This video previously contained a copyrighted audio track. Due to a claim by a copyright holder, the audio track has been muted. Said notice has become the bane of music lovers everywhere who like jamming to tunes on YouTube while writing that term paper, checking that e-mail, completing that spread sheet, who use YouTube when they don’t have a radio handy, their workplace network is too slow to stream radio station content well or their employer forbids it. YouTube, since its conception, has been a free, easy access media option for music videos, lyrics included music audio tracks letting people sing along to their favorite hit songs they heard on the radio and a stop gap for those who can’t yet afford that 99 cent to 1.99 download on i-tunes (more like the whole album at once if available or the whole artist’s library if not), or those old fuddy-duddy dinosaurs who still haven’t joined the digital music era saving for that CD. And a place for equal music lovers to share with friends, the public and the world, their newest music obsession, their favorite artist’s latest jam complete with lyrics so others can sing along, put up older music people still love but may have forgotten about, ‘80’s, ‘90’s nostalgia being most popular along with rare tracks from musical documentaries; think The Jacksons an American Dream or people searching for the song from a heartwarming insurance ad featuring a disabled little boy. YouTube also the go-to free hub for TV show clips, movie trailers, cool mash-ups from pop culture and the ever present how-to video, the easiest, most complete source for local and world news clips auto-embeddable in blog spaces like Word Press ideal for creating online local newspapers, adding the, nowadays expected, multimedia component to any blog topic, proving right there the truth in your words with a respected news outlet’s video clip, video of person X saying shocking thing Y to press cameras. That all changed in 2015 when frequent YouTube visitors started seeing anything with song lyrics in it suddenly muted, couldn’t find current artists most current song unless it was a cover or the lyrics were on screen but there was no sound, only an instrumental track, an extension of the pitched voice tracks to try and avoid copyright infringement claims. Apparently the widespread muting tactic had been around since 2009, a new policy to balance the rights of users and protect copyrighted material of artists; whatever their motivations, it turned into an epic fail. Suddenly videos of people dancing to the ‘it’ song of the week, month year, found their fan vid muted, identical happenings with those showing off their Guitar Hero skills even though Guitar Hero game makers have paid their royalties or operate within an exemption, one man who posted video of his wedding on the site found it muted; under that logic I was wrong to play a loved Crystal Lewis song at my mother’s funeral and my school was guilty copyright infringement by playing Mariah Carry’s “Hero” at my 6th grade elementary graduation, retro music played at high school reunions should result in lawsuits. Another person made a vid using Apple’s i-movie, used something from a pre-downloaded stock that came with either the computer itself or exclusively in conjunction with i-movie under the category sound effects and jingles, only for it to be muted, claimed to be owned by a music company known as Orchard Music only to equally discover; “they claim they own public music a lot.” Speaking of public music debates, who could forget the battle over happy birthday questioning does it belong to the public or the tune, used in many songs catered to occasion, belong to the surprise, surprise big music mogul, an arm of Warner music company, that acquired the “rights” circa 1935 and who won in the end; something YouTube might have wanted to consider before embarking on their futility exercise. One of the silliest, most disingenuous examples involving what has transpired on YouTube for the nearly 16 years it has existed, music sharing, videos where the up-loader has placed the song lyrics on screen while the song plays, concerns Jay Z’s “99 Problems” recently muted under their policy. Never mind the video had previously been there for 5 years, other Jay Z videos remain unaffected, completely removed was the YouTube version of the actual official music video and even the Vevo version (Vevo now in partnership with YouTube to provide them official video versions from artists) says, on Vevo’s own site, ‘not available in your country.’ Strange since my country is the U.S., same country that Jay Z is from, same country that founded YouTube, it’s now owner Google, and 3 out of the 4, once 5 huge music conglomerate companies responsible for its creation. It ranks right up there with the dancing fan vid or the Canadian holocaust memorial video discussed in the link below; totally the antithesis of what YouTube set out to prevent, cut down on— music piracy, free options that do not send deserved monies back to the artists, who are indeed starving like never before in the digital age. Because, contrary to popular opinion, at the same time we, the majority consuming public, are furious with YouTube’s new copyright enforcement policy, we do understand singers, music makers need to get paid, have rent and mortgage payments like the rest of us, expect to get paid the same way we rightfully demand our bosses give us pay for work accomplished, hours put in. A longtime supporter of getting copyrights out of the technological dark ages, having written ad-nauseam on why I won’t be joining the digital age, at minimum, not the way others have and ever vocal on the limits of our currently wow technology, limitations and pitfalls glaringly present in the must have gadgets of the last 5 years alone, what’s written so far may sound like a slightly repackaged version of a continuous kvetch from someone too old and unwilling to join the technology era. One can suppose it is, but the why behind it solidifies its importance, particularly in this case.
