Thursday, July 7, 2011

Google+ (And, no, I can't invite you... yet)

Dateline: "This link might upset you"

Or maybe I just don't know how to do an invite? I've read they opened up the gates again sometime last night, but I only read that this morning.

Some sources are calling it the "stealth roll-out." Not sure I buy that, but it's what they're saying. Three paragraphs and I haven't gotten to the point? What's this world coming to?

We're talking about Google+, or I am.

Most of my real-world friends and acquaintances aren't quite on it yet, unless they work for or work with Google in some heavy way. On the other hand, in a sense they are, at least those whose e-mail addresses I've managed to add to my various circles, circles whose names and contents are none of your business, but I half-expect to find you'll some day wind up with full access to them anyway.

Then again, who am I kidding? A lot fewer people are stalking me than would be good for my bank balance.

And I hate to be so cynical, but one has to wonder how much of the enthusiasm (among the Googlers most excited about this) is real and how much is tied to knowing that bonuses this year are heavily tied to the social media revolution that Larry Page apparently considers essential to Google maintaining its status and leadership on the web, or the net, or the cloud or whatever this mess is that we're using to distract ourselves from much that is real and important.

I'm actually hoping this will make some sorts of work easier...after all, in its present state it does allow me to contact anyone I want, as long as I know their email address, and many people I may not know except by way of their Google+ profile. This could be of use, since Facebook only allows me to contact those people who agree that they are my friends, and for many people, friend has many and varied definitions. Where Google+ is different, it seems, is in realizing that you and only you can define your circle of contacts, and that not all of them are necessarily friends, nor should they be.

It will be interesting to see how this all hashes out.

In the meanwhile, here's some hyperbole, I hope.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Again I ask myself, why all this damage?

Dateline: Tallscreen

Here's the net result of another round of YouTube frustration. I feel guilty now, and more than a little dirty that I persisted so much in trying to find a solution for the compression artifact problem this user was having, when the simpler solution was known to me. But I suppose I did persist in part because when I recommend Vimeo instead, I'm usually faced with the statement, "But YouTube is where all the viewers are!"

Sure they have that huge audience. But so much of the video is damaged, and one has to wonder, why persist at trying to address the problems when there is practically no transparency, and much of the guidance on rendering for YouTube, at least in the official "support" pages, is insufficient, or even (frequently) dead wrong? Well, at least this latest head-scraper made me go back and look at where the good videos are.

When YouTube manages to do this, I'll start to think they mean something about quality.  Granted, you could probably do it in an embedded player?  Not sure I really want to go to the trouble to test it, though, when I do have many other more pressing issues to deal with.

For more "tall" videos, see the Vimeo ||tallscreen group.