YouTube launches live-streaming video site

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The screen cap above is from Justin.tv, a live-streaming video site. The title says it all: “Chickens and goats in stereo.” I live in a city, and it is a nice diversion to click on this channel and hear the sounds of a farm, though the roosters can be annoying. On Friday, YouTube announced that is was going live, too. It has done live events in the past, but now YouTube has a dedicated page for daily events. That’s the key word for the moment: Events. As in be there at 12 p.m. Pacific time for the live gaming event. YouTube said it will gradually roll out its live streaming platform over the coming months, so there is very little to choose from right now. And you can’t, as a regular user, start streaming your own goats and chickens to the world. For now. But the possibilities of YouTube moving big in this arena are very exciting. I was thrilled to be able to watch Al Jazeera English live streaming on the Web during the Egyptian revolution. People can stream what they want on JustinTV or Ustream or Livestream, but YouTube is the video behemoth with 2 billion daily views and a ton of Google money to burn. And YouTube is so easy to use. Citizen journalism could take a quantum leap from tweets and cell-phone video uploads to global broadcasting from the scene of breaking news. But we’ll all have to wait and see. In the meantime, here’s a very cool 24/7 Ustream of an Eagle’s nest in Iowa.

Instagram makes crappy photos look cool

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Harvey C. "Barney" Barnum Jr.

Medal of Honor

I first noticed photo-filter and sharing apps last year when a friend started posting Hipstamatic pictures on Facebook. I tried the app myself and found it a bit unwieldy. I then tried Instagram and found it to be more intuitive – a natural fit. The charm of the app is that it makes photos look dated, oversaturated or desaturated, scratched and smudged. The various filters can make bad photos better. They can also make good photos great (in my opinion). The free iPhone app has become popular enough that developers are releasing apps to work with it. And you know you’ve really made a mark when other companies identify their products as being like yours, such as live-streaming site Justin.tv, which is working on “Instagram for video.” In December, Instagram reached 1 million users. Just to show how fast things are moving, it took Twitter two years to reach that number. More