Of course this isn’t the first time YouTube has succeeded in angering users; Google’s acquisition of the video sharing site prompted visitors to start calling it Google-tube resenting changes, like forcing YouTube account holders to also have a G-mail or Google related account to upload videos and set preferences. Most recently, a series of changes in video playback that disallows videos to completely buffer before being played or resulting in slow buffering while being played, refusing to buffer beyond a certain point unless it is simultaneously playing meaning buffering stalls for longer videos, during those peak usage hours; their switch to HTML 5 without being upfront with users, HTML 5 still not a permanent choice for users outside those using Google Chrome, subjected to a giant, oversized vid screen blocking out almost all else, even when not in full screen mode. And now their maddening copyright policy, chiefly hated from an administrative point of view related to how they handled it, was their initial silence on why videos were being muted en mass and their nonsense answer when they did reply. From a user perspective, the randomness with which it was/is applied, deleting one video of a song and keeping multiple others (good for people who want to listen, bad for a policy), deleting one ‘copyrighted’ song by artist X and leaving all their others, muting videos that were uploaded after the song has been playing on the radio for days, weeks or months just because said up-loader dared include the lyrics; oddly enough user made tracks utilizing an album cover or simple picture of the artist, slide show containing multiple pictures of the artist while the track plays are left completely untouched. It’s as if select persons read about the policy and automatically began clicking a ‘copyright abuse button’ with gusto, yet neither they, nor their YouTube overseers, really understand what copyright infringement is. Artists, where applicable, actively participating in the ‘YouTube problem’ so paranoid, resentful about getting paid they either don’t care what the law actually says or are willing to turn on the very people who made them, will make them a success if given the opportunity. Since many of these videos come with a disclaimer saying they (the account holder, up-loader) do not own the song or lyrics and key—exactly zero money has changed hands, profit has been made on the part of aforementioned up-loaders. The exact opposite in fact, not so long ago YouTube made available icons letting you know you can buy song X at popular digital music stores like i-tunes, Google play and Amazon, proper royalties, profits thus going to the artist; up-loaders doing it for the sheer pleasure of putting out there something they enjoyed for the likewise enjoyment of others. Icons suddenly disappeared too sans explanation about how to use them when they were there or where they have gone, leaving people to make due with harder to find links usually hidden in the “show more” portion of the description and only for one source i-tunes, purchase options on the artist’s website, perhaps Spodify, when they do want to buy something they heard. The definition of counterproductive, instead of leaving those icons, adding more as legal streaming and purchasing services come onto the market, making it mandatory for tracks featuring an artist’s song put there for public consumption, including lyrics for the same reason (not to be confused with original content where the song functions as a sound track to your mini movie, or fan vids of TV shows, video games, tribute to a lost pet exc.) have a link to at least one digital service, facilitate easy link finding for said music. Shoring up the argument users have done nothing wrong according to copyright law, or if they have the law needs to change, directly opposing industry/artist, public perception, these people aren’t trying to pass off known artists, budding artists stuff as their own, making small changes and trying to say it is a completely different work; they are in essence saying: look at the cool song by…, have you heard the new track by…, I can’t get the hook from such and such by… out of my head. Singular exceptions being parodies, usually making fun of a song, highlighting clichés in the artist’s official video, lyrics or covers, a longstanding acceptable practice in the business discussed in greater detail in the next paragraph. Beneficiaries of this uploading similarly aren’t downloading material onto their computers usually, simply returning to YouTube when they are on their computers and want to listen to song X; unlike p2p file sharing that was putting desired mp3 files on your computer to keep. Where artists are the ones actually pushing the button, lodging the complaint, their behavior is equally asinine to the consuming public; why, because infinitely better than “slapping some ads and trying to monetize the fact that someone, somewhere, likes their song” according to how one Mashable author described it, they don’t have to do anything, the user has willingly done the work for them adding their positive word of mouth to it on top of it, fundamental in getting millennials, gen Y to buy any product. Prompting the question, who turns down free advertising; that’s essentially what users have done is spread your song to a larger audience, turn more people on to it, believe it or not, resulting in increased sales for you when someone likes your catchy tune so much they add it to their play list, make it a priority to buy, for non-digital music fans order your CD, for select bands vinyl. Further anyone looking closely at user made fan videos of artist music see just how many times they