Archive for the ‘You Tube’ Tag

These songs helped me get through the last 12 months   Leave a comment

…For those who didn’t know, today is my birthday. I would’ve posted this sooner but I was at Anime Boston until about 2 hours ago. That’ll be my whole weekend. LOL.

Anywho, here are 15 songs I have listened to quite alot since my last birthday. No doubt most of these will surprise you:

15. Despacito by Luis Fonsi feat. Daddy Yankee
14. Team Skull Theme from Pokemon Sun/Moon and Pokemon UltraSun/UltraMoon
13. Lost in Thoughts All Alone by Reina Strober (Fire Emblem Fates)
12. Some Bodies Gonna Get It (WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry’s Entrance Music)
11. The Future (WWE Superstar Asuka’s Entrance Music)
10. The Rising Sun (WWE Superstar Shinsuke Nakamura’s Entrance Music)
9. Champion by The Roots
8. River in the Desert by Lyn (Persona 5)
7. Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There by Lyn (Persona 5 OP)
6. Beneath the Mask by Lyn (from Persona 5)
5. The Hero!! by The JAM Project (One Punch Man Season 1 OP)
4. History Maker by Dean Fujioka (Yuri!!! On Ice OP)
3. Mother Africa by The African Children’s Choir
2. N’kosi Siekele Afrika (God Bless Africa) – South Africa’s National Anthem
1. Unto Us (Isaiah 9) by Sandi Patti

…I believe this is the first time I have put together a list that didn’t include anything Michael Jackson. All of these songs are on my iPod as well. My playlist is very…international to say the least. Feel free to look up all of these if you’d like. My reasons for putting all of these songs on the list has a story and I will update this post to explain after the weekend.

For now, here’s 3 of the songs courtesy of YouTube:

 

…Update to this post to come sometime next week.

Also, please donate via PayPal if you are able. I’m mostly saying that because it’s my birthday but really, it would be appreciated ^_^

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If you’re in the U.S. and don’t have a passport, you should get one and here’s why   Leave a comment

Image result for U.S. Passport

 

…Fair warning: This does have to do with politics.

A recent straw poll done revealed less than half of Americans have a Passport. I myself am one of those who don’t have an active Passport but I plan to change that as soon as I can. For the first time, the United Nations issued a travel advisory earlier this year for people to avoid certain parts of the U.S. due to politics mostly.

I won’t mince words: The political climate in Boston is volatile. It is simply because to many, “things aren’t that bad” or ” things don’t have to be” as far as they care. By “doesn’t have to be” they mean “Just shut up, stop whining, keep your head down and follow the rules. You have no idea how lucky you are to live in The greatest country in the world”.

I say this because ever since last year’s election, the biggots and racists who hid in the shadows have come out in force. They’re not just saying “Go back to Africa/Mexico!” to Blacks and Hispanics. They’re now saying “If you don’t like it here, go somewhere else!” to other Whites. Madness, I know.

Which brings me to this video I recorded yesterday:

…It really is something else.

The funny thing about the whole “Go back to Africa!” thing: They keep saying it to blacks WHO WERE BORN IN THE U.S. LOL. So, yeah. Of course, the comment is racially intended. There are many Black Americans who don’t even know most of Africa isn’t as “backwater” as they might think it is and definitely not with all the American money being poured into it over the last 30 years alone.

Anywho my point is it might not be such a bad idea to at least open yourself to the idea of living abroad. You can live outside the U.S. and retain your citizenship. There are lots of countries in which you can have a fairly smooth transition. Obviously some planning would still be necessary. This is something I have been thinking about since 2009 personally believe it or not.

If I were to pick a country to live in either short-term or long-term–or even permanently–here’s my Top 5:

 

  1. The Philippines: A former U.S. Territory, English is one of the official languages. The country has alot of untapped potential for anyone willing to invest in it. This is my top choice simply because I would be able to make a new life for myself here and not think about what I leave behind in the U.S. I would also have a fairly easy time getting settled and national politics can be safely ignored the further away from the capital you are.
  2. Kenya: Based on what I am hearing, there is ALOT of promise and of reasons to invest in this country’s future. It has fast become a powerhouse in the region and another light on The Dark Continent. I considered South Africa but the comparisons to the U.S. are a bit too strong.
  3. Canada: Goes without saying I technically don’t need a passport to go here. Toronto is 500 miles from Boston. There is already a mass migration of Americans crossing into Canada, after all. The political climate is certainly more stable than the U.S.
  4. Japan: Ah, the Anime Capital of the World. Probably not live permanently but I definitely would love to spend some time here. If not mainland Japan then one of islands far to the south.
  5. American Samoa: It has the same status as Puerto Rico but is in the Pacific Ocean. There wouldn’t be a language barrier either.

