Tag Archives: internet

YouTube is Adding a Community Tab

The web video giant YouTube is testing a Community tab to promote more interaction between users. Read more about it in this article from techtimes.com:

YouTube logo

YouTube Community Makes Interactions Between Creators And Subscribers Possible With Live Videos, Text, GIFs And More

By Chris Loterina

YouTube announced that it is adding more functionalities to the way creators and subscribers interact, and this is part of a new product that will allow these users to engage, hold conversation and even collaborate in an easier and more interesting space.

The product, which is still in beta stage, is a Community tab that will allow creators and users to message each other and send texts, videos, images, GIFs and other media content. This is the latest major change since an August update involving the YouTube TV app.

In a way, Google, YouTube’s parent company, seems to be replicating its relationship with developers. By engaging this group and asking for inputs, insights and ideas along the way, the company is able to develop better products and services. Google underscored the importance of this approach as it supposedly leads to better outcomes due to the diversity of backgrounds and styles that are pooled together.

“We started by inviting creators in early to develop, in partnership with us,” Google said in a blog post. “Your ideas and feedback shape our platform, inspire new features and help us decide what to prioritize.”

While the Community tab is primarily introduced for creators to engage their fans, there are those who point out that YouTube is effectively establishing its own social network. This can be demonstrated in the way comments and messages are filled with media content and are listed in a dynamic conversation. Each message can be thumbed up or down.

Whatever the case is, the development has been welcomed by early adopters such as the vlogbrother’s YouTube channel.

“We’re really excited to make this a hub for many of the goings on in nerdfighteria,” John and Hank Green, the channel’s creators, said. “You can also find news here about events where Hank and I will be, nerdfighter gatherings, and pictures/links of stuff we’ve been reading and watching.”

YouTube subscribers will also surely love the new features. As previously stated, they can now talk with their favorite content publishers in real time in an interesting and fun way and possibly contribute ideas to next-published contents. It could also become a platform for actual collaboration among publishers who subscribe to one another or between publishers and subscribers.

Subscribers will be able to see the conversation in the Subscription feed when using mobile devices, or they can choose to be notified every time their favorite YouTubers post a message.

Presently, the Community tab is only available to a selected group of creators and their subscribers. YouTube is still testing the product and is using the beta release to gain feedback. It promises that the Community tab will be made available to all users in the coming months.

Click here to read more from techtimes.com.

Man Cycles Across the UK in His Living Room with Virtual Reality

Exercising getting a little boring for you? Check out what one man did to keep his daily exercise routine interesting. Find out what did the trick in this article from theverge.com.

Device Pitstop man cycling UK with virtual reality
Photo from YouTube video.

This man is cycling around the UK in virtual reality using Google Street View

By James Vincent

Aaron Puzey says it started out of boredom. He’d been toiling away on his exercise bike for half an hour a day for years, and things were beginning to get tedious. “I’d been day dreaming for a while about the possibility of using VR to make it a bit more fun,” Puzey told The Verge by email. “And now of course the technology has arrived to make it happen.” His solution? Hooking a Galaxy Gear up to Google Street View and cycling the length of the UK — 1,500 kilometers from Land’s End to John o’ Groats — all from the comfort of his front room.

Puzey has been documenting his travels on his blog, Cycle VR, updating the site with edited video highlights of every 100 kilometers. He says he’s been lengthening the amount of time he dedicates to the journey, and reckons he’ll be finished in around 50 days.

One of the most interesting things, he says, has been navigating what is a highly constrained 3D world. “The single biggest problem with the Street View data is the high compression on the depth information,” says Puzey, with Google storing a limited number of planes to represent complex scenes. “Some thing, like buildings, fit very well to this model and look quite solid, but things like trees and hedges and anything lumpy often just looks a mess. I’ve also seen things like squashed bugs on the Google camera, bad colors in some scenes and strange black ‘sink holes’. However, even with those problems it still feels like I’m there.”

So much so, that nausea can be a problem, especially when he’s navigating complex routes — like roundabouts — that have been squashed into only a few layers of depth. “The problem [is that I’m] telling the ‘bike’ in VR to face in the direction of the path it was moving along,” says Puzey. “Then I had a breakthrough and realized if I make it face about 5 meters ahead of where I was it made an enormous improvement.”

Puzey says he had to develop his own app to download the 3D data from Street View and make it viewable in the VR headset, but other than that, the setup was simple. He just taped a Bluetooth cadence monitor to his bike to measure its RPM, and sends this data to the Gear VR as instructions to advance through his route. “I find I have to spend quite a bit of time nursing my app through as it gets stuck or crashes,” he adds.

And is he planning on taking any other cycle trips in the future? Puzey says 1,500 kilometers is enough to be going on with for now, but that he’s always liked the idea of visiting Japan, and might take a trip there in the future. “Using Street View I can visit pretty much anywhere.”

Click here to see more from theverge.com.

OpenCellular Promises to Bring the Internet Everywhere

Facebook is behind a new device called OpenCellular that promises to bring the Internet to every inch of the planet in the near future. Read the article from washingtonpost.com to learn more. Or click here to see the article on washingtonpost.com.

Device Pitstop Facebook OpenCelluar product
Photo by Facebook from washingtonpost.com.

This new Facebook device aims to bring Internet to the ends of the earth

By Brian Fung

Facebook has a clear interest in getting the rest of the world online. The more people who use the Internet, the more likely it is they’ll use Facebook, which means more ads and more money.

To that end, the company has launched a new piece of hardware that could help bring Internet access and communication to even the most remote places on the planet.

The device, which Facebook calls OpenCellular, looks like a breadbox and can be mounted on trees, poles and other objects. Pair it with a source of electricity — such as a battery or even solar power — and it can do all sorts of things to connect people, Facebook says. You can hook it into an existing cellular network so mobile phones can start receiving data; depending on how the device is configured, it can transfer everything from simple 2G data to ultra-fast LTE. It has a range of about six miles.

OpenCellular can also work without an Internet connection, essentially acting as an offline hub that still allows phones and computers to interact with one another over a local network.

Facebook believes this device, whose design is being open-sourced so non-Facebook people can tinker and experiment with it, could help make it cheaper to expand cellular connectivity. Some of the biggest costs associated with building out networks have nothing to do with the actual cellular base station and everything to do with the various inputs that go into supporting it. This includes things like tower construction, permits and paying for power and connectivity to the rest of the network, a behind-the-scenes technology called “backhaul.”

While OpenCellular would still need many of these things to run as a fully functional cellular tower, Facebook thinks open-sourcing the design will make it easier for many players to jump into the game, driving down costs.

Facebook also envisions these devices as an integral part of its own effort to build a global Internet-access infrastructure. The company has already invested in drones that could essentially hover for long periods of time and beam down Internet signals, as well as laser technologies that can carry data at high speeds.

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday that OpenCellular represents the next step after those innovations, and it’s not hard to imagine that these devices someday might talk directly to the drones and satellites ferrying Internet data from halfway around the globe.

Click here to see more from washingtonpost.com.