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Adobe Abandons Mobile Flash Video (Over Steve Jobs’ Dead Body) 2011/11/10

Posted by nydawg in Archives, Digital Preservation, Information Technology (IT), Intellectual Property, Media.
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Wired Magazine ran an interesting news story that many have been expecting!  “On Wednesday morning, Adobe delivered the eulogy for its multi-media Flash platform for mobile, stating the company would no longer invest resources in porting its once-indispensable cross-browser technology to smartphones and tablets.  It’s a startling admission of failure from a company that vehemently defended Flash and its mobile strategy in the face of Apple’s refusal to allow it on the iPhone and iPad. Adobe even took on Steve Jobs in a war of words over Flash’s viability as a mobile platform, all in the public domain.  But the writing was on the wall for Flash years ago, and Adobe knew it. With no Flash announcements to be heard at its Adobe Max conference earlier this year and with the company slowly beefing up its toolkit of Flash alternatives, Wednesday’s move is in step with Adobe’s broader strategy of migrating its loyal Flash developer base to a new era, one where mobile platforms reign supreme.”

It’s interesting to watch how these advancements will change our archiving strategies as older formats are retired and/or unsupported.  Everyone knows that the H.264 codec is more energy-efficient, but is the quality also better, and is it worth those license fees?!  So  just for fun, you might want to check out Steve Jobs’ “Thoughts on Flash” from April 2010:   “I wanted to jot down some of our thoughts on Adobe’s Flash products so that customers and critics may better understand why we do not allow Flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads. Adobe has characterized our decision as being primarily business driven – they say we want to protect our App Store – but in reality it is based on technology issues. Adobe claims that we are a closed system, and that Flash is open, but in fact the opposite is true. Let me explain.”

dk
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Does the Kindle Fire Threaten iPad Tablet Market? 2011/09/28

Posted by nydawg in Information Technology (IT), Intellectual Property, Media.
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For nearly a year, people have been hoping for some type of competition to Apple’s iPad.  Well, this news release may be the next in a series of possibilities, but since it comes from Amazon, it may hold some promise.  Personally, I don’t think it really is an iPad killer, but  I think time will tell if there really is a “market” for tablet computers.  In the meantime, though, this new technology will provide another example of a cloud computer which forces consumers (or end users) to rely on locked-in cloud storage to access their information. Though I don’t totally buy into the hype that Kindle Fire will compare favorably with the iPad, some (like Ars Technica) do. . . .

“Amazon’s Kindle Fire is likely to be the first successful tablet not sold by Apple, and there are several good reasons for it: the low price of $199, the convenient, portable size of 7 inches, and a rich catalog of books, movies and music offered through Amazon’s Web-based services. But Amazon’s smartest move was to avoid the fatal temptation of creating an iPad clone. ”

If you check out the comments section, you’ll see that a better comparison may be between the Kindle Fire and the Barnes and Noble Color Nook. . . . .  Ultimately, I think that one of the biggest differences is (obviously) size!  Though my interactions with iPads have been limited to a handful, I think the 10″ screen is better suited to reading full-page essays and articles and etc.  On my own eReader/Tablet (by Entourage), I find it annoying to read small print and try to zoom in and then move forward and etc.  But that’s what you get with a 7″ screen (or two).  Alas, I don’t think the Kindle Fire is a dead on arrival, because unlike the iPad, it may allow end users to access Flash videos and retrieve content from the Amazon Cloud. . .   On the other hand, though, the price is cheap ($200), and a Kindle eReader now sells for only $79! So in the long-tun, as an appliance to access content stored on the Cloud, this may work out well for Amazon, as long as they don’t lose too much money on each loss-leader sold, and can make it back on licensing fees.

And one last consideration is the E Ink technology (“As its engineers explain it, “electronic ink is a straightforward fusion of chemistry, physics and electronics to create this new material.” “) which was so good for battery-life.  With this new color tablet option, it will be interesting to see how long batteries last– especially when playing Flash videos.  Oh, and one other thing, like the iPad, the Fire does NOT have a USB port either!  Meanwhile, somewhere in Redmond, WA, Bill Gates weeps!