…Those are it. All of them are democratic countries or territories as well.

The way I see it, there are too many Americans who are ignorant of what is going on outside the U.S. They simply go by what they see on the evening news and assume that’s it. My point is there’s no harm in traveling. I certainly plan to once I am able to afford it. LOL.

On a more serious note, if you wait until things are dangerous for  you to try to travel then you waited too long.

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The latest Viral Dance Craze has divided the Internet   Leave a comment

I’m of course referring to The Nae Nae:

This one totally went over my head when I first heard about it in February. In fact, I had to ask my Facebook contacts about it the other day. Buzzfeed compiled everything you might wanna know here.

Then NECN featured this local principal doing the Nae Nae on the first day of school:

That said, I just emailed the principal of the Holmes School (where I will be working this school year) and asked her if she would be interested in doing it on Tuesday. If she agrees, I will post the video. Even if she declines, I plan to do it myself.

Getting back to the main topic, the song has divided the internet. On one side, you have those who love the song for the dance. On the other side, you have those who hate the song’s repetativeness, simplicity and lack of any substance despite being categorized as “Hip Hop”. That said, it definitely ISN’T music and was never meant to be “enjoyed” alone: All the song does is tell you what to do and nothing more. I rarely say this publicly but those who hate the song are haters or jealous haters who are just mad they never thought of comingup with the cash grab first. LOL.

Speaking of interactive songs, there was another song that came out about 15 years back that is still considered today one of, if not the greatest dance song ever thought of:

Yep, DJ Casper’s Cha Cha Slide. This song’s selling point, like Watch Me Whip/Nae Nae is literally nothing but telling you what to do yet it hasn’t received any of the hate the newer song has. Makes no sense if you ask me.

At present, Watch Me Whip/Nae Nae has clocked in nearly 196 Million hites on You Tube. If you think that’s alot, keep in mind the You Tube King Gangnam Style by Psy has 2,406,842,219 hits (and still counting!), a feat highly unlikely to be topped anytime soon. The question to ask is “Is this You Tube video something I will want to watch every day several times a day?” When you keep that in mind, the answer is obvious =D

Speaking of Michael Jackson…   Leave a comment

What you are about to see is Michael Jackson personified in 17-year old Brett W. Nichols. The video speaks for itself:

The kid did his homework. By the way, he won the Talent Show no surprise.

Here’s footage of MJ doing Billie Jean in Bucharest in 1992 for comparison:

Reportedly the kid’s been studying Michael Jackson’s dance moves for 10 years. He is also a self-styled perfectionist when it comes to the choreography just like the man who inspired him to do this. In an interview he did after the video went viral, he said there were still things he needed to work on. Even sweeter: He’ll be back next year =O

When I first got wind of the video this morning, the video had 1.5 Million hits. 12 hours later, the video has over 5.4 million hits on You Tube!

Topics I will NEVER go into detail with on ANY of my blogs   Leave a comment

Given the massive range of topics I’ve blogged about for almost two years, it might surprise you to know there are a few things I’ve sworn to never talk about in more than necessary detail. I’ve eluded to some but never fully explained why.

Until now.

As I’ve said to some friends at work, the blogs give me a sense of purpose just as the stories and fanfics provide a constructive outlet for my creative thought process. Having said that, I knew when I first started blogged on Xanga a bit over 10 years ago (I was in high school when I made my Xanga account) there were certain things I should never touch for one reason or another.

 

Update 4/11/2014: For those who read my post on Facebook a short time ago, see #2.

Update 5/26/2014: In light of a development at work, I have removed the name of my current place of employment from this post for the time being. I have also edited the last two paragraphs in light of the recent tragedy in California.

