Why Obama should ditch YouTube

Update at 9:30 a.m. PST: Video audience figures have been updated.

President-elect Barack Obama has now posted his second weekly address to YouTube, and it has already gotten more than 411,000 views. A week ago, I criticized the use of YouTube by Obama's transition team, calling it a no-bid giveaway to the Google-owned video-sharing site.

The solution I called for then--the adoption of BitTorrent as the official distribution platform for, admittedly, a pipe dream.

In this post, I'll explain why the government needs to step up and host its own videos and why … Read more has the Philips 8 GB Flash Video MP3 Player with FM Radio and 3.5-inch Color Screen (Black) for $111.05, after $48.94 savings.

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Sony's to kick off new video 'season'

A Sony-owned online video entertainment site is expected to unveil its latest "season" of Internet programs on Monday, as the media giant moves to beef up its online entertainment content., which Sony bought in 2006 when it was known as Grouper, will showcase shows that include sketch comedy by The Groundlings and Anytime with Bob Kushell , a five-minute talk show hosted by a Hollywood writer, Reuters reported Sunday. Crackle has adopted the television practice of rolling out new programming in seasons instead of rolling out episodes when they are completed. Crackle's season begins December 1, … Read more

Featured Freeware: NetVideoHunter

Don't be deceived by this Firefox extension's unassuming user interface, it's actually a very capable video player.

NetVideoHunter operates via a tiny icon and counter that appear in your status bar. When you click on the icon, a window appears for viewing videos. A step-by-step guide walks you through the process--a definite plus for novices. Watching a YouTube video, for example, adds it to the counter. From there, click on NetVideoHunter's tiny icon to reveal a video link. We had two choices: to play or download the video. Play starts the video, while download saves the … Read more

Disney takes on Chinese affiliate over piracy

Disney is fighting a piracy war over its acclaimed film Wall-E against a company that its venture capital arm invested in, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.

The infringing company,, a Chinese video sharing site that's similar to YouTube, hosted several full-length bootlegs of Wall-E that were freely available on the company's site. The bootlegs were added by users of the site months ago, but only recently have they been fully removed from its pages.

Piracy in China is nothing new, but the fact that featured Disney movies on its site … Read more

How to: Tweak YouTube embeds for HD playback

Several readers have e-mailed me and asked for instructions on how to take their HD YouTube videos and embed them elsewhere. As I mentioned before, this isn't an officially sanctioned feature, and as such, the embed code you get on these video pages will still yield the lower-quality, non-widescreen clip.

Needless to say, this is completely unacceptable.

The good news is that you only need to make a few changes to the stock embed code get the job done. Here's what to do:

Step 1: Copy this code and paste it to wherever you intend to embed the … Read more

YouTube videos go HD with a simple hack

Wired, with the help of users on the VR-Zone forums, has uncovered a simple way to get high-quality uploaded videos to display in 1280x720--also known as 720p.

YouTube has long been expected to roll out high-definition video playback, and this appears to be the first viable way to do it. The hack in question is similar to the one that was first used to toggle on the "high quality" mode. It is done simply by adding "&fmt=22" to the end of the video URL.

I got it to work without any problems on a video I uploadedRead more taps geo-targeted video ads, a search site that helps people find places in and information about their community, said Thursday it will start integrating local video ads throughout the company's site in an attempt to increase ad relevance and revenue.

According to the company, it has inked a deal with Jivox, an online video advertising company catering to local businesses, to use its geo-targeted ads for now. hopes to sell its own local video ad units through its own list of advertisers at some point in the future.

"We believe that video advertising provides consumers with relevant, timely … Read more