get the lyrics wrong, not even close to the crux of their complaint, rather, that their making it is a copyright violation less because it was ‘used without permission’ and more because doing so means no money for them, categorically untrue. Here exemplifies the classic disconnect between how a device, service was designed, envisioned to be used and how it was ultimately used by the consuming public; YouTube’s creators either saw video sharing as how to tutorials on all topics, commentaries on all topics, America’s Funniest Videos for the internet, homemade news, news broadcasts, but not fan vids of music, ammine, TV, or didn’t foresee copyright holder’s extreme objections. People use YouTube like a radio, finding it far better than one, sans endless commercials and music they don’t want to listen to waiting for what they do, music styles they have no interest in, because they can search Google by artist and/or song title and usually come up with a YouTube offering, search YouTube directly to the same end; good for you as people return repeatedly to that video, tell their friends and eventually buy it, perhaps the album it came from as well, get over it. Too bad that isn’t what YouTube told its outraged artists, hand wringing legal departments who came up with the policy and muting to satisfy BS clinging to content like a toddler to a security blanket.
Keeping with the ridiculous and whining theme, when mash-ups came on the scene a few years ago quickly discovered was how little you had to change of an original work before it became something different under the law; mash-ups have overwhelmingly replaced mixed tapes in helping club DJ’s get gigs, are the next evolution in remixes also often done by DJ’s for clubs adding a dance beat to the ‘it’ hits of the week, month year, routinely simulcast on radio stations for hot local club scenes al-a the Y107 dance party; unheard of, artists complaining about that. Artists will many times collaborate with known remix specialists to create an instrumental version of their song, generate a club hit; think what Timbaland was able to bring to One Republic’s “Apologize”. Then why the uproar, nervousness and screams about copyright infringement other than it’s new; remember Robin Thicke was sued over “Blurred Lines” because it did sound eerily similar in beat to Marvin Gay’s “Got to Give it Up” and money, lots of money had been made from the apparent truthful infringement, however unintentional it might have been. Some may remember the copyright hot water 90’s band Hootie and the Blowfish got into when they alluded to Bob Dylan lyrics; again potentially truthful infringement, Hootie and the Blowfish contrite and willing to settle the case, pay the royalties exc., plain they never intended to break the law, take another person’s music. Money derived via mash-up is, at least currently, distinctly different; the industry, in a twist of utter irony considering the level of shouting, generating more revenue from them than anywhere else, earning that money in Elastic Computing data storage and virtual hardware for those who want to build an app but not from scratch, elastic compute cloud offers cheap transcoding for mash-up videos up-loaded by users, aggregated data access is another big money chance coupled with specific mash-up development tools. DJ’s earning money are doing it based on their creativity in joining existing music to come up with new sounds, how well they put a desirable beat to a slower song suitable for dancing, paid by clubs as a regular or to do events; for the exceptional and those who want it, graduating to working with artists who want a more club feel to their song; think the many collaborations of Calvin Harris. Back to mainstream music exclusively, and speaking of those tools, the reason record companies were leery of contracts that would turn profit from mash-ups was chiefly they had no way to pay— the artists, should we repeat that again— the artists, proper royalties for use of their content; the Wall Street Journal showcased a solution to their conundrum, giving everyone what they want. “One startup is trying to solve the problem. Dubset Media Inc. has developed technology to track how much of each song is used in any given DJ-made track or mix. It can then calculate royalties owed to artists like Lady Gaga or Jay Z whose music was sampled.” To say nothing of the money potential for fan made vids, tributes on YouTube by “slapping up ads” before, during and after their video featuring your song. Mash-ups are to music what fanfiction was originally to, especially books, causing authors to have a conniption over infringement, what fans wanted to do with their characters until they came to respect the inventive, genuine talent, understand money wasn’t changing hands, people weren’t claiming the known work as their own rather admiring it in their own way. Dido with cover bands, we don’t prosecute them, they don’t get sent to court for playing local venues providing classic tunes out of all genres, because everyone knows they aren’t the original, routinely the original band has either broken up or is deceased. Evils impersonators are a staple in Vegas, Wayne Newton has at least one professional impersonator, lip-syncing has turned into, at minimum, one on air right now TV show, what about song competitions like American Idol and The Voice; are producers seriously gaining permissions from all the artists their contestants use, what about pre-show auditions? Parody most often associated with comedy and humor, stand up, books, long ago made it into music too and not just added to comedy skits a-la Adam Sandler and ‘the turkey song,’ ‘the Hanukah song;’ he had a predecessor, arguably what Dave Barry was to books, funny news columns, Weird Al Yankovic. Yankovic whose entire career has been designing his own wacky, humorous, absurd versions of popular