusic "Virtual instruments are invented by building computer graphics models of objects that would appear to create the sound of the corresponding music synthesizer track. Graphical instruments range from being reminiscent of existing instruments to arbitrarily abstract." In other words, if the midi data is changed after the movie was created a new version of the movie including the changes is generated automatically by the software. If you refer to the outcome movie - rather than the input music - as the final creation it means this form of art is generated by a computer software. not by a human.

A few free Animusic clips, screen savers, desktop wallpapers and mp3 files are available for download from the company's official website. More than two dozen clips are also available on YouTube. The company's store offers DVD and CDs, along with a cool Animusic T-shirt. Thanks to Koyotie for sharing with me the Pipe Dream Animusic clip.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

VideoEgg: overlay video advertising

(Ad: Microbounce, Adidas)

And while we are on the subject of the mass media world engaging with the new generation of media users, here is some extended information about a company who does just that very successfully and mentioned in my previous post.

With approximately 30 million unique viewers each month VideoEgg is a rich-media advertising platform specializing in social networks. The company says their innovative advertising format "enhances, rather than disrupts" the viewer experience. Here is a bullet list from VideoEgg website describing the main points of their approach and technology:

Starts with the user, invites the viewer into a dialog
Supports virtually any Flash player, widget application or web page
Helps increase video consumption on a publisher's site
Provides powerful targeting options
Allows for any combination of overlay, pre-roll and post-roll
Offers plug-ins for remnant providers
And has tremendous momentum in media and advertising communities

Check the above video and let me know what you think. Note you can also click the Menu button to see how the advertiser message was integrated at the end of the video. Click the video window in the bottom left corner to view the ad. More clips using the same "video carrier" but with different advertisement available on

In addition to the above and through partnerships with Facebook third-party applications, VideoEgg also supports media community rich, innovative ad opportunities on Facebook third-party application pages. Shown in the above image, this VideoEgg implementation comes in the form of expandable Flash banner offering advanced creative options and millions of Facebook impressions per day.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Google InVideo: The future of advertising. but where are you?

Soon after the announcement about integrating video feeds in their news services, Google have practically launched a limited version of their new video advertising format branded Google InVideo designed to be used on YouTube. Starting August 21, clicking on an animated overlay area of a Google InVideo ad in some selected YouTube partner videos, launches a deeper interactive video ad defined as relevant and entertaining based on the clip content and while the watched video is temporarily paused. If not clicked within 10 seconds the overlay disappears allowing YouTube users some control over their content/advertising mixed experience.

The world has been talking about a new video advertising format ever since it was clear where high-bandwidth internet deployment is heading to. Both video sharing and casual game websites have been looking for a way to stop forcing their users to watch an ad before pushing the usually very short piece of content they were looking to consume. Yet, even though Google popularized the video overlay advertising format, it seem to have been in use by smaller companies such as VideoEgg, a video advertising start-up in San Francisco that has been serving overlay ads for nearly a year and Adotube and LiveRail who joined the game recently.

According to the NYT, Preroll ads are still the most common form of online video advertising so far. Yet, Eileen Naughton, Google’s director for media platforms, says during their tests, YouTube "users clicked on overlays five to 10 times more frequently than on banner ads that already appear on some YouTube pages". Troy Young, VideoEgg’s chief marketing officer, says both preroll and midroll ads (appearing in the middle of a clip) "may be appropriate for television shows, movies or other long videos but overlays have proven effective at making money with short clips".

Scott Karp an influential digital media blogger and editor of thinks that video advertising is about to cross the Rubicon into a pay-for-performance business model, but at the same time suggests we'll have to wait and see about that for a very simple reason:

"In the traditional TV ad model, it was opt out, i.e. you had to change channels, get up to get a snack or go to the bathroom in order to avoid the ad. Now, it’s opt IN. And now we’re going to find out what people REALLY think of video ads, which Madison Avenue has always known in its heart but has never been able to admit. The ads may be unobstrusive, and YouTube has mountains of videos to insert the teasers into - but if nobody clicks…"

I tend to agree with Scott from about the need for Google/YouTube to prove their new model validity facing reality. Changing the face of the video advertising world is not a simple mission. Have you seen any InVideo advertisements? Allow me to predict you haven't. I am an avid YouTube user myself (check me out here), I researched the subject, read many articles and I still couldn't find even a single working example. If it wasn't for
Shawn Collins of who posted a live example of the YouTube overlay ads I would have finish writing this post without even getting to see a single InVideo ...

