You'll remember that I've been urging people to go watch the public domain videos that rogue archivist Carl Malamud has been liberating from the US government and putting on YouTube, so that he could demonstrate the pent-up desire to watch these things and get the Feds to stop sitting on them. Now Carl has given his testimony and he reports:
Thanks to everybody for viewing the public domain videos I posted from the National Archives. NARA officials informed me that total revenue from the Amazon deal back to NARA over the last two years has been $3,273.66. I read their contract (link to pdf) and my back-of-the-envelope calculations say total DVD says can't be more than 11,000 units and are more likely well under 5,000 units.
In less than a week, we did 14,664 views on just 46 videos, and I'm pretty sure if we put all 1,899 videos on-line for a while, the number of views would go up by a couple of decimal places!
For those interested in the background on this as well as other NARA issues (like the $531 million computer system they're buying that the vendor has 15 patents on!!), I've posted my testimony on the subject.
Perhaps relevant to the National Archives was Monday's announcement by the President of France that of his $50 billion stimulus package, he is devoting $1.1 billion to scanning the French National Library. My oral remarks to the Committee will suggest that we face a unique opportunity, in the midst of a great depression, to use Recovery.Gov to create enduring public works for the digital age.
Unauthorized Bread is the first installment of my next science fiction book for adults, Radicalized, which comes out in just over a month; the audiobook is available DRM-free on Google Play and direct from me.
Researchers at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory, a United States Department of Defense research facility, developed laser systems that can “transmit various tones, music and recorded speech at a conversational volume” to specific people without the recipient wearing any special equipment. Basically, the operator points a laser at someone from a distance and that individual hears the […]
A woman in China reportedly suffering from a rare medical condition supposedly can’t hear male voices. Most hearing loss occurs at higher frequencies when the delicate hair-like stereocilia of the inner ear are damaged, but this woman has the much less common reverse-slope hearing loss (RSHL) that affects the ability to hear lower frequencies. From […]
Use a single password for every website, and you’re compromising your security. Use a different one each time, and you’re bound to lose track of them. The solution? RoboForm Everywhere, a catch-all tool that will not only manage the passwords on every site you visit but generate better ones. As a simple password database, it’s […]
Just a reminder: Print isn’t dead. And now that printers are becoming as portable as cell phones, it might be around for quite some time. Enter the MEMOBIRD Mobile Thermal Printer, a mini-printer that is versatile, portable – and most importantly, never needs a refill on ink or toner. Measuring just a few inches around, […]
What do Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google all have in common? Somewhere in their framework, they all use MySQL, that most versatile (and free!) of database management systems. And they’re not alone. If your company or the one you’d like to work for wrangles data (and who doesn’t?), they’re going to need someone with a […]