 

Now I’m going to tell you what those topics are and why I avoid talking about them on my blogs:

  1. Theism vs. Atheism/Creative Design vs. Evolution: Honestly, it’s not because I’m a Theist who believes the world was created in 7 literal days that I don’t want to talk about this on my blogs. It’s just too divisive to have a cohesive discussion on it with the predominatly self-professed atheiests of the internet world. There’s also the fact Theists have historically demonstrated over and over again the inability to agree to disagree with a viewpoint different from their own. I can make a blog post in and of itself on this ALONE so…yeah.
  2. My Family’s Issues: I admit this was something I considered fair game until last spring. A couple years ago, I held back  on some of the stuff I used to say on Facebook after I became aware members of my immediate family was reading it and immediatelt jumping to their own conclusions. As I said on Facebook a short time ago, one of my sisters proved to me she’s not someone I can trust not to run to the family with some of the stuff I post on Facebook and WordPress. Not that I’m gonna let that knowledge stop me. I’ll just be more obvious about it.
  3. Work-Related Issues: I’ve seen the news enough times to know not to say anything I know I shouldn’t say on my blogs or Facebook. Obvious student privacy rights aside, there’s also the fact many of my coworkers and parents of my school’s students follow me on Facebook and by extension, WordPress. To those who may have been secretly hoping I’d air dirty laundry on my blog on the side, you can forget it. Me obviously wanting to keep my job aside, it’s just common sense. If there is an issue involving me and another member of the my school community or two members of the school community that I’m aware of, I don’t talk about it with those not directly involved. It’s not just the school’s policy but it’s MY policy first and foremost. I also don’t want to inadvertantly be responsible for unnecessary drama at work. I’ve had my fill of that on various internet forums over the last 16 years.
  4. How to Pirate Copyrighted Material: Given I just published two books in the last week this should come as no surprise. Do I know how to pirate stuff? Sure. Do I know how to pirate stuff and cover my tracks? Absolutely. For the kind of audiences my blogs attract I’ve decided for myself those who really want to pirate stuff don’t need any help from me and I REALLY don’t need to piss off the Anime and Video Game Industries.
  5. My Mental Wellbeing: This goes with #2 more or less: What goes on in my head is my business alone. The only people who I feel need to know will know. My sanity was established 13 years ago after I said something stupid in high school (more on that coming in the book later this year, hehe). There’s also the fact I’ve been deceiving my immediate family for 20 years and unfortunately for them, by the time they realize the “why” part it’ll be too late for them to apologize. I’ll pause for a moment and say no, I’m not planning anything violent or self-destructive. I just hate internet drama and when the parties involved are family members or at the very least can see each other everyday, it needs to stay the fuck off the internet.

 

Aside from that, the above are off-limits in terms of what I WILL NOT talk about on ANY of my blogs. I don’t have a problem disclosing that fact some of my other internet identities are Victor Bravo and Kevin Tyler. I don’t have a problem saying at the end of the day, I tend to have a long-standing disregard for authority figures. That stance changes only if I deem you worthy of my respect. If you’re from my school community, you can relax. I love you guys ^_^

When you’ve been treated the way I have your entire life by almost every single person you’ve ever known, after a while why bother? Those authority figures I do trust know who they are so I see no reason to go down the list of authority figures I do and don’t trust here. You have to earn it with me. There’s more I’d like to say on the subject but I’m saving it for the book. I will say anything I post online I am prepared to be held accountable for. That’s not an unreasonable expectation. Starting to think I’m a little unstable? Isn’t everybody? No? Well, you’re entitled to your OPINION =O

 

The You Tube Revolution has FINALLY Begun   Leave a comment

All I can really say is it’s about time.

I was one of the first to stand up and say You Tube was systematically taking away their users freedom of expression in conjuction with the RIAA. Some will say the problems started when YouTube was bought by Google 6 years ago. Before the buyout You Tube was a massive free for all. Everything under the sun including pirated movies, tv shows and so on were shared on You Tube. After the buyout YouTube cleaned house.

The problem is they didn’t stop there.