The TV industry has never been forced to the same standards the online video industry now has to face but LiveRail CEO Mark Trefgarne expects Google to be able to obrtain a CTR rate of about 4-5% with a $20 ad spend yielding about 40-50 views, working out at $0.45 per view. Yet, "if your ad gets lower CTRs," predicts Trefgarne "then your PPV will rise rapidly".

I wouldn't worry about Google too much. When it comes to a direct conflict between the old media dinosaurs and the newest dot com evolutionized creatures - who do you think will be taking the pretty girl home? The network blog Last100 published this excellent caparison between tomorrows video advertising languages and yesterday's less intrusive format of promotional animations that run on the bottom of television shows.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

100 feared dead in Phuket plane crash: online media review

Photo: AP,

Online media channels respond fast as number of last night plane crash victims now feared to be 100, according to latest reports. Thai budget airliner crashed while attempting to land in driving rain at the resort island of Phuket. According to Associated Press the plane was "splitting in two as it was engulfed in flames" while trying to land in heavy rain and then "skidded off the runaway and crashed into a wooded area".

There were 123 mostly foreign passengers and seven crew members on the plane McDonnell Douglas MD-82 of One-To-Go Airlines flight OG269 from Bangkok to Phuket. Eight British , eight Thais, five Germans and two Australians were among 42 known survivors, hospital workers said. According to , however, there is also one Canadian survival. According to the Jerusalem Post, Eight Israelis feared among dead in the crash. Other victim nationalities seem to include citizens of at least Thailand, Australia, UK and Iran.

Updates come every hours from online media channels who respond quickly but offer very little and mostly similar official information.Technorati indexed 459 posts by now for plane+crash+phuket with the last post from just quoting the basic facts from the BBC UK item. Google blog search now offers 200 results for same query when narrowed down to "last 12 hours" with the last post from, posted just 23 minutes ago.

Mostly interesting was The official BBC YouTube channel coming up quickly with a good video of the event as well as with this survival follow-up interview but disallowing embedding option "upon request". Reuters, on the other hand, used their recently launched video embed system to offer the following video for further distribution. posted this kmz file for the exact coordinates of the airport area but it is obviously not an updated one and taken before the accident. When will the world have a public real time satellite service allowing all of us to be updated with a live video feed in the event of a mega-disaster?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Battle at Kruger: Dinosaur media following new generation giants

The Battle at Kruger: Dinosaur media following new generation giants

Makers of The Battle at Kruger, the world's most famous nature video, announced today they are going back to Africa with the National Geographic Channel to work on a special planned to be aired later this year and tell the behind-the-scenes story about how they came to shoot this spectacular footage.

Witnessed by Jason Schlosberg and David Budzinski on September 2004 at a watering hole near Pretoriuskop Camp, Mpumalanga in South Africa's Kruger National Park, The Battle at Kruger is an 8:23 minutes documentary of a battle over "a baby calf between a pride of lions, a herd of buffalo, and a crocodile".

With more than 16 million views 15 thousand YouTube members comments so far (and counting) this video has been with us on this world without any of us noticing it for exactly 3 years. Yet, it was just after it was uploaded to YouTube on May 03, 2007, that millions of people all over the globe stopped their breath for 8 minutes and 23 seconds while viewing this clip at least once.

Making it even more interesting the video was also broadcasted in more or less every news show on the planet and reviewed by some of the world's most influencing newspapers, turning the wheel upside down with the dinosaur media channels following up on the new generation giants.

