The Internet - The first Worldwide Tool of Unification ("The End of History")

" ... Now I give you something that few think about: What do you think the Internet is all about, historically? Citizens of all the countries on Earth can talk to one another without electronic borders. The young people of those nations can all see each other, talk to each other, and express opinions. No matter what the country does to suppress it, they're doing it anyway. They are putting together a network of consciousness, of oneness, a multicultural consciousness. It's here to stay. It's part of the new energy. The young people know it and are leading the way.... "

" ... I gave you a prophecy more than 10 years ago. I told you there would come a day when everyone could talk to everyone and, therefore, there could be no conspiracy. For conspiracy depends on separation and secrecy - something hiding in the dark that only a few know about. Seen the news lately? What is happening? Could it be that there is a new paradigm happening that seems to go against history?... " Read More …. "The End of History"- Nov 20, 2010 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll)

"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: (Old) Souls, Midpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) - (Text version)

“…5 - Integrity That May Surprise…

Have you seen innovation and invention in the past decade that required thinking out of the box of an old reality? Indeed, you have. I can't tell you what's coming, because you haven't thought of it yet! But the potentials of it are looming large. Let me give you an example, Let us say that 20 years ago, you predicted that there would be something called the Internet on a device you don't really have yet using technology that you can't imagine. You will have full libraries, buildings filled with books, in your hand - a worldwide encyclopedia of everything knowable, with the ability to look it up instantly! Not only that, but that look-up service isn't going to cost a penny! You can call friends and see them on a video screen, and it won't cost a penny! No matter how long you use this service and to what depth you use it, the service itself will be free.

Now, anyone listening to you back then would perhaps have said, "Even if we can believe the technological part, which we think is impossible, everything costs something. There has to be a charge for it! Otherwise, how would they stay in business?" The answer is this: With new invention comes new paradigms of business. You don't know what you don't know, so don't decide in advance what you think is coming based on an old energy world. ..."
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

German anti-hate speech group counters Facebook trolls

German anti-hate speech group counters Facebook trolls
Logo No Hate Speech Movement

Bundestag passes law to fine social media companies for not deleting hate speech

Honouring computing’s 1843 visionary, Lady Ada Lovelace. (Design of doodle by Kevin Laughlin)

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Samsung Indonesia Launches Smart TV

Jakarta Globe, Cinvy Anggriani & Michael Victor Sianipar, April 29, 2012

A shopper looks at Samsung Electronics' smart television at its showroom
 in Seoul, South Korea on Friday. Samsung Electronics, the world's largest
 consumer electronics firm by revenues, plans to bring their Smart TVs
to Indonesia. (AP Photo)

Related articles

The Indonesian offshoot of South Korea’s Samsung Electronics says it is confident it can sell consumers on the benefits of its newly introduced Smart TV.

Smart TV, launched by Samsung Electronics Indonesia at Senayan City in Jakarta on Tuesday, enables users to interact with their television without direct contact.

Instead of using a remote control, users can use voice commands, motion control with hand gestures and facial recognition technology.

In addition, the Smart TV has an integrated Internet function, content designed for viewing children’s and sports programming and 10,000 applications.

“You have a smartphone, which is kind of like a small laptop in your hand. This function is something that a TV can do as well,” Samsung’s local managing director Yoo Young-kim told the Jakarta Globe.

“There’s no Smart TV market in Indonesia yet. It is a market we should create, and this is just the beginning ... the creation of a market for Smart TV is still in process,” he said, adding that Indonesians were this year expected to purchase about 4 million televisions.

Kim acknowledged that the Internet connectivity of the device could prove problematic because it depended on the sometimes-patchy connectivity of homes and businesses in the sprawling archipelago.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Smartphone boom lifts Samsung to global mobile phone leader

Deutsche Welle, 27 April 2012

Samsung has become the world's largest mobile phone maker, outselling Nokia by 10 million handsets in the first quarter. The South Korean firm now battles rival Apple in the lucrative smartphone segment.

