Tag Archive for YouTube

Recommended Updates: Adobe Flash Player

Adobe Flash logoThis is part 2 of a two-part article.

This past Tuesday I was discussing how hackers are exploiting flaws in other programs you may have installed on your computer or laptop. First, I discussed run-time Java code from Sun Microsystems, and today I’ll follow up with Adobe Flash Player.You should make sure that these two programs on your computer are up-to-date.

Whether you have a PC or a Mac, there’s a 99.9% likelihood that you have this software on your computer; and regardless of your OS, flaws in these two programs can be exploited by hackers and affect your computer. Much ballyhoo is made about Mac’s safety from viruses, but the exploits I’m discussing aren’t viral.

What is Adobe Flash Player? Which version do you have?

Sample version check image

Sample version check image

Adobe Flash is used on many web sites these days. Just about any animation or movement you see when you are visiting a web page is handled by the Flash software installed on your computer. Flash is also used for some video web sites such as Youtube. And there are also a lot of web sites that have games that are designed using the Adobe Flash program.

Whenever you access one of these Flash-enabled sites, the Flash software on your computer goes to work behind the scenes, but if your Flash software is outdated you might be vulnerable to hacker attacks. As of Sept. 2009 the most current version of the Adobe Flash Player is You can check your installed version of Adobe Flash Player here.

Updating Adobe Flash Player

Updating Adobe Flash Player is very easy to do. Just go to Adobe’s Flash Player Installation page here (http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/). Then click “Agree and install now” on that page. They often include some optional software with the download such as Google’s toolbar or some antivirus software. It isn’t necessary to download those programs when your get Adobe Flash Player, so you can clear those check boxes by clicking them before clicking “Agree and install now”.

Adobe's Download Manager (DLM)

Adobe's Download Manager (DLM)

You might receive some additional instructions from Adobe for proper installation on your specific computer, operating system, and web browser. In some cases you may need to restart your computer, or close and reopen your web browser. Oftentimes the software installer will do this automatically for you.

Google Android Will Update This Week

It’s been a while since I discussed Google Android on this site, Sept. 16, 2008 to be exact, but I have been keeping an eye on it. (I bought one in February).

Currently, the only phone using the Android operating system is the T-Mobile G1 manufactured by HTC.

Last week T-Mobile announced they would start distributing the long awaited “Cupcake” or v1.5 update. (An update was previously released in February 2009). Here’s an excerpt from their announcement:

T-Mobile is delighted to announce the upcoming release of Android 1.5 with ‘Cupcake’ coming soon to the T-Mobile G1,” T-Mobile wrote in a statement late last week. “We plan to begin sending out the update starting the end of next week. As with previous software maintenance releases, the update will be randomly sent ‘over the air’ to T-Mobile G1 customers. We expect everyone will have their update by the end of May.

The earlier update many fixed some problems, but added few new features. The new “Cupcake” update will have several new features — some of which, like a virtual keyboard, are highly anticipated by owners of the device. Here is a list of new features to be found in the update:

  • On-screen soft keyboard
    • Works in both portrait and landscape orientation
    • Support for user installation of 3rd party keyboards
    • User dictionary for custom words
  • Home screen
    • Widgets: Bundled home screen widgets include: analog clock, calendar, music player, picture frame, and search
    • Live folders: Allows viewing of SD card contents without opening an application.
  • Camera & Gallery
    • Video recording
    • Video playback (MPEG-4 & 3GP formats): Previously only possible via a free Android Market download
  • Bluetooth
    • Stereo Bluetooth support (A2DP and AVCRP profiles)
    • Auto-pairing
    • Improved hands free experience
  • Browser
    • Updated with latest Webkit browser & Squirrelfish Javascript engines
    • Copy ‘n paste in browser
    • Search within a page
    • User-selectable text-encoding
    • UI changes include:
      • Unified Go and Search box
      • Tabbed bookmarks/history/most-visited screen
  • Contacts
    • Shows user picture for Favorites
    • Specific date/time stamp for events in call log
    • One-touch access to a contact card from call log event
  • System
    • New Linux kernel (version 2.6.27)
    • SD card filesystem auto-checking and repair
    • SIM Application Toolkit 1.0
  • Google applications
    • View Google Talk friends’ status in Contacts, SMS, MMS, GMail, and Email applications
    • Batch actions such as archive, delete, and label on Gmail messages
    • Upload videos to Youtube
    • Upload photos on Picasa

Additional features include a more refined user interface, animated window transitions, keyboard clicks or vibrates if desired, and an accelerometer for rotating applications onscreen. The camera will have a faster startup time, and faster shutter speed (image capture), while the GPS features are supposed to have faster response times. (GPS navigation wasn’t suitable for driving, and the route didn’t recalculate if you changed your course. Improved GPS functionality was available from third parties such as Telenav.)