The Time Magazine, for example, described it as "may be the hottest upload in web history that doesn't include a naked famous person or a politician saying something career-ending". On the other side of the old media / new media war zone, Chad Hurley, YouTube Co-Creator, took the Webby Awards opportunity to announce this as his favorite video.

Jason E. Schlosberg, a former magazine photo editor and today probably the world's most famous freelance photographer has won the Southeast Journalism Conference’s Best Magazine Photograph for two consecutive years. Yet, nothing compares with the amount of public and media attention followed by this spectacular once in a lifetime video, making it the most perfect example of how information technology and new telecommunication systems are changing our world. It was just as if this video was waiting for YouTube to show up and when it did, the video became part of our new global village culture.

According to the Time Schlosberg was taking still pictures of the battle while his traveling companion, Dave Budzinski, took the video. Schlosberg's site credits the video to his co-traveler David Budzinski.

The Battle at Kruger

Image via disembedded

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Hollywood dinosaurs: social video is behind you!

Four Eyed Monsters was the first original feature film ever to be released on YouTube. Developed by Arin Crumley and Susan Buice from a video blog and became public on June 8, 2007 the film seem to be gaining great success in many parameters, mainly in terms of public awareness.

With a total view count of 810,505 when this article was made and still counting, Four Eyed Monsters has already been favorited by 5,296 users, rated by 5318 and commented 3,374 times all summing it up to a 4/5 stars grade movie. I think its safe to say "the people" like both the idea of consuming feature films online and this particular implementation of it. Four Eyed Monsters "made it".

Social video

The Four Eyed Monsters project "started small" with just Crumley and Buice "writing each other notes and sending each other videos". Then, according to the couple, it evolved into creating a feature length film about their story. The movie was of course blogged all over the place and got to be the talk of the day for quite some time. I particularly liked this comment posted by Mike Abundo on

Hollywood dinosaurs who think social video is restricted to bite-sized entertainment are in for a full-length dose of reality. Four Eyed Monsters an autobiographical Bohemian love story, is the first original feature-length film on YouTube.

Perhaps somewhat obvious at first yet not a trivial phenomena at all, there are also excellent short films on YouTube taking this great form of art from the darkness of esoteric filmoholics scene to the sunlight of the public eye. Armistice by Triune Films was the first professional short film for me to actually watch and enjoy on YouTube. Triune Films is an Independent production company based in South Florida. Hollywood dinosaurs: social video is behind you.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Order, Kola and Drums

Take a good look at our daughter as she plays with Altman and Zemah during our visit at the farm yesterday for the birthday party of Oz. It's night. We had a good dinner, lots of Sangría and the party is almost over but someone just didn't have enough fun. Timestamp says its 21:12-22:43. The girl had her 2nd birthday just two weeks ago. Have I already mentioned Carmel is a human nuclear power plant?

Friday, August 3, 2007

'Ayn Hawd (Hebrew: עין חוד, Arabic: عين حوض)

'Ayn Hawd (Hebrew: עין חוד, Arabic: عين حوض) is one of the al-Hija villages in northern Israel named after Emir Hussam al-Din Abu al-Hija. Being one of the most well known unrecognized villages In Israel until 2005, 'Ayn Hawd has always been a symbol for the unbelievable issue of the unrecognized Arab villages in Israel. Back in 2002, when I was a journalism student at Koteret it was just like any other unrecognized village. No one knew if and when the village and its people will become a legitimate residents of Israel. When I had to choose a subject for my final video class assignment I thought telling the story of Ayn Hawd and Mohammad Abu al-Hija would be a good idea. The video was later on included in the official graduation documentary magazine and actually got better reactions than I expected.

Mohammad serves his people as chairman of The Association of Forty ever since its establishment in December 1988, when residents from several unrecognized villages and other localities - both Arabs and Jews - met in the village of Ein Hod to discuss ways to confront the recommendations of the official Markovitch Commission Report, ordered to investigate the phenomenon of "unlicensed construction in the Arab sector" in Israel. They formed The Association of Forty which represents the residents of the unrecognized villages and their problems, and promotes support locally and internationally. Among The Association of Forty's goals are to obtain official recognition for the villages, to improve living conditions, and to claim full rights and equality for the Arab citizens of the state.