Samsung Electronics raked in a record $5.2 billion (3.93 billion euros) in profits after selling 93.5 million mobile phones in the first three months of 2012, the South Korean firm announced Friday.

According to figures released by Strategy Analytics, more than one in every four mobile phone sold around the world was now made by Samsung, meaning the technology firm had replaced Finish handset maker Nokia as global mobile phone leader.

Strong demand for Samsung's high-end Galaxy smartphones caused its sales in this segment to surge to 44.5 million handsets in the first quarter, outnumbering even Apple's sales of 35.1 million iPhones, Strategy Analytics' data showed.

Samsung's mobile communications division contributed a $3.7 billion operating profit to the quarter result, masking lower profit from the firm's semiconductor business where sales more than halved to $669 million.

"We cautiously expect our earnings momentum to continue going forward as competitiveness in our major businesses is enhanced," Robert Yi, head of Samsung investor relations, said in a conference call Friday.

Smartphone duopoly

Samsung's mobile business president Shin Jong-kyun said the company was aiming to sell 380 million handsets this year, including 200 million smartphones - up from last year's sales of 330 million and 97 million respectively.

After outselling Nokia by 10 million handsets in the first quarter of 2012, Samsung is locked in fierce competition with US iPhone maker Apple in the lucrative smartphone market.

"Samsung and Apple are out-competing most major rivals and the smartphone market is at risk of become a two-horse race," Neil Mawston, an analyst with Strategy Analytics, told Reuters news agency.

Samsung hopes to increase its 30.6 percent share of the high-eng market over Apple's 24.1 percent with the launch of a new generation of its flagship Galaxy S smartphone this summer.

"The Galaxy S 3's specifications are expected to be sensational and it's already drawing strong interest from the market and consumers, Brian Park, an analyst at Tong Yang Securities told Reuters.

China - the world's biggest and fastest growing mobile phone market - has become the main battlefield of the two rivals with Samsung currently owning more than 30 percent of the Chinese market, but with Apple recently being able to boost its iPhone 4S sales five-fold there.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Who Needs Bosses? Not Game Company Valve

ABC News, by Alan Farnham, April 25, 2012

Software developer Valve Corp in Bellevue, WA, has 300 employees
and not one manager or boss. (Value Corp)

Video game and software developer Valve Corp, in Bellevue, Wash., has 300 employees--but not a single manager. How to they do that? What's it like to work in a boss-free zone? And what other companies share Valve's approach to non-management?

Valve's website proclaims: "We've been boss-free since 1996. Imagine working with super smart, super talented colleagues in a free-wheeling, innovative environment—no bosses, no middle management, no bureaucracy," just highly motivated peers coming together to make "cool stuff" without anybody "telling them what to do."

It would be wrong to say that up until this week Valve kept its no-boss policy a secret, or that its happy peers toiled in obscurity. The company gets plenty of attention, acknowledgement and feedback from customers, suppliers and reviewers for the best-selling games it makes.

But a few days ago, Valve allowed its unique and quirky employee handbook to be posted onthe Internet -- and since then, the phones have been ringing off the hook.

The calls aren't coming from would-be game buyers. They're coming from doctors and lawyers, clerks and car mechanics asking either "Can I go to work for you? Boy, I hate my boss" or "Can you teach our organization how to do what you do--get by boss-free?"

All of this attention, says Valve's Greg Coomer, has come as something of a shock. "Surprising," he calls it. "We've been hearing from people well outside our usual audience, from the UK, even from the public sector."

As its handbook makes clear, Valve's approach isn't for everyone. The U.S. Army, for instance, is never going to embrace no-boss-ism. Nor, probably, says management expert and business author Geoffrey Colvin, could FedEx--or any other business that employs tens of thousands and has to function like a Swiss watch, day after day, with precision and predictability.

