Youtube Adds Handy Blurring Tool to Video Editor

We all use Youtube. We watch everything from funny cats playing musical instruments to the latest music videos. The problem being is that once it’s uploaded to Youtube you can sometimes quickly find that you’ve left something important in. From your friends license plate, to maybe even your address or phone number on a piece of paper hiding in the corner of the screen. What could you do? For just that scenario Youtube has added a Blurring Tool.

While they previously had a blur tool, it was only really built for people who wanted to hide their faces, but now you can go all out and blur anything you feel might require a little bit of privacy. The cool part of the feature is it’s pretty much automated, all you need to do is draw a box around the part of the video you want to hide and the software will do it all for you. If that’s not what you were after you can just lock the box in place and blur even just a part of the screen.

Understanding that the tool has many uses, Amanda Conway, the privacy lead for this tool, stated that they “built the feature with visual anonymity in mind”. Blocking everything from number plates and faces to phone numbers and bank cards, the new tool could save people time with their post video editing.

Free Data Day Went Bad for Mobile Carrier

People use their mobile phones for a lot of things, from texting and playing games to browsing and downloading. The problem with using something like your mobile or even your computer is that when the networks go down, you lose everything. Not being able to watch your latest show can be troublesome and so Telstra, an Australian provider, offered a day of free data to say sorry for an outage only to find it had a bad impact on the more than just their network.

With no restrictions on what the data could be used for, the “Free Mobile Data Sunday” promotion showed everyone just how much restrictions make us hold back, with users going as far as using 1.8 thousand terabytes in less than 24 hours. If this wasn’t enough of a figure to startle you, it equates to someone downloading an episode of Games of Thrones 5.1 million times.

While this may not seem like much, it was reported that the traffic was so high it even slowed down network speeds in parts of Australia.

Do you use your mobile phone for browsing the internet? How much do you use and would removing restrictions change how often you use it? Some users even used as much as 421 gigabytes, over 52 times the normal monthly cap of 8GB.

Valve Increasing Steam’s Speed With 100 Gbps Connections

Steam is a global name in video games. As a platform for everything from selling games to networking players, the service enables you to download a small client and regain access to a collection of thousands of games. Not surprising then that they’ve recruited Level 3 communications to increase their network speed.

Level 3 deliver a collection of high-speed connections all around the world, a service that Steam users will be able to enjoy soon as Valve has approached Level 3 to upgrade their network to include their “100 gigabits per second” connection. They state several good reasons for this upgrade, the first of which is the service’s growth year on year. With a 75% increase year on year, you can imagine how their servers must be with new games released causing massive spikes of downloads. 400-500 petabytes of data are downloaded worldwide per month with 4-5 exabytes being downloaded per year, a figure that will only increase with games increasing in average size year on year. With Steam games coming from MB’s to GB’s the “standard” for Steam is roughly 10-40 gigabytes per user download. This is quite hefty given the service has over 100 million users, with users often being online at peak times such as during sales in which it’s not uncommon for millions of users to be online at the same time.

During those busy times, you may quickly notice that your connection stays at peak performance with such an array of upgrades coming soon. Now if only we could all get stable, fast internet at homes it would help make that game time less stressful.

ShiftWear – Shoes With Built-in Displays That Change as You Walk!

So that collection of shoes you own? Those red, black, white, blue trainers? What if you only needed one pair? What if you could change your colour and style of your shoes as you walked? ShiftWear is an IndieGoGo project from David Coelho and it looks like you could quickly pass on the local shoe store.

With flexible HD screens, the concept is an ingenious one, being able to customise your footwear through an app, adding everything from a picture of your friends and family to lightning that sparks with every footstep.

30 days of battery life combined with walk to charge technology means that instead of plugging in your shoes you can just walk to see your art come to life, with a store to not only download and add images to your shoes but also to upload your own, sharing your artwork on canvases all around the world while people walk.

At $150 (£99.79 approximately) for the starting pair and another $50 (around £33) for shipping, you could be putting a lot of money into a single set of shoes. With them being machine washable and Kevlar fiber coated soles, they are built to last and with the screens you would never have to wear the same shoes twice.

If you have $1000 spare you can even get the limited edition ShiftWear, with a screen that covers the entire trainer. Who feels like a little artist today?

ISP’s in Germany Can be Ordered to Block Piracy Websites

ISP’s are the ones responsible for giving the public access to the world wide web and everything that you can find on it. The problem with the public having access to everything is that sometimes they give access to things which they shouldn’t, a game or a movie or sometimes just designs for things which haven’t even been created. Piracy online is the concept that you either host or copy something that you don’t own, have the rights to use or the permission to run. Germany has had enough though and its supreme court has said that maybe you shouldn’t be able to access that material online.

In a recent ruling, the supreme court has ruled that ISP’s can be required to block sites if they meet two conditions first. The first condition is that the person requesting the block must have explored alternative options, this can be anything from contacting the person that uploaded the material to contacting the site that hosts the material.

The second option is that the site can only be blocked if “on balance” they are deemed to have more illegal than legal content, this means that if someone uploads one bad file to your system the chance that your system will be blocked is small.

