21 Oct

Getting the hang of hanging out (part 2)

A couple of days ago I experienced some some difficulties using YouTube Live Events. So today, I was all prepared:

  • Had my phone with me for 2-factor auth so I could log into my account on a second computer in order to paste links into the chat;
  • Prepared a document with all the links I wanted to paste;
  • Had the Hangout on my presenter computer running well ahead of time.

Indeed, I was done with my prep so much in advance that I had heaps of time and thus wanted to pause the broadcast as it looked like it was not actually broadcasting since I couldn’t see anything on the screen. So I thought I needed to adjust the broadcast’s start time.

Hence why I stopped the broadcast and as soon as I hit the button I knew I shouldn’t have. Stopping the broadcast doesn’t pause it, but stops it and kicks off the publishing process.

Yep, I panicked. I had about 10 minutes to go to my session and nobody could actually join it. Scrambling for a solution, I quickly set up another live event, tweeted the link and also sent it out to the Google+ group.

Then I changed the title of the just ended broadcast to something along the lines of “Go to description for new link”, put the link to the new stream into the description field and also in the chat as I had no other way of letting people know where I had gone and how they could join me.

I was so relieved when people showed up in the new event. That’s when the panic subsided, and I still had about 3 minutes to spare to the start of the session.

The good news? We released Mahara 16.10 and Mahara Mobile today (though actually, we soft-launched the app on the Google Play store already yesterday to ensure that it was live for today).

31 May

Youtube’s unequal display rights

While watching “Google Wave Developer Preview at Google I/O 2009” on YouTube, I saw two new buttons to the top right of the video. They allow you to dim the lights on the page and to open the video in a separate window.

YouTubes new features

YouTube's new features

The result is that all the noise is either turned off by the light dimmer or not shown when you open the video in a new window.

Reducing the noise

Reducing the noise

Having the lights dimmed around online videos is nothing new. A lot of services do that. On Reddit I read that this feature has been around for some months. I did check a few other videos, but did not see the features there. I got the impression, that only Google videos had these added possibilities.

Sure, there is a light bulb beneath all videos with which you can turn the entire screen either darker or completely dark. However, the video is darkened as well which the dimming feature does not do. It only blocks out the noise.

I like to dim the background because if the quality of the video is not sufficient to blow it up to fill the screen, I can still focus on the video only and not be distracted by all the other things around it.

16 Apr

YouTube account types

I know I am late to sign up for YouTube, but I did not see the point in doing so until our BA channel BScE.TV was launched recently. As I want to be kept up-to-date about new additions, I thought now was the time to go the extra mile and sign up for an account.

The first thing when signing up for a YouTube account is to choose your account type. I can pretty much understand “Standard”, “Director”, “Musician”, and “Comedian”, but why is there a category for “Guru”? Is it the equivalent to “Spiritual Leader”?

YouTube account types

In the end I did not have to ponder existential questions about the type of category I belong to because I realized before finalizing the account creation that I could also log on with my Google account. Lucky me. One password less to remember.

24 Jun

In the beginning… / Am Anfang…

Do you want to know how the entire personal computer business started? Then you should watch “Pirates of Silicon Valley” on YouTube. This docudrama is quite fascinating and is supposed to be rather true to the facts according to Steve Wozniak who was a co-founder of Apple and built the first machines. If you think you know the actor playing Steve Jobs, the Apple guy, but cannot place hime, it’s Noah Wyle who was “Carter” in “ER” (Emergency Room).


Wenn ihr wissen wollt, wie alles im Heimcomputerbereich in den USA angefangen hat, dann könnt ihr “Pirates of Silicon Valley” auf YouTube anschauen. Allerdings gibt es dieses Dokudrama nur in Englisch ohne Untertitel. Es ist ein interessanter Film und soll auch recht gut die Situation von damals darstellen, laut Steve Wozniak, der zu den Mitbegründern von Apple gehört und den Computer eigentlich gebaut hat. Wenn euch der Schauspieler, der Steve Jobs, den Apple-Guru, spielt (Noah Wyle), bekannt vorkommt, ihr ihn aber nirgends einordnen könnt, erinnert euch vielleicht mal an “Carter” aus “ER” (Emergency Room).