Things escalated from closing accounts used to upload pirated movies to blocking videos in the U.S. for having copyrighted music playing in the background. Now granted, the buyout by Google brought some organization to YouTube but nowadays you’ll find few who make music who actually likes the RIAA. It’s free advertising for them as far as they’re concerned. Oh, speaking of advertisements. As I’m sure you’ve been finding out all year, Google has been coming up with new and creative ways to stick advertisements in every single video on You Tube. This is kinda related but for those who have Chromebooks, did you know Google is using the info you store on those computers to better spam you with junk mail? That isn’t baseless rhetoric from Apple and Microsoft (“Don’t get Scroogled”). It’s fact.

Anyway, folks are beginning to take a stand against You Tube’s practices. Now don’t get me wrong Google has no plans on EVER changing its copyright policy. They have it set up in a way that ANYONE can claim copyrighted material is theirs even though it’s obvious they’re not the copyright holder. It’s an automated system that requires little to no oversight from a Google employee. Ergo, it’s not equitable to change their system.

The only options we video makers/uploaders have is to go elsewhere or make a new video host site. I think a combimation of both is in order. I have been looking at Daily Motion, Blip.tv, Vimeo and Veoh. over the last two years as alternatives. I think it would be far better for someone to just make a site than to just jump to one of those sites. More and more Cable Channels, Anime Companies, Major Sports (NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, Olympics, NCAA, NASCAR, etc.) and sports entertainment (WWE, UFC and TNA) have been streaming their programs through their own websites. Yes, much of it is because some folks will upload live feeds to You Tube after it aired but at the same time they don’t want their content regulated by a third party company.

Now I want to back up a little bit and give the less tech-savy folks out there who use You Tube in on three truths you should always keep in mind:

  1. Unless otherwise noted, an ordinary person like you uploaded the video to the site.
  2. If the video contains copyrighted music and the uploader is not a musician, it will be flagged and blocked or removed in short order.
  3. You Tube has a Three Strikes Policy when it comes to uploading Copyrighted or offendable material. Three Strikes and your account’s closed.

 

See, the thing less tech-savy folks SHOULD know is You Tube’s automated system only does what it’s programmed to do. It does take into account, for example someone walking by with Lady Gaga blaring on their iPhone. It does not account for someone WITH permission uploading copyrighted material. All it knows is someone not in its recorded uploaded something in conflict with the programmed peramaters. Fanmade Music Videos made with copyrighted songs used to be everywhere until a few years ago. What happened? The new copyright policy is what happened. It forced those who make AMVs as they’re also called to look to other sites or just use Rapidshare or Mediafire.

At last, The Revolution has begun.

As more and more people become aware, new video host sites will rise. I don’t expect these new sites to reach even the level of popularity You Tube has but when they come they will be here to stay.

The thing about DRM You Should Know   Leave a comment

When we talk about Bootleg Media and Pirated Movies or Music this usually comes to mind:

Or this:

Times have certainly changed.

As you may be aware Movie, Music, Software and Video Game companies have been taking agressive steps over the last 14 years to combat the piracy of their products. At the close of the last century, when you talked about Pirating Music this website came to mind:

For those who don’t know their Internet History, Napster was the first and most popular Filesharing King. That was before the service and Napster Founder Sean Parker–then considered the Robin Hood of the Industry by Napster supporters–were taken down by the RIAA (Record Inudstry Association of America), which was originally formed specifically to shut down Napster and the copycat filesharing serrvices it spawned. Of course, in the years since then Napster came back as an online music store.

Even so, the internet has since been feeling the effects of the revolution Napster ignited before they want legit. Copycat filesharing services like Limewire, eMule, Etomi Pro and Kazza stepped in to fill the massive void created whe Napster was taken down. Given several million people worldwide engage in filesharing worldwide, it’s clear threats of multimillion dollar fines and 100-year prison sentences from the RIAA aren’t enough to discourage the people who do it.

That isn’t to say companies aren’t getting with the times and offering services similar to the filesharing programs to give people more control over how they can get their mits on their favorite media. Before I continue, first let me refer you to a couple of You Tube videos on the subject of DRM (Digital Rights Management).

Of course this one specifically targets people who upload copyrighted material to You Tube despite the fact 90% of time the uploaded media is covered by Fair Use or would otherwise be considered a Derrivative Work.

…And this one is pretty self-explanatory =D

Here is the text he pasted in the video:

“Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.”

Again: 90% of what people upload to You Tube is covered by Fair Use. The link above goes into more detail.

