Tag Archives: youtube

(Inadvertently and almost) cutting the cord

ervice and getting their entertainment exclusively thru the internet. I almost loved television too muh for that — the news is interesting, and there are so many great shows — but I recently realized my weekly “TV” viewing time was probably down to 2 or 3 hours per week.

The reason wasn’t austerity or puritanism. Rather, there are so many on demand options on my Xbox One it’s hard to justify cable as a separate purchases.

Youtube on Xbox One has many great news channels that my wife and I “subscribe” to for free, such as Vice News, New York Times, CNN, and The Verge. From the same source there are entertainment sources such as Jimmy Kimmel, College Humor, GoPro, and Cyanide or Happiness which provide a pleasant welcome to each new day.

vice news

We are living in a golden age of television, however, so it’s great so much of it is available without cable tv. Most every show are available for purchase from either Xbox Video or Amazon Video. Similarly, movies can be purchased from Xbox or Amazon, or watched from either the Amazon or Netflix streaming services.

Even sports is moving to a cable-also format, with great apps from the NFL and Major League Baseball. There’s also the woman’s football (which streams live games) and computer games on watch Twitch.

As of now, there are only two things absolutely missing. There’s no easily watchable 24 hours streaming news channel, and HBO shows aren’t available for either download or purchase without a traditional cable tv plan. Hopefully, HBO’s eroding market share will make them reconsider this move.

We’re not in a post-cable-tv world yet, but that world is rapidly coming. It’s harder and harder to justify having a cable TV plan at all,.

Watching Twitch

$GOOG paid a billion dollars for twitch, a video streaming service. Unlike Youtube (which focuses on general audiences and miscellaneous niches), vimeo (which focuse on gorgeous cinematographic videos), or Daily motion (which focuses on being second place to Youtube), Twitch’s niche is gamers.


Twitch is focused around games (live events) and channels (feeds of live events by specific gamers or groups). Yesterday, my wife and I watched navigated Twitch on Xbox One. Broadly, the two main types of games & channels appear to be competitive games and social games. Exmaples of competitive games include League of Legends (the most popular game in the world) and Starcraft II, while an example of a social game is Grand Theft Auto V.

twitch gsl announcers

Competitive games are organized like minor sports, such as women’s football, women’s basketball, or mixed martial arts. Not only are many of the trappings of major spots there (commentators, slick graphics, various functionaries) but minor spots have two elements major sports can lack: a sense of exclusivity and a proof of passion. Unlike major sports, identifying with a minor sport means identifying with a subculture to which you belong. And unlike major sports, few millionaires are made in minor sports, so a player is more likely to be following a calling as opposed to buying a beach house.

twitch xmoonliterose

My wife and I, however. enjoyed watching social games more. Many of these players/hosts were female, and combined competent gameplay with the personality of an effective radio disk jockey. Any flirting was PG, and you quickly felt that you were in the company of friends. For a fantasy game like Grand Theft Auto V, where play is self-directed and often absurd, watching someone play with friends can be even more relaxing than playing yourself (where the question of “what is to be done?” looms as large as in real life).

twitch creature talk

Twitch is a community — a billion dollar community — I was largely ignorant of a few days ago.

The world is vast, and there are such people in it…

Tibet WAS, IS, and ALWAYS WILL BE… well, what, exactly?

I saw the popular youtube video “Tibet WAS, IS, and ALWAYS WILL BE a part of China” a few weeks ago. Lady of tdaxp was just sent it from another source, so it’s clearly still making the news. The video is composed of several “facts,” each of which contain some truth but most nonetheless distorts the fact. So here are the facts behind the seven facts:

Fact #1: China is NOT a single Ethnic nation, in fact 56 ethnic groups make up China, including Han, Mongols, Koreans, Muslims, Tibetans, etc.

Evaluation. The number of Ethnic groups in China varies according to government whim (China’s flag was once five horizontal bands, to signify the five principle races). But the fact remains that many ethnic groups live under Han hegemony in China.

The Five Races Flag of China

Fact #2: Tibet has been part of China for thousands of years.