Three Screens and a Cloud: Netflix’s Qwikster, Facebook & Amazon 2011/09/23

Posted by nydawg in Copyright, Curating, Digital Archives, Digital Archiving, Information Literacy, Information Technology (IT), Intellectual Property, Media.
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One of the most pressing and intimidating challenges digital archivists face today, is the fact that there is so much content offered in so many quick-changing distribution formats and accessible on short-lived storage media.  I found that the easiest way to describe this is “Three screens and a cloud” or as former Microsoft head Ray Ozzie put it: “how we consume IT is really shifting from a machine-centric viewpoint to what we refer to as three screens and a cloud:  the phone, the PC, and the TV ultimately, and how we deliver value to them.” [i would change that to IP, but hey, I’m not CEO of Microsoft.]

So as archivists who are concerned with the distribution and accessibility of our digital assets, it is important to ask early, “What format or what media will be required and who is the targeted end user on what appliance?”  In other words, you probably don’t want to send a hi-def Blu-Ray digital video stream meant for a big screen tv to a tiny smartphone!  Or you probably don’t want to stream a FlashVideo version to an iPad user.

But, on the other hand, archivists may not need to archive or preserve (for long-term functions) every possible variation of each format version (for smartphone or netbook (iPad) or television).   By articulating what is really needed, archivists can streamline processes and avoid making mountains where molehills are sufficient.  Archivists who can see the forest for the trees will be able to describe fewer assets more completely so that specific needles can be found within the haystacks.

This leads me to the real groundshifting news stories that happened this week.  The first one is that NetFlix is splitting its DVDs-by-mail service from its streaming.  According to Huffington Post: “In a post on The Netflix Blog that went up Sunday night, the company’s CEO, Reed Hastings, announced that Netflix would split its DVD-by-mail service and its streaming-video service into two companies. The new DVD-only company, called “Qwikster,” will be completely separate from the streaming business. Hastings also expressed contrition for the way the company rolled out its recent price hike, which alienated many customers. . . . “It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming, and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology.”

Well, obviously, many people are up in arms and think this is the biggest boneheaded marketing move since Coke introduced New Coke! The NY Times’s David Pogue does a pretty good job of getting his gander up as he parses the Netflix apology without fully acknowledging the economics of the “streaming” game.  I won’t get too much into the legal issues (which I don’t fully understand), but I do remember when I was working in “streaming media” as Senior Encoder at SonicNet (and Streamland), licensing costs and marketing dollars generally shift from one medium (vhs, CD or radio) to another (DVD, streaming media or satellite radio).   It seems inevitable that NetFlix realizes, as Blockbuster did years ago, that physical media will soon be obsolete, . . .  so they’re trying to split themselves in order to have different licensing deals with different stakeholders and end users. . . . . and Blockbuster, long-ago doomed, seeks to get in on the action too!

But ultimately, “An issue that both Netflix and Dish face, even when they don’t want to admit it, is the inconsistency of broadband connectivity across the United States.”

Another huge news story from this week was at f8 where Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced major Facebook renovations. ““Millions of people curate stories of their lives on Facebook every day and have no way to share them once they fall off your profile page…we have been working on ‘timeline’ all year…it’s the story of your life and completely new way to express yourself.  “It has three pieces: all your stories, your apps and a new way to express who you are.”  Zuckerberg said he wanted people to be able to share “their entire lives” on Facebook and have “total control” over how their content appeared online.”

Zuckerberg “also announced a series of partnerships with music, media and games companies –including Spotify, Netflix, Zynga [the maker of Farmville] and The Washington Post.”  So this brings us back to the idea of Netflix which  “announced it is integrating its video streaming service with Facebook — allowing users to watch videos on either site and see what people on their friends lists are viewing.  It will be available in 44 countries except in Netflix’s biggest market — the United States, because of the 1998 Video Privacy Protection Act that prohibits the disclosure of video sales or rental records, the company explained.”

So what does this all mean for “Three Screens and a Cloud?”  Well, it’s important to remember that “Netflix is the biggest driver of U.S. Internet traffic, according to one study. As Internet service providers begin capping or tiering their data plans, that could cause consumers to watch fewer streaming videos on Netflix, analysts say.”  So as phone companies begin capping data plans for distribution (streaming), then another part of the archival equation is the storage medium. . . . and, as many people know, the battle is in the Clouds!