music, known for Eat It a parody on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It,” Living in an Amish Paradise a spin on rapper Coolio’s “Living in a Gangster’s Paradise;” more recent inventions include, White and Nerdy a parallel to Chamillionaire’s “Ridin’ Dirty.” Pharrell’s infectious hit “Happy” is now Tacky. So why was this Delaware teacher’s (link above) educational promotion on YouTube Read It muted under YouTube policy when there is an information and fair use copyright standard, should be a reasonable exemption made for content used for educational purposes, actions that doubtlessly would have Michael Jackson rolling over in his grave; going one better, why did YouTube remain pin drop silent when it came to the decision? Particularly when YouTube has its own sprinkling of mash-up parodies, usually mocking Taylor Swift, they are content to leave perfectly alone. None of the above have/had a legitimate copyright claim beyond the highlighted exceptions demonstrating what does and doesn’t apply, should and shouldn’t apply accompanied by a sensible explanation. Worth noting, the bulk of such complaints come from groups like Recording Industry Association of America and their affiliated artists pocketing a majority of court awards, when they rarely managed to win for themselves, certainly not giving it to artists, but even they stopped suing their customers in late 2008 after embarrassing losses and absolute nonsense cases boiling down to scare tactics aimed at stopping file sharing, akin to herding cats— impossible. Harvard Business Review summing it up as follows “Nabbing a fraction of a percent of the offenders might be worthwhile if that didn’t include the children, computer-less, homeless, and dead people that the they sued. To be blunt, the lawsuits were unabashedly ineffective, counterproductive, and, an PR morass that make La Brea look like a sticky mud puddle. They wiped out college savings accounts, attempted to get elementary school students to rat on their parents, and descended on parking attendants with full SWAT team armor. The only way for the RIAA to make worse PR for the music industry would have been to threaten to wipe out the hard drives of every person who’s got an MP3, any MP3, because it might be an illicit copy of “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” — oh wait, they did that too. At every turn, RIAA lawyers argued that such mistakes paled in comparison to the damage done to their corporate clients — billions of allegedly lost dollars — as if every downloader would have purchased the song if P2P didn’t exist. Hey, so their tactics didn’t distinguish between felons and bystanders. In their defense, they said, “When you fish with a net, you are going to catch a few dolphins.” With Ziploc-tight reasoning like that, it would seem that nothing would ever stop their lawsuit juggernaut. Which is why they never intended on stopping. The Stupidity Express was brought to its final stop for one powerful reason: money. They ran out of it.” [Sic] The same RIAA who resisted artists’ songs being played on the radio, the same RIAA who remains battling Wikipedia over misuse of power— huh? YouTube’s real target, gamers and 3rd party multi-network channels, their ‘numbered by the thousands’ affiliates ‘abusing the system,’ music lovers caught in the middle according to the Kotaku article below. And, despite what YouTube has managed to put users through lately, of course they will be able to sell their latest gimmick, a paid for Red subscription service, regardless of people’s loathing for ads or their love for original content thanks to ‘YouTube stars,’ by slowly but surely doing what every other once free service did venturing into the paid market, putting the most up to date, desired items only on their paid servers, within paying customers reach, consumers shafted again, by something else not new, greed.
Which jogs our memory; reminding us of TV and the ‘piracy’ purportedly running rampant there, RIAA and its stupidity counterpart in this instance, the Motion Picture Association of America, (MPAA) releasing its top list of pirating sites to the government late 2015. Resounding question repeats, why; commenters quick to point out Torrent Freak’s article, commenting and thus distributing the list in the process, merely gave them an extended list of streaming, download sites to choose from. That aside, others remarked on how many of these sites are based off-shore away from our laws and away from even the copyright act of 1979, forget the digital millennial copyright revisions of 1998. Yet once more it’s what they expose about entertainment options that transcends industry boo-hooing about violation of their precious copyrights; what makes sites like Watchseries, Primewire and Nowvideo so popular is because, contrary to what they set themselves up as, paid services like Hulu Plus, Netflix and Amazon’s various membership video viewing purchase choices have horrible lags in getting the most current content. Depending on what you watch, forcing you to get a combo of all 3 costing roughly $24.00 a month on top of your premium cable bill so you can get access to HBO-Go, Showtime Anytime, provided by your cable company upon paying for those channels to watch on your computer or device, in case you missed the latest episode of Game of Thrones, added to your growing internet bill; it all just becomes too much even for the most avid entertainment consumer. Netflix, rather than sensibly adding to their vast library of content, regularly discontinue offered items or bring back shows not seen there for some time, fans excited when they announced the return of favorite Gilmore Girls. Hulu the free service is practically useless; any desired movies, TV shows and rare finds go to their paid plus version subject to longer and longer wait times, housing incomplete seasons