How About a Flying Warlock Drone for Halloween?

How would you like to fly a warlock drone through the skies on Halloween? Of course you would.

Otto Dieffenbach of Flyguy Promotions has one for you. He promises cutouts, but right now the site is so popular you can’t get through.

While you’re waiting, maybe you want to watch his drone of Jimmie Kimmel fly over Las Vegas.

Continue Reading “How About a Flying Warlock Drone for Halloween?”

Monetize a Youtube video? Careful …

You know those horrible pop-up ads that seem suddenly to be on every single video you click to watch? These are the result of Youtube video monetization. A Youtube user somewhere has agreed to let Youtube run an ad on his video in return for a little money.  These ads are suddenly everywhere because in April of this year, Google dumbed down its partner program to include almost any Youtube user who is willing to monetize his or her video. To become a Youtube partner now, all you have to do is monetize one video and abide by the Youtube Terms of Service and Community Guidelines. The Gold Rush is on. Continue Reading “Monetize a Youtube video? Careful …”

My youtube family asks the hard question: “We’re real, aren’t we?”

I’m about to take on a full-time job, so I gathered my Youtube family together tonight to talk it out. They’re the creatures I’ve created, loved, nurtured, given a home on my Second Living Youtube video channel. They’re worried I won’t have enough time for them anymore. I am too. Tears and lots of kleenex. I explained the realities of the real world to them, how I have to work, how hard it is to find work now, how glad I am to have found a “real” job. But I’m not sure they understand. “We’re real, aren’t we?” they asked. “What about us?”

Boys and Girls! Raise giant worlds in your basement!

Back in college lit, we studied a Ray Bradbury story called Boys! Raise Giant Mushrooms in Your Basement! The premise of the story was that aliens, who could take on any form, packaged themselves as mushroom spores, then sold themselves via advertisements in kids’ magazines like Boys’ Life. When the boys ordered the mushrooms, raised them, and ate them with their families, the mushrooms could take over whoever ingested them.

I thought of this story when I saw that Google over the past several years has induced ordinary people to build a world for them–Google Earth. This is the virtual globe that Google first offered as a free software download in 2005, which it still is today (although business-oriented versions Google Earth Pro and Google Earth Enterprise cost some serious money).

Google Earth–like any other social network these days–has been busy harvesting its customers as product. Dangling the lure of free software, Google Earth has enticed people with time on their hands, and an unfulfilled creative urge, to start building houses, parks, trees, water features, bridges, buildings, castles, and every kind of world landmark–all modeled in exquisite texture, size, and scale to match real world counterparts. Your grocery store clerk is probably spending his evenings modeling a 3D masterpiece for Google Earth. Right under our noses, Google is populating its virtual world–and getting us to do it!

Linden Lab’s got nothing on Google . . .

When I first began hanging out in Second Life years ago, I marveled at Linden Lab’s ability to somehow convince a bunch of hugely talented people to spend untold hours building a world that Linden would profit from. More amazing, Linden actually noodled these same people into paying for the opportunity to do so! Even now that I’m a serious Second Lifer, I still marvel over Linden’s ability to crowdsource the building of a world.

Continue Reading “Boys and Girls! Raise giant worlds in your basement!”

No more copyright warnings: how to use indie music for your videos

If you make youtube videos and “borrow” music that you buy on itunes for your background music, chances are you get unsettling notices like the one below that I got from youtube:

If you’re like me, you find these notices unnerving because you worry about being regarded as a copyright infringer by youtube, getting a future copyright strike against you, or even having your video suddenly taken down if the copyright holder changes its policy regarding infringement.

Here’s how youtube works its copyright check: It has an enormous database containing all the music submitted by registered companies and artists. For every video posted on youtube, it performs a search to see if that video matches any of the third party content registered in its database. When it finds a match, it checks the copyright holder’s instructions on what to do, and then does it. Many times, it’s just a warning like the one above. But other times, it can be a more severe action like taking your video down or even disabling your account (don’t expect any advance warning). Read the horror stories in the youtube forum here about lost youtube videos, disabled accounts, and endless appeals. And then go to youtube’s “Copyright School” here (P.S. It’s free and very much worth your time).

Watch the fascinating youtube video here where youtube’s Margaret Gould Stewart talks about how youtube looks at copyright. A guarantee:  it won’t be what you think! They actually encourage it – sorta! According to Stewart, youtube hosts 100 YEARS of new video every day! Can you imagine. That’s a lifetime of human activity recorded every day. Despite that large amount of video, youtube’s screening process takes a matter of seconds. Amazing. In the video she encourages copyright holders to be lenient in their policies since youtube exposure can actually boost an artist’s sales and recognition.

But the bottom line is: if a copyright holder registered at youtube complains, your video is history til the matter is sorted out. No questions asked. And usually no notice given til your video disappears. And after that, if you disagree, you’ve got a long appeal ticket process.

So I’ve decided indie music is the way to go. These are artists featured on many indie websites who actually like you to use their music. That’s what they put it up for. As long as you credit them, they’re pleased as punch that they’re getting heard through your videos. Using their music on your videos is one of those rare win-win situations.

In my latest machinima here, I used indie music that I have grown to like a lot. I imported it into itunes and even listen to it sometimes as background music while I work.

Here are the songs and two of the best music sharing websites I’ve discovered: ccMixter and Jamendo. Each site and each song below is a real gem. A warning: you’ll find so much incredible music on these sites that you can spend hours doing this. You’ll also find a lot of dreadful stuff. It’s a sorting process, but well worth it.

“It’s Just a Matter of Time” by Salvatore_J, vocals by Shannon Hurley (ccMixter music sharing website)
“Give Me Time” by Code:Again (Jamendo music sharing website)
“Auld Lang Syne” traditional tune, words by Robert Burns, sung by Jim Tait
(Jamendo music sharing website)

How to show just your youtube vid in Shared Media

I’ve been playing around with the new shared media function in Viewer 2 that lets you display any web content in real time on a prim inworld. And, if you set permissions for others to use it, avies can also interact with the media on the prim, just as if they were on the web. In fact, they are on the web.  I’ve had a lot of fun throwing a cube on the ground, stretching it into a TV shape, and showing my youtube videos on the parcel I rent. It used to be that only one video could be shown on a sim, and it had to be set by the estate manager. Now renters can show their own vids.

One problem:  when the video plays, everything on the web page plays as well. But all I wanted to show was the video. The easy way to do this is to insert _popup after the word watch.

So, for example, if you wanted to play my  Farhaven Day video in your shared media cube, you would copy the URL for the vid:

And then, after you paste it into the URL window in the shared media texture,  insert _popup after the word watch, like this:

Then, just the video, and not the rest of the youtube webpage, will show up on your shared media cube.

Torley has posted a video on youtube showing how to do this, called Showing Youtube Video on a Full Prim Face.