Coomer agrees. "We know we're unique," he says. But he adds, "We wouldn't advise others against trying it. We're very interested to see others applying it to their organizations."

He says it's taken Valve every day since its founding in 1996 to make its system work. But work it does, judging by results. The company is to video game distribution what Apple's iTunes is to music. Its best-selling games series include Half-Life, Counter-Strike, Left 4 Dead, and Portal. In 2010 privately-held Valve announced it had in excess of 30 million active user accounts.

"Welcome to Flatland," says the handbook, referring to Valve's non-hierarchy. It goes on to explain that hierarchies are great for maintaining predictability and repeatability, but maybe not so good for an entertainment company trying to manage some of the most "innovative, talented people on Earth." Telling people like that "to sit at a desk and do what they're told obliterates 99 percent of their value."

Employees get to vote on their assignments. If they hear of a project they want to join, they literally vote with their feet and with their desks, which all have wheels. They unplug their computers, push back from the wall, and wheel themselves to whatever new project they want to join.

There's a system for reviewing their work and for assigning blame and praise. There's a system for tweaking compensation. But it all plays out without what most long-suffering office schlubs would consider top-down authority. For a full (and vastly entertaining) description of how Valve accomplishes this trick, see their handbook.

The closest Valve gets to having bosses are people called Team Leads. Says the handbook, "Often, someone will emerge as the 'lead' for a project. This person's role is not a traditional managerial one." They serve as clearinghouses of information, "keeping the whole project in their head at once, so that people can use them a s a resource." When the project disappears, so does the Team Lead.

Is it possible to get fired? You bet, and Valve employees certainly have been, says Coomer. But the reason has never been for an honest screw-up. Valve from time to time has hired people who, by temperament, found it frustrating or impossible to work within so gossamer a structure.

He freely allows that not having bosses has its downside. The handbook, in fact, has a section headed "What is Valve Not Good At?" Number 1 on the list: helping new people find their way. After that comes: mentoring people, disseminating information internally, and missing out on hiring people of talent who simply need to work within a more traditional structure.

Management expert Colvin, author of "Management Strategies for Difficult Times," says he can think of only two other companies that do business the Valve way: Fabric innovator W.L. Gore, where, he says, not only is the organization flat but people's business cards list no title (just their name, phone n email).

"This is the company where somebody once said, 'To see if you're a leader, call a meeting and see if anybody comes.'" And the other boss-less company? A Brazilian outfit called Semco.

Related Article:

"The New Paradigm of Reality" Part I/II – Feb 12, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" (without a manager hierarchy) managed Businesses, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

Cispa cybersecurity bill opposed by Obama administration

Hillary Clinton adviser reiterates president's opposition to Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act ahead of vote, James Ball, Tuesday 24 April 2012

Alec Ross Senior Advisor for Innovation to Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton Photograph: Ramin Talaie/Corbis

A senior State Department official has stressed the Obama administration's opposition to a controversial cybersecurity bill ahead of a vote in the House of Representatives later this week.

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (Cispa) is intended to facilitate sharing of information on online threats across different federal agencies and private companies. It has been criticised by both activists and politicians of both Democrats and Republicans for vague wording and insufficient safeguards.

Ahead of the bill coming in front of the House of Representatives alongside three other cybersecurity bills, Alec Ross, a senior adviser for innovation to Hillary Clinton, reiterated the administration's opposition to the proposals in more explicit language than previous statements from officials.

"The Obama administration opposes Cispa," he told the Guardian. "The president has called for comprehensive cybersecurity legislation. There is absolutely a need for comprehensive cybersecurity legislation.

"[But] part of what has been communicated to congressional committees is that we want legislation to come with necessary protections for individuals."

Ross refused to be drawn, however, on whether the White House would consider vetoing the bill were it to pass through Congress

Ross's comments came as Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul set out his own strident opposition to Cispa.

"Cispa permits both the federal government and private companies to view your private online communications without judicial oversight provided that they do so of course in the name of cybersecurity," he said on Monday.

