Category Archives: Tech

The Best of Off-Network Streaming Video News

I’ve been doing some research on video news delivery over the Internet and found these as some of the best.

Why off-network? Because the TV, cable, and satellite news providers have a formula to get you to watch their commercials and it drives most of us crazy – long on tease and promotion, short on information and actual news.

You can spend a half hour watching network or local affiliate news and get about 8-12 stories. Who has time for that? I really don’t care to watch their non-stop fancy production graphics and their promos. Get to the news already! Those same 8-12 stories can be delivered in 10-15 minutes without all the fluff.

The news videos I found are not big on hi-end video production values but they provide a lot of information in their broadcasts.

Vimeo has over 13 thousand videos in their “news” and reporting & journalism categories. That includes a lot of promo videos masquerading as news, video news packages from Iran, Vietnam, and other countries, trade show video news segments, etc.

YouTube has a mix of the usual networks, local affiliates, government or quasi-government video (like Voice of America), corporate news, and much more… 7.5 billion videos that are tagged “news.” Virtually every possible media outlet has a YouTube Channel.

Here’s just a few of the good streaming news productions that provide great information to their audiences (doesn’t include the usual networks for the above reasons):

Tech News Weekly

Science News
Non-Profit Society for Science & the Public has been published as a magazine since 1922. They started their YouTube Channel in 2013.

This Week in Palm Beach (Full Disclosure: R. Michael Brown from Brownie Bytes writes and produces this)

Australian Mid-Western Regional Council Community News

Post-lite weekly news and events for the week from Lorton Valley, Virgina Star newspaper, with Valerie Nalls of Nalls Produce

What makes these broadcasts great is the writing and producing!  The audio for the most part is not off-the-cuff, it’s planned out, not lots of useless banter from the anchor or between those on the screen, and the visuals match what is said.

Seems simple, right?  Believe me there is a lot of streaming drivel out there. Chatty intros and what must be inside jokes because I didn’t get it.  Moving powerpoint like screens with voiceover, or no audio at all – just text on the screen to read – YIKES!  Reading videos?

Of course there are many streaming news services. The more the subscribers, the higher production values. Listed in order of views or subscribers:

YouTube News (34 million subscribers)
This is the aggregation of what Google (YouTube owner) deems a news outlet.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYfdidRxbB8Qhf0Nx7ioOYw

The Young Turks (4 million subscribers)
Liberal (they say Progressive) streaming site.
https://www.youtube.com/user/TheYoungTurks

Russia Today [RT] (2.8 million subscribers)
RT is a global news channel broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios.
https://www.youtube.com/user/RussiaToday

Vice News (3.3 million subscribers)
HBO News Network
https://www.youtube.com/user/vicenews

There are many more, millions in fact. See them in the link below:
https://www.youtube.com/results?sp=CANCBAgBEgA%253D&search_query=news

The point is, you don’t need hi-end production to deliver a great video news service to your audience. Just great writing and producing.  Distribution is on the Web, video sites, and social media.

 

Facebook has started internal testing of its dating app

Let the poking begin.

Brownie Bytes has some questions

Is “OldBook” trying to become relevant with younger audiences again?

Or is it just going to get a bunch of creepy divorced people hooking up – or promoting divorce among sneaky spouses?

I thought Facebook was cracking down on fake accounts? Isn’t this going to just spawn a rash of new fake profiles?

…sometimes I crack myself up.

From The Verge

According to internal Facebook posts:

“This product is for US Facebook employees who have opted-in to dogfooding Facebook’s new dating product,” a screenshot reads, using slang for employees testing out their own software. “The purpose for this dogfooding is to test the end-to-end product experience for bugs and confusing UI. This is not meant for dating your coworkers.”

Facebook asked employees to use fake data for their dating profiles, and plans to delete all data before the public launch. “Dogfooding this product is completely voluntary and has no impact on your employment,” a screenshot reads, adding that the product is confidential. It also warns employees that its anti-harassment policies apply to the dating product.

Read More (The Verge)

https://www.theverge.com/2018/8/3/17649624/facebook-dating-app-internal-testing-profiles

Google to Warn Enterprises of Potential Attacks on G Suite Accounts

Google has added an optional new feature in G Suite’s Admin Console that alerts customers of cyber-attacks on their accounts.

Administrators of Google’s G Suite collection of cloud-hosted productivity apps can now get alerts from Google of potential government-sponsored backed attempts to break into their account.

The company has added a new feature to the administration console in G Suite that will trigger an email alert to enterprise customers any time Google’s threat-detection system detects activity that might be related to a government backed cyber-attack on users’ computers or accounts.

The feature is entirely optional. Administrators can choose to disable it or they can set it to send default notifications to specified users in their organization. When the feature is first activated, the default setting is for the alerts to be sent via email to the primary administrator for G Suite, according to an August 1 announcement on the G Suite Updates blog.

Google has been warning individual Gmail users since 2012 about any malicious activity targeting their accounts that the company believes may be the work of government-backed attackers. Now this service is being integrated into the G Suite admin console.

Read More (eWeek)

Disney Imagineers and Theme Park Designers Are Leading Experience Marketing into a Whole New World of Brand Storytelling

By: Liz Alton [@Beinglizzie] Insights from Disney:

Emotions and Storytelling

Disney is one of the best storytelling engines in the world. Immersive storytelling elevated the brand beyond the basics of regional amusement parks and water slide attractions to become a global titan that’s captured imaginations from Orlando to China. The dream team that builds the attractions, the destinations, and every aspect behind the experiences are the Imagineers.