More and more countries are making moves like this, from tracking down illegal uploaders to blocking off people’s access to the materials, where do you stand on this question. Should we be given free reign of the internet and the people who are illegally uploading materials targeted or should the people who download and use the materials illegally be acceptable targets for legal action as well?

Kim Dotcom Cleared Following Bail Hearing, Questioned on Video Games

Kim Dotcom, of Megaupload fame, has walked away from his bail hearing after being cleared. He has been on bail since February 2012, and has faced allegations of breaching his conditions of bail.

The Auckland District Court ruled that despite his new business interests, most notably his ‘Mega’ file sharing service, and the subsequent earnings he could have made from them, he was not at risk of breaching his bail and leaving New Zealand.

He said that all of his earnings had been placed into a family trust, for which he is no longer a beneficiary of, technically making him ‘broke’ as we recently reported. The new beneficiary is his supposed wife, Mona.

The New Zealand Herald detailed some of the questions posed to Kim, including those about his gaming habits:

“Ruffin: “How much time a day do you spend gaming?”

Dotcom: “It’s my hobby. A couple of hours a day. I did spend quite a bit of time when Call of Duty Modern Warfare came out because I wanted to be number one. I spent 30 hours [playing] non-stop.” 

But perhaps the most humorous moment, was the judge confusing “cloud storage” for “cow storage”:

“Asked what his post-raid business was, Dotcom said he helped create Mega, a “cloud storage website”.

Judge Nevin Dawson: “A what website?”

Dotcom: “Cloud storage.”

Judge Dawson noted and said: “Cow storage.”

Dotcom, looking exasperated, corrected: “Cloud storage.”

Maybe Cow Storage could be Kim’s next big thing?

Source: The New Zealand Herald

Google Expected To Integrate Into Google+

In an interview with Livemint, Google’s Steve Grove, director of partnerships for Google+, went into some detail about how the company plans to stretch Google+ even further in the future: “We’ve been consolidating the different services, so today Search, YouTube, the Google Play app store, all this plugs into Google+. And the reason for that is that Google+ is kind of like the next version of Google.”

Google is doing everything it can to attract more people to Google+, a service which has been ignored at the best of times, and reviled at the worst. By partnering with celebrities and major companies, integrating all of its products and requiring real names for commenting, Google has been taking the necessary steps to grow the social network, even if some of the methods have been unpopular.

According to Grove, mobile is the next target for Google+. “[Google+ is] going to create a network future with people uploading live videos from their phones, said Grove. “Google+ could do for live video, what YouTube did for recorded video.”

Thank you BGR for providing us with this information

Don’t Curse On Your Xbox Upload Studio Videos, It Might Get You Banned

Over the last couple of days we have heard many reports of users having their Xbox Live account privileges revoked or limited, it took a while for people to narrow down why this was happening and now it looks like those users have been uploading videos full of swearing.

This limitation or banning of services effects a few features, including the ability to use services like Skype, but what on earth are Microsoft thinking, banning users like this you might ask? Easy, it is in the rules after-all.

There was a rumour going around the cursing in Skype calls was causing bans, but that is completely false and I think Microsoft are getting tired of telling people they don’t monitor Skype calls. However, Upload Studio videos do get monitors, or at least have the ability to be reported and if your uploading “excessive profanity, you’re going to get into trouble pretty quick.

As a person, I’m free to swear my little heart out, but Microsoft are working hard to create a family friendly environment and the terms of service require you play nice with this too. Lets take a quick look at Microsoft’s official statement on the matter:

“To be clear, the Xbox Live Policy & Enforcement team does not monitor direct peer-to-peer communications like Skype chats and calls. Also, we take Code of Conduct moderation via Upload Studio very seriously. We want a clean, safe and fun environment for all users. Excessive profanity as well as other Code of Conduct violations will be enforced upon and result in suspension of some or all privileges on Xbox Live. We remain committed to preserving and promoting a safe, secure and enjoyable experience for all of our Xbox Live members.”

It makes sense, however I think Microsoft would do well to integrate an age barrier that users can implement on their videos where explicit content may be common as not all of their users want that “family friendly” experience, because we all know how manic online gaming can get and the language the goes with it.

Microsoft have pushed a little hard here I think, but they’re obviously trying to set an example. I’m not sure if the bans are permanent, or timed, but an extra warning and removal of the videos may have been sufficient to prevent users from doing it again. Yet on the flip-side, Microsoft are not stupid and the Terms of Service are vague enough to warn against these things, so on technicalities they’re well within their rights to take action, even if we don’t like it.

  • Do not create a Gamertag, profile content, Avatar action, Avatar content, or in-game content that other users may be offended by.  This includes, without limitation, anything related to or suggestive of:
    • Profane words/phrases
    • Topics or content of a sexual nature
    • Hate speech
    • Illegal drugs/controlled substances
    • Illegal activities
    • Controversial religious topics
    • Notorious people/organizations
    • Sensitive current/historical events
    • Any “sound alike” or “look alike” words, phrases, or puns that reference these topics are also prohibited

“in-game content” would be the part that relates to streamed and uploaded video content from the console. However, everyone’s definition of profane is different and Microsoft no doubt have to cast a very wide net to cover near global acceptance of certain words and phrases.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information.