"Simply put, Cispa encourages some of our most successful internet companies to act as government spies, sowing distrust of social media and chilling communications in one segment of the world economy where Americans still lead."

The open internet group EFF has warned that Cispa's broad wording could class many routine internet activities, such as using encryption on emails or enabling anonymity using a service called TOR, as potential threats. The act could also indemnify companies acting for security purposes from civil and criminal liability, including violating a user's privacy, provided these were not intentional, the group warned.

Despite the opposition, Mike Rogers, the chairman of the house intelligence committee and primary sponsor of the bill, remains confident it will be passed by the House of Representatives this week.

"I feel pretty confident that we'll close out the bill," he told the Talking Points Memo blog on Monday. Rogers also reportedly told the site he was not aware of a final stance from the Obama administration regarding his bill, and said he had met with some advocacy groups and modified Cispa as a result.

"There's some people who aren't interested in having any bill happen," Rogers told TPM. "But we've had an open and transparent dialogue with everyone who has chosen to engage with us, and there's been major progress made. This has always been a collaborative effort."

Three other cybersecurity-related bills are passing through the house this week – the Data act, which creates more oversight on security of federal computer systems and data; the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act, aimed at targeting federal cybersecurity research, and a third computer research and design bill.

Related Article:

European Data Protection Official Criticizes ACTA Treaty

PC World, by Jennifer Baker, IDG News, Apr 24, 2012


Europe's top data privacy watchdog has strongly criticized the international anticounterfeiting trade agreement (ACTA), warning that it could lead to widespread monitoring of the Internet and breaches of individuals' right to privacy.

The agreement is poorly worded, lacks precision about what measures could be used to tackle infringement of intellectual property rights online and could result in the processing of personal data by ISPs that goes beyond what is allowed under E.U. law, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) said in a 16-page opinion published Tuesday.

The opinion also says that ACTA does not contain "sufficient limitations and safeguards, such as effective judicial protection, due process, the principle of the presumption of innocence, and the right to privacy and data protection." It also warns that many of the measures to strengthen intellectual property enforcement online could involve "the large scale monitoring of users' behavior and of their electronic communications" including emails, private peer-to-peer file sharing and websites visited.

ACTA aims to enforce intellectual property rights and will enter into force after ratification by six signatory states of the total 11 -- the European Union, Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the U.S. It was signed by the European Commission and 22 E.U. member states in January, but before it can become E.U. law it must be approved by the European Parliament.

However, the international antipiracy pact has failed to win favor with parliamentarians. And following large civil protests throughout Europe, many E.U. countries are back-pedaling on their decision to sign the agreement. Most have suspended ratification.

In an effort to placate critics, the European Commission, the body responsible for negotiating the agreement on behalf of the E.U., has asked the European Court of Justice to rule on whether the deal is compatible with the E.U. Charter of Fundamental Rights. But since the court will not evaluate the effectiveness or proportionality of the measures within the agreement, nor the potential outcome, anti-ACTA activists see it as nothing more than a time-wasting exercise.

The Parliament is expected to vote in June without waiting for the court ruling. It seems that it will vote against the agreement, after the parliamentarian charged with evaluating it, David Martin, recommended rejecting it.

The EDPS' opinion puts a further nail in ACTA's coffin. In February 2010, the independent supervisory authority, gave his first opinion on the treaty, which at the time was being negotiated in secret. That opinion raised privacy concerns, but Tuesday's document goes into more detail on the now public text.

ACTA includes permission for countries to create laws whereby an online service provider may be ordered by a "competent authority" to disclose the identity of a subscriber to a right holder. The EDPS points out that the "competent authority" is not defined. There is likewise no definition of "commercial scale" mentioned elsewhere in the text.

Article 23 of ACTA appears to create new categories of criminal offenses without providing for any legal definition of what they are, he continued. Generalized monitoring of Internet users could affect millions of individuals irrespective of whether they are under suspicion.

