Flickr Users Look Down on YouTube

Jinkies, you’d think that Flickr was out clubbing seals given the negative reaction from the photo-sharing community to the site’s new video feature. Members are in full-on digital revolt with more than 30,000 members joining anti-video groups, and a multi-language petition to have video removed.

More entertaining than the idea that a digital petition will actually do anything (it won’t), is the level of anti-YouTube sentiment in the forums. The Flickr community looks down on those YouTube hoi polloi. Here’s a sampling of comments from the Flickr forums:

Let me demonstrate why I don’t want videos on Flickr.
Flickr photo comment: “Well done, very nice composition!”
YouTube video comment: “wtf dat shiz wack no1 even died ths sux”

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Flickr Adds (Short) Video

Flickr fanatics can now upload and share video alongside their photos, but those clips will have to be short. The long-awaited Flickr video feature isn’t intended to be a YouTube (or even a Yahoo Video) killer, instead, Flickr is trying to make its video offering an extension of its photo experience with an emphasis on short clips taken with digital still cameras.

Only Flickr pro members can upload video (Pro membership costs $25 a year), but any public video is viewable by anyone. Videos are limited to 90 seconds in length and 150MB maximum file size. Which doesn’t sound like much, but for the type of service Flickr wants to offer, should be plenty.

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Rickrolling: A Timeline

On April 1, Rickrolling became Public Enemy No. 1 to those devoted to serious Internet browsing. Since it’s always best to understand one’s enemy — and since tracking the evolution of this meme is a challenge worth undertaking — we thus present:


Rickrolling: A Timeline

1969: First message is sent via ARPANET (precursor of the Internet).

1987: Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up hits Number 1 in the United Kingdom.

2005: YouTube lauches online.

June 20, 2006
: First appearance of Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up video (as dubbed from VH1’s Pop-Up Video) appears on YouTube, uploaded by user belgianpassion. (As of April 2008, it has been viewed nearly 1.2 million times.)

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Yahoo Aims to Keep Mobile Content in OnePlace

Yahoo onePlace screenshotYahoo has unveiled a new personalized mobile web content management utility called onePlace. The tool, which will be launched in the second quarter of 2008 as part of Yahoo Go 3.0 (a previously announced mobile application that enables easy access to existing mobile Yahoo services), will be able to track on mobile devices emails, news feeds, web sites, videos, search queries and more.

This means you’ll be able to manage My Yahoo feeds, stock portfolios, Flickr photos and even keep an eye on YouTube, Digg, Facebook and many other sites. Marking content will be as easy as bookmarking it in a browser, according to a company statement. And all web content will be able to be tagged, allowing disparate items to be categorized in a flexible manner.

If onePlace is user-friendly, it will be a powerful force in mobile content aggregation. With Google and Microsoft starting to ramp up their mobile online offerings, this is one area where Yahoo needs to flex their muscle.

Apple TV ‘Take 2’ – Post Upgrade Melancholy

For the past 24+ hours RSS readers around the globe have been awash with OS X 10.5.2 update news and notes on the ancillary side updates. The Cupertino software barrage continued today, including the Apple TV “Take 2”, which added access to iTunes rentals, Flickr/.Mac photos/movies and HD trailers.

I started the download before my evening run and it was ready to install when I finally had time to complete the upgrade. What followed was a series of very un-Apple events. From the point I told it to start the process to being greeted with the new main menu I received practically no useful feedback apart from the pretty silver-grey Apple logo and a progress bar. I experienced waiting through at least three reboots, had “static” appear (briefly) and was finally placed into a completely foreign menu system. Apple provided no verbiage on what was going on nor whether each step was truly successful, and there were no “go to… to learn more about the update” prompts to help me prepare for the feature changes & additions. While I didn’t need those prompts, I suspect there were more than a few Apple TV users who would have really appreciated them since navigation is – in some places – radically different.

As far as the new features are concerned, Flickr & .Mac integration work very well (for as long as we have Flickr…sigh) and are easy to configure. I haven’t had the opportunity to try purchasing or renting anything from the integrated storefront (perhaps if they had managed to get Martian Child in on the Tuesday store update I would have had more reason to), but I suspect they made extra effort to get that right given how it sets up a nice, direct revenue stream for them. HD trailers, however, are just horrible. Wall•E (our two year old loves the trailer) stalled five times despite the Apple TV being hooked up via Ethernet and my Comcast link being very solid/speedy (contrast the trailer hiccups with the 180MB 10.5.2 update retrieval which downloaded in just under 2 minutes, though I realize it’s not a completely fair comparison).

So, overall, I was left a bit disappointed after the update, but look forward to being able to use the new features as Apple expands their video library and improves retrieval of HD content.

What’s your Apple TV ‘Take 2’ story and what are your thoughts on the update? If you’ve tried purchasing or renting directly from the Apple TV, how easy/seamless was it? Any hiccups with trailers, .Mac or Flickr? Share your experiences over at the Community or drop a note in the comments.

RoadSync from DataViz – 40% off this month


Amidst all of the iPhone hype last summer, I showed a brief video overview of RoadSync from DataViz. This third party app provides an alternative method for Windows Mobile devices to synch with Microsoft Exchange, plus it brings this functionality to other platforms like Symbian, UIQ and Palm OS. Normally the software runs you $49.99, but I just got word from the DataViz folks that you can grab it for $29.99, which is 40% off. You can always trial the software for 30-days before dropping some coin, but this offer expires at the end of the month.If your running Windows Mobile 5 or 6, you’re outta luck on this one as the product only supports Windows Mobile 2003 on the Microsoft side. In the short time I used RoadSync on a Nokia N81, I was generally impressed. It’s a great solution for devices that don’t have a native way to synch to Microsoft Exchange 2003 or 2007.

jkOnTheRun review- WiBrain B1-H UMPC

WibrainfullviewNote to self: never get a review unit of anything two weeks before or after CES. Not even a new-fangled USB paperweight. OK, not that I’ve got that personal productivity mantra off my chest, it’s time to provide a review of the WiBrain UMPC on loan from Dynamism. I’ll start with a rundown of the specs to level-set you, along with the fact that this device configuration currently sells for $849. Right up until the recent (and drastic) price reduction of the Vulcan Flipstart which now goes for $699, I was telling anyone who would listen that the WiBrain is has a great price to value ratio. It still does, but there are clearly competitors as the low-priced portable market continues to gain momentum. If you missed our unboxing and video Geek Session of the WiBrain, now’s a good time to get a quick video overview.
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Library of Congress Goes Web 2.0

Armed with a belief in the wisdom of crowds, the Library of Congress has made two of its photo collections available on Flickr. The government library hopes that more people will be able to view the photos online — and help librarians organize them by way of user-generated tags. Check out the pilot project at a new Flickr area called The Commons, where other institutions can also post their public photos for sorting and posterity. Given that some of the 3,000 photos submitted by the Library are missing information, the librarians hope users can identify people and places, thus contributing more information for historians. If this project works, perhaps the Library will feel comfortable releasing more than .02 percent of its archives onto the web.