Thursday, November 20, 2008
Yesterday I had a big problem. Today I don't. All that US video content I was denied as a Canadian? I'm watching it now, thanks to a download from AnchorFree.com. Look for the link to "HotSpot Shield" and get it onboard - you might want to check system specs first but chances are that if you have XP Pro/Vista (I'm a PC guy) and a modern processor with one gig or more of RAM you'll be fine. The download installs a piece of software which, when it's running, provides your PC with an IP address satisfactory to sites like HULU. I've had a bit of stutter in the twelve hours I have had to play with it and some I think results from some lower speed connections in my wireless network. Something else to puzzle out but isn't there always? In searching out the solution I read numerous testimonials from surfers all over the globe who are happily watching US content thanks to HotSpot Shield. Remember to turn it off when you don't need it. And, you're welcome.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
I'm excited this week about something we learned. It has recently become possible to introduce closed captioning to Flash video, including the transparent sort of which our "SiteGreeter" virtual spokesperson is an example. Last week I taped a new introduction to my Toronto Island DVD site and decided it was as good a place as any to showcase the captioning component. I invite you to take a one-minute look at Toronto-Island.com.
Web video viewers will be familiar with the subject of my lament. I speak of content denied. The Adobe Media Player is a thing of beauty and the content links promise mucho entertainment but only, as you discover when you finally make a selection, in the US. This morning, delaying my date with a ski machine, I read a Forbes article wherein ad revenues at Hulu and YouTube are speculatively compared. Realizing I'd yet to visit Hulu I wandered over and found, unlike YouTube, genuine professional content in many categories. The graphics are hi-def, the site is slick and the content is denied outside of the US. I understand that this kind of content has issues attached relating to who gets paid what when it's shown anywhere but it still disturbs me - because it speaks to a real change in the nature of the web. It has always been a frontier of sorts and while the real Wild West aspect of it has been largely tamed I think most of us see it as a global resource. Email without Borders. Evil regimes outed. Webcam meetings across continents and oceans. It's a bit of a shock to suddenly come upon an electric dog fence. I know there are much bigger problems in our world today but I hope somebody has enough free time to be working on this one. I've got the sticks. I want the carrots.