In short, according to the EDPS, ACTA raises huge privacy concerns.

The anti-piracy proposals have prompted protests
across Europe

Google Drive to offer free storage in the cloud

BBC News, 24 April 2012

Related Stories 

Google's rate for 100GB of space
 is cheaper than Dropbox but
more expensive than SkyDrive
Google has launched a new consumer service offering up to 16TB (terabytes) of storage for photos and other online content.

Dubbed Google Drive, the service goes head to head with rival cloud services such as Dropbox and Microsoft's SkyDrive.

It offers 5GB (gigabytes) of storage for free. People pay on a rising scale for more space.

Experts say that Google is "late" to the market.

16TB of space could hold more than 4,000 two-hour movies coded in 720p high-definition resolution.

Cloud living

"Today, we're introducing Google Drive - a central place where you can create, share, collaborate and keep all of your stuff," said Sundar Pichai, senior vice president of Chrome and Apps in a blog post.

"Whether you're working with a friend on a joint research project, planning a wedding with your fiancé or tracking a budget with roommates, you can do it in Drive."

The service will allow users to upload and access videos, photos, Google Docs, PDFs and other documents.

It can be installed to a Mac or PC or as an app to an Android phone or tablet. Google said that it was working on an app for Apple's mobile operating system, which should be available in the coming weeks.

For blind users, Drive can be accessed with a screen reader.

"Google Drive will hit some competitors very hard and shake up the market," said Hanns Kohler-Kruner from tech research firm Gartner.

"It will also create another stream of more focused and potential ad revenue for Google around the content of personal files on Google Drive." 

Grand canyon

Videos stored on Google Drive
 become available on Google+, helping
to promote the social network
Google will draw on its search expertise to help differentiate the service.

Users will be able search by keyword and filter by file type, owner or activity. Drive will also recognise text in scanned documents using optical character recognition (OCR) technology.

This would allow someone, for example, to upload a scanned image of an old newspaper clipping and search for a word from the text of the news article.

Google Drive will also use image recognition.

"If you drag and drop photos from your Grand Canyon trip to Drive, the next time you search for Grand Canyon, photos of it will pop up," said Mr Pichai.

The first 5GB of storage comes free.

After that users can choose to upgrade to 25GB for $2.49 (£1.50) a month, 100GB for $4.99 a month, 1TB for $49.99 or 16TB for $799.99.

When users upgrade to a paid account, their Gmail account storage will automatically expand to 25GB.

By contrast, Microsoft offers yearly contracts. It charges $50 for maximum storage of 100GB.

Dropbox offers individual users up to 100GB at a rate of $19.99 per month or $199 per year. It also sells larger amounts to groups with the cost and size determined by how many people share the space.


Cloud services have become hugely popular as people seek to access content from a variety of places and devices. 

Dropbox helped popularise the
 idea of storage in the cloud, but
risks being undercut by its rivals
Richard Edwards, principal analyst at research firm Ovum, said that Google was "very late" to the market but that its move could spur others.

"Facebook doesn't have a cloud service but this may prompt it into an acquisition," he said.

"If Facebook was to buy Dropbox that would be a game-changer."

In anticipation of Google's announcement, rivals updated their own services.

Dropbox now allows users to give non-members access to files via emailed links. Until now it had required both parties to sign up to its service and have shared folders.

Microsoft has also improved its SkyDrive service.

Among other features, it has integrated the drive into Windows Explorer and Apple's Finder so that it works as an extension of the desktop.

It also added capability to access files stored on the drive from an iPad as well as the iPhone and Windows Phone-based handsets.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Obama announces crackdown on Iran and Syria's cyber oppressors

US president signs executive order targeting people and firms that help authoritarian regimes clamp down on dissidents, Dominic Rushe, Monday 23 April 2012

Obama was introduced at the Holocaust Memorial Museum by Holocaust
survivor Eli Wiesel. Photograph: Dennis Brack/Corbis

President Barack Obama has signed an executive order targeting people and entities who use technology to help authoritarian regimes in Iran and Syria suppress their people.