Authors’ Guild Sues HathiTrust for Using Unauthorized Scans 2011/09/20

Posted by nydawg in Copyright, Digital Preservation, Intellectual Property, Media.
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A few months ago, Judge Denny Chin put the kibosh on GoogleBooks’ attempt to digitize millions of library books and provide (mostly limited) access to the OCR.  Well, at that time, the good news was that ” HathiTrust, an organization set up to help them archive and distribute digital works” was still doing important work, but now HathiTrust is named as a defendant.  “The suit seeks to block two separate efforts. In the first, the universities have created a pooled digital archive of the contents of their libraries, maintained by the Hathitrust. No one contests that these works remain in copyright, or that the universities have rights to the nondigital forms of these works. What the authors object to is the fact that the digital works are derived from an unauthorized scan, and will be stored in a single archive that is no longer under the control of the university from which the scan was derived. The suit suggests that the security of this archive is also suspect, and may allow the mass release of copyrighted work.

“A separate issue in the suit is an orphaned works project started by the Hathitrust that focuses on some of the works within this archive. The group is attempting to identify out-of-copyright books, and those where the ownership of copyright cannot be established. If attempts to locate and contact any copyright holders fail, and the work is no longer commercially available, the Hathitrust will start providing digital copies to students without restrictions. This has not gone over well. The executive director of the Australian Society of Authors, Angelo Loukakis, stated, “This group of American universities has no authority to decide whether, when or how authors forfeit their copyright protection. These aren’t orphaned books, they’re abducted books.”  Read the Ars Technica article.

And if you’re still confused about the legal issues related to GoogleBooks’ recent problems with copyright infringement with an eye towards orphans, out-of-copyright and copyrighted materials, here’s an excellent multimedia presentation at Harvard by Lawrence Lessig in which he makes the argument  that tigers, as cubs, are extremely cute or to read why he thinks it is a “path to insanity,” check out TechCrunch or his longer “For the Love of Culture” essay in The New Republic.

DMCA, DRM and The unFair Use Act 2011/09/09

Posted by nydawg in Archives, Copyright, Digital Preservation, Information Literacy, Intellectual Property, Media, Privacy & Security.
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A few weeks ago, I reserved a copy of a Clay Shirky e-Book to take with me to Chicago.  When the book became available from NYPL, I was excited and hoped it would be a DRM (Digital Rights Management)-free PDF copy so I could download it (click the emailed link) to my netbook and transfer it to my eReader Tablet.  (It was my first time, so I was clueless.)  Oh well.  Obviously you can’t do that. . . .  or maybe you can, on a Sony eReader and the York Library.

Yesterday an old friend on facebook asked about borrowing eComic Books with the intent of ultimately preserving on some portable medium.  So I was intrigued enough to do a little research on DRM and found this informative piece from the ASIS&T Bulletin website: “Digital rights management (DRM) is commonly defined as the set of technological protection measures (TPM) by which rights holders prevent the use of digital content they license in ways that could compromise the commercial value of their products.  Restrictions on such uses as downloading, printing, saving and emailing content are encoded directly in the products or the hardware needed to use them and are therefore in immediate effect.”

The whole article is worth reading, but this one part caught my eye: “The New York Public Library (NYPL), for instance, has been considering bringing its digitized collection of dance and performance videos closer to the public outside the NYPL system as long as it is possible to restrict access to this online content to library locations only. These examples show that DRM may actually provide opportunities to expand access to online materials in ways previously not possible.”  The essay continues by examining the DMCA and its relation to DRM, pointing out that “Since the DMCA was enacted in 1998, the Library of Congress has enforced exceptions three times – in 2000, 2003 and 2006 – and was scheduled to do so again in 2009. Of the six exceptions passed in 2006, one specifically allows film and media studies professors to circumvent TPM to make film clip compilations for coursework using DVD copies held by their institution’s film-studies library. A movement has been underway to expand this exception to include K-12 educators, all subject areas and all legally obtained copies.”

And to give you a sense of what is at stake, the author writes “In February 2007, the Fair Use Act was introduced in Congress, but never passed. It would have codified into law all six exceptions from 2006, which are currently rule-made and remain subject to periodic reviews. The Fair Use Act would have permitted the circumvention of TPM for, among other cases, (1) access to public domain works, (2) access to works of public interest for criticism, scholarship, reporting or research, (3) compilations of educational film clips and (4) preservation in libraries. The latter is of particular importance as the various media with historical content, including DVDs, begin to deteriorate. Smith argued that what frightens publishers about the Fair Use Act is that, if implemented, it would render ineffectual the anti-circumvention rules. Fair use would constitute an exception so broad that decisions regarding the right to circumvent would often be made after the actual circumvention. If a content owner objected, the user could take the matter to court, and only then would a judge decide whether fair use can justify that particular circumvention. The Fair Use Act would thus defeat the anti-circumvention rule’s self-help purpose.”