Well, maybe. The video appears to use text books from out of Chinese textbooks, which are notoriously innacurate. Still, for long stretches of time Tibet was part of the Chinese Empire (or Mongol Horde, or the Empire of the Great Qing, or whatever) but not one of the provinces of China. This status of China — in China but not of China — is what the Dalai Lama calls for.

The Empire of the Great Qing

Fact #3: 1903 AD, due to the weak Qing Dynasty, British gained control over Tibet as an colonial region and treated them as slaves

Of course, being part of the Chinese Empire but not of China leads to a question: how to deal with the fact that China did not historically exert control over Tibetans? The answer is to state that Tibetans were treated unfairly (which is true — Tibet was historically a feudal theocracy) and to blame foreign powers (which is odd — if British people are criticized for treating Tibetans badly, will the video creator say that Tibet was part of Britain? Probably not.)

Fact #4: Prior to 1950 when Chinese regained Tibet, Tibet was still in a slavery society under Dalai Lama’s puppet regime.

Two claims here, one arguable and the other strange. Chinese Communist historians often use the term “slave” for what western historians would describe as “Feudal,” so arguing that Tibet was a feudal society is as controversial as arguing that the Cultural Revolution was chaotic. I’m not sure how the Dalai Lama’s regime was a “puppet” — perhaps the video creator meant that the Dali was a client of Britain? (I have made a similar mistake, myself.)

Fact #5: DaLai Lama was, and still is, funded by the CIA to separate Tibet from China.

A source is The CIA’s Secret War in Tibet Photographs appear to be from the area of the so-called Democratic and Socialist Revolutions, from the late 1940s to 1950s. So this claim, based only on fifty to sixty year old facts, is precisely as accurate as me writing “Mao Zedong was, and still is, funded by the KGB to weaken American power in the Pacific Ocean.”

Fact #6: The Chinese government spends 200 millions (40 million US) a year develop Tibet, Building schools, hospitals, infrastructures.

True. The Communist Party’s lifting hundreds of millions throughout China, and that’s why it’s important to support China by protesting the Olympics.

The video contains other assertions, such as Canada should allow a reference on Quebec independence (?!?), but these are the six “facts” that anchor the video.

Good news from University of California

The University of California’s flagship campus in Berkeley is making waves. Not only are the Golden Bears currently #3 in the NCAA Football standings — but they’ve put hundreds of hours of lecture video online!

I’m currently listening to Physics 10 – Lecture 23: Relativity II. If you thought MIT OpenCourseWare or iTunes on Campus was cool… you ain’t seen nothing yet!

The website: youtube.com/ucberkeley.

Use Vixy.net to convert YouTube Videos to MP3

One of the best things about YouTube are how works of art — which otherwise would languish on their creator’s computer or never be made at all — become viral on the net. Rx’s “Freedom 101” (previously featured here and by Mountainrunner, Sean, and ZenPundit), for instance, is an amazing mashup of ideology, freedom, and principle. However, the artist himself is busy running for President) and hasn’t provided an mp3 on his web site. So how to listen to it on my iPod Mini 8GB?

Answer: vixy.net.

Vixy is also an open source project that converts youtube’s flac format to standard ones. Until google implements a “Save As” feature for YouTube, vixy’s website offers a free, fast translator supported by ad-revenue. I recommend it.

I also tried vixy on LOST breakbeat and Reggae Soviet Anthem. Both worked fine. Thanks vixy!

Strategy on the Radio (and on Youtube)

“When I realized where I was
did I stand-up and testify?
Or fist up signify?”

“The Wrong Way,” TV On The Radio

As Dean, Mark, penraker, Sean, and Tom himself wrote, Dr. Thomas P.M. Barnett has begun a series of interviews with radio host Hugh Hewitt. Comments on this ranged from the supportive (apparently from people right-of-center to bitterly hostile (apparently from the reflexive Left), and are generally worth checking out. Listen to the interview now.

A Future Worth Creating

Relatedly, Dave Porter is hosting part one, part two, and part three of strategic breifing given by Tom Barnett some time ago.