of shows, recently discontinued series. Contrast that to the 3 top known “illegal” choices listed above, only one, Primewire, requires an account, and by account they mean e-mail and password, not your credit card, no fee charged; I’ve previously written extensively on free vid services who want you to create an account only not to have the single, solitary thing you created it to watch, streaming services that claim to be free but ask for a credit card, they say to verify age, the numerous, potentially malicious flash players containing viruses, spam and ripping of legitimate logos to trick users into thinking them safe, the vast amount of plug-ins you’re asked to download to see content. None needed with these, if all you want to do is watch, it’s click play, enjoy, accounts only needed for uploading files, all free, cable or over the air TV, doesn’t matter. Satisfying their customer base, links on Watchseries are available the very day, day after the latest episode airs; ideal for someone who slept through NCIS, Blue Bloods or Housewives of whatever city they’ve invaded now. Torrent variations may require an account but you get a downloadable copy to keep on your PC; not as much an illegality as one might thing when you consider older shows hard to come by on DVD, no longer on TV either in syndication locally or on classic cable channels like TV Land. Shows such as Nash Bridges once on WGN circa 2012, but even then only at 3:00 am when the insomniac club is watching; daytime littered with their daily, 5 day a week In the Heat of the Night marathon, another network it’s Walker Texas Ranger never NYPD Blue. Tell me something network execs., why do I need a CBS All Access account to view Nash Bridges from CBS’ own site when it was free on over the air TV and you only have 39 of the 118 total episodes? Family cable always has literally a dozen airings weekdays of one of the Law and Order franchise, Golden Girls, but never the latter’s 2 spin offs Empty Nest and Nurses (things that can’t be found online either— GRRR). TV Land pulled the Cosby Show for obvious reasons 7th Heaven pulled from its network of regular re-runs identically but they would never think to replace them with classic comic hits like Night Court, the popular NBC 90’s drama Sisters. Still somehow we’re supposed to scour the internet to find a place to buy them, brick and mortar (good luck with that) or online, otherwise you’re screwed; whether you’re new to a show having stumbled upon it online somewhere, seen it at someone’s house or an older person seeking nostalgia, to replace belongings lost in a fire, natural disaster, theft, have watched favorites so many times they need replacing. Take should be no problem shows like Star Trek Deep Space 9, sure one of the less popular in the Star Trek saga, but not getting the red headed stepchild treatment of prequel Enterprise. Finding the compete series in region one US/Canada reminisces of the metaphor needle in a haystack; Star Trek Voyager is almost the same. When you do find them, hits like Smallville you’re greeted with sticker shock paying anywhere from $200-500; yes we know it’s a lot of DVD, point being it takes time to save that kind of money, solely for entertainment purposes, so why can’t we enjoy on a free streaming service until then? Mentioned in my earlier works popular programs among fans such as Biker Mice from Mars, Earth Final Conflict, Mutant X virtually can’t be found in their entirety to the bewildered irritation of watchers, late night offerings such as Beastmaster, Andromeda, the story repeats; if you can find season 1, 2 and so forth, there is no guarantee you’ll be able to compete the series. Nor are these necessarily offered on the paid service circuit, leaving people again ‘legally’ option-less. We find their attitude ironically hilarious knowing people, since the mass proliferation of the VCR, had been taping over the air shows, cable ones for individuals, families shelling out the dough for Cinemax exc., for later viewing, home storage for decades largely up until the digital transition of 2009, began doing the same thing with their DVR and DVR W discs before cable swooped in with their monopoly and convinced DVD makers to remove the TV tuners leaving traditional cable receivers out in the cold circa roughly 2005 and satellites like Direct TV and Dish Network creating their own, Media Com eventually partnering with TiVo; many saving things on their cable provided, rented DVR’s to, new term here, binge watch entire seasons of shows at once on their own time, order entire seasons, series via their Netflix account. Begging the question what’s the difference since many of the notorious sites are streaming sites you must return to the view your favorite episodes again and again ‘binge watch’ a series, you aren’t getting a file to keep? Because, how much of that $9.99 charged by Netflix, the $24.00 representing a user recommended combo of paid services is going back to actors, writers, produces, behind the scenes personnel; we’ll guess zero. It was a moneymaking scheme to begin with; money conglomerates have justifiably been duped out of by wily customers, payback for taking their DVR capability away. A practice they would do well to stop if they want to remain in business at all.