So in other words, the encryption that libraries are using is controlling access to their eBooks, and the anti-copy encryption that companies are using on their deteriorating DVDs are conspiring with the law to keep libraries from providing open access in the future to our resources.  I say instead of “Fair Use Act”, we need a “Fair Copy Act” so libraries will be free to begin their media refreshment, digital migration and whatever they need to do to make sure their media collections do not become time capsules, moments of time captured on obsolete media formats.

 

NARA, Why Is the Government Destroying Our History? 2011/09/07

Posted by nydawg in Archives, Electronic Records, Intellectual Property, Privacy & Security, Records Management.
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A colleague posted this sad (but true) story about the National Archives asking “Why Is the Government Destroying Our History?” and I noticed this set-up, “The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) said it will destroy millions of federal court records and bankruptcy files from 1970 through 1995 but will hold those records the government deems “historically valuable.” . . . Ok, for those of you who think archivists and information purists are dirty curmudgeons who toil away amid dust balls to avoid socializing (on say, Facebook!), consider what is actually lost when these records are destroyed:

. . . Incrimination.  You are about to hire an executive. You call us to do a background check.  We find out he was charged with running a prostitution ring in the ’80s. Or, you are about to hire a new CFO.  You call us and during our research we find he has filed for personal bankruptcy protection three times in the last 15 years. ”

So, this is very troubling.  Offhand I don’t know what the retention schedules for court records and bankruptcy files are, but now it seems like the historians at NARA are convinced that they can describe these files as having “historic” value, but they won’t go near the “evidential” or “transactional” value.   Professional records managers are not making these decisions at NARA, because they would recognize the legal value.   So NARA, in its “infinite wisdom” will decide whether or not large parts of our shared legal history have “historical value”, at the same time that they believe that redundant digital junk (e.g. 250 million George W. Bush emails) merit long-term preservation, but court records related to criminal activity may not have value in the eyes of a .  They’re going to throw out the original, authentic records and create a black hole in our shared knowledge of our judicial system!

Anyone remember when George W. Bush signed Executive Order 132333 to limit access to President Reagan’s records?  Well, now imagine that NARA is doing the same thing with federal records.  So what does the Federal Records Act (FRA) have to say about court records, or how does NARA deal with court records and bankruptcy files?

Well, in Spring 2008,this power was held by the federal records centers (FRCs) of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).  In a promotional piece, “Ready Access NARA’s Federal Records Centers Offer Agencies Storage, Easy Use for 80 Billion Pages of Documents they were providing ready access.   “However, the majority of federal records—approximately 95 percent—are considered “temporary records.” Every temporary record has an official records retention schedule—that is, the amount of time it must legally be preserved for use before it is destroyed (usually by recycling). Retention schedules for temporary federal records vary widely, ranging from a few months to more than a century. For example, most agency information request correspondence is kept for less than a year. Individual tax returns are preserved for seven years. Corporate tax returns, while not considered “permanent,” must be retained for 75 years. And certain aircraft certification engineering files must be kept for 100 years.”

I’m not exactly sure what they are doing ,but I assume it’s something like saying that since the papers were digitized (scanned), the originals are no longer needed.  But for public records, NARA is steward.   “The public can also access federal court records held by FRCs. These records include files from U.S. bankruptcy courts, the U.S. court of appeals, and U.S. district court civil and criminal files. FRCs make court documents available for researchers such as reporters writing stories on high-profile cases, former bankruptcy court litigants applying for mortgages or other loans, companies conducting background checks on individuals, and legal professionals researching precedents.”

Okay, so it’s an interesting piece from NARA, but this part really stopped me in my tracks: “The federal records centers have ably served the federal government and the citizens of the United States for more than 50 years. As the needs of federal agencies change and grow, NARA’s FRCs are also changing and growing to ensure that they will continue to protect the information assets of the federal government.”

I hope I’m not the only person to cry foul on this!  It drives me crazy especially when you check the FRC website and see how heavily invested they are in having a social media presence (Twitter, Facebook).

