Miro Internet TV Blog - Archive for September, 2006

Become a VJ

Friday, September 29th, 2006

telemusicvision banner

Telemusicvision, a channel of DVD-quality independent music videos (and one of the Democracy Player default channels) has a new contest to become a VJ for the channel– you can be the person that introduces videos and interviews bands on one of the most popular internet tv channels. Check it: Become a telemusicvision VJ.

What’s coming in Democracy Player 0.9.1: Part 2

Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

In Part 1, I talked about improvements to speed and memory use that will be in the next version. Today I have some details of features and bug fixes that we’re working on.

1. The most exciting ‘feature’ that we’re adding to this release is Search Channels. Whenever you do a video search (Google or YouTube) or whenever you search a channel for a keyword, you’ll be able to save that search as it’s own channel.

Let’s say I want to automatically download Google Video videos that are about ‘Worcester’, my home town. I just do a search for ‘Worcetser’, click ‘save this search as a channel’, and set it that channel to auto-download. Or, perhaps I have a feed like the ‘recent videos’ feed at Blip.tv that has lots of different stuff flowing through all the time. I can easily make a Search Channel that will download any video about ‘rainbows’ that shows up on the feed, without downloading everything else on the feed. In fact, I don’t even need to stay subscribed to the full ‘recent videos’ feed– the Search Channel can live on its own.

2. On Mac, version 0.9 already allows you to import video files when you first run Democracy. That way you can quickly get all the videos on your computer listed in ‘My Collection’, your new homebase for watching what you’ve got. In 0.9.1, the Windows and Linux versions will have this feature also.

3. Lots of bug fixes are happening. We’re working to improve the reliability of external torrent downloads– there are bugs that can cause downloads to interrupt and that can prevent Democracy Player from recovering correctly from torrent errors. We should be fixing most, if not all, of those problems. There are a few rare crashes that have been reported, and those will be fixed as well, in addition to some other small problems.

I said I would write about some significant UI changes that we’re making and I will… in part 3! Hopefully, I’ll have a screenshot or two to show off by then.

A Harvard course available on Democracy?!

Saturday, September 23rd, 2006

In addition to my work for PCF, I also am part of a very interesting new course at the Harvard Law School. The course, titled CyberOne: Law in the Court of Public Opinion, is an experiment in open access — all course materials, lecture videos, reading lists, and wikis are freely accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

CyberOne is a somewhat outlandish course, which happens to be setting a few Harvard milestones. First off, no course in Harvard history has been made freely available to all internet users. Equally extraordinary, the class is being offered to Harvard Extension students in a persistent 3d world, called Second Life.

On Mondays and Tuesdays, the course is taught to law students, on the Harvard campus. The lecture videos are then made available to both Harvard Extension students and to all internet users “at-large,” usually within 24 hours of the class period.

The course itself is both message and medium. To begin, the students are being exposed to examples of participatory and collaborative advocacy, posed in various forms of networked media, including: blogs, podcasts, wikis, online video, and more.

Once the theoretical foundations have been laid, the course will shift gears from conceptual to practical. Self-selected groups of students will be required to identify an issue, of their choosing, and subsequently launch a project centered around advocating their chosen topic (non-students are encouraged to create projects of their own, and/or join student groups). Participants will then extend the projects onto the internet, employing the various techniques and media studied in class.

I want to personally welcome all interested parties to join in the fun — this is a fully fledged Harvard course that begs for your active participation!

The simplest way to begin is by watching the lecture videos — get them delivered with this one-click Democracy link. To remain informed of opportunities for participation, join the course mailing list. If you’re interested in further involvement, add your personal profile to the CyberOne course wiki (our wiki can be edited by anyone). Finally, get involved in a project, or, if you’re feeling extra-motivated, start your own.

The course is being led by Harvard Law Professor Charles Nesson and his daughter, Rebecca Nesson, who teaches comp-sci at Harvard. In addition to the Nessons, there are a number of talented folks working behind the scenes, or in the guise of 3d avatars, who keep things operating smoothly. Suffice to say that I feel incredibly lucky to be working alongside them.

Oh, and Democracy Player gets some props in video 3.2, from September 18th (roughly 5 minutes in).

Rising in search results

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

All our blog buzz in the past few months has been moving us up in Google for some key search terms. We’re now 3rd for the search ‘democracy’ and we’re numbers 5 and 6 for ‘internet tv’.

Yahoo has us 2nd for ‘democracy’ and 1st for ‘internet tv’.

‘internet TV’ is the key search term that we’d like to be number 1 for. Maybe Google will give us a break in a couple months.

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