Now here is DRM explained:

VERY recently DRM was front and center when Microsoft unveiled its Xbox One game system. The next-gen console, which is going to be released later this year was originally going to have strict anti-piracy systems in place–at the expense of the consumer. Read this blog I wrote before Microsoft backpedaled after the public uproar.

Speaking for myself, I support a company’s right to protect their product from theft. What I have a problem with is cases like SimCity 2013 in which you don’t actually own the game you paid for and instead you paid $60 for a client to stream the game on your computer. While I buy the reasons Maxis explained for this at the core, it’s because of DRM they released the game the way they did.

 

Sony Music is easily one of, if not the worst offender when it comes to DRM: In 2009 it was revealed Sony been embedding spyware and trackware on physical music CDs. Spyware and Trackware are both programs used to monitor the computers they’re install on, usually for malicious purposes. Sony’s explaination for the spying? To scan the hard drives of customers for pirated music. That’s their explaination but that could and usually does lead to other things. Luckily it was discovered when it did or other companies would think it cool to do that. It’s not about weather someone has something to hide. It’s the principle as well as a blatant invasion of privacy. Someone going through your hard drive is no different from someone going through your bedroom.

 

Contrary to a long standing popular belief, when you buy a physical or digial media (Movie, Song, game, etc.) you don’t actually own it. Your purchase is simply you buying the license to use the media for personal, commercial or private use depending on the license. For example you don’t actually own your copy of The Departed. You simply have legal permission to watch it however you want whenever you want but only if the audience is 50 people or less and you don’t charge people to watch the movie. Both would legally be considered theft. Even movie theaters have to pay a licensing fee (distribution). NO ONE is exempt.

Now that I’ve no doubt half-scared some of you or made another chunk of you a little paranoid, DRM does work both ways. You are entitled to certain rights as the licensee or to say that in plain English; The person who bought the movie or album.

  • Your purchase should work as advertised or you are entitled to a refund or similar compensation.
  • You are protected from prosecution as long as you do not try to profit from the media in some way.

Some companies have been going above and beyond what’s expected of them to support their consumers:

  • Apple’s iCloud is easily the best: Once you buy a movie or song you more or less “own” it forever. You can download it to as many authorized devices as you want without restriction at no additional cost. Got a new computer? You can download ALL of your iTunes purchases with a single click on your new one.
  • Xbox Live (XBL) and The Playstation Network (PSN) come in second with theirs. Once you buy a game, movie or TV Episode you can immediately download it to your console or PC (If you use Media Go or Zune) or just stream it if you prefer. Once it’s been downloaded you can use it as much as you want even if the title is no longer available for purchase later. The drawback to both XBL and the PSN is your license only grants you 5 downloads so if you use up all of those downloads you’ll need to make a new account to get it again. I was lucky when I got my desktop 3 years ago and was able to convince Microsoft to give me a full refund in Microsoft Points of purchases I couldn’t transfer to my new computer. A good $215 worth of media.
  • Amazon and Netflix both offer Streaming in addition to physical movies. Amazon has a streaming App for Apple, Android and Microsoft Products that you can use to enjoy your music and movies without even having to download them. The Netflix Client can be used on everything under the sun including the Nintendo 3DS and Playstation Vita so…yeah.

And of course when you buy Blu-Ray Movies you usually get three copies: The Blu-Ray version, a Standard Definition Version (Regular DVD) and a digital copy. These days, many software companies require online registration to use their products. Some of you might remember this blog I wrote for Microsoft Office 2013. This is obviously Microsoft’s way of protecting its product from being pirated but as I said in that blog, I use Open Source alternatives to MS Office.

All in all, if you’re going to use DRM it shouldn’t infringe on the rights of the honest people who make up the majority of people who consume media. On the other hand there are times when piracy can and does actually help companies by telling them what consumers want. Just look at Napster and iTunes. iTunes exists because of Napster. The same can be said for Megaupload, Box.net and the Cloud services that have popped up in recent years. For the video game industry it’s because of Steam all of the console makers give gamers the option of downloading full games directly to their consoles, cutting out need to get a physical copy.

Think what you want about it but for all intents and purposes, if it wasn’t for Napster online stores as we know them probably wouldn’t exist.

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