As most of my class mates, just like most Israelis, have never even heard about the existence of the unrecognized villages and Internally Displaced Palestinians (Hebrew: נוכחים נפקדים) problems I thought it might be a good idea.

The unrecognized villages

There is no exact figure for the number of unrecognized villages in Israel since there is no clear definition of what constitutes a village and since this situation is very comfortable for Israel's authorities. Generally, Israeli government officials have always claimed those villages are unrecognized because they are too small.

Yet, In reality there are many examples for very very small "recognized" Jewish settlements whereas dozens, perhaps even a hundred Arab ones with many more Israeli citizens living in them are not. Its also not clear exactly how many Palestinian Arab citizens live in villages that are constantly threatened with destruction, prevented from development and are not shown on any map. some say 10,000. some say over 70,000.

Another important aspect of the subject is a common mistake regarding the Geo-Political essence of the people living in the "unrecognized villages". Usually, the few Jewish Israeli people who have ever heard anything about the subject are convinced the Palestinians being discussed are refugees and the unrecognized villages are somewhere in the West Bank or the "Gaza strip". That is very far from being true.

None of the unrecognized villages is located in what is commonly described as "The Occupied Territories", "Yehuda Veshomron" etc. That is very much Israel of the 1967 lines we are talking about here, and the residents are not members of Hamas or Islamic Jihad. They are simple ordinary law-obedient Israeli citizens, legitimate in every other aspect of their life just like me and my wife. Only we are Jews and they are Palestinians.

And now the good news

But there is also a good side to the story of this post. On July 30, just a few days ago when I was already planning on posting this, I red in this laconic news item on the Israeli MSN site that after 60 years the residents of Ayn Hawd have finally got their village powered with state electricity (they were using their own generator until now). Hard to describe how happy I was to read that. Can't remember when was the last time any news item made me happy this way.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

No Woman, No Cry

Made famous by Bob Marley and the Wailers, "No Woman, No Cry" was first released in 1974, and became became Marley's first hit and one of the world most famous reggae songs ever about one year later, released as a single from his album, Live!, which was recorded at the Lyceum in London in 1975.

It is a common belief that Bob Marley wrote the song himself, yet songwriter credits were given to a close friend of Marley's named Vincent Ford ("V Ford") who ran a soup kitchen in Trenchtown, the ghetto of Kingston, Jamaica where Marley grew up. The royalties received by Ford allowed the survival Ford's kitchen but the question about the authenticity of this ownership is still questioned.

No Woman, No Cry was No. 37 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. This short video was improvised today soon before Nitsi and I took Carmel back home for her noon sleep. Taken with my Motorola phone the clip shows Zemah (A "Koyotie" member) in one of his magic moments, enjoying this free-style unplagued version performed with a classic guitar and harmonica. I thought it was REALLY cool.

No woman no cry
No woman no cry
No woman no cry
No woman no cry
Cause I remember when we used to sit
In a government yard in Trenchtown
Observing the hypocrites
Mingle with the good people we meet
Good friends we have, Oh, good friends we have lost
Along the way
In this great future,
You can't forget your past
So dry your tears, I seh
No woman no cry
No woman no cry
Little darling, don't shed no tears
No woman no cry
Said I remember when we used to sit
In the government yard in Trenchtown
And then Georgie would make the fire lights
As it was log burning through the nights
Then we would cook cornmeal porridge
Of which I'll share with you
My feet is my only carriage
And so I've got to push on through,
Oh, while I'm gone
Everything 's gonna be alright
Everything 's gonna be alright
Everything 's gonna be alright
Everything 's gonna be alright
Everything 's gonna be alright
Everything 's gonna be alright
Everything 's gonna be alright
Everything 's gonna be alright
Everything 's gonna be alright
So no woman no cry
No woman no cry, oh
My little sister
Don't shed no tears
No woman no cry.