From immersive storytelling to bringing cutting-edge technologies to bear, the line between marketing and entertainment is thinner than ever before. Brands are creating apps, virtual reality experiences, pop-up branded events, and full-scale immersive tours to delight customers, tell their origin stories, show the manufacturing process, and help build deeper, emotion-based connections.

Read More (Skyword Content Standard)

My Take from Brownie Bytes

I was fortunate to know the executive VP of Imagineering at Walt Disney World in Orlando (his son was my best surfing and cycling buddy in high school / college). I got the inside scoop on how Disney produced their story-themed attractions.  Then my buddy and I were the first two “test particles” (that’s what the imagineers called us) at Typhoon Lagoon.  Yep, the first two surfers at the wave pool.

Prior to Typhoon Lagoon, in the mid-1970’s in college I worked for an engineering firm that tested a lake/beach/wave machine in a Disney World lake. It was a complete failure. The wave washed away the sandy beach every 2-3 waves and the water looked like the stirred up brown cypress oil muck that it was.  I got to ride 1 wave.  That’s right 1. It was a white-water-willy wave only the white water was the color of barely foamy puke.  Not a pleasant experience.  Not all Disney rides make it to the public.  In fact, most are running at 20% of their capacity for safety reasons.  Typhoon Lagoon can crank out a 9 foot wave.  But the public only sees 2-4 feet.

Years later I was fortunate to work for both IBM and Motorola.  I was the first multimedia producer at both companies so I got to work with Disney imagineers to build business and home of the future exhibits at EPCOT.  I learned how to develop stories with the integrated Disney spin.  A great experience.

 

How to Protect Yourself from Hackers Taking Your Phone Number & Accounts

Here’s a guide on how to prevent and protect yourself against the threat of hackers taking over your phone number and going after your online accounts.

Criminal hackers have been targeting Instagram users with short or unique usernames, as well as people who own Bitcoin. To steal the victim’s accounts or cryptocurrencies, the hackers first seize the cell phone numbers of targets, which gives them the ability to reset passwords on any account linked to a given number.

This kind of hack is what’s called a port out scam—an expression derived from the concept of porting a number from one carrier to another—and is also known as SIM swapping or hijacking.

Ultimately, this hack relies on scammers tricking carrier’s tech support, and if the company’s representatives take the bait, it’s important to remember that there’s only so much you can do.

Here’s how:

Read More (Motherboard)

 

Facebook, Twitter, Netflix Stock Down as Tech Woes Ding Markets

Technology stocks fell again on Monday and deepened their steep losses from the end of last week that saw shares of social media companies Facebook and Twitter plunge around 20% each in a single day. By Monday, even once-mighty Netflix seemed weak in the knees, with the streaming media darling down almost 6% in mid-day trading.

Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Reed Hastings (Netflix), Jack Dorsey (Twitter)

It’s a sharp turnaround for a group that had long been the stock market’s undisputed leader.

Tech stocks in the S&P 500 slumped 1.7 percent Monday for the sharpest loss among the 11 sectors that make up the index. It follows a rough week for the tech industry after earnings reports from Facebook and Twitter raised concerns about their growth and sent their shares plummeting.

Twitter dropped 5.8 percent Monday to $32.16, following its 20.5 percent plunge on Friday. Facebook was down 4.5 percent Monday to around $167 after shares fell 19% last Thursday for a stunning $119 billion drop in market value that was the biggest one-day loss in Wall Street history.

Netflix was down 5.7% Monday to $335.25 per share — some 20% below a recent high of $419 a share on July 9.

See More (CBS News)

My Take from Brownie Bytes

Social media and movie companies (Netflix, Amazon) are alienating at least half of their customer base with their business practices and politics. No business can afford to antagonize half of the market and expect to grow.

Amazon is more diversified so they aren’t feeling the hit as much, yet….  But when more customers discover and understand the counterfeit product problem Amazon has – yes, I’ve unfortunately and unknowingly purchased some (the reviews aren’t always the truth) – then Amazon stock has a chance to wilt too….

 

Cord-Cutting Keeps Churning: U.S. Pay-TV Cancelers to Hit 33 Million in 2018 (Study)

From R. Michael Brown [@rmikebrown] — I’ve been a cord cutter since 2004. I found as a writer and video producer that the standard cable and satellite content was following a usual formula [like disparaging heterosexual men – network TV’s favorite punching bag] and more and more outrageous for no other reason other than a never-ending quest to get more eyeballs.

I didn’t want my kids watching any of it. Books and Internet content was more entertaining and informative, and I had more control over it, so I cut the cord.

Cord-Cutting Keeps Churning: U.S. Pay-TV Cancelers to Hit 33 Million in 2018 (Study)
By Todd Spangler [@xpangler] (Variety)

Have you recently pulled the plug on cable or satellite TV? You’re not alone: Millions of Americans have already scrapped traditional pay-TV service, and the exodus is expected to continue apace in 2018 — even faster than previously expected.

This year, the number of cord-cutters in the U.S. — consumers who have ever cancelled traditional pay-TV service and do not resubscribe — will climb 32.8%, to 33.0 million adults, according to new estimates from research firm eMarketer. That’s compared with a total of 24.9 million cord-cutters as of the end of 2017, which was up 43.6% year over year (and an upward revision from eMarketer’s previous 22 million estimate).

That said, even as the traditional pay-TV universe shrinks, the number of viewers accessing over-the-top, internet-delivered video services keeps growing. About 147.5 million people in the U.S. watch Netflix at least once per month, according to eMarketer’s July 2018 estimates. That’s followed by Amazon Prime Video (88.7 million), Hulu (55 million), HBO Now (17.1 million) and Dish’s Sling TV (6.8 million).

See More (Variety)