As it is we’re inundated with the newest thing by websites, TV networks, content providers and technology makers destined to drive us crazy, please disable ad blocker, to view this video you must disable your ad blocker and refresh the page, on CBS news’ own site no less; like they are hurting for money. Positively criminal taking into account they are a news site and watching full episodes other than on your TV requires you have a cable provider and an online account with them to unlock access; hints why the plight of individually owned DVR is important. Turn off my ad blocker, so I can what, list-en to s-oommee twit-chy ad se-ll-ing car in-sur-ance buff-err-ing every other syllable to where, even if I was interested, I couldn’t understand what you were advertising; because, idiot internet providers and advertisers both are in denial about how many people still use low speed DSL, they continue to jack the price up on people to access the internet? Users who don’t need your ad to be video, HD at that, to tell them they won’t be buying Finish dishwasher soap for the dishwasher they don’t have and thus don’t need, the car insurance, motorcycle, boat, home insurance from Allstate, Progressive whoever that they don’t need because they own exactly none of the insurable items, ads for TV programs on channels their cable package doesn’t get that can’t master something as simple as a pause button so they can stem the strain on their machine. Nor will it make any user, ad blocker enthusiast or no, buy the brand of toilet paper, toilet cleaner or PC virus protection they already have all I need of, found a preferred brand that serves their purposes. Yet you wonder why people turn to YouTube for interesting segment clips. Or, your ad blocker is turned on. We rely on advertising to pay for our Australian writers. Please consider whitelisting us. Thanks for your support. And thank you for letting me know I was reading something from a foreign country; to match your snobbery I’ll forgo your article on, I can’t even remember what, for an American version and divest myself of at least a percentage of hassle. A personal favorite is the pictured one below from Vodlocker talking about ad blocker killing free internet; except internet hasn’t been free in America for about a decade since lesser big name land line phone companies Verizon and such split off into the mobile phone and internet market exclusively. Wholly ignoring why people carry on a love affair with their ad blocker in the first place, sure there are those who will do anything possible to make annoying ads go away, tired of seeing 3rd world porn and games where you smash the cockroach, answer the riddle, guess the obscure trivia and supposedly win a prize; more though are after practicality worried about frying their laptops, tired bandwidth suckage going to ads rather than main content, taking literal extra minutes for pages to load, interfering with video playback. Then when you do engage an ad blocker and see the regularly double digit number of ads stopped from appearing on the page, you aren’t surprised why your laptop fan was running hot, it took so long, or both. Increasingly people find themselves employing ad blockers to avoid spam, viruses and malware embedded in, attached to ads in places that aren’t porn or gaming sites, not that there is something wrong with the latter, they don’t want on their computer, don’t want to have to pay hundreds in repair dollars to remove either to optimize function or regain any at all. And when the desire to see the, can’t find it anywhere else video, cool looking game outweighs, temporarily overrides common sense, below is what you get; a deceptive spam ad pretending to be from Microsoft warning you of a virus, you have to press [ctrl-alt-delete] to get off your screen, restart your browser never returning to that page, exactly why our ad blockers are staying on. Another bone of contention, printed web content, once free, now costing both an account and dollars to access; remember that Wall Street Journal article quoted above, if the details seem a little fuzzy, that’s because when I went back to the link to reread the article, better understand the reference I was using, get my facts straight I was greeted with To Read the Full Story, Subscribe or Sign In. Subscribe here meaning not just provide an e-mail to get copies of a newsletter, alerts about possible stories that interest you or an account under the same conditions; subscribe also meaning pay money, granted the offer was $1 for 3 months. But why should I have to when I read it once, was going back for clarification and planned on providing the link in my story giving them needed exposure and maybe enticing someone who likes what they see and still reads newspapers to pay the desired fee? A poor business model when other entities like CNET don’t restrict their content that way. No offense to Will Wheaton or the Salon.com author, each right in their own way about twisting artists arms to work for free or the ill-defined term exposure, but he was facing a completely different problem than any and all instances here; he wrote something the Huffington Post thought good enough to publish and because few remember him from his Star Trek days, they believed they could get away with treating him like a new artist trading exposure for actual money. Except, the Huffington Post, contrasted to the Australian blog asking people to disable blockers, to pay their contributing writers, is a well-established paper, media group with no shortage of dollars to give waning artists and new budding talent both exposure and compensatory payment.
