Future Plans and Using Videos to Complement Text

Posted in Site News, Videos at 6:36 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

We’ll remain focused on the underlying technology and policy issues, not political party tribalism

Biden Harris 'Fixed It': Change again?

Summary: Remarks on recent and impending site changes; We are not replacing text with video, we’re just trying to enhance the presentation a bit, especially where visuals help make a point or where browsing through Web sites (or leaks) is more suitable than static, linear presentation

THE site is increasingly being served over IPFS. We also have the capacity to self-host very large files, then deliver them at high speeds (without a CDN like ClownFlare). It makes the site a lot more difficult to censor (Google/YouTube rapidly becomes notorious for it [1, 2]) or to digitally attack. Since moving to the new server about 18 days ago we’ve had no issue staving off attackers (in the DDOS sense). Readers can probably sense that pages are now loading a lot faster, too. We also did a lot of coding at several levels, both for operations and monitoring. There are always some projects floating about, waiting for time to become available. IRC tooling, Raspberry Pi tooling, IPFS and so on. For those who are curious about that level of depth, all the details will always be available in IRC logs. For secure and anonymous document drops we’ll have to complete the migration to Alpine containers and then add SSL on top of it all. It’s still work in progress, which requires scheduling and prior planning. We don’t want to risk any downtime (or worse).

“Rehearsals cause recordings to be somewhat robotics and audiences can easily tell when they’re scripted; we don’t want that.”I have, by now, become more accustomed to and familiar with Free software tools that produce video (strictly with Free/libre software). The main weakness, I think, is the equipment used (low-cost and built into a laptop). There are lock-downs here and I do not shop online, so there’s no reprieve for at least another month. In the meantime, a clarification is in order. We do not intend to replace text with video; not ever or any time soon…

As a side note, we’ve promised ourselves (as Tim and I did when we published episodes of TechBytes) that there will be no preparation, no outlining, or even editing of what we record. It reduces complexity and makes production far less cumbersome. Spontaneity is possible as long as we have a set of URLs or Web pages with potential topics in them — topics which shall be dealt with in turn (sometimes reordering them helps a bit as it tidies up the mind). Rehearsals cause recordings to be somewhat robotics and audiences can easily tell when they’re scripted; we don’t want that.

Videos are actually a lot faster to make than text; the workflow is largely the same for video and upload speeds are the bottleneck (especially this month because of severe issues with the ISP). Some particular aspects of publications are easier and safer to do in video, e.g. when dealing with leaked material. At the moment we’re a little light on news (not much happening in GNU/Linux or anything else for that matter) but not light on material because there’s plenty to be said about software freedom and patents in the analytical sense.

“In terms of storage and bandwidth, we’re much better off on the new server. Disk space increased tenfold!”One advantage we have is that we rarely need outside help to maintain and run the site (even beyond the level of editing, e.g. provisioning, backups, upgrades). This greatly lowers the costs associated with keeping the site online and active 24/7. A lot of other sites don’t have that luxury because they’re not run by sufficiently technical people and any time they need help with something they need to shell out a lot money (which they don’t have unless their site is trying to sell something, in turn corrupting its independence and integrity). In terms of site traffic, Apachetop (site monitoring tool) says that over the past 10 days the site averaged 7MB/second in requests, largely owing to videos. Last week the demand for videos grew 50% compared to the prior week, so there seems to be no reason to abandon videos, at least as a side feature. In terms of storage and bandwidth, we’re much better off on the new server. Disk space increased tenfold!

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