"Technologies should be in place to empower citizens, not to oppress them," Obama said on Monday at a speech at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington.

Obama was introduced at the museum by Holocaust survivor Eli Wiesel. Obama told Wiesel: "You show us the way. If you cannot give up, if you can believe, then we can believe."

The president said the White House's new "atrocities prevention board" will meet for the first time Monday. He said the board's aim was to better prevent and respond to mass atrocities and war crimes. Obama said the "seeds of hate" had too often been allowed to flourish. "Too often the world has failed to stop the massacre of innocents on a massive scale," said the president.

Obama's speech came as the US faces calls to orchestrate an international solution to the deadly crackdown on dissidents in Syria. "National sovereignty is never a license to slaughter your people," Obama said.

In the executive order the president said the "malign use of technology" was facilitating human rights abuses in Iran and Syria and was a threat to the national security of the US.

The order blocks people associated with the supply and operation of these technologies from entering the US and seizes and property or assets they have in the US.

While social media and other technologies have been cited as aiding rebellions in countries including Libya and Egypt, other regimes including Bahrain, Syria and Iran have used technology to track dissidents.

Much of the technology used by oppressive regimes was supplied by US firms. Last year the Wall Street Journal reported that McAfee, part of tech giant Intel, had provided content-filtering software used in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

A White House statement said the executive order "authorises sanctions and visa bans against those who commit or facilitate grave human rights abuses via information technology … related to Syrian and Iranian regime brutality."

"This tool allows us to sanction not just those oppressive governments, but the companies that enable them with technology they use for oppression, and the 'digital guns for hire' who create or operate systems used to monitor, track, and target citizens," the White House statement said.

GCHQ: Britain’s eyes and ears

Monday, April 23, 2012

YouTube Marketing Ambassadors play big at Google

Google Blog, April 23, 2012

From time to time, we post about how entrepreneurs have used Google tools to build successful businesses—both on and offline. Today, we’re recognizing a group of businesses that have used a particular online platform—YouTube—to grow their customer base. - Ed.

You’d be hard pressed to run into someone who hasn’t heard of a musician or two that have gotten their big break on YouTube (Justin Bieber ring a bell?). But success on YouTube isn’t limited to aspiring celebrities: we’ve also seen a growing number of businesses that have either gotten their start on YouTube or grown an existing business with video.

To recognize these businesses and their work in fostering a culture of entrepreneurship on YouTube, we’re introducing our first ever YouTube Marketing Ambassadors—a group of outstanding organizations that have used YouTube to drive sales and grow operations. We’ve invited nine businesses from across the country to participate in this program, and last week our YouTube Ambassadors joined us at our headquarters for a two-day summit to meet with executives and learn more about online tools for businesses.

Hanging out with our Ambassadors at the YouTube headquarters.
Check out more photos on Google+. Photo credit: Bryan Davis.

Our Ambassadors span a variety of industries, from knitting to motorcycle gear to musical education. Each has a unique customer base and distinct business objectives, and yet, video has helped each and every one of them achieve their goals:

Find new customers from around the corner and across the world
  • (Boston, Mass.) - is the award-winning online extension school of Boston's Berklee College of Music. To encourage enrollment for online courses, this renowned school posts video music lessons and in-depth clinics with professors to give prospective students a true-to-life preview of online study with Bringing access to Berklee’s acclaimed curriculum to students around the world, has taught over 30,000 students from 135 countries since 2002.
  • UndercoverTourist (Daytona Beach, Fla.) - If you’ve ever planned a theme park vacation and wanted more than what’s offered in travel guides, you’re not alone. This travel business uses first-person videos to show the rides, shows and experiences offered at their partner destinations in Florida to potential customers around the world. The destinations now attract approximately 14% of their customers from the U.K., Australia, and Germany.
  • (Austin, Tex.) - Owner Staci Perry discovered a global classroom on YouTube, and now she offers knitting instruction classes and patterns online as a full-time business. Thanks to Google Translate and closed captioning on her videos, she has students in Greece, Turkey, Thailand, Italy, India and Syria—just to name a few.
Spark a conversation
  • ModCloth (San Francisco, Calif.) - ModCloth, an online retailer selling vintage-inspired clothing, engages fans with how-to tutorials, behind the scenes tours and DIY videos (ever try your hand at DIY studded socks?). Their video contests have earned them nearly a million video views from happy ModCloth brand evangelists.
  • RichardPetty Driving Experience (Concord, N.C.) - To show that there’s nothing quite like being behind the wheel of a NASCAR race car, the Richard Petty Driving Experience team records celebrity customers’ reactions after their final lap around the racetrack and uses the videos as compelling testimonials.
  • Rokenbok (Solano Beach, Calif.) - This toy company transformed itself into an e-commerce powerhouse, gaining 50% of all customers from their YouTube videos. They also encourage fans to upload their own videos, which they regularly feature on their YouTube channel.
Launch a new product
  • BBQ Guys (Baton Rouge, La.) - To showcase their collection of high-end BBQ grills, the BBQ Guys film video reviews of new products so customers can get a personal walk-through of all the features and how they perform in action.
  • RevZilla (Philadelphia, Pa.) - RevZilla co-founder Anthony Bucci deconstructs highly technical motorcycle gear through simple video reviews, giving tips on sizing and features. They’ve filmed more than 1,400 videos to help motorcyclists shop with confidence.
  • Zagg (Salt Lake City, Utah) - ZAGG drives traffic to their website with engaging scratch test TrueView video ads showcasing their clear protective shield for electronics. Their iPhone 4 Scratch Test alone has more than two million views.

We’ve awarded these Ambassadors with a badge for their YouTube channel and retail storefront, and will feature them on the YouTube homepage. To pay it forward, each Ambassador will mentor a nonprofit organization of their choice on how to get started with a video presence on YouTube. They’ll also host Google+ Hangouts throughout the year to share their strategies. To find out when the Ambassadors will be hosting a Hangout, stay tuned to our YouTube for marketers Google+ page. 

Meet one of our Ambassadors, Rokenbok toy company

To learn more about how to bring your business to life with YouTube, visit the Get Started page, or if you already have a video and want to learn how to promote it, read about the new AdWords for video on the YouTube blog.

Posted Baljeet Singh, Group Product Manager, YouTube

Related Article:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Megaupload Trial May Never Happen, Judge Says

Torrentfreak, Ernesto, April 20, 2012

A US judge has put a bomb under the Megaupload case by informing the FBI that a trial in the United States may never happen. The cyberlocker was never formally served with the appropriate paperwork by the US authorities, as it is impossible to serve a foreign company with criminal charges.

The US Government accuses Kim Dotcom and the rest of the “Mega Conspiracy” of running a criminal operation.

Charges in the indictment include engaging in a racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement.

While the prosecution is hoping to have Megaupload tried in the US, breaking news suggests that this may never happen.

It turns out that the US judge handling the case has serious doubts whether it will ever go to trial due to a procedural error.

“I frankly don’t know that we are ever going to have a trial in this matter,” Judge O’Grady said as reported by the NZ Herald.

Judge O’Grady informed the FBI that Megaupload was never served with criminal charges, which is a requirement to start the trial. The origin of this problem is not merely a matter of oversight. Megaupload’s lawyer Ira Rothken says that unlike people, companies can’t be served outside US jurisdiction.

“My understanding as to why they haven’t done that is because they can’t. We don’t believe Megaupload can be served in a criminal matter because it is not located within the jurisdiction of the United States,” Rothken says.