All this when tech makers aren’t trying to get us to buy the new thing like 4k ultra-Blu-ray discs there really isn’t a market for when you can upgrade the quality of your DVD collection by putting it in a regular Blu-ray player, utilizing HD-DVD options, people in no mood to buy another media kit, different discs, already finding Blu-ray a marketing scam to get more of people’s hard earned money; facts brought to light by tech reviewers. Said reviewers quick to finger exactly what happens when too much technology becomes intertwined in the wrong ways, smart technology that is incredibly dumb; case in point, the smart refrigerator with built in software for a digital calendar and twitter, photo reader among other non- traditional features. While a digital calendar in a refrigerator has its uses, why the other things is another head-scratcher altogether, but that isn’t even the dumbest part. That would be after a power outage it reboots in demo mode with the cooling compressor off; no Samsung ‘smart fridge’ for me thanks. How about Apple’s latest push to replace the headphone jack on the upcoming i-phone 7, purportedly to make it “even thinner,” like we want it more apt to break, with something called USBC. Forget the impact on the headphone industry revitalized by Earbuds and gummies, Beats making big clunky headphones cool again, what does it do to customers who would need an adaptor or an exclusive set of headphones for their phone? USB ports are also notorious for losing the tight fit within the port and no one wants this, seemingly perfectly willing to sacrifice thinness for the uni-versatility of regular headphones. We’re all for cleaning the environment and moving away from easily lost/damaged paper only records but Slate’s examples are just plain ridiculous; for years people have been sounding the alarm about letting algorithms make decisions, craft policy regarding social services, bean counting health benefits. Here’s why, “Sheila Perdue received a notice in the mail that she must participate in a telephone interview in order to be recertified to receive public assistance. In the past, Perdue, who is deaf and suffers from emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and bipolar disorder, would have visited her local caseworker to explain why this was impossible. But the state’s welfare eligibility system had recently been “modernized,” leaving a website and an 800 number as the primary ways to communicate with the Family and Social Services Administration.” Considering my last week’s offered piece on common core’s bad influence on math instruction perhaps a little less math isn’t a bad idea until we can learn how to use it. Think too about when technology goes horribly wrong, the nuclear bomb and Dolly the cloned sheep should give us a glimpse into where we’re headed; if not that then the little gray Asgard from the science fiction classic Stargate SG1, since we seem to think designer babies ok outside correcting serious genetic based anomalies or when you have to repeatedly enter CAPTCHA codes to bypass Google search timeouts, because their lousy algorithm thinks you’ve broken their terms of service. Why, you dared look up Blu-ray software updates, the fact 4k discs aren’t catching on, not terror groups, not a wiki article on ISIS, never mind I write a current trends blog and might be looking for the correct spelling of mentioned ‘forbidden’ names, groups, that could be understood, but entertainment information; who wants to bet Google has a sizable market share in Blu-ray? Leave it to the French to highlight the failings of modern computer keyboard set ups; whether you’re using the QWERTY or the AZERTY, the ergonomic variety or a laptop; their noting “there are no standardized keys for accents, quote marks or certain letters — like those that form the correct beginning of the word “oeuvre”…” sheds light on a larger problem present in American keyboards, those languages without Latin alphabets too; the available accent mark on the keyboard used in words like résumé when pressed will not go over the letter e instead beside it, meaning you have to go into symbols to get the é or get spell check to do it. Producing a cent sign requires an alt+code; though they say it can be found in the character map, apparently not on windows 7 office 2010. In the place of something useful, there are keys you can’t readily ascertain what they do; yes the screen adjustment and playback symbols like pause, rewind and fast forward mixed with function keys are easily discerned, my HP pavilion dv 6 is an entertainment geared laptop, as tech ignorant as I might be, even I got that. Likewise the envelope symbol for outlook isn’t new, though that’s not my e-mail service, the globe and printer old hat though it connects to IE, not Chrome, what I’m using, and I use the print short cut in MS word not on the keyboard itself; however those are preferences. The calculator is useful, but, there has to be an infinitely better place to put in in favor of removing that entire button section, apart from the escape key, giving more space to other keys to accommodate people like me, with bigger hands, those not born typists. None of which tells me what the odd symbol similar to the squiggly line on the same key as the accent mark is between the easy access keys for mail and internet, and the computer is the only appliance, machine sold sans an owner’s manual for your specific model just a poster of startup instructions a list of specs, but not a keyboard layout explanation. The French are absolutely right, less for proper grammar and more for users’ sanity the accent mark used in words like résumé, a French word if I’m not mistaken, long ago made its way into the English language, should immediately go over the letter you place it next to, added to the punctuation and standard symbols included on the number keys should be a cent sign an arguable replacement for this ^, whatever you use that for. No one should have to slog through the symbol section for the en or em dash either, at minimum 2 Google searches to understand they symbols on their models keyboard; things the industry needs to fix but hasn’t seen fit to, in favor of the smart dumb fridge and the smart dumb TV. Still having the audacity, unrestrained hubris to wonder why anti-technology freaks are running for the hills.
