Today is the 50th anniversary of the first space flight by a human. If that person had been Alan Shepard, the United States would be having a national celebration. Instead, the national celebration is in Russia. The rest of the world, to varying degrees (unless you’re in a war, recovering from an earthquake and tsunami, or a cast member of the “Jersey Shore”) are paying tribute. One of the best is being featured on YouTube – a documentary that was released online today. The story of Yuri Gagarin is a great one, and Gizmodo has a nice piece about him and his historic achievement. Below is the documentary: First Orbit.
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.
Photo credit: moparx Via Flickr
The other day I wrote about the crazy names created to describe vast amounts of data, such as an exabyte. We are quickly getting to the point where the amount of data traffic and storage that currently exists is pretty ridiculous itself. New reports say 100 million pictures a day are uploaded to Facebook – for a total of 60 billion. That is triple the combined total of Flickr, Photobucket, and Picasa. Every day I search YouTube for interesting videos and I marvel at the volume of video that is added by the minute, most of which will be seen by only a handful of people associated with the uploader. Thirty-five (35) hours of video are uploaded every minute on YouTube. Less than a year ago it was 24 hours every minute. Where is all this data stored? Server farms. According to a report from Data Center Knowledge that was updated last November, Facebook has 60,000 servers, and Intel topped the list with 100,000. Facebook keeps your info in data centers in California, Virginia and Oregon, which has its own Facebook page. Don’t forget to “like” the data center. The entirety of your Facebook existence could be stored there.
The video above shows a man, joined by others, who defiantly stands in front of an armored vehicle firing a water cannon during street protests in Egypt on Jan. 25. I learned about the video, posted on YouTube, through Twitter. I started taking Twitter seriously in November, 2008, when terrorists struck Mumbai, India. I had created a Twitter account in 2007, but didn’t know what to do with it. Twitter used to ask, “What are you doing?” And I learned that people were watching TV, walking their dog, or pushing a cart in the bread aisle of their Safeway. It reminded me of The Simpson’s episode in which Mr. Burns loses his wealth and is forced to live among regular people. He goes to the supermarket and tells a passerby, “I’m shopping!” But with the deadly attacks in Mumbai, I saw Twitter crackle with moment-by-moment reports from ordinary people about what was happening there. I felt connected to the situation in a way that is not often possible on TV.