 

Curating Google Doodle Highlights incl. Freddie Mercury’s Tribute 2011/09/06

Posted by nydawg in Curating, Digital Archives, Digital Archiving, Digital Preservation, Information Technology (IT), Intellectual Property, Media.
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Hi everyone: Maybe this isn’t totally an archival or curatorial issue, but in some ways, these GoogleDoodles do what a good archive strives to do: provide easy access to available information and resources.  So pump up the volume, click on today’s GoogleDoodle, look for the cc [closed-captioning] button for lyrics to sing-along as you watch an animated music video tribute to the late great Queen singer Freddie Mercury.  http://www.google.com/

and check out Queen guitarist Brian May’s blog tribute here.

But if you want more of those awesome GoogleDoodles, don’t forget some of my favorites including: Alex Calder’s moving mobiles;  playable and recordable Les Paul guitar; John Lennon’s hand-drawn Imagine (animation); Martha’ Graham’s “Thought of You” dance; Mr. Men and Little Miss; Charlie Chaplin’s 122nd Birthday; and who can forget GoogleDoodle Dots, Jules Verne or the Google PacMan?

Those are some of my favorites, but I can probably think of a dozen more if i put my head to it. . . .If you’re interested in learning about the doodle history, check it out here.  And if i’m missing any good ones, please let me know!

Errol Morris and Photo Archives 2011/09/04

Posted by nydawg in Archives, Curating, Information Literacy, Information Technology (IT), Intellectual Property, Media.
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Filmmaker Errol Morris has been thinking about collecting, describing and using photographs in many different formats including one of my favorite documentary films “The Thin Blue Line” from 1988.  His book, Believing Is Seeing: Creating the Culture of Art, was reviewed in the NYTimes and is now available at bookstores everywhere (well, maybe not borders).  The NYTimes review starts out: “Likewise, “Believing Is Seeing,” though perceptive about photography, is fundamentally concerned with something very different: epistemology. Morris is chiefly interested in the nature of knowledge, in figuring out where the truth — in both senses — lies.

As that suggests, Morris believes in objective truth, and believes that people can grasp it — “even though,” as he has written elsewhere, “the world is unutterably insane.” The question then becomes how to coax an insane world into yielding up its truths, and “Believing Is Seeing” amounts to a provisional, ­pastiche-y, deeply interesting attempt at an answer.”

If you’re interested in getting a glimpse of some of those chapters and thoughts, you might want to check out some of his The Opinionator blogs including “It Was All Started by a Mouse (part 1)“, “Did My Brother Invent E-Mail with Tom Van Vleck?“, “The Ashtray“, ‘The Anosognosic’s Dilemma: Something’s Wrong but You’ll Never Know What It Is’” and pretty much anything he has written, spoken, shot, edited, made or shared ever!  And then check out this book review podcast too.

Football GOOOOOOL: Describing Every Action or Each Event 2011/08/30

Posted by nydawg in Digital Archives, Information Technology (IT), Intellectual Property, Media.
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When I was a kid, I used to play soccer and I loved playing and watching the game.  To me, the sport was all about teamwork, continuous movement and evolving strategies.  Now, years later, I still like the sport, but never play and only occasionally watch it on TV.   Looking at it from an archivists’ perspective, there’s a few points which merit mentioning.
The first point is the distinction between soccer and football.  In the US, we call it soccer, but almost everywhere else in the world knows it as football (not “American football”).   So this got me to thinking about the way a culture names a sport, location (“English” channel ) or even art movement (Dada?).  If digital humanities specialists were trying to research the development of the sport in this country and around the world, it might be a more difficult proposition because the terms used are different. . . . and may have changed over the years.

Another interesting difference between soccer and football on TV is the way it is described by the commentators.  It is so infuriating to me to watch it on American TV because the English-speaking commentators are usually so caught up telling the dramatic (or financial) backstory of the players, that they neglect to accurately describe the action on the field as it happens.  Although I’m not fluent in Spanish, I much prefer watching soccer in Spanish because they are telling a story in real-time. . . . and then when someone shoots and scores? GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOLLLLLL!   The announcers are excited as the plot develops.  The point i’m trying to make is that although the “content” of the game (the action, the game, the video or moving images) is the same, but the Spanish-language commodity (w/ the play-by-play) makes it, in my opinion, a more valuable commodity because it is more descriptive (even though I don’t speak the language), especially for those who do not know (or care about) Manchester United or the football clubs in the UK (or elsewhere).   I’m not interested in learning that David Beckham used to play with so-and-so, but if someone describes the six passes leading to a shot on goal, please do tell!  Like other soccer fans,  I am interested in the process and how the game develops, or specifically, in knowing that the left wing crosses the ball to the forward who is guarded by the fullback (or whatever). . . .   If the people at FIFA or the World Cup wanted to build up an audience, I think they should really consider using Spanish-language commentators for the play-by-play, and then hiring translators to put it in English.  (Yes, I’m sure that could probably be automated.)  Let’s give soccer it’s due.