Megaupload’s lawyer adds that he doesn’t understand why the US authorities weren’t aware of this problem before. As a result Judge O’Grady noted that Megaupload is “kind of hanging out there.”

If this issue indeed prevents Megaupload from being tried in the US, it would be a blunder of epic proportions. And it is not the first “procedural” mistake either.

Last month the New Zealand High Court declared the order used to seize Dotcom’s property “null and void” after it was discovered that the police had acted under a court order that should have never been granted.

The error dates back to January when the police applied for the order granting them permission to seize Dotcom’s property. Rather than applying for an interim restraining order, the Police Commissioner applied for a foreign restraining order instead.

The exact ramifications of the failure to serve will become apparent in the near future.

Update: Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom responds, and he’s not happy.

Related Articles:

German court case fails to settle YouTube copyright controversy

Deutsche Welle, 21 April 2012

A German court has ruled that YouTube must erase seven contested videos over copyright issues. However, the decision has failed to settle the protracted copyright row raging on the Internet.

Hamburg's State Court ruled on Friday that YouTube will have to take seven videos offline, including "Rivers of Babylon" by Boney M.

The verdict strengthens the position of Germany's royalty collections body GEMA which has been battling Google-owned YouTube over copyright issues for years.

The last agreement expired in 2009 and the conflicting parties have since been at loggerheads over the proper method to collect copyright fees.

However, Friday's verdict is not the landmark ruling which some had hoped would once and for all settle the contentious issue of copyright protection in the Internet.

Limited culpability 

From Germany, many Youtube searches
 will lead you to this page rather than
the music video
The Hamburg court decided that Internet platforms like YouTube are not directly liable for the breach of copyrights committed by users uploading protected material. However, the platform is now obliged to "deactivate immediately any illegal videos" once alerted by those holding the copyright.

Notably, the ruling does not oblige YouTube to check all content that has already been uploaded to its site – a key GEMA demand.

The judges said YouTube was not the main culprit because it does not upload or steal any content. Rather it facilitated the copyright breaches by offering and operating the online platform.

In order to prevent further copyright breaches, the judges called on YouTube to employ specific software capable of detecting songs in videos.

Mixed reactions

GEMA lawyer Kerstin Bäcker described the verdict as a "great success" because YouTube could now be held liable for its online content. GEMA spokesman Peter Hempel said the decision had created a firm legal basis for further negotiations with YouTube.

Kay Overbeck, spokesperson for Google Germany also viewed the ruling as a partial success. "The court has confirmed that YouTube is a hosting platform which cannot be forced to monitor all the uploaded video." 

YouTube owner Google claims the ruling
is in fact victory for them
The high-tech industry federation Bitkom took a similar view, describing the verdict by and large as a "good signal for the Internet community." The judges had clarified that YouTube was merely providing a platform for users and in legal terms was not the supplier of the uploaded data, said Bitkom chief executive Bernhard Rohleder.

Initially most German media viewed the outcome as an important victory for GEMA. But lawyer and copyright expert Till Kreutzer dissented in an interview with DW, describing the verdict as a victory for YouTube. "What really matters is which legal status YouTube has," said Kreutzer, adding that the row over 12 videos clips was superficial and negligible. "Does it provide content or is it just an online platform facilitating the publication of videos? The former is liable, the latter is not."

If anything the decision has shifted liability away from YouTube to the users who upload the respective videos, according to Kreutzer. Now there are legal requirements for operating the platform, but there is no liability to charges, which means GEMA has failed to achieve its main goal of collecting fees for YouTube content. GEMA failed to convince the judges with its argument that YouTube was using the content for advertizing purposes which rendered it more than just a "service provider."

However, the Hamburg ruling is not set in stone yet. Should either party decide to appeal, a higher court could overturn the verdict. The struggle to find a copyright legislation that is accepted both by internet users as well as artists, musicians and publishers is far from over.

Author: Günter Birkenstock / nk