I’m at a SEO conference today, and one of the best presentations was by a group of Google employees on some of the moral and ethical challenges of running a search engine. Matt Cutts – the Google official SEO blogger – was on the panel, as well as a couple of other people.
I was amazed at how a lot of issues come up with how to handle certain Google search results. Some of the panel’s examples were interesting. Should a suicide note left on a web site come up when searching for the victim’s name? Should a white supremacist hate site about Martin Luther King come up in the search results for MLK? Should posts warning about the dangers of vaccinations come up when searching about the safety of vaccines appear – in spite of sound scientific evidence against and the fact that misinformation could cost lives? And in some cases, Google execs in foreign lands have been arrested for videos appearing on YouTube – what does Google do about that? I had no idea.
Another fun aspect of this debate was the search suggestions that Google provides. These mirror what people are actually entering, and aren’t censored or edited at all – in spite of the fact they can be offensive to some. Try entering “asians are b” or “americans are f” and see what Google expects you to type next. It’s both funny and horrifying.
At our family dinner table, I shared this with the kids, and we tried the Search Suggestion game on their names. We tried “Bryce is” and “Laurel is”, and got some hilarious results – both complementary and insulting. Try this with your own kids names for fun!
Today was a big day for streaming media. There was so much to watch and enjoy streaming live online. Just before President Obama was sworn in I found myself in a place without cable TV – but no worries I had my laptop.
And thanks to Replay Media Catcher I had the ability to download uStream video of the inauguration.
It was easy. You can use Replay Media Catcher to download USTREAM Video the same way you would download video from any other site – just open Replay Media Catcher, click on “start monitoring” and then go to uSTREAM and start playing the video you want to capture. Replay Media Catcher will start downloading the stream as soon as it starts playing. You can watch your progress right in the Replay Media Catcher user interface.
When capturing the live streams on USTREAM you need to remember to stop Replay Media Catcher when you have downloaded the portion of the video you want, as live streams don’t have an ending the same way a recorded show does. Once I had downloaded the part of the Inaugural I was looking for I just right clicked on the recorded file in the Replay Media Catcher user interface and clicked on “cancel”. The recording stopped and I was able to play it back beautifully with my FLV player.
Hope you had a great day! Happy Monday, Happy Martin Luther King Day, Happy Inauguration and Happy Downloading.
Technology often moves faster than the news! Here’s an example:
We were featured in an article done by Reuters on September 26, mentioning how Replay Media Catcher was able to download movies from Amazon’s new VOD (Video on Demand) service.
Apparently, Amazon was asked for comment, and shortly before the article hit the wires, they had updated their system, making Replay Media Catcher (for now anyway) unable to record. Other aspects in the article are still valid though, but Amazon was a particularly big part of the story.
Nevertheless, there are other ways to record from Amazon — we recommend WM Capture. As this is a real-time high-quality recorder that works by capturing videos directly off of your PC’s screen, there’s no way it can be blocked. The other interesting thing is how the story got going in the first place, which we’re still trying to figure out. Stay tuned!