bigmammoth writes "Wikimedia has been a long time supporter of royalty free formats, but is now considering a shift in their position. From the RfC
To support the MP4 standard as a complement to the open formats now used on our sites, it has been proposed that videos be automatically transcoded and stored in both open and MP4 formats on our sites, as soon as they are uploaded or viewed by users. The unencumbered WebM and Ogg versions would remain our primary reference for platforms that support them. But the MP4 versions would enable many mobile and desktop users who cannot view these unencumbered video files to watch them in MP4 format.
This has stirred a heated debate within the Wikimedia community as to whether the mp4 / h.264 format should be supported. Many wikimedia regulars have weign in, resulting in currently an even split between adding the h.264 support or not. The request for comment is open to all users of Wikimedia including the broader community of readers. What do you think about supporting h.264 on Wikimedia sites ?"
bigmammoth writes "Wikimedia foundation has been a long time support of royalty free formats. They are now considering a shift in policy. From the Wikimedia RfC:
Video is used widely for educational purposes on the Internet. Online videos can be an effective learning tool, particularly for people who cannot read well. However, video is not widely used on Wikimedia projects. To date, only 38,000 video files have been uploaded to Wikimedia Commons — about 0.2% of the 19 million other media files in our repository (by contrast, YouTube now hosts over 6.5 million educational videos).
One of the major reasons why there are so few videos on Wikimedia sites is that we do not support the widespread MP4 standard. Instead, we rely on the lesser-known Ogg Theora and WebM standards, whose user base is vastly outnumbered by the many users of MP4 around the world. As of this writing, about 150 million of our users are still unable to view open video files on their browsers.
The request for comment is open to the public. Readers and editors alike are encouraged to share their perspective on this potential change for video on Wikimedia sites."
bigmammoth writes "One potential problem with campaigns and programs to increase video on Wikimedia sites is that video is many times more costly to distribute than text and images. The P2P-Next consortium has created an HTML5 streaming BitTorrent browser add-on to try and help experiment with ways to reduce the costs of video distribution. As described in a Wikimedia tech blog post, once the SwamPlayer add-on is installed, and when using the multimedia beta, video on the site will be streamed via the hybrid HTTP / BitTorrent SwarmPlayer. For smooth playback the Swarmplayer downloads high priority pieces over http while getting low priority bits from the BitTorrent swarm. The same technology is available for experimentation with any site via the stand alone version of the Kaltura HTML5 Media library" Link to Original Source top
bigmammoth writes "Firefogg the open source in browser video encoder has recently added WebM support. The release includes updates to the multilingual web interface to encode webm and ogg theora files directly to the users local hard drive. For developers, firefogg includes an api for web apps to request specific encoding settings from clients saving on transport time and avoiding multiple re-encodes. With Chrome, Firefox and Opera all shipping vp8 in the near future, in browser tools such as firefogg are proving to be valuable for quick experimentation with free web video formats." Link to Original Source top
bigmammoth writes "Xiph hackers have been hard at work improving the theora codec over the past year with the latest versions gaining on and passing h.264 in objective PSNR quality measurements. From the update:
Amusingly, it also shows test versions of Thusnelda pulling *ahead* of h264 in terms of objective quality as bitrate increases. It's important to note that PSNR is an objective measure that does not exactly represent perceived quality, and PSNR measurements have always been especially kind to Theora. This is also data from a single clip. That said, it's clear that the gap in the fundamental infrastructure has closed substantially before the task of detailed subjective tuning has begun in earnest.
Monday's news is sure to cause a heap of worry at Adobe, Apple and Microsoft. The giants own the web's leading media playback and streaming technologies, and collect the lucrative licensing payments for their use.
bigmammoth writes "Last night xiph.org has issued a press release responding to changes made in the HTML5 draft that remove references to ogg codecs and container.
The W3C has expressed a clear intention to officially define video as an integral part of the web by introducing the <video/> tag. Up to this point, video on the web has been presented primarily using a fragmented array of proprietary extensions powered by encumbered formats. Those who cannot use them have been made second-class citizens. Failing to standardize on an unencumbered, reasonably-performing format is a failure to advance beyond this state.
They also point out that Ogg has triggered no litigation to date even though it is very widely used. The same cannot be said for MPEG-licensed codecs.
The MPEG-LA's own sublicense disclaimer warns that licensees are not protected from patent-related litigation nor are they protected from submarine patents.
dale writes "This weekend, 30 open government advocates gathered to develop a set of principles of open government data. The meeting, held in Sebastopol, California, was designed to develop a more robust understanding of why open government data is essential to democracy.
The Internet is the public space of the modern world, and through it governments now have the opportunity to better understand the needs of their citizens and citizens may participate more fully in their government. Information becomes more valuable as it is shared, less valuable as it is hoarded. Open data promotes increased civil discourse, improved public welfare, and a more efficient use of public resources. The group is offering a set of fundamental principles for open government data. By embracing the eight principles, governments of the world can become more effective, transparent, and relevant to our lives." Link to Original Source top
bigmammoth writes "Suterra LLC, a manufacturer of "biorational" pest control products about to be used in residential areas, has issued a cease and desist order to Indybay.org demanding that information about a "secret" ingredient in the CheckMate OLR-F mating disruption pheromone be removed from the site." Link to Original Source top
bigmammoth writes "Today, C-SPAN has steeped into the digital age and announced the liberalization of their copyright policy. Now online bloggers, citizen journalists, and any non-commercial entity with something to say about their representative can post federally sponsored events as covered by C-SPAN online without fear of copyright reprisals.
C-SPAN is introducing a liberalized copyright policy for current, future, and past coverage of any official events sponsored by Congress and any federal agency- about half of all programming offered on the C-SPAN television networks-which will allow non-commercial copying, sharing, and posting of C-SPAN video on the Internet, with attribution.
C-SPAN's liberalized copyright policy is good news for sites like metavid and anyone that is posting C-SPAN's coverage of our government online." top
bigmammoth writes "C-SPAN bid to "liberate" the House and Senate floor footage has re-emerged and been shot down. In an aim to build support a recent New York Times editorial called for reality TV for congress. But what is missing from this editorial is the issue of privatization and the subsequent restriction of meaningful access to these media assets. Currently the US government produces this floor footage and it is public domain. This enables projects such as metavid to publicly archive these media assets in high quality ogg theora using all open source software guaranteeing freely reusable access to both the archive and all the media assets. In contrast C-SPAN's view only online offerings disappear into their pay for access archive after two weeks and are then subject to many restrictions. If C-SPAN succeeds reusable access to floor footage will be lost and sites such as metavid will be forced to stop archiving. Because of C-SPAN's zealous IP enforcement metavid has already been forced to take down all of already "liberated" committee hearings which are C-SPAN produced. Fortunately, the house leadership sees private cameras as a loss of "dignity and decorum" and will be denying C-SPANS request"