Mar 312010
 
Authors: Ryan Gibbons and Glen Pfeiffer

This week we’re coming to you guys with some of the most exciting news we’ve ever delivered. Starting this May, CSU has agreed to purchase and distribute Apple iPads to all CSU students.

Now, of course, our first question was how the university would be paying for the new technology. But don’t fret, not a penny of student funds will be spent on the new tablets. The funding will be coming from our Arbor Housing Department, whose revenue comes from rent paid by our campus’ squirrel tenants.

Not every student will be receiving the iPad immediately as the supplies are currently low. Students with an odd number of credits will be receiving their iPads May 1, but if the number is prime you’ll have to wait until next semester.

Those of you with an even number of credits will be getting yours during finals week, unless, of course, you have a final, at which point the school has decided you don’t need the distraction of a shiny new toy. You’ll be waiting until Winter Break 2010.

Happy April Fools.

On a serious note, we have recently discovered that there are a few misconceptions about the popular video site YouTube. The other day we overheard several students explaining to each other the reasons behind some of YouTube’s quirks –– and they were completely wrong.

With much effort, we just kept our mouths shut and decided to use this platform to explain some things instead.
We need to start out taking a look at the development of the site. YouTube was launched to the public in November 2005, just more than four years ago. One year later, Google purchased it.

The first year of YouTube was starkly different then than it is now. It was not nearly as streamlined; upload times took ages, videos were limited to 100 MB instead of the current 2 GB and the user interface was rudimentary. 

Back then, all of the content on YouTube was uploaded by Joe Schmo (that God-like man who keeps the world turning), and there were no deals made with movie studios and record companies to put copyrighted content on the site. However, there was also no software automatically checking videos for copyrighted audio and video, so users could get away with a lot. 

Entire movies were put on the site in 10 minute segments (because that’s what users were limited to). This was done illegally by individual users and isn’t a practice done by movie studios because of bandwidth issues on the site (Misconception No. 1 busted). 

Thanks to video compression and streaming technology, individual videos don’t take up a lot of bandwidth, but tens of thousands of new videos are uploaded each day. This does take up a lot of storage space on Google’s servers. In fact, the amount of content on YouTube has far surpassed the total amount of data on the entire Internet 10 years ago. 

YouTube is not yet profitable. It doesn’t make enough money on ads to support all the bandwidth usage. However, Google does in fact advertise on many more videos than just movies uploaded by the major studios (Misconception No. 2 busted).

Thanks to its YouTube Partner program, Google pays Joe Schmo a percentage of ad revenue if they get thousands of views, giving rise to the YouTube celebrities out there who can afford to make a living by vlogging (video blogging). 

The contracts are secret, but it’s estimated that these vloggers get about $2 per 1,000 views. These videos sometimes hit million  views; thats $2,000 –– a nice paycheck for a four minute video.

It makes us want to drop out of college and vlog for a living.

Google has cut deals with many movie studios to do the same thing –– exchange content for ad revenue. Currently, there are a lot of older movies on there; Google hasn’t done as good a job at licensing content as Hulu has (think “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly”). 

And the last misconception is that YouTube is responsible for copyrighted content uploaded by users. Currently, the issue is up for debate in an ongoing lawsuit that Viacom has against YouTube. With luck, YouTube will be treated like an Internet Service Provider in the respect that courts have upheld that ISPs aren’t responsible for the activities of those they provide service to.

Columnists Ryan Gibbons and Glen Pfeiffer are preparing to celebrate Zombie Jesus day this Sunday. Send questions and comments to verve@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:45 pm

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.