Obscura Cam now in the Android market!

I am happy to report that the app I have been working on in collaboration with Witness and the Guardian Project is now available in the Android Market.

The app, Obscura Cam is the outcome of the first phase of our
Secure Smart Cam
project to create smart phone camera software which allows for greater privacy and security in the capturing and sharing of media.

Of course, it is all open source

YouTube New Features

Just checked out a video of McCain on Letterman. Noticed a couple of interesting features that YouTube is giving folks like CBS. First there was an ad before the video, second the video played in H.264 although it did have a link for the “normal quality” version and third there were a couple of nifty DHTML buttons up at the top.

Here is a screenshot:
YouTube CBS Letterman McCain Screenshot

Notice that everything but the video is grayed out. That is because I clicked the little film strip icon at the top left which stands for “theater mode”. You will also notice that the video is in the middle of the page with goofy graphical curtains surrounding it.

The icon directly to the right of that one, the little light bulb controls graying out the screen regardless of the theater mode selection.

Also notice that the ad at the top right (which reads CBS … and originally was a Schwab ad which matched the preroll video ad) is not grayed out.

In any case, none of this is new. (For reference do a Google/Yahoo search for “lightbox” to find a plethora of resources for accomplishing the same thing.) But is interesting to see what extra features and functionality YouTube is giving to folks like CBS.

C-SPAN online coverage of debate

C-SPAN has a really interesting site for showing the debate videos. It has a transcript search, a blog aggregation, a twitter message board and so on.

Here are some screen-shots:

Transcript along with video

Twitter and Blog Aggregation:

Transcript Keyword Visualization (wish you could drill down):

This might be even more interesting: Performance Group Blends Video Art, Public Service
“Three MIT grads have devised a way to “remix” the presidential debates — live. Friday night in Boston, they used custom computer software to analyze the candidates’ movements and speech patterns in real time, with a nightclub vibe.”

Internet Radio Royalty Rates

It seems that things have changed in the royalty rates for online music. I just read this report from DiMA: MAJOR MUSIC INDUSTRY GROUPS ANNOUNCE BREAKTHROUGH AGREEMENT.

I am a bit confused as to wether or not this is a change to the royalty rates that SoundExchange collects (performance royalties) or is this an agreement that standardizes royalty non-performance related royalty rates (such as those for songwriters)..

Anyone know?

ps. SoundExchange, your site sucks, I can’t link to a specific page if you load everything in an iFrame or whatever you are doing. I also can’t use my browser’s back/forward button the way I should be able to. Get with it.

Politics and the Internet and Participatory Media

This is just too good to pass up.. On WNYC 820 AM right now, the Brian Lehrer show is doing a segment which is audience driven. A wiki is open for suggestions and discussion among the audience and essentially being used to drive the broadcast.

This is part of Lehrer’s 30 issues in 30 days comparing the presidential candidates stance on various issues. One thing that I have learned is that McCain is against Network Neutrality and Obama is for legislation that protects the spirit of the internet. (I had no idea that this was an issue between them.)

Go Obama..!

McCain says this:
“Unless there is a clear-cut, unequivocal restraint of competition, the government should stay out of it,” McCain said. “These things will sort themselves out.”

Kind of like the banking industry.. Let it sort itself out.. Great.. Ha!

Net Neutrality takes a step forward

Free Press : House Judiciary Passes Net Neutrality Bill
I love how AT&T is trying to spin this:
“While we are disappointed that the Judiciary Committee chose to move toward regulating the Internet, we are pleased that the majority of the majority recognized that this legislation would deter investment in our nation’s broadband infrastructure,” said Tim McKone, AT&T executive vice president federal relations, in a prepared statement. “We are optimistic that the majority in Congress will see this legislation as an attempt to solve a problem that does not exist, and will instead focus on bringing choice to consumers by passing video choice legislation.”

“the majority of the majority” .. That is nonsense.
“will instead focus on bringing choice to consumers by passing video choice legislation” .. Now there is a problem that doesn’t exist!