Christmas came early

Christmas came early for me and my relative unexpectedly gave me a phone he deemed too complicated to use. It’s free for him after a contract renewal but he much prefers his current phone.

The new phone is one of those slide phones that I have once declared I shan’t be ever carrying. It comes with some GPS whatever and a camera and a USB cable and a nice box. I haven’t really started reading the user guide yet but will do so in a couple of days time.

Nokia 6710
Nokia 6710

For some who may know, I’ve been eyeing for a new phone lately. This isn’t close to what I was hoping for but it will suffice. And Claudia, I can pass you back Sony Ericsson quite soon. Wahaha…

[Edited to include picture]

Youtube removes video of teenagers singing “Winter Wonderland”

Oh, you can’t sing a cover of “Winter Wonderland”. Apparently YouTube took down a video of teenagers singing “Winter Wonderland” due to copyright infringement. Warner probably owns the rights to the song.

Deleted Video?! Warner Music Group?! Copyright Infringement?! WINTER WONDERLAND?!

Well… I am just wondering why Youtube or whichever company did that. These Christmas jingles would sell better if more people spread it, wouldn’t it? Wouldn’t it be in their commercial interest to not remove these videos? Unless of course the song would hurt the sales of the song, perhaps like a parody or change of lyrics or even a horribly-rendition.

YouTube’s January Fair Use Massacre

This is what it’s come to. Teenagers singing “Winter Wonderland” being censored off YouTube.

Fair use has always been at risk on YouTube, thanks to abusive DMCA takedown notices sent by copyright owners (sometimes carelessly, sometimes not). But in the past several weeks, two things have made things much worse for those who want to sing a song, post an a capella tribute, or set machinima to music.

First, it appears that more and more copyright owners are using YouTube’s automated copyright filtering system (known as the Content ID system), which tests all videos looking for a “match” with “fingerprints” provided by copyright owners.

Second, thanks to a recent spat between YouTube and Warner Music Group, YouTube’s Content ID tool is now being used to censor lots and lots of videos (previously, Warner just silently shared in the advertising revenue for the videos that included a “match” to its music). (Source: EFF)

I’ll leave you to judge if this has gone too far.

It’s Christmas time of the year again

I went to church yesterday evening. The turnout rate was pretty decent but I was expecting more people, I guess the economy has sorta recovered. Christmas is the time where Christians tend to bring their non-Christian friends to church. That day the sermon would roughly be the same. Slightly more welcoming to new visitors. It would defer from the heavier sermon topics such as the collective histories of the middle eastern empires. Which, by the way, does have its interesting bit if not for the rather bias interpretations of Christian “adversaries”.

Christmas’ sermons are typically about the gift, the one true God and savior. It’s quite the same year after year. And in a way, it’s perhaps the most proven formula. Today’s religion is a lot of complicated. It doesn’t work well when you place fear in people.

A Christian often says to a non-Christian that God is the savior and how He created the world. There’d be a little dispute and so on. But the topic always go on to the non-Christian saying he or she would have to think about it or maybe it’s not the time. To which a couple of Christians would state that you shouldn’t wait. And if you’re a non-Christian, you should not ask why you shouldn’t wait because the answer is typical of what a Prudential insurance agent would tell you (i.e. what if something happen and so on). This may work on some people; it doesn’t work on all people.

Today religion has revolved, it’s rather need-based to some. I’ve got a feeling Christians spend quite a bit of time proselytizing. The new way of convincing people to be a Christian is to be extremely welcoming to our new friend, to care for him and her. I often “study” this method of religion spreading. It works rather well I think. People may need emotional support and sharing (during Sundays) is quite a good way.

And since it’s easiest to bring a non-Christian to church on Christmas, sermon speakers would deliver milder topics. But what happens when you bring your friend to church next Sunday? It likely would revert to History 101.