Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tenenbaum - RIAA Case Webcast

Happy Mardi Gras!  And don't forget that today is free pancake day at IHOP!  :)

Well, a hearing from the Joel Tenenbaum - RIAA case was supposed to be webcast this afternoon, but it looks like the webcast won't be happening until later, if ever at all!  It looks like the hearing that was scheduled for today has been pushed back until April 30 and the recording industry is still fighting to ban the webcast.  The webcast was going to be one of the rare times that a recording from a Federal trial court was going to be allowed.  I hope that the court will allow the upcoming hearing to be webcast!  From browsing around online, it appears that there are a LOT of people interested in watching it!   

The lawsuit is from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) against Boston University student Joel Tenenbaum and others.  This particular hearing was for oral arguments of the parties' motions concerning the defendant's counterclaims, with the actual trial probably scheduled to begin in June.  In the lawsuit, the RIAA is seeking $1 million for 7 copyrighted songs that Joel Tenenbaum downloaded in 2004 over peer-to-peer networks.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ustream and Qik

I read two things recently about live video streaming websites Ustream and Qik that I thought were pretty interesting.  

Here's the first about Ustream.

Ustream just launced a service called Watershed for companies that want to upgrade from the free Ustream video player.  The service will range between $.25 to $1 per viewer hour, based on the number of viewers, and features will include the ability to add a logo, chat, polling, video chat, Twitter integration, analytics and more.  Sometimes I get frustrated by the current Ustream webcasts, so it will be interesting to see if many companies use this new service and make substantial improvements to their webcasts.

Here's the second about Qik.

A few days ago, someone on Qik live streamed a minute of his wife in the hospital while she was giving birth via c-section.  He did not show the actual surgery, just his wife's face, but the hospital had requested that he not record the birth.  Anyways, based on the article's reader comments, it looks like a lot of people have very strong opinions one way or another about whether or not this was appropriate.  We'll see how people's feelings about this change over the years, as I am sure that this will just become more common! 

Friday, February 13, 2009

Facebook & Cupcakes

I was so excited last night because late last night on facebook, I received an "update" from one of my "groups" (The Smithsonian Institution).  The update was about a live webcast today from 2-5 pm with an artist creating portraits of Obama and Lincoln out of cupcakes for President's Day.  I had not come across any mentions of that webcast before, so thank goodness for facebook!  It has been so much fun watching this webcast!  They are almost done completing the portrait, and it looks great!  It is made out of over 5,600 chocolate, vanilla, and red velvet cupcakes.  Tomorrow they are going to have coverage from the museum from 12-6:30 as well.  I'm not exactly sure what they will show, but at 5:00 they are going to let visitors eat the cupcakes!  I wish that I could go, but I'll be out of town.  Oh well.....

Monday, February 9, 2009


I have really grown to love twitter over the past month.  I can't believe that I've only really been twittering for a month now and I already have almost 300 updates.  I originally signed up for twitter for personal use early last year, but I wasn't really sure what I would use it for.  To communicate with friends, I would just use email (or facebook now).  Anyways, it is perfect though for sending out real-time updates to notify followers when live webcasts are about to start.  I've also recently started using the search function more and it is pretty neat to find people who have enjoyed the webcasts that we have listed!  Anyways, basically, I think that twitter is great!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Super Bowl - So, Why No Webcast?

Well, I watched the Super Bowl yesterday, but it was very disappointing to me since there was no official live webcast!  The NFL did stream the NBC Sunday Night games for free throughout this season, so I was really disappointed that they didn't follow through with a webcast of the biggest game of the year!  The Sunday night games were produced really well, with multiple streams, statistics, and chats.  It would have been a really nice touch to have the same features for last night's game.  

Four main reasons I can think of for why the NFL should have streamed the Super Bowl are:

- Allow people who are not near a tv to watch the game (I guess this really means people at work!).

- Allow people who do not own a tv to watch the game.  From what I have been reading, more and more people are getting rid of their tvs and just using the internet to watch programs.

- Online coverage allows for those extra special features such as multiple camera angles.

- When there is no webcast, it is frustrating for viewers who assume that it will be available online.

Plus did I mention that it is 2009!!  :)