Files that have been uploaded to hosting sites tend to have a short shelf life, but there are few that manage to keep them around indefinitely. In many cases, users will simply forget about a previously uploaded file, or have no more use for it. To help give these orphaned files a second life is FilesTube, a search engine that monitors files that have recently been uploaded to a handful of file-sharing sites and makes them easily searchable. While the files aren't in any way hosted to FilesTube, the service acts as a middleman to point you to where … Read more
We have invitations for the closed alpha of Knocka. Read the end to get yours.
I don't care for the content on the new video site Knocka. But I really like the concept.
Knocka is an Internet television network. It has "channels" of streaming content. Unlike video sharing sites like YouTube, users can't randomly select videos to play when they wish (except clips they've already seen in a stream), nor can they embed Knocka vids in other sites. Kncoka is a destination site, not a media library.
But even though Knocka can be watched in passive mode, like television, interactivity and community are a big part of the Knocka equation. Viewers can text chat with each other in a window under a running show, and can engage in person-to-person Webcam video chats with their friends. And content is chosen through a combination of user voting and editorial oversight. On the current alpha site, users can vote on clips that play in the channels, and the voting will affect the rotation of a show: Good vote, more plays; bad votes, less. Eventually, Knocka will let its users further upstream in the editorial process. It will let users vote on videos in the submissions bin to help decide what makes it into the channels themselves.
At the moment, content is coming from some existing producers, like Aniboom and Rocketboom, as well as from users. All content is being funneled into just three channels: Music, Extreme Sports, and "Kandy," aka the lingerie channel. (There's also an overview channel.) More channels will launch soon.
Knocka puts glitzy and loud promos and graphics around the videos, making each video stream feel like an MTV production. The Web interface is also very good. It offers a decent amount of social interaction without getting in the way.
While I really like the Web interface and the concept, I found a lot of the videos on the service just plain crude. But that's only my opinion, and I'm not the target demographic. Knocka, currently, is aiming for a much younger viewer than me, with aspirations to launch channels for different audiences later.
Also coming soon, CEO Nir Erlich told me, are more live video features, like live shows that put audience members in the middle of the streams. Erlich thinks that it will be easier to pull viewers into these live shows than it will to grab people to watch the live streams on sites like uStream and Operator11. Or, I suppose, Justin.tv.
Erlich says Knocka is about, "Moving from an unlimited number of channels to a limited number. But structured." It's an old-fashioned concept, more reminiscent of television channels from the 1950s and '60s than what we currently think of as a modern video service that tries to offer everything to everybody. Knocka is not the only video site based on focus over quantity, though. There's Current, a higher-brow content and video company that is also trying to put social engineering on video consumption, and there's Mania TV, another show-based video service.
I found Knocka's social interface intuitive and fun. I complained about the rotten videos and voted them down, but I had a good time doing so. This is a very intriguing video platform.
Are you a fan of Instructables or SuTree? Looking for a place with just science-related items? SciVee is a site for video clips of science experiments and processes that might be just up your alley. The service originally opened up to the public in late August but today is unveiling a newer, updated look with some new features to help users find and interact with content.
At its heart, the site has been designed with scientists (both established and fledgling) in mind, and according to an article yesterday by the Associated Press, creator Phil Bourne launched the site as a … Read more
It appeared that YouTube was having problems Thursday afternoon, with the site either not loading and producing an error message that said "Http/1.1 Service Unavailable," or loading extremely slow.
The problem seemed to have resolved itself after a few minutes, but for those of us intent on looking at videos of talking cats--I admit it--it was seriously inconvenient.
A few minutes later, YouTube itself updated the site with a message that said, "We are currently performing site maintenance. Be cool - we'll be back 100% in a bit."
A request for comment from … Read more
It's not everyday you witness a shotgun-wielding young man sidle up to a politician running for president and ask him at a formal debate, point blank, how he feels about gun control laws. Oh, and follow up by loading the rifle for emphasis and quipping, "Don't worry, you can answer however you like."
And I can't quite picture a typical moderator asking a question as direct as, what is your favorite make, model, and caliber of weapon, or do you believe every word of the Bible?
Yet a virtual version of those encounters is precisely … Read more
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--In the wake of Yahoo's corporate troubles, and the long-ago collapses of sites and services like AltaVista, Excite, and others, some may be tempted to think that the era of the portal has come and gone.
Not so, says Microsoft's MSN.
In fact, Joanne Bradford, MSN's corporate vice president and chief media officer, said that around her shop, people look at all kinds of sites, including Facebook, MySpace.com, and YouTube as portals, and that these days, MSN's own plan revolves around a portal-like existence.
"Everything is starting to look like portals,&… Read more
If you've had your fill of swoopy iPod speakers and yearn for the good old days check out the R601 Tube Hi-Fi FM/AM Classic Radio manufactured in China by Shenzhen V.A.L. Technology Co., Ltd. It's a modern vacuum tube amplified table radio, and a major step up from the typical cheesy retro radios you see in chain stores. You know the type, a flimsy plastic box with a crappy radio tucked inside. The R601P is the real deal.
This bad boy, all-tube radio pumps out 7 watts over its 4 inch driver, and even features … Read more
At this point in time there are many user interfaces for searching, browsing, and watching videos on YouTube. Apple's got custom interfaces on both the iPhone and iPod touch, along with the Apple TV, while YouTube's got its own mobile frontend that works pretty well, but lacks some of the polish of Apple's efforts. One of the newer companies trying to improve on YouTube's offerings is 3rd Eye Solutions which has an app called iDesktop.tv (formerly known as "YouTube Desktop"), that lets you browse, view, and search YouTube videos in a similar style … Read more
YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, speaking at the NewTeeVee Live conference today, confirmed that high-quality YouTube video streams are coming soon. Although YouTube's goal, he said, is to make the site's vast library of content available to everyone, and that requires a fairly low-bitrate stream, the service is testing a player that detects the speed of the viewer's Net connection and serves up higher-quality video if viewers want it.
Why wouldn't they? Because the need to buffer the video before it starts playing will change the experience. Hence the experiment, rather than just a rapid rollout of … Read more