Tying it all together, if you want people to stop ‘pirating’ media, first you need a legitimate definition of what that is in the modern age; using YouTube like a radio for only the music you want, clean radio edits and things virtually absent elsewhere isn’t it, streaming the latest episode of mainly over the air TV to catch up on what you fell asleep during, finding something only available for permanent purchase on DVD, forget Blu-ray, via some obscure dot com isn’t it. YouTube should bring back the icons for digital music purchase and links to CD/vinyl copies in national stores like Wal-Mart, Target, Best Buy telling all the copyright whiners what they can do with themselves. And artists please for the love of your fans and your own bank accounts don’t do be like this; fairly new band Chvches, love their stuff, went looking for their popular album even found it available in a place I usually shop yay right- wrong! Perusing the track list I notice several songs available on YouTube just by Google-ing the band aren’t on this album or their forthcoming one available to buy anywhere except i-tunes. Get a clue, free on sound cloud is not OK to someone looking for a CD who doesn’t own MP3 technology precisely because they don’t want to have to continually buy new ones for space to upload new things, because their i-pod nano armband, perfect for jogging, or attaching the tiny thing to you while you go about your business, broke causing you to crunch it under your feet, it suffered the fate of many a cellphone dropped in the toilet, you simply don’t have the patients for extra steps in getting what you want to listen to. Don’t want to spend 20 minutes scrolling through their exhaustive playlist to find the song they want, doesn’t have a subscription to Spotify and so on because they want the media they own, especially music, to be tangible, able to hold in your hand; don’t want to replace their existing perfectly good stereo, used at home, for one with an i-phone, i-pod dock, to say nothing of how corruptible electronic, internet, PC music files are and I for one know it. After getting a 21st century definition of true copyright infringement, then you need to stop making it so necessary, notice the word was necessary, not the usual go to in describing this, easy; people go looking for venues like Watchseries, Nowvideo Potlocker, Putlocker, Vidbull Grillavid, Movpod, Daclips and more when they can’t find or can’t afford ‘legal’ paying options, the DVD’s cost too much at present. Absent brick and mortar, physical video rental anymore too by the way, movies or TV, not eligible for a credit card, not comfortable putting it on the internet with the endless data breaches, want to sample a TV series before buying to add to their collection, they remain ‘legally’ choice-less; on the other hand people continuing to provide these watched videos do so tired of being taken for all the money in their wallet over TV and movies, music. Attention TV execs., have you considered for one second having free access to Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad exc. will bring in more people who like it, will purchase it in the home theater options just listed? In fact TV producers, distributes, whoever is in charge of format ought to be legally required to provide a functional, non-corrupted, virus, malware free copy to these sites then track what people search for and view and where in addition to Nielsen ratings systems (woefully out of date and in need of a replacement) to gage popularity and learn how people actually want to consume their media. To that end a word to all Watchseries type sites, don’t make me send screen shots of malfunctions to a separate website, ditch contact forms for e-mail help and support where said shots are easily added. Money a legitimate problem, and we don’t mean losing a billion in profits when you make an increasing double digit billion regularly, ad block truthfully getting in your way, then use ads smartly and effectively; that means demanding advertisers send you clean, no spam, virus, malware copies of things to be placed on websites, your site uses anti-virus/malware software that alerts you without a patron having to tell which commonly known virus you have and where. Turn down the resolution on ads, it doesn’t need to be HD for me to be interested if I am, limit video ads and total number of ads per page remembering low speed DSL; one of the reasons I personally switched to using Google Chrome over IE wasn’t a sudden flurry of common sense, what the tech world would say, but I noticed how much less my laptop ran hot, I could watch consecutive TV episodes with only a 5 minute break to cool it to normal with the lowest DSL speed available. Want to make more money, make retro shows available on DVD/Blu-ray; Nash Bridges and Star Trek DS9 shouldn’t be so hard to find, nor any of the others listed. Complete the series; leave your international squabbles and boardroom bullshit there and just let us watch. Formerly print media now on the web, don’t think locking articles to paid subscribers only will get you anything other than 2 middle fingers and a bad reputation. If you must use CAPTCHA codes, at least grow the brain Fanfictio.net did providing an audio version to type; because, the way it’s pictured it’s hard to tell l from i in what could be upper and lower case letter combos or what the vid- sharing sites did with contact forms— use numbers. Or you could simply stop timing out ISP’s, users for Google-ing things you don’t like. And when you’re done with that ditch the 4k this, smart this, that and all things else opting to fix the long standing holes in technology, better backwards compatibility for writers who create lots of word documents over the life of a PC, the keyboard problem, updates that actually work, hell software without the bugs in the first place, even if we have to wait an extra year. Why is that so impossible when CD’s and DVD’s have demonstrated their staying power, vinyl makes resurgences every so many years and the complaints about tech seem to be, like politics, recurring; making what these industries are doing about as sensible as shooting yourself in the foot just to see what it feels like— stupid.