» Posts Tagged ‘internet’

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bufferingStreaming video is a sort of bellwether for the health of your internet connection; after all, it uses arguably the most day-to-day horsepower of the information super parkway, and has become, in the past few years, ubiquitous. Streaming capabilities have become an accurate measure of the efficacy of any ISP, but finding out how each stacked up was a challenge. Last year, Google rolled out its inaugural Video Quality Report, which looked at streaming speeds in Canada. Now, as of today, it’s the U.S.’s turn, and the results are interesting, to say the least. After the jump, see where your ISP stacks up. More »

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EthernetThe magical thing about the internet is the fact that it allows for an open and free exchange of dialog, ideas, and information. However the Federal Communication Commission’s proposal regarding net neutrality could allow paying content companies, like Netflix, Google, and even Facebook, better access to users online. Even though the FCC has released a statement that attempts to set the record straight about their new proposal, many are still convinced that these new regulations would mean the end of net neutrality and the internet as we know it. Continue on to find out more about the FCC’s proposals could mean for filmmakers. More »

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Noah MovieIn the past decade, the web has gone from a place where it was possible to download free .mp3s, to a place where you could list your top friends, to a completely immersive experience, where entire human dramas are played out on a daily basis. With Twitter now a global soapbox and Instant Messaging and Facebook replacing phone calls and even real life relationships, the internet is rife with drama. And now an innovative Canadian short film, Noah, captures the drama of human connection (as lived online, without once leaving the computer screen) in 17 minutes. Click below to learn more and watch (and be sure to close all your other tabs!) More »

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Video thumbnail for youtube video Buffering Bummer: Are Bitter Broadband Providers Handicapping Netflix & YouTube? - nofilmschoolIt’s probably no surprise to anyone that Netflix and YouTube dominate the domain of web video. Any video viewer is also probably used to watching those please wait, buffering circles go ’round while waiting for their videos to load. Tuning in to such sites during peak hours, it’s no wonder why video can take a while to buffer, right? According to a recent post by Ars Technica, there’s a bit more to buffering (read: suffering) than what may be immediately obvious. The real bummer is that web video doesn’t have to be so slow, at least in some cases. But, due to disagreements between ISPs and major media services, sometimes it is. More »

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YouTube logoIn the late 90s, it seems like everyone had a startup, but no one, especially the media giants, knew exactly how they were going to make money off this new thing called the Internet. Would there be a machine next to your computer that accepted quarters, à la those massaging beds you see in movies but have never seen in real life? Would it come from subscription fees, like the old AOL model? It turns out the answer was ads, mostly, and with its model, individual users can earn quite a bit of money with their YouTube videos. An infographic shows how at least one segment of the internet is making its scratch, moolah, bread, cab fare, etc. Click below to check out how much sweet, sweet money the top 1,000 channels are making! More »

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Too often have I experienced the doubled-edged nature of the internet: it’s a great tool, but also a great distraction. We all need to buckle down sometimes and get to work, and the insta-grat (yes) of the internet can be crippling. In comes SelfControl, a free and open-source application that blocks your own access to chosen websites for a designated amount of time. Hit the jump for the details. More »

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We recently mentioned the documentary TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay — Away From Keyboard as part of VHX’s drive to make strong independent work available direct-to-audience. TPB AFK is a documentary that follows three Pirate Bay co-founders as they face prosecution for aiding piracy on a massive scale (or, in other words, founding The Pirate Bay). Released for free on BitTorrent as well as on YouTube, the film raises powerful questions about piracy, intellectual property law, and an ungoverned internet, and gives us a glimpse into the lives of a few individuals who created a web portal that is still going strong even today. Given that law is so much slower to change than the internet, is the problem with the pirates, or with anti-piracy laws that may need some updating? Watch the entire 82 minute film below. More »

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On February 1st, Netflix released the first 13 episodes of the first season of House of Cards, marking a potentially monumental shift in the way we watch content. By now it’s very likely a number of you have seen the entirety of the series starring Kevin Spacey. While it’s not the first original series for Netflix (that would be Lilyhammer), House of Cards is one of the most (if not the most) expensive television shows in history, and has attracted some of the biggest names in Hollywood — like director David Fincher. But will the experiment work, or will binge-viewing ultimately hurt those who produce content? More »

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Technology’s progression sometimes moves with consistent momentum, and sometime comes in spurts. For instance, processors of mobile devices regularly decrease in size and price with relation to power — while, at the same time, the speed of your internet connection may not change much at all for several years, and make a great leap whenever it does. Both of these tendencies of advancement seem to inform High Efficiency Video Coding, A.K.A. H.265the successor to that other codec with which we’re all quite familiar (H.264). Improving efficiency by around double, H.265 aims to set the standard for the next decade in video streaming and encoding — and it’s going to ease mobile data congestion and likely make 4K a reality much sooner than many would have anticipated. More »

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There’s no doubt that things can get a bit confusing regarding non-integer frame rates — a decimal-specific frames-per-second count isn’t exactly an intuitive aspect of video. Of course, beginners can’t learn such distinctions if they’re going unspecified — a fact Vimeo has recently (and finally) addressed in updating their compression guidelines. Even more importantly, Vimeo is slowly but surely raising the quality ceiling in its encoding of your media — albeit in audio-only, in this case. More »

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Community-based website Reddit has an ask reddit section wherein users can pose questions for other users (aka “redditors”). Redditor The.Quiet.Earth posed the question, “Could I destroy the entire Roman Empire during the reign of Augustus if I traveled back in time with a modern U.S. Marine infantry battalion or MEU?” In response, Prufrock451 (real name James Erwin) began writing a serialized story of this exact scenario. Madhouse Entertainment’s Adam Kolbrenner caught wind of the story after it hit the reddit front page, helped develop the story further, and sold the idea to Warner Brothers. Now called Rome, Sweet Rome, here is an excerpt from the short story as it first appeared on reddit: More »

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Since launching my effort to make my first feature film, I started running a thin horizontal banner at the top of the site to let visitors know that my campaign is ongoing. A lot of filmmakers have blogs these days (present company included, obviously), and so I thought I might post about how to add an announcement bar to your own website. Typically you’ll want to run an announcement bar when something special is happening for a limited time: you might be doing a fundraising campaign of your own, you might have a newly released DVD, or you might be running a discount on a product you’re selling. If you’re curious about how to add a similar bar to your own blog, website, or portfolio, here are a couple of good ways of doing so. More »

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Here are some quotes from an all-day Writers Guild seminar earlier in the year, wherein industry veterans talk about screenwriters using the internet to break into the industry. Another tip comes from John August, though you may not agree: use an email address from Gmail or your own domain. John’s one of the panelists here: More »

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In Kate Ray’s 14-minute film Web 3.0 (embedded below), Clay Shirky asks, “does the world make sense, or do we make sense of the world?” In other words, does the infographic of web links at left resemble the universe because a natural relationship exists between all things, or does the infographic resemble the universe because whoever graphed the visualization made it look like the universe? Watching the short, I kept thinking: these charts are cool and all, but what does Web 3.0 actually mean for you and me? One guess: much better automatic filters; that is, Netflix’s movie recommendation engine times a thousand (for a lot more than just movies). Here’s the video: More »