Google has released a video highlighting the improvements and enhancements (shown at top) found in the Cupcake update. T-Mobile has released an Android 1.5 with Cupcake video as well. Many G1 user videos can be found on YouTube.

And in case you were wondering, Cupcake is a codename for the update, and the codenames are alphabetical. The next update will start with the letter “D” and some, like Rob Jackson at Phandroid, are speculating it will be called “Donut” to be followed by “Eclair” in keeping with the dessert theme.

Flutter and other Twitter Humor

Some time ago I found this bit of humor from Slate magazine and SlateV.com on YouTube. The description read, “As Twitter-mania reaches new levels, Slate V presents a mockumentary about a company that wants to take microblogging to the next level.”

If you’re not familiar with Twitter, then check out my last post.

Here’s some other bits of Twitter related humor from around the web:

Got any Twitter humor of your own? Please share with a comment below. Links welcome.

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Nacho Suarez: Illustrator, Speed Painter

There’s a computer illustrator called Nacho Suarez in Spain. He works with Adobe PhotoShop and a Wacom drawing tablet. In my daily blog travels I frequently come across blogs with links to his “video monitor captures” or “screencasts” on YouTube.  These are time lapse videos of him at work.  Well, you don’t see Nacho, but you do see a close up of his computer screen.

One of the more popular screencasts is his rendering of Heath Ledger as The Joker in The Dark Knight blockbuster. I don’t know how much time it actually took him to draw this picture, but you can see it in 4 minutes and 44 seconds.

The final product:

You can see more of his videos online at YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/user/nsuarezdraws and you can check out his blog, in Spanish, at http://www.nachosuarez.blogspot.com/

Here are some of the tools Nacho uses to create his works:

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Star Trek, MacGuyver, 90210, Young and Restless on YouTube

CBS Networks has started adding past episodes from such popular TV series such as Star Trek (1966-1969), MacGuyver (1985-1992), Beverly Hills 90210 (1990-2000), and The Young and the Restless (1973 to present) on Google‘s YouTube web site.

There are currently 5 episodes from each series, and 13 episodes for The Young and the Restless. The site is carrying the full length episodes with a 15 second ad before each epidoe, and another ad spot in the middle of the epsiode, and another at the end of each episode.

Google has been trying to patch things up with content owners (networks, etc) due to the constant unauthorized uploading of copyrighted material by fans to the YouTube site.  Many of the fan uploads were of poor picture and sound quality. The involvement of CBS should reduce unauthorized uploads of their content while providing superior sound and picture. It also creates a new revenue stream for the network and Google by selling ad space on re-runs of old episodes.

I’m wondering if any royalties will be paid to the actors on these programs. Certain airing agreements entitle actors to residual income from re-runs and syndicated programming after the series has ended production. The growth in online broadcasting has been a sticking point with the professional acting unions such as SAG (Screen Actors Guild) and AFTRA (American Federation of Television and Radio Artists). (See the July 27, 2008 New York Times article “Board of Screen Actors Guild Backs Negotiators’ Internet Demands“).

New Features

The episode pages will differ from the standard YouTube pages, which usually feature a filmstrip icon and the ability to add tags or labels of your own to the video clips.

YouTube has also added a “Theater View” option whcih presents an enlarged views of the video (and the ads) while hiding all other content on the page.

There is also a “lights out” mode, which will keeps the standard YouTube interface with a darker screen thereby putting more emphasis on the video.  It may also be useful for viewers who like to watch their videos in a darkened room.

Go the the CBS Playlists on YouTube to view the episodes.

Post Comments or Questions with the link below. Keep up-to-date with Skylarking: By Email or RSS Newsfeed or on Twitter. You can also send questions with my email form.