And this brings me to the point about the game, and why I loved it so much, how it’s different from baseball (or American football), and how it relates to archiving.   In baseball, tennis and American football, the whole game is set up as one event (pitch, serve or down) after another, and each event is described (and archived) as something with a beginning middle and end.  (“The pitcher winds up, releases and throws, called strike one.”)    In soccer though, because it is so dependent on the uninterrupted passage of time, the whole game is about process and the subtle changes that happen as players work together to accomplish a “goal”.   I find this fascinating, because as in archiving, parameters need to be set in order to determine best practices.  For example, professional games usually run 90 minutes, but only the referees keep accurate time, so even if the clock expires, the game continues until the referee says it is finished.   It’s not over-time, they keep track of how much “real” playing time is “owed” from injuries, fouls and other circumstances that arise in play.

In some ways, soccer is like basketball, but even that sport is set up and described as a series of events, and it is at such a fast pace, that play-by-play announcers don’t have to announce every pass, so they can usually focus on the end result “He shoots and scores!”  I guess what I’m trying to say is that baseball and those other sports can be described mechanistically, or the descriptions can be automated.

A few years ago, I worked at a video indexing retrieval software company called Virage (later bought by Autonomy recently bought by HP), and worked in a small department in New Jersey that ” captured” (encoded, digitized, etc.) and cataloged every Major League Baseball game from the 2001 season from Opening Pitch of the first game to the last out of the last game of the World Series.   Since I was a video technician, I was mostly responsible for making sure the video feeds (content) were captured, saved, renamed and uploaded so they would be accessible (and fully searchable) online within an hour after the game was concluded, but we also had stringers in the ballparks who were keeping score of the games, and electronically sending the data to our computers in New Jersey.  At the end of the game, the data and footage would be combined so a fan or any subscribers could search for any event (e.g. every double Derek Jeter hit in the month of May, [but not every pitch]), and create a highlights reel to be streamed or (maybe) saved locally.   MLB still does it, probably using the same software, but now they catalog every pitch and every commercial, and rather than simply rely on the software to combine the data, they hire seasonal workers to describe everything.  What’s interesting to me is that the original project was simplified and stripped down and provided an excellent way to standardize scoring and create a functional system.

Working with these brilliant software engineers (some now work for Google), I learned a lot about how structured data can be used to create a more valuable commodity.   If the software is created to match the scoring with the video feeds, then it becomes a mathematical exercise in which an event like a home run will take about 45 seconds, where as a strikeout (third strike) may take less than 1 second.  By using data in this way, Virage figured out a way to quickly and efficiently make every baseball game fully searchable with a very small group of people.   Today, it’s gotten a little more descriptive, but almost to the point of too descriptive, and not really functional anymore (in my opinion).  Who would ever search for ““ground out,” “from knees,” “last out,” “premier plays,” instead of “no-hitter”!
I suppose it’s a testament to the original idea that MLB is using the software on a larger scale with more (internal) stakeholders than simply fans creating on demand highlight reels, but I’m still left wondering why, and how would any logger want to tag everything:  “It is not only the game action that is tagged. If a squirrel runs onto the field, the play will be tagged with “animal.” If there is a shot of a man sipping a beer, there is a “drinking” option under the “fans” category.  I suppose if you’re not a professional archivist or cataloger, it might seem “cool” to be able to do that, but as an archivist, I’m left thinking, “Are some taggers wasting their time tagging 1000s of events in a 3 hour game?
But, I guess if there’s an app for that, there must be some function somewhere at some time.

And of course, there’s some other very cool things that MLB is able to do with their content in order to maximize subscriptions, but really, do you need to hire some person